a comic strip with a runner wearing a foot glove being shamed by a barefoot runner

#85 "Tales Of The Unshod #8: Intervention"

Whether it be in relation to religion, music, race, sports, etc., when the concept of purity becomes a dominant idea, natural evolution, creativity, and fun are trampled and stopped. Purists maintain that things must be a certain way—forever. Since change is an integral part of the fabric of life, then the wish for purity is a deluded fantasy. When purity is the bedrock of a belief system, a box is superimposed over personal experience. Any speech, action, or creation that lies outside the box becomes a threat to the pristine fantasy. If you follow the rules, you're pure. Break one, and you're like a dirty, homeless pig wallowing in the gutter muck on the street of a major city asking for spare change so you can buy some garbage to eat. You get ostracized, banished, and called a heretic. The tyranny of purity can be present in a world as benign as barefoot running, or one in which lies the potential for great destruction, like politics and religion. Since human beings tend to have the lovely trait of wanting to dominate one another, the unreasonableness of purity can lead people to imprison, enslave, and kill the impure. One day you're a harmonious member of the group, the next you get lined up against the clubhouse wall and stoned to death.

I'm guilty of being a purist. I believe men who pull their pants and underwear down to their ankles to pee at a urinal need to be shunned from public rest rooms, because I don't want to see it, quite frankly. Everyone knows a real man keeps his belt buckled, opens a fly, reaches in, yanks it out, and does his business. I don't even accept a simple unbuckling of the belt, releasing the top clasp or button, unzipping, and letting the pants fall down a few inches. When I rule the world, these non-men will be fitted with smartpants (with locking belt and waistbands) that can only be pulled down and removed at home, a hospital, or naked yoga.

When I become king of the world, square miles without a McDonald's, Waffle House, Subway, Dairy Queen and Starbucks will be deemed "impure wilderness", because it's obvious such land is not fit for humans. If a person can't get in a car and have a fistful of fries and a Big Mac in his or her mouth within ten minutes, then this land is not only lacking in tasty goodness, but is too hard on people, because everyone knows that having to cook your own food is way too hard, boring, and without reason or meaning. The only pure square mile is a fast food one.

I'm also a purist when it comes to dance. It's okay to dance, but there should be no movement above the waist. Arms and palms should always be pressed firmly against your sides, head always facing forward, and shoulders stiff. Hair must be immobilized underneath a hairnet. Mouth should remain closed to make sure the tongue never leaves the mouth. If anything does move above the waist, it's a sign of a weak, undisciplined, and impure soul who most likely has been in communication with demons, Satan, and wiggly people. Violaters of this rule of purity shall be sent to my Mental Realignment And Dance School (sinners must provide own straightjacket and danceskins).

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Crusted Salt comics by Jimmy Brunelle