Burton Cole column

Brainpower loses punch as the years roll on by

I used to have a brain. I never took advantage of it. When my ability to think bubbled at full capacity, I squandered my gift in calculating which pizza place gave me the best deal per ounce and number of toppings, and memorizing the phone numbers of all the shops. (We didn’t have ...

Snake-bit surprises bring bad news

Thoughtfulness is a dangerous business. I know. Never am I in more trouble than when I attempt to commit an act of kindness. Especially if my spouse is the intended kindee. I’m not alone. I read in the news last week that a guy named Bill dropped by the lawn and garden section of a home ...

Color him blue over reclaiming man cave

“All you have to do now is choose the paint color.” “Blue.” But of course, wall paint comes in colors dubbed “Flyaway” and “Calypso” and “Capri” and “Sky Fall,” but never, ever just plain “blue.” I rubbed my temples. Why, exactly, must the room be painted ...

Updates upload only much electronic frustration

When I was a kid, I believed that tiny people — fairies, probably — lived inside television sets and staged the shows. Now that I’m an adult, I know the truth. The tiny people — gremlins, probably — live inside my laptop computer and pull the ever-annoying “New! Improved!” ...

World day to garden naked fraught with thorny perils

Saturday marks World Naked Gardening Day, the annual rite when we all tend to the flora while we flaunta the plots normally planted (wisely) beneath our clothes. What? You didn’t know about World Naked Gardening Day? That’s a relief. Now I don’t have to drive while wearing a blindfold ...

Accidental discoveries heated his backside

Necessity, it is said, is the mother of invention. But it seems to me that some of our greatest discoveries were stumbled upon by accident. Which means I should have been the world’s greatest inventor. But Mom and Dad kept interfering with science. In the ninth century, Chinese alchemists ...

Honey, I was going to do that

It’s been an interesting week. My wife traveled out of state. “There’s nothing to worry about,” I assured her. “Remember, I took care of myself all by myself before I married you.” “You didn’t sort your laundry. You ate Alpha-Bits for supper. You wore stripes with plaids.” ...

Banking on a bargain is bunk

Several fine dining establishments I frequent offer any size Coca-Colas for a $1. While I live for bargains (except on shoes — shoe shopping is an agony I avoid no matter the deal), the buying in bulk bit creates a dilemma for a natural-born cheapskate when he isn’t all that thirsty. I ...

Please, let me stay home and be bored for awhile

The sign was meant to be funny: “The older I get, the more I appreciate being home doing absolutely nothing.” Instead of laughing, I pumped my fist in the air and yelled, “Truth!” Then I gathered up the pack of payments to drop off at the post office, stuffed the shopping list in my ...

As Twain tweeted, pranks play a fool’s game

It’s probably best to stay in bed Friday. Unless you live with a joker. Then nowhere is safe. So remember, if you can’t join the witness protection program, beat them to the April Fool’s Day prank punch. (That’s not my quote. Benjamin Franklin posted that adage on his Facebook page ...

Human guinea pigs don’t pass sniff test

Sometimes a little extra cash isn’t worth it — not when it requires you to sniff armpit sweat. In one of the latest scientific discoveries using human guinea pigs, researchers have determined that close romantic partners unknowingly smell each other’s emotions. Why this is important, ...

This doesn’t smell right

It doesn’t make scents. Researchers claim that “male goat essence” is a real turn-on. A “goaty odor” doesn’t just attract females, it entices them. The report published in the journal Current Biology said eau de goat could be the amorous aromatic breakthrough we’ve been ...

Doorways, phones and fridges pull pranks

Have you ever walked into a room and but couldn’t remember why? You’re not becoming senile. The doorway did it. According to psychology researchers at University of Notre Dame, doorways act like scene changes in a movie. When you cross the threshold, the brain drops whatever thoughts it ...

You’re so smart when you sleep

You know why you hardly ever land in hot water when you’re asleep? Because you’re smarter when you snooze. Science says so. My guess is that’s because it’s harder to be a smart mouth when we’re conked out. Just like smartphones, smart mouths make us stupid. Science says that ...

Carded into cashlessness by Monopoly game

I made my greatest fortune in Monopoly money. Ah, the feeling of blue, pink, yellow, green and goldenrod bills fluttering from my fingertips. The feeling of power was so intoxicating, it made me want to buy a hotel. Or at least a couple houses. Green, of course. Apparently, that’s about to ...

Sweet thoughts at bargain prices

I am so excited that today is Valentine’s Day! It’s just like Christmas Eve, only sweeter. “Can you believe it’s almost Valentine’s Day?” I gushed to my wife a few days ago. “Thrilled,” Terry muttered, and turned the newspaper page. My sweetie is far better at disguising her ...

Whacked wording leaves lexicorn

I was buzzing toward a book signing in the next county when I missed my turn. Terry had been textracted with messages on her phone. She looked up, peered around and said, “Are you sure you want to go this way?” I pulled my attention from the comedy routine on the radio, something about ...

Getting organized sounds fishy

The first mistake was drifting into the pet store. Pet stores are such calming diversions — especially when one is supposed to be somewhere else. There’s something about the leathery wrinkles of iguanas, the ear-bending squawking of parrots and the pointless scurrying of mice that ...

Ask doc or my wife, I’m fine

Whenever possible, I take my wife to all my doctor appointments. It saves a lot of blood pressure points for both of us. It’s not that I need someone to hold my hand. But I don’t mind — needles still frighten me even after more than a half century of doctors’ offices. The problem is ...

Socks don’t get a darn

Does anyone darn socks anymore? I’m not talking about muttering mild oaths at smelly footies. I mean the old-fashioned process of mending socks with thread, needle and light bulb. In the dark, cold days of my youth, Mom never got to just relax. She blamed it on three boys ricocheting off ...