The week began with a bang, a hiss, and a plop-plop fizz-fizz, as a soon-to-be-newlywed couple in Croatia tried to kill themselves with bullets, gas, and sleeping pills--and survived all three! Reuters reports that the death-hungry pair--a Croatian policeman and his girlfriend/fiancée--kicked off their triple-whammy suicide pact by shutting themselves in a car, running a hose from the exhaust pipe to the front seat, and tossing back handfuls of sleeping pills with slugs of booze. When the gas 'n' downers failed to provide the desired effect, the policeman fired his gun through his right temple; when the gunshot proved non-lethal, the girlfriend gave up and called an ambulance. The policeman was taken to the hospital; the girlfriend was treated and released, and police still do not know why the couple wanted so badly to die.

··Also: Today brought Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, and Columbus Day, the United States' Day of No Mail.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10 Several weeks ago, Last Days reported on the Puyallup policeman caught on videotape surfing Internet porn sites while seated in his car outside of the Puyallup Fair. The incriminating footage had been sent to KING 5 by an unnamed amateur cameraman, whom Last Days promptly deemed our new hero. Today we received a phone call from our hero himself, Douglas Bennadetti, who heroically offered to answer any and all of our questions. What was his first thought upon discovering the horndog cop? "I didn't actually discover him--I overheard some older ladies saying, 'Oh my God, he's looking at naked women!'" Did he have any trepidation about filming the transgression? "I was very scared of being discovered. I had people watching my back, and my hands were shaking as I filmed." What kind of porn was the cop watching? "Basic naked-lady stuff." Did the models go "into the pink"? "Yes." Did the officer have anything, uh, "funny" happening in his lap? "Not that I could tell." Did the cameraman fear any repercussions from his heroic deed--ruthless police surveillance or an IRS audit? "Nah, but I was let go from my job as a bicycle cab driver because of the videotape. My boss said he didn't need anyone attracting the police to his business." (Speaking of lost jobs, tomorrow the Puyallup Police Department will announce the demotion of the porn-lovin' police officer from sergeant to patrolman.)

Tonight brought the second of the televised presidential debates, and the results were, once again, deeply illuminating. Highlight: Gore's elegant harping on Texas' 50th-in-the-nation health insurance record. ("You'd think that with all the surplus, you'd try to improve, maybe move to 45.") Lowlight: Bush's boasting with an almost sexual pleasure of his state's forthcoming execution of the three men who dragged James Byrd to his death. (A fib: Two will be killed; one is spending life in prison.) But most disturbing was our witnessing with our own eyes Al Gore's easy victory in the battle of wits, eloquence, and preparation, followed by Bush's equally easy triumph in the court of public opinion. Snap polls taken immediately after the debate concluded that George W. Bush--a man who's as fit to serve as president as 14 gallons of expired Tang--was obviously the winner, with CNN crediting Bush with 49 percent to Gore's 36 percent, while CBS said Bush won 52 to 48 percent. What the fuck is going on? Last Days has no idea, but apparently a fair number of Americans are willing to say, "I think George W. Bush should be president of the United States"--a statement so patently ridiculous we're amazed that simply typing the words doesn't make our computer explode.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12 Friday the 13th came a day early this year as today all hell broke loose all over the world. In Quito, Ecuador, an armed group seized a helicopter in an oil field in the Amazon jungle and kidnapped its inhabitants, including six Americans, two Frenchmen, a Chilean, and an Argentinean. On Wall Street, the stock market plunged a precipitous 300 points. In Israel, Israeli combat helicopters bombed Palestinian security and administrative buildings in Ramallah and Gaza City, following the death of two Israeli soldiers lynched by angry Palestinians. And in the Arabian Peninsula, a docked U.S. Navy ship was struck by a small boat in an as-yet anonymous terrorist attack that killed 17 U.S. sailors and injured scores more.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13 Speaking of very bad news: Today Chris Takino, the soft-spoken, music-loving founder of Up Records (home of Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Quasi, 764-HERO, Dina Martina, and many, many others) died after a battle with leukemia. Chris Takino was an indispensable, much-beloved figure in the Northwest music scene, and he will be greatly missed. (There will be a public memorial service for Chris Takino at Re-bar on Sunday, Oct 22, at 4 pm.)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14 Astute readers will remember last week's item about the leather-clad fartbuster terrorizing passersby at the Broadway Vivace. Today Last Days received not one but two Hot Tips informing us that the man in question is not the fearless, gassy wild child he'd like us to believe he is, but is instead merely a "trust-funded, 90210-looking charlatan motherfucker" in possession of an electronic fart machine. Good to know.

··Also today: Last Days received a public grooming Hot Tip so impressive we were tempted to break our vow to cease reporting the creepy deeds. However, as we pride ourselves on being a man of our word, we are unable to tell you about the man in Auburn seen gazing into his truck's sideview mirror to pick flecks of something out of his tracheotomy hole. Sorry.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15 Today at Safeco Field, the Seattle Mariners shocked the universe by skillfully maneuvering a 6-2 triumph over the much-favored New York Yankees. Having watched less than four minutes of professional baseball in our entire life, for feedback on the game Last Days consulted our friend Brad, who watched the game at the Lobo Saloon, "where everybody is really nice." Brad reports that the mood at the saloon was gloomy for the first couple hours, but spirits soared as the Mariners' started clobbering the ball in the fifth inning. Brad's personal highlight: the tide-turning single by Alex Rodriguez--possibly his last hit as a Mariner in Safeco Field. "Plus, I got some free gumbo!" Congratulations Brad, and congratulations Mariners.

Hey everybody: This Saturday, Oct 21, at 11 pm, I'm hosting and providing live-action commentary for Showgirls, Paul Verhoeven's celebrated disaster flick and the single most entertaining movie ever made. It's at the Egyptian, as part of the Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. You should get very, very high and come.

Send your Hot Tips to, or phone the 24-hour Hot Tips Hotline at 323-7101 ext. 3113.