HUMOUR – The infamous Hug Cartel has struck again, this time attacking a group of charity workers offering free hugs to raise awareness about the City of Victoria’s lack of housing for hornets. Erin Foster, head of the charity group Hugs for Hornets, was the main co-ordinator of the event. “We just wanted to raise awareness, we didn’t think it would lead to such an incident,” states Foster. “I’m just lucky that I was away from the street protecting a hornet from being squished, so I missed the attack.” Although Foster was lucky, his two co-workers, Anne Bowler and Jack Ferrin, were not. Both were at the site when members of the Hug Cartel confronted the charitable duo. The two men were quickly recognized as members of the Cartel by their leather jackets that show the phrase “No man left un-hugged.”
According to witnesses, they ordered Bowler and Ferrin to leave, saying that this was their hug turf. Bowler and Ferrin refused, which resulted in the two unnamed men taking away and bending in half the “Free Hug” signs the charity had made. “After they bent our signs, it was the final straw,” states Ferrin. “I mean, we spent a lot of time on those signs! Plus when they bent them the glitter got everywhere. Do you have any idea how hard that stuff is to get out of clothing?” Ferrin and Bowler’s hostility set the two members of the Hug Cartel off, leading the two unnamed men to openly hug everyone in sight. “They just started opening fire with hugs,” states Ferrin. “It was terrifying. Men, women, lampposts, everything was being hugged. There were just . . . so many hug casualties.”
The police quickly arrived to take action, according to witnesses. Jodie Aryan was at her small Tourism Victoria booth when she saw the police try and subdue the Hug Cartel. “I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve seen a lot of weird stuff at this booth,” states Aryan. “Like, once these evil-looking, super-intelligent dolphins came up and bought a full tour of our government buildings. They spoke English and everything. I wonder whatever happened to them.”
Although the police were swift to arrive, the Hug Cartel had the upper hand from the beginning. “The Hug Cartel had backup waiting in the bushes behind the sidewalk,” states Aryan. “They quickly ran up to the policemen and hugged them into submission.” According to witnesses, the Cartel’s men affectionately bear hugged the policemen. Then, despite a lot of polite gestures from the police to end the hug session, the Cartel’s men refused to let go and created a lot of awkwardness for everyone. The Hug Cartel continued to hug police until the policemen became uncomfortable and left.
No charges have been filed and there seems to be no end in sight for these conflicts. “Those hugs are just too much—they are too friendly,” states head of police, Sam Fishen. “I don’t even know those guys.” Ferrin is glad for the event to be over, but remains extremely fearful for the future. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to hug anyone for a while,” states Ferrin. “I think I’ll just be sticking to the awkward ‘unsure-if-you’re-going-to-fist-bump-or-shake-hands’ greeting for now.” Bowler is still in the hospital for hug-related injuries and was unavailable for questioning. The public is advised to keep a look out for the Hug Cartel. Police state that if you do spot them, call 911 while refraining from hugging-related activities such as the crossing of the arms, or buying Hug Me Elmo dolls.