Keep blood pressure down by pushing the serenity button
Burt's Eye View
People keep telling me things I don’t want to hear.
My blood pressure would improve to perfection if I had a human mute button. I’d call it the serenity button.
I got the idea from my television. If a loudmouthed spokesman starts a commercial by yelling, “You’ll want to hear this!” I push “mute” and walk away. It’s very calming.
But out in the wilds of the workplace, social gatherings or one’s own dining room, it’s considered impolite to clamp your hand over someone’s mouth as soon as the person says, “You’re not going to like this, but …”
That’s why we need a serenity button that mutes humans who are about to torpedo our tranquility.
I’d push it as soon as I heard someone say any of the following sentences:
Got a minute?
I know a shortcut.
You know where the couch would look good if we moved it?
This won’t hurt a bit.
It’ll be funny five years from now.
You have insurance, don’t you?
Just curious, your laptop computer that I borrowed, is it one of those waterproof kind?
You won’t believe what the mechanic found under the car while changing the oil.
Mike called with the estimate for the car repair.
I’ve never seen my dog act that way before. You weren’t carrying a hamburger in your back pocket were you?
She’s normally such a gentle cow. Well, while you’re up there, can you pick a few of those apples?
This will only take a minute.
I’ll be right down.
Is this pipe supposed to snap off like that?
Is the car supposed to make that sound?
I figured out a way to patch your favorite football jacket. It looks so cute now.
Yes, I know it’s a thunderstorm, but you better be standing outside waiting when I get there in exactly 22 minutes.
It’s what time? Really? I saw a garage sale on my way here. Can you believe they only wanted five bucks for this lamp? Stop dripping all over it and help me figure out where we’re going to put it.
You didn’t have anything planned for today, did you?
Have you seen the duct tape? Oh, and where do we keep the mop? Just curious.
It’s what day? Did I forget to tell you about the wedding we’re going to?
That’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in all my years of doctoring.
I know you weren’t planning on squeezing in another project, but you should be able to breeze right through this one.
Stay home and nap? No, no, no, I planned your weekend for you. You’re gonna love it.
You’ll thank me later.
Hmm, maybe it was the red wire after all. You weren’t really fond of this house were you?
I hear that eyebrows grow back in only a couple of months. I think your nose hairs are still smoldering.
C’mon, man, I said I was sorry.
You weren’t really planning on wearing that shirt with those pants, were you?
It’s just a little puddle. Gun it and you’ll drive right through.
It sure didn’t look that deep.
Did you hear that?
Are you busy?
You’re going to mute me again, aren’t you? Why do you keep pushing that serenity but … (silence)?
— Send your scary sentences to Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonW Cole on Twitter.