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Thomas Wictor

Archive for December, 2013

A study in contrasts

Howard Stern gets paid $95 million a year. He has a net worth of $500 million. Here’s how he makes his money. Elderly Man Wins Sex with Hookers, Chokes to Death Hours Before Prize The 86-year-old winner of Howard Stern’s “I Want to Get My Grandpa Laid” contest was sadly unable to claim his prize…


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On the run with a Canadian

When I first arrived in Tokyo in September of 1985, I moved into a guest house. I got to know several of the long-term residents, one being an older Canadian woman named “Rachel.” Tall, slender, and elegant, she was…unnerving. She seemed wracked with pain, even though she had a good sense of humor and laughed…


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Smarm versus snark

I followed a series of links in pursuit of the claim that more and more publications and writers have chosen to stop producing negative book reviews. Though I don’t read my reviews, it’s only because they aren’t written for me. I know what’s in the book. If the review is negative, what am I supposed…


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I shot a bullet into the air

Well, I didn’t shoot the bullet. But somebody did. Ever seen video of people shooting weapons in celebration? Like this? People do it all the time where I live. It’s a cultural thing. The show Mythbusters did an episode called “Bullets Fired Up.” They concluded that if a bullet is fired perfectly vertically, it’ll fall…


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Excised snippet Number One

After years and years of attending seminars, taking classes, and trying over and over to write fiction, I finally had the novel that became Chasing the Last Whale professionally edited. Though very expensive, it was more valuable than everything that came before it. Editor Jason S. Sitzes went over the book line by line and…


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A forgotten memory resurfaces

Mom saved all my letters. I found them in a box marked “Tom’s letters,” sensibly enough. Mom didn’t always write such precise descriptions on her many, many, many boxes. Most are unmarked, or they say, “Memorabilia,” or “Photos.” Even the boxes marked “Wictor photos,” for example, have lots of non-Wictor images in them. Tonight, in…


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No more kowtowing to Snake Man

Boy, was my father defensive. He was always ready to take offense, no matter how innocuous the comment. And he was the master of the bait-and-switch. His finest moment came when he decided to spend the day doing yard work to prove that he didn’t have terminal cancer. He mowed, trimmed, clipped, and raked until…


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Why I love the moon

Ever since childhood the moon has fascinated me. The full moon was amazing; I saw a rabbit playing a conga. The Japanese say the rabbit is pounding rice to make mochi. I’ve always loved crescent-moon faces, such as in this photo. It’s a perfect illustration of my feelings about the moon, because along with my…


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Things I hate in movies

I’m a film fanatic. Medication and movies helped me defeat lifelong insomnia. Every night I fall asleep watching a DVD. My TV is now strictly a screen for watching films. I haven’t seen a TV show in three years. For some reason people tell me I need to start streaming movies and store them on…


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When headlines do not match stories

A reader sent me the link to this story: “Viewing News of Trauma Worse Than Experiencing It.” The problem is that the story doesn’t say that. After the Boston marathon bombings, people who spent six hours a day scouring media for updates were more traumatized than those who were actually there, a US study suggested…


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