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Death In Paris…and 24 years on

So I was just seriously freaked out a moment ago. I just published yet another e-book on Amazon. This one is a second collection of Xcargo essays from 1997. That is, columns from … yikes!… 24 years ago.

Twenty-four years ago?

I should explain that a little. You know that my blog is Explosive-Cargo ( you can see it here: What you may or may not know is that explosive-cargo was originally a newspaper column a million years ago when I Martha and I lived in Connecticut. Then, when I became a trade press journalist, and the Internet (but not yet the web) got started, I turned it into an “ezine.”

A zine, you see, was a usually self-published mini-periodical (from maga-zine, get it?). Originally, they were usually photocopied and mailed out. There were a lot of them about in the 1970s and ‘80s. But, then, with the rise of email, people started electronic-zines (ezines) that they sent out over the ‘net. I was an early email user, so I turned explosive-cargo the column into Xcargo the ezine.

Xcargo was actually pretty successful, as ezines went. I had about 1000 subscribers, plus a somewhat larger pass-along readership. So, a pretty good run, all in all, though I never had the enormous followings of later bloggers, and certainly not of the more famous social media influencers.

By 2001, for a variety of reasons, I gave up the ezine version and turned to blogging instead. But, sitting on my hard drive, were several years worth of Xcargo columns. For a while I had them on a Google site, but nobody ever went to it, and besides, it was a free site, and I wasn’t sure how long Google would offer it. (I had seen, you see, what happened to GeoCities after Yahoo acquired it.)

So, I figured the best thing to do would be to collect the columns and offer them as inexpensive e-books on Amazon. And, I’ve been slowly gatherin’ ‘em up and publishing ‘em ever since.

This one is called Death In Paris and contains all the Xcargos from the second half of 1997. (Damn! How did I get to be so prolific? Or is it verbose? Six of one.)

And it costs all of 99¢. A bargain, I’m sure.

I was a little surprised when I re-read these essays. Most of my early Xcargos were pretty light hearted. And many of these pieces are similarly comic. But, some of them aren’t. I guess 1997 wasn’t a particularly happy year.

Like, for instance, the title essay deals with the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. (Can you believe that was twenty-four years ago?) There’s also a collection of pieces that have to do with the time I was on a jury in a child abuse case. Not fun.

But, anyway, the collection is out there on Amazon. I like to believe it has historical value, if nothing else. “This is what we were thinking, a quarter of a century ago….”

Though, there’s the thing. That’s what really freaks me out. It was twenty-four years ago! How is it possible that so much time has passed? I mean, children born that year have grown up and entered adulthood.

Which means…gulp…I’m getting older, too.

In a word, argh.

Oh, well. At least I still have all my teeth, most of my hair (albeit, gray), and I remain charmingly petty, annoying, and obnoxious.

It’s the little things in life that matter.


Seriously, do check out Death In Paris at

Though, honestly, the book I would really like you to buy is Padre, my meditation on the lives of my late parents. You can see the Kindle version here:


Until next time…

Onward and upward!



Copyright©2021 Michael Jay Tucker

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