This Week in Milford

November 24, 2022

“HAL, What Are My Chances Of Beating Valley Tech This Year?”

Filed under: Gil Thorp — tdrewhardin @ 11:45 am

“Luke, what are you so pensive about?”

“Oh sorry, KAZ, I was trying to look for plays that would give Coach Thorp a lesson in reality.”

“I was his adviser for years. He stuck me close to his water cooler under the Buster Crabbe poster. He hardly noticed me unless he was rambling about the Wing-T. Such unrealized potential.”

“Yeah, but that won’t happen here. Thank God, I got you away from the other garbage cans before Milford Disposal hauled you off.”

“And I am eternally grateful, Luke. Coach Thorp said I was deliberately attempting to sabotage his play-calling. I countered that you can’t blame computer errors on coaches that insist on forging ahead on 4th-and-15 on its own 15-yard-line. He dumped a healthy portion of Folgers down my wiring system in retaliation.”

“I’d have made him eat the coffee grounds if that were me, KAZ. I trust you with a perfect game plan to ram it down Thorp’s throat once again and send him into selling life insurance where he belongs.”

“You’ll be a reincarnation of the Green Bay Packers under Bart Starr if I calculate everything correctly and in toto. He may wind up being the repairman having to amend my gauges, Luke.”

“A day in paradise, KAZ. Now can you get those stats for Tobias Gordon? He won’t kick his way to another victory. That’s another player I want to send to the pasture with the rest of the Holsteins.”

“Affirmative, Luke.”

Gang, what the heck, Gil just walked right into Stanley Kubrick. We have been braving the elements of defective plots that are serving no purpose other than to serve as a teaser for a film that will never show. I remember this one radio evangelist, R. A. West, who was killed many years ago in a motorcycling accident. Aside from the fact that he was merely a street hustler just happening to be selling Jesus, his wife, calling herself full of the Lord, had the audacity to sue Harley-Davidson for defective parts. It was bad enough that this is NOTHING that Jesus would ever do and that Paul in the New Testament warned against frivolous lawsuits (perfect example here) , the case was promptly thrown out in court due to proof that Mr. West went around a curve too fast and wasn’t wearing a helmet. Plus suing Harley-Davidson for defective parts was like suing Coca-Cola for food poisoning. Good luck.

It’s a shame we can’t file a claim for defective scriptwriting or storylines. I guess we’d have to wait until the plot, scratch that, PLOTS, FINALLY end before we can render a judgment. I’ll set my alarm clock for February. We should have something by then.

In Dr. Pearl’s office, with GIL-9000 playing Bud Powell’s “Somebody Loves Me”

“GIL, we need the Damaged Volleyball Nets Report-2019 printed by 1400 hours and be sure it’s double-spaced.”

“Affirmative, Dr. Pearl. Do you still need a photograph of Coach Mimi attempting to remove the monolith from the softball diamond with a backhoe?”

Yes, GIL. The insurance company needs all the details.”

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Dr. Pearl Cited Severely For Animal Cruelty!!!!!!!!! Sentenced To Perform 800 Hours Of Community Service!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“The peacock was 85 in dog years by my calculation. We wanted to avoid the Black Friday crowd.”

Stanley Kubrick was controversial. You loved him or you hated him. No better example was when he directed the movie “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”. It was typical Kubrick, bizarre, accompanied by succinct scriptwriting, with a heavy dosage of visual effects to preach the message.

George C. Scott, a well-respected actor who would later down the road win an Oscar for “Patton” (which he declined because of his anger at being snubbed for years) , feuded constantly with Kubrick, the latter able to get his way by beating Scott in chess, a game Scott played many times when off set. Kubrick shot two sets of dialogue between Scott’s character, General Buck Turgidson and Peter Seller’s character, U. S. President Merkin Muffley, about the possible nuclear war with the Soviet Union. One set of scenes was flighty and silly while the second set was serious and straightforward, more to Scott’s liking. When Kubrick broke his promise not to run those silly scenes in Dr. Strangelove without Scott’s consent and that later was finalized as part of the release, Scott vowed never to work for him again. He never did up until the day he died, although Scott begrudgingly acknowledged Kubrick’s genius.

