Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Short Shift

Sorry I'm a bit late this week - I know my rabid fans are going through withdrawl, ha ha. Anyway, yesterday was pretty good. I only stayed for the first shift because I had a workshop to go to for my other job (the most full-time of the three) so I had to leave early. Luckily for me, they brought out the big guns early. Fetus Lady in particular was in top form.

I was out front most of the time and things were a bit slow. I went around back to chat with some of the other escorts, just in time to see Fetus Lady get bitched out. A woman driving into the school parked her car, got out and walked back to Fetus Lady (who was standing in the back of the clinic right between our property line and the school). The woman asked her politely not to show her sign right there, as her child could see it (not to mention other junior high kids going to school). The sign in question was the exploded fetus. Fetus Lady, who always has a creepy, dead look in her eyes, spouted some bull back to her. The woman was really frustrated as she walked away, and we could see that her daughter was quite small - probably a younger sibling to the one in junior high.

That was the only mildly exciting thing that happened. Oh, and there were two June bugs on the ramp, which was causing quite a bit of squealing and hopping about.

I didn't see Father Grim this week - that's two weeks in a row he has been MIA. Considering he is usually the most dedicated of the protesters, the one who is always there at 7am, I am seriously wondering what has happened to him. Maybe it was all too much for him - he has freaked out before. Maybe he spends all his time working in the "Mother and Child Welcome House". Where are you, Father Grim??

For those of you who haven't already, I invite you to go on Facebook, join the Great Canadian Wish List group, and add your support to the second-place wish: "I wish Canada would remain Pro-choice".

Sorry it's not too entertaining this week. I promise that next week I'll be on top form, and many crazy and amusing things will happen. :)

Write to TJ Burke!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cops and (no) Sobbers

Man, scheduling is hard. I had an absolute gaggle of escorts on today because I just scheduled everyone who was available. I have to avoid doing that in future. Otherwise I think it gets a bit intimidating for the women coming in, not to mention there's not much to do for most of the escorts.

Today was fun. The protesters have another new sign. This one says "In memory of all the babies aborted here" and has a cross made of flowers. Very pretty.

We had a few funny passersby too. A fellow on a bicycle (who shall remain nameless) yelled "choice rules!" at them on his way by. Very gutsy, heckling from a bike. There was a woman who drove by with one hand blaring the horn, and the other in a one finger salute to the protesters. But the most exciting was a guy that slowed down not once, but TWICE to argue with them. He stopped his car right in front of the driveway next to the clinic and started talking to the protesters. They clearly weren't interested in arguing (perhaps they are taking my suggestions about not being aggressive) and started walking away. The guy yelled "Don't walk away, my intelligent friends!" hahaha. Then he continued to drive, but couldn't help himself and stopped again, this time in front of the CPC (the house next door that they own) and talked to the other group of protesters. Sadly, they didn't want to argue either. Oh well. Props to you, drive-by angry guy. You are awesome.

I escorted one young woman up the ramp and she started talking about the protesters. At first I thought she was upset because they were staring at her, but then she said "they can watch my ass walk into the clinic", ha ha. And she had some choice words for them on the way out, too. Awesome. Mainly I was just happy that nobody cried today! Yay!

The morning passed without much more excitement until the very last minute. All the patients were inside and the other escorts and I were taking off our vests and getting ready to go, when the police showed up. I went to talk to the officer and it turned out that Science East had called them, because they were concerned about the kids walking by and seeing the graphic signs. Two minutes later, ANOTHER cop showed up. Turns out George Street school had called as well - I'm not sure if that was about the kids seeing the signs, or about the protesters crossing their property line. Anyway, it was good times, because the first cop said he was going to go reason with them, and went straight to Crazy Legs. Ha ha, good luck buddy. I'm not sure what the outcome was because I didn't feel like hanging around, but JB got some pictures. Hopefully I'll find out from SL when I go to work tomorrow, if it was anything exciting. I will let you all know.

P.S. Father Grim wasn't there today!! Where could he be...?

Friday, June 15, 2007


I am so excited, I get to post my first retraction! Ha ha. It turns out that I was given some false information, and that Father Right isn't really who I thought he was. The gentleman who writes into the paper (his name is Thaddee Renault) actually is one of the protesters, but he isn't the priest. So from now on Father Right will be going by his established nickname of Father Grim, and Thaddee will be known as Mad Thad. That is all.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Signs and Saviors

Lots of excitement at the clinic this week. We had four new volunteers, thanks to my awesome recruiting skillz (actually I only recruited two of them). The protesters got a new sign. And, we all found out that our souls are being prayed for. I feel pretty good about that.

