Monthly Archives: September 2013

Mit Reklaw’s Like a Fox

In the spirit of forthrightness, I am not a dog lover. Greyhounds on the other hand…

I was recently introduced to the world of online gambling. Quite the slippery slope it is, too. I was given a taste; I wanted more. I was offered a further sample; I wanted to devour the whole portion. I was finally allowed the whole portion… I was violently ill.

This is the nature of gambling.

It starts off a lot of fun. What’s more, in the beginning it always appears relatively easy – it’s all those other, idiot high-rolling gamblers who lose money. Hell, it’s not all that difficult to pick a favourite for a place…

Here’s the thing. These are animals. Thus, gambling, essentially, animals trying to make money from the abilities of other animals. Problem with animals, we all experience good and bad. We all have up days, down days. We can’t always foresee or predict our lesser moments; nor can other people for that matter. Truth is, even the most highly tuned animal, given the most auspicious of conditions, having endured the most rigorous of training programs, under the eye of the most efficient trainer, can lose.

In a word: variables.

Variables were the reason that I elected for Greyhound over Horse Racing. With greyhounds a punter is guaranteed a maximum field of 8 – horses can have up to 15. The odds therefore, are practically halved even before the race begins. The other problem I encountered with Horse Racing: Harness.

It is possible for racehorses on their own to have reliable form. Hitch them up to an unwieldy cart then plonk in its tenuous frame a funny-looking human, variables become limitless. Even without the gig though, horses don’t seem to possess quite the level of consistency as greyhounds.

So while I didn’t expect to make a great deal of money quickly, I did expect to make a good deal of money, albeit eventually.

If the above is my reasoning; the below shall be my explanation.

Admittedly, learning the gambling process did require a number of deposits into my TAB account. I considered them investments. Then having gleaned the knowledge, I was on my way to racing grandeur.

Curiously, my account was still requiring the odd investment. That was my next lesson. I thought I had already mastered the tricks – learned what to look for, what to avoid, the best trainers; the best dogs.

This next lesson must have been extra credit.

Track conditions. Where in the past I had neglected to heed these particular notices, I now realised that they were of great importance – even the best Greyhounds struggle to perform under poor track conditions.

In fact I was finding that on a ‘Raining’ or ‘Showery’ day the favourites seldom won; if they did it seemed to always be that ‘favourite’ on which I had not bet. Ultimately a wet track impeded the strong and appeared to favour the weak.

Lesson learned.

Soggy underfoot notwithstanding, I still felt that I was doing reasonably well, winning most of my stakes. What I was failing to see however, was that in order to make money I needed to be winning all of my stakes.

That’s the issue with ‘safe’ gambling. While I was winning most of the time, these wins were paying so little, on the occasion that I lost, I was losing the equivalent of up to ten wins.

Compounding my frustration was the ‘No Dividend’ trap. This seemed only to affect the races with smaller fields – races which I had naively thought would be that much easier to come away with a place. I wasn’t so much bothered by my legitimate losses but when my dog came in third, I expected to be paid.

I had no idea what ‘No Dividend’ meant. All I did know was that if my dog was awarded this accolade, those jammy bastards at the TAB took my money.

I was later to learn that in the races with less than eight runners, ‘No Dividend’ was given to third place in order to even up the stakes. I lost a lot of money in no dividend races because my dog so frequently appeared content to languish in third position. Seemed like a bloody wrought to me…

Now that I think of it, I guess it does make sense.

Gambling has a way of drawing people into its vice-like clutches; compelling them to invest money that they don’t have down avenues of which they can’t be sure.

Fortunately I didn’t lose a great deal of money; certainly not more than I could afford. I did however, manage to draw a number of conclusions from my efforts. Gambling is a hobby, not a career choice. Potentially it is possible to make money from gambling but one would need to acquire a vast knowledge of the game; also they would need to be prepared for a painfully slow accumulation of funds.

One could easily argue this point claiming ‘bet big, win big’. Yeah. Tried that. What about the inevitable losses?

Bet bigger, lose bigger.

My final address goes out to the World’s aspiring gamblers. You are playing with animals. Living, breathing creatures. There is no such thing as a sure thing.



Article by Mit Reklaw

Edited by Lotta Gamm-Ling

Photography Mary Horse



Mit Reklaw’s Saturday Out

0500 hours. Out of bed, start breakfast.

0600 hours. Outside to raise heart-rate, mental preparation.

0630 hours. Check over bicycle, inflate tyres to 110 psi.

0700 hours. Balanced above two 12mm strips of rubber, the day begins.

