··Speaking of weird procedures: Tonight brought the most anxiously awaited face-off since Britney and Christina shared the stage at the 2000 MTV Awards: the first post-megaphone meeting of alleged mayor-basher Omari Tahir-Garrett and alleged mayor Paul Schell. At a campaign forum at the Central Area senior center, the two mayoral candidates occupied the same room for the first time since Garrett allegedly hit Schell in the face with a megaphone at a Central District rally on July 7. At tonight's forum, the out-on-bail Garrett sat not 10 feet away from the fully recovered mayor and his wife; in a testament to the rehabilitative power of jail time, Garrett managed to refrain from striking Paul Schell with anything.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 14 Today brought the publication of the saddest story in the entire world, from that bottomless well of misery, the Seattle P-I. Penned by the unfortunately named Vanessa Ho, "Longtime Soul Mates Hear Their Last Sermon Together" told the heartbreaking tale of Homer Hensley and Norene Strid, the aged local lovebirds run over by a semi-truck as they walked home from church. Hensley, 68, who died at the scene, was a beloved and inspirational elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Seattle, where he anointed worshippers and offered prayers, never complaining about the cerebral palsy that made it difficult for him to talk, walk, or hold anything small. Strid, 61, who remains in critical condition at Harborview, was the church's secretary and Homer's longtime sweetheart, translating his garbled prayers and holding his hand as they walked home from church every Sunday for the past 30 years. The couple (who never married or lived together) were die-hard Mariners fans, and had been planning a vacation to North Dakota to see the Strid family's new thresher. Friends of the couple guess that Homer was killed because he couldn't move fast enough to get out of the way of the backing-up truck (which sounded its back-up beeper), and Norene simply refused to leave his side. With Homer Hensley gone and Norene Strid out of commission, firsthand recounting of the accident now falls to Robert Anderson, the driver of the truck that backed over the pair. "It's an absolute tragedy," Anderson told the P-I's sympathetic Ho. "That's as far as I want to go, because I'm about to lose it."
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15 Just when you thought it couldn't get worse: Today Reuters reported the story of Peter John Robinson, the 28-year-old New Zealand man who died after slipping on ice and drowning in his cat's water bowl.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 16 But cheer up! Today brought news of a new gay serial killer! The FBI has announced a national search for Adam Ezerski, the 19-year-old Florida resident wanted for the death-by-bludgeoning of 76-year-old Irving Sicherer and the death-by-strangulation of 39-year-old Anthony Martilotto. "Both of his victims were members of the gay community, as he is," said FBI spokesman Andy Black. "We consider him very dangerous." But don't gear up for gay-serial-killer hunting season just yet: After being spotted today in San Francisco, Ezerski will tomorrow be captured by FBI agents in a hotel room in Reno.
··Speaking of gay serial killers: Today brought some curious news about AIDS--specifically the risk of HIV transmission through oral sex. According to preliminary findings from a new San Francisco study--the first study specifically designed to isolate the risk factors for oral HIV transmission--the probability of acquiring HIV through unprotected oral sex is very, very low. Hmm. Whaddaya know.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17 Today Last Days continued our mission to visit only museums in foreign cities by traveling to Dallas, where we took in the tremendous beeswax 'n' pollen work of artist/hermit Wolfgang Laib. And while our smart Jake said the Dallas Art Museum show achieved nowhere near the level of beauty of SAM's Laib display last spring, we were sufficiently enthralled. Much, much more annoying was our flight into Texas on American Airlines. Having long avoided Southwest Airlines due to its cutesy-pie "down-home" affectations, Last Days was horrified to be trapped on an American flight with a hyperactive head flight attendant who made the Southwest honey-drippers seem like riflemen at Dachau. "Y'all best turn off your li'l ol' electronic doodads and thingamajigs," crooned our country-fried stewardess in a voice that would inspire Mother Teresa to choke the shit out of her. Maybe this woman's syrup-drenched mewlings were designed to ease our entrance into the deadliest state in the nation. Maybe she was just drunk. All we know is that her endless homespun homilies made us want to drag her behind a li'l ol' truck.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18 Today: A heartwarming tale of random philanthropy on Capitol Hill. Hot Tipper Leslie says she was driving near Broadway and John around 2:00 a.m. this morning when she saw a young man with short brown hair skip into the intersection and throw between 50 and 100 dollar bills into the air. "Then he just walked off," says Leslie. "He didn't even look back." Leslie watched while a gaggle of street kids wrangled for the money, and when she turned around, the anonymous donor had disappeared. Anyone with any information about this phantom philanthropist/amateur counterfeiter/generous drunk should contact Last Days immediately.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 19 Oh my God! Something actually happened on a Sunday! Today in exotic Mt. Baker, an ambitious young man named Matt invited five of his most intelligent friends to help answer a question that has plagued ground-snout-and-intestine lovers for decades: What is the best hot dog? In a side-by-side taste test, Matt 'n' pals rated their favorite dogs' flavor, texture, aroma, size, and overall hot dog experience. The grand winner: Costco's Sinai Polish sausage, followed by Bob's frankfurters from Bob's Quality Meats in Columbia City, and the delicious dogs from CasCioppo Brothers in Ballard. Thanks to Matt and friends for willingly ingesting so much hideous meat product, and congrats for living to tell about it.
HEY RECENT GRADS! Our Back to School Issue is coming up, and we're looking for a recent graduate of each of Seattle's higher-education establishments--from SCCC to Seattle University to U-Dub--to write an insider's guide for incoming students. Interested alums should call 323-7101, ext. 3014, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.