When word reached us of the situation we knew decisive action was required. So we suited up in our fluorescent orange outfits, checked the batteries of our flashlights, and called in the sniffer dogs.
High and low, we scoured Confederation Building. We moved through the offices, looking under desks and around cubicle walls, in the file cabinets and cleaning closets, but to no avail. We looked in the bathrooms (doubtless an oasis for our rare and elusive subject), we looked in the waste baskets, we looked in the hallowed halls of the legislative assembly itself.
But all we found was that common breed of government MHA, who were all so dishevelled and disoriented at their loss they could do little more than sway from side to side and mindlessly chirp, “Family first. Family first.” It was an entirely pitiful sight.
And so the decision was taken to expand the parameters. We drew up a list of the most likely sites: law offices, the university, the Village Mall. It seemed our fortunes had turned, when on Duckworth Street in front of a law firm of some repute, I spotted what I thought to be our man. “Excuse me, sir,” I said, taking him by the elbow. “Do you happen to be the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador?”
“If you do not take your hands off me,” he said, obviously much aggrieved, “I shall not be held responsible for what I do next. How dare you be so obstinate to assume that because I am dressed in a cheap suit and drag my suitcase on the ground behind me that I could be such an ignoble creature? Good day to you, sir.”
Anyone watching this scene would have noticed the swift change in body language, my downcast eyes, as it became apparent my hopes had been dashed. And as our ill fortune unfolded, the searchers from the mall and the university reported equally disappointing results.
“There was a chap at 2 For 1 Pizza we mistook for our man,” said one of our party, “but as he could not contain his laughter long enough to give us a response we realized the trail had gone cold.”
The night closed around us, the sniffer dogs howled at the moon, but we knew the search must go on. From Circular Road to King William Estates, from Rumpelstiltskin’s to the Esso in the Goulds, we left no rock unturned that long night.
But as the first rays of sun heralded a new day, we knew it was hopeless. We would not find the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. Yet we also knew the government MHAs could bear no more uncertainty and disarray – the poor lemmings may have walked off the proverbial cliff had they been left without talking points for much longer. Something drastic had to be done.
So we went to Crosbie Industrial (those steadfast suppliers of sturdy maritime gear) and bought a custom-made survival suit. We stuffed it with candies and votes for the Liberals and NDP, gave it a volleyball for a head, and stuck some straw on top for hair.
One of our search party said it would never work, but when we placed it in the Premier’s office the government MHAs flocked and strutted like peacocks, as is their typical behaviour, and we knew the ruse had worked.
Now we must simply find a way to take the sticks from the hands of the new leader’s many political foes, lest they smash to pieces our Premier piñata and feast on the bounty inside.
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