Baby Tamer
As more than one reader has vociferously noted, Last Days has recently been flooded with godawful stories of child abuse. This intrinsically horrible trend forced itself upon us--week after week, without searching, we were confronted by stories of parents doing horrible things to kids. Refusing to ignore a significant cultural trend, Last Days dutifully reported the majority of these stories--and nearly drove many of our more sensitive readers to angst-induced suicide. Unfortunately, nonhorrific dealings between adults and children--young mothers who don't put their newborns in the broiler, babysitters who refrain from force-feeding their charges vinegar and hot peppers, then storing their duct-taped bodies in basement cages--rarely make the news. This week, Last Days seeks to remedy that injustice by reporting exclusively on responsible adults and their normal, mundane, nonmurderous interactions with children. Enjoy.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3 The week begins with relatively new parents Sara and Ben, whose day began with the impassioned squawking of their 15-month-old son Gus at 6:25 a.m. Upon rising, Sara and Ben tag-teamed a morning routine of breakfast (dry Rice Chex appetizer, hot Cream of Wheat-with-raspberries entrée, nursing dessert), entertainment (a half-dozen picture books about counting, baby animals, firefighters, and trucks), and diapers (two brownies). At any point during the morning, was either Sara or Ben tempted to bludgeon Gus with a baseball bat, then stash his body in a garbage bag in the basement? "No," say Sara and Ben.

Last Days' 100 percent child-abuse-free week continues with 30-year-old adoptive father Terry, whose exceedingly butch five-year-old son DJ spent the day "playing with his best friend at our house," says Terry. "Then, in the afternoon, his friend's mom took them down to play at the beach." In the evening, Terry and DJ watched an animated Batman movie. Has Terry ever been tempted to shave DJ's head and feed him sleeping pills to feign the effects of chemotherapy, in order to collect cancer charity donations? "No," says Terry.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5 Today Last Days witnessed some remarkably heartening childcare firsthand, as we visited Eric, the father of a two-year-old boy, who was dealing this day with a child not his own--a friend's six-month-old baby girl, passed to Eric by her mother after little Ursula began offering the insatiable, agonized sob that is every parent's private torture. Rescuing the traumatized mom, Eric swept Ursula into his arms, holding her face before his, then delivered the introductory rap to Chaka Khan's 1984 cover of Prince's "I Feel For You," originally delivered by Melle Mel:

Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan
Chaka Khan, let me rock you
Let me rock you, Chaka Khan
Let me rock you, that's all I wanna do
Chaka Khan, let me rock you
Let me rock you, Chaka Khan
Let me rock you, cuz I feel for you
Chaka Khan, won't you tell me what you wanna do?
Do you feel for me the way I feel for you?
Chaka Khan, let me tell you what I wanna do
I wanna love you, wanna hug you, wanna squeeze you too
Let me take you in my arms
Let me fill you with my charms, Chaka
Cuz you know that I'm the one to keep you warm, Chaka
I'll make it more than just a physical dream
I wanna rock you, Chaka Baby, cuz you make me wanna scream.

By this time, Ursula was a gurgling bundle of drool and smiles. "All babies love Chaka Khan," said Eric, claiming similar success with Rufus' Chaka-enhanced "Tell Me Something Good." Has Eric ever tried singing Chaka Khan to a child starving in a rat- and feces-infested closet? "Jeez," said Eric. "Give it a rest."

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6 Today we "interrupt Happy Kid Week to bring you a glistening report from Hot Tipper Corianton, who was shopping at a Capitol Hill grocery this evening when he witnessed a brazen act of bodily-fluid bravado. "It was just after 7:00 and I was heading down the dairy/beer aisle," writes Corianton, who stopped dead in his tracks as he noticed "a sleeveless, Abercrombie-type guy urinating all over the shelves of bottled water." Unhygienic rant against capitalism? Crystal-induced incontinence? Who knows? Says Corianton, "It was gross."

Back to kids: Today brought some honest-to-God good news about a kid from an honest-to-God news source--specifically, the Associated Press, who today reported on the 20-month-old girl pronounced dead after being found floating in a swimming pool, only to later be found breathing and resuscitated at the hospital. The AP reports that the little girl was found facedown in the family pool by her mother on Friday morning, after which she was rushed to Anaheim Memorial Medical Center and pronounced dead. Not long after, a police investigator sent to photograph "the body" noticed some movement and breathing, and the lucky little girl was revived and transferred to Orange County's Children's Hospital, where she's been listed in critical condition.

Speaking of lucky girls: Today features the thrilling activities of eight-year-old Zoe, whose whirlwind day took her from a soccer match and Mary Kay glamour party with her mom in Port Orchard to a big-city night with her dad on Seattle's First Hill. "We watched the eclipse, had some dinner, then watched the Cats & Dogs video," says father Bill, adding that "the most exciting thing that happened was keeping Zoe's attention on the BMW dealership across the street as we walked past Toys in Babeland." Even better, at no point during the evening did Bill burn Zoe's tongue with a fireplace lighter.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9 Last Days' kid week ends with dueling biopics of two of America's favorite daughters: rescued polygamous bride/alleged rape victim Elizabeth Smart, and rescued Iraqi captive/alleged rape victim Jessica Lynch, each of whom was honored tonight with a made-for-TV movie about her horrible ordeal. As the movies were cruelly allotted the same time slot, Last Days did the only natural thing: watched CBS's Elizabeth Smart Story with the sound down while a nearby second TV blared the soundtrack to NBC's Saving Jessica Lynch.

This comparison testing of TV-movie formulas produced some spooky synchronicities--as an Iraqi militant struck a mouthy subordinate, Elizabeth Smart's father collapsed to the ground; during a spooky "Find Elizabeth!" search montage, a female Iraqi raged, "Would the U.S. have treated an Iraqi captive any better?"--but eventually produced only boredom. Still, both young women were rescued and seem to be doing fine, so hurrah.

Hey everybody: Next Wednesday, November 19, the movie of my play Straight is being screened at Seattle University. For fans of homosexual performance art in a Jesuit setting, it's the only game in town. Plus, I'll be there to answer questions and dodge fruit. Pigott Building, Room 102, 7 pm. P.S. Send Hot Tips to