The week kicks off with the grippingly gruesome Associated Press story of the knife-wielding Navy man and the Skagit County cops who shot him. The sad scene started around 10 pm last night, when neighbors of the 26-year-old man and his 30-year-old wife reported hearing screams and loud noises coming from the couple's apartment on the Whidbey Island Naval Station; a pair of Skagit County policemen arrived to find the husband wielding a pair of knives and repeatedly stabbing his wife. Ignoring orders to drop the knives, the man kept on stabbing, even after police dosed him with pepper spray, and finally the officers were required to open fire. The man died at the scene, the officers were placed on administrative leave, and the woman remains in serious condition at Harborview Medical Center.
·· In kinda lighter news, today nearly three dozen Hot Tippers wrote to make sure Last Days had heard about Atlanta, Georgia's "Miracle Baby," the tenacious toddler who spent 10 days living with the body of her dead mother before being discovered by police. (For those who missed it: The mom--26-year-old Lawarna Stevenson--died from complications of diabetes, while the daughter--22-month-old Miracle--survived by scrounging food from the cupboards.) Maybe it's the heartbreaking particulars (in addition to being so badly decomposed she could only be identified by fingerprints, the young mother was also pregnant) or maybe we're just getting old; whatever the reason, this latest case of transcendental filial devotion failed to inspire the reveries that typically attend stories of this ilk. In the end, Last Days could do nothing but reiterate the extravagantly wishful thinking of Police Sergeant John Quigley: "I just hope the kid doesn't have any memory of this."(Still, thanks for thinking of us, Hot Tippers.)
TUESDAY, JUNE 18
They're the worst thing to happen to human interaction since date rape, the most damning bit of technology since the French Facelift, and today a whole bunch of scientists announced that cell phones fuck with your brain. An authoritative two-year study conducted by the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland (and reported today by the Associated Press) has determined that radiation from mobile phones causes changes in the brain that could pose risks to health. The researchers believe that the brain-changes caused by cell phones could disable a safety barrier in the body that protects the brain from harmful substances in the blood; scientists are now calling for further research to determine just how serious the health risks posed by cell phones are. In the meantime, Last Days hopes that the chronically cell-addicted will begin to explore alternative methods of communication (yelling, semaphore, tin cans and yarn), and that cell-phone companies will own up to the potentially damning facts as they emerge. (For the record, Last Days is in no rush to hear the phrase, "Can you hear me now?" coming from inside a coffin.)
·· Also: Today in Jerusalem, a 22-year-old Palestinian grad student detonated a nail bomb in a crowded bus, killing 19 passengers and himself.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19
For decades, American high school students have thrilled to the garish pleasures of municipally produced anti-drug reels, those contemporary cautionary tales (mandatory viewing in health classes nationwide) in which a teen just like you blithely experiments with the hyped drug du jour--and invariably dives through a plate-glass window/plunges from the roof of the library/chokes to death on vomit. Today those ridiculous films blurred into something ridiculously close to real life, as The Arizona Republic reported the story of Billie Jo Peters, the 26-year-old woman in Phoenix who go all hopped up on crystal meth, then slit the wrists of both herself and her two-month-old son. "She wanted to take her baby to heaven," explained Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley, who is currently at work prosecuting Billie Jo Peters (she survived) for attempted first-degree murder and child abuse. Meanwhile, Billie Jo Peters' baby son (he survived!) is in the care of Arizona's Child Protective Services.
THURSDAY, JUNE 20
Today the world's news agencies informed the world's citizens that our planet came uncomfortably close to being struck by a football-field-sized asteroid on June 14.
FRIDAY, JUNE 21
Today the Associated Press trumpeted the absolutely wondrous news that, after weeks of silence, troubled R&B superstar R. Kelly has responded to all who would judge him before his day in court--with a new single! Debuting this week on Chicago radio station WGCI-FM, the brand-new, self-penned song captures Kelly in full martyr mode: "You smile in my face and tell me you love me/But then before you know the truth you're so quick to judge me." Best of all is the song's title, which is so mind-blowingly amazing that readers will be tempted to believe we made it up, but we didn't: "Heaven, I Need a Hug."
·· Also today: Eagle-eyed Hot Tipper Sherri wrote to inform us of the very large and heavy man she saw strolling merrily beneath the monorail track near Westlake Center. (And oh yeah: He was totally naked.)
SATURDAY, JUNE 22
Today Last Days spent nine and a half hours obsessively repeating the title of R. Kelly's latest single in our head, an exercise that filled us alternately with awe, horror, and near-orgasmic glee. Upon completion of our nine-hour obsessathon, we realized that a significant portion of the title's power emanates from its comma; it is there heartbreak lies. Heaven, comma, I need a hug.
·· Also today: Legendary advice columnist Ann Landers died of cancer. Contacted for comment, still-embittered sister-rival Abigail Van Buren said, "Good." (Confidential to Dan Savage: It's time to drop the sexual shenanigans, mop out your potty mouth, and learn how to spell--the world of mainstream dailies needs you.)
SUNDAY, JUNE 23
Say it loud--we're dry and we're proud: Today Reuters reported the results of the blockbuster study conducted by the research wing of Procter & Gamble's Old Spice Red Zone deodorant, which determined that Seattle is one of the five least sweaty cities in the United States! Joining Seattle on the "least sweaty" list are Barrow (Alaska), San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles; stinking up the "five sweatiest cities" category are New Orleans, Florida's West Palm Beach, and three sweat-dumps from the Lone Star State: Houston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, and San Antonio, the last of which was crowned "America's Sweatiest City," with a full case of Red Zone sent as a present to San Antonio's sweaty, sweaty mayor. Last Days is pleased our lovely city landed among the nation's least sweaty, but the glory is somewhat sullied by the realization that Red Zone's B.O.-seeking judges obviously never attended Folklife.
·· In other important news, today a variety of news sources reported on a fresh threat to the U.S., scheduled to be delivered on July 4 (via video feed) by terrorist big cheese Osama bin Laden himself. Bin Laden's upcoming video appearance was confirmed by his spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who reiterated his boss' warnings that Americans should get ready for more attacks, where we "least expect them." And so Last Days asks you, dear readers, where do YOU least expect al Qaeda to attack? Send answers to firstname.lastname@example.org, with "AL QAEDA ATTACK" in the subject line.
James Brown said it, we believe it: Stay in school, y'all. Send Hot Tips to email@example.com.