Some old questions ring in new year

So what do batteries run on? Why do the instructions never state, ”Open over there?” Come to think of it, how do instructions know we’re ”here” and not “there?”

If a mime is arrested, does he need to be reminded he has the right to remain silent?

I stumbled over perplexities like these all through 2013. My goal for 2014 is to find out. In fact, I have a whole list of imponderables to ponder in the the new year.

For example, how does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work in the mornings?

How long is a short story? Why is that whenever someone says, ”To make a long story short,” it’s already too late? Should the phrase really be, ”To make a short story a novel …?”

Just wondering, where in the world IS Carmen San Diego? Is there a North San Diego? Is Carmen San Diego east of there?

Who were those little guys helping Santa last week? Subordinate clauses?

Speaking of literary puzzles, why isn’t “palindrome” spelled “palindromeemordnilap?”

Is there another word for synonym? Or what’s another word for thesaurus?

Why do we read left to right, but turn pages right to left?

If a poet writes backward, is it inverse? Is that like that old joke that if you play a country song backward, your get your truck back, your dog back and your sweetie back.

Something else I hope to find out in the new year: Why doesn’t what goes around get dizzy and fall over before it comes around?

If olive oil comes from olives and coconut oil comes from coconuts, where does baby oil come from? And why does my car leak motor oil instead of engine oil?

Just wondering, why get even, when you can get odd? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and you get rid of all but just one, what do you call it? An even?

Can you make just one amend?

What exactly does totally partial mean?

Do fish get cramps after eating? If amphibians have a picnic, do they have to wait an hour before getting out of the water?

Just wondering, why does something have to burn up to burn down? Why is filling in a form filling it out? How is it that when an alarm’s on, it’s called going off?

Why is it that when stars are shining, we say they’re out, but when we say the lamp’s out, it’s because it’s no longer shining?

How come we don’t recite at a recital and play at a play??Instead, we play at a recital and recite at a play.

Just wondering, was the Maharishi who refused Novocain really trying to transcend dental medication?

If it’s a boxing ring, why is it square? Was my kindergarten teacher wrong about the shape of squares?

Was the fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table called Sir Cumference? Did he get that way from eating too much pi? If Sir Cumference squared pi, would he become a boxing ring?

Just wondering, if it takes 2,000 flushes to get rid of it, why buy it in the first place?

If I went shopping for a camouflage outfit, would I be able to find one?

Just wondering, will I find the answers in 2014? If not, I hope you have a wonderful New Year anyway.

—- Answer Cole’s questions at or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.