This Week in Milford

May 9, 2018

Busting Loose, Shortly


As someone who is a little above the 95th percentile in height,* please allow me to say the following:

  • I am fortunate to know a great many very accomplished and successful people, many of them men. Among those men, perhaps the most exceptionally accomplished are, generally speaking, kinda shorter than average.
  • That said, most all of these people, regardless of stature or gender, are incredibly diligent professionals and I often hold them out to others as examples to emulate.
  • For my part, I find that all I have to do is show up on time, smile a lot, crack a few jokes and wait for my full head of hair to gradually turn silver. Everything else just seems to take care of itself.

Enough of that BS, the world is a weird place. What can I say?  Speaking of, 5’8″ is, as has been pointed out in previous comments, not short at all! WTH?

Metapost: Speaking of me, if I can figure out how to upload an audio file to this site for free (WordPress thinks they’re entitled to payment for their services apparently) – call it never released Wednesday in anticipation of Jive Turkey’s Rock n’ Roll Thursday – look out for a completely different post that will be coming from me on Sunday.

* Actual snippet of conversation I had with a new neighbor: “It’s a pleasure to meet you but this is a little awkward as I had a twelve year run as the tallest guy on the block.”

Here we go. Please let me know if this is working for people and address all music criticisms/comments to the late ’90’s. Trust me, Sunday’s post may explain this.



  1. “Speaking of busting loose, did you know Barry’s dad is in prison for killing some girl?”

    Comment by jvwalt — May 9, 2018 @ 9:06 am

  2. I have been lamenting the lack of mysterious objects in the strip lately, and lo, we have two of them in P1. Behind Gil and Marjie, someone has carefully laid down his satchel next to the baseline. And in his left hand, Gil is carrying what may be a vaulting pole. Hard to say, but this could be a rare reference to the track team.

    Comment by vaganova — May 9, 2018 @ 9:34 am

  3. Short people got no reason
    Short people got no reason
    Short people got no reason
    To pitch

    They got little patience
    And problem arms
    And one of them
    Did his girlfriend harm
    They got tiny catchers
    With funny names

    They have a hands-off coach
    And won’t win many games

    Well, I don’t want no short people
    Don’t want no short people
    Don’t want no short people
    On the mound

    Comment by billytheskink — May 9, 2018 @ 9:45 am

  4. Arm problems? Pretty vague. Tommy John surgery? Rotator cuff? Elbow? Whatever. Pitch count pud Gil has him on 2 inning limit even though he doesn’t know what kind of friggin’ arm problem it was. Yes, only 2 innings. Two innings of split finger fastballs, curves and screwballs. Gil heard Fernando Valenueza threw a screwball. Hey, wasn’t he Mexican? Maybe Padilla can teach him how to throw it. No one else will.
    Speaking of track, Vaganova. Maybe Bhatia can throw the shotput also. Three grunt limit.

    Comment by Jive Turkey — May 9, 2018 @ 11:04 am

  5. Can anyone remember a reference to a Mfnrd track team? I can’t, and I’ve been following the strip since its inception, except for five years in a city whose papers did not carry it. I think the only time I’ve ever seen track referred to at all was in a flashback strip about the principal who could never beat Gil at anything at State and tried to take it out on Gil as his boss. That was a few years ago– 1990s?

    Comment by vaganova — May 9, 2018 @ 11:48 am

  6. Pelwicki is ready to “bust loose”, but first he has to put down the t-ball league bat and learn how to swing a real one.

    Comment by franku2016 — May 9, 2018 @ 11:55 am

  7. This is just bee grinding. Deep into May and utterly pointless pre-season. Why, Rubin, Why?! Is it so Gil can wear a red shirt for the 151st consecutive day? Sorry, man, but it won’t get him killed unless you write it.
    Even today, btw, there are still major leaguers under 6 feet tall –

    Comment by Downpuppy, w/cheez (@Downpuppy) — May 9, 2018 @ 12:00 pm

  8. vaganova, I believe you’re referring to Principal Ek who tried to get Gil fired with some trumped-up charges which occurred, I believe, in the late ’90’s. Not that Gil wouldn’t have it coming to him but then again, we wouldn’t have a job(ha). Anyway, he eventually died of a heart attack and practically begged Gil for forgiveness on his death bed. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think that’s the one. You da Man as always, vaganova.

    Comment by tdrewhardin — May 9, 2018 @ 12:45 pm

  9. Good one Frank, that is a t ball bat. Or maybe a cricket mallet or something. This bloke doesn’t know anything about that game.

    Comment by Jive Turkey — May 9, 2018 @ 12:48 pm

  10. T-ball bat? Nah. In color, it’s clearly a perfectly baked baguette.

    Comment by Downpuppy, w/cheez (@Downpuppy) — May 9, 2018 @ 1:27 pm

  11. Milford’s track team has been referenced on and off on occasion. In fact, it was just last year when Carrie Hobson was sweet on hurdler Gary Meola, and shot-putter Jimmy Caruso dug Dafne Dafonte. This led to a ridiculous instance where all 4 hung out and Gary angrily revealed he was not interested in Carrie and was only there to wingman for Jimmy as he pursued Dafne. Dafne got incredibly angry over this (despite pretty much doing the same thing for Carrie) and knocked Jimmy aside and into a cabinet door. Jimmy’s ensuing black eye made her realize that Ryan Van Auken may well not have intentionally hit his girlfriend as she had assumed when investigating the year-old incident.

