By Gunther Hausman
It has been astonishing that the ‘Free Hugs’ guy was in business as long as he has been, but in recent weeks, the entrepreneur reported being unable to continue offering his services at their price of $0.00.
Any know-it-all who has taken AP Econ will tell you that they knew the ‘Free Hugs’ enterprise was doomed from the start, but the rest of us thought there was something spe¬cial about the ‘Free Hugs’ dude. We thought that he was able to make a career out of offering a free service and not accepting donations. His bold economic strategy seemed to be recession proof, but we were dead wrong.
Every time it rained, he has to get a new sign costing him 5 dollars. That caused his quarterly earnings to be negative 15 dollars. The ‘Free Hugs’ guy, unable to support his family on that kind of salary, was forced to make the difficult decision to charge for his hugs. Last week he introduced a new sign. “Hugs— ¢50.”
“I used to get A LOT of business, but I wasn’t making the kind of money I was hoping for,” the ‘Free Hugs’ guy explains to Flipside reporters. “But now, when I should be making the big bucks, nobody wants a hug.”
Minda Ervin used to stop by the ‘Free Hugs’ guy every day on her way to work but has recently been taking an alternate route to avoid the poten¬tially awkward confrontation. In fact, many commuters have been avoid¬ing the foul-smelling and presumably homeless ‘Free Hugs’ dude.
“I’ve really gotten to know the ‘Free Hugs’ dude over the past few years, but paying him for a hug is just ridicu¬lous,” Ervin says. “I’d happily give him money to start a business that actually has an income, but if I ever try to slip him some money, he pulls me in and charges fifty cents.”
The experts say the recession is over, but don’t tell that to the ‘Free Hugs’ dude. His struggle to say afloat in today’s economy is just beginning. Let’s hope the government can do better with ‘Free Healthcare.’

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