Weekly Asheville Disclaimer Page: 01/21/09

Dozens of doves injured after Downtown inaugural party mishap

An inaugural-day party on the downtown edge of the Montford district ended in feathery chaos and unpleasantness after a release of doves into the night sky quickly turned into tragedy, according to onlookers.

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“Everyone was jacked about Obama,” said one party attendee. “Craig had gauzy stuff draped everywhere, and free wine. Merlot, I think it was. So, pretty nice.”

The host, Craig Nestle, invited several dozen friends and co-workers to his home off Cherry Street on Tuesday, to watch the ceremony and share one another’s enthusiasm for the historic event.

“Craig’s a nice guy, but he has those trippy African goddess paintings up everywhere, which I think he got just for the inauguration,” said another one of Craig’s friends attending the event.

According to guests, as Obama was sworn in, Nestle stepped away and re-emerged with what appeared to be a large laundry bag full of live birds.

As people the world over celebrated the beginning of the Obama presidency, Nestle asked his guests to join him in the front yard, where he stoically released a “[waste]-load” of doves (approximately 50), according to several eyewitnesses.

The doves, which Nestle said represent a spirit of joy, hope and renewal, took flight without delay but quickly got off course.

Expecting a clear shot from the point of takeoff to the sky directly almost overhead, the birds instead flew into the side of a large construction project, that of the Indigo Hotel on Haywood Street.

“Change—for those birds—came out of nowhere,” said one party attendee. “I was not expecting homeboy from accounts receivable to bust out a bag of doves, and he probably did not expect to end his own party weeping in the street on his knees screaming messages of hope across I-240 at an I-beam covered in down feathers and steamy wetness.”

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