This Week in Milford

August 4, 2021

“I’d keep playing. I don’t think the heavy stuff’s going to come down for quite a while.”

It’s a day full of cliches at the MCC, but why blind pigs and acorns? Why not blind squirrels and nuts? Blind pigs and acorns make the best jamón ibérico de bellota, but with size of the bets Carter’s been making I think squirrel jerky Underwood Deviled Ham is more in line with his budget.

Meanwhile, something mysterious appears on the horizon. Funnel cloud? Vic Doucette’s grandpa van? Hendricks’ crappy shot to bluff Heather and Gil? Why not all of the above? Will this group call it quits before they get to see the true nature of the sandbag, or will they play through and tempt the wrath of higher powers?

meta: Wasn’t Local H a topic of discussion on a Rock ‘n Roll Thursday some time back? I’ve lost track of those ever since I switched from posting Thursdays to Wednesdays. In any event I just stumbled across Local H’s cover of TV On The Radio (a band I’ve really been into for the past year or so)’s “Wolf Like Me.” Sharing it here with the original to jog memories and invite comparisons.

July 31, 2021

Summers in Milford Are Like Deodorant

sandbagger (n.) – one who conceals abilities or assets at first in order to gain tactical advantage later.

John Jawor is back, looking like he’s dropped a few pounds since we last saw him. That’s not all he’s dropped: there’s also the heavy hint that Carter Hendricks is a sandbagger on the links at the MCC. I freely admit I’m no golfer, so I don’t know the veracity of this explanation of the origins of the term “sandbagging.” However, if one of Hendricks’ patsies gets wind of what’s been going on and breaks his thumbs, I won’t be disappointed.

The only violence we’re likely to see is the awkward crashing together of this summer’s disparate plot lines. Will Gil and Marjie hatch a secret plot to have Heather Burns go undercover as an easy mark for Hendricks in a coed scramble? I’m about as eager to find out as I am to watch the rest of baseball season.

July 28, 2021

What Happened to Janet?

So it’s now the
Milford Diner?
It’s no longer
Named for Janet?
‘Cause it must be
Janet’s Diner
There can’t be
one more in Milford

An old stomping
ground for Heather
Not like she
doesn’t know the place
And like a
chronic illness
there’s still
that snoop Maureen

So what’s up with
Marjie Ducey?
Does she have
the inside angle?
Did she get it
From Dale Parry?
‘Cause she didn’t
Interview her

Don’t you think
It’s kinda weird
That they’re talking
About work
When Heather has
no job offer?
It seems
so premature

“You say you
were an intern
Can you make
a cup of coffee?
See, I am
The top reporter
I’m not giving
up that title”

“So you’d better
find another role
Like selling
website ad space
You don’t see me
Coaching football players!
You should
Just stay in your lane!”

“Hey Ms. Ducey –
I mean ‘Marjie’ –
I’m not gunning
for your title
I’m just trying
to earn money
Since Coach Thorp
Ain’t payin’ bupkis

“I have covered
boring meetings
Filled with all the
Self-important
Like that blowhard
Abel Brito
I think
I get the drift”

“Well alright,
then it’s settled
You can go case
the Country Club
I’ve heard that
There’s been gambling
And it’s not
the legal kind…”

“So if you break the story…
And we publish it
Under my byline…”

“I’ll pick up the next drink tab
and you can save some dough…”

July 24, 2021

Heather Rennt (oder “Run Heather Run”)

I wished I could play soccer

I couldn’t, though I tried

I wished I could play football

I didn’t have the size

I am my daddy’s princess

He thinks I’m really grand

And when I was in high school

Played everything but band

I wish I was a writer

Who rakes in lots of green

I haven’t got a prayer

You know just what I mean

I wish I wasn’t desperate

To pay off student loans

I wish I could leave Milford

Who knows just where I’d roam?

Today’s strip is another clear example of Rubin’s horrifically poor pacing ability. Heather’s interview at the Star was featured in the first strip of this arc. If he drags out the hiring decision as long as he dragged out the Milford Library Board decision it’ll be mid-to-late August before she gets the offer – just in time for football season and wacky conflicts of interest. Watch the unpaid offensive line coaching assistant get paid to report on the team she assistant coaches! Watch her stonewall Marty Moon to keep WDIG from getting the inside scoop from the Milford locker room! Watch the Mudlark players give Heather the silent treatment for fear she’ll put anything they say in print!

If only this strip had the same time loop premise as the movie. Heather might’ve kept on running and knocked Marjie to the pavement. The subsequent skull fracture would’ve sidelined Marjie indefinitely and made the job all Heather’s.

meta: I added the “Make and Model Mystery Mobile” tag because I couldn’t figure out if the cinder block on wheels behind Marjie was a Scion xB or a Mercedes-Benz G-wagen. Thinking the latter sent me down a German rabbit hole that led me to the inspiration for today’s post.

July 21, 2021

Getting Hammered at the MCC? What Else Is New?

“How small of a stipend are we talking about, Mr. Coach Thorp?

“Remember how far I held my fingers apart earlier? That’s how small your stipend will be.”

“Seriously? I thought you were talking about your post-practice shrinkage in the showers.”

