MONDAY, JULY 21

It's official: Ben Affleck has a leaking problem. After months of speculation regarding where and when he and J.LO will be entering the bonds of blissful matrimony, Ben accidentally spilled the beans to the Swiss press. OR DID HE? Though Affleck supposedly slipped that the blessed event will occur on October 5th on the Hawaiian isle of Kauai, the New York Post ain't buying it. According to their spies, Affleck has been feeding info to a myriad of journalists--telling each a different story. "I've heard seven different versions of where the wedding is going to be coming out of Ben's mouth," says smirky Affleck rep, Ken Sunshine. Hey, have fun with your baby lies, Mr. Ben Affleck Liar Man! But in six months, when J.LO says, "Oh, honey. Colin Farrell and I are just friends," don't come crying to us. MEANWHILE! You know your movie career has bottomed out when you pick a fight with a midget. Sean Penn's actor brother Chris Penn was kicked out of Hollywood's posh Skybar after getting in a fistfight with a midget and tossing him into the pool. It seems the tubby five-foot, 10-inch Penn accidentally stepped on the three foot, five incher, and a brawl ensued. "Four-letter words were exchanged, then they started pounding each other--and the midget ended up in the pool," said a stunned source. "He kept yelling, 'Let me knock out that midget!'" Brother Sean Penn did the right thing and immediately sent the brawling Chris to cool off in Iraq at the palatial villa of his old pals Odai and Qusai Hussein.

TUESDAY, JULY 22

OUCH! Tough day for Odai and Qusai Hussein! The hated sons of Saddam went out Butch and Sundance-style when U.S. forces blew the shit out of their palatial villa in Northern Iraq. And though they fought back "fiercely" the two were eventually killed by repeated gun and rocket fire. This was good news for the Bush Administration who believe the deaths will convince Iraqi militants to stop fighting and embrace such democratic necessities as Britney Spears and pleated pants. According to Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the military was tipped off by an Iraqi informant--who will probably receive a whopping $30 million for squealing on each brother--and stormed the fancy villa with guns a-blazin'. While many Iraqis expressed disappointment at the deaths of Saddam's kids, many others celebrated the news in the traditional fashion of firing rifles into the air. Unfortunately, members of a Florida National Guard unit stationed in Baghdad mistook this celebration for being under attack, and fired into the crowd killing two civilians: one man who took two bullets to the chest, and an eight-year-old girl who was shot in the head. Oops sorry to bring down the mood. But, hey! They're still partying over at FOX news!

WEDNESDAY, JULY 23

The results are in and the Willamette Week has voted YOU their "Best Stupid Reader." In their "Best of Portland" issue which plopped on the streets today, the WW revealed the results of their annual Reader's Poll--and as usual, couldn't resist taking a dump on their reader's opinions. Under the headline, "Best No-Holds-Barred Local Newspaper Columnist," they wrote, "You think the former Oregonian scribe, now Portland Tribune columnist Phil Stanford has the best way with words in town. We beg to differ. But hey, this is your survey, not ours." Obviously, these STUPID readers should have voted for the WW's painfully worded column, The Nose. C'mon people! If you could only get through the first paragraph without lapsing into a narcoleptic coma, you'd see that The Nose is the best column in the world STUPID! And while the WW attempts to dig itself out of that case of sour grapes, we would like to congratulate Phil on his well-deserved accolade, as well as the rest of the Trib staff who routinely kick the asses of those stuffed, bloated carcasses at the Willamette Week. Oh! And though we weren't your overwhelming choice, we'd still like to thank everyone who voted for One Day at a Motherfucking Time under the "no-holds-barred" category. It's a thrill to be nominated!

THURSDAY, JULY 24

Today Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld showed off a few photos from the military's summer vacation in Iraq--and EWWWW! They're gory bloody pictures of dead Odai and Qusai Hussein! But not only were they shown on the jubilant lip-licking FOX news network, the blood-splattered pictures were also repeatedly televised on U.S. run Iraqi television, causing many viewers to say, "Huh. Those guys on Jackass are really going to hurt themselves one day." Of course the intent of televising these snuff pix was to knock the wind out of Iraqi guerrillas who have been mounting successful surprise attacks against U.S. troops on a daily basis. And while the pictures did convince many Iraqis that the Saddam regime had finally ended, a Baghdad engineer by the name of Muhammad remains unconvinced of the brothers' demise. "We will believe they are dead when Odai and Qusai's bodies are tied to cars and dragged through the streets so everybody can see them," he said. Now that's what we call a country that's ready for democracy!

FRIDAY, JULY 25

Today The New York Times reported, in a very very very tiny little story, that Colin McMillan, Bush's nominee for Navy secretary, "was found dead in the New Mexico." [HE WAS ABDUCTED BY ALIENS!] While the circumstances of his death were not announced, the mayor [OF ROSWELL] did say that McMillan "died around lunchtime." [HIS ANUS WAS PROBED BY ALIENS!] His body was found on the edge of the White Sands Missile Range. [IT WAS COVERED UP BY THE MILITARY!] McMillan, an oilman, used to work for VP Dick Cheney. [WHO IS PART ALIEN.]

SATURDAY, JULY 26

In 1992, 29,000 yellow bathtub rubber duckies washed overboard from a container ship. Since then the bath toy armada has floated across the ocean, around the United States, through the Arctic and past Greenland. The ducks have stayed together, fighting Pacific squalls, giant octopi, mermen, and Bengali pirates. Now, according to The First Years (the manufacturer), the ducks are on their way down the eastern seaboard of the United States. They are apparently headed for Florida. Their numbers have been culled by the 11-year journey, and a loyalist breakaway group has been spotted heading for the United Kingdom, but a striking number of faded yellow bath toys have survived the odyssey. The makers of the ducks are offering $100 in saving bonds to anyone who finds a duck in New England. So far eleven small children have drowned trying to reach them.

SUNDAY, JULY 27

Are you constantly bothered by short people? Put away your butterfly net--it turns out there's a medical solution! Soon, children who are healthy but unattractively short will be able to have injections of growth hormone in hopes of gaining one to three more inches of height. The drug, called, cutely, Humatrope, is not for normal kids yearning for a few extra inches, but rather the shortest, ugliest 1.2 percent of children. Maker Eli Lilly & Co. counts some 400,000 such children ages seven to 15, but predicts that only about 10 percent ultimately will receive growth hormone because of tight eligibility restrictions. Also many families simply won't want to endure up to six shots a week for years, even if it means their child may have a chance at a normal life and productive future. Short people have been around for millennia, and have been a burden on society for just as long, taxing public resources and depressing taller, more handsome people. Their tiny hands and feet are always getting into things, and they are awkward to walk with. Growing a few more inches is certainly enough to justify spending $10,000 to $25,000 a year on shots, especially if it stops the prevailing practice of Midwestern parents murdering their height-challenged offspring. Please send your opinions on this pressing matter to ann@portlandmercury.com.