MONDAY, MAY 15 Hello dear readers. Returning to our beloved helm after a luxurious, soul-expanding hiatus (thank you again, guest columnists), Last Days could begin by synopsizing our time apart. We could tell you about the Hot Tip we received on April 30, from a woman who witnessed a lesbian sex act between two cows. We could tell you about the stunning show Sleater-Kinney played May 5 at the Showbox, where they conclusively shuffled off all pretense of humility and announced themselves as what could very well end up being a stadium-packing Rock Band (covering "Fortunate Son," no less!). Or we could tell you about the man spotted on May 12, strolling down a crowded downtown street, casually puking on himself. But instead we shall leave the past where it lies and forge ahead with today's story of a whole bunch of people yelling at Mayor Paul Schell. Tonight at Seattle's First African Methodist Episcopal Church, more than 200 people gathered for a much-needed, long overdue public hearing on police reform. Mayor Schell kicked off the two-and-a-half-hour forum with a pledge to "ensure that the African American mother does not have to explain to her child how to deal with the police, something no white mother has to do." From there, topics ranged from police accountability and racial profiling to the killing of David John Walker, a mentally ill, gun- and knife-wielding shoplifting suspect shot dead by Seattle police last month. In a nod to the hotly contested shooting, Schell spoke of the police department's revolutionary new plans to develop methods of restraining armed wackos without killing them. For added fun, check out May 15's Seattle P-I, featuring a photo taken at the forum in which the full weight of Schell's recent travails is visible on his puffy, sweaty face.
TUESDAY, MAY 16 Wild Turkey = dead fish. Today the Associated Press reported on the thousands and thousands of deceased fish currently clogging the Kentucky River. Kentucky environmental officials believe the 28-mile (!) dead zone is related to a fire last week at the Wild Turkey distillery in Lawrenceburg, which sent flaming bourbon pouring into the river. As the boozy, fishy holocaust didn't actually begin until a few days after the spill, officials speculate that algae fed on the alcohol, sucking the oxygen out of the water and killing everything that breathes with gills. Despite the residual booze and fish corpses, the Kentucky Division of Water said the water is safe for humans to drink.
··In much better news: Today the Artist Formerly Known as Prince announced that he is ready to be the artist currently known as Prince. At a New York news conference, Last Days' favorite nouveau Christian (after Moby) and favorite sex-obsessed midget (after Dr. Ruth) revealed his return to his original, one-word name, following years of messy copyright battles that had forced the diminutive rock genius to change his name to a stupid, annoying symbol. Praise the fucking Lord.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 17 Today: a thrilling tale of urinary justice from a highly perceptive Hot Tipper named Jason. Late this afternoon, 28-year-old Jason was strolling through Seattle's Westlake Center when he discovered he needed to pee. Upon entering the third floor men's room, Jason situated himself at a urinal next to a white-haired, expensively attired, executive-type gentleman. As Jason began his business, he couldn't help noticing that Mr. Richypants was having a time of it--groaning and shimmying his way through a series of hesitant spurts--while Jason released his urine in an easy, steady stream. Says our wise Hot Tipper: "I may have to hide from my landlord and eat ramen four times a week, but at least I can luxuriate in the pleasures of a good piss." Baby, you're a rich man.
THURSDAY, MAY 18 For he's a quaky old fellow: Today marked the 80th birthday of Last Days' favorite deluded bag of bones, the pope. Over 7,000 priests, bishops, and cardinals crowded into Vatican City's St. Peter's Square to bid a happy birthday to the man born Karol Wojtyla in Wadowice, Poland, in 1920. Meanwhile, the rest of the world looked on impatiently, tapping their watches, waiting for the old man to die.
··Speaking of Last Days regulars who should be shot out of a cannon: Today, relentlessly trashy figure-skating has-been Tonya Harding pleaded guilty to getting drunk and smashing her boyfriend in the face with a hubcap. The classy lassie was sentenced to three days in jail.
FRIDAY, MAY 19 Nothing happened today.
SATURDAY, MAY 20 It was a night of glamour, triumph, and public drunkenness for a gaggle of Stranger staffers attending the Society of Professional Journalists awards ceremony in the swankified Seattle Hilton ballroom. Things got off to an unpromising start as our corps of illustrious nominees were seated as far as possible from the stage, served cruddy food, and forced to suffer through the jokes of the violently unfunny Pat Cashman. But things picked up immensely as one Stranger writer after another made the arduous trek to the stage to collect his award, including Rick Levin (first place for Arts Criticism), Josh Feit (first place for General News Reporting), and Ben Jacklet (second place for both General News Reporting and Social Issues Reporting). Highlight of the evening: The Seattle Times' Eric Nalder's heartfelt proclamation about the deep honor of working with Jean Godden, which made every guest at the Stranger table spit up into his or her napkin.
SUNDAY, MAY 21This absolutely gorgeous day got off to a thrilling start as Last Days' morning coffee was punctuated with the sounds and smells of our perpetually inebriated next-door neighbor mowing and edging his lawn. Swilling from his ever-present 40-ouncer, the man took great care with his chores; upon completing his labor, he put away his tools, did a cute little dance, and sang a delightful song, included in its entirety for you here:
"Gon-na go down-town! Gon-na buy me a hook-er!"
Five seconds later we heard the man utter, "Oh Jesus..." quickly followed by the sound of very watery vomit landing on very hard concrete.
··In other news: In a turn of events Last Days couldn't have predicted in a million, billion years, tonight Icelandic alterna-pixie Björk was named Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival, for her work in Lars Von Trier's "dark musical tragedy" (!), Dancer in the Dark. (For those out of the loop, Lars Von Trier is the director of the brilliant Breaking the Waves, while Björk is a yelpy little imp some people consider to be a genius.) Also tonight, perhaps in response to Björk's heretical triumph, legendary actor Sir John Gielgud died. As Shakespeare wrote, "Good night, sweet prince; and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. Thou shalt never have to act with Dudley Moore again."