It's cute now, but wait until it takes your whole family from you and gives you just enough of the flu to make your dick stop working.There is no doubt that we, as Americans, love it when the media tells us some common thing we've been doing for years is potentially fatal. We are a fear-based culture, and because the media has not yet figured out how to graft advertisements onto the backs of our eyelids they want to be sure we are sitting on the couch watching the news when they run their groundbreaking report linking sedentary lifestyles and obesity.

Last summer's Next Big Scare, the destructive force of hurricanes, is quickly wearing thin with viewers. A number of media mishaps and bizarre cultural mistakes, stemming from the horrible effects of hurricane Katrina, have desensitized consumers and left a general sense of apathy regarding bad weather and the president not caring about black people. Here are a few examples:

  • Every surviving white person in New Orleans has been airlifted directly to the secret warehouse where all television media is produced. They were only allowed to leave when they mustered up the sadness to cry in front of Katie Couric, who managed to find an insightful anecdote about her children for every single story. Those who refused to laugh at her tales were ushered into Star Jones' dressing room, where they were promptly eaten alive while the T-Rex noise from "Jurassic Park" played in the background to set the mood.
  • A test group of teenagers found Carlos Mencia's segment about a "Wet State Contest," including a drawing of Louisiana with giant breasts and protruding nipples, to be highly un-PC. Mencia reportedly masturbated to the comment for three days straight before killing himself when he discovered "highly un-PC" is teen slang for "Carlos Mencia is an unfunny fag."
  • The upcoming EA title "Sean Murray's Stagnant Cesspool Wakeboarding" had its funding pulled after parents complained about the cover, which featured the star wakeboarder doing a trick off of a bloated corpse.
  • A proposed swimming match between Al Franken and Bill O'Reilly, set to take place in the crater that once housed the superdome, was canceled when promoters found out no one fucking cares.

This is plus the fact that there are only a handful of coastal states. Landlocked states, such as Indiana, were forced to worry about theological matters instead, such as the deadly inevitability of the rapture and if fucking your sister was still a sin if you moved to Kentucky.

But worry not, landlocked readers! Or actually, worry a lot, because the media has found yet another thing that, like Dracula, is coming soon and will certainly kill every last one of us! Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the horrible, wonderful, Asian Bird Flu!

"Hey, Evan," you may be saying, assuming you're a bored, uptight soccer mom with nothing better to do. "It's not the Asian Bird Flu anymore. That's racist. Just call it Bird Flu."

Well, reader, I want to tell you something: Asians are proud to have started the outbreak that will inevitably kill us all. The whole continent has a plan. They only send their finest citizens (for instance, Yao Ming and Tia Carerra) to the States. Because of this us Americans are convinced that Asians are actually a breed of superpeople. It is a little-known fact that the real Asia, the Asia we don't know about, is filled with fat men and screechy, chain-smoking women. If there's a doomsday plague coming Asians want to be responsible for it so they could laugh about it before making snide comments about how fat Americans are.

Stop making out with that bird! Don't you know it's ?But it's all ok. In preparation for this awful disease, which hasn't even moved to America and has only killed a handful of people worldwide, the government has formulated a plan to keep us all safe – it wants us to stash tuna and powdered milk under our beds for a few weeks. This isn't for nutrition, though. The government, after seeking help from its secret coven of shamans and voodoo priests, has made a discovery: Much like putting a line of salt at your door stops ghosts from coming in, tuna and powdered milk scare away bird-borne pathogens.

Take, for instance, this recently filmed public service announcement, set to air sometime between PBS' showings of "The Red Green Show" and "Shitty British Sitcom Nobody Gives a Fuck About":

[Open in a bathroom. TOM is sitting in a bathtub full of tuna and scrubbing his hair with canned milk. A window in the background shows huge fires and flashing sirens, and muffled commotion can be heard. Enter JANICE.]
Janice: Tom! What on Earth are you doing?
Tom: Protecting myself from the Bird Flu, darling. The government… they say this is the only way to keep my family safe.
Janice: What about the fallout shelter they told us to build for the West Nile Virus?
Tom: It's just not enough, baby. Mosquitoes, they're stupid. Can't work their way through the deadly laser grids. Birds, though… they're everywhere. And they're smart. They'd hack the access panel and infect us before we ever had a chance to fight them off.
Janice: That's just silly, Tom. I don't really think a…
[Before JANICE can finish her thought a bloody bird with a smirk on its face crashes into the window. It breaks its neck, and as it skids down the glass with a trail of blood following it, sinister music plays. JANICE puts hands to face.]
Tom: I reinforced the windows today, too. CNN says it's a nightmare out there and with all those sirens I can't disagree.
[JANICE begins stripping while looking at TOM.]
Janice: Well, I've never bathed in tuna before, but…
Tom: Don't worry, my dick does it every night.
Janice: Huh?
Tom: Nevermind. What's for dinner?
Janice: Tuna and canned milk.
Tom: You bitch.

