This Week in Milford

May 2, 2007

And sticking your head in the dirt will improve your ugliness.

Filed under: Gil Thorp, Pantheon of Hair — jasbeattie @ 12:49 pm


Gil no longer appears bored…in fact he looks downright happy for the first time in months. I guess it dawned on him that having a crazy old coot give all the coaching tips from now on is a foolproof plan for him. If the ridiculous advice works, Gil can take all the credit…if it doesn’t, the team is no worse off than they were when Gil was ignoring them completely. It’s win-win! (Except for the games of course, they’ll still lose all of those.)

What else we got goin’ on? Some old standards like weird background shadow characters up to no good, Ken Burger being played by a grumpy old guy, and crazy school settings (Today: the purgatory lunchroom!).

But what’s really got my attention is the appearance of whiny Jim Gross. Yep, we finally get to see him without his hat on, and one look at his hair shows us that we have an exciting new pantheon candidate. In addition, Jim seems to have a hard time standing up straight…it’s as if he were, oh…say, missing a leg! My theory until proven otherwise: Peg-Leg Bill Ritter has fashioned a new wig (obviously influenced by Coach Kaz’s frizz and Tyler Jay’s fruity forehead curl) and has sneaked onto the baseball team…mistaking their inept play for that of a Special Olympics team. Why is he sneaking on the team? I have no idea…Hey, I didn’t say I thought this through. With my half-assed effort and ability to poorly juggle many plotlines at once, maybe I could write this strip when Neil has finally had enough. It’s be pretty much the same, except I’d write in way more explosions.



  1. Heh, I thought that Gross looked a little like Kaz. Gil looks positively reptilian in panel one. Who’s more likely to be extraterrestrial, him or Brynna?

    Comment by Ennui, Willie Keeler — May 2, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

  2. Gil not only looks drunk in panel one–which would explain his laissez-faire (that’s French for ‘lazy ass’) approach to coaching–but if you look closely you can see that he’s drawn fake pupils on his eyelids, so it looks like he’s awake and alert when he nods off.

    Comment by Tim Goral — May 2, 2007 @ 1:32 pm

  3. Man, that lunchroom is the very Pit of Despair. It’s even turned Jim Gross from a lovable wingnut into a deeply troubled young man, to judge from the facial expression in panel 3.

    I can hardly wait for Clambake to show up at the Bucket and start giving advice to the waitresses (“Now, you don’t want to carry the hot plates like that. You might drop ’em. What you want to do is…”) and the short-order cooks (“I’ve got a secret recipe for the best burger you ever tasted…”) and even the cashier (“Here’s a little tip for keeping track of the change in your drawer…”). Tomorrow morning the cops are going to find that lovable ol’ coot face-down in the deep-fat fryer.

    Comment by johnw — May 2, 2007 @ 4:05 pm

  4. I nominate TV’s Frank as Jim-the-moron’s Pantheon Double.

    Comment by Black Card — May 2, 2007 @ 6:22 pm

  5. 5/4 panel 2: Is that a Stormy cameo? Did he tag along with the baseball team?

    Comment by Ennui Willie Keeler — May 2, 2007 @ 6:45 pm

  6. I have to imagine cultural trends reach Millville months to years later than everywhere else, so maybe Gross was simply enjoying Fat Joe’s hot new single, “Lean Back.”

    Comment by Tracer Bullet — May 2, 2007 @ 8:25 pm

  7. The depiction of lunchrooms continues to piss me off. Where do they have individual (not even the folding type) chairs, tables for 4, and all that SPACE?

    I went to HS in a Chicago suburb in the 60s. Two hours of the day were designated as lunch hours. They were then split into two 25 minute lunch periods to fit everyone in.

    Comment by dale — May 2, 2007 @ 11:51 pm

  8. I think Jim Gross is trying to impress Branden Zollar by doing everything at a 45 degree angle. But while Branden always tilts forward, it looks like Jimbo is leaning backwards. That’s good though, because it would be a lot harder for them to make out if they were both leaning forwards.

    And regarding Jim’s hair, I love it as much as everyone else. Between the glasses and the forehead curl, is there any chance that Jim Gross is really some sort of Superman/Heat Miser hybrid?

    Comment by Cash — May 3, 2007 @ 12:50 pm

  9. Putting aside the fact that “Brushing the dirt when I follow through will improve my control?” is up there in the pantheon of durrrty durrrty Thorpisms, what do you suppose that action is really supposed to entail? Is Jim Gross supposed to somehow incorporate a follow through in his pitching motion where his hand is down at ground level? How is that going to be anything that isn’t completely unnatural and awkward? Maybe that’s what all the leaning is about. He’s shreading all the tendons in his knees trying to apply the old coot’s remedy.

    I think Ken Burger is right to stand up to the tide of popular opinion and to resist drinking the Clambake Kool-Aid. Clambake is clearly baked and he’s probably just now realizing that all his benzadrine was packed up and shipped off to Raleigh.

    That cafeteria looks to be lit with a bright, harsh light. Is this cause of, or some sort of compensation for Milford Melting Eyes Syndrome? You be the judge.

    Comment by Ned Ryerson — May 3, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

  10. Ned: I’m picturing Jim Gross out there on the mound with a whisk broom, and Clambake yelling from the sidelines, “No, no! Brush the ground with your HAND, you damn fool!” That’s when the whole team decides Ken is right, and leaves ol’ Clambake chained to the backstop all night long.

    Comment by johnw — May 3, 2007 @ 1:54 pm

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