Updated: Mar 28
One 'symptom' of a mid-life crisis is to flirt with younger people...
In order to fulfil my destiny, I am tasked with "giving a hug to a person who needs it." Watch out shoppers in Chipping Norton, I will be on the prowl...you'll easily spot me, I'm the idiot wearing a helmet.
Good grief this has taken an age to sort out - not least because Fierce Fanny keeps breaking down, and just going down in a car, wearing a helmet, really will make me look like the village molester. I really do NOT want to be arrested doing this.
Anyway, with the summer back in half-swing, a dry day arrived, a working quadbike was driven and an official photographer was purloined. Fierce Fanny was adorned with enticing fliers, so all I needed was people to hug.
After a coffee and a chat with friends, and several amiable chats with passersbys who were curious about Fierce Fanny, I revved Fanny over to where I thought would be prime hugging location. So it was a bit unfortunate that the entire population of Chipping Norton vanished just as I got into position. And the few that remained suddenly, and abruptly, changed direction.
Thus, we decided to move Fierce Fanny to a more prime location - bang opposite the zebra crossing - rendering people wishing to return to their cars to pass by me. This did not help matters at all.
"Do you want a hug?" I'd ask.
Eventually, we came across two very friendly women, with two gorgeous dogs. "I'm not a hugger," the nice lady declined. "Nor am I" I said. So we settled on me having a hug with the dogs. I got myself wrapped up in all things dog. And my Official Photographer got to work.
And with that success, we set about finding more huggable people. Lots more "no's"came and went, before we happened upon a trio of visiting tourists. And again, my Official Photographer launched into action.
My Official Photographer, herself a remarkably intelligent woman if not altogether a pragmatic one, suggested that our 'Yes/No' option of asking 'Do you want a hug' was what was making this task so impossible. "We need to get them to say 'yes'," she said, "We need to find a way of re-wording would you like a hug?" into "Yes, I'll happily give you a hug." So we pondered for a while how we could phrase this more enticingly.
Thankfully, whatever she came up with worked...
After that, the "nos" came thick and fast again. We put it down to a number of factors:
- People are very suspicious about freebies. They wonder what the catch is.
- My helmet is very off-putting, and I should, perhaps, remove it before asking people if they wanted a hug and then put it on.
- English people are just too darned reserved for their own good.
And then, finally, we had some success - largely because the Official Photographer did an amazing spiel of why they should hug me. I've no idea what she said because I stubbornly refused to remove my helmet.
A lovely elder gentlemen, who to be honest wasn't really in a position to run away, succumbed to my offer. And two beautiful women in their twenties, who ordinarily look fabulous in selfies, posed wonderfully.
Mission accomplished. Fierce Fanny broke down again on the way home.