Category Archives: Humor

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Rock You Like A Hurricane?

Well it’s hurricane season in the Northern hemisphere. Hurricane ‘Henri’ ran up the East coast this past week and I hope that everyone in it’s path escaped without any mortal injuries. Then again, how threatening can anything or anyone named Henri be? That may be the least menacing name ever. The fact that there are so many Henri’s in France is why they’ve lost every war they’ve ever participated in.

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Fortunately I don’t live in an area that ever gets any hurricanes although I felt some of the wind and rain from Henri. In the U.S., our weather people traditionally name hurricanes with people names, such as Hurricane Phil, or Hurricane Betsy. Then the news people are astounded that people refuse to leave their homes when a hurricane is coming. Who is going to be afraid of Hurricane Henri, or Tropical Storm Cecilia? Remember innocuously named Hurricane Katrina? Yeah, how’d that work out for everyone? And for cripes sake, why did we have a hurricane named Henri? Henri sounds more like a refreshing light rain on a pleasant spring day.

Have you ever noticed that when people are interviewed as a big storm is bearing down on their area the homeowners always use the phrase “hunker down”? The interview always goes like this:

Reporter: I’m standing here with Joe and Jane Homeowner who plan on staying right where they are as the biggest storm of the century bears down on us. Joe and Jane, why are you staying put?

Homeowners: Well this little storm ‘taint nuthin. We’ll just hunker down until it passes. Now the storm of ’68, that was a storm!

I’m not sure I’ve ever hunkered down for anything. I think hunkering down best describes the pose my dog takes when she’s going number 2.  If you want people to flee to somewhere safe you have to give  a storm a name that sounds as scary as it is. Why not give it an intimidating name? How about something like Mega Hurricane Deathtron? That might get people out of their homes. Or maybe something simple like The Hurricane of Death? If the Hurricane of Death was headed for my house you can bet I’d get the hell out of the way. Then again, if they named hurricanes like that you wouldn’t have people selling post hurricane t-shirts that said things like “I Was Blown By Irene 2011.” When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I will convene a special committee of writers to work on scary, new hurricane names every year.

Have a great and hurricane free day! ~Hurricane Phil

Book Review: John Howell’s “Eternal Road” is a Fun Ride!

As you may know from either reading or having seen my books, I’m a big fan of the time travel genre. When I saw that my blogging friend, John Howell, had written a book with time travel as part of the plot, I couldn’t resist. But, John’s book isn’t just about time travel. It’s so much more than just time travel

Say hello to John! Find him on Twitter at @HowellWave

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. 

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save mankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

That’s the summary from Amazon, and let me tell you, a lot goes on in this book. There’s surprises almost every time you turn the page. I had several moments where I thought to myself, “I can’t believe that just happened” and then on the next page something even crazier would happen. John Howell’s Eternal Road is a ride I thoroughly enjoyed. Here’s an even more interesting aside: I finished this book four days ago. James quest to find his eternal home ends in a certain location, which turns out to be exactly where my siblings and I are going tomorrow to spread my father’s ashes, making that his eternal home too. Mind blown.

The Psychics First Date

As I mentioned in my post on Thursday, a lot of folks have been showing up at The Phil Factor to read my 2017 post Top Ten Tuesday! The Top Ten Psychic Pick Up Lines. One of many questions I have about this phenomena is, are the people reading this psychics looking to upgrade their dating game, or is it non-psychics curious about the dating habits of psychics? Or could it possibly be singles on the dating scene looking for ways to prevent them from getting duped by smooth talking psychics?

Here is how I imagine a first date between two psychics would go:

A man in a turban and a purple velour cape sitting alone at a table in a swanky Italian restaurant. He stands up as he makes eye contact with a woman who has just entered and he gives her a little wave. She acknowledges him and starts to weave her way between tables. Her many chiffon scarves flow freely from her, brushing peoples heads as she passes.

Karnak the Magnificent: “Why hello Esmeralda! Have a seat,”  Karnak says as he pulls out her chair for her.

Esmeralda: “Thank you Karnak. This is a lovely restaurant. However did you choose it?”

K: “This is where my grandparents went on their first date sixty years ago. They’ve always told me the story of their magical first date, and I have a good feeling about you, so I thought it might be a good luck charm for us.”

E: Aww…that’s sweet, but it would be more sweet if your ex-girlfriend didn’t wait tables here and you weren’t bringing me here hoping to make her jealous.

