Saint John — A group of wealthy and well-known Saint Jonhers met last night at Happinez wine bar on Princess Street to debate their favourite topic: whether poor people exist in the Port City.
The so-called “Illuminati” of Saint John, over several $2,847 bottles of Napa Valley Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, began the evening with speeches and self-congratulatory remarks.
“I’d like to thank all you VIPs for coming,” began local celebrity and movie star Grant Murphy. “Isn’t this wine delicious? It’s this type of product that Saint John is known around the world for. I know it was made in California, but we’re drinking it here, so it has become local. But I digress — on to the main topic: who thinks poor people exist? Let’s have a show of hands.”
While no one in the bar raised their hand, the waiter rolled his eyes and mumbled something inaudible.
“That’s what I thought! We are GREAT! YEAH!” exclaimed Murphy.
Saint Johner Rich Bryant, a human resources officer for Irving Oil, stood up to pat Murphy on the back and add his own two cents. “My buddy Grant knows what’s up — if there were poor people here, why didn’t I see a single one on my drive here?” (Our reporter checked, and Bryant was driven to the location in a private limo with double-tinted windows.) The crowd erupted into applause and drunken cheers.
“I’ve been hearing a lot of negativity lately from people who should be celebrating the wealth of entrepreneurship and creativity that this province, and this city in particular, have to offer,” Bryant went on. “I can think of a certain article in particular, which was simply full of falsehoods!!” (Our reporter checked, and the article mentioned was full of facts.)
Bryant then opened his briefcase to reveal a printed copy of the aforementioned article so loathed by the tiny rich population of Saint John. He ceremoniously held up the papers, produced his favourite diamond-encrusted lighter, and set fire to the detested set of unflattering facts.
“Poor people can’t read anyway, but just to be safe, let’s buuuurn the f*cker!” he screamed, to even heartier applause.
Noelle Ribault, a Saint John-based fashion designer who now lives and works in Paris exclusively, even flew home on her private jet to attend the meeting. “I think the problem is all one of attitude,” she offered when the crowd finally quieted. “Just be rich, and be positive. It’s really not so hard.
“Also being born into a well-to-do family, having many corporate connections, getting an extremely lucky break, and outsourcing all your work helps… but it’s mostly the attitude thing that I mentioned before.”
The city’s actual population, many of whom live in conditions of extreme poverty, were not invited to take part in the meeting.
“Do poor people even know good wine when they taste it?” asked Murphy, looking pensively at his glass. “The subtleties of it would be lost on them. If they existed. Which they don’t.”