This Week in Milford

February 24, 2021

Oh Godleski, Not This Again!

Hey look, some hoops action that doesn’t involve injury, unless you count the bruises the ball’s getting being clanked off the rim. No Muench and a sluggish Guthrie mean the Mudlarks are struggling until Mark Godleski puts one in, then catches fire after Vic eggs him on. Oh my! George Takei‘s not gonna be too happy with Vic’s second Bermanism (Doucetteism?) as Mark hits the no-look fadeaway jumper. Will the next basket be made by Mark “look at those” Godles”(s) heathens making the horns at me behind Vic’s back” ki?

I’m getting the sense here that the Tilden game, while not making or breaking the Mudlarks’ season (they’re not contending for the Valley, or else we’d have heard about it by now), may be dispositive of several characters’ futures. Vic’s gonna Vic and a future calling celebrity softball games awaits him. Muench will play at least another season of baseball as he’s the current version of Paul Beaudry. As for Guthrie, it will be time for him to fish or cut bait between hoops and wheels. He hurts the Mudlarks more than helps them, so maybe he’s best cut out for the garage. Still you’d think if all that time with his tailbone two inches from the ground was propelling his racing career forward we’d have heard about it by now. Doug should ask Corina if Valley Mod has any automotive technician programs and think about transferring there.

February 20, 2021

Some Wak! Haiku

Tom Muench on the bench

And Doug Guthrie off his game:

Central by thirteen

But it’s not a bench

It’s only a folding chair

Thanks to budget cuts

“Everything happens

For a reason” – Grandma Muench

Like ankle sprains

Anytime Doug makes

Car-related decisions

Mudlarks always lose

Vic Doucette could see

Doug was no Schumi when he

Smacked him on the ass

Clearly Doug isn’t

Firing on all cylinders

He needs a tuneup

Gil needs to send him

To a garage upstate where

He can drive all day

February 17, 2021

All About Shoes

Hey kids! Today you’re gonna get an installment of teenchy’s True Life Stories!

Back in the day when dinosaurs roamed the earth your old pal teenchy drove a ’66 Ford Mustang. These days ’66 Mustangs are considered classics almost on a par with Doug Guthrie’s GTO, but when I owned one it was a just a nice used car. While I was away at college I had a minor fender bender with it, requiring the replacement of the left front fender, the front bumper, and a headlight bulb. Not long after the repairs were done I drove back home to see the folks and let them see how well the repairs had been done. I brought a friend with me and that Saturday night we barhopped. On the way back home, much like ol’ Doug here, I saw the flashing blue lights behind me; unlike Doug, I thought I might be spending the night somewhere other than in my own bed.

Instead of “License and registration, please,” the first words the state trooper drawled to me were “Son, who painted yer car?” Stunned, I asked him to repeat himself, whereupon he proceeded to admire my Mustang’s paint job and its overall condition. I sheepishly admitted to the recent accident and repair and told him the name of the shop that had done the work. The trooper replied, “Well, they did a nice job, but I believe they forgot to hook up yer headlight when they finished up. I’m giving yew a warning and telling yew to hook them wires back up when it gets daylight in the mornin’. Yew’l see my name and badge number on that warning; if yew ever want to sell this car call the barracks and ask for me.”

Sure enough, the next morning I popped the hood and saw the left headlight connector and wiring harness dangling on the inner fender just below the sealed beam unit. I eventually sold the ‘stang but I never did call that trooper, though.

I’m guessing Doug’s having a similar experience with old Officer Wilbon here, but I’m a little confused about the tires comment. The Flowmasters probably let the Tri-Power 389 breathe a bit better but top end is as much a function of gearing as it is of horsepower. Doug might be implying that if the Goat were to run a little faster, he might have to replace its shoes with a set having a higher speed rating. Finding tires in the correct size for older cars is getting harder and more expensive by the day as manufacturers focus production on higher-volume sizes for current models. How that factors into Doug’s decision isn’t clear, and neither we nor Tom Muench have time for that, so off we go to Milford High and hoops practice.

Sorry for rambling on about my youth and the vagaries of classic car tires, but I figure it had to be at least as interesting as watching Tom and Doug awkwardly run laps for being late to practice. (Doug was so distracted he put his sneakers on the wrong feet.) Gil must take comfort knowing the hardwood is one place Clan Guthrie doesn’t lord it over him.

February 13, 2021

Today I Learned Privilege Is a Thing in Milford

****THIS IS THE SATURDAY POST****

Lemme get this straight. Doug Guthrie decides when he blows off practices and when he suddenly unmisses games there are no consequences from the coaching staff. He speeds through town just as snow beings to fall – from a clear blue sky no less. (I know that when it rains while the sun shines, the devil is beating his wife; what’s he doing when it snows while the sun shines?) He gets pulled over and let go by a deferential Milford cop who asks him pretty please to slow down. Let’s not even bother to guess whether Doug’s self-assessment of his driving skills is sarcastic or not and cut to the chase: just who is Doug’s father anyway?

