MONDAY, MAY 23 This week of criminal flossing, stealth drag, and funky doings with human skin kicks off in California, where today brought bracing evidence of what a budget crunch looks like. Engine of the drama: the United States Supreme Court, which today ordered California to relieve overcrowding in the state's prisons by releasing 40,000 prisoners. As the Los Angeles Times reports, today's prison release order—one of the largest in US history—came from a sharply divided high court. Speaking for the majority, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said California's prisons had "fallen short of minimum constitutional requirements," citing cases of 200 prisoners living in a gymnasium and as many as 54 prisoners sharing a single toilet. In dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia blasted the release of "46,000 happy-go-lucky felons," predicting that "terrible things are sure to happen as a consequence of this outrageous order." For now, congratulations to California's incarcerated nonviolent offenders, who get to spice up their long, boring days of herdlike milling and toilet-sharing with dreams of a real-life get-out-of-jail-free card.
TUESDAY, MAY 24 We continue with an update in the saga of James Mills, the 16-year-old boy wanted in connection with a fatal shooting in Auburn. "Mills is suspected of killing Adrian Wilson, 16, at a birthday barbecue at the Aspen Meadows Apartments around 5 p.m. Sunday," reports the Seattle Times, "[Last] night, as two Auburn police officers walked up to the porch of Mills' Kent home, they encountered someone dressed in women's clothing. When the person turned around, the officers were stunned to find they were face to face with the suspect in the killing... [who had] cut his dreadlocks and donned a wig, dress, and ladies shoes in an attempt to avoid capture." The alleged shooter/would-be Big Momma immediately surrendered to officers and was booked into the King County Youth Service Center. Tomorrow, Mills will be charged with murder.
••In lesser crimes, today also brings a sighting from Hot Tipper Sam: "I was in a Capitol Hill natural foods market today around 5:00 p.m. When I went to check out, there was one lane with the light on but no customers, so I headed for it. As I approached, I realized that the checker was flossing her teeth. I asked, 'Are you flossing your teeth?' To which she replied, 'Yes, but I'm open' as she wadded up and threw away her floss. I said, 'No thanks' while veering to another aisle as, I presume, had those customers before me. Perhaps she wiped her hands before she helped the next customer, but I didn't see it happen."
WEDNESDAY, MAY 25 Meanwhile in Mason County, today brought a bloody tale of parental discipline, teenage revolt, and life-endangering archery. As the Seattle Times reports, the saga began when a 35-year-old father attempted to punish his 15-year-old daughter by grounding her and taking away her cell phone. In response, the girl allegedly shot her father with a bow and arrow. "[Mason County Sheriff's detective William Adam] said the man was shot with a 'compound bow,' using an arrow with multiple razor-sharp blades," reports the Times. "He said the girl had her own bow and was a deer hunter." The father with an arrow in his torso was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, while the reportedly despondent daughter was apprehended at the scene and sent to the Mason County Juvenile Detention Center.
THURSDAY, MAY 26 The week continues with a literally crazy ass story from New Zealand, where a truck driver took a tumble and learned some good and painful lessons about the limits of skin. Details come from BBC News, which reports the trucker's fateful tumble took place this past weekend in Opotiki, where 48-year-old Steven McCormack was conducting some truck maintenance that required him to venture between his truck's cab and trailer. There, McCormack fell and broke the truck's air hose, the nozzle of which pierced his buttock and began pumping air into his body. "I felt the air rush into my body and I felt like it was going to explode from my foot," said McCormack. "I had no choice but just to lay there, blowing up like a balloon." Having had compressed air pumping into his body at 100 pounds per square inch, McCormack was told by doctors that he's lucky his skin didn't burst. As for now: "He said his skin feels 'like a pork roast,' hard and crackly on the outside but soft underneath," reports the BBC. "Mr. McCormack confided that the air was gradually escaping his body in the way that air usually does."
FRIDAY, MAY 27 As faithful readers may recall, Eddie Long is the Atlanta-based megachurch pastor, internationally broadcast televangelist, and anti-gay-marriage crusader who was last year accused of repeatedly coercing male teenage church members into sex. Eight months ago, Bishop Long stood before his 25,000-member megachurch and vowed to fight the accusations with a biblical fervor that drew cheers from his flock. Today, CNN reports that Long has reached an out-of-court settlement with his four accusers, who will be paid an undisclosed sum to never speak of this again.
SATURDAY, MAY 28 The week continues with a day of feet and balls in Seattle, as gay rugby teams from all over the country competed in the North American Gay Rugby tournament in Magnuson Park (which was blessed with a special appearance by rugby star/gay-rights activist/miracle human Ben Cohen). Meanwhile at Qwest Field, soccer teams from Mexico and Ecuador battled it out to a 1–1 tie. But the day's ballsy fun will be eclipsed by tragedy, as a bus full of international soccer fans traveling from Seattle to Eastern Washington in a tour bus driven by a 67-year-old man will crash into a disabled pickup truck and flip on its side on I-90, injuring 21 and killing two. On Tuesday, another tour bus will crash and flip in Virginia, killing four. The moral: Stay away from tour buses.
SUNDAY, MAY 29 The week ends like so many weeks before and so many weeks to come—with morally reprehensible behavior from the upper management of the Catholic Church. Today's hot Catholic monster: Father Riccardo Seppia, identified by Time as "a 51-year-old parish priest in the village of Sastri Ponente... in the archdiocese of an influential Italian cardinal who has been working with Pope Benedict XVI on reforms to respond to prior scandals of pedophile priests." Ironic twist: Last week, Father Seppia was arrested on pedophilia and drug charges, stemming from wire-tapped cell-phone conversations in which he allegedly asked a Moroccan drug dealer to arrange sexual encounters with young and vulnerable boys. "I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger. Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues," Seppia allegedly said. Charged with the attempted molestation of an underage altar boy and the swapping of cocaine for sex with numerous males over 18, Father Seppia remains held without bail, to avoid what the magistrate identified as "a risk of relapse or tampering with evidence."
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