TUESDAY, AUGUST 20 It all began this past February. That's when Carla Grayson and Adrianne Neff--hereafter and for all eternity known as "the Montana lesbians"--went public as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the University of Montana, whom the ACLU was lobbying to extend marriage benefits to employees' domestic partners. In the days following the Monday press conference, Grayson and Neff received death threats in the mail; that Friday, the couple's house was burned to the ground, with Grayson, Neff, and their two-year-old son barely escaping the predawn blaze. Following the fire, the saga of the Montana lesbians made national headlines, and a donation fund was established to help the women get back on their feet. Meanwhile, Montana investigators began looking into what everyone presumed to be a bigotry-fueled arson, and were creeped out by what they found: namely, an intricate arrangement of gasoline-soaked ropes lining the inside walls of the house, doused with an accelerant that came from gas cans in the women's garage. (Eep.) Today the Associated Press dished the dirt on the women who stand to become the most reviled lesbians in history, publishing specifics of a 17-page search warrant application filed by Montana investigators that contended that "each arson investigator who has reviewed the case has stated that it would have taken a considerable amount of time to soak the ropes in gasoline, drape the gasoline-soaked ropes in the manner found, soak the rags, then do multiple fire starts. An outsider would have been unfamiliar with the residence, would not have known where the items used would be stored, and would have had to have laid down all the gasoline-soaked trailers in the dark without disturbing the residents, who were in the home." Even worse, the investigator's application reports that Adrianne Neff was videotaped making a phone call from the police station, in which she told an unknown party, "We're at the police station being grilled for hours. Neither of us broke though." Still lacking the evidence to charge Grayson and Neff or anyone else, Montana authorities say they eagerly await the results of DNA and handwriting tests on the couple's death threats. Within the last few months, Grayson and Neff moved their increasingly guilty-looking asses to Michigan, where Last Days hopes they enjoy many a music festival before their asses get hauled off to jail.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21 Speaking of deeply disillusioning crimes: Tonight the American public proved that they are either stupid, lazy, racist, or deaf by voting the flagrantly talented Tamyra Gray off FOX TV's nouveau talent show American Idol. In response to the tragedy, President George W. Bush declared a national day of mourning, urging citizens to reflect on the horrors that can befall even the greatest nations when they fail to participate in the democratic processes of prime-time television shows. Then God kicked remaining Idol finalists Nikki McKibbin and Justin Guarini down a flight of stairs. (A boy can dream.)
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22 Today Britain's New Scientist magazine published the results of a fascinating study conducted by Detroit's Wayne State University. Over the past year, Wayne State researchers rounded up 25 families with children aged six to 15, providing them with T-shirts, odorless soap, and plastic bags. After washing their bodies with the odorless soap, study participants slept in the T-shirts, then placed them in the plastic bags. Then the testing began--and the results were pungent. Made to sniff the slept-in shirts of both strangers and family members, a significant majority of study participants preferred the smell of strangers to that of family members. In particular, mothers disliked the smell of their children, children disliked the smell of their fathers, and brothers and sisters disliked the smell of each other. (However, same-sex siblings were fine with each other's smells.) According to researcher Tiffany Czilli, the aversion of family members to each other's odors is part of "nature's way of preventing incest, by making people less appealing to their closest relatives."
·· Also today: Allen Myerson, a 47-year-old business editor for the New York Times, plunged to his death from the 15th floor of the Times' building in Times Square.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 23 Every summer has its sizzling-hot trends, from 1996's Macarena marathon to 2001's shark-bite extravaganza. Today, People magazine turned to the hottest trend of summer 2002--child abduction, tapping anti-kidnapping expert Robert Stuber for tips on how kids can avoid the grasps of today's trendy sickos. Among the gems: "When fleeing a menacing stranger in a car, run in the opposite direction--chances are the driver will not make a U-turn"; "If trapped in the trunk, disconnect the tail lights by pulling out the wires--[this] dramatically increases the chances that police will stop the car"; and our favorite, "When approaching adults for help, use the Velcro Technique--grab an arm or leg and do not let go until the adult responds to your plea." Last Days wishes the best of luck to all of the nation's children, and hopes this unfortunate trend passes with the summer on September 21. (As for hot fall trends, may we suggest a national betting pool to predict the date of Michael Jackson's suicide?)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 24 A number of years ago, in the wake of several well-publicized abandoned newborns, those lovable kooks at The Onion set America a-chortling with the whimsical faux news piece, "NYC to Install 'Infants-Only' Dumpsters." Today, edgy comedy veered shockingly close to reality as a Santa Cruz news station reported the city's proposal to apply stickers reading "No Baby Dumping" to the city's trash receptacles. According to Santa Cruz's deputy district attorney, the stickers would discourage child abandonment and encourage desolate new moms to take advantage of California's new Safe Haven law, which allows women to drop off unwanted newborns at hospitals within 72 hours of birth, no questions asked. Last Days is all for the cessation of the dumping of infants. But when the fate of our nation's newborns rests on the strategic placement of stickers, it might be time for this country to throw in the towel.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 25 Nothing happened today.
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