Saint John — In a controversial debate spanning decades, the Port City has finally spoken: its official animal shall be the seagull.
Saint John put it to a final vote on Monday, and after three recounts it was determined that the seagull won — by a single ballot.
“Rats spread disease, and this is not funny — this does nothing to help us,” stated Mayor Don Darling. “Seagulls, on the other hand, remind us of summer, of fun at the beach growing up, of good times. What’s more ‘Saint John’ than that?”
Darling elaborated on his reasoning for voting for the seagull.
“Don’t get me wrong, rats use [sic] to be good. But now I just think their presence in the city is giving us a bad name. Oh, please don’t tell Mel I said this — that guy friggin’ loves rats.”
“Aren’t seagulls pretty much just the rats of the air?” asked uptown resident Martha Burlington. “So we chose winged rodents instead of the creepy-crawly kind. Big whoop.
“My apartment is infested with rats and the landlord won’t do shit to fix it. They’re definitely the official animal of my home, if not the city.”
Some seagull opponents claim that rats are intelligent and even cute, and that seagulls, by contrast, just poop on people’s heads and hang out in garbage dumps.
“I have pet rats, and they’re more human than you or me,” said Gerard Hopper, a weird 40-something guy whose apartment was filled with comic books and superhero paraphernalia — and with rats. “I’ve trained this one to go to the store and get my cigarettes for me,” he said, cradling a large black rat. “Could you do that??” he asked rhetorically, turning to our reporter.
“No, like, I’m asking seriously. Could you go grab me some smokes?”
Saint John has hired contractors to design and build the world’s largest deranged seagull and erect it at the end of the boardwalk, overlooking the harbour.
“It’ll be the first thing cruise ship tourists see when they’re docking in this beautiful city,” Deputy Mayor Shirley McAlary told us. “We’re also constructing a seagull sanctuary on Partridge Island. It’ll be a place for our majestic municipal animal to congregate in safety, away from the humans and rats of Saint John.
“We’ll send a garbage barge over every few days to feed them,” she added. “We’ve been looking for a solution to our trash-disposal issues anyway, so this’ll kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes.”