MONDAY, APRIL 25 This week of killer twisters, incriminating cigarettes, and surprising executions kicks off in Detling, England, where this afternoon a man was shot out of a cannon and into the great hereafter. Details come from CNN, which tracks the story to the Kent County Showground, where Scott May's Daredevil Stunt Show assembled to deliver a testosterone-drenched circus featuring monster trucks, a demolition derby, and stunts such as the human cannonball, in which a human is shot from a cannon and lives to tell the tale. Unfortunately, today's human cannonball—identified only as a man in his 20s—was robbed of his humanity when his death-defying stunt failed to defy death. As Kent police told the British Press Association, the man suffered fatal injuries when "a safety net failed to engage"—a phrase so cloaked in British reticence it baffled even David Smith Jr., the world's most prolific human cannonballer, who's been shot from a cannon nearly 5,000 times and told CNN "he had not before heard the terminology about a safety net's failure to engage." (Last Days' best guess: The net failed to engage because the man missed the net.) Condolences to all who beheld the fatal splat and to the no- longer-human cannonball's colleagues, who have canceled all shows until further notice.
TUESDAY, APRIL 26 Perhaps you've asked yourself, "What kind of butt hole tosses cigarette butts out a car window?" Today this quasi-rhetorical question received a real-life answer in the form of Brian Burt, the 35-year-old man in Richland, Washington, who was pulled over by the cops for flicking a cigarette out his car window in a Walmart parking lot and soon found himself facing an array of charges that could earn him 10 years behind bars. Details come from the Associated Press, which reports that Burt's butt toss led police to his stash of prescription drugs and numerous outstanding warrants for his arrest. "At the Richland police station, Burt told investigators he was addicted to heroin and sold drugs to support his habit," reports the AP, citing court documents. Then Burt allegedly "named three Benton County residents who died after buying heroin from him." The name-checked dead: 29-year-old Liam D. Hermsen, a writer and artist who overdosed in Richland in 2009; 44-year-old Shirley E. Sanders, a homemaker and grandmother who overdosed in Kennewick in 2010; and 34-year-old Jason Brickey, who overdosed in Kennewick in 2007. On Friday, Burt will be charged with two counts of controlled- substances homicide in the deaths of Hermsen and Sanders, but will escape charges regarding Brickey, whose overdose falls outside the statute of limitations. He remains held on $250,000 bail.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27 The week continues with the public release of Barack Obama's long-form birth certificate, a ridiculous nonevent that confirmed the president's Hawaiian birth and was made necessary by the bleating of countless sanity-challenged "birthers," most recently Donald Trump, the sad-haired blusterfuck whom Obama will spend the rest of the week humiliating. (At Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner, Obama will honor Trump's political accomplishments—such as choosing to fire Gary Busey instead of Meat Loaf during The Celebrity Apprentice's Omaha Steaks challenge—before ceremoniously unveiling his own "birth video," composed of footage from Disney's The Lion King. And on Sunday, the president will preempt The Celebrity Apprentice's finale to announce the death of Osama bin Laden.)
••Also today, tornadoes killed so many people in the Midwest and Southern United States that we're going to devote the whole of tomorrow's item to it.
THURSDAY, APRIL 28 The week continues with the day after yesterday, aka the nation's deadliest tornado day in 85 years, with over 259 tornadoes reported in 16 states. Hardest hit: Alabama, where 249 of the 339 reported deaths occurred. The remainder of the week will throb with heartbreaking news reports of lives destroyed by wind. In a blessed twist, no religious leaders will publicly blame the deadly weather on abortion, the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," or the popularity of Glee. Condolences to anyone who lost anything.
FRIDAY, APRIL 29 In better news, today brought a significant but also insufficient reimbursement to the family of John T. Williams, the Native American woodcarver shot to death by a Seattle cop last August. Following the fatal shooting, the Seattle Police Department's Firearms Review Board determined that Officer Ian Birk had violated SPD policy by killing the pocketknife-holding Williams. Today the City of Seattle announced the $1.5 million settlement it will pay to Williams's family. Congratulations to the Williams family, which continues to investigate the possibility of criminal charges against Birk.
SATURDAY, APRIL 30 In worse news, today brings a ridiculously tragic story of culture clash in Florida, where this evening a group of deaf friends were hanging out at a bar in Hallandale Beach. As the New York Daily News reports, things were fine until the friends' conversations in sign language allegedly caught the eye of Barbara Lee, a 45-year-old gang member who mistook the gesticulations for gang signs. "Lee left the bar but returned with two members of her crew, 19-year-old Marco Ibanez and a 17-year-old who was not identified, cops said," according to the NYDN. "Ibanez allegedly pulled a knife and began stabbing [Alfred] Stewart and his friends." Stewart, 31, and three of his friends were hospitalized with non-life-threatening stab wounds, and Lee, Ibanez, and the juvenile were arrested and charged with aggravated battery.
SUNDAY, MAY 1 The week ends with the long-awaited death of Osama bin Laden, the Qaeda leader who claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks and who was fatally shot by US Special Forces today in Pakistan. Keeping the day from being a slam-dunk double whammy: Muammar el-Qaddafi, who escaped the NATO bombing of his family's compound in Tripoli. (Not so lucky: One of Qaddafi's sons and three of his grandchildren.) In response to the NATO bombing, angry mobs ransacked Western embassies and a United Nations office in Tripoli. (It was Sunday, they were empty, and no one was hurt.) In response to the Bin Laden killing, Twitter will explode and President Obama's hopes of reelection will soar. Thanks and congratulations, US Special Forces and every member of the military who served in the dangerous and dubious "war on terror."
Attention, everyone: Dorothy Parvaz is a reporter who used to work for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, currently works for Al Jazeera, and has been missing in Syria since Friday. Find updates at www.facebook.com/freedorothy. (And send Hot Tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.)