Mr. wOw: OH, Did You Really Think You Were Going to Rid of Me?

Our beloved columnist prepares for new horizons

To all of you wonderful people out there in cyberspace — paraphrasing Norma Desmond — I’m still here. And I don’t mean to make that sound like a threat!

The wOw site might be tightening up, but I’m just getting started. I know that sounds awfully confident — but those who know me know that’s just a pose. I’m actually floundering right now. After almost 30 years I’ve been laid off my job. Mr. wOw contemplates the unemployment line or a Chilean mine. There’s little money in the bank. He has not been wise, ever.

But this experience, with wOw and all of you, has given me more a sense of myself than I’ve ever had. And despite my insecurities and lack of motivation, I don’t intend to lose you. When I learned wOw was changing, I wondered where that would leave me? (It happened, coincidentlally, just as my long-term job was kinda vanishing. I’ll explain the “kinda” at another time.)

Everybody said — “Start your own blog!” But doing things entirely on my own, for myself is a foreign concept. I’ve always been the guy behind the curtain. (Either the Wizard of Oz or Polonious, neither of whom is especially admirable.) So, as the old story goes about Tallulah Bankhead — I dropped an egg and stood aside. Helpless. Luckily, I have B. He read up about everything blog-wise. He looked at themes. He wanted to find the most powerful Internet connection on which to have a blog. He kept at me. I said, “This will never happen. I need structure. I need a reason. Don’t make me explain and say bad things about myself.”

He said: “You have structure. You have a reason. Don’t you want to keep up with the people who know you on wOw? Hasn’t this meant something to you?”

I said, “It has. But I have no talent. I am nothing.”

And he said: “Here, do you like the layout of this blog?” He knows me well. And it’s best to ignore me at my worst. In B.’s case, that means ignoring most of what I say — 24/7.

Starting in the beginning of April, you can find Mr. wOw at I will be unchanged. Fast and loose with my thoughts, grammar and punctuation. (Somebody once asked me, “How would you describe your writing style?” I said: “Dashes, italics, exclamation points, and mistakes.”)

I will remain anonymous. Although I might finally publish a photo. You won’t know me. Maybe something with the Christmas tree or a cat. My ridiculous tuxedo avatar will remain.

I am at sea. I don’t have a paddle. I can’t find land. I am trusting you all to help me survive. Think about B., even if you don’t care much for me. He’s tired! And so smart. I always think he’s mistaken me for another Mr. wOw — the competent one, in a parallel universe.

Love you all, talk to you soon —

Mr. wOw

P.S. Thanks to Joni Evans and her band of stalwart editors (Hilary Black, Emily Gallagher, and Sylvia Marino) who allowed me my place as the male voice on a women’s site.  I’ve been honored.

71 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Andy C says:

    I’m a little confused….as usual….did you lose your “day” job or the WOS job or both?  At any rate, I’ve already copied and pasted the blog to my bookmarks and still intend to follow you (as you said, not a threat, just a comment).

    Losing a job, from experience, is one of the most traumatic things happening in life.  And it seems that with today’s economy, more and more people of a certain age are losing their jobs where companies are tightening up and hiring justoutofschoolnovicesforalotlessmoney. 

    My sympathies are with you.  You have the love and support of B and all of your many followers.  Hopefully this is the start of something special and good.

    Best of luck        

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Andy…

      Well, both, actually.  My boss has to save pennies and WoW is undergonig a change that doesn’t have space for  me.  

      But I’m okay.  I remain on good terms with everybody.  Why not?  

      It’s scary but small potatoes compared to what others go through.   Or perhaps what I will go through in the future,  For the moment, I am okay.

      Thank you, and come visit me on the new site.  It’s till wet and I haven’t even filled out the About Me box.  But then, I think most of you know quite a bit about me, even if you don’t know my name.

  2. avatar Deirdre Cerasa says:

    Good Morning Mr. WoW!!
    I think a blog is perfect for you and I will be there on April 1st! Don’t worry about anything, there is more than enough “stuff” for you to comment on and plenty of us to chat right back. I am sorry that the day job went away. Whatever or whoever, they did not appreciate you and it is their loss.
    Onward and upward my anonymous friend; you have a many people who will be part of you blog family and who will also spread the word to others who, I know, will love to follow.
    Don’t forget, there are lottery tickets to be bought and a cross country train trip to plan!

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:


      The site’s already up.  Come and look and give me your opinion. Leave a comment.  I did an intro for those who might stumble upon it with no prior knowledge of Mr. W.   Poor hapless souls!