    Another track reference I recall was speedy Gaylord Trenary “GT” Grayling, a star hurdler who took his proto-Jamarr Gaddis arrogant act to the baseball team in search of attention back in 2004. Joe Clifford struck him out pitching a softball underhand, which led to Clifford joining the girl’s softball team (he was also pursuing Debbie Roy). Despite being awful, it was GT who got Debbie Roy… well, until she heard him being interviewed by Marty Moon lying that he was tutoring the softball players (they were actually tutoring him). This was Rubin’s first baseball story arc, by the way.

    Comment by billytheskink — May 9, 2018 @ 1:52 pm

  12. Neither a cricket bat nor a baguette– it’s a sloppily rolled umbrella. This was deftly foreshadowed a few days ago as Gil and Kaz discussed how long to wait before postponing a game.

    tdrew, the name “Ek” does not ring a bell, but we are clearly talking about the same person. As I remember, he was bald with a fringe. He did die of a heart attack (the unstated cause was that being pissed off all the time is bad for you.) Was I right that his motive for harassing Gil was resentment that Gil had beaten him at everything they both did while at State? All I remember about the trumped up charges was that they were transparently absurd– Gil was not embezzling from the phys ed budget or pumping cheerleaders.

    Comment by vaganova — May 9, 2018 @ 1:57 pm

  13. billy, wow– in the space of a year, I had completely forgotten about the shot putter and the hurdler, and their secondary roles in the plot which opened Dafne DeFoliant’s eyes, so to speak. I wonder how many others (the GT Grayling arc sounds familiar) I have forgotten? If anybody wonders why I often appeal to billy for a ruling on some past event, my #5 post and billy’s #11 should answer that question.

    Comment by vaganova — May 9, 2018 @ 2:04 pm

  14. I forgot too. I’d like to think it says more about boring plot than poor memory. Gil is complimenting Moose within earshot. The question is it for success or reverse psychology to make Moose fail? Gil’s to dumb for either. But the sooner the season ends the sooner Gil gets to the 19th hole.

    Comment by Jive Turkey — May 9, 2018 @ 2:18 pm

  15. Billytheskink brings up some fond memories of when this strip actually had interesting characters and stories and not this far-fetched bullshit of late, such as peacocks, tat-slaps, wrestling grandpas, Ricky Soto, reality shows,, etc……

    Comment by franku2016 — May 9, 2018 @ 2:50 pm

  16. vaganova, sorry I’m later than this plotline to respond(ha).
    Anyway, yeah, I remember that Ek was primed to win some kind of award and Gil snatched it away the way Gil only could snatch ANYTHING, Good Guy is the Dark Horse and sneaks up from behind the awards ceremony and snares the trophy from the jaws of Ek’s victory, which of course set Ek plotting a course for revenge. His time came(I’m thinking) when he became principal and he just became a thorn in Gil’s side and, yes, I liked the scenarios you drew up for which the charges were trumped. I can’t remember what Iago accused Othello of but it was something stupid, like the ones you suggested(and those were FUNNY, vaganova, My Man). Naturally, Gil wound up getting exonerated(doesn’t he always?) and again, Ek eventually, as you mentioned, keeled over of a heart attack and died. I thought it was comical watching Gil under house arrest while ark was having his moment in the sun. Good memories. You da Man, vaganova.

    Comment by tdrewhardin — May 9, 2018 @ 4:01 pm

  17. Right you are, Downpuppy (I enjoyed the Star Trek reference, btw). The last two days, in particular, were a complete waste – Rubin could introduce the team during game action (Caption: “Catcher Hiawatha James singles to left”). This would free up some panels to advance the plot, or at least look for one.

    Comment by Philip — May 9, 2018 @ 4:17 pm

  18. Thanks, tdrew, for the shout out. I am looking forward to seeing more about this Hiawatha James (not that we will.) Just a few miles to my west lies Hiawatha Island, where, according to local legend, Hiawatha (as in “Song of,” by America’s favorite bad poet, Longfellow) brought the five nations of the Iroquois (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk) together to form the Iroquois Confederacy. The story is almost certainly complete horseshit, but it’s fun, and Hiawatha Island was a familiar ground reference for me as a glider pilot making “final glide” calculations on my way home from a long flight.

    Comment by vaganova — May 9, 2018 @ 4:34 pm

  19. You know what I feel like?

    Comment by nedryerson — May 9, 2018 @ 4:52 pm

  20. OK. So, add Glider Pilot to vaganova’s rather esoteric CV. I hope billy is keeping track of all of these in xls.

    Comment by timbuys — May 9, 2018 @ 5:02 pm

  21. Ned @19: I think Gil (and maybe you?) have been going to some of the same baseball games I’ve been going to.

    Comment by teenchy — May 9, 2018 @ 6:04 pm

  22. I haven’t joined the pursuit.

    I’ve had that song stuck in my head all day.

    Comment by nedryerson — May 9, 2018 @ 8:39 pm

  23. P3: “He might be ready to bust loose.”
    Haven’t we heard that already about Moose? Remember when Heather gave him a pep talk in a Horatio Alger kind of way, i. e., that if he is willing to work hard, he’ll get out of the slums of Milford and be a semi-star on the football team as a running back/quarterback/God knows what else Thorpiverse could conjure up in the name of keeping the plot interesting?
    Now we’re trying our hand at baseball and maybe this time something might stick on the wall. Oh, I forgot, Moose has been deeply into the Launch Angle, if he keeps his elbow up and swings at the right perspective, he might hit the moon when it’s in the Last Quarter. What better way to hit a walk-off home run?
    So we’ll see. Hey, Gil’s doing some coaching albeit through his interpreter. Still a lot of cobwebs to shake off. Everything takes time, Gil.

    Comment by tdrewhardin — May 9, 2018 @ 9:31 pm

  24. The horn section ‘playing’ while walking down the stairs was worth the price of admission, for sure.

    Comment by timbuys — May 11, 2018 @ 12:50 pm

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