Thursday, February 13, 2014

EMBRACEABLE, BILLABLE YOU

I'm in the wrong business. That is to say, I've spent my life trying to make an honest buck when there are brain-addled citizens all around who are damn near begging to shovel piles of dough my way if I offer them a service they can get for free elsewhere. Last week, I saw a news report about therapists -- licensed or otherwise -- who give their clients hugs. 

That's it. Hugs. Not conversation or advice like your average shrink. Just... hugs. Apparently, there are a lot of people out there who are in need of that kind of comfort which they can't get anywhere else, even if they're in relationships. The fee for these 90-minute hugathons is only $125.

What kindness. What thoughtfulness. What a racket.

Maybe if Dean & Jerry had
hugged like this a little more
often, they'd never have
broken up.
For 125 bucks, these aren't ordinary hugs. No sir, there are many poses, including one called the tandem bicycle. No chains are involved, much to my disappointment. But what they all have in common is that the hugger and huggee lie down on a couch or bed. It used to take me three dates at least for that kind of action, and these guys get it immediately. To the best of my knowledge, there's no Doctorate of Huggery, so these quacks can't claim they're charging for what they learned in grad school. No, they picked an outrageous number out of the air because they knew saps would think these hugs were the real deal. In fact, someone did a study that proved people would rather pay a stranger two dollars for a hug instead of getting one for free simply because it had to be better. If my wife finds out about this, I'm cooked.

I considered getting into this hugging business, but had no idea how to promote my talents. It's unlikely that anyone would respond to a photocopied ad reading THERAPEUTIC HUGS -- $125 -- YOUR PLACE OR MINE that's been taped to a streetlight pole. There's always the Yellow Pages, but it would probably wind up in the "Escorts" section. To further justify my fee, I'd have be a specialist. That is, specializing in women under the age of 35 and of runway-quality looks. Trust me, any objection from my wife would be nullified once I start cashing those checks.


Note the credit under the title. Imagine how much the
Beatles could have charged if they hadn't changed the
name to "Help!"
You see, I learned from that news report to practice by the professional huggers' credo: the moment any sexual tension is felt by either person, the session has to stop. As I think back to my single days, that was never a problem. In fact, girls  preferred we stop. Better yet, they thought it best to keep a safe distance from me, like across state lines. Now if I had charged them for a hug, brother, I'd have made out like a bandit and made their cold-fish boyfriends jealous, too.


Although both sexes are in the hugging business, the only clients I saw were women, which makes total sense. Women are forever in need of emotional reassurance, while if men need to hug anything, it's a cold beer. It's our dirty little secret that when women fall blissfully asleep on men's shoulders after they've done the deed, we count the minutes until we can gracefully slip our gradually-numbing arm out from underneath their heads. Now if the female therapists want to make a buck off us, they should seriously consider charging guys $125 for the thrill of watching two good-looking women hugging in bed for an hour and a half. They'd make a fortune without having to touch us.

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