The week begins with a miraculous story of survival and extrasensory perception that will be told and retold until humankind meets the final kaboom: The amazing tale of the teenage girl in Redmond trapped for eight days in her wrecked car before being found by a friend's mother, whose dreams reportedly led her to the crash site. Details on the real-life Touched by an Angel episode come from the Associated Press, which reports that the driver/survivor, 17-year-old Laura Hatch, was last seen at a party on Saturday, October 2. As the days passed with no Laura, Hatch's parents Jean and Todd Hatch hired a private investigator and, one week after her disappearance, organized 200 volunteers for an unsuccessful search of areas near the place where the car was eventually found. Among the search volunteers was Sha Nohr, mother of a friend of Hatch, who told reporters she had several vivid dreams the night of the failed search, depicting a wooded area with the message, "Keep going." The next morning, Nohr and her daughter drove to the area where the crash occurred, lugged themselves over a concrete barrier, and clambered down 100 feet of a steep, densely vegetated embankment, where Nohr managed to discern Laura Hatch's wrecked Toyota Camry among some trees. Almost as great as the dream-fueled rescue was Hatch's opening line: "I think I might be late for curfew." Whether this was wit or the result of eight days without food and water is immaterial; Laura Hatch was safely transported to Harborview Medical Center, where she remains listed in serious condition, receiving treatment for severe dehydration, a possible blood clot near her brain, broken ribs, a broken leg, and facial injuries. Best of luck to the young Ms. Hatch and three cheers for cheating death.


Speaking of triumph: Tonight a gazillion roaring Seattle Storm fans stuffed KeyArena to watch the city's fiercest daughters clobber the Connecticut Sun to win the world championship of the WNBA--the first championship for a Seattle sports team in over 20 years. As someone who remembers the Storm's scrappy, beloved-by-dykes debut on the Seattle landscape, Last Days stands in awe of tonight's historic achievement. As someone who's never attended a basketball game in our life, we offer our admiration from afar. Still, congratulations to the mighty Storm, who have given the denizens of Seattle a reason to hold their overly polite, passive-aggressive, liberal-guilt-ridden heads high. Hurrah!


Today we turn to the question that has been nagging a hole in this column for the past week and a half: Did Cat Stevens--now Yusuf Islam--support the death-sentence fatwa against Salman Rushdie, or is it just a big fat lie? The first answer comes from Hot Tipper Thomas, who writes: "Years ago I recorded the Terry Gross interview with Cat/Yusuf on Fresh Air. Without ever saying flat out, 'I want Salman Rushdie dead,' he nevertheless did support the fatwa, saying that the Koran is very clear about blasphemy." Unable to find a transcript of the interview in Fresh Air's archives (and getting no help from urban-legend info site, we found a seemingly reasonable explanation in our inbox from Hot Tipper Jeff: "I remember years ago watching Cat/Yusuf on 60 Minutes or 20/20, where he admitted to supporting the death sentence. To paraphrase what I remember Cat saying about the fatwa: 'Yes, I supported it, but I was new to Islam, and this important figure (Ayatollah Khomeini) issues a religious ruling, so I agreed with it, because who am I, just come to Islam, to argue with someone who was at the time the most important living Muslim? But now I don't agree and regret that I ever did.' Sounds like a pretty reasonable explanation." Agreed, and done.


As South Puget Sound swelled with enough spilled oil to coat the southern ends of Maury and Vashon Islands while threatening the aquatic liveliness of everything from Western grebes to surf smelt, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported the brand-new worst story in the world. The scene: A crowded outdoor deck on the second floor of a residence in Pierce County's University Place. The occasion: A going-away party/early Thanksgiving dinner for 18-year-old Paul Jackson, who'd freshly enrolled in the Navy. The trouble: A structurally unsound deck, which tragically collapsed, sending all of the party guests tumbling to the earth, injuring seven and killing one--who, unfortunately, was Paul Jackson's grandfather. Condolences to all of the Jackson family, and best of luck to young Paul: May the Navy burden you with less tragedy than Pierce County.


Nothing happened today, unless you count The Stranger's second annual Genius Awards bash, the booze-fueled extravaganza held tonight at swanky art space Western Bridge. Due to unavoidable travel obligations, Last Days was unable to attend the soiree, but we've heard from a number of attendees that the whole thing was swell--except for the resoundingly stupid antics of Seattle School, the nervy composers collective selected as this year's Arts Organization Genius. Bringing together such rich material as Jesus, chicken, buttfucking, and Boyz II Men, the typically delightful-and-then-some School somehow managed to suck but hard, with frat-like shenanigans that were, by virtually all accounts, an agonizing embarrassment. Of course, this may have been the point--which doesn't mitigate the audience's desire to see Korby Sears and Mike Min strung up on a $5,000 pole. (Still, anyone doubting the value of Seattle School should proceed directly to next month's Iron Composer competition at the Crocodile, and see why the hell The Stranger threw so much money at them.)


Today was the first annual Worship Jon Stewart Day, established to honor the venerable Daily Show host's appearance yesterday on CNN's Crossfire--where our hero meticulously ripped bow-tied nimrod Tucker Carlson several new assholes. Ostensibly there to promote his new book, Stewart showed no mercy to the right-wing pundit he blasted as a "partisan hack." "What you do is not honest," said Stewart. "You have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably." As Carlson repeatedly attempted to steer Stewart into friendlier waters, our man stayed mercilessly on point, with the gloriously itchy interview reaching its climax as Carlson told Stewart, "I do think you're more fun on your show." To which Stewart replied, "You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show." This is not a lie. For a full transcript of the historic exchange, see And viva la Stewart!


The week ends with a missive from Hot Tipper Kamala. "I don't know if this is Last Days-worthy or not, but my friend lives behind the 7-11 on Denny, and huge amounts of poop keep showing up in front of her building, along with some sketchy tweaker kinda guy who usually brings up the issue of the poop and says, "Hey, I'll clean that up for $2." Dear Kamala: You're right, this isn't Last Days-worthy in the least. Thank you for sharing. (Dear readers: Kamala helpfully included photos of the poop, which definitely seemed to be of the dog variety, thus laying to rest the fearful prospect of the sketchy tweaker guy attempting to create business for himself by dropping loads on the sidewalk. Whew.)

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