Tag Archives: death

Throwback Thursday! We’re All Gonna Die!

687474703a2f2f63646e2e6d656d652e616d2f696e7374616e6365732f353030782f35383435323739332e6a7067

(02/16/13) “We’re all gonna die!” It seemed very funny to shout that during a fire drill my freshman year at Cicero High School. It was still funny to my friend John Martin and I after we realized our only consequence would be a stern talking to by the principal. Yes, when confronted I dragged my friend into it. He dared me to, I said.

What happened was that in the midst of 2000 students being evacuated from our high school I turned to my friend John and said, Do you dare me to yell “We’re all gonna die?” Of course John took me up on my offer and unwittingly became my accomplice when I caught heat from the man. At the time I was young and foolish with no concept of my own mortality. I thought death was something to be laughed at.

I no longer think death is funny. I generally still do not believe in my own mortality, but I’m starting to hedge my bets in this regard. Just because it happens to other people doesn’t mean it will happen to me. As my mother always said, “If your friend jumped off a bridge does that mean you have to?” Much to my mother’s eternal satisfaction I am answering NO. If you want to die, go ahead and do it, but I refuse to be a follower.

My problem is that yesterday a meteor or meteors filled the sky over Russia and actually hurt some people. Also some scientists with a telescope larger than a third world country notified us that an asteroid would be buzzing our planet today close enough to knock some branches off of the trees in my back yard. I may not believe that I’m going to die, but I’m not completely unrealistic. I will admit that an asteroid, in most cases, is larger than me and if it hit me in the head I would have a hard time surviving that. Yes, I know I have a large head, but not large enough that it has it’s own gravitational pull.

Who I’m really angry at is the scientists. Damn them and their ever inquisitive minds! Why did they have to tell me this? Did anyone here really want to know that getting hit by an asteroid the size of Rhode Island is a possibility? In this case ignorance is bliss. Why couldn’t the scientists just leave well enough alone? My entire life I’ve been at the top of the food chain and that has been a pretty secure feeling. Now this. Now I have to spend the rest of my life staring up at the sky looking for asteroids.

In general I figure that if a really big one hit the Earth I’d be fine as long as it didn’t hit me directly in the head. Maybe all this is why the scientists developed the male birth control pill. They just figured that if we’re all gonna die then we might as well start getting jiggy with it. Yes, that’s right, I said jiggy. I’m bringin’ jiggy back. In fact, that’s probably the new science geek pick up line. “Hey baby, you know we might get hit by an asteroid any minute, so why don’t you just go ahead and get jiggy with me? Obviously I’m cool enough to say jiggy, but the scientists aren’t.

When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law stating that if the scientists see an asteroid headed our way, unless they have some way to make the entire planet duck out of the way, they should just shut the hell up.

If you enjoy my nonsense and want to make sure you don’t miss an episode until the big one hits, you can subscribe to The Phil Factor on your Amazon Kindle and follow me on Facebook by clicking the Like button at http://www.Facebook.com/AuthorPhilTaylor. If you’re a Cicero High School alum click the Facebook Share button below so we can continue to reminisce together about our high school highjinks and so that this eventually gets back to John, who is probably still mad that I sold him out.

My Anti-Bucket List

download (7)

Thanks a lot Mary Tyler Moore. And I say that with the utmost sarcasm. You had to go and die. No, I wasn’t a feminist woman in the 70’s who felt empowered by your role in a TV show. I’m just a guy who hates death and hates being reminded about it every time someone famous dies.

Some people choose to celebrate life as a way to acknowledge death. There’s even blogs where people write about their “bucket list.” Here’s my bucket list:

 

 

Yup, that’s it. That empty space between these words and the paragraph above is my bucket list. Why, you ask,  do I not have a list of things I’m going to do before I die? That’s easy. I’m not going to die. Death is immensely popular. All the celebrities seem to be doing it. When celebs get old and aren’t getting the big movie roles, it’s seems that they’ll do anything to get attention. Me? I’m not a follower. I don’t live and die, pun intended, on the attention of others.

'It appears he was popped.'

‘It appears he was popped.’

