MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4 America's glorious week of fasting Muslims, convicted starlets, and klutzy democracy in action got off to a relatively low-key start today, with a fascinating tale of chiropteran foreplay from Portland-based Hot Tipper Mindy. "Yesterday my boyfriend and I visited the Oregon Zoo," writes Mindy. "We were standing in front of the bat exhibit next to a woman with three children--including a little girl who just stood there, arms at her sides, staring into the bat cage. Then, in a deep, completely deadpan voice, she said, 'Mom, she's licking his balls.' The mother didn't respond, so the girl said it again--twice. 'She's licking his balls, Mom. Mom--she's licking his balls.' I was okay the first two times," confesses Mindy (who, when she's not at the zoo, works at Portland's God-hating Seventh District Court of Appeals). "But the third time, I lost it, and nearly snorted myself to death." Thanks to Mindy (who admits that she's "nowhere near as mature as that child") for sharing, and our apologies to our readers: We promise never to report such a Cosby-esque "darnedest thing" ever again.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5 Today citizens throughout the Northwest exercised their constitutional right to vote, voicing opinions on a variety of issues affecting transportation, taxes, and the Legislature--plus some legitimately interesting stuff. In Tacoma, citizens once again voted down an effort to repeal the city's anti-discrimination ordinance for sexual minorities. Brainchild of noteworthy Tacoma bigot Doug Delin, Initiative 1 marked the third time in a dozen years Tacoma residents have voted on gay rights; interviewed by the Seattle Times, Delin pointed to the protections gays and lesbians already receive from federal laws, adding that the best remedy for discrimination is discretion. "If I'm a homosexual, and I don't tell you, how would you know?" Delin asked the Times, single-handedly sending 35 years of gay-straight dialogue back to the dark ages. Thankfully, a majority of Tacoma voters recognized Delin's theorizing for the embarrassment it was, and rejected Initiative 1 with a vote of 58.2 percent. Meanwhile in Portland, 69 percent of voters approved Measure 14, which removed a variety of racially offensive references from the state constitution. Among the cuts was a 150-year-old pronouncement that "no free negro, or mulatto, not residing in this state at the time of the adoption of this constitution, shall come, reside, or be within this State, or hold any real estate." The passage of Measure 14 was obviously a triumph of forward-thinking liberalism at its best, but don't plan a parade yet: A provision barring Chinese from owning property remains in the Oregon constitution and was not affected by Tuesday's vote. (And don't forget: 31 percent of Oregon voters wanted to keep that negro/mulatto ban.)

·· Also today: The sighting of tonight's new moon brought the beginning of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month during which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset to intensify their relationship with God and empathize with the poor and hungry. (Also, if you add two letters, it spells "Ramada Inn.")

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6 Every generation has its defining moments--those instances all cognizant citizens will recall with precision and pathos. Just as previous generations swap recollections of their whereabouts at the time of the Kennedy assassination/death of Elvis/L.A. riots, every member of the contemporary generation will recall exactly where they were when a Los Angeles jury found Winona Ryder guilty of felony grand theft and vandalism for stealing more than $5,500 worth of merchandise from a Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue. Today a Los Angeles jury found the 31-year-old actress guilty of two of the three charges stemming from her December shoplifting spree, which Ryder has alternately attributed to acting research, following a director's orders, and situational narcissism, Last Days' favorite new disease since scleroderma, the soft-tissue affliction that turned Dana Plato's mother to stone. In a small bit of good luck, Ryder was acquitted of the most serious of the charges--burglary, which carried a maximum sentence of three years in prison. As it stands, Ryder may get off with as little as probation and community service. Stay tuned.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7 Today in Olympia, a pistol-toting shoplifting suspect got more than he bargained for when he received a jolt from a policeman's non-lethal Taser gun--and died. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the police officer responding to the shoplifting call at the Bayview Thriftway yesterday afternoon found a large man with a handgun fighting a security guard in the parking lot. The officer shot the man with a jolt from the Taser, to no effect; a second officer soon arrived to help apprehend the shock-resistant psycho. After handcuffing the man and taking away his handgun, police say the man stopped breathing; the man was soon pronounced dead at St. Peter's Hospital. Used by police in both Olympia and Seattle, Taser stun guns are considered non-lethal--as part of Taser training, officers themselves receive a zap. The matter is under investigation by the Thurston County Sheriff's Office.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8 The headline of the piece (found linked on a new computer's preset home page) said it all: Want to be Sexy? Then Don't Do This! Penned by Patty Lamberti of the Fun Online Corporation, the authoritative list compiled the 25 greatest mistakes for those aspiring to appear sexy. A veritable Heloise of sexiness, Ms. Lamberti advises against such anti-sexifying maneuvers as nose-picking, speed-eating, and sweating, while praising the sexiness of those who refrain from scratching themselves and telling racist jokes. In closing, Lamberti writes, "Sexiness is a state of mind." (If sexiness is indeed a state, Marlon Brando in 1956 should be governor, and Danny Roberts and that kid from Swimfan should be senators.)

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9 For weeks, Last Days has been hearing testimonials from folks who had the shit scared out of them by The Ring, the mind-fucky new horror flick starring Mulholland Drive's brilliant Naomi Watts. But tonight we heard the most terrifying Ring testimonial of all time from Hot Tipper Trevor, who attended a late show of The Ring tonight at the Meridian 16. "About a half-hour into the movie," writes Trevor, "the man sitting next to my girlfriend, a nicely dressed guy in his late 50s, lets out this loud, guttural hack. The man's wife asks if he's okay, and he holds up his hand and says, 'It's okay, I'm all right.' Then there's another huge hack, followed by the stomach-dropping sound of wetness hitting the floor. I looked over, but the guy was just sitting there, quietly watching the movie. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, until the movie ended, and the lights came up, revealing between the man's nice wingtips a big, steamy pile of puke. We were so stunned, we couldn't even give him any shit for what he did." Deep thanks to Trevor for his eloquent account, and deep shame on the man who redefined the sin of littering.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10 Nothing happened today.

Hey folks: Next Thursday, Nov 21, I'll be hosting a one-night-only, return-engagement annotated screening of Paul Verhoeven's legendary cinematic disaster Showgirls, at the glamorous Showbox. Join me for a night of strong drinks, fake boobs, and art so bad it's brilliant. Show's at 8 pm, tickets are $8, and advance tix are recommended--call 628-3151.