Monday, February 27, 2006

La Grippe Aviare

My brother is currently studying in France, and he recently received the following email of warning:

Dear students:

As you may know, bird flu has arrived in France. On your walks in parks or woods, don't touch birds dead or live. On the other hand, there does not seem to be any reason to change your diet.

The UC Education Abroad Program Staff

I was furious at the vagueness of the email. Is the bird flu a big joke? It is not possible for someone to draft a more thorough letter that covers acceptable and unacceptable bird relationships? I suppose this is something I will have to take upon myself, even if I am on sabbatical.

Dear students:

As you may know, bird flu has arrived in France. Below please find a list of guidelines/helpful suggestions for interacting with birds during this hard time.

-You may continue to eat most poultry. Do not eat any birds that appear overly skinny or that are a dark purplish color.
-Wash your hands after shaking hands with a bird or after touching door handles or railings at places where lots of birds, especially foreign birds, frequent.
-Do not walk home alone after dark through heavily-populated bird boroughs.
-Do not eat anything that a bird offers to you.
-Do not agree to carry anything in your suitcase as a favor to a bird.
-Do not accept rides from birds that you do not know, especially if it appears that they have been drinking.
-Do not share your bed with a bird.
-Do not kiss birds that you do not know on the mouth.
-Do not share chapstick or mascara with a bird.
-Do not read emails or download attachments from unknown birds.
-Do not sign as a guarantor for a bird that you have just met.

If you are unsure about a certain situation, we ask that you err on the side of safety and contact us immediately.

The UC Education Abroad Program Staff


Blogger SharmandHammer said...

it's ok. george w. bush heard of the threat of avian flu and ordered the bombing of the canary islands. you can rest safe.

6:50 PM  
Blogger Shenanigans said...

I love how the UC staff seems to think that students abroad eat dead birds in the park. And if you do eat dead birds in the park... how are you supposed to do that without touching it? Is that like the sound of one hand clapping?

5:18 AM  

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