I don’t see the wisdom in creating a bucket list. If you make a list of things you want to do before you die, you are #1 acknowledging that you’re going to die, and #2, what happens when you finish the list? If that isn’t the best way to notify the Grim Reaper that you’re ready to go, then I don’t know what is. And if you find yourself about to kick the bucket and you haven’t finished your bucket list, won’t you feel sad and unfulfilled?

I’ve decided to create an anti-bucket list. What’s an anti-bucket list you ask? It’s a list of things I’m going to do that will likely take me all of eternity. I figure that if I keep myself busy enough, I’ll forget to die. Here is my anti-bucket list:

Make fun of death: My modus operandi in life since I was a kid has been to make fun of things that scare me. Death, you are a big doo doo head. (you can’t see it, but I’m giving Death the finger)

Stick my toes in every ocean and every sea: There are five oceans and seven seas. If you follow my instagram (@ThePhilFactor) in the summer, you know I’m a big fan of sunsets. I want to see the sun set over every ocean and every sea, preferably while I’m standing in each one holding a cold drink.

Read Every Book That I Want To Read: Since it takes me only ten minutes to read myself to sleep every night, this one ought to take me all of eternity.

Live at least three months in all the interesting countries: That’s pretty much all of them. If you’re from another country and you want to live in the States for a few months, let me know and maybe we can house swap.

Meet everyone who reads #ThePhilFactor and say thank you for making my day. This one doesn’t seem as far fetched as you think either. This summer there’s going to a Bloggers Bash in Chicago on Saturday August 26th. Come on out and we’ll hob knob. I don’t know exactly what hob knobbing is, but I’m going to hob knob the hell out of that place!

So that’s my plan. When the Grim Reaper knocks on my door I’ll just reply, “Sorry. Can’t go, I’ve got stuff to do.” In the comments, tell me one thing you’re going to put on your anti-bucket list. Have a great Saturday! ~Phil

The Afterlife To-Do List

Yesterday I wrote that it’s disconcerting to see so many people possibly more famous and probably wealthier than me, pass away has made me realize that it’s possible I may not be able to avoid death.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have no plans to die, but as I get older I like to hedge my bets a little. Hell, if Steve Jobs FitBit didn’t help him avoid death, what chance do I have? That’s right all you FitBit nuts, the Grim Reaper is coming for you no matter how many steps you take today.

img-thing

That’s my favorite Grim Reaper. He’s from a cartoon my kids watched. I thought he was particularly funny because he had a Jamaican accent. That’s the first item on my After-Life To Do List: If I’m going to allow myself to be escorted to the other realm it’s got to be him, that Jamaican Grim Reaper. It’s impossible to stay mad at anyone with a Jamaican accent. C’mon man. It will be alright. Let me show you around. Being dead ain’t no big ting… If it’s not him, I’m not going.

Prior to my death, and possibly as soon as this week, I’m going to choose my house to haunt. Who says that you have to haunt your own house? What’s to stop me from haunting the Big Brother house? There’s always people home, so I’d never be bored. I could participate by doing ghosty kind of stuff. How great would Big Brother be if the ten dolts were locked up in a haunted house for three months? And how about if the ghost gets to choose who leaves the house each week by making some mysterious sign, like a mark on a chalkboard or something? I’m totally going to pitch this idea to the producers. I’m putting it in my will just in case I don’t get the contract signed before I pass.

59690fcc18fece3ab7fa52fe516a622a_400x400

List of people to haunt: I’m making this list and including in my will that invites be sent out to my funeral. Only the date of the funeral will have to be filled in.  I’m pre-signing the invites now  with the phrase “See YOU soon!” How creepy would it be to get one of those? Also, at my funeral I want every one there to stand up and read their favorite Phil Factor aloud.

Choose My After-Life Occupation: If I have eternity ahead of me, I don’t want to retire yet. Sitting around playing checkers with the old guys at McDonald’s in the afterlife sounds boring. In the after-life I’m going to be a real estate agent helping the recently deceased find the home of their dreams to haunt.

Me: This lovely colonial on a cul-de-sac has five of the living, four bedrooms and two and a half baths..

