HUMOR ISSUE: Peterson declares Rivergatia, secedes from Asheville

CONSERVATIVE COMRADES: Local conservative leaders Carl Mumpower, left, and Chris Peterson unfurl the flag of Rivergatia after announcing their intent to secede from Asheville. Image via Flickr; design by Norn Cutson

FAKE NEWS BADGE WEBEditor’s note: This article appeared in the Jan. 3 print edition of the Mountain Xpress Humor Issue. It presents a lighter, satirical take on local topics and personalities. It is not news.

By Maximus Ridiculous

In a stunning turn of events, the city of Asheville’s Riverfront Redevelopment Office announced today that it has sold the former 12 Bones property on Lyman Street back to former owner, Asheville real estate impresario Chris Peterson.

According to Riverfront Redevelopment Office Director Stephanie Monson Dahl, the decision was made after her staff realized that plans for river revitalization had run several million dollars over budget once again.

“Who knew gentrification cost so much?” said an exasperated Monson Dahl, who added that the city would compensate for the budget overruns with a new park bench strategically placed beneath the Bowen Bridge overpass. “It’s not a greenway,” said Monson Dahl, ”but I think residents will enjoy taking in the peaceful sounds of the interstate overhead.”

Shortly after the city made its announcement, Peterson declared that the property will secede from Asheville and form its own town, appropriately titled “Rivergatia” after his years-long campaign to discredit the city’s redevelopment efforts.

“I spoke with the folks in Raleigh this morning, and they’ve given Rivergatia their blessing,” said an elated Peterson, who donned a paper crown and faux-velvet cape for the occasion. “Senators Edwards and McGrady were more than happy to help us create this conservative sanitary napkin in the cesspool of sin.”

Effective immediately, the 1-acre site will form its own town charter and begin redeveloping the property into a “kingdom of Conservatism,” said Peterson.

Republican roustabout Chad Nesbitt was spotted earlier this morning hastily erecting a wall between Rivergatia and the rest of the city, made primarily from used car parts salvaged from a nearby scrap yard.

“I’m just tickled to finally have a piece of the old Asheville back,” crowed Nesbitt from a literal crow’s nest balanced precariously on a stack of fenders. “No more liberal bureaucrats to spoil our fun!”

According to sources, Nesbitt has been appointed as Rivergatia’s chief of police. An anonymous tipster reported seeing Nesbitt marching around the perimeter of his wall with fellow Asheville conservatives (all three of them, in fact), brandishing AR-15s and Confederate flags at pigeons passing overhead.

Newly appointed Rivergatia City Attorney Sidney Bach said the fledgling town plans to annex the New Belgium Brewery as soon as possible and turn it back into a livestock yard. “What the progressives in Asheville don’t understand is this craft beer thing is just a fad,” said Bach. “People don’t want breweries that treat their employees well; they want cheap meat that’s never been treated nicely!”

The Rivergatia provisional government says it will deal with livestock waste and sewage by straight-piping it back into the French Broad. Bach called concerns that such a move would impact water quality “more liberal climate-science nonsense,” before taking a big swig from the river to demonstrate it was safe to drink. He subsequently excused himself to “the little boys’ room,” which he noted will be gender-neutral, due to Rivergatia’s population of predominantly white old men.

Buncombe County GOP Chairman Carl Mumpower, meanwhile, has accepted the position of press liaison and director of Health, Human Services, Transportation and Investigation. Mumpower says he plans to conduct clandestine raids against Black Lives Matter and antifa elements threatening Rivergatia, though he was unable to identify a single instance where either group had caused trouble for the town.

“They haven’t done anything yet, but we’re ready when they do,” said Mumpower. “I hear they’re working under orders from former President Obama, who was quite fond of this place when it was a BBQ joint. We will not tolerate any agitation from outside elements seeking to disturb the status quo here in Rivergatia.”

Mumpower added, “The powers that be will move quickly to pass an ordinance outlawing vagina-shaped headwear and implement another to allow children as young as 4 to carry concealed weapons without a permit.” Rivergatia’s government will also institute a river toll on people floating the French Broad River next summer.

“The river toll will help us take taxpayer funds from frivolous recreation projects and put them back where they belong; namely, our pockets,” said Emperor-elect Peterson, who invented that title for himself on the spot.

While conservative enclaves like Biltmore Forest have voiced their support for Rivergatia, offering to help the new borough establish its own exclusionary country club, other neighbors expressed ambivalence.

An artist at Riverview Station replied “Hell no!” when asked if she approved of the new municipality, while a resident of nearby Burton Street attributed the move to “crazy sh*t white people do.”

When asked whether the loss of Rivergatia would negatively impact the wider city of Asheville, Mayor Esther Manheimer shrugged and replied, “We look at it as a net-positive. Maybe now they’ll stop suing us.”

Those interested in learning more about Rivergatia are encouraged to check out


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3 thoughts on “HUMOR ISSUE: Peterson declares Rivergatia, secedes from Asheville

  1. Shelia Surrett

    Chris Peterson is no dummy. A very smart business person. I would pick Chris Peterson to run the City of Asheville any day, unlike Moe, Larry, and Curly running the City of Asheville that can’t find Asheville on a map..

    • bsummers

      Is Esther ‘Moe’? I don’t get it.

      And didn’t Chris Peterson have a shot at running the City of Asheville 25 years ago, and he got voted out? As the French say, Such Is Life…

    • NFB

      Chris Peterson had his chance at running the city and his attempts at creating a political machine resulted in a more and 2-1 defeat when he ran as mayor. He is the perfect example of someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

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