This Week in Milford

July 10, 2019

Of Bulls and Talking Horses


I recall having a convo a few years ago with mrs. teenchy* and her late grandmother, a woman born before the US entry into World War I and who nearly lived long enough to see the centennial of the Great War’s start. We were talking about TV and mrs. teenchy asked her grandma if she ever watched The Lawrence Welk Show. “Heck no!” replied grandma, “that show’s for old people!” In her mind, Lawrence Welk’s target demographic was people born in the 19th century.

Previously I’d speculated that Gil Thorp‘s target audience might be people who read GRIT, but now it’s clear: it’s people who are old enough to have watched Mr. Ed**. But yay continuity, if in name only. Visually, it’s another Ed that’s getting the shout-out.

It just dawned on me that it’s never been established which NBA team Jaquan plays for. Today’s strip establishes that he does not play for the Bulls, so the color version of the July 4 strip is just flat out wrong. Blazers maybe?


It also establishes that lawyer Ed V. Baxendale has become kinda clueless. He should have some idea of the average partner salary in Chicago, even if those average salaries are a bit depressed due to “the city’s historic practice of making lawyers partner at a younger age.” The upshot is that Jaquadley has enough disposable income (and, probably, no student loans) to own multiple properties, including pretty much anything in Milford. Also pretty clueless of him to think that Hadley would have to leave her job for the sake of the relationship. Pretty sexist, too, but that’s par for the course*** in the Thorpiverse.

*Yes, Virginia, there is a mrs. teenchy. Shocking, I know.

**Hey, remember when Mr. Ed took BP with the Dodgers? Wouldn’t a horse playing for the Mudlarks have been more interesting than that TCFS nonsense this past spring?


***That’s the only golf reference you’ll be reading here for some time.


  1. That had to be the Bulls he was playing for since Jalen Rose is in the background. Mr. Ed is kind of a dork, sort of like HvB, but with less brains. Even the most clueless-of-pro-sports people know that most of these guys have two homes, no problem. One where they play and then a permanent residence somewhere else. Throw in a big-shit law firm partner salary, and it’s even easier to do so. Great video of Mr. Ed with the Dodgers. That episode was one of my favorites.

    Comment by franku2016 — July 10, 2019 @ 8:32 am

  2. What kinda acrobatics did Hadley perform between panels two and three. Also, maybe no freak hands today but some very menacing fingers on Jaquan’s shoulders and, helpfully, illustrating the number two for us.

    Comment by TimP — July 10, 2019 @ 8:57 am

  3. The Mr. Ed clip is cool. John Roseboro, Sandy Koufax, Dodger Stadium*. When the Munsters did a variation on that gag (with Herman getting a tryout) all they could get was Leo Durocher and they filmed it at a practice field with nondescript players in generic unis.

    Is colorization canonical?

    * says this episode was from the fall of 1963, so number 14 is Bill “Moose” Skowron, number 3 is Willie Davis. The buffoon in the outfield is probably not a real Dodger as that number wasn’t used at all in the 60s. (I doubt if a pro would volunteer to clown like that on national TV).

    Comment by nedryerson — July 10, 2019 @ 9:31 am

  4. Somehow lost in the dust and the noise is the likelihood that Hadley and Jaquan ALREADY have two homes. She presumably has one in a Chicago suburb, and he must have one as well. It may be three, if he has one where he chooses to live and one near his team’s city. He’s probably not Knoblauching it (when Chuck Knoblauch was with the Yankees, he had a Manhattan apartment and rode the subway to the Stadium.)

    Comment by vaganova — July 10, 2019 @ 10:29 am

  5. Sure, Rubin has completely forgotten the backstory on the elder Baxendales, but Whigham is even more burned out. All Mfnrd fathers are the same big guy in different wigs. All supporting lads are round nosed, 6 inches shorter than their fathers, with black hair & blue yarmulkes.

    Comment by Downpuppy (@Downpuppy) — July 10, 2019 @ 11:01 am

  6. Oh – the Heat have used uniforms something like that, though seldom with both black lettering and the sidestripes.

    Comment by Downpuppy (@Downpuppy) — July 10, 2019 @ 11:08 am

  7. Unis could be Texas Tech or Virginia Squires

    Comment by franku2016 — July 10, 2019 @ 11:41 am

  8. TEENCHY MY MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAY TO BRING BACK THE MEMORIES. Like Franku, I loved that episode.
    Also, as our TWIMers have noted, this is more interesting than the plotlines coming out of the woodwork so far.