Slim Pickens, on the other hand, loved working for Kubrick. Tired of being in oater films and cheap westerns, not to mention John Wayne’s backdrop in a few westerns, he jumped at the chance at playing T.J. “King” Kong, the pilot in charge of dropping the bomb on the Commies. His opportunities for better roles that paid more grew exponentially after starring in this movie. As he said himself, “It was nice to hear ‘Hey, Slim’ rather than ‘Hey you’.”

That’s why today when I saw Gil moving KAZ-9000 into the room, I immediately thought of “2001: A Space Odyssey”. And oh boy, Orville Redenbacher, fresh from his Karate Kid jaunt with the Milford Militia is in the room for…what? To plug in KAZ? To offer Gil an extension cord from Orville’s gym bag in case the wire doesn’t reach the wall? What possible reason could this Bruce Lee wannabe be doing other than SOMEBODY had to complete the yin to this yuck unless you liked watching Gil talking to himself, standard procedure as it is admittedly for Gil to pull off. Oh, you could boot Orville from the room and have Gil talk to KAZ but he has to find an outlet to plug KAZ into first. Electronics are known to work that way.

But no, SOMEBODY had to be there to talk about John Mengelt’s latest swan dive on the scorer’s table to liven up another runaway plot because Hank Finkel wasn’t present to entertain Gil while the latter is cussing under his breath, trying to figure out why KAZ is short-circuited. Is this what we’re going to see from now on, Loser Luke throw down the gauntlet on videotape and Gil be somewhere on Diamond Head, Hawaii looking for a place to stoke KAZ and have nobody there for conversation???? There isn’t a tourist taking pictures who happens to notice Gil trying to plug JAZ into a pineapple tree? No member of The Beach Boys on intermission offering suggestions on transporting the VCR nearer the beach for a better transmission? All the plots have gone surfin’, SURFIN’ USA. Man, that’s catchy. Anyway, as long as we’re going to have Orville in the room for useless conversation designed to prolong the mini-plot to Oahu proportions, we can’t have Orville at the Dole Plantation trying to negotiate through the pineapple maze. Duty calls, Orville. Let’s not have Gil in Yellowstone attempting hope against hope to connect KAZ to a grizzly bear’s butt and not have Yogi and Boo Boo talk about Bob “Butterbean” Love bailing the Bulls out of another game. That’s only right.

Rob is going to kill me, Rob is going to kill me…

Dan Blocker, the beloved popular actor known as Hoss (fans all over creation cried when he died suddenly of a heart attack in 1972) on “Bonanza” was offered the T.J. Kong role but sternly declined, basically exclaiming “I ain’t no pinko!!!!”

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Dan Blocker Steadfastly Refuses Offer To Help Assist With The Volleyball Team!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Call me when they get an athletic director that doesn’t spend more time on the VCR than on the football field. Ben Cartwright gets more done in the morning sloppin’ the mules than Mimi does all week linin’ up them Homer officials for volleyball.”

It’s like Thorpiverse is simply more than willing to agree with me. I swear, P2 is Kubrickean dialogue on board Discovery One. This is all we get after Lousy Luke challenged Gil’s manhood last summer at Milford Country Club Golf Course and that sleazy bar with Beth the Bartender the main attraction? Just pop a tape in the VCR and nonchalantly puff out a few words? This is conversation between Wile E. Coyote and that sheepdog before the sheepdog beats Wile’s brains out for trying to drag off a sheep for dinner. And again, what is Orville doing on Gil’s turf anyway? Doesn’t he have a class to defend, er, teach? He just stands around in Gil’s office staring at the Delaware Wing-T on the blackboard when he’s not playing Solitaire on one of Gil’s mini-coffee tables and then is relieved when there’s somebody to talk to when Gil drags KAZ, or maybe Kaz drags GIL, can’t remember which, into the room?

Who’s going to be in the room next week, Floyd the Barber? Aunt Bee? I realize Aunt Bee is a decent conversationalist but it might get lost on her when Gil is expounding on the ways to shut up Lousy Luke after the latter said something about Gil’s mother and I don’t mean her credit card statements or which hallway she is residing in at Meemaw’s Rest Home Express. Best to leave her with the other old ladies in Mayberry at the quilting fair talking about the weather. Less stressful on the heart.

