MONDAY, OCTOBER 18 The silence was deafening tonight as 14 mimes took to the streets to protest the city council's approval of the new noise control ordinance. Outside a city council candidates' forum at the Seattle Children's Theater, the white-faced storm troopers registered their silent indignation by presenting fanciful illustrations of life under the new ordinance: Mime dancers jitterbugged without music; mime guitarists strummed instruments without strings; mime protesters carried signs without words. Critics with voices have denounced the Noise Ordinance for its severity (violators could be fined without a warning) and its potential squashing of cultural and political life (live music and organized protests are considered primary victims). The council is currently back at the drawing board on the ill-phrased ordinance. Meanwhile, today's furious mime-a-thon proved surprisingly effective. Overheard on the street: "For fuck's sake, give 'em anything they want -- just make them stop!"

··Speaking of show-offy freaks with a cause, today Ara Tripp -- the pole-climbing, breast-baring, fire-breathing transsexual arrested last month for her protest performance atop an electrical tower along I-5 -- received a sentence of 30 days electronic home detention from Seattle Municipal Court Judge Ron Mamiya. Tripp must also reimburse Seattle City Light $800 for their rescue efforts and perform 100 hours of community service. Look for the illustrious Tripp picking up litter by the freeway in the coming months.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19 Today local billionaire philanthropist Paul Allen came to the rescue of Washington State's Loomis Forest, with a $3.4 million gift to protect the imperiled land (home to one of the last thriving lynx populations in the U.S.) from logging and roadwork. Today's donation is but the latest grant from the Paul G. Allen Forest Protection Foundation, and one of the largest gifts for the environment in Washington state history. However, Allen's glory was promptly usurped by that other local billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, who today donated a whopping $10 million to the impoverished Seattle Art Museum. To complete his act of philanthropic whup-ass, on Friday Gates donated an additional $20 million to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. And while Last Days usually prefers the quirkier philanthropic habits of Paul Allen, Gates' gifts -- promoting art and combating an extraordinarily painful, mucous-based illness -- easily trump Allen's efforts to save a bunch of trees stuffed with uppity cats.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20 Meanwhile, across the globe in Gauhati, India, a gang of wild elephants smashed into a cluster of thatched huts, guzzled a lot of rice beer left fermenting in casks, and then tore the village apart in a drunken rampage, reports the Associated Press. Tragically, four people were trampled to death in the drunken elephant spree. Even more tragically, 78% of Americans polled admitted that people being trampled to death by drunken elephants is "kinda funny."

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21 Today: The San Francisco Chronicle (along with 10,000 other news sources) offered the lowdown on the homosexual censorship scandal at America Online. The American Civil Liberties Union and a handful of gay cyber-rights groups have leveled criticisms at AOL for discriminating against gay subscribers. The charges stem from the case of a gay AOL user whose online profile was deleted because he described himself as a "submissive bottom." (For those not in the know, that means he doesn't whine when someone crams a dick up his butt.) AOL claims to employ a standard ban on "objectionable material," but an impromptu search conducted by the Internet consulting firm Wired Strategies turned up hundreds of "objectionable" profiles, including ones listing hobbies such as "Jew killing" and statements such as "I like my beer cold and my fags dead." Unfortunately, the multitudinous calls from gay groups to boycott AOL won't solve the problem, as policing the content of user profiles is a chore left to the users, who may alert AOL authorities to "objectionable material" by simply clicking a "complaint" icon on the screen. AOL says they are looking into correcting the gaffes in protocol; in the meantime, gay AOL-ers should start clicking in their own complaints, as well as employing craftier sexual euphemisms, such as "thermogenic posterior," "accommodating trachea," and "sizey wang."

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22 Here's just the sort of high-drama crime-busting story Last Days loves: Today the Seattle P-I reported on the fascinating sting operation that will soon bust a loosely organized food stamp fraud ring operating in downtown Seattle. The nearly two-year undercover investigation was instigated by King County Executive Ron Sims, who requested the probe after spotting drug addicts selling food stamps on downtown streets. King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng told the P-I that authorities soon discovered an intricate scheme of fraud which began with street runners, who would persuade homeless drug addicts and alcoholics to sell their food stamps for about half their face value. The runners would then sell the stamps to middlemen, who would sell the stamps (again at a discount) to a half-dozen downtown businesses, including taverns, delis, and mom-and-pop convenience stores (for shame!), who would then redeem the stamps for full value from the federal government. So far, 14 suspected fraud ring members have been arrested, and Maleng says more than 20 others will be nabbed soon. Still, we shouldn't feel too righteous: Despite Seattle's meticulous attention to food stamp justice, our freakishly prosperous state is still ranked the eighth worst in the nation in feeding its hungry.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23 Today Capitol Hill was alive with The Sound of Music, as the Gay & Lesbian Film Festival presented a sold-out, sing-along showing of the Julie Andrews-foils-the-Nazis classic. Hosted by the illustrious Sister Windy, the event was packed to the gills with fags and dykes nearly hyperventilating with excitement at the opportunity to wrap their lips around such Rodgers & Hammerstein standards as "Edelweiss," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," and the greatest song in the English language, "The Lonely Goatherd." Added bonus: the intermission costume contest, featuring one sizzling hot lesbian dressed as Kurt Von Trapp, a pair of guys in curtainy jumpers, and two filthy men with "brown paper packages tied up with string" encasing their penises.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24 Speaking of homosexuals and Nazis: Today in the unfortunately named Lynchburg, Virginia, history was made as 200 gays and lesbians met with 200 followers of Jerry Falwell for a "heart-to-heart dialogue" designed to open communication and curb acrimony between queers and fundamentalist Christians. Organized and hosted by Falwell and gay cleric Mel White, the truly heroic get-together was an ambitious first step in toning down the hyperbolic rhetoric (such as the opening line of this item) that flies wildly between gays and fundamentalist Christians, and to kick into action the "Christian love and tolerance" both White and Falwell say America badly needs. However, despite Falwell's efforts to make nice with the homos, plans to serve snacks and lemonade at the gathering were shelved at the last minute, as the Bible forbids Christians from breaking bread with sexually immoral people. Instead, queers and Christians were served bottles of Poland Spring water.

Yay for White and Falwell. Boo for lazy Hot Tippers. Send yours to or call the 24-hour Hot Tips Hotline at 323-7101 ext 3113.