Why did the chicken cross the road?
To spread bloody bird 'flu everywhere, apparently.
But news of the death of a parrot in Britain from the deadly H5N1 avian influenza strain can now be reported in transcript form:
The Pet Shoppe
A customer enters a pet shop.
Customer: (sniffling) 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.
(The owner does not respond.)
C: 'Ello, Miss?
Owner: What do you mean "miss"?
C: I'm sorry, I have a cold - something I think I got from the bird - I wish to make a complaint!
O: We're closin' for lunch.
C: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
O: Oh yes, the, uh, the Norwegian Blue...What's, uh...What's wrong with it?
C: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead from bird 'flu, that's what's wrong with it!
O: No, no, 'e's uh,...he's resting.
C: Look, matey, I know a dead parrot with H5N1 when I see one, (coughing) and I'm looking at one right now.
O: No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Restin' from a mild belt of the common avarian cold... ahh, H5N2 the ahh, good one. Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn'it, ay? Beautiful plumage!
C: The plumage don't enter into it. It's stone dead. (sniffle - blows nose)
O: Nononono, no, no! 'E's resting! - sign of a healthy bird recovering from a normal, everyday cold... sort of like yours.
C: All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up!
(shouting at the cage)
'Ello, Mister Polly Parrot! I've got a vaccine for you if you show...(owner hits the cage)
O: There, he moved!
C: No, he didn't, that was you hitting the cage!
O: I never!!
C: Yes, you did! (blows nose)
O: I never, never did anything...
C: (yelling and hitting the cage repeatedly) 'ELLO POLLY!!!!!
Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! Wakey, wakey you diseased pathogenic vector. This is your nine o'clock alarm call!
(Takes parrot out of the cage and thumps its head on the counter. Throws it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)
C: Now that's what I call a dead parrot.
O: No, no.....No, 'e's stunned!
O: Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin' up! Norwegian Blues stun easily when they're getting over the common cold, major.
C: Um...now look...now look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. (dizzy misstep) That parrot is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that its coughing and spluttering was due to it mimicing a previous owner with a lisp and terrible enunciation.
O: Well, he's...he's, ah...probably pining for the fjords.
C: PININ' for the FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did he fall flat on his back the moment I got 'im home?
O: The Norwegian Blue prefers to recuperate on it's back! Remarkable bird, id'nit, squire? Lovely plumage!
C: Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been NAILED there. (cold sweat shakes)
O: Well, o'course it was nailed there! If I hadn't nailed that bird down, such was the insignificance of its ailment, it would have nuzzled up to those bars, bent 'em apart with its beak, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!
C: "VOOM"?!? Mate, this bird wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it! 'E's bleedin' demised! (involuntary tremor)
O: No no! 'E's pining!
C: 'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! He's a World Health Organisation statistic! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies!
The only thing living in him is the mutating 'flu virus! 'E's off the twig! 'E's the bird formerly known as a parrot!
'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!!
THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!! (visibly perspiring)
O: Well, I'd better replace it, then.
(he takes a quick peek behind the counter)
O: Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh, we're right out of parrots.
C: I see. I see, I get the picture (coughing blood, staggers)
O: No Governor all I got left alive is - and this is all new stock fresh in mind you - is a Romanian swan, a racing pigeon from Canada, a couple of Vietnamese Chickens, a Turkey from the Greek Islands and half a dozen ducks from China; but I'm all out of parrots... (pause) or you can buy what all my customers are crazy for today - big seller, very popular with your distressed bird fanciers.
C: (projectile vomits across entire shop, wipes residue from mouth and chin, regains composure) What would that be then?
O: A packet of Tamiflu for £199.
C: Better make it two packets.