The Week in Review
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1 The week begins with little beyond a citywide saturation of anxiety, as today exists only as the day before tomorrow, when the fate of the nation will be put to popular vote and liberal Americans of all stripes will be handed their accumulated asses on a plate. As 49-percenters throughout history can attest, majority rule can be a cruel motherfucker. However difficult it may be for us in the Seattle bubble to comprehend, the majority of voters in this country find equal marriage rights and legal abortion more terrifying than George W. Bush, and all we can do is wait for history and evolution to tip the scales. Until then, let's make with the escapism.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2 Nothing happened today.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3 The day began with a suitably horrifying quote from reelected President George W. Bush: "Let me put it to you this way," Dubya told reporters before jetting to Camp David. "I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it." Last Days was rescued from our cycle of shuddering and puking by the sight of a hilarious hooker standing on the corner across from our 18th Avenue apartment. Obviously maneuvering a transition from one skeezy guy on the street to another skeezy guy in a Cutlass, our lady had dressed for her 10:00 a.m. morning shift like a high schooler playing hooker for Halloween, with heavy makeup, fishnet hose, and vinyl miniskirt, all propped up on stiletto heels. Best of all was the working girl's lunchbox--not just any lunchbox, but a lunchbox devoted to the Bee Gees. And not just any Bee Gee--the one and only dead Bee Gee, Maurice. Fuck you, God, for allowing the reelection of Bush, but thanks for the lunchbox-wielding hooker.
-- In other "rose from the concrete" scenarios: As deep-in-the-heart-of-Texas Dallas County elected its first-ever Hispanic sheriff--Ms. Lupe Valdez, a one-time migrant farm worker and real- life lesbian--the Jesuit badasses at Seattle University announced their hosting of the perpetually embattled homeless encampment Tent City 3, whose forthcoming month-long residency on Seattle U's tennis courts will exemplify a school-wide focus on "issues of consumption and poverty." Meanwhile, the negligible entity of crap TV produced its first concrete benefit to humanity as California police caught a slippery rape suspect after his alleged victim spotted him on NBC's late-night reality series Blind Date. The Associated Press reports that 31-year-old California man Ulrick "Aswah" White has been charged with rape and kidnapping in connection with the September 2003 attack of a 35-year-old Ventura County woman--a case cops investigated for a year before the victim provided detectives with a videotape of her alleged rapist appearing as a contestant on Blind Date. (NBC's website remembers the cagey contestant thusly: "Aswah likes freaky women, and he thinks that all women who fit the bill are equally attracted to him.") In addition to today's charges, Ulrick "Aswah" White is awaiting trial in Santa Barbara for allegedly breaking into another woman's apartment last November.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4 Speaking of November: What is it about the 11th month that draws psychos to Metro? Six years to the month after a suicidal passenger shot a bus driver and sent a Metro bus plunging off the Aurora Bridge, this morning a 36-year-old man uppity about an expired bus transfer allegedly grabbed the wheel of a crowded Metro bus, sending the vehicle and its 60-plus passengers careening over a curb and into a utility pole along Aurora at North 80th Street. The Associated Press reports that the nonfatal fiasco sent nine people to the hospital and one suspect to jail on investigation of assault.
-- In other freaky travel news: A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posits a novel explanation for the ongoing woes of commercial airlines: the ongoing lardification of the American traveler. According to the study (reported today by the Associated Press), the average weight of Americans increased by 10 pounds in the '90s, with heavier fliers requiring airplanes to burn more fuel and driving up the cost of flights. (In 2000, airlines spent $275 million to burn 350 million more gallons of fuel just to carry the additional weight of Americans, with the extra fuel releasing an estimated 3.8 million extra tons of carbon dioxide into the air.) And though the Air Transport Association of America has yet to validate the CDC data, spokesman Jack Evans told the AP that the health agency's appraisal "does not sound out of the realm of reality." Considering many airlines' desperate weight-saving maneuvers (thinner in-flight magazines, all-plastic utensils), Evans' quote does not sound out of the realm of understatement.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5 Just in time to renew America's fractured spirit, today brought a wealth of updates in the humanity-unifying saga of Michael Jackson, the American musical genius facing 10 felony counts ranging from child molestation to conspiracy. Yesterday brought a ruling from Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville, who summarily rejected Jackson's request to have the "overzealous" prosecuting district attorney Tom Sneddon removed from the case, dismissing claims of "Sneddon's vendetta" against the troubled star and clearing the way for Jackson's January 31 trial start date. Meanwhile, today brought a whole new load of alleged trouble for Jackson, with the filing of a civil suit by one Joseph Bartucci Jr. , a Louisiana man who claims to have been repeatedly sexually assaulted by Jackson in 1984. Unfortunately for his case, Bartucci claims to have recovered his repressed memories of the abuse after watching a 2004 Court TV special about Jackson's current legal battle. (Even more unfortunately, Bartucci claims that Jackson swallowed.) Still, yesterday's ruling is the real deal, and big news. Needless to say, stay tuned.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6 Nothing happened today (unless you count Yasser Arafat's ongoing do-si-do with the Grim Reaper, the biggest is-he-or-isn't-he? cliffhanger since The Crying Game).
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 7 The week ends with a fresh burst of the mandatory activism required of all sentient citizens in Dubya's America. Granted, it was a small burst, with Last Days' significant other Jake calling the KOMO 4 tip line to complain that news anchor Molly Shen's face was a radically different color from her neck, with the former a rusty yam color and the latter a normal pale. Even worse, a quick tour of the KOMO website reveals that Ms. Shen is a perfectly wonderful human being, devoted to helping child victims of sexual assault at Harborview's Children's Response Center, and deserving of a far better makeup artist than she had today. Still, it must be remembered that KOMO is the station that has continued to give the certifiably insane Ken Schram a semi-public voice via his notoriously loony "Schram on the Street" segments, featuring charmless rants on negligible topics delivered with a wit and insight that makes Andy Rooney look like Confucius. Nevertheless, free Molly Shen's face!
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