The Week in Review
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15 The week begins with a thorough reshuffling of the Bush administration, a blustery flurry of activity (half opportunistic infection, half rats from a sinking ship) that Last Days shall ignore for the far more tangible tragedy of Samantha Spady, the 19-year-old Colorado State University student who downed 30 alcoholic beverages in 11 hours and died. But as the Associated Press reports, the suffering continues for Samantha's parents, Rick and Patty Spady, who today blasted a Colorado club promoter's plans for an alcohol-soaked fundraiser to benefit the alcohol-awareness foundation the Spadys created upon their daughter's death. According to a flyer distributed on the CSU campus, nightclub C.B. & Potts' "Wrestle-O" extravaganza was to include a gelatin-wrestling tournament with free shots offered to the first 100 women in the door. Last week, promoter Brian Collins announced hopes of donating at least $100 to the Spady's foundation. Today the Spadys made it clear they wanted no part of it. "We find it abhorrent that anyone would exploit the tragedy of [Samantha's] death in this manner," said the Spadys in a written statement. "This type of activity is exactly what we would like to see abolished." In defense of Wrestle-O, promoter Brian Collins said his company was "trying to show that we want to be part of the community." In defense of Brian Collins, Last Days says nothing. (However, we look forward to more of Collins' fundraisers, including the Battered-Wife Piñata Bash and Dwarf Toss for Lupus.)
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16 Speaking of parties only idiots and indentured servants would willingly attend: Today we turn to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with a New York Times report on the wealth of resistance the U.S. Army has encountered since ordering more than 2,000 former soldiers back to military work. At the center of the controversy is the Individual Ready Reserve, a corps of soldiers no longer on active duty but still eligible for call-up. According to the NYT, many of these former soldiers--some of whom say they haven't trained, held a gun, worn a uniform, or even gone for a jog in years--object to being deployed after they thought they were through with life on active duty. "I consider myself a civilian," said Rick Howell, a major from Tuscaloosa, AL, who said he thought he had left the Army behind in 1997 after more than a decade flying helicopters. "I haven't touched the controls of an aircraft in seven years. I'm 47 years old. How could they even want me?" Major Howell's not alone: In the last few months, the Army's ordered more than 4,000 former soldiers to return to active duty, with nearly a third seeking exemptions, filing court cases, or simply failing to report. Stay tuned for updates on the sure-to-get-ugly military rebellion.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17 Dear readers: For years, Last Days has made a mission of chronicling the mind-blowing hideousness swarming beneath the surface of our civilized society, from infants placed in ovens to penises placed in infants. But after the events of November 2, Last Days has sought to avoid such stories, as hidden hideousness lost much of its relevance and appeal once explicit hideousness became the national norm. However, there is simply no way to avoid reporting the soul-molesting story of Marie G. Robinson, the 36-year-old Kent woman charged today with two counts of second-degree murder after allegedly allowing her two young sons to starve to death. According to the Associated Press, police found the bodies of Robinson's two youngest sons--6-week-old Raiden and 16-month-old Justice--last Sunday in a squalid apartment containing Mom Robinson herself, who was passed out on a bed surrounded by more than 300 empty beer cans. Autopsies indicate that the chronically malnourished kids went without sufficient food or water for two to four days before they died of malnutrition and dehydration; even worse, the apartment's refrigerator and pantry were found stocked with frozen food, bread, canned fruit, and 11 unopened cans of infant formula. Still worse: Marie Robinson has been the subject of at least four complaints to the state Department of Social and Health Services, which is "reviewing the case." If convicted, Robinson faces 20 to 36 years in prison.
-- Meanwhile in Marietta, Georgia: Tomorrow's mothers today. The ever-reliable Associated Press offers details on the case against two 13-year-old girls arrested after handing out poisoned cake in their middle-school cafeteria. Officials say 11 students were taken to the hospital after eating the tainted cake, whose icing was determined to contain bleach, clay, Tabasco sauce, and an expired prescription drug. Lawyers for the girls have attempted to characterize the cake as a supposed-to-be-harmless prank, but today's juvenile court judge wasn't buying it, charging each girl with 12 counts of aggravated assault with intent to commit murder. (In addition to the criminal charges, the girls have been suspended and could be expelled.)
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18 Another week, another pair of lawsuits against Michael Jackson: The first was filed by Marc Schaffel, the former gay porn producer/Jacko confidante seeking more than $3 million for alleged breach of contract and other agreements. According to his lawsuit, Schaffel has had a four-year business relationship with Jackson, with whom Schaffel created Neverland Valley Entertainment and to whom Schaffel allegedly and regularly lent large sums of money, despite Schaffel's contention that Jackson is a serious painkiller addict. "When Michael would be on drugs, he would call [at] 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 in the morning, very distorted," Schaffel told ABC News. "And he would say, 'Oh, can you give me $70,000 tomorrow? There's this table I saw. I gotta have it for my living room.'" In his complaint, Schaffel says Jackson stopped paying him for his work and stopped repaying him for his loans in June 2004, when Jacko's financial representatives claimed the one-time billionaire was "broke." Meanwhile, an antiques and furniture store today sued Jackson for allegedly failing to pay a $178,000 bill. According to a complaint filed today by Kamad Enterprise, Jackson owes $178,875 of the $378,875 in merchandise he allegedly purchased in May, including a malachite urn, a Louis XVI-style bust clock, and an "Austrian gold-painted dancing girl." Best of luck to both litigants.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19 Nothing happened today (unless you count the career-ending shenanigans of four NBA players--three Indiana Pacers, one Detroit Piston--who fueled and participated in one of the worst brawls in sports history, spending several minutes in the stands punching fans in the face before being removed and suspended from the NBA).
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20 Nothing happened today, unless you count the incredible Hoosier Gazette story about Indiana Congressman John Hostettler's mission to change the name of a proposed Interstate 69 extension to a "more moral sounding number," which Last Days was ready to report until we learned of the story's status as a thorough Internet hoax. Bravo!
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 21 Nothing happened today (unless you count the freakishly synchronous birthdays of eternal satirist Voltaire, eternal That Girl Marlo Thomas, eternal freak/genius Björk, and eternal ombudsman A. Birch Steen). <
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