This Week in Milford

June 19, 2019

Is Tanking in the Playdowns TCFS?

Filed under: actual action, anatomically implausible, exposition comics, Gil Thorp — teenchy @ 6:25 am

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Friday is the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, so Rubin has four days to wrap this stinker up. How best to do it? By having the Lady Mudlarks lose in the opening round of the playdowns to a supposedly inferior opponent, apparently. That Black Sox analogy from a couple of weeks ago doesn’t seem so far off now.

The Milford ladies’ undoing begins in the form of a botched double play, or at least it looks like a botched double play. We have to assume that Linda threw the ball on to Carla, otherwise how would Carla muff a flip to Linda? I guess it’s better to muff a throw than to throw a, uh, never mind.

It’s been so long since Whigham has had to draw actual action that it seems he’s forgotten the finer points. For instance, when Molly’s that far into her release, shouldn’t the ball be much farther away from her? Having a player flex on an opponent’s error is bad form, too. If #7 comes back up to bat again, she should get one thrown behind her ear, just sayin’.

No matter. The die has been cast and Gil is mixing up the Long Island iced tea pitcher on the deck as I write.

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June 15, 2019

I Bet No One’s Said That to the Blues or Raptors

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In the real world, this past week saw league championships won by franchises that had never won them before: the NHL’s St. Louis Blues and the NBA’s Toronto Raptors (contrary to popular belief, not named for Brent and Jolene Raptor). I always enjoy seeing first-time champs; I think it’s good for the sports. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been pulling for a Mariners-Nationals World Series for the past fifteen years. Both the Blues and the Raptors won on the road and, while it’s not the same as winning on home ice/court, it didn’t diminish the joy in their respective fan bases.

In the Thorpiverse, it’s not like the fans have been packing the bleachers to watch the Lady Mudlarks rip through the Valley. If anything, the TCFS scandal that wasn’t may have alienated large chunks of the student body. Since we seldom see the stands in any Milford baseball/softball action, it’s hard to say. My guess is that the Lady Mudlarks return to campus to three cheers and a tiger and a big TCFS banner honoring them for winning, for reading Animal Farm, and for passing out spirit buttons to anyone who asks nicely.

Today’s strip doesn’t have the feeling of a story wrap-up, but it does have some foreshadowing in the form of Jocelynn’s twisted ankle as she crosses the plate. Just enough of an injury to get the girls knocked out in the first round of the playdowns but not enough to end the self-congratulation. Maybe Mimi can lord it over Gil this summer; it’s no state championship but it’s the most recent championship either Thorp has brought back to Milford.

metapost, kinda: Mea culpa for getting it wrong earlier this week that Linda was going to David’s to break up with him. I still don’t give them much longer.

May 18, 2019

Not This “Branding” Crap Again!

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Okay, so for s & g’s I searched on spirit buttons and 39 cents per seems like a fair deal. The catch is you gotta buy ’em in bulk, at volumes that would ensure every Milford student and their family could have a button with buttons left to spare. The TCFS movement has become less about celebrating softball players’ extracurriculars and more about being cliquish and excluding the one girl on the softball team who cares more about playing softball than the rest of them.

Nancy is perfectly cool with that as she sees being TCFS as a “brand,” a thing that seems to be a thing with kids in Milford (or with a senior citizen who seems to think that branding is a thing with kids). Molly Hatchet seems to have an inkling about that as she and Nancy get brain freezes sucking down their Blastos while they sit on the hood of a… a…  an impossibly drawn clown car with about five planes of perspective and no room for an engine, wheels or passengers.

Added a Swifti Mart tag as I’m surprised we haven’t done that already.

May 4, 2019

That’s Six “Too Cool for School”s If You’re Counting

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Long day for me and an uncharacteristically late post, mea culpa.  Today’s the day for people on the perpendicular, starting with the first panel’s awkward hallway exchange.  I’m pretty sure when you go to high-five someone you don’t karate chop them across the palm, but then that’s why she’s the athlete and he’s… some rando MHS student.

The ninety-degree approaches continue in the cafeteria, where Molly Hatchet turns her upper torso and dislocates her left shoulder to face high-five girl (Carla? Nancy?) at a right angle. All the better to feign interest in high-five girl’s exasperation at getting attention for being good at sportsball.  I do find her inability to remember who threw the awkward high-five at her confusing, if only because I’m never quite sure how big Milford is.

On to the Saturday cliffhanger, which hinges on that dead horse of a phrase.  Molly (sporting an earring straight out of one of Raven’s progressive matrices) gets ready to drop a bombshell that has something to do with being “too cool for school.” Something tells me her synchronized skating team has been chosen to demonstrate that sport for the next Winter Olympics, and the prep for that will take her away from Milford for the next year-plus.  With Molly gone, morale on the Lady Mudlarks may crumble to the point that a Rally Hippo won’t be able to save the season and the playdowns will be missed just in time for Molly to come back and get a looper’s job at the MCC.

Again, apologies for the late post.

April 17, 2019

Even A Blind High-five Finds a Nut Now and Then

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“That’s the most uncool thing I’ve ever heard!”

“Wait, what? We live in a place where ease up is part of the local lingo and that’s the most uncool thing you’ve ever heard? That’s almost as uncool as you trying to high-five me with your eyes closed!”

“Oh, yeah. Thanks for not leaving me hanging.”

