Weekly Asheville Disclaimer Page: 01/30/08

Asheville named ‘best place to kill a happy groundhog’

ASHEVILLE NEWSSTANDS, MONDAY — Our city keeps racking up the a c c o l a d e s . Taking notice of our pristine mountains, the region’s thriving arts scene and our abundance of enlightened, peaceful groundhogs, Bowhunter magazine has named Asheville one of the best places in America to spear a self-contented groundhog.

The honor couldn’t have come at a better time for the region.

Business at local restaurants and hotels is flagging due to the cold winter weather, and, some say, the area’s reputation for less-than-friendly rodents has harmed the traditional Groundhog Day sales boost that is so important to regional businesses.

“Some say these mountain marmots are dodgy, can’t hit them, and, if you do, you just get bit on the hand for your trouble,” said a spokesperson for the Grove Park Inn. “We want folks to know that Western North Carolina has good groundhogs — slow, plump, happy little targets.”

Bowhunters from around the nation will also be happy as they attempt to spear a cheerful whistle pig with a razor-adorned arrow from 50 yards out as it pokes its head out at the WNC Nature Center’s annual Groundhog Day ceremony.

Not everyone is so thrilled with Asheville’s latest placement on another “top 10” list.

“These innocent groundhogs spend 364 days a year beneath the surface of the earth, laughing and giggling and living in a cheerful manner,” said local animal- rights activist Shubert Davidson. “I haven’t made up my mind on the matter, but it seems inappropriate to fill such a happy animal with arrows as soon it produces its large, bulbous, helium-filled head this Saturday. I don’t know much about groundhogs, honestly.”

City officials do want to remind out-oftown bowhunters to allow Andie MacDowell a moment to have her photo taken with the smiling little critter before launching volley after volley of Blackhawk Vapor arrows tipped with Rocket Aerohead Buckblaster broadheads at the pleased-as-punch groundhog.

You blew it. No need to pretty it up. All those New Year’s resolutions? Gone like bellbottoms, babe. You really thought this was the year you were going to get on that exercycle and sweat your way to a thinner you. Right. How far did you get? As far as an exercycle ever gets. Just throw it under the mattress with that gazelle thing and last year’s exercise ball.

And did you get those cancer sticks out of your yapper? Hell, no. One little twitch and you acted like it was the D.T.’s. Somewhere out there, a tobacco lawyer and cigarette ad man are toasting one another from across the boatyard on the new yachts you bought them. That must be very gratifying to you.

While you’re lighting up, what’s a smoke without a cocktail, right? Resolution number three is going swimmingly well, I’m sure. Drink up! Goes down smooth now that you’ve thrown in the towel on “cutting back.” All you need now is the old two-straw party helmet and a shirt big enough to stretch over an iron lung. Hit the bricks, kid. You ain’t got what it takes.

In the rest of this issue:


Buncombe Sheriff’s task force targets B&E; Will still keep eye on T&A. Page 51


African tribesmen sick of receiving unwanted junk smoke signals for cheap rhino horn. Page 63


If hikers arm themselves, will innocent wildlife be caught in the crossfire? P. 97


Butter-flavored popcorn made safer, but kettle corn still killing on contact. Page 101


Local reports of low blood supply turn out to B negative. Page 106


Community Events & Workshops

Rural Transportation Planning Organization
Should you walk today or take a nice drive behind a tractor on a country road? Discussion @ the Co-Op, Monday.

Social & Shared-Interest Groups

Supreme Questions Group
• Hosting mixer. Yiddish Club to provide answers. Monday.

Couchsurfing Travel Club
• Where serial killers meet the serial-killed. Your couch, Monday.

Network of Spirtitual Progressives
• Looking for a few slutty regressives to join and spice it up a little. Monday @ Jubilee!

Marijuana Policy Project
• Meetings on Mondays @ 6 p.m., outside patio of Greenlife. Meet & Greet @ 5:52, inside Steve’s car in Greenlife parking lot.


Dog Agility Trials
• Is your dog agile? Yeah? I’m calling bullshit. Our obstacle course will make your dog look like a clumsy mutt. Mondays.

Cat Resource Center
• Cat-rescue center located on top of playground slippery slide, at Dog Agility Trials. Mondays.

Animal Compassion Network
• Dolphins, gorillas and other compassionate animals meet and make professional connections. Mondays.

BrotherWolf Canine Rescue
• Come support your dog while Brother Wolf baptizes him in the river. It’s a beautiful moment you won’t want to miss. Mondays in the French Broad River.

Seniors & Retirees

Henderson County Senior Softball Fantasy League
• All ages welcome. 2008 Fantasy League forming soon. Should you draft Corenet Beedlesby and her wicked underhand slider by the second round? A discussion on this and more at Hendersonville Golden Sunsets Retirement Center, Mondays.

Shining Seniors
• Come and grab a shammy because these seniors aren’t just going to jump up and start shining themselves. Mondays.

Support Groups

Adoptive Family Support Group
• After a few years, we’ll tell you whether or not we are your real support group. Mondays.

Aqua Chi
• The flamboyant and theatrically gifted cousin of Aqua Man. At the Y, on Monday.

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