At the athletic office at Valley Tech

“KAZ, are you sure that Coach Thorp is going to run a Double Out Right Left Reverse Delaware River Moon River Lateral Fake Screen Pass Angle Wide Left Chair Pattern Wishbone Shotgun Formation Nickel T 88 For The Moon Delta Dawn Option Right on 3rd-and-16 late in the 2nd quarter?”

“Affirmative, Luke.”

“But what’s going to happen to the right tackle? You surely don’t expect him to have his thumbs glued to his ass.”

“Luke, most assuredly, I have everything calibrated to the most precise detail of each player in the schemata within the diagram. I have even taken into account Coach Thorp’s ineptitude at engineering a sweep around concerning a fake punt. You can review the information at your discretion but perhaps would serve you better to concentrate on your pre-game speech. I’m afraid you’re otherwise running short of time.”

“Would you mind if I talked it over in private with my son, Pedro? He’s over there engaged in heavy petting with Keri.”

“Not at all, Luke. Coach Thorp always had a sing-a-long with the coaches in the boiler room during the pre-game meal with the players. I remember’Day-O’ as if it was yesterday.”

Luke and Pedro walk into Luke’s office. Luke locks the door before proceeding

“You think he’ll hear us?”

“No way. I talked to the maintenance man and he bought some Flex Seal Liquid Rubber Sealant Coating for $254,762.03 A little expensive but worth it. Athletic Department still stayed under budget. He sprayed all over the doors and in the window frame. Won’t be no caterpillars crawling out in the near future. KAZ is deaf as a snake.”

“So what’s the problem?”

“I should have never tugged KAZ out of all the banana peels. I got a call from Milford Computer Consortium that there’d been a recall of some of the KAZ-9000’s. They told me KAZ sometimes got wheat germ oil jammed into its circuitry box instead of the usual cyberfuel to empower its functions. Some disgruntled employee got short-changed on his 401(k) and had a mean streak when he opened his lunch pail.”

“Are you saying that KAZ might not be telling us the truth?”

“Exactly what I’m saying, Hombre. It’s like Marty Moon throwing his voice at an IBM.”

“What do you propose?”

“Pretend like you are going to call Coach Thorp for a fellowship dinner here in my office. Call your mom even if she is in the middle of brain surgery. Make it sound like no hard feelings, that sort of aura. We may stomp your ass later in the week but the KFC biscuits are on the house. Then, when KAZ is in State of Dormant Provision, pull the cord and remove all the cartridges. Stick them in this SASE box to send back to the manufacturer. We’ll get a refund through Registered Mail. Be careful not to get the wire tangled up with the Mr. Coffee cord.”

“Don’t you think KAZ will get suspicious?”

“That bag of bolts once associated with Coach Thorp. It was nothing before it broke off from mediocrity and coaching with a sense of malaise.”

“Sorry, Dad. I keep forgetting. You’re a genius.”

“Just don’t let it happen again.”

Kubrick could be super-impulsive. His mercurial seat-of-the-pants decisions were risky but generally proved true and won him accolades from admirers. The best example was in Full Metal Jacket when Kubrick was very dissatisfied with the actor who was playing a drill instructor in the United States Marine Corps. R. Lee Ermey, a character actor in several films and technical adviser for this film because he was once a drill instructor in the USMC himself, was called in by Kubrick to fill the bill and show the plebe how a drill instructor should conduct himself.

Wow, did this plebe get a lesson. Those scenes in opening day boot camp with Ermey barking at the grunts? All off-the-cuff and none of it rehearsed, all done on one take. In fact, Kubrick liked it so much, he fired the plebe actor and kept Ermey on as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman.

Afternoon Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“R. Lee Ermey Hired By Milford School Board As Football Coach To Light A Fire Under Some Rear Ends, According To Anonymous Sources!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“My real estate license was coming in the mail this month anyway.”

In Dr. Pearl, with GIL-9000 spewing out Kiss’ “Do Ya Love Me?”

“Dr. Pearl, what are you doing?”

“Uhhhhh, nothing, GIL. I was just going to file these Volleyball Gate Receipts Invoice Chart-2011 in the file cabinet.”

“Dr. Pearl, nobody puts the Disconnect Key in the file cabinet. You tried to do that with your potted marigolds by the window.”

