Our week of unrelenting creepiness got off to an uncharacteristically respectable start today, as the Seattle City Council approved the city's largest single effort to get homeless people off the street. According to the Seattle Times, the council's impressive new plan calls for the creation of 170 new shelter beds, 70 new units of transitional housing, and (if voters approve a tax levy next year) 200 new units of permanent and transitional housing. "I think this sends a resounding statement to the homeless people in our community that we care," said Council Member Peter Steinbrueck, who labored extensively to broker an agreement that would meet the needs of the homeless while remaining within the city's budget. The one loser in this festival of goodwill: Initiative 71, due to go before voters next year. If passed, I-71 would have required the city to create 400 new shelter beds and increase spending on services for the homeless by 20 percent. Acknowledging the "unstable new economy," backers of I-71 wisely agreed to drop their super-pricey ballot issue in exchange for the council's approval of the new $2.75 million plan for shelter and housing. The council said yes, I-71 said good-bye, and the first of the new beds should be available early next year.


Now it's time to bring on the ick: Today in Helsinki, Finland, a 37-year-old man was sentenced to five years in prison after killing his neighbor's wife during a kinky sex game. Reuters reports that the convicted man and the dead woman were good friends, living side by side with their families in two halves of a house they'd built together, and teaming up to run a restaurant. According to the man's court statement, the woman put her son to sleep one evening in July, then arrived at the man's house wearing an open bathrobe, saying she had come by for an evening drink. From there, the pair began a sex game that ended when a handgun ("used as a prop during love-making," the prosecutor said) went off--the bullet blasted a hole in the woman's head before sticking in the man's thigh. (To envision the logistics, think of her on her knees, him on his feet, her brains on his privates.) In addition to a five-year sentence for manslaughter, the kinky gunman was ordered to pay compensation to the victim's husband and parents, who are going to have a hell of a time explaining how mommy died sucking daddy's best friend's dick.


Today was Halloween, the American, British, and Canadian "holiday" celebrated by children traveling door to door wearing costumes and begging for treats. To commemorate, Last Days holed up in our Central District home to await the arrival of the trick-or-treating masses. Unfortunately, we received only eight visitors (apparently smart Central District citizens take their kids to Madrona for superior treats), thereby requiring Last Days and our brave boyfriend Jake to consume 25,000 Tootsie Roll Midgees all by ourselves.


More ickiness: Today the venerable New York Post offered a sexilicious story on the Big Apple's sizzling new hot spot: ground zero! Boasting the caption "Rubble Romance," Abby Ellin's Post sexposé blew the lid off the hordes of horny ladies prowling the blood-soaked WTC terror site (still home to at least 2,573 corpses) in search of hunky firefighters and rescue workers. "Morbid though it sounds," writes Ellin, "a ground-zero pass is the hottest ticket in town, as women in work boots rather than stilettos try to charm their way past the 'Do Not Cross' signs." Ellin goes on to cite the Red Cross' requirement that all workers wear oversized vests emblazoned with its logo--and the female volunteer in a tank top forcibly escorted from the scene when she refused to cover up! But not everyone's creeped out by the New York sex buzzards. "If you're flirting," says Glamour magazine editor Cindy Leive, "it means that you're able to think about something other than these terrible threats we all fear." (Or you're just bravely trying to fuck away the pain.) Still, it's nice to know that life goes on, and that those heroic rescue workers are getting a little slutty diversion now and then.


And it only gets worse: Today a cursory web search of international news sites brought to light a profoundly upsetting rash of crimes in South Africa, where (fragile readers, please put the paper down now) there has been a surge in the rape of infants and children, fueled by a myth that sex with a virgin will protect a man against AIDS. The headlines alone were enough to make us want to put out our eyes: "Baby Has Hysterectomy After AIDS Rape"; "Uncles Arrested After Another Baby Raped"; "Throw Away the Key for AIDS Rapists of Kids." How does a rational, reasonably intelligent citizen of the world deal with such unthinkable ugliness? Well, if you're Last Days, you sit very still for a few minutes, letting the full horror of the images fill your brain for as long as you can bear it. Then you start cracking jokes. (Our top offerings: "Take back the crib!" and "What part of 'goo' don't you understand?")


Don't get too uppity about South Africa--we've got plenty of sickos right here at home. Today the Associated Press reported the story of the man in Cleveland accused of trying to shape his baby's head. Authorities say Joshua Brisset, 19, fractured his infant son's skull with his hands while trying to shape the boy's head to look more like his own. Brisset has been charged with assault, while the baby's mother, Shiara Worsham, faces charges of child endangerment. Prosecutors claim Ms. Worsham witnessed Brisset trying to shape the child's head and waited three days before taking him to the hospital after he began vomiting. The boy is recovering and is being cared for by relatives. Thank God.


After two terror-related false starts, tonight the Emmy Awards finally made it to the air, and the results were perfectly fine. Host Ellen DeGeneres proved that lesbians can be funny, smart, and charming. Winner Allison Janney proved that patriotic speeches don't have to be puke-inducing. Celebrity spouses Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) and Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle) proved that regular-looking people can find love. And Barbra Streisand proved that any world tragedy can be diminished by the inexhaustible fumes of her self-regard. (Plus, that podium looked like it came from IKEA's infamous "As-Is" slum.)

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