APRIL FOOL’S " Mansion beetle called ‘dire threat’
BACHELOR GULCH ” A mutant strain of pine beetle is wreaking havoc on the High Country’s most luxurious homes, and sparking a response far more furious than any directed at the pests chewing up the pine trees.
Though the pine beetles threaten to decimate the forest, the scourge has spawned widespread disinterest.
Now, panicky homeowners, realtors and wine-and-cheese vendors are demanding the federal government take immediate action to stop the mansion beetle, sometimes referred to by its scientific name, “chompus opulentious.”
“We have to protect this important resource of our mansions,” said Minky Malveaux, an interior designer who refuses to work on homes worth less than $8.5 million.
“You can have a resort without trees and animals, but a world-class getaway without 32-bedroom, 30.5 bath Yellowstone-style vacation lodges with koala bear rugs, ivory stair railings and walls made from the trunks of the last few dozen Amazonian redwoods? That are only used a week out of every year?”
But Scruffy Eagleneck, director of the environmental group Rocky Mountain River Ranting, said mansion beetles are part of the forest’s natural cycle of regeneration.
“It would be criminal for us to interfere, man,” Eagleneck said. “We should all take a deep breath ” I mean really inhale this time” I mean, that’s good stuff, right? I got a sick bud connection in Boulder. This B.C. Bud stuff just blows my mind. You bring any jerky, man, I’m hungry?”
A source close to the Vail Valley mansion-beetle swarms said the pests have eaten about six mansions so far this year and could devour about a dozen more before the end of ski season.
“They particularly enjoy eating tacky, nauseatingly expensive faux-Native American art ” you know those awful watercolors of gloomy Indian chiefs? God I hate those,” said the source, whose name was withheld because he doesn’t actually exist and therefore, doesn’t have a name.
Baxter Phlegmsap, an arborist considered an expert in mansion beetles, said homeowners can take some precautions, such as ridding their homes of items that attract the pests.
Removing spa tubs, flat screen TVs the size of billboards, multi-story fireplaces, helicopter pads and gem-encrusted, solid-gold kitchen fixtures can sometimes ward off the voracious bugs, Phlegmsap said.
“They’ve really developed a taste for caviar, foie gas and jereboams of Dom Perignon,” he said. “The mansion beetle particularly enjoys swimming ” and breeding and just hanging out ” in indoor lap pools,” he added.
Duchess Sapphyre Bichon-Frise Edam-Splurgington, who owns homes in Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch and Cordillera ” as well as in Antibes, St. Lucia, Chamonix, Uganda, the Gaza Strip, Islamabad, Bangladesh and Cockamamiestan ” said if any of her Rocky Mountain mansions, which combined are larger than Vermont, are eaten she’ll simply have some lower-class neighborhood bombed to smithereens by Luxembourg’s Air Force, which she also owns.
Forest Ranger Elko “Stumpy” Badgerhelmet said drastic measures may be necessary.
“The only solution at this point may be a controlled burn of several mansions,” Barkchewer said. “It won’t stop the mansion beetle, but the working classes will get a big kick out of it.”
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