Dear readers: As some of you may have noticed—particularly those of you who sent furious e-mails or yelled at us on the street—last week's Last Days was a soul-crushing nightmare from start to finish. To make up for last week's cavalcade of horrors, this week's column assiduously accentuates the positive, with seven days of shiny happy good news. Enjoy!
MONDAY, JULY 9 Last Days' Sunny Side Up! edition kicks off with a heartwarming tale of natural enemies making friends, from the wilds of Victoria, Texas. That's where Mrs. Eunice Collins was running errands in her Chevy Tahoe when she heard the sound of a meowing kitten. "I thought I was going crazy," said Collins to the Victoria Advocate, but a gas-station pit stop confirmed her sanity, and revealed the stray kitten residing under her car's hood. Upon taking the stray kitten home, Collins named him "Tahoe" and kept him in a bedroom; four days later, she was shocked to see the kitten nursing from the family's 3-year-old longhaired dachshund. "I couldn't believe it," said Collins, who reports the dachshund feeds the kitten in the morning, at night, and after naps, with the nursing Tahoe purring and pawing at the dog's belly. "That's not going to happen very often," said veterinarian John Beck, specifying that the surprise arrival of the hungry kitten induced a false pregnancy in the sympathetically lactating dachshund. "The kitten got lucky, basically."
TUESDAY, JULY 10 Speaking of getting lucky: Today brings an invigorating report from Hot Tipper Monet, who had the good fortune to witness a whole bunch of outsider performance art late this evening on Capitol Hill. "So I'm standing in line at Dick's on Broadway at around 1:30 a.m.," reports Monet. "There's a guy hanging out and trying to get someone to buy him some fries. When the person he asked declined, the guy threatened to pierce his nose if he couldn't have the fries. He had a little stud earring in hand, but no way would he really do that, right? Wrong! The next thing I know there's blood all over the place and an idiot screaming about how much his nose hurts. He couldn't believe that the other guy still wouldn't buy him fries, even after all he had 'done for him.' He then forgot about the fries and worried about how straight his new piercing was. He used the rearview mirror of a nearby car to find out that he sucks as a piercer and should probably stick to bumming. Oh wait—he sucks at that, too!"
••Speaking of free performance art (perhaps motivated by the day's freakish heat): Today also brings a report from Hot Tipper Skiddle, who witnessed two different arguments involving excessive volume and misplaced crack on the #13 Metro bus.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11 Today Good News Week kicks into high gear, with the life-brightening saga of Bob Allen, the Florida state representative (and gay-bashing Republican) arrested today in a Titusville men's room after allegedly offering an undercover policeman $20 for the opportunity to suck the policeman's penis. Details come from the Orlando Sentinel, which reports the 48-year-old Allen was booked into Brevard County Jail on a second-degree misdemeanor charge of solicitation to commit prostitution, punishable by up to a year in the county jail and a $500 fine. Tomorrow, Representative Allen will plead not guilty to the solicitation charge then deliver a weepy statement from the steps of his attorney's office. "I am vigorously going to fight this," said Allen, characterizing his alleged homosexual bathroom trolling as "an ugly and unpleasant situation that has been thrust upon my family" and announcing, "I am not resigning my office." Stay tuned!
THURSDAY, JULY 12 And the happy happenings keep on coming: Today brings the miraculous tale of the 43-year-old man in Barnstable, Massachusetts, who was working underneath a three-quarter-ton pickup truck when the truck accidentally rolled over his head—and didn't kill him! The Associated Press reports that rescue workers found the run-over man sitting up and smoking a cigarette, with only a missing patch of hair, a tire track across his head, and some gnarly road rash to show for his coulda-been-fatal trip under the wheel. "It was really unbelievable," said Barnstable Fire Lieutenant Ed Guilford. "Someone was looking out for him."
FRIDAY, JULY 13 Nothing happened today, including any broiled babies, accidental disembowelings, or incestuous rape at gunpoint. And that's good news!
SATURDAY, JULY 14 Speaking of good news, the week continues with Ingo and Andy Pixel, who today concluded two and a half years of karaoke-soaked living in sin by becoming husband and wife. At this point in history, Last Days has difficulty summoning much enthusiasm for heterosexuals partaking of a social privilege that's denied to so many. Still, when die-hard freaks find their soul mates, everyone must cheer. Congrats, Ingo and Andy!
SUNDAY, JULY 15 The week concludes with more good news, this time brought to you by the actual Good News Network, humanity's one-stop destination for News to Enthuse!™ "The benefits good news can bestow on the heart of your real life are compelling," writes Good News Network founder Geri Weis-Corbley, who credits her focus on good news with protecting her from sickness, misfortune, loss, failure, crime, and fear. Here's hoping all of your lives are similarly enriched by today's story of the 20,000 dolls being donated by the Hasbro toy company to poor kids in Zambia. As Good News Network reporter Weis-Corbley writes, "The 20,000 Sip 'N Slurp dolls are being manufactured in addition to Hasbro's normal run of this product, specifically for Zambia. The donation was fueled by a heartfelt request by Carmen Martinez, the U.S. Ambassador to Zambia, to the vice president of community relations for Hasbro, Karen Davis, when she visited the Hasbro-supported World Vision projects in Zambia last fall. The ambassador specifically asked if there was any way Hasbro could help get black dolls into Zambia, as they are nearly impossible to procure or manufacture in the country. Moved by having seen the difference a toy can make in the life of a child living in poverty, Davis made it happen." Hurrah for Hasbro, the Good News Network, the poor of Zambia, and the Sip 'N Slurp doll, which earned Creative Child magazine's Seal of Excellence Award!
Next week: no exclamation points. Send Hot Tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.