“Just for that crack, no hot dog for you. Just a drink per game.”

So between her internship at the Star and her stipend from Gildeaux, Heather’s gonna pay down those student loans. Yeah, sure. Maybe that’s where the “I’d love to have you” part comes in. (Offensive line coach at a Big Ten school? Only if she was coaching them the way Clara Bow was alleged to coach the boys at USC.) But hey, at least she’ll be making more than Steve Boone. Can any of the faithful confirm whether he ever got a raise? Will he quit once he finds out about Heather?

Back to the golf mooks. TIL Vegas is a golf betting game for foursomes that involves combining each of a pair’s scores to get a numerical value; the pair with the lower value for a hole wins money from the pair with the higher value of a certain amount per difference in stroke (see here for an example). It’s just more filler to hammer home the point that gambling’s going on at the MCC, but the fact that Hendricks is still wearing his red polo shirt might lead us to think he’s an MCC employee, in which case his betting would be either doubleplusungood or quickly swept under the turf.

July 17, 2021

Please Let This Golf Shark Be Gil’s Long-lost Son

Filed under: Gil Thorp, golf, huge earrings, Milford CC, Recycled art, talking hand — teenchy @ 11:35 am

Continuing with an idea thrown out by robmize yesterday, kids fresh out of college do not need to have their life’s trajectories neatly laid out before them the moment they’re handed their diplomas. The realities of today’s working world and the high costs of post-secondary education weigh on today’s twentysomethings like they did on few generations before them. So kudos to Rubin for painting that aspect of Heather’s character with a fairly accurate brush. Still Gil can’t help but be a tiny bit of a dick with his little dig at the many things Heather tried to do during her high school days.

Speaking of tiny dickishness: I imagine Friend of TWIM and fellow Thorp snarker Mopman is having a field day with P2 here, skipping over the Get Smart references and going straight to the crotchal area.

Today’s bombshell may be an unintentional one, however. Between the hairline and the coloring, he’s made golf shark Hendricks into a dead ringer for Gildeaux and vice versa. Okay, maybe the sideburns are a millimeter or two different but seriously, how lazy can he get? Lazy enough that we could hope against hope that Hendricks is in reality long lost Thorp son Jami. Now that would make for an interesting summer plot…

Time for an afternoon siesta. Have at it, gentle readers, and catch you next week.

July 14, 2021

I’m shocked – SHOCKED! – that I’m using this line again!

We start today with more golf gibberish to the effect that grinning idiot Hendricks here flubbed a shot but got lucky and close to the hole. As a result, he wins a bet with the sturdy looking dude with the color-changing shirt and bucket hat. Shades of Lanny Penn again, maybe – but what’s this? I know there’s a movement afoot to replace Andrew Jackson’s likeness on the $20 bill, but it’s with Harriet Tubman‘s, not Val Kilmer’s.

Quick cut to the offices of the Milford Star where Marjie Ducey’s talking to her editor, whose body looks suspiciously like Gil’s when he’s making the mangia bene hand gesture. Presumably he’s got Heather Burns’ resume in front of him, which should look a little like this:

EDUCATION

BA, Journalism, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, 2021

High School Diploma, Milford High School, Milford, ??, 2017

WORK EXPERIENCE

Assistant Coach, Milford 7-on-7 football practice, 2017

Life Coach to Confused NBA Players, 2017

Varsity Football, Tight End, Tackling Dummy, Fifth-String Quarterbacks Coach, Assistant Trainer, and General Distraction, 2016

Varsity Soccer, Dead Weight, ???-2016

Alright, Rubin’s got about six weeks for this arc. How are these rando panels gonna come together, then, gentle readers? Heather Burns gets a job with the Star, but not a permanent job – Milford’s too much of a tank town to need more than one reporter – so she’ll serve as Marjie’s unpaid intern. Marjie puts her on the trail of this gambling and counterfeiting ring at the Milford CC, launching Heather’s career as an investigative reporter* somewhere else while Marjie gets to keep her top dog status at the Star.

*Because that worked out so well for Dafne Dafonte.

July 10, 2021

“Life Is Good” Only Works on T-shirts

Sometimes a song parody is appropriate. Sometimes a song already has appropriate lyrics. This is one of those times.

The second verse is particularly fitting:

I’ve got a story, ain’t got no moral
Let the bad guy win every once in a while
I’ve got a story, ain’t got no moral
Let the bad guy win every once in a while

Is this the first Gil Thorp story arc in which the bad guy – mustachioed, ill-tempered, clearly antagonistic toward a kid – does not receive his comeuppance? And he’s going to be allowed to continue his antagonism unabated? What fresh hell is this?

Everything’s just gonna be hunky-dory from now on. Zane will show up for dinner at the Britos once a week to eat heaping helpings of white food with a side of belly button fan service while listening to Abel rant about having the library provide any kind of service. He must not have heard about the Boo Radley Memorial Little Free Library; if he had he’d probably have run on a platform of closing the Milford Public Library and using it instead.

Today’s final panel has that freeze-frame, roll credits feel of an arc-ender. Let’s pray that it is. ¡Ay, Dios mio!

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