We are all going to die: maybe not in several years time, maybe not even a few months from now, but soon and for the rest of our lives. That, at least, is the message from Albia's news media, which have whipped themselves into a frenzy(1) over the possible threat of a swine flu pandemic, something Da Heyt's pages are already describing as a greater threat than "nuclear war or a fourth Krep party general election victory".
Despite the media froth, the Albian people themselves - used by now to their news outlets screaming about imminent threats to the whole of civilisation every time, say, a pigeon coughs - are getting on with life pretty much as usual, though the media furore has succeeded in panicking some into buying any available facemasks to ward off the dread disease, with the result that my cabbie this morning looked like the eponymous hero of V for Vendetta and I was served my morning quart of potato-based alcohol by Donald Duck assisted by President Nixon. As for myself, I must admit a sudden bout of sweating, shivering, blinding headache &c &c did send me rushing off to the doctor(3), who was fortunately in a position to advise me that my symptoms were related to my intake of the aforementioned potato-based alcohol(4).
Whether the media can keep up their current level of swine-flu-induced fever remains to be seen. What is certain is that the only Albian victim deserving of a headline this week, is Prime Minister Bragdny Door, whose cunning, not-at-all-knee-jerk, definitely-not-designed-purely-to-take-the-eyes-of-the-press-off-the-budget, plan to replace the current system of second home allowances for Albian politicians with a signing-on scheme (see Kryptonite of the Long Knives) had to be dropped this week after opposition from all possible directions, including some previously thought only to exist in the minds of theoreticians expert in M-theory, leaving the one-time political superman looking ever more like Captain Klutz.
(1) or even more of a frenzy in the case of da Heyt, which was already pretty spittle-flecked about everything from the alleged Islamicisation of Albia to the HPV vaccine via the existence of any programme other than Antiques Roadshow(2) on the Albian Broadcasting Corporation's channels.
(2) "Awld Krep Bendvagn" in Albian.
(3) I had initially turned to the good-old BBC in search of further information about the disease but only succeeded in turning up the image here which did absolutely bugger-all to help me divine the nature of this new peril but did assist me in the tricky task of telling pigs, chickens and human beings apart.
(4) Being a good, old-fashioned Albian he prescribed me enough hairs of the dog to cover a whole pack of the beasts and offered to sign me off work for the next six months.
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