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Last Days

The Week in Review

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MONDAY, OCTOBER 23 The week began in Spokane, with the third and final debate between Washington gubernatorial candidates Gary Locke and John Carlson. Moderated by KING 5 landmark Jean Enersen, and hosted by the Gonzaga Preparatory School (so that's where gonzaga is prepared!), the semi-contentious debate found our Beatle-wigged governor and his conservative Republican challenger sharing a thirst for blood (both are bummed that admitted serial killer Robert Yates was allowed to plea bargain his way out of the death penalty) but clashing on gun control (Locke wants mandatory trigger locks, Carlson thinks locks should be "a voluntary safety measure"). The candidates also agreed that education is a good thing and excessive property tax is a bad thing. But perhaps the gubernatorial goobers are best judged by their choice of celebrity spokesmodels: Locke is supported by the sexually incontinent but intelligent Bill Clinton, while Carlson is supported by the verbally incontinent and dumb Rush Limbaugh.


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24 Today: Bad news comes on planes. Our first story comes from Boston, where a Delta Airlines plane was quarantined this morning because a passenger on the flight was bleeding from the eyes. The Associated Press reports that the bleeding passenger was apparently in Brazil for about 20 days before boarding the flight; an on-board nurse attempted to squelch panic by attributing the bleeding not to a deadly mutant virus come to wipe out the earth, but simply to conjunctivitis (that's pink eye to you and me). The plane's 130 passengers and nine crew members were quarantined briefly and released, and Mr. Bloody Eyes was taken to Boston Medical Center. Our second story comes from London's Heathrow airport, where a 28-year-old British woman died minutes after deboarding a 20-hour flight from Australia. The Sun reports that bride-to-be Emma Christoffersen is one of the youngest victims of deep-veined thrombosis, a condition in which passengers on long, cramped flights suffer reduced circulation and blood clots; nicknamed "economy-class syndrome," the condition is believed to affect dozens of passengers each year. "Basically, we were told she died from sitting on the jet for such a long time," Ruth Christoffersen, the victim's mother, told The Sun. The Australian airline Qantas has offered its sympathy to Ms. Christoffersen's family, and doctors advise air passengers to regularly walk the aisles and wiggle their toes to reduce the risk of deep-veined thrombosis.


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25
Today: the heroic yet unfortunate story of the Lakewood grandmother who managed to save her granddaughter from a rapist, only to be attacked by the man herself. The incident, which happened yesterday but was reported today, unfolded around 7:15 Tuesday morning, when a 34-year-old man broke into a house containing the aforementioned grandma and her 13-year-old granddaughter. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the courageous grandmother ran to her granddaughter's bedroom, shut the door, and barricaded it with a dresser before getting her granddaughter out the window and running off to a neighbor's house. The man then forced open the bedroom door and attacked the grandmother. After a three-block chase, a rookie Pierce County deputy nabbed the suspect, a registered sex offender in South Carolina who had failed to register in Pierce County. The man was booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of rape, burglary, and failure to register as a sex offender; the grandmother was taken to a local hospital, where she was treated and released.


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26 We've been so very patient all year, but at long last, today brought the day of commemoration that Last Days prefers to all others: National Endocrine System Day! For those out of the loop, the endocrine system is the human body's system of endocrine glands, which chemically control the various functions of cells, tissues, and organs through the secretion of hormones. Included in this miraculous system are the adrenal, parathyroid, pituitary, and thyroid glands, as well as the ovaries, pancreas, and testes. To celebrate National Endocrine System Day, here's a commemorative haiku:

Endocrine system
Secreting precious hormones
Don't ever leave me


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27 Today, every news source in the country (thank God) reported on the relentlessly creepy but cynically brilliant strategy of the Republican party to purchase and air pro-Nader TV ads. Featuring wrinkled old Ralph himself, the ads will run in those cities where well-meaning liberals have shown a distaste for Gore and a weakness for the Greens, specifically Portland, Oregon, Madison, Wisconsin, and Seattle. Republican strategists are hoping the Gore-bashing Nader ads will persuade would-be Gore voters to toss their support to Ralph, thereby clearing the victory path for George Dubya. But Democrats say the cagey ads may backfire, painting a picture of Bush as a cynical opportunist (heaven forfend!) and reinforcing the argument that a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush--an argument Last Days resignedly stands by. Nader-lovers: We understand the appeal of Ralph and the repugnance of Gore. But if you even pretend to care about the concerns of outsiders (women, gays, poor folk) like Gore pretends to care about them, then you'll understand that it's your duty to choke back your bile and vote Democrat. As for those pesky "vote-your-conscience" arguments: Do what you must, but please ruminate on the selective--and yes, political--implementation of your conscience next time you step over a homeless person on your way to retrieve take-out sushi. But there's no need to get ourselves worked into a lather: Whatever happens, this country's going to get the president it deserves.


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28
Today, one of the stupidest stories Last Days has ever had the misfortune to report. Early this morning, during a Halloween party at a mansion north of Beverly Hills, a Los Angeles police officer shot and killed Anthony Dwain Lee--a 39-year-old actor who got his start in Seattle's theater scene before moving to L.A. to (successfully) pursue a film career--after Lee pointed a toy gun at him. Reports of the incident vary: A spokesperson for the LAPD says officer Tarriel Hopper was responding to a neighbor's complaint about the noisy party, had no way of knowing Anthony Lee's gun was a fake, and rightly fired in self-defense. More intelligent people point out that it was a motherfucking costume party in Beverly Hills, and cast doubts on whether Lee even could see the officer through the glare of the plate-glass window that separated the actor from the agent of his stupid demise. Anthony Dwain Lee will be remembered for his work at a number of Seattle theaters, including the Group, Intiman, and New City, as well as for his performance in the Jim Carrey film Liar, Liar. Last Days hears that Anthony Lee was a wonderful guy--a sentiment corroborated by his friend Mary Lin, who offered this heartbreaking quote to the Los Angeles Times: "His biggest fear was getting killed by the cops, because he's a tall black man." The ridiculous shooting is being investigated by the LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division and a team from the district attorney's office.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29 Nothing happened today.

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