Posted on January 17, 2018 by Xavier Toby

Camping is a conspiracy to prepare us for the end of days

This article first appeared in the Sunday Herald Sun

As the next holiday season approaches, if one more person tells me how much I’m missing out by not going camping, I don’t know what I’ll do. Probably nothing, since I avoid confrontation like models avoid carbs, and the Australian men’s soccer, rugby union, basketball and cricket teams avoid success.

Camping has always been something I wish I enjoyed. Encased in a womb of green, footsteps from the ocean, cooking on an open fire, sipping herbal tea, and all day it’s either sunrise or sunset. It just seems so amazing – on television.

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Posted on January 12, 2018 by Xavier Toby

2017 is the year that was meant to be but never was

This article first appeared in the Brisbane Courier Mail

At the end of 2016, remember how everyone was like, ‘Bring on 2017, because that year sucked!’ As 2017 winds down, nobody is really saying that. All I’ve heard is, ‘I wonder if things will ever be as good as they were way back in 2015?’

2017 was the year of ‘continued’. Celebrities continued to drop like celebrities, politicians continued to lead by following and disappointing, climate change continued to be ignored, houses continued to be unaffordable, and worldwide conflicts continued pretty much as they were.

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Posted on January 7, 2018 by Xavier Toby

The truth about Times Square on NYE

This article first appeared in the Daily Telegraph

As well as the Herald Sun

Whatever you did on NYE, just be glad you weren’t in Times Square, and if it’s on your bucket list, you need a better list.

If you thought those in Times Square looked cold on any coverage you may have seen, that’s because it was -12C which felt like -20C due to the wind chill. If they looked hungry, thirsty and sober, that’s because there’s no food and drink for sale, and no alcohol is allowed.

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Posted on January 3, 2018 by Xavier Toby

NYE resolutions don’t work so try this instead

This article first appeared in the Herald Sun

NYE resolutions are a stellar idea, in theory. The problem is, meaningful change is among the most difficult feats any human can perform, harder than merging onto the Monash between 4pm and 6pm, and remaining comfortable in leather pants if it’s over 30 degrees.

Every NYE I hear countless resolutions and make plenty myself, and the amount kept by all of us is still zero. Perhaps we’re all weak-willed losers, but I think it’s the tradition itself that’s weak. The date changes by a single digit, and we all expect to be bestowed with magical powers of dedication forever, when all it really does is grant abilities to stay up late, drink too much, and make poor decisions, and only for a few hours.

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Posted on December 29, 2017 by Xavier Toby

A traditional Christmas means getting drunk and demanding a bonus

This article first appeared in the Herald Sun

If you didn’t know, Santa was put in a red suit and made fat and jolly by Coca Cola in the 1930s, Christmas trees were invented by Germans in the 1800s, and the first Christmas Day was celebrated only 2018 years ago.

Singing Christmas carols, giving presents, and overindulging in everything fun are traditions that go back much further, but we’re doing them wrong.

Like everything good, such as wearing onesies to work, wine with every meal, sewage systems, the calendar, and Asterix and Obelix, many of our current Christmas traditions started with the Romans.

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