SHOVELVILLE, USA — Area man James Clemson shocked locals today when he refused hugs from strangers who recognized that he has Down syndrome.
“I’ve had enough! Every time I leave my home, some chump is out there wanting a hug from me. I love my family and friends, but who the fuck ARE these people?!”
Clemson noted that even at work, he can’t escape this constant demand for close physical contact. As an event coordinator for a conference planning company, he is aware that it’s part of the job. Still, he is vehement about leaving work at work.
“It’s exhausting and gross,” said Clemson, taking a puff from his cigar. “I put up with it on the clock, sure. But after a busy day I just want to mix up a martini, smoke my cigar and chill out to my Melvins albums. The last thing I want is to be locked in some rando’s sweaty, stinky arms for WAY too fucking long.”
Clemson’s recent outburst over such unwelcome embraces sparked controversy among Shovelville citizens, who questioned his autonomy and offered infantilizing advice. “I think he’s just cranky because he’s hungry and needs a nap,” remarked Stacie Jeffords, a volunteer for a national disability charity.
“I know what it’s like to work with THOSE people,” Jeffords continued. “I call them Peter Pan children because they never grow up! They’re just so adorable I could squeeze them for hours.”
Clemson’s romantic partner, Pat Darren, pointed out how strangers’ constant need to grab him has a detrimental effect on their relationship. “We can’t go out for a nice dinner, see a movie together or even just enjoy a walk in the park without some twit running up to him, screaming ‘HUUUUUGS!!!’” they said. “It can be very stressful.”
When asked if they hug Clemson, Pat replied, “Oh fuck no. I have OCD and find hugs to be absolutely disgusting. It’s what brought us together: a mutual loathing of being locked in an embrace.”