I Tried Allergy Testing So You Don’t Have To

I had allergy testing on Friday and the picture above is from the exam room that I spent two hours in. First of all, who isn’t allergic to venom? Superman? And secondly, how do they do the food skin testing? I’m fantasizing about a nurse rubbing pizza and bacon all over my naked skin. Now you’ve got that picture in your head, don’t you? You’re welcome.

There are things that I know I’m allergic to: People who are mean spirited, people who treat wait staff at restaurants poorly, buffoonish orange skinned Presidents, racism, sexism, and penicillin. So far that’s my list, but in spite of my best efforts to avoid those things my allergy symptoms have grown worse over the last couple years. I’ve had unrelenting sinus congestion, watery eyes and random sneezing. Although that sounds delightful, I don’t enjoy it as much as you’d think.  Over the counter meds have helped only a little, so I asked my doctor for an allergy workup in hopes of finding out what exactly has turned my sinuses into a 24/7 snot factory.

I arrived at the doctors office early so that I could fill out the paperwork. I got there so early that it wasn’t open yet. Fifteen minutes later when it did open, I discovered that I was scheduled at the doctor’s other office across town. I raced across town and surprisingly made it in time. The first thing that the nurse did when she took me back was to weigh me and measure my height, because how tall you are is obviously a factor in what gives you hives. The nurse informed me that by her measure I was 3/4 of an inch (2 feet for my metric people) shorter than I thought I was. Obviously the effect of my allergies was far worse than I realized, and it explains why all my pants have been getting longer.

First she marked each forearm with 24 purple dots, 48 total,  to determine if I was allergic to purple ink. No, actually next to each of those dots she jabbed me with a little needle that had a small amount of a possible allergen. The purple ink still hasn’t completely come off yet, so I’m keeping my forearms covered in public so people don’t think I’m Typhoid Phil spreading the Purple Plague. Fortunately the purple dot round of needle sticks didn’t reveal anything other than my tolerance to purple ink, so it was onto the next round of bigger needles!

Yes, that is an actual picture of 36 syringes that they then stuck into my upper arms next to 36 more purple dots. I felt like I had a free acupuncture session, which I’ve never done, but I might just to get a funny blog post out off it.

Joy of joy, they found four things that I’m allergic to! Dust mites, molds, box elder trees, and people who don’t leave comments on my blog. The doctor said that last one could be fatal.  Apparently some people are so surprised at the results of their allergy testing that they actually shit themselves, which it why the office felt it necessary to put this sign up in the exam room:

Being kind and considerate, I did take my soiled diapers with me. The title of my post is a nod to Christine of the I’m Sick and So Are You blog who wrote THIS funny post back in July. So, on your way out of The Phil Factor, don’t be allergic to leaving comments, and please take your soiled diapers with you. Have a great Sunday! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! 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 book, Time To Lie,  available in paperback, e-book, and Audible. Give the gift of reading this holiday season and have a great Thursday! ~Phil

Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Reasons to LOVE the Holidays!

See? I’m not a Scrooge or a Grinch. Last weeks Top Ten Reasons to HATE the Holidays was just an attention-getter. Everybody knows that haters gonna hate. But I’m a fair guy, so here’s all my reasons to love the holiday season:

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10. Ridiculous Holiday Light Displays: That’s not my house but I wish it was. I love people that take the decorating and lights waaaay too far. I wish we could do it all year long. If there’s a neighborhood that decorates all year long, let me know. I’ll move there.

9. Getting presents: Well duh! Free stuff that we didn’t know we needed or wanted? Yes please! Notice that the presents are only 9th on my list? That’s because I’m not superficial and materialistic.

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8. Nutcrackers: I buy my nuts pre-cracked but I love these guys anyway for no good reason.  As much as I love them I’d also love Stephen King, or maybe me, to write a Christmas horror story where nutcrackers come to life and terrorize people like Chuckie. Imagine how creepy they’s be if you added sharp teeth! (Yes, that herd of nutcrackers is at my house staring at me right now)

7. Holiday Movies: Scroll back to Tuesday Dec. 8th for my list of the ten best holiday movies.

6. Time off from work: Let’s be honest, how many of us love our job so much that we’d do it even if we didn’t get paid? Bueller? Bueller? Yeah, I didn’t think so. I’m taking the week off between Christmas and New Years. Don’t worry, I’ll still keep blogging because I’d do that even if they didn’t pay me.