When I go for a ride I like it to be worthwhile; I like to be able to feel it afterwards. Cycling is the event; lactic acid the reward.  Suffice to say the terms ‘leisurely’ and ‘bike-ride’, in my vocabulary, are seldom seen in the same vicinity.

Open road, crisp air of an early spring morning; the trip is broken into three segments.

The first 10k is invariably a sprint.

After that, perspiration prickling under pink Lycra, I ease back to maintain a steady 30kph for the next 60.

Third portion, the home straight; final 10 kilometres, again, I sprint.

Without question most regular folk would perceive this ritual as nothing short of insanity. One might begin by asking: ‘Why, when setting out for an 80 kilometre cycling excursion, would any normal person sprint the first 10?’

Valid query. Guess I’m not normal.

In fact there are several reasons for my unorthodox methods. The first, obviously, 80 kilometres is quite a distance to cover on a bicycle. Yeah. That probably only adds to the confusion. Permit me to elaborate.

As any person who is not a cyclist will assert: ‘Dude, bike riding must be such a boring sport’.

Truth be told, it can be. 80 kilometres of rural landscape, gentle proclivities with never as many declivities; cars, trucks rushing by; wind, sun beating me about the face; then there’s the insects…

Honestly, it can be downright interminable.

The aforementioned technique allows me to avoid this potential tedium by simply exchanging one sensation for another.

That is to say, I substitute boredom with pain.

Seriously, I defy anybody to claim boredom while their body is crying out in pain.

Additionally, sprinting the first 10 at around 50kph then easing back to a comparatively sluggish 30, engenders a greater feeling of bliss than one can easily imagine. This sensation dissipates, sure, but by that time adrenalin has filled my veins and taken hold of my brain, bringing with it a feeling of greatness along with the belief that I could ride all day.

Some days I do.

That initial 10k sprint, gruelling as it may be, sets me up for the next stint. 60 kilometres of grey road is a charming little endurance event and it is largely willpower that pulls me through; burning limbs and a heaving chest help take my mind off the drudgery.

Then with 70k on the odometer comes the final 10 – the final sprint.

This is done more out of obligation than desire because God knows my legs don’t want any part of it. Thing is though, any good cyclist, regardless of distance already covered, should always be seen sprinting the final leg…

So that’s what I do.



Article by Mit Reklaw

Edited by S I Klyst

Photography by N Dore-Antz


Mit Reklaw’s Truth on Truths

To date, I have written 35 ‘Truths’.

At this point I fear they are at risk of becoming weak or, heaven forbid, repetitive.

Shit man, some might argue that they’ve already become weak and repetitive.

Others would claim that they’ve always been weak and by writing more this weakness is only being repeated – to these people I ask, ‘Why the hell are you even reading this?’

Idiocy notwithstanding, these haters will be pleased to learn that this shall be the last…


Of course I’m going to continue writing. Nothing could shut me up in that respect.

My new literary avenue will be less controversial, more enthralling; less angry, more inspired; less pedantic and a whole lot more awesome.

I hope you enjoy my future work.










Surreptitiously and serendipitously yours,


Mit Reklaw



Mit Reklaw’s Truth on Ease

Life is not easy.

Nor is it supposed to be.

Without its inherent difficulties life would soon become a dull place.

That said, a great many people in this world still like to act as though they are entitled to ease of life.

Hang on. Entitled..? Why? Did your parents have it easy? What about their parents? That’s right. Ask your grandparents to tell you about the physical, financial and general hardship that they faced in their lifetime… I’m off point.

Home ownership. Too hard for first time buyers..? Impossible to accumulate that first home deposit..? Yeah. In a word: sacrifice. I bought my first home when I was 20. Admittedly that was in 2003, but the principle remains the same. I was on an apprentice wage at the time, around $250 per week. Even so, as dictated by ‘The Plan’, I put away $100 each week from my very first pay, age 16. Four years later… Sorry, that’s not the point either.

Our desire for simplicity, this obsession with ease of life is being measured then perpetuated by big-shot manufacturers pandering to ignorant consumers’ innate fascination with new ideas. Technology. It’s out of control. Always on the move – constantly transcending itself with new innovations. It would appear that the technology boffins and engineers of the world have undertaken a quest to remove as much of the effort from life as humanly possible. Television remotes have made it possible to sit down in the evening and not get up again until bedtime. Text messaging has made it possible to communicate with somebody just down the road without taking the time to actually visit them. Computers have made it possible to… in fact I’m unable think of anything that we can’t do via a computer.

So few tasks nowadays require any effort at all. People are becoming lazy; idle. This is without going into what it’s doing for the population’s child obesity plight.

