Pro-choice and pro-life activists rallying outside a Weaver, Oklahoma women's clinic found themselves forced to compromise, share and fraternize with the enemy when local roadcrews provided only six port-a-potties to serve the needs of over 11,000 demonstrators. Faced with hour-long lines and an absence of concealing shrubbery, protests came to a halt as demonstrators hopped on one foot, squirmed feverishly and abandoned acts of civil disobedience. "Christ, if I'd known there was going to be this line, I wouldn't have guzzled down seven cups of instant coffee with the neighbor Church, Our Lady of Heavenly Waters," Mitch Stewart, local pastor moaned. "I wish I'd brought a bucket."
The protest began last week when pro-life activists called on volunteers to help close the Weaver clinic, the only remaining abortion clinic in northern Oklahoma. Vowing to resist, pro-choice forces also descended upon the small farming community, causing many residents to fear a repeat of last year's demonstrations, which led to rioting and the arrest of over 23 protesters.
But as the former sworn enemies were forced together in long, slow-moving lines, an amazing thing happened. Both sides began to concentrate not each other's uncompromising zealotry, but instead upon their common goal. In the process, old allegiances were shattered, new ones were built, and a sense of understanding was achieved as activists reached a blessed relief just one green step higher the one they had rested just a moment before. "Before today, I wouldn't have had one bad word for my pro- life brothers," Joyce Falwell declared as she joined the mood of peace and understanding. "But if Jerry doesn't hurry up in there I'd say he's no better than you baby-eating vipers."
Her comments echoed the sentiments of many in the crowd as both sides unzipped their lips, controlled spasming bladders, and refrained from random gun-play as militant feminists and fundamentalist pistol-packers alike had their hands, as well as their entire endocrine systems, full. Encouraged by the burgeoning dialogue, both sides refrained from degrading each other's moral character and instead told merry jokes in an attempt to get their enemies to relax, laugh and lose control of their anguished bladders. "How many people would welcome the chance to put out a campfire? You know, the way Dad used to do it?" Anna Black chortled, drawing an enthusiastic, yet grimacing response from the crowd.
Yet such acts of cruelty remained in the minority as the two diametrically-opposed world views chose to concentrate on that which brought them together. "Normally, I wouldn't get any closer than shouting distance to these zealots," Planned Parenthood volunteer Nancy Gruzewaith stated. "But for once, I think I see eye to eye with these doctor-murdering women haters." And while many are uncertain of what a close dialogue with their avowed enemies may bring, most agree that things certainly could have gone worse. "I for one am just glad I passed on the triple bean burrito, bran muffin and Metamucil brunch at the Bishop's this morning," one protester commented, as he accurately captured the mood of the assembled throngs. "Now that would have been a real disaster."