This Week in Milford

January 8, 2022

“This is your captain speaking. I’ve turned off the ‘No Hogging’ sign…”

Job One as Lady Mudlarks captain: hand feeding your teammates pizza, apparently. At Casa Talley, Hollis floats a piece in front of McKinsey consultant Cathy Sasaki in an effort to snap her out of her trance and get some input on how to lead the team.

If Cathy’s math comprehension is any indication, Hollis may be better off ignoring her. It looks like only about a third of the pizza has been eaten at most; even if Hollis has been doing all the eating so far, there’s still enough left for Cathy to get her share and then some. Better Hollis lean on her apparent powers to make the pizza regenerate, fold her body in half, pull her head into her shoulders turtle style and make her cleavage magically disappear.

Cathy does have a point just the same. Off to a 1-2 start – all in non-conference games – isn’t quite time for soul searching or rallying the troops so much as its finding out who and what works on the team or doesn’t. That’s more Mimi’s job, so, um… yeah, maybe Hollis does need to figure out what she can do as captain to help the team.

meta: Kinda stinks that I used up all of my Sidney Poitier references here before the time came to actually pay him tribute. I thought Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner lent itself naturally to the Aaron Aagard saga but finally found a use for it during the Summer of Jaquadley. I even worked a They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! reference in very early during my time here. Maybe something will come to me, like the Milford basketball teams finding their stride in the heat of the night.

December 15, 2021

Milford Rocks to the Pranit Rock

Boy, wait until the USAFA gets wind that Hollis Talley dislocated her shoulder returning an awkward high-five from a classmate. Hollis appears to be either a deceased Tennessean, a deceased Texan or a deceased Arkansan.

Now it’s time to hear from our Milford boy protagonist this season. Pranit Smith appears to be either a phone scammer or an online scammer. Like seemingly every other Milfordian (Milfordite?) these days, he’s somehow under the spell of the little machine in his hand. Maybe he’s trying to land a spot in the Top 100 Scammers List. Since the only boys’ sport we see in the winter is basketball (no pesky gymnastics, skating or rugby to distract them), Pranit’s gonna be playing hoops for Gil. Why the Valley no hockey? There’s a Winter Blast with ice skating, and we saw a figure skater a while back, so… oh, wait, never mind. I’ve beaten this dead horse before.

Let’s sit back and see how Pranit’s quest to break the Top 100 in whatever will interfere with his sportsball just enough to keep his team from achieving success. Gil will intercede just in time for Pranit to learn his lesson but not in time for the Mudlarks to make the playdowns. Either way, you know he’s gonna hit the court to this tune.

December 4, 2021

Let’s Snot and Say We Did

(alternate title: “Talkin’ Smak!”)

Well, kudos to Neal Rubin. Before today the compound word “snot-pound” apparently did not exist.

This week of kids standing on cafeteria tables spouting stupid platitudes comes to the stupidest, most platitudinal (dunno if that’s even a word) end possible. Just who had “negative expectations” of Tevin based on four or five plays in jayvee? Only one kid ever even mentioned it – the same jackhole standing there posing like he knocked out Sonny Liston even as he’s getting roasted – and nobody put any credence into it.

And how many kids placed their trust in hypno-jackhole there? I count three: the kid who needed a B on his algebra test, the lineman who kept missing his assignment on the jet sweep, and Kianna, who might not have had Tevin not pretended to be the fourth and played along with the jackhole. So on whom do we pin the Mudlarks’ late-season collapse? (And where the heck has Marty been to do the pinning?)

That one’s easy: this falls squarely on Gil and Kaz. No sooner than word spread round the campus that jackhole had tried his parlor trick and was taking credit for Milford wins, they should’ve nipped it in the bud. But nooooooOOOOOOoooooo! Somehow it dragged on until “six or eight guys” had undergone the jackhole treatment. Only then did Gil give his half-assed “we’re good!” speech, whereupon the Mudlarks crapped the bed and haven’t won a game since.*

We can only hope today’s strip wraps up the arc. The only loose end to tie up is finding out which sport Kianna quits; the rest is all Spiller – I mean, filler.

*Somehow we never saw these six or eight guys get hypmotized. Another hole in the plot, kinda like the holes in Georgia’s allegedly vaunted defense (speaking of crapping the bed… and now you know why today’s post was so late).

November 10, 2021

Peppy? Hush!

Today it finally dawns on Kianna that Boyd’s little parlor trick might just have a placebo effect. While there have been studies showing that hypnosis – even self-hypnosis – as a form of cognitive therapy can have a positive effect on chronic fatigue syndrome, simple fatigue isn’t quite the same as CFS. It’s noteworthy that most sources claiming hypnosis can treat everyday fatigue are from hypnotists themselves. So take that with a grain of Adderall.

Kianna’s best bet? Get more sleep, drop one of her sports, and learn to take advantage of her incredible shape-shifting abilities. With massive forearms and hands like that, she should slay on the uneven bars.

Post title inspired by one of my favorite Leo Kottke songs.

September 15, 2021

This Is Not a Fire Drill

Let’s suspend disbelief about Chance Macy’s office mail call for a moment and turn our suspension of disbelief elsewhere. The traditional season-opening Mudlark Bonfire® is ready to blaze, but not without some very strange details, most of which come via Whigham’s pen.

That flat-nosed dump truck – possibly a ’70s-era International Harvester Loadstar – looks like it was overloaded with logs, kinda like those Benz trucks in the Middle East that get overloaded with people and cargo. Must’ve been pretty pricey what with the recent spike in lumber prices. How is the school gonna pay for it? By cutting back on lawn services after the bonfire destroys the grass?

Smash cut to the hallways of Milford High and Tevin talking to, um, Kianna? She’s the only girl he’s talked to all season thus far, unless you count the Greek chorus who watched Kianna blow him off a few days ago. How tall is she supposed to be anyway? She was tall enough to stare into the window of Tevin’s mom’s SUV at the gymnastics car wash a couple of weeks ago. She must have a magic shrink ray to shrink down for gymnastics and get tall for volleyball. Or something.

Finally the bonfire’s raging and someone’s calling for that old International to be replaced with a Ford! Meanwhile Tevin’s calling for Chance Macy to give the crowd a pep talk. Chance is trying to make a polite refusal since the heat from the bonfire has his hair dye running down his face Rudy Giuliani style. Let’s see if this or his firewalking exercise are enough to get him blowtop mad.

August 11, 2021

Oh, Calcutta?

I get the sense that Rubin tosses these summer plots out like a bone to his golfing buddies and the golfers among his readership. He lavishes much more detail about the game and its arcana than he does during the other three seasonal arcs. For football he’s content to trot out offensive formations not commonly used since the leatherhead era except in rural areas and/or where the game is played with less than 11 players a side. He latched onto the launch angle thing for Heather’s prodigy Pelwecki but otherwise hasn’t been on the cutting edge of baseball lingo. Basketball arcs tend to be more about the announcers and the players’ home lives than the details of the game. It’s always a shot at the buzzer that misses for Milford and falls for Milford’s opponents.

From the comments over the past couple of weeks, I gather a lot of faithful TWIMers are golfers. For the rest of us not in the know, here’s what I’ve learned about Calcuttas in the world of golf:

Golfers bid, auction style, on the golfer or team they think will win the tournament; typically they’re allowed to bid on themselves or their own team as well. They enter a bid on the golfer or team they think will win, and if their bid is the highest, they “bought” them in the tournament. All the money raised through the “auction” goes into the pot. At the end of the tournament, those who “won” the team that won the tournament get a predetermined payout from the auction pool.

We can drop the notion, then, that gambling is frowned upon at the MCC, but just exactly when and how it’s allowed and who is allowed to do it is up in the air. Jawor’s accusation of a 10-stroke sandbag by designated golf villain Carter Hendricks is a serious one – serious enough that he wants to keep Hendricks out of the Calcutta (and causes his ear to climb up his scalp). He doesn’t have the Titleists to to do it on his lonesome so he’s trying to enlist Gil to help him come up with an excuse. That neither the two of them nor Heather Burns have done a quick Googling of “Carter Hendricks BSU” to find out that the Cartman was a college golfer yet would end this plot in a day is irrelevant. Oh well, I’m sure Gil and Jawor will find a way to bar Hendricks, probably because of his ethnicity or religion or something. Country clubs still do that sort of thing, don’t they?