Speaking of hanging, it’s time to check in on the Coaches Thorp and see what they’re up to when they’re not at Milford High. Quelle surprise, there they are with drinks in their hands again. Mimi seems flummoxed by the idea that kids these days can empathize with one another over something other than the sports team they play on together.  Maybe empathy’s not dead after all.  Maybe she can convince the girls to channel some of that empathy into being a cohesive unit. Maybe she keeps Gil around because of his 46-inch inseam and the Bob Lanier-like boats stuck to the end of it.

April 12, 2019

Stretching the field

Filed under: actual action, anatomically implausible — robmize2013 @ 8:46 pm

Lets start with P3 first– the first sackers foot is way too far on the bag; it should be on the corner so as to shorten the throw as much as possible. That IS the correct foot however for a lefty. Rightys use their right foot. And the baserunner is running way inside the baseline and is in position to run smack dab into the 1st baseman. Thats why the baseline is in foul territory. Also, in high school, they use safety bases at first, which are placed in foul territory to mimimize collisions such as what is coming in P3.

P2 the toss from short should be underhanded and I never saw such an arm angle as that one. Try throwing underhand with your elbow pointed that way and you’ll flip the ball either way to the right of the target or straight up in the air. She must be double jointed.  Also the 2nd baseman needs to stretch her arm out to get the ball instead of again waiting for the ball to come to her.  Plus that mitt looks more like a catchers mitt.

Not much wrong with P1. Nice win but god did it take a while.

 

March 20, 2019

TFW You Spot an Ultraman Reference in Gil Thorp

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One of my fondest childhood memories was coming home from school and watching The Happy Raine Show on WCSC-TV 5, the CBS affiliate in Charleston, SC.  Happy Raine was the stage name of Lorraine “Rainey” Evans, who worked in WCSC’s marketing department. The story goes that Evans was working on a promotion for Robin Hood Flour and was mailing out Robin Hood hats, complete with feathers, to clients. One day on a whim she stuck some of the feathers in her hair; the station’s weatherman, Charlie Hall, spotted this and told Evans she could pass as a Native American.  Several months later, Evans was approached to host a live children’s show and thus Happy Raine was born.

The Happy Raine Show featured live segments with kids in the studio audience, like most locally produced children’s shows back in the day.  Interspersed between the live segments were episodes of the Japanese tokusatsu classic Ultraman. I won’t bog you down with the details of Ultraman if you don’t know them already.  Suffice it to say that we Baby Boomer/GenX cusp kids looked forward to seeing what bizarre kaiju Ultraman would fight that afternoon. The kaiju were easy to root against as they stomped around cardboard Tokyo – that is, until the kaiju was Jamila.

The Ultraman Wiki describes Jamila (ジャミラ) as “an astronaut who came into contact with an extraterrestrial mutagen and transformed into a monster.  He returned to Earth with a vengeance for the human race, but was killed by Ultraman.  Deemed a victim of an unfortunate fate, a plaque was raised in the former human’s memory.”

 

 

Jamila was one of those rare things on Ultraman: a villain who wasn’t entirely villainous.  Something to wrap your grammar school brain around before it was time to do your homework.

It’s nice to see that Jamila has been reincarnated as a Lady Mudlarks’ pitcher.  Thanks for indulging my childhood nostalgia.  Now let’s deconstruct today’s strip.

P1: Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

P2: Happy Fun Ball is actually a pitch from Jamila that got away from catcher Jocelynn Brown.  Any relation to Big Ken from a few years back?  Nah, more likely a shout-out to one of Neal’s friends at the Detroit News.  Funny how Happy Fun Ball goes from being tiny in Mimi’s hand to enormous in Jocelynn’s, innit?

P3: Since there was no Lady Mudlarks basketball this past season (at least none that we saw), Mimi’s had a lot of time on her hands to think up wacky hijinks like scheduling a scrimmage.  Extra work for the Coaches Thorp?  That’s crazy talk!  Gil’s plying her with Long Island Iced teas to rid her of such notions.

January 12, 2019

Somebody’s Wallowing in Something, Alright

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Ha ha, former clipboard-toting, placebo-dealing nerd Bobby Robby Howry can’t even do a proper Vulcan salute.  He can certainly pile on the happy horse manure though.

Bearded Jimmy Olsen appears to be so distracted by Bobby Robby’s spiel that he’s forgotten how far away he set his coffee cup.  Maybe he’s reaching for a napkin to blot the cappuccino foam from his beard.  I suspect it won’t be long before he reaches for his shaver-cum-smartphone to give ol’ Gildeaux a call and put an end to this foolishness once and for all.

Really.  All Gil has to do is tell Beardo why he kicked Bobby Robby off the team and the Star runs an exposé, the billboards cease billboarding and Howry finds himself in a place – either real or metaphorical – that will make the MILFORD RECREATION CENTER seem like Cameron Indoor Stadium.  This could all be done in less than two weeks’ worth of strips, which makes the lack of a parallel Lady Mudlarks story arc all the more absurd. Oh, wait, we’ll still have to have a look-in on kettlehead Filion, whose fragile psyche will be even more damaged by Bobby Robby’s billboard campaign.  This will lead to a Thorp-on-Howry confrontation wherein Gil reminds Bobby Robby that he’s hurt one kid before and won’t be allowed to hurt any more.

Still, that’s just one, maybe two strips total.  If we’re not getting a girls’ hoops plot this winter, no reason baseball season shouldn’t start on time.

 

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