So the new sign is awesome. It is two-sided, with TWO different pictures of Jesus (one on the cross and one where he is kneeling in a white robe). It has some sort of rhyming advice about not killing your baby, so to get the whole message you have to read the front of the sign and then walk around to the back of it. Super awesome. Next week I will try to take some pictures.

Three of us were standing out front when someone noticed one of the protesters was obviously praying, and pointed it out. Sort of like, "look, he's praying". One of the young guys (I need nicknames for them!!) turned to us and directly addressed us (which, thankfully, rarely happens). He said that the guy was praying for our souls, and maybe we think that's funny, but one day it might be the only thing we have. I don't really think it's funny when someone prays for my soul. I'm a little sad about them wasting their energy, but I do think it's nice when someone puts in the extra effort. However, I don't like being patronized. There is a difference between someone praying for me because they truly want my soul to go to a good place, and praying for me for show because they want me to know I'm a sinner and I'm wrong. I know it's not charitable of me to assume I know the guy's motives, but considering that he spends his Tuesday mornings passing judgement, I think I'll give myself the benefit of the doubt.

Later I was out the back with a couple other escorts, including a new one, LR, who had never seen Fetus Lady's sign before. It was quite a shock to the eyes, I have to say. Anyway, LR was curious as to whether it was real. She was asking us, but of course Fetus Lady took the liberty of responding. According to her, it is real. Surprise. LR was with me when the young guy was talking about our souls, too - something about her must attract confrontation. Oh well, it keeps life interesting.

A reminder to all you pro-choicers in New Brunswick: write letters and send emails to T.J. Burke to show your support of the bubble law!

Centennial Building
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB
E3B 5H1

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints...

Well, fun times at the clinic this week! I showed up rather early and was surprised to see that there were no protesters – not even Father Right! There were no women in the waiting room either. I think I was just earlier than I thought though, because soon afterwards things continued as usual. It was a bit wet out today so the protesters were out in their matching rain jackets; so adorable.

The first shift was pretty unremarkable. It seemed a bit busier than usual, but nothing out of the ordinary. I stuck around for the second shift, and I’m glad I did because it was a lot more interesting.

A guy driving by slowed down to tell the protesters that they shouldn’t be holding their “aborted fetus” picture up for kids to see. He ended up pulling over to discuss it with them, because they all flocked over to his car to engage him in a heated debate. I don’t know where the aggression started – in all fairness, it could have been the guy who started being unpleasant, and they just answered him in kind – but I really think it would benefit their side to have some concise, polite replies to rude passersby. It would be a lot more effective than aggression. You catch more flies with honey, and so on.

There was a very amusing fellow joining the protesters today. He was a big, loud guy. I have never been personally judged (out loud) or condemned by the protesters, although I have heard of it happening to some of the other escorts (personal favourite epithets include “little lesbians” and “Hitler’s henchmen”). Well, this loud guy (hereafter known as The Tenor) was way into the judgement. He called us “vultures” and accused us of only caring about profit. This strikes me as especially funny when addressed to the escorts, and not just because we’re volunteers. I can accept that he might not know that. However, if we WERE paid, surely it would be hourly, and not on commission? So it really wouldn’t matter to us if women came in or not. (I can’t speak for the other escorts, but it actually DOESN’T matter to me personally if a woman comes in or not. It matters to me that if she does want to come in, she shouldn’t be harassed).

Anyway, The Tenor’s amusing diatribe was keeping us entertained, when he decided to be the greatest anti-choice protester of all time and SING. That’s right, he sang. He had quite a nice voice too. It was some Jesus-y song about how we’re all going to hell. I kind of wanted to come back with a rousing chorus of “Only the Good Die Young”, but unfortunately I can’t sing very well. Perhaps that’s God’s punishment for being a baby-killer.

Eventually The Tenor left. He made sure to tell us that he wouldn't be back, because, as he so eloquently put it, "I can't stand the sight of yas." Charming.

I have to say, I often forget how intimidating the protesters can be – mainly because I see them every week and I find them kind of amusing (you have to, or you go crazy). But today I went way down the street to walk one woman in (she was on her own), and walking back to the clinic, facing all those people with their signs, staring at you, and Crazy Legs and The Holy Ghost wailing at you about your baby…..eep. It’s scary.

Good to see the men getting a bit more active and vocal though, that was exciting. Perhaps they read my blog about how much less intense they are than the women, and decided to step up to the plate. Honestly, I really hope they get this bubble zone underway soon, because this is really getting ridiculous.