Tag Archives: Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday! Britney Baby One More Time!

This post from June of 2006 is truly a time machine. When was the last time you heard of Britney Spears in the news? Back in 2006 she was big news every week. Also, what’s funny about this is that you could have, at any point in the last ten years, deleted Britney’s name and inserted Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Charlie Sheen, or Kim Kardashian and it would be the same post.

(June 16, 2006) Is it just me, or is everyone tired of hearing about Britney Spears? No one this dumb has been this famous since Forrest Gump. When I become President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to declare a one year moratorium on Britney Spears news. I’m pretty sure that if we went a year without Britney news the sun would still continue to rise every day and life, death, and taxes would still go on.

I don’t know the exact statistics, but judging by the amount of publicity she has received over the last two years, I would guess that Britney has been married at least six times and hasn’t gone a day without being pregnant. Also, based on the frequency of media reports, I would guess that her many children are constantly in danger of losing their lives based on her stupidity. If she wants to drive down the Santa Monica freeway with her infant child on the roof of her car, feel free to call Child Protective Services, but please don’t put it on t.v. or the cover of every magazine in my supermarket. Unless her next husband is the Pope, I also don’t give a rat’s ass who she is or isn’t married to.

The next time Britney goes a day without being married or pregnant you can let me know, because that truly would be news. And if someone could manage to snap a photo of her where she isn’t crying with black mascara running down her face I certainly would appreciate it. For god’s sake someone, get the girl some Prozac and a makeover! The other day I was home watching ABC (All Britney Channel) when they tried to slip in some crazy story about a war in Iraq. How long has that been going on?

Throwback Thursday! A Spell Checkmate? What’s Your Kabaragoya?

With the Scripps National Spelling Bee wrapping up today, I thought you’d enjoy this classic Phil Factor.

(May 31, 2014) See what I did there with the title? That was clever right? For the first time in 52 years the Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in a tie.

Kabaragoya? That’s what’s wrong with the spelling bee. There has never been, in the history of planet Earth a practical reason for anyone to use the word kabaragoya in any context. The fact that I’ve used it twice in this paragraph is already a new world record. Here’s your chance to win something. I’m trusting that you’ll be honest. The first commenter to tell me what the word kabaragoya means, without looking it up, wins a free copy of one of my books. All three are in e-book format and the two novels are also in paperback.

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It’s a good thing the contest ended in a tie. I doubt that any single spelling bee contestant has the muscle mass required to lift that trophy by themselves. It ended in a tie? Apparently after the competition was whittled down to two, the contestants both spelled twelve words correctly before it was declared a tie. Really? Twelve words? Are you telling me there wasn’t an adult somewhere in that room that couldn’t have cracked open a dictionary and pulled out a few more words?  How about if you asked the contestants to spell the word “girlfriend” or “social life.” I’m pretty sure those are terms they’re not familiar with. Did they have to declare it a tie because the competition is so physically grueling that the contestants couldn’t go on? Were they worried that the audience was in danger of literally dying of boredom?

When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law mandating that if the spelling bee is down to two contestants and they’ve both spelled two words correctly the tie will be broken by a physical competition. The first contestant to successfully demonstrate any actual dance move wins. Moonwalk, Gangam Style, Harlem shake, anything close wins.

Now I know that you may be thinking that I’m just a mean jerk for mocking these kids. I may be, or perhaps it’s just green eyed envy. I was almost one of them. Almost… That’s right, as a 13 year old I was my school’s alternate to go to the county spelling bee championships. Had I gone and won, it would have sent me to the state championship and then the National Spelling Bee. We took a written test that we never got back, so I don’t even know what my kabaragoya was. It will haunt me forever. One more correctly spelled word, or a convenient “accident” to my in school competitor and fame and fortune could have been mine. Instead I’ve just got this blog, so please leave a comment to help me overcome the demons of a spelling bee past that has scarred me lo these many years.

As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor please share by Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog. Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! Dumb and …uhh What’s That Other Word?

(May 23, 2015) I like to think I’m a relatively smart person. Of course I like to think a lot of things about myself which aren’t true, but that’s a topic for another post. (Coming soon to a blog near you, Top Ten Lies I Tell Myself!) If you’re reading this, you’re obviously a very smart person too. (Top Ten Lies I Tell My Readers) Let’s, for a moment, be honest with ourselves. It’s impossible to know everything about everything, right? So sometimes all of us geniuses feel dumb in certain situations. Some more than others of course, but there’s no need to raise your hand right now. If you’re an adult with children and they can make your cell phone do technological cartwheels while you can barely figure out how to text without accidentally calling 911 then you know what I mean.