Recently Deceased: What about pets? I hate pets. Dogs always barking at me. Cats getting spooked when I’m trying to stand quietly in the corner watching TV. They can see us you know.

Me: So are pets a deal breaker for you?

Recently deceased: What about Jennifer Lopez? I’d love to haunt Jennifer Lopez.

Me: Oh, I’m sorry. Her house just went off the market last month. How about Justin Bieber?

Recently Deceased: Ugh. No thanks.

Phil found his time as a ghost comedian to be both odd and confusing.

Phil found his time as a ghost comedian to be both odd and confusing.

After-Life Hobbies: I never want to be all work and no play, so I’m going to be an amateur stand-up comedian in my spare time. Spare time? I’m dead. All my time is spare! See? I’m writing jokes for the after-life already. Man, I am gonna brighten that place up.

Blogging: Yup, I’m going to continue. I’ve been doing this blog for almost 11 years. Why should I let death stop me? I’ve pre-written an extra post a week for the last ten years and scheduled them to be released on a regularly after my transition to the after-life, Heck, I could be dead already and you wouldn’t know! Why else would I be writing about death?

So, as you can see, there’s lots to do in the after-life, and I don’t want to show up unprepared. What do you want to do after you die?

Have a great Sunday! ~Phil

probably wealthier than me, pass away has made me realize that it’s possible I may not be able to avoid death.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have no plans to die, but as I get older I like to hedge my bets a little. Hell, if Steve Jobs FitBit didn’t help him avoid death, what chance do I have? That’s right all you FitBit nuts, the Grim Reaper is coming for you no matter how many steps you take today.

img-thing

That’s my favorite Grim Reaper. He’s from a cartoon my kids watched. I thought he was particularly funny because he had a Jamaican accent. That’s the first item on my After-Life To Do List: If I’m going to allow myself to be escorted to the other realm it’s got to be him, that Jamaican Grim Reaper. It’s impossible to stay mad at anyone with a Jamaican accent. C’mon man. It will be alright. Let me show you around. Being dead ain’t no big ting… If it’s not him, I’m not going.

Prior to my death, and possibly as soon as this week, I’m going to choose my house to haunt. Who says that you have to haunt your own house? What’s to stop me from haunting the Big Brother house? There’s always people home, so I’d never be bored. I could participate by doing ghosty kind of stuff. How great would Big Brother be if the ten dolts were locked up in a haunted house for three months? And how about if the ghost gets to choose who leaves the house each week by making some mysterious sign, like a mark on a chalkboard or something? I’m totally going to pitch this idea to the producers. I’m putting it in my will just in case I don’t get the contract signed before I pass.

59690fcc18fece3ab7fa52fe516a622a_400x400

List of people to haunt: I’m making this list and including in my will that invites be sent out to my funeral. Only the date of the funeral will have to be filled in.  I’m pre-signing the invites now  with the phrase “See YOU soon!” How creepy would it be to get one of those? Also, at my funeral I want every one there to stand up and read their favorite Phil Factor aloud.

Choose My After-Life Occupation: If I have eternity ahead of me, I don’t want to retire yet. Sitting around playing checkers with the old guys at McDonald’s in the afterlife sounds boring. In the after-life I’m going to be a real estate agent helping the recently deceased find the home of their dreams to haunt.

Me: This lovely colonial on a cul-de-sac has five of the living, four bedrooms and two and a half baths..

Recently Deceased: What about pets? I hate pets. Dogs always barking at me. Cats getting spooked when I’m trying to stand quietly in the corner watching TV. They can see us you know.

Me: So are pets a deal breaker for you?

Recently deceased: What about Jennifer Lopez? I’d love to haunt Jennifer Lopez.

Me: Oh, I’m sorry. Her house just went off the market last month. How about Justin Bieber?

Recently Deceased: Ugh. No thanks.

Phil found his time as a ghost comedian to be both odd and confusing.

Phil found his time as a ghost comedian to be both odd and confusing.

