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.

  17. avatar Obediah Fults says:

    Wow, Mr. wOw, I think this is swell news! (The part about the blog, I mean; of course the job loss sucks.) I’ve registered at the new site and am waiting for my password so I can enjoy the whole experience of whatever you’re going to offer there. Who knows…I might even post a comment once in a while there — something I avoid doing on wowowow because I’ve had my feelings hurt by too many bullies here. For some reason, I don’t believe either you or B. will allow such snarky attacks on your fans on your own site. I must say though, the one time I did post something to your column, I received only loving, caring, and supportive responses from your readers. Your fans, like you and B., are fine people.

    Now, if only Margo would find another venue… Alas, I’ll still have to come here to read her column. Oh well.

    I’ll see you at your new place and look forward to helping you get settled there. BTW, I think the minimalist décor has a certain charm!

    • avatar Deirdre Cerasa says:

      Glad to see you posting again! Hope things are good in Maine! What did you think of the Artist? I remember you writing that it took forever to get to a theater near you!
      I think we will all have a perfectly grand time with Mr wOw at his new blog!

  18. avatar Mary says:

    Mr. Wow,  When I first found Wow I thought it was so interesting to see there was a Mr. Wow and the first time I read your posts I laughed my head off.  Not easy when you are alone in the dark reading post.  That alone must tell you that you ARE a writer and a good one at that!   I enjoy your writing so much and your adventures with B will be among my favorites to continue in your blog!

    Sorry about your job loss, seems we are all affected in one way or another and no doubt your will go through many stages in your feelings and thinking about this.  Don’t sweat it.  They are normal as normal can be and yes it is a grieving process. But there is opportunity to find some joy as well and I  just know that you will find your own type of joy.  When your blog grows you may find some income in that.  Google pays for adwords and others so you may want to look at that or have B mentor you with it.  I just registered and will look for email from you and contribute for sure.    Some of us are also doing blogs and we will share with you as well.  

    Springtime, long walks , playing with kitties, splashing in the puddles and buying slices of pizza in the subway, sound delightful to me.   Onward to the movie channels and Marilyn and LiZ. Stay cool Mr. B. It is all good.     

  19. avatar Barbara says:

    Interesting comments from all. You should be proud to have such a loyal following. But maybe I missed something the WOWOW site is changing? Is there something that describes it? Is it something the readers want? Maybe time to take it off my daily click list?

  20. avatar calgal says:

    Barbara, go to Wow Home and click on Joni’s Listen Up! for the news on the dragged-out death of this website.

    • avatar Lila says:

      calgal and barbara, if you are interested – click my name or avatar here. Some of us are trying to establish an alternate hangout for those of us who want to stay in touch. And of course there is a link there to Mr. Wow’s new blog!!

  21. avatar LandofLove says:

    Mr. wOw, I’m so glad you posted about your new opportunities! Sorry to hear about the job loss, but I think that job wasn’t good for you any longer; I know you were really stressed! You know that old cliche about one door closing and another one opening….

    I was laid off around 2 years ago, did freelance editorial work for a while, and then got a full-time position. So, I know you’ll make it, too–especially because you have thousands of crazed fans who will follow you anywhere! 🙂

    Count on me to sign up on your new blog!

    One of your crazed fans—-Carol.    


  22. avatar Dan Patterson says:

    Hey, I’ll definitely be following you. All the best of luck!

  23. avatar MargB says:

    Mr wOw,
    I am one of those who visits often and comments rarely (okay…maybe never), but I have always enjoyed your columns and miss you (and worry for you) when there is a lengthy absence. I am sorry about the job losses and the anxiety it creates, but know that we all care for you and I look forward to reading you on your blog 🙂

  24. avatar C estlavie says:

    Mr. Wow-
    I am a constant visitor of this website but am shy about commenting. Today however I am compelled to write because I would like you to know that I have loved your column and always looked forward to it especially after long absences. Thank goodness for Mr. B. and his efforts in getting a website created for you. I will be signing up straightaway.

    Also, I am sorry about your job loss, I too am in your situation though I’ve been out of work for quite some time and can tell you that time will heal. You are so very clever and creative in your speak I just know your new site will be a hit. You remind me of the wit of Clifton Web. Great luck to you in this new venture.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Cestlavie…

      Honey…shy is not the way be in our bold new world.  I have always loved the interplay with the readers here, including those don’t agree with me.    I’ve learned a lot, and most of the people who reply to me are considerably smarter, more articulate and can spell much better than Mr. Wow.   

      Please don’t be shy.   And thank you! 

  25. avatar Jean Smith says:

    Well, dang, even though sometimes I think ya’ll are over-the-top pretentious, it might just be that I’m unsophisticated. I’ve always enjoyed the comaraderie and repartee you share with your readers and, in fact, you’re the only reason I visit WoW at all anymore. I will follow you, even just to listen in on another world. I’m sorry your life has been so shaken up but you will be fine; you’re a survivor.

  26. avatar flyonthewall says:

    Sorry to hear about your job loss, Mr. Wow and the demise of wowOwow, but I am glad to hear that you have the new blog and aren’t abandoning us. I enjoy reading your pieces and would miss you terribly if you were to go away. Best wishes to you and your new endeavor.