      Ah, yes.  That train trip.  I’ve got my ukulele tuned and ready.

      • avatar Deirdre Cerasa says:

        I went to the blog and registered! My password came right away in Spam, so I am official.
        I like the simplicity of the site and love that so many have already left messages of encouragement. Hope you see and believe how much the crew loves you and wishes you all good things. I am far into my Judy and Mickey mode, “let’s put on a show”.

  3. avatar Lisa Cornell says:

    Dear Mr wOw,
    I am very sorry about your job loss. As you might be aware I live in Florida, a state that has been both hit very hard in this recession and draconian in it’s labor practices. I work in my husband’s firm which is very well known as being a top plaintiff’s firm for employment and discrimination. I urge you to contact an employment attorney to see what he/she has to say. They will review any settlement package, advise you of right of rescission of any signed agreement and generally evaluate whether you have any legal recourse. This is not to say you need to proceed with legal action, but it keeps your options open and allows you the opportunity to gain both a better understanding of your rights but perhaps a clearer picture of your situation. When one is first terminated, there is shock quickly followed by depression and fear. Off the top of my head, you may be looking at an age discrimination case and perhaps ADA violation due to your illness. Or perhaps not. People are often afraid to consult an attorney because they fear it is cost prohibitive and/or they worry that they will be dragged into something they don’t want. Usually a consultation is a couple of hundred bucks with a top employment lawyer. By the way, make sure you see someone who specializes in employment law. It is a specialty field and the top guys will be able to access your situation quickly and accurately. In your situation, it behooves you to get a professional opinion, if for no other reason than ensuring you don’t have a cause of action.

    B is right, don’t allow your self to wallow and drown. Get an action plan going and keep the discipline of getting up and dressed and ready for work each day. You have no idea how such a discipline can keep you in a right frame of mind. A blog is a wonderful start. Also consider doing something you have always been interested in but have never had a chance to do because of work commitments. Now is your chance.
    Best of Luck!

  4. avatar Lila says:

    Mr. Wow, I have already bookmarked your blog and left a comment. You can monetize the blog with advertising, you know… and you DO have quite the following of crazed fans! Looking forward to more Mr. Wow posts!

    As for your job… I was sorry to hear it. I am so glad you have B to lean on at a time like this (thanks, B! he’s our friend too, even if anonymous…). And you have that legion of crazed fans who will be glad to write you letters of reference for any prospective employer, attesting to your wit and writing ability. Don’t sweat little things like grammar and typos… that’s what editors are for! You have that “IT” thing that makes your writing an absolute blast to read.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Lila…you were my first comment.  Thank you!   Then I went and lost it in some further fine-tuning of the site.

      But thanks so much for being my first.

  5. avatar calgal says:

    I don’t think it matters whether one has talent. What anyone can develop with enough hard work are skills, and your writing skills are top notch. You tell great stories, with heart. I’m looking forward to more frequent enjoyment of your skills. The transition to a new job may be rough, but we loving fans are here to share it with you, encouraging and supporting you all the way.

  6. avatar HauntedLady says:

    It’s a terrible shock to lose your job but, when the shock subsides, take it as an opportunity to do something better. And never forget that you have many people who love you and will do all they can to support you., B being the first and foremost, of course. Even though I don’t know your name, I know who you are. Your blog is bookmarked and I’m excited about it already.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Haunted…

      Come and take a look at it and let me know what you think.  You can leave a comment there.  It’s working, but still being tweaked.   It’s not fancy.

      • avatar HauntedLady says:

        I like it. I like that it’s clean and simple. Still waiting on my password but I understand this is the very beginning and it will take a little while to get everything worked out exactly so. This is exciting!

  7. avatar Sadie BB says:

    Mr Wow – so glad to hear from you again! Your last post was some time ago and you didn’t sound in the best frame of mind. I was getting worried. Glad you are continuing with your own blog, I have registered already! Looking forward to it.
    As a contract worker I lose my job on a regular basis (every two or three years) and am somewhat used to it. The hardest thing is losing the friends you have made…they are often in another state and the hours I work don’t admit of much socializing. Unemployment is fairly generous (I’m in CA) and there are extensions, although that may be ending. Don’t waste any time applying for it – you paid for it after all!
    This is happening a lot to the plus 50 crowd. One of the first things I did after 50 was invest in laser treatments and collagen. It’s not vanity – it’s survival! I also edited the first 10 career years right off my resume and took off the tell-tale dates from my college degrees.
    No evidence left behind! Good luck mr wow, glad you have B pulling for you.

