The week began with a bang as rapper/actress/talk-show hostess Queen Latifah welcomed to her talk-show stage Mr. Ralph Nader, who looked snarky, spoke eloquently, and dished out a heapin' helpin' of Green. In the wake of Bush and Gore's hawking of their wares on Oprah, Ralph's chat with the Queen was a refreshingly intelligent affair, with Nader praising community policing, dissing the War on Drugs, and quoting Cicero. Along for the ride and offering their full support were Phil Donahue, Bonnie Raitt (via telephone), and Susan Sarandon, who pontificated cockily on the impossibility of women losing abortion rights under George W. Bush. Knock wood, old woman.

··Speaking of hot air: Today Last Days received a curious Hot Tip from a man named Bob. This afternoon, Bob was sitting at Vivace on Broadway (home of the best coffee on earth, although Last Days prefers the comfy Denny Roasteria setting) when he spotted a disturbing sight: a punky young man with badly dyed pink hair in a motorcyclist's leather jumpsuit, who pointed his leather-clad ass at a young couple strolling by and ripped off a big ol' fart. "I have to admit that, during the moment, I laughed," says Bob. "And now I feel ashamed. Can you make sense of this for me?" Yes, Bob, we can: Farts are inherently, ineffably, and hysterically funny, and will remain so until the end of time. Yuk it up.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3 Tonight at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, Al Gore and George W. Bush engaged in the first of their three scheduled televised debates, and the results were, as expected, deeply illuminating. By the time you read this, every news and entertainment source in the world will have weighed in with jokes and gripes about the blue-suited bitchfest, which revealed Gore to be as unpleasant and Bush as pig-butt dumb as everyone always feared. So we'll restrict our commentary to one word: Ew.

··Speaking of televised failures: Today the Titanic of talk shows hit yet another pointy iceberg as the New York Post reported some damning dirt on beleaguered Oprah-wannabe Dr. Laura. The bad doctor (whose TV debut is shaping up to be the most trouble-prone show since Diff'rent Strokes) has been accused of packing her ailing program with plants--fake guests who are on the show's payroll. The situation came to light after San-D Duchas, a researcher for the program, was featured as a "guest" on two consecutive episodes. No mention was made of Duchas' status as a Schlessinger employee, and our hostess even gushed to her incognito staffer (who was posing as a college student specializing in professional note-taking): "I'm really honored you have the courage to come here today." The producers of Dr. Laura have refused to comment on the accusation.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4 Today, a weird-ass story from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The scene: North Bend's Twede's Cafe, which came to fame as the fictional Double-R Diner on David Lynch's Twin Peaks. The star: a 36-year-old Issaquah man who has traveled to the cafe four times in the past month to coat its exterior with gray and cream paint. The twist: No one asked him to. P-I writer Lewis Kamb reports that the unidentified man painted over most of the cafe's outside walls, including its brick façade and the professionally crafted mural of Mount Si on the building's back wall. At first, locals assumed the man was a hired construction worker, but when he was finally confronted by one of the cafe's cooks, the non-commissioned artist dropped his bucket and ran. Police were called, the man was found, and the loopy painter confessed he'd been ordered to paint by the cafe managers, an unidentified insurance company, and the popular '70s sexpot Ann-Margret. We are not making this up.

··Also today: After the parade of stomach-churning, sweat-spooning, denture-sucking public grooming sightings that have soiled this column for the past few months, here's an eyewitness report to soothe your weary souls, you wimps. Hot Tipper Tim was coming home from his pizza delivery job just before midnight when he spotted what he identified as "the aurora fucking borealis!" Tim says it was colored "a tasteful Aim toothpaste green" and briefly congealed into the image of Maggie, the plucky bush pilot from Northern Exposure. "The funny thing is that I would never have seen this wonder if a co-worker of mine hadn't fucked me over and stuck me with his closing shift," says Tim. "So thanks for the northern lights, alcoholic delivery guy on a binge!"

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5 Tonight in New York City, a 19-year-old Canadian man tossed himself from the observation deck of the Empire State Building after informing a security guard, "I don't want to live anymore." The man plunged 65 floors to his death. He was dressed as a pirate. Last Days has nothing to add to this report.

··Also today: Vice-presidential nominees Joe Lieberman and Dick Cheney engaged in a refreshingly intelligent and civil televised debate. Neither of them were dressed as pirates.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6 Today the world learned of the thrilling hubbub in Yugoslavia, where mobs seeking to overthrow Slobodan Milosevic turned their fury on his centers of power yesterday, leaving Parliament and other key Belgrade sites in shambles and flames, reports the Associated Press. To celebrate the Yugoslavs' ballsy coup, Last Days visited the Experience Music Project, where we had the great pleasure of riding the hilarious Funk Blast with no less than a dozen septuagenarians. Go Yugoslavia!

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7 Today was superduper pretty.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8 After nearly 100 years spent roasting in Hell, today Oscar Wilde received the delightful news that the Vatican has forgiven him for the homosexual acts that led to his imprisonment in 1895. In the influential Jesuit quarterly La Civilita Cattolica, Rev. Antonio Spadaro commended the dead Irish playwright for the spiritual writings he produced in prison, as well as his deathbed conversion to Catholicism, thereby cementing the Vatican's stance that the only respectable fag is a dead fag. Like Jesus.

Hey everybody: On Sat Oct 21, I'll be hosting and providing live-action commentary for a screening of Paul Verhoeven's celebrated disaster flick Showgirls. It's at the Egyptian Theater, as part of the Gay and Lesbian Film Fest. Get some tickets, kill some brain cells, and come bask in the glory of the most entertaining movie ever made. See you there.


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