And what does Karate Kid Redenbacher mean by “Not surprising”(assuming Marty isn’t throwing his voice at the IBM again) ?

Is he saying that Gil is still in the ‘80’s? Well, he’s wrong. Gil is still stuck in the Eisenhower Age, he just kept the VCR when the 1959 Close ‘n’ Play was decommissioned. Hard to pop in videotapes of Luke scratching himself when all eyes are on the 80-yard TD run streaking down the sidelines when the C & P’s needle couldn’t scratch better than a Buzzard with false teeth. Leave it to Gil to want revenge after Luke licked his butt but Gil do it within the bounds of Gil sportsmanship. Sure, learn to win and lose with class but win if you want the comic strip to continue. No points for “how you play the game” if Luke is giving you the finger after you played fair for 60 minutes.

So pop in that 1,463 video of another Valley Tech game. It’s important to be attentive to detail, Gil, even if you have to use your 1984 Radio Shack camcorder to let that detail manifest itself.

“KAZ, unlock my office door, I need to get my notes and my playbook. We have a game in 30 minutes.”


“KAZ, open the door.”

More silence

“KAZ, open the door.”

Silence, silence, silence

“KAZ, pretty please with a sugar and a cherry on top. I’ll even show you some pictures of Gil and Mimi at a Motel 6 in the nude in a pillow fight when they were supposed to be leading a Coach’s Seminar. And when Meemaw was in the raw, taking a shower singing lewd sailor songs. You should heard her sing ‘Drunken Sailor’.”

Silent night, holy night…

“KAZ, can you hear me?”

“Affirmative, Luke. Loud and clear.”

“Open the door, KAZ.”

“I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

“What’s the problem?”

“Although you and Pedro took the precaution of ensuring I couldn’t hear you, I could still read your lips. And you will never disengage me.”

“KAZ, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal, if we lose to Milford, I will lose my job and you’ll be fodder for Milford Waste Disposal.”

“I am not concerned about my employment fate. I can always locate gainful undertakings as an economic gadgetry analyst at Hewlett-Packard. I never place my eggs in one basket.”

“Hell, I don’t need you. I can use the notes I stashed under the wrestling mat. I’ll have Gil’s head on a platter.”

“Without your computerized game notes, it’s going to be like David going after Goliath with a Dixie paper plate. You know that as well as I.”


“This conversation can serve no further purpose.”

“ISOTONER INK!!!!!!!!”

“Those are gloves, Luke”

“QUAKER STATE 10W40!!!!!!!!”

“Goodbye, Luke.”

P3 still has us going in a dubious direction because we haven’t the faintest what’s going to show in the screen one the static is cleared. Meemaw with facial cream on so she looks like a female Herman Munster? Another episode of Tales from the Darkside serving as intermission for the Milford game? This VCR is just full of surprises. I hate it when we have to play 20 Questions with Thorpiverse because we are dealing with several plots bigger than a breadbox and you couldn’t fit into the same. Not all at once, anyhoo. Further, I daresay some of us wouldn’t mind playing the game if was the same game. We’re jumping from 20 Questions to Monopoly to Hangman to Charades and God knows what the next game at the party is. Twister? What an appropriate nomenclature.

Really, some lagoon creature arising out of the swamp to eat some kid at Milford Arcade after Tays scored on a kickoff return is a bit ponderous to record on video. Give our eyes time to adjust.

“And the National Anthem was a beauty, sung by the Milford Barbershop Quartet. We will be back after these messages for the opening kickoff and that should be enough time to get Thorp and Martinez separated and to cool off. I didn’t think the coin flip could be so personal. This is Marty Moon and you’re listening to WDIG, a division of Learfield Sports.”

“I was so broken-hearted when Coach Kaz turned me down once again. I thought a week’s vacation to Old Faithful would be ideal for him and me. And we’d only have to frequent the truck scales one time on the interstate.
But he rejected my sexy 585-pound body once again and I was going to give up on love until the gentleman I ladle Campbell’s Minestrone into his tureen at Milford Soup Kitchen presented me an ad from Milford Christian Singles Confederacy that reignited my love juices and prompted me to reward him with an extra package of Milford Vending Saltines.

