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He’ll finish this column when he gets a round tuit

Burt's Eye View

“When are you going to rip the old carpet out of this room?” my wife demanded. “We brought the new flooring home more than a year ago.”

I glanced around the little space I call my home office. Sure, the carpet had a few snags and stains. And a gouged hole or two. But it still did what it was supposed to do — keep my feet from getting cold.

“I’ll work on it as soon as I get a round tuit.”

“You need to stop getting around and get to it,” she said.

“No, no, you misunderstood. I can’t do any chore without my round tuit. It just isn’t done.”

“Your what?”

“My round tuit,” I said. “It’s a circular wooden disc. The word ‘Tuit” is stamped on it. Hence the name — a round tuit.”

Terry’s eyes rolled. “You cannot be serious.”

“Oh, yes,” I said. “When I was a kid, Dad always pestered me to clean my room. I told him I would when I got around to it. Back then, I thought ‘around to it’ was how it was pronounced. I noticed that you’re still making that mistake.”

She crossed her arms. “There’s a mistake being made, all right.”

“Right,” I said. “Anyway, Dad pulled a wooden disc from his pocket. ‘Here’s a round tuit. Clean your room. Now!’ I had no choice. I’d finally gotten a round tuit. I cleaned my room.”

Terry blinked. “Because of the disc?”

“That and the way the steam rolled out of Dad’s ears and the veins popped in his neck.”

“Well, pull out your round tuit and finish the floor.”

I shook my head. “I can’t. I lost my round tuit. I haven’t been able to accomplish anything since I misplaced that disc. A guy can’t get anything done before he gets a round tuit.”

“You refuse to work unless someone gives you a wooden coin?”

“Why did you change the subject?”

“I didn’t.”

“Sure you did. You jumped from tuits to coins. Coins can’t be tuits.”

A wisp of steam puffed from one of Terry’s ears. A neck vein twitched. “You’re not making any sense.”

“Not off a wooden coin, you don’t make any cents. One of my cousins once tried to hand me a wooden coin with ‘5 cents’ stamped on it. He wanted to buy one of my Hot Wheels cars with it.”

“You sold a metal car for a plywood disc?”

“Of course not,” I said. “You’re not listening. I might have been only 10 years old, but I had heard grownups tell each other millions of times not to take any wooden nickels. I told him to keep the wooden nickel ’cause I wasn’t trading my Hot Wheels for anything less than a fat toad and two good skipping stones. I’m not stupid.”

“But you can’t work without a round tuit in your pocket?”

“Obviously.” It was my turn to roll my eyes. “How crazy would it be to do a task before I got a round tuit?”

She closed her eyes. A minute later, after her breathing slowed, Terry said, “I saw a toad hopping across the back yard. A big, fat one. I’ll go get it.”

“Don’t forget the skipping stones,” I said reaching for a corner of the dingy old carpet. “But getting a round tuit would be better.”

• Share round tuits with Cole at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or at www.burtonwcole.com.

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