While the tragic events in the Middle East, racial unrest, and environmental destruction are all worthy topics for One Day at a Time, we all know in our heart of hearts that the best part of this column is the Hollywood Gossip. We're sorry, but while priests sodomizing kids makes great copy, it doesn't even come close to David Duchovny dropping a bowling ball on his foot. Not that he did, that's just an example. In fact, absolutely NOTHING happened in Hollywood this week--that is if you don't count the dredged-up publicist's dreck about the are-they-or-aren't-they romance between Spider-Man's Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, or the recently discovered photograph of Britney Spears smoking a (horrors!) cigarette. So today, we are forced to report some actual NEWS (and we just wanted to apologize in advance). Get out your black Vera Wang party dress and some sensible dancing shoes, because today we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the L.A. riots! Yes, the event that made Rodney King a hit around the water cooler celebrated its 10th birthday today--and let us tell you, those riots don't look a day over nine! On the corner of Florence and Normandie Avenues (where white trucker Reginald Denny was almost beaten to death by an angry mob), a vigil was held by the city to show how times had changed. Before playing a classical piece, violinist Chan Ho Yun announced to onlookers, "We are here to show unity and make music to show how the communities are in perfect peace, love, and harmony." However, apparently many in attendance correctly recognized this statement as complete bullshit, and started screaming and honking their horns. "This is a Hollywood dog and pony show," shouted resident Howard Mack. "You come back here after dark and see what it's like!" Another unidentified man yelled, "I was shot six motherfucking times and I'm tired of this shit!" Though there were some requests from the crowd to "burn the corner down again," the demonstration ended peacefully, and Chan Ho Yun and his violin left without a scratch. Now, see? That's progress!

At roughly 5 pm today, the artist formerly known and now once again currently known as Prince, announced he would be playing a sneaky surprise set at the Roseland at midnight following his gig for the old folks at the Schnitz. And while Mr. Prince seemed a little tuckered out from entertaining the cane-and-walker set, his one-and-a-half-hour show at the Roseland--which included a surprisingly un-annoying blues jam--was well received by all. However, as is often the case, it was the crowd who provided much of the entertainment. Though there were some diehard Prince fans who showed up early to reserve their spots up front, this didn't stop some tardy GAP rockers from trying to shove their way forward. One particularly egregious example was committed by a threesome (two belligerent tattooed girls and a fratty guy) who, after forcing their way to the stage, screamed inanities such as "Big Boob Power!" and spent much of Prince's performance shoving their tongues into each other's mouth. Happily, this unwanted menage à trois was eventually shut down by one brave girl in the audience who told them, "Hey! We think you guys should go stand somewhere else." Mr. Fratty turned to her and replied, "Why? Is it because we stink?" And our heroine responded, "No, it's because you SUCK!" Unable to form a coherent response, especially in the face of everyone snickering, the three took themselves and their probable herpes elsewhere. And THAT, etiquette-fans, is the One Day at a Time "Play of the Day!"

And for the Catholic Church, the hits just keep on comin'! Today Rev. Paul Shanley, a Roman Catholic priest from Boston, was arrested on charges of three counts of rape and has been accused of sexually molesting a boy repeatedly between 1983 and 1990. The boy is now 24 years old, and has accused the padre of taking him out of his church instruction class "on almost a weekly basis" and abusing him in "the bathroom, the rectory, or in the confessional." And the icing on the cake? Documents show that archdiocese officials ignored reports of Father Shanley attending a 1979 meeting of NAMBLA (the North American Man Boy Love Association). But hey! Maybe they thought NAMBLA was some other Roman Catholic group whose name stands for "Not Another Mess, Brothers! Look Away!"

Which is more disappointing: that the Portland Police makes a practice of covering up the wrongdoings of officers, or that they do it in a really dumb way? According to today's Oregonian, a Multnomah County grand jury decided the police bureau is guilty of covering up an assault committed by Central Precinct officers Grant Bailey and Craig Hampton outside of Stephano's in January. Bailey claims the man in question had shoved him down in the popular nightspot. But after the man was ejected, Hampton and the man got into a fight, while Bailey flashed his badge to keep onlookers from interfering. The indictment alleges that Hampton slammed the man's face into a plate glass window, leaving him with a broken nose, multiple contusions and bruises, and his eyes were swollen shut. "It was obvious to anyone looking at the injuries to this victim that this was an aggravated felony assault by two off-duty officers," the grand jury wrote. They then added, "most of the officers conducting the investigation and those in supervisory capacities were more interested in protecting the union rights of the suspect officers than the rights of the victim." Hmmm now refresh our memorywe know Chief Kroeker is a Christian, but does this make him a Roman Catholic?

Today the Midwest went apeshit when the Associated Press reported that five pipe bombs had exploded in rural mailboxes in Illinois and Iowa. Whether the bombs were the work of an al Qaida operative or just some drunken farmer-terrorist remains to be determined. The bombs were placed in communities that formed a rough triangle around Davenport, Iowa. (Note to authorities: Maybe poke around a little there?) Eight devices total were found, and five detonated. At lease five people were injured. "I don't want to get blown up," Donna Millwright, a letter carrier in Dubuque County was quoted as saying. We don't blame you, Donna. Who is this disgruntled trouble-making pipe bomber? No one knows. The bombs were found with vaguely threatening notes, signed, "Someone Who Cares." Our theory? This whole thing has something to do with J. Crew catalogs.

The DAVENPORT MAD FARMER is on his way to the West Coast! Six pipe bombs were found today in rural Nebraska mailboxes sending already ape shit Midwesterners into a state of full-blown mental psychosis. As Nebraska is between Iowa and Here, we can only conclude that the Davenport Mad Farmer is on his way to OREGON! Don't worry. Here's what you can do to protect yourself:
1) If you see a bomb sticking out of your mailbox, don't open it.
2) If you see wires sticking out of your mailbox, don't open it.
3) If you see a pipe on, near, or in your mailbox, don't open it.
4) Make your roommate check the mail.
5) Insure your hands and eardrums.
6) Use email.

Thank Christ! The Oregonian reported today, that there is a good possibility that the Nebraska mailbox pipe bombs were NOT the work of the Davenport Mad Farmer, but instead the reckless, havoc-wreaking malarkey of an 18-year-old copycat St. Paul punk. Said punk has been arrested. So where will the Davenport Mad Farmer strike next? Heroic mail carriers throughout the Midwest still plan to deliver mail as scheduled today, though they will only deliver to open mailboxes. (Note to authorities: REALLY. We think you should look in DAVENPORT.) In the meantime, we suggest that you get yourself taken off the J. Crew mailing list.

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