Director Danny Boyle has controversially agreed to demands from leading animal rights groups to drop live animals at Friday's opening ceremony of the London Olympics.
Unfortunately for the animal rights lobby, he appears to have taken their exhortation a little too literally for the show, which has the dubious pleasures of English country life as its central theme.
Now, instead of cows, goats, horses and sheep grazing peacefully on the shot putt arena, they are to be dropped from circling aircraft in a "dazzling free fall display which, with any luck, will see them land in or, at least, somewhere near the stadium," explained an excited Boyle.
A distraught spokeswoman for Animal Aid, one of six charities that had urged him not to use live animals, sobbed: "The effing idiot! When we demanded the animals be dropped, we didn't mean out of planes. That's environmentally damaging."
The cost of this ambitious parachute display has pushed the cost of the three-hour opening ceremony from £27 million to £40 million, but "it'll be worth every penny" said a confident Boyle. "My only concern," he added, "is that it might upstage the badger baiting display and cock fights that are scheduled to be going on at the same time."
More details have emerged of the opening show, expected to be watched by two billion people who need to get out more, plus a few hundred insomniac Australians who have already made up their minds that it is not going to be nearly as good as Sydney eight years ago.
The Norfolk Society for the Preservation of Family Values has revealed that 70 of its members will take part in a display of synchronised heavy petting with their sisters.
"The Queen will love it," enthused Boyle. "She is, after all, married to one of her cousins."
A replica, illegal travellers' camp will also be established in the very centre of the javelin field with members of the Pikey 2012 Formation Team showing off their skills in a daredevil display of precision getaways on stolen quad bikes.
Village pub life will also be celebrated in a rousing chorus of songs denigrating ethnic minorities, Muslims, eastern European immigrants and anyone who failed to vote for the UK Independence Party at the last election.
The visual arts will not be ignored either with Tracey Emin promising to create "something as sensational as my untidy bedroom" from a collection of old fridges, carpets, mattresses and discarded McDonald's wrappers dumped along the finishing stretch of the athletics track.
Organisers, meanwhile, tried to assure athletes yesterday that the potholes Boyle has insisted be dug all along the running track ("to ensure authenticity and capture the realities of country living") would, in all probability, be filled in by the time racing starts and, almost certainly, in time for the final of the 100 metres.
The grand finale of the opening ceremony will feature the release of 2,012 white doves which the Duke of Edinburgh and other country sports enthusiasts in the stands will then blast from the sky with 12 bores.