Fredericton — Monday morning, the National Portrait Gallery unveiled its official painting of ex-president Barack Obama. Similarly, this past week in New Brunswick, Premier Brian Gallant has been hard at work designing his own prospective portrait.
The Manatee met up with Deputy Premier Stephen Horsman to discuss the potential painting.
According to Horsman, Gallant had locked himself in his office a week before, after hearing that the presidential portrait was to be revealed on Monday, to “work out some designs.” He hadn’t left the room since, and had his meals brought to him at regular intervals in exchange for filled yellow bottles.
As The Manatee continued their interview with the deputy premier, incomprehensible muttering and loud snorting could be heard coming from the direction of the premier’s office.
“Did you see Obama’s, man?” Horsman asked. “With all the flowers and shit around him? I think Brian wants to come up with something like that. Something that will really preserve his legacy.”
Suddenly, behind Horsman, the premier’s office doors burst open and Gallant rushed out, carrying a thick stack of paper and storing an HB pencil behind his left ear.
“OK, so for this portrait thing — I want it to be, like, me, right?” he said, frantically pacing around the room, sniffing and flipping through his sketches. “I’ll be standing in front of the provincial flag, and in my arms I’ll be carrying Richard Pryor, like in the poster for Superman III.”
“Superman III?” asked Horsman, wearing a concerned look.
“Yes! Superman III! The greatest movie all time,” he cried, excitedly. “It’s a metaphor!”
“A metaphor for what?”
Gallant ignored him and continued. “So I’ll be carrying Richard Pryor, see, and we’ll be in front of the flag, and all around us will be explosions! Like POW! BUSSSSHHHH! BANG!”
The premier tossed the stack of sketches into the air and began waving his arms around to demonstrate what an explosion looks like. He continued this for almost two full minutes before collapsing in a fit of exhaustion. As he hit the ground, his aides hurried to his side.
Gallant was immediately admitted into Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital, where he was treated for extreme fatigue. After a day’s rest, he was finally permitted guests. The first to visit, after Gallant’s wife, was the deputy premier, bearing a gift.
“I knew that it was concern for your legacy that pushed you to this point,” said Horsman, lifting a covered object onto the hospital bed. “So, we went ahead and carried through with your wishes.”
With that, he removed the covering to reveal that the portrait had been completed — quickly, and at great expense — to the premier’s exact specifications. However, at the sight of it, Gallant’s face scrunched up in disgust.
“What the hell is that?”