Written by Beth MacMillan
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Topics: Death, London

Monday, 24 October 2005

image for Catastrophic End to World Signaled by Parrot's Death
Polly, the parrot who has signalled the end to civilisation as we know it

London, England
It was reported today that a 3-month-old parrot has succumbed to the deadly HHRN strain of avian flu, thus signaling the apocalypse. The colourful blue and red budgie, known only as Polly, died after a short illness while in quarantine at Heathrow Airport. Scientists conducting a post-mortem confirmed it had been suffering from the deadly strain of avian flu and have urged the public to "panic without restraint or reason."

"It is now time to get on our knees and pray," read a statement from the Department of Animal and Rural Affairs, "Truly humankind is doomed. This dead parrot signifies catastrophic plague, suffering and death for all humanity. May god be merciful on our souls." The World Health Organization echoed these sentiments in a hastily produced paper entitled, "Death Wants a Cracker: why the world must panic upon hearing of the death of Polly."

Prime Minister Tony Blair, when questioned on Polly's death commented, "we as a government are completely unprepared for this. Despite talking about it, writing papers, both white and green, arguing needlessly over legislation and discussing targets endlessly, we have no plan. There is no vaccine. Polly's death will truly affect us all. I would advise everyone listening to give way to unrestrained hysteria. Flee, run to the hills, loot with abandon, arm yourselves, but for god's sake, don't expect us to help you. We are doomed." He watched momentarily as the union flag was unfurled from Number 10 Downing Street, a tear glistening in his eye. He then got into to a helicopter with his family, which was said to be heading towards an "undisclosed location".

The public seems to be taking this advice seriously. Looting, rioting and the mass killing of poultry, songbirds and waterfowl have been reported from all reaches of the nation, though there is some confusion as to whether this was in reaction to the coming apocalypse or ordinary post-soccer match behaviour. When questioned, local yob, Trevor Morris, commented, "parrot, what parrot?" He then returned to his current occupation of beating in the head of a mallard duck with his cricket bat whilst screaming "Chelsea forever!"

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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