Speculation continues in the media as to why a ten-foot hole in the side of a Qantas 747 failed to cause a nice, juicy death toll in the hundreds on Friday.
“This is a disaster,” said a sub-editor on the Sun. “We immediately cleared eight pages when the story started to come in. Then we got to the end of the sentence, and we were gutted to see that the plane had landed safely in the Philippines. In all the chaos, nobody hit the ‘save’ button - and twelve stories and Kelli’s fantastic knockers were wiped out in an instant.”
“I was mid-way through ordering tickets to Australia for half the news department when we learned that nobody was even seriously hurt,” said one BBC reporter. “Fortunately, I put the phone down halfway through the transaction, and disaster was narrowly averted.”
Initial press hopes that Muslim fundamentalists could be blamed were cruelly dashed, when accident investigators pointed to the complete absence of flash burns in the damaged section.
The frenzied search for an instant scapegoat has now become fixated on a missing oxygen bottle. Hacks under pressure from their editors to come up with a scare story in time for the Sunday editions announced that the cylinder had obviously exploded, despite no such incident having ever happened before in the entire history of passenger flight.
Meanwhile, journalists continue to downplay the cool bravery of the pilots in bringing the stricken airliner safely down to earth, and the enviable safety record of the 747 was swiftly dismissed as a possible angle.
“Everyone is heading for the airports to get away from this miserable country for a week or two of relaxation,” said one editor. “Where’s the fun in telling them their flights aren’t going to end in horror as they plummet five miles straight down before being squashed to a bloody pulp?”
“’Hey, thanks Boeing, for making one tough old bird that can take a hit like this in its stride and keep on flying.’ Funny, I haven’t read that in any British papers,” said one disgruntled aviation engineer. “Remind me – why is it so many airlines fly our jets? Could it be because the British effort tended to burst apart in mid-air, and the Boeing didn’t? Fuck you, pal.”