MONDAY, AUGUST 11
This week of up-skirt creeps, tea-bagged wrestlers, and gangly Olympic history kicks off with an all-of-a-sudden-except-it's-been-brewing-for-decades war between Georgia and Russia in South Ossetia, which carried into its fourth day of finger-pointing, civilian-killing, former-Soviet bloodshed. The war's formal beginning came with last Thursday's military attack on South Ossetia by Georgia, from which South Ossetia declared independence in 1992. According to Georgia, the troops had been sent to squelch attacks on Georgian civilians by South Ossetian secessionists. According to Russia, Georgia was engaged in a just-for-the-heck-of-it genocide, to which Russian forces responded with a large-scale counterattack across South Ossetia, advancing to a significant extent into Georgia. According to London's Daily Mail: "The region is an international flash point, given its vital position in terms of oil supplies which run from the Caspian Sea to Europe through the small country. It is feared the Kremlin could be using the conflict to disrupt fuel supplies, which would make the West even more dependent on Russian oil. While Georgia does not produce oil itself, U.S. and European energy firms have counted on the pro-Western country—sandwiched between Russia and Iran—to host a pipeline for oil and gas exports from Azerbaijan." On Friday, both Georgia and Russia will sign a preliminary cease-fire, arranged by the president of France/president-in-office of the European Union Nicolas Sarkozy. By Saturday, the news-making Georgia will be the one in the Southern U.S., where two dudes will claim to have found the corpse of Bigfoot.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 12 The week continues with the headline-making Cher fan from Wales, introduced to the world by the Guardian, which identified today's protagonist as Karl Wiosna, a 44-year-old Welsh man whose incessant blasting of Cher recordings led to his being served with legal notice under the Environmental Protection Act, demanding that he reduce the volume of his Cher or stop playing music altogether. A week after the notice, officers were again called to Wiosna's home by Cher-battered neighbors. Making good on their previous threat, authorities seized all of Wiosna's musical equipment—including a tape deck, a record player, a portable radio, speakers, a CD wallet, a stack of records, and more than 30 cassettes—and issued him a fine of 250 pounds. While Wiosna was certainly peeved by the seizure of his stereo and music collection, the Daily Mail suggests he was most upset at being characterized as a Cher fan. "It wasn't just Cher," sniffed Wiosna. "I used to play heavy metal as well."
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13 Today brings Last Days' mandatory acknowledgement of Michael Phelps, the history-conquering swimmer who today became the winningest Olympic athlete ever. By week's end, Phelps will rack up a total of eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, then spend the rest of his life selling us things.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 14 Speaking of sports: Today we travel to the densely populated wilds of Stratford, Connecticut, where a high-school wrestling team has been rocked by allegations of sexual assault. Details come from the Connecticut Post, which reports the allegations stem from an incident that occurred last December during a wrestling team practice session at Bunnell High School. According to police reports, the 17-year-old male victim was wrestling with another teammate when he was pinned on his back and besieged by a third wrestler, a 16-year-old male who "bent down and exposed his genitals in the victim's face." As he told police, the victim managed to free himself and rush to a water cooler to rinse out his mouth, declaring, "That was disgusting." Police also say the victim was initially reluctant to report the incident, only coming forward after word spread to other students. When police confronted the alleged tea-bagger, he contended that he made a "gesture" that may have suggested his genitals came in contact with the other wrestler, but actually did not. The contention didn't work: Yesterday, the 16-year-old wrestler was arrested and charged with one count of fourth-degree sexual assault, and released after posting a $1,000 bond. Condolences to all.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 15 The week continues with a Seattle day so hot a Metro bus burst into flames on I-5 (all passengers were evacuated safely, but flames and smoke backed up traffic for hours). Meanwhile on Queen Anne, Hot Tipper B. lived through a Lifetime-worthy nightmare at the supermarket. "I was in Metropolitan Market and this creepy fucker was walking around taking up-skirt shots with a dented U.S. Postal Service mailing tube internally rigged with a camera. How do I know? He walked right up behind me and dropped the end of his USPS tube to knee height. My man figured it out first, after which we followed Creepy and watched him do it to more women. My man approached him and asked what was in the tube. The creepy asshole freaked out, dropped his groceries, and ran out the door with the tube, colliding with a small old man whose head ended up bleeding. My boy tackled Creepy in the courtyard and was soon joined by a few employees and bystanders. One of them got the camera from him while the others held him down until police showed up and took him away. The small old man who was hurt got medical attention. The rest of us gave our statements to the police." Thanks to B. for surviving and sharing, and props to her heroic boyfriend for defending her honor.
••Speaking of local creeps: Today also brought sentencing for Leslie Calvo, the 40-year-old Seattle woman who ran a supershady theft ring out of Seattle's Liberty Jewelry and Loan. Details come from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which reports a 2005 police investigation revealed Calvo had been enlisting "drug addicts and street thieves" to steal high-priced items for resale at Liberty pawnshop. In addition, Calvo reportedly decorated her home with "some of the hundreds of pieces of glass art" she'd ordered stolen from Seattle galleries. After pleading guilty to nine counts related to the theft, today Calvo was sentenced to four and a half years in prison, along with her husband, Richard Calvo, who was given a 12-month sentence after pleading guilty to lesser charges.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 16 The week continues with the blessed nuptials of Ellen DeGeneres, the 50-year-old comedian and talk-show host whose stature among gay-rights pioneers can hardly be overestimated, and Portia de Rossi, the 35-year-old actress whose hilarity on Arrested Development ensures her stardom for eternity. Congratulations to the newlyweds (and thank God California didn't achieve marriage equality during the Anne Heche years).
SUNDAY, AUGUST 17 Speaking of counter- culture triumphs: The week ends with a hundred thousand or so potheads alighting upon Myrtle Edwards Park for day number two of Seattle Hempfest. In the continuation of a great tradition, local law enforcement politely declined to prosecute the hordes of people getting publicly baked. In the discontinuation of another great tradition, no one reported finding that lady with the basket full of disgusting but effective mushroom fudge.
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