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Last Days

The Week in Review

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MONDAY, APRIL 9 This week of acid attacks, clownish befoulment, and voluminous Hot Tips kicks off today with some heartening social evolution, thanks to the Washington State House of Representatives, which today followed the senate's lead in passing a bill that would create domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. As the Associated Press reports, "The bill would create a domestic-partnership registry with the state, and would provide enhanced rights for same-sex couples, including hospital visitation rights, the ability to authorize autopsies and organ donations, and inheritance rights when there is no will." Other stipulations: To qualify for the registry, couples would be required to be at least 18 years old, share a home, and not be married/domestic-partnered to anybody else. Kicky twist: The registry would also be open to those unmarried heterosexual couples featuring at least one partner over 61 years old, a provision lawmakers say will help seniors at risk of losing pension and Social Security benefits if they remarry. The bill now goes before Governor Christine Gregoire, who is expected to sign it into law. As for the eternal struggle between those who consider domestic partnerships separate-but-unequal bullshit and those who consider them a good step in the right direction: Relax—you're both right.

TUESDAY, APRIL 10 Today brings the first of the week's many impressive Hot Tips, this one from Hot Tipper Jane, an employee at a downtown office building "which I guess should remain nameless," she writes. "Anyway, today a guy dressed in a clown outfit came to the building I work in to inquire about getting a loan. One of the employees explained that we do not give out loans, and the man became indignant. Eventually, he asked if he could use the bathroom and was informed the building had no public restroom and he was asked to leave the premises. 'Fine,' said the irate clown. 'Then I'm going to shit in your elevator.' After this he left, and nothing more was said about it until someone went to use the elevator and found a shitting clown who told them to go away because he was not finished. I always thought clowns were scary," concludes Jane. "Now I'm convinced."

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11 "I work as a public defender in Tacoma," writes Hot Tipper Phillipe. "During a trial last week, in the middle of my closing arguments, the judge started clipping his fingernails. I stopped in the middle of my arguments and totally lost my train of thought. The next day, while the jurors returned their verdict, the judge's assistant was doing the same thing. Gross."

THURSDAY, APRIL 12 Nothing happened today, unless you count the freakishly entertaining Stranger Gong Show, covered in depth on page 29, or the stunningly horrific suicide bombing that killed 8 people and wounded 28 others in the cafeteria of the Iraqi parliament building in Baghdad's stringently protected, U.S.-sponsored Green Zone.

FRIDAY, APRIL 13 "This story takes place on a number 21 Metro bus," reports Hot Tipper Denise. "When I boarded the bus in West Seattle, I noticed a female passenger slumped over on the long, length-wise seat up front. She had a variety of goods in her lap, some of which were spilling onto the floor. I checked her to see if she was dead or sleeping, and I determined sleeping. Things remained quiet until the bus got to the downtown 'free-ride zone,' when a trio of what I can best classify as loud, middle-aged street urchins—two men, one woman—boarded and made their way past me and the sleeping woman to the back of the bus. As soon as they were seated, the driver snapped off his seat belt and bolted to the back. 'GIVE ME THOSE POTATO CHIPS!' bellowed the driver to the old urchins, who'd apparently snatched a small bag of Lay's potato chips off the sleeping lady's lap. The driver gently returned the poached chips to the sleeping woman's lap, gathered up her fallen items, then woke her, telling her the next stop was hers." (Nicely done, Metro driver.) After the woman exited, Denise figured the show was over; instead, she was treated to a loud and frank conversation about the trio's sexual problems. "The main conversation was between the woman and one of the men," writes Denise, who recounts what she heard verbatim: "'Can you believe we were kicked out of Déjà Vu for having sex there?' 'And then we were kicked out of the Lusty Lady for having sex there.' 'These places are sex places, we should be welcome.' 'People come to these joints to see sex.' 'Don't they understand that we're homeless? Where the heck do they expect us to have sex? What in the heck are we supposed to do?' The second guy in the group had the answer. 'Have your sex under the viaduct—works for me.'"

••Today was just as spicy for non-Metro commuters: "Driving to work today I passed a naked man lying in the middle of Jackson Street," writes Hot Tipper Gavin. "This was at Jackson and Sixth or so, and the man was lying naked in front of a couple trucks. He seemed injured. A truck driver was just getting out of his cab. I'm not sure if this was a protest, inebriation, or the result of the man getting 'rolled.' But he was naked and lying in the street."

SATURDAY, APRIL 14 The week continues with the type of story that gives this column a bad reputation. The setting: An elementary-school playground in Middle River, Maryland. The protagonist: A 2-year-old boy, whose grandmother brought him to the playground to go down his favorite slide. The problem: The industrial-strength drain cleaner splashed by vandals over all of the playground equipment, including the slide, which left the 2-year-old slider with second- and third-degree burns on his legs from the cleaner's strong concentration of sulfuric acid. The unlucky toddler was taken to the Johns Hopkins Hospital pediatric burn unit, where he's expected to stay for several weeks. Early next week, police will announce the apprehension of two suspects—two 16-year-old boys who'll be charged with second-degree burglary (the drain cleaner was stolen from the school) and reckless endangerment.

SUNDAY APRIL 15 Nothing happened today, unless you count the wonderful experience an off-duty Last Days enjoyed this evening at Seattle's Central Cinema, the aggressively charming Central District movie-house-with-food-and-booze-all-brought-to-your-clever-seat-slash-table-contraption where we took in Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars (selected for screening in honor of tax week—hyuk!), the gorgeous and thrilling spaghetti western in which Clint Eastwood rides into a dusty border town with a gun and methodically oversees the death of nearly every single citizen. By tomorrow, this will seem 10,000 times less entertaining.

Thanks to all this week's Hot Tippers. Send Hot Tips to lastdays@thestranger.com.

 

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