Monthly Archives: April 2015

Tim Walker’s Oddity

It was during the journey home from Christchurch last night, the same journey I have made for the past several Tuesday and Thursdays, I stopped in at the Rolleston New World to be confronted with quite the medley of peculiarities.

As I pulled into my usual park at around eight p.m., I took some time arranging my various bags and clothing items in the passenger seat, flicked on the inside light to perform a cursory presentation check, took another long swig of water before scanning the surrounding area and finally, disembarking. I found it strange to see the number of, what appeared to be loitering teenagers, carrying their scooters or skateboards but doing nothing of related activities, in the near-freezing car park; just killing time on a Thursday night.

Suddenly I heard a scream – which on second thoughts might have been high pitched laughter. I glanced toward the sound. One of the teenagers was female and seemed to have become the subject of a game of ‘keep-away’. For the next few seconds I watched and listened, checking for signs of genuine distress but to be fair to the girl, I don’t believe even she knew whether she was laughing or screaming.

I sauntered though the front door of the supermarket, past the Lotto counter where despite being unmanned and clearly shut down for the day a middle-aged woman stood waiting to be served; I then fetched a basket from the stack and emerged on the fresh produce section. Here, two hard green avocadoes along with a bunch of fresh bananas took my fancy, then around to the bulk bins where my Thursday night friend Alison likes to lay in wait. (In truth I don’t know her name – I don’t think it’s Alison anyway – but the way she spends her time wiping the bins of Alison’s Pantry, that was the logical sobriquet to bestow upon her.) Once I’ve fumbled around $60 worth of differing variety of nuts into identical bags marked with illegibly printed numbers, all the while making small-talk with Alison, I move on.

Several more products go into the basket – rolled oats, cat food, soap, bread, etc – until, as usual, I’m considering that I perhaps should have fetched a trolley instead. Nevertheless, left arm at breaking point, I make my way around the final few aisles.

I see a girl. She’s young. She’s wearing the New World garb – but she’s positioned atop a rickety-looking chair near the end of the row. I approach tentatively. She doesn’t appear aware of my presence. In fact she appears unaware of anything except the aisle directly across from her. I draw closer still, intrigued by this apparently mesmerised store clerk. I see red tape on the floor, supposedly marking out a spot in front of the area where the girl’s vision is fixated. I am there now. I rest my basket on the floor. I look at the girl sitting on the chair, ankles crossed, hands in her lap, and ask, “What are you, in, time out?”

She glances up, smiles, and says, “No, I’m guarding the baby formula.”

“Well,” I say, “I’m glad someone is … Why?”

Unflinchingly she responds, “It’s just in case somebody tries to poison it.”

My mind flashes back to what feels like about three years ago, when some idiot threatened to spike baby formula with 1080 poison if our Government didn’t halt efforts to eradicate possums by disseminating the aforementioned toxin over the land.

Far as I know, and affirmed by this New World supermarket worker, no one has run into any trouble with the baby formula and the only thing that such a senseless threat has achieved, as well as besmirching the reputation of our product across the world, was to add tedium to the working lives of a number of minimum wage supermarket employees.

Good work, dickhead.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Lona Lee Gorl

Photography by Dee Kidded-Threat


Tim Walker’s Drugs

Much as the rest of the world claim to detest illicit drugs, in Indonesia they’re setting the example – they truly abhor the stuff.

Believe me, I did all I could to avoid broaching this topic but there’s just been so much about it and I’ve been getting so riled hearing the people involved claiming redemption; the families claiming absolution and all that good stuff when really there’s only one point that requires address.

A group of people smuggled drugs into a country where the punishment for such an act is, unequivocally, death.

Sure, it was a long time ago, they’ve already done ten years’ in prison for the crime and now, many people have been pushing for clemency, maintaining the death penalty is too great a punishment for the mere act of pervading illicit substances…

Indonesia doesn’t like drugs. Indonesia wants nothing to do with drugs. Indonesia’s method of ensuring that drugs stay far from its people is to enforce a death penalty. That makes a lot of sense. It’s their land; it’s their law and harsh as it may seem to some, it’s seems to be effective.

In order to be free from the plight of imported drugs a nation needs to offer such a deterrent to potential smugglers that they are simply too scared by the consequences of being caught to do it – in fact if other lands followed the Indonesian lead I reckon the world could not only eradicate illegal drug smuggling but prisons around the world wouldn’t be so bloody overrun with drug-running piss-ants.