  27. avatar JCF4612 says:

    Oh, wow, Mr. Wow. I’d missed the “Listen Up” directive from on high, and had no idea of change in the wind until your column. I don’t do subscription radio, and doubt that route is going be a winner among a flock that likes to chew on print products. But I’ll be delighted to follow you elsewhere via blog — to the moon and back as they say. So revv up. We’re with you.    

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Jean Smith…Hmmmm, why do I doubt you are “unsophisticated?” 

      Please keep up  with me.  I need to know when I cross the pretentious line.  I  think I’m too insecure to be pretentious.  But that in itself might  be pretension. 

      Thanks for your good thoughts!  

  28. avatar central coast cabin home says:

    You have always been a fave of mine. I find your style very comfortable and cozy, like I know you. Initially I thought you were joking, April 1st thing and, all then I went to your site. Good luck and thank you “B” for prodding and convincing Mr. WoW!

  29. avatar mary burdt says:

    I am so sorry for your job loss, but I think it just might be the change you need (kick in the ass) to move onward and upward. I think your lost job was actually contributing to your health problems; all of them.
    I will follow you wherever you go because you have become a friend. And, I don’t want to miss out on the train trip either.
    Here’s hoping I can get connected to your blog, computer literate, I am not.
    All of your WoW fans will continue suppporting you. You are the best. Say hi to B.

  30. avatar Obediah Fults says:

    I’m still waiting for my password, Mr. wOw.

  31. avatar Chandara Sun says:

    Thrilled to bits that Mr. wOw will continue to be accessible – now now, no pressure. Post when you want & we’ll try not to be greedy for constant updates 😉

  32. avatar Jane H says:

    May I come too if I promise not to make any ‘my gays’ gaffes? And if I do unintentionally say something politically incorrect will you forgive?

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Jane…

      I hate it when Kathy Griffin does it, so cynically.   

      Otherwise–I’m your gay.

      I loathe political correctness.     Which will probably get my ass sued.   

  33. avatar Vintagemom says:

    Mr. Wow, I’m so sorry about your job, but I’m elated that we will continue to hear your opinions and how you’re doing via the new blog B set up for you.  Let your words flow because I’ll be looking forward to reading them.  Love you!  Your blog site is wonderful and I’ve registered but have not yet received my password.  And I am checking my spam folder too.

  34. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    Hmmmmmmm.  Maybe I’ll join under my real name and see how long it takes everyone to realize who I am. On second thought….

  35. avatar Briana Baran says:

    Mr. Wow:

    I just found this…I don’t check WoW every day and it wasn’t until I picked up on another reader’s comment that I realized that you had written. I am so proud of you, so delighted that you have struck out on your own. I know how hard it is to lose your job…and I am terrible with finances…but you have B., and you have people out here in the ether who do love you too, and think that you’re special…regardless of what you feel about yourself.

    I will be going to your new site…I can’t tell you just how pleased I am. I am trying to find the nerve to actually post something on my blog…seriously fearful beast that I am…but Rusty is encouraging and gently pushing at me and I have plenty of time…it’s all of the “I really have nothing much to offer, who do I think I am” coming out all over again. If you ever care to visit (please me a chance to get one of my “rants” together) the address is:

    Come see in a few days. Maybe I’ll have something to say that actually makes sense.

    I love you Mr. Wow (o lordy, don’t take that the wrong way, I’m no stalker) and respect you, and if you’re defective or sometimes lost…well, we’re fellow travelers and I truly do understand.

    In hope, peace and a certain defiance


    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Briana…

      We are all travelers.  I wish I could be more defiant and less defective!  Post on your blog.  You have plenty to say and you say it eloquently.    

      You are one of the many I’ve met here from whom I’ve learned a lot.   

  36. avatar Helen Moran says:

    The only interesting writer on here is you. You are real, you are open with your thoughts and opinions and I will join you on your blog. This website cannot possibly get any more bland and boring. I find it hard to believe Whoopi Goldberg has any real input. I am also sorry to say, Liz Smith is a giant bore. For everything there is a time, I have heard, and its time for this site to go away. You, however, need to concentrate on your blog. Good Luck

  37. avatar Belinda Joy says:

    🙂 My Dear Mr. Wow……

    You are in the hospital. Both legs, arms and torso in casts. One eye has a patch, you are immobilized. Your hearing is diminishing, all your teeth have been extracted, you have a rash that covers your entire body. You’ve just been told you are now homeless, you have no health insurance and your cat was hit by a car.

    I walk in the room and lean over you as you lay in the hospital bed and say “Well, at least your right eye still looks beautiful…..”    🙂
    I say that because the first thing that comes to mind in reading of your departure is, everything happens for a reason. I know, I know, its of little consequence.  But it is true.

    I can remember your very first article on wowOwow. I was suspicious of what you would have to offer us. Especially at that time when the make up of the women that blogged here was dramatically different than the women that blog here today. We were a force to be reckoned with! :-O  I think some of us thought we would chew you up and spit you out. But you proved you could give as much as we dished out. You were a hit with everyone right out the gate!

    I have registered with your new blog site and will follow you there. To be honest, the conversations that take place may be more interesting to follow there, given they will be far more unfettered.

    So this isn’t goodbye, this is see you soon friend…..