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5. Holiday Specials: Scroll back to Dec 1st for my top ten holiday specials. The Grinch is a total badass but he’s not number 1 on that list.

4. Awkward Family Holiday PhotosI don’t care if they’re real or fake, they’re funny. I hope someday to create my own that becomes a meme on the internet.

3. Sometimes jerks try a little harder not to be: Including me. I don’t think I’m a jerk, but it’s nice that me and most other people try a little harder to be cordial, except at the mall.

2. My holiday tie collection: Yes, this is one you should love too. This year I own enough holiday themed ties that I can wear a different one every work day from Thanksgiving until Christmas. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you’ve probably seen them.

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1. _________________________

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Number 1 is left blank for you. What is it that you love about the holidays above all else? Put in the comments what you love most about Hanukkah or Christmas. Have a great Tuesday!~Phil

Shitty Lettuce Starts World War 3

MSN.com

Last week the entire population of the United States, except me, was thrown into a nutritional panic when the Centers For Disease Control sent out a dire warning about ALL Romaine lettuce being contaminated by E. Coli, or in other words,  poop.

The current President of the United States, confused about the origin of Romaine lettuce, declared war on Romania tweeting, “If THE Romanians think THEY can bring the GREAT United States to their knees by pooping on our lettuce they have ANOTHER thing coming! Fake news! Covfefe! I hereby declare war on Romania!” 

Daily Kos

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “Although Romaine lettuce doesn’t specifically or directly come from Romania, (then she rolled her eyes and sighed heavily) the President has decided to take no chances in his efforts to protect the American people from (using finger quotes)biology warfare.”

According to reports from the White House, Donald Trump has mobilized troops to the border of Romania. Trumps attempted invasion of Romania was stymied when U.S. troops discovered that Romania has put up a wall to keep foreigners out. The irony was lost on Trump who immediately accused the Romanians of stealing his idea.

Have a great Saturday! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! Cemetery of The Heart

picturesofengland.com

(Nov. 1, 2014) We all have a Cemetery of the Heart that we visit from time to time. It is a place that is unique and belongs to each of us alone. Sometimes we visit when it’s sunny and the birds are singing and at these times we are unaffected by the memories each marker represents, thankful that we are in a better place.

Other times we visit our Cemetery of the Heart when the weather is cloudy, cold, and stormy, perhaps mourning the loss of those happy memories that warmed our hearts in days gone by.We may walk down an aisle, a small, grassy path flanked on either side by those tiny markers that barely acknowledge a person’s passing, viewing the tombstones with varying levels of interest and angst. Some of the smaller stones, barely a marker really, may represent missed opportunities, brief connections with people which never came to fruition or doors we did not open when opportunity knocked. Most are relationships that perished in their infancy. We recognize the names on some of these stones and others we do not. Some are lovers, some are friends and some are strangers we may have met in passing.

In the next row over are tombstones of those loves which may have been ill-fated, but which still resonate poignantly in our memories. The path through this row of grave markers is slightly uphill, but we can still easily make the trek. The stones are tall and strong with the names and dates etched in them as they are forever etched in our hearts. Each one a small nick, or scratch, or crack in the surface of our hearts, which may have changed it ever so slightly, but which also gives our heart some of the strength and character which has brought us this far.

As we turn the corner of the gravel path there are only a few graves left to view. Up the long, steep hill at the far back of our Cemetery of the Heart are the monuments and mausoleums. It is inevitable. Once we enter our Cemetery of the Heart we are compelled to walk the entire path, even when it becomes steep and difficult. There is no way to go back and erase what we’ve carved on each tombstone. The monuments and mausoleums may be far fewer in number, but their size and importance dominates our view of the cemetery.

In some places we have erected enormous monuments to lost loves. Some of them stand so tall and broad that they block the sun, dooming the small flowers we have tried to plant since the monument was built. Some of us are so tired from pushing the heavy stones into place that we haven’t even tried to plant new flowers yet. We hope that in time some hardy plants will grow here naturally in the shade of these memories and with enough time perhaps they will grow tall enough to reach the sunlight with branches where birds will nest and sing again.

Next to our monuments we notice a mausoleum. Some of the crypts are labeled and we fondly pay homage to those who still hold a special place in our hearts, those we still wish to check in on from time to time to see that they are well. Finally, if we choose to look closely enough, we can see that the daylight from outside our mausoleum has crept through the doorway to reveal a few empty drawers at the back. At this realization we smile and leave the cemetery in peace, knowing that the storm will eventually pass.

