Monthly Archives: October 2014

Tim Walker’s Recycling Week

Thursday. Rubbish day. What a fine opportunity to observe the human obsession with maintaining image.

In my district we have three bins. One is for organics, one is for rubbish; one is for recycling. The organics bin has a light green top, the rubbish bin has a red or, if it’s an older uniform colour model, a dark green top; the recycling bin has a yellow top. Organic waste is picked up weekly, rubbish is picked up weekly; recycling is picked up fortnightly.

Living alone and leading a reasonably conservative lifestyle the amount of weekly refuse that I generate, is minimal. On account of this my miniature rubbish bin is seldom full by Thursday, but given that I magnanimously share my miniature recycling bin with two parents and one kitten who live off the refuse collection run, this bin is usually ready to go by the designated fortnight. Also being a compulsive mulcher, I have no need for an organics bin.

It was this dearth of regular waste that, however unwittingly, caused me to fall into my ‘every other week’ rotation.

Each Thursday now I have a bin out, but never the bin that I had out the week before. This makes remembering which week it is relatively straightforward. Therefore, every second Wednesday night I pull out my recycling bin, glance down the street, see that once again I’m the first to do so; glance the other way, see that the primary school already has their yellow-top bins out, smile to myself, oddly relieved that I haven’t mistaken the weeks, aware that the school office girl rarely gets it wrong, then walk back up my driveway.

That’s Wednesday night, recycling week. Thursday comes and ordinarily, through some point in the day, I will venture out for an invigorating stroll around the block. It truly is a majestic sight to step out onto the main road and see the wash of red, green, and yellow tops lined up along the roadside.

The following week, Wednesday night I drag out my rubbish bin, perform the usual glances, first down the street to see once again, I am the first; then up the street, to see the school’s multitude of red-top and uniform coloured bins awaiting collection, smile to myself, and head back inside.

Thursday comes and expectedly, during some point of that day I find myself striding down my street through and around the line of green, dark green, and red-top bins. I emerge onto the main road and the sight is quite spectacular.

The houses in direct view of the end of my little street with the school at the top, are conforming with just red or green-top bins. A little way along the main road from the end of my street is evidence of the first uncertain refuse provider – a yellow-top bin can be seen. Drawn into this sense of uncertainty with all the independent thought process of a good little sock-puppet, the next house has also pulled out their yellow-top bin. Over the road, seemingly the neighbour is unsure about following the lead of the house across the road, lest they be seen as foolish by the neighbours on their own side of the road if it turns out to be not recycling week; although the one just down from them is going all in just in case.

Beginning sporadically, this frequency of yellow-top bins increases until practically every house is participating, where it then starts to thin out again as if somebody has decided they know better than these hit-and-miss recyclers, because they could have sworn they put out the recycling last week so heaven forbid they put it out again thereby running the risk of people judging them as recklessly irresponsible home owners with sieve-like memories who by implication aren’t good enough to uphold the strong history of refuse etiquette in the area or worse still, inspiring rumours of poor property and house upkeep along with generally slovenly behaviour with their shambolic recycling schedule clearly marking them as slothful hence unfit parents…

It’s all rubbish.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Oscar T Grouch

Photography by Yela Tubbin

Tim Walker’s Tinder

What a bloody joke. Apparently Tinder is ‘the latest craze in dating applications’; apparently it’s ‘a great way for hot girls to hook up with cute guys without those awkward introductions’…

It’s laughable is what it is, and for a number of reasons.

Firstly that young women are adequately low in self esteem to be lured into such a sleazy ‘dating’ network and secondly, that young men are sufficiently devoid of self regard to affiliate themselves with such a website; then there’s the fact that idiot news presenters and other PC governed figures like to refer to Tinder as a ‘dating app’, which sounds exactly like the kind of wholesome classification the developers of the site were hoping to avoid, especially given the ultimate purpose of the application is in fact to get around the tedium of dating altogether.

Admittedly, for the most part Tinder serves a purpose for the youthful and beautiful men and women of the world looking to hook up and play around with their respective counterparts but without any of the obligation associated with the typical courtship process, although to assume such a website provides any protection against, or even the most basic screening of, its users, thereby implying that its use is safer than simply standing on a street corner wearing a sign around your neck stating: ‘JUST IN IT FOR THE SEX GUYS – NO STRINGS ATTACHED’, is truly laughable.

Tinder is dangerous, this much is fact. As it expands its client base, as it continues to embolden its reputation across the Western world as the distributor of free and easy sex-in-the-palm-of-your-hand, Tinder will only become more dangerous.

