Editor’s note: The following story, unlike the rest of Mountain Xpress’s award-winning coverage of local news and events throughout the rest of the year, is 100% fake.
Top 10 Asheville-area conspiracy theories that will gain traction in 2020
- Former City Council member Jan Davis is moonlighting as the Montford tire slasher to drum up new business.
- Brevard’s white squirrels are just regular squirrels forced to visit tiny salons for dye jobs, all part of a marketing ploy by the Transylvania County TDA.
- Brian Haynes is really leaving City Council to become a superhero: Bluntman.
- The Woodfin Sewer and Water District is made up of salamander people in disguise. Think about it.
- Indicted Buncombe County Commissioner Ellen Frost is running a horse-smuggling ring out of the Asheville Pizza Co. basement.
- Firestorm Books & Coffee is secretly a capitalist enterprise run by a fabulously lucrative private equity venture.
- Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger is hiring local Ukrainian immigrants to rig his reelection.
- Three-legged bears are getting peglegs and taking up a life of piracy on the French Broad.
- The city of Asheville’s walled-off, 23,000-acre water reservoir preserve is used as a breeding ground for a clone army of future Asheville city workers. Assistant City Manager Cathy Ball, considered the genetically perfect government employee, is the main source for DNA.
- Flat Asheville — all the mountains are an illusion, man.
Top five sneaky ways hotels will get past Asheville City Council moratorium
It’s a brewery you can sleep in!
- Pet resorts. Board your pet, bring your human for free.
- Declare a religious exemption as temples to Hypnos, son of Nyx and Erebus, brother of Thanatos, Greek god of sleep.
- Book the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts for an extended run of a “participatory public performance art piece.” Tickets are $325 and include an overnight stay.
- Just suck it up and bribe city planners the good old-fashioned way.
Top five schemes of independent store owners to combat Amazon
- Offer free shipping, but only along Pubcycle routes.
- Hire street corner poets to write five-star product reviews. “My name is Bert / I love this shirt / I think that you / will love it too. — 5 stars”
- Bear blockades at UPS hubs.
- Door-to-door shopping Sherpas.
- Start selling cheap plastic crap that no one needs.
Top 10 complaints of Asheville’s gentry
- Energy of high tea brought down by CBD infusion.
- Homeless in Pritchard Park keep disturbing croquet wickets.
- Terrible horse-drawn buggy traffic.
- Bridesmaids keep photobombing the daguerreotypes.
- Unhoused residents keep trying to move into Grove Park Inn gingerbread display.
- Shortage of dirigible parking in Arras garage.
- Surly service-industry millennials: They spit in your Courvoisier, never say thank you and still want a ha’penny for their trouble.
- Subpar wax cylinder collection on offer at Harvest Records.
- City noise ordinance grants no relief from raucous string quartet concerts at Biltmore House.
- Delay at station for next train to Raleigh now approaching 50 years.
Top five uses for the Asheville sinkhole
- Connect to the Country Club of Asheville golf course for world’s easiest hole-in-one.
- Syringe disposal — out of sight, out of mind. Not on the sidewalk or in anyone’s backyard!
- E-scooter test track.
- Wait for moss to grow and call it a greenway.
- Really, really deep meditation center.
Top five Asheville scams to watch out for in 2020
- BOGOTBB: Buy one, get one taken back by Bigfoot.
- Kraft beer singles.
- Banjo Muzak.
- The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority.
Top 10 creative panhandler pitches
- “I work for Mountain Xpress.”
- “Orange Peel service charges went up again.”
- “If you give me a dollar, I won’t sing ‘Wagon Wheel.’”
- “I’ll hold your spot in line at Biscuit Head.”
- “Now accepting Venmo.”
- “I promise not to gender you.”
- “Would you help a veteran of the war on Christmas?”
- “All contributions will be matched by the Dogwood Health Trust.”
- “I just need 56,481 more individual donors to qualify for the next Democratic presidential debate!”
- “This book is for you, dude. No really, I don’t want anything for it. I just want people to read again.”
Top five Asheville media phenomena
Citizen Times reporter John Boyle wins Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in the inaugural Dad Jokes division.
- Chad Nesbitt of SKYline News wins Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting, reports Chad Nesbitt.
- Asheville Daily Planet gets bought by American Standard and becomes national trade magazine, The Bidet-ly Planet.
- Asheville Scene — now vapable.
- BPR spends entire tote bag budget on beard grooming products for Matt Bush.
Top five Asheville spiritual happenings in 2020
- Recent influx of ramen shops serves as a front for Flying Spaghetti Monster cultists.
- “Set Your Spirit Free” tourism campaign causes uptick in ghost activity. TDA claims Ghostbusters can’t be paid with occupancy tax under current law.
- Following closure of HCA wheelchair clinic, Blue Cross Blue Shield recognizes faith healers as in-network.
- Franklin Graham brings back “Decision America” rally to help Asheville tourists make tough restaurant choices.
- Crossroads at West Asheville project delayed indefinitely by stream of bluesmen seeking deals with the devil.