Woman Doesn't Have Single Photo Where She's Not Hugging Someone

In This Section

Vol 39 Issue 25

Security Guard Makes Passing Women Feel Unsafe

DALLAS—The presence of security guard Frank Basso, 45, at the Lane Bryant store in Dallas' Valley View Mall makes female shoppers feel significantly less safe, sources reported Monday. "He just stands there by the door, staring at you while you shop," said customer Tracy Farr, 23. "Then he'll decide to wander around the store a bit, but he'll always wind up hovering somewhere around the lingerie section." Farr said Basso also has a creepy habit of tapping his club whenever an attractive woman passes by.

Soldier Hoping We Invade Someplace Tropical Next

BAGHDAD, IRAQ—Sgt. Daniel Marshall, a member of the Army National Guard's 501st Infantry, is hoping that the next place he is ordered to invade has a tropical climate. "I'm proud to have served my country here in the Iraqi desert, but it sure would be nice if we got into a conflict with someplace nice," Marshall said Tuesday. "With any luck, President Bush is thinking about shocking-and-awing Cuba next—a little deep-sea fishing would really boost the morale of my men." Marshall said he is "so jealous" of his uncle Stephen, who got to invade Grenada in 1983.

Man Who Hasn't Moved In Six Hours Repeatedly Welcomed Back By TV

PADUCAH, KY—Despite not moving from his couch for more than six hours, Randy Kresge, 26, was repeatedly welcomed back by his television Monday. "Welcome back to Blind Date," said show host Roger Lodge, one of 12 different TV personalities to herald the return of the inert Kresge. "So glad you could join us." Kresge's obvious intention to remain seated did not keep the television from repeatedly urging him to "stick around."

Newsweek Editors Argue Over What To Make Readers Fear Next

NEW YORK—Having devoted cover stories to the threats of Hepatitis C, identity theft, and airport security, the editors of Newsweek spent Monday arguing over what they should stoke fears of next. "We could do the dangers of caffeine—that'd get people pretty worked up," managing editor Jon Meacham said. "Or how about daycare workers? There must be some alarming new study revealing just how few of them undergo background checks." Among the other ideas the editors proposed: the possible link between laptop computers and stomach cancer, the potential threat of water-supply poisoning by terrorists, and stunning new Biblical evidence pointing to April 4, 2004, as the date of the apocalypse.

Pottermania Yet Again

With first-day sales of five million, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix is a publishing phenomenon. Why are people buying it?

Minister Constantly Mentioning Teenage Son's Virginity

PENSACOLA, FL—Much to his son Paul's chagrin, minister Donald Genzler takes every possible opportunity to proudly inform members of Faith United Presbyterian Church that the 16-year-old is still a virgin, "unspoiled by sins of the flesh," sources reported Tuesday.

It's Not Nice To Be Smarter Than Other People

I can't think of anything ruder than people who have to be all brainy and intelligent. As my mother used to say, if you can't say anything mundane, don't say anything at all. She was right: It's not nice to be smarter than other people.
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Business

Race Relations

Woman Doesn't Have Single Photo Where She's Not Hugging Someone

ST. CLOUD, MN—According to friends and coworkers, Krista Stoddard, 33, a St. Cloud-area paralegal, doesn't have a single photo of herself where she's not hugging someone.

Stoddard puts her arm around a friend in a 1999 photo.

"It takes a while to pick up on the pattern, but once you do, it's really freaky," said Rebecca Donohue, a graphic designer and longtime friend who recently went through Stoddard's photo collection to assemble a collage for her. "If you go through all her pictures from grade school to the present, you won't find a non-huggy shot. With every photo, it's 'Here's me and Janine,' or 'Here's me and my friend Robbie—isn't he a hottie?' or 'Here's me and a statue of Michael Jackson at Madame Tussaud's—I did this one on a dare.'"

"I started seeing the pattern with the pictures she took in Greece with her friend Susan [Ortiz]," Donohue continued. "She's in a foreign country, so you'd think there would be at least one shot of Krista not hugging somebody, right? Wrong. In every picture, she's hugging a guy selling sunglasses on the beach or people in a bar or just some poor sap walking by that got suckered into the picture. It's like a compulsion with her."

More disturbingly, Donohue noted that even in the photos where Stoddard is alone, she is depicted in the act of hugging.

"She has a lot of photos where she's hugging her favorite stuffed rabbit, Señor Nose," Donohue said. "There are pictures of her with her arms around a statue of Abe Lincoln, and even one of her squeezing a yield sign. Maybe she doesn't know what else to do with her arms."

Jon Bergtraum, a coworker of Stoddard's, said he witnessed her hugging-compulsion firsthand last month at a company picnic.

"Everyone was having a nice time, and then someone broke out a camera," Bergtraum said. "Every time someone pointed it at Krista, she'd say, 'Ooh, get a picture of me and Marta!' or 'Hey, Jon, get in here!' I don't think she even knows she's doing it."

Dr. Andrew Pulsipher, author of True Exposure: The Psychology Of Photos, said a hug-intensive photo collection is not uncommon.

"Many people find posing for a hugless photograph unnerving, like an awkward silence," Pulsipher said. "By not physically embracing another, we are forced to confront what frightens us most: ourselves. Another explanation is that hugging, as Krista puts it, is simply 'more fun!'"

Donohue said she has four more photo albums to analyze before she has seen all of Stoddard's photos. The media will be notified should she find a picture of her not physically embracing something or someone.

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More