ASHEVILLE- There is still a fresh hint of body odor in the air, but the card that carried it is long gone now.
The National Hippie Association revoked the city of Asheville’s hippy card on Sunday, after what has been deemed ‘excessive celebration of a large chain and lack of concern for small local businesses.’
“The city of Asheville had a lot of things going for it including farmers markets, a local music scene, a blatant disregard of hygiene, but Trader Joe’s was just too much for us,” said Twilight Aquarius, president of the National Hippie Association.
“How any self labeled hippie town can celebrate a national chain and the closing of several small businesses as a consequence is beyond my understanding of the sun. The trees cursed Asheville and we listen to the trees.”
Trader Joe’s announced last week they were building a store on Merrimon Avenue in North Asheville between Greenlife grocery and a Harris Teeter that is currently under construction. Subsequently owners of local businesses including La Carreta, NY Fashion, and Liberty Tax Service were notified they would be evicted from their current space to allow for the building of Trader Joe’s.
“I guess you could say the local businesses had to trade their livelihoods for Trader Joe’s,” said Aquarias.
“That doesn’t seem like a fair trade to me.”
The revoke of the hippie card came as a shock to many Asheville residents as Asheville mayor Terry Bellamy had just returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. touting Asheville’s Go Local campaign.
Many are not sure how a lack of a hippie card may impact their lives.
“So does that mean I’m not allowed to be a hippie anymore?” said Banjo Reemus.
“Am I going to have to buy a suit? Can it not be made out of hemp? What is working like? Well at least I can eat meat again.”
Reemus was hired by the city of Asheville to conduct a $50,000 traffic study on how to reduce congestion of traffic on Merrimon Avenue once both Harris Teeter and Trader Joe’s has opened.
“I needed a job and I saw in the paper the city is spending $50,000 to study traffic on Charlotte Street,” said Reemus.
“I said ‘hey I smoke medicinal and stare at the stars every night. Why not get paid to smoke medicinal and study cars?’ My hippy card getting revoked is the best thing that ever happened to me.”
The evicted local businesses are currently looking for other opportunities.
“Thankfully they have $3 bottles of Trader Joe’s wine to drink their sorrows away,” said Reemus.