The Week in Review
MONDAY, AUGUST 20 This week of pigeon outreach, problem bongs, and awesome local heroics kicks off today with the kaleidoscopically revolting saga of Michael Vick, the superstar quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons accused of moonlighting with the interstate dogfighting enterprise Bad Newz Kennels, where prosecutors say dogs were pitted in death matches, with losing or underperforming dogs shot, drowned, hanged, or electrocuted. After weeks of denials, today the 27-year-old Vick finally acknowledged his involvement with the deadly dog ring, announcing his acceptance of a plea deal that requires him to plead guilty to a federal dogfighting charge. One week from today, Vick will hold up his end of the deal, telling a federal judge in Richmond, Virginia, how he helped kill six to eight pit bulls and supplied money for dogfight gambling—federal crimes for which Vick will face sentencing on December 10. Until then, Vick remains barred from the NFL and all related hoopla, having lost two major endorsement deals in the wake of his indictment.
••"Boo-freaking-hoo," says Hot Tipper Last Days' Mom, who forwarded us a commentary by Orlando Sentinel sportswriter Mike Bianchi, espouser of the belief that "if Michael Vick had been arrested for abusing women instead of dogs, he'd still be on the football field today. He'd still have the love and adoration of his fans. And, yes, he'd still have his Nike deal." Bianchi's proof: The numerous NFL players who've survived charges of violence against women, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Lionel Gates (arrested on burglary, criminal mischief, and aggravated battery charges after an altercation with a pregnant woman in March) and Michael Pittman (a repeat domestic-violence offender who finally served time for aggravated assault after intentionally ramming his Hummer into a car carrying his wife and 2-year-old son). "It makes not a lick of sense," said sportswriter Don Yaeger to the Sentinel. "Why are we less concerned about [former Dolphins player] Lamar Thomas, who kept right on playing even though he shoved his pregnant fiancée's head through a window, than we are about Michael Vick? I'm not saying we shouldn't be repulsed by dogfighting. I have two dogs and I love dogs. But I also love pregnant women."
TUESDAY, AUGUST 21 Speaking of dogs and women: This morning in Gig Harbor, Washington, a pair of pit bulls chewed through their leashes, maneuvered a sliding glass door, and entered the home of 59-year-old Sue Gorman, whom the dogs found asleep in her bed and subsequently mauled. Details come from the Seattle Times, which reports the dogs entered Gorman's home through a sliding-glass door she leaves partially open for her cats and small sheltie dog. As the pit bulls attacked, Gorman fought back with a stick and a handgun that failed to fire before she managed to escape to her car, where she called 911. Officers arrived to find dogs so vicious they "almost had to shoot them on site"; instead, the dogs were pepper sprayed and hauled to the Humane Society, while Ms. Gorman was taken to a Tacoma hospital and listed in serious condition. As for the troubled dogs' owner: He's fucked. On Thursday, the Times will reveal the two previous citations the pit bulls have earned for running loose, along with the multiple warnings posted by Pierce County Police on the dog owner's door, ordering him to rein in his problem dogs. Now the dogs face execution while their owner faces possible felony charges, punishable by up to five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. Stay tuned.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 22 In much lighter news: This morning, the Seattle-Bainbridge ferry—one of Washington's largest, holding 2,500 passengers and 202 vehicles—was detained at Colman Dock for over an hour after a "suspicious package" was found in the men's restroom. This afternoon, KING 5 reported that "the Washington State Patrol refused to describe the object except to call it a 'nonhazardous, nonexplosive item.'" An FBI official was more specific: "Someone found a bong," said Special Agent David Gomez to KING 5.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23 Speaking of weird-yet-benign items found in men's restrooms: "I just came from the bathroom on the seventh floor of the Central Library," reports Hot Tipper Jonathan. "A homeless man was drying his ass crack with the hand blower. As he left the restroom, he muttered, mechanically, 'This library is a design disaster.' Then I noticed the same phrase, written as graffiti on the door. I dried my hands on my pants."
••Meanwhile: "On my walk to work each day, I pass a church," reports Hot Tipper Nick. "This morning, there was a crazed old man circling and trying to sneak up and grab any pigeon he could, yelling he was going to 'baptize every one of you muthafuckas.' I considered interrupting him, but I genuinely feel he was trying to save them."
FRIDAY, AUGUST 24 The week continues with the aforementioned awesome local heroics, inspired by some awful shit that almost went down yesterday in South Seattle. That's where Janette Solis saw two men huddling behind the Burger King she manages at Fourth Avenue South near the West Seattle Bridge. Earlier in the day, Solis had seen the men drinking in the parking lot; in the late afternoon, she noticed them crouching next to the Dumpster. "One guy was taking cardboard and wrapping it around his friend," said Solis to KOMO. "I thought his friend was going to the bathroom. As I got closer, I saw how the guy was moving, humping his body, and I thought, 'Oh, he's having sex.'" After Solis approached the men and ordered them to leave, the men fled, leaving behind an unconscious woman. While Solis stayed with the woman, another Burger King employee chased the fleeing men down, holding them both until police arrived and arrested them on suspicion of rape. Police believe the foiled attack may have been a "crime of opportunity," with the two men happening upon the unconscious woman and helping themselves. As for the victim: She's regained consciousness and is being treated at Harborview. Props to the badass staff of the South Seattle Burger King.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 25 "Dear Last Days," writes Hot Tipper Aaron C. "Today, my family was on its way to the funeral of a family friend. My grandma and uncle stopped at a rest area on I-5 just past Smokey Point, where my grandmother used the bathroom and my uncle bought a cup of coffee. While at the counter, my uncle saw the cashier hand someone change and say, 'Thank you, sir'—inspiring the person to lift her shirt and show the cashier her tits, while shouting, 'Do I look like a man to you?!' The cashier apologized."
SUNDAY, AUGUST 26 Nothing happened today.
Once more, with feeling: Thursday, September 6, the Triple Door—Showgirls, Paul Verhoeven's brilliantly horrible stripper drama, hosted and annotated by yours truly. Send Hot Tips to email@example.com.