Wrap your tangled tongue around this doozy of a dotage
Burt's Eye View
I wrapped my wife into one last hug before she climbed into the car. I stood in the parking and we waved at each other until she turned into the street and disappeared from view.
I sighed, turned and shuffled back toward the office.
A co-worker giggled. “You and Terry are so cute together, the way you two dote on each other.”
At home that night, I kissed Terry hello before breaking the bad news: “Amy says we’re in our dotage.”
I dropped into my chair. “Yeah. She says we dote on each other.”
Terry smiled. “Ah, that we do.”
“I didn’t think I was a dote.”
“Of course not, sweetheart.” Terry peered at me. “The word is dolt.”
“Hey! And stop all that peerage.”
“Peerage? You mean like a duke or an earl?”
I glared. “Why are you engaged in peerage at Duke and Earl?”
“Well,” Terry winked, “they are cute.”
“Duke and Earl?”
“Yes. You are talking about the neighbor’s coon dogs, right?”
“Oh. Right.” I opened my laptop to the solitaire program. “I guess your peerage is OK then.”
“So I’m like a countess?”
“Countess. You know, Countess Teresa.”
“Fifteen,” I said. “And I’m Burt. You’re Teresa.”
I tapped the screen. “You said, ‘Count this.’ I did. I played 15 cards. I’m a counter.”
“You mean you have a hard, flat top?” she said. “With a couple of smudges where something sloshed from a saucepan?”
“Don’t get saucy. I meant I’m a counter because I count. I’m a count.”
“And I a countess in our peerage.”
I scratched my head. “Is a peerage like a carriage, only with two wheels?”
“Would you like to think about that a second?”
“It makes sense. Two wheels are a pair. So a two-wheeled cab would be a peerage.”
Terry peered at me again. “Then why would a cab with four wheels be called a carriage?”
“You’re right.” I rubbed my chin. “It’s not a carriage at all. It’s a forage. So…”
She closed her eyes. “Please don’t say it.”
“… If you take your four-wheeled cab to the restaurant, you’re foraging for food.”
She groaned. “This is too much for a countess of peers.”
I looked around. “Count this pears? I had a banana this morning but no pears. Or even a peer of pears.”
“Pears wouldn’t taste as good mixed into your oatmeal.”
I played a 10 on a jack and looked up. “What mixed outage?”
“The way you don’t fully engage is an outrage. Listen and you’d sound more sage and cause less rage. Or do we need to get you a hearing age? Aid. I meant aid.”
“I heard that.”
“Now your ears pick up.”
“Where?” I said.
“What?” she said.
“You said here’s a pickup.”
Terry cringed. “I fear that Amy’s right. We rode that pickup right into our dotage.”
I pushed out of my chair. “It peerages to be so. We’ve been hit by a dolt of livening.”
I wrapped Terry into a hug. I thought I heard her whimper. Or maybe that was just her doting on me.
— Dote on the dolt at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.