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Of 'Huggers' and 'Shakers'
Among the hunters on our place some several years ago were a delightful couple, Bobby and "Sug" Ferris.  Both enjoyed being outdoors, and Sug, in addition to hunting, was also publisher of a sportsman's magazine.  I was by their camp one day, and Sug said something that pleased me very much.  Without thinking, I impulsively, gave her a hug.

And then I thought, "What am I doing? Bobby (who happened to be away at the moment) was twice as big and twice as young as I.  As for Sug, she too was twice as young, and although a very personable young lady, was somewhat larger and of a more athletic build than I."
I hastily said, "Sug, I hope you will excuse me.  I am, as you well know, a very harmless elderly person, and I have heard it said that some people are "huggers" and some are "shakers," and I just happen to be a "hugger."

"That's quite all right,"
Sug responded, "I happen to be a hugger, too.  I have read recently it takes seven hugs a day just for bodily maintenance and for real spiritual well-being, one needs eleven hugs daily."
So I lucked out.

But with today's terminology and court cases of alleged sexual harassment (regardless of one's age), to avoid possible misunderstandings and misinterpretations, just maybe I should change from hugging to shaking....  or maybe even (or especially) when greeting persons of the same sex. In order to offend no one, maybe I should just wave, being very careful to avoid any suggestive gestures, of course.

Good gracious.  Good grief. Goodbye.

Printed in The MESSENGER magazine, March/April 1998