Within two hours of the Paris authorities having clamped a ban on sex in the city for the duration of the swine flu pandemic, the capital has been turned into a ghost city as millions had fled to other French towns where they could still indulge in the horizontal sport.
The authorities' decision to forbid Parisians to have sex had come after the renowned Pasteur Institute announced that pregnant women were especially vulnerable to catching the H1N1 virus.
"There is unfortunately only one way of delaying pregnancy and this is to abstain from sex. We consequently had no choice but to ban sex," said a spokesperson for the Paris city hall.
The announcement of the ban was issued at 5 a.m. on Tuesday and by 7 a.m. special police units armed with batons smashed into homes to pull bewildered couples out of bed.
"We were not even making ze amour, alors!" said 92-year-old Alphonse X from behind the wheelbarrow on which he was pushing Mimi, his 18-year-old bride of two weeks, to get her safely to a place where he could continue to make love to her. He added that the exodus reminded him of 1940 when the Parisians fled from the advancing victorious Nazi Germans. "Only then we were allowed to make ze luv," he said, his mouth full of croissant.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his government have also fled the capital and will govern France from the spa-town of Vichy until the lifting of the ban. An unconfirmed report states that the president tried desperately to have the ban postponed for another day - or rather another night. Envisaging an exodus from the capital if its people could not have sex, he had begged Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë to allow Parisians another night of love. The unmarried mayor had refused.
France's National Childbirth Prevention Trust announced that it fully supported the sex ban. "There are enough brats in Paris already," said its spokesperson.
The NCPT had made it clear that it would like the ban to be permanent.
Trains and planes bringing tourists to Paris are being diverted to other European capitals as it is expected that the ban on sex might become nationwide within the next 48 hours. It is not known where President Sarkozy and his government would then go.