A Pox on Your Houses

It was just over a year ago that the first case of 'house pox' was reported. It came to light in Sunderland after Mr Iain Bolan noticed a series of small, regular bulges in the brickwork of his bungalow as he left for work one morning. By the time he returned home, these bulges had broken out into a pattern of swollen red marks.

Neither Iain's doctor nor any of the local building firms could offer any help or explanation and eventually Iain had to contact a fancy house doctor in that there London. The house doctor diagnosed the outbreak as a new and dangerously virulent strain of property pox, told Iain to slather the walls liberally in calamine lotion and charged him three hundred and fifty quid.

Since that time, numerous other cases of house pox have come to light, affecting residential properties, public buildings and businesses. At the time of writing, reports are rapidly approaching epidemic proportions.

Vaccinations for houses are available, but sadly no one has yet developed a syringe sturdy enough to deliver them. For this reason it has been suggested that a cull is the only practical way forward, meaning that properties deemed to be most at risk of infection will be bulldozed, even if they currently display no symptoms of contagion.

This action, the government believes, will prevent further transmission of the disease, but there remains considerable concern that the proposed demolition sites are predominantly in deprived areas of low-cost and social housing.

When this was pointed out to the minister in charge, his reply was "And?"

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