This Week in Milford

July 7, 2018

Rough Expectations


Well that was anticlimactic.  Given that (1) Barry has been treated like dirt by his teammates, his schoolmates, and his coaches ever since his father’s crash into Addison “Boo, But Not the Boo from To Kill A Mockingbird” Radley (b) no one, not even Counselor Dern, has suggested Barry get help or talk to someone except as a means to generate a lede, and (iii) Rubin has taken a ham-fisted approach to so many of his “ripped from the headlines” arcs only to end them in a flurry of tell-don’t-show moments, I fully expected today’s strip to feature Barry shooting up the halls of Milford High.  Rubin could wipe out underdeveloped and name-dropped characters in one fell swoop and turn the summer arc into a month-long episode of A Very Special Gil Thorp. I even implied as much in my Thursday post.

Art snark aside: Dafne and Bestie Who Looks Like An Extra From Room 222 (not to say that Dafne herself doesn’t look the same from time to time) have each lost a chunky bracelet since yesterday. Dafne and Barry are a bit closer in height than they were previously.

Back on topic: Maybe l’affaire Bader et Dafonte will still erupt in violence.  Maybe the adults in the teachers’ lounge will read the article and see it as the cry for help Barry has so desperately tried to make for the past two years.  Maybe the Nats will stop free falling, turn their season around, claw their way into a playoff spot and finally win a postseason series for once.  None of these things seems likely at the moment, and none of them are going to happen soon enough.

metapost:  timbuys’ Thorp of July post had some of us drifting off in Costello/Lowe reverie and realizing that we may have been in the same room at the same time.  Doubtless, then, the latest news from Mr. MacManus may have hit some of us like a ton of bricks. The news does seem positive, however, and I’m hopeful The Living Elvis will remain living for some time to come, which leads me to…

metapost 2: For the past couple of years I’ve been the Thursday and Saturday poster, a fact that always makes me think of a certain EC song.  As such, I usually end up being the guy who gets to weigh in on an arc’s final strip. Not this time, however.  I’m going to be traveling over the next two weeks, so one or more of my esteemed colleagues will get to see this train wreck into the station.  Thanks for hanging in there with me today.  I leave you with that certain song that almost always comes to mind when I enter the Thorpiverse.



  1. I had really been hoping Dafne would kill the article. Then, the week of the 9th, we could have one day congratulating her on the wisdom of that decision, spend five days watching K-Pel break the school single season home run record, and start the summer story on the 16th. Now it looks like we’ll stagger on aimlessly for at least another eighteen panels, with probably fourteen completely wasted.

    Comment by Philip — July 8, 2018 @ 3:33 am

  2. I think this probably IS the summer story.

    Comment by vaganova — July 8, 2018 @ 7:37 am

  3. We can cover you, teenchy.

    Over the course of his career, Elvis Costello has dramatically and repeatedly announced his retirement. After a while, I learned he just liked to make the audience gasp, feeling they just witnessed something of moment.

    A part of me wants to think that he is similarly stage managing this as his final act. For one, I see no coincidence in the relatively recent publication of his memoirs, aborted ‘last’ tour and forthcoming ‘final’ album. The Beloved Entertainer will give us at least one more encore. That I don’t doubt.

    Comment by timbuys — July 8, 2018 @ 10:25 am

  4. Since we’re on the subject, Trust represents The Attractions at their best with some of Bruce Thomas’ heaviest playing. Another nice example of their backing work is given below. Do I want that vintage Wal bass Bruce Thomas is playing? Thank you for asking. Yes, I want it very fucking much but I have a family to feed so that is a dream for another life.

    Comment by timbuys — July 8, 2018 @ 10:38 am

  5. This storyline is doing the impossible: It’s making me feel sorry for Barry. As teenchy points out, he’s gotten no help or support whatsoever from his team, his coaches, his teachers or the school in general. He had pretty bad emotional problems to begin with. And now, his dad’s in the slammer and his mom’s probably “taking in washing” (old-timey euphemism for single moms prostituting themselves) to make ends meet. And his school is just leaving him to navigate all this on his own.

    Comment by jvwalt — July 8, 2018 @ 11:38 am

  6. jvwalt makes a good point. We read about kids becoming school shooters after years of being bullied or rejected with the school not intervening, but schools, at least the good ones, do try to identify kids in trouble and help them. The school where I taught had about 900 students, and in addition to the guidance people, two social workers whose full time job was literally to look for trouble.

    Comment by vaganova — July 8, 2018 @ 12:13 pm

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