Dollar Hugs

The young man explained he was 8 years old and working on a school project as I watched his mother grinning from the other side of the coffee shop.

“S’cuz me,” as he introduced himself. “My class is working on a project and I hafta hug ten people I never met. The we gotta write about it. It’s kinda weird but kinda cool too. I got six so far,” offered Brad.

“That’s pretty interesting,” I winked.

“We seen you before and sometimes you have that neat dog, and you’re real nice to him and them barsters know you.”

“Barristers?”

“Them too,” as his hands went to his face and we both laughed.

“Well Brad, I’m a writer and I’m doing an experiment. I am looking to give a dollar to ten different kids I never met, then write about the experience,” I smiled. “And you’d be helping me as I haven’t seen any other kids today.”

Brad and I completed our individual assignments and transactions, but before he walked away he looked at his new dollar and back up at me. “My mom and me will be here a couple hours,” he beamed.

“I need ten ‘different’ kids.”

“Oh, right. You said that,” he chuckled.

Getting in my car, I realized I’d set myself up. I told Brad I needed nine more kids. So, to walk my talk. I pulled into the strip mall.

As I strolled, if I made eye contact with a parent then I’d explain being a writer doing an experiment.

No strange reactions, just a lot of cooperation and happy, polite kids.

And by the time I’d gone thru 9 additional dollars I’d come to realize I’d averaged a dollar a hug.