Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published October 24th 2011
You know what they say – if you're not committing a crime, you're not having a good time. But how can you break the law without worrying about, well, the law? Luckily, Melbourne still has a few laws on the books that might get you laughed at but won't get you imprisoned. – so lace up your punk boots, put on your strapless dress, and let out your inner criminal.
Change a Light Bulb
Let's start with something you've probably done a hundred times: changing a lightbulb. Funnily enough, unless you're a licensed electrician, it's illegal to change a lightbulb in Victoria. This doesn't just apply to public buildings, either; it's actually against the law to change the lightbulb in your own home. This one's probably a leftover from the days when having an unlicensed electrician change your lighting was a good way to burn the entire neighbourhood down.
Whatever you do, don't touch one of these.
Suffice to say you're unlikely to get charged for doing it today, but even if you do, the penalty's just a $20 fine. Hardly worth worrying about.
Here's another Victorian law: it's illegal to wear pink pants after noon on Sundays. It's hard to fathom the original point of this – were pink trousers only worn in churches? Was the idea to avoid offending churchgoers returning to their homes? Either way, find your best pair of hot pink short pants and strut the afternoon away like the hoodlum you are. Cross-Dress Without Straps
Like the pink pants one, this is likely to get you some strange looks. For men only: if you appear on the street in a "dress without straps", you're breaking the law. No restrictions apply to other items of women's clothing, fortunately, so feel free to cross dress in anything with sleeves.
Presumably the early days of Melbourne were full of men walking around in dresses with straps – but take the straps off and you'd become a dangerous degenerate.
You're probably thinking of ways to break the law that are far more fun, but these are by far the safest. There are plenty more crazy Australian laws, too – if you're a cab driver, for instance, make sure you've got a bale of hay in the boot at all times. Bar owners are required to stable, water and feed the horses of their patrons. Melbourne is truly a city of opportunity: even people who don't drive cabs or own bars are free to break the law in hilarious ways.
Gosh, I don't even own a pair of pink pants, but the rebel in me is now looking for them and guess what?
I'm heading into the city on a Sunday wearing them, well as soon as I find some, and some that fit, well and some that fit and don't make my backside look like a huge watermelon
Oh, dang it, I think I'll stick to jeans and searching out people in the city on Sundays wearing pink pants that I can take photographs of.
Wow this is really interesting. These sound like really bizarre things to do. I guess I've only ever done one of the above three things; changing the light bulb. Anyway I'm not a fan of pink shorts or wearing dresses for that matter. Thanks for the share.