K: “What? That’s preposterous! I love the food here!”

Esmeralda raises an eyebrow.

K: “OK, you got me, but the food is really incredible.” Nodding to waiter, “Yes, Cabernet for both please.” Turning to Esmeralda, “Besides, on your dating profile you said that you’re 28 when you’re really 30.”

E: “So we’ve both started this relationship with little white lies. Fair enough. Let’s try to turn our heads off and get to know each other the old fashioned way.”

K: “Agreed. So Esmeralda, where did you grow up?”

E: Chuckles, “Well, I grew up a little bit almost everywhere. My parents were gypsies who traveled with the circus all over Europe. They read the Tarot cards for a living. How about you?”

K: I was an orphan, raised by Tibetan monks in the mountains of Nepal. I immigrated here to the States with them when I was twelve. They came here to build a monastery in the Hollywood Hills. It’s actually right next to a Scientology resort. Tom Cruise came over and bought an alpaca from us once. So tell me about your travels in Europe. Which country was your favorite?”

E: “I loved all of Europe. It’s hard to pick just one country, but if I have to, I’ll say France. Our circus set up just outside of Paris for several months. The people, the food, the wine. I could see the Eiffel Tower all lit up at night. That was a magical time. So Karnak, how did you come to realize that you’re psychic?”

K: “Huh? I’m sorry. I was lost in thought. What did you say Esmeralda?”

E: “You weren’t lost in thought. You were lost in my cleavage! I can read your mind you idiot. And yes, there are more tattoos. Very interesting ones in very interesting places.”

K: “Ok, if we’re going to get real here, let’s get real. Yes, you’ve been to Paris. Paris, Texas where you grew up. You can drop the hokey accent now Paula. Esmeralda? Please. You look like an Esmeralda about as much as I do!”

E: “You want to get real? You weren’t psychically drawn to my booth down at the boardwalk. You read my profile on Tinder and came and found me, hoping your hokey psychic line would get me!”

K: “Listen Paula, I also know that you’ve been wondering about what’s under my …ahem..(using finger quotes) “turban” all night long.”

E: “Listen Steve, yes, I know your real name, are you as hot as I am right now?”

Karnak/Steve: “You already know I am. My place is just around the corner. Let’s get our food to go.”

Esmeralda/Paula: “And when you say “you’re place” you really mean your parents house and we’re going to sneak in through the walk out basement door in back, right?”

Steve: “I’ve never been so turned on in my life.”

Paula: “Keep the turban on!”

As you can see, being a psychic certainly could be challenging on the dating scene. But if you could be psychic and read minds, would you?

Have a great weekend! ~Phil

The Mystery of Psychic Pick-up Lines

Apparently psychics are very interested in dating. There’s nothing wrong with that. Soothsayers need soothing too. The reason I bring this up is that during the last three years I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I used to, yet one particular post that I wrote a few years ago seems to be getting a steady stream of visitors, not from the WordPress Reader, but from random internet searches.

It used to be that my post titled Real Sexting Conversations to Read In Hindi? from 2015 brought a steady stream of readers to my blog. Over the past three years when I neglected my blog and my wonderful gang of Hindi speaking followers, another post that I wrote four years ago has developed a cult following. The post, Top Ten Tuesday! The Top Ten Psychic Pick Up Lines, has over 1700 views so far this year and has similar numbers for the last three years. 1700 views in six months for a post I published four years ago?!!? That’s nearly 300 views per month! I wondered what was going on, and then it hit me; psychics are looking for love and I’m going to help them damn it!

This guy is my favorite psychic, aside from myself of course

I’m not one to ignore a good thing. From here on out I’m considering making this a psychic dating website. Who knew there was such a market? Psychics probably did. Do psychics have trouble finding people to date? Shouldn’t they already know who likes them? Do psychics have to date other psychics, or do they prefer to date people who can’t read their mind right back? These are the mysteries of the universe that I will delve into in my post on Saturday. Be sure to come back for that. Then again, maybe me and my psychic friends already know who’s going to read my blog Saturday. Thank you. I’ll see you then!

Have a great day! ~Phil

The Streetside Mail Browsers (We hate you)

If you don’t know what a streetside mail browser is, then please, let me describe them for you. Also, streetside mail browsers don’t just ply their trade in the streets, some do it in their apartment building lobby. 

