Gil tells Mimi that Aaron is a concern, not a problem but a concern. So he continues his own investigation into Aaron’s erratic performance. Where could he get clues? What does Aaron do most days? He goes to school. Where does he go to school? Milford High School. Hey, wait a minute, Gil works at Milford High School too. How lucky!
Gil visits a replica of a classroom from the 1950’s complete with chalkboard, globe and desks designed to shield students from atomic bombs. The teacher confirms what we already know. Aaron has good days and bad days. Now we’re getting somewhere!
Is the teacher wearing harem pants?
Milford is hosting Valley Tech. If you can peer back through all the ineffectual sleuthing of the last few weeks worth of strips, you’ll recall that Aaron predicted he was going to have a big game. He probably shouldn’t get in the game at all given the mouthing off in panel one, but we know Gil’s selective attention allows players to get away such violations.
Let’s focus on those suits! Kaz is sporting an electric blue zoot suit over a black shirt/white tie combo. Gil is more conservative yet stylish, but…check out Gil’s shirt! Sure it’s likely just one of those wacky colorist mistakes, but it appears you can see through Coach Thorp to the bleachers behind him. Is Gil just a hologram? That would explain so much!
Now it’s time for Aaron to have his big game. Let’s watch.
Aaron Aagard, non starter, still can’t sustain his effort coming off the bench. I wonder why that is? The dumpy apartment, the sort of actuary mom, Molly the girlfriend. These are the things we know. Why won’t they add up?? So confounding. It’s Monday, and we’re still confounded.
Is that Marjie at the press table, calling the game to herself as she prepares her story for The Star?
This is excruciating.
The Dumpy Apartments on Poplar? You know them? Yeah? Well, you know Aaron lives there? Yeah? And his mom lives there, too? Yeah. Well, remember career day in 6th grade? No. Well try. Okay, sure. Remember Aaron’s mom’s presentation at career day in 6th grade? No. Well pretend you do. Okay. Remember how she had a job that nobody in the the class had the slightest idea what the job was but she still managed to convey that she makes solid coin in said job? No, I mean yeah, okay for the purposes of this conversation, yeah. So why do they live in a dumpy apartment? I dunno, ’cause they’re poor now?
I’m returning from a week away and just caught up on all the action. Ken and Mike, boy detectives, went to the Kwik E Mart and Mrs. Aagard is dragging ass, or something like that, right?
So, it is Madison time* and Aagard is on the court for the final seconds. Coach Thorp wants the ball in Aaron’s hands. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. This must be part of Gil’s inquiry into the Aagard conundrum. The buzzer sounds. Another loss for the record book. Does Gil need to talk to Aaron again? He’s gonna be tuckered out before winter is over.
*Sure, it’s over, but how could I resist? This one has no helpful narrator to tell you what to do, but you all know the moves by now, right?
That’s right, Ken. Don’t feel stupid. Better safe than sorry. Bring me any of your concerns and ol’ Gil will go ahead and level charges at students with impunity. Nobody in Milford ever displays any concern about the actions this school takes with respect to the concerns for the students’ rights or their privacy.
This strip is really the ultimate in filler. Yeah, Aaron, we got it. Her name is Molly. She’s not the drug that kids take so they can tolerate that boring techno crap that goes on until dawn. Also, the readers have already been asking this question for as long as the poorly telegraphed Molly ruse has been unfolding. What’s the deal with Flake Aaron?
Well, that’s over. Now what?
Unless, Molly’s answer is: Saturday? Um, what did we do? Oh yeah. We scored a crap ton of Disco Biscuits from some guy from Kill The Noise’s road crew, at least I think it was MDMA… it might have just been speed, it’s hard to tell anymore with all the stuff that’s out there. Anyway, we had so much left over that Saturday we crushed the rest of it up and snorted it out of each others’ butt cracks! Then we stayed up til dawn watching C-SPAN! It was a blast! Nice to meet you, Coach Dork!
If you thought you’d wake up this morning to get the lowdown on Molly, your hopes have been dashed. Here are three panels of Aaron Aagard-centric basketball action. Bobby Mitchell gets involved from long range, but you’ll have to use your imagination to picture his three point form. (If it helps, Bobby was part of Milford’s impressively sized front court. Fill in all the other blanks for yourselves.)
That’s about all we’ve got folks. In studying this strip for inspiration, it occurred to me that I have never witnessed a single minute of actual, live high school basketball. I know you faithful readers and commenters have all kinds of deep prep sports knowledge from personal experience on the court and in fandom. Many of you may even live in regions where high school hoops puts asses in the seats. That never seemed to be the case in Florida, where I grew up and still live. I couldn’t even tell you if the teams fielded while I was in high school were any good or what kind of records they posted. Occasionally, someone would mention our state championship team from the early 70s featuring future NBA all-star Otis Birdsong. A decade or so later, Jack Deedrick was still coaching Blue Devils on the hardwood, but I only remember him shouting directions to us out in the Drivers’ Ed practice lot. “Wheel it, WHEEL IT!” He does have a new (newer, anyway than the stinky, humid barn I remember from boring assemblies and pep rallies) gym named after him.