Admittedly, I had one of those situations where I felt dumb the other night. I know, I know, after putting me up on the pedestal that you have, it must be very upsetting for you to hear this about me. I had to call the cable company for technical support and the conversation went like this:

Me: Hi, umm,..I tried to turn my TV on but it’s doing that thing where there’s a message on the screen and it won’t turn on. Well, it’s on, but there’s no picture.

Tech Guy: Did you turn it off and turn it back on again?

The I.T. Crowd

The I.T. Crowd

Me: Yes. Same thing. It did this once before and the guy told me what to do and I tried that but it didn’t work.

Tech Guy: Hold on. Let me pull up your account. What’s the last four digits of your social security number, your mothers maiden name, the house number of the street you grew up on. No, not that one, the other one, and what kind of car did your fourth grade teacher drive.

Me: Blah, blah blah (gives information) Wait, was it what color was the house my fourth grade teacher lived in? Blue, no, wait, I think it was purple. Hold on, I’m going to try something. I switched the HDMI input and connected the satellite feed into my VHS player. That should work right?

Tech Guy: Ok, I see your account here. Oh, it’s you Mr. Taylor. Just set the remote down and step away from the television. Nope. Don’t touch it. No, that’s too close. Is there another room you can go to? Just wait there. We’re sending a guy out to your house. I’ll stay on the line with you. Just take deep breaths. It’s all going to be over soon.

Me: There’s just so many cords and wires! Why do there have to be so many? Why?!!? I just plugged the coffee maker into my chromecast. That will work, right? Dammit! Why does there have to be so many?

Tech Guy: Calm down Mr. Taylor, try to breath into a bag. There’s no need for tears. Someone will be there soon. (shouts to someone in the background “What the ETA? We’ve got a Code Zulu Banshee here! Code Zulu Banshee!”

Me: (sobbing) There’s just so many. So many wires. So many buttons. Why does there have to be so many? A man should not have to go through this to watch a few Friends reruns! You know Ross is the unsung hero of that whole show. You know that right? Ross fecking Gellar could figure this out! Why can’t I? You know he was a paleontologist before he was 30. That’s not easy. Neither is this. Wait, I think I’m on to something. What is it? White you’re right, red your dead? So if I switch…

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Tech Guy: Calm down Mr. Taylor. Our guys are at your house. They’re going to come in slowly. Just set the wires and cords down and let them help you. Don’t push any more buttons and this will all be over soon.

Cable company guys rush in and disarm me taking the remote  from my hand. Speaking into a mic on his shoulder “Headquarters, this is Captain Bravo, Tactical Response Team 1.  The scene has been secured. It appears that Mr. Taylor was trying to change channels with his garage door opener. We’ve given him the remote. Situation de-escalated. We’re returning to base.”

So what are the situations you feel stupid in? Do you avoid them? Do you just give up? Do you try to figure them out? The second picture in this post is Chris O’Dowd as Roy from the British sitcom The I.T. Crowd. If you have Netflix, I strongly recommend a weekend binge watch. As long as you’ve read this far, would you mind doing me one tiny favor? One of my tweets is up for Tweet of The Week in a Chicago Tribune poll. Could you click THIS LINK and vote for me?

Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! Kanye Worst…Human Being Ever

(Feb. 20, 2016) “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove doubt” ~attributed to either Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain.

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Just like Kanye Worst, I break the rules. In this case I broke my own rules against torturing people with GIFs, but Kanye is so horrible that I had to do something equally horrible. If any human has ever embodied the Abe Lincoln/Mark Twain quote better than Kanye Worst, I have no idea who it is, although Donald Trump is gaining fast.

Apparently last week was Kanye Worst Week and nobody told me. I don’t think anyone told Kanye either, he just forced himself upon the public consciousness whether we wanted it or not. We didn’t.

Let’s review the last week in the life of Kanye Worst”

Feb. 10: At an album release party/fashion show in NYC he announced that he’s creating a video game about his late mother “traveling through the gates of heaven.” If Kanye Worst makes a video game it should be called Call of Doody.

Feb. 11: He rented out Madison Square Garden and stocked it with 700 models to promote his clothing line and release his new album at the same time. A line from one of his songs says, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made that bitch famous.” I assume he’s talking about Taylor Swift, with whom he has an ongoing public feud, and not me. I hope.

Feb.13: Kanye Worst was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, of whom he once said in a song in 2010, “Fuck SNL and the whole cast / tell ‘em Yeezy said they can kiss my whole ass.” At least it rhymed.

Feb. 13: Tweeted that he’s $53 million in debt. 

Feb. 14: Used Twitter to ask Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg to invest a billion dollars in him. Hey Kanye, maybe next time you want money from Facebook you should try sending a Facebook message.

