Tens of people have died today in what has been described as a "disaster of proportion" by Downing Street spin-doctors. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the deaths are attributable to what has been dubbed a "killer joke", in pseudo-reference to the Monty Python's "The Funnest Joke in the World". The joke, originating from the Edinburgh Fringe, and conceived by comedian Darren Walsh, is said to involve a mobile phone.
The full text of the joke, which for legal reasons cannot be reprinted here, is said to be causing havoc across Britain and the rest of the UK, with turmoil likely to spread as it is translated into further languages. The Spanish version of the joke has so far only caused a mild rash, which doctors say will get better with vigorous prayer. Twitter has already closed several accounts in an attempt to limit the contagion, while Facebook has allegedly banned the memed use of parts of the joke which, when pieced together, form the full narrative.
Joke originator Walsh has so far declined to respond to the headlines, but someone who saw him on a bus once told us:
"It's a wonder he didn't die when he wrote the joke, really. Maybe he has cotton wool in his ears. He looks the type. Shifty, you know? They're all the same, these cotton wool ear folk. Personally I only partake at Christmas, and maybe on my birthday, if I'm lucky."
Police were first made aware of the dangers posed by the joke by organisers of the Edinburgh Fringe, who claimed that several people had to be carted away from Darren Walsh's show, and apparently not from over-inebriation. This itself, was a surprise.