MONDAY, APRIL 17 This week of privileged poop, wayward nails, and X-rated eavesdropping kicks off in New England, where today authorities began piecing together the story of Stephen Marshall, one day after the 20-year-old from Nova Scotia allegedly murdered two men in Maine (both of them registered sex offenders) before taking his own life on a Boston-bound bus. Details of the saga of would-be-vigilante-justice turned-hideously-public-suicide come from the Boston Herald, which reports that Marshall was set on his path after discovering the names and addresses of Joseph Gray and William Elliott in Maine's online sex-offender registry. Aside from troubled sexual histories, Gray and Elliott had little in common, and nothing to do with one another—57-year-old Gray lived in Milo, 24-year-old Elliott lived in Corinth—but yesterday both were found shot to death in their homes. After police discovered Marshall's abandoned truck in a Bangor parking lot and bullets similar to those used in the slayings in the Bangor bus station's bathroom, an alert went out for Marshall's interception, and around 7:30 last night, Boston police boarded an MBTA bus and asked the driver to turn on the overhead lights. Moments later, a shot rang out. It was Marshall, who'd been sitting in row 13, and who shot himself in the head with a .45-caliber pistol. Five blood-splattered passengers were taken to the hospital "as a precaution," while Marshall was declared dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. As for the primary victims: Prior to being killed execution-style in their own homes, Gray had spent four months in a county jail for sexual abuse of a minor, while Elliott had served four months for having sex with a girlfriend who was days away from her 16th birthday (he was 20). The murders of both men have renewed debate about the wisdom of online sex-offender registries, which are alleged to increase public safety, but occasionally provide delusional psychos with makeshift hunting lists. Meanwhile, Washington State's own alleged slayer of sex offenders, Michael Mullen, awaits trial for the murders of two sex offenders in Bellingham last year. Stay tuned.
TUESDAY, APRIL 18 In much lighter news: Today the City of Seattle (or at least its mainstream media) went cuckoo for Hu, as visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao wrapped up a day of sightseeing and Chinese-community outreach by dining at the home of world-class philanthropist/World's Richest Man™ Bill Gates, where Hu and his aggressively spotty human-rights record were feted by regional leaders in business and politics. But what do the rich and powerful eat? For an answer, Last Days turns to the Seattle Times, which reported the evening's menu on its front page. Prepared by Gates's house chef, tonight's dinner featured fillet of beef with Walla Walla onions, Alaskan halibut with spot prawns, and rhubarb brown butter almond cake. As for entertainment: The office of Governor Christine Gregoire (the official host of tonight's dinner) tells the Times that background music will be piped into the dining room, but it will be recorded, not played live elsewhere on the estate. No, really.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19 Nothing happened today, unless you count the expulsion of digested fillet of beef with Walla Walla onions, Alaskan halibut with spot prawns, and rhubarb brown butter almond cake from the anuses of Bill and Melinda Gates, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, and at least 96 other people.
THURSDAY, APRIL 20 The week continues with some world-class eavesdropping from Seattle's University District, where Hot Tipper Devon says he didn't have a choice: "I was shopping in Half Price Books when I found myself cornered by a guy in his mid to late 20s, with a scruffy beard and a hippie kind of vibe, having an intense and quite loud cell-phone conversation with what sounded like his girlfriend," writes Devon. "The conversation began with the guy loudly stating that he had decided to no longer ejaculate in the woman on the other end of the phone, but preferred to keep his sperm to himself. He felt that when he ejaculated, he became out of balance with life and his energy was disturbed. I thought this was some kind of weird Tao of Sex thing, but as the conversation progressed, it became clear that he was using this excuse to dump his girlfriend over the phone. He was getting more and more angry, and was furiously insisting that his 'teacher' had decided that his energy would be 'thrown way off' if he had sex. He then proceeded to detail his previous sexual exploits and explain that he was at his best when he didn't share his ejaculate with anyone (not even masturbation, he loudly declared). Then he said the best line I've ever overheard: 'I have to say this, because I really don't say it often enough: I'm not Jesus Christ. I'm just not Jesus.' After that I left, because I figured I had reached the absolute nadir of disgusting public phone conversations." Thank you, Devon, for sharing, and thank you, sperm-hoarding hippie, for proving that inappropriate public conversation can be just as impressive as inappropriate public grooming.
FRIDAY, APRIL 21Nothing happened today, unless you count the Zeitgeist-capturing double-whammy of news reports from the Seattle Times, which reports the proposed $225 million overhaul of Seattle's Colman Dock, which serves more than nine million ferry passengers a year and could soon become home to a hotel, condos, and "even a concert venue," and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which reports that the U.S. Justice Department has named the Washington State ferry system and its attendant docks the number one target for maritime terrorism in the U.S.
SATURDAY, APRIL 22 Nothing happened today, unless you count the widely reported case of the Oregon man who got all hopped up on methamphetamine then shot himself 12 times in the head with a nail gun, after which he was rushed to Portland's Oregon Health & Science University, where doctors peeled back his face and removed the nails with needle-nose pliers and a high-speed drill, all of which the man miraculously survived. The moral is clear: Meth makes you invincible.
SUNDAY, APRIL 23 The week ends with a bag of mysterious hot dogs and heartbreaking public insanity, courtesy of Hot Tipper Courtney. "I was washing up in the Ballard Library bathroom yesterday, when a nonthreatening older lady walks up to me," writes Courtney. "The only thing strange about her is the clear plastic bag filled with what looks like 50 hot dogs tied to the outside of her backpack. She asks me, 'Is that your real face?' I reply yes, it is indeed my real face. 'So you haven't had work done?' I say no, I haven't had any work done, and add how rude it is to ask a complete stranger that question. Then it gets weird. She begins a tirade about how if I was lying to her, it would be a threat to national security, and she could easily have me arrested. I made for the door, and she continued to talk loudly at me, swearing up and down that this wasn't my real face and insisting I stop lying to her. Ah, quaint Ballard."
Send Hot Tips to firstname.lastname@example.org