“No mercury in lightbulbs,” insists government official in hazmat suit - The Durian - Hanoi's Smelliest News


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“No mercury in lightbulbs,” insists government official in hazmat suit

Secret underground bunker, Hanoi – Addressing residents of the capital city through a pre-recorded message, a junior government official sporting a rather fetching hazmat suit has today confirmed that everything is absolutely under control.

Fogging up the helmet of his hazmat suit, Nguyen Vô Danh excitedly rattled off a series of reassuring remarks designed to quell the rising paranoia and fear that has gripped Tây Hồ following the lightbulb factory that was set ablaze on August 29th.

“Please remain calm, the panic is entirely unnecessary,” stammered a frantic Nguyen from an undisclosed location, “Please understand, lightbulbs are harmless – there are even Vietnamese recipes that contain such lightbulbs, we feed them to children to make them strong and bright, everything is fine, perhaps the weather has changed, but please go about your day with hope in your hearts and air in your lungs.”

The transmission, broadcast through all available state media ended with Nguyen ensuring that any warnings issued prior had been issued in error and that Tây Hồ residents should simply trust in the unfaltering track record of the government.

Meanwhile on the surface world, the depressingly white district of Tây Hồ was surging with an energy reminiscent of Black Friday, with every pair of hands itching their way through the uncertainty and repeatedly demanding to know where mercury testing kits are sold, but despite the hysteria, no mass shootings have yet been reported.

The Durian can exclusively reveal that at least one expat has died since the blaze, but sources later confirmed this was after the unidentified American had taped a plastic bag around his head to protect himself.

Speaking with The Durian to voice his concerns, Adam Stroud remains unconvinced by the government’s comprehensively soothing message.

“I can’t believe this,” he cried petulantly into the possibly toxic air, “It’s an insult to our intelligence that they’re trying to cover this up!

“I might not have a medical background and as an evangelical Baptist, certainly I can’t trust any of ‘science’ involved,” he said, making air quotes, “But my lack of teaching certification hasn’t stopped me from making a living in a classroom.”

Conversely, Professor Tuyên Truyền at the University of Scyence sees no reason to be alarmed.

“In all my years of existence, I can’t think of a single instance in which a one-party state would compromise the health and future of its citizens for the sake of saving face by lying about the potential harm of a toxic chemical incident, so frankly this seems like a lot of overblown nonsense,” claimed the professor, adding that those seeking to discredit the government’s official stance were perhaps themselves afflicted by toxic fumes released by the recent lightbulb factory fire.

For many, the issue of unbreathable air was nothing new and warranted no special fanfare in Hanoi. 

Among this vocal demographic, part-time environmentalist and full-time stoner Chad Williams explained why the calamity is unnecessary.

“Firstly, if you’re only just choosing to consider the quality of the air you breathe and the food you eat, you’re a moron and secondly, whether the lightbulbs contained mercury, mercury amalgam or some other alloy or if they contained nothing harmful to humans, we’re all going to die regardless because, spoiler alert, we die at the end,” he shouted into a megaphone whilst walking down Tô Ngọc Vân.

“Don’t think of this toxic spill as cutting lives short, think of it as expediting nature’s paperwork!”

More on this story if we're all alive next week.

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