Tag Archives: Throwback Thursday

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

TBT! Online Dating! Find Your Match with Phil-Harmony.com!

(3/27/13) We’ve all seen the ads for e-harmony.com, the internet site that allows you to meet your perfect match after a questionnaire rates you on 29 personality variables. What?!!? I’m a guy. I’m pretty sure guys don’t even have 29 personality variables! I have maybe 4 tops. Now for women, I don’t think 29 personality variables is enough. In fact most women seem to have more than 29 complete personalities.

The old crackpot that runs that site has got to be making a fortune. His kindly, old, grandfatherly, “I want to help you meet your perfect partner” schtick is sucking people in like an emotional, and financial, black hole. Well I want part of that gravy train. I’m younger, smarter, and more in touch with what the young, single internet daters are interested in.

First of all, if you’re someone who uses the internet regularly, you don’t have the attention span to answer a long quiz. In fact, I’m sure most of you think I’ve rambled enough already today. Stick with me my lovelorn friends. Secondly, my personality quiz won’t waste time evaluating the unimportant, nit-picky personality characteristics like humor and intelligence. If you’re paying an internet site to find you a date then you’re already way past being picky about the little things. My quiz will just hit the high points. Even if you’re not looking for love on the web, you can use this quiz when meeting new dates. Here is the entire Phil-Harmony.com compatibility quiz:

1. Are you married?

2. Have you ever seen a Twilight or Star Wars movie at the theater within one week of its release?

3. How many pets do you live with? (a good follow up question might be “how many are still living?”)

4. During sex, have you ever requested something that caused your partner to break up with you and/or call the authorities?

5. Are your parents or grandparents biological siblings?

 6. Would a lawyer be notified if we were within 500 feet or your ex?

7. How do you feel about the right to bear arms?

If the person you’re speaking with answers “yes” or “more than one” to any or all of these questions then run for your life. If they answer no to all of them, or if you’re really tired of looking, at least a majority of them, then anything else is just minor details you can live with.

If you’re  interested in a long term commitment with me you can click my Facebook “Like” button up there on the right and you can follow me or subscribe to The Phil Factor by e-mail or on your Kindle.

Throwback Thursday! The Everyday Oscars!

The Oscars are this Sunday. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll hear my name called. If not, I’ll award myself an Everyday Oscar as I first did when I wrote this post in March of 2010.


(03/07/2010) Well, it’s happened again. I was passed over. Not a single Oscar nomination. The whole process is completely biased against people like me. Ok, I know that there aren’t really other people like me, but that does not excuse the Hollywood establishments prejudice against me. The Oscars have been handed out longer than I’ve been alive, but not once have I been awarded a gold, phallic statuette. Just because I’m not some kiss-ass Hollywood insider who’s made a movie in the past year, they completely overlook my accomplishments!

It is because of this snub that I refuse to attend the awards ceremony. I do have Oscar-worthy acting talent. So do many of you. Just because our skills don’t appear on the big screen doesn’t mean our talents should go unappreciated! To recognize the acting achievements of everyone like me, I hereby introduce The First Annual Everyday Oscar Awards! I imagine the awards ceremony will go something like this:

MC Phil: “The Everyday Oscar for Best Performance in The Workplace goes to… (fumbling with envelope)… Mark Bingham for his role in “The Overdue Report!” (video clip begins to roll on the monitor).

Mark: “Yes Mr. Whalen, I knew that report was due this morning. I was about to forward it to you when I got the call that my grandmother, the woman who raised me after my parents died, was in a car accident.”

Mr. Whalen: “Is that a Hooters napkin sticking out of your pocket?”

Mark: “Yes it is, sir. The hospital needed two quarts of my blood for the transfusion. They said I should drink lots fluids for the rest of the day. I got a little woozy driving back to the office and I had to pull over.”

MC Phil: “That always brings a tear to my eye. Next up, the Everyday Oscar for Best Relationship Saving Performance goes to… Susan Reynolds for her fantastic performance in “Whose Boxers Are These?” (video clip begins to roll).

Boyfriend: “Heather, I just found these boxer shorts under your side of the bed! They’re not mine! Whose are they?”

Susan: “Awww! You ruined the surprise! I bought them for you, but I got so turned on at the thought of you in them, that I put them on myself and wore them around for a day. Would you like to see me in them?”

Boyfriend: “Are these your skid marks?”

Susan: “Umm…yeah?”

Come back Saturday for my wildly popular 5th Annual Snap Judgement Oscar Awards. As always, if you get a little laugh out of #ThePhilFactor please share by Facebook, Twitter or reblogging. Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! Facebook or FaceCrook?

(02/18/17) Clever title, right? Take that Mark Zuckerberg you evil twerp. Based on that last sentence and my title I’m pretty sure that the Facebook algorithm will find a way to bury this post waaaay down people’s timelines.


We’re all doing it. Sometimes we do it in the privacy of our own home. Sometimes we do it in our cars, sometimes we even do it at work. It takes only a few minutes if you’re good at it. We “Facebook”.

‘Facebook’ has become a verb. The grandfather, or maybe I should say Godfather of social media is ubiquitous. (I like using the word ubiquitous because it sounds smart. Not when I say it of course. I sound like an idiot, but if you use it in something you write it’s one of those smart words that make your point seem a little better. Obviously, there aren’t enough smart words to help this blog out). As smart people say, I digress. (look at me go with them there smart word thingies) My point is that Facebook is almost universal. What started out 13 years ago this month as a geeky college student’s way to meet chicks (and I say chicks with the utmost respect for all chicks) has become almost a worldwide registry of humanity. Those of us that are on it think it’s weird when we find people who are not.


Typical conversation:

Me: Hey, can I find you on Facebook?

Other Person: No. I’m not on Facebook.

Me: Uh, what’s wrong with you? How do you talk to people?

Why am I talking about FB today? Two reasons: 1) Last night when I sat down in my recliner with a glass of wine to start writing today’s Phil Factor, I put in a Google search for “trending topics”. On one particular sites trending topics page was 9 articles about Facebook. If Facebook is the top trending topic how can I ignore it? Apparently Facebook admitted that it’s human editors suppressed articles expressing conservative views in it’s trending news feed. So of course Facebook decided to replace human editors with an algorithm to determine what news we will see on FB. Yes, people replaced by machines, again. Thank God for that. Way too many people are super annoying. I know this because I’m friends with them on Facebook.


Some statistic somewhere says that 98.5% of people get their news from Facebook. Is it good that Facebook has a computer program deciding what news we see? Because Facebook is so universally used, their algorithm has the potential to sway public opinion. Who cares?!!? We know where to get our real, biased news if we want to. We know the liberal news shows and websites and we know the conservative news shows and websites. Get over yourselves everybody. News has been biased since the first cave painting depicting Grog taking out a woolly mammoth with a coconut. (Shocker, the mammoth actually tripped, fell and broke it’s neck. Grog is a liar. Fake news! Sad!)

After reading my last point, I guess Mark Zuckerberg isn’t really an evil twerp. He might be for other reasons, but not because his website controls the news you see. Perspective is like a telescope; you only see what you point it at. Look at a different website, like #ThePhilFactor, if you want a different view. Two paragraphs ago I said I had two reasons to talk about Facebook today. I can’t remember what the other is now. Maybe I’d better go check Facebook to see what I should be talking about.

If you all want to be ironic and vex Facebook’s algorithm you can share this to FB by hitting the share button below. Have a great Thursday!  ~Phil

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.


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