This Week in Milford

October 16, 2019

metapost: Once In a Lifetime

Filed under: baseball, metapost — teenchy @ 8:43 pm

Last night I got to witness firsthand something that has occurred with less frequency than the appearance of Halley’s Comet*: a baseball team that calls Washington, DC its home winning a pennant. Hopefully it won’t take eighty-six years for it to happen again.

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It was a late night in the District where I once lived, and an early train ride home. Thanks tdrew and timbuys for covering for me today.

 

*Okay, maybe not. Halley’s reappears every 75-76 years; Washington won back-to-back pennants in 1924-5 then went just seven seasons before its third and final pennant.

May 15, 2019

If Everybody’s TCFS, Then Nobody’s TCFS

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Gentle Reader: I don’t know what the weather’s been like where you live but here at yhs’ desk it has, until an hour or so ago, been raining almost non-stop since Saturday night. These conditions are often conducive to seeing rainbows. If you’re like me, when you see a rainbow your eyes travel its length, and you try to mentally fill in any gaps in the rainbow to figure out where it begins or ends.

That’s what I’m trying to do with David Walter’s “bloop” single today, which looks to me like it may have been launched from somewhere between the pitcher’s mound and home plate. Of course he may not have hit the ball squarely, putting some kind of spin on it. Anyway I look at it, it looks less like a bloop to me than a misjudged pop-up. Overanalyzing the one panel of baseball action we’ve seen in weeks has entertained me more than putting any thought into analyzing the TCFS phenomenon, which rears its head yet again in today’s last panel.

Linda, who is emphatically not wearing a TC button, is about to confront Nancy about said buttons. Nancy, who is emphatically aware that Linda has not been given a TC button, is about to make an awkward conversation even more awkward. I have no inclination to predict what may happen next but if the recent past is prologue, expect TCFS to be uttered at least once per strip.

April 8, 2019

Yada Yada Yada…You Gonna Finish Those?

Filed under: actual action, baseball, freak hands, google nonsense, huge earrings, The Bucket — nedryerson @ 3:35 am

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The results of the Linda Carr and David Walter Convention are in. Linda is pooped. Sometimes, saying you were tired is just making an excuse for being a real B without admitting that you’ve been a real B. (Why do I hesitate to refer to a fictional teenage girl as a bitch? How about a shrew? Whatevs.)

Linda is tired. Too many activities, too much homework and those loads of carbs from the Bucket will do that to you. Wow, look at the meaty cleft of her palm. Her chin just sinks in there! Does she even need a glove at short?

What was I saying? Oh, yeah. Carbs. The Bucket has them and David Walter, put upon boyfriend will put them away. He runs on carbs. They fire him up!

…and we’re off. Game action. Boys first, naturally. Jay Bhatia has become the opening day starter? He has achieved the goal he set last year. Also, he must have gotten contacts.

What’s this? The Burke Bulldogs are from Charleston, South Carolina, the “Final Destination” of the mysterious Mr. Bakst? Circles in circles, wheels in wheels.

Be sure to try the tasty burgers at SLOPS. SLOPS, our beef will make you see stars.

 

March 26, 2019

“The Sopranos? I Thought They Were The Chiffons.”

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Where are we GOING with this??????????

I’m tempted to do another chorus of Zappa’s “Valley Girl” but I didn’t want to pull a Gil and beat a dead Marty or Principal Ek, since the latter’s already dead and anyway I get a sneakin’ suspicion that that wouldn’t do justice to what’s going on at the present moment.

And to add insult injury, we are flip-flopping between Milford’s school cafeteria and Barney’s Pub and Morrison’s Cafeteria or Milford Bowling Lanes Bar ‘n’ Grill or some generic upscale eatery that Gil and Mimi have chosen to air out their grievances concerning High School Athletic Association protocol. It doesn’t do justice to work these issues of Scrimmaging Procedures within the convenience of their own offices, naw, we gotta talk about lining up the umpires and settling any contract dispute (“I can make more umpiring Dagwood’s company team and they suspend a guy 2 games plus he gets his pay docked an hour by Mr. Dithers if he gets ejected.”) while Freddy Mercury is serving them Steak Flambe Au Jus avec Mashed Potatoes ‘n’ Gravy (blanche, bien sur) and Collard Greens.