After-Life Hobbies: I never want to be all work and no play, so I’m going to be an amateur stand-up comedian in my spare time. Spare time? I’m dead. All my time is spare! See? I’m writing jokes for the after-life already. Man, I am gonna brighten that place up.

Blogging: Yup, I’m going to continue. I’ve been doing this blog for almost 11 years. Why should I let death stop me? I’ve pre-written an extra post a week for the last ten years and scheduled them to be released on a regularly after my transition to the after-life, Heck, I could be dead already and you wouldn’t know! Why else would I be writing about death?

So, as you can see, there’s lots to do in the after-life, and I don’t want to show up unprepared. What do you want to do after you die?

Have a great Sunday! ~Phil

Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Dead Famous People I Wish Were Still Alive

I don’t mean in a Living Dead or Monkey’s Paw sort of way of course. For all of us there have been people of notoriety in their field that touched us with their work or art. Often we feel that people with brilliant talent always die too soon and although we don’t know them, we miss them. Here is my list of 10 Dead Famous People that I Wish Were Still Alive:

10. Leonardo DaVinci: In addition to his incredible artistic talent (see ceiling, Sistine Chapel and David statue, which I posed for) he also had drawn up plans for a variety of flying machines. If he were still alive we’d have flying cars and jet packs already.

download (21)

9. Russell Johnson as The Professor: Another brilliant inventor, but it’s his sunny disposition I miss most. Despite being marooned with a bunch of dolts who were no help with his efforts to get them off the island he never stopped trying to build radios out of coconuts and cars out of bamboo. The world needs more Professors like that.

8. Robin Williams: He could make anything funny. A truly brilliant shining talent. Read my Robin Williams Ten Best Roles post.

7. Stuart Scott, ESPN anchor: He livened up the sports news by saying things  like a player was as smooth as “straight butter” and under pressure a player might be “cooler than the other side of the pillow.” His reporting was peppered with old phrases used in new ways and new phrases you had never heard before but you knew immediately how clever they were. Whether you were a sports fan or not, Stuart was a poet who passed away too soon for his fans and his family.

Seuss-cat-hat

6. Theodor Seuss Geisel: Better known as Dr. Seuss. He created rap before rapping was cool. Go ahead, read any of his books to a rap cadence. It’s hilarious and it works. His ridiculous rhymes and imagination spawned so many memorable characters. There’s been no one like him since. For a public speaking class in college I read a Dr. Seuss book dramatically. It was awesome. Especially my mic drop at the end. I still own a Cat in the Hat tie.

5. Steve Jobs: Read my ode to Steve Jobs, the obsessive, intense creative mind behind the rise of Apple,  Willy Wonka for the iGeneration which I penned in 2011 shortly after his passing. Were he still alive our iPhones would also dispense Doritos. (Seriously, click the link and go read it. I’m pretty proud of that piece. It didn’t even get a single like. I had no followers back then)

4. Len Bias: One of the ultimate “what might have been” people. When I was a kid he was a sublimely talented collegiate basketball player for the University of Maryland who I thoroughly enjoyed watching. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics and two days later died of a cocaine overdose at 22 years of age. He had all the talent in the world and a bright future that I was looking forward to watching.

3. Windell MIddlebrooks: His passing may not have made headlines, but Hollywood will miss him. The consummate character actor, he was in a million things you’ve seen and have never known his name. He’s one of those actors where you see him and say, Oh, that guy. I’ve seen him in stuff before. Not everyone can be a star. The world needs character actors, which is what most of us really are. Rest in Peace Windell we will miss you,

download (22)

2. Ernest Hemmingway: He was the first rock star author out partying with the debutantes in Paris, and his books totally rocked. I remember reading The Old Man and the Sea in one sitting.

download (23)

1. Shannon Hoon: Lead singer of the band Blind Melon. That’s not him in the bumblebee suit. I liked their two CD’s in the 90’s and was disappointed that I’d hear their music no more after his death in 1995. Shannon was not my favorite musician ever, but for this list he can serve as a representative for all the musicians who have perished too soon.

So who is your favorite dead famous person that you wish was still around doing what they did? Have a great Tuesday and stay alive. Just like Tinkerbell, every “Like” click I get on my blog is like a clap that keeps me alive.

