This Week in Milford

August 17, 2019

Oh Yeah? Jump On This!

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Well, I’m glad that’s settled. Ed is neither the express nor implied racist we suspected him to be (or, at least, he’s not gonna cop to that). Neither is he really that concerned about Jaquan’s post-NBA career. He just wanted baby girl to come home and join/take over his practice. I mean, why should the Foley Law Group beat him to the punch? With that, Ed V. Baxendale joins the pantheon of Milford parents living vicariously through the lives of their children (if not outright preordaining their career paths via their names).

Kinda funny we haven’t seen Gil in the strip for a couple of weeks. Hope he’s watching more of Joe Bolek’s game film. He’d better keep Hadley on speed dial for the next time he needs to intimidate the lawyerless school board, or game the system to recruit outside talent.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a Gil Thorp arc-ending strip without some kind of lame joke and a freeze-frame ending. Good thing Jaquan got Luther, The Anger Translator to stand in for him.

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August 14, 2019

Not Janet’s Diner Again!?!

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Now we’ve left the
Milford School Board
For the diner
Named for Janet
Oh, I never
Really ate here
But my boyfriend
Recommends it

I’ve brought with me
Tiki Jansen
And my dad
Ed, and he said
I was terrific
So I hope he’ll
Maybe
Pick up the tab

My dad said I
Didn’t need him
But I needed
Local counsel
Member of the
Illinois Bar
But I’m not barred
Here in Milford

And I thought
That it was weird
The School Board brought
No lawyer
Even though it
Was informal
Who knew
They’d go pro se?

Tiki’s still scared
Of New Thayer
So he’d rather
Go to Milford
He will not be
A mere vagrant
He will
Stay with Leonard Fleming

And I took
No depositions
From Leonard
Or his family
When he blabbered
That the Mudlarks need him
His dad
Told him “Shut your mouth”

Then I went
Before Chet Ballard
And his puppets
On the School Board
And I showed them
Bolek’s film clip
But Chet
Ballard wasn’t biting

So I played the
Safety* card and
Then I brought up
Leonard Fleming
Then I spouted
Mumbo jumbo
And threw
Some pocket sand

Now my dad
Is looking pissy
Is he thinking
Of my boyfriend?
Should we go
Back to Chicago?
Then will he get
Off our backs…?

But now my phone is buzzing
And I’ve got a call
It’s that Ballard guy…

He’s come crawling back to us…
Thomas Jansen will be pleased

 

*(Tiki’s a safety, get it?)

August 10, 2019

“She told them to look not at the facts, but at the meaning of the facts. Then she said the facts had no meaning.”

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“Ladies and gentlemen, members of the school board, my dad, we’ve just heard from Mr. Ballard a rather lurid description of a truly despicable young man.”

“I had to hand it to her. She tossed a lot of sand in their eyes. She talked about how I’d lost my place in the universe. How I was too ordinary to be the perpetrator of fraud the school board made me out to be, how there was some greater scheme at work that the school district had yet to unravel… She told them to look at me, look at me close. That the closer they looked, the less sense it would all make.”

“Look closely at him. This human, this barber. Oops – wrong Tiki.”

“That I wasn’t the kind of guy to game the system, that I was the safety, for Christ’s sake. I was just like them, an ordinary man. Guilty of living in a school district that had no place for me, yeah. Guilty of wanting to be a Mudlark, sure. But not of fraud.”

“But most specifically, this is a safety’s dilemma. For he is modern man.”

“She said I was modern man.”

“He is your reflection.”

“And if they voted to keep me out of Milford, they’d be practically cinching the noose around their own necks. She told them to look not at the facts, but at the meaning of the facts. And then she said the facts had no meaning.”

Here’s hoping Hadley V. does a better job representing Tiki than Freddy did representing Ed.

August 7, 2019

Ceci n’est pas une school board meeting.

Running both the color and B&W versions today as a sanity check.

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If this is not a school board meeting, then what is it exactly? Some well-connected kid using his connections to get what he wants from a school board that doesn’t want the public to know how readily it caves to that well-connected kid? No wonder nobody wants it made public. Rubin’s left so many dots for us to connect, like those dots on the sidewalk Steve Luhm forgot to sweep up.

So much posturing going on here. Hadley brought her prop, Ed; Ballard (wearing a suit with weird-ass lapels only The Riddler could love) brought his: tiny Carol and another yet-to-be-named ventriloquist’s dummy school board member lady. There’s also an official-looking seal behind Ballard that some Mudlark must have made in shop class, and an American flag that may be displayed in violation of the US Flag Code if there’s an unseen State of Milford flag to its right. Speaking of unseen, Ballard better watch his back before that shadowy figure stabs it.

