Tag Archives: Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday! Angst Away! The Cure for That Valentine’s Stench

(02/15/14) That’s right ladies and gentlemen, it’s Angst Away! The body spray that covers up your pure hatred of Valentine’s Day! Can you smell it? A day after Valentine’s Day the smell of romantic angst everywhere is starting to fade.

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Look, I don’t have all the answers in life. I’m just a boy, standing in front of a computer asking you to read my blog, which in my world equates to love. If I get that little “like” click or God forbid, (gasp), a comment, I suddenly turn into Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch. Yeah, how’d that work out for you Tom?

Back to Valentine’s Day. Scrolling through my blog feed yesterday I saw/read more Valentine’s Day angst than I’ve ever seen. Some were trying to identify the perfect Valentine’s Day, some wanted to promote the even keel approach to showing love every day, and others decried the whole holiday as a giant societal “F you” to anyone who doesn’t currently have a romantic partner.

My thought is this: Jeez, lighten up everybody. Valentine’s Day is not out to get you. It’s not out to tell you anything about your life. Do you get upset around Labor Day because other people work harder than you? Don’t be an idiot. Your perspective is like a telescope. You only see what you choose to aim it at.

Over the past several years most of American society has been completely nuts for The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad, both very romantic shows. Well guess what? I don’t care. I’m sure they’re great TV shows, but they’re not a big deal for me. If people want to enjoy those shows, great for them. It’s fun to have something in common to talk about with others, but I don’t think I’m an incomplete person because I don’t watch them and I don’t stress if I missed the season finale.

Valentine’s Day should be treated the same way. If you don’t like it, change the channel, focus on something else. I’ll let you in on a little secret.  I’ve noticed a pattern. Valentine’s Day happens every year on February 14th, then it goes away, and guess what? You’re still here and so is everyone else. You’d better keep your guard up though because St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and those happy Irish folks are also out to make you feel bad because you don’t have a shamrock tattooed on your ass. (I’m not saying I do or don’t. It might just be an example.)

Like I said, I don’t have all the answers. I have a blog and my perspective. You have your perspective too, and you can change it if you want. Have a great weekend and if you liked #ThePhilFactor show me a little love by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, reblog, or other share button below.

Picture Credits: themetapicture.com and o.canada.com

Throwback Thursday! The Day The Humor Died

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(Jan. 8, 2015)  The image is what’s currently running on the Charlie Hebdo website. “I am Charlie” I rarely go serious here and I debated with myself about how to approach this post. I considered not writing on this topic. We all hear enough about tragedy on a daily basis that I thought in some small way the humor on my blog may help others, if only briefly, to forget the headlines and laugh for a minute or two. I wanted to think of a frivolous topic I could poke fun at, hoping to help people mentally escape from the shootings, the plane crashes and the epidemics.

charlienebdo.com

charlienebdo.com

I couldn’t think of anything else though. Twelve people were ruthlessly murdered in the office of the humor magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris because, most likely, they had offended some people with jokes about a religious figure. Although I obviously don’t have the platform they do, I feel a kinship because in a small way I do the same thing as they do. I make fun of stuff in a public forum and hope that people enjoy my jokes. I’ve made jokes about religious figures and other groups myself. I type away blithely, never considering for a moment that I might lose my life because someone didn’t think I was funny. I suppose it’s possible it could happen to me. Thinking about that kind of sucks the fun out of making fun. It also makes me angry. I’m angry at the terrorists who took lives over words or pictures. Seems silly doesn’t it? But is it silly to get angry over jokes?

There is immediate outrage around the world at this senseless killing, but it also makes me wonder; is there a point at which jokes go too far? Is anything really fair game as long as you add the caveat, “don’t worry, I was only kidding. It’s just a joke”? I’ve always made jokes my whole life and sometimes people have gotten mad. Is that their fault for being too sensitive or my fault for being too insensitive? Does making a joke mean that we can exempt ourselves from considering another’s point of view?

Sony Pictures and imdb.com

Sony Pictures and imdb.com

The movie The Interview raised quite a ruckus last month. Essentially the movie was one big joke about trying to kill the leader of North Korea. The Americans brushed off complaints from North Korea. What if the roles were reversed? Would we feel it’s acceptable for another country to make a film about attempting to kill our President? I think we all know the answer to that, and I half hope that North Korea does it just to spite us.

