This Week in Milford

March 4, 2017

You’re Floored? I thought you were Gil Thorp!


It was once suggested that the caption “Christ, what an asshole.” works with every New Yorker cartoon†. It’s also been suggested that “What a misunderstanding!” and “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” can also be used as universal New Yorker cartoon captions. There have been even ruder universal captions that I won’t link to directly but you can find them via this link.

The first universal caption immediately sprang to mind when I looked at today’s strip. Gil sure looks like he’s trying to stifle a laugh behind his hand as he listens to the family Aagard’s tale of woe. (Semantics question: when a person confesses to something, doesn’t that mean they’re making an admission of something about themselves they would otherwise have kept hidden? Isn’t Aaron simply diming out his mom here?) A subtle twist of the eyebrows would’ve gone a long way here.

Now that Tina Aagard’s dirty laundry has been hung out, it’ll be interesting to see who Gil brings in to help make things better for the Aagards. A doctor? For all we know, a doctor may be enabling mom’s habit. Social Services? The League of Women Voters? The Illinois National Guard? No matter, I suspect we’ll see this scene play out at Schloss Thorp, Big Ken Brown’s House of Making Things Happen and other Milford abodes in the coming week.

†No offense or shock value intended on my part.


  1. I should wait for vaganova to chime in, but I love the fact that Gil is just winging it here. Sure, he could follow some sort of protocol for this sort of thing, but in panel three it looks like he’s perfectly content just to spitball with AaAa on next steps.

    Comment by timbuys — March 4, 2017 @ 8:33 am

  2. This one is really easy to fix for basketball & really tough otherwise.
    It’s Gil Thorp, so let’s focus on basketball.

    Comment by Joe Viterbo (@Downpuppy) — March 4, 2017 @ 9:18 am

  3. Afraid that timbuys has given me the baton here, for better or worse. As I’ve been saying, most states require that school personnel attempt an intervention in a case like this, less because of Mom’s apparent addiction than because Aa’s being starved (neglected, technically) as a result. In New York, you call a state hot line and State Ed dispatches an investigator. In other states, school districts have personnel whose job it is to handle such things. In Mfnrd, a kind of Twilight Zone where people act as if filming minors for a “reality show” is perfectly normal, I can’t guess what the procedure is. Perhaps teachers, coaches, and guidance counselors are on their own. What I can say is that Gil is doing exactly what school officials are expected to do in places which do not have hot line interventions, and his thoughts– doctor, DSS, so far– make perfect sense.

    I’m kind of on the hot seat here with more than thirty years in public education in a progressive state, but am sorry I can’t speak with authority on Gil’s state because we don’t know which one it is. Most of us seem to feel Mfnrd is “somewhere in the midwest:” my own guess is Ohio, Indiana, or some similar state. Part of my time was out of the classroom– studies at the Harvard Ed School, service on certification panels, “expert” witness at colloquia, etc– and I found that the schools in in the midwest were some of the most progressive and effective I saw. Gil may be winging it, but if he is, he’s flying the same flight plan most conscientious schools would. Good schools don’t limit their work to the classroom.

    Comment by vaganova's chiropractor — March 4, 2017 @ 12:00 pm

  4. Gil’s laughing at Aardvark’s conundrum is priceless. His purple suit is pretty awesome as well, as long as he can wear white 1986 Reeboks with it. Dammit, Carolina’s baseball team just pissed away a 5-2 lead to Clemson as I type this and they may lose. Crap.

    Comment by southmauldin — March 4, 2017 @ 4:57 pm

  5. southmaudin, the shoes are questionable on both Gilberto AND Aa. Wonder if the colorizer got distracted….

    Comment by vaganova's chiropractor — March 4, 2017 @ 5:26 pm

  6. I was wondering, as vaganova mentioned, if I was the only noticing Aardvark talking to Billy Joel in P3. Between his concert at the Oakwood Ampitheater and the one at the New Thayer Veterans Coliseum, he found the time to stop in Milford as a Good Samaritan to heal a broken man. I’m glad he’s got connections with the case workers here in town. This otherwise could have been a lonely walk down the tunnel of paintings like the one Goya took in “Goya in Bordeaux.” Oh, look, Goya, is that one of your masterpieces, “El Sueno de la Razon Produce Monstruos”(The Sleep of Reason Produces Tic Tacs, er, Monsters)? Man, Goya, those strange birds flying around the victim, wait a minute, that’s Mrs. Aardvark after she just lost her job at McShane’s Hardware for popping one too many Certs and now she’s hallucinating? For real, Goya?
    Anyway, BJ saved the day, that’s what counts.

    Comment by T. Drew Hardin — March 4, 2017 @ 6:16 pm

  7. Bravo, T Drew. On other occasions, Picasso would have been the renderer to cite. But this story definitely takes Goya. If you are really courting a freakout, imagine what this story would be like in the hands of Jerry Jenkins in the bad old days.

    Comment by vaganova's chiropractor — March 4, 2017 @ 6:27 pm

  8. […] will also profess total ignorance of this plot twist when I made my Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner reference a couple of weeks ago. I chose that reference thinking that Gil would use his animal […]

    Pingback by I’m shocked – SHOCKED! – that this story is ending! | This Week in Milford — April 1, 2017 @ 2:04 pm

  9. […] I sure feel like trotting out my New Yorker-referencing post from last March. Could Gil be any more of an insensitive prick? Jordy’s cousin Jorge has had […]

    Pingback by Gil Thorp Doesn’t Care About Huddled Masses | This Week in Milford — January 13, 2018 @ 8:35 am

  10. […] been down this road before, a little over a year and a half ago to be exact. Nosy classmates stick their noses where they don’t belong, Gil gets wind and the […]

    Pingback by Let’s Hope Gil Doesn’t Bring In Social Services Again | This Week in Milford — October 20, 2018 @ 6:40 pm

  11. […] kept wanting to drop the Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner reference in the past but I was really trying to shoehorn it into a plot. This week probably has […]

    Pingback by Guess Who’s Thorping to Dinner | This Week in Milford — July 13, 2019 @ 3:06 pm

  12. […] of my Sidney Poitier references here before the time came to actually pay him tribute. I thought Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner lent itself naturally to the Aaron Aagard saga but finally found a use for it during the Summer of […]

    Pingback by “This is your captain speaking. I’ve turned off the ‘No Hogging’ sign…” | This Week in Milford — January 8, 2022 @ 10:38 pm

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