Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Returns and Retreats

Once again, a fairly uneventful Tuesday morning. Crazy Legs wasn't even out, which was a disappointment because now I have escorts requesting the second shift just so they can see her in all her glory. Where were you, Crazy Legs? Please come back to us!

It is becoming apparent that Peter Ryan might be back into the protesting swing of things. He has been progressively more visible over the past couple weeks, emerging from the house at the slightest hint of an incident to speak reassuring words to his troops. Yesterday he was out almost all morning, walking up and down. No sign, and I didn't see his legendary plastic "fetus" although there are indications that it might be back in play. The problem with Peter Ryan is that he is more aggressive than his male colleagues in terms of actually speaking to the patients. I'm not sure if he caught any going in, but I saw him try to talk to at least two women leaving. Lord knows what he's telling them. As long as he's not whipping that horrible plastic thing out of his pocket. I'm curious to see whether he will become a regular fixture.

It's funny, the way the different protesters deal with women coming out as opposed to women coming in. It's like once they've had the abortion, they (the protesters) don't know if they should condemn them, forgive them, or try to scare them out of having another one. I feel like it's something they haven't discussed at their meetings, so they all take kind of a different approach. Peter Ryan uses his little plastic buddy to try to make them feel guilty. Glare-y Mary doesn't care; she glares at them as they go in, and glares at them as they go out. I think the Holy Ghost is the most interesting, as she seems the most conflicted. As they go in she often tries to "save" them; she tells them there is help for them, that they could have money, etc. and basically tries very hard to get them to go next door. But then when they come out, it's as if she's given up on them, but she has to give it a go for appearances. So she says something like "there's help for you" in her horrible ghostly voice, but then doesn't even wait for a reply. She just turns and keeps walking her vague patrol. WEIRD.

I've found that a lot of people (patients, escorts and staff alike) are really freaked out by the guy with the earpiece. I forget if I've given him a name or not (I really should have a reference list) so I'll just call him Earpiece Charlie. He's a big, bald guy who wears one earpiece. He's probably listening to music but it makes him look like he's in the secret service or something. Anyway he's a big guy and he doesn't look like a lot of fun, and it doesn't help that he usually carries the "Belive the lie and babies die" sign. So people find him intimidating. Which is understandable, but I bet he's just a big teddy bear at heart. I would love to go to a cocktail party with these people some day and see what they're really like. I think it would be fun. Crazy Legs drunk? Watch out!

In other news, God Boy and his mom haven't been back. I hope she's found something more fun and normal for him to do. We're pulling for you, God Boy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Cast of Thousands

Gee, I don't put the blog up until Wednesday and I have people all over me! I had no idea I had such a dedicated readership. :) Thanks gang.

Yesterday's clinic was not too bad. The Anger Twins were back, so I guess they don't go to school (at least not on Tuesdays). By the second shift, there were tons of people - almost the whole cast of characters. The only people missing were God Boy and his mom, and the new priest (Socks and Sandals).

So I love Glare-y Mary. She is just so hilarious. I feel a bit bad for finding her so funny because I suspect she might be mentally unbalanced in some way, but I just can't help it. She glares and glares at everyone, and the only person she can't glare at is SL, our clinic manager. SL will look at Glare-y Mary through the window, and Glare-y Mary just can't meet her eyes. She keeps looking away, and eventually she leaves. It's so weird! Sometimes SL comes out to chat with the escorts, and it makes Glare-y Mary all nervous and squirelly. What is her deal?

Crazy Legs was wearing something wonderful yesterday. She wears these tailored suits that look like she is trying to appear professional but only shops at Value Village. All her suits are sort of 80s and scruffy. Yesterday, for example, she was wearing a fairly normal blouse, but then a black tailored jacket (not tailored to her, mind you) with shoulder pads and a mismatching grey pencil skirt. And heels. She always looks like a fashion challenged female lawyer from the 80s - her hair is even crimped. I love her so much. It's as if she puts all this effort into looking like a professional counsellor, but then she spoils it all by chasing women down in the street.

Father Grim mumbled at me a bit today when I was standing in front of him, but I don't know what he said. Father Grim, if you're reading this, speak up! I need to hear your pearls of wisdom.

Until next week then.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy 30th Post!

Well, it's fall. The weather is getting a bit chilly and all the kiddies are going back to school. One of the delights of escorting on the late shift around back is listening to the announcements from the junior high school behind the clinic. We listen to them talk about intramural sports, birthdays and new rules and reminisce about our own inevitably hellish days in junior high. Fun.

Fall also means a bit of a shift in escorts; some leaving us (going away to school or not being able to fit their class schedule around volunteering, or simply being too busy) and some coming back (from summer job placements or vacations), and some entirely new faces. Very exciting time of year.

It also seems to make a difference to the protesters, too, as it means a higher concentration of older ones. Their two token young guys, the Anger Twins, were not protesting today - could it be they are off edifying themselves at one of our fine institutions of higher learning? One hopes so, while at the same time experiencing some doubt as to whether it would make a difference, when the students in question don't think the Supreme Court's rulings affect them, and habitually discuss the possibility that Revelations is supposed to be taken literally. I weep for the youth.

So yesterday was fun, despite those absences. The gentleman who sometimes passes by, and who once dropped his coffee out of frustration and anger with the presence of the protesters, passed by and tried to smile at us, but it turned into more of a grimace at the protesters, whose presence seems to make him physically nauseaous. We shall henceforth name him Cool Guy.

A young man came by and started snapping pictures of the protesters at one point. Judging from his style and expensive camera, I would guess a photography student. The protesters were all in a huff about that, and Peter Ryan had to emerge from his cave and sort the fellow out. Really he just asked him what he was doing. I wasn't close enough to hear the guy's reply but Peter Ryan didn't seem very pleased about him being there, and the photographer soon left. After that the protesters felt it necessary to huddle together and discuss in urgent whispers these new developments.

Another thrilling week at the abortion clinic, such as it is.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Anger Twin's Big Day

Back in the trenches this week. Anger Twin #1 was on fire, stirring up all kinds of trouble. I love trying to listen to what the protesters are talking about because I just wonder if they talk about us, or if they discuss their ordinary lives, or whatever. I can't usually hear them though, and I don't want to be completely rude about it. Anyway I heard one conversation while I was out there yesterday - Anger Twin #1 (the more aggressive but less creepy of the two) arguing loudly with one of the MAM (middle aged men). They were talking about what parts of Revelations are symbolic and which parts are literal. I thought it was all symbolic, personally (how much more obvious can you get than the four horsemen named after bad things? Do people really think it'll be guys on horses?) but really, how can some of it be symbolic and some literal? Pick a side, buddy.

The other thing that happened was something I didn't actually witness, but EO told me about it afterwards. I guess there was a guy going into work at the junior high right behind our clinic (we'll call him Teacher Guy), and he knew Anger Twin. Teacher Guy asked Anger Twin what he was up to and Anger Twin pointed out that he was protesting MURDER. Obviously. And Teacher Guy suggested he find something more worthwhile to do with his time. Yes! I hope this makes Teacher Guy rethink that friendship.

We got a new priest today, a fellow wearing socks and sandals and a t-shirt that said something about becoming a saint and the next revolution or something equally zealot-y. So that's a total of three priests today, and at one point they were standing in a clump out back. Clump o' priests.

Crazy Legs was in top form, just like I love her. Chasing down women, crowding them as they tried to get out of their cars, etc. It's nice to be back out escorting, although the weather is starting to get a bit chilly. Soon time for toe warmers. Lovely.