Kathy Cargill leaves Duluth worse than she found it.

But maybe now she'll leave Duluth alone.

Stop me if you've heard this story before. Billionaire's wife meets Duluth. Loves Duluth. Tries to buy Duluth. Duluth has a few questions. Billionaire's wife withholds pickleball from Duluth.

For months, Cargill — wife of an heir to a fortune — had been buying house after house after house along the 7-mile sand bar known as Park Point. The Cargills have a fabulous vacation home up north, but she wanted more.

Many of the properties along Park Point were pleasant, modest homes — still within the realm of middle-class affordability in a city facing a desperate housing shortage. Until a shell company started offering the neighbors double or even triple the value of their homes. As each sale went through, bulldozers moved in, replacing housing with vacant lots. Ten parcels of residential property gone. Then 20. Then more.

It was Cargill, of course. For months, she ignored questions from the neighbors and the city. Questions like: Whatcha doing? You wouldn't happen to be planning to turn an entire neighborhood full of public parks and public beaches into some sort of weird gated community for future billionaires to ride out the coming climate crisis in "Climate-Proof Duluth," hmm?

Finally, the billionaire spoke.

Yes, she admitted, she had been purchasing properties on the sly, claiming she wanted to build a few homes for her relatives and spruce up the neighborhood. Besides, she said, all the homes she was bulldozing were "pieces of crap" and one was full of garter snakes.

In return for jacking up everybody else's property taxes with her inflated purchase prices and unleashing homeless garter snakes on the world, she swore — billionaire's honor — that she had planned to give the neighborhood a nice new coffee shop and maybe some pickleball courts.

Think of the theoretical pickleball courts Duluth could have had. If only they had silently, reverently and unquestioningly let a passing billionaire do whatever she pleased. But Duluth's mild curiosity seems to have soured Cargill on the idea of turning an entire 7-mile sandbar into her personal sandbox.

"The good plans that I have down there for beautifying, updating and fixing up Park Point park or putting up that sports court, forget it," she told the Wall Street Journal. "There's another community out there with more welcoming people than that small-minded community."

And then she dropped the world's most revolting metaphor on an unprepared Minnesota.

Referring to newly elected Duluth Mayor Roger Reinert, who had suggested that residents hold off on selling their homes until Cargill did the polite thing and actually talked to her neighbors, Cargill said: "I think an expression that we all know — don't pee in your Cheerios — well, he kind of peed in his Cheerios right there, and definitely I'm not going to do anything to benefit that community."

Reinert, who was out at 3 a.m. Monday, riding along with city plows as they dug out between snowstorms, responded Minnesota Nicely by posting a picture of his actual breakfast. It was pancakes. That other expression is not an expression we all know, Kathy Cargill.

Cargill told the Wall Street Journal she still plans to hang out in her stately vacation home in Duluth, possibly out of pure spite.