a comic strip with needy male runners at a 5k race being spammed by a man in an ad-filled t-shirt

#93 "5k Spam"

I have complained about spam emails and posts more than once in my life. But am I just being an arbitrary grumbler? Some say Christianity, freedom, and patriotism is at the heart of America, but anyone with open eyes knows it's all about selling stuff to people that they sometimes need, and most of the time don't. If spam is an intrusion on our email boxes or message boards, then I would have to consider as spam the following: TV commercials, billboards, newspaper ads, visible logos on clothes, radio ads, mail flyers, that free newspaper that gets thrown on my lawn every Wednesday that I immediately put in the recycle—unread (lawn spam), ad-filled placemats at a restaurant, ad-covered race cars and PGA Tour golfers, outfield walls made of ads at ballparks, corporate names on sports stadiums, ads all over the back of the t-shirts one gets at 5k's and other races etc. They're all intrusions upon, and distractions from, my desired focus. Sure, I don't have to look, but it's hard not to when almost every ad is subliminally communicating something about sex, power, dominance, social status, success and total satisfaction. Things that I'm convinced could never be my master, but most probably have me under their collective thumb as if I were a tack on a cork board.

If there was a spam/junk box for reality, and the filter was absolute, I'd miss billboards. On my many road trips hither and yon, billboards have broken up some serious periods of monotony (most often due to vista-covering woods lining the highway for millions of miles). I'd also miss the big Citgo sign near Fenway Park in Boston. I still remember seeing it and what I felt as I neared the finish of the Boston Marathon. The same sign I had seen hundreds of times on TV suddenly seemed alive with the feeling of support and home. Even though the sign has been an iconic part of my journey, I never buy Citgo gas. There's no particular reason for it. For many years I bought Shell because I liked their yellow gas stations. Since I moved to Atlanta, I've gone modern with the best filling station and convenience store of all-time, QT. Who can argue with always-filled towel dispensers, clean bathrooms, and their amazing wieners, muffins, and fresh coffee? QT, just the finest experience you'll ever have getting gas.

Sorry for getting spammy. Can't help it. I'm an American, and if I think something is good, you're gonna hear about it. Don't even think about asking the question, "but do I really need it?" Unless you want me to call you a commie, of course.

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Crusted Salt comics by Jimmy Brunelle