Street pickpockets generally work in teams, known as whiz mobs or wire mobs. The “steer” chooses the victim, who is referred to generically as the “mark,” the “vic,” or the “chump,” but can also be categorized into various subspecies, among them “Mr. Bates” (businessman) and “pappy” (senior citizen). The “stall,” or “stick,” maneuvers the mark into position and holds him there, distracting his attention, perhaps by stumbling in his path, asking him for directions, or spilling something on him. The “shade” blocks the mark’s view of what’s about to happen, either with his body or with an object such as a newspaper. And the “tool” (also known as the “wire,” the “dip,” or the “mechanic”) lifts his wallet and hands it off to the “duke man,” who hustles away, leaving the rest of the mob clean. Robbins explained to me that, in practice, the process is more fluid—team members often play several positions—and that it unfolds less as a linear sequence of events than as what he calls a “synchronized convergence,” like a well-executed offensive play on the gridiron.
Fascinating article on pickpockets in the New Yorker.
Most of my time at Christmas growing up was spent looking at Wishbooks (mostly from Sears) wondering what Santa would bring. Wishbooks (and many of their publishing retail chains) are long gone or are standing in the tub holding a toaster (I’m looking at you JCPenny-Kmart-Sears).
So, if you ask people for their favorite Christmas movies, almost all of them would say White Christmas, Elf, Christmas Vacation, or A Christmas Story [previously].
Here’s a list of movies from IMDB which mention Christmas in the film’s descriptions, ranked by the number of votes the movie received from the IMDB community.
Films you might not have considered include the Godfather, 1941, Gremlins, Lethal Weapon, and both the first Rocky and Rambo!