The Elf From Hell

This isn’t really a throwback because it’s timely and relevant every year and I intend to keep posting it until all the demented parents stop waging psychological warfare on their young children.

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(12/22/2012) Most of you are familiar with the Elf on the Shelf right?  In the Elf on the Shelf tradition these poorly dressed little plastic elves are mischievous minions of the red suited overlord who spy on the every move of children and report back to their tyrannical leader. That allegedly quaint little elf doll was invented about 15 years ago as a new, and for some toy making company, moneymaking tradition. Fortunately for my kids I wasn’t aware of The Elf on the Shelf when they were young enough to believe in it.

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Parents put these little Elves on a shelf and the children are told that the Elf cannot be touched or it will lose it’s Christmas  magic. The elf allegedly flies back to the North Pole to report to Santa every night. Man kids are gullible! In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, “What a bunch of maroons!” The nightly flight is how parents explain that the Elf is in a different spot when the kids wake up each morning.

Of course this crazy little ruse makes kids behave in the weeks leading up to Christmas! They’re terrified! Are you kidding me? Even now if you told me a Chuckie doll was going to sit on my shelf and stare at me while I slept, or that it might be moving around my house at night? I would never go to sleep again. The kids have got to be too terrified or too tired to misbehave. No wonder they have a weeks vacation from school after Christmas. They probably spend that week sleeping for the first time in a month.

onemomsworld.wordpress.com

onemomsworld.wordpress.com

I have a friend who says that after her kids are asleep she will pose the Elf somewhere to make it appear as if the Elf had gotten into mischief overnight, such as putting him next to a tipped over jar of something, or maybe on a desk next to some torn up papers. So her kids wake up imagining that this creepy little doll with the frozen scary clown smile is moving about the house in the dark destroying things. How much longer before someone imagines the doll picking up a knife? What if in some home where they’re torturing their kids with the Elf on the Shelf, just by coincidence, their elderly dog or cat were to pass away during the night? What do you suppose those kids are going to think for the rest of their lives?

This tradition sounds like psychological warfare against children. How long before we see kids who have grown up with this tradition seeking counseling for PTED, Post-Traumatic Elf Disorder?

dannyoulittlerock.com

dannyoulittlerock.com

Happy Holidays to you and your families. If you really want something mysterious and far less traumatic to just appear somewhere this holiday season you could give my books, Time To Lie  and the sequel The Last Locked Door, available in paperback, e-book, and Audible. Give the gift of reading this holiday season and have a great Saturday! ~Phil

The Plot of Every Hallmark Christmas Movie

Yes, it’s that time of year. “Christmas?” you say. No, Christmas is just a secondary annoyance. To all the people born with a uterus it’s the most wonderful time of the year, otherwise known as Hallmark Christmas movie time! Or as Lacey Chabert, Dean Cain and Candace Cameron Bure call it, “The only time we make any money.”

Being married to one of these Hallmark movie loving people, I’ve inadvertently seen several Hallmark Christmas movies and I couldn’t help but notice that each unique Hallmark Christmas movie has the exact same plot as every other Hallmark movie. To save you time watching the actual movies, here’s how it goes:

Guy or gal who left home several years ago and is very successful at some high falutin’ job in a big city somewhere comes back to their Smalltown, USA hometown for Thanksgiving or a funeral. Oh no! Their family’s business is failing! What? They need to stay longer than they planned. Maybe until Christmas! I can’t believe it. What are the chances of that?!!?

Successful and attractive returning guy or gal runs into the sister or brother of a friend they knew in high school. He or she “was just a kid back then” but now they’re “all grown up” and they’ve really blossomed into a hunk or a hottie. At first they may not like each other but everyone else can see the obvious chemistry. Despite the fact that they annoy each other, they have to work together to save the business, ranch, town  or whatever.

Of course it will all inevitably lead to a playful snowball fight between the two in the town square. And they both realize they like each other and they kiss.

Guess what everyone, that’s the plot of every episode of The Gilmore Girls too. You’re welcome. I’ve just saved you the trouble of watching every single Hallmark movie this year. But you know what? I know you’re going to watch them. It’s as inevitable as that moment when the returning hometown hero says that “this is where I’ve wanted to be all along” as they hug their new love and gaze at the Christmas tree.  Cue Christmas music and fade out to credits.

Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Happy Thanksgiving from The Phil Factor

Photo courtesy of Charles Schultz

In the United States it’s traditional to get together with family on Thanksgiving and share the important things you’re thankful for before gorging yourself on a meal centered on the large, dead carcass of the ugliest bird in North America. Every year everyone shares the usual platitudes about being thankful for family, friends and good heath. Duh! Who can’t come up with that? When I decided to write this I set out to write a positive, uplifting post so that my loyal readers don’t think that my every thought and written or spoken word are tinged with biting sarcasm. So without further adieu, here are some of the everyday things I am thankful for:

1. Girl Scout Cookies: Holy crap! Paradise in cookie form! Thin Mints, Do-Si-Dos, Tagalongs, Samoas, Dulce de Leche and many more. Most of the names are completely meaningless in relation to what the actual cookie is, but who the hell cares? I think the mysteriously weird names add to our desire for them. Great cookies, but the Girl Scouts organization is one of the dumbest businesses in existence. They have a product that is universally loved and they only sell it one month a year? Morons! All of them. Their stupid little badges certainly aren’t in business administration. If they sold those cookies year round they’d be a multi-billion dollar operation listed on the New York Stock Exchange. If they sold those cookies year round they could put crack cocaine out of business.

2. The Keurig Coffee Maker: I don’t give a rat’s ass if they price those stupid little “pods” at $5.00 each, it will be well worth it if I can keep getting my morning cup of joe in 30 seconds. My time is valuable and Keurig gave me back about 5 minutes of every morning where I don’t have to stand there staring a a gurgling coffee maker.

3. Screw cap wine bottles: How does it make the wine better if you have to use a separate device that looks like it was designed for medieval torture to open it? And how often have you had the cork break and you have to use all sorts of improvised techniques to get it out and then the wine still has a bunch cork pieces in it that you fish out with your fingers? My wine sources tell me the screw cap is coming back. Simpler is better. Leave the corks for the French snobs to wrestle with. When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, all wine bottles will have screw caps.

4. Twitter: As you know, I love my Twitter. If anything big happens anywhere in the world it’s on Twitter instantly. If I need a laugh, give me one minute with my Twitter feed and one of the everyday comedic geniuses on Twitter will give me a smile. Want to know an opposing viewpoint? It’s there on Twitter.

5. Fantasy Football: Yes, it’s a corny little hobby and yes, it’s actually a form of gambling, but outside of my job, this is one of two things that I’ve spent a lot of my free time over the last twenty years. The other thing that the rest of my free time has been spent on? This blog.

All of You: Lastly I’m thankful for all of you, friends, family, co-workers, and strangers from all over the world. You make my day with your likes and comments. I know that over the past year I haven’t blogged much. I’ve had a lot of real life going on in my life, but I appreciate that many of you have popped in here or by email or twitter to say Hi. I plan on getting back to weekly blogging and visiting all of you wonderful friends that I’ve followed for years. Happy American Thanksgiving to you no matter where you’re reading this from. In the comments, if you’re in the bathroom hiding from family, why don’t you add something unusual that you’re thankful for today!

Have a great day! ~Phil

Daylight Stupid Time

This is my bi-annual reminder that tonight in the United States we move our clocks back by an hour and my reminder to you that it’s stupid. I’ve been posting this every Fall and Spring since 2006 and will continue to do so until we do away with Daylight Savings Time.

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When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law getting rid of Daylight Savings Time. I don’t know if all other countries do this. I do know that not all the U.S. states abide by it. Daylight Savings Time was created about 120 years ago to give farmers more daylight in which to do their work in the fields. Call me crazy, but why the hell didn’t someone just suggest that the lazy ass farmers drag themselves out of a bed a little earlier each day? Because those cud chewing, overall wearing, udder jerking lay-abouts can’t be bothered to set their alarm clocks we’re all stuck changing time?

I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but about ten years ago the U.S. Congress, in another colossal waste of their time and our tax dollars, extended daylight savings time by a few weeks on either end.

First off, why isn’t it called daylight spending time since we are using more daylight in the summer months? Secondly, at this point the farmers (except the creepy Amish ones) all have electricity and alarm clocks, which may not have been the case 120 years ago. I can get away with saying that about the Amish because my demographic data shows that for some reason I have very low readership among the Amish. I guess they just don’t get me.

