MONDAY, JUNE 18 This week of killer mobs, misplaced sewage, and rich and soggy Pride kicks off today with nothing, unless you count the horrific story from Lake Stevens, Washington, where today a 4-month-old boy was found dead after his mother taped a pacifier to his face. Details come from the Everett Herald, and only make it worse: Around 11:30 a.m., 19-year-old mom Bonnie Desmond called 911 to report that she'd found her infant son unconscious. Snohomish County paramedics arrived to find a baby who'd been dead for several hours. The blanks were filled in by the young mother, who told authorities she'd taped the pacifier to her baby's face to keep it in his mouth while he slept, and ripped it off after finding the boy dead. (Extra bonus trouble: Unable to find the baby's usual "swaddling blanket," Desmond had bound her son's arms to his sides with his pajamas.) Was it Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or accidental suffocation by pacifier? Autopsy results are pending. Still, after an interview with detectives, Ms. Desmond was arrested, charged with first-degree manslaughter, and booked into the Snohomish County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail. If convicted as charged, she faces between six and a half and eight and a half years in prison.
TUESDAY, JUNE 19 Speaking of horror: Today in Austin, Texas, a Juneteenth celebration turned into a real-time nightmare after a car leaving the city-sponsored festival accidentally struck a toddler. When the car's driver got out to check on the child, a group of bystanders attacked him. When the car's passenger got out to defend the driver, the mob beat the passenger to death. "I'd say about 25 to 30 people were jumping on this guy," said bystander Marcus Morris to Austin's KEYE-TV, which identified the victim as 40-year-old David Rivas Morales, described by his friends and family as a Spurs fan and Good Samaritan who tragically found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Associated Press confirmed that the driver made it out alive and is cooperating with investigators, while the car-struck child was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police are looking for suspects and hoping for helpful eyewitnesses.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20 In less tragic but far smellier news, today brings a report of the worst airline flight ever, courtesy of KING 5 News. The sordid saga began one week ago today, when a Continental Airlines flight left Amsterdam for Newark, New Jersey. Roughly two hours into the flight, attendants announced the lavatories were out of commission and an unplanned overnight landing in Ireland was made to fix the problem. The next day, the plane resumed its trip to Newark, but soon after takeoff, the allegedly repaired lavatories began spewing sewage, soaking the aisles with awful human soup and forcing passengers to breathe through their mouths for the duration of the trans-Atlantic flight. "It was the worst flight experience I have ever had," said survivor Collin Brock to KING 5, recounting how 168 passengers were left to share one half-working restroom and made to endure reminders from flight attendants (who were gamely continuing with meal service in the shit-soaked cabin) not to eat or drink too much.
"To be told that we were supposed to monitor what comes out the other end of us was insulting," said Brock, who was given a $500 voucher for his pain and suffering onboard the flying Honey Bucket. "Shame on Continental."
THURSDAY, JUNE 21 For decades, humanity has marveled at the power of Ezell's, the Seattle fried-chickenry whose goods are so good that vegetarians curse their fates and Oprah has 'em FedExed directly to her mouth. Today brings not only the most extravagant Ezell's-related Hot Tip we've ever received, but also the most charming Metro-based Hot Tip in history. "I was in line at Ezell's on 23rd early this afternoon," reports Hot Tipper Jake. "Suddenly, a Metro bus pulls up in front of the store and the female driver runs in and yells, 'Give me four drumsticks quick!' Then she says, 'No! Make it five!' Of course, everyone in line is looking at her, so she hollers, 'What? I've got five minutes!' She gets her drumsticks and runs back to her waiting bus, which I now see is carrying a dozen or so passengers." Thanks to Jake for noticing and sharing, and props to the Metro driver for her inspirational time management.
FRIDAY, JUNE 22 In much worse news, tonight in downtown Seattle, a man was fatally shot in the face. Details come from the Seattle Times, which reports the deadly incident occurred near Second Avenue and Pine Street (erroneously described by the Times as "in Belltown") just after 10:30 p.m., when a man standing near a parked car made a comment to the female half of a passing couple. The comment led to an argument, which led to the man near the car pulling a rifle from his trunk and shooting 35-year-old Carlos Rodriguez, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Also shot: 37-year-old bystander Robert Vadnais, who took a nonfatal bullet to the leg while attempting to flee. The 25-year-old suspected gunman was found hiding in a Dumpster and is being held on $1 million bail. (Also shot: The doorman at Tommy's Nightclub in the U-District, where early this morning an enraged patron opened fire after being denied entrance. The shot doorman underwent emergency surgery and is expected to survive; the alleged gunman was arrested near the scene.)
SATURDAY, JUNE 23 No one was shot during day one of Seattle's (Gay) Pride Weekend, commemorated today with the well-attended QueerFest march down Broadway to Volunteer Park, and the freaktastic performance by Leslie & the Ly's at the Wildrose's also well-attended beer garden.
SUNDAY, JUNE 24 The week ends with the nonfatal day two of Seattle's (Gay) Pride weekend, commemorated with the exceedingly well-attended Pride Parade down Fourth Avenue to Seattle Center, where the Northwest Bears were awarded The Stranger's $2,000 grand prize for their suds-soaked float "Bears, Bath & Beyond." And now, Last Days' supplementary award winners! Most confusing float: The flatbed truck rented by a Methodist church and adorned with a middle-aged man on all fours simulating anal sex with an Evian bottle. (Was this about "turning water into wang"? Or just a horrible mistake?) Most surreal overheard quote: Adrian Ryan's outburst during Dykes on Bikes: "Lesbians EVOLVED from motorcycles! This is like watching men ride monkeys!" Most heartwarming sight: The cornucopia of downtown hoboes staggering around in pride beads and "PFLAG LOVES ME!" stickers. Hurrah for all who turned out. See you next year.
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