MONDAY, OCTOBER 27 This week of ambitious racists, flamboyant suicides, and widespread eyeball harassment kicks off with a tragic mess on Seattle's Capitol Hill, where early this morning a fire broke out at the Marion Apartments at East Pine Street and Bellevue Avenue. As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports, the fire started just before 6:20 a.m. and drew 65 firefighters to the 26-unit building, which was vacant except for one holdout: Ed Jackson, the 89-year-old former manager of the Marion who'd been given until 6:00 p.m. to vacate the premises (which are scheduled for demolition and replacement with a six-story condo building), and who was found dead in his first-floor apartment. Follow-up reports confirmed that the fire had been deliberately set and that the cause of Jackson's death was a self-inflicted gunshot. Still, before his stupid, citizen-endangering end-of-life stunt, Jackson racked up several decades as an exemplary apartment manager, one that was perfectly willing to protect tenants from sketchy loiterers with a megaphone and/or baseball bat. RIP, Ed Jackson.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28 The week continues with alleged apologies from one of the two Arkansas men accused of plotting a national killing spree that was to end with the assassination of Barack Obama. Details come from the Associated Press, which identifies the allegedly sorry plotter as 18-year-old Paul Schlesselman, who, along with 20-year-old Daniel Cowart, was charged last week with possessing an unregistered firearm, conspiring to steal firearms from a federally licensed gun dealer, and threatening a candidate for president. Described by federal authorities as a pair of neo-Nazi skinheads who met over the internet, Schlesselman and Cowart allegedly devised a plot to kill 88 black people, 14 of whom would suffer beheadings, and the last of whom would be Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama—who Schlesselman and Cowart reportedly hoped to shoot from a moving vehicle while dressed in white tuxedos and top hats. Lucky for all, Schlesselman and Cowart were total doofuses, stumbling in the planning stages before being ratted out by a friend and charged by the feds. "He's sorry about everything he's done," said Paul Schlesselman's sister Kayla to the AP. Apology accepted, enjoy jail.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29 Nothing happened today, unless you count the airing of Barack Obama's infomercial, a 30-minute prime-time bid to win over those voters still wary of electing a not-entirely-white candidate to the nation's top office, the efficacy of which should be known by the time you read this.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30 In much worse news: Today brought a horrible scene to the University of Washington's Red Square, where early this afternoon In Soo Chun, a 61-year-old Korean immigrant who recently spent two years working as a custodian at the school, doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire. Despite the best efforts of bystanders armed with water bottles, jackets, and, eventually, a fire extinguisher, Chun suffered second- and third-degree burns on 90 percent of his body and died soon after at Harborview. Condolences to all (especially the bystanders).
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31 Nothing happened today, unless you count Halloween, the annual holiday devoted to underage panhandling, unabashed Satan worship, and, if you're lucky, dogs in costumes.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1 Faithful readers will remember last week's item from Hot Tipper Desiree, who reported being confronted by an eyeball-popping freak at Southcenter Mall. Today brings a follow-up report from Hot Tipper Spencer:
"Unless there are several men out there in the greater Seattle area who are fond of disturbing passersby with eyeball stunts, I've run into the same guy as Desiree. A couple Sundays ago, I was walking through Pike Place Market with my boyfriend when we passed a maybe-homeless guy who suddenly shouted, 'Hey! Look at that!' I turned just in time to see his eyeballs pop out from their sockets while he chuckled to himself. As someone with a couple eye-related phobias, I looked away as quickly as possible and hurried up the hill, but the image stayed with me for some time. One of these days, his eyes are going to stick like that." Further commiseration comes from Slog tipper Rachel ("My boyfriend and I saw this guy at the bus stop by Century Square—he said, 'Have you ever seen someone do this?' then put his fingers behind his eyeballs and popped them out. He got super excited when we didn't freak out and stood there for a few minutes repeating the show") and Slog tipper Katy ("My coworker's husband was out walking his pug when this guy came up and said, 'I can look like your dog!' and popped his eyes out. Ugh."). Everyone: Beware. (And take pics!)
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2 The week ends with some good news and some bad news. The good: After an eight-week strike, tonight the Boeing Machinists Union returned to work. The bad: After countless years of delighting and beguiling Northwesterners with his tireless public tuba playing, tonight 53-year-old Edward McMichael—aka the funny-hatted man playing the tuba outside of the city's sports and arts events—died from injuries sustained during a brutal beating near the bus stop at Fifth Avenue North and Mercer Street. Heartbreaking details come from the Post Intelligencer's Robert L. Jamieson Jr. About the attack: It occurred after midnight on October 25 and involved five teenagers, two of whom are in custody. About the man: "A native of the Seattle area, McMichael graduated in the early 1970s from King's Garden High School. He was in the band at North Seattle Community College. He later brought his talents to one local ensemble or another, from Seattle Youth Symphony to Bellevue Philharmonic to Cascade Symphony. He could have made a living in a band but chose to play for tips outdoors. Even in the rain, he would set a bucket at his feet for tip money, right next to jugs of his favorite drink, either V8 or Sunny Delight. Then he would purse his lips to his contrabass tuba—'My baby,' he called it." RIP, Tuba Man, who deserved a much longer life and much better death, and whose loss is a tragedy for this whole fucking city.
Dear SPD: When you find McMichael's killers, can we stone them to death in the center of town, along with the lady who ignored her starving stepdaughter to focus on her knitting? Thank you. Everyone else: Send Hot Tips to firstname.lastname@example.org