Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Running on Empty … I Ran … Running with the Devil … Run’s House

There are a million songs with the word “run” in them and I picked a few that happened to run through my brain. As many of you long-time readers know, Wednesdays are usually reserved for me to crab about my strip, point out what I think is funny or explain why a joke didn’t work. This week, we’re going to change things up a bit, this week, we’re going to lead off with a pretty special event that occurred on Monday: my wife, Alyson Magrane, completed her first Boston Marathon in a little over five hours, 5:14 to be exact.

You won’t find a more proud person than me, it’s hard for me to even begin to describe the amount of pride that I feel towards her, she’s my hero. Overdramatic? I don’t care, the odds that she, and all runners actually, have to overcome to finish the race are pretty large. I never knew how much a person had to shuffle around their life in order to run. Saturdays became all about the long runs, which meant that Friday night she was in bed early as well as Saturday night. And it wasn’t just a one-day thing, Sunday she was hurting but she got right back to her routine on Monday.

And since we live in Boston, it’s not exactly San Diego, which meant that a majority of her runs came in the outside … in January and February … in complete darkness. Think that it sucks to train in San Diego? How about wearing eight layers of clothes and hoping that your sweat doesn’t freeze to your face or that some jerk that’s going too fast in his Miata doesn’t hit some black ice and takes you at the kneecaps.

Unlike training for a fall marathon, like the Marine Corps in Washington or New York, you have no idea what you’re going to get when it comes to marathon day in April. It could be hot as August, cold as February, rainy as October, windy as March … you have no clue. Luckily, she had perfect weather yesterday.

Did she want to quit? Of course she did, putting plans on the backburner or not being able to have a glass of wine or some sort of fattening food while everyone else (including her husband) isn’t easy. And it’s not easy to leave a warm home and run by yourself through the streets of Brighton and Allston while your husband is reading the paper and watching football. But she did it. And for that, she has all my respect. When she first saw me yesterday in Wellesley (about mile 16), with tears in her eyes telling me how much she hurt, it was all I could do to pick her up in my arms and carry her back to our house. But she persevered and made it to the end. I’ll never forget that.

So here’s to you number 21264, take a few days off and no matter what happens, you can always say that you’re a marathoner.

Ok. Now for the real reason that you’re here; comics. Poorly drawn, crudely written web comics. This week’s episode revolves around blissful ignorance and a look into the future. In the first panel, Eddie talks about going home and talking to his older brother. Being a good guy, his older brother gives him some words of wisdom that both he and Kurt shoot down.

Want to check it out: www.room19comics.com

The same thing happened to me, and since I didn’t have an older brother it came from my friend Brownie’s brother, Greg. While we were still in school, Greg must’ve been in a melancholy mood and started going on about women and how lucky we were to be in college. He basically said, there will never be another time in your life that you’re literally going to be surrounded by girls that are all in the same social, class, intelligence and age spheres than you are in right now. In the real world, there are going to be chicks from everywhere and you actually have to work hard to make conversation and ultimately get laid.

In college he said, more than half of the battle is won … you have such a large pooled of shared experiences, it should be a piece of cake to talk to a woman and get some rap going. As the rap extends, you move the conversation elsewhere and there you go. In a bar or some other meeting place you have to set up the parameters of the conversation: is she your age, does she make way more or way less than you, is she from around here, etc. This is time consuming and if it takes too long and proves fruitless, you’re going home alone. In college you can skip that part.

Of course, we ignored him and after a couple of months outside of school and in the bar scene, he proved to be 100% right. BTW, the line that Eddie says in the last panel is a direct ripoff of Ralph Wiggum’s quote when he’s trying to win over Lisa Simpson. Now that guy was a lothario.