The older you start to get, the less things make sense

I am perplexed. Baffled, befuddled and buffaloed, too.

I thought — to paraphrase the great philosopher Spider-Man — that with great age came great wisdom.

The aging thing I’ve got. My Golden Buckeye Card will arrive any day and I’m only a couple years away from being legally eligible to wear black socks with sandals.

It’s that getting smarter part that’s stuck in reverse. The more I learn, the less I know.

For example:

• Why do people who want me to buy things keep telling me, “You deserve this”?

I grew up in the epoch before participation trophies. Back then, the words “You’re going to get what you deserve” usually meant you were about to meet a whipping. Or be grounded until you were 32 if you had new-fangled lenient parents.

If it wasn’t Christmas or your birthday, the message was, “If you want it, mow a few lawns and earn it, Buster.”

• Why do people say mean, hurtful things?

“I signed us up for a 10-mile run.”

“You can squeeze it in between all the other projects I assigned you.”

“I was going to bake chocolate chip cookies but I love you enough to make beets instead.”

• When did the hip, edgy music of my youth become sweet and tame commercial jingles?

I used to cringe because to find the music that I understood, I had to tune into an “oldies” station.

Now if I’m feeling a little nostalgic for some Beatles, Bee Gees, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Spinners, Rolling Stones, ELO, or even the Partridge Family or The Archies, all I have to do is turn on the TV and wait for the commercials.

Listen, honey, they’re selling our song!

• I keep saying that I’m going to stop apologizing all the time, but I still do so. I’m sorry.

• What’s the deal with bitcoin and other crypto- currency? I’d have to learn another money language. Is this a plot to make me bilingually bankrupt?

• When something becomes “more affordable,” why does it always cost more?

To quote the great philosopher Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

• Why do people on social media keep writing “awe” when they mean “aw”? They are very different words.

And to those folks who don’t understand the difference between “your” and “you’re,” I’d like to pat you on the back and say, “There, they’re, their, it’ll be alright. I mean, all right.”

• Inside a square box is a round pizza that is cut into triangles. Is that the reason we took geometry?

• If the letter is called “double-U,” why is it made out of two V’s?

• Speaking of letters, the standard scholastic grading system consists of A, B, C, D and F. What happened to E? Was it expelled? Forgot to come back in after recess? Transferred to another school? Those academic budget cuts are ruthless.

I’d like to think that these muddy waters will clear up with a bit more seasoning. But my older friends say no: “You’ll be too busy trying to figure out how Medicare works to bother with trivialities such as why a single garment is called a pair of pants.”

Color me gray and confused.

— Get quizzical with Cole at burtseyeview@tribtoday .com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonWCole on Twitter.


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