MONDAY, OCTOBER 31 This week of aggressive goats and good and evil old folks kicks off with Halloween, which Last Days will commemorate with this spooky-ooky story out of Chicago, where today a man died after attempting to remove his own pacemaker. Details come from the Chicago Tribune, which identifies the would-be DIY surgeon as a 47-year-old man who told paramedics he was trying to diminish his chest pain when he drove a sharp object into his chest in an attempt to remove his artificial pacemaker. "Paramedics removed his shirt and found a puncture wound on the upper left side of his chest," reports the Tribune. Despite the best efforts of paramedics, the man died tonight at a Chicago hospital. The obvious moral: Avoid red meat, as it will give you heart disease that requires a pacemaker and you will stab yourself to death.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1 In lighter news, the week continues with a mountain goat. Unfortunately, it's a mountain goat that kills people. Details come from Seattlepi.com, which identifies our tragically unlucky goat victim as Robert Boardman, a 63-year-old Port Angeles man who was hiking with his wife and a friend last year in Olympic National Park when he was attacked by the 370-pound goat known as "Klahhane Billy," which reportedly gored Boardman then stood guard over his prone body to prevent anyone from helping as he bled to death. Today in the US District Court in Tacoma, the family of Robert Boardman sued the National Park Service, alleging officials knew Klahhane Billy was dangerous, having received numerous complaints about the huge aggressive goat over the years, but failed to properly address the problem. "The lawsuit follows the Park Service's rejection last week of a $10 million claim by the family," reports Seattlepi.com, which also informs us that the problem of Klahhane Billy has finally been officially addressed, via shooting the goat dead.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2 Nothing happened today, so we'll deal with something else that happened yesterday: the arrest of four post-middle-aged men in Georgia, where 73-year-old Frederick Thomas, 67-year-old Dan Roberts, 65-year-old Ray Adams, and 68-year-old Samuel Crump were arrested after allegedly plotting to "obtain an unregistered explosive device and silencer and to manufacture the biological toxin ricin for use in attacks against other U.S. citizens and government personnel and officials." Other key bits from the US Attorney's Office official statement: The allegedly criminally grumpy old men allegedly discussed targeting IRS workers with explosives, scattering ricin from cars on the highway, and those occasions when murder is justified. "These defendants, who are alleged to be part of a fringe militia group, are charged with planning attacks against their own fellow citizens and government," said US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Sally Quillian Yates. "While many are focused on the threat posed by international violent extremists, this case demonstrates that we must also remain vigilant in protecting our country from citizens within our own borders who threaten our safety and security."
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3 Speaking of allegedly threatening elders, the week continues in Centerville, Iowa, where today Ben Dawson, an 83-year-old candidate for Centerville City Council, took to the airwaves to defend himself against charges of prostitution. As Iowa's KTVO News reports, the saga commenced when police received a complaint from a woman who said the 83-year-old Dawson had offered to perform sex acts on her in exchange for repayment of a loan. "Dawson allegedly grabbed the victim and began kissing her neck without consent," reports KTVO. "As a result, Dawson faces two aggravated misdemeanor charges: prostitution and intent to commit sexual abuse." Released this afternoon from the Appanoose County Jail on $2,000 bond, Dawson professed his innocence on all charges to KTVO: "I have never touched the woman in my life and I am willing to take a lie detector test if she is." As for the effects of alleged whoring on Dawson's city council candidacy, Centerville voters will have weighed in on that matter by the time you read this.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4 In much more awesome old-man news, the week continues in Lakewood, Washington, where a would-be robber tried his luck with a septuagenarian man and his wife and learned a bricky lesson. Details come from KIRO, which identifies today's hero as 72-year-old Adalberto Malave-Matos, who on October 29 enjoyed an evening with his wife at Fife's Emerald Queen Casino. On the drive home, Malave-Matos noticed a car that appeared to be following him, and after he and his wife entered their home's garage, they were attacked by a man wearing a ski mask, who tried to make off with Mrs. Malave-Matos's purse. "He was just punching the heck out of her," said Malave-Matos to KIRO. "I grabbed him from behind and we started fighting. I was just struggling, and then [my wife] mentioned in Spanish, 'the brick!'" Upon seizing a nearby brick left over from a recent landscaping project, Malave-Matos got to work. "I let him have it with the brick," he told KIRO. "I hit him very hard on the head." Wisely, Malave also used the brick to break the fleeing attacker's windshield, which helped police track down the suspect: 55-year-old John Anthony, described by KIRO as "a convicted robber with a history of targeting elderly victims and stalking them as they leave casinos and bingo parlors. If convicted, the crime would be a third strike offense for Anthony and he could be sentenced to life in prison."
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5 In sadder old-man news, today brought news of the death of Andy Rooney, the strenuously cranky 60 Minutes commentator who passed away yesterday at age 92. He's complaining in heaven now (where we hope Kurt Cobain, whose suicide Rooney mocked on air, kicks him in his baggy old nuts).
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6 In real news, the week ends with a heartrending report on the explosion of homeless families in Seattle following severe cuts to state benefits. Among the horrors detailed in Vanessa Ho's Seattlepi.com report: the recent count at the semipermanent shantytown Nickelsville, which found 10 kids among the 140 residents; a shelter worker's testimony that she's had to turn away 14 families with 31 kids from overnight shelter in the last month; and the fact that it's only going to get worse, thanks to Governor Gregoire's proposal of further cuts to food assistance and subsidized health care programs, and the arrival of winter.
Tiny ray of light: "The problem has prompted the Seattle City Council to consider proposals to increase funding for homeless families by $335,000 next year, for such programs as motel vouchers and rental assistance," reports Ho.