MONDAY, JULY 5
Nothing says "I love you" like a fatal chain saw wound to the neck. Today in Topsham, Maine, budding romance turned to bloodbath, reports the Associated Press. A Missouri man traveled to the Pine Tree State to pursue a relationship with a woman he'd met and courted over the Internet. Police say that James Denardi moved to Maine on June 23 to be near his unidentified Internet hottie. When the woman expressed her desire to cut short the relationship, Denardi drove to her house with a chain saw, stood on her lawn, and severed a significant portion of his neck to display the depth of his (now unwanted) affection. Denardi died hours later at a Maine hospital. Of course it's sad when love turns sour, and disheartening when the Internet leads to pain instead of pleasure, but it's always a relief when crazy people kill themselves instead of others.
TUESDAY, JULY 6
Today, another tale of romance gone wrong, this one from the sexy Shangri-la known as Sea World. Early this morning, officials at the Orlando, Florida theme park discovered the naked and dead body of an unidentified 27-year-old man on the back of a killer whale in one of the park's water tanks, reports Reuters. "The man was sort of draped over the whale's back behind the dorsal fin," said a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's office. "There was no obvious trauma he wasn't bitten or chewed up or anything." Investigators say the 11,000-pound orca named Tillikum, the largest whale at any theme park in the world, may have thought the 180-pound man was something to play with, like a squeeze toy. General Manager Vic Abbey says this was the first incident of its kind in the 35-year history of Sea World, and concedes that the man may have been the same fellow who'd been seen around the park for several days "taking an interest" in the whales. Don't let the innocuous euphemisms throw you: That Shamu-shaggin' freak was getting busy with a blowhole, and don't let anybody tell you different.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 7
Here's a story to make the heart glad: In a butt-kicking defeat for the U.S. tobacco industry, today a Florida jury ruled that cigarette smoking is addictive, causes lung cancer and other diseases, and that the United States' biggest tobacco companies must pay unspecified punitive damages, reports Reuters. The multi-billion-dollar lawsuit is the first class-action lawsuit filed by smokers to come to trial and end in a verdict. The six-person jury (who have been hearing testimony since October 1998) found the tobacco industry guilty of conspiring to hide the dangers of smoking, selling defective products, and general negligence. The jurors also declared that cigarette makers should be held liable for punitive damages inspiring numerous triumphant plaintiffs in the courtroom to weep with joy, bow their heads in thanks, and wheeze praise for the jury's wisdom through their tracheotomies. Following today's revelatory cigarettes-cause-cancer ruling, the Florida jury went on to rule that flowers are pretty, and that fecal matter smells bad.
THURSDAY, JULY 8
For weeks the daily papers have been packed with info about the slimy financing of the new Safeco Stadium. Today Last Days takes you behind the scenes of the construction of the most controversial local structure since Jean Enersen's hair. First comes a Hot Tip direct from a real live Safeco Field worker, who says she's seen "a lot of crazy antics" over the past couple months, but claims the goofball shenanigans she witnessed today take the cake. Upon arriving at work, our worker woman spotted a "chubby, 40ish" man sitting on a skateboard being pushed by two burly men. After asking a nearby construction worker, the woman learned that the skateboard squatter was 107.7 DJ Andy Savage, who was visiting the stadium with the promotional intention of sitting in every seat in the whole place! However, the construction worker told the woman that Andy S. was far from achieving his life's dream: "I haven't actually seen him sit in a seat. He touches or slides past a couple seats, then he stops to smoke. Then he eats a burger and fries. Then he touches a couple more seats. If it wasn't for that skateboard he wouldn't get done until 2010."
>> And here's more Safeco strangeness from The Stranger's very own Wm. Steven Humphrey, who reports that every time he drives down I-5 South (which is quite frequently, as hookers in Tacoma are less expensive), he sees the Hollywood blockbuster/gay soft-porn classic Top Gun playing on Safeco stadium's giant DiamondVision screen. What could this possibly mean? God only knows, but as we here at Last Days know so many men who have been inspired to heightened exertions by Top Gun's volleyball and shower scenes, we have our suspicions.
FRIDAY, JULY 9
There are times when one must forsake the comforts of hearth and home, and fearlessly venture forth to lands of mystery and danger to bask in unknown splendors of the world. Tonight we here at Last Days did just that packing our bags, getting our passports in order, and striking out for the exotic land of Ballard, where we spent a most heavenly evening. The evening began with dinner at Hattie's Hat (home of many delicious treats, including our favorite, the jalapeño spinach soufflé), and ended with a musical performance at the Tractor Tavern by Rusty Willoughby (whose debut solo CD has finally been released, and if you don't go get it, you're dumber than a jalapeño spinach soufflé). But the highlight of the night was a visit to the kickass new music store Galaxy Records, where we were charmed by co-owner Sally while we purchased a vintage LP (Phyllis Diller Laughs!), and played on the Galaxy's free jukebox our very favorite misogynist pop song ever: the Rolling Stones' classic "Stupid Girl." Go to Ballard, it's good for you.
SATURDAY, JULY 10
Over the past few weeks, we've devoted a good portion of this column to documenting Seattle's crow menace. As reports of local attacks continue to pour in (best tip for fighting off angry birds: Always carry a tennis racket and don't be afraid to use it), we'd like to share this tale of bird fury all the way from London. Earlier this week, Italian film legend and Grumpier Old Men star Sophia Loren was attending on opening ceremony for a sale at Harrods, when she was attacked by a very mean cockatoo. The Mr. Showbiz website reports that the offending bird was a resident of Harrods' pet department, and that the attacked actress was quickly whisked to safety. However, five minutes later the obviously shaken Loren tripped and fell as she walked onstage. And while we feel sorry for the elderly and perhaps somewhat klutzy actress, nothing is funnier than someone falling down. Nothing.
SUNDAY, JULY 11
Speaking of klutzy elderly people whom we enjoy seeing humiliated, today's Seattle Times featured a full-page glam piece on the anti-environmental Skeletor look-alike who (who knew?) helped craft the guiding principles for Clinton's impeachment trial: Senator Slade Gorton. Designed to foster a more nuanced view of the man routinely dismissed as an unforgivable bastard, Joni Balter's essay "The Lion in Summer" spoke with awe of the 71-year-old senator's physical prowess and powerful political charisma. But along with the buttsucking came some lovely jabs at Sir Slade, including mentions of his, uh, spotty home state reputation, and his habit of getting "cranky in a snap... like an old guy." But for us the piece was about only one thing: those foxy, foxy gams. Keep up the good work, Mister Gorton. Hot Tips. E-mail email@example.com or phone the Hot Tips Hotline at 323-7101 ext. 3113.