Fatalist extraordinaire, Morbid Gloomy, self styled leader of The End Of The World Is Nigh movement today issued a chilling warning to the rest of humanity, following hot on the heels of massive sardine shoals appearing in the wake of the Japanese earthquake/tsunami tragedy.
"If millions of starlings start flocking above the Vatican City, and Rome," he announced. "In late September, early October, and start swooping about making amazing psychedelic starling shaped moving clouds above the Eternal City, then we are surely doomed. It's Armageddon and The End Of Days. The shoals of sardines in the wake of the tsunami are only the beginning. It's significant and strangely scriptural that a mass gathering of millions of starlings above the Eternal City - the spiritual home of the Catholic Church - should signify our ultimate demise."
But not everybody is convinced.
"It's a load of old bollocks is that," curmudgeon Martin Shuttlecock said. "I've been ter Rome with the wife, and it's well known that starlings gather there in their millions after the nesting season before they fly south for the winter. They make massive clouds as they hover above the town looking for a place to roost, because it's warmer in the city at that time of year."
Independent research appears to back Shuttlecock's skeptical views regarding pending Armageddon, as stated by Olivier Olvolio, Rome's Minister For Environmental Affairs.
"It's true what the Shuttlecock says. Is no to do with End Of Days or any of dat shite. It happens every year here in La Bella Roma - the birds flock and shit all over the city. Is big problem here. Is no recommended to parka de car under a tree at dis time because it finish up covered in sheet. Armageddon me arsa!"