Enough said.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Terry Clark

Photography by Mr Asia

Tim Walker’s Novel 1 of 2

As the years passed Kahn Walters proved himself to be not only a scintillating mind, but a physical specimen to match. Thanks in no small part to the brilliant tuition and fine culinary skills of his adoptive mother, once he’d worked through the constitutional misgivings of over twelve years of famine and hardship, Kahn grew into a tall, intelligent, strong and robust young man. Beth and Dave Walters never were compelled to foster more children; mutually deciding to focus their total energies on their first, most remarkable, son. On account of this, that first son grew up feeling loved unconditionally and supported unequivocally. He was continually told by his father that he could be, or do, anything. He was made to believe by his mother that a kind and happy disposition, along with unwavering self belief and self respect, is all a person needs to be great. This was the mantra with which he now faced up to life and through that, this lad from North Korea soon became loved and respected by all who knew him.

His appreciation for nature never waned and if anything, with the onset of maturity came the desire to further harness Mother Nature’s aromatic embrace. At the age of eighteen Kahn’s home schooling was deemed complete and, according to headmistress Beth Walters, this fine student was now equipped to embark on whatever vocational avenue should take his fancy. The only avenue that seemed to be taking Kahn’s fancy however, verified by the wonderfully landscaped and maintained gardens around the Walters residence, was gardening; or more specifically, working with the land. Originally from a farming background, thus with a similar penchant for the earth, Dave was pleased his son had discovered a passion that was worth devoting his life to, and did everything in his power to help the young man turn his unbridled fervour into a budding career.

K Walt Landscaping, before the close of 2010, would apply for recognition as a GST registered business.

Kahn was so very resolved to prove his place in his adopted homeland that he worked with the tenacity, with the ardour of a man possessed. He refused offers of financial help from his parents to get his business established, preferring to start small, work his way up through hard slog and whatever wherewithal he had at his immediate disposal. From the age of sixteen his mother had been giving him $20 a week pocket money; at the time of him completing his schooling and subsequently entering the work force, the bulk of this money had been accumulated. With it he purchased a cheap car – 1989 Toyota Corolla – some basic landscaping tools – rake, shovel, spade and fork – and went in search of jobs. Starting slow, weeding and basic tending of gardens, he soon had a respectable client base and a reputation to match; speed and efficiency were Kahn Walters’ trade mark. Before too long he embarked on his true love – proper landscaping projects. He went about it with unrelenting passion; his results spoke for themselves: entire gardens landscaped in one day, an entire section levelled and planted the next. He possessed a keenness of eye and a meticulous approach that both astonished and impressed his parents; to see their son at work, deftly shifting soil with his rake, stopping, surveying, carefully pushing some back, stopping, surveying, and so on, made them more proud than they ever could have hoped. His ability to see an empty garden plot and know precisely what needed to be done in order to make it beautiful was simply miraculous. He didn’t know the technical names of shrubs or the varieties of plants; he didn’t need to, he just knew how they needed to look and what they needed to grow.

He would come home each day dirty, sweaty, sometimes bleeding and invariably exhausted. He’d be in bed by 8.30 at night, up at 5.30 the next morning; every morning. Even in the winter. While Beth and Dave were extremely proud of the maturity and high level of responsibility that Kahn was showing, they did wonder just what was driving him and more importantly, if such a workload was sustainable.

For Kahn, 2011 passed very quickly. He would have quite happily worked through his nineteenth birthday, if the area had not been under a deluge. Little had changed in the Walters household since he’d finished school and headed out to make his fortune: the major difference, instead of his Mum giving him $20 a week pocket money, he now gave her $20 a week board – an hour’s wages. It was a good deal; aside from that he had no real expenses. His car ticked along, taking him and his tools from job to job throughout Canterbury; he didn’t have friends, a girlfriend, or a social life, simply, because he didn’t feel he needed them.

He was going it alone and in Kahn’s opinion, life was perfect.

2012 passed with even greater alacrity than the previous year as, at the close of 2011, a major Canterbury Garden and Landscape business declared bankruptcy. This meant that from the New Year K Walt Landscaping was fielding over double the calls from potential clients, demanding to have not only a plot landscaped, their garden maintained or hedge trimmed, but wanting their lawns mowed. Lawn care had never been an industry of interest for Kahn; while he knew there was money to be made there, the inclusion of such would require a greatly expanded assortment of equipment therefore, equipment maintenance. It was a messy industry, both literally and figuratively, but it appeared that this was currently an industry with a sizable opening.

