MONDAY, MAY 14 The week began with a touching tale of long-distance romance for the rare corpse flower that recently bloomed at the UW. The Associated Press reported that our own fetching Titan Arum will be quickly pollinated with the towering 6' 6" blossom nicknamed "Mr. Stinky," which just opened at Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami. Last Days hopes that both flowers--which have the distinctive stench of rotting elephants in common--will be very happy together.

· · Also today, the St. Petersburg Times reported the stomach-churning tale of Jackie Wollenberg, a 37-year-old mother of two who on March 4 noticed her McDonald's cheeseburgers were dripping with bloody fingerprints. A manager with a bandaged hand confessed to a recent cut but said, "I just had a blood test... and I'm clean." Unsurprisingly alarmed, she has since battled to have the bleeder tested for HIV and hepatitis. The fast-food company has balked, claiming that to do so would violate the employee's privacy. However, McDonald's did call to apologize, offering to make up for what happened. "He just said it would be more than two cheeseburgers," Wollenberg said. "Which could be three cheeseburgers."

· · Also today, in a stunning setback for the medical marijuana movement, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California cannabis clubs may not legally distribute the kind bud as a "medical necessity" for seriously ill patients, Reuters reported.

· · Also today, presumably the nation's highest court doesn't mind that Last Days found it medically necessary to drink so much street-legal cough syrup that we woke in the dead of night convinced that our hands were floating out the window like shiny party balloons.

TUESDAY, MAY 15 The Man just keeps pissing on the hippie parade. Police, bugged by the nude cyclists at the Fremont Fair Summer Solstice Parade, demanded that before they issue a permit, the Fremont Arts Council post signs warning that indecent exposure is a violation subject to arrest and prosecution, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported today. The council "has the responsibility to make the parade a family event," said the city's special-events coordinator Virginia Swanson. "I think it's absurd," City Council Member Nick Licata said of the police requests. "In the wake of serious crowd management problems with Mardi Gras, this doesn't even rate."

· · Also today, the Census Bureau released a report indicating that nuclear families (which must be so fiercely protected from nude bicyclists) continue to decline in America, Reuters reported. Dorian Solot, executive director for the nonprofit group Alternatives to Marriage Project, said, "The fairy tales misled us.... The truth is that some princes stay single. Some princesses are lesbians. And there are cohabitors living throughout the kingdom."

WEDNESDAY, MAY 16 A day after winning the Democratic nomination for a third term in office, 67-year-old Mayor Charles Robertson of York, Pennsylvania, announced his surrender to authorities on a murder charge in connection with the killing of a black woman during race riots in 1969, Reuters reported. Lillie Belle Allen, the 27-year-old mother of two visiting from Aiken, South Carolina, was shot and killed by a mob after her car stalled in a white neighborhood. Robertson denied involvement but admitted he yelled "white power" at a rally on the night before she was murdered. Wow, it's democrats like this creep who make anarchy so appealing.

· · Also today, Francisco Toledo, widely considered Mexico's finest living artist, took advantage of a government program that allows artists to pay off income-tax debts in kind, turning in 27 sketch pads entitled Notebooks of Shit, Reuters reported. The books, including hundreds of sketches, watercolors, and prints, will be put on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Oaxaca. "There is nothing shit about them," said a delighted Juana Ines Abreu, director general of the treasury ministry's cultural heritage department, which runs the fiendishly enlightened scheme.

· · Also today, "monkey man" hysteria continued to grip New Delhi as two terrified residents fell from their rooftops to their deaths upon hearing that the creature was near, Reuters reported. The Indian Express quoted a victim as babbling that something "as small as a cat" bit her fingers and that two of her husband's teeth were knocked out by a "metallic hand." The little-known National Human Rights Council announced that "to rid the people of Delhi from the menace of this mysterious monkeyman, we will hold a freedom-from-monkeyman prayer tomorrow." Last Days assures our readers that this is legitimate news reported extensively in the mainstream press and not simply a manifestation of the residual Robitussin lingering in our system.

THURSDAY, MAY 17 It was Tuesday night and 49-year-old welder Michael Burch had just settled in to watch the game in his home near Burien when a strange man with a gun wandered into his kitchen, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported today. "The back door is never locked," Burch said. "We have a bunch of teenagers and their friends, and everyone's always coming and going." Muttering orders in Spanish, the intruder pushed Ruth Burch, her sons, and their teenage friends into the living room and then began racking a round into the semiautomatic handgun. Burch bolted off the couch and tackled the villain. In the struggle, a slug ripped through his left shoulder. "All I heard was my wife screaming, the dog barking, and my kids running around," Burch said. "I told them, 'I'm fine. Just call 911.'" In the chaos, the gunman escaped and remains at large. Burch was taken to Harborview Medical Center and released on Wednesday. "When somebody pulls out a gun on women and children, you got to do something," Burch said. "If he's going to shoot somebody, it may as well have been me." Every detail of this story makes us love this guy. From now on, we're going to pretend that he's our dad.

FRIDAY, MAY 18 A 42-year-old woman walked into Chicago police headquarters and coughed up a pair of testicles she had literally bit off 21-year-old Erik Williams, who has been charged with sexually assaulting her, the Chicago Tribune reported today. According to police, Williams allegedly accosted her at about 3 am Friday and ordered her to perform sex. The woman bit the bullet instead--she bit off his balls, sports fans--and about a half-hour later turned over the evidence. At 3:40 am, a man matching the woman's description of Williams showed up at Michael Reese Hospital with tell-tale injuries. He was in fair condition following surgery, although, happily, doctors were unable to reattach his sad sac. If Burch, the Bruce Willis of Burien, is our new make-believe dad, then we pick this unnamed Amazon to be our mom.

SATURDAY, MAY 19 The converted warehouse that houses the Speakeasy Cafe burst into flames late last night, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported. The blaze, which did extensive damage to the Internet cafe and alternative performance space so vital to Belltown's beleaguered arts community, is still classified as suspicious. Odd, you'd think one of those cardboard condos would have burned so much more satisfactorily--not to imply that we've ever pondered setting any of the unsightly yuppie hives on fire. That would be wrong... right?

SUNDAY, MAY 20 The sky was really blue today and Last Days bought a file cabinet at a yard sale.