MONDAY, MAY 23 The week kicks off with the hottest teenage trend since Christ and casual oral: death by self-inﬂicted gunshot wound, the personal ofﬁng technique recently employed by three Northwest teens. Today the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported on an Eastside suicide boom, which began on March 3, when 18-year-old Bellevue High School student Jason Levy killed himself with a gun blast to the head. Two weeks later, Levy's gesture was repeated by 16-year-old Issaquah student Tom Crook; three weeks after that, it was repeated again by 17-year-old Mercer Island student Ben Shamis. And while none of the boys was close with the others, they had mutual acquaintances, and shared some key biographical facts: Popular, athletic, and privileged, each boy led a life of ostensible success, until his horriﬁcally sudden bang, which left families, friends, and faculties agonizing over what could've been done before and what the fuck to do now. Creepy twist: The role of technology in each boy's ﬁnal moments, with each sending out an "electronic goodbye" just prior to passing himself away. According to the P-I, Ben Shamis-described as a football-playing class clown who memorized Shakespeare for kicks and aced his SATs-spent his last minutes exchanging instant messages with a female friend before shooting himself in his bedroom, while Jason Levy-praised for the compassion that drove him to wear an old back brace in solidarity with an injured buddy-cell-phoned a friend to request a ride home from his broken-down SUV. Upon arriving at the designated locale, 16-year-old Michael Williamson found Levy dead in the cab of his silver Denali. And while Last Days understands that it's not a competition, if it were, the post-suicide self-torture sweepstakes would easily go to the survivors of Tom Crook, who had a history of depression, which his parents attributed to a chemical imbalance. Crook refused to take medication for his depression. Tom's father promised to reward Tom's achievement of a 3.0 grade point average with a silver Mustang convertible. Unfortunately, Tom fell short of the mark, leaving his father to sell the Mustang and sending Tom (who still had access to a Honda Civic and a Chevelle convertible) into an "unfathomable rage" that ended with a gunshot. "I obviously did it wrong," said Tom Crook's agonized dad to the P-I. "I created this disappointment.... I regret, as a parent, that I didn't tell him how highly I thought of him, how much I loved him." As for the future: Washington State's Youth Suicide Prevention Program continues to press for the inclusion of suicide prevention alongside HIV/STD prevention in state high schools, while re-disseminating its list of teen suicide's early-warning signs, including an obsession with death, increased substance use, and easy access to guns.
TUESDAY, MAY 24 In much lighter news: Today the Associated Press shined its light on Connecticut's plush-banana ﬂasher, the elderly gentleman arrested after cramming a stuffed toy banana down the front of his pants, then exposing his supplemented bulge "in a sexually offensive manner" to female passersby. Even weirder, the faux-ﬂasher-63-year-old Arthur Bertana-is a former Stamford police ofﬁcer, who will now spend 20 days in jail and one year on probation for his criminal stuffed-pants shenanigans. "It was a yellow, plush, child's toy banana," said Sgt. Roger Petrone Jr. to the AP. "It had a smiley face on it."
WEDNESDAY, MAY 25 One week after the shit storm of apologies, accusations, and retractions following Newsweek's "erroneous" reporting of alleged Koran abuse at Guantanamo Bay, today Lawrence Di Rita, chief spokesman for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, acknowledged the newly declassiﬁed FBI records conﬁrming multiple allegations of Koran abuse dating from April 2002 to the present.
THURSDAY, MAY 26 Speaking of national disgrace: Today Last Days ﬁnally had the stomach to address the harrowing new TV commercial for Carl's Jr., in which the third-tier burger chain hypes their new spicy BBQ burger via celebrity skank Paris Hilton, who squats in bikini and heels, hoses down a Bentley, and takes humongous slow-motion bites of a sprawling burger, causing a ﬂurry of "too hot for TV?" controversy while cementing Last Days' stature as a vegetarian pedestrian with homosexual tendencies. "I wanted to do Carl's Jr. commercials because I always think they're really clever and sexy," said Hilton to MTV, obviously referring to the chain's infamous in-utero spokesbaby, who appeared via sonogram to declare his love for burgers before threatening to kick his way out of his mom's womb while dragging whatever he can grab out with him. (No, this is not verbatim. Yes, it is the gist. And yes, Paris Hilton probably does consider a sassy, self-aborting fetus to be "clever and sexy.") To watch Paris's Carl's Jr. ad with your very own eyes, go here.
FRIDAY, MAY 27 Nothing happened today, unless you count the National Weather Service's ﬁrst-ever heat advisory for Seattle, where two days of record-high temperatures inspired the feds to issue a warning on the dangers of heat stroke, urging Seattleites to drink water, avoid the sun, and be mindful of elderly relatives and neighbors, who are to heat waves what canaries are to coal mines.
SATURDAY, MAY 28 Nothing happened today, unless you count the Sasquatch Music Festival, where Last Days had the pleasure of watching Kanye West work his ravishing shtick against the backdrop of a vast Gorge-y sunset, before a crowd riddled with fascinating sunburns.
SUNDAY, MAY 29 The week ends as it began-with a gun-wielding teen, this one from Bellefontaine, Ohio, where this morning 18-year-old Scott Moody prepped for his afternoon graduation ceremony by fatally shooting himself with a riﬂe. Unlike the student suicides explicated on Monday, today's young gunman shot a bunch of other people too, including his 37-year-old mother, his sixtysomething grandparents, and two teenage friends-all of whom died-along with his 15-year-old sister, who remains in critical condition from gunshot wounds to the neck. The Associated Press reports that prior to his multiple murders and suicide, Moody was known as a clean-cut boy with a nice disposition and dreams of being a farmer. Horriﬁc souvenir: The pair of congratulatory graduation announcements placed last week in the Bellefontaine Examiner by Moody's mom and sister, featuring a photo of their son/brother/ soon-to-be shooter alongside the text, "Good luck and have fun!"
•• In other bad news for the future of humanity: Today brought grave ignominy to the United Kingdom, as the Associated Press conﬁrmed that the top spot on next week's British singles chart would be claimed by a downloadable cell-phone ring tone. Based on the theme to Beverly Hills Cop and featuring the sound of a revving moped, Crazy Frog's "Axel F" is the ﬁrst ring tone to hit the mainstream music charts, where the downloadable ditty is outselling its closest competition-Coldplay's new single "Speed of Sound"-by nearly four to one.
Send Hot Tips and chart-topping ring tones to email@example.com.