It must be a favourite for sexual predators – what better way to screen for victims than from the privacy of your own home, from the convenience of your own smart phone; from the lofty position of selecting girls who are practically giving it away anyway? You see, contrary to what some of our younger generation seem to believe, the flawless face that someone sees looking back at them from an online profile, the captivating demeanour and cool temperament emanating from that screen, the wonderfully sweet and breathtakingly seductive things being conveyed, doesn’t actually have to reflect the person at the other end. All it’s likely to be is everything they know you want them to be.

Personally, meeting someone in person is the only way to meet them at all. Nothing compares to the excitement of seeing a new face as they stand smiling before you; smelling their fragrance, touching their skin – it’s so much easier to see through their web of lies when you can see their eyes.

On a related note, the fact that Tinder believes itself to be unique in the sense that it deals solely in sex rather than dating, is equally laughable. Pretty girls who know what they want have been using conventional dating sites to find strictly sexual partners for years – they’re just a little more subtle about it.

Two Tinder related deaths have been recorded in the past while. In my opinion, this is only the beginning. Too many beautiful young women are making it too easy for lecherous old men to exploit their weaknesses.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by B Kear Fell

Photography by Sax Shull Prod-Ata

Tim Walker’s Meat

Listen up. Beef comes from cattle. Mutton comes from sheep. Venison is from deer, pork is from pigs, chicken is from poultry – common knowledge you say? Yeah, I don’t believe you.

Bear with me. If beef comes from cows, this means that veal comes from baby cows, yes? So if mutton comes from sheep and not mutton birds, then lamb must come from baby sheep, right? Baby sheep, yeah, also known as lambs. Sounds simple enough: lamb meat comes from lambs, right. So what’s the issue?

Alright then smartarse, tell me, what defines a lamb? A baby sheep, yes, you said.

Therefore, when you enter a supermarket and purchase an exorbitant leg of ‘lamb’, you are purchasing a leg of, as you said, baby sheep, or lamb’s meat. Funny how supermarket butcheries don’t ever seem to sell legs of ‘mutton’ anymore, it’s always ‘lamb’

I call bullshit on this whole bloody wrought that is supermarket marketing.

These are the facts. A lamb is a sheep which is under one year of age. After that, it becomes a hogget. The following year, this sheep will graduate ovine university as a t­wotooth. Year after that, four-tooth; year after that, six-tooth and so on.

Now. Here’s my issue. This sheep meat that people see on supermarket butchery shelves with the regulation three hundred percent mark up on what the farmer is paid, labelled ‘lamb’, I guarantee is more than one year of age; in fact it’s probably more than two years of age. ‘Lamb chops’? Yeah, nice one. Have you even seen the chop from a lamb? It’s a pathetic, scrawny little specimen containing about as much meat as one might find between one’s teeth after a real feed of mutton steak. Then they sell these massive hunks of red meat and have the audacity to call them ‘legs of lamb’. The leg from a genuine lamb is about as big as a man’s foot and it’s pink, not red. Additionally if it’s ‘lamb sausages’ you’re into, yeah, you’re likely buying four or even six-tooth sheep meat. Not lamb at all. Not even close.

I guess ‘lamb’ does sound rather more palatable than ‘six-tooth sheep meat’ though, doesn’t it?



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Mark Kittens-Cam

Photography by Thea Vings-Wine


Tim Walker’s Unscrupulous

A few years back I opened a TAB account. In the heat of the moment I was foolish enough to join the email list for regular TAB updates/promotions. Most mornings now when I switch on the computer, I find my inbox packed full of TAB ‘hints’, ‘tips’, ‘offers’ and ‘deals’.

A few Sunday’s ago the Souths Rabbitohs took on the Canterbury Bulldogs in the NRL Grand Final. Unsurprisingly in the days leading up to this match, I was subject to intense TAB badgering. One such offer however, did catch my eye…

One week earlier, I had credited my account with $20. Three bets later, the balance read $51. Having experienced such a run of luck in the past, only to find that by pushing it I could lose that entire amount in a few hours, I simply glanced at my new account balance, smiled inwardly, also outwardly, and shut down my computer, leaving the new sum intact. Some days later I received an interesting promotional deal from the TAB compelling me to delve into those winnings.

…it was offering to reimburse any losing bet of up to $20 on the impending NRL Grand Final. Now, I’ve seen these kinds of offers in the past and paid them little attention but in true gambling spirit, this time I thought, ‘How can I lose?’