This is a streetside mail browser: It’s a beautiful, sunny day and you just got home from work. You wave to your neighbor as you stroll down to your mailbox. You pull the small stack of envelopes from the box. Oh! Look at that! A card from Aunt Viv! I wonder how she is. Ooh, is that a sales flyer for my favorite store? 20% off? Oh yeah! I can do some damage to my credit card bill at 20% off! 

What is wrong with you people? Who do you think you are? Could you be more arrogant and inconsiderate? What? Does it come a surprise that others find your behavior inconsiderate and rude? Let me give you the gift of seeing through another’s eyes: 

I’m driving down the street and I see you standing in the street in front of your mailbox. No big deal. I’ll swerve a little into the oncoming lane to get around you. Oh no! There’s a car coming from the other direction and you don’t see it because it’s behind you. So you just stand there browsing your mail like you own the fecking street. Are you kidding me? Where’s you’re awareness? You’re in the street. Oh my God you fecking idiot! Now I have to stop because you’re lost in dreamland reminiscing about Aunt Viv and that time her camp chair broke and she fell right on the ground. 

What? That doesn’t sound like you? What about when I take my dog out to pee and there you are reading all your mail in the street right across from my house and my dog ia going ape-shit because she thinks you’re going to come over and pet her. No, don’t wave and say hi. Just get the feck in your house. My dog can’t concentrate. I don’t want to be out here until you finish reading your mail you inconsiderate dolt. 

Or how about this? In the lobby of the apartment building, don’t stand there blocking ten other mailboxes. I just got in out of the rain and I have to stand there watching you look surprised that you already got a birthday card from your cousin Skeeter. Nobody cares. I’m not your friend and I don’t give a rat’s ass that Skeeter sent you a gift card for Hot Topic. Get your fecking mail and go to your apartment. You don’t own the whole world. 

This has been a public service announcement by The Phil Factor. Enjoy your day. The rest of us are glad there’s “no post on Sundays!”

Have a nice rest of your weekend! ~Phil

 

 

Olympic Sports That Shouldn’t Be

As a “guy” there are few things more enjoyable than having an afternoon free to plant yourself in the recliner and click on the tv  for an afternoon of sports viewing. The average guy is about as picky about what sports he will watch as he is about what women he will date. For a guy though there are few things more disappointing than clicking on the Olympics and finding something on that’s not a sport. We all know what I’m talking about. I would like to propose rules for what qualifies as a sport. Anything that does not qualify under my rules should be broadcast on a different network. Maybe the Game Channel or The Loser Network.

Rule #1: It’s not a sport if the participant has no idea they are competing. Examples: equestrian sports: It’s not a sport if you can wear a top hat while you’re doing it.  The animals  jumping through hoops to get some sort of treat at the end are the real athletes. Who gets the prize money and trophies?

In what universe is this a sport?

Rule #2: It’s not a sport unless there’s a final score everyone agrees upon. Current “sports” that should be ruled out: Gymnastics, synchronized swimming, diving, and any kind of figure skating. Special mention goes to rhythmic gymnastics which is just gymnastics for people who are afraid of heights.

Rule #3: It’s not a sport if you do it better when you’re high and wearing cargo shorts. This rules out skateboarding and surfing.

I’m sure those of you from Australia and other countries could probably come up with several examples of things in your country that are played as sports, but really aren’t. Of course in the U.S. we generally don’t consider it a sport unless it’s played in our country and you can gamble on it.

Enjoy your Olympics! ~Phil

Olympians are People Too…Horny People

Picture from USAToday.com

Gosh the Olympic athletes are just wonderfully wholesome aren’t they? Playing a sport they love just for the sake of enjoying competition. They all deserve to be on that Wheaties box that your kids see on the kitchen table.

As in past games, Olympic officials will distribute more than 100,000 condoms to the 10,500 athletes housed in the Olympic village. That’s roughly 10 condoms per athlete. If you consider that some athletes won’t need them because they’re faithfully married, have a same-sex relationship, or just monogamous with someone, that means that someone is getting a whole lot of nooky. I wonder if the Olympic athletes have some unofficial records for some of the sports they participate in when the lights go out? And don’t you imagine that if they’re getting jiggy with it, they do it with nothing but their medals on? I know that’s what I would do.

Picture credit Slate.com

When you’re watching the Tokyo Olympics and that wholesome guy or gal is stepping down from the medal podium, aren’t you going to be wondering who they’ll be medaling with later? And if they do, are there judges holding up scorecards?