2013, ‘K Walt Landscaping’ became ‘K Walt Landscaping and Lawns’. In fairness Kahn thought ‘Lawns and Landscaping’ sounded better but it was much more straightforward, also cost effective, to simply lengthen his sign-writing stencil, rather than design a whole new one. In the beginning of K Walt Landscaping Kahn had made his own stencil from the side of a fridge box then taped and sprayed it onto the sides of his Corolla; although when he’d upgraded vehicles in 2012 to a 1996 Toyota Hilux, he’d decided that to ruin the emerald green paintwork of his ute would be nothing short of criminal, hence the advent of his professionally manufactured stencil and furthermore, the arrival of ‘K Walt Landscaping and Lawns’. The other issue he had, as fast and as hard as Kahn liked to push himself, ultimately, he was still only one man and there was no way that one man could mow one lawn at the same time as he manicured one garden.

His first employee was a short, stocky, Polynesian man by the name of Kevin. Kahn didn’t share Kevin’s views on many work related topics, including morals, ethics, and wages, but as long as Kevin took care of the lawns leaving Kahn free to tend the gardens, given that K Walt now had a charge out rate of $25 an hour, Kahn wasn’t overly objectionable to letting Kevin have eighteen of those dollars. Taking into account mower servicing, repairs, and general maintenance, however, the lawn care avenue was far from a lucrative one. Nevertheless, as it meant that more people were now using K Walt, brand exposure was at an all time high.

It was at the end of one breezy September day in 2013 that he clicked on the radio in his Hilux, to be told a chilling story: “In world news today, alarmingly, North Korea appear ready to strike out in belligerence, against the rest of the world.

“Not since the infamous, North Korean Horror Story, of two thousand five, have we heard anything notable, from North Korea, but reports have been recently circulated, that General of the North Korean Army, Kodos Wanton, is set to be released from prison, after less than ten years, of incarceration.

“Wanton, who holds the highest rank, in the North Korean army, and who, despite his recent imprisonment, still has the support, of legions of loyal followers, was the orchestrator behind, the aforementioned child conditioning programme, where children as young as zero plus a month, were abducted, then unknowingly enlisted in the North Korean army, widely known as the North Korean Horror Story.

“Sources have it, throughout his incarceration, Wanton has been communicating, with his military counterparts, organising, planning and, worryingly, conspiring against his foes, and whether China, is still among the forerunners, of said group, is anybody’s guess.

“North Korea, today, are considered the world’s fourth largest, military power, but rest assured, this is merely what North Korea is willing, to display to the rest of the world.

“So in summary, the man at the centre, of the world’s greatest, atrocity against mankind, is to be released from prison, in the coming weeks, leading this reporter, to wonder, need the rest of the world, be, concerned?”


Tim Walker’s Dutiful

Over the last week or two, fair to say I’ve developed a newfound respect and/or admiration for editors/writers of daily newspapers.

To take a nation’s recent happenings then mentally compose, physically write, edit, and publish that content in the same day, before that always encroaching deadline, is demanding.

Any regular reader/s of this site will have noticed that my usual one or two weekly posts suddenly became five, sometimes crudely written, often riddled with errors, invariably brief, articles.

Honestly, I’ve been finding it tough to keep up with a daily schedule of composing entertaining and/or topical stories; although in fairness I feel as though it might have been my process that was letting me down.

I rise early, throw on a shirt and shorts and make my way out to the kitchen, stopping by the library to click on the computer. At the kitchen I will have turned to full power one element on the stove, the other hand flicking on the kettle – which I know always has adequate water precisely for this reason – then I put a splash of water in a pot and throw it on the hot element. While these come to heat I’m busy fetching various teabags and rolled oats from the pantry. Once these are laid out, to my horror – as happens every morning – I see both the pot and the kettle have started boiling simultaneously so click off the jug then fumble the scoop of rolled oats into the pot, turn off switch, mix and replace lid. I throw the first teabag into my mug and pour in the, not quite boiling, water. By this point the morning defecation is usually signalling so I hurry back to the computer, double click the Internet icon then dash into the bathroom. By the time the ablutions are taken care of I can be certain breakfast is ready; nevertheless I duck back into the library, sit at the computer and bring up the necessary pages. I then open a Microsoft Word page, dredge my insipid mind for inspiration – thinking of what I saw on the News last night or if not that something else worthwhile – and head up a page. Next, I write until I can write no more. I then go back to the kitchen and make my breakfast, confident that I’m under way. I start the jug boiling again – it having been topped up with water immediately after the last lot was decanted – drain the contents of the first mug then sprawl on the kitchen floor, hold my breath and perform thirty press-ups. On completion of my ‘wake-up call’, breathing heavily, I throw in the second teabag and start steeping my next brew. Cradling the bowl of porridge I head back to the computer and continue work. The time at this point is usually somewhere between 7 and 8 a.m.…

You see where this is going. I finish the article, proof, edit, and post before 9. That much is simple enough. In fact, after seeing my morning routine laid out before me, I have no issues with the process. The process is sound. I think it’s the question of content which probably relates to the smallness of the nation in which I reside, which (see how many times I can use ‘which’ in the same sentence) really, renders my past mockery of New Zealand newscasters unsuitable, unjust and unfair. I now understand how difficult it must be to find ‘Newsworthy’ content each and every day.

