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Another Brick in the Wall

Photo: Genessa Gutzait· The Sentry

Crazy Uncle Joe

had trouble thinking of what to write about for the April Fools’ issue since political news is becoming increasingly indistinguishable from satire. I tried to think of news that’s at least funny to write about. Joe Biden sniffing women’s hair isn’t exactly funny, though there is at least an element of absurdity to Biden sympathizers scrambling to defend hair-sniffing.

I had my own weird experience meeting Joe Biden when I was a 22-year-old intern in D.C. No, he didn’t sniff my hair or kiss the back of my head.

What he did do was, instead of just shaking my hand, grabbed my hand with both his hands for an uncomfortably long period of time and put his face inches in front of mine. He also shouted, “Hi, young lady! What’s your name!?” as though I was all the way across the auditorium instead of sitting right in front of him.

As a 22-year-old, I was too excited about meeting the Vice President to feel upset or offended, though I did joke with my friends and family afterwards that Joe Biden seems to have a different idea of personal space than the average person.

Probably because the #MeToo movement is very much on people’s minds, my parents asked me during a recent visit if any of the interns found Biden creepy when we met him.

I thought for a few moments before answering, “No,” somewhat uncertainly. “Creepy” probably wasn’t the right word for how our group of interns viewed him. Most of us probably would have used the words “goofy” and “overly friendly” to describe his behavior. Also, like me, other people there were probably too excited about meeting the Vice President to want to criticize anything about his behavior.

I laughed off my strange interaction with Biden, though admittedly my response would have been much different if he had kissed the back of my head or sniffed my hair. I also probably would not have been as accepting of someone I just met essentially holding my hand for two minutes if they weren’t a public figure I had admired for years.

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