Local journalist and culinary connoisseur “Scoop” Cartman is atop the ramparts again, warning the villagers of the invisible curse that has doomed our community to darkness and despair. The ghosts of the Revolutionary War roam freely among us, unseen by the untrained eye. It is only through the perseverance of Scoopy that the citizenry will know which businesses are inhabited by the spooks. Some of his more militant followers are vowing to boycott anything associated with the name of one prominent poltergeist. Never mind that the family business has contributed more to this community than the lot of them combined will ever match in their lifetime. They are cursed by virtue of their bloodline and the buildings they occupy. Sins of the father and all.
I generally don’t go for these exorcistic exercises. The spooks don’t bother me. If I started avoiding places because there might be a few disagreeable entities hanging around, I’d probably have to lock myself in the house and have my groceries delivered. I just hope the grocery store survives, along with the rest of the town. I mean, boycotts can go both ways, and once you start down that road you can make the problem worse. More empty storefronts, until you’re left with a ghost town. Now that’s spooky.
Besides, the ghosts may be annoying at times, but they are generally harmless. It’s the damn zombies you have to watch out for. You’ll know them by their sunken faces and the dark rings around their eyes. They never sleep and are prone to violence and mayhem, fueled by amphetamines and other toxic concoctions. If you want to make the streets safe for your kids, get rid of the zombies. If you want the community to be a welcoming place for visitors, get rid of the zombies.
Scoop rarely mentions the zombies, preferring to concentrate on outing apparitions in our public places. But the zombies are proliferating, and the State has been told that many of them will have to be released from custody due to overcrowding. Others will be transferred to our local facilities, and then put back on the streets with time off for good behavior. The ghosts are merely ghosts, and their power to affect the living is limited to the rattling of chains and bumps in the night. The zombies will be looking for something to eat.
Scoop’s other favorite target is the local newspaper, which he believes is possessed by evil spirits. It’s all superstitious nonsense, but it gives his audience a place to focus their fear and anger. If anyone is adept at manipulating the news, I would put the Scoopster at the top of the list. Of course, he would say that he is merely passing on public information. It’s not his fault if the villagers burn down the castle, hoping to purge the boogieman.
You see, Scoopy wants our community to be homogeneous, a nice place where everyone agrees with everyone, and we do what we are told. Wreathes of homegrown organic garlic will keep the zombies away, if you believe hard enough. The newspaper will be full of happy agreeable news. The tourists will return and the people will prosper once again. A high tech hippie Stepford. No ghosts allowed.
I know…It sounds like a fairy tale. Something you’d read to the children to scare the bejesus out of them if they’re not good. Is that someone knocking on the door? Trick or treat.