The Week in Review, April 23–29
MONDAY, APRIL 23 This week of allegedly criminal essays, masturbating Metro riders, and Broadway blood vandals kicks off with the worldwide clenching of buttholes, as news agencies around the globe reported on the 35-year-old Polish man who burst into a London pizzeria and cut off his penis. Details come from London's Daily Mail, which reports the showy self-castration went down yesterday afternoon in the popular London eatery Zizzi, which was reportedly packed with runners and spectators from Sunday's marathon when the Pole ran in, grabbed a knife from the kitchen, leaped onto a table, dropped his trousers, and sliced off his wang. "I couldn't believe it," said eyewitness diner Stuart McMahon. "The staff were really upset and there was blood everywhere." After cops subdued the slicer with tear gas, both man and wang were rushed to London's St. Thomas' Hospital, where surgeons performed the UK's very first penis-reattachment surgery. Meanwhile, back at Zizzi, ambulance crews treated several diners for shock. The unnamed slicer remains hospitalized in stable condition, while Last Days remains unreasonably grateful for the opportunity to report on a violent psycho who injured only himself.
TUESDAY, APRIL 24 Speaking of the long shadow of the VA Tech shooter: Today it fell upon an unlucky high schooler in Illinois, as 18-year-old Allen Lee, a straight-A honors student at Cary, Illinois's Cary-Grove High School, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for what police described as a "violently disturbing" essay Lee had written for his creative-English class. Details come from the Chicago Sun-Times, which reports the essay in question had been assigned with explicit instructions for students to write about whatever they wanted without censoring themselves. But when Lee turned in his essay describing a violent dream in which he shot people then "had sex with the dead bodies," his English teacher alerted the principal, who held a roundtable discussion with district officials, who decided to report the essay to police. Today Lee was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, which carry a penalty of 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine. "The teacher was alarmed and disturbed by the content," said Cary Police Chief Ron Delelio, who defended the charge even though the essay was not published or posted for public viewing. But as the ACLU and others pointed out, a teacher's reaction to an essay shouldn't make it a crime, and experts predict today's charges will be laughed out of court. "One of the elements [of disorderly conduct] is that some sort of disorder or disruption is created," said Ed Yohnka, a spokesman for the ACLU of Illinois. "When something is done in private—when a paper is handed in to a teacher—there isn't a disruption." As for Lee: He was "completely shocked'' to be arrested for his essay. "There definitely is violent content," Lee told the Sun-Times. "But they're taking it out of context and making it something it isn't. I have no intention of harming anyone."
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25 The week continues with what Seattle historians will recall as Brown Wednesday, that fateful day when a crew of construction workers broke a 20-inch water main at Dexter Avenue North and Harrison Street, sending brown water gushing through the streets of South Lake Union and up through pipes from the Lake Washington Ship Canal to Airport Way. As for blame: Officials are investigating whether it lies with the city (via an improperly labeled water main) or with Merlino Construction (via a stupid crew). Stay tuned, and for the record, witnesses described today's water as "rust brown" rather than "poo brown." Whew.
THURSDAY, APRIL 26 Speaking of relief, today brought some to the lap of a horny Metro rider, with details provided by Hot Tipper Sama: "Late tonight, I was riding the Metro 545. In one of the two inward-facing front seats, there was a (quite possibly vagrant) couple acting quite affectionately toward one another. After a display of sloppy French kissing and near-heavy petting, the male half of this hetero couple proceeded to pull out a blanket and cover himself and his partner. More kissing ensued, then I watched in horror/delight as a hand began to bob up and down under the blanket in the gent's crotchital region. It was a short wank, but the man was obviously satisfied, as he soon dozed off on the woman's shoulder. Now, I've had my jollies in public before, but I've yet to be this daring. I salute this couple for their absolute unashamed carnal behavior." (Insert joke about "hoboeroticism" here.)
FRIDAY, APRIL 27 And the Hot Tips keep coming: "Walking along Broadway this afternoon with my fella Steve and my 3-year-old niece, I noticed blood splattered on the sidewalk outside American Apparel," writes Hot Tipper Anne. "Walking north, we noticed that there was in fact a small but persistent trail of blood. As we passed Subway, we noted a collection of discarded bloody Kleenexes and a bloodied sandwich wrapper on the sidewalk. 'That blood is really red,' noted my niece. Passing a bloodied cigarette butt and another copious smattering of red droplets, we noticed three teenaged Hot Topic goth boys ahead of us. One of them, a kid with a dyed-black bob, had a fountainous nosebleed, which he was encouraging by blowing his nose into his hand and allowing the blood to drip alternately onto the road and into his fist. We watched as the bleeding goth teen slapped a handful of red onto the back of a parked station wagon while his friends giggled. Then he went over to a pay phone and smeared his nose-blood all over the receiver. 'So you're the source of the carnage,' I said. 'Yeah,' one of his friends said to me, evidently proud. 'I punched him in the face.' I said, 'Congratulations,' and we parted ways." Dear Hot Tipper Anne: Thank you for sharing. Dear gothy blood vandal: Fuck you for the biohazard.
SATURDAY, APRIL 28 When it rains, it pours: The week continues with a public-grooming sighting for the record books. "Today on the New York subway," writes Hot Tipper Jake, "I saw a man running a comb through his facial hair. But it was not the hair he was grooming—he was scraping the dead skin off his face and onto the floor. He sat leaning forward with his knees spread, and when he finished the exfoliation, he wiped the skin from the comb and put it in his pocket. He then started to doodle in the face-dandruff on the floor with the toe of his shoe. I risked a $60 ticket to change cars."
SUNDAY, APRIL 29 The week ends with what's emerging as the signature American experience: a public shooting rampage, this one in Kansas City, Missouri, where today a gunman (how come it's never a gunwoman?) went nuts with a rifle in a mall parking lot, fatally shooting two bystanders and wounding two others before turning the gun on himself.
We've run out of shooting-rampage-related wisecracks. Send Hot Tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.