This part of an article taken from the “Day-to-Day” which was written by René Eniksre of her interview with the Fumbleton family.
Alex came into the living room just as Eugene brought in mugs of hot tea. He handed me a scalding hot, peppermint tea then sat back down in his favorite chair, ready to observe my interview with his son.
“Alex! My name is René, I’m a reporter from the ‘Day-to-Day’. I drove down from Indiana to meet you and your family. Would you like to sit down and chat for a minute?”
Alex smiled at me in confusion, then turned quizzically to his father. Without a word Mr. Fumbleton nodded in my direction, and Alex flopped himself down the couch and propped his feet up. He grabbed the remote control and turned on the TV.
“So you’re a reporter?” he asked.
“Yes I am. And I have a few questions for you. First off, what is it like living with the rest of your family?”
He snorted, then said: “I don’t know. I usually stay in my room if I can help it.”
“I see. What do you do when you’re not at school?”
“Play video games, watch YouTube, and run a gamer forum online.” He absently switched through the channels on the TV .
“Oh, so you’re sort of a ‘techy’ then?”
“I’ve noticed you always wear buttons pinned on your shirt, any reason for that?”
“Yeah,” he rubbed his nose on his sleeve and sneezed. “I like buttons.”
“So, do you have strong views on anything?”
“Yes I do,” he sat up enthusiastically and looked over at me. “I’m a huge believer in hugs!” I heard Mr. Fumbleton snort and I looked over to see him shake his head. Alex ignored him. “I think everyone should be hugged and hug people. But hugs are strongly discouraged in most public places.”
“Well, that seems to make sense,” I said. “It’d be weird for random people to come up and hug strangers. I’d think it’d be dangerous, in fact.”
Alex frowned at me. His voice rose and squeaked: “Do you know what happens when people hug each other?” I shook my head. “Hugs release happy endorphins, which make people happier, more productive and have a bigger desire to succeed in life. You know what happens when people don’t hug each other?” His eyes widened.
“What?” I asked.
“They become lazy,” he continued. “Depressed and useless. And people don’t want to hug strangers, that’s why I’m looking into installing free hugging machines at the mall and work places. I’m getting a patent on it.”
“‘Free hug’ machines? What would they look like?”
“They’ll basically be big, fuzzy, bear-like arms attached to lamp posts, phone booths, etc. You push a button and they hug you tightly for five seconds.”
“Why five? Why not four or six?”
“Four is too short, six is too long. Once a hug hits 6 seconds it just gets awkward.”
“You don’t think a ‘hugging machine’ is awkward to begin with?”
“You don’t have to be so negative about it.” He said, frowning at me. He turned back to the TV and it was obvious my interview with Alex was over.