I understand furthermore how it might be tempting to milk our Prime Minister’s apparent pony-tail-pulling fetish for all it’s worth…

Nice work, guys.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Noah I Deer

Photography by Kodak

Tim Walker’s Monday-ised

ANZAC Day falls on Monday this year; I can tell because Monday’s a public holiday.

Curiously, just two years’ ago ANZAC Day fell on a Friday; I know that because I attended an Aerosmith concert in Dunedin on the Thursday night, slept in my car on the street and was woken at 5 a.m. by a throng of hearty revellers on their way to the Friday morning, ANZAC Dawn Service.

That was two years’ ago. Must have been one hell of a leap year to skip right through to Monday this year…

No, I’m being daft. As we all know it’s actually the result of an initiative pushed forward by that sector of the working-class who feel aggrieved every five or so years when the sacrifice made by those brave men back in Gallipoli in 1915 doesn’t result in their own relaxation.

Nice one.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by I Danno

Photography by Cam Oln

Tim Walker’s Combative

For as long as I can recall I have marvelled at the intensity of boxing training. The level of physicality is unprecedented, the level of dedication is unbelievable, the level of discipline similarly beyond belief.

A few years back I recall thinking how much I would like to become involved in this sport – if for no other reason than to embark upon the training regime – alas, my traumatised brain and injured head were vehement in their instructing me otherwise.

Whichever way one perceives it boxing does require a certain ability to take blows to the head.

Happily, I recently stumbled upon a sport offering a way around this: still teaching skill and discipline but without the desire to render an opponent unconscious; still flaunting an insanely vigorous training schedule but without the inherent aspiration to maim; still categorised as one of the pugilistic arts but without the blind aggression integral to its puffy fisted counterpart…

Brazilian jiu jitsu, or BJJ to its friends, retains the fitness, speed, skill and technique of boxing while tactfully sidestepping the hatred/death-wish components – the manifestation of which can usually be witnessed behind respective eyes of the aforementioned pugilists.

Essentially, BJJ is MMA without the octagon. Originally a Japanese martial art jiu jitsu has since been adopted, also mildly adapted, by the people of Brazil, shifting the focus more to a ground fighting, grappling, technique. Since its conception late in the 19th century, descended directly from judo, jiu jitsu has in fact undergone a number of adaptations, primarily to evolve the technique from strictly a martial art into a less intimidating, more approachable and user friendly sport.

As previously mentioned it’s the physicality factor that so enamours me but there are endless other aspects to love about this sport too; ultimately, whatever you’re into, whatever your level of fitness, BJJ is a marvellous way to keep active, build confidence and self esteem while engaging in the camaraderie of a close team environment, and learning some valuable self defence skills at the same time.

With two Christchurch locations, on Wainoni and Annex Roads, it was difficult for me to find an excuse not to attend classes with Axis and, as for the $18 fee, well, this just means I now forego my weekly TAB account top-ups.

I’m genuinely aghast at how seamlessly that became an advertisement.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Cho Cut

Photography by C Norris


Tim Walker’s Political

Top of New Zealand’s current political news: Prime Minister John Key is in trouble for pulling girls’ ponytails.

Yes, I can totally see why this is taking priority as a national, political, issue. I mean, how can the man rightly organise trade agreements with half the modern world in order to keep the nation fiscally viable, along with providing adequate child welfare to please mothers across all sectors while also ensuring humane treatment of immigrants; then there’s the task of representing New Zealand in the ANZAC commemorations around the globe; additionally,  how can he keep us safe from ISIS and terrorism in general – how can the man be expected to run a bloody nation if he’s off in his spare time pulling bloody ponytails? Shit!

(I feel as though the sarcastic tone dwindled there, as I allowed it to mingle with too much exasperation. Please bear with.)

More alarming still is how other political leaders have jumped on board the slander-wagon to throw a bit more shit John Key’s way, crapping on about how ‘It’s behaviour unbecoming of a Prime Minister…’ or how, ‘If he’s busy pulling girls’ ponytails, how can he be expected to focus on the real issues?’…

Hah, the real issues? Yeah, nice one guys.

Are we so small, are we truly that petty? Sounds to me like some MPs need to spend some time pulling some heads in.

