Burton Cole column

Wondrous words from children

Why doesn’t God have a cellphone? That’s a question that stumped my friend Lisa the other day. “I’m 73,” she told me. “I was talking to my 5-year-old granddaughter about Heaven because I didn’t want her to be sad when I’m gone. I told her I’d be watching over her from ...

Watch out for black holes in garages, tables, purses

The big news in science this past week was the release of the first photographic image of a black hole. Black holes are those outerspace phenomena that make things disappear. Anything caught in the gravitational pull of a black hole gets sucked in with no hope of return. Just like my ...

Put on pizza when the IRS comes to arrest you

I don’t mean to alarm you, but I need $10,000. Quick. Otherwise, I’m gonna get arrested. See, I got this extortion notice with an official CIA logo pasted at the bottom. For $10,000, the technical collection officer who signed promised that he can make my name disappear from the case file ...

Spring splendor sits in baselines

It’s not the groundhog, the daffodils nor March 21 that tells me when spring has sprung. And it’s definitely not the weather. As the great philosopher Charles Dickens wrote, “Spring is the time of the year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.” Or as the great ...

Words are important so use this guide frequently

That great philosopher Mark Twain once mused, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter — ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Exactly. One of those two things is what kids put into jars during the summer to ...

A cellphone’s alarms can tell a lot about its owner

Few things bring out the blush in your cheeks like forgetting your cellphone at someone else’s place. It gives your friends hard evidence of something they’ve long suspected — your synapses are firing a couple of spark plugs short. “Poor ol’ George,” they’d say — providing ...

Cow tipping no joke but there are plenty to go around

Amid a bludgeoning of news about floods, fires, assaults, walls, cheats, liars, murders and other mayhem, a pastoral headline went largely overlooked: Oklahoma City’s airport no longer is selling cow-tipping T-shirts. After more than 10 years, Will Rogers World Airport has sold out of ...

Sweet talking a woman requires more than a sundae

The more a man talks, the less likely he is to say something significant. That’s the word from several experts on the subject, all of whom happen to be female. Most are related to me. According to their standard of worthy talk, I haven’t engaged in a meaningful conversation since 1983. I ...

Mom earns nervous tics from boys’ adventures

It’s not that boys intend to irritate their parents. We just have gigantic imaginations overwhelming teeny tiny filters in our brains. If a notion pops into our heads, we already are embarking on the adventure that will hereafter be known as “the incident” before any flicker of common ...

Loaner spouse good for house, bad for the husband

In retrospect, loaner spouses was a bad idea. I pitched the plan years ago in this space. In my defense, I was single at the time. I based the theory on trips to my auto mechanic. There’s only so long that you can ignore the shakes and shudders, the groans and moans, the passing of gas and ...

Survey says valentines like a box of chocolates

Valentine’s Day wings its way across the calendar this week, but according to a marketing survey more than a third of you — OK, us — won’t spend a cent on it. (The survey said nothing about the after Valentine’s chocolate sales, which is when I spend my loving loot. It may be ...

No matter the question, chocolate is the answer

Ah, February, when a young man’s fancy turns to... Actually, I can’t recall. Too many decades have fluttered past since I’ve been a young man. But I can say with some authority that a cranky old geezer’s fancy turns to chocolate. And why not? The more doses of chocolate with which we ...

Making sense of stinking scents too early in the morning

I opened my underwear drawer and shrieked. “Terry! Somebody’s staring at me from beneath my boxers!” “Shh. You’ll wake the baby,” my wife whispered. “The baby’s 32 years old and lives 10 miles away,” I shouted. Terry patted my forearm. “What has you so worked up?” I ...

Take a five-mile, uphill-both-ways walk through snowy memory

If the forecast proves true, you’re reading this with all the lights on because mountains of snow are blocking your windows. Then again, you might be wearing shorts and sandals, soaking up the sun on your front porch. Weather prognosticators were rather iffy on how much snow was coming this ...

To get good and lost, simply ask for directions

I don’t scream at the sight of a spider. Horror movies bore me. Rather than run, I relish the chance to speak in front of large crowds. But there is one thing that positively sends chills up and down my goosebumps: Someone asking for directions. I freeze. I forget if north is to the left or ...

Pondering theme music, naps and other aids for new year

Random thoughts for the new year: • Life should come with background music. It would clear up a lot of confusion and possibly save lives. In movies and TV shows, when a character utters an important point, Boom! the big crescendo tells us so. We know to pay attention. If we hear the ...

Greet new year with quips, quotes and conundrums

Way back in fourth grade, I tried to calculate my odds of living long enough to see the year 2000. I’d have to be something like 40 years old — ancient! As if ANYONE could live that long. Now we’re about to welcome the year 2019, and I’ll be something like 60 years — which seems ...

Silly Old Burt learns life lessons from old toys

Alfred, Lord Tennyson once opined, “In the spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” Burton, Columnist Cole’s Corollary asserts, “At Christmastime, an old man’s fancy heavily turns to thoughts of lost toys.” It’s true. Every year, I sort through the piles ...

Pass the ball cap, honey, it’s getting a bit breezy overhead

I swooned when I heard her say those three little words: “You’re thinning out.” My buttons fairly burst — and this time not at stomach level. “Since I quit guzzling Coca-Cola and laid off downing a dozen chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, I’m down several notches on my belt ...

Most action-packed, dangerous time of the year

Christmas is the most action-packed time of the year. December is the only month that I’m permitted to handle real tools. True, the tool is only a handsaw. Even at Christmastime, I am forbidden power tools. My sweetie fears she’d lose too much decorating time driving me to the emergency ...