Editor’s Note (2/16/20): Both people donning Spider-Man suits did not reveal their identities, and so —to avoid confusion — we are referring to them as Parker and Morales.
Situated at a table with a “Free Hugs” sign hung up front, two Spider-Men graced Hirst Lounge this Valentine’s Day with a message of love.
“We wanted to make people’s Valentine’s Days a little bit better,” said Parker, “so we thought they would like some hugs.”
He was right. This reporter got hugs from both of the Spidermen, and they were very good huggers.
“We learned to hug from our mothers,” said Parker. Morales said that they also learned to hug from their fathers and friends. When asked for their most memorable hug, Parker said, “Maybe my sister. She gives good hugs.”
The Spider-Men had given 15 hugs at the beginning of the interview and gave an additional three during the interview. “Good huggies!” said one woman after getting a hug.
“A lot of people are coming to us, and they’re like, ‘You literally made our day,’” said Morales. “They seemed happy. And we thought about it, and it’s actually true. It seems like it’s working.”
“Everybody loves Spider-Man,” he later added.
“And hugs,” Parker chimed in.
“Every time you see [Spider-Man], you feel happy, and you want to be —” Morales continued. He paused to give a hug.
“— And the best thing is, one of the guys, he called one of his sons, and he made us talk to him, and that was a great moment, and the guy was really happy,” finishedMorales.
When asked if they would be seen around campus in the future, Parker said, “I think so. Maybe not as Spider-Men.” When asked where they got their suits, he said, “Amazon.”
According to Parker, their message to the campus community was: “Spread more love, because people like it.”
Despite their willingness to answer questions, there are some lines that you simply cannot cross as a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
“It’s not a good idea to reveal the name,” said Morales when asked for his alter egos, “because it’s Spider-Man, and we just don’t want to misuse those powers.”
Free hugs, as it turns out, are a great power that comes with great responsibility.