    “Oh, Ed, cut Coach Thorp some slack. He’s been around for 61 years. He should know SOMETHING about coaching.”
    “Wiiiillllbbuurrrr, Coooaaacchhh Thoorrrppppp spends mooooorrrreee time down atttttt thhhhheeeee Miiiilllllllllffffoorrrdddd Loooouuuunnngggeeee with Maaaarrrrtttyyyyyyy Mooooooooon than heerrrreeee in this staaaaaaabbbbbbblllleee.Sommmmmeeeeee traaaiiinnnnnneeerrrrrr he issssssssssssss.”

    Comment by tdrewhardin — July 10, 2019 @ 11:59 am

  9. @nedryerson: No, I don’t think color is canonical, and I tend to stay away from posting the colorized versions for that reason. (I did post a strip from the Paloma Padilla arc in color to see whether the color monkeys got the colors of the Puerto Rican flag right – and they did.) Every non-black portion of a Milford uniform tends to be colorized red, even when it would make no visual sense to do so. Without being separated by white, it’s not always easy to pick up red text on a black background or vice versa.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the Milford basketball unis in the old strips we’ve been linking to in this arc – the ones without numbers on the front – were meant to be maize and blue, as much as they look like Michigan cheerleaders’ tops (and given the strip’s Michigan-centricity). That said I don’t think Milford High’s school colors have ever been established; I’ll be glad to be proven wrong by somebody who’s been reading the strip longer than I have.

    With the current strips, I can understand why Whigham isn’t drawing the pros in recognizable uniforms: there’s likely intellectual property issues in doing so. That other sports strip, Tank McNamara, regularly refers to pro teams by name but doesn’t include depictions of their uniforms (though other product placement is apparently A-OK).

    Comment by teenchy — July 10, 2019 @ 7:06 pm

  10. Man, I haven’t read Tank MacNamara for a long time. Somewhere around the time Jeff Millar died I stopped reading many of the legacy newspaper strips and I suppose at some point Tank fell off the list.

    Comment by TimP — July 10, 2019 @ 7:48 pm

  11. Ned Ryerson, thanks for getting in well in advance of me and connecting the Mr. Ed clip to the one episode on The Munsters. Heck, Leo Durocher was practically a stable of goofy 60’s sitcoms! But you’re right, it’s amazing to see the Dodger team, logos and Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax in this segment, can you imagine MLB, the team, and the individual players’ agents allowing any such participation today? But of course, back when this was filmed, players made pretty slim salaries and usually had winter jobs to make ends meet, and probably were just excited to get on a tv show. What a different era.

    My grandparents did watch Lawrence Welk, in fact that’s the only show I can remember them watching (perhaps the Jim Nabors variety show too, for some reason that’s popping into my head). But as WWI grandma stated, they were born in the 19th Century! AND my same grandparents did indeed subscribe to Grit, that was about all I could find to read at their house.

    And of course, I grew up watching Mr. Ed, both original episodes and the long run of reruns in syndication. I still can’t hear of a person named Wilbur without saying it like Ed: “Willlburrrrrrr…” And Carol was a dish.

    Comment by Moon Mullins — July 10, 2019 @ 10:16 pm

  12. My grandmother on my moms side (my dads parents died before I was born so I didnt know them) was born in 1895 and died in 1972. I never saw her watch tv so i dont know what she liked, but suffice it to say my dad (and so did I for a while) watched Laurence Welk. He was a WW2 vet so he grew up in the big-band era that Welk had on a lot. People always watch what their parents watch first, as far as mainstream tv. Of course I watched cartoons and the like, but I’d watch stuff my parents watched in the evenings SINCE WE ONLY HAD 1 TV TILL i WAS IN 7TH GRADE, WHEN i GOT MY OWN IN MY BEDROOM. (Sorry for all the caps, I didnt feel like rewriting all that)

    I didnt watch Mr Ed; I did see the show on but never was interested in it; I knew the theme song of course, I thought it was dumb even as a kid. I’d rather watch the color shows.

    Comment by robmize2013 — July 11, 2019 @ 8:39 pm

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