It seems that NZ newscasters are so fundamentally bereft that when there’s nothing big happening around the nation, particularly on the political front, it’s acceptable that the first ten minutes of the evening news broadcast should be filled with the kind of antics which at any other time would be utterly laughable; yet the news presenters must somehow dress them up and portray them as newsworthy

(I am reminded of a piece I wrote some weeks ago by that very title.)

Seemingly the political scene in NZ is so small and so very insubstantial that when the PM is ‘caught out’ committing juvenile and admittedly, silly deeds, despite having nothing to do with politics per se – least of all the man’s ability to govern a nation – this is what passes for a ‘political scandal’.

Am I alone in perceiving this as pathetic, even borderline puerile?



Article by Time Walker

Edited by Whu Keers

Photography by Pane E Tale

Tim Walker’s Novel 12

The radio on his desk was broadcasting the midday news update: “The UN Security Council has today had its worst fears realised, as potential world war may just be imminent.

“Reports have been circulated that the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, which was the location of the recent North Korean Horror Story, is planning a retaliation, after having the aforementioned child conditioning programme, a concentration camp of sorts for children intended to one day battle in the North Korean army, uncovered by Pyongyang Chief of Police, Chi Dewar and subsequently, brought to its knees.

“But with the mastermind responsible for these atrocities, General of the Pyongyang Army, Kodos Wanton, now incarcerated in a high security Pyongyang prison, subordinates who remain loyal to Wanton are said to be orchestrating an attack not only against their own country’s reign of authority, but on any country who shows dissention towards these actions.

“And for fear of becoming a target of said attack, this news reporter, will be sure to keep his, decidedly dis-agreeable, views, to himself.

“This has been Dunstan Gardner, bringing you the latest news updates, around the clock.”


It was ringing. It was answered on the third ring. “Hello,” said a female voice.

“Garth Gleeson speaking, I work as a consultant for the Christchurch branch, of your company.”

“Ah, Mr Gleeson, yes, I know you by reputation, how are you today?”

“Fine thank you,” he replied then added playfully, “although I am unsure how I ought to perceive your ‘reputation’ comment…”

“Oh, come now Mr Gleeson, your fine work record, hence reputation, precedes you, and let me assure you, that, is a very good thing.”

Garth allowed nervous laughter to escape his lips before continuing, “The reason for my call today, Mrs Clinton, is that I find myself struggling under a crisis of conscience, and were hoping for your professional, managerial, assistance.”

“Alright, Mr Gleeson, how can I assist?”


They both stared at the phone, neither wanting to be disturbed at what was such a momentous time, each practically daring the other to pick it up. The fourth ring passed. Beth started to fidget. Dave chewed any un-swallowed biscuit residue he could locate with his tongue. Newly named Kahn buried his face in his mother’s chest.

“Might be important,” Dave spoke without conviction.

“They can leave a message if it is,” Beth spoke defiantly.

“Fair enough,” said Dave.

“Good,” said Beth.

“Good,” said Kahn.

Mr and Mrs Walters continued staring into each other’s eyes for minutes after the phone had become silent.

“Do you know what else this means?” asked Beth, attempting to recapture the enthusiasm.

“What else does it mean, baby girl?”

“I can tell you how old he is.”

“Really – how old?” Dave inquired with an almost accusatory tone.

“Well, I don’t know his exact birthday, but like, he was a few months old when I first met him -”

“That’s, assuming he’s the same baby?”

“It is Dave, I know it in my heart – and the birthmark – it has to be, it’s little baby Kahn.”

“Alright then, we’ll go with that – so how old did ya reckon?”

“As I was saying, he was a few months old in, um, October of ninety-two, so what’s that – July, September, -”

“You missed August.”

Dave watched his dearly beloved mouth the words ‘September, October … August, September, October … July, August, September, October’ then aloud she said, “Yeah, about three months sounds right – so we’ll say, our little baby Kahn, was born in July, nineteen ninety-two, right?”

“Right,” having already done the math, he was enjoying helping Beth nut it out.

“Right, so if we’re almost in June two thousand and five, what’s that?”

“You tell me.”

Beth’s face started to contort as she clearly ran into a mental block.

“Come on, Baby girl, it’s not that difficult, forget about the months, just assume we’re in July O-five, right, then work it out like that.”

Beth’s makeup-streaked face was otherwise blank. Her bottom lip started to tremble.

“Hey, hey, come on, no, it has not defeated you, you know you have trouble doing numbers in your head, so let’s talk it out,” meanwhile baby Kahn was staring up at his mother’s chin, as though he wanted to help but couldn’t find the words. Dave carried on; “Ninety-two is how many from a hundred?”

“Ah, eight.”

“Right, and eight and O-five is what?”

Beth inhaled sharply, before turning to gaze into her son’s dark eyes. “Oh, my sweet little baby Kahn is thirteen years old.”

