It's election night: 2000. Steve, Mr. NPR Reporter, has been tasked to cover the election. Like, the ENTIRE election. Democratic, Republican, national, AND local. Big job. And because we've been married all of 1.75 months, I decide that I'll come help him. We spend a little time downtown SLC at Democratic headquarters, trying to interview the ONE Democrat who won his race. We miss him, though. And lemmie tell you, Democratic headquarters on election night in Utah is a sad, sad, sad place. So we leave.
Grand entrance into Republican Headquarters. The room is so loud that we have to yell to talk. There are balloons and laughing and music and cheering and every image of jubilation you can possibly think of. There is one sad looking Republican, the one beat by the lone Democrat of course, walking around trying to look stoic. Everyone avoids him.
So there are SO MANY winning Republicans to interview that Steve is running around like a madman. I am tasked with recording all of the formal speeches given. I have my microphone, my recorder, I look like a genuine journalist.
Orrin's speech is the biggest one of the night. (He being almost as powerful as Oprah in this state.) I have staked my place at the front of the crowd and I hold my microphone up to him like the best of the best reporters. Easy as pie, my job. Well, his speech ends and he comes down off the podium to start his individual interviews. The TV stations seem to have the biggest people to strong arm him over. So, he goes to do interviews.
Meanwhile, the next speech to record isn't for awhile, and if you recall the election night of 2000 you know that things are starting to get pretty interesting with the whole "who's gonna be president?!" question. Lucky for me Republican Headquarters is equipped with a 25 foot tall TV projection. Probably of Fox News. Can't be sure. So, I turn my back on Orrin to watch TV.
Orrin and I are actually back to back at this point. He's interviewing with some TV station and his hands are clasped behind his back like this:
Only he has a shirt on, obviously.
Well, he must be nervous because his hand is slowly squeezing in and out. In and out. In and out.
Meanwhile, I can't see the 25-ft tall TV very well, so I'm backing up. Backing up. Backing up. Ever so slowly.
I feel a giant MAN HAND squeeze the world's largest chunk of my BUTT.
So, what to do? I scream. And I jump. And I turn around.
And it's Orrin Hatch. (Who doesn't flinch. Not even an inch.)
And we're live on channel four.
Actually, I don't remember what station he was interviewing with at the time. All I know is that I started laughing SO DANG HARD because FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE I would get to tell the story about the time that Orrin Hatch grabbed my butt.
Later that night when we were interviewing him, I kept looking at my lap and giggling. There he was, chatting with my husband about politics. Meanwhile, the man had no idea that the random piece of flesh he found between his fingers earlier?