This Week in Milford

January 15, 2020

You Gotta Have ‘Watha

Filed under: basketball, big arms, freak hands, Gil Thorp, Madison Time — teenchy @ 6:59 am

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You might think that a kid named Hiawatha would be nicknamed “Hi” but this is the world of the comics. Beetle Bailey’s brother-in-law already goes by that name and even though Gil Thorp has been around since 1958, the Walker-Browne Comics Consortium has seniority. Then again maybe Rubin has baseball on the brain and was thinking of long-time Royals catcher (and later manager) John Wathan. I know The Duke was who first came to my mind; after all, Hiawatha is a catcher too. Since I have baseball on the brain, it naturally followed that I thought of that seminal work on Japanese baseball and its reflection of Japanese culture.*

Time for the Mudlarks to start conference play and boy is Chris Schuring edgy. ‘Watha (sporting a new ‘do since football season) and Tom “Butt” Muench try to calm Chris, but little do they know about Chris’ secret humiliation in Gil’s office. Sure, it’s one thing to tell someone to trust their instincts, but what if their instincts and their coach’s directive conflict? Something tells me there’ll be a lot of passing but not a lot of scoring, and the Mudlarks will leave Madison with a big L. If that other big L Teddy DeMarco ends up stuffed in a locker by Saturday, it’ll have been worth it.

 

*If you’re bored this winter and in need of some hot stove reading material, I highly recommend you pick up a copy.

January 11, 2020

Now Featuring The Incredible Shrinking “GIL” Mug

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After a week of actual action and actual coaching in practice, we were overdue for some actual off-court wackiness in Milford. Where else would we have expected it than the teachers’ lounge?

Today’s strip finds Gil with a horribly dislocated hip and holding a stack of papers with what looks like a pile of French fries. Cue this MHS administrative type lady coming to him with news of player grades, presumably in his role as AD. Would this have not mattered more at the beginning of the season, when grades might determine eligibility? Or does Milford have some arcane rule that if your grades start dropping, you get kicked off the team?  That might explain the underachievement all these years.

Now what is it about Alexa’s academic issues that has caused Gil’s head to bobble and his coffee mug to shrink? Could it be that Mimi’s sudden emphasis on her playing offense has Alexa distracted from the books? Or was it Mimi’s playing grab-ass and the thoughts of blowing the whistle that have shaken her? Maybe Miss Watson is tired of the computer/virtual assistant jokes and is thinking that tanking a few grades may make those jokes go away. There’s never a good reason for sabotaging your chances of leaving a tank town, so the latter is kind of doubtful.

January 8, 2020

Susan Gets the Cherries, Alexa Gets the Pits

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What else do Alexa Watson and Chris Schuring have in common besides being in competition for Milford High valedictorian? A reluctance to take shots, apparently.  If not for the media relations director of the National Cherry Festival (at least I think that’s who she is; fits Rubin’s MO of Pure Michigan shout-outs), the Lady Mudlarks might not have been able to hang on to beat the Lady Raiders.

Phoebe manages to elude the disembodied fist threatening to bonk her on the head to deliver the message to Alexa. Dunno if that was spontaneous or if Mimi planted that bug in her ear. Pulling kids out of class for 20 minutes then making them dress out and stand in front of her while she lectures them is not a Mrs. Coach Thorp thing, but if the Milford girls don’t start putting up more points Mimi may be forced to follow Gil’s lead and actually do a little coaching.

 

January 4, 2020

All Suited Up and No Place to Go

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Well butter my ass and call me a biscuit.  Gil Thorp is actually doing something tantamount to coaching today, but could he go about it any more awkwardly?

I mean really.  He pulls the kid out of class, makes him suit up in his game uniform, then makes him come back into his office to stand in front of his enormous window while he lectures him.  What sort of bizarre power trip/sexual peccadillo is at work here, I leave to the mind of the reader.  Talk amongst yourselves.

With that out of the way, let’s figure out how this weird scene advances the plot.  Schuring doesn’t mind taking the shots in practice against his crappy teammates, but hesitates to shoot against actual competition.  Now, at Gil’s direction, he’ll take more shots during games.  He’ll miss his share and, when he does, Teddy DeMarco will get into his head.  Good guy Chris will pretend not to care until he actually does, and his academics will suffer in turn.  Meanwhile Chris’ caring teammates will duct tape DeMarco into a locker until Teddy whines about his bad home life or whatever bullshit excuse bullies use for being bullies.  Everybody kisses and makes up and Milford still misses the playdowns.  Someone makes a lame joke and everyone exits, stage left, through a hallway.