There is rarely ever a good or even justifiable reason to take a life, but should those of us lucky to have the freedom of speech in our countries start to wonder if there is always a justifiable reason to make a joke? With that in mind, I have to consider if I should continue on with #ThePhilFactor. I’m sure that among the laughs my blog gets there may also be some people who don’t always appreciate the jokes about religion, geographic areas, or cultural groups. If I need to be responsible with my humor choices I don’t think that I can do this anymore. I guess this is my way of saying that after almost ten years, this is the end of The Phil Factor. In memory of the staff at Charlie Hebdo, I bid you adieu. Je Suis Charlie!

Just kidding. I could no more stop making jokes than I could stop breathing. I assume it’s that way for the people at Charlie Hebdo too and they will no doubt publish again. See you tomorrow! I’d love to hear your opinions on this in the comments. As always, if you enjoyed The Phil Factor, it would be great if you’d share it by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog buttons below. ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! The United States of Oprah

I hate to be a know it all. OK, no I don’t hate to be a know-it-all, but when you’re psychic, sometimes you know all sorts of things. I know most of you think I’m just kidding about being psychic, but when I keep getting stuff right, it’s hard to deny the truth.

Last Sunday at The Golden Globe Awards, when talk show host Oprah Winfrey accepted the Cecil B. de Mille award (yeah, Oprah Winfrey needs awards like we need more Weight Watcher commercials about fake taco parties at her house) she gave an impassioned speech about women fighting sexual harassment and abuse. Her speech was so impressive that people are talking about her being elected President in 2020. When asked if she’d thought about it, she acknowledged that she’s thinking about running.

This is where I come in, or rather where I came in in October of 2011 when I wrote this post in which I suggested that Oprah could become President of the United States. The following is that post in it’s entirety:

Scary, isn’t it?

(Oct. 11, 2011) Oprah has a new t.v. show starting next week. And it’s on every freaking night. Is it just me, or did everyone else think to themselves, “Oh my God! I thought we just got rid of her. What the hell else can she possibly have to say?”

Oprah Winfrey is arguably the most famous person in America. Oprah Winfrey could probably buy Switzerland and have enough money left over to order a pizza. If George W. Bush likes a book, it’s probably by Dr. Suess. If Oprah Winfrey likes a book it becomes a bestseller. (I sure hope she likes my blog) If you help Oprah lay off the carbs for a few weeks, you can get your own t.v. show and become a pop culture icon.

If Hollywood ever decides to update the ancient fable of King Midas as a movie they could just substitute Oprah’s life story. Why she doesn’t just ride to her public appearances in a Popemobile is beyond me. Was this paragraph redundant? Absolutely. Was it superfluous? I think not.

You get the point. Oprah is big, and not in the way she used to be. Her popularity has reached heights that few celebrities ever have known. Barack Obama can only dream of a public consensus like that. My question is, what’s stopping Oprah from running for the presidency? If the population is, as they say, 52% women, how could she be stopped? Scary thought huh? Then again, I might not be opposed to Oprah as President. Think about it…with her money she could bail out the U.S. economy without batting an eyelash. And can you imagine the State of the Union address when she says, “To help stimulate the economy…(dramatic pause)…everyone in the United States gets a new car! You get a car! You get a car! You get a car!” In fact, I hope Oprah does become President because that would mean we would probably see her on t.v. a lot less. (End of 2011 post)

That’s it. In 2011 I envisioned a world where Oprah becomes President. You can just call me Philstradamus from now on. Practice saying it. Phil-stra-daa-mus.  It will roll off the tongue after a few tries.

Have a great Thursday! I know you will 😉  ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! I Know Your Booty Business

(Jan. 7 2017) Yesterday at the supermarket I felt a twinge of shame. I had gone there to buy one thing, toilet paper. As soon as I picked it up I could feel the furtive glances. Others assuming as they silently passed judgement that I was silently passing gas. They knew. They knew that I had pooped and was planning to poop again in the future. Maybe a lot. I imagined that at least one of them thought to themselves, “Sheesh! That’s a lot of toilet paper for one person. He must really have a problem.” So of course I bought another item so that the other customers and the cashier wouldn’t think that I had come there just for toilet tissue. I bought ginger ale. When you do buy that one additional item with toilet paper, make sure it’s not paper towels or tissues. People will assume the obvious.

