The Week in Review
MONDAY, JULY 14 This week of skin litter, evil oldsters, and Link-induced luck kicks off with something so ridiculously amazing we'll refrain from naming it until after the next period. We're speaking, of course, of 86-year-old Peter Egner, aka the Would-Be Nazi of Bellevue, whom federal authorities accuse of participating in the mass murder of thousands during World War II. Details come from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle, which alleges Herr Egner joined the Nazis in German-occupied Serbia in April 1941, after which he allegedly became part of a "mobile killing unit" that claimed more than 17,000 victims. Most of the victims were Jewish men, women, and children, who Egner's unit allegedly took from a Belgrade concentration camp, asphyxiated with carbon monoxide, and then dumped in a mass grave. Today, Peter Egner will spend a final day puttering around the Bellevue retirement community where he's lived for the past two years in relative anonymity. Tomorrow, the U.S. Department of Justice will announce its move to revoke Egner's U.S. citizenship. "The Nazi unit in which Peter Egner is alleged to have participated was responsible for countless deaths and unimaginable human suffering," said acting assistant attorney general Matthew Friedrich. "By bringing this action, we again declare our unwavering commitment to the principle that participants in Nazi crimes should not be afforded the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship." Stay tuned.
TUESDAY, JULY 15 The week continues with a story straight out of The Golden Girls, if the Golden Girls had ever taken out life insurance policies on hobos and then murdered them for profit. Details come from the Associated Press, which identifies the killers as 75-year-old Olga Rutterschmidt and 77-year-old Helen Golay, who were convicted in April of first-degree murder and conspiracy to murder for financial gain for their impressively diabolical scheme, in which they befriended homeless men, took out the aforementioned insurance policies on them, then killed them in murders staged to look like hit-and-run auto accidents. (The women also collected $2.8 million before the ruse was discovered.) Today in Los Angeles Superior Court, Rutterschmidt and Golay got their ultimate comeuppance, as each was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
••In actual Golden Girls news, one week from today will bring the death of Estelle Getty. RIP Sophia.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 16 The week continues with a fine bit of ickiness from Hot Tipper Jay. "Yesterday I played hooky to go to Wild Waves with my boyfriend. Though it was a weekday, there were still long lines on some attractions. While waiting for a slide with our inner tubes, my boyfriend and I were snickering at the teenage couple that was full-on making out in front of us. I got bored of this and started watching other people going down the slides, when I noticed some flakes floating downwind. Knowing this wasn't Christmas in July, I looked up and realized that the girlfriend was scratching off her boyfriend's peeling sunburned skin and that this was what had been floating into my hair and eyes. The sad part? We had waited so long in line and were so close to the front that we had to stay, unable to 'peel' our eyes away from the public grooming disaster happening right in front of us."
THURSDAY, JULY 17 In real news: Today congressional Democrats came out swinging against the Bush administration's draft proposal that would require health-care organizations to hire people who refuse to perform abortions or provide certain types of birth control in order to be eligible for government funding. Blasted as "a dangerous assault on women's health" by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the draft proposal also drew eloquent ire from Senators Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray. "One of the most troubling aspects of the proposed rules is the overly broad definition of 'abortion,'" wrote Clinton and Murray in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. "This definition would allow health-care corporations or individuals to classify many common forms of contraception—including the birth control pill, emergency contraception, and IUDs—as 'abortions' and therefore to refuse to provide contraception to women who need it."
••In other shitty Bush news: Today in California, a measure seeking to name a San Francisco sewage plant after President Bush qualified for the November ballot. If passed, the measure would magically transform the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant to the George W. Bush Sewage Plant, giving the world a fitting memorial to the president who flushed America down the toilet. If you live in San Francisco, please vote yes on Proposition Name-a-Sewage-Plant-After-Dubya.
FRIDAY, JULY 18 "Dear Last Days," writes Hot Tipper Doug. "I turned up late to tonight's midnight screening of The Dark Knight, which was sold out, so I was forced to sit next to a college-age kid who was clearly passed the fuck out. This wasn't the worst fate in the world, as someone that intoxicated didn't seem too likely to move or talk during the movie. However. About 10 minutes into the feature I noticed he'd spilled his drink and was in the process of soaking the feet of the people in front of us. This became less amusing when I realized that he had no drink, but was in fact pissing himself while passed out drunk in the middle of a sold-out Neptune Theatre. After about a minute and a half of steady urination, my friend got up and sought out the usher, who eventually shook the man back to consciousness and convinced him to leave. As the groggy man exited, he slipped in his own urine. The rest of the movie was good, albeit slightly urine-scented."
SATURDAY, JULY 19 Nothing happened today, unless you count the thousands of citizens plunged into electricity-free darkness for several hours today in North Seattle (thanks to a high-voltage transmission line dropped by Seattle City Light crews), or the thousands of bees that swarmed around cars this afternoon on the New Jersey Turnpike (thanks to a man-made beehive dropped by the side of the road).
SUNDAY, JULY 20 "Dear Last Days," writes Hot Tipper Ryan. "Today I was walking down Broadway and I noticed that Link [the man who walks around Capitol Hill dressed as the character from The Legend of Zelda] was walking just a few feet in front of me. I said hi, he swung around like he was expecting me to give him a hard time, and I said, 'I read in The Stranger that it's good luck to see you.' 'Oh yeah?' he countered in a semithreatening way. 'You wanna know why they call it The Stranger?' 'Why?' I asked, taking the bait. After he thought for 30 seconds, staring at the ground and moving his lips, he said, 'Because no one reads it! Yeah, that's why... yeah....' I felt bad that he probably calls a lot of negative attention to himself without meaning to. I couldn't help but also feel a tiny bit lucky."
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