This Week in Milford

December 17, 2018

April Come She Will

Filed under: The Bucket — nedryerson @ 7:27 am


It took me a while to realize we have a three panel, three location strip today. At first I though Marginal Mike Filion was at The Bucket with Andre Ruffin, which caused much confusion. Referring back to Saturday’s strip, I saw that Panel 1 is a recap of a hallway conversation about Burly Rick Soto’s attempt to eat three Bucket Banana Splits.

You will note that on Saturday, Marginal Mike already indicated that he wasn’t interested in watching Burly Rick pound any old fashioned deserts. So this strip basically just elaborates on that last panel from last week. We are assembled at The Bucket for The Pounding of The Splits and Marginal Mike is home, drifting through a teenage reverie. Oh sure, we could speculate that Mike is doing some pounding of his own since whatever’s going on below the waist in Panel 3 is left to our imagination, but whatever it is he’s doing, he prefers to do alone.

Panel 3 puts me in mind of Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, laying in his opulent childhood bedroom between bouts of schtupping Mrs. Robinson, staring at the ceiling, smoking cigarettes and drinking beer to a soundtrack of Simon & Garfunkel. Sure Benjamin Braddock had a groovy fish tank and all Mike has is a plywood headboard and I’ll speculate that the Filion’s don’t have a swanky backyard replete with swimming pool and fancy barbeque. This is Milford after all. Owning a home as opposed to living in dumpy apartments is how privilege is defined here.

So, what are the odds that we’re actually going to see Burly Rick Soto’s attempt to eat three banana splits? I think that foreground girl in Panel 2 is looking at us with a face that says, you’re not going to see anybody trying to eat three banana splits, you idiots. You’ve been duped again into thinking something novel might happen only to find focus pulled back to a character with a marginally interesting, slowly unfolding story.



  1. We may be headed for a recycling of a Berrill story from I think the seventies. Football lineman transfers in from Texas. Meets a Milford girl who also likes Tex-Mex (“Ah knew we’d hit it off!'”) but also suffers from a suicidal depression. Finally realizing what’s going on, Gil finds him camped out of town, staring into the fire. Earliest “mental health” story I remember in GT.

    Comment by vaganova — December 17, 2018 @ 8:05 am

  2. Maybe Filion is feeling the crushing weight of expectations that comes with being the headlining character in a season-long story arc. He signed up to be a guy like Steve Rosen or Charles Bloom or Miles Paris or Grant Sanders, a guy who plays all the sports for 3 years but never has to headline a story… but now he has been yanked out of his comfort zone by the powers that be.

    Comment by billytheskink — December 17, 2018 @ 8:36 am

  3. Filion is busy choking the chicken in panel 3. Definitely.

    Comment by Name required — December 17, 2018 @ 9:38 am

  4. Vaganova, I know EXACTLY who you’re talking about and I thought EXACTLY the same thing when I saw P3. More to come later as I’m working but Vaganova, your eye is acute as always. You da Man.

    Comment by tdrewhardin — December 17, 2018 @ 11:24 am

  5. Thanks, T Drew. I’m not sure that story came out in the 70s. It may have been as late as 1990. Trying to remember where I was living at the time. I can still see one panel in my mind. Kid in a cowboy hat staring into the fire while everyone else is looking for him.

    Comment by vaganova — December 17, 2018 @ 12:13 pm

  6. Filion needs the Family Guy Yanket

    Comment by franku2016 — December 17, 2018 @ 12:32 pm

  7. P1: Thanks to Ned for parsing the action here. I vaguely resent needing to closely read Gil Thorp in order to figure out what’s going on first thing Monday morning.
    P2: Someone needs to tell soda girl to stop picking her teeth in public. It’s rude and no one wants to see it!
    P3: Hah! Speaking of things no one wants to see… well, at least Mike waited until he had some private time. I’ve never seen that Yanket video. Thanks for sharing, franku2016!