BTW, how can I tell it’s the cafeteria in P1? The cafeteria lady, should we broaden the scope and get a panoramic view would likely not be in her Jordache jeans based upon her upper wear. Looks like classic white linen only a Mudlark Cafetria Lady could appreciate and subsequently don. Our high school cafeteria ladies didn’t dare wear this haute cuisine of the school cafeteria world. Linens made by starving children in China in a sweatshop somewhere in the slums of Shanghai have heightened theimage that is the Mudlark Ccafeteria Lady. Dr. Pearl will not wear this at the Principal’s Convention in Seattle. Ms. Rizk doesn’t type sleazy stories about Marty and Peaches at Mudlark Lake in those linens. And it’s hard for me to imagine Miss Cafetreia Lady for the Gil Moment at Milford Natural Area hunting bison with Shaw and Gil. No way does she ladle Hormel Sauerbraten Hash that are in all the compartments in the cafeteria line (the 14,000 bowls of chipped Jello is probably one compartment over) while wearing Alice Kramden attire. And did you ever see Freddy Mercury in those linens shoulder a full tray of dinner plates ready to be laid down at a random table at Barney’s, the majority of the plates SPAM????????? (Hey, it’s hash in reverse) ????????????

“Enjoy your Kartoffelsalat mit Huhn Gebackt und Brotchen, ganz Vollstandig mit Mosellewein with a side order of Spam and Dorito’s Cool Ranch.”

As the horse on Ren and Stimpy would say “Nope, I don’t think I like Spam.”

 

Giving a shout-out to Bethany Bennett of Louisville, Kentucky. Though she uses a walker, you hardly notice because she’s a real go-getter. She gets up EARLY to go to work and always does so with a smile. She represents America by her her hard work and determination and her decision not to let setbacks get her down. Gang, we need more people like her. I always offer to help her get in her place of employment but she always refuses and gets in by herself, and then some. I salute you, Bethany. Give her respect, Gang. She’s earned it.

 

Then the word “family” intrigues me. Oh, brother. I really don’t want to go into Mammoth Cave but I’m bringing a flashlight if Gil is twisting my arm. Researching the word “family” while looking at cave drawings with a lantern filled with Matchlite fluid is as exciting as watching Luhm’s wax dry on the Mudlark basketball floor. Trying to sift through the plot like you were sifting through the channels of the cave with no light source being like trying to decipher Gilplots is bad enough but I’m packing plenty of Eveready batteries. And plenty of Bucket Fries. It’s a cave, the gas won’t escape, trust me.

Munching on my Bucket Livercheeseburger, I started asking myself (I’m in  a cave, remember?) , what ELSE could be going on? What would pique people’s interest while they’re plunging in the buffet table at Barney’s, discussing the Cubs’ chances for a repeat this year, or while the baseball team is spending another useless moment in the dugout, par for the course in the world of Thorpiverse in ANY sport,  before waiting their turn to practice hitting off the machine (after we’d seen Meadowlark twirl the baseball a couple of weeks ago) and then head to Rome where one of the Hardy Boys is sitting in the mezzanine level of the Colosseum, all 3 panels in different locations with one thing in common: The hot topic concerning the 3 girls whose reason for not being able to make scrimmage was non-athletic in scope. You want some more hash? Looks like the hippie lady in the background is ready to shovel it on her tray.

Then it hit me. It’s The Chiffons. Or The New Chiffons. Back for another Comeback Tour after 50+ years of singing and performing, they couldn’t make the scrimmage because they couldn’t back out of their contract. What happens when Mimi gets desperate and gives basketball the shaft, people drop out due to lack of activity. Then you start groping for players and going after the first one in the hallway. The Chiffons were stopping in Milford to ask Luhm for directions to the New Thayer Amphitheatre. Next thing you know, they’re shagging balls for Mimi. They might not get thrown to the lions, even if it is the Colosseum, but can’t blame ’em for avoiding a  nasty lawsuit over breach of contract. Mimi, you not only should plan ahead next time but you really shouldn’t impede nostalgia. They got a juke box at Barney’s don’t they? “He’s So Fine” one of the selections???? No Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 5”? Case closed.

 

Now allow me a little backdrop. The record company for The Chiffons sued George Harrison of the Beatles because it argued that “My Sweet Lord” sounded too similar to “He’s So Fine”. Now, in fairness, Led Zeppelin were guilty in the first degree, “Whole Lotta Love” and “When The Levee Breaks” having been performed several decades in the past as Blues standards. Quite a few Blues musicians got a generous out-of-court settlement from the group.

