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Burton Cole

Spit-shined and ready to grow up with wife’s advice

I am my wife’s oldest son. I don’t know when the transformation happens but it’s an affliction most husbands suffer. One moment, our wives chat about how they fell in love with our boyish charms. The next, they’re spit-washing cereal off our cheeks and ordering us to tuck in our ...

’Tis the season for baggy pants

’Tis the season to break out the holiday wear. I don’t mean ties imprinted with Santa’s chubby cheeks, and red and green sweaters littered with snowflakes. Let’s wait until December for that. I’m talking about pants that are two sizes too large and sweatshirts marked 3XL. If they ...

Introverts unite! Separately. At home.

My phone rang the other day. I held it in my hand and stared at the screen. “Aren’t you going to answer it?” my wife asked. “I... I...” I gulped. “No.” “You don’t recognize the number?” she said. “Sure. It’s Ralph. But I need at least 30 minutes to psych myself up to ...

The war wages for control of coveted thermostat

Terry snugged the hoodie around her head and burrowed her hands deep into the pockets of her quilted vest. “You look comfy,” I said as I zipped my parka and pulled on ski gloves. “It sure has gotten cold,” she said. Puffballs of steam rolled across the frigid air with every ...

Pogo Possum and his friends speak words of wisdom

“We are confronted by insurmountable opportunities.” So commented Walt Kelly, the genius behind “Pogo,” one of the all-time great newspaper comic strips featuring both satire and wordplay. Pogo Possum, Churchy LaFemme, Porky Pine and the rest of the Okefenokee Swamp gang butchered ...

When girls grow up, you become Ken

Terry shook a bundle of clothes loose from the whopping plastic bag. “You wouldn’t believe the bargains I found at the rummage sale today.” I groaned. “How many times have I explained this? Buying a $20 shirt at 25 percent off doesn’t save you $5. It makes you spend $15 that could ...

Everyone mumbles too much in upper middle age

“Sweetie, can you come here a minute?” I think that’s what she said. The older my wife gets, the harder she is to hear. “Be right there.” I rocked my easy chair once, twice, three times. When I reached sufficient momentum for launch, I fumbled out of the old thing amid much ...

Pondering some of life’s imponderable questions

If Wile E. Coyote could afford all those rockets, anvils, skates, skis and cannons from the Acme Co., why didn’t he just order dinner? What would the speed of lightning be if it didn’t zigzag? By the way, what’s the speed of dark? How did that “Keep off the grass” sign get ...

October has much more to offer than Halloween

Oh, those crazy, hazy days of October silliness. Allow me to be the first to wish you a happy Mad Hatter Day! Now go do something silly. Mad Hatter Day isn’t marked on your calendar? You need a new calendar. The year is jammed full of weird, odd, unusual and otherwise quirky celebrations ...

Drive minus athletic ability equals disaster

When it comes to sports, I possess tons of competitive drive. But I misplaced my only ounce of athletic ability. In an elementary school football game, I was wide open for a touchdown pass. I ducked. On my junior high basketball team, I charged the lane and leaped. But I’d lost the ball ...