Top Ten Tuesday! The Top Ten Ways Not To Die

john

The guy in the picture is comedian John Pinette. You may not recognize him or his name, but you probably know him from one brief role. Remember the Seinfeld series finale that was two episodes? Remember the plot was that Jerry and his friends were put on trial for making fun of and not helping an obese man who was being carjacked. That obese man was comedian John Pinette who I met once at a comedy club in Boston. He died yesterday. I have no plans to follow him. I didn’t write this in time to save John, but maybe I can help you. Here are ten ways to postpone your death as long as possible:

10. Don’t run marathons. A study came out last week that basically said that running long and hard actually damages the heart. It also showed that on average marathoners had shorter lifespans. Stick to your local charity 5k and don’t run too fast and you’ll be fine. So far I’ve got this one covered. There’s a little sticker on the back of my car that says “0.0”

9. Don’t grow a long beard: Fortunately for most of the ladies reading, this one is easy. In 1567 Austrian Hans Steininger had the worlds longest beard at 4 feet. One day his house caught fire and in his haste to escape he tripped over his beard, falling and breaking his neck. Me? Just a short goatee. I’m good.

8. Hydration is important, but not too important: You know all those diets and health studies that advise drinking a lot of water? In 2007 Jennifer Strange of California died of water intoxication while trying to win a Wii console. It was a radio station contest called “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” where contestants drank as much water as they could and tried to hold their wee the longest. That pretty much sums up a regular day at work for me.

7. Dark chocolate and red wine: This one’s no joke. Red wine and dark chocolate in small amounts each day are good for your heart. Everything else in the world causes cancer.

6. Don’t be too stubborn about being right: A guy working in an office in the Toronto Dominion Center told visitors that the glass windows of the building were unbreakable. To prove it he threw himself against the window, which popped out of it’s frame and he fell 24 stories to his death. To his credit, the glass didn’t break.

5. Don’t date Oscar Pistorious: I’m pretty sure that guy’s kind of a jerk.

4.  Floss your teeth! Apparently regular flossing can add 3-5 years to your life. I wonder, if I floss three times a day do I add 15 years to my life?

3. Beavers don’t appreciate selfies: In 2013 a Belarusian fisherman was killed when while attempting to take a a picture of himself with a beaver. The beaver bit him, severing an artery and the man bled to death. Lesson: always ask permission if you’re including someone, or something, in your selfie.

2. Baby got back: A study done at Oxford University showed that women with a more junk in the trunk are at lower risk for heart and metabolic diseases.

1. Read The Phil Factor: I fancy myself to be at least moderately humorous at times and I hope you do too. Studies show that regular laughter leads to a longer life. Take two Phil Factors and I’ll see you in 50 years.

If you enjoy #ThePhilFactor please share by hitting one of the social media buttons below. Have a great day! ~Phil

Fake Your Own Life

If you are reading this I may already be dead. That’s an attention grabber eh? You know how some people fake their own death to get out of debts, marriages, or legal situations? I plan to fake my own life. Heck, most people are already faking their own life on social media, so why not take advantage of the modern technology?

facebookgrave

The miracle that is social media will let me live on forever whether I actually do or not. Here’s my plan: Because Facebook let’s you write, save and schedule statuses to post to your page, I’ve already scheduled thousands of Facebook posts, Happy Birthdays and all, to cover many, many years. Don’t worry, I’ve also photographed a lot of meals and selfies that will appear on Instagram until I’m at least a hundred years old. Through Hootsuite I’ve scheduled tweets for my Twitter account. Trust me, you’ll want to follow me. They’re hilarious. On WordPress I’ve written hundreds of blog posts that are scheduled to be released for years to come. The Phil Factor will never die.

In the event that I outlive you I’d like all of you to take these steps now as well. Death is sad and I really don’t want to tolerate unpleasant feelings of loss. I think that if everyone did this the world would be a happier place.

As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor please share by Facebook, Twitter or re-blogging. You’d better at least hit like because if I’m already dead my ghost may come to haunt you.  Have a great weekend! ~Phil