What about all that valedictorian drama? That’ll have to wait until after spring sports are over and the school year ends, sometime around the Fourth of July.

 

 

January 3, 2020

“You’ve always been a glue guy. So now we’re gonna play ‘Horse’.”

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“And by ‘play horse’ I mean ‘put you out to pasture’.”

Gil abuses his power to pull Chris out of whatever class he was in for… what, exactly? To run Death Valleys ’til he pukes for missing the final shot?  Nah, Gil already forgave him for that. Photo shoot to boost Gil’s and Kaz’s spank bank his college application portfolio? Really, it’s anyone’s guess in this cliffhanger before the cliffhanger. If that lost 20 minutes of class costs Schuring an A on the final and his valedictorian status, we’ll know this was all a subtle plot hatched by Alexa via Mimi cnd carried out by Gil, in exchange for Alexa’s promise to go harder in the paint.

 

January 1, 2020

Putting Mussels on Our Ears

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Welcome to the year 2020, where Dippin’ Dots are still The Ice Cream of the Future, the halls of Milford High are still as shiny as ever and girls in Milford are still wearing huge earrings.  Alexa and her sidekick appear to have made theirs from mussel shells.

Sidekick there seems to have forgotten that athletic prowess and academic ranking aren’t exactly correlated.  Dropping one’s field goal percentage doesn’t drop one from valedictorian to salutatorian.  Conversely, wishing athletic success to one’s academic competition doesn’t raise one’s class rank, either.  If that were the case, wishing academic failure on one’s competition would lower one’s class rank even further.  Schadenfreude is not a good look on anybody but one, I expect, we’ll see with increasing frequency throughout this arc.

Now Alexa’s off to the MHS Medical Center where she’ll visit a freshly hammered Teddy DeMarco.  Wait, what?  It’s the MHS Media Center?  Cool.  She can listen to the musical inspiration for today’s post title.

 

 

December 28, 2019

Schur Shot

Filed under: basketball, big arms, Gil Thorp, Pantheon of Hair — teenchy @ 3:49 pm

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That’s “Schur” as in “Schuring” not as in “Diane” (whose last name is spelled “Schuur” and whose vocals are orders of magnitude smoother than this action) and it’s Schuring who’s getting set up for the final shot.

Leonard “Don’t Call Me Vern” Fleming sends a pass past the Tigers’ man-bunned defender to Marcell Irby, who either magically changed jersey numbers from one panel to the next (he’s been #45 every time we’ve seen him this season to date) or was the recipient of a screen from the unnamed #40. Either way the outcome of the game will rest in Chris Schuring’s hands and we’ll hang on this cliff until Monday.

On the odd chance, faithful reader, that you’re not checking this post until the day after I posted it, I’ll leave you this musical tidbit to tie the room together.

 

December 25, 2019

Do They Know It’s Thorpmas?

Filed under: Boredom in Milford, Coach Kaz, Gil Thorp, Kelly Krystek, metapost, Mimi Thorp — teenchy @ 12:32 pm

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When I last posted on Christmas Day, I was hanging on a piazza in Charleston with Mr. Bakst.  No such luck today; I’m in a colder place, albeit one that’s not as cold as it used to be this time of year.  I’m also not fresh out of a hospital bed like I was in 2015, and for that I’m grateful.  I’m also grateful that I got to see firsthand something very few people still living got to see previously – a major league baseball team based in Washington win a pennant – and, a few days later, win a World Series, something even fewer still living got to see previously.

My snark isn’t as sharp as it used to be.  In my last two posts I thought I caught a typo where there wasn’t one, and I identified Teddy DeMarco’s knock-kneed stooge as Teddy himself.  I’ve still got some haiku game but I’ve lost a few mph off my song parodies (how many times can I go back to Janet’s Diner?).  Heck, I’m having a hard time finding snark for today’s strip.  The Thorp kids have been so thoroughly retconned out it hardly bears mention.  Maybe Kaz’s scarf?  Looks like one of Mary Worth’s cowlnecks.  What about that gazebo?  Since when did Milford get one of those?  Is that where Mimi entertains the pool boy when Gil’s off at Milford CC every summer?  We don’t even get “Merry Christmas” set off in a fancy font like we usually do.

Anyhoo, to all you TWIMers out there who celebrate Christmas, a merry Christmas to you.  To those of you who don’t, enjoy the day all the same.  Thanks for putting up with me and for the encouragement when I’ve felt like hanging up the keyboard.

 

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