Fredericton — A longtime admirer of former British prime minister Winston Churchill and his famous wit, Premier Brian Gallant has been developing his own brand of caustic humour.
Gallant has experimented with witticisms in the past. Back when the province was discussing the suspended Trans Atlantic Pipeline, he once opened a press conference with this bit of Wildean wisdom:
“The only thing worse than having the pipeline…is not having it.”
Since then, he has made a concerted effort to study the great wits of history. Not just Churchill and Wilde, but Voltaire, Shakespeare and Dorothy Parker.
“I’m happy to see him reading, but I’ll admit that it does worry me,” said Deputy Premier Stephen Horsman. “He’s learned the basic structure of a witticism, but doesn’t really seem to understand when and where it should be employed…I just hope it doesn’t get him into trouble.”
It already has. Eager to exhibit his newly honed rapier-like wit to the public, Gallant attended several events this past weekend, all of which ended in scandal.
At a small press event on Friday, Gallant had a chance encounter with his political rival David Coon, who reportedly asked the premier if he wanted to have lunch with him.
Gallant cocked an eyebrow and replied, “Sure, How about a knuckle sandwich, tree-fucker?”
Then, Saturday afternoon, Gallant was spotted exiting a Tim Hortons with some of his cabinet members. He stopped to asses the situation in front of city hall, and asked Public Safety Minister Denis Landry what was going on. Landry told him it was the Women’s March.
“A women’s march, you say,” he began dryly, swishing the coffee around in his cup. “By the looks of them, I hope it’s a 10K.”
His most recent misstep, however, took place Monday morning at Liverpool Street Elementary, where he delivered a hastily arranged talk on the importance of body confidence. After his prepared speech, a young girl came up to him.
“You make me want to be premier,” she told him, beaming through a gap-toothed smile.
“And you, my dear,” he said, patting her little head, “make me want to increase funding to the Morgentaler Clinic.”