Fredericton — After several long discussions since Tuesday morning, it has finally been determined that while Gallant will indeed have to give up the premiership, the Tory government is willing to permit him to pretend he holds the office for a short while longer.
“It’s been a tough week,” said Minister Stephen Horsman. “The transition has been hard. As I’m sure you know, Brian is, uh, having difficulty adjusting to the outcome of the election.”
Gallant’s public announcement that he intended to continue to be premier despite the election results has prompted a great deal of controversy. Horsman assured The Manatee, however, that Gallant’s statement was not the Liberal Party’s final word on the matter.
“We’ve heard the people of New Brunswick, and we are ready to concede the race and regroup,” he said. “It’s just, Brian…Well, Brian needs a little more time, is all.”
After lengthy negotiations with representatives for the Progressive Conservatives, the government agreed to allow Gallant a short interval of time to pretend he is still the premier while he and his team work to process the loss.
A small space toward the back of Fredericton’s city hall building was allocated to be Gallant’s “office” during this time. The former coat room was sparsely furnished by Liberal cabinet members to look as professional as possible under the circumstances.
“We did what we could on our limited budget,” said Horsman sheepishly, as he led reporters to the edge of the room. Inside the small space was a grade-school desk surrounded by posters featuring Garfield the cat encouraging Gallant to “Hang in There,” and informing him that “Reading is Rad!” On the desk was a box of red crayons and his gold name plate, brought over from his previous office.
“Can we speak with Mr. Gallant about the transition?” inquired a reporter for the Daily Gleaner.
Horsman winced. “I’m afraid that mightn’t be best idea at the present time. Besides, right now, Brian believes that he is having a discussion with Baxter over school nutrition policy, so that is expected to occupy his attention for the next hour or more.”
Sure enough, there was the former premier, pacing around his tiny desk carrying a red phone cradle in his right hand, with his left wrapped white-knuckled around the handset.
“Goddammit I know you have a bottom line to protect!” Gallant yelled into the receiver. “But it isn’t my job to make sure you get an extra zero at the end of your paycheck come Christmas. My job is to maintain the health and wellness of the children going through our province’s school system, and I’m not about to compromise that just so you can sell your sugar milk in our cafeteria! Do you understand that, motherfucker?”
“The cow says ‘Moooo,’” replied the novelty phone.