(SATIRE) Xpressers’ almanac: Predictions for the coming year

BUBBLE BOYS: Local school children playing in their hazmat suits after outbreaks.

Top five names for 2019 Asheville babies

  1. Quentin
  2. Still-not-Wanda
  3. Amaro
  4. Affordable
  5. MoonPorter MapleBurrito

Top 10 coming accomplishments for local government in 2019

  1. After over a year and $500,000, Asheville city bike share study reaches conclusion that you can only really fit one guy on a bike at a time, two if it has those cool pegs on the back.
  2. A mad N.C. DOT scientist develops a time machine and uses it to bring the completed I-26 Connector plan back to 1989. Project still isn’t completed as of 2019 due to neverending public comment.
  3. Asheville Redefines Transit avoids all bus fires by replacing engines with cutting-edge pubcycle technology.
  4. State Rep. Chuck McGrady almost steals Asheville’s water — and he would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids and their mangy mutt!
  5. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners repays the A-B Tech bond money in one day after a really, really big bake sale.
  6. After a “Sesame Street” marathon viewing session, Asheville planning staff concludes that subsidized garbage cans are the solution to affordable housing.
  7. City of Asheville rolls with it and transforms frequently flooded John B. Lewis Soccer Complex into WNC’s premier water polo destination.
  8. Town of Biltmore Forest greatly expands its influence in county government by allowing trees to vote.
  9. Asheville City Council finally just gives up and hands reins of power over to the TDA.
  10. Local Republican congressmen avoid town-hall criticism by deploying animatronic body doubles.

Top 15 local phenomena to expect in 2019

  1. Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts outbids HCA, buying Mission Health out from under them. The new acupuncture-based treatment regimen sticks it to the competition; the herbal treatments pave the way for medical marijuana; and a companywide vow of silence makes noise complaints a thing of the past.
  2. The French Broad and local air quality continue to get cleaner, but the inside of your car and home get dirtier and dirtier, cluttered with all the stuff you would have dumped if you weren’t so worried about your environmental impact.
  3. The cut separating Beaucatcher Mountain and Town Mountain is connected via a new wildlife bridge to allow the bears in North Asheville access to the much tastier garbage in South Asheville.
  4. Duke Energy begins charging residents for daily sun usage. Farmers and gardeners will be billed according to their plants’ consumption. Winter rates will increase due to decreased supply.
  5. In response to recent outbreaks among unvaccinated students, local schools institute a HAZMAT school uniform dress code.
  6. Asheville water system delivers milk directly to consumers’ homes before winter storms — still working on bread and eggs.
  7. N.C. DOT doctors begin treating road dieters for road anorexia and road bulimia.
  8. A new gang — the Thomas Wolfepack — accosts tourists with cuttingly specific personal characterizations.
  9. Perfume buskers break sensory boundaries through smell-based performance art.
  10. Area percussionists conduct short-lived experiment with drum dodecagon before reverting to circles.
  11. The next wave of Vance Monument vandalism focuses on rounding the obelisk’s edges to create “Cesspool of Sin” stripper pole.
  12. Biltmore Estate offers affordable housing to residents in exchange for indentured servitude. Again.
  13. The Pubcycle goes head-to-head with competitor Gothcycle. The newly introduced mobile venue offers crushed-velvet seating, blood orange martinis, a Joy Division Spotify playlist and the option to not pedal anything while ruminating about the pointlessness of all existence.
  14. Asheville decriminalizes marijuana and turns Good Vibes tower into giant bong it was always destined to be.
  15. The Flatiron Building spontaneously crumbles into a pile of dust to protest hotel conversion plans.

Top 10 New Year’s resolutions from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority

  1. Open mandatory re-education centers to properly instruct the populace on what the BCTDA can and can’t fund.
  2. Hire Russian social media team to shift local opinion about the BCTDA on Facebook.
  3. Require that a minimum of 30 percent of food items at BCTDA board events be dusted with 24-karat gold powder.
  4. Create a new viral marketing video showing Leafa, the WNC Nature Center’s red panda, enjoying local delights such as canopy ziplines, pub crawls, dinner at Cúrate and candlelight tours of hidden spaces at Biltmore House.
  5. Get bulk deal on mannequins to fluff up the “heads in beds” numbers once the glut of new hotel rooms comes online.
  6. Bolster sports tourism by taking over Las Vegas dodgeball, jai alai and rock-paper-scissors championships.
  7. Reach a totally new audience by swapping National Geographic partnership for National Enquirer.
  8. Boost revenues by finally securing room tax on lucrative bear den accommodations.  
  9. Reduce downtown crowding with new marketing materials highlighting the last remaining places that only locals go, like Apollo Flame, El Que Pasa and Ole Shakey’s.
  10. Move away from “Let the magic find you” marketing campaign toward the more literal “Change everything about a pretty nice place to live” campaign.

Top five Asheville beer styles for 2019

  1. Appalachian Riviera saison — a coastal French approach to open air yeasting with buttered grits.
  2. Free-range, cruelty-free wheat.
  3. Workbrew (it’s like homebrew, but you brew it on the clock in the staff break room).
  4. Beerd, a beverage made entirely using wild yeast from hipster facial hair.
  5. Chocolate Cheese Stout — collaboration between French Broad Chocolate Factory, Looking Glass Creamery and people without actual taste buds.

Top five Asheville food trends for 2019

  1. Two words: savory milkshakes.
  2. Designer, house-made Marmite.
  3. Meal replacement beer, with all the nutrients and dietary value and flavor profile of your lunch. Try the Pineapple Fried-Rice flavor!
  4. Cornering the cannibal population with farmers markets.
  5. CBD-infused edible hemp underwear.

Top five Arts & Entertainment trends for 2019

  1. In lieu of affordable housing for artists, the city of Asheville will offer “microhousing,” which, it turns out, is horizontal sleeper lockers, rented by the hour, in the basements of luxury hotels. Added room tax, ka-ching!
  2. The Pit of Despair hosts picnics and pop-up shows. Oh wait, that’s actually already happening.
  3. The city of Asheville scraps the failed “tactical urbanism” painted roadway experiment in the South Slope and, instead, completely replaces the streets with a giant, beer-fueled Slip ‘N Slide.
  4. A middle-aged person excitedly attends a concert that begins at 7 p.m., not realizing it’s actually the last act of a show with six openers that started at 11 p.m. the night before.
  5. Asheville finally successfully combines its love of food and the craft arts, launching a worldwide renaissance in edible masterpieces, from mac-and-cheese sculpture, to condiment painting, to the deeply fascinating and strange performance art, butoh-furkey.
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