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Last Days

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6 Following last week's exceedingly dark column of mangled hot dogs, alluring corpses, and real-life motherfuckers—the intensity of which drove numerous traumatized readers to write in and beg for mercy (sorry about that)—this week brings a parade of invigorating triumph, spiked with the occasional tale of social horror and some awful facts about the killing of Pat Tillman. But first comes today's report from Hot Tipper Andy, witness to a most impressive culture clash in Seattle's International District. "I was getting take-out from my favorite Chinese place, Sichuanese Cuisine at South Jackson Street and 12th Avenue South," reports Andy. "The place was packed and I was the only whitey there until the arrival of a supermetro homo with black box-framed glasses. While I paid one of the sweet ladies at the counter, another lady employee tried to strike up a conversation with Metroman, asking, 'Long day?' 'Excuse me?' said Metroman, puzzled. The lady asked again—'Long day?'—and Metroman repeated her words back to her. 'Long day? I'm sorry, what does that mean?' In utter disbelief that he couldn't understand that 'long day' isn't Chinese, I turned to him and said it slowly, then spelled it: 'L-o-n-g d-a-y.' He gave me the same questioning look he gave the waitress." Metroman's seemingly impenetrable presumption was finally pierced by a fellow diner—a heavy Asian lady who shouted, "L-O-N-G D-A-Y! She's not speaking CHINESE! She just wants to know if you've had a long day!" "The entire restaurant busted up laughing at him," reports Andy. "I'm not positive, because I don't speak Chinese, but it seemed as if they were all cracking jokes about Metroman as he sat by himself, smiling nervously." Thanks to Andy for noticing and sharing, and condolences to Metroman, whose obviously long day was capped off with a stint as the laughingstock of a Sichuanese restaurant.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7 Nothing happened today, unless you count the wholesale slaughter of the Republican leadership at the hands of U.S. voters. Following the Democrats' claiming today of the House of Representatives, the week will continue with a variety of blue-state thrillers, from tomorrow's resignation of war-mongering, torture-defending secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld (whom Last Days would love to see before a military tribunal, when the time is right) to Thursday's miraculously just claiming of the Senate by Democrats as well. Make no mistake: Things are still horrifying. But at least comparatively sane people are in a position to start doing something about it, and for that we are grateful.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8 Speaking of soul-crushing humiliation leading to an exceedingly just reward: Today the Los Angeles City Council approved a $2.7 million settlement payment to a black firefighter whose white coworkers fed him spaghetti laced with dog food. Details come from the Associated Press, which reports the fiasco went down in 2004, when 51-year-old firefighter Tennie Pierce took a bite of his meal and noticed other firefighters laughing. After a second bite, Pierce demanded to know what was in the food; when no one answered, Pierce reported the incident to his superiors, after which Pierce found himself subject to retaliatory insults, slurs, and taunts, including firefighters "barking like dogs [and] asking him how dog food tasted." Eventually Pierce filed a lawsuit, accusing the L.A. Fire Department of racially motivated harassment and discrimination. Today the powers that be implicitly agreed, awarding Pierce the aforementioned kerblillion bucks. "I truly hope that my case will make a difference for African Americans in the Los Angeles Fire Department," said Pierce, before sneezing into a $1,000 bill and zipping off on a mink Segway.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9 Speaking of up-to-the-minute punishment for latter-day racism: The week continues with the hubbub at Walla Walla, Washington's Whitman College, where today all classes were canceled for a daylong diversity symposium sparked by Halloween costumes gone awry. According to the Associated Press, the costumes in question belonged to students who attended an off-campus party dressed as the cast of Survivor: Cook Islands, where teams were divided by ethnic origin, at least one of which was represented by Whitman students in blackface. After pictures of the costumes were posted on "social networking websites," a fiery debate about race lit up the school's all-campus e-mail list and inspired Whitman officials to cancel classes for a daylong diversity seminar. And so the students of Whitman learned the invaluable lesson taught by so many edgy jokesters, from Ted Danson (who attended the roast of Whoopi Goldberg coated in black greasepaint) to Last Days' best friend, Betsy, who spent Halloween 1997 dressed as 227's Jackée: Blackface is always offensive.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10 Today brings those aforementioned awful facts about the killing of Pat Tillman, the former NFL superstar whose 2004 death in Afghanistan is the subject of an intense, ongoing military investigation, details of which were reported yesterday by the Associated Press. Among the disturbing revelations were new facts about Tillman's shooters/fellow army rangers (one had recently undergone laser eye surgery, another just aimed where everyone else was shooting), and horrible particulars about Tillman's last moments. "Cease fire, friendlies," shouted Tillman repeatedly while waving his arms. "I am Pat (expletive) Tillman, damn it!" Despite his protestations, a trio of bullets soon tore through Tillman's forehead, fatally wounding him and instigating an increasingly creepy investigation, with further AP details implicating the military (according to one of Tillman's shooters, their platoon had nearly run out of vital supplies, leading to "hunger, fatigue, and possibly misjudgments") and the government (the Pentagon's delayed acknowledgment of Tillman's death by friendly fire has raised suspicions of a cover-up). Stay tuned.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11 Nothing happened today, unless you count another day of levee-breaching, road-eroding rainfall in the Pacific Northwest.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12 The week ends with a most unusual occurrence: an eyewitness Hot Tip that Last Days viewed with our own goddamn eyes. The scene: the Bank of America at 14th Avenue and East Madison Street, whose cash machines we visited late in the rainy afternoon. The star: a scraggly, thirtysomething rocker guy who got out of a cab to use the cash machine next to us. The stunner: the man's inspired multitasking, using one hand to manipulate the ATM keypad while using his other hand to hold his penis and urinate against the wall of the bank. Despite making prolonged eye contact with the actively urinating man, at whom we gaped with a cartoonishly incredulous look, Last Days could confirm no sense of compunction on the part of the pisser, leading us to believe he may have been a smacked-out heroin junkie. Whatever the case, the man finished whizzing, completed his transaction, and hopped back in the waiting cab, leaving Last Days to wonder what it would take to get the bank's surveillance tape of the shameless urination, and wishing our pores naturally excreted a steady stream of Purell. recommended

Send Hot Tips to lastdays@thestranger.com.

 

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