Like most media-conscious Americans, Last Days is counting the minutes until TV's first live-action, prime-time death. Lately, we've been putting our televised-death money on a Real World binge-drinking spree or a Fear Factor stunt gone wrong. But if 30 percent of Americans had their way, television's premiere snuff special would be the execution of Osama bin Laden--with 21 percent saying they'd pay for the privilege of watching. Today's statistics come from a poll taken by Harris Interactive, which questioned 1,017 American adults at random during the last week of January. Pulling somewhat lower death-wish ratings than bin Laden was deposed Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein, with 18 percent of those polled saying Saddam should be given a televised execution, and 11 percent saying they'd pay to watch. On the other end of the spectrum: Thirty-three percent of respondents said they didn't believe executions should be televised at all. Last Days agrees with this 33 percent. However, should some enterprising TV executive choose to force the captured Saddam and bin Laden to perform a pre-execution production of The Odd Couple (with Osama as Felix and Saddam as Oscar, duh), we'd staple our face to the TV screen.


Speaking of people a lot of American adults would pay to see executed on television: Today President Bush announced his support for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. "After more than two centuries of American jurisprudence and millennia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization," said Dubya, urging Congress to approve an amendment to the Constitution that would forever deny same-sex couples the right to marry. Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry denounced Bush's proposal, sort of: "All Americans should be concerned when a president who is in political trouble tries to tamper with the Constitution of the United States at the start of his reelection campaign," said Kerry to the Associated Press, admitting that he opposes gay marriage but claiming he will oppose the constitutional amendment if it reaches the Senate floor. Thankfully, not all straight male Democrats are such Botox-brained wusses. Cases in point: Frank Rich's miraculously hope-bestowing gay-marriage essay in the New York Times, and Mayor Greg Nickels' sweet statement of support for gay marriage to the Seattle Gay News. Stay tuned for updates on the political division that could very well lead to Civil War 2004.


Today brought a whirlwind of activity for Seattle's hottest new criminal--the "Bag Lady Bandit," who tonight worked her magic on two Seattle banks, bringing her recent bank-robbing total to six successful hits. So far, the Bag Lady Bandit has worked a single angle: "She'll enter the bank, pass a note, leave the bank, nobody even knows it's been robbed, and she's gone," said FBI Agent Robbie Burroughs to KOMO News. Tonight's hits were no different: Around 5:00 p.m., the Bag Lady Bandit entered the Wells Fargo on Fourth Avenue in downtown Seattle, passing a note to the teller along with her signature brown paper bag. Instead of filling the bag with money, the teller seized both the note and the bag, inspiring the spurned bandit to flee. Forty-five minutes later, the Bag Lady Bandit tried again, hitting a Bank of America on First Avenue South and getting away with an undisclosed amount of cash. In both instances, surveillance cameras captured the mystery woman in action; photo stills reveal the budding crime star to be a six-foot-tall black woman with a heavy build and pierced nose. As police found no getaway car at either crime scene, authorities initially believed the Bag Lady Bandit got from one bank to the other on foot. However, subsequent reports revealed a far more sinister means of escape: only in Seattle could a woman rob a bank armed only with a note and a paper bag then getaway via Metro bus. (On Monday, March 1, the FBI will apprehend the woman believed to be the Bag Lady Bandit--34-year-old Mary Brown--at a Tukwila motel. Last Days anxiously awaits the specifics of the court case, as well as the Lifetime movie.)

--If there's one thing Last Days loves, it's a good old-fashioned protest shit. Today brought news of a fabulous bit of fecal disobedience from Pequannock, NJ, where a 53-year-old man was arrested after allegedly arriving at a Roman Catholic school clad in a diaper and pink stretch pants and requesting a job application; when his request for an application was denied, the man pooped his pants and fled. Upon his apprehension by police, William Rhode III was charged with child endangerment, as New Jersey doesn't have an anti-auto-defecation statute. Rhode is scheduled to undergo a psychiatric evaluation on March 12.


Nothing happened today (unless you count the widespread reporting of The Passion of the Christ's first victim--a middle-aged woman who suffered a heart attack and died during a screening of Mel Gibson's bloody Christian kink-fest in East Wichita, Kansas).


"Dear Last Days," read the letter from today's Hot Tipper, a philosophy student at the University of Washington. "During class this week, I witnessed something I feel compelled to tell the world. A female student started eating a chewy fruit roll-up. (I know this only because of the crackly nature of the packaging, which draws attention to itself.) Anyway, after consuming the roll-up, this person decided it would be a great time to floss--WITH HER OWN HAIR. In stricken horror, I watched as she took a chunk of hair from the nape of her neck, pulled some hairs into a dental-floss-like consistency, and went to town on her back teeth--not once, but many times, stopping now and then to lick the now-free roll-up from the dental-floss-like hair. Please, tell me that's gross." Dear Hot Tipper Philosophy Student: Thank you for sharing your rigorously hideous sighting. However, we fear your philosophy studies--opening your mind to all sides of all sides--may have obfuscated your ability to draw obvious conclusions and make firm judgments. A roll-up-eating skank flossing with her own goddamn hair is disgusting on every imaginable level, and it doesn't take a Sophistocranes to know this woman will pay for her public-grooming sins with an eternity in Hell.


Nothing happened today (unless you count Hot Tipper Eva's eyewitness report of the ragtag, 20-member marching band that materialized around 1:30 this morning on Pine Street).


Nothing happened today (unless you count the 475th annual Academy Awards, the least surprising awards show in U.S. history).

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