The week began with a ceremonial slice, as army doctors with the International Security Assistance Force for Afghanistan carried out a mass circumcision of Afghan boys. Reuters reports that physicians from Turkey's prestigious Gulhame Military Medical Academy circumcised over 90 boys, winning friends among hundreds of Afghan families who, due to personal troubles or poverty, had been unable to carry out the important religious ceremony. Following Muslim tradition, a majority of Afghan boys are circumcised between the ages of two and five, by religious elders who say a prayer before removing the foreskin with a knife (and without anesthetic; lucky boys get plunged into an icy stream just prior to slicing to help "numb the pain"). Today's Turkish operation, while yielding to Muslim tradition, was a strictly medical affair, with the boys (age two to 11) receiving local anesthetic, and the doctors using surgical soldering guns that cut through the flesh and seal the wounds at the same time. (Plus, following the ceremony, each of the freshly shorn boys was given a brand-new soccer ball.) What happened to the 90 extraneous foreskins, you ask? Reuters offers no answer, but considering the globe's cock-worshipping power brokers, it's doubtful that even the skimpiest smidge of a penis would ever be squandered. (And face it: fast-food "chicken nuggets" have to come from somewhere.)

··In other penis news: Two days from now, Reuters will report on how a seven-year-old boy in Morocco underwent successful reattachment surgery after his penis was bitten off by a donkey.

Early this evening in Fremont, three generations of one family were hit by a Metro bus, whose driver claims to have been "blinded by the sun" when he made a left turn and struck a 29-year-old pregnant woman and her 58-year-old mother. Both women were taken to Harborview Medical Center, where the pregnant woman underwent an emergency cesarean to deliver a full-term baby boy. By tomorrow, the bus-struck baby will be listed in serious but stable condition at Children's Hospital, while his mother and grandmother remain in serious and critical condition, respectively, at Harborview. (Forgive us for parlaying a tragedy into a stump speech, but in addition to never getting stuck in traffic, monorails rarely run down pregnant ladies.)

Today Last Days had the pleasure of encountering one of our very favorite publications: SkyMall, the complimentary in-flight catalog geared toward discriminating in-flight shoppers (and those who love to mock them). Among the treasures of the latest SkyMall was the intriguingly titled "Love a Child Throw," a 46" x 67" multi-colored, three-layer cotton throw rug emblazoned with a whimsical litany of suggestions for "How to Really Love a Child": Say yes as often as possible. If they're crabby, put them in water. If they're unlovable, love yourself. Go to a movie theater in your pajamas. Invent pleasures together. Remember how really small they are. Bake a cake and eat it with no hands. Go find elephants and kiss them. Mail letters to God." I think that every child's room, day care, nursery, and pediatrician's office should have this child-affirming treasure," gushes SkyMall. (Don't forget the sacristies of Catholic churches and the regional headquarters of the North American Man-Boy Love Association, suggests Last Days.)

··Speaking of how to love a child: Today eight more men filed a lawsuit against the Seattle Catholic Archdiocese, accusing the organization of failing to protect them from the advances of known child molester James McGreal, a former priest who has faced allegations of pedophilia since the 1980s, reports the Seattle P-I. Today's complaint, charging the creepy McGreal with everything from icky undressing games to pornography-fueled sexual assault, is the fourth lawsuit to be filed against the wayward father, who was transferred from parish to parish for 40 years before news reports of his alleged trail of molestation forced him to resign in 1988. Currently McGreal faces accusations by 15 men who claim the pervy priest sexually abused them when he served as parish pastor at a number of Northwest churches in the 1970s.

It began two weeks ago, with the arrival of a whimsically illustrated flier on our desk: " Presents the First Annual Bubble Rally," a free, all-ages festival of "music, poetry, and bubbles" scheduled for Saturday, August 3, in Volunteer Park. The next week we received a glamorous Bubble Rally press pack, offering further details on this "apolitical, community-powered" event devoted to "community betterment through art and performance," and culminating in a "multimedia sound, light, and bubble show" with "children of all ages" encouraged "to see and participate." Today the increasingly sinister bubble mystery came to a head, as Mr. Bubble Rally himself--Reverend Bubba Levi Greenacres--visited the Stranger offices to drop off a pre-Rally gift basket loaded with bubble paraphernalia and yummy, yummy candy (which contained not one trace of poison). Sufficiently charmed by the candy, we knew we had no choice but to attend the upcoming event, which should be either the sweetest gathering this city's ever seen, or a Jonestownesque bloodbath. (If we end up MIA, follow the bubbles.)

Today the venerable St. Petersburg Times reported the story of the extremely embarrassed woman in Florida, who is seeking more than $15,000 in damages from Delta Airlines, claiming Delta security agents "held her up for ridicule" after finding a vibrating adult novelty in her luggage. The sex-negative shenanigans went down last February, when the 36-year-old woman and her husband were returning home after a Las Vegas vacation. While awaiting takeoff in Dallas, the woman was escorted off the plane by a Delta security agent, who informed her that one of her checked bags was vibrating. According to her lawsuit, the woman immediately fessed up, informing the agent of the adult toy she and her hubby had purchased in Vegas. Nevertheless, the agent led her to the tarmac and instructed her to open the bag--after which she was made to "remove the adult toy and hold it up for visible view." This impromptu dildo display, the woman claims, was witnessed by one side of the plane's passengers, as well as three male Delta employees, who "began laughing hysterically" and spewing "obnoxious and sexually harassing" comments. Only after holding the vibrator up for a full minute was the woman allowed to repack and return to her seat for the most humiliating flight to Tampa ever. "She was pretty horrified by the treatment," said the woman's St. Petersburg attorney, who is suing Delta for negligence, the intentional infliction of emotional distress, and gender discrimination. "She never contended that Delta doesn't have the right to investigate a security issue. It was their total lack of professionalism."

Nothing happened today (unless you count the brilliantly affected, beautifully affecting wedding of Ariella Robison and Sean Nelson).

For years, Last Days has dreamt of spearheading a retaliatory ballot initiative designed to humiliate and politically castrate the shameless, slimy, and shockingly faggy political maverick Tim Eyman. Today our dream took a giant step toward coming true as we received an e-mail from the good folks at IRATE, the Initiative Revolt Against Tim Eyman, who introduced what could prove to be a most fitting political punishment for the Northwest's creepiest political playa. Drafted by Brett Hamil and Jeremy Puma, IRATE's initiative would "prohibit Tim Eyman from participating, publicly or privately, in the Washington state voter initiative process" by amending certain laws pertaining to voter initiatives to exclude Eyman. God knows if such a measure is feasible or legal, but for now it's the best idea we've heard since Thirty Seconds to Fame. For more on IRATE, see

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