Nail Clippers from Tokyo


Nail Clippers from Tokyo

While traveling in Tokyo, I learned a valuable business lesson from a little store in the hotel… all while buying nail clippers.

This was many years ago when my wife and I were vacationing in Tokyo. While I was thinking back on the trip, I realized that one memory stood out.

One evening in our hotel room, my wife tasked me with going downstairs to buy some nail clippers. Seems we hadn’t brought any in our bags (it was allowed back then).

So, there I was, with only the most basic of Japanese language skills… on my own! After making my way downstairs, I found the tiny little in-hotel store. They had all the essentials that a traveler would need: toothpaste, band-aids, aspirin, etc. I couldn’t seem to find the nail clippers.

I walked up to the counter. An older woman sat patiently behind it. We had a short conversation… without words. Finally! My years of pantomime were useful!

She pointed to where the nail clippers were, and I retrieved a nice pink one for my wife.

When I went up to pay, I expected that the woman would just run my card, give me a receipt, and I’d take the clippers and go.

That is not what happened.

After ringing up the bill and giving me the receipt, she carefully took the packaged clippers and wrapped them – very neatly – in a nice paper. She then put this into a small bag, along with some hand-folded paper origami cranes (my wife later told me they were for luck). Then, she folded over the top of the bag and put a small bit of tape on it.

When she handed it to me, I knew enough to bow slightly and say “domo arigatou gozaimasu” and left the store to go back to my room.

It was a short, simple interaction, yet when I think back, there was a lot of meaning to unpack from it.

Here are a few of the lessons I learned that can apply to many businesses:

  • Be kind
  • Know your job
  • Be Helpful
  • Exceed Expectations
  • Have Good Intentions

In the end, it’s these things that people, and your customers, will remember.

The nail clippers were common.

The woman who sold them to me was special.


All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at:






A Serialized Mystery
By Habit Forming Films, LLC.
Wormwood Postcard
(this post is dedicated to the memory of Rob Grindlinger…)

Way back in 2007, I was fortunate enough to join a very talented group of audio drama professionals.
Unlike many productions, we all met – in person – to record.
It was an amazing experience, and I think the end result shows it… I hope you enjoy it!

When a strange vision of murder sends him to a small town to investigate, Dr. Xander Crowe discovers that Wormwood is far from ordinary. Secrets lurk within every resident, from the innkeeper to the town librarian to the waitress at the diner. The seemingly idyllic surface of Wormwood hides a mystery unlike anything Crowe has ever experienced — he finds himself drawn into a web of dark conspiracy, strange romance, and arcane mysticism. As Crowe begins to unravel the mystery at the heart of Wormwood, he finds that his very presence there may not be a coincidence at all…

Wormwood is a full-cast serialized mystery delivered as an MP3 podcast on our website and via the many podcatchers on the web, including iTunes. Wormwood offers a quirky ensemble drama with elements of supernatural horror and mystery. With its odd, small town setting and tragic lead character, Wormwood is designed to appeal to fans of True Blood, Twin Peaks, Supernatural, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as the works of writers like Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Edgar Allan Poe.

You can listen to all three seasons below, or if you prefer, they’re also on iTunes here.

Wormwood – Season 1: The Drowned Woman

Wormwood Episode 1: The Coming Storm


Wormwood Episode 2: Small Town Drama

Wormwood Episode 3: Feels Like Falling

Wormwood Episode 4: Inquisition

Wormwood Episode 5: Muck and Mire

Wormwood Episode 6: Where The Bullet Hits…

Wormwood Episode 7: The Sacrificial Lamb

Wormwood Episode 8: By Small Hands

Wormwood Episode 9: Teenage Wasteland

Wormwood Episode 10: The Funeral

Wormwood Episode 11: The Wayward

Wormwood Episode 12: Karma

Wormwood Episode 13: Questions and Rumors

Wormwood Episode 14: Place of Pain

Wormwood Episode 15: Alone At Last

Wormwood Episode 16: The Long Shadows

Wormwood Episode 17: Asunder

Wormwood Episode 18: The Hunt for Julian Calendar

Wormwood Episode 19: Necromancy and the Art of Making Friends

Wormwood Episode 20: Run

Wormwood Episode 21: Parts You Don’t Throw Away

Wormwood Episode 22: Opening Books That Can’t Be Closed

Wormwood Episode 23: Dead Beat Down

Wormwood Episode 24: Tea and Sympathy (for the Devil)

Wormwood – Season 2: Crossroads

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 1 — One Month Later…


Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 2 — The Rescue

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 3 — The Missing Month, Part One

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 4 — Thinning, Part One

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 5 — A Sentimental Nature

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 6 — Ghosthunters of Wormwood

