note about a child artist switching to a new tag name
depressed injured runner sitting on couch watching TV

#145 "Boo Boo"

If you wonder what an after-death, purgatory-like dimension really looks like, just visit a runner friend that can't run for a few months due to an injury. If you don't have any friends, then just send me an email, and next time I can't run for awhile due to a stress fracture or torn achilles or ACL, I'll let you know.

Then you can come over and watch how my waist grows at an exponential rate. You can watch me go through bags of Kit Kats and M&M's, and wipe the chocolate from my mouth, because I won't get off the couch to get a napkin, because they're in the kitchen, and that's way too far to go. You can turn me on the couch so I don't get couch sores. Perhaps, you could rub my back and say nice things like:

"everyone in the running world misses you. I know that because they have a thread about your layoff on the message board"


"Jimmy Fallon wished you well during The Tonight Show monologue last night."

You can examine what a blank stare truly looks like. You can watch me attempt to climb the walls and fall, because I'll never be Spiderman, though I want to be (I look good in tight, red spandex). You can record me as I howl at the moon every night (you have permission to make ringtones from the recordings, and sell them). You can watch running movies with me, like Chariots Of Fire and Without Limits. Afterwards, you can hold me tight and let me weep on your shoulder. You can sooth me by reciting all of my best times and splits from my running log.

You can extricate my running shoes from my clawed hands, as I sit in the corner hugging them and moaning about my loss of fitness. You can wrestle the heart rate monitor strap from my torso and clean it, so I don't get rashes and infections. You can fight me for my GPS running watch, and wash that as well. You'll feel so much compassion for me that you'll defend me from my wife, who asks unreasonable things of me like "come to bed" and "brush your teeth." You'll want to save me, and help me escape my agony, but won't be able to do so—ever—because the injury is the warden, and the sluggishly slow healing processes of the human body are the dogs protecting the gates of my prison. You will leave my presence knowing exactly what purgatory looks like, and you'll be changed forever.

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Crusted Salt comics by Jimmy Brunelle