Okay, gang, fasten your seat belts and check your mirrors. I just got back from doing the ol' nine- states- in- three- days routine, twice in one week, and I feel like a marathoner passing the twenty-mile pole: Hopped up on endorphins. Bear with me, the strain will probably show...
 I'm sure you've heard by now that two San Francisco Chronicle reporters released a book titled Game of Shadows last month, detailing alleged steroid use by a number of high-profile athletes. The highest profile of all, of course, belongs to Barry Bonds-- left fielder for the San Francisco Area Retirement Home All-Stars. Among the book's many accusations is the claim that Bonds' steroid regimen included the use of a substance that was originally developed to improve the muscle tone of beef cattle. *sigh* Okay, I haven't heard anybody else say it, yet, so I guess I'm gonna have to: Injections of a beef cattle steroid... now that puts a whole new twist on the term "bum steer." (Come to think, it puts a new twist on "rimshot," too.)
Disclaimer: The joke presented herein is intended to illustrate the difference between something that is genuinely funny and something that is just, well, silly.
 With Scott McClellan on the DL for the rest of the season, it seems it will be Dick "Guns Don't Kill People, Bullets Do" Cheney who will set the all-time league record for using the phrase, "I never said that." Cheney is so talented that he usually manages to turn it into a double play: "No, I never said that."/ Um, with all due respect, Mr. Vice President, we have you on videotape saying precisely that./ "No, the tape is wrong-- I never said that."
 Ahh. Horse racing's Triple Crown: The Kentucky Derby; The Belmont Stakes; and, uh, that other one in between 'em. Congratulations to Barbaro, even though I picked Bluegrass Cat.
 So, this lady trucker rolled into the shipping/receiving yard of the steel processing plant one day, and walked into the shipping office. We couldn't help noticing the decal in the corner of her driver's side window: A brightly-colored rainbow. The shipping manager isn't shy: "Does that rainbow decal in your window mean what I think it means?"
"Yep," she said with a smile, "Means I get more pussy than you."
 Recommended reading: The May 6th issue of Rolling Stone (Volume #999). It probably isn't on newsstands anymore, but maybe you can find these two articles online: Matt Taibbi's vitriolic "farewell" to Tom DeLay, which I couldn't help but love, and historian Sean Wilentz's well-structured case that The Smirking Marionette is, without question, the Worst. President. Ever.
 I hereby issue an edict. There are a couple of phrases that need to be expunged from American English. Henceforth and forevermore, no one is ever again allowed to "not trade [whatever] for all of the tea in China." Not even if it's "the greatest thing since sliced bread." There. I have spoken. Transgressors will be hunted down and forcibly subjected to a bikini wax. Or a root canal. It depends on my mood.
 Yes, Listerine does kill more germs than kerosene. But it doesn't taste as good.
 Ever notice this? Most people pronounce it, "Clue Clucks Clan." It's actually, "COO Clucks Clan." It's one of the many little ironies in our dialect: If you say it properly, you sound like you have a mild speech impediment. In this case, of course, that little irony is entirely fitting.
 Eastbound, weekday evening, somewhere west of Princeton, Illinois. Behind me, the lowering sun had dipped down to that point where it cast a deep, golden glow across the land. So rich was the gold that it seemed to whisper hints of a fiery rose. I had the ballgame on the radio, turned a bit low. Saccharine was saying that the rain from earlier in the day had abated, prompting Mace to ask, "The rain has a what?" Their voices burbled on as I leisurely went my way over and around the deep creekbeds and vibrant rolling hills, patchworked with fallow fields and highlighted by rambling, peeled-white houses, rust-red barns and silvery grain silos. And everywhere I looked, every tree was in the full, brilliant bloom of spring: Violet, magenta, and apple-blossom white. It was a breathe deep moment, a don't think too hard moment, and for just a little while I was able to relax my too-tight shoulders as several hundred of my boss' horses carried me off into the midnight blue...
 Ahem, still with me? Okay, to those of you who are rolling your eyes: Please forgive my waxing. But I submit: Those of you who live east of the Mississippi should count yourselves lucky this time of year. I spend most of my time in the intermountain region, where the dominant colors could best be described as "Fecal... with a five o'clock shadow of scrub-brush."
 Morning currency reports in Canada are funny. Canada is a nation with an identity crisis. They have an habitual tendency to measure themselves relative to their overbearing neighbor to the south. The currency reports are always the same: "The dollar is down again today against the dollar."
 Bud "Smithers, Have Barry Bonds Kerriganned" Selig must go.