MONDAY, OCTOBER 2
In last week's column, One Day broke the shocking news that Portland's civilization was swirling down the crapper, as evidenced by exploding paper bags in driveways, MAX trains brutally attacking fire engines and, perhaps worst of all, having to dial 503 whenever making a local call. This week, however, civilization has mysteriously righted itself, which means everything has returned to BOOOOORING. Absolutely nothing of any interest happened this week, and the only reason we are bringing this to your attention is so you'll know how hard it was for One Day to put together an exciting, informative column. Here's a good example: today in Ashland, Nathan Jacobi, a scientist and Hebrew teacher, discovered a seven-word sentence encoded in the Bible within the book of Isaiah. The coded sentence said "Shakak Meal Yeshua Shmi Az Sasu Avim" or in layperson's terms, "Gushing over Jesus was my mighty name and the clouds rejoiced." According to Ed Sherman, a local insurance actuary, the odds of finding a coded sentence this long is one out of 685 billion times 1 billion. Now, the reason why this is boring is that A) while this super-secret coded sentence may sound slightly dirty, it means absolutely nothing, and B) if the chances of finding such a stupid sentence is so astronomical, then that could possibly mean that THERE IS NO "CODE" IN THE BIBLE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! Geez, why can't these Bible Code nerds find something else to be interested in? After all, the Rocky Horror Picture Show still plays every Saturday night.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3
In what should have been a very exciting day indeed, Al Gore and George W. Bush engaged in the first of what will probably be three very boring debates. Here's a brief recap of the more interesting parts: Every time Bush mentioned prescription drugs, Gore would sigh so loudly he could've been mistaken for a Firestone tire. On the other hand, while Bush surprised the nation by proving he isn't completely retarded, there were still some serious doubts when he began repeating the words "fuzzy math" in a way that was strangely reminiscent of Dustin Hoffman's performance in Rainman. However, one candidate who never got the opportunity to prove he isn't retarded was Ralph Nader, who was not only refused an opportunity to debate, he wasn't even allowed in the door. Although Nader had a ticket to the event, he was threatened with arrest and thrown out by three state troopers and a security guard when he tried to enter. Though he promptly demanded an apology for the violation of his civil rights, he was sent home to join the rest of the country who bypassed the debates for the series premiere of Dark Angel. Ummm, ummmm, ummmmmm. She's sexy.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4
Cheating their newly born daughters of a life in the circus or the talk-show circuit, Greg and Vaneice Lincoln had their Siamese twin daughters separated today in Olympia, Washington. The girls were born seven months ago, joined from the breastbone to the hip. A team of 30 surgeons undertook the risky procedure, and divvied up the internal organs of the girls even-steven. But, the girls were born with three legs between the two of them and, apparently to thwart potential mommy-loves-me-best arguments in the future, the doctors ended up doling out one leg per girl. What was once a nearly impossible operation only twenty years ago has become increasingly sophisticated and successful, and the Olympia twins have almost a ninety percent chance of survival. In spite of the rising success of Siamese twin separations, however, a family in England last month refused to allow their conjoined daughters to be cut apart because, they claimed, "it was God's will." (Yes, the Big Guy loves the circus, too.) The court ordered the two gals to be split apart, subsequently saving the twins from a life of ridicule, and the rest of the world from a potential FOX reality special. Thanks, guv'ner!

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5
In Yelm, WA, a man and woman accused of sexual misconduct with a teenager may be ratted out in court by (brace yourselves) a 35,000-year-old warrior spirit named "Ramtha." Here's how it happened: Two years ago at the School of Enlightenment in Yelm, voice instructor Wayne Allen Geis and his wife Ruth Beverly Martin reportedly confessed to having sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl. According to Deputy Prosecutor J. Andrew Toynbee, the couple pressured the young girl into having sex with them by convincing her that "her singing and acting would improve." ICK! But get this! The couple allegedly confessed to J.Z. Knight, a former cable TV saleswoman who was channeling the 35,000-year-old Ramtha at the time. And since Knight doesn't recall very much when Ramtha takes over, it very well could be Ramtha who takes the stand for the prosecution when the trial is finally set. Wow! It's just like an episode of The Practice--except more believable.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6
Oprah
boy toy and motivational speaker Stedman Graham was in Portland last night, and it was such a slow news day that the Oregonian gave his visit four columns and a photo. Graham was here to hock his new book, Teens Can Make it Happen: Nine Steps to Success, to middle school students. The Oregonian didn't just write this story from a press release; they sent a staff writer and a photographer to the event (part of a middle school gym assembly). Tension was thick. Would he mention his longtime squeeze? How would he refer to her? Would he talk about having sex with Oprah? How she liked it? And then the unbelievable happened! The kind of news journalists dream about. He did it! He did mention her! He said "she loves to talk." Get it? That's why she's a "talk show" host. What a scoop. Eat your heart out, Our Town!

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7
In a ho-hum bit of political intrigue, CNN announced today that, during the split-screen segment of Tuesday's debate, the network had accidentally made Gore's screen SIX PERCENT bigger. No one watching noticed, but CNN still seemed certain that its technical glitch would taint the entire race. Six percent? Who cares? As if we are so nimble-minded that making something BIGGER would manipulate our reaction. GORE and Bush will be judged on the basis of their policies and character. (Though according to those who saw the debate on CNN, GORE is taller and has a bigger penis.)

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8
Hold on to your bicycle shorts, because according to the Oregonian, spandex thievery is on the rise! It seems that armed spandex bandits have been terrorizing Los Angeles textile mills, and have stolen more than $2 million in bolts of spandex fabric. The thieves then fence the hot bolts in L.A.'s "rough-and-tumble garment district," where the spandex is disseminated and immediately made into disco pants. Gangs of gun-wielding spandex highwaymen? Black-market Lycra? Haute couture crime? Do you see what we're up against? Finally something of interest happens, and it doesn't even make the front page. Hello? Fashion Police?

Save me from the depths of my boredom. ann@portlandmercury.com