Burton Cole column

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 ...

Let’s chew the fat over this annual New Year’s resolution thing

EDITOR’S NOTE: One week into the new year, and Cole already slipped out the back door to go on vacation. While we track him down and drag him back to his desk, here’s a topical Cole Classic first published Dec. 30, 1997. xxx It has long been my practice to avoid all New Year’s ...

Time to turn off and tune out with Gilligan

I found the posting while surfing the Internet: It was a photograph of a lavishly serene cabin shaded by a luscious forest and fronted by white sand and clear blue waters. It looked like an upscale “Gilligan’s Island.” The caption asked, “Would you live here without TV or Internet for ...

Nobody does up joy like humans

There is no greater collection of grumps, cranks and grouches than what shows up during the joys of the Christmas season. Five more days and then everyone can stop being so snarly, take off the shopping shoulder pads, get some sleep and return to just being pleasantly petulant as usual. Well, ...

Key answer for reader

People often pepper me with tough questions. It’s because of my ridiculously overstocked storehouse of knowledge. “Thanks, professor,” the pests guffaw with relief after I’ve solved another dilemma. “Nobody does ridiculous like you.” So I wasn’t surprised when I found in my ...

Great aging, great benefits

One of the greatest benefits of aging is no longer straining to make your own excuses. For example, if I can’t keep up with a much-younger hiker, he’ll say, “Hey, good effort, man. I hope I can be as spry when I’m as ol... uh, have as much experience as you do.” If I do keep up, ...

Making peace with cat and mouse games

I tried not to gag as I picked up her still-warm gift. Molly meant it as the highest order of peace offering. It’s just that — how shall I put this? — I, unlike Molly, am not a cat. I’m not even a cat person. I’m more a fish tank guy. Come to think of it, so were all of our ...

Men not to blame for stunts

I am fat — sturdy; I meant to say sturdy — because I am married. Science says so. New research released last week shows that men eat twice as much when dining with women than they do eating alone or with other men. The conclusion, according to the study from Cornell University: “Men ...

Locked out, lost in thought

A number of thoughts swirl through one’s mind when one discovers one has locked oneself out of one’s car. Chiefly: “Idiot!” “What a ding dong!” and “Why do I keep referring to myself as ‘one’?” I called roadside service. An operator in Massachusetts, Maine or possibly ...