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 7 — A Bedtime Story

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 8 — The Missing Month, Part Two

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 9 — Red Right Hand

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 10 — Thinning, Part Two

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 11 — Albatross

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 12 — The Wolves of Lyonsville

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 13 – When Chip Met Dale

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 14 — Jack Nicholson’s Nose

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 15 — Weeping Doctor, Wilted Demon

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 16 — Haitian Bleu

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 17 — The Supplanter

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 18 — Sweet Intangible You

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 19 – Something Funny in Everything

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 20 — He Who Forgiveth All, Part 1

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 21 — He Who Forgiveth All, Part 2

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 22 — A Farewell to (f)Arms

Wormwood: Crossroads: Episode 23 — Cold Satisfies the Couple

Wormwood – Season 3, Part 1: The Five Fingers of Glory

Wormwood and the Five Fingers of Glory: The Thief of Sepharvaim


Wormwood and the Five Fingers of Glory: Memento Mori

Wormwood and the Five Fingers of Glory: Dead Man’s Hand

Wormwood and the Five Fingers of Glory: Celery Farm

Wormwood and the Five Fingers of Glory: Left

Wormwood – Season 3, Part 2: Portraits

Wormwood Portraits: The Minstrel’s Tale


Wormwood Portraits: The Queen’s Tale

Wormwood Portraits: The Merchant’s Tale

Wormwood Portraits: The Bishop’s Tale

Wormwood Portraits: The Farmer’s Tale

Wormwood Portraits: The Criminal’s Tale

Wormwood Portraits: The Lover’s Tale

Wormwood Portraits: The Hermit’s Tale

Wormwood – Season 3, Part 3: Revelation

Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter One


Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Two

Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Three

Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Four

Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Five

Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Six

Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Seven

Wormwood: Revelation: Chapter Eight

Wormwood is produced by Habit Forming Films, LLC, a dynamic film production company dedicated to producing uncompromising works of entertainment outside of the traditional Hollywood studio system.

The Habit Forming Films, LLC. Production staff includes:
Christa Nahhas (Executive Producer, Chief Financial Officer)
Dee Rogers (Associate Producer)

The Wormwood Creative Staff includes:
David Accampo (Co-creator/Executive Producer)
Jeremiah Allan (Staff Writer)
Jeremy Rogers (Co-creator/Executive Producer)
Lance Wolf (Illustrator)
Paul Montgomery (Staff Writer)
Rick Bata (Staff Writer)
Rob Allspaw (Staff Writer)
Tiffiny Whitney (Staff Writer)
Todd Hodges (Composer)

Andrew Ramirez (Dexter Nolen)
Anna Maganini (Lynette Bradley, Peggy Nolen)
Arthur Russell (Doctor Xander Crowe)
Ben Boodman (Mister Carrefour, Chip Drexal)
Cheyenne Bsaies (Lemora Haskell, Katrina Edison)
Chris Blaylock (Doctor Pete Meno)
Dave Johnston (Deputy Drexal, Jonathan Kitter)
Joe J. Thomas (Hank Mason, Phineas Thibert)
Joy Vanides (Sister George)
Koralee Nickarz (Deidre Frost, Emily Saunders)
Nicole Rayburn (Harmony Barrister)
Peter Dirksen (Jimmy Details, Jonesy)
Rob Grindlinger (Sheriff Bradley, Cedric Bloomington, Don Marino)
Robert W. Allen (Special Agent Voitek)
Samantha Turk (Henrietta “Henry” Howe)
Scott Olynek (Jacob Kitter)
Sonia Perozzi (Sparrow, Rachel Nolen)
Zachary Foulkes (Brent Saunders, Charles Edison)


All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at:



Bearly The Actor


Bearly The Actor
(a children’s story for grown-ups)
written by: Joe J Thomas
Bearly The Actor - Book Cover

      Bearly The Actor - Joe J Thomas

In the magical land of Hollis Woods, there once lived a little guy named Bearly.
He worked in the daytime at the honey mines, where everyone treated him fairly.

He rented a smallish room in a hollow tree
In a town where very little came free

But Bearly’s dream was much bigger than that – an actor was what he wanted to be!
With fame and awards and lots of honey in a mansion down by the sea!
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How I Became a Hip-Hop Manager


How I Became a Hip-Hop Manager

(a mostly true story by Joe J Thomas)

Hip-Hop JoeActor

I’m the manager of the biggest star in hip-hop. It’s not like I planned it. It just sort of happened. Let me start at the beginning…

I was on my way to Hollywood to see some friends perform Improv and standup comedy. I knew the name of the place, and that it was at Hollywood and Vine, but I’d never been there in person.
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