We all do it. When we’re buying any product that has anything to do with our nether regions, we feel a little embarrassment even though every other person on the planet does exactly what we do every day. Why? Why do we all get that little twinge of shame at others knowing our booty business? ( I just coined the phrase “booty business”. If I ever own a strip club, or an exclusive toilet paper boutique, that’s what I’m going to name it.)

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You’re damn right Oprah. Everybody poops. Even the Pope poops. Although I imagine that the Pope pooping has got to be a process. It can’t be easy to get out of that robe quickly. That thing is like a wedding dress. Do the Cardinals have to help him? What does he do if the urge comes on all of a sudden? Maybe he had a questionable taco late night and next morning he’s in the middle of Sunday mass at the Vatican. If you and I are at work, we can just pop off to the loo for a few minutes without anybody noticing. The Pope however doesn’t have that luxury. What if it’s an “emergency” and he has to leave in the middle of mass and forgets to take his microphone off? You thought the puffs of smoke coming from the Vatican chimney are announcing a new Pope? Not always! Pope poop problems sort of put my buying toilet paper embarrassment in perspective.

What about the President or Prime Minister? They’ve got security with them at all times! If they’re away from home giving speeches, does the security have to enter the rest room with them? I’d love to listen to their communications into their little microphones and earpieces at a time like that.

Bravo One reporting. The Eagle needs a nest ASAP. We may have a nuclear emergency, if you know what I mean.”

“Bravo Charlie Zulu reporting. We have located a nest. The Eagle has landed. I repeat, The Eagle has landed (cough, cough) and ugh. Eeeew! Jeez! What did he eat last night? Oh my God. I am not getting paid enough for this.”

Bravo One reporting. Umm Bravo Charlie Zulu, your mic is still live. I repeat. You mic is still live.”

“Bravo Charlie Zulu reporting. My mic may be live, but whatever came out of him definitely isn’t. (vomiting noises)

Do the security guys have to stand right outside the door every time a President goes all day long? When I’m the President, that’s going to cause problems for me. I won’t be able to just let it go.

Parody video by Nick L’Mao and singing by Sarah Brown

Yes, I know some of you may be disappointed that I took the low road and departed from my usual high brow, intellectual humor, but c’mon, wasn’t this funny? And in laughing about and learning about others booty business, don’t we all feel better?

As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor feel free to share it by hitting the Facebook or Twitter share buttons below. Have a great weekend and a great poo! ~Phil

TBT! On The 11th Day of Christmas

This post is part of a series I did in 2005 when I wrote a Christmas themed post every day for the 12 days of Christmas.

(12/22/2005) My sincere Christmas wish is that I’d like everyone to stop saying “See you next year!” during the last 14 days of each calendar year. Think about it. How often does some co-worker, friend, or family member gleefully shout out “See you next year!” and then laugh as if they’ve made the funniest joke they’ve ever heard? Hmmmm…let’s see, by the time I was about 7 years old I had already heard that comedic gem roughly 2000 times. This is another thing I would make a law against when I’m elected President or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first. Don’t start calling me Scrooge over this either. I showed how sensitive I was with that penguin story yesterday didn’t I? (By the way, how many of you visualized a little penguin-shaped chalk outline on a sidewalk behind yellow police tape?) I think that from now on, whenever some Seinfeld wanna-be departs my company by gleefully shouting, “See you next year!” I’m going to just as gleefully respond, “Shut the hell up!” with a big smile on my face.

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! My Christmas Form Letter To You

It’s that time of year again! The time for the year in review Christmas form letter. It’s always touching when our relatives treat us like customers. Typically these form letters take one of two directions. The first and most typical is the ‘What a wonderful year we had!’

“Dear ____________, 2016 was a wonderful year for my family. I started a new job six figure job, and my wife was promoted to president of her company. The kids are doing well. Johnny aced the S.A.T., didn’t miss a question! He’s now been accepted into a Ph.D program at Harvard even though he’s only 14. Susie was named Miss Junior America and will be touring the country speaking out against make up companies testing lip gloss on kittens. The picture on the front of the card is the new Bentley we got after winning the lottery.

The best course of action the next time you see these relatives is a swift, stunning punch to the forehead that will cause them to spill nog all over their tacky sweater and leave a mark on their forehead. They deserve this because either they are lying about how fantastic their life is, or if their life is that great then the bruise on their forehead will remind them that life is tough and they shouldn’t get too cocky.

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The second kind of Christmas letter is my favorite. It’s the disaster letter. These are the people who make you feel so much better about yourself and your life.

