MONDAY, JUNE 11 The week began with the thrilling report of the seven-foot-long, 164-pound fish called an alligator gar, which was dragged from a ditch flooded by Tropical Storm Allison by inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Hopes that the scaly, snaggle-toothed leviathan might set a record were quickly dashed. Warden Burl Cain sadly told the Associated Press, "They said it had to be caught on a rod and reel. We caught him with a hay string, like you bale hay with. The inmates got a little old rope around his neck and dragged him out." Cheers for the heroic inmates, jeers for the stoopid fishing rules.

>>Speaking of giant reptiles: Sharon Stone's husband done got himself bit by one! Entertainment website Mr. Showbiz reported today that sexpot Stone's significant other, Phil Bronstein (also known as the executive editor of The San Francisco Chronicle), was getting a tour of the Komodo dragon cage in the Los Angeles Zoo on Saturday when the hungry critter latched onto Bronstein's big toe. Only by prying apart its steely jaws was Bronstein able to escape and limp to a hospital, where he received surgery to reattach some severed tendons in the snackable digit.

>>Had enough of cold-blooded monsters? Too bad, because a six-foot-long tiger shark was caught off Australia's east coast--and within the briny beast's belly rested what appeared to be a human head! Police inquiries are said to be continuing, according to Reuters.

TUESDAY, JUNE 12 Today Reuters reported on the converted fishing boat manned by the Dutch group Women on the Waves, which sailed for Roman Catholic Ireland to provide offshore abortions in a makeshift treatment room welded to its deck. The 105-foot Sea of Change, whose eight-person crew includes a gynecologist and a nurse, will also provide family planning advice, contraceptives, and workshops on reproductive health issues for lawyers, doctors, teachers, and politicians. Marie Vernon, spokeswoman for the Dublin-based Society for Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC), called the trip "a mad feminist stunt." Frankly, Last Days hasn't been this excited about a cruise since Andy Warhol appeared on The Love Boat.

>>Also today: The Associated Press reported that German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Germany's leading energy companies formally signed an agreement to shut down Germany's 19 nuclear power plants by 2021, making the heartless German empire the world's largest industrialized nation to willingly forgo the technology. Germany's decision comes in the wake of "President" Dubya's move last month to promote more new nuclear plants, making international travel increasingly embarrassing for Americans.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13 Is it just our imagination, or does the world require a toddler to fall down a well every two months or so? The latest one was two-year-old Alina Pascaru, who slid 16 feet down a slippery shaft when her mother turned her back for a moment. In an engrossing six-hour drama that played out live on Romanian television, bulldozers, villagers, and even other children struggled to save her. It wasn't until Oana Furnica, a willowy teenager from a nearby town, volunteered to be lowered down by her ankles that the child was plucked from mortality's gaping maw. Alina is in stable condition, and the courageous rescuer was awarded a plot of land.

>>Also today: An international team of monster hunters is due in Ireland this month, to search for the fabled serpent with the body of a giant eel and a horse-like head, reports Reuters. The three-man search team, led by veteran Swedish monster hunter Jan Sundberg, plans to sweep the depths of Lough Ree for signs of the creature. "This is a culturally based phenomenon, rather than a scientifically based one,'' commented Dáithí " h"gáin, professor of Irish folklore at University College Dublin. More to the point, the skeptic of cryptozoology admitted, "A lot of these sightings are made by inebriated people."

THURSDAY, JUNE 14 Today U.S. safety regulators announced the recall of about 650,000 combination car seat/strollers manufactured by Century Products Co. Apparently the kiddie seats became potentially dangerous when a crucial part detached, pitching precious cargo willy-nilly. According to Reuters, Century Products had received 681 reports of incidents (including three concussions, two skull fractures, one fractured elbow, two chipped teeth, and an assortment of bruises and cuts) before ordering the recall. Jeez, were they holding out for a decapitation?

>>Also today: Forty-eight-year-old Jay Scott, a schizophrenic thought by many to be too ill to understand what was happening to him, was put to death in the state of Ohio for the murder of an elderly Cleveland delicatessen owner, reports Reuters.

>>Also today: A rare white shark prowling a beach packed with schoolchildren in Cyprus was killed by a fisherman, who speared the eight-foot fish and pulled it from the water, Reuters reported. What's with the monstrous fish, already? It's giving Last Days the heebie-jeebies.

FRIDAY, JUNE 15 Today the New York Post offered a booty-licious story about Marlon Brando's ass. It seems the notoriously difficult Brando (famous for being the world's greatest actor and most beautiful man from 1952 to 1963) is so nervous about having his freakishly giant ass caught on film, he showed up for the shoot of his newest film--the Robert De Niro thriller The Score--completely naked, thus forcing director Frank Oz (famous for leaving a psychotic, screaming message on former Stranger film editor Andy Spletzer's voice mail) to shoot Brando only in close-up. Despite his nude shenanigans, the 77-year-old Brando received a whopping $10 million for his 10 days of work on the film.

SATURDAY, JUNE 16 Today: A true story of booze, music, and mercy straight outta east Capitol Hill. Tonight a rockin' house party hosted by beloved Stranger writer Phil Campbell (and DJ'd by the notorious Charles Mudede) was twice visited by members of the Seattle Police Department, who complained about "the noise" and threatened to seize DJ Mudede's turntables. Happily, no arrests were made, and police refrained from killing any of the African American guests.

SUNDAY, JUNE 17 In much, much worse party news: Today Reuters reported the ridiculously tragic tale of the four-year-old boy who drowned yesterday at a birthday party for one of Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson's sons. In every parent's worst nightmare, four-year-old Daniel Veres was found floating face-down in the shallow end of the pool at Tommy Lee's Malibu home. The boy's father, television producer James Veres, called his son's death "inexcusable" and told a local radio station that more people should have been hired to supervise the swimming children. Last Days wishes Mr. Veres good luck in dealing with his crippling pain and guilt, and wishes Mr. and Mrs. Lee good luck in dealing with the sure-to-be-devastating lawsuits.

>>Also today: Just 12 hours before it was to become law, Texas Governor Rick Perry vetoed a bill to prohibit the state from executing mentally retarded killers. Apparently Mr. Compassionate thought it was really stupid and just wanted to kill it.

Invaluable assistance with this week's column provided by David Schmader.