Furthermore, it’s how the majority of youth seem to expect everything to be handed to them and never have to struggle for anything; never have to sacrifice. Here’s the thing though, when starting out in adult life nobody needs to have the best of everything. The idea is to work your way there with time. That’s the challenge; that is where the satisfaction is derived.

Sadly this ideal seems to have been lost amid a torrent of interest-free finance, hire-purchase and buy-now-pay-when-you-can. Or can’t.

Does nobody believe in sacrifice anymore?

Without sacrifice, simply, we would become accustomed to ease of life. This is a perilous path to tread. Truth is, your beloved ‘Ease of Life’ cannot be maintained. Life will always be waiting for soft-cocks like you to fall complacent then when you’re not watching, it will pick you up and launch you headlong into a shit-storm of discomfort.

I am 30 years’ old and have already struggled through life more than any law-abiding citizen should have to. The aforementioned shit-storm can befall anyone, at any time. Therefore, to those of you who are currently cruising through life and believe that it will always be this way; think that it will always be this easy, wake the hell up.

My advice, inure yourself to hardship while you still have a choice. That way when shit does get real, not only will you handle it, you will thrive.



Article by Mit Reklaw

Edited by B Ware

Photography by Chet Storm


Mit Reklaw’s Truth on Suicide

In 2010 New Zealand suffered 522 deaths by suicide. To put this figure into perspective, that is around 12 people per 100 000 of population who thought it best that they depart this world on their own terms.

Those are the facts, the figures. Facts and figures have a habit of coming off impersonal. Truth be told I went to school with four people who, by their own volition, are no more.

Consider the reasons behind suicide – specifically youth suicide.

In 2010 the youth suicide rate was 17.7 people per 100 000 of population. That’s 78 males and 35 females between the ages of 15 and 24, who decided that the world would be a brighter place if they instigated their own demise.

I have to wonder if their friends and family felt the same way.

Depression. It’s a legitimate illness. I should know. Depression can be caused by a range of factors or seemingly, it can have no cause at all. ‘A chemical imbalance in the brain’, is the technical cause, but who really knows what that means? I would’ve thought that any chemicals in the brain was bad. Apparently not. Not so long as they’re balanced. Depression can affect anyone at any time; that’s the terrifying truth. More susceptible though are those of us who have a hereditary predisposition to mental illness or perhaps, as in my case, have sustained some level of brain trauma. In fact any kind of serious illness or even a significant change in lifestyle can bring about depression: the forcing of one’s body through any major adjustment has the potential to affect the mind detrimentally.

The Maori youth suicide rate is around 35 people per 100 000 of population. This is more than 2.5 times the Caucasian rate of 13.4. So why is this? Why in 2010 were there 21 per 100 000 Pacific Islander suicides along with 28 Asian? These people are considered ‘Minority Groups’; so why is there a disproportionate figure among the minorities? Where is the correlation? Does it relate to poverty? Is it location or living conditions? Or could it be the hardship that these people face on account of being a minority?

Another leading cause of depression is low self esteem; brought about by low self confidence; which can often be related to verbal or physical abuse.

Imagine that, abusing someone to the point of suicide…

Yeah. Don’t bother imagining it. It’s actually nothing new. This was the case for one of the four I mentioned earlier. She effectively died of unrelenting mockery; in this instance, despite being the target of much verbal slander, this beautiful girl left behind a great many shocked friends.

Depression can affect anyone and it is not always visible.

In my experience it begins by pulling down the brim of your cap – you’ll know what I mean if you’ve been there. The world becomes a darker, shadier and more uncertain place. Courtesy of your newly enclosed scope you’ll see no way to escape this permanent onset of dusk, should you even feel the need to. Probably the act of being depressed won’t bother you, you’ll be too tired to care. You will no doubt feel at peace with your melancholy as if it’s all that you deserve: it’s the world’s fault that you feel this way thus you are not beholden to do anything about it. It’s likely the world’s fault that you were even made. You don’t want to have to deal with, talk to or even see people. Dragging yourself out of bed in the morning becomes a pointless exercise. Life loses its direction and before long, it’s lost its will to survive.

No will to survive amid a darkened mind is a lethal combination.

From the perspective of the suicidal mind: of course, your fall from existence will actually benefit the rest of the world; your actions therefore, are more selfless than selfish.

If you want to brighten your world – which you probably don’t…

If you want to brighten the world of your depressed friend, in my opinion, there is only one sustainable solution. Exercise. They won’t want to do it, so force them. It is the only decent way that you will be able to pull them from their slump.

Antidepressants? Put simply, these are moderated doses of Speed.

Of course I will never claim that these drugs are pointless – antidepressants have saved lives. The problem with them can be that even if they do have the desired effect, they will mess with the mind of your friend just enough to allow them to enjoy life again; the downside, as well as the possibility of them becoming dependent on prescription medication, mentally, essentially, you’ll have lost your friend.

