Where’s Uncle Orrin? He hasn’t been seen for a very long time, and rumors are swirling about where he might be, or even if he still is, as in still alive.
Some TV viewers thought they caught a glimpse of the elderly senior senator (estimates vary as to his age: anywhere from 78 to 103) at the Republican convention, when an over-caffeinated Mit(t) Romney gave an enthusiastic hug to a personage propped up near the podium. Was the personage Uncle Orrin, or was it a not very believable-looking body double? Hard to say. In any event, the personage, whether it was Uncle Orrin or a bad body double, went crashing to the floor as a result of nominee Romney’s fellowshipping hug.
Before the encounter with Marvelous Mit(t)—so named because of his penchant for using “marvelous” as an all-purpose adjective—a personage purporting to be Uncle Orrin spoke briefly to the Utah delegation and delivered a disjointed and un-peppy pep talk. Again, if the personage was Uncle Orrin, it was a pale shadow of his former self. Many delegates wondered if the personage were perhaps an Uncle Orrin hologram, since from some angles the personage seemed to vanish into the ether.
Uncle Orrin’s refusal (or his people’s refusal) to debate his much younger opponent, the quick-witted Scott Howell, is seen by some as evidence that the senior senator lacks the requisite vim and vigor for the demanding give and take of political discourse. They point to reports from credible sources that someone bearing a resemblance to Uncle Orrin has been wandering the streets of Salt Lake City, approaching total strangers and informing them that he has lost his marbles.
Of course, it may well be that Uncle Orrin is just too busy attending to his senatorial responsibilities and doesn’t want to take valuable time off to debate his challenger. Always wanting to give the benefit of the doubt to my elders, that is the scenario I prefer to believe. Therefore, I won’t spend time listing theories, however plausible, as to how Uncle Orrin is keeping himself busy.
These theories include: taking the bus out to Wendover three times a week to play the slots; volunteering several hours a week as a tour guide at Gilgal Gardens, where he proudly points out the statue of himself interrogating Anita Hill about the pesky pubic hair on Clarence Thomas’s Coke can; monthly trips to Belgium for cutting-edge monkey-gland injections; long, self-indulgent afternoons at Starbucks composing love songs and/or erotic novels with his vintage quill pen; arduous around-the-clock ordinance duties as a roving temple worker.
One far-out theory has it that Uncle Orrin is, and has been for several hundred years, one of the Three Nephites, immortalized by Jesus Christ when he made a detour to ancient America on his way from Jerusalem to Heaven. This theory is beyond the scope of our discussion, raising as it does perplexing questions about eternal youth versus eternal old age.
But speaking of Heaven, there is growing speculation that Uncle Orrin’s absence from the earthly scene is taken straight from the plot of the movie Heaven Can Wait, starring Warren Beatty, about a guy who, due to a mistake by a bumbling angel, is removed to heaven before his time. As compensation, he gets to inhabit another body until his foreordained time is really up.
In the Uncle Orrin scenario, a goofball archangel mistakenly plucked him from this mortal coil and made it up to him by giving him a choice of bodies to inhabit. Two were available, but Uncle Orrin rejected the first, an erstwhile legislator and dedicated body-builder named Wimmer, and chose the second, an up-and-coming small-time mayor named Love.
“I’d like to inhabit her body,” said the temporarily dead Uncle Orrin. Trouble is, the spirit body of Uncle Orrin is so happy to be inside Mia Love’s earthly body that he is refusing to exit when his time is up, said to be sometime next year. Aides familiar with the situation say Uncle Orrin figures he will be able to stay in the Senate indefinitely now that he is inside Mia Love.
Here’s what will happen: The absent Uncle Orrin will be elected to his seventh term in office. When it comes to light that he is actually dead (physically), the living physical body of Mia Love, with the spirit body of Uncle Orrin inside, will be appointed to replace him.
That’s why Mia is telling friends, “Call me Orrin.”
D.P. Sorensen writes a satire column for City Weekly.