05 February 2007

160,000 Bootiful Turkeys 2006-2007

A Bootiful turkey in its natural environmentNewspaper editors and TV journalists were today churning out miles of newsprint and kilometres of videotape in memory of 160,000 Bootiful Bernard Matthews turkeys, which passed away this weekend following an outbreak of the H5-N1 bird flu virus.

The Bootiful Turkeys were born in 2006 of simple Suffolk stock. Coming from a humble background, they spent much of their infancy in dark and extremely cramped conditions, whose basic nature was offset only slightly by their trendy egg shape and the availability of hot-and-cold-running yolk 24 hours a day. Luckily a long line of agricultural ancestors, not to mention large doses of growth-promoting antibiotics in their mothers' feed, had fitted the Bootiful Turkeys for work. Soon they were breaking out of their old home and taking up work with local farmer Bernard Matthews who offered them all the pellets an automatic feeder can provide and the chance to mingle with thousands of their comrades in conditions only slightly darker and more cramped than those they had just left.

Over the following months the Bootiful Turkeys set to work eating, standing around, pecking each other's feathers off and occasionally collapsing under their own rapidly-increasing weight. All went well until early last week when several of the male turkeys claimed they had bird flu and all the hen turkeys insisted that the stags only had colds and were making a fuss about nothing. Within a day 71 of the allegedly hypochondriac birds had vindicated themselves by dropping dead, while many more were showing signs of illness. Thankfully the creatures had many visitors during these troubled times, most of them members of the farm's staff who tried to cheer their charges up by wandering blithely from turkey-shed to tukey-shed acting as if nothing was seriously wrong. Despite such efforts, within only two days a further thousand Bootiful Turkeys had wrapped themselves in the celestial Bacofoil. It was at this stage that officials from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) were brought in to calm the situation among the remaining Bootiful Turkeys by gassing every last one of them.

The 160,000 Bootiful Turkeys' funeral was held on Sunday. The funeral cortege, consisting of 20 "sealed, leak-proof lorries fully covered in tarpaulin", took the deceased to the quaint little church of St Bernard's Hotter-N-Heck Incinerama, where they were heated to gas mark five thousand while the choir sang hymn number 386 "All Things Bright and Bootiful". The ceremony ended with a 112-gun salute as Suffolk locals tried to plug anything they feared might pose a bird-flu risk - including 72 blue tits, 23 starlings, 44 crows, 78 ducks, a couple of swans, a global-warming-befuddled ladybird and one inbred agricultural labourer with webbed feet.

The 160,000 Bootiful Turkeys are survived by the H5-N1 virus, Turkey Twizzlers and Bernard Matthews' £300 million fortune.


youdontknowme said...


Colin Campbell said...

I never liked Turkey, so no tears shed. The only time it worked for me was when our loony crocodile hunter subcontractor from New Orleans deep fried it after injecting spices into it. Delicious.