The week begins with yet another story of a dumb-ass kid imitating a stunt from Jackass and dying. This time the kid was 15-year-old Stephen Rouen of Albuquerque, and the stunt was car surfing, the popular Jackass maneuver in which idiotic thrill-seekers jump onto the hoods of accelerating cars, then try to maintain their placement while the drivers slam on the brakes. In this case, the car was a truck, driven by Rouen's friend, with whom he regularly attempted Jackass stunts. According to police reports, the truck was going around 15 mph when Stephen Rouen dove on the hood and his friend slammed on the brakes, flinging Rouen off the hood and onto the pavement. Rouen was pronounced dead at the scene today around 5 pm, after which his friend Adam Johnson attempted to explain his death to Albuquerque's KRQE news team: "You lay on the hood and... they slam on the brakes. If you fall off, you fall off. Stephen fell off."


Speaking of the ridiculously idiotic things that men do: Today New York Times writer Mark Landler published his harrowing overview of the mind-blowingly hideous crime that's dominated news in Germany since last week. That's when German police arrested Armin M., a 41-year-old software technician from Rotenburg, as the prime suspect in an exceedingly grisly killing involving the Internet, genital mutilation, and cannibalism. According to the New York Times and German authorities, these are the alleged facts: In spring 2001, a 43-year-old microchip designer, identified as Bernd B., sold his car and responded to an Internet personal ad reading, "Wanted: well-built man for slaughter." Upon arriving at the dilapidated, half-timbered house of the aforementioned Armin M., Bernd B. had his genitals surgically removed by M., after which both M. and B. ate them. Later, M. videotaped himself stabbing B. to death, after which M. carved up B.'s body, burying some parts in the garden and storing others in a freezer "for occasional consumption," according to the prosecutor's report. Earlier this year, Armin M. posted another Internet ad looking for more slaughter volunteers, leading police to his arrest last week. Upon being deemed fit to stand trial, Armin M. (revealed in German newspaper photos to be a well-dressed, smiling, executive-type) will be charged with murder. "It is all so unreal... one thinks such a case would only happen in the movies," wrote the Munich paper Suddeutsche Zeitung. "Perhaps in America, but not in Germany."


Speaking of newscasters eating horse rectums: Today the Philadelphia Inquirer reported the rare display of tasteful reserve by Philadelphia news station WCAU, where station managers have publicized their decision not to air a promotional ad featuring sports anchor Vai Sikahema eating a horse's rectum. "We watched the tape and decided to go with our gut," said WCAU news boss Chris Blackman of the yanked ad, conceived as a local teaser for the Jan. 6 episode of NBC's Fear Factor, during which a variety of non-reporters will chow down on equine rectum. "It was awful," said sportsman Sikahema of the ass he ate for naught. "Fatty. Chewy. Tasteless. Had the camera not been rolling, I might have thrown up."

··Also today: Last week, the Florida state attorney general's office dismissed all charges against Youree Dell Harris, better known as Miss Cleo, the faux-Jamaican television psychic accused last year of using deceptive trade practices in promoting a psychic hotline. Today, Miss Cleo spoke out on the legal problems that are now behind, and the psychic gift that remains. "Everything that I said on the TV that were my words, was real," said Harris to Fort Lauderdale's Channel 10 News, describing her "gift of sight." "'Call me now' was something [I was] required by contract to say. When I'd encounter people on the street and they said, 'Cleo, we tried to call,' I said, 'Don't call that number dear.'"

Just when you'd managed to clear your mind of the parade of hideous images conjured by the week's previous news items (from rectum-eating sportscasters to consensual cannibalism), today brings not one but two Associated Press stories designed by God to make readers taste their own bile. The first comes from Watertown, New York, where a couple is suing Domino's Pizza after allegedly finding pubic hair on a pizza. The alleged incident took place last November, when Michael Widrick and Rhonda LaParr had a Domino's pizza delivered to their Watertown home. According to the couple's lawyer, Widrick and LaParr each took one bite of the pizza, then found small, wiry hairs stuck in their teeth. After freezing the pizza for evidence, the couple set about suing Domino's and an employee for $150,000, and requesting DNA testing of the small, wiry hairs to see if they belonged to John Henderson, a Domino's employee with whom Michael Widrick had previously quarreled. Domino's has agreed to the DNA test--stay tuned for details.

··Today's second disgusting food story comes from Lexington, Tennessee, where a teenage girl faces up to six years behind bars for "jokingly" placing a dead bat on a hamburger bun and giving it to a man who took a bite. "It appears to be a practical joke that went very bad," said Lexington Police Investigator Donna Hetherington to the AP. The joke's victim, 21-year-old Timothy Gooch, was rushed to the hospital and soon pronounced A-OK, while the bat (a victim of roadkill prior to its appearance on the bun) tested negative for rabies. As for the juvenile jokester herself, she will be charged with violating an absolutely brilliant new law prohibiting the giving of tampered food as a gift.


Today Last Days' beloved Internet website the Drudge Report had a field day reporting the gruesome story of Yolanda Schlessinger, Dr. Laura's 77-year-old estranged mother, found dead today on the floor of her Beverly Hills apartment, where the elderly woman had been lying (and rotting) for "a substantial amount of time," according to the Beverly Hills Police Department, who are investigating the death as a homicide.


Nothing happened today.


Nothing happened today (unless you count the surprisingly wonderful Christmas card we found today in our office mailbox from a pair of Last Days readers named Ron and Mary. At first glance, the card--starring a smoking Santa on the front and a photo-booth photo of Ron and Mary on the inside--was your typically witty alterna-greeting. But hidden on the back of the card--beneath a Xerox of the now-classic/still-horrifying courthouse photo of Michael Jackson and his decomposing nose--was a chunk of text that elevated the card to a work of art. "Have a safe and happy holiday season. Try not to think about things like how the whole world hates Americans, the end of democracy, or what Michael Jackson might look like with smallpox. Did you really think we would continue forever having all this fun anyway?" We couldn't have said it better ourselves.)

Ron and Mary, we're glad you found each other. Everyone else, send Hot Tips to lastdays@ And oh yeah: Happy holidays to one and all.