Wednesday, October 31, 2007

C'est l'Halloween!

Hey ghouls and boils. Hahahahaha. Happy Hallowe'en/Samhain/Celtic New Year to everyone! Who doesn't love Hallowe'en, right? Fun costumes, adorable children prowling the streets (to be replaced later in the evening with less adorable drunken idiots), revelling, candy, drinking (when you're too old for candy), leaves a-fallin', and so on. Good times.

So yesterday the idea of escorts wearing costumes was discussed, but ultimately rejected as there was some concern that it might be a bit offensive. It was a good day anyway, despite the lack of costumes. And the snowfall (!!!). I was working reception, and thankfully so because by all accounts it was quite cold outside. A couple of escorts built a little snowman (I will put the picture of it up later today). And one of our escorts, TH, who wasn't scheduled to volunteer, dropped by anyway with cupcakes for everyone. What a sweetheart.

There were not very many protesters out yesterday, especially during the early shift. Father Grim is still MIA. Earpiece Charlie continues his attempts at conversation, remarking to EO about the snow and suchforth. It just feels so weird not to talk to people when they are just being polite, and I know the other escorts feel weird about it too. But there are rules, and the number one rule is DO NOT ENGAGE. And it's there for a reason, so we have to follow it.

Anyway, obviously I don't have much to talk about since I wasn't actually outside, and it wasn't really a very eventful morning. Hopefully next week I'll have lots of juicy protester gossip for you (although there's a possibility I might be on reception again, so I'll have to put my best spy escorts outside, he he he). In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful Hallowe'en and give out lots of delicious treats to all the kiddies. Or put on an awesome costume and go get drunk. I will be having dinner out like a civilized person (it's our anniversary! well it was yesterday) but I will be revelling with you all in spirit.

Here's our little friend:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Meet Beard-o

Better late than never! I wish I had had the time to blog on Tuesday, as it was a pretty fun day and now I don't know if I'm going to remember everything. Such is life.

It started out really slowly. Father Grim hasn't been out for the last couple weeks, and this was no exception. For the first half of the first shift, there were only four protesters! It was strange. A new guy was out, though, so that was interesting. He may have been a priest, actually, but sometimes it's hard to tell. He is an earnest looking fellow with a beard, and he had a big wooden cross around his neck, a rosary, and (best of all) a little plastic fetus. AWESOME! At one point he was on his knees on the sidewalk, praying the rosary. It's fun to have new people because they are so eager.

Crazy Legs didn't even come out until after all the patients were in - I saw her outside on my way out, in her fetching grey coat. Poor dear missed all the fun.

What could be going on, I wonder? Where are Father Grim, the Anger Twins, Sad Suzie (who hasn't been around for months), and all the other characters we know and love? I know that October is a big month for pro-lifers so maybe they're all busy planning something special. Or perhaps they are travelling; today, after all, marks the start of the 2007 National Pro-Life Conference in Moncton. Anyway, I sure hope they're all back in full force next week, to combat the extra evil of Hallowe'en.

Oh yeah, we need a nickname for the new guy, because I've just been calling him Beard-o. Any ideas?

So the clinic is across the street from a parking garage, which is where we usually encourage patients to park. When you come out of the clinic, the parking garage entrance is on the left, but unfortunately the street is one-way, to the right. So you have to go around the block to get to the parking garage. Well, we had TWO people on Tuesday go the wrong way on the one-way street to get to the parking garage. Always unnerving, but luckily they made it. Still, I wish people would learn to listen to directions.

We had a gorgeous sky on Tuesday morning. Check it out:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Hi faithful readers! Sorry I am so slow on the update this week. I was going to write in the blog tonight but my pop culture expertise is needed on a trivia you'll all have to wait until tomorrow I'm afraid!

Yours in pie,
The Pedgehog

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Some Days it's Hard to Think of a Title

Back outside today! Man is it getting cold. Almost time for toe-warmers *excitement*. I wonder if the protesters have toe warmers.

Lots of stuff to write about today. Mr. Mumbles was talking about the end times in his prayers; he actually used the words "wailing and gnashing of teeth". Apparently it's going to be "a horrible time". Personally I'm looking forward to these losers getting raptured up so women can get their abortions in peace.

Hero of the day: a woman (let's call her KH) pulled up out back and rolled down her window. I was a little confused because it was just her in the car, and patients aren't allowed to drive themselves. But she just wanted to know where she could park for a few minutes so she could go talk to the protesters, because she was "sick and tired" of seeing them every week. So we let her park in the clinic parking lot, and she marched right out front and up to one of the Anger Twins. I couldn't hear much of what she was saying because I was out back, but she eventually started to raise her voice and the gist of it seemed to be that women coming in were faced with a difficult decision and the protesters were just making it harder, and that they must think women were stupid, and they had no right to pass judgement, and essentially everything that we would say if we were allowed to engage with the protesters. It was amazing. I applaud your courage, KH. You are an awesome feminist and an example to the rest of us.

So yeah, that was pretty cool. The Anger Twin was without his other twin today, but he did get to hold the big sign depicting a fetus in the womb. He was really aggressive with it too. I feel like maybe he put in a certain amount of protesting hours and thus graduated to the big sign. Congratulations Anger Twin!