    Comment by timbuys — December 17, 2018 @ 2:24 pm

  8. And we are left to wonder “just WTF does this have to do with billboard boy?”

    Comment by franku2016 — December 17, 2018 @ 3:11 pm

  9. Vaganova, I believe that one came out in early ’80’s because it occurred roughly when I graduated from school. The family moved into Milford from a western state(I forgot which one) and had owned a ranch. His sister was trying to get him occasionally to trade in his cowboy boots and hat for Nikes and Levi’s which he stiffly rebuffed. He was a solid player but suffered a major flaw in his character that being severe depression. And he had it bad. Arguably a Top Ten Thorpiverse stunning non-verbal panel showed him roasting a marshmallow in the open country at night, a fire weakly burning, displaying an expression that could stop a clock. THAT’S what hit me today.
    Gil and Tod(before the latter Benedict Arnolded to Oakwood) tried to help and even met some success(unlike now where Gil is STILL not coaching, “I don’t get no respect” Filion running the team).
    But let’s not kid ourselves. Gil.was not Freud and but he wasn’t going to uncover the dude’s depression by getting the latter to talk out his dream of a scorpion stinging his butt while he’s riding horseback to account for why his sadness overwhelms him on 3rd and 10 nor was he going to go the Pavlov’s dog route and explain that the dude dives in Tex-Mex until he farts the colors of Texas’ flag everytime he hears the school bell rings. At least Gil was doing something THEN.
    And this girl that keeps breaking the 4th estate. The last time I think she was in the cafeteria, passing by with her school books. Was she taking a class, taught by the cafeteria ladies which could qualify as a college credit, something like Advanced Hostess Studies 102? Lifetime Slaughtering Hogs? Salad Mixing Techniques?
    At least if you’re gonna pass by and ruin an already stinky plot, is it too much to ask to wave a placard like “Hi Mom” or “John 3:16”?

    Comment by tdrewhardin — December 17, 2018 @ 7:09 pm

  10. @tdrewhardin: That’s indeed correct. I think the kid’s name was Bubba. I have the story in one of my ‘Best of Gil Thorp’ books, which includes interesting stories from when Berrill wrote GT.

    Comment by franku2016 — December 18, 2018 @ 10:10 am

  11. tdrew, I was thinking Texas but at least we both remember “southwest.” I don’t remember Tod Andrews being involved, but he never made a big impression on me to begin with. As far as Panel 2 Girl goes, I actually like fourth wall violations (another character says something stupid and Eddie Murphy looks directly into the camera, deadpan. I’ve done that a few times on stage myself.) Early 80s would make sense. I was living in a loft over a drugstore at that point and can kind of associate the story with that period. I liked the loft a lot, but there was one flaw– there was an indoor driving range upstairs, and until about 8 PM you had to put up with the sound of guys driving balls into the net (“Aside from that, Mrs Lincoln, how did you like the play?”)

    Comment by vaganova — December 18, 2018 @ 10:15 am

  12. Bubba Joe Tilwell, I believe, was the character.

    Comment by billytheskink — December 18, 2018 @ 12:58 pm

  13. […] Deflecting the pass to the opponent isn’t exactly “swatting it away.” If this leads to the Hatter making the basket and giving Danbury the one-point win, that will give Filion even more to stew over on the bus ride home and during me time. […]

    Pingback by A Deflection… Until Monday | This Week in Milford — December 29, 2018 @ 2:41 pm

  14. […] Danbury, but a deflection and an odd bounce gave the Mad Hatters the win.  All we have to go on is one panel in a strip set in the pre-season for any indication that Mike may be having moments of […]

    Pingback by How to Groom Your Point Guard | This Week in Milford — January 19, 2019 @ 6:34 pm

  15. […] you realize that in the Valley we’re in last place? Do you realize I stare into space? Do you realize that Marty Moon makes me cry? Do you realize that our entire team someday will die? […]

    Pingback by Does Gil Realize?? | This Week in Milford — February 6, 2019 @ 8:27 am

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