MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6 Even when presented with mountains of proof, the world just can't seem to come to grips with the awful truth: Britney Spears and Kevin Federline are HILLBILLIES! As ruthlessly made fun of last week in One Day, Britney was barely able to stop Kevin from getting four-month-old Sean Preston's ears pierced. At the time, Britney called piercing an infant's ears "white trashy" and dangerous... and yet? Today Britney was caught by photographers driving her SUV while holding Sean Preston in her lap! (Hey, if he's old enough to drive, he's old enough to get his ears pierced, right?) Naturally, this caused a major flap with all those annoying child welfare people, but don't worry. The Britta had the perfect excuse: The paparazzi were trying to kill her! "Today, I had a horrifying, frightful encounter with the paparazzi while I was with my baby," Brit said in a statement. "... I was terrified that this time the physically aggressive paparazzi would put both me and my baby in danger. I instinctively took measures to get my baby and me out of harm's way." The photographers had a different take, claiming "the pictures were taken in a very peaceful context." These guys are regular Buddhists, we tell ya! Regardless, Britney later issued something close to an apology for her actions, telling Access Hollywood, "I made a mistake... and so it is what it is." And maybe that's all it is. But remember: You can take the billy out of the hills, but not the hills out of the billy, and if Britney was still living in Louisiana? Sean Preston would be bouncing around in the back of a pickup truck!

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7 The uproar continues in the Middle East over a cartoon published by a Denmark paper depicting the Prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb for a turban. Thankfully the protesters are against this depiction for religious reasons, and not because the cartoon isn't funny—otherwise the Mercury would have a jihad placed on all its comics. Ba-dum-DUM! Thank you! Thank you! Ahhhh, we kid the Islamic fundamentalists. But seriously, we can understand why they're so angry; after years of burning the American flag and our presidents in effigy, the best we can come up with is a cartoon that makes Marmaduke look funny? Well, at least some people are making money off this situation—namely newspapers in France and Norway who have seen their circulation spike after reprinting the offensively unfunny comics. Daily paper France Soir saw a 40 percent increase in circulation, as well as satirical French weekly Charlie-Hebdo that also ran a cover depicting Muhammad crying and saying, "It's hard to be loved by idiots." Ouch. Well, at least that one had a punchline.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8 Sometimes gossip is so confusing! As reported last week in One Day, teen queen Lindsay Lohan was caught showering in the mansion of old-timey rocker Bryan Adams—and this week? According to In Touch magazine, Lindsay has been secretly canoodling less-aged rocker RYAN Adams! Did she get confused and show up at Bryan's mansion by mistake? Whatever—it gets better! So not only has she been "quietly seeing" Adams the Younger for a month, the magazine also alleges that Lindy "hooked up with" nearly decrepit movie star Benicio del Toro! Apparently, Benny was celebrating the birthday of off-and-on gal pal Sara Foster, "but he dumped her to party with Lindsay," and then "after spending hours canoodling, the couple headed to the Mercer Hotel." OHHHH, WE GET IT. Now that you're a big shot, and secretly boinking Benicio del Toro, the Bryan Adams mansion just isn't good enough for YOU anymore, is it, Lindsay?

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9 According to the always trustworthy and unbiased Fox News, ALIENS HAVE BLOWN UP LA'S LIBRARY TOWER! Ahhhh!! Ahhhhhh!!! Oh. Wait. Fox News was just using a clip from the movie Independence Day to illustrate what might have happened if an al-Qaeda attempt to fly a plane into the building had come to pass. It seems President Bush informed us today that because the government wiretaps all overseas phone calls, al-Qaeda terrorists were unable to carry out a 2002 plot to ram an airplane into LA's tallest building, the Library Tower (now renamed the US Bank Tower). Apparently Southeast Asian men were being recruited to hijack a plane, enter the cockpit via exploding shoes, and crash the plane into the building. However, according to Bush, the plot was foiled after the arrest of a key al-Qaeda operative. But America was left wondering, "What would it have looked like, had they been successful?" That's when Fox News stepped up to save the day, showing clips from the alien invasion movie Independence Day where extraterrestrials blew up the Library Tower. After seeing the footage, President Bush immediately ordered wiretaps placed on all extraterrestrial phones.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10 Just in case you're wondering, "gay" is the new "straight," and thanks to the success of Bareback... we mean, Brokeback Mountain, Hollyweird's glitterati is combing the gay bookstores looking for the newest AND GAYEST movie project. For example? An insider told Britain's The Sun, "Brad has asked his people to find him a script to play a gay man. He wants it to be a story that appeals to both men and women and he wants it to be the edgiest work he's done." Hmmm... that is a tough one... hey, Brad could play Bert in the Bert and Ernie Story! George Clooney could be Ernie, and Angelina Jolie could take the role of "Rubber Duckie." (With a mouth like hers, what else could she play?) MEANWHILE... Speaking of Angelina and "gay," Britain's Daily Star has reported that the duck-billed actress will be asking her former lesbian lover to be godmother to her and Brad's fetus. Jenny Shimizu, with whom Jolie allegedly had a lesbionic tryst while making the film Foxfire in 1993, is the lucky lass in question—but apparently Brad isn't too keen on the idea. Said a source, "Brad plumped for his best friend George Clooney... but she decided they needed a strong female force in their lives." Waitasecond... Brad's "plumped" for George Clooney? Send Brad that Bert and Ernie script—stat!

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11 News of note from the world of music: Downward spiraling hunk Nick Lachey has been reportedly caught canoodling again—this time with Jessica Simpson's best friend. You BEAST! Life + Style magazine claims Lachey was spotted smooching it up with Simpson gal pal Cacee Cobb, right in eyeshot of aghast onlookers. "He was kissing her all over the side of her face and neck," said one onsite snoop. "Her arms were around him, too. Everyone was like, 'Wow! What are they thinking?' We kept waiting for them to rip each other's clothes off." That would have been great, actually, because then maybe we could give a shit.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12 Worried about the White House wiretapping your phone? Perhaps you should be more worried about the vice president shooting your face off! In the most hilarious man-getting-his-face-shot-off story of the year, today it was reported that Vice President Cheney "accidentally" sprayed companion Harry Whittington's face with buckshot during a hunting trip. (Now that's what we call a "money shot"!) Naturally, Cheney's cronies were falling all over themselves to exonerate the trigger-happy veep. Said ranch owner Katharine Armstrong, "The person who is not doing the shooting at that moment in time is just as responsible and, should be, as the person actually doing the shooting." Hear that Harry? If your big stupid face hadn't leapt in front of Cheney's shotgun, you wouldn't look like a big stupid piece of Swiss cheese. However, the incident did give Cheney a good motto if he ever plans to run for re-election: "Vote Cheney—OR HE'LL SHOOT YOUR FUCKING FACE OFF!"