Burton Cole column

Getting older definitely has some upsides

I shake my head when I think back to the days I was young and naive. I remember it so well because it was only last week. I suffer a birthday every September or so, and one of those critters just scampered past. So now that I’m older and wiser, what have I learned? • “Senior moments” ...

The prenuptial compatibility quiz you should take

Question: Shouldn’t marriage licenses include mandatory compatibility testing before couples engage in matrimonial deadlock? Answer: My wife and I are fine, thanks. We’re still crazy about each other other. Q: And sometimes, just crazy? A: Well... Q: Prenuptial worksheets designed to ...

Dreamed of being the janitor

Other kids wanted to grow up to be firefighters, football players, dinosaur wranglers or things like that. I wanted to be the school janitor. Mr. Humphrey, the janitor at Monroe Elementary, was a giant of a man — he must have been 7 or 8 feet tall — in a smoky gray work uniform who had the ...

Turn off, tune out and drop into predigital thinking

My wife looked up from her smartphone. “Remember when we had to seek answers?” I paused the YouTube video. “Sure. Wait, what?” “We used to ask God why. Now we ask Google.” “Why go on faith when you can go online?” “Exactly. A few taps of the screen and boom, you have ...

I, Burton Cole, being of sound Secret Squirrel mind…

I have yet to declare my last will and testament for two compelling reasons. The first is that my heirs have seen my possessions and suggested that I take them with me. Second — and more problematic than the first point — I would have to swear to be of sound mind. Apparently, people ...

Sometimes, duct tape serves as best spousal communication tool

My wife stewed. And I don’t mean making a hearty soup in the kitchen. Oh, no. She glowered from her chair in frosty silence — which isn’t easy to pull off when there’s steam rolling out your ears. Husbands fear this moment. So I took her hand and cooed, “Is supper ready yet?” No, ...

More than the dogs can celebrate the days of August

Let me be the first to wish you a happy National Root Beer Float Day. What, you didn’t know? Probably not, if your wall calendar is like mine. August appears to be pretty bland in the holiday department. Blank, in fact. There’s nothing to do in August but melt. Not so, according to the ...

Burt says Burt can do this illeism thing as only Burt can

Burt read a report that illeism — that annoying trait of referring to oneself in the third person — might actually be healthy and beneficial. This is good news because until now, Burt thought it would be unhealthy to the extent that someone would slap him silly if he didn’t cut it ...

Sew, jest hau due ewe spill thet wurd, anyweigh?

I saw the most amazing thing on Facebook the other day. Under the photo of a cuddly kid, someone commented, “Aw.” Finally, someone got it right! “Aw,” as in “how cute,” is the interjection social media misspellers usually mean when they type “awe.” The noun “awe” depicts ...

Sew, jest hau due ewe spill thet wurd, anyweigh?

I saw the most amazing thing on Facebook the other day. Under the photo of a cuddly kid, someone commented, "Aw." Finally, someone got it right! "Aw," as in "how cute," is the interjection social media misspellers usually mean when they type "awe." The noun "awe" depicts an overwhelming ...

Hopeless millennial or a senior having moments?

I'm a lot younger than I feel. Or than the calendar claims I am. I chanced upon this happy news reading a newspaper article in which researchers rate millennials as hopeless when it comes to basic life skills. I thought I had life skills down pretty well. The truth is, I don't have life ...

Summertime and the sayings are easy

It was the great philosopher James Dent who said, “A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing and the lawn mower is broken.” You’re not going to believe this but my lawn mower is broken. No, really, it is. Besides, as the great ...

Where did all of the time go? Let’s add it up

As the great philosophers The Steve Miller Band so profoundly once said, “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future.” According to various polls and researchers, before you slip into your final future, you will have spent an accumulative six months of your life ...

‘The more the merrier’ not true for introverts

I like people — as long as I don't have to interact with any. It's like walking through the zoo: I'm amused by the exhibits, but as soon as a person escapes his habitat and charges me with a smile and outstretched hand, I run for cover. It's not that I can't carry on a conversation. I'm ...

For handsome or handy, hammer and duct tape handled most repairs

The great philosopher Red Green states, “Remember, if the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.” In that case, I am way beyond movie star handsome. I am drop-dead gorgeous. That’s why my wife did a drop-dead faint the last time I attempted something handy ...

Wake up and smell the chocolate chip cookies

Science says sleep deprivation can cause the brain to eat itself. This is why I always keep a healthy stash of chocolate chip cookies in my desk. Give the brain a choice between mushy gray cells or chocolate brown chips and my suspicion is it will chomp the cookies every time. Think about it. ...

I forget what it’s like to remember

I’m worried about my wife. She can’t remember anything anymore. She’s much too young to have grown this forgetful. I mean, she’s only... her birthday is... I should probably look that up. Anyway, the other day, I followed the coils of the garden hose through the yard to find water ...

Same words but spouses speak different languages

The times I’ve been in the most trouble at home are either for something I said or, more likely, that I didn’t say. I never know which. My wife and I speak entirely different languages. Our words are the same. We use the same syntax. Even our accents match. But what it all means — and ...

Jumble of odd thoughts excavated from ill-advised cleanup

Cleaning out the garage ranks as one of the most dangerous tasks a guy can do. The temptation to tidy tingles when the garage reaches maximum capacity. Disrupting this delicate balance of clutter can bring the piles crashing down upon you, burying you in boxes you forgot to unpack when you ...