COVIDtown Crier: April 15, 2020

“Why are they publishing this Crier rubbish?” you may be asking. We certainly are. The rest of this edition of Mountain Xpress can’t help but show the tough times WNC is facing. Here’s one little spot in the paper where we offer a bit of levity, to possibly brighten someone’s day, poking a bit of fun at the outrageousness of it all.

The revolution will be printed

Bernie Sanders, “IMG_5516” by cornstalker is licensed under Creative Commons CC BY 2.0

His presidential campaign ended and with some extra time suddenly on his hands, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has made the logical decision to join the Crier’s editorial board.

“I’m told…I can be very funny…in certain circumstances,” Sanders says. “I’ve been on ‘SNL,’ after all. Surely that counts for something. And who knows? Maybe I’ll get some help…from my cousin Larry [David].”

In addition to daily demonstrations of his bird-charming skills, the senator promises to cancel student loan debt for the Crier’s staff of liberal-arts-degree and MFA holders, while also making sure their side gigs as musicians and artists will be paid a living wage. He plans to fund these initiatives by a tax on local hoteliers, the TDA and “the people that live in those big houses on top of the mountains where you wonder how the heck the roads up to them got built.”

Sanders notes that he feels sufficiently well-versed “in all things Asheville” after a campaign stop in May 2019. “I’m fond of your Salvage Station…as well as Miss [Ashley] Heath and…her Heathens. Perhaps there’s room for…some collaborations there. We’ll see,” he says. “But first, Andrew Fletcher and I are going to the dueling piano bar. That guy’s not gonna know what hit him.”

DIY Death Metal

In response to The Orange Peel’s much-celebrated “human hamster ball” solution [see last week’s Crier] to keep live music relevant while venues are closed, The Odditorium has turned to remote participation via innovative multimedia. For a run of upcoming death metal concerts, The Odd will be sending a package of materials to ticket holders before each virtual show. The “box ’o fun” features a set of interactive items from the featured band(s) — a Wiffle ball bat to simulate flailing arms of other audience members, a strobe light that will fit in a household fixture, a tiki drink recipe and a squid tentacle in a jar of formaldehyde, “for ambiance.”

“I am excited about the opportunity to bring the word of my Lord Destructor into the homes of new potential followers,” bellowed Guntar Darkreeve, lead singer of Quarantine Massacre. “But the downside is that I have to count on fans to rip open bags of fake blood at just the right moment, spitting it into their own eyes. It’s not as easy as it sounds.”

Odditorium producers are also looking into technology for a revolutionary Virtual Mosh Pit (VMP). One prototype features a timed remote release for a weighted pulley system — that attendees install at home in a few IKEA-friendly steps — which causes a small mattress to swing down from the ceiling and push revelers into the wall of their choosing. More advanced models involve compactor-style walls and 911 autodials.


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