Sunday, 27 September 2009

Aporkalypse Later

"If you receive an email from the Health Department warning you not to eat tinned pork products, delete it.

It's just Spam."

- current joke
Okay, that one cracked me up, I admit it. Almost all disasters are coped with through a certain amount of humour and once people had absorbed the appearance of a new pandemic disease, it wasn't long before the jokes flew.

Of course, I don't even need to say - do I? - that you can't get swine flu, or H1N1 flu as the pork marketers would like you to call it, from eating pork. (Am I the only one who wants to pronounce that "hinny"? Or should it be "hinie"?) You probably can't even get it from hanging out with pigs. But the association of pigs with this particular strain of influenza has opened a rich vein of humour, and the jokes have been passed around almost as fast as the virus.

Mind you, swine flu isn't a problem for the actual pigs; after all they're going to be cured anyway. And what is the difference between bird flu and swine flu? (You need tweetment for bird flu, and oinkment for swine flu.) You can't get that information from the health department; all you get when you call is crackling on the line. A lot of people are calling in sick with swine flu, but many of them are telling porkies; they're not actually breaking out in rashers. Pandemics of this scale only happen when pigs fly. Oh wait... swine flu.

Seriously, there are a lot of arguments for avoiding factory-farmed pork, but this isn't one of them. In the mean time, thus far, swine flu has turned out to be quite contagious (hence the pandemic part) but not particularly deadly. If you do eat pork, there are some good deals to be had, according to the weekly flyers. Apparently this has hit pork producers hard. And that's no joke.

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