MONDAY, MARCH 5 Last Days begins the week with an apology for the Zeppo Marx fans we offended with our slanderous words in last week's column. Who could've guessed at the awesome power this modest vaudevillian still wields over the modern imagination? Also, we would like to thank the many hundreds of people who wrote in to notify us that the photo running alongside the item was not the unfunny fourth Marx brother, but actually Jenny Lind, the Swedish-born operatic soprano greatly admired during the Victorian era. Whoops! Thanks to all those armchair historians!
··STARFUCKER CORNER! Also today, the photo on today's Drudge Report of Jeff Bezos in a gigantic Seussian striped hat brought back a chilling memory. Last Friday, we attended an event at EMP to promote reading among children. In order to catch a glimpse of April, a 14-year-old ascending pop star from Puyallup, we first had to suffer through her opening act--Bezos. Clad incongruously in that wretched raver headgear and tasseled loafers, the smirking zillionaire read aloud to a sea of squirming wee ones from The Stinky Cheese Man. Lulled by the soporific effect of Bezos' photo-op, we were snapped into fight-or-flee mode by a rodentlike woman who had the audacity to lay her claws upon our person and hiss into our ear, "Could you please step aside?" After first glancing around to make certain no one in a 15-foot radius was being denied the magic of Bezos' non-performance, we responded, "We don't believe our presence is blocking the view." To which the handler huffed, "I don't think you understand." She then stabbed her paw in the direction of two Stepford wives wearing identical expressions of bliss. "That happens to be Jeff Bezos' wife and mother--so could you please clear this area?" Last Days would like to add that the photo of Bezos taken at this otherwise heartwarming event was used to illustrate The New York Times report that the Securities and Exchange Commission may soon begin investigating alleged insider trading by the Amazon.com chief executive. And for the record--Last Days didn't budge.
··Also today, The Washington Post reported that 56-year-old doctor and artist Gunther von Hagens is causing an international furor with skinned and artfully posed corpses in Bodyworlds, an exhibit at a Berlin art gallery. Von Hagens, who pioneered a preservation technique called "plastination" that replaces the water in cells with a plastic material, composes the bodies in startling tableaux. A man playing chess with his face intact but his brain exposed. Or a pregnant woman reclining with her fetus fully visible. The lure of the controversial exhibit is perhaps best summed up by one of the 3,200 people who have signed up to donate their bodies to von Hagens' art. Fifty-four-year-old Gisela Buch succinctly says, "It's better than being cremated like a mad cow."
TUESDAY, MARCH 6 Did you hear every news source in the world report yesterday that the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the Ku Klux Klan to participate in Missouri's "Adopt-A-Highway" program? Well, if you missed it--you're not going to hear about it from us. Even though picking up filth by the side of the road seems almost a fitting task for a racist cracker, the debacle has nonetheless left us too enfeebled with despair to type today.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7 Every now and then, a news event will come along and reaffirm our belief that the universe is a just and ordered construction and not the plaything of a despotic deity gone stark raving mad. Reuters reported today that the northern Idaho compound of the neo-Nazi organization Aryan Nations would be turned into a human rights center. The group's leader, Richard Butler, was hit with a jury verdict ordering him to pay $6.3 million to two victims of a 1998 attack in which they were chased, beaten, and then shot at by Aryan Nations guards as they drove near the compound. The mother and her son were awarded the property in a bankruptcy sale last month. Greg Carr, an Internet millionaire whose Carr Foundation purchased the 20-acre property for $250,000 with the purpose of creating the center, said, "Our goal is to demonstrate that progress is possible."
THURSDAY, MARCH 8 Speaking of loony despots, Hot Tipper Ben e-mailed us that, "Word on the street, via the mayor's office, is the earthquake last Wednesday was entirely caused by out-of-town hooligans!" Why, that makes perfect sense! Thanks, Ben!
··Also today, anyone looking for clues to a motive in the shooting deaths of two Santee, California teens and the wounding of 13 others, allegedly by their 15-year-old classmate Charles "Andy" Williams, need look no further than Reuters' report yesterday that three of Williams' friends were excluded from returning to school. Some students are threatening bitter recriminations against them for their statements to the media that they had heard of Williams' plans but dismissed them as a joke. "There has been considerable anger expressed at those students," admitted local school board superintendent Granger Ward. Fellow 14-year-old student Jake Clark told reporters, "A lot of people here are angry with them and would go after them if they showed up." One can only hope they wreak their revenge without their fathers' handguns.
FRIDAY, MARCH 9 The entertainment website Mr. Showbiz reported some startling news about future Oscar winner and thuggish dreamboat Russell Crowe. The FBI has confirmed that our super-secret crush is the object of a kidnapping plot. To all those Hot Tippers who called and wrote implying we are somehow involved in this intended crime--when we want shit from you, we'll squeeze yer head. Got it?
SATURDAY, MARCH 10 It was a pretty spring day.
SUNDAY, MARCH 11 Last Days heard a knock on our door today and opened it to find Tee, an older black man with long, natty locks and the regalia of a serious biker--including a leather jacket that read, "Magic Wheels--Prospect, M.C." Tee, who was kindly inquiring whether he could carry off a futon we had set out for the trash, explained, "It's the oldest African American motorcycle club in Seattle. We celebrate our 24th anniversary this year." While he tied the bedding on to his enormous Honda Goldwing, we mentioned the news about Richard Butler's Aryan Nations compound. He smiled and said, "I've been this close to that man." Turns out that while Tee was on what he called an "all-expense-paid vacation courtesy of the state of Idaho--if you catch my drift," the "Reverend" Butler came to the penitentiary to preach his gospel of hate. "He was flanked by two of the biggest, buffest white guys I've ever seen, but I walked right up to him, looked him up and down, and said to his face, 'What a waste of flesh.'" Tee grinned. "He turned as red as this reflector." Last Days applauds Tee's courage, his impeccable manners, and his way around a good yarn. Not a bad way to end the week!
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