COVIDtown Crier: June 17, 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.

‘Schrodinger’s schools’ prepare for infinite COVID-19 reopening scenarios

While recent guidance from Gov. Roy Cooper has instructed schools to prepare for three different COVID-19 reopening scenarios, local education leaders aren’t content to stop at a trio of plans. Through the power of quantum mechanics, the Asheville City School system is staying flexible for anything that might happen with the pandemic — literally anything.

“Basically, we put the school in a gigantic black box, so no one can see inside,” explains Professor Luke A. Way. “Because there’s no outside observer to confirm reality, all possible realities are simultaneously taking place inside the box, from social distancing in the classroom to adequate funding for arts programs!”

New ACS superintendent Irma Geddon was quick to point out that the so-called “Schrodinger’s schools” have many other benefits. “Our science classes might be taught by a time-traveling Einstein, or our drama club might be coming up with a masterpiece to rival Shakespeare,” she notes. “You know what they say: If you want to boost your academic mission, don’t collapse the quantum superposition.”

However, Way stopped Geddon short of claiming that quantum mechanics could fix the system’s worst-in-state racial achievement gaps. “Our models show there’s no possible universe where that’s going to happen,” he says.

Monument mania comes for Wolfe statue

With Asheville City Council unanimously adopting a joint resolution with Buncombe County to remove Confederate monuments downtown, state Rep. Gerard Zapruder (R-Henderson) is making advances on his own long-gestating pet project. The Etowah native says he’s “striking while the iron is hot” and is drafting legislation to have the Look Homeward, Angel statue relocated from Hendersonville’s Oakdale Cemetery.

His rationale? Post-traumatic stress disorder from being forced to read Thomas Wolfe’s “stupid novel” in high school.

“What drove me crazy is he wouldn’t call it Asheville. Instead, he goes with this ‘Altamont’ bull-hockey. What a wuss!” Zapruder says. “And don’t get me started on him changing all the names. Mama always told us if you’re gonna say something about somebody, do it to their face. What he did, it’s just so … literary.”

Not satisfied with “taking down the local hero,” Zapruder aims to expand his campaign nationally and seek revenge on statues honoring other writers who “wasted [his] time in class with their big dumb symbols and metaphors.”

“Hans Christian Andersen? Not American and probably not a Christian. Edgar Allan Poe? Drug addict, pedophile. Mark Twain? Fake name and not as funny as he thinks he is,” Zapruder says. “Where’s the monument to R.L. Stine, Where’s Waldo? or the Magic Tree House lady? These are titans of our nation’s printed-word history and I won’t rest until they’re immortalized in bronze — or at the very least copper!”

Zapruder’s fourth self-published “adult coloring book” is slated to hit his website’s store in August.

Cooper’s Western Residence raided by ALE

North Carolina’s top executive was led away in handcuffs by heavily armed Alcohol Law Enforcement agents during a daring midnight raid on an illicit bar Cooper was operating out of the basement of his Western Residence in Asheville. ALE spokesperson Anita Bier says the governor was “hoist with his own tankard,” as Cooper has prohibited bars from operating to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Bier described the scene inside the residence as “chaotic,” with Republican General Assembly members popping Jello shots off a copy of the vetoed state budget and Democrats chanting “Share the wealth” as they passed around a handle of Madison County’s finest. “I will say the use of red Solo cups was a responsible way to avoid viral transmission from shared glassware,” Bier remarked.

A visibly inebriated Cooper was unapologetic as he was escorted into a waiting ALE squad car. “If you had to put up with [Dr.] Mandy [Cohen, state secretary of health and human services] and Mike [Sprayberry, state emergency preparedness director] every damn day for three months, you’d need a hit of the sauce too,” the governor says. “They talk about the three Ws so much, I had to add a fourth: Watermelon vodka!”

As of press time, Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson), who co-chairs the House Alcoholic Beverage Control committee, remains passed out on Cooper’s couch.


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