MONDAY, AUGUST 20 The Hot Tippingest week in Last Days history kicked off with the hair-raising story of Eduardo Veliz, the 36-year-old man in Lima, Peru who chopped off one of his testicles to protest his poverty. Reuters reports that Veliz, a poorly paid laborer, appeared at the parliament building today to demand a meeting with Congress President Carlos Ferrero. Denied entrance, Veliz whipped out a knife and cut off his right nut. "I'm doing all this to protest my lousy situation," a profusely bleeding Veliz told doctors after his dramatic stunt. This isn't Veliz's first foray into protest-by-castration: Last year, he sliced off his penis to protest his inability to find a job. Last Days applauds Veliz for his fearless activism, and anxiously awaits an encore. In the meantime, Seattle's resident loonies--Garrett, Chong, Sidran--should take a cue from the inspired Veliz and start chopping.

··Also today: In a 6-2 vote, the Seattle City Council approved the installation of five high-tech, self-cleaning public toilets. Boasting self-scrubbing, retractable toilet bowls and high-powered jets to whoosh trash and other unwanteds (syringes, hobos) off the floor, these fancy toilets will take up residence in Victor Steinbrueck Park, Pioneer Square, Ballard, the U District, and the International District early next year, at a cost of $638,000 a year for 10 years. (Money for the fancy toilets will come from a slight increase in sewage service rates.) Approved by the council and funded by sewage, the fancy toilets now face a final task: Finding a name. As Safeco Field and EMP have recently demonstrated, the choice of a name is a heavy task, requiring effective representation of the venue while maintaining a catchphrase-like zip. With the absolute worst possible name for a human waste facility safely out of the running (Honey Bucket), Last Days would like to offer three remaining options for voter approval. To determine the best name, simply use each to conclude this sentence: "Jeez, that Frappuccino tore right through me! I gotta go use the..."

A) Fancy toilet.
B) Shithaus.
C) Stink Office.
(Last Days unequivocally chooses C.)

The real event won't happen till tomorrow, but today Last Days and millions of other Americans celebrated the announcement that Jesse Helms, the stupidest statesman in American history, will retire from the Senate in 2003. In his 30-plus years as senator from North Carolina, Helms repeatedly humiliated himself, degraded the Bible, and embarrassed the United States of America with his inimitable brand of backwoods fundamentalism. Last Days wishes Helms a most happy retirement, packed with painful ailments, leaky colostomy bags, and many, many homosexual grandchildren.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 22 Today in Riverhead, New York, a professional circus clown was convicted of sodomizing his teenage assistant. Reuters reports that 29-year-old Christopher Bayer, also known as "Smiley the Clown," was found guilty on nine counts including sodomy, sexual abuse, and endangering the welfare of a child. The abuse came to light after the victim's suspicious father placed a surveillance camera in the family's living room and caught the pervy clown molesting his son on tape. "I'm innocent," says Bayer. You know, sometimes this column just seems to write itself.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 23 Today Last Days was bombarded with over 50 Hot Tips directing us to Brian Kelly's Everett Herald story about the naked man who led police to his pot crop. The saga began last Saturday night, when a 30-year-old, completely naked man was seen wandering around the food court of Camano Island's Stanwood Cinemas. A summoned police officer soon arrived and approached the man, issuing him a ticket for indecent exposure while asking why he was naked and what he did for a living. The exceedingly honest man allegedly told police he was naked because he felt like it and that he grew marijuana for a living. According to the police report, the naked man then asked for the officer's help in harvesting his crop; the canny officer said he was "too lazy" to help but offered to have a look at the man's operation. The man then led the officer to a "sophisticated hydroponic grow operation" located in an outbuilding behind the man's mobile home, where deputies allegedly found numerous grow lights on timers, fans, and a complex watering system. "I grow marijuana for fun and profit, to support myself and my family, to help bring us a better life," the man allegedly wrote in a statement for police. The man's wife told authorities she'd never been inside her husband's shed, where he often retreated to do his artwork and practice with his yo-yo. Police confiscated the plants and growing equipment but, perhaps touched by the naked pothead's beautiful honesty, have yet to file any further charges.

Last night, California Rep. Gary Condit sat down with ABC's Connie Chung for his first televised interview since the mysterious disappearance of his intern/lover Chandra Levy. Today, everyone who watched the would-be event struggled to find words to characterize Condit's complete failure as an interviewee. A communications expert on noted Condit's rigid posture and compulsive lip-licking, while an editorial in The Modesto Bee--the largest newspaper in Condit's congressional district--denounced Condit's "weasel-like performance" and renewed a call for Condit's resignation. And while Condit's troubles have yet to land him in a court of law, in the court of public opinion he may as well have appeared opposite Chung slathered from head to toe in Chandra Levy's blood. (Fifty bucks says the deeply troubled Condit makes his wife a widow by the end of the year.)

SATURDAY, AUGUST 25 Speaking of hideous things: Today Reuters reported the absolutely horrifying story of Amber Mountain, the eight-year-old girl in Irwin, PA pronounced dead today after being strangled by her parents' 10-foot Burmese python. According to police reports, Amber's mother found Amber on the kitchen floor with the "pet" snake wrapped around her neck. (Apparently the python--one of five exotic snakes housed by the family--had escaped from its tank in the parents' bedroom.) Amber's mother managed to pry the constrictor from her daughter's neck, but Amber had already stopped breathing, and never regained consciousness. Amber isn't the first child to be lost by the Mountain family: In 1996, Amber's father, Robert Mountain, accidentally rolled over on his three-month-old daughter, Brittany, fatally crushing her while the two were sleeping. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde: To lose one child is a tragedy, to lose two looks like carelessness. Mr. and Mrs. Mountain, please consider sterilization.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 26 The week concludes with a correction and a call for freaks. Correction: Last week, Last Days mistakenly attributed a local exhibit of Wolfgang Laib's work to SAM; even worse, we attributed this error to our fella Jake. In actuality, the beautiful Laib show was housed by the Henry, and the bozo with the bad memory was yours truly. Call: Last Days has been contacted by a lawyer looking for a kinky freak willing to be caned, Singapore-style, as part of a King County Superior Court trial beginning in October. We checked it out and he appears to be legit--interested freaks should contact

Confidential to the pro-Tamara mail stalker: Sorry to break it to you, but you're stuck with me. But please don't stop sending your collage-art ransom notes--they're gorgeous!