Any escort who spends time standing at the front property line of the clinic will soon become familiar with the scripts that one of the protesters chooses to recite day in, day out. I get the sense that she memorized these words years ago. Whenever she begins one of the scripts, it’s as if she hits “play” on a tape recorder. The same exact words. The same old tired arguments. The same pleading tone. I have (not intentionally) memorized many of these scripts and can follow along in my head.
Most of the time, this protester sticks tight to her scripts, never deviating. So whenever she breaks script and pulls out what I like to call a “(protester name) original”, you never know what’s going to come out of her mouth.
One morning, this particular protester got a little desperate that her scripts weren’t working. I could sense the frustration in her voice as she struggled to find something shocking to say. She finally burst out – “You’ll be trapped down there! At least in a back alley abortion, you could run out of the alley!” It was a struggle for me not to roll my eyes.
Another morning, I heard the sound of the clinic doors unlocking right at 7:30. I walked to the curb and gave the signal (a thumbs up) to the escort standing in the lot across the street. This protester walked up behind me and startled me a bit as she exclaimed, “You just gave the wrong signal!” For a brief moment I thought she meant that the doors weren’t actually open. But no, she was about to break script with a real gem. “You gave a thumbs up. But you should give a THUMBS DOWN! That’s what the Romans did whenever they were about to kill someone. Thumbs down!”
Well…at least these little off-script gems break up the monotony of the same tired arguments!