The Week in Review
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 The week kicks off with a triple whammy of drugs, sex, and booze. Drugs: Today The Seattle Times reported on Alaska's statewide ballot initiative to decriminalize marijuana. If passed, the astoundingly ambitious initiative would not only legalize pot for personal use, but would also grant amnesty to anyone with past marijuana convictions and convene a panel to consider restitution to those who have been imprisoned. Unsurprisingly, the measure is being met with passionate resistance from such folks as Alaskan Governor Tony Knowles and attorney Wev Shea, who worries, "If this passes, Alaska is going to basically be the drug haven of North America." Still, Alaskan political consultants say the measure has a good shot at passing--a prediction that pleases initiative supporter (and former pot convict) Mitch Mitchell, who offers a prediction of his own: "They're going to have to build another airport." Sex: Today the Associated Press reported on the polygamous community in southern British Columbia currently under investigation for trafficking underage American girls. Ex-members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have asked Utah authorities to investigate the movement of young girls between Arizona, Utah, and British Columbia; they say arranged marriages of underage girls are increasing because the sect's leader has predicted that the end of the world is near. Figuring largely in the investigation is Lenore Holm, a former church member who was declared a "tool of the devil" and instantly excommunicated when she opposed the arranged marriage of her 16-year-old daughter to a 39-year-old man with 10 kids. Church elders in Utah have denied the allegations, calling the claims the work of "apostates who distort the facts." Booze: Today Reuters reported on the dire prospect of the forthcoming worldwide tequila crisis. Mexican officials say up to 40 percent of the firms making Mexico's tequila may halt production due to a chronic shortage of agave, the cactus-like plant that is tequila's main ingredient. Worse, the agave supply is unlikely to recover quickly, as the plant needs up to 10 years to mature. Stock up, tequila freaks.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 After nearly two weeks of misplaced vaults, misprescribed cold medication, and occasional flashes of mystical brilliance, today the Olympics gymnastics competition came to a formal close, with a sexy, glitzy gold medalist showcase. On the uneven bars, the worship-worthy Russian Svetlana Khorkina made up for a less-than-perfect dismount with some adorably saucy butt-wiggling. On the high bar, fellow Russkie Aleksei Nemov followed his perfectly perfect dismount by offering a shy smile, then stripping to the waist--an image of such intense beauty and eroticism it will remain burned in our retinas forever. Bracketing these delicious moments were exhibitions of the bizarre contortionist/dance/gymnastics sport known as acro, highlighted by the performance of four burly Asian men who repeatedly threw a smaller Asian man with deformed arms into the air, which was so weird it made our face hurt.
··Also today: In front of an MTV audience, Al Gore put a big ol' hole in the "Gore is no different than Bush" argument by professing his support of both "legally recognized civic unions that have the legal protections of marriage" and immigration rights for international gay couples. Yeah, talk is cheap. But that's some cheap talk you'd never hear George Dubya utter.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 Today the Paris Guardian reported on the hottest new trend in Parisian gang weaponry: attack monkeys. "They're ultra-fashionable," said Didier Lecourbe, a police officer from the depressed Paris suburb of Aubervilliers. "Now that the authorities have cracked down on pit bulls, Dobermans, and rottweilers, apes are becoming the new weapon of choice." Imported illegally through Spain from Gibraltar, Morocco, and Algeria, the Barbary apes are known for their powerful limbs, sharp teeth, and short tempers; removed from their natural habitat, they can become highly aggressive, and their favored method of attack is to hurl themselves at people's heads. Police believe as many as 500 Barbary apes have been smuggled into France in the past two years.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 Today, a report of scrumptious P.R. work done by your local Bank of America. Way back on Saturday, September 16, the Broadway branch of the monetary monolith fell prey to a robber so stealthy that none of the customers noticed anything was amiss until a slew of cop cars screeched to a halt in front of the bank. Today, however, the innocent bystanders to the crime received a bit of recompense for their trouble: fancy chocolates wrapped in gold foil and laced with macadamia nuts. When asked by Last Days how the consolation candy tasted, lucky customer Rick Monce said, "Delicious!"
··Speaking of yummy treats: Today the FDA approved the use of the RU-486 abortion pill in the United States. The pills should be available in a month, granted that some Religious Right wacko doesn't gun down the entire Food & Drug Administration before then.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 Just when we thought life couldn't get any better, today Last Days had the supreme pleasure of stumbling upon the most entertaining half hour of television we've seen since Susan's murderous anti-Kelly rant on the final Survivor: VH1's Radical Recut, a pothead's dream show blending rock videos with an array of bloopers, ostensibly relevant to the song's theme. Highlights included No Doubt's Runaway Bride-styled video, "A Simple Kind of Life," spiced up with a collection of wedding-themed mishaps, including footage of a puking groom and a pair of Silly String-drenched newlyweds bursting into flames; and Kid Rock's "Cowboy," which found new life interspersed with a potpourri of horrible rodeo clown tragedies. Bravo, VH1!
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 Today, a heartwarming story of crime, punishment, and charity in the University District. The scene unfolded at Aladdin's Falafel on the Ave, where our Hot Tipper Jay was eating lunch with his wife when he saw a "punk-ass kid in a goose-down jacket" strut in the door, dip his hand in the tip jar, and stuff a dollar in his jacket pocket. In a flash, the owner grabbed the kid from behind the counter, patted him down like the filthy thief he was, slammed the dollar back into the tip jar, and booted the punk-ass kid out the door. No more than two minutes later, Jay saw a homeless man peek his head in the walk-by window and ask the owner if he could spare anything. Without blinking, the owner took the same dollar out of the tip jar and handed it over. "Of course, I live in Bellevue, where compassion has to be imported," says Jay. "But this was the most touching thing I saw all week."
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1 The week comes to a close in lovely Portland, Oregon, where Last Days traveled to catch the absolutely fabulous performance of Le Tigre, brainchild of the brilliant Kathleen Hanna and Johanna Fateman, and the best thing to happen to electronic-ish music since the Magnetic Fields' Charm of the Highway Strip. Dear Le Tigre: Please bring your beautiful work to our ugly town.
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