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Burton Cole

Birthdays and sales tax are constant

Like all my other schemes to get rich, this one collapsed due to circumstances no one could have predicted. At least, I didn’t. It certainly seemed better than the time I set up a roadside stand to sell cow pies fresh from the pasture. Who could have known that wasn’t how city gardeners ...

Setting world record for most naps

“My life has no meaning, no purpose,” I said. “I’ve been meaning to tell you, clean out your car,” my wife said. “What’s the purpose of all those receipts, napkins and batteries all over the floor?” I shook my head. “I’ve never done anything that makes people whisper, ...

What to write when there’s nothing left to write about

I rocked my easy chair up a smidge so that I could brush Pop-Tart crumbs off my belly. I didn’t want the strawberry filling to stain my favorite T-shirt, the one that proclaims: “Please don’t interrupt me while I’m ignoring you.” I cued another hand of spider solitaire on the laptop ...

Let the great philosophers of the ages help us through this

I’m fed up to the tippy-top of my mask (which I don’t wear because, you know, no place to go) with people ranting dire directions and worrisome warnings at me. I need wisdom — mixed thoroughly with wit and whimsy. I need insights from the great philosophers of the ages, such as Groucho ...

Trub the Lethargic wades in shallow pondering pools

Great people contemplate lofty concepts, complex equations and thoughtful immensities. Me, I ponder why I’m stuck with such an embarrassing dragon name. Scrolling through the social media posts a couple days ago when I should have been working, I happened upon these instructions: “Your ...

Pig pushes pandemic to pandemonium

In England, a pig pooped out a pedometer, which plunged four pens into flames. In North Wales, a gang of goats roams a seaside town. Peacocks parade along streets in Spain while pigeons promenade along the streets in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Mobs of monkeys have scampered into homes and even ...

That Nigerian prince wants to send me money again

I’ll say this about pandemic life — a strange new pestilence of ads and scams have pelted my email inbox. I’ve been smacked with so many offers for face masks resembling the hankies that the bandits wore in the old Westerns that you’d think I was planning to hold up the stage coach at ...

Lewis and Clark didn’t have it this rough

We’ve been roughing it in the Cole household. First, the clothes dryer quit. Then the washing machine refused to finish another cycle. Next, the hot water heater — which had lasted three times its expected lifespan — hollered, “What more do you people expect from me?” It snuffed its ...

The honeymoon phase of quarantine appears to be over

Quarantine Diary, Day 1: “This is so wonderful.” Warm waves of love flowed from her embrace. “You’ll be home with me all the time.” I inhaled her fragrance. “We’ll be together all day every day.” Quarantine Diary, Day 3: “Should I thaw the sirloin or the swordfish for you ...

Even the mice understand the stay-at-home order

We ran barefoot that summer day at my cousin Dale’s farm. We were explorers or pirates or spies — I forget which — on a secret mission through the cow pasture. Why we were barefoot in a cow pasture, I don’t recall. Barefoot in a cow pasture is not the most intelligent choice a ...