Have a great Wednesday! ~Phil

Running From the Devil: My Race to Beat Alzheimer’s

Do I have Alzheimer’s disease? No, not yet. At least I haven’t been diagnosed, but I have reasons to believe I’m at very high risk. My father, who recently passed away, had full blown Alzheimer’s and Dementia. My maternal grandmother wasn’t diagnosed, but was showing signs of it shortly before she passed away. Having a family member who had Alzheimer’s doesn’t automatically mean that you will get Alzheimer’s.

About 6 months ago I did the 23 & Me genetic testing. At the time, I wrote about my results in THIS POST, but  I only wrote about the fun stuff. What I didn’t write about then was that the testing showed that I have the APOe4 gene, meaning that I have a 30% chance of developing Alzheimer’s after age 65. This did not surprise me. It’s why I did the testing. I know, some of you are thinking, “A 30% chance and nothing to worry about until 65? What’s the problem?”

The problem is that with Alzheimer’s, there are usually subtle signs and symptoms that appear long before a diagnosis is made. Most people ignore or hide those symptoms, or attribute them to getting older. I see those symptoms in myself. If I’m cleaning up from dinner and holding a container of chip dip that needs to go in the fridge in one hand and the salt shaker that should go in the cupboard in the other hand, over 50% of the time, I reverse them when I put them away. Yes, I know that as we get older we all have more forgetfulness, but in mine I see a pattern. It’s not just putting the chip dip in the cupboard.

I  lose my big words more than I’d like. The multi-syllabic 50 cent words that impress people often escape me. It makes me feel quite lugubrious, when I want to say something and I know that I know a word for what I want to say, but I just can’t find it. (Yes, I’m trying to intentionally use big words as I talk about losing them) It’s a tangible feeling that I’m rummaging around in my head for the word and there’s a blank spot is where the word I want should be. And I can’t think of a simple synonym either! It’s like my brain has completely lost something. Sometimes the sentence I’m saying trails off or I just don’t finish it. Trust me, there are several other examples, but I’m not going to list them all. I know when something doesn’t feel right. I wonder if that might be why my blog, that I used to post to five times a week, has become something I just do occasionally now. Losing one’s sense of humor is a symptom.

If I do get full blown Alzheimer’s some day, I hope this is me.

So what am I going to do? I’m going to exercise regularly and I’m going to try to stimulate my brain to create new neural connections by learning. I intend to resume piano lessons, learn to speak Spanish,  join a chess club, post to both my blogs at least once a week, and resume table tennis, which was a passion of mine when I was younger (I once beat a guy who played in the over 40 World Championship tournament.)

Does anyone remember this movie? Balls of Fury (2007) Or was I the only one who watched it?

In addition to doing those things, I’m going to embark on a lifestyle/diet program that is supposed to have remarkable effects on preventing and reversing some of the cognitive losses of Alzheimer’s. If the results are as good as the book says, I will be very happy. Here’s the book:

Don’t worry, my blog isn’t going to turn into me preaching about Alzheimer’s, I’ll still try to write funny stuff, but I’m hoping to write about it and my journey here occasionally with sensitive humor. My dad losing his mind to Alzheimer’s over the last fifteen years, and me thinking that I might go down that same path is sobering. When I Googled “Alzheimer’s funny” to find some pictures for this post, I didn’t find the memes as funny as I thought I would. Some seemed mean or sad. Hopefully I’ll avoid that if I poke fun at myself in the future. Thanks for reading. I hope you’re having a great weekend! ~Phil

 

The Jigsaw Man Ran Out Of Puzzle Pieces

Some of you may or may not remember a post I wrote about 13 months ago titled The Jigsaw Man. If you missed it, it was about my 83 year old father who had Alzheimer’s and dementia. I thought of him as The Jigsaw Man because that’s what his brain, his memories seemed like to me, a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces didn’t fit or match up with each other anymore. He had bits and pieces of information in his head and it seemed as if he were constantly trying to grasp them but they would slip through his mental fingers. Even his memories of who I was seemed out of his reach over the past couple years.

Yes, he passed away about ten day’s before Father’s Day. What was interesting to me was that my memories of him changed with his passing. During his last several years he wasn’t the man I grew up with. Initially I thought that to be very sad, and it is, but the process of laying someone to rest requires sorting and sifting through their whole lives. Ironically, and maybe intentionally, my dad saved pictures going back through his entire life, possibly knowing when his memory was fading that he would need these to remember who he was. He missed the internet revolution, so all of his pictures are of the printed out, Kodak film type, that never got a single like on Facebook.  Something about that makes them seem a little more special.