Reportedly the reason Congress did this is to save energy. How will changing our clocks twice a year save energy? Don’t we set our thermostats and use heat based on the outdoor temperature, not how light out it is? I’d like to save the energy I expend changing my clocks! I’d like Congress to tell me when I get that back. Congress has again proven to be the biggest collection of morons outside of…well…I guess I can’t think of a bigger collection. Why doesn’t Congress set their alarm clocks an hour earlier so they can get up early and get more of this important work done?

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B.T. dubs, if we set our clocks ahead an hour now but we turn them back in the Fall, over the course of a year what difference does it make? If we learned anythying from Marty McFly it was that we shouldn’t muck about with time. Also, according to statistics,  the day after we change our clocks there are more workplace injuries, car accidents, and for the day, a 10% rise in heart attacks.

I for one am not going to go for this stupid daylight savings time thing anymore. I don’t work at a farm or for Congress, so I told my boss that for 6 months I’ll be to work an hour early or late, however it works out. When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, this is going to change

If you’d like to support my bid for President or Sexiest Man Alive, please hit the Facebook, Twitter share button below, but hurry because you have an hour less to do it in this weekend. Or is it an hour more? Have a great weekend! ~Phil

#PHIL2020

The Unemployment Diaries: The Final Installment

Hi everyone! I’m still out here and alive. I’ve actually been back to work for a little over three months but wasn’t blogging much due to the stress, time and travel of the new job. This is a video blog I made about four months ago about the idiocy and proliferation of podcasts but never posted it until now. If you love to hate podcasts, then this is right up your alley. Although, if you do have an alley, I’m kind of jealous. Anyway, enjoy! #ThePhilFactor

Do We Really Need All These Podcasts? 

Have a great Thursday and feel free to leave comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts on podcasts. ~Phil

Music Monday! It’s Time For Billie Joe To Wake Up

I’m back with the most appropriate song ever for today, and it’s from my favorite band, whom I will be seeing in Toronto next August with Fall Out Boy, and Weezer. Honestly, I don’t know why Billie Joe Armstron wanted to be woken up “when September ends.”  For me, September is when summer ends and Fall begins. If I wrote the song it would be “Wake Me Up When March Ends.” Hmm…maybe I’ve just thought of a new hit song… Have a great Monday! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! Body By Phil

08/24/13 According to the results of a study published by Dr. Tracy L. Tyka of Ohio State University, “Men are affected by those pressures in the media … or the pressures that others put on them to look more muscular,” she said.

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For years women have decried the unrealistic images of feminine beauty portrayed in the media. “That’s unrealistic,” we heard. “No real woman looks like that.”  “She’s airbrushed.” “Those are fake.” Well guess what ladies, it’s our turn.

That’s right. You just need to back off and let us get fat. We may all be working on 6-pack abs, but it’s a 6-pack of Budweiser. Let’s call a truce between men and women. How about if the men stop idealizing Hollywood anorexics and supermodels and you stop drooling over Bradley Cooper and Matthew McConaughey? We’ll let you have your curves if you let us have ours. In fact, it’s my opinion that men have it harder than women when it comes to pressure to have perfect bodies. Yes, you heard me right. On the dating scene you may think you need to be all tall and busty to attract men, but that is far from the truth. We’re guys. All you have to do is to be female and we’re happy with that. Do we have standards that we judge women’s bodies by? Of course we do. If you have a body we’re basically happy. Women on the other hand demand their men be 6 feet tall and built like a Greek god.

I think Dr. Tracy L. Tyka of Ohio State University said it best when she said, “Instead of pressuring men to be more muscular, (we need to) accept men’s bodies for what they are and instead focus on internal characteristics.”

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Hey, I don’t create the news, I just report it. If a scientist says it, then it must be true. That’s right ladies, we’re not just sex objects, we have feelings too ya’ know! Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about me.  I’m a total smokin’ hottie.  I was at the Man Meeting the other night and some of the other guys were getting down about this stuff, so I told them I’d mention it to you.

As always, if you enjoy what you read here at #ThePhilFactor please hit the Facebook or Twitter share buttons because that’s a form of exercise too.  If you enjoy my humor in the short form here you may enjoy more of it in the form of my books that are in the sidebar there. Have a great Thursday!