Exercise. Natural, healthy, exercise. Take the depressed soul out for a walk. Next day, same thing with increased pace and so on. If not walking, try a different athletic avenue. Start easy, build into it. Exercise promotes exercise. After a while, like a neglected Labrador, they’ll be gagging for their stint of therapy.

Mind you, that’s only my opinion…

That said, exercise did save my life.



Article by Mit Reklaw

Edited by Happy Dais

Photography by X A Scyze

Mit Reklaw’s Truth on Media Jargon

If there is one thing that our New Zealand media love, it’s thrashing their tired old clichés. Better yet is coining a new phrase then saying it so much that we as the viewing public cannot help but embrace it.

 Really my only point of reference is the TV3 6 o’clock news bulletin. With presenters such as the sorrow engendering and heart-string tugging, the guilt eliciting and empathy evoking Mike McRoberts on current events and the pun-tastic Hamish McKay on sports, simply, I don’t feel that I need further sources.

‘Come now,’ I hear you saying, ‘that’s just silly. There’s no way that a simple media network can be responsible for launching and perpetuating flashy new terms or catch-phrases… Is there..?’

How silly is it really? Tell me, going back a few years, when discussing a recent political incident among friends, how common was it to hear someone utter the word, ‘Slammed’, as in, “Oh yeah, good old J Key, he really slammed that twat Shearer’s argument…”

That’s right. Few years ago it wasn’t even part of our vernacular – three times I heard it slurred at the pub last weekend. These days, you’d be lucky to hear a news broadcast that didn’t involve somebody slamming something, or somebody.

So what the hell does that even mean? Is someone physically bludgeoning something here or is it more hypothetical, as in, ‘given a particular set of circumstances, I would slam your f…?’

So. Still having difficulty believing that you are under the influence of that almighty juggernaut, the all-compelling media network?

Try this. How many of you fell out of trees when you were kids? Yeah. I’m guessing there are a lot of raised hands – we used to do it for a laugh, see how high you could go before you fell… Ten years ago, you fell out of a tree, it was your own fault for not hanging on tight enough. Now it’s considered an accident. Ten years ago, you drove a tractor down the road with a raised front end loader and surprise surprise, you hooked into some low hanging power lines, you were a dick for driving a tractor down the road with a raised front end loader.

Now that is what the media call a freak accident.

When some idiot is surf-casting from a big rock amid five metres of pulsating ocean then surprise surprise, in comes the tide, along comes that notorious seventh wave and down he goes like a sodden sack of shit, this kind of mishap is not an accident and certainly it is not a freak.

This is just what happens when you act like an irreverent pillock.

The word epidemic is bandied about a great deal these days, so what about pan-demic? Gosh, that sounds much worse, it will surely kill us all..? In fact a pandemic is more or less the same thing as its epi-inspired counterpart, but of course when referring to the bird, cow and swine diseases of the World, ‘Global Pandemic’ is much more eye-catching. See the theme? It’s an obesity epi-demic because no one really cares, but a swine flu pan-demic because it might be you who dies. See what they’ve done there? Wow. What kind of bountiful linguistic cornucopias will our fine broadcasters come up with next?

While I can’t be sure that our beloved media is responsible for the excretion of this next piece of crap, I am certain it is a term that they love to perpetuate. In fact I have yet to witness anything ‘Go Viral’, but the day that I do, well, you better believe that will be a good day for all involved.

Admittedly, when something first spread throughout the Internet with more celerity than is safe for any sane mind to comprehend, it was most likely a rabble of slack-jawed teenagers who made the assessment, “Wow. Dude, that’s like, going viral or something…” or something.

Even so, our middle aged news presenters do look comical wrapping their dignified lips around such a decided colloquialism.

By definition, a freak is something which occurs out of the ordinary. Therefore. Thoughtless, asinine; idiotic behavior and the unfortunate circumstances which come as a result, cannot rightly be considered ‘out of the ordinary’. To slam something is to hit it violently and noisily – every time I hear on the news that someone has slammed David Shearer, I hope for the best. Epidemic is the same as pandemic – by definition one is ‘illness over a vast area’ and the other is ‘widespread illness’. As for anything else going viral, I always suspected this internet phenomenon might become an epidemic.

Finally for my own peace of mind, please hear this: a car crash is not an accident. Granted, chances are it was not done deliberately thereby qualifying it as a mistaken happening, therefore a mishap…

Let’s just cut the crap and call them crashes.


Article by Mit Reklaw

Edited by T Ruth-Hunter

Photography by C Lee-Fulce