MONDAY, OCTOBER 20
Greetings guys and ghouls, and welcome to the special Halloween edition of "One SCREAM at a Time." And luckily for this week's theme, a lot of really frightening things transpired, such as this tale we like to callÉ "Liza Minnelli is Trying to Kill Me!" The divorce of David Gest and Liza Minnelli is clipping along quite nicely thankyouverymuch, largely in part to Gest's accusations that Minnelli has been beating the crap out of him. Today the waxen concert promoter slapped Liza with a $10 million lawsuit, alleging the Cabaret star often flew into drunken rages during their marriage, causing him headaches and neurological damage (oh, that explains it). In June, according to Gest, Liza guzzled a bottle of vodka, threw a hotel lamp at his head, and began "beating (Gest) about the head and face with her fists." When Gest asked a security guard for help, Liza reportedly slugged the whining nancyboy in the stomach. While Liza is calling the accusations "rubbish," Gest is currently hiding out in a Honolulu rehabilitation clinic, where he's taking "11 different medications a day"--presumably to help him come to terms with having his ass kicked by Liza Minnelli. Meanwhile! What's scarier than having Judy Garland for your mom? How about Courtney Love? The nagging widow of Kurt Cobain was arrested recently for breaking and entering while under the influence of drugs. Hours later she was picked up and taken to the hospital for a Oxycontin overdose--which unfortunately happened in the presence of her 11-year-old daughter, Francis Bean. While answering reporters' questions about her daughter's involvement with the overdose, Love claimed the incident was regrettable, but maintains she tried to make the experience "fun" for Francis. "That's the only time my daughter has ever, ever, ever pitched in on one of my little crises," Love said. "I made it fun. I said [the overdose] was going to be gross and I was going to have to make myself throw up, but it was going to be okay." Little Francis is currently in the care of Wendy O'Connor (Cobain's mother), and is looking forward to more "fun" adventures with her mommy, including a possible "take your daughter to the methadone clinic" day.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21
Think only accountants and Enron executives are scared by numbers? Then get ready for a FRIGHT. According to the media industry site EditorandPublisher.com, the press has been severely underreporting the number of wounds and non-fatal casualties from the war in Iraq. While the number of combat deaths are regularly reported (especially in One Day at a Time), the troops suffering from severe wounds are rarely mentioned. So in an effort to correct this problem, get ready for some BAD NEWS. As of today, 1,927 soldiers have been wounded (many severely) since the war began back in March. Of this total, 1,590 were wounded in combat, and 337 were injured in other ways. Around 20% of the wounded suffer from severe brain injuries. A war correspondent for The New Republic, author Lawrence F. Kaplan, says this information has only recently become available. "Pentagon officials have rebuked public affairs officers who release casualty figures," he said. And as a footnote, while the Bush administration continues to put a smiley face on their progress in Iraq, it was reported today that attacks on soldiers in Iraq have actually been on the increase in recent weeks--from an average of 20 attacks per day, up to 25 and peaking at an all-time high of 35 attacks. As America's Top 40 DJ Casey Kasem likes to say, "The hits just keep on comin'."
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22
Is it just us, or is the Grim Reaper taking an inordinate number of celebrities lately? Today was a sad day for entertainment lovers who marked the losses of three great talents. In Los Angeles, singer/ songwriter Elliott Smith apparently committed suicide today by stabbing himself in the heart [for more, see Music, page 21]. Fans of retro kitsch also mourned today over the death of Fred "Rerun" Berry, a star of the '70s sitcom What's Happening!! Known for his trademark red beret and suspenders, Berry apparently died from complications due to an ongoing struggle with diabetes. Also dead today, Western character actor Jack Elam, who made a career using his villainous leer and bulging eyes to play some of the movie's most famous bad guys. He was 84. But don't think for a minute that Old Man Death is finished with us yet! According to an interview with Us Weekly, ex-Baywatch hunkette Pamela Anderson expects she has roughly only another decade to live. Her doctors blame hepatitis C (which she claims was given to her by ex-hubby/Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee; he denies the charges). Says Pammy, "I think I got a good 10 years left in meÉ maybe 15 if I'm lucky." Fifteen years? Damn You, Death! We'll be lucky if we get two more Baywatch reunion specials!
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23
The week's not over yet, but this could be the most frightening news of all: Apparently recovered from their $3 million botched wedding, J.LO and B.AFF went on a budget-blowing Las Vegas shopping spree this past weekend. Local newspapers report "Jenny from the Block" splurged on his-and-her matching diamond bracelets (retail price: $1 million), a $10,000 Versace gown, and a $3,000 Roberto Cavalli dress! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! Cavalli is SO June 2003!! PleaseÉ somebody hold us!
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24
The scariest Halloween ghoul of all? GOD. Today CNN reported that actor Jim Caviezel was struck by lightning while portraying Jesus in Mel Gibson's religious vanity project, The Passion of Christ. Caviezel was okay, though witnesses reported seeing smoke coming from his ears. God, who hoped to knock some sense into Caviezel with the lightning, was disappointed that the actor did not immediately fly back to the Coast. "Next time," God told a group of journalists, "I'll use a chainsaw. Then we'll see what the most popular Halloween costume at Wal-Mart is next year."
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25
The L.A. Times reported today that seven out of 10 of you believe that heaven and hell are real. Even God doesn't believe that shit, people. Get a grip. Interestingly, a slightly larger margin of people believe in heaven (76%) than in hell (71%). Most of the former group admitted to TIVO-ing Joan of Arcadia. Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe they will go to heaven and that all the furniture there is purchased from Ikea. Only one half of 1 percent thought they were hellbound. However, a slightly larger group believed the polltakers would wind up in H-E-double hockey sticks. In other news, according to a National Geographic study, 11% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 can't find the U.S. on a map.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26
Don't believe that fishermen are in bed with the occult? Consider the case of Don Masey. Mr. Masey, a 59-year-old British railway engineer, lost his dentures while swimming off the coast of Crete. His children tried unsuccessfully to find the teeth using snorkels. Mr. Masey returned home to England with his children, a gummy ninny. Some time later some local fishermen just happened to discover a pair of dentures mixed in with the day's catch. They shared their find with a local bar owner who coincidentally had heard of the unlucky Briton. The coven of fishermen took the dentures to a tour operator who forwarded the choppers to a travel agency in Britain, which in turn sent them on to Mr. Masey. They arrived in the mail two weeks after he had lost them. He put the dentures in. HE IS NOW COMPLETELY UNDER THE FISHERMENS' CONTROL. If they really were fishermen.