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Burton Cole

Residential stability allows feeble and ugly furniture to breed

The stability of life has overcrowded my house. Decades ago, I lived a migratory life. Every three years, I uprooted my belongings and set off for a new apartment or a different rental shack. Every three years, I shoved boxes, bags and trunks into one of two conveyances — a truck or a ...

The truth about monkeys, iguanas and bathtub gin

The great philosopher Mark Twain once penned, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” Here are several real-life oddities I discovered perusing the unvarnished truth the last couple of months. * When the village of ...

If you can hear this, quit sending me earwax ads!

Like most aggravations, this one is my wife’s fault. Whoops, that didn’t come out right. I am so going to hear about this. Or maybe not. That’s how the problem started. Terry’s such a soft talker that I miss the occasional word or two. “It’s not occasional,” she signaled with ...

Living with antiquities, rarities and vintage whatzits

I grew up in a museum. I didn’t know it was a museum. No one ever stopped for a tour. If they had, we boys would have trundled them to the barn, handed them pitchforks and told them the interactive exhibit began behind the cows. Kids can be creative when it comes to getting out of ...

Peer pressure rolls right off a mature Cole and into a ditch

The more I age, the more my immunity to peer pressure matures. It’s like gaining a force field against stupidity. Oh, sure, I still do plenty of stupid things. My wife keeps a catalog of them. I am still a guy, after all. It’s just that when I do stupid things now, it’s because I want ...

Grumpy Grammar Guy begs you to stop abusing apostrophes

As a recovering copy editor, few things get my goat as much as the misplaced apostrophe. Walk down any street in the U.S. of A. and you’re likely to see signs like these: • Professional Sign’s & Lettering • Fried Oreo’s • Valentine gift idea’s • Radiator Cover’s Made ...

People milk idea of zebra cow and moove past methane

If I believed everything I read, I’d think that cows are evil, bent on destroying the world by bovine burps and flatuence. I grew up on a farm in cow country, and trust me, the cows had nothing on us pack of boys when it came to burps, gas-passing and other odoriferous hobbies. I do not ...

It’s lost forever! Wait, here it is

“I need a new knit hat for winter,” I told Terry. “Mine disappeared.” “Isn’t it on the hat holder by the door?” she said. “That’s where I put it. But it’s not there.” Terry walked to the back door. She plucked my knit cap from the far left side of the tray. She dropped ...

Predictions of flying cars, ape chauffeurs fall short

In the supposed words of the great philosopher Yogi Berra, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” That quote’s also been attributed to Mark Twain, Niels Bohr, Casey Stengel, Robert Storm Petersen and Samuel Goldwyn, among others. With a past so unreliable, is ...

Get yourself a bowl of cold cereal and check the mail

It was so odd that my wife called me at work: “You got a letter in the mail.” “You rang me up to tell me about yet another credit card offer?” “No,” she said. “Your cousin Cindy. She sent you a letter. An actual letter with an envelope, a stamp and everything.” “Weird,” I ...