Carleton County — After exactly one year of delivering quality satire to the people of New Brunswick, The Manatee has been beaten at their own game. The defeat comes not by the hand of a rival satire site or by some disgruntled ex-Manatee reporter posting to their personal blog or Facebook page. The Manatee has been bested by real, honest-to-god, actual news.
“New Brunswick is a funny place, with funny stories,” said Manatee co-founder Shauna Chase at an early morning press conference in Fredericton. “I mean, c’mon, the flag has a lion sticking its tongue out at us. It’s literally like our own flag is making fun of us. We never had to try hard. Writing satire about New Brunswick is the easiest job in the world.”
“We always knew this day would come,” said co-founder Alex Vietinghoff. “It was just too easy; there was bound to be a story that would eventually break the moose’s back, a story so stupid that we couldn’t satirize it. We just didn’t think it would be so soon.”
The story is question was posted by CBC on Wednesday, Sept. 23 (henceforth to be remembered as The Day New Brunswick Satire Died). The headline read: Federal campaign, Carleton byelection confuses voters. It sounded like perfect Manatee material. A story about poor planning by the Gallant government. A story that made New Brunswickers sound like a bunch of backward fools. A story that… already seemed like satire?!
“I tried, God help me, I tried,” stuttered Manatee reporter Corenski Nowlan. “I stayed up all night pitching ideas to friends on the Internet, but they kept shooting me down. Idea after idea they kept telling me, ‘Nah man, it’s good, but it’s not as funny as the real thing.’ It shouldn’t be this way. I was going to write something great. But I couldn’t. It didn’t matter how creative I was — I couldn’t compete.”
Nowlan burst into tears and was escorted off the stage by Vietinghoff. A visibly shaken Chase remained to field reporters’ questions. The future of The Manatee remains uncertain.