“Well,” Dave corrected, “according to your logic, he will be in a month or so.”

“My logic’s perfect,” she argued.

“Never said it wasn’t…” Dave put his hands up in defence.

“My little baby Kahn is thirteen years old,” Beth hugged Kahn so tightly he started to squirm under her grasp, “you’re a teenager, Kahn, can you say that, teenager?”

“Teen-ag-er,” he repeated in an unexpected voice. It was most syllables he had ever put together and it took the parents a while to realise the peculiarity – Kahn’s voice was devoid of Asian accent.


Even in the midst of a phone call with his boss, he was still torn. Garth Gleeson liked Dave and Beth – Walters – after all, he had said it himself, ‘They were the kinds of parents the agency loved’, but rules were rules and Garth never had been a rule breaker.

“I have a couple, Mrs Clinton, a darling Christchurch couple, both gainfully employed, but unable to have children of their own.”

“They sound ideal, Garth, give them as many kids as they’ll take.”

“That’s the thing though, we have given them a child, one of the North Korean Horror Story orphans in fact” – the catching of Mrs Clinton’s breath was noted – “and they simply adore the child, they really do, but Mrs Clinton, here’s the pickle -”

“I don’t care how big a pickle there is,” she cut in vehemently, “this couple sounds brilliant.”

“And they are, Mrs Clinton, lovely people, but as I said, should I proceed with these people, I am at risk of acting unethically.”

“What’s the nature of this pickle, Garth?”

“On the application form, which Mrs Walters has filled out online, in the section marked ‘marital status’, she has checked the box beside ‘married’ – as you know, a foremost criterion of adoption, the essence of with which, I wholeheartedly agree -”

“Does your spiel plan to come to a crux soon, Mr Gleeson? I am very busy.”

“Right, sorry, yes, the point, or crux, or pickle that I have encountered is in the sense that it has come to my attention, Mrs Clinton, and after some further researching on my part, I was able to confirm this, the fact that the couple are indeed, unmarried.”

“So that’s the crux … Also the reason for your ‘crisis of conscience’, of which you earlier spoke?”

“Yes, but as I say, Mrs Clinton, lovely people, aside from the fact that she lied on her application form – and they are unmarried.”

“Yes, but marriage is fast going out of fashion, Mr Gleeson, have you noticed this?”

“I have, but the sanctity of the aforementioned union is still a sacred bond…”

“Come on Garth, you and I both know that is plain untrue – how long has their union stood?”

“Ah, they have been in a de facto union now for over ten years, Mrs Clinton.”

“And she’s a good mother – they’re a good family?”

“Certainly, as I mentioned, Mrs Walters simply adores the child -”

“And this is a Korean child from that ghastly Korean Horror thing?”

“Yes, a lovely boy.”

“Well Garth, it sounds like this woman deserves a medal, rather than being penalised by your pedantry…”

“But, Mrs Clinton, as I was saying, she improperly filled out a legal document.”

“And is this not something you have ever done, Garth?”

“Good heavens, Mrs Clinton, no.”

“Then perhaps you need to get out more, and lighten up Garth, it’s just bureaucracy, nothing to lose sleep over.”

“But the welfare of a child may be at stake…”

“I thought you said the child was well loved.”

“Yes, Mrs Clinton, I did, and he is but, they lied…”

“Lighten up, Garth, everyone lies … Hope you sleep better tonight.”

She hung up the phone and he did – he slept much better that night.


He’d managed three syllables, now she was intent on his structuring a complete sentence. Since beginning Kahn’s tutelage in April Beth had become quite the little headmistress; she could now understand that although he had been hitherto bereft of any kind of education, his mind was still much more developed than that of a baby: Kahn’s comprehension was brilliant and retention of ideas, simply outstanding. Beth had taught him to count, conveying the concept that a higher number equals more, by stacking building blocks and counting together as each was placed atop the one before it, higher and higher; bigger and bigger. The picture books she had were a source of great enjoyment for them both, with Kahn now able to point out the names of the animals on Old MacDonald’s farm and even name the colours of the farm implements; understandably for a child who has spent his formative years in a sterile environment enclosed by, Beth presumed, cold steel walls and concrete floors, he appeared to have an almighty passion for nature. He particularly loved colours, especially green, and fixated over those books with pictures of long grass, shrubs or trees; when they went on their walks around the neighbourhood Beth noticed the same thing – how amazed the boy appeared to be by everything. She could only imagine what it must be like as a thirteen-year-old to be seeing everything for the first time, and was very much looking forward to showing Kahn the beauty of a New Zealand springtime.

