David Rabbitborough's A to Z of Australian Species



Most Australian species are immediately identifiable by their external appearance, but there is one that is very hard to detect as is almost always disguised as another species and it is called the Wacker.

Wackers are distributed surprisingly evenly through the population. Every schoolroom, for example, is bound to have at least one Wacker in it, a Scout Troop is likely to have two or three and a 1966 Falcon with a turbocharger and no muffler could contain up to seven.

Wackers are creatures which cleverly disguise themselves as other species. Though many individuals may seem at first glance to be plumbers, mechanics, film producers, advertising people or salesmen, they are in fact Wackers. The only way of detecting this is by watching their behaviour.

The first give-away will be their sense of humour. Wackers are amongst the only species left in the world that still like practical jokes, especially those that leave the victims maimed. They are also given to eccentric creativity. When you see a Morris Minor with a Rolls Royce Jet engine mounted on the back the chances are the owner is a Wacker. If you're at the snow and you see someone skiing down the mountain, backwards and on fire, they again are most probably a Wacker.

If you discover that someone you know is a Wacker, the important thing is not to panic. Simply treat them as you normally would but avoid at all costs inviting them to parties or lending them your car. And what ever you do, don't enter into any sort of business arrangement with them.

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