It was good fortune that he did, because it was a wonderful reminder to me of who he was over the course of his life, and it softened the painful memories of the last 5-10 years.

One thing that my father’s disease and passing has given me is an appreciation of the here and now. We always think we have more time. My dad, who was 84 when he passed, lived a pretty long life, but from day to day, he didn’t remember most of it for the last several years. He lived in the moment because it was all he had. On my last visit with him at the memory care facility he’s lived in over the past year, in the moment all he wanted was to sit in the courtyard and feel the sun on his face. So that’s what we did, and he smiled.

Here’s to hoping that in the afterlife he’s finally getting the internet and can read this. Thanks for everything dad. ~Phil

An Amish Buggy in Chinatown

On Monday night I was staying overnight in Philadelphia for work. Despite the fact that it was named after me, I don’t actually live there. It became too much trouble fighting off the adoring Phil Factor fans (known as Philistines) every time I left the house. No privacy, couldn’t eat at restaurants without interruption, yadda yadda, you know how that is, right?

I stayed in the Hilton Garden Inn Philadelphia Center City, which, unbeknownst to me, was in the heart of Philadelphia’s “Chinatown.” (Let’s be honest, you were already assuming that there’s lot’s of things unbeknownst to me) If you’d like to read my review of the Hilton Garden Inn on Philliver’s Travels, just click HERE.

At my hotel, the hotel restaurant/bar was closed due to the pandemic. So I did a little Googling and found a sports bar within a block of my hotel. Walking down the street I passed many Chinese shops and restaurants. One thing I didn’t expect to see was an Amish buggy. Here I was in a big city, in Chinatown, and there’s a broken down Amish buggy!

Now we all know that the state of Pennsylvania is well known for it’s Amish population, and the U.S. Amish capital is Lancaster, Pennsylvania, just 90 minutes away. But the abandoned Amish buggy had me curious. Why would any Amish folks be smack dab in the middle of one of the largest cities in the country? And what did they do when their buggy broke down? So here’s my theory of what happened…

I think a couple Amish kids, let’s say Jebediah and Samuel were on Rumspringa.  Jebediah & Samuel took pops buggy for a joy ride into the big city. When it broke down they couldn’t find their AAA card, (Amish Assistance Alliance) and they were shift out of pluck.

They had a few shekels in their pocket and strolled down the street to the Chinese sports bar. (Yes, there actually is a Chinese sports bar in Philadelphia and if you want to see my full review of it, head on over to Philliver’s Travels.) Upon entering the bar they sat down and ordered an extravagant dinner and several drinks. Not knowing the shekel to dollar conversion, they didn’t have enough to pay for their feast.

The waiter understood their predicament and with a sly wink, offered a solution. They could work off the extra they owed by washing dishes, or they could take the money they had and gamble it in hopes of getting what they owed. In the spirit of Rumspringa, they agreed to gamble. The waiter led them down the hall and past the restrooms to a stairway that descended into a darkness beneath the restaurant. They quickly glanced nervously to each other before shrugging their shoulders and following the waiter into what they assumed was Hell. They passed through a doorway that was opened only after the waiter had given the secret knock.

Once inside they were overcome by the noise, activity and a thick fog of cigar smoke. It was a casino, likely illegal and populated by a crowd that probably belonged behind bars, and not the kind of bar they had left upstairs.

They were led to a table where within minutes they had gambled away what little money they had. They feared the worst as two Chinese waiters led them away from the table. They were escorted back up the stairs where they were put in the kitchen to wash dishes until they had paid off their debt. Jebediah and Samual weren’t just any Amish though. They had gotten a taste of the big city and they liked it.

The two plucky Amish lads decided to stay on as dishwashers at the Chinese sports bar (click here for my review of that Chinese sports bar). Fast forward to the year 2025  after they had washed many dishes eventually worked their way up the Chinese sports bar hierarchy to running the illegal casino downstairs and several others throughout the city. As they gained a significant amount of dark influence in Philly, they bring cohorts from their Amish community and by 2025, Philadelphia’s Chinatown will be known as Amishtown. So that’s what happened when an Amish buggy broke down in Chinatown.

Have a great weekend! ~Phil