On the 1st day of July Beth and Dave held a 13th birthday celebration for their son. They had a cake and presents but as they weren’t yet certain how the boy would respond to outside company, they didn’t invite any guests; Mum wasn’t sure she was ready to share her son’s affections, anyway. The day turned out to be cold, the party stayed indoors by the heat of a log burning fireplace and by that evening, for the first time that winter, snow started to fall. Understandably, Kahn was mesmerised; he and Beth stayed up late that evening, cuddling by the window, enjoying the warmth of the fire and the warmth of each other, just gazing out at the drifting snow illuminated against orange streetlights.

It was a day the proud parents would always remember – the day Kahn Walters turned 13, going on 1.


It was nearing eight p.m. the following evening when a pair of headlights pulled into the driveway. She waited. A minute later a smartly dressed, pleasantly voluptuous woman stepped out from the drivers’ side. Beth watched with envy as, balanced atop four-inch stiletto heels, like a cool gust of wind the woman drifted towards the porch. Seconds after that came three firm, no-nonsense raps on the door. Beth hesitantly stepped into the foyer and answered it. The woman who confronted her was of middle-age, but was not clinging to it with such unabashed tenacity as ol’ smoky, attired in a smooth white, pleated business shirt with a well-fitted black skirt that cut off just below the knee. Beth didn’t care who she was, she like her at once.

“Good morning, Mrs Walters, I assume..?” the lady asked in a disarming tone.

“Ah … Yes, and who may I -”

“Rachael Clinton,” she abruptly offered a slender hand, exquisite finger nails, along with a beautiful broad smile, “Chief Executive of Second Chance Adoption, pleased to meet you, Mrs Walters.”

Beth didn’t see the need for such emphasis on ‘Mrs’, and it left her somewhat unsettled: “And you, Miss Clinton -”

“It’s, Mrs, actually,” the woman smiled knowingly. “Married when I was still in school – baby on the way, in those days, what’s a girl to do?”

“Oh, well, ah, do come in, Mrs Clinton … Would you like a hot drink?”

“Tea will be fine, thank you – black, no sugar.”

Beth went into the kitchen and flicked on the kettle, trying to come up with the reason that the Adoption Agency would be unleashing a surprise visit upon her…

“You’re probably wondering why I’m here, Mrs Walters,” said the delightfully chic lady, “I had a call yesterday from a Mr Gleeson – you’ve dealt with him, I understand.”

“Yes, lovely man,” she thought of the last time she’d seen the broad character – the same day she’d met Kahn for the first time…

“Yes, lovely man,” she agreed. “Mrs Walters, just yesterday I had some rather unsettling news from the old nanny goat himself – seems he’s recently discovered that you are not technically married to your current life partner.”

Beth was horrified – ‘current life partner’ suggested she went through one or two each year; also disturbing was that her marital guise had been uncovered. “Oh,” was all she said.

“Yes, but I’m not particularly worried about that – Garth assures me you are a wonderful mother and if there’s one thing this country needs, it’s more wonderful mothers.”

“Oh,” she said again while the words sank in, “thank you, I do love Kahn very much – and I am sorry for lying on the application form, I just didn’t think we’d get a baby if I admitted that I was, you know, living in sin.”

This comment elicited a sizable laugh from Mrs Clinton: “Oh, Mrs Walters, Garth was right, you really are a delight, but no, honey, this is the twenty-first century, long gone are the days of the shotgun wedding, of a girl needing to be tethered and fettered to a male counterpart before she can rightfully give birth, and good riddance to it, I say … No, Mrs Walters, I was actually curious, I would like to see this child, one of the – what was it – five thousand or so orphaned children from that Korean atrocity, if that’s alright with you, of course..?”

“Oh, Mrs Clinton, I’ve actually just put Kahn to bed, we’ve had a tiring day today, we had a birthday celebration for him yesterday, so we’re all pretty worn out you see, but you’re welcome to come back another time – I’m always here – if you could just make it a shade earlier next time..?”

Mrs Clinton considered this: “That might be problematic, you see, I’m based in Auckland and the majority of the time that’s where I am, except when Garth called me today, I was already in Christchurch, overseeing various work-related endeavours, so thought I’d come and check on you and the young lad personally – I fly back up to Auckland early tomorrow morning, Mrs Walters.”

“Oh … So I guess if you were going to see Kahn, it would have to be tonight..?”

“If it’s not too much trouble…”

“Oh, OK, I’ll go and see if he’s still awake.”

Beth ducked away, leaving Mrs Clinton to make her own tea. A moment later Beth returned looking rather anxious: “Alright, Mrs Clinton,” she whispered, “you can come through now.”

