This Week in Milford

November 13, 2019

You’ve Got a Friend in Thorpsylvania


Having enlisted Niah Peters (who has a Twitter feed if nothing else) to join Gil’s little Clue Club, Marjie Ducey now seeks to expand its ranks by having Niah dime on Chet Ballard’s “friend” on the school board. Presumably that’s the aforementioned Carol, who really hasn’t acted very friendly toward Chet. I guess offering advice to mind his own business instead of immediately ratting him out to the rest of the school board qualifies as friendship in the high-stakes world of school administration.

Having freed himself of the burden of confronting anyone directly, Gil can finally turn attention back to his day job… coaching sportsball. Gil’s been spending so much time sleuthing that he’s forgotten about preparing his amazingly one-loss Mudlarks for their upcoming tilt against Jefferson. That lack of preparation should lead to a blowout loss at the hands of the Jeffs, which will serve Gil twofold:

  1. The loss will eliminate Milford from the playdowns, keeping Gil from having to prep for football and basketball concurrently;
  2. With the game out of reach, he can give Charlie Roh plenty of touches in garbage time, then wait to overhear more of Ballard’s self-incriminating postgame babble to his stepson.

Join us tomorrow for another episode of Gil Thorp Mysteries. Maybe Gil will have recruited a wisecracking ghost and an anthropomorphic animal or two into his posse by then.


  1. With Gil in short sleeves, it’s a balmy 28F in Pittsburgh today. Colder here, so my Discworld troll brain is working well enough that I can ask : Who cares that some kid from a troubled family acted out a bit as a pre-teen? I mean, Chet has been at this all season but there’s no sign, at all, that he’s given this the 10 seconds thought to realize that the only person he really has a chance to hurt is himself.

    Comment by Downpuppy (@Downpuppy) — November 13, 2019 @ 12:25 pm

  2. 1. I’ve never, ever seen a high school coach get as much pre-game ink as Gilberto does… Besides, if Gilberto was as good as he’s supposed to be, he’d be WAY too busy for this many interviews.

    2. I don’t get it — Why is Milford covered like they’re they only high school in town when Milford, Ohio by all accounts clearly has the size/population to support multiple high schools?

    3. Since I’ve been gone a year, catch me up — Did Marty Moon get run out of town or fired or something? It’s just odd to not see him sticking his nose in something this sleazy…

    Comment by hitorque — November 13, 2019 @ 12:35 pm

  3. @downpuppy…yes, the only person Chet has to fear, uh, I mean hurt , is Chet himself. As an added bonus, Chet will get punked out because a jag-off like him doesn’t have friends…only acquaintances and co-workers, none of whom really like Chet. Plus, he’s proven that he’s kind of stupid too, after HvB, esq. made a monkey out of him last summer.

    Comment by franku2016 — November 13, 2019 @ 12:36 pm

  4. @hitorque: Milford does indeed have two high schools: Milford High and “the crosstown parochial school,” St. Fabian. Neither Marjie nor Marty ever cover them; maybe Father Guido Sarducci and L’Osservatore Romano have that beat.

    Comment by teenchy — November 13, 2019 @ 2:28 pm

  5. Actually, if M.Moon found out that Chet was trying to destroy the reputation of a kid who had some problems, even if it was something that happened when the same kid was in grade school, he wouldn’t do it. Back in the 1980’s, there was a story about a parent, Steve Wilcox, who tried to get Marty to go public with some problems a kid on the FB team named Bubba was having, and Moon called the guy out on it, told him off, and wouldn’t talk about the kid publicly. Maybe that’s what should happen here…have Chet go to Moon looking for support, only to have Moon out him on the air, like he did with that douche, Bobby H.

    Comment by franku2016 — November 13, 2019 @ 2:52 pm

  6. franku raises a tantalizing scenario with the Bubba Joe Tilwell story. We can hope. Chet is at least as big a shithead as Steve Wilcox.

    Comment by vaganova — November 13, 2019 @ 3:42 pm

  7. Teenchy,
    P1: Just let me at him
    I’ll write a piece
    That’ll totally wrench his face

    What friends he has left
    Will unlikely comprise
    Anyone from the human race

    I’m the gypsy, I’m the Acid Queen
    I’ll head straight for the heart

    I’m the gypsy, I’m guaranteed
    To rip his beard apart

    As long as I’m on a Hooligan roll anyway…

    Comment by tdrewhardin — November 13, 2019 @ 8:45 pm

  8. Moon also balked when Trey Davis tried to get him to air his theory that star basketball player and Valley Tech transfer Derek Gordon played poorly against his former teammates on purpose, saying “this is too sleazy, even for me!”

    Granted, he back-tracked on that after Gordon was key to Milford blowing a big lead in their second game against Valley Tech and aired the accusation… which Gordon didn’t totally deny when Gil confronted him. Gordon had been forced to move to Milford by his divorcing/divorced father, who was seeing the Milford High librarian, and admitted his heart was not in the games against his former Valley Tech teammates. Gil suspended him for a game against Central because of this, which the ‘Larks lost despite having other talented players like Trey Davis, Ian Dalton, and Danny “Nails” Randolph.

    After a big Playdown win over Tech in which Gordon played very well and even went after one of his former teammates who was trying to fight Trey Davis, Moon praised his efforts on the air.

    But yes, things are always more interesting when Moon is involved…

    Comment by billytheskink — November 14, 2019 @ 8:17 am

  9. Oh, and full points+extra credit for the “Clue Club” reference — Haven’t seen that since I was a kid in the mid-80s…!

    Judges would have also accepted a “Captain Caveman” reference…

    Comment by hitorque — November 14, 2019 @ 9:09 am

  10. @franku2016: Good old “Coach” Bobby Howry… That storyline was my official introduction to this strip, and as bad as it was, each season since has been just as bad, if not worse… I knew it was bad when Liesl Ishii was practically begging for Bobby to hit it while out on a date, but Bobby spent so much time stroking his own ego and praising his genius that he glued her legs shut. Fun times.

    @teenchy: Odd to see a “parochial school” with maybe a few hundred students at the most regularly butt heads with Milford in sports since by all accounts (to cite my state of Virginia as an example) Milford is AT LEAST a Class 5 school (above 1500 students) and most likely a Class 6 (2000+ students)

    Comment by hitorque — November 14, 2019 @ 9:39 am

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