The sentence below is from “The vanishing hitchhiker” (http://www.snopes.com/horrors/ghosts/vanish.asp) . The last part “before things went to hell in a handbasket” just tickles my fancy for want of a better way to put it. It’s something I can re-read like 10 times and still want to read again. Certain novel combination of words (yes, I know it’s not new) just moves me that way.
Quote: “This form of the legend often surfaces in the wake of a natural disaster, with the encounter said to have happened maybe al of a week before things went to hell in a handbasket.”
You may want to visit the site itself – it’s about urban legends.