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Burton Cole

Memories were better before Youtube

“Remember that time you fell out of the tree in the cow pasture?” Cousin Ollie gasped in merriment — his, not mine. “You looked like a walrus scaling a cactus.” “I believe you refer to the time I saved the life of that poor, stranded kitty that you ignored.” Ollie hooted. ...

Apparently you can lose at the fill-in-the-blank game

Long-married couples have a knack for finishing each other’s sentences. Terry and I do that. It’s too bad that we’re never talking about the same thing when we do. You’ve seen those creepy couples. They’ll be all smiles and doe-eyed as they carry on coded cut-off conversations that ...

Get ready to hurry up and wait

“Wanna hike through the woods?” “That’s a great idea,” my wife said. “Just give me a minute to gather up a couple things.” “No!” I cried. “We’ll never get there.” “Don’t be silly,” Terry said. “Once upon a time, when we decided to do something, we got up and ...

Science says men do stupid things to have good story

Never ask a man how he got that scar. Not because it’s impolite. But because he’ll tell you. Repeatedly. In glowing, gory detail after detail after detail. The only relief from total monotony is that the stories usually improve over the years — the alley cat morphs into a mountain lion, ...

I could really use dum-dum-dumm music

I’ve figured out why I’m in trouble so often — no background music. At first, I thought it was me. Maybe I am an insensitive clod. A clumsy oaf. A lazy laggard. Don’t be ridiculous. She was just having another bad day at the exact moment when I opened my mouth or spilled the ketchup ...

3 boys, or one husband, equals no help

The great Canadian philosopher Red Green (Steve Smith) once said, “The smart handyman knows that your best projects are done alone. That way, there’s nobody there trying to tell you how stupid or impossible they are.” I have tested this axiom and found it true, as both helper and ...

Mowing the lawn is time well wasted

I stood at the picture window, staring at nothing in particular while my thoughts frittered and frolicked a million miles away. The voice froze a thought either mid-frit or mid-frol: “Yes, that grass sure is high.” I blinked myself back to the present. Turned to see my sweet wife. And ...

Having a sensible, adult breakfast

The stealth Pop-Tarts were left at the newspaper office in a brown paper bag. The attached note read: “Here is a Terry-approved breakfast option. I advise that you store it toward the back of your pantry, but if she should find it, you can blame it on a factory error.” I peeked inside ...

Without experimentation, Pop-Tarts still worth craving

“Stop! You almost passed the Pop-Tarts.” “Let’s not leave the job half done,” my wife called over her shoulder. She pushed the shopping cart farther down the grocery aisle. I grabbed a 12-pack of frosted strawberry and caught up to her. “Don’t worry. I got them.” Terry ...

The script for 2020 has been rejected; revise and resubmit

Right from Day 1, it’s been a weird spring. Day 1 of the spring equinox fell on March 19 — the first time in 124 years that spring didn’t begin on either March 20 or 21. After that little oddity, life grew more bizarre by the day. If the events of 2020 had been submitted as a movie ...