MONDAY, JULY 3 Is it just us, or is everyone getting freaked out by the seemingly endless reports of children living with their dead parents? Today the hottest trend of the new millennium took a turn for the younger as Reuters reported on the newborn baby who spent a week living in a shack with her murdered mother and father in San Paolo, Brazil. Relatives found the two-week-old (!) baby girl next to the decomposed bodies of her parents. "I thought she was dead, too," said one of the little girl's aunts. "But then I had the big surprise of seeing that little hand move." That little hand and the rest of the baby will remain under medical observation for a few more days before being turned over to relatives. Meanwhile, police are continuing their investigation into the murder of the parents.
··Speaking of dead people: Today Al Gore took a big step toward invalidating his "walking corpse" reputation by verbally kicking the ass of the pharmaceutical industry. At a campaign stop in Clayton, Missouri, Gore denounced U.S. drug makers for price gouging, and hyped his $255 billion plan to curb soaring drug prices and help the elderly afford prescription drugs. A group funded largely by drug makers has already begun airing ads characterizing Gore's plan as "unwarranted federal intervention" that would lead to "counterproductive price controls," but Gore's camp is sticking to its guns. "We don't want price controls," said a Gore aide today. "We just want to reduce prices so seniors can afford the drugs they need." And if boring old Gore keeps fighting for helpless, neglected underdogs, we might find ourselves voting for him out of something other than embittered resignation.
TUESDAY, JULY 4 It was 224 years ago today that the Continental Congress, featuring such celebrity founding fathers as Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, John Hancock, and Thomas Jefferson, adopted the Declaration of Independence, which formally established the United States as a free-standing nation away from those crusty old Brits. Today in Seattle, a wide variety of Americans celebrated our nation's greatest day by getting drunk and blowing shit up. Patriotic fireworks blasted a total of eight fingers from Northwest hands this year: three from the right hand of a man in Burien, three from the right hand of a man in Seattle, and two from the left hand of a boy in Gig Harbor.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 5 Just as the sting of last year's multitudinous lashings was beginning to fade, today the much-maligned Seattle Police Department received yet another thwack on the ass--this one from the American Civil Liberties Union, which issued a new report slamming the SPD and Seattle city leaders for their idiotic and perhaps unlawful handling of last year's WTO protests. Entitled "Out of Control," the ACLU report excoriates city and police leaders for failing to protect the rights of peaceful demonstrators during the WTO conference, and for engaging in behaviors that exacerbated, rather than minimized, public hysteria. One of the report's chief targets is Paul Schell's designation of a 25-square-block "no protest zone," which, the ACLU claims, effectively stripped citizens of their First Amendment rights. City and police officials--who insist on calling the controversial area a "limited curfew zone" necessary for public safety--have offered no response to the ACLU's damning accusations. The Seattle Times reports that the Seattle Police Department will no longer comment on any WTO-related reports (handy!), while the spokesman for Paul Schell (the unfortunately named Dick Lilly) declined to comment, claiming he had not yet seen the report. (Tomorrow, however, Mayor Schell will call for a mandatory public review of all proposed major events to avoid the kind of civil rights-tromping--and career-endangering--chaos that characterized the WTO fiasco.)
THURSDAY, JULY 6 Speaking of civic difficulties, here's the latest update on Last Days' bloodthirsty war against public grooming. Today's report comes from Hot Tipper Phoebe, who shared via e-mail her horrific account of watching a woman pluck hairs out of her chin with tweezers while driving a Subaru Outback along Montlake Avenue. "Can a car be considered a public place?" asks Phoebe. "Or is it a private sanctuary? Must I ignore her gross actions?" Good questions all. A car with untinted windows being driven in public during daylight hours must be considered at least a semi-public space, and the disgustingness of actions carried out within such a car must be graded on a curve. The combing of hair, the clipping of nails, and the applying of cosmetics may be performed in a moving auto with impunity. (Same goes for the picking of noses, because, really, who can resist?) However, the more advanced grooming maneuvers--the plucking of chin hairs, the waxing of legs, the use of Bioré strips--must be relegated to entirely private spaces, and anyone who breaks this eternal law is fully deserving of the world's scorn.
FRIDAY, JULY 7 Today a stupid local tragedy came to something of a close when a lethally bad driver was sentenced to 18 months in prison for vehicular homicide. In May of '99, 21-year-old Estelle Martinez was driving her Honda Civic though downtown Seattle and smoking a cigar. When smoldering ash from her stogie landed on her floorboard, Martinez leaned over to grope for the cinder--and promptly steered her car into Richard King, fatally crushing the 26-year-old Seattle man who'd been strolling along Ninth Avenue with his fiancée. Today in King Country Superior Court, the freshly sentenced Martinez wept through her apology to her victim's family, vowing that if she could trade her life for King's, she would. Still, talk is cheap, and Martinez's weepy testimonial might have elicited more sympathy had she not, one month prior to the deadly accident, "accidentally" smashed her car into a light pole, or if she had ever in her entire life bothered to get a driver's license.
SATURDAY, JULY 8 Speaking of stupid, terrible death, today in Grant Town, West Virginia, funeral services were held for Arthur Carl Warren Jr., the African American gay man beaten to death (then run over several times with a car) by two white teenagers on July 4. In a gruesome turn of events, the victim's father insisted on an open coffin, putting on full display the brutality of his son's death. "It was pretty hideous," mourner Rick Ravenscroft told the Associated Press. "There was a lot of screaming and crying." Two 17-year-olds have confessed to the crime and have been charged with first-degree murder, but West Virginia police are apparently too busy fucking their toothless sisters to acknowledge that the murder of Warren--a mild-mannered, effeminate man who was perpetually harassed for being "different"--might possibly be a hate crime. Stay tuned.
SUNDAY, JULY 9 After so many reports of hideous death, Last Days would like to take a moment to commemorate life--particularly the lives of sewing machine inventor Elias Howe (born on this day in 1819), obsessively ambitious pop artist David Hockney (1937), vomit-choking rocker Bon Scott (1943), Oscar-winning actor and future President of the United States Tom Hanks (1956), and schizophrenic force of nature Courtney Love (1964). Happy birthday all!
Next week: More hideous death! Send your Hot Tips to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the 24-hour Hot Tip Hotline at 323-7101, ext. 3113.