Don’t Let The Truth Get In The Way Of A Good Story Idea

Reading the news is a generally depressing experience. Oh, look, civil unrest in Ukraine, gay people being beaten in Russia and oh, would you look at that, Victoria is on fire again.
Finding a bizarre little gem of a news story amongst the car crashes and glorified drug smugglers can be a joyous experience. Watching your friend’s face contort as you repeat the story is a nice bonus, too.

Whether it’s a crime that defies logic, highly improbable death(s), good ol’ fashioned gross-out or cows that farted and burped themselves to a fiery death, these stories are inherently more interesting than whatever graces the Herald Sun’s front pages.

Shhh, of course a bunch of cows blew up a barn with their farts. Just let me have this, okay.

However, I found myself taking a more cynical approach to these weird news pieces. The stories that seemed too good to be true, were increasingly just that.

Perhaps it’s always been like that, and it’s just now we have the resources to sniff out a hoax quickly. Sources are now far easier to check. Fun-sucking, dream-ruining sources.

Recently, I changed my tune about the strange side of news and am now taking a glass half full approach. Why? Because regardless of whether or not an abandoned ship full of cannibal rats was really headed for Britain, it makes for a hell of a horror story.

Seriously, I bags this idea, it’s mine.

Go out and find your own loco story to inspire you. Really, go do it. If you’re lacking for ideas, bypass page three and look for the tiny articles. Divert some of that wasted time on the internet browsing news sites or Reddit for the most bananas articles you can find – and don’t check for sources.

Now, speaking of shameless spruiking of The Morning Bell’s features, starting Sunday we will be beginning a round-up of all the articles that fascinated us throughout the week. Maybe they will inspire you, or just provide a few giggles and raised eyebrows.

To finish this debut post off, I’d like to call the attention of all the film producers reading this. Here is my pitch for a film about the cannibal rats story above. Please read it in that deep, menacing voice that is used for every exploitation film trailer ever.

A forgotten ship, abandoned in the Atlantic Ocean and left to rot…

[Dark, fog-heavy view of a boat]

No passengers left aboard. Not anymore…

[Fleeting shot of a rat crawling out of a skull]

All that’s left… VERMIN. [Flash title card]

With nowhere to go, these rats developed a thirst for survival, and for blood…

[One rat bites another, tiny blood spray]

VERMIN… hungry for more and heading to the shores of Britain.

[A rat gnaws at a skull with a monocle, ‘cos Brittish]

Watch out, England, an uncontrollable force is heading your way…

[The ship charges to the shore, smashing other boats in its path]

VERMIN.

[Rats attack! Go for the jugular!]

They’ll need more than the Pied Piper this time…

[Some rats kill a bard, because there are still bards in England]

Based on a trueish story, the horror event of the season… VERMIN

[Title card]

The Black Plague has nothing on this.

[Flash of a scary rat, because jump scares are where it’s at]

I’m expecting a call, Screen Australia

I want at least a $10 million budget, I’ve got a lot of rats to train.