Burton Cole column

Pondering theme music, naps and other aids for new year

Random thoughts for the new year: • Life should come with background music. It would clear up a lot of confusion and possibly save lives. In movies and TV shows, when a character utters an important point, Boom! the big crescendo tells us so. We know to pay attention. If we hear the ...

Greet new year with quips, quotes and conundrums

Way back in fourth grade, I tried to calculate my odds of living long enough to see the year 2000. I’d have to be something like 40 years old — ancient! As if ANYONE could live that long. Now we’re about to welcome the year 2019, and I’ll be something like 60 years — which seems ...

Silly Old Burt learns life lessons from old toys

Alfred, Lord Tennyson once opined, “In the spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” Burton, Columnist Cole’s Corollary asserts, “At Christmastime, an old man’s fancy heavily turns to thoughts of lost toys.” It’s true. Every year, I sort through the piles ...

Pass the ball cap, honey, it’s getting a bit breezy overhead

I swooned when I heard her say those three little words: “You’re thinning out.” My buttons fairly burst — and this time not at stomach level. “Since I quit guzzling Coca-Cola and laid off downing a dozen chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, I’m down several notches on my belt ...

Most action-packed, dangerous time of the year

Christmas is the most action-packed time of the year. December is the only month that I’m permitted to handle real tools. True, the tool is only a handsaw. Even at Christmastime, I am forbidden power tools. My sweetie fears she’d lose too much decorating time driving me to the emergency ...

I spy with my little eye and whopping checkbook…

My ambition as an 8-year-old boy was to become a spy. The TV lineups in the 1960s brimmed with spy shows. My course of study included “Mission:Impossible,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” and “I Spy.” Unfortunately, my greatest inspirations were Maxwell Smart, Secret Agent 86 of ...

Rolling across the parking lot at speed of snails

Somehow, Terry tricked me into going shopping with her. I’m sure a candy store was mentioned, but we never got to one. “Let me drive,” I said. “I know where the candy store’s at.” “The last time I let you drive, we ended up at the zoo.” I smiled. “Yeah. I know.” “We ...

Give thanks for that crazy gobble, gobble, gobble song

I don’t know many Thanksgiving carols. For that blessing, anyone within listening distance can be grateful. Or maybe they wish I knew different turkey songs. Only one comes to mind, and it jiggles around my brain like a glob of cranberry sauce: “A turkey sat on the backyard fence / and ...

Trendy tiny homes put big hurt on collectors’ style

The big trend in houses is tiny. The smaller the home, the better. This is yet another reason why Terry and I won’t be turning trendy anytime soon. I’ve got too many books. I can imagine the scene if we tried to downsize to fit into a tiny home: “Seriously, I think it’s safe to toss ...

Fat birds fly furthest, proving hefty guys are physically fit

Editor’s note: The jolly ol’ elf is taking the week off. But he sent this Cole Classic first published Nov. 4, 2001, by a chubby carrier pigeon. I am not trying to disrupt any healthy habits in which otherwise normal Americans may be participating. I only offer this as a point worth ...

I’m the silver-haired youngster in the oldsters set

I’ve reached those awkward years — old enough to be showered with senior discounts but too young to retire. I qualified for AARP about a decade ago, but Medicare won’t look at me for another five years — possibly seven. And I hear that the customary retirement age could jump to 70 or ...

For a happy marriage, you may not want to read this

Ten years ago this month, two kids barely in their 40s (we were about to turn 50) stood before a congregation full of witnesses and said those famous matrimonial words: “Sure, why not?” No, no, no. Like I said, we were hitting the half-century mark. There was no time to waste on ...

Visualize yourself as skinny as a spider scurrying up walls

“Think thin” is more than an old catchphrase. Researchers in Australia say dieters lose five times as much weight by visualizing themselves slender. That sounds a lot easier than huffing through crunches, puffing through laps and grunting refusals of seconds. This is mind over matter. And ...

Map of candy treats tags Ohio as chocolate state

I’m moving to Oregon. Or possibly Arizona. But I’ll bypass Louisiana and Oklahoma. I base my relocation plans on the vital “Top Halloween Candy by State” interactive map posted at CandyStore.com. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups rank No. 1 in Oregon, followed by M&M’s and candy ...

Et’s-lay ush-bray up-yay on-yay our-yay Atin-lay

Other than husbandese, I do not speak a foreign language. (I hadn’t considered husbandese a foreign language until I saw the consternation that crossed my wife’s face whenever I tried to explain a simple concept — such as how my socks ended up next to cheese in the refrigerator.) I ...

Like socks in a dryer, sneaky ghosts spirit away my stuff

Editor’s note: Cole, a known goof-off, is on vacation. From what, we’re not sure. But he claims he’ll come back with all sorts of fresh column ideas. We’ll see. Until then, enjoy this Cole Classic originally published May 14, 2006. I believe in ghosts. What else could explain how so ...

Signs of the times trade in puns in Indian Hills, Colo.

My whole career revolves around playing with words. Wordplay is a time-honored tradition honed by such smiths as William Shakespeare, P.J. Wodehouse, Lewis Carroll, A.A. Milne and Vince Rozmiarek. The first four of those guys are famous authors. That fifth one — Rozmiarek — is a volunteer ...

September calendar filled with days of wonder and food

Ah, September, that fantastic month. And there are more reasons to celebrate than the average calendar tells you. For one, September is my birthday month, but the only calendar I’ve seen that written on is the one on my mom’s refrigerator. What else makes September great? Here’s a ...

Biscuits or rolls — same difference isn’t the same at all

As melting butter soaked into the warm softness, I gazed into my wife’s eyes and cooed, “These biscuits are marvelous.” “Rolls,” she said. “They’re dinner rolls.” “Mmbbglpleooomp,” I said as I chewed on either a biscuit or a roll or whatever. She pushed away from the ...

Columnist crams old box with recipes for chuckles

There’s an old, battered recipe box on my desk. It’s crammed with index cards, torn strips of newspaper and scraps of scribbled paper. These are odd thoughts I’ve scrawled in the middle of the night and silly stories that tickled my funny bone. When I’m running low on laughs, I rummage ...