A hug is a gesture for many occasions: Celebration, commiseration, greetings and farewells, intentionally making introverts feel uncomfortable… the versatility is remarkable!
Seemingly, there is never a wrong time to give a hug, right?
There is, in fact, one very clear-cut circumstance when a hug is neither warranted nor appreciated: When the giver is sweatier than Barnaby Joyce at a preselection meeting.
This seems like common sense: If you’re soaked in your own perspiration, don’t subject other unwitting humans to your dampness. Sharing is not caring.
Yet many people seem oblivious to the sweat pouring from their pores. Perhaps they simply don’t care – an all too common phenomenon at doofs, where natural exuberance or chemically induced states override forethought. All they know is that they have a strong desire to hug, and this desire must be sated, at any cost.
This leaves the average punter in a precarious position indeed. Before the hug, they’re submerged in a state of constant fear and anxiety, never knowing when they’ll be next forced to submit the power of perspiration! Afterwards, they’re left feeling violated and used, like a piece of toast which has been burnt and then left in the toaster to slowly decompose.
The good news is there is a way to avoid these unwanted encounters. Follow these six simple steps to remain friendly, amicable, and unscathed:
1. Identify people sweating profusely (sweaters)
A threat identified is no longer a surprise.
Are there large sweat patches underneath their armpits? Does their hair stick to their forehead and does their shirt have streak marks across it? As they dance, are droplets of moisture flying in all directions? Is their face bright red, like a ripe tomato or a disgraced Nationals Party leader? If the answer to any or all these questions is yes, you’re dealing with a chronic sweater.
2. Determine readiness to hug
Now that the serial sweater has been identified, it is necessary to see if they are also a hugger.
Are they keeping to themselves or are they throwing their arms around every person who comes within grabbing distance?
Do they accept incoming high fives, or do they view unguarded flanks as an opportunity to swoop in?
Do they have a shirt on stating ‘Free Hugs’?
Once again, if the answer is yes to any or all these questions, you have yourself a hugger. A sweaty hugger.
3. Enter stealth mode
Now that you have identified the sweaty hugger, it is time to adopt counter-measures to reduce your likelihood of being accosted.
Have they noticed your presence? If not, strategically dance to an area of the dance floor where you’re protected by other doofers. The adage, safety in numbers, has never held truer.
4. Deflect, dance, disappear
If the sweaty hugger has noticed you and is making a b-line towards you, do not panic. Panic is a sign of fear, and the best remedy for fear, is a hug. You’ll be playing right into their hands. Or should I say arms? No, instead you must prepare yourself for the most critical stage: Deflection of the Hug.
As the sweaty hugger approaches you, turn to the person next to you and embrace them in a hug. The sweaty hugger, in time-honoured tradition, will wait until you have first finished your hug before approaching for their own hug. As you separate from the hug with this non-sweaty person, throw yourself into a dance spin and hug the person next to them. Continue this graceful hug/dance/spin action until you are out of the sweater’s hugging radius.
5. Stun your opponent
Another technique you may want to deploy is to engage the sweaty hugger directly. As they close in on you, jump towards them at high speed and connect with a chest bump – preferably while screaming a single, abstract word at the same time. For example, the word “Bonzo” could be employed. The sweaty hugger will be stunned and disoriented by this unexpected action. While they are in this state of shock, you should disappear into the anonymity of the surrounding masses.
Repeat the above steps as often as is required to remain free from sweaty hugs. Or, if you are in truly dire straits, proceed to step six…
6. Politely decline the hug
If all else fails, you may have to go down the most dreaded, anxiety-laden path of them all: Communicating your needs.
For many, it’s more desirable to receive the moist, all-encompassing embrace of a stranger than it is to tell them their physical affection is not wanted.
If, however, you value your personal space and dryness more than any social blowback, all you need to do is just take a step back and, looking the hugger directly in the eye, smile and say, “No thank you. I don’t want a hug.”
See below for a complete instructional video.
This article was written by Daniel McBean – a gentleman and a rogue (in equal measure).