It is getting progressively colder (and darker) outside every week. Yesterday was particularly gloomy, and it rained during the later shift. It seemed to keep the protesters inside, anyway. There were only a few of them out, and only two of them wearing the bright yellow rain jackets we love so much.
It makes me sad to go so many weeks without seeing Crazy Legs. I miss her fun outfits and wacky antics. Earpiece Charlie wasn't out either; nor was Father Grim. I feel like I haven't seen the Anger Twins in months. What is going on, people?
But you know who is always reliable? Peter Ryan. What a great guy. He might not be out every week, and he never has a sign, but you always know he's there, just next door, thinking his thoughts and dreaming his dreams. Some weeks, if you're lucky, he will go out on to the front step and speak to his faithful protesters; sometimes even stoop to walk among them. What a hero.
This week, Peter Ryan wins the prize for best gimmick ever - that's right, even better than the miniature plastic "fetus" he pulls out of his trenchcoat pocket to show to patients. This week he had the waist-high Virgin Mary statue with which he prays by the clinic on non-clinic days, but he was carrying it in his arms like an infant, and it was wrapped in a baby blanket. !!!
When the other escorts and I first saw this visual treat, we couldn't stop laughing. After some discussion it was decided that there must be several strange issues at play in Peter Ryan's psyche to have decided that this was the best way to dissuade women from having abortions. The cold, hard statue of a grown woman doesn't elicit as much sympathy as a baby, after all; even a fake baby (like a cheap plastic baby doll from the Dollar Store) would have made more sense. Secondly, the identity of the statue raises all kinds of questions. Why would Mr. Ryan cradle the virgin mother as if she were his baby? That would make him very old. I feel like there's a weird Oedipal aspect to the whole thing.
I think the most interesting imagery is of the head protester holding a statue of a grown woman as if it were a baby. Maybe this is Peter Ryan's way of telling us what he thinks of women (and their decision-making skills). Mary, the most revered woman in the Catholic Church, had only one claim to fame: being Jesus's mom. Women should aspire to be virginal baby-makers (???) with the intellect of children. Come on gals, stop thinking so hard about your own bodies!
Am I reading too much into it? Maybe someone else had the baby doll that day.