The world was told to put its affairs in order and wait calmly for death, as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse was formally identified in Mexico by experts from the World Health Organisation.
"No doubt about it, it's definitely Pestilence," said the organisation's chief, Margaret Chan, who fearlessly flew from the United States to front-line Geneva to take personal charge of valiant-but-futile WHO efforts to contain the swine-flu pandemic which has already claimed the lives of an estimated 68 Mexicans. "And if you come across him, then Famine, War and The Other One can't be far behind."
In recent decades the world's population has been reduced to a handful by a succession of cataclysmic disasters. Overwhelmed by AIDS, Hong Kong fluey, necrotising fasciitis, the Ebola virus, mad cow disease, SARS, Dutch Elm Disease, beak rot, the screaming shits and all-out invasion by the Sov-Blok forces of crazed War Marshal Kazan, the scattered remnants of humanity now huddle in the crumbling ruins of their shattered cities, numbly awaiting the inevitable end of all life on the planet.
Meanwhile, in Mexico City of the Dead, millions of people put on cycle masks, avoided large crowds and cautiously went about their daily business, tragically unaware that they were already festering, flyblown corpses lying unburied in the streets.
The pandemic is expected to turn Britain into a desolate charnel-house early tomorrow morning, when the Mail on Sunday will expel toxic headlines from every orifice, infecting millions.