 

August 3, 2019

The 20th Hole?

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Gee, it’s been a while since Gil and Mimi had a foursome. When was the last time we saw them with Kaz and Kelly? Last Christmas? Oh, wait, it’s not that kind of foursome.  Just four shadowy figures sitting beneath an impossibly tall patio umbrella.

Speaking of shadowy figures, our weekend cliffhanger threatens to take us inside the inner workings of the star chamber that is the Milford School Board. Carol, who looks suspiciously like Ray Walston or Dr. Pearl (minus the bun) is dissuading the hirsute Mr. (no first name yet) Ballard from bringing up the matter of Tiki. Pray tell why? Tune in on Monday…

July 31, 2019

Meet the Flemings

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Just in time for the dog days of summer, this dog of a strip. This right here is some boring stuff.

That’s Reid Fleming, World’s Toughest Milkman and his dad, former NBA point guard Vern, on the receiving end of a Hadley deposition that’s not a deposition. Too bad dad Fleming isn’t actually Vern, ’cause Hadley could’ve let Jaquan tag along and have quality time with him. He does earn the Pantheon of Hair tag for that luxurious nostril hair he’s artfully groomed into a mustache.

Trying really hard to figure out the number and location of Hadley’s elbow joints such that she can get her hand that close to her shoulder and at that precise angle to roll up and flick a booger at the Flemings. Also trying to figure out why Papa Fleming shushed Leonard when he said the Mudlarks need Tiki. Is Leonard implying that Milford needs to attract players from other schools in order to field a competitive team? Given how much effort the Coaches Thorp and their assistants have put into developing and coaching up talent compared to the instant impact transfer students have made on their respective teams, I’d say the answer is a qualified “yes.”

July 27, 2019

Ballard? Bollocks!

Filed under: football, Gil Thorp, Hadley V. Baxendale, Milford Alumni — teenchy @ 10:24 am

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Whenever I see the name “Ballard” associated in any remote way to sports, my mind immediately races to Harold Ballard, the once owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Harold Ballard was one of the worst owners in NHL history, milking the Leafs, the Leafs’ farm team the Toronto Marlboros, and Maple Leaf Gardens for profit (committing tax fraud and evasion in the process) while allowing the Gardens to become dilapidated and the storied Original Six franchise to become noncompetitive. I suspect this Ballard will be a bit more benign.

For the briefest of moments there I hoped we were witnessing the return of Hairy Hercules.  Maybe “Mr. Ballard” is The Hairy One incognito, off the juice, out of the gym and wrapped in a suit. Best not to be delusional and take him at face value, as just another self-important big fish in a small pond. Surely he thinks kicking Tiki Jansen out of Milford has something to do with maintaining the integrity of the spirit of the letter of the rule of law or some such BS. He’ll let us know.

Hadley looks to have left her mole at home today.  Maybe she covers it up with foundation when she has some heavy-duty lawyerin’ to do. What she didn’t do is show up with a copy of the letter to Tiki, which makes it easier for Ballard to snatch it out of her hands, rip it up and say “What letter?” She also looks to have left her engagement ring from Jaquan at home, ’cause that rock looks puny to nonexistent. If that is indeed her engagement ring, maybe Ed V. Baxendale’s concerns about Jaquan’s future earning power are legit. (Nah, probably still a racist.)

July 24, 2019

Are We Going There?

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Here I was thinking that the summer subplot was going to be “The Case of Hadley V. Baxendale’s Disappearing and Reappearing Mole*,” but I was wrong. It’s shaping up to be more along of the lines of “Lou Grant Ed V. Baxendale is a Racist But It Could Just Be the Wine Talking.” (There has been a lot of wine drinking in this arc, hasn’t there?). Race has been a relatively benign factor in the strip since I’ve been blogging here, unless you count Marty Moon’s attitude toward the Padillas winter before last.

Jaquan has been consistently portrayed as a fairly savvy guy, not lacking for brains as well as for talent. The less said about his flirtation with football, the better. He also had a fair grip on his future plans as far back as high school, for some of which he apparently has Hadley to thank until death do they part. If he’s been as good a pro hoopster as he’s been made out to be, then his financial worries should be relatively few for years to come. So what’s not to like?

It remains to be seen whether Rubin tackles this head-on or comes at it obliquely, the way he does so many other hot topics. For now, let’s just see how many dog whistles Ed blows over the rest of the summer.

*We do need the “peering over glasses” tag; I’ll try to add that if one of my fellow TWIMers doesn’t beat me to it.

METAPOST: How about it TWIM community? Please submit your suggestions for an eyeglasses tag in the comments below! Eyeglass Antics? Peering Over Peepers? -TimP

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