Fredericton — Today, in keeping with the tradition of Easter egg hunts hosted by businesses and politicians across the world each year at this time, Premier Brian Gallant hosted his own special brand of Easter hunt on his Fredericton property for the second consecutive year.
This morning, a (very) small group of parents and children gathered in his backyard, ready to celebrate the resurrection of the messiah by picking up handfuls of dog crap.
“I’d like to thank you all for coming out to the second annual Dog Turd Hunt,” Gallant began, looking out into the crowd. “By the looks of things, I don’t think you’ll have any trouble finding your fair share. So please, no fighting.”
As he gave his opening remarks, the premier brought out his three dogs, a Labrador Retriever, a St. Bernard and a Pomeranian, all of whom were dressed up with pink bunny ears and big, phony whiskers.
“These two drop their fair share of loads, but this little son-of-a-bitch,” he said, scratching his Pomeranian under the chin, “This one shits.
“Oh, and safety first, guys,” he said, gesturing to pile of Sobeys bags. “Everyone be sure to use a baggie.”
“Is there a prize for whoever gets the most?” asked one little girl, raising her hand.
“Mm, right. A prize,” said Gallant, thinking. “Er…How about this — the winner doesn’t have to go to school next week. A whole holiday week!”
The parents gave the premier a puzzled look, but the children cheered.
And with that, the “festivities” began, with eager children rushing into the yard, eager to get their hands dirty. As the kids made their way around the yard, Gallant explained to reporters how he felt that his event was just as good as any colourful Easter egg hunt you’d find anywhere else.
“There are plenty of colors here, too — greys, browns, greens,” he said. “I mean, I haven’t picked any up since last year, so I’d suspect some pieces are probably even sprouting some zig-zags and polka-dots by now.”
While the turnout was minimal, there were some families in attendance. This, of course, leads to the fairly obvious question of why.
“Well, I thought it was just a joke,” said Angie Thomas, mother of two. “Like, the name was a gag, and it would just be regular chocolate when we got here.
“He always seems to have such a great sense of humour in those Manatee articles I read, but this…” she added, looking around the yard in disgust. “This is just awful.”
“I’m new to this province, and I thought it was some kind of big tradition here or something,” said young mother Leslie Peterson, formally of Ontario, before slapping a fuzzy beige object out of her daughter’s hand. “No, no, sweetie, don’t eat that.”
Gallant, for his part, argues that the Dog Turd Hunt is a grand local tradition, or at least one in the making.
“To me, this symbolizes the true New Brunswick experience,” he said, looking proudly over his yard. “Sifting through shit and looking for chocolate.”