Could it be there’s finally a man in Milford who is so powerful and influential that even Gil Thorp dare not cross him? Is he the Thorpiverse’s version of Skip Barber or Bob Bondurant? If Pops Guthrie is so wealthy and has such an in with the po-po, why doesn’t he slide them some coin? This poor Milford cop is under-dressed (no coat in the snow) and appears to be driving a Crown Vic Police Interceptor that is ten years old at the newest.

We’ve been wandering almost rudderless for two months now. This latest development has the potential to be more interesting than the social butterfly who can’t play defense stroking the PA announcer with CP’s ego, or why the fire hydrant with a chip on her shoulder cares about any of it. Of course, this means we probably will hear no more about Pops Guthrie until we find out he’s paid off Chief Lind after Doug does donuts on Dr. Pearl’s lawn.

Speaking of donuts on lawns: Doug may own a GTO, but if he owned a Camaro you know it’d be bitchin’.

February 10, 2021

Spread the Word. How Easy Is That?

Finally we learn who the Lady Mudlarks were playing the past couple of strips, as well as the outcome. Vic either must have said “Co-Co-Rina” off-panel yesterday or unnamed Lady Mudlark randomly tagged Corina with it. Painfully apparent that the Thorpiverse exists in another dimension as she hasn’t been called the painfully obvious and not entirely inappropriate “Corinavirus.” Of course the obvious question is “If Vic Doucette slaps a wacky nickname on you and there’s nobody there to hear it, does it stick?”

It will if The Contessa has anything to say about it. There’s precedent for guys coming out to girls’ games if it means that those girls will keep talking to them. Throw in a pat on the arm and they’ll get the bleachers packed. Maybe the nerd on the left in P3 will have added a few more whiskers to his scraggly mustache (which earns him a Pantheon of Hair tag and earns The Chief kudos for the accurate teenage boy facial hair) in time for the next game when Vic whips people into a frenzy.

February 6, 2021

Shouldn’t You Be Playing the Game Instead of Talking to the PA Guy?

“Vic, my man! What happened to you? I thought we were cool. Bros before, uh, not bros.”

“Well, Tessi Milton made it pretty hard, if you know what I mean and I think you do.”

After the past couple of strips this comes as a surprise. I was sure Vic was gonna honor the age-old tradition of giving Milford girls’ teams short shrift compared to the boys’ teams. Wonder if we’ll find out just how Tessi was able to coerce Vic to call the Lady Mudlarks’ games. Somehow I don’t think root beer was involved.

Hey, but that pep talk Vic gave Doug is doing wonders for Doug’s confidence. Not only is he not moping around, he feels relaxed enough to have this little chat with Vic in what appears to be the middle of a game and while he’s in possession of the ball. This stunt should get Doug kicked off the team faster than you can say “Michael Schumacher,” but who knows given how welcoming Gil was when Doug told him he was scrubbing a race so he could play against Oakwood.

edit: Alert (or, at least, less fixated on the idea that Doug is doing something wrong than I) TWIMer Hitorque has pointed out that this convo is probably going on during pregame warmups, which makes far more logical sense than my hot take. Either way, how Tessi convinced Vic to cover the girls’ games still remains a mystery.

February 3, 2021

You? Me? Us?

Vic Doucette can do anything – pep up Doug Guthrie, possibly wipe the hair dye running down behind that kid’s ear – but getting traction with Tessi Milton? Put it there, pal!

Any sincerity Tessi might have in trying to gain attention and excitement for Milford girls’ hoops is blunted by her ham-handed appeal to Vic’s raging hormones. Of course Vic doesn’t realize that “us” means “the Lady Mudlarks,” so his head has been set to bobblin’ at the thought of cutting class to go tidy up the interior of his GMC Safari.

Wonder whether Tessi knows that getting guys to do stuff for her using broad deceptive hints is part of Corina’s “brand”? We (blessedly) haven’t seen Corina in a few strips, so it’s about time she pops in and pops off at the mouth.

January 30, 2021

Sometimes, the Lyrics Write Themselves

Want a guard who races? I tell you I’m your man
I play some, skip some, all the same to me

What do you wanna bet, am I blond or a brunette?
The Bucket’s where I feed, my car is all I need, I’m Doug Guthrie!
I’m Doug Guthrie!

Restoring a barn find, rebuilt it with my dad
Got my GTO, I don’t need girls you see

Showing up for Oakwood, Gil is watching me
Pick a sport or quit, I don’t give a shit, I’m Doug Guthrie!
I’m Doug Guthrie!

My tailbone’s on the ground, I’m goin’ round and round
But that’s the way I like it baby
I don’t wanna win the Valley

And don’t forget Vic Doucette!

Pushing up the roundball, the defense gotta see me
Reach in and weep, slapped out my hand again

You see it in my eyes, I’ve let practice slide
We’ll blow this game you’ll see, it’s gonna be on me, I’m Doug Guthrie!
I’m Doug Guthrie!

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