News and Tribune

October 7, 2013

CUMMINS: Have you hugged your congressperson today?

Local columnist

Call you congresspersons and tell them you are praying for them. Bless them, for they knowest not what they doeth. Send them a donation earmarked for their mental health fund. No, they’re covered under Obamacare. The sick, sick “illness” in Washington is catching. I feel shutdown writing this as our country is, all because of the Obamacare mandate. But citizens must speak out, so I will speak on this computer all day and night if I want to. Sen. Ted Cruz did. 

As Cruz said, I’ll talk with every “breath” until Obamacare is repealed. As I listened to him for 21 hours, I worried about him, bless his heart. Have you ever talked for 21 hours with a bladder full? You have to admire the man trying to preserve our freedom and saving America by holding fluids in. You also have the right to reject health care. Of course, if you reject it, you will die, but be free to check out the health care in Heaven, unless God rejects you, too. 

This article is not about death-bed politics in Washington, but it’s about how to love your fellow men and women. Hug them. Until Mitch McConnell hugs Harry Reid, and John Boehner rushes across the house floor falling into Nancy Pelosi’s arms, America’s cancers will spread.

As you trudge through daily life, you worry about the vicissitudes inherent in existence, including the chairmen of committees in Washington. As a result of these turbulent times, you seek solace, comfort and assurance. Now people find relief by rushing up to the nearest individual and hugging them. If you’re walking down a busy street worried about the government shutting down, your tendency is to step in front of a stranger and say, “I need a hug.” Strangers are worried, too, and in all likelihood, they will honor your request. If he is a he and you are a he, there may be sexual orientation questions, but don’t hesitate, we must promote love. If you are a he and happen to block a she on a street, she might accuse you of innuendo. Don’t let this stop you; we must promote love, setting an example for our terrorist-prone congresspersons.

When I was growing up, my mother, grandmothers and my dog were the only people who could hug me. Girls and nasty old men couldn’t. When I entered school, it was also the time to learn to shake hands. Shake his hand like this, Terry. Reluctant Terry thought old people were weird back then. You get germs from hands, but not from hugs if you keep your nose and mouth turned aside. Kissing is OK up to a point. You can kiss an old girlfriend on her cheekbone, and you can kiss the hand of a fair maiden. If you go to France, it’s OK to kiss men on both cheeks, but do it quickly.

There’s a proper  way to shake hands, hug and kiss. Do not shake hands limply. Be strong and firm in all that you do. Who wants to associate with a wimp? But do not break a bone in another wimp’s hand. When you hug, know when to release the person from your tight grip. Do not slide your arms below a woman’s shoulder blades, nor prolong a hug, which could raise legal questions. Caution, expect a slap from an ultra-conservative, don’t-touch-me-person. Caution, avoid hugging ultra-liberals, which can lead to affairs. Kissing anything is risky. It spreads disease and leads to children. Avoid it unless you are a politician, then you should kiss every baby you see, and the backside of lousy-rich, corporate giants.

Various cultures greet people differently, everything from rubbing noses to bowing and tipping a hat. A pat on the back used to indicate, “good job,” but avoid it, because others might consider patting a violation of personal space. Use email to say, “I pat you.” We are a full-fledged hugging society now. Look at the affection expressed in a smash-mouth football game. After a big game where brute players tried to knock brains out, they go down the bloody line hugging each monstrous opponent. It brings tears to your eyes.

A weakness in our society is not what we do with our hands, but the hateful words that come from our mouths. Hugging is an act expressing, I like you. Perhaps the next time Congress considers shutting down the government, they should line up and hug, not choke the evil people across the aisle.

— Contact Terry Cummins at