'Free hug' coupon
|'Free hug' coupon|
|Description||Printed or scribbled in paper, a guarantee of fleeting affection.|
This coupon is valid for one free hug. The coupon holder can designate what type of hug they would like to receive. This coupon has very few restrictions since it can be used anytime and on any day of the week. Please note this coupon can't be doubled. Don't expect a shopkeeper to redeem it or honor it.
The "Free Hug" coupon began with a little boy realizing that Mother's Day had come around and he had forgotten to get that long-suffering mother a present. Being a creative sort, and having fully bought into his family's mythology that getting lots of hugs keeps mothers from developing wrinkles, the little boy got out his very best paints and crayons and set to work making a whole book of "free hug" coupons as a present. The mother, being tickled pink and very proud of her child, showed to booklet to everyone she met, including a budding entrepreneur who determined that such coupons would appeal to a majority of the unhugged masses, and proceeded to standardize and print many of them.
Variants and Editions
All "free hug" coupons share certain characteristics, such as having no designated monetary value, no guarantee of redeemability, and no expiration date. However, characteristics of a particular coupon vary by edition, publisher, and original recipient group.
Monster-Specific Hug Coupon
These variants are often published by or given to specific monster species to encourage intra-species harmony at times of heightened aggression toward heroes and heroines. Their job is to inspire positive interactions between members of a given species, so that young adult specimens do not grow up angry at the whole world. They will almost always include the designated species name on the face.
The exception to this variation is the "bear hug" coupon, which is widely considered to be distributed to heroes and heroines as a joke. Or possibly a guarantee of initiative to ursine monster species. The face states that it is good for "one free bear hug," and redeemable with the nearest bear. Anyone attempting to redeem this coupon is subsequently squeezed like a tube of toothpaste.
Whether this version is for the hoi polloi or was intended as a hypochondriac-inclusive version of the standard coupon is unclear. It entitles the bearer to a touch-less hug. Honorers will sometimes throw in a bonus air-kiss.
As they say, "Pictures, or it didn't happen." This version gives the redeemer the option of a quick-sketch artist documenting that there was, indeed, a hug between the two participants. Sometimes, it's used as a "best friends" souvenir, sometimes it's used as proof that the redeemer is not entirely repellant, sometimes it's used as identification to give to a hitman about who to snipe.
Not so much used by a willing recipient, as used to prank the most affection-abjuring person the user knows. This is a way to assault that person who goes as stiff as a board any time a hug is mentioned, with a smothering wave of gravitational adoration. Use process requires the bearer to tear the coupon up into confetti pieces, throw it over the recipient, and yell, "Dogpile!" Heroes, heroines, and monsters that weren't in view even a moment ago materialize to jump on the recipient with arms outstretched.
Warning: Do not use near a sumo wrestling school.
Sometimes, this process works even without the coupon.
"Free hug" coupons sell for higher amounts in a set. The set can either exhibit examples of many common variants, or can be matched. Sets bound in a book are particularly sought after during gift-giving seasons.
Footnotes and References
- This piece of data comes from the Children's Garden of Misinformation, and is bolstered by the fact that the wrinkliest mothers a child sees tend to be grandmothers whose children have moved away.
- Some traders do, indeed, take this to mean the coupon is worthless, and so will call the artifact cursed and take it from a hero at no charge. Other merchants consider this to mean that the value of the coupon is negotiable when not paid in the form of a hug, and so will offer more gold or less, dependent on whomever they believe they could cause to redeem the coupon for affection.
- Generally refused by arena gladiators and other celebrities.