Friday, June 05, 2009

Heard: Confessions of a Prior Intern

I feel the need to get this deep, dark moment of my past out in the open. During the Summer and Fall of 2005 I worked as an intern on the Hill. Like most Hill interns, one of my duties was to give Capitol tours. I was really eager to please, so I memorized the entire booklet I was given about the Capitol (the Dome is roughly 290 feet tall...) and worked out a bunch of witty remarks to accompany my tour. The kind of parent that thinks that riding on the Senate subway will imbue their kids with a healthy awe of democracy seemed to really like my overzealous, dorky good-nature. As a result I ended up giving a lot of tours.

Things continued to go well for me until one day, I was walking backwards underneath the Dirksen building talking to my tour group. I believe I was talking about the Senate supply room. I was so passionate about what I was talking about that they were rapt, hanging on my every word. The problem was, I was so involved in the tour that I forgot that when your walking backwards down a busy hallway in an office building that holds the people who run the free world, you should periodically look over your shoulder. So I slammed directly into a prominent Senator. To make things worse, my Jersey instincts took over. So instead of turning around before I opened my mouth, I blurted out, "Hey! Watch it!" I didn't need to turn around to recognize how badly I had effed-up because the mother on my tour turned bright red and laughed in my face. I have to give the Senator a lot of credit. I as babbled through my apology and tried not to puke on his shoes due to being totally mortified with myself, he chatted up my tour group and acted like I hadn't just stuck my elbow into the gut of the (then) Ranking Member of a powerful subcommittee.

There it is. I feel a whole lot better now.