Utah had borne as best it could the thousand injuries of Orrin Hatch, but
when he ventured upon the insult of The Snowbasin Land Exchange Act, I vowed
revenge. As it was said in the darkest tones of Poe in the darkest hours of
night, I must punish and punish with impunity.
And though I was the publisher of a comedic paper of such wretched note by
Utah standards, O'Hatch had no reason to believe I would make things just
for the good taxpayers of fiscal year 1996.
You see, I was known throughout the Americas for such exquisite taste in
fashion that even the girls at Harrods emblazed an impish smile when I passed
by the grand windows in patterned Thai farmer pants with knotted drawstrings,
a sheer banana-fibre smock to voyeur my shaven chest, and such a pair of fine
dianetta sandals that you would just die. Trust me, ensem's such as this are
certainly no mistake.
And he, this O'Hatch, had a weak point-although in other regards he was a
man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself as cognoscenti of style.
Few Mormons could understand O'Hatch's painstaking measures to blend textiles
and colours, belts and shoes (oh god the shoes!), and stresses upon stresses
over the perfect tie. O'Hatch bought Stefano Ricci ties merely to throw them
away or wipe his ass with.
It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the Olympic
festival, that he phoned me.
"Mr. Kirchhoff, I know what you do with your magazine and I can't agree
less, but cordially I ask you to meet with me."
"In what capacity, Senator Hatch, would you meet with me? I'm a marked man,
and wish to make it home tonight." "Mr. Kirchhoff, I have an occasion to attend
on the night of the closing ceremonies. It is the sort of occasion one must
be dressed to kill; I have 10 days and I can't for the life of me come up
anything to wear."
"I see. Where are you now?" I asked with tenderness.
"I'm in Park City, that's why I thought I might reach you."
"I see. Meet me at Albertson's in the health food section in ten minutes.
Wear a hat," I said. I was thinking a public place would be the safest to
read O'Hatch's tells and see if he really needed my help.
At our rendezvous in front of the couscous, we both remarked how well Persian
accompanies charbroiled fish. He then accosted me with excessive warmth-he
had been shopping. His suit was elegant but strictly Republican bill: double-breasted,
navy Givenchy, British spread collar white dress shirt, a fabulous pumpkin-tone
tie with a Windsor knot, and beautiful brown leather saddle shoes. His SLOC
baseball cap screamed "trying to fit in."
"You want my help? Let's get out of here," I said.
We fled the store to his silver Mercedes in the parking lot.
For the next few days, we found a measurable rapport.and shopped. I explained
that in order for this brave and fantastic look to come together, he would
have to break out of his GOP rut. He said he could wear nothing "too flashy"
to the party. I demanded that our relationship was over. O' Hatch begged and
pleaded, for he knew that only I could create such a dope array. His passion
for chic attire on this one occasion was enviable.
We flew to Tokyo, New York, Paris and London. He liked the Kimono, but said
it was just too over the top. He tried "street wear," and even with the fresh
colours and fabrics of Armani X, the look lacked the formal crest he needed.
I'm telling you, I even had this guy dressed up like Marcel Marceau at one
point. O'Hatch was breaking out, but becoming even more frustrated.
Then somewhere between Harvey Nichols and mince pies, I gave him the bait.
"Say, Hatchy Old Boy, I know what we have to do."
"Please, tell me, anything!" he raved.
"Amontillado?" he questioned.
"Amontillado," I nodded. "He's a tailor. I'll design the look and he'll build
"Yes, yes, yes!" cried O'Hatch. And off we went, back to Salt Lake City.
Again in O'Hatch's silver Mercedes, I directed him to a small house on the
east side of the city. When we pulled into the driveway, O'Hatch hastened
to get out; I grabbed his arm and explained to him that Amontillado was the
gayest of gay men; scorching; flame on, flaming fag. O'Hatch took a breath
and said he'd do anything for the outfit.
We knocked at the door and were greeted by Amontillado. He was dressed in
electric blue spandex pants, a pink skin-tight see-through shirt with fluffy
pink angora cuffs and collar, and pink baby doll pumps.
I explained everything to Amontillado, and he was ready to go. After two
days of tireless fabric shopping, measuring and sewing, it was done. O'Hatch
went into Amontillado's dressing room and donned the work.
O'Hatch emerged in magnificence. The wine-coloured, single-breasted three-button
suit fit as though it were his own skin. It had broad, zoot-like shoulders,
narrow lapels and flat front trousers. The 500 thread-count dress shirt was
a light silver with a feint metallic glow; it had a Maldonado collar and French
cuffs. The pièce de résistance was the Ferragamo burgundy plaid tie. Then
with caramel Barret shoes and a caramel-coloured belt, O'Hatch was new, now
and something to behold.
He smiled at me, said, "Thank you," and he was gone.
Now that the Games are over and everyone's cleaning up puke, the word on
the street is that Orrin Hatch has come out of the closet.