There’s nothing quite like the Dublin Knacker. They’re an exclusive and special breed of anarchist unbeknownst to the rest of the world. Without rule, and defying the most basic social norms, they actively pursue and create their own standards. For some, the Knacker is easily identifiable, but other worldly types may be left perplexed. Tourists visiting Dublin can rightly expect leprechauns and barrels of Guinness to roll down the street. But, when a close encounter with a Dubliner yields any kind of, “what the hell was that?” exclamation – understanding what makes any Knacker a distinctly authentic Knacker, may best explain and remove all doubt.
Advanced J-Walking Skills:
A real knacker doesn’t obey traffic signals or even oncoming vehicles at-speed. When you’ve patiently waited for the pedestrian signal to change, and your local Dubliner native fumbles onto the street ahead, forcing cars to stop abruptly on his behalf, there is a strong likelihood the character in question is indeed the real deal.
Every Dubliner’s favourite pastime is driving around town blowing the car’s horn as often as possible. In the event that you’re seeking and tracking the full Knacker experience, following the distress of innumerous seemingly pointless car horns may help you capture a special moment with an authentic Knacker sighting.
According to someone at the pub someone else spoke to, pedestrian traffic incidents in Ireland are the lowest in all of Europe. So, you can thank the ever-present danger of a Knacker randomly walking across the street into oncoming traffic, or a LUAS tram, for the safest traffic stats in Europe.
Gravity Defying Escapades:
You know how it is when the smack hits and you’re ready to just roll-up in a ball in a corner somewhere. We’ve all been there. But, you’re full of gear and you’ve got somewhere important to be. Maybe you need to pickup the kids from daycare; maybe you need to post a letter to the Taoiseach. The knacker is adept at dealing with the problem by embracing a completely public display embodying the half asleep, and the half walking. It is a truly unique state of being where almost getting somewhere is the goal, and a gravity defying, slumped-over body posture follows. The other local Dubliners are likely to look the other way and walk around the spectacle of a person almost gone, and simultaneously almost going. And, despite this nonchalant response you can rest assured that when spotting a knacker about to face-plant the pavement, that a true, authentic Knacker, can hold a right-angled pose for almost an hour.
Exclusive 2-Way Communication Skills:
In certain parts of Dublin you can hear a standard Knacker yell for a good few miles. What is truly impressive about the authentic Knacker is the ability to communicate with another Knacker via seemingly meaningless yells and screams over great distances. Even more impressive is how this abrupt, sharp, distressing and forebodingly loud means of communication is exclusive to Knackers and that the general public behaves entirely oblivious to it’s regular occurrences. Authentic Knackers have been known to hear one another perfectly from any side of the Arnotts building, and even either end of O’Connell street.
Passing The Mantle Of Immaculate Hygiene:
You can follow the trail of an authentic Knacker by noticing the spit before you. At times, Dublin sidewalks can be full of spit, as the locals love a good clear-out. Be careful to identify the scraping preceding sounds of a nearby phlegmy discharge, as no authentic Knacker will care where they hit you. This can ruin a good night out, and a perfectly clean shirt.
Similarly, while on the Knacker trail you can identify the authenticity of a speculative Knacker by checking that they spit anywhere (everywhere) and also cough into other people’s faces. This may sound like an easy two-fold charm to identify, but unless you’re use to Dubliners holistically, there’s actually an abundance of close proximity coughing and spitting to be witnessed.
Hard Street Fashion:
You just haven’t rebelled against society unless you’ve done all of the above in an extremely comfortable grey tracksuit. Forget the perception that you look like you’re wearing pajamas or that you haven’t seen the inside of a gym since early high school. You are what you wear. And the authentic hard Knacker choses the tracksuit when many others might fall for the actually intimidating options of a leather jacket or a pickaxe.
There’s a big difference between people that have fallen on hard times, and what urban dictionary describes as “Incestuous, boxing, sovereign ring wearing, tracksuited shaven headed scumbags.” And, of course many in Dublin are ‘proud of our Knackers‘. Especially those that have made their way into corporate business world of Ireland as CEOs of airlines or property developers, bankers, and the like. With the above guidance in mind you should be well on your way to identifying the Knacker in its natural environment. Good luck on the trail, and be sure to let us know what you find!