This Week in Milford

September 16, 2022

Dont shed a tear for me

Well folks I dont know if Im wantin to analyze this strip as its apparently about some issue that was covered 19 years ago; talk about recycled panels. well we’ve got recycled storylines as well. Hopefully next week we’ll be covering something like football, or maybe Gil will take up pickleball as I’ve heard all the old geysers are doing. In the meantime here’s an old classic from Paul Carrack that I used to listen to when I was working at the news agency on the midnight shift.

September 14, 2022

More Pronoun Trouble

Football season! Volleyball season!

Here we go again, but it’s not a dispute as to whether sportsball should take precedence over non-sportsball extracurriculars but the modern problem of remembering what pronouns people choose to identify themselves. Today, Toby née Tabatha identifies as he/him, Keri identifies as they/them, and Gil identifies as coach/Coach.

Now why are these three having this little confab at The Bucket of all places? (And why are they having coffee? Don’t they know there’s a cantina in town for that?) Are they here to pick up them after their postgame dinner? Are they serving as their chaperones for said dinner? Is it time for a jangle-off as Mel and Mimi see who can rattle their jewelry the loudest? Winner gets Gil – if she wants him, that is.

The unspoken tension here is so thick you could cut it with a butter knife, not unlike the one Mimi’s twisting into Mel as she deadnames Toby. Clearly she hasn’t forgotten that Mel wanted to be her at one time. Meanwhile Gil, still aware of that history and that Mimi is unhappy in the marriage, tries to play the supportive husband by throwing out a patronizing “sweetie.” Will Mimi have the divorce papers served publicly to Gil right here in The Bucket, the way Jason Sudeikis had Olivia Wilde served with custody papers while she was presenting at CinemaCon?

One thing is clear: despite Mel’s claim, in Milford, nothing is the same as it was.

edit: Oops! I forgot to identify the players from the Dolphins’ No-name Defense I posted this past Saturday!

Front, reclining: Lloyd Mumphord, CB

Front row, left to right: Bob Matheson, LB; Bill Stanfill, DE; Bob Heinz, DT; Manny Fernandez, DT; Vern Den Herder, DE

Center: Nick Buoniconti, LB

Back row, left to right: Dick Anderson, SS; Curtis Johnson, CB; Mike Kolen, LB; Doug Swift, LB; Tim Foley, CB; Jake Scott, FS

September 7, 2022

What is this, effing ponderous, man. Ponderous, effing ponderous.

“I want a concerted effort to come out of a strip that isn’t an up-tempo strip about fapping into a damned death dedication!” Here I am set up to spike some snark after Gil played setter yesterday and all I can think of after reading today’s installment is Casey Kasem’s infamous ranting outtake.

Well that puts a damper on my catty remarks about how sick Mimi’s mother really was, how far away (and how close to a beach) from Milford she was living, and how old Cami Ochoa is.* It’s taken me the better part of today to decide which is the bigger bombshell: that Mimi’s mother is terminally ill or that Mimi had an aspiring professional golf career we hadn’t heard about until today.

Let’s start with the first one. When Mimi took the Thorplets to the beach and/or to see her mother, we were under the impression that Grandma Clover didn’t exactly live around the corner. Now we’re told Mimi’s gone “to take care of her mom up north” only to find them at Milford Adult Care LLC? Either Milford is about the size of Sitka, Alaska, or Mimi went up north and brought her mom closer, well, to die.

A slightly meta digression is in order. In the time that I’ve been part of the TWIM rotation, I’ve lost both my parents: father of teenchy in July 2014 and mother of teenchy in November 2016. When my father died, I don’t think I missed a regularly scheduled post; however when my mother died I took a leave of absence from TWIM that lasted until late January 2017. In hindsight I think the main difference was that my mother died very suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly, whereas my father had been terminally ill for over a year and his passing was not so much a matter of if, but when. It also didn’t help matters that I became the sole surviving member of my family after my mother passed and had to deal with the material consequences of that. That’s also why I spent a fair part of 2017 in Bakst country.

What’s my point? My point is that when you know with some certainty that a loved one has a limited time remaining, you are allowed an opportunity to prepare for that eventuality. In Mimi’s case, it appears that includes not only bringing her mom closer to her for the time she has left** but also preparing to pursue a golf dream that’s been on hold for as long as I’ve been reading this strip if not longer. I suppose next we’ll find out that Kaz has gone off on a spiritual trek to Nepal and Silent John Pascoe has returned to help Gil coach the football team.

*How many years of a time jump did Barajas make when he took the super soph from six months ago and made her a high school sports coach? Is there a fountain of youth in Casa Thorp that kept Keri and Jami from aging while Cami did the reverse Benjamin Button? If so, maybe they better give a glass or two to Mimi’s mom. Just sayin’.

**Not sure how Mimi’s mom can say with such certainty that she’s dying in six months and not tonight. Does she have a physician-assisted suicide penciled into her calendar for that date? Does she know that Mimi’s going to carefully wheel her into Milford Adult Care LLC and not do something else with her? There’s a string of morbid jokes as long as my arm I could roll out here but good taste (and maybe my earlier aside) won’t let me do that. Instead I’ll refrain and leave that for the commenters.

August 21, 2022

A Pinewood Derby

We’ve got some connecting of dots to do today – or, at least, a timeline to string together.

