This week of contained plagues, grotesque admissions, and voluminous bloodshed got off to a relatively restrained start today with an Easter recollection from Hot Tipper Megan. "My mom gave me an Easter basket with candy and Richard Clarke's book in it. Today I went to eat the pecan roll, but before I took a bite, I noticed something seemed odd. On closer examination, I realized the pecan roll was covered in a freaking cobweb. After checking the ingredients--I guess I was looking for 'spider eggs' or something--I spotted the customer service number. I called and talked to a woman who informed me that sometimes pecans have worms, and what I encountered was more of a 'cocoon' than a 'web.' Now I am waiting for my replacement candy, which will arrive in 5-10 business days via UPS." Thanks to Megan for sharing, thanks to Megan's mom for giving.


For years, Last Days has rigorously documented the baffling national trend of diabolical child abuse, from rock-wielding moms to Daddy's lap bone. Today we turn to the epidemic's unspoken flip side, with Reuters confirming the dark fact that sometimes the little fuckers are begging for it. Today police in Fort Myers, Florida, arrested 17-year-old Carlos Chereza, who allegedly hired a hit man to kill his mother. According to police, Chereza offered an undercover detective $2,000 to murder his mom, providing the hit man/cop with keys to the family apartment, a picture of his mother, and, worst of all, explicit instructions to commit the "burglary-style" murder without damaging the TV. Minutes after the meeting, police arrested Chereza, charging the teen with soliciting to commit first-degree murder. The mother remains unharmed.


Speaking of contained mayhem: Today brought news of a new HIV outbreak in the heterosexual (if you don't count the faux lesbianism) porn world. Today veteran adult performer Darren James--star of Assault That Ass 1, Assiliciously Delicious 2, and Black Dicks in White Chicks 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6--received confirmation of his diagnosis that he is HIV-positive, setting in motion a rigorous system of containment led by the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation (AIM). According to Adult Video News, the 12 women who have worked with James since his last negative HIV test (in autumn 2003) have been quarantined, with these "first generation" performers out of commission for 30 days--the amount of time it would take for HIV to appear in their blood in measurable quantities, after which the women will receive conclusive PCR-DNA and RNA HIV tests. (Sadly, one woman won't have to wait that long--Lana Roxx, a 19-year-old Canadian who filmed an anal scene with Darren James on March 24, 2004, will test positive by press time.) A number of production houses, including Cherry Boxxx Pictures, Red Light District, and VCA, have declared a moratorium on production until the second- and possibly third-generation of performers have been identified. Meanwhile, AIM has announced it will provide follow-up care for the performers who've tested positive, with offers of ongoing treatment through AIM or one of their nonprofit affiliates.

--Meanwhile in Columbia, Missouri, a sorority member faces punishment after instructing her sorority sisters to lie about their health status to qualify as donors in a campus blood-drive competition. Reuters reports that sophomore Christie Key, the blood-donation coordinator for the Missouri-Columbia chapter of Gamma Phi Beta, e-mailed the following message to 170 of her sisters prior to the Red Cross blood drive: "I dont care if you got a tattoo last week LIE. I dont care if you have a cold. Suck it up. We all do. LIE. Recent peircings? LIE." The national office of Gamma Phi Beta apologized to "the community, the Red Cross and campus," while the Missouri-Columbia chapter was made to forfeit any points it would have earned in the ''Greek Week'' competition for its tainted blood drive.


In much lighter news, nothing happened today (unless you count Tax Day or the Hot Tip about the man spotted lying face down in the gutter near the intersection of 12th Avenue and Madison Street, who wasn't drunk but peeing. "And not just peeing," gushes Hot Tipper Noah, "but peeing HORIZONTALLY with his penis dangling through the drainage grate! It was brilliant.")


Kids these days: Today in Great Falls, Montana, 17-year-old Daniel Robbins was sentenced to 50 years in prison after confessing his attempt to mow down a female jogger with his SUV, in hopes of having sex with her corpse. The Associated Press reports that Robbins was only 16 last May when he steered a sport utility vehicle onto a sidewalk to strike Patty Emanuel, a 40-year-old jogger who escaped the attack with six fractured vertebrae, four fractures in her pelvis, a collapsed lung, and three broken ribs. "It is a miracle that she survived," said District Judge Kenneth Neill. "Mental health is no excuse for this act. The defendant made up his mind to run her down well in advance." Judge Neill's not kidding: Listing his New Year's resolutions for a class assignment, a 15-year-old Robbins included "tasting human flesh" and getting a driver's license "so I can do those horrible things people like to read about in the paper." Eep.


Another weekend, another Hamas leader killed
. Today an Israeli missile took out Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi, and the majority of Palestinians blamed President Bush. "Bush freed the hands of [Ariel] Sharon to do whatever he liked with the Palestinian people, to kill their leaders and to confiscate their land," said one Gaza mourner to Reuters, which reports that Bush's recent statement that Israel could expect to keep chunks of the West Bank seized in the 1967 Middle East war was felt by many Palestinians as a death blow for dreams of a real state. While countries around the globe condemned the killing, the United States expressed only its "grave concern" for "regional peace and stability." Meanwhile on the streets of Gaza, many Palestinians called for Hamas to change its long-standing policy of attacking only Israelis and to start killing Americans, too.


Nothing happened today (unless you count the early-morning party riots at Iowa State University, or Bob Woodward's equally explosive charges against the Bush administration on tonight's 60 Minutes).

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