Anorak News | Hammond House of Horror

Hammond House of Horror

by | 26th, October 2005

‘YESTERDAY the papers introduced us to Brett Hammond. He was Mr Bird Flu. Hammond was the person we could all blame should an infected goldfinch kill us in our tens of thousands.

Hammond’s new look will keep the paper’s off his back

And today he’s back. In the class-conscious Mirror he’s now ”LORD BIRD FLU”. And in keeping with his elevated title, the common parrot we saw on Hammond’s arm yesterday has been upgraded to a mighty eagle.

Hammond’s also cut his hair since yesterday – but he’ll have to try a lot harder than that if he’s to blend in with decent society. Perhaps Hammond could grow a beard, or borrow the black bush former Public Enemy No. 1 Omar Bakri left behind?

But before Hammond can become Omar al-Hammond, the convicted fraudster who runs the quarantine sheds where the parrot with the killer H5N1 virus is thought to have died has bought a Lord of the Manor title.

The Mirror fails tells us what the title is, distracted perhaps by the £7.7million Hammond’s made from smuggling birds, enough to buy him two sports cars and a “string of foreign holidays” to go with that lofty title.

And before we can ask about where Hammond is Lord of, the Mail taps us on the shoulder and warns us to put the egg down. We must step away from the egg.

Alongside a picture of the nefarious Hammond, bird flu’s human face, the Mail trills the headline: “Don’t eat raw eggs, warns EU food safety watchdog.”

Surprisingly, this is not to the Mail’s patriotic eyes the latest bout of EU meddling, nor is it political correctness gone like so much BSE-infected cattle. This is a public service announcement, and it comes to you from the lips of Herman Koeter, of the European Food Safety Agency. As he tells us: “We don’t have any evidence that the virus can be transmitted through food. But we can’t exclude it either.”

That sounds bad. And it makes us wonder what else can’t be excluded. Can bird flu be transmitted via the feathers in our pillows? What about by walking within ten feet of a bird while wearing a blue bikini and whistling the first three bars of the Dutch national anthem?

Don’t know. We should be told. Perhaps Mr Koeter can enlighten us. “If you don’t eat raw eggs and always cook poultry thoroughly, there should be no problems,” says he.

So boiled chicken and reconstituted eggs it is. Which though an improved diet for most of us is a worry to the Mail’s readership. As the paper says, they should perhaps think twice about eating home-made mayonnaise and Hollandaise sauce.

But if they can’t resist the temptation, get your Slovakian cleaning lady or your Croatian au pair to test it first. You really cannot be too careful…’

Posted: 26th, October 2005 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink