ICUMI (In case you missed it)

An irreverent and not always accurate view of the world


The hugging has GOT to stop
It may come as a surprise, but not everyone like hugs. Think about it. How do you react when you see those large arms barreling towards you, waiting to envelope you in their strength, unable to escape the hair and body odors that come with it? Do you flinch? Grimace? Stay stiff hoping it won’t last too long? We sure do. Does it stress you out? Maybe it’s just us. Actually, it probably is just us since there are several studies that show hugging raises oxytocin levels in the brain and helps children emotionally develop.

ICUMI 1_Joshua_Reynolds
Wikimedia Commons/Joshua Reynolds

However, unlike most humans, dogs don’t like hugs. According to a study published in Psychology Today, hugs raise dogs’ anxiety levels. Wrapping those firm, ripped arms around a dog in the chokehold you call a hug immobilizes them. Dogs are animals “designed for swift running” to escape threats, and hugging stresses them the eff out.

Don’t believe us? Here are the symptoms of doggy stress: turning their head away from the hugger, licking lips or the person’s face, flattening their ears against their head or closing their eyes, among others signs. So, while these same reactions in humans may be a sign of enjoyment, they are sure signs your dog doesn’t like hugs. So cut it out! The study suggests petting and words of affirmation are better terms of endearment for your furry friend.

You say Potato, I say Potato
Although Kobe Bryant was unable to save the LA Lakers from the team’s downfall following their last championship win in 2010 or his personal reputation after the 2003 rape-allegations brought against him by a Colorado hotel employee, it looks as if he’s able to save at least one thing as he heads into retirement — the Great Big Idaho Potato Truck. You know, the red semi-truck that hauls that 6-ton Russet potato around the country seeking charitable contributions and raising awareness for Idaho’s signature root vegetable. Yeah, that Great Big Idaho Potato Truck.

Kobe Bryant, Lakers at Wizards, 12/3/14
Kobe Bryant, Lakers at Wizards, 12/3/14 Wikimedia Commons/Kieth Allison

It’s rumored the Lakers star asked an ESPN reporter, who also happens to be a spokesperson for the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC), about the truck’s whereabouts before a recent interview. And since then, IPC CEO Frank Muir has argued the celebrity’s acknowledgment of the truck necessitates the IPC’s indefinite funding of the truck’s national tour instead of frying the operation after this year. The current tour covers 25,000 miles and is budgeted to cost the state $70,000. It has scheduled appearances at the Kentucky Derby and on a floating barge in the New York Harbor. Whew. Glad they aren’t cancelling that.

So let’s give credit where credit is due. Thanks Black Mamba for your storied 20-year NBA career, for all those mind-blowing dunks that left us curious if the defender was still alive, for showing off in especially clutch game-ending plays and for that 81-point game and several other 60-plus ones, including your last. And while you couldn’t stop your own retirement, you were able to stop the Great Big Idaho Potato Truck’s. For that we’re eternally grateful.