Monica Lewinsky, the Final Chapter. After receiving at least semi-respectful press treatment in the U.S., America's "It" girl got a dose of snooty British judgment from the U.K. press on her recent British book tour. Today's U.K. Telegraph portrays Lewinsky as the prototypical Ugly American (bragging about her bargain-hunting, shamelessly sharing intimate secrets), describing her as "rather vain and shallow," "a big woman with tiny feet," and, worst of all, "unprepossessing and plain -- her ankles are even thicker than Hillary's!" (Even Last Days didn't sink that low.) On a lighter note: in a witty reference to the President's dishonorable discharge on the infamous blue dress, Monica's first British television interview featured commercials for Vanish, "a powerful stain remover that gently penetrates and loosens stains." (For the record, this is the last thing you will ever read about Monica Lewinsky in this column until she is assassinated or stars in a pornographic film.)
路路路 R.I.P. Joe DiMaggio. The New York Yankees great died today at age 84, after a six-month battle with lung cancer. "Joe DiMaggio was an American hero, the greatest there ever was," said elderly Ileen's barfly Sammy Fuller, recalling "Joltin' Joe's" elegance as a center fielder and still-unmatched 56-game hitting streak in 1941. "Plus, he got to bone Marilyn Monroe," said Fuller, referring to DiMaggio's nine-month marriage to the cinema sexpot. "Which we all greatly admired."

Smoking kills, lawsuits pay: Today Washington state learned it will receive an additional $394.9 million from the national tobacco settlement as a reward for its leading role in lawsuits against the tobacco industry, reports the Associated Press. The extra money comes on top of the $4 billion Washington is set to receive over 25 years as part of the master settlement. "We earned it," said state Attorney General Christine Gregoire. "No other state worked harder on tobacco litigation or negotiations." The state's first payment from the master settlement -- $323 million -- is due by summer 2000, and the bonus money will start rolling in around 2008. Gregoire and Gov. Locke have asked the Legislature to use $155 million of the $323 million to finance a long-term tobacco prevention and control program, which leaves a whopping $168 million up for grabs. What do Seattleites think should be done with the money? Jeremy, 28, of Capitol Hill: "They should build a roller coaster on top of the Space Needle." Curran, 5, of Ballard: "They should buy flowers as tall as buildings and very loud guns." Or we could just divvy up the loot: with 4,866,692 people residing in Washington state at last count, each citizen would receive a whopping $34.50.

The campus newspaper of Spokane Community College has been ordered to apologize for its publication of a fabricated letter parodying racism, reports the Associated Press. The controversial letter -- credited only to "Whitey" and published on the entertainment page of the student-run newspaper The Reporter -- insulted the way Chinese students speak, used slurs to describe black and gay students, and promoted white supremacy. After the letter drew complaints, "Whitey" was revealed to be a composite character created by the paper's staff (including a black woman, an Indian man, and several white people) to draw attention to campus racism, based on their experiences and observations of racist language and actions at the school. The staff is still undecided about whether to issue an apology in the paper's next edition.
路路路 Also today: Two of the nations top Y2K troubleshooters warned that perhaps the greatest risk for turn-of-the-century trouble is the threat of public panic, reports Reuters. "Actions that individually look logical, like filling your gas tank on December 31, taking $1,000 out of the bank, buying twice as many prescription drugs as you usually do -- a couple hundred million Americans all do that at one time and you've got yourself a major problem," said Y2K expert John Koskinen. Last Days has a very, very bad feeling about all of this.

As we race toward our impending doom, it's nice to know that some people are doing what they can to strengthen human connections. Today at the ALPS Language School on Broadway, two homosexual men met with a group of seven English-as-a-second-language students (six Japanese, one Thai, all female) to discuss and represent "the gay lifestyle" in America. Biggest revelation to the students: the men's straightlaced, masculine appearances (apparently they'd been expecting drag queens with poodles). Most endearing question asked of the men: "Has a woman ever loved you?" (Translation: "Have you ever fucked a woman?") Both men said "yes."

March Movie Madness: Snohomish County Sheriff's detectives are investigating a potential case of voyeurism following the discovery of a video camera and microphone hidden in the bathroom of an Edmonds-area home, reports the Seattle Times. A 37-year-old woman who moved into the home in January discovered the small camera and listening device in a ceiling vent late last month; the woman had been invited to live in the house by the home's owner, a man she met at church. While no arrests have been made, state law makes it a crime to view, photograph, or film another person for sexual gratification without that person's knowledge, and if convicted, the obsessive freak who placed the camera could face five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
路路路 Speaking of obsessive freaks, scads of them descended upon the Meridian 16 Cinemas today to catch the second preview trailer for Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, which preceded the 2:40 p.m. showing of the film Wing Commander. Among the revelations in the two-minute trailer: weird hairstyles, double-bladed light sabers, and a big fish-type character eating a spaceship. The Phantom Menace opens May 19.

It's the question that divides more gay men than "Is sucking safe?": Is the Seattle Men's Chorus the best thing to happen to gay culture since the manufacture of the size 12 pump, or the worst thing to happen to music since "Mr. Roboto"? Tonight a band of six homosexual men sought the answer by venturing out to Benaroya Hall for the SMC's latest musical offering, Tunes from Tales, inspired by and featuring readings from Armistead Maupin, author of the eternally popular gay stories, Tales of the City. The verdict? Split, as usual: half the men adored every minute of the admittedly schmaltzy show, laughing, cheering, and crying with the rest of the packed house. The other half would've preferred to be at home, drinking cups of their own piss. However, these negative few were the distinct minority, as evidenced by the rousing standing ovation that exploded at the close of the show. Last Days fully expects to be run out of town on a rail for even broaching this subject.

Last week, Last Days updated readers on the progress of Meg, the Wallingford woman who gave up both drinking and pot smoking for Lent. Well, things took a curious turn for our Catholic lass today, when, while walking down the street, she found on the sidewalk a big bag of pot! "At first I thought, obviously God wants me to smoke this," said Meg . "But then I realized it was probably the work of the Devil." Regardless of who sent the tempting baggie, the heroically abstinent Meg left it where it lay: "Lent or no Lent, I don't think it's the best idea to smoke pot you find lying in the street." When her time of sacrifice has ended, Meg will acquire pot in her safe, traditional way: By going alone with a large wad of cash to the house of a man she hardly knows. "Works for me," she says.

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