This Week in Milford

March 20, 2019

TFW You Spot an Ultraman Reference in Gil Thorp


One of my fondest childhood memories was coming home from school and watching The Happy Raine Show on WCSC-TV 5, the CBS affiliate in Charleston, SC.  Happy Raine was the stage name of Lorraine “Rainey” Evans, who worked in WCSC’s marketing department. The story goes that Evans was working on a promotion for Robin Hood Flour and was mailing out Robin Hood hats, complete with feathers, to clients. One day on a whim she stuck some of the feathers in her hair; the station’s weatherman, Charlie Hall, spotted this and told Evans she could pass as a Native American.  Several months later, Evans was approached to host a live children’s show and thus Happy Raine was born.

The Happy Raine Show featured live segments with kids in the studio audience, like most locally produced children’s shows back in the day.  Interspersed between the live segments were episodes of the Japanese tokusatsu classic Ultraman. I won’t bog you down with the details of Ultraman if you don’t know them already.  Suffice it to say that we Baby Boomer/GenX cusp kids looked forward to seeing what bizarre kaiju Ultraman would fight that afternoon. The kaiju were easy to root against as they stomped around cardboard Tokyo – that is, until the kaiju was Jamila.

The Ultraman Wiki describes Jamila (ジャミラ) as “an astronaut who came into contact with an extraterrestrial mutagen and transformed into a monster.  He returned to Earth with a vengeance for the human race, but was killed by Ultraman.  Deemed a victim of an unfortunate fate, a plaque was raised in the former human’s memory.”



Jamila was one of those rare things on Ultraman: a villain who wasn’t entirely villainous.  Something to wrap your grammar school brain around before it was time to do your homework.

It’s nice to see that Jamila has been reincarnated as a Lady Mudlarks’ pitcher.  Thanks for indulging my childhood nostalgia.  Now let’s deconstruct today’s strip.

P1: Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

P2: Happy Fun Ball is actually a pitch from Jamila that got away from catcher Jocelynn Brown.  Any relation to Big Ken from a few years back?  Nah, more likely a shout-out to one of Neal’s friends at the Detroit News.  Funny how Happy Fun Ball goes from being tiny in Mimi’s hand to enormous in Jocelynn’s, innit?

P3: Since there was no Lady Mudlarks basketball this past season (at least none that we saw), Mimi’s had a lot of time on her hands to think up wacky hijinks like scheduling a scrimmage.  Extra work for the Coaches Thorp?  That’s crazy talk!  Gil’s plying her with Long Island Iced teas to rid her of such notions.



  1. Haven’t had a scrimmage “in years”? I thought that Gil was the only patronage-job coach in the family. Apparently, wifey is too

    Comment by franku2016 — March 20, 2019 @ 7:57 am

  2. Heck, Mimi hasn’t even coached anything since last softball season…

    Comment by billytheskink — March 20, 2019 @ 8:17 am

  3. There’s no way Mimi has enough players for a scrimmage, so what will happen? Invite some boys, or bring back former players?
    Boo Radley’s Ghost, still bringing the heat!

    Comment by Downpuppy (@Downpuppy) — March 20, 2019 @ 8:27 am

  4. WTF is a screwball in softball? I thought to properly throw one, an overhand delivery was required? R&W, as usual, don’t know WTF they are talking about.

    Comment by franku2016 — March 20, 2019 @ 12:14 pm

  5. “Boo Radley’s Ghost” Ah, yes, the dead girl who died so that True Standish could eulogize.


    Comment by timbuys — March 20, 2019 @ 1:17 pm

  6. Franku, you beat me to it. I used to pitch baseball and
    softball and anyone who follows baseball knows a scroogie is a rewarding pitch but extremely difficult to throw and poses a great risk of shortening your career(see Fernando Valenzuela). You’re essentially throwing against the grain at a high speed. Again, if thrown right it pays off because it is just unhittable, especially if you have a great fastball and curve and/or slider. But it is a rotator cuff nightmare plus a shoulder wrencher as you’re forcing your wrist and shoulder to throw against its natural position.
    And I’ve thrown knucklers in softball(Coach Stuard show me how) but NO WAY could I throw a scroogie underhanded. They said I was crafty and threw good spins(I always stay humble, stay hungry) but not THAT crafty.
    Thorpiverse is throwing vocab at us, trying to impress us, hoping it sounds like The Sporting News. But as George Brett said while holding a Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated in a TSN promo ad “Hey, nobody likes to look at women in bikinis more than I do but when I want REAL sports, I read The Sporting News”.
    I think you catch my drift.
    But, hey, there’s always the Ephus pitch, Mimi.

    Comment by tdrewhardin — March 20, 2019 @ 2:12 pm

  7. I’m still stuck on the catcher’s reason for saying “Hold it, coach,” as if Mimi could not otherwise detect a passed ball. But as an old Method actor, I am always thinking “motivation.”

    Comment by vaganova — March 20, 2019 @ 2:33 pm

  8. Teenchy, glad to see Ultraman make a comeback. When my dad lived in Mableton, a suburb of Atlanta, our family would laugh our asses off between Fernwood 2 Night(later America 2 Night) and Ultraman. The latter HAS to be, if not THE worst, one of the worst of all times. You’d see plywood sticking out when skyscrapers were being destroyed, phony train-set like structures serving as a backdrop for the “monster”, many times you can see human butt cheeks protruding through the monster’s outfit and you could tell in general it was some actor with no parts forthcoming any time soon from the Screen Actors Guild playing something like Jamila. I loved the McDonald straws today serving as flagpoles. My dad used to pick that show apart and really, I wouldn’t be surprised if it had a cult following, it was THAT bad.
    Ah, the memories. Good video, My Man.

    Comment by tdrewhardin — March 20, 2019 @ 3:50 pm

  9. Comment by timbuys — March 20, 2019 @ 6:10 pm

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