NATICK - After a third consecutive person asked for a hug during a Q&A session, "Patch Adams," the doctor and activist depicted in the 1998 feature film, saw the long line and decided he'd have to outsource.
Everyone stand up, he said, and hug the people around you. Many of the roughly 200 people at the Tuesday afternoon talk did, and the room erupted into a showing of love and support, all the while with Patch at the helm, hugging, reassuring, comforting. "Next we're going to get naked," he said at one point to roaring laughter.
The moment was the climax of an hour-and-a-half presentation at the Verve, Crowne Plaza, in which Adams laid out his philosophy on care and railed against traditional medicine and what he said is a society marked by money worship and self-isolating tendencies.
"Whatever it is that turns you on to care, it's about as good a gift as you can give yourself," he said to the audience Tuesday. He wore red, modified cat eye glasses, an earring shaped like a fork, a short sleeve button down adorned with paint brushes and polka dot clown pants marked by large psychedelic patterns.
The event was sponsored by Advocates Life Skills and Learning Center in Ashland. Earlier in the day, Adams had visited patients of the center to spend time with them as a clown.