The two women stepped back through the foyer then into a short hallway. Beth gently pushed open the first door on the right. Mrs Clinton followed her inside. Beth switched on the bedside light, vanquishing the immediate darkness and revealing the timid face of a dark-skinned boy, the blankets pulled up under his chin, his eyes barely open at all. “Hello, Kahn,” said Mrs Clinton, “my name is Rachael … sorry for calling so late, I just wanted to see you for myself.”

“Rachael works for the place you came from,” Beth said softly, “before you came to live with us.” Kahn’s eyes widened. His pupils enlarged. His gaze flicked rapidly from Beth to Rachael and back again: “Oh no,” squeaked Beth, “he thinks I mean North Korea.” She hurriedly leaned over the bed and kissed him on the forehead. “No, no, it’s alright, baby, I didn’t mean that awful place,” she scrambled to make up ground, “I meant here, after that, in this country, Rachael works for that place.” Beth glanced up; Rachael looked apologetic.

“I’m sorry, Mrs Walters,” Rachael said, “for causing such a fuss – God, he’ll probably never get to sleep now.”

“No, Mrs Clinton,” replied Beth, stroking her petrified son’s forehead, “it was my fault, I should have thought before I spoke.”

“Anyway, Beth, thank you for indulging me, I’m sorry for the fuss, but I am glad to have seen the boy, and I have also seen firsthand what a tremendously caring mother you are so on that note, I shall bid you farewell.”

Beth waved as the Chief Executive’s car departed, hoping that she looked that good at middle-age. She immediately went back to Kahn’s bedroom. The boy was asleep.



Tim Walker’s ISIS

How refreshing to hear John Key confirm that yes, as he warned might very well happen, New Zealand now has ties with the Islamic State.

It seems a number of our misguided youth feel compelled to either pledge their allegiance to, or join up with, then perhaps die for, the aforementioned armed forces.

I do have to wonder what this kind of revelation does for the attitudes of that deluded portion of the nation’s population who liked to believe that given New Zealand’s wonderfully peaceful nature along with its delightfully unobtrusive presence, we have nothing to fear from the rest of the world’s armies or, more to the point, terror groups.

I recall around eighteen months ago, at the height of the nation’s indignation at revelations we were being spied on by the GCSB, I wrote a delightfully ribald article essentially mocking the shit out of those good NZ citizens who believed that, despite not personally engaging in anything the least bit unlawful, this oh-so-sinister and terribly worrisome Government Bureau would encroach on their otherwise peaceful lives.

It seemed that the greater NZ population were unable to comprehend that simply being a non-belligerent nation located well out of the way of the rest of the world way down here in the Pacific, does not make us impervious to the nefarious acts of other countries; in fact such an isolated stance might very well have the opposite effect.

Eighteen months ago, Prime Minister John Key, in his special way, did try to warn us of the possibility that terror groups had the potential to infiltrate NZ shores; I think many of us refused to believe it on the basis that if we didn’t know about it, it wouldn’t be real.

It is real. There are normal NZ citizens out there who genuinely believe that the ISIS fight is the good fight.

Wake up New Zealand. We are involved.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by John Rambo

Photography by Will E Apiata

Tim Walker’s Reading

I find reading other people’s writing helps me deal with the great excess of extraneous crap that invariably builds up in my head in the months following the writing of my own.

When I’m the one doing the reading I am free to sit back and assimilate the content, allowing it to wash over me, while observing/admiring the writing styles of others…

You see, rather than sending my imagination on these voyages across fantastic worlds and into the deepest, darkest, most debauched, debased and depraved corners of my latent mind, then having it come back to me offering up a plethora of strange and interesting ideas that at any other time would seem outlandish or bizarre and perhaps even have me questioning my own hold on sanity, I allow someone else to do the voyaging while I simply become the voyeur.

…That said I’ve been doing a lot of reading of late: many titles, numerous authors; multiple signatures. No, authors of the books I read haven’t actually signed the books, it’s more that each different writer I encounter provides me with a new and interesting writing style – as if they’ve signed the book with their very own specialised technique.

From first through to third person narrative; from past to current or even projected tense (for the record, first person current tense – which I am currently reading – pisses me off no end), I am finding that by reading titles from these comparatively obscure authors, my mind is very much being opened up to possibilities.

I came across one particular novel the other day which I felt could well have been written by me ten years ago – until they started a paragraph with the word ‘and’ and I knew it hadn’t. I’ve encountered a number of others which I honestly cannot believe were ever published at all, which makes me think; makes me wonder: had I been born an American citizen amid a population of around 150 million thus with countless viable demographics, would I be a bestseller by now?

It’s been said: Not all readers are necessarily writers, but all writers are definitely readers.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by I Reed

Photography by U Reed