If the events of today’s post# are current, how long ago were Mimi and the kids in Cancun at Mimi’s mom’s place that is conveniently close to a beach? How long was Gil at the Pinewood Summer Camp? Has Gil ever been to the Pinewood Summer Camp before? (How far back do I have to go to find records of the Pinewood Summer Camp? I searched this blog and found none.)

Perhaps more importantly, how long in advance did Gil know about the Coach of the Year award ceremony, and whether or not he was going to win it? Has Gil just been going to these things without knowing who would win? If that’s true then, if he knew about Mimi’s plan to travel to her mother’s, he could’ve sent someone to accept his award in his place. Kaz, for instance.

If Gil didn’t know about Mimi’s plans, why then would he ask her about leaving without saying anything about the trip?## Did Mimi not tell him about them, or did she tell him and he (conveniently or otherwise) not remember that she told him? Which one of them is Paul Newman and which Strother Martin in this scenario?

Perhaps most importantly, how long has Mimi’s mother been ill such that she made these plans? Has she recently fallen ill, or has she been chronically ill?

Too many questions and too few answers. In this new take on the Thorpiverse, we’re gonna have to forget about the easy putts and focus on the long game.

# I originally wrote this post yesterday but forgot to publish it after Rob’s. Mea culpa once again.

## Nice dunk on Marty by Mimi yesterday, BTW.

August 6, 2022

A Dear Gil Letter

Growing up, there was a fair amount of country music in the teenchy household, much of it of the honky-tonk variety. Ernest Tubb, Patsy Cline, Faron Young, Johnny Cash, No-Show Jones, Fats Domino, to name a few – all staples. Lots o’ tearjerkers about mamas, babies, and trains, kinda like Steve Goodman and David Allan Coe’s perfect country and western song. One that particularly struck a chord was Jean Shepard’s first hit with Ferlin Husky, “A Dear John Letter,” written during the Korean War. Take a moment to soak this one in before reading on.

Mimi’s not leaving Gil for his brother (does he even have a brother?) and maybe not for good, but she is leaving for a while. Taking the kids back to see Grandma Clover, where they’ve been staying for the last thirteen-and-a-half years. Hey, they had to be somewhere, amirite?

I’m having a hard time getting my head around the idea that Mimi and the kids aren’t as important to Gil as his wall full of participation awards. The kids, yeah, I get that, but I’m not getting how they’re more important to Mimi than to Gil. Not getting how coaching is more important to Gil than to Mimi either, for that matter. Doesn’t she also coach three sports at Milford? Do her teams generally suck more than his such that she spends less time prepping for the playdowns? Is it that she doesn’t have a female equivalent of Kaz to hang out with in the showers weight room and get sweaty with?

If you’re gonna retcon, you should at least retcon with consistent character traits. We’re not quite a month into the new regime so that may still be in the works. Meanwhile we’ve got a cliffhanger in the form of who might be calling Gil on his Nintendo Switch. Bethany the bartender? Ms. Holmes the pilot? Sweaty Kaz? Sodden Marty Moon? Talk amongst yourselves.

July 30, 2022

Leaving the Light On for Gil

Midday Saturday, I don’t see robmize’s post and I’m in between errands so I’m gonna do a twofer. Thanks for covering for me while I was island-hopping, rob.

July 29, 2022

It doesn’t look like Gil took the crazy bet from Hairy Hands Martinez. Why would he? If Martinez is new at Valley Tech, how has he been tired of watching Gil win the COTY award “every year”? We need a bit more backstory to buy anything Luke’s spouting. No doubt it’s the liquor talking, which is why Bethany the barkeep is cutting everybody off, including Gil.

As Gil saunters off through the bar’s doorway, Bethany gazes wistfully in his direction. In her tiny voiced farewell are traces of a desire to make something else stiff for Gil besides an old-fashioned. Nice tiny, dashed word balloon by the Chief there; can’t recall the last time I saw one of those from him.

July 30, 2022

Can’t recall the last time we saw the Thorp kids, either. Some posters on the ‘mudgeon suggested that it was in the Christmas 2008 strip. A lot can happen in thirteen-plus years (I’m still holding out for the convent and military school angle, myself) so this retcon better have them back as young adults and not preteens, is all I’m saying.

The Valley COTY award ceremonies weren’t held in Milford, apparently but somewhere where there’s an Embassy McCormick Suites Inn. Wherever it is, that’s where Gil’s been staying at least for the past night… plus? Emmett Tays drops in on Gil in the breakfast room to drop off the COTY golden butt plug he left on the podium the night before, gets the lowdown on the kerflulffle with Martinez, then opens the can of worms by asking about la famiglia Thorp. Sit back and order another round, gentle readers; we’re in for a whole lotta backstory next week.

July 23, 2022

Soiled it!

Dang, Gil should’ve held off on that last glass of Long Island iced tea water and checked his Depends before he got up on stage. Now he’s gotta slink off stage before he soils his reputation more than himself.

Presumably “the script” has something to do with why Mimi and/or the Thorp kids aren’t there to see Gil take his victory lap. This is gonna play out in slow motion (kinda like Boo Radley’s fatal car crash) and should at least be as interesting as a summer golf plot.

Before we pivot in that direction, let’s focus on the story that set up today’s cliffhanger. Emmett Tays was in an abusive household, and all Gil did was to tell him in so many words not to take it out on his teammates? Compare/contrast to the action he took with Aaron aand Maamaa Aagaard and Tiki Jansen (with Hadley V. Baxendale’s help) and chew on that one for a while.

Anyhoo, I’m here for the retcon.

New category: A Tinge of Regret, to reflect Gil’s current state of mind.

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