When I lived in Seattle, I always looked forward to Thursdays. Because that’s the day the Stranger comes out.
The Emerald City alt-weekly is best known for launching the career of sex writer Dan Savage, famous for his internationally syndicated advice column, Savage Love. Lindy West, who now writes for the Guardian, is another of the rag’s esteemed alumni, and to this day, I still forward friends her spectacular review of the first Transformers movie.
But my favorite part of the paper was Last Days, David Schmader’s always funny, often informative, and occasionally heartbreaking review of the week’s news. Of all the stories he recounted, in his breezy, beautiful prose, my favorite detailed an altercation at a hectic I.H.O.P. on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, where an obnoxious, waitress-harassing customer got the living crap kicked out of him in full view of a packed Sunday crowd. I’m a sucker for a happy ending, and the unnamed vigilante remains a personal hero.
Back in September, Schmader wrote a final Last Days. And while his retirement makes me nostalgic, it also makes me less intimidated to take a crack at something like it. So let’s look at some Old News.
Saturday, March 26th In what’s either, as local authorities describe, a “freak accident” or, in Old New’s imagination, a spectacular demonstration of skill, an unnamed Jackson, Tennessee woman managed to drive her car up into a set of power lines today. As the Jackson Sun reports, the woman spent two hours dangling from the cables before fire crews could retrieve her from the fantastically unique predicament, which was accomplished after she left the roadway and apparently rode a guy-wire into the sky. No one was harmed.
Sunday, March 27th Today was Easter, the highest holiday on the Christian calendar, and going forward, a day which children who attended an Easter egg hunt in Orange, Connecticut will forever associate with stampeding helicopter parents and fist fights. Details come from the Gothamist, which reported that after a throng of nearly 1000 turned up for the hunt at the PEZ headquarters, the situation quickly devolved, as attendees jumped the start and raided the field, according one organizer, like “locusts.”
Monday, March 28th As the bible says, no one is without sin, a fact which was made abundantly clear today when a Catholic priest in London, Ontario admitted he’d squandered nearly $500,000 his parish had earmarked for refugee relief gambling. According to Toronto’s the Star, Father Amer Saka has been suspended, and is currently seeking voluntary treatment. Local authorities have yet to charge the not-so-holy man, and the report is unfortunately unclear what Saka gambled on.
Tuesday, March 29th A charming six-bedroom in Westfield, New Jersey returned to the real estate market today, a year after the current owners balked at moving into what Zillow.com represents as a “stately colonial,” and the Washington Post describes as “purportedly under a mysterious stalker’s watchful eye.” Messages send to the home have reportedly asked “Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested?” and “Have they found out what is in the walls yet?” For what it’s worth, Old News would run.
Wednesday, March 30th Even when countries have abandoned diplomacy, some tactics, like releasing toxic gas, remain outside the scope of battle. Today, when a prospective sex partner rebuffed him, one man in Laholm, Sweden had no problems with crossing that red line. As 60ABC.com reports, upon being spurned by a lady friend, he deliberated farted in her apartment, and then fled the scene. Allegedly, it smelled bad enough that she called the police, who predictably declined to investigate.
Thursday, March 31st Along with the many physical benefits of yoga—flexibility, balance, muscle tone—the ancient India practice is also revered for the calming mental state a session induces. Which makes it all the more entertaining that a South Korean man’s violent outburst on a flight from Honolulu to Tokyo was triggered because, as the Star detailed, the flight crew refused to allow him to do yoga in the aisle. Old News wishes the man luck getting home from an island after being banned from air travel.
Friday, April 1st In another depressing instance where Old News realized, that yes, there need to be rules about that, New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission outlined new punishments for, as the Independent wrote, “drivers who touch or ejaculate on their passengers.” Amazingly, after paying a fine of not more than $1000 and completing a 30-day suspension, offending drivers are free to return to work, a fact which joins $25 dollar gin and tonics, stop-and-frisk, and un-air conditioned subway cars as reasons to avoid the Big Apple.
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