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Posted at 12:06 PM ET, 04/18/2011

Lunchline: Yates in your face, all week long


Clinton Yates (Breton Littlehales - The Washington Post)

I was in high school when Volkswagen first revamped the Beetle, and it sent shockwaves through the car community. A teacher at my old school used to drive a terrible, beat-up yellow one, but Tre's drop-top bug in "Boyz In the Hood" was the best one I ever saw. Now, VW has revamped the legend again. Something tells me this might not go well.

Uncle Sam is officially at the door today. And while I mentioned that dodging the IRS is not a good idea, many Americans find a completely legal way to do it. According to estimates by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank, nearly half of U.S. households won't pay a dime in federal taxes for last year. While politicians on both side of the aisle argue over how to revamp the tax code, some rich people are actually volunteering to pay more to the government. AP's Stephen Ohlemacher reports on how so many people are getting breaks. Also, if you're wondering where your money goes, Ezra Klein has you covered.

Virginians love their guns. Aside from tobacco, the commonwealth's firearm culture is just as much a part of the state's history as anything else — and that includes God. So, when Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued an opinion that residents are allowed to carry guns in church unless it is specifically banned, it drew a wide range of reactions. The Post's Susan Kinzie headed to Immanuel Bible Church for Palm Sunday services in Springfield to talk to parishioners, some of whom were armed, about their thoughts on guns in pews.

If you could have any book you wanted for pennies on the dollar, what would you choose? This was the choice many shoppers faced at Borders bookstores across the region, when the chain rolled out door-buster prices before closing up shop. And with books selling for cheap, there were lines around the block to take advantage of Borders' filing for bankruptcy. The Post's Larissa Roso and Michael S. Rosenwald detail how what remained on the shelves told an interesting story about the stores' surrounding neighborhoods.

The first time I came face-to-face with a big-game animal, I was sitting in the back seat of a Subaru outside of Johannesburg. I was 13, at a lion park, and the handlers had just dropped a zebra carcass into the clearing and the cats were devouring it. Some years later I went on some more traditional safaris, but they were still nothing like what Christopher Vourlias recently did in Botswana. Follow his fun tale about traveling the Okavango Delta, an African Venice of winding waterways, and not just observing but pursuing lions in the wilderness.

In Boston, the third Monday in April is known as Patriots’ Day. Also known as “Marathon Monday” to many, the day features the famous footrace, as well as an early-start game for the AL East last-place Boston Red Sox. But for Bethesda’s Ben Beach, this day has become a lasting tradition. Beach has run 43 straight Boston Marathons, after he first ran one out of "curiosity" as a freshman at Harvard. The Post's Amy Shipley tells the inspiring story of a man who, even at 61 years old and suffering from a neurological disorder, still manages to finish the 26.2 miles every year.

Extra Bites

• I love fast food as much as the next guy, but the recent trend of super-stunt menu items taking over the world is a bit gross. I can't even imagine what parents, health freaks and doctors think when they see stuff like this: The Meat Monster — a 1,160-calorie burger.

• Rob Pegoraro is one of my favorite writers of all time at The Post. I mentioned last week that he planned to step down from his Faster Forward column, and that day is here. I, for one, will miss his work, but he's having one last chat at 2 p.m.

• You think your taxes are tough? Imagine doing them back in the analog days.

>> Lunchline Live goes daily starting today at noon.

Send your suggestions or comments to me at clinton.yates@wpost.com.

By  |  12:06 PM ET, 04/18/2011

 
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