MONDAY, APRIL 28 This week of redeemed firemen, teched-up Cubans, and national recognition of Seattle's blow-darted pigeons kicks off with a spooky Ghost of Last Days Past, as one week after an episode of America's Next Top Model instigated a near-fatal stabbing in South Seattle, another second-tier television program has apparently inspired one North American to stab another. This week's locale: Ontario, where today police received a 911 call from a man who claimed his common-law wife had cut him with a kitchen knife during an argument about Dr. Phil. Further details come from the Barrie Examiner: As the victim told police, the scuffle erupted while the aforementioned common-law wife was watching Dr. Phil and drinking, which led to a Dr. Phil–related argument, during which the man was hit with a table and "various other household items." Then came the knife, with which the wife allegedly attempted to stab her man, who managed to wrestle the knife away from his alleged attacker, suffering only a small cut on his arm in the process. The 69-year-old woman has been charged with assault with a weapon, and 50 bucks says Dr. Phil is frantically angling to book the duo before the next sweeps.
TUESDAY, APRIL 29 The week continues with the Northwest's newest celebrity export: blow-darted pigeons, those impaled-but-alive birds in downtown Seattle whose existence was first noted in this column, and whose saga went nationwide this week, thanks to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which announced a $2,000 reward for whoever helps identify the creepy pigeon shooters. "This is just a horrifying case," said PETA's Tori Perry to the Seattle Times. "Someone who would do this to an animal is a short step away from doing this to a human being."
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30 Today brings some just redemption for a Spokane man forced to live through a 21st-century nightmare. Details come from Spokane's KHQ TV, which reports the saga began back on January 29, when gun-wielding officers with the Washington State Patrol raided the home of Todd Chism and arrested the 41-year-old Spokane fire lieutenant for possession of child pornography. The raid and arrest were followed by a hellish few months during which Chism was placed on paid administrative leave from the Spokane Fire Department while the Washington State Patrol dragged his name through the mud. But yesterday, Chism's living nightmare came to an abrupt end, as the Washington State Patrol announced their investigation found no evidence that Chism ever downloaded child pornography and that he was instead the victim of identity theft. "We basically had three verified purchases of child pornography where Chism's credit card was used," said Captain Jeff DeVere. "We don't know where that was downloaded to, and we don't know who purchased it." Whoever it was, it wasn't Chism, who'll return to his job with the fire department next week and will likely sue the Washington State Patrol for his wrongful arrest. "I unquestionably am not the despicable criminal that this task force attempted to make me out to be," Chism will announce at a press conference tomorrow. "The heinous crimes they have accused me of go against every fiber of my being and against every belief I've ever held as a man."
THURSDAY, MAY 1 The week continues with May Day, the multipurpose holiday commemorated in the Northwest with antiwar, pro-immigration marches in Seattle and Olympia.
•• Also today: Happy birthday wishes to Wild West superstar Calamity Jane (born on this day in 1852); Catch-22 superstar Joseph Heller (1923); smooth '70s crooner Rita Coolidge (1945); Absolutely Fabulous's legendary Patsy, Joanna Lumley (1946); Law & Order perennial Dann Florek (1950); Ghostbusters theme singer Ray Parker Jr. (1954); Smashing Pumpkin D'arcy Wretzky (1968); and Rushmore mastermind Wes Anderson (1969). And while we're at it, belated deathday wishes to fussy German composer Johann Ludwig Bach (who died on this day in 1731); romantic Czech composer Antonín Dvorák (1904); goofy American composer Spike Jones (1965); and convicted "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who hung herself in a storage shed behind her mother's mobile home today in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
FRIDAY, MAY 2 Meanwhile in Cuba: After a quarter-century of mandatory Luddism, Cubans have finally been granted the right to own computers, thanks to president-since-February Raúl Castro, who this week followed his lifted restrictions on DVDs and mobile phones by allowing the legal sale of home computers. Details come from BBC News, which reports Cuba's desktop computers cost almost $800, "in a country where the average wage is under $20 a month." Even worse: Cuban internet remains severely restricted, with access available only at schools, universities, and certain workplaces. Nevertheless, here's hoping Cubans enjoy their preliminary adventures with Pong and spell-check.
SATURDAY, MAY 3 Nothing happened today, unless you count the anonymous note of gratitude posted in The Stranger's online classifieds, addressed to "the pedestrians of Boren and Pike." The post: "Yesterday I was hit by a bus on Boren and Pike. My car was totaled and was filling with smoke. I was confused and disoriented. I could see people coming from all directions to help me. Someone opened my door and asked me my name, someone else opened other doors to let the smoke out, they made sure ambulance and police were on their way. They helped me out to the sidewalk and took care of me. A really sweet guy named Robert let me use his phone. The weird thing is I couldn't see any of their faces. I don't know what they look like. They waited with me until I was loaded into the ambulance. As I was being put on the stretcher, I got a glimpse of my car in the middle of the intersection. Windshield smashed, front basically gone, glass everywhere, car fluids streaming down the street. I am so in love with all of you right now. I was alone in my car, but not alone in the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
SUNDAY, MAY 4 From this pinnacle of sweetness we descend to typically horrific shit (hi, Susan!). Specifically, the humongous cyclone that yesterday clobbered Myanmar, sweeping through the Irrawaddy Delta and the country's main city of Yangon and killing more than 22,000 people.
Visual aid: 18,000 is roughly the capacity at a sold-out KeyArena. Send Hot Tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.