As Anne Murray once crooned in a voice as soft and warm as bread pudding, "Sure could use a little good news today." As Mick Jagger countered in the bark that bossed around a thousand models, "You can't always get what you want." Our week begins with the significantly icky story busting out of Washington's own Pierce County, where a man named Wei-Tang Chen, formerly employed by the state Department of Social and Health Services, was today found guilty of "taking indecent liberties" with a mentally retarded man under his care. The Seattle Times recounts Chen's icky history in full: hired by the Rainier School for the developmentally disabled in 1984; caught writhing on top of a "partly clothed, non speaking" (now there's a name for a new cK scent) male resident in 2000; formally dismissed from DSHS in February. Chen was today found guilty of molestation, but managed to beat two rape charges. Pierce County Judge Karen Strombom ruled that one of Chen's alleged rape victims was not a credible witness, while a jury found the second alleged victim's testimony insufficient to convict Chen of rape. Don't fret: Considering Chen's exceedingly good luck on the rape charges, Last Days is pleased to report that Pierce County prosecutors will seek "an exceptionally long sentence" for his indecent liberties conviction.

>>In slightly less nauseating news: Today the New York Post spilled the beans on the most questionable couple since Wei-Tang Chen and that half-dressed, mute retarded man: Celebrated rap artiste Eminem and Oscar-winning, former-Mrs.-Alec-Baldwin Kim Basinger. According to the Post's Page Six, the intergenerational pair--he's 29, she's 47--met on the set of the as-yet-untitled film about Eminem's life; in a kicky Oedipal twist, Basinger is cast as Eminem's famously drug-addled mother. Considering the uproar over last year's Marshall Mathers LP--on which Eminem play-acts raping his mother and butchering his wife-at-the-time (handily named "Kim")--Last Days would like to wish Kim Basinger the best of luck.


Today: A deeply annoying story from Herat, Afghanistan. In the early hours of this morning, unemployed Afghan engineer Golam Sediq was asleep in his home when he was awoken by a loud bang--and a crate of U.S. food aid crashed through his roof. Reuters reports it was "pure luck" that none of the seven people sleeping in Sediq's mud-brick hut were injured, although Sediq's two-year-old son was trapped beneath aid-induced rubble "for some time." "They should drop smaller packages or nothing at all," said Sediq. "We'll have to pay at least 20 times more to repair the damage than we gain from the extra food. The Americans should pay for this." Sediq isn't alone: Three other homes in the Herat slum have been hit by yellow food packages labeled "a gift from the people of the United States of America"--and troubled landings are only half the problem. Falling on Afghanistan during the holy month of Ramadan, the Pop-Tarts-and-peanut-butter-crammed packages have been largely ignored by the Muslim population, who spend the month fasting until sunset and wouldn't know what to do with a Pop Tart if Allah baked it himself.


Speaking of higher powers, here's conclusive proof that if God-the-Father exists, he's a dick: Today in Bordeaux, France, a seven-year-old girl died after being crushed by a cross that fell from a tombstone as she and her family visited her brother's grave. Reuters reports that the family was taking flowers to the grave of their son and brother, who died as a baby eight years ago, when a stone cross from a nearby tomb fell on the girl's stomach; a day later, she died from the injuries. Contacted for comment, God said, "Look--between acknowledging the end-zone prayers of running backs and accepting the thanks of Grammy winners, I just don't have time to protect every little French girl with a dead brother! Sacré bleu!"


Today was Thanksgiving, the U.S holiday marked by the giving of thanks to God for harvest and health. To commemorate, Last Days thanked God for all our harvest and health, and for not crushing us with a cross when we visited our brother's grave in Bordeaux, France.


It's the question that's dogged scientists for ages: What gets you wetter--walking in the rain or running in the rain? Today humanity was finally given an answer, as the Seattle Times reported the results of two different walk vs. run wetness studies. The details of the experiments--conducted by researchers in North Carolina and Canada--are far too intricate to recount here, involving such high-minded concepts as kinematics, vector components, and flux, and such low-minded concepts as the differing weights of rain-soaked sweatsuits. But the results are simple enough: Walking makes you wetter.


Speaking of stupid experiments: Last week, Last Days told the story of Grace, the klutz on Queen Anne who dropped her brand new toothbrush on her bathroom floor and wondered how to proceed. For an answer, Last Days turned to you, dear readers, and your answers were as illuminating as we'd hoped. Of 225 responses, 94% advised Grace to run the brush under hot water and use it without shame; 3% suggested a variety of soaking techniques Grace might employ (hydrogen peroxide, Listerine), while 1% ordered Grace to throw the filthy thing away. Only one respondent thought Grace should return the brush to Target. Thanks to all who participated in this groundbreaking study.


If there's one thing Last Days loves, it's AM radio staple KIXI. (Where else can you hear "Delta Dawn" segue into "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue"?) To show our love, today Last Days hauled our ass (along with the ass of our beloved Jake) out to Factoria Mall for the KIXI-sponsored holiday show featuring the Seattle Men's Chorus. Last Days' ambivalence toward whimsical choral music sung by male homosexuals is deep and well-documented, but we simply couldn't pass up the opportunity to experience a low-rent suburban mall reverberating with the sound of a whole bunch of singing fags. The real show, however, was the audience--a packed house consisting primarily of very happy elderly people. Truly, we've never seen so many elated old folks. Most impressive sight: the small battalion of geezers hoisting and hauling a metal bench nearly 20 yards to get a better view of the crooning cocksmokers. It was like an octogenarian replay of the Watts riots, and if God's only reason for inventing gays was to cheer up old folks, that's reason enough.

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