Saint John — It’s looking to be a good year for Donald Sutherland. Barring any unforeseen sexual assault allegations surfacing between now and January, the 82-year-old MASH star will be given an honourary Oscar for his six-decade career in film. Back in his hometown of Saint John, the people could not be more proud.
“Oh, we regularly send him letters, gifts, awards, nudes, drugs, all kinds of stuff on behalf of the city,” said Daniella Fisher, president of the local branch of the Donald Sutherland Fan Club. “We just want him to know how much we love him.”
It seems that Sutherland, however, may not be enamoured with all the lavish attention and praise the city has been imposing on him lately. Just last week, the octogenarian filed a restraining order against the city, requesting that they no longer attempt to contact him, and that they refrain from using his image.
“That hurts to hear,” said Fisher, shrugging. “But I guess we’ll just have to try twice as hard to win him back!”
Try harder they did. On Monday evening, city officials announced via Facebook that a big, Sutherland-related event would be planned for that Wednesday. On the day, a crowd gathered to watch as a large item wrapped in a black tarp was transported and placed in King’s Square.
After a brief ceremony, city hands pulled back the tarp, revealing an 11-foot golden statue of Sutherland, pointing a finger and wearing that gape-faced expression from 1978’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
“People’ve been buggin’ me for weeks asking why I’m calling for so many budget cuts,” said Mayor Don Darling, smiling and patting the statue’s big, golden ass. “Welp. Here’s why.”
Due to spacing restraints, the statue had to replace the long-standing monument honouring fallen soldiers of the first and second world wars. “Sure,” reasoned Darling. “But Donnie was in all four Hunger Games.
“Do I think Sutherland is a great actor? Yes. Do I think he deserves this Oscar? Absolutely. Do I pleasure myself to his sex scene in Don’t Look Now? You bet,” continued Darling. “But, for us, I think this ‘local boy makes good’ story matters. It shows that someone born in Saint John can go off and be a Hollywood big shot…so long as they leave as a very young child.”
Fisher agrees with the mayor that the statue was their best course of action for garnering a positive reaction from the actor.
“I think we’ve done all that we can to gain his affection,” said Fisher. “Y’know…short of kidnapping him.”
She laughed heartily at this. “Ha, ha, ha..ah…hmmph. Huh,” she chortled, calming down to bite her lower lip and dart her eyes suspiciously.
The Manatee reached out to Sutherland for comment on the possibility of lifting the order. The actor replied with a strongly worded cease-and-desist letter and a signed headshot.