Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Heard: Lady Liberty's Height

A couple of summers ago I interned for a Senator. One of my fellow interns made a name for herself in numerous ways (many, too inappropriate to be repeated); however, her tour skills were second to none.

A large group of constituents (a high school class, I think) required three of us to lead their group through the Capitol, and I led the group directly behind said intern. She made her way through much of the tour unremarkably, pointing out all the standard tour landmarks. Her shining moment came when she was giving a rundown of the Capitol rotunda. (Note – during our orientation we were instructed to mention that the Statue of Liberty would fit inside the Capitol — to give a sense of the height of the building). As the intern gave her spiel she confidently said that the Empire State Building, not the Statue of Liberty, could fit within the Capitol. Not surprisingly, few of the students were paying attention, but their chaperones exchanged disbelieving glances. Nobody corrected her.

When we got back to the office I teasingly mentioned her slip of the tongue. She stared blankly at me, oblivious to the absurdness of what she had said (and only understanding after a lengthy explanation of the actual heights of the two buildings).