MONDAY, AUGUST 9 The week begins with a bunch of weird stuff falling from the sky, starting with today's Chicago Sun-Times story on the unnamed rock band under investigation by Chicago police for allegedly dumping their tour buses' sewage tanks off a bridge and onto a commercial cruise boat. The Sun-Times reports that more than 100 people had packed onto the Chicago's First Lady cruise for an architecture tour yesterday afternoon when the aforementioned raw sewage splashed onto the boat's deck and "into the eyes and mouths of tourists." "It was terrible,'' said Holly Agra, president of Chicago's First Lady Cruises and empress of understatement. "It's unforgettable." To the cruise line's credit, the browned boat was immediately returned to dock, where all 120 passengers were given full cash refunds, and a select few given cab fare to the hospital for tests; since then, the company's admirably helped to replace doused tourists' clothes. Chicago police have traced the bio-vandalism to a caravan of eight or nine tour buses belonging to a rock band that will, until charges have been filed, remain nameless. Meanwhile in Seattle, early this morning an 18-year-old Seattle man attempted to elude police by jumping from the First Avenue South Bridge; unfortunately, the young man--identified by the Seattle Times as Chauncey Lee Jones--failed to clear a 15-foot gap between the bridge and an on-ramp and fell 50 feet to his death. Finally, the day of strange droppings came to a surreal, negligibly sexy peak in the parking lot of the Bank of America at 14th and Madison, where early this morning Last Days saw a thirtysomething homeless gentleman riffling among the low foliage, eventually extracting a thin, silver vibrator, which, after looking both ways, he shoved in his pocket, then fled.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 10 After the past few months of squirmy Senate hearings, murky terror warnings, and deeply damning official reports, no one could be blamed for envisioning the U.S. intelligence community as a bunch of bumbling doofuses playing foosball while al Qaeda operatives dressed as janitors make off with their hard drives. But today the Associated Press revealed that sometimes our well-paid protectors do their jobs, as evidenced by the arrest of a Pakistani citizen spotted videotaping a pair of skyscrapers in downtown Charlotte, NC. After attempting to walk away from Charlotte police officers on July 20, 35-year-old Kamran Akhtar gave officers a series of conflicting statements about what he was doing and why--leading to Akhtar's arrest and the discovery of his collection of videotapes showing buildings and transit systems in Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, New Orleans, and Austin, for which Akhtar's video camera was often turned sideways to film an entire building, and frequently zoomed in on street signs. Now in federal custody, Akhtar was charged today with violating immigration and naturalization laws and making a materially false statement. Meanwhile, Akhtar's brother has e-mailed a number of news outlets to defend his accused kin, whom he swears is no terrorist, just an innocent Pakistani who unfortunately enjoys filming tourist sites. Even more unfortunately, this view is supported both by North Carolina's top homeland-security official and security investigators in New York, who view Kamran Akhtar as a "video buff" with no links to terrorism. Stay tuned.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11 Today brings the worst story in the world, straight out of Stuart, Florida, where a 600-pound woman died after doctors attempted to surgically remove her from her couch, to which she had completely grafted over several years of immobility. According to Florida's WFTV, Martin County rescue crews arrived at the home of 40-year-old Gail Grinds after receiving a report that the 600-pound woman was having trouble breathing. What the crews found was the aforementioned marriage of woman and couch, and a stench so strong (Ms. Grinds hadn't moved for between two and six years) that crews were required to pump in fresh air before entering in protective gear. As workers rushed both couch and woman to Martin Memorial Hospital, detectives secured what had become a crime scene, questioning an undisclosed number of family members about how the horror had progressed to this point. As it turned out, Gail Grinds literally couldn't live without her couch, and Grinds was pronounced dead at the hospital. Yes, this is tragic. But it's nice to be reminded that there are worse things than going on an architecture cruise and getting a mouthful of anonymous-rock-band crap.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 12 Today brought a pair of big gay earthquakes, the first of which hit California, where today the state supreme court voided the nearly 4,000 same-sex marriages sanctioned earlier this year in San Francisco, ruling unanimously that Mayor Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority by issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Meanwhile in New Jersey, Gov. James E. McGreevey announced his resignation after acknowledging his extramarital affair with another man. "I am a gay American," said the Democrat and married father of two, whose wife-of-a-gay-American stood resolutely by his side. McGreevey's resignation becomes effective on November 15.
-- Meanwhile in Seattle: King County prosecutors announced plans to add three new charges of second-degree custodial sexual misconduct against Michael Idland, the 40-year-old Washington State Patrol trooper now accused of sexually assaulting a total of ten women after pulling them over for potential drunken-driving arrests along State Route 520. Speaking of additional charges, the Washington State Department of Health has upped its number of charges against Dr. Charles Momah, the King County gynecologist accused of rape and a slew of other horrific deeds, to 19. These charges join the nearly 50 civil lawsuits claiming everything from rape to intimidation and threats against the notorious Momah, who, pending actual criminal charges, remains a free man (with a suspended medical license). However, the King County Prosecutor's Office promised KING 5 it had two deputy prosecutors assigned to the case, and "gave the impression that charges could come in a matter of weeks rather than months."
-- Lastly: Afternoon revelers at Alki were today treated to some guttery thrills as about 200 hypodermic needles washed up on Alki Beach. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that all the works were capped and appeared brand new, so whew.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 13 Nothing happened today, unless you count the opening ceremonies of the 2004 Olympic Games, a potentially glorious occasion irreparably ruined for many U.S. citizens by the worthless-at-best/offensive-at-worst babbling of NBC hosts Bob Costas and Katie Couric, who, with their heads up their asses and mouths to the mics, did as much to make Americans ashamed of their nationality as nearly four years of Dubya. Also, Hot Tipper Kerri Harrop called to report having watched a woman--"in her 30s, wearing short, tight yellow shorts"--holler at her children while stuffing her face with a lobster salad roll, which the woman meticulously flossed from her teeth before a crowded boardwalk in Provincetown, MA. "Hideous public grooming knows no bounds," concluded Ms. Harrop, whom we thank for sharing and hope will serve as an example to you all. Remember: If it's worth repeating, it's worth repeating to us. Lastdays@thestranger.com, or for on-the-scene reportage: 206-323-7101 ext. 3014.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 14 Nothing happened today (unless you count Day One of the reconstruction following Hurricane Charley, which killed at least 19 and left thousands homeless in southern Florida).
SUNDAY, AUGUST 15 Nothing happened today.
Send Hot Tips to email@example.com.