“Hello everyone, it is with a heavy heart that we wish you Season’s Greetings. Sadly our twenty-seven year old cocker spaniel passed away last week. He was delicious.  In more upbeat news from our family it has been a year of triumphs! Little Johnny learned to poop indoors and that rash on Susie’s face cleared up. As soon as Obamacare kicks in we’ll get her lazy eye looked at. Home schooling is going well and they both are on track to graduate by the time they’re 21. We’re so proud! Once Trevor finds a job we’ll buy some train tickets and come visit! The best course of action with these relatives is to tell them you’re moving and you’ll forward them the address as soon as you get settled.

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I would just like to note that none of the pictures in this post are from my family. If I were to write a form Christmas letter to anyone reading this it might read:

Thank you to anyone who has read The Phil Factor even once. It’s been an amazing year for me thanks to all of you. Thank you to those who have read one of my books and those who clicked Like or shared my weekly Phil Factor as well as those that have helped by giving of their knowledge. Regardless of what religion or holiday you may or may not be celebrating this season, thank you for every little click you’ve directed at me in some way.

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As always, Happy Thursday, and if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor please feel free to share by hitting the Facebook or Twitter share buttons below.

TBT! Happy Diwali! or दीपावली की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं !

In the “States” and many other countries we’re all excited about Halloween, but we’re overlooking a big holiday tomorrow. Because of the continued popularity of my post Real Sexting Conversations to Read in Hindi? I thought I would branch out my humorous holiday coverage to include the Hindu holiday of #Diwali, which is tomorrow. Before we go any further, Hindi is the language that is spoken by most, or is it moist, people in India? Let’s face it, everyone in India is probably moist all the time. It’s more overpopulated than Miami during Spring break and the average winter temp in India is 107 degrees Fahrenheit (42 C). Ok, Hindi is a language and Hindu is a religion. You can speak Hindi without being Hindu and vice-versa, but most people who speak Hindi happen to be Hindu.

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I figured that because so many Hindi people also visit my site for dating advice, like I gave in my post How Ron Burgundy Will Save Hindi Sex , that I would continue to court their growing influence in the blogosphere by writing about one of their biggest holidays. For the rest of you, here is some info to help you understand why this is such a big holiday: Diwali, or Deepavali, as it is sometimes called, (look, I know there are a lot of people in India, but why can’t you all agree on one name for the holiday? The rest of us have Christmas period. We don’t call it anything else.) is the Festival of Lights. It’s a celebration of light over darkness, or good over evil. Good over evil? Awesome. Who isn’t down with that, right? It’s like having a Batman holiday. It’s also an official holiday not just in India, but in eleven other countries. Let’s face it, if you’re not down with Diwali then you ain’t jolly. I’m pretty sure that’s going to be a saying in India.

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Why would you need “eye health safety tips for Diwali”? Because it’s like our Fourth of July/Independence Day in the States. On Diwali, all the Hindus get lit! They don’t get lit in the sense of drinking a lot, or do they? I imagine that the Feni will be flowing freely in Mumbai tomorrow as they celebrate the Festival of Lights by lighting candles and fireworks until the wee hours of the morning. Something like one tenth of the Earth’s population is in India, nobody has more than 6 inches of personal space, and on one day each year they all start fires. I don’t see how that could possibly go wrong! The fire departments in India earn their keep on Diwali. There are literally tons of fire accidents on Diwali, so read this article to help you stay safe and alive tomorrow. No one wants to leave Diwali in a funeral trolley. That’s not a saying in India yet, but mark my Hindi words, this time next year some marketing dude in India is going to make this the tag line for a public service announcement.  Here it is in Hindi: कोई भी एक अंतिम संस्कार ट्राली में दीवाली छोड़ना चाहता है. And tomorrow, someone in India who reads this will say it to their friends moments before one of them blows off a finger or two with firecrackers.

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I love the angry baby memes. I wonder if one day in 20 years we’ll see a picture of the angry baby then and now. Anyway, for those of you who are not Hindu, I hope you learned a little more about another culture today and for all my Hindi speaking readers, if you drink too much don’t get into a brawly on Diwali. Yeah, I could do this all day. दीपावली की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं ! <–That may or may not be me and my Hindi readers making fun of the rest of you. For all you Netflix watchers, go look up The Office episode about Diwali. Very funny. Have a great weekend! ~Phil