    • avatar Sadie BB says:

      Well…I thought I registered but have not received the password emails…hope it’s not me, IT is my profession after all!

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        You are registered.  If you still don’t get the password email, we’ll send it to you.  (B. is doing all the hard work!)

        • avatar Sadie BB says:

          Mr wow…still no email…help!

        • avatar Lila says:

          If it’s a free WordPress acct, you might only have an allocation for 10 registered users. But so long as you’re public, people can come and comment. And if they want their own avatars, they can set up a Gravatar which will work on any website using Gravatars.

  8. avatar Rho says:

    So happy to see you here again.  Sorry about your job loss, but you will do just fine, I promise.

  9. avatar Daniel Sugar says:

    To the management at wowOwow: letting this fella get away is, to quote Julia Roberts, “Big mistake. Huge! I have to go shopping now.”

    That’s right, I’m walking out of your store and going shopping at Mr. Wow’s groovy new blog. I’ll return to this site never. (And that’s a long time.)


    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Dr. Sugar…

      The management of WoW was good enough to allow me my say here, and allow me to bid the site–as it is right now–goodbye.  And nice enough to let me to promote my own blog. 

      I’m thrilled to know you’ll follow me.  But I wouldn’t have anything to follow had it not been for WoW. 

      See you soon,

  10. avatar Daniel Sugar says:

    That does not negate the fact that they’re making a big mistake – you’re the best writer on this site. (The mind reels…)

  11. avatar rick gould says:

    Well Mr. Wow–
    We seem to leading parallel lives here.
    First off, let me say you are the main reason I even click on the Wow site at this point.
    But yes, hard financial times continue…everywhere!
    I will most definitely favorite your blog and pass it on to others…
    A blog is also a good way to promote other writing endeavors… you know your showbiz stuff, work it!

    Out here on the Left Coast, I have been toiling in Portland for a few years…and about ready to pick up my marbles and go back to MI. Then I got a great scholarship…which I wasn’t expecting. Then I got turned down for the grad program in writing…which I was expecting to get. All dressed up and nowhere to go as they say.
    So I am keeping my cool and regrouping.
    But all my peeps are just saying, “Rick, why don’t you just come home and write that book?”

    So, I will say to you… “Why don’t you use that blog to promote your book about the life of Mr. Wow?”
    I would buy a copy.
    Keep cool, hang tight, and I look forward to your upcoming endeavors!

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Rick…

      Thank you!   A book?  Ehhhhh…probably not.  Vivid, sordid essays?  More likely.

      Listen to your peeps.  Write your book.

      Come visit me soon at my new online home.

      • avatar Lisa Cornell says:

        Don’t be too sure about the book idea. A friend of hubby’s was just getting by working for a third tier university. He started writing gay fiction and his protagonist is a gay detective. He started out slowly, had an editor, got published and made a small amount. He continued with the series and is now self-publishing. He does very well on a certain huge site that starts with an A and he sells his kindle version for a couple of bucks. He is now making a living at it and this is in only in six years. I understand it is under consideration for some “treatment” in Hollywood. So, please consider it. You have a voice.

      • avatar LandofLove says:

        Mr. wOw—Your vivid, sordid essays collected into a book. You could start by collecting all your past wOw columns!

  12. avatar J G says:

    Oh Mr. Wow, I am so PROUD of you for taking a risk and reaching out to us.

    We are here to catch you because we have all come to adore and love you.


    You are already in my bookmarks bar, so I’m off to follow the bouncing ball…….

  13. avatar Mr. Wow says:

    Dear JG…but when you catch me you have to hit me upside the head and say, “What’s with this catching you?!  We have problems too.  Get on with it.” 

    See you soon!


  14. avatar Rho says:

    I just posted to your blog. 

  15. avatar Rho says:

    Seems I am waiting for approval.  Will I receive a note?

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      B. says to check your spam and junk mail–that Word Press messages might go there.


      • avatar Rho says:

        I did check, nothing is there.  I looked at your blog, my post is there.  Was never asked for a password.

  16. avatar Sadie BB says:

    Mr wow – I see from your blog you are interested in history. Have you read ‘Empire of the Summer Moon’? It’s about Quanah Parker, the last war chief of the Comanche, who was half white, and the war with the Texas rangers. It’s a true story and one I had never heard even though I was raised in the Midwest.
    Warning – some gruesome violence, but fascinating from beginning to end.