This is an idea for a future novel. I hope you don’t mind the detour from my usual style of writing. I promise to return to my usual level of idiocy soon. As always, if you enjoy anything I write on #ThePhilFactor I’d love it if you shared by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog button below. See you Saturday! ~Phil

Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Reasons To HATE The Holidays

You’re a mean one Mister Grinch. You really are a heel. You’re as cuddly as a cactus, you’re as charming as an eel, Mister Grinch. You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel.

Yup, that’s me; King of sarcasm and hater of all things jolly. I’m not saying that there aren’t things to love about the holidays. There are plenty, but c’mon everybody, if we’re truly being honest with ourselves, there are a lot of things to hate about the holidays. Here’s my top ten, and in the spirit of a gift that keeps on giving, I’m hoping I’ll mention one or two things you haven’t noticed before and from this day forward you won’t be able to not notice them.

10. Candy canes: They’re sticky. That’s pretty much it. I like the minty flavor, but I can get that in a York Peppermint Patty without my lips, tongue and hands covered in a gross, viscous substance. And they make too many! Has anyone ever eaten all the candy canes they purchase each year? There must be landfills just overflowing with candy canes. If we could make fossil fuel out of leftover candy canes the world would be a better place.

9. The Nog Shortage: All holiday season everything is nog this and nog that. It’s hard to find a beverage that doesn’t offer a nog flavored option. (kind of like the Fall pumpkin influx) But, if you like nog you’re screwed about 8 weeks later. Apparently nog is such a rare and valuable commodity that it can only be offered for a limited time. I’m going to get rich by drilling a nog well in my backyard and then selling my nog at outrageous prices. I will also have a Nog Blog.

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8.  Holiday movies set in southern California: I hate them because the people in them always look so happy to go outside and hang lights on their palm trees. Jerks. They’re just flaunting their warm weather and lack of snow. If you want a holiday movie to make me happy, how about one where a bunch of So-Cal people are stranded in an avalanche in the Himalayas and they have to eat each other to survive.

iStockphoto.com/KonArt

iStockphoto.com/KonArt

7. More traffic: This one’s pretty obvious, but for cripes sake you idiots! Haven’t you heard of the internet? I don’t care how much I love someone, nobody is worth going to the mall for from now until mid-January.

6. Lazy Hollywood folksAll our regular shows go on hiatus and show re-runs for 8 weeks. Seriously? You people make billions off these shows and you only make 22 episodes a year? That’s only five and a half months of work! When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law stating that every television program is required to produce a holiday special and one other original episode during the months of December and January.

5.  Lines in every store ALL the time: Yes, this one’s pretty obvious. It’s just a good thing no one sells handguns as an impulse buy item at the checkouts. Then again, I don’t live in the south, they probably do there.

4. FrozenI don’t even have a young Disney Princess obsessed daughter and I’m sick and tired of this stupid movie. I’m sick of the songs and the pictures everywhere. I’ve never seen it and I don’t know what it’s about, but enough already! It’s just another Disney movie where the parents are dead right? I challenge Disney to make some movies where they don’t kill parents as a cheap emotional hook at the beginning.

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3.  Commercials: I’ve never walked out to my driveway or garage to find a car with a bow on it. I’ve seen some version of this commercial since I was a kid, completely setting me up with unrealistic expectations.  Look, Bill Gates, I know you and your wife donate millions to charitable causes, just once could you skip a few mosquito nets and vaccines and have a Lexus delivered to my driveway?

2. Religious differences: It’s hard to believe, but not every religion has their most important, most exciting holiday in December. When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m passing a law stating that all religions have to have their biggest holiday at the same time so we can easily sort out the school schedules, sales, and work vacations, Makes sense doesn’t it? And just to show that I’m not Christianity-centric, let’s do it in July in the northern hemisphere and December in the southern hemisphere. That way no one has to deal with snow when traveling to see the relatives, unless you’re stupid enough to live where there’s always snow.

1. Santa Claus: And you thought they’re milking the Batman and Spider-Man characters for all their worth? St. Nick hasn’t changed in centuries! Jeez, get that guy a cape and some superpowers. How awesome would that be if he had a nemesis that was out trying to stop him from delivering presents. God has the devil, Batman has the Joker, why can’t Santa have a nemesis?

Please put your holiday pet peeves in the comments. As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor don’t be a Grinch and share it by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or reblog button below. Have a great Tuesday! ~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 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