MONDAY, AUGUST 18
This week of scalded perverts, belated tributes, and heartwarming scenes of gentrification kicks off today in Las Vegas, New Mexico where it seems even the high schools are home to astoundingly galling horribleness. Case in point: the allegations stinking up Robertson High, where a half-dozen members of the varsity football team face potential criminal charges after allegedly subjecting freshman players to violent hazing. Details come from the Santa Fe New Mexican, which reports the allegations against the six juniors include assault, battery, false imprisonment, and "molestation or rape," including sodomy with a broom handle. "Those are the allegations we're most concerned about," said police captain Robert Shilling. School board officials believe between five and seven freshmen were subjected to the hazing, and all six of the juniors accused of the deeds have been suspended from school and removed from the football team. Also semibusted: the entire coaching staff, including the school's athletic director, who were "placed on leave with pay pending the outcome of the state police investigation." Go team.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 19 The week continues in Parkland, Washington, home to the drive-through espresso stand Java Girls, where a lady in a bikini will serve you the coffee beverage of your choice, unless you happen to be a man wearing a bra and panties and exposing yourself, in which case a Java Girl will douse you with boiling water. KIRO reports Jamae Feddock and another bikini-clad barista were working early last Thursday when the aforementioned man-in-women's-underwear repeatedly pulled up to the drive-through and exposed himself. As Feddock told KIRO: "[We] threw boiling hot water on his face and his chest and he said, 'oooh yeah.'" Pierce County police are investigating.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 20 In much worse news: Today in Spain, a Spanair flight bound for the Canary Islands barely made it off the Madrid airport runway before its left engine caught fire, causing the plane to crash, break in half, and burst into flames. On board were 175 people, including nine crewmembers and 166 passengers, 154 of whom are now dead. "It appears to have been some sort of engine problem," said aviation expert Joseph Lampel to Sky News. Condolences to all, including everyone required to fly anywhere without hardcore drugs ever again.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 21 Nothing happened today, unless you count Hurricane Fay, which continued to clobber Florida's central Atlantic coast, flooding hundreds of homes, displacing thousands of people, and rendering much of America's Wang™ a big soggy mess.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 22 The week continues with Barack Obama's long-awaited choice of vice-presidential running mate: Joseph Biden, the experience-ridden Delaware senator who's served six terms and is currently chair of the Foreign Relations Committee. He's also hilarious and ready to fight: As Eli Sanders noted in his Biden profile on www.thestranger.com, "[Biden's] line during the primaries about Republican Rudy Giuliani only having one type of sentence construction—'a noun, a verb, and 9/11'—is an example of his willingness to go for the jugular in ways Democrats usually don't." And as Eli notes, one of the most interesting aspects of the Biden choice concerns race and race relations: "Biden famously got in trouble early in the Democratic primary fight for calling Obama 'clean' and 'articulate,' which is hardly the worst type of thing he could have called Obama, but certainly wasn't smart politics. Obama's willingness to invite Biden onto the ticket despite this sends a clear message that Obama isn't overly sensitive and, despite the McCain camp accusations, really doesn't play the race card. Message: You can be a white guy who says dumb, insensitive stuff sometimes and still support me without fretting that you'll be made to grovel and feel guilty or be forced to enroll in diversity training." Onward and upward.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 23 Speaking of hope-bestowing dealings between old white men and young African-American-ish men: Today brings a Hot Tip from the ever-more-gentrified wilds of Seattle's Central District, where Last Days has lived, on and off, for 10 years. Recently, our CD-based family grew to include a hilarious dog—a smoosh-faced combo platter of Boston terrier, pug, and French bulldog named Diane, whom we love so much we're willing to pick up her poop with a plastic bag every day for the rest of her life. That's exactly what Last Days was doing today when we encountered one of our neighbors, an early-twentysomething man with whom Last Days chatted while Diane pinched a bright-with-pumpkin loaf onto a stretch of common-use grass. To the outside eye, this was clearly a meeting of the stereotypes—big bearded gay man with a small hilarious dog, droopy-pantsed black kid with a tallboy in a bag—and the character-profiling carried over to the conversation. "I typically like pit bulls," said Friendly Neighbor #1. "But for a small dog, that thing is fierce." (He meant it in the tough way, not the Project Runway way.) Things took a dramatic turn two minutes later, when Last Days returned to the scene of the loaf-pinching to bag up the evidence and handily blew Friendly Neighbor #1's mind. "I've never seen anyone do that, ever," said the man, looking at us like we'd just delivered a baby with our feet. "I've got mad respect for you. I'm going to wave at you every time I see you, even though I don't know your name." Last Days thanked him for his mad respect and told him our name, but he did not respond.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 24 Speaking of failures to respond: The week ends with Last Days' once-every-few-weeks checking of our Stranger voice mail, where we discovered a long- simmering message from one Annie Jansen, who was calling to share some sad news: Her father, a longtime Stranger lover, had recently died, and she was wondering if Last Days might somehow make mention of it. A quick Google search confirmed the basics: On July 12, Eric J. Jansen, a 58-year-old Boeing engineer, was paragliding on Tiger Mountain when he suffered midair heart failure and crashed into a tree. As the family told the Seattle Times, hospital officials confirmed Mr. Jansen had died before crashing. As Stranger Queen Mother Dan Savage put it after we apprised him of the situation, "Getting hit with a heart attack while paragliding is a pretty fucking great way to go." Agreed. Dear Annie: Thanks for the call, sorry for the tardiness, condolences to you and yours.
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