Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hip Huggers

Haggis, I guess
Lutefisk, I suppose
I have to realize that with every topic I might talk about here, there's a chance that someone out there might be...involved...with what I'm writing about.  For instance, I might talk about how I am not interested in eating haggis or lutefisk, but someone out there somewhere might be a big fan of "pudding containing sheep's pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock" (that's haggis, a Scottish delicacy) or "dried whitefish treated with lye" (that would be the Minnesota favorite lutefisk).

If you're serving either of these gastronomic ghastlies, please include me out!

Now, then. (Ever wonder where that came from? Now is not then, nor is it right the other way around.)  At any rate (6.86%) I don't think I know anyone who has engaged the services of a professional cuddler.

They do exist. A fella named Evan Carp up in Pennsylvania opened it up a couple of years ago, and there are others in of them in Anne Arundel County, MD. 

Mr Carp has a disease that causes extreme pain in his hands and feet and was so alone that he said he only went out once a month, and that was to go to the doctor. He had heard of other cuddling operations around the country, felt that cuddling would help him in physical, emotional, and financial ways, and started a company to handle the business.  And it's going strong.

He now has 30 employees taking in $80 per hour ($400 all night) for totally platonic snuggling.  Most of them are women whose customers are men.

You might want to sit down and catch your breath after that news.

Lonely businessmen, widowers, people who just abandoned their campaigns for president: all of these types are naturals to part with 80 clams to lie down with a woman whose nails are drying anyway for the next hour.

They guarantee that nothing untoward happens at these cuddle palaces, and I believe it. It's just a sad, lonely world when people can't find other people willing to hold them in their arms for a while and listen to NPR or some old records or watch anything or work the Jumble ("That Scrambled Word Game").

Julie Swope, a psychologist, says there's a benefit to snuggling, and that it can change the brain. “It increases the endorphins, and endorphins are the substances that help us feel good, so we get a jolt, we get a glow, we get a smile” said Swope.

This is for all the lonely people.

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