MOORESTOWN, N.J. — Local dad Henry Connor insisted he will not be comfortable hugging his 27-year-old son Griffin until they’re both vaccinated against COVID-19, or anytime after they’re both vaccinated, sources confirmed.
“As far as emotions go, I’m pretty sure my dad’s only got the one: Anger. And it’s usually expressed in the form of throwing a full beer can at the TV during an Eagles game,” explained Griffin Connor, the eldest son of the family. “But I was really hoping that after not seeing each other for a year because of the pandemic he might be open to a hug. Sure, he didn’t hug me on my wedding day or when my daughter was born. And when I was eight and my dog died, he told me to ‘man up,’ ‘rub some dirt in it,’ and then made me listen to stories about his two tours during the Gulf War. But I really thought this time might be different.”
Griffin’s mother Martha Connor insisted her husband’s standoffishness was due to the pandemic and not a glaring sign that Henry desperately needed therapy.
“I tried explaining to Griffin that it’s not that Dad is emotionally unavailable, he’s just nervous about coronavirus. Honest,” said Martha Connor. “My son then asked why he’s never been affectionate over the past few decades. Which, ok yeah, fair point. But there have been plenty of reasons not to hug your children over the years. Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Mad Cow, uhhh, there was that Noid everyone was trying to avoid. That was an infectious disease, right? Plus Henry tends to run warm and sometimes the additional body heat makes him feel like he has a fever.”
Henry Connor defended himself and his stoic nature.
“Of course I…love my kids,” explained the family patriarch while whispering “love” as if it were a dirty word. “But what’s wrong with a hearty handshake or stern, unsmiling nod? I just don’t know where all this nonsense is coming from. Hell, ask my wife. We’ve been married for 32 years and every single evening when we climb into bed I give her a firm ‘good night’ pat on the back. If that’s not love, I don’t know what it is.”
At press time, Henry Connor was caught secretly showering family cat and apparent outlet for all his love and warmth, Mittens, with snuggles and words of affection.