“Good morning, you must be my next patient.”

“Doc, don’t you recognize me?”

“Should I? Wait a minute. That accent – thick Acadian one minute, the Queen’s English the next. Is that really you, New Brunswick?”

“Yeah, it’s me, Doc. You’ve got to help me. I’m a total wreck.”

“Well, I gathered something was wrong, with your bloodshot eyes and those nervous tics. My word, you’re shaking from head to toe. When did this all start?”

“A week-and-a-half ago, just as the election results started rolling in. I didn’t sleep a wink that night, and I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since.”

“Oh, dear. Didn’t I warn you about elections, New Brunswick? For the past decade, it feels like every time there’s an election, your skin breaks out in these terrible rashes. First red blotches, and then blue bruises, and every election you just shift back and forth. I thought you were going to properly educate and medicate yourself before you went to the polls this time around.”

“I tried, Doc. I really tried. I checked out all the party leaders to make sure I understood their platforms. Do you have any idea what it’s like to listen to David Coon for longer than five minutes?”

“Yes, I understand. We find that David Coon speeches work wonders when we’re running low on local anaesthetic. But I keep warning you – Pumpkin Spice Lattes and energy drinks are not going to get you through a provincial election in the Maritimes.”

“I know, Doc, I know. But look at me now! My northern half is nothing but red blotches, while the south is covered with blue bruises!”

“Oh, dear. That looks painful, New Brunswick. You rarely see the two of them fighting for control at the same time.”

“And you know what’s even worse? There are more blue bruises than red blotches, but the blotches won’t give up. They just keep getting itchier!”

“That’s not very gallant of them. But right now, New Brunswick, I’m more worried about your complexion. I’ve never seen such a pronounced shade of green on your face.”

“I know, right? It feels like three times the amount of green I had in my cheeks the last time I came to see you!”

“That’s more common than you might think. A lot of my patients on Prince Edward Island are experiencing a similar green outbreak. It could wind up eradicating blue bruises and orange growths forever, and it may encroach on their own red blotches. This could wind up shaking up Prince Edward Island’s entire system.”

“Doc, I wasn’t finished. There’s more.”

“What? You have four separate symptoms? That hasn’t happened to you in over two decades, New Brunswick. What else is going wrong?”

“Well, I get these waves of nausea coming around every so often, Doc. But they’re inconsistent. I don’t have any problems if I eat English muffins, but even one bite of French toast sets me off.”

“Hmmm – I’ve seen this happen before. We had a strain of this virus wind its way through the system about a quarter-century ago. Those cases cleared up roughly five years later, but unfortunately, this stubborn disease always lingers underground before striking again.”

“Does it have a name, Doc?”

“Today we call it People’s Alliance Syndrome. It used to be casually known as the CoR-Blimeys. Either way, it wreaks havoc on the patient’s digestive system. And, unfortunately, I’ve got some bad news for you: There’s no immediate cure for all of this. Somehow, all these warring parts of your body are going to have to work together.”

“What? That’s impossible. How am I supposed to get anything done with all these blotches and bruises and more green than ever, especially when it feels like I can’t keep anything down anymore?”

“Well, I’m going to put you into group therapy with someone else who’s gone through this before. I believe you’re familiar with your neighbour, Nova Scotia. After enduring three separate minority governments over an 11-year period, that province could help you out.”

“Oh, great! I’m having a medical breakdown so you put me together with Nova Scotia? Do you have any idea how hard it is to see a doctor there? Forget it, Doc. I’m going home and hiding under the bed until the next election.”

“That might not be a bad idea, New Brunswick. After all, you probably won’t have to wait too long for that to come around. Take two of these, in the meantime.”

“Hey, this isn’t a prescription. This is a coupon for McCain’s Fruit Punch, and it’s only redeemable at an Irving gas station.”

“Well, that’s how we roll on this side of the Bay of Fundy.”