Feb. 14: At the Grammy Awards, where Taylor Swift won one and Kanye Worst did not, again, Taylor Swift took a shot at Kanye by saying, “there are going to be people along the way who are going to try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame,”

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Ok, I’m only four days into the last week of Kanye Worst’s life and I’m tired of him already. You’re getting the gist though, right? He’s been a busy asshat. But at least he’s consistent. Here’s some more of his “hijinks”

2004: Stormed out of the American Music Awards after another artist won the Best New Artist award.

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2005: During a live televised fundraising concert for Hurricane Katrina, Kanye Worst took the stage with comedian/actor Mike Myers and went completely off script on a one minute rant about the media’s portrayal of African-American survivors of the tragedy and concluded by saying “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

2006: At the MTV Europe Music Awards he crashed the stage and launched into a profanity laced rant after someone else won the Best Hip Hop Artist Award.

2009: Interrupted Taylor Swift on stage who was accepting her MTV Music Award for best video to rant that Beyonce’ deserved the award.

2013: Named his daughter North West.

Seriously, who has a problem with Taylor Swift? That’s like hating Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. I so wish I had the time and patience to take a picture of Dorothy and the Wicked Witch of the West and photoshop Taylor and Kaye’s heads into it. Picture that and laugh to yourself.

2018 update: And on May 1 of 2018 while visiting TMZ headquarters Kanye referred to “400 years of slavery” as a “choice.”

You’ve got to give the man credit for consistency though. He’s dedicated. That’s over a decade of being a public nutjob. I can’t really say that he’s the worst human being ever because there’s still Bill Cosby and serial killers, but Kanye is definitely climbing that list. I believe that he has earned the name Kanye Worst. When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, Kanye will probably storm the stage and protest, but after that I will officially change his name on all legal documents to Kanye Worst, and I will decree that in the dictionary next to the word asshat there will be a picture of him.

Ironically, Kanye Worst himself would probably be proud of a rant like this. Kanye, if you’ve got a problem with me feel free to tweet me. Maybe I’ll give you that billion. Have a great Thursday everybody! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! Speedos, Cigs and Vespas: Why the Europeans are Better Than You

(09/20/2011) Believe it or not, TSA allowed me on a flight to Europe last week. I think they were hoping I only had a one way ticket because I definitely had an easier time getting out of the U.S. than back into it. My job took me to Spain and I managed not to get into a fight with any one from any country. Apparently The Phil Factor is universally adored.

The trip however, was an education.

1. Europeans are not afraid of lung cancer. How cool is that? In the long run that isn’t a bad thing either because it will result in fewer Europeans. Apparently word that cigarettes are bad for you hasn’t reached Europe yet. The Europeans love their cigs just about anytime of day anyplace they are no matter what they’re doing. The world class hotel I stayed in even had an entire floor of rooms set aside for smokers. Fortunately although I am not a smoker, I was graciously placed on the smoking floor so that I could enjoy the wonderful European ambience.

2. Europeans aren’t afraid of skin cancer either. Based on my observations I think  Europeans are in better physical shape than Americans and they are damn proud of it, especially at the beach in front of my hotel where clothing was optional. Unfortunately much of their pride in their bodies was sadly overestimated by the owners of many of those bodies. There needs to be an upper age limit imposed for beach nudity. And the dudes over there seriously love their Speedos. I saw a guy jogging in a Speedo, and he was smoking at the same time.

3. 9 o’clock is the new 4 o’clock: I think I figured out why the Europeans are in better shape than we are. They eat at weird times. They don’t lunch until about 2 pm and dinner until 9 or 10 pm. If I had to wait until 10 pm for my dinner, most days I would either pass out from low blood sugar or just plain fall asleep and miss the meal altogether.

4. The Euro rocks: The American dollar may buy less and less these days, but the Euro is awesome. One Euro is like $40 American! Do you know how many Speedos you can buy with a Euro? Me neither. I swear.  Apparently all the Europeans spend their Euro’s on Speedos, cigs and Vespas.

If you enjoy my nonsense and want to travel to far away exotic lands through the power of reading you can subscribe to The Phil Factor on your Amazon Kindle and follow me on Twitter @ThePhil Factor.

Throwback Thursday! Distraction Action

(03/24/12) Distraction Action is a lot like Conjunction Junction. Who remembers that? Sing it with me! “Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?”  There you go, now it’s in your head for the day. When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law against eating or smoking while driving. Yes, I know this is going to make some people mad. I have friends who smoke. I even have friends who eat.  I’m not opposed to smoking or eating if both are done in moderation.  I am opposed to unfair laws.

