The last thing I ever wanted to hear was that Joe Biden was a serial hugger. Nuzzler, even.

In my mind’s eye the former senator and vice president has always had the perpetual look of a sea captain scanning the waves in search of a storm to save us from.

Certainly not a man hungering to snuggle some matronly donor wearing too much makeup.

Joe has stood toe to toe with carbon emissions, deficit spending, gender inequality and all kinds of inequality.

He has always been a man available in any election to guide us through cap and trade, recovery and reinvestment, mass transit and the like.

Thus it was like a thunderbolt when a handful of people stepped out of nowhere, more or less, to tearfully announce cuddling victimhood involving Joe from a decade or so ago.

At least one hairdo had been sniffed, according to the nationally televised grievances.

But Joe has counterattacked — or more appropriately, neutralized — the assault against his affectionate personality, saying he has never, ever done anything inappropriate. On purpose.

And I for one believe him.

But haven’t we all been at family reunions and office parties and wild celebrations at bowling alleys where joyful embraces have, for one reason or another, been pressed?

Whether hugger or huggee, there are times you have to be on your toes or somebody else will be.

There are occasions when some person, arms swinging like pump handles, will head your way with a squeeze in mind.

And, friend, you’d better be ready.

There are times you will be hugged whether you want to be or not. So here are some suggestions you might want to jot down in hug situations...

• Let the game come to you, so to speak.

• Never rush around in search of someone or something to embrace.

• Try to deploy a stance — an attitude — of noncompliance, as if you normally don’t do hugging. It may not be true, but it looks good.

Sometimes it would be easier to saw your way out of prison with a nail file than avoid someone who yearns to be hugged.

You might rather swallow boiling fat than embosom some particular person, so if you’re desperate, here are some anti-hug suggestions...

•Take a knee, do a Colin Kaepernick and if you’re asked why, tell them you’re engaging in a peaceful protest against people enfolding each other.

• Scream and run away.

• Fake a sneeze and try to drool at the mouth.

• Slap your face and start scratching yourself.

• Announce out loud, “I have a horrible sunburn and it is contagious.”

• Buy a used accordion and strap it on.

• Arm yourself with a whoopee cushion.

• Spit in both hands, rub them together, try to look aggressive and yell, “Come and get it!”

These ideas are meant to guide you through difficult times on the hugging trail, in an effort to avoid accusations and bills of particular that would embarrass you.

Or hurt your election chances.

Corky Simpson is a former Tucson Citizen columnist who writes a weekly column for the Green Valley News.

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