Suffer as if living each day by distorted wise words

Burt’s Eye View

EDITOR’S NOTE: Enjoy this Cole Classic is from 2018 while Burt relaxes on his vacation.

“Live each day as if it was your last,” the sage said. So I called off work.

If I knew these were my last 24 hours on Earth, there’s no way I’d squander eight or 10 of them chained to a desk.

With work out of the way, I hustled to a breakfast buffet and poured a gallon of sausage gravy over a stack of biscuits, scrambled eggs and hash browns. My doctor had warned me against this kind of gluttony. But there’s no point in suffering through a clean diet if it’s one’s grand finale.

“That sage is a genius,” I mumbled around a mouthful of chocolate muffin.

I crossed laundry day off the calendar. A person living like today’s the end has no need of clean underwear tomorrow.

I bought that torch red Corvette Stingray I’ve dreamed about for years. The monthly payments soared beyond my means, but a guy living like today is his last doesn’t get too worked up about cash due a month from today.

The sage suggested that a person who knew it was his last would be eager to express his innermost thoughts to the people who mattered. So before zipping off for a surf-and-turf dinner, I called a few people I’ve wanted to tell off for years.

It was a good day. I fell into bed satisfied.

But the next morning, according to the sage, I had to do it all over again. “Live EACH day as if it were your last,” he’d said. I sighed happily as I reached for the phone to call off work.

I stuffed the bills, unopened, into the trash can. Had I not been living like this was my last day, I’d have had to empty the trash, but that’s not the sort of thing a guy does if there’s no tomorrow.

A phone solicitor pitched a home security system. My finger hovered over the disconnect button. But I no longer had a reason to be disagreeable.

“Absolutely,” I told the phone solicitor. “Bring it on.” A few calls later and I’d also cheerfully said yes to vinyl siding, no-clog gutters and three luxury time shares.

The wanderlust I’d suppressed for so many years bubbled to the surface. So I drove my red Corvette to the recreational vehicle dealer and set off on a motor home adventure across the United States.

Live each day as if it was your last was proving to be the best advice I’d ever taken.

A month or two later, I couldn’t find a clean pair of pants. Or a dirty pair that I could snap. Everything had shrunk, but not in the wash.

I didn’t bother calling off work. Work had called me a few weeks earlier to let me know that that was no longer necessary.

I flicked the light switch. Nothing happened. I would have camped out with a friend, but I no longer had any.

I groaned at the mere thought of food. I’d been doing a lot of groaning. I guess the previous night’s pizza buffet and dessert bar didn’t set so well on top of my three banana splits for lunch.

The ghost of my bank account groaned as much as my belly. Living every day like it’s the last gets expensive.

I slung a bag of disgusting clothes over my back and wandered out to my broken-down bicycle. I’d given the Corvette and RV back. The dealers had insisted.

On the way to the laundry, I pedaled past the sage. “Live each day like it’s your last,” he said.

I stuffed his mouth with my dirty socks.

Share advice at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.


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