Over the past several years we’ve seen many laws passed to decrease distracted driving. Isn’t putting a stick in your mouth and lighting it on fire at least slightly distracting while driving? About 25 years ago my friend Bob went through a phase where whenever we got together and went out to a bar and played pool he would leave the room and return moments later with a pack of cigarettes. We weren’t smokers, or pool players for that matter, but we would smoke just one or two while we drank beer and played pool. I have no idea how smokers do it. Maybe I was bad at smoking or pool, probably both, but half of the time I couldn’t see what shot I was trying to make because of the smoke in my eyes.  If I can’t hold my cell phone next to my ear while my eyes are fully fixed on the road I don’t see why smokers are allowed to drive while smoke drifts into their eyes. Yes, I know all you smokers will hate this law because you’re running out of places you can legally smoke in public, but hey, guess what? Yeah, it’s your car, but the roadways are public and like I said, I’m not opposed to smoking, I’m opposed to you running into me because you accidentally lit your mustache on fire because you had to get in just one more cig before work.

Like I said, it’s not just smokers who are going to dislike my legislation. It’s eaters too. I’m an eater. The first step is admitting. My name is Phil and I eat and drive. I shouldn’t eat and drive. It’s distracting. It is virtually impossible to get the nugget in the little cup of dipping sauce unless you look down. And cutting your steak is almost impossible while driving. Once I actually saw someone eating corn on the cob while driving. At 8 a.m.! I’m not sure which I’m more appalled by. What’s even worse is that if I hit a rough patch of road my chocolate fountain keeps tipping over, which I find very distracting.

Although my proposed legislation is likely to be somewhat controversial, I’m confident that when I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, my overwhelming popularity will make it an easy sell. #PHIL2020

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! Do You Smell Like a Sociopath?

(03/25/2017) I do. I smell exactly like a sociopath, and you might too.

One line in and I’ve got you wondering, what type of odor do sociopaths give off, and why does Phil smell like one? That’s exactly what I want you to be thinking, because I’m a sociopath and I enjoy manipulating people.

So how exactly do sociopaths smell? Mostly like Axe body spray. Just kidding of course. Only a sociopath like me would slander a popular product and the millions of Tap Out t-shirt wearing, man-bun having guys who use it.

The truth is that sociopaths smell very badly. It’s kind of a minty eucalyptus smell mixed with mustard. No it’s not. Actually, I wouldn’t know what sociopaths smell like because I’m one of them.  If you want to find a sociopath, follow your nose, unless you are a sociopath.

A clinical study showed that people with a poor sense of smell score highly on ratings of sociopathic tendencies. It seems that the area of the brain, the amygdala, that plays a part in social skills is also connected to our ability to differentiate smells.

At a meeting:

Normal person: “Ewww! Who farted? Geez that’s terrible.”

Sociopath: “What? I don’t smell anything.”

In that scenario the sociopath might be telling the truth, but is also lying because he did fart and didn’t care if it bothered anyone.

Imagine the usefulness of this information. At airports instead of pat downs, searching luggage and lengthy interviews, the security agents could now just blindfold the suspicious character and have him or her smell things.

Airport security: Ok, sir. Please step aside. We’re going to blindfold you and have you smell things. (Blindfolds sociopath) Ok, I’m going to put three things near your nose and I want you to tell me what they smell like. Here’s the first one:

Sociopath: Hmm…this is difficult. I think it smells like…umm… a rose.

Airport security: Nope. It was dog poop. Ok, here’s the next one…

Sociopath: Aaah…this is much better. I’m sure about this one. It’s got to be cinnamon.

Airport Security:  (big sigh) No sir, that’s vinegar. Ok, you’ve got one more. Here it is…

Sociopath: Aha! Finally one I know. There’s no doubt about it. That’s Axe body spray and the scent is Phoenix. My favorite!

Airport security: Cuff him!

He was one in Gone Girl and might be one in real life. How could he cheat on poor, beautiful Jen?

Even though the study is about four years old, I heard this information this week and immediately thought of myself. All my life my sense of smell has been  my weakest sense. Also, earlier this week I was discussing with a friend that almost habitually I’m thinking of crimes I could get away with if I was evil. A lot of times when I walk into a store I ‘case the joint’, noticing security cameras, exits etc. I previously thought that it was my writer’s mind gathering details that will be used with fictional characters in the future, but now I wonder if maybe I’m just a sociopath that hasn’t gone bad yet. Hmm… I wonder if a crime spree would boost sales of my books? See? That’s exactly what a sociopath would think! So, what about you? Do you smell like a sociopath?

Before you go, the Annual Bloggers Bash is coming up in May and if you enjoy my work, I’d love a nomination for the Funniest Blogger award. You can do so by clicking HERE.

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil