This Week in Milford

March 7, 2020

Snitchin’ to Rollins

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We’ve come to that time in just about every Gil Thorp arc in which Rubin realizes he hasn’t paced worth a damn and he has to cram a week’s worth of action into a single strip and starts rushing the plot ahead without filling in the details. If this was football season we’d call it the two minute drill, but since it’s basketball season let’s call it throwing up treys and fouling. It’s late in the day and I know most of you TWIMers have probably seen today’s strip already, so I’m gonna rush through this much as Rubin did. Okay? Okay!

P1: I know that AP Chemistry midterm must be hard but, come on, it’s nothing to lose your head over! Maybe this isn’t AP Chem but American Lit and that kid under the first dialog box is acting out “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

P2: Neither the Milford boys nor the girls are making the playdowns ’cause they don’t score enough, so let’s sweep these games under the rug, shall we? Boy, that Marcell Irby sure is lanky!

P3: DeMarco is dropping in on Steve Harvey Mr. Rollins who, I’m assuming, is the AP Chem teacher. Couldn’t tell from that poor excuse for a periodic table behind his head. We know he’s gonna dime out Schuring; what we don’t know yet is how Schuring’s gonna get his name cleared. Something tells Gil will intervene (heaven knows he hasn’t been busy coaching) and Schuring’s word will be taken because athlete. Then we get a throwaway panel or two telling us why DeMarco’s had beef. Maybe Teddy has a low self opinion.

 

Then Alexa and Chris walk down a hallway, then it’s on to baseball. Hang on for the thrilling conclusion, folks!

February 25, 2020

Just Wait Till Your Father Gets To Our Gym

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I love the team so well

And the coaches too

And the groovy way that plays can gell

 

Phoebe’s a trip

And she lets it rip

When teammates get pushed into the wall

 

I love Alexa just well

Tho she plays like Hell

Every time she’s in the paint

 

 

Just wait till Mimi gets

Unless she should forget

Wait till Mimi gets home

 

Well, look who showed up at the game to high-five the New-Look Watson. And like Zevon, I’d like to know her tailor. Awoooooooo, Werewolves in Milford.

Wasn’t it just last week that Mimi did a stand-in and practically distanced herself from Phoebe attempting to turn Alexa into a human Rock ’em Sock ’em Robot? Even when Mimi told Alexa that in order to get accepted at Harvard, she had to be a runaway train on offense? Yeah, don’t hokey-pokey this one, Mimi. Put your left foot into your mouth, take it out of your mouth, do the same with your right foot, then shake that thang all about and get your husband sexually aroused who’s sitting in the 3rd row behind the Mudlarkettes Dance Corps and come to the enemy gym lookin’ like The Sharp Dressed Man to greet Alexa as if you’d been step-by-step in this process. Oh, you’ve been stepping in something all right. I just hope your Jordache Jacket doesn’t have cow chips all over it when you take it to Milford Dry Cleaners. One can dream.

 

Because I’m a Western buff and watch shows like Death Valley Days and enjoy them in general but feel occasionally they take liberties with history, knowing that Charles Goodnight had cows but doubting that he had his pet cow in the same relationship a la Roy Rogers and Trigger

 

Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Coach Thorp Appeals To Governor For Stay On Execution Of His Pet Zebra, Flossie.”

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“I couldn’t bear to see it at the slaughterhouse so that somebody could get a cheap T-bone steak.”

 

“Harry Boyle, I don’t like how Alexa is shoving people around all over Milford. She shoved an old lady with a cane the other day and got run over by Gil and Mimi on a tandem. I did some research and found out that the Milford Communist League is behind all this.”

“Oh, Ralph, come on. She’s just trying to up her game. I wish my son Chet had that much energy to get out on his own.”

“That’s what the League WANTS you to think. But if Alexa starts shoving around senior citizens at the Milford Bingo Parlor, pretty soon she’ll be shoving red-blooded Americans straight over the cliff. Then the Commies will put in a new coach and the Mudlarks will have nothing but players reading out of The Red Book.”

“Ralph, did you make this up or have you been in Gil’s office again for Twinkies and coffee?”

“I’m telling you, Harry, don’t blame me if they resurrect Lenin from his tomb and he takes Mimi’s place. Then you’ll have Commies shoving people out of the way when they try to sit in the booth at The Bucket and order Bucket Chop Suey. It’s fishy, Harry.”

“No.”

“Fishy.”

“No.”

“Fishy.”

“NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! Look, Alexa is a decent girl. Do you think a valedictorian would want to make America run by Big Brother?”

“They already have Big Brother in power. He draws a paycheck and does nothing. Gil is a model for ‘Each according to their need’. Why, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s reading Trotsky while sitting on the john.”

 

And are we playing in an igloo? Or maybe they’re minion’s in some 8-year-old’s Lego Block set? The consolation prize is that surely that kid isn’t wearing Donettes on his ears like Mimi is displaying while celebrating her non-entity status with Alexa.

 

I worship her joie de vivre

Her breath reeks Febreze

She is perfect in every frickin’ phase

 

Even though she coaches from a telephone booth

Her athletic insights match those of Babe Ruth

 

Wait till Mimi gets

Unless she’s taking bets

Wait till Mimi gets hooommmmeee

 

She and Gil never go for the kill

They both coach on a fart and a whim

 

 

Mudlarks today like to play their own way

And what Coach Thorp doesn’t know won’t hurt him

 

Boy, wait till Mimi shows up at home indeed. She might learn a thing or two after getting familiar with the architectural design of Jefferson’s gym. Now if only she knew the floor plan of her own. When you have to max on your credit card to rededicate your life to the basketball court via Milford Floor & Tile, well, as the fans always say to bad officiating, “Open up your eyes, you’re missing a good game.” Wanna borrow my 3-D glasses, Mimi?

Because 12 points is an improvement but certainly not enough to convince me that she can sustain that level of play, as if getting called for charging after backing down your woman in the paint then flying on a spree is going to be the table d’hote henceforth. I’d increase the odds if Mimi had a hand in things and not letting Phoebe get thrown to the lions if Alexa backs down a police officer after the game to get out the door to stay true to character, yet be the first in line at the Milford Soup Kitchen to enjoy Alexa’s Crabmeat Special while Phoebe is off in a corner gnawing on Milk Bones. The dignified thing to do would be at least throw Phoebe a pincer every now and then.

 

If yore daddy shows up at yore game after they gave him a 3-day pass, then after ya score 38 points and 24 rebounds to win the game in triple OT, the authorities return him ta the chain gang ta work on the Milford & Oakwood railroad track, ya might be a redneck.

 

And is that Chris in the audience? Well, after all, he’s the second head in this two-headed monster that has replaced Mimi as the coach. I reckon that’s better than no heads on Gil’s team. And that’s scary. Basketball without representation is tyranny. I’d almost welcome Beef-a-Roni/Beef-a-Ghetti Head to lead the boys team in wind sprints.

Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“O.J. Heavily Fined And Delivered An Official Reprimand From Milford Condo Suites!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“They never told me that a Polled Hereford was not included in the pet policy.”

 

“Irma, it’s bad enough that Chet needs to get his own place and that he got fired after he was caught dumping Cheerios in the Bucket Spaghetti Special when he couldn’t find the Bucket Noodles. But when he’s given a T for imitating a Lear jet and trying to knock the Tilden player on the floor by blowing jet fumes in his ear, trying to intimidate your opponent shouldn’t land you on the bench.”

“So he tried to pass gas on the player when he as boxing out, Harry. Gil taught him that. He told Chet to keep plenty of Bush’s Garbanzo Peas in his locker. He’s teaching him about Life. It may smell but you get the loose rebound anyway. Coaching isn’t always perfect. Mimi’s trying to teach Alice the same thing, only with Safeway Pinto Beans.”

“I hope to God the Milford Feeder League isn’t dispensing that information to Jaime.”

 

Peter-Panning your way to the rebound on the hopscotch board and holding your breath that the Tilden player in P3 is merely answering the altar call at the Billy Graham Reach Everyone in Milford By 2025 Crusade and not getting her patellae overworked. That’s the system Mimi’s using (we think) . As Phoebe said (that Mimi should have said) , the calls even out.

 

Today’s Black History Month installment is George Liele, a former slave who eventually became the first African-American missionary. Starting out in Savannah, Georgia in the Baptist denomination, he built a solid congregation, though he was a Loyalist, his reason being that he wanted no part of the Colonialists’ toleration of slaveholders in the American South.

Liele moved to Jamaica to start his mission work, eventually establishing another church that proved to be fruitful. Though plantation owners there were initially against his ministry due to fears of emancipation of their own slaves, Liele overcame all doubts, not to mention the notion that African-Americans could not escape the vicious cycle of slavery.

Instead, he showed through perserverance and love that African-Americans could live productive lives without chains bound to them. His ministry influenced many and further advanced the Human Race. Please join me in saluting a man who accomplished great things and helped people take a giant step forward.

 

“And Alexa knocks Jane Doe to the deck after kick-boxing on the drive. Alexa will be at the line to complete the 3-point play. Time out is called by Tilden with the score in the tenth round, rather, 3rd quarter, Milford, 47, Tilden, 31. We’ll take a commercial break, this is Marty Moon and you’re listening to WDIG-Radio, a division of Learfield Sports.”

 

“When The Bucket is still trying to strong-arm the Milford Zoning Board to obtain a liquor license, even if they play dirty pool or throw somebody in a pool, that’s one thing. Personally, I’ve been on the bad end of blowouts and that’s the time to clear your bench, not try to claw back into a 51-point deficit. But maybe The Bucket knows how?to handle the 2-minute drill better than I do and will one day sell Schlitz and Sundaes on any given day.

But when they won’t allow honest, tax-paying citizens onto their Food Court area unless you have a Bucket Food Court Member card, that’s when they need to be called for over-and-back, that’s too many halfcourts crossed as far as I’m concerned.

Hi, this is Coach Thorp and let me tell you, Milford Beverage Warehouse says Come unto us, all ye that are hungry and heavy-laden and we will give you rest, booze, and some grub. Our credit is easy and our Food Court is wide. You won’t see any Pinkertons patrolling the area to check to see if you paid your admission. You can sit down and enjoy Big Mac’s and Korbel, $9.99 a bottle, and not have to worry about your papers being in order.

Want a Whopper and some Natural Light Naturdays in the 30-Pack? For $18.99 and some loose change, you can bask in the sunlight at the arboretum section of the Food Court and for a few dollars more you can make it a combo. Fries and a large Nestea Unsweet and the sun rays are still free, isn’t it nice to enjoy Cheeseburgers in Paradise without Dirty Harry sticking his Magnum up your butt?

But we’re not all Ronald McDonald and Golden Arches around here. Long John Silver’s was another chain gracious enough to grace their presence here in the ambiance that is the Food Court. And if it’s atmosphere you want, The Warehouse is willing to oblige. And the obligation is pretty affordable when you’re consuming LJS Salmon Platter and Hush Puppies with Maker’s Mark Whiskey 1.75 Liter serving as your chaser. At $23.99 and lunch money, Boy, I’ll go out to the Bering Strait with the fishermen to snare some more. Salmon, of course, there’s no Maker’s Mark north of the Arctic Circle.

Now are you going to fork over $250 for a non-refundable, non-redeemable membership card and just get Bucket Rib Sandwiches in a cage? If they EVER get their liquor license, who really wants Bucket Clam Chowder and Coors Light in a roped-off area that would be better used as a playground than a so-called Food Court? With Adam-12 looking over your shoulder? No thank you.

Come to Milford Beverage Warehouse where our Food Court stocks Happy Meals and Wendy’s Doubles, Hardees Thickburgers and Domino’s Breadsticks for that discriminating liquor connoisseur and all you gotta do is leave your attitude at the door. You won’t need a hall pass to enjoy Jim Beam and Whoppers with Cheese. Don’t take my word for it. Come see for yourself and tell ’em Coach Thorp sent ya.

 

Thanks for your patience, Gang. You didn’t pull an Alexa on me. God bless you.

 

Driving the streets of Milford one night after Tuesday Open League Bowling Night at Milford Bowl-a-Rama

“Harry, these Commies think they can overrun Milford without us Mudlarks firing a shot. But I’ve got a sure-fire prevention method to contain any Pancho Villas from being the janitor at Mudlark gym.”

“Ralph, let it go. I haven’t heard any ugly rumors about Maoists or Marxists invading our fair city. That’s as sure a thing as the Mudlarks making the Playdowns.”

“And let Fidel tear your ticket at the ticket window? Khruschev sell peanuts and Bud in the stands? Lin Piao be the timer? When I have the most fool-proof plan this side of the ocean?”

“Awwrriight, I’ll take the bait. What do you have in mind?”

“Simple. We look in the phone book for everyone with the last name ‘Thorp’. Gus Thorp. Sigourney Thorp. Abraham Thorp. Grandma Moses Thorp. Elmo Thorp. Bubba Thorp. Tom Thumb Thorp. William Makepeace Thorp. Pytor Ilyich Thorp. The whole Thorp crowd. Our vigilante group will round ’em up and send them on the next cruise shop bound for Russia.”

“Ralph, there’s a number of honest Americans with the last name ‘Thorp’.”

“I realize that. If they brush their teeth with a 9-iron and use Quaker State to lubricate their car and hair, I’ll assume they’re on the side of Old Glory.”

 

 

I love Coach Thorp so swell

But she starts to yell

Everytime she’s advised to coach

 

Just wait till Mimi gets

She wears a nice hair net

Wait till Mimi gets hooommmmeee

 

 

“Hi, Mimi. Long day?”

“Ah, I let the kids work on the press-breaker. Those Bucket Tenderloins are to die for. Have you seen their Food Court?”

