A strain of swine 'flu was admitted to the Gloucester Redd Hospital in Gloucester today, after showing signs of 'not being strong enough to keep newspapers filled for much longer'.
The 'flu was put into an isolation ward where only journalists - well, the ones that aren't overseas on holiday, so in reality a few teaboys from Fleet Street - are allowed, and doctors insisted on them following the new revolutionary Government health guidelines that have cost millions of pounds for them to prepare for the British public - which means telling people to wash their hands now and then, and cover their mouth when they sneeze.
'Make no mistake about this 'flu strain', consultant scareololgist Sir Adolf Tissue said, 'it has weakened drastically over the last few weeks, so that even The Daily Express has cut its stories about it to only four a day. At this rate we may need to give the media an emergency injection of government directives, to fill up the news with yet another strain-of-'flu-non-story.'
'Here in Gloucester our staff are working overtime to both revive the swine 'flu strain so it is strong enough to appear on News at Ten again, and to invent a new strain connected with animals. My money's on chicken chow mein with fried rice 'flu, though my colleagues have suggested it may be basking shark in the Med 'flu. A strain that only attacks newspaper editors there in July, but miraculously vanishes again by September when they return to London.'
Widespread alarm and mass hysteria, with people running out in panic into the streets and even some setting fire to themselves in desperation, didn't happen at all at the news, though a few horses were seen being flogged to death on the worldwideweb just to pass the time of day, and we asked Gloucester resident Mrs. Influenza Armitage what her views were on the swine 'flu's difficulties.
'Well, if the worst comes to the worst and the swine 'flu doesn't recover, and doesn't make it back to the front pages of the news, then of course our glorious Labour government will have succeeded in crushing the evil disease once and for all, and should rightly be not only hailed for saving mankind from certain destruction and extinction and disestablishmentarianism, but should also be voted for in the next General Election. That journalist over there paid me a fiver to say all that.'
Let's just hope the strain will make a full recovery back into every newspaper and television news programme, or editors and executives will have to be called back from the Med, and just in case that happened Fleet Street headline writers were already sharpening up their pencils. 'Porcupine Flu May Kill Thousands!', was being written at The Sun, 'Life on Earth on Verge of Extinction Thanks to Dormouse Flu!' at the Express, and 'Chinese Flu, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, What Next? Housebuyers Flu?', was The Daily Mail's contribution.
But from its hospital bed in Gloucester, the strain itself had this to say about its condition. 'The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated, so never believe a word you read in the newspapers. Once the silly season is over they'll soon make up something else to try and scare you. Pass me that whisky bottle, will you?' Smallpox was unavailable for comment.