Burton Cole column

Sweet talking a woman requires more than a sundae

The more a man talks, the less likely he is to say something significant. That’s the word from several experts on the subject, all of whom happen to be female. Most are related to me. According to their standard of worthy talk, I haven’t engaged in a meaningful conversation since 1983. I ...

Mom earns nervous tics from boys’ adventures

It’s not that boys intend to irritate their parents. We just have gigantic imaginations overwhelming teeny tiny filters in our brains. If a notion pops into our heads, we already are embarking on the adventure that will hereafter be known as “the incident” before any flicker of common ...

Loaner spouse good for house, bad for the husband

In retrospect, loaner spouses was a bad idea. I pitched the plan years ago in this space. In my defense, I was single at the time. I based the theory on trips to my auto mechanic. There’s only so long that you can ignore the shakes and shudders, the groans and moans, the passing of gas and ...

Survey says valentines like a box of chocolates

Valentine’s Day wings its way across the calendar this week, but according to a marketing survey more than a third of you — OK, us — won’t spend a cent on it. (The survey said nothing about the after Valentine’s chocolate sales, which is when I spend my loving loot. It may be ...

No matter the question, chocolate is the answer

Ah, February, when a young man’s fancy turns to... Actually, I can’t recall. Too many decades have fluttered past since I’ve been a young man. But I can say with some authority that a cranky old geezer’s fancy turns to chocolate. And why not? The more doses of chocolate with which we ...

Making sense of stinking scents too early in the morning

I opened my underwear drawer and shrieked. “Terry! Somebody’s staring at me from beneath my boxers!” “Shh. You’ll wake the baby,” my wife whispered. “The baby’s 32 years old and lives 10 miles away,” I shouted. Terry patted my forearm. “What has you so worked up?” I ...

Take a five-mile, uphill-both-ways walk through snowy memory

If the forecast proves true, you’re reading this with all the lights on because mountains of snow are blocking your windows. Then again, you might be wearing shorts and sandals, soaking up the sun on your front porch. Weather prognosticators were rather iffy on how much snow was coming this ...

To get good and lost, simply ask for directions

I don’t scream at the sight of a spider. Horror movies bore me. Rather than run, I relish the chance to speak in front of large crowds. But there is one thing that positively sends chills up and down my goosebumps: Someone asking for directions. I freeze. I forget if north is to the left or ...

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 ...