Editor’s note: The following content, unlike the rest of Mountain Xpress’ award-winning coverage of local news and events throughout the rest of the year, is 100% fake.
Top five most likely secret locations for the dismantled Vance Monument
- Mayor Esther Manheimer’s garage, just behind the Hanukkah decorations and above the riding lawnmower.
- Carl Mumpower’s garage, under unopened boxes of Mumpower 2015 campaign signs.
- The bottom of Hominy Creek. Everyone’s too scared of E. coli to go near it.
- The defunct underground bathrooms beneath the monument’s former site.
- Surprisingly heavy giant Jenga on the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. grounds.
Top 10 new initiatives from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority
- South Slope hydration IV stations to help drinkers finish their brewery crawl.
- Holographic projection of the Vance Monument so new tourists know what they’re missing.
- Direct monorail from Asheville Regional Airport to the Biltmore Estate.
- Forget greenways — try goldways, paved with bricks of the precious metal.
- The Hightanic, a French Broad riverboat devoted to consumption of craft delta-8.
- Barbecue trough.
- Bear-BNB: a new rental platform that lets tourists sleep in black bear dens. Dens will be subject to 12% occupancy tax due to the high probability of visitors getting eaten.
- Downtown hop-on, hop-off zip line transit system.
- World’s Largest Biscuit.
- Mecha robot suit for Explore Asheville President and CEO Vic Isley to crush all local opposition.
Top five forms Asheville’s reparations will actually take
- Due to high real estate and livestock prices, “40 acres and a mule” becomes “40 square feet and a guinea pig.”
- Giant public art project memorializing City Council’s vote to approve reparations.
- One AsheCoin crypto token per person. To the moon, baby!
- Lifetime supply of CBD products to take the edge off ongoing structural racism.
- Fat city contracts to well-off Black consultants — oh wait, that one’s real.
Top five events from the 2022 midterm campaign trail
- Madison Cawthorn completely forgets what U.S. House district he’s running for and starts a rally speech with “Hello, Cleveland!”
- Everyone forgets about the Buncombe County Soil and Water Conservation District race except perennial candidate Alan Ditmore, who wins and finally gets to put contraceptives in the drinking water.
- Scandal erupts after Council candidate Andrew Fletcher is captured on an iPhone laying down a sick Van Halen guitar solo.
- Sheriff Quentin Miller blows entire reelection budget on impeccable hat wardrobe, wins anyway.
- GOP candidates do Lady Gaga karaoke night at Burger Bar.
Top 10 WNC media phenomena
- Due to declining ad revenue, Mountain Xpress transitions from weekly to quarterly publication, rebrands as Mountain Slow Lane.
- Tribune Papers head Clint Parker starts wearing togas, speaking Latin, demanding the power of ius intercessionis to intervene on behalf of the plebians.
- WLOS sets up live traffic cam to monitor lines at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge.
- Citizen Times Answer Man John Boyle is plagued by mysterious Question Man, who turns out to be John Boyle in a Riddler costume.
- Improper handling of Asheville Blade decapitates editor David Forbes.
- Hendersonville Lightning partners with Thor for series of PSAs on extreme weather and climate change.
- UNC Asheville’s Blue Banner earns collegiate publication award for Best Newsprint Rolling Paper.
- Suffering from CTE following his 2020 concussion, Skyline News honcho Chad Nesbitt names himself new Carolina Panthers starting quarterback.
- AVL Watchdog offices experience flea infestation. Paper rebrands as AVL Hellbender; pest problem subsides within seconds.
- Former WLOS anchor Darcel Grimes cures COVID-19, finally granted sainthood.
Top five things Asheville men will find inside their beards
- Baby armadillo.
- Cheat sheets for Totally Rad Trivia.
- “I voted!” sticker stuck on the back of an “I’m vaccinated!” sticker.
- Extra poop bags for the dog park.
- Partially melted Sunshine Sammie.
Top five New Year’s Resolutions from the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners
- Hire more experienced workers. Like this woman with decades of county government employment and a doctorate in business administration — Granda Weene?
- Finally get around to drinking former County Manager Mandy Stone’s leftover wine collection.
- Enact moratorium on new bee hotel construction in response to Chair Brownie Newman’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad picnic experience.
- Let lone Republican member Robert Pressley pass one ordinance as a treat.
- Just call it a day and let the developers run the show.
Top 10 ways the Asheville Police Department will boost recruitment
- Pimp My Squad Car with built-in doughnut fryer.
- Place billboards outside Asheville City Schools playgrounds targeting the coveted Cops and Robbers demographic.
- Let patrol officers smoke all the weed they can frisk.
- Complimentary reusable stab-resistant water bottles.
- One word: Robocops.
- Replace boring patrol bicycles with friggin’ sweet Onewheels.
- TikTok campaign featuring a tapdancing Chief David Zack in full coat and tails.
- Half-off any medium drink at participating McDonald’s with every 10 arrests.
- Conscription program for everyone who posts “Blue Lives Matter” on Facebook.
- Free belly rubs — whether or not you’re a K-9.
Top five most popular Asheville baby names
- Bowie Jangles.
- Harrah’s Cherokee (if the price is right).
Top five places to avoid taking your parents when they visit Asheville
- The Whole Foods on Merrimon Avenue, which is marginally yet perceptively less bougie than the Whole Foods on South Tunnel Road.
- The abandoned Patton Avenue Kmart parking lot at midnight.
- Potluck at your no-dairy, no-gluten, no-GMO, no-MSG neighbor’s house.
- Under your porch in winter, no matter how much they claim they want to meet a black bear.
- The Treasure Club on Grateful Dead Night.
Top five items in the Chamber of Commerce’s new ‘Welcome to Asheville!’ gift baskets
- Neon orange safety vests for braving crosswalks.
- Tear-away pants for sudden temperature shifts.
- Hiking boots for walking from remote parking spaces to downtown.
- Bear repellent.
- Coupon for one free Subaru Outback with a “Coexist” bumper sticker and “Don’t move here, we’re full” bumper sticker.
Top 10 New Year’s resolutions of downtown characters
- Bobby Sax will put down the ducky, because he wants to play the saxophone.
- Hare Krishna guy will join your book club.
- Amazing Pubcycle will limit customers to exactly 78 “woos” per hour.
- Silver Drummer Girl will add Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” to repertoire.
- The dog-wearing juggler’s dog will wear a dog and start juggling, further blowing stoner minds everywhere.
- Man wearing “Jesus Saves” sandwich board will give free lessons on vocal projection to area musicians.
- Antwon Small will clone himself to diversify into country line and group wedding dances.
- The guy with the pet boa constrictor will get really good with a Slinky to appease squeamish tourists.
- Sister Bad Habit will only hump buildings on days that end with “y.”
- Slam Duncan will partner with Franny’s Farmacy to launch an entire line of hemp-leaf formal wear.