Like any contingency plan, of course, there are potential bugs in the system. While the government's stern warning to keep tuna and canned milk under our beds shows a great amount of research and foresight by FEMA and various other acronyms, more planning needs to be done. Why? Because Bird Flu is a virus. It is perfectly capable of mutating and spreading from human to human, not unlike Anna Nicole Smith after a visit to the Cheesecake, Valium & Whisky Emporium over on I-95. Tuna is not enough because the Bird Flu could easily spread to tuna, thus creating Tuna Flu. The tuna business is booming now, and if a fisherman caught the flu while harvesting one of the fish, then the processed fish itself spread the disease, too – to put it scientifically, we'd be fucked. Fucking fucked. Then, if the Bird Flu itself got around to mutating we'd have poultry and fish flus all over the goddamn place, and then we'd be further fucked.

Ladies and gentlemen, we need a plan.

Luckily, you all have Something Awful on your side. We are the Internet's bastion of advocacy, and when we're not forwarding chain letter emails about the dangers of Febreeze and exploding parrots, we're out there advocating shit. Because of the potential dangers of the Bird Flu, or worse, the Tuna Flu, we are now advocating safety. Using a table with HTML I stole from Josh "Chivesocks" Dandruff, I now present to you a comprehensive list of things you should do, as well as things you shouldn't do, during the upcoming pandemic:

DO:

Wear a ventilator mask when at all possible. Bird Flu is, of course, rendered totally obsolete by thin papier-mache masks.

Take extreme precaution if you attend cockfighting matches. My buddy Rob told me trainers suck the blood out of their fighter’s nose to let it breathe between rounds, and that shit can’t be healthy.

Decline a girl when she asks you on a date if you feel she’s a "chicken head."

DO NOT:

Put one ventilator mask on each side of your head and start yelling “HEY, SOMEONE FOUND A BRA FOR TIT-HEAD, HA HA.” Birds are enraged by the sight of Tit-Head, and hate Internet humor writers who reference old Adam Sandler movies just as much.

Roll around in the blood and gore of a defeated opponent’s chicken, even if you really want to show that motherfucker who the boss is now.

Spray said girl in the face with Lysol if you feel she’s a "chicken head." While those types of girls can carry the virus, Lysol does not kill it.

Suffice to say, heeding these tips, along with keeping a supply of tuna and powdered milk, will set you well on your way to a happy, healthy life, even while your friends are puking their guts out on the bloodstained, plague-ravaged streets.

There seems to be more hope for humanity every day. Earlier this week, in one of its twenty-six billion articles on Bird Flu and how the government swears up and down it is not being reactionary, CNN reported a scientific discovery that normal bird flu develops too deep in the lungs to harm that many people. This was a shock to CNN readers, who were undoubtedly frazzled when they had to click through no less than six pop-up ads per page to read the story. Of course, these pop-up ads were relevant to the story. Anyone interested in Bird Flu is undoubtedly interested in a pill that will enlarge your penis and make you better at poker so you can win money online and save more when you click a link for a free Xbox 360.

That's right, folks. Different social groups have varying amounts of exposure to birds. A birdkeeper may see birds every day, while professional atheletes rarely see them unless they are breaded, fried, and thrown in a bucket. To get the most out of the Bird Flu experience, we've whipped together a quick guide so you can choose which lifestyle best suits you:

Mormons: As members of the world's most prolific suicide cult, Mormons have decided to end it all as soon as the flu hits. To accomplish this goal they will formally adopt the practice of chicken-fucking, an activity most members of the cult have long enjoyed in secret. On top of that, any hats they look into to talk to god will be filled with sparrow guts, and children at church services will be forced to play games of "bobbing for apples in a tub full of bird bowels."

Hipsters: Hipsters are well-known for their talents, which include pretending to not like anything and doing other stuff while complaining about how much they dislike it. Most people don't know this, but hipsters loved the Bird Flu a few years ago when it was just in China and hardly anyone knew about it. Now that the mainstream media has picked it up, the flu seems kind of watered-down and boring. To combat the flu's transformation into an efficinent human killer, hipsters will now wear respirator masks with a favorite band's logo sewn on the front, all the while complaining about that asshole Jerry wearing a respirator, too.

Something Awful Forums Members: It's hard to shout a catchphrase when you've got a mask strapped to your face. Having a goonmeet over at the Wendy's where your cousin works just isn't the same if you can't order your favorite double-chicken-and-bacon burger. Luckily, being on the cutting edge of Internet in-jokes requires a lot of time indoors, and that is a Goon's natural habitat. Especially with the release of Oblivion, Goons aren't too scared of the possibility of a pandemic – they'll be indoors, coding a mod to make every character look like Chuck Norris. And that, my friends, will be LOL indeed.

In the long run, avoiding Bird Flu will revolve around two things: Being cautious and hooking an IV drip up to your arm so you'll never have to step away from the warm glow of televised news. The media knows what's going on and wants to be sure you are safe while watching commercials for Bagel Bites and those hilarious Geico ads with the cavemen.

You can't laugh at funny cavemen when you're dead from Bird Flu, right? Right. Now get on that couch and don't get up for six months. I hear they have a tuna expert on MSNBC talking about Tuna Flu right now.

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– Evan "Pantsfish" Wade

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