Questionable gambling logic notwithstanding, I did have a point. I actually could not lose. If I wagered $20 and won, theoretically, I’d come away with more than $20. Alternatively if my wager was unsuccessful, the TAB would cover my losses. First thing though, I carefully read every word on that promotional advertisement to ensure there was no clever word play or similarly devious trick designed to entrap impetuous punters – ‘up to $20’ was the only potential catch but surely there was no way they could mean ‘up to but not including $20’..? I wasn’t about to bet $19.99, anyway.

I was excited. I had quickly appreciated that this was no time for safe bets. I couldn’t lose therefore, I was going for gold.

I accessed the game in question and scanned the options; the odds. Head to head? That’s not how you make money. Winning margin? Better, but still not paying enough. No, if the TAB were assuring me of reimbursement, my bet had to be more specific.

$20 went on the Rabbitohs to win by 10, against odds of 15:1.

Nice. If I won, I came away with $300; if I lost, I was back to $51.

Come Sunday night, beyond all expectations, the Rabbitohs won by about 30 points – in truth I didn’t ever hear the exact score, I just heard that the Bulldogs took a walloping and left it at that. I didn’t give a toss who won the game, the only thing that mattered to me was that the $20 I had skimmed would be replaced, I assumed by that next morning.

Monday morning came; my account was still only $31. I placed a few bets; my account was $20. I decided to query the missing funds and typed out an email, addressed to the TAB help desk:


‘After placing a bet on last night’s NRL match-up between the Rabbitohs and the Bulldogs, and losing, as per your promise to reimburse any losing bets of up to $20, I expected that the funds would be replaced by this morning.

If Auckland’s recent power failure is hampering attempts to push through the transaction, that’s fine, I can wait.

Just see that I’m not waiting too long.’


After reading through the message a number of times, I was surprised at how uncharacteristically bitchy I sounded – especially in that last line. Regardless, I sent it off and continued the morning’s work.

Not half an hour later a response came through:


‘Hi Timothy,

Thank you for your email, We normally allow up to 3 working days for these refunds to take place as they have to be processed manually which can take time, If you don’t see it in your account by Wednesday afternoon please contact us and we can follow it up for you.

Sorry for the inconvenience, If you have any further questions feel free to contact us.




Great, I thought, Wednesday afternoon. The system works.

Wednesday afternoon became Thursday morning and still, my account had not been refunded. Not until late Friday afternoon did I again contact the TAB:


‘Following the TAB’s assurance of refunds on bets of up to $20 on last Sunday’s NRL match; then after your further assurance that reimbursement would be complete by Wednesday afternoon at the latest, to my account at least, there has still been nothing.

Is the TAB facing hard times? Certainly shirking the refund of every $20 bet made that night must have been a superb way to raise takings…

In principle, if the funds have not been replaced by close of business tonight, not only will I be closing my TAB account, I will see to it that thousands more throughout Australasia follow my lead.

Thank you.

Timothy Walker’


Wow. That uncharacteristic bitchiness was turning out to be not so out of character after all.

Again, the response was prompt.


‘I have forwarded this on to our Marketing team to look into for you,

Apologise for any inconvenience this has caused, If you have any further questions feel free to contact us




I checked the clock. 5:04.

Looked as though I’d be extending ‘close of business’ tonight, although confidence was dwindling that the issue of reimbursement would be sorted even by an extended close of business today, tomorrow or in fact, ever.

I then set about finding how to close my TAB account – I didn’t want to, but I had to stay true to my word because God knows I had talked a big game.

By 5:42, having come no closer to learning how to close my account, and having had no response from the Marketing team, I logged off for the day.

The next morning I was surprised to see in my inbox an email from the TAB. With some excitement I opened it:


‘Hi Timothy

Thank you for your email .

We can’t find the information where you were offered this promo however we have credited your account as a goodwill gesture.

Apologise if this has caused you any inconvenience

Kind Regards



Kerrie, you duplicitous wench.





Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Anne Grey-Mann

Photography by Thea Al Beeches




Tim Walker’s Metric

A mile long ago lost favour to the kilometre, one yard was supplanted by a metre; a pound gave it up to the kilogram, an ounce was overthrown by a gram; the quart became a litre, a fluid ounce was downgraded to a millilitre; then there’s decimal currency…

Since learning of these measuring amendments a number of decades ago I have often pondered: why, when a metre has a hundred centimetres and a kilogram a thousand grams, does a minute still have 60 seconds? Why does an hour have 60 minutes; why are there still 24 hours in a day? Why did we stop simplifying before the job was finished?