Father Grim was not out this week. :(

The protesters are always tricking us into engaging by saying good morning. They are a crafty bunch (okay I know they're not really trying to trick us, they are probably just trying to be nice people). When someone says good morning to me, I sort of automatically respond in kind, without thinking. Then I feel gross for talking to them. Then I feel like an idiot for having to think about acting like a decent human being. It's funny because some of the escorts feel the same, and others won't respond on principle. Some days the escorts' reactions to the protesters are as interesting as the protesters themselves.

For those of you who felt there was more crazy in the air than usual this past weekend, it was because of the Life Chain on Sunday. It basically involved the anti-choicers holding their signs in a big line along the road in two locations: downtown on Regent Street at the corner of Brunswick, and uptown on Regent by the hospital. I went and checked out the downtown one, but it was pretty boring. They didn't leave any roses or other crap around the clinic, which is always a win.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Inside Looking Out

This week I was working reception and thus was unable to take in all the crazy shenanigans of the protesters, except through my little window. Luckily my escorts keep me in the know on occasions such as these.

It seemed to be "stare at the receptionist day" out there, actually. Earpiece Charlie spent the better part of his morning staring in at me. I know he can see me, too, because when I waved to one of my escorts she waved back. What are you up to, Earpiece Charlie? When he was done with that (perhaps he got tired of me smiling cheerily back at him), Mad Thad took over. Thad has a really good stare because it's got some of Earpiece Charlie's anger/intimidation, but it's also mixed with a healthy dose of sadness for the bayyyy-beeeees. So that was amusing. Although it is really weird to just be working, and every time you look up there's someone staring in through a window at you.

There is a guy who mumbles prayers all the time while he walks back and forth. Do we have a name for him? If not, it's up to you, faithful readers, to suggest one. Anyway I guess his prayers were occasionally audible this week, and the escorts inform me that he was praying for "all the little babies who will never get to laugh and run and play" etc. etc. ad nauseum. A touching sentiment, really, but you know he just spoke that part louder as he was walking past the escorts, to make them feel guilty about being the cause of such a lack of running, laughing, playing babies in the world. Never mind the stabbing, smoking, raping babies. If this guy loves babies so much, why isn't he home with his? Sometimes I wonder if all these old men are just dealing with some kind of extreme empty nest syndrome.

Crazy Legs fashion update: she may have been shopping! She was wearing black pants and a lovely black sweater with embroidered roses. If you want to get Crazy Legs's look, my sources tell me that she does indeed shop at Value Village! And apparently she is always very polite. Don't forget to overdose on the bright red lipstick and goopy mascara for that special Crazy Legs touch.

Oh, another excellent snippet of overheard conversation between protesters: "If people want to stop breast cancer, just stop abortion." Riiiiiiiight. In case you are a protester yourself, or you missed that freshman logic class, here's why that is not going to work:

1. Abortion does not cause breast cancer. For more on this, do some research.
2. Most people who have breast cancer did not get it from abortions (see above).
3. Thus, stopping abortions will not affect the breast cancer rate in the slightest.

Good effort, protesters, but maybe you should stick to discussing whether or not Revelations is supposed to be taken literally. (Hint: no).

One last thing: Dr. Henry Morgentaler is going to be on The Hour on CBC tonight (Wed. Oct. 10) at 9pm (outside of NB, I suggest checking your local listings).

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

October Blues

The cold weather is drawing nearer, faithful readers, but that will not deter our protesters from their unhappy destiny. In fact, it seems to make them more determined; but perhaps that is less about the cold than about October itself, a notoriously heavy month for anti-abortion activism. The month of the upcoming "Life Chain", of the National Pro Life Conference (this year being held in New Brunswick - lucky us!), and of the anniversary of the murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian (most Canadian abortion providers seem to get shot in November). What a happy month!

Oh well, we have fun. There were quite a few protesters out today, and they were quite aggressive, even during the early shift. The Holy Ghost was out first thing, which is unusual for her, and she made an attempt to talk to every single patient. It kept us very busy, and I was glad to have three escorts out back.

Crazy Legs came out a bit earlier than usual too, and since I received such a positive response to my descriptions of her dress sense, I will tell you, gentle readers, that she was wearing a fetching grey coat (with shoulder pads, of course) and black pants that were slightly too short for her. Excellent. Peter Ryan was also out doing his rounds, as was the brutish Earpiece Charlie.

The Tenor was in top form. He didn't sing (sadly) but he did make a remark (to me)about fooling all of the people some of the time. Implying, I suppose, that I like to fool women into having abortions. Would that I were so devious. Because obviously as a volunteer, I get commission for every woman that comes in. <--- sarcasm!

The excitement of the day was that the junior high behind us was having an emergency preparedness drill. The police were all out front of the school, so we couldn't see them, but it scared the crap out of two women (friends of a patient) who had come out to smoke when the school principal came over the loudspeaker and announced that the school was now in "lockdown". They didn't realize it was a drill. It turns out that they were a bit spooked anyway, as on the drive to Fredericton they had hit a bird, and almost hit a moose. Rough morning.