“FREE HUGS!” the boy’s sign declared cheerfully. He didn’t know what the consequences of such a sign could be. My friend Ray dared my friend Buck to hug the boy with the friendly sign……and not let go. Buck took the dare confidantly and with a mischeivous grin hugged the poor boy. The boy was happy, at first, he had a new tally to add to his count. But, after a few minutes, thae boy grew uncomfortable. He wondered “Why hasn’t this strange kid let go?”

Buck exceeded all our expectations. The boy tried to get free, but like a koala, Buck held on. They ran into some stairs and the boy couldn’t get up them while in Buck’s vicelike grip, so Buck lifted him up, lifting him up the stairs. They made their way around the large convention center a little over four times.  My other friends and I laughed, making a game of “Buck spotting”. Finally, 40 minutes later, Buck let the boy go. “Next year,” the boy thought, “I’ll give free hi-fives.”


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