Saturday, November 26, 2005

Poisoning pigeons in the park (tra la)

Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City (neƩ Saigon) has a population of 10 million people and has banned poultry within its limits to prevent the spread of bird flu. Most of the human cases are now in the cooler north. The last case in the south's HCM City was in December of last year, but new poultry outbreaks in nearby Long An province are being reported. So the Vietnamese have begun poisoning pigeons in HCM City.
"We will make sure that no birds are left in the city to minimize the risk of bird flu," Huynh Huu Loi, Director of Ho Chi Minh City's Animal Health Department, told Reuters. Loi said beside the poisoning campaign, city authorities would also move pet birds outside the city until Vietnam is free of bird flu. (Reuters)
This recalls the beloved Tom Lehrer song, Poisoning Pigeons in the Park. For those who missed it first time around (1959), here are some lyrics:
When they see us coming, the birdies all try and hide
But they still go for peanuts when coated with cyanide
The sun's shining bright
Everything seems all right
When we're poisoning pigeons in the park
La la, dum de da da da doo deedeedee

We've gained notoriety and caused much anxiety
In the Audubon Society with our games
They call it impiety and lack of propriety
And quite a variety of unpleasant names
But it's not against any religion
To want to dispose of a pigeon

So if Sunday you're free
Why don't you come with me
And we'll poison the pigeons in the park
And maybe we'll do
In a squirrel or two
While we're poisoning pigeons in the park

We'll murder them all amid laughter and merriment
Except for the few we take home to experiment
My pulse will be quickenin' with each drop of strych-a-nin'
We feed to a pigeon
It just takes a smidgen
To poison a pigeon in the park