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THOUGHTS ON GATORADE, TREES AND THOSE RED SLASHES

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* WINNING THE LIQUID LOTTERY: Ever since my days as a second-string second baseman for the Box Elder High School junior varsity baseball team, I've been big on replenishing liquids.

I'm a serious Gatorade man. I keep a gallon of the stuff in my fridge at all times.And last week, my juicy ways paid off. Among the bottle caps in my bank was a "game piece" that said if the Chicago Bulls won the NBA championship in six games, I was a winner, too.

So, in a week or two, I'll be the proud owner of a Gatorade tote bag, towel, cap, T-shirt, squeeze bottle, bandanna, canister and heaven knows what else.

I plan to wear everything to work on the same day. In a world where baseball cards are worth $500 each, I could make a killing.

I may even start moonlighting as a Gatorade guy - like the Amway people.

I'll do recipes:

Jerry's Gatorade Chicken

Baste 10 chicken breasts in lemon-lime Gatorade.

Fry.

Eat.

* PHOTO FLOP: Tom Bowen called to tell me the logo that ran with my column last week was reversed. The column was about Baptists boycotting Disney, so we ran a photo of Walt Disney in a red circle with a red slash through it.

Bowen said the slash was a mish-mash.

"The international symbol has the slash running from the upper left to the lower right," he said. "But yours went right to left. There's been a lot of confusion - ever since the makers of the movie `Ghostbusters' decided to run the symbol backward in their design."

So now we have airline companies that feature the slash running one direction on their airplanes but the other direction on their tickets. Other companies flip the symbol willy-nilly.

What we need, I suppose, is a sign featuring a red circle and a right-to-left slash being canceled out by a red circle with a left-to-right slash.

All I can say is I've prided myself on being able to garble half-a-dozen languages over the years. Now I can add international sign language to the list.

* LOOSE-LEAF NOTEBOOK: While doing background work for my book "Spirits in the Leaves," I gathered a bunch of tidbits and quotes I was unable to use.

They sit here in a basket like so many fallen leaves.

Today, let me burn up a few:

Trees have unlimited benevolence and kindness. They even offer shade to the axmen who cut them down.

- Buddha

I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.

- Willa Cather

Men bear beliefs the way trees bear apples.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now that the book is finished, however, I'm left with one thought: Years ago Joyce Kilmer wrote a tribute to the glory of trees that begins "I think that I shall never see / a poem lovely as a tree."

I always thought Kilmer was silly for chopping down hundreds of trees and turning them into paper so he could tell us none of his writing would be as lovely as the trees he destroyed.

He seemed two-faced.

Until now.

Now I realize, with my book, I've done the same thing.