MONDAY, APRIL 4

Sharpen those claws, kitties, because in Hollyweird, the fur is definitely starting to fly! It was a catfight royale during Vanity Fair's Desperate Housewives cover shoot, when the hot female stars of the super successful ABC show got diva-licious, thanks to co-star Teri Hatcher's soaring popularity. According to Vanity Fair, the poolside photo shoot was being tightly controlled by an ABC publicity grunt whose sole job was to keep the peace; making sure Hatcher didn't get first dibs on wardrobe, and keeping her out of the center of the photograph. [Yours truly has a similar "rider" here at the Mercury, wherein we will never be given our own office, or be paid the same as the men on staff.] Unfortunately for the ABC weasel, Hatcher had dipped into the wardrobe days ahead of time, and moseyed right into the center of the shot. At this point, co-star Marcia Cross reportedly lost her freaking mind. She stormed off the set, screaming a series of extremely creative profanities at the cowering ABC worm, and ended it with "I want you to get over here and do your fucking job!" Hatcher burst into tears, and the other ladies ran off to their trailers. No word on the condition of the ABC publicity lackey, who at press time is still trying to remove Cross' stiletto pump from his ass.

TUESDAY, APRIL 5

No change in the condition of Pope John Paul II, who at this point, still appears to be dead. This was annoying news for the Vatican who will now have to vote on a new--and preferably living--pope. The 117 cardinals will seal themselves off for the election--called a conclave--and decide which Catholic is the pope-iest. Then they'll send up a smoke signal in the air, ring a bunch of bells, and bestow yet another backwards-thinking octogenarian with his pointy hat. Look. We're sorry we're being all smart-assy about this, but COME ON. It's fucking ridiculous. They're just going to pick another conservative jerk who's against homosexuality, women becoming priests, marriage within the clergy, birth control, and masturbation. In fact, we're starting to think George Bush could pick a better pope than the Catholics. (Arnold Schwarzenegger in that hat and robe? Now that's a religion we could get behind.)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6

In a not very shocking revelation, the approval ratings for President Bush are dropping faster than… oh, we don't know… something that drops in a particularly quick fashion. [Send your more fitting analogies to ann@portlandmercury.com]. Bush's approval rate was a strong 49 percent in January, but after a series of problems--soaring gas prices, his stupid Social Security plan, the war in Iraq, Terri Schiavo, his daughter's thong (see story below)--his ratings have slipped to an all-time low of 44 percent. Which means at least five percent of you Bush voters finally realize you were WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Confess, and we promise to go easy on you. Meanwhile… Presidential daughter Jenna Bush is embroiled in a sexy scandal which we shall now entitle "Thong-gate!" [Send a more fitting name to ann@portlandmercury.com]. The hard-partying progeny of Bush was photographed freak dancing at hip New York nightclub Nerveana. According to World Entertainment Network, Jenna was attending a friend's bachelor party when a cameraman "captured footage of Bush on all fours, showing off her thong as dancers looked on in disbelief." You know… maybe we should give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she was down there looking for her self-respect?

THURSDAY, APRIL 7

The Michael Jackson "Trial of the Millennium™": Now with three times the nasty! Things got extra creepy this week following the damning testimonies of Jackson's maid, security officer, and alleged former victim. The latter fought back tears as he accused Jackson of "tickling" him in 1990 when he was 10. "He was tickling me. I was wearing shorts… he reached up to my privates." Soon after, the maid testified to seeing a second boy with Jacko, claiming she "walked in and they were in the shower." But the creepiest testimony of all--perhaps the creepiest for any trial--came from former Neverland security officer Ralph Chacon who eavesdropped on Jackson as he allegedly molested a boy around 1993. [If you want to skip to another story around now, who could blame you?] "I saw that Mr. Jackson was caressing the boy's hair," Chacon testified. "He was kissing him on his head and his face, his lips. He started kissing him on the shoulders and started going down to his nipples. Started sucking his nipples. Started going down to [the boy's] penis and putting it in his mouth. And about that time I just… I left." Eww. Eww. EWW! While the defense portrayed Chacon as a disgruntled ex-employee trying to settle a score, even they had to admit the security officer could have a bright future writing for Harlequin romance novels.

FRIDAY, APRIL 8

Today The New York Times reported that a mallard has laid nine eggs and taken up residence in front of the Treasury Department on Pennsylvania Avenue. Since the nursery is located at the base of a tree, the Secret Service has erected a large black fence around the duck, and provided her with a water bowl. When informed of this action, Osama bin Laden said, "A big fence? God-DAMMIT! Okay, forget the "duck plan," let's just attack America's ports."

SATURDAY, APRIL 9

Well, they finally did it. To the grim ambivalence of their desperately put out subjects, Charles finally married Camilla Parker-Bowles. In a related story, the oldest known thing in the universe was put on display today at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. What does the oldest known thing in the universe look like? Very much like a tiny speck of zircon crystal measuring less than two human hairs in diameter. The crystal is estimated to be 4.4 billion years old. Being such a valuable piece of geological history, it was guarded by police with the kind of fortitude and professionalism usually only reserved for mallards. The sample will eventually be put on display at a natural history museum in Australia. Camilla will remain on display in her native England.

SUNDAY, APRIL 10

Romance enthusiasts turned their attention today from Britain to Southern California, where the San Diego Zoo announced that Bai Yun and Gao Gao are expecting. The two giant pandas have been getting it on over the past two days underneath some nearby bushes. The zoo closed its panda exhibit to visitors and pointed its Internet "panda cam" elsewhere for the duration. Zoo officials say that Bai Yun had displayed signs of being horny in recent days, including yipping and raising her tail, walking through water and scraping pine tree bark onto her head and face. Not ones to miss an opportunity for some fine panda humping, zoo officials lifted the gate that separates the two 13-year-old panda lovers and let the "getting on" begin. Wasting no time at all, researchers detected live sperm in Bai Yun's urine and announced that she had been successfully knocked-up. For those who are interested, the happy couple are currently registered at Bed, Bath & Beyond as well as Target.com.