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Monday, November 26, 2007

Free Hugs

Free Hogs

Free Hugs, Abrazos Gratis, Gratis Knuffles, Câlins Gratuits, Inc.

He oido muchas cosas que me inspiraron graves dudas sobre la raza humana, pero ésta no es una de ellas.

-Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

I realize that I am way behind the times and I’m quite sure that this is very old news to everyone except me but I happened upon one of the “Free Hugs” videos on Youtube. This international movement was started by an Australian named Juan Mann after he returned to his country and found there was no one there at the airport to give him a hug as he saw happening with other travelers around him.

After watching a few of the many videos filmed all over the world I came to the following realization: “Free Hugs” sounds silly in English, but not nearly as silly as the Dutch translation of “Gratis Knuffles.”

I couldn’t help but add my own entrepreneurial twist to the whole movement. I suppose that free hugs are fine but isn't that like communism, or socialism, or one of those bad things? Why not manufacture a very high quality hug and target the 38-45, white, upper middle class market group? Free stuff is only for poor people, and let's face it, poor people are icky. Giving shit away for free isn't any fun for people who make a point of separating themselves from the masses with every single material item that they purchase. Let's do something for those hyper-consumerists. I sent the following letter to the web site of the Free Hugs Movement:

Your video was so inspiring that I have started my own movement called “Hugs: Only 100€ (taxes not included, void where prohibited, you must be at least 18 to participate, offer not valid in Hawaii or Guam.”

The name isn’t as catchy as “Free Hugs” but my accountant tells me that a catchy name isn’t everything. Things are rather slow at this early stage of the movement but I figure that if I can get just three customers a day I can quit my job as a prison guard.


P.S. My “Free Waterboarding” campaign was a dismal failure. I was also nearly ripped to shreds by enthusiasts here in pork-loving but English-challenged Spain when they misread my “Free Hugs” sign as saying “Free Hogs.”

*Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after hugging a hippy or you may contract salmonella.

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