Further to that, I am genuinely baffled that after seeing logic prevail over so many units of measurement, some clever bugger still thinks it necessary to count 360 different points of a circle.

The 24 hour day and the 360 degree circle are no more logical than the twelve inch foot or the 16 ounce pound and if I had the authority to say that at 10:00, the final hour of the day, an about turn had a numerical value of fifty, you better believe I’d do it.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Stu Pod

Photography by Nun Since

Tim Walker’s Small World

No. You’re wrong.

By no means should it ever be considered a small world. How could it be? It’s over 14,000 kilometres through – how could anybody be so simple as to maintain that it’s a small world? – that’s over 44,000 kilometres around, without taking into account undulations.

Fact. Whichever way the phrase is turned, there is utterly no merit in that hackneyed idiom used by the mindless maudlin while gushing over news that a close relative crossed paths with an old school friend then had lunch at his cousin’s restaurant who just happens to be your niece’s husband, or similarly unlikely occurrence…

You see, as much as some of us like to claim otherwise, coincidence is a legitimate phenomenon. Further to that, a fair bit of what takes place that we like to refer to as ‘coincidence’ is less the coinciding of incidences and in fact is rather more akin to ‘unexpected’ with a flavouring of ‘unusual’; perhaps ‘ironic’ with a smattering of ‘premeditated’, or just plain ‘nonsensical’ with a whole lot of ‘silly’. It is this misuse of our beloved ‘coincidence’ which is likely the leading cause of our unwillingness to regard it as a genuine thing.

Regarding small worlds, in New Zealand at least, a better phrase to describe somebody’s encountering someone who has already met that somebody and has always been good friends with their mother’s daughter who is married to their uncle is, ‘it’s a small country’, because of population, this much is fact.

The other day in an attempt to stymie what I recognised as the inexorable onset of mental fatigue, I rose from my computer and, for the first time this year having thrown down a number of bets on the greyhounds to run in my absence, made my brisk way to the garage to collect my post. En route I passed a residence where, as usual, the woman of the house was outside busying herself with something which, as usual, I was unable to identify at a glance; as usual her two dogs bounded towards me as I passed; as usual I acknowledged the woman with a friendly wave and “Mornin’”; as usual I turned leftward and afforded her dogs a similar greeting.

Unusually however, her one brown and one golden Labrador appeared to have since become one brown Labrador, and one…

I halted, and at the same time heard the woman attempting to extend my perfunctory greeting with further small-talk, eliciting a look of glee at someone actually stopping to discuss the recent changeable weather patterns.

“…how long have you had the greyhound?” I inquired, hoping that I had placed sufficient emphasis on ‘the’ to illustrate that it was greyhound racing, not the emaciated creatures themselves that interested me.

“Oh, yes,” said the woman, “we’re looking after him for a friend who trains them – he’s blind in one eye.”

Assuming the vision impairment related to the dog and not the trainer I added: “Right, yeah, I’m an avid fan of the greyhounds – what’s this trainer’s name, per chance?”

“Oh, ah … McInerney, my dau…”

John McInerney,” I concluded. “The pinnacle of greyhound racing in Canterbury.”

“Oh, you know him then..?”

“I know his dogs.”

“Oh yes, well did you know my daughter’s marrying his son?”

“Oh really?” I said, really not caring at all. “How about that?” I said, wrestling with the urge to drop a classic, ‘Wow, small world’. “You have a nice day then,” I said finally, resuming my stride.

The next ten minutes of that stroll was spent going over in my head – thought/mumbling about – what an amazing sequence had just taken place: for the first time in months placing a few electronic bets on McInerney’s dogs then heading out for a walk only to meet one of McInerney’s dogs and meeting also the mother of the girl who is soon to become John McInerney’s daughter-in-law.

Mind you, that doesn’t actually make the world any smaller than it was yesterday and once those initial ten minutes of consideration had passed, I realised that it was scarcely even a coincidence: perhaps my inexplicable desire to rekindle an old vice was, but anybody involved in the gambling fraternity would be familiar with the name ‘John McInerney’. Moreover Canterbury is a relatively small place; many people know many people. The odds, therefore, for one Cantabrian to know a family member of the fiance of another Cantabrian, are not huge. Then there’s the fact that this woman possibly has multiple daughters just as McInerney likely has numerous sons, meaning the network of possibility becomes greater still.

That right there divides the odds again until the situation becomes that it’s more unusual to not know someone in the family of the person who your acquaintance is engaged to wed.

Not a small world; not even truly a coincidence. Just basic arithmetic.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Whirl Des Nought-Small

Photography by Du Domass