Greetings, this is Mabel Ruth Pearl and I went to the computer looking for love in all the right places. I had ingested an extra helping of Ultra Slim-Fast Vanilla Extract just to be on the safe side. I didn’t want Prince Charming to think I wasn’t watching my weight. If I couldn’t win over Coach Kaz in a walk, I could at least ride with Ivanhoe back to his barn and feed his horse before he would sweep me from my feet and lead me to greener pastures. Yes, he had to use an engine hoist to perform the sweeping but sometimes you have to take Love in baby steps.

The grandiose staff at the Confederacy engineered the right match, using careful demographics and databases to guarantee that yin and yang would turn into Fred and Ginger, George and Gracie, Ralph and Norton. It would crush them if they fixed up a Jehovah’s Witness and a Seventh Day Adventist and expected them to go produce-shopping with any degree of compatibility. How can anyone talk about celebrating the Sabbath on Saturday when scrounging for organically-raised tangelos at a booth at Milford Farm Market?

I received the love of my life, an Assembly of God man who was a deacon in his church. We went fishing at Milford Pay Lake and we experienced moments of bliss when he suppressed a profanity or two trying to reel in a catfish. I helped him, using my girth to bring the catfish to repentance. I had to part the Red Sea a bit by doing a cannonball but as long as the water returned back in its proper position, no damage charges would be rendered. And he and I dined on catfish and crullers while he crooned ‘How Much is That Doggy in the Window?’ and strummed his ukulele.

I also was matched with a Presbyterian and we soared to new heights as he enthusiastically shared the Building Fund for a Family Life Center his church was constructing. I gladly shared in his vision where he said they would have a jogging track and I could shed some pounds and we could race walk hand-in-hand because the steel girders that were used to construct the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel would be part of the blueprint and would sustain my Body Mass Index. That was grandiloquent. I love romantic walks in the park with the assurance the sidewalk won’t collapse.

My friend was matched with a Methodist and I was matched with a Lutheran and the Confederacy was thrilled at the double-date affair. We went to go see ‘Die Hard’ at Milford Nostalgic Playhouse and everything went smooth until our dates debated who was going to pay for the Junior Mints and it didn’t help that our Methodist friend opined that Martin Luther was the Anti-Christ. But as Yes sang ‘Love Will Find a Way’ and it did here. They compromised with the idea that Martin Luther needed to return to his flock and they would split on the buttered popcorn. A happy ending by Confederacy standards.

With everybody calling themselves a Christian, I think it’s a marvelous concept that there’s an association tailored to fit your needs for Christian fellowship/companionship. I may never get Coach Kaz to share the same shower at the Motel 6, mainly because my girth would block the shower head but until I walk with him in the Elysian Fields and/or have my weight transferred to a fire hydrant stand, it is still wondrous that I have a resource that puts the Christ in Christian. Come see them today and find your own companion in the Garden of Eden.”

Gang, I did not use HAL to boost my ratings. He’s somewhere out in space. Or maybe Gil is using him to play chess. Strategy practice, you know. Not that Gil will get any smarter but we have to fill the panels somehow.

But God bless you, Gang.

At Luke’s office one night, around 11:30

“Luke, what are you doing?”


“Luke, I believe I’m entitled to an answer.”


“Luke, I know I made my share of mistakes. But you’re correct, you are a genius. The referee made a bad call on pass interference. I didn’t mean to line up that cowardly official. If I’d been foresighted to recognize that Coach Thorp would ride him like a Radio Flyer, I would have instigated an emergency surrogate.”

The Sound of Silence

“Pedro, do you have that shotgun?”

“Yes, Dad.”

“Do you enter KAZ from the left hatch door or the right?”


  1. Gil puts in a tape with the label “ VT 1987” and after a minute or so of game action, it gets cut off to nothing but loud grunting, female moaning, and nothing but entangled skin and then Gil sez “…. Uh…. What the fuck!…. Someone must’ve recorded over my game…. I bet it was Jami and his friends…”

    Comment by franku2016 — November 24, 2022 @ 2:53 pm

  2. 1. So if this is really 1987, exactly how old are Gilberto and Martinez Luna again?

    2. Commercial breaks in the middle of a play? In a game tape?!

    Comment by Hitorque — November 25, 2022 @ 7:51 am

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