June 23, 2021

Suspension of Disbelief? More Like Expulsion of Disbelief!

Gentle readers, I am no less flabbergasted by this strip since Saturday than you are. The time jumps, the unstated assumptions and the unprecedented presumptuousness on Mimi’s part are so mind-boggling that I barely know where to begin and what assumptions to make. That’s the main reason it’s taken me so long to get this post up today.

Going back to Saturday’s strip: Despite her protestations that she doesn’t want or doesn’t intend to go to college (BTW, her eyes were blue when she made that statement; they’re brown now so since then she’s become full of shit), Corina took the ACT. Taking the ACT costs anywhere from $60-80, so it’s not money easily blown by a family tight on money to begin with. How worried is she about her mother and her family finances then, really? Couldn’t she be mopping floors nightly like Zane Clark if she was really worried?

Now let’s try to figure out what kind of machinations Mimi went through to get us through today. Did she apply to the community college in Syracuse (and why Syracuse? Because all of the out-of-conference games for Milford this season were against Syracuse high schools?) and to Le Moyne (also in Syracuse) on Corina’s behalf? Forge her signature? Write her application essay? How do we know Corina’s community college grades will be good enough to allow her to transfer to Le Moyne? How do we know the Le Moyne players will still need a roommate more than a year from now, when the time comes to transfer? There’s just way too much assumed here for us to suspend disbelief.

In today’s last panel, Mimi’s got Jack Elam eyes. Please tell me Corina slapped her walleyed.

metapost: robmize isn’t the only one who can take off for Myrtle Beach on a whim. yhs isn’t spending any time on a golf course, however. Instead I’ve been hobnobbing with the mascot of Myrtle Beach’s minor league baseball team. (They’re a Cubs affiliate, BTW; rob, did you catch ’em while you were here?)

June 16, 2021

Paul Mooney Might Have Appreciated It

The world of comedy lost a pointed social critic last month with the passing of Paul Mooney at the age of 79. Younger TWIMers probably know Mooney from his roles on Chapelle’s Show, but the old heads will remember him for his collaborations with Richard Pryor. Pryor gave Mooney his first break in comedy by offering Mooney a job as a writer while Mooney was working as a circus ringmaster. Mooney would go on to write material for Pryor’s standup routines, much of which ended up on several of Pryor’s live albums that were big sellers during the ’70s.

During the 1975 television season, a new live sketch comedy show, Saturday Night, was flagging in the ratings and needed a boost. Producer Lorne Michaels thought Pryor was just the man to do it and approached him to guest-host an episode of the show. Pryor agreed but only if certain demands were met, including having Gil Scott-Heron as the musical guest and that he bring his own writer – Paul Mooney – to write his sketches. The story, possibly apocryphal, that Chevy Chase approached Mooney to write him into a sketch with Pryor who, also possibly apocryphal, didn’t care much for Chase, led to the infamous “Word Association” sketch that put SNL on the map and created the seven-second delay.

By all appearances the Milford Library Board panel interview has the look of sliding into a similar word association game. I leave it to you gentle readers to offer your own word associations, none of which I hope will be as controversial and potentially offensive as the one Paul Mooney wrote for Richard Pryor and Chevy Chase.

A couple of minor points of observation:

a. When would a high school student ever have the need to do a user survey?

2. Who said anything about a bookmobile? Is Abel looking for something else to fill his ample free time besides complain about the library budget?

iii. How is the goateed Library Board member holding his vape pen, exactly? His thumb doesn’t extend out far enough to support it from behind.

This links to the only clip I could find of Gil Scott-Heron from that SNL appearance. I used to be able to drop clips into posts, but apparently I now have to “upgrade [my] plan to use this premium block.” We here at TWIM will have to figure out if we can afford such luxury. It might even cost as much as a computer at a public library.

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