Out-of-towners may have wised up to drop bears, but there are still plenty of ways to have fun with tourists. Try these fibs next time you meet a gullible newcomer:
1. Tram inspectors are actually androids. If you ask them about their childhoods, they short-circuit before they have the chance to deal you an infringement notice.
2. One hot day on Smith Street, Messina ran out of gelato. The angry queue stormed the kitchens, pouring milk and cream into waffle cones in a desperate attempt to get their fix. It was then that Messina decided to open several more Melbourne stores.
3. Melburnians who move south of the river are immediately issued with a checklist of things they must obtain, including a puffy vest, navy Longchamp totes, an unhealthy obsession with water with added vitamins, and the Tan.
4. If you request an extra shot of ‘expresso’, your barista is legally permitted to free-pour ‘fuck you’ into your latte.
5. Melbourne’s network of laneways is so extensive that it is possible to walk from Flinders Street Station to Epping without stepping onto a normal street.
6. The truth behind Melbourne’s ‘four seasons in one day’ is more sinister than you might imagine. It involves dark magic and a family feud.
7. The Melbourne Star is a very fun activity for the whole family and well worth the ticket price.
8. The city’s obsession with street art dates back to the Gold Rush times, when people erected statues in the streets with their leftover nuggets.
9. Degraves Street got its name from the cemetery that was once located there. If you hang around the street after midnight, you might glimpse a ghost floating around the dumpsters.
10. Lord Melbourne himself is cryogenically preserved in a cell underneath the State Library of Victoria. Once a year, members of the public are invited to visit him.
11. A popular activity among locals is hiring scuba gear and enjoying the thriving coral reef at the bottom of the Yarra, located between Queens Bridge and Birrarung Marr.
12. The Docklands isn’t a real place, it’s a state of mind. When people say they’re going to the Docklands, they mean that they need to go and lie down in a dark room.
13. Savvy time-poor Melburnians use an app that employs others to queue for brunch on their behalf on the weekends.
14. There is a hidden bar so hidden that no one has ever found it. Not even the bartender knows where it is, and so he just roams the streets, Boston shaker in hand.
15. If you stand in the middle of the bandroom of the Northcote Social Club, spin around three times and sing all the words to ‘Avant Gardener’ correctly, Courtney Barnett appears. If you get the lyrics wrong, then you get Holly Valance instead.
16. Carlton is pronounced with a silent C. If you hear someone mispronounce the suburb, it is polite to correct them.
17. Kylie Minogue once ran for mayor, but lost to Franco Cozzo.
18. The secret ingredient in the insanely popular fried pork dumplings at Shanghai Dumpling House is nicotine.
19. The design for Federation Square was based on a crayon drawing by the architect’s two-year-old daughter.