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If you need me, leave a note on my blanket fort

Burt's Eye View

Rumor has it that I’ve retired. Nope, not true. I never finished being tired the first time around, so how can I be tired again? You know, re-tired.

Or maybe those rumor-mongers believe I bought new sneakers — tires for my feet. C’mon, have you ever known me to spend money? Besides on chocolate, I mean?

(I suppose in that sense, I am re-tired — I’m wearing hand-me-up shoes from my 14-year-old grandson. He outgrew them. He outgrew me, too. By two inches so far. Unless we’re talking horizontally, and then I’ve got him by a whole lot of belt notches.)

But what I was getting at is that several people have been congratulating me on my retirement. Why would I do such a thing at my advanced age? It goes against that great scientific axiom, maxim and theorem — possibly developed by Albert Einstein himself: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

Then there’s that other scientific dictum, precept and postulation — possibly developed by Madame Curie herself: “Retirement — no job, no stress, no pay.”

My creditors tend to be a bit touchy about that no-pay thing, at least while I still owe them money.

This is why it’s a fallacy, based on these scientific proofs, to believe for one moment that I’ve stopped working.

On the other hand, my bosses claim it’s impossible for me to stop doing something I never started in the first place. They say “employed” would be a more accurate term than “work.”

OK, so I hide under my desk a lot. Hang up a sign that proclaims: “On Assignment.” Then I fluff my pillow, pull up my blanket and snore quietly.

Sleeping under one’s desk at work — uh, place of employment — is a lot like building a blanket fort in the office.

It’s just that now, instead of retiring, I’ve changed offices. The bosses were starting to get too suspicious at the last fort, er, office, so I had to pull up stakes — I mean pillows and blankets — and build a new outpost.

While hiding under my desk at the new place, I contemplated what retirement means, according to these great scientists:

• “The company gave me an aptitude test and I found out the work I was best suited for was retirement.” — anonymous

• “There are some who start their retirement long before they stop working.” — Robert Half

• “Retirement is wonderful. It’s doing nothing without worrying about getting caught at it.” — Gene Perret

• “There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.” — Bill Watterson

• “I have never liked working. To me, a job is an invasion of privacy.” — anonymous

• “I enjoy waking up and not having to go to work. So I do it three or four times a day.” — Gene Perret

• “The money’s no better in retirement but the hours are.” — anonymous

• “A retired husband is often a wife’s full-time job.” — Ella Harris

• “When a man retires and time is no longer a matter of urgent importance, his colleagues generally present him with a watch.” — R.C. Sherriff

• “Retirement is when you stop lying about your age and start lying around the house.” — anonymous

• “Retirement is like a long vacation in Las Vegas. The goal is to enjoy it to the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money.”– Jonathan Clements

• “Retirement: It’s nice to get out of the rat race, but you have to learn to get along with less cheese.” — Gene Perret

So that’s the story. I’m still working. I mean, employed. Contrary to rumor, I am not REtired. But I am MOREtired. I’m gonna need a bigger blanket fort.

• Send ads for bus trips and senior centers to the old guy at burton.w.cole@gmail.com or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook, in care of his blanket fort.

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