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Burton Cole

Don’t raise a stink or you won’t pass the smell test

You don’t have to gag your way down the cologne aisles to know that we are enamored of odors. Our speech reeks of fragrances not meant to be taken literally. Take a whiff of some our favorite idioms: • “Wake up and smell the coffee.” (Meaning, “Buy a clue, Mr. Oblivious.”) • ...

The Magazine Card Stuffings Wallpapering System

Editor’s note: Burt is goofing off again. While we try to find him, enjoy this all-time favorite Cole Classic originally concocted on Nov. 22, 1998. It’s time once again for practical decorating tips from Uncle Burtie, your home interiors answer man. Today, I introduce you to the Burt’s ...

Men knew things before YouTube

When I was a boy, men knew how to do things. You didn’t hire mechanics or carpenters. You fixed and built stuff yourself. If you didn’t know exactly which direction to route the plumbing fixtures, you had your spouse call the spouse of one of the other guys who did. (Back then, men ...

Clothes trauma can be traced back to Smelly Ralph’s hand-me-downs

“Would you like to shop for your own clothes?” My wife asked this with a straight face. I waited for the punchline. None came. “I’ve got stuff,” I said. “No, I mean we could go shopping together for new shirts and pants for you,” Terry said. She couldn’t be serious. Could ...

Tall tales almost certain to land you in hot water

Mom and Dad gushed fake enthusiasm when they dumped me off at cousin Ollie’s farm. “You’ll have so much fun,” Mom said. “I envy you,” Dad sighed. “Open fields to roam, trees to climb, bulls to outrun ...” “So let me go to the restaurant and you guys play with Ollie. I ...

All is sunny, bright … If you have a tarp

In the Biblical account, the prophet Elijah told King Ahab there’d be no more rain until Elijah said so. For 3 1/2 years, there wasn’t so much as dew on the ground. One day, Elijah told King Ahab to batten down the hatches ’cause he was about to get drenched. The blasts from a thousand ...

Understanding a spouse is no tiptoe through the tulips

Never has any other device been invented that is as glorious and simultaneously confusing as a spouse. (I was going to write as “confusing as a wife,” but I have been assured by women who have served time as wives that understanding husbands is no tiptoe through the tulips either.) I ...

How is bubblegum on a stick No. 1?

Craziness marred the debate. Tampering and other shenanigans must have influenced the vote. I refuse to accept the outcome. Blow Pops? C’mon, man. There’s no way Blow Pops won Ohio. I am referring to, of course, the results of CandyStore.com’s annual Most Popular Halloween Candy in the ...

Go back to bed, read the paper and just be uninspired

Maxims take minimal effort. And provide no help whatsoever. You know what I mean. It seems that no matter what you’ve been up to, there’s some pest buzzing around ready to tag you with an inspirational quote. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” the would-be motivator ...

If you’re reading this, bring coyote repellent and Pop-Tarts

I’m going camping. Actually, by the time you read this, I should have re-emerged from the deep and dark of the woods. If you don’t see me, please send a search party. Armed with chocolate and Pop-Tarts. “Relax, Pop Pops,” my camping guide says. “I’ll teach you everything you need ...