 

February 1, 2020

Alexa ist Deflatermaus

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Nothin’ but action to take us into February, so let’s get to breakin’ it down.

P1: The Milford boys come out to cheer on the Milford girls and show off their nose-picking techniques. Left to right: the “Flying Fickle Finger of Fate,” the “Little Jack Horner,” and the discreet “Raiding the Booger Vault While I Pretend to Cough.”

P2: Those are some freaky hands but not gonna lie, that’s a pretty good drawing of someone stuffing someone else’s shot. Compare these examples from a Wisconsin-Purdue game and Freeport-Yarmouth high school game in Maine.

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Right?

P3: The fun is about to come to a crashing halt as Alexa dislocates her right leg (this has been a running theme this season) in an attempt to trip up the Valley Tech defender. Can Alexa catch Phoebe’s pass, make the shot and break the tie before she collapses to the floor, writhing in pain? Check back a few hours after the end of the Super Bowl…

January 29, 2020

Jerk and Plow

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With a focus on two basketball players who are both good students, both good team players, but who are both reluctant to shoot the ball, this has been one of the more plausible Gil Thorp plots we’ve seen in some time. We’ve been waiting for this plot to turn in typical Rubin asinine fashion. Looks like we needn’t wait any longer.

Isn’t a “jerk” someone who is typically rude, obnoxious and mean-spirited? How does that apply to someone who gets his homework done ahead of time? “Teacher’s pet” or “smartyboots,” sure. “Jerk,” not so much. Judging from those rectangles where words should be on Chris’ PowerPoint slide, I might add “slacker.” Then again he might’ve written it in Sanskrit and the class laptop everyone has to use to present doesn’t have a Sanskrit font installed.

Sanskrit? Urdu? It won’t matter much once Little Teddy DeMarco starts cracking everybody up! DeMarco’s little toy isn’t a Cajun in your Pocket but more a combination joy buzzer/ Plymouth Road Runner horn. Whatever it is, any teacher above preschool level would’ve confiscated it the first time it went off. Teddy should realize that Chris is used to more crowd noise than that when he’s calling signals on the gridiron or dishing the roundball off to a gunner. It’s gonna take more than some lame noisemaker to throw him off his game. Try calling him “Alexa” and see how that works out.

 

January 25, 2020

Hair’s-Eye View

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Hip dysplasia might be a thing in the Thorp family. Gil showed signs of it two weeks ago; today, it’s Coach Mimi’s turn. No need to use her lap to balance her AMOS laptop; Mimi can just pop that old hip out of its socket and turn her leg into a table. The Thorps might’ve passed that trait on to their kids, and that’s why the kids ended up going to that farm upstate.

What’s Mimi doing on that laptop that’s so piqued Gil’s interest? Poring over stats like their players? Maybe it’s not what’s on AMOS but that Faberge Organics shampoo robmize posted about yesterday. Gil’s leaned in so far for a sniff that the last panel is literally drawn from the perspective of Mimi’s hair. Don’t believe me? Check out the color version of the strip:

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I wonder if Mimi will let slip the psychological tactics she’s used on Alexa to Gil while they re-enact The Thing with Two Heads. Then we’ll find out who’s really had the offensive presence.

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.

 

November 27, 2019

Hasn’t There Already Been an Investigation?

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Excuse me but haven’t Marjie, the superintendent and Captain Man Bun already investigated Ballardgate?  What’s left to investigate?  How about some of the details in today’s strip?

P1: How much squirming must it take to get your forearm in front of you to facepalm at that angle?  Careful Chet, you’ll poke your eye out.

P2: We’re on to the third day in a row where people are just reading Marjie’s article aloud to other people.  I can see why Gil looks a little pissy, especially since Mimi’s leaning over him to point at what she’s reading.  (Bet she’s one of those people whose lips move when they read to themselves.)  It’s enough to distract him from his carbo loading. Must have a heavy day of lifting with Kaz on the agenda.

P3 triggered a lot of childhood memories for me, as I remember fondly the day my father bought me a Howard Elston catcher’s mitt. Superintendent Elston looks like a lot of recycled art pasted together: Lee Corso’s head with Paulie Walnuts’ hair spliced atop a  torso Walt “No Neck” Williams style, an odd suit jacket with contrasting lapels and a pocket square but no necktie, and topped off with Whigham’s signature gesticulating hand.  He gets the “immediate” part of the investigation; not so sure about the “thorough” though, as he sends his female charge off with no real direction.

That’s all I have to say about that.  Tip of the hat to Rubin for reminding me of the first black Yankee and the man who had the unfortunate task of having to fill Yogi Berra’s shoes.

 

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