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Horrific stories can be told on movie screens from events in Bullitt County

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By Stephen Thomas

There’s no doubt in this cynical journalist’s mind that 2015 has been the scariest year in some time.

The shootings and threats, the scandals, the ethics charges, the upcoming presidential election campaign starting a year early…it’s all pretty creepy.

Sometimes both you, the beloved reader, and I both experience the burnout of story after story dealing with so much blatant negativity and drama. Sometimes we just need to step back and enjoy the fun things in life… like vampires, spiders, witches and ghoulish creatures.

The hour is upon us, my children, so let us not waste a moment, and enter in the dungeon of opinion-page ethos, where we will now enjoy our annual list of potential Bullitt County horror movies, presented as always in B-movie teaser fashion:

“It seems like you can’t escape it. There seems to be thousands of them. And none of them seem to make any sense. You try to turn away, but they are always there. You can see them. You can hear them. But you can’t understand them. Some of them are absolutely creepy. And the incessant noise will drive you insane, if you continue to experience…The 2016 Presidential Candidates Debates!”

Each year politics make for an easy scare, but from this year’s events comes something that I did not anticipate, and did it ever scare me:

“At one point it was cute. Parents and children working together, carving memories. Halloween visitors were fascinated by them, until… some became scary, even grotesque. Some of them became unnerving. But now, a new wave has arrived, and they’ve never been scarier. You’ll wish your eyes would’ve never offered you the experience of seeing… The Trumpkins!”

Turning to more local issues, there is one that has lasted so long, and apparently will continue to last much longer, that it’s my pick for the scariest story of year:

“For years the good citizens have searched for a way to end it all. Finally, that time has arrived. But what new evils lurk within the void? Unknown diseases? Stomach-curdling stench? And on top of it all, the constant fear that someday it may still return. And the people will pay, twice as much. It’s the scariest of all sequels when North Bullitt residents experience… Sludge 2015: The Surcharge!”

This next one is not a sequel to the above, but it stinks just as much, although it makes one think to check rotten tomatoes:

“They’ve dealt with it in the north end. Then Mount Washington fought it. Now it is hovering around the Shepherdsville area. ColorFest patrons even noticed it at Bernheim Forest. And it just won’t go away. Parents taking kids off the streets. Neighbors no longer hosting patio barbecues. No one feels safe outdoors anymore. What can Bullitt Countians do to fight… The Sewer Smell!”

I’m a fan of those older horror films that pit evil vs. evil, with more than one scary character involved. It began with “Dracula vs. Frankenstein,” and here’s where it is now:

“It’s already being referred to as the fight of the century. Both have been around for years. They’re well-known, powerful, even popular, and they seem to show up everywhere. But this area might not be big enough for both of them. A knock-down, drag-out fight appears imminent. Bullitt Countians await with fear and excitement as the countdown begins.

And it’s not the anticipated Godzilla vs. Kong movie in 2020, but rather, it’s… Belcher vs. Roberts for the State House of Representatives 49th District Seat in 2016!”

Of course, a lot could change between the premiere date in late January.

Like the famous statue, “The Thinker,” sometimes artistic expression can come from the idea of doing nothing else but sitting and thinking:

“You can’t wait any longer. The time has come. You have to do what you have to do. You find a place with which to complete your task. It was a struggle, but all will be right with the world again. Things are looking better. Then suddenly, you notice it. You know it’s there, hanging around, waiting, mocking you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. And no one is safe from the constant possibility of being stuck alone with… Thin, See-Through Toilet Paper!”

A good horror film story involves a topic than can happen to anyone, on any day, at any moment:

“One of your closest companions. You shared your secrets, you discovered valuable information. All that time together, and then suddenly… Splash! It’s all over! You tried resuscitation, but it was too late. The overwhelming feeling of helplessness as you watch on during those final moments. You may never survive the overwhelming experience of… The Wet Cell Phone!”

The local newspaper always contains horror stories. This one was taken right from the front pages of The Pioneer News:

“Crowds gathered. Torches at the ready. Lynching prepared. All that was left was the target, the thing responsible for this maniacal negativity. The people would have their say, and they have said it: ‘Not in my back yard!’ Where will Bullitt County find a place in their hearts to locate… The Methadone Clinic!”

Another local topic, the kind that no one thinks to discuss until it’s way too late:

“It was time to go. You knew it was coming, you tried to put it off as long as humanly possible, but the time has arrived. Whatever will you do? You look around, but you’re helpless, no place to go. You, like many other Bullitt County parents of high school athletes, have become the latest victim of… Lack of Proper Sports Restroom Facilities!”

The following movie idea came from a local arresting development:

“They were doing time. But one man’s purgatory led to a new kind of hell. They couldn’t breathe. They couldn’t stand the heat. The coughing. The sneezing. The dry eyes. The gagging. In a situation not even fit for prisoners, Bullitt County Detention Center inmates pray for a way to fight… The Mold!”

When we’re taken from the safety and santitude of our regular, everyday lives, it’s always scary:

“Trapped! Inconvenienced! Nowhere to go! Well, mostly. An additional hour wasted each day. The inconvenience of driving to work. The inconvenience of getting to school. The inconvenience of going to the store. Over and over and over again! The good people of the area may be convinced that they will no longer survive to see the opening of… The New Martin Hill Road Bridge!”

I’ve been doing these local horror film ideas for years now. You would think someone would put an end to this mayhem. Or have they:

“She arrived quietly, a simple smile and hello. She did what she was told. Then suddenly she became…inquisitive. She wanted to understand how it all worked. From there she was a good employee… sometimes a little too good. A little too much work. A little too much effort. A little too friendly. Now, the Cynical Journalist can see the writing on the wall, with no doubt in mind that his company is slowly outsourcing him in favor of… The New Reporter!”

Everyone is encouraged to please a safe, fun Halloween weekend!