Flying around in circles like a madman, or madwoman, not sure. But the bird was going nuts. It was a sweet little bird, but a bird on a mission -- to get the hell out of my office. It was on my keyboard flapping its little wings and pecking, pecking, pecking away at the keys. In fact, the bird wrote this. Aren't you relieved? A nonpartisan bird. And now, two days after the bird flitted around my desk, I am having trouble breathing, and I feel very feverish, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if my head exploded. Now. Where are the tabloids when I need them? Move over, Jessica Simpson, whoever you are. You know you've never really done anything to become so famous, although I do have a great deal of admiration for you for turning down that offer from George W. Bush to meet with him. He was probably just going to try to sell you on that war in Iraq, which is really a bad sign since we're now three years into it. You'd think he would have made his case by now. Tom Cruise? Just because South Park tried to make fun of you by having you locked away in the closet on that episode that has drawn more attention than Hurricane Katrina, don't think you are going to hog the cover of every gossip rag on the stands. Lindsay Lohan? As is the case with Jessica Simpson, I don't really know anything about your career, but I think I've maybe seen you on some tabloid covers because you don't eat. Well, shut up and stuff a ham sandwich down your mouth and get to the back page, or I'll see to it that you are dealt with on PerezHilton.com and then you'll be sorry. I have the bird flu! And I intend to sell my story of being the first person in the United States to get it! So ill was I the night the disease befell me, I asked a friend, Cory, to sit down and write this column as if he were me. These are just some of his bizarre remarks: "My friend Cory, who is an absolute angel, by the way, tells me I need to get out more, but I really just want to stay here and play with my kittens. I've been informed by Cory (and the public) that I can no longer mention kittens in normal conversation or my weekly Rant. I'm sure you are thanking him for intervening. Cory has been such a joy in my life, and such a giving, wonderful human being, that I don't know what I would ever do without him. Aside from having a sparkling wit and dashing good looks, he's intelligent and very down to earth. But more about Cory later. ... As you can easily see, he is quite disillusioned. I wonder if this bird flu is contagious and he has it too? I've heard that once the bird flu hits the United States -- and now it obviously has, because I, Tim Sampson, have it (are you listening, National Enquirer? Weekly World News? any mainstream national television news broadcast?) -- people will have to stay locked away in their houses for a good long time and have no contact with each other. This sounds like heaven on earth to me. Don't get me wrong. I love my job and all of the people with whom I work every day, but to be trapped at home for a spell and not have to drive behind giant vehicles with "W the President" stickers on them would be a refreshing change. Even if I can barely breathe and feel like I am walking an inch or two off the ground. I could rent Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds just to show that I am no chicken. Anyway, if you know anyone at any of the tabloids, call them and report this. I have to go back to bed because I feel like I might lay an egg any minute.