TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9 After weeks of rumor, innuendo, and ferocious speculation, today the Seattle Public School District issued a letter explicitly accusing Garfield High School Principal Al Jones of engaging in sexual contact with a student. The letter (penned by district Superintendent Joseph Olchefske and released today under the state Freedom of Information Act) detailed 20 allegations against Jones, including taking the student on an overnight conference, letting the student use his district-issued cellular phone, adding the student to his car insurance policy, and most disturbingly, repeatedly asking the school nurse if the student was sexually active (when did public school nurses start performing hymen inspections?). Principal Jones, currently on paid leave and replaced by city council loser Cheryl Chow, has denied any improper behavior with the student, specifically that of a sexual nature -- a claim corroborated by the student herself; Olchefske's letter claims the district would have probable cause to fire Jones whether sexual misconduct had occurred or not. At present, Jones' attorney Frank Morrison Jr. is appealing the district's decision to dismiss Jones, while confused Garfield students attempt to sort out their feelings about their one-time role model. "I really think Dr. Jones is a great man. He cared about the school," said junior Samuel Vinson to the Seattle P-I. "I never see (interim Principal) Cheryl Chow outside with a stick, picking up bits of paper."
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10 Each week, Last Days tirelessly scours the news world to bring readers the very best in postmodern infotainment, from the glaringly global to the freakishly personal. Today we shine our loving spotlight on the grievously underreported arena of menstruation, with this story of a young local woman whose life has been forever altered by the revolutionary new feminine protection product Instead. For those not in the know, Instead is a weird diaphragm-like device inserted into the vagina to catch the menstrual flow. Unlike pads, Instead doesn't make a woman feel like she's wearing a foam rubber diaper; unlike tampons, Instead doesn't carry the risk of toxic shock. "It's the greatest thing that's ever happened to me," reports 30-year-old Wallingford resident Meg. "Not only can you keep them in for 12 hours, they're so comfortable it feels like you're not even having a period!" However, not everyone has had such phenomenal luck with Instead. Case in point: Meg's roommate Isolde, whose love affair with the product ended after a supposedly trustworthy Instead exploded, sending an alarming amount of menstrual fluid gushing onto a chair in a fancy restaurant she was visiting with a date. "Some would attribute the explosion to her keeping the thing in for 16 hours," says Meg. "But I think she was just too much of a woman for that chair."
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11 Nearly one year after psycho gunman Silas Cool taught Seattleites to fear public transportation, today our northern neighbors in Whatcom County got their own dose of bus-induced mania when the driver of a Vancouver, B.C. airport shuttle crashed through the U.S. border and led cops on a wrong-way chase down I-5. According to the Associated Press, the shuttle bus driver -- 37-year-old Vikram Menon of Surrey, B.C. -- told his dispatcher he'd been hijacked by men with machine guns. The Whatcom County sheriff's report is only slightly less dramatic, claiming that Menon picked up a man and woman in downtown Vancouver, stopped before reaching the airport, asked the man to step off the bus to check for a flat tire, then sped off with the woman, whom he choked nearly to death when the runaway bus was stopped by police outside of Bellingham. Menon has been booked into the Whatcom County jail on five counts of first-degree assault (one for strangling that lady, four for running vehicles off the road) and one count of kidnapping.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12 Less than three months after the humongous quake that killed more than 17,000 people, today the unfortunate country of Turkey was hit by another giant earthquake -- this one measuring 7.2, killing at least 120 people, and injuring hundreds more. As the earth continues to make plain its disgust and fury toward its obnoxious inhabitants, Last Days wonders how long such tragedy can remain outside our sphere of existence. In a teensy bit of good news, however, it appears that Turkey's most beloved citizen -- Internet superstar Mahir "I Kiss You" Cagri -- was uninjured in the latest quake.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13 Just in time for the holidays: Hitler's knick-knacks. Today a family in Georgia stepped up to the virtual auction block to sell a collection of silver pieces once owned by Adolf Hitler. The Internet auction is being conducted by Atlanta-based auction house Great Gatsby's, which has divided the 125 pieces into 52 lots; one lot consists solely of der Führer's cigarette box, and has an estimated price of $4,000 to $6,000. In defense of the controversial sale, San Francisco auction house Butterfield & Butterfield classified the pieces as "historical artifacts.... Whether or not you agree with the political philosophy behind the objects is irrelevant." (A handy rationalization; on Tuesday, the company puts Hitler's personal phone book on their own auction block.) But as Jay Kaiman, southeast director of the Anti-Defamation League, told the Associated Press, "We're concerned that they are mass merchandising Hitler in a pop culture way." Kaiman's concern is corroborated by the auction's other items: four works by Pablo Picasso, the original 16mm master print of the Beatles movie Let It Be, and a Rolls Royce owned by Bee Gee Barry Gibb.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14 Speaking of the commodification of evil tyrants, today the Vatican announced it has approved the production of Pope John Paul II phone cards. Reuters reports that the Pope-a-riffic cards will come only in a 75-minute, $15 denomination; will carry an image of the pontiff along with a blessing; and will be sold in convenience stores across the U.S. Last Days is certain that God is rolling over in His grave.
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