Columns

Last Days

The Week in Review

MONDAY, JULY 18 The week kicks off with a ridiculously gritty story from the streets of SeaTac. Details come from the Seattle Times, which reports the saga began around 3:00 a.m., when a 25-year-old woman got off a bus with her 4-year-old daughter in Federal Way. Soon the pair were accosted by the woman's ex-boyfriend, who yanked the little girl into his car and told the mom she'd never see her daughter again if she didn't follow. The woman complied, and the man drove them to SeaTac, where the man told the woman to get out of the car and start "working." The woman refused and the man allegedly hit her, ditching her by the road with a split lip and the demand to deliver "money by noon." After getting herself to a Renton hospital (where she received six stitches), the woman phoned 911, directing deputies to the apartment of her ex-boyfriend's cousin, where the Lifetime-worthy saga came to a reasonably satisfying close, with police arresting the ex-boyfriend on suspicion of kidnapping, extortion, and assault, and finding the 4-year-old girl unharmed.

••Meanwhile on the streets of Seattle, a comparatively weightless scene besieged the eyes of Hot Tipper Angela, who was driving through Phinney Ridge when she spotted a man walking down the sidewalk near Eighth Avenue and 65th Street. "He was a few blocks away," writes Angela. "At first I thought, 'Those are some weird pants he's wearing.' They looked like a cross between office-casual and bell-bottomed khaki shorts with denim sewn onto the calves." But as Angela drove closer, she realized the only pants the man was wearing were around his ankles. "He was probably in his late 60s, and other than the lack of pants, he looked totally normal. He even had on layered shirts. But he was walking as if he was completely unaware of flashing his goods to the populace." Like bad haircuts, crappy jobs, and any kind of cancer, semi-naked Alzheimer wanderings are something that's only funny until it happens to you (or at least to someone you love). But that fact can't detract from Angela's clear-eyed summation: "I just thought it was so great, in a tragic kind of way."

TUESDAY, JULY 19 Speaking of women we agree with: Today Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur struggled to comprehend last week's saga of the Seattle man fucked to death by an Enumclaw horse within the constraints of a newspaper that frowns upon phrases like "fucked to death by a horse." In lieu of description, Brodeur opts for reflection, consulting sex-offender treatment provider Maureen Saylor for insight into the first of Horsegate's three major questions: What kind of person gets fucked to death by a horse? Saylor foiled Brodeur's search for an easily identifiable profile of the type of person driven to get busy with beasts, offering instead the fact that, like snowflakes, no two animal lovers are exactly alike, with subjects ranging from horny teens experimenting on pets to the alleged barnyard bordello/livestock-porn production company allegedly running out of that Enumclaw farm. Which brings us to Horsegate's second question: How can this not be illegal? For an answer, Brodeur looks at the laws of Washington State, which, like 20 other states, mysteriously lacks a statute making sex with animals a crime. So hurrah for State Sen. Pam Roach, who today announced her drafting of a bill for the 2006 legislative session that would make sexual contact with an animal—as well as the documentation, sale, and/or internet distribution of acts of bestiality—a class C felony.

Which leaves us with Horsegate's third question, asked of Last Days by an acquaintance who'd learned of the saga from a friend in South America, who'd read a wire report of the story in his local paper: Why is this story so universally fascinating? The answer's simple: Most of us have seen horses, all of us have butt holes, and it doesn't take a genius to do the horrifying, imaginative math.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 20 Speaking of imaginative math: Today millions of Americans struggled to fill in the blanks surrounding John Roberts, the 50-year-old former Justice Department official and appeals court judge selected yesterday by Dubya to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. As expected, there's plenty for lefties to fret about: As deputy solicitor general, Roberts displayed deeply iffy judgment about environmental law and the separation of church and state, and co-authored a brief characterizing Roe v. Wade as a "wrongly decided" case that "should be overruled"; as a D.C. circuit court judge, Roberts upheld the arrest of a 12-year-old girl for eating a French fry within the strict no-eating zone of the D.C. subway. But apparently there's also cause for optimism, with lefties far more knowledgeable than Last Days expressing measured hope in Roberts's "balanced" views, and Roberts himself acknowledging his embarrassment at having to uphold the arrest of a 12-year-old girl for eating a French fry on the subway. Stay tuned.

THURSDAY, JULY 21 Two weeks after a quartet of bombs rocked London's transit system—killing 56 (including 4 bombing suspects), injuring 700, and horrifying everyone—today London was bombed again. Thankfully, today's bombs petered out before their big kabooms, resulting in loud pops, momentary panic, and no casualties—at least until tomorrow, when plainclothes policemen will chase a presumed suicide-bomb suspect into a London subway car, where they'll pin the man to the ground, then shoot him at least five times in the head and neck. Immediately after the shooting, London authorities will defend the use of deadly force as in line with the city's shoot-to-kill policy regarding potential suicide bombers. (The rationale: A merely wounded bomber could still complete their task, and when firing at someone whose body may be rigged with explosives, aiming for the head is best.) But all rationales will dissolve on Saturday, when Scotland Yard will confirm that the man gunned down by police at point-blank range had nothing to do with the bombings or the attendant investigation. As fate would have it, 27-year-old Jean Charles de Menezes was merely a Brazilian electrician on his way to work, whose only crimes were being beige and wearing a bulky coat. British authorities will apologize profusely for their deadly mistake, but nothing can erase the shame of the country's first victim of heightened alert.

FRIDAY, JULY 22 Speaking of heightened alert: Today New York City began random searches of bags and backpacks carried by subway riders. The first day of suicide-bomb searches passed without incident, with those citizens unwilling to consent to search free to leave the subway, and no citizens accidentally shot many times in the face.

SATURDAY, JULY 23 Meanwhile in Egypt: Terrorists managed to get some actual work done, executing a series of bomb attacks across the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where the early-morning blasts caught many tourists and locals still out at restaurants, bars, and clubs, and killed at least 90 people and wounded more than 150 others.

SUNDAY, JULY 24 The week ends with a teensy bit of good news, as today brought the first time since Prohibition that Washingtonians could buy hard liquor on a Sunday. Under the new, Gregoire-approved legislation, the 158 liquor stores operated by contract agents may open for Sunday business beginning today, with 20 of Washington's 161 state-run liquor stores allowed to follow suit on Sunday, September 4.

Thank God.

Send Hot Tips to lastdays@thestranger.com.

 

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