But The Beatles were notorious for writing their own material. Even Ringo, not a songwriter by any stretch of the imagination, weighed in with some key contributions. And The Beatles sued ANYBODY for stealing their songs. BUT they were very generous in helping a group get started in their musical career by giving them a song. “A World Without Love” by Peter and Gordon and “Come and Get It” by Badfinger come to mind.

That in mind, they made an out-of-court settlement where George agreed to pay a certain amount and the record company representing The Chiffons agreed to let George keep playing “My Sweet Lord.” Personally opining that George or any other Beatle would NEVER plagiarize another group, I reluctantly would agree.

 

So with that in mind, Joe Friday and Bill Gannon have come to sort this out.

This is the city. Milford, USA. It has plenty of stores, schools, houses, and parks. Plenty to do in Milford. All legal. But when some truant runs afoul of the law, that’s where we come in. My name’s Friday. I carry a badge.

10:22AM. It was Tuesday in Milford. It was cold and crisp. The weatherman predicted warmer temperatures by the end of the week. We were working the International and Domestic Copyright Infringement detail. The boss is Captain Andrews.

We were transferred to Rome, Italy because there were unconfirmed reports of illegal recording and wiretapping of another man’s music, allegedly by a Milford connection. Captain Andrews handed us our flight tickets out of Milford International Airport and we were on our way across the pond.

1:45PM. We arrived in Rome and got to the Marriott di Roma ASAP. I had jet lag something fierce and Gannon ate too much airplane chicken and upchucked for 2 hours in the hotel room toilet. We didn’t call room service for 5 hours until the stench died.

7:48PM. We got in our rental car from Alamo and headed to The Colosseum. We had sent a SWAT team last week to bust an illegal lion trafficking operation, thinking the bad seed had left the building like Elvis. Elvis sounded horrible singing “Suspicious Minds” while the Christians were getting thrown to the carnivores and it had to stop. But while Elvis continued his tour in Baton Rouge, the bad seed was still in the ground.

We had to be careful. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. The New Chiffons were using The Colsseum to secretly record George Harrison’s records. Nothing was sacred. “All Things Must Pass.” “Cloud Nine.” “Somewhere in England.” You name it, they were putting it on platinum. We could have busted them right then and there for singing “Octupus’s Garden” but that was Ringo’s song. The tear gas would have to wait. We had to move fast, but slow.

9:12PM. We didn’t want the Romans and the rest of the Senate to suspect we were cops. Seneca and Cicero would tip off the 3 girls that Friday and Gannon were back in town, even if that town wasn’t built in a day. And they weren’t kidding. Just try asking a cabbie, using your Fodor’s Italian in 10 Days, Give or Take 24 Hours, for directions from Alamo to the Colosseum without having to pay toll across the Tiber.

So we scooted over to Burger King for a Whopper and Martini & Rossi. We weren’t supposed to drink on the job but you didn’t drink the water. Tasted like Lassie piss. Later, we’d sample the Thai Veggie Stir Fry Pan Pizza at Noble Roman’s which was located across the street from Vatican City. We didn’t want to blow our cover.

“Hey, Joe!!!!!!!!! Hey, Bill!!!!!!!!!”

Trouble was already in our rear-view mirror.

“Awright, punk, how’d you manage to swim across the ocean? Don’t you boys have homework?”

“My lab’s completed and not due ’til Friday and my 3-page essay on John Jay for American History has already been turned in.”

“And my Geometry class problems are completed and I got an ‘A’ for constructing the Bridge of Sighs without a compass and straightedge.”

“That’s in Venezia, you losers!!!!!!!!!! Now come clean or I’ll kick your ass straight over the Adriatic!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Those girls ARE recording Harrison’s music. We slipped security a 20 and got an earful. Man, the dude’s heavy with his religion. Should’ve heard “This is Love”. “When we use the power provided, free to everyone-”

“Cut the concert and get tot the point!!!!!!!!!!! You sound like Slim Whitman!!!!!!!!!!”

“Once they’re done cutting the record, they send it to a factory within St. Peter’s Basilica. While the Pope is holding Mass, “All Those Years Ago” and “Crackerbox Palace” are mass-produced, pardon the pun-”

Gannon steps in, keeping Friday from hitting one of the Hardy Boys with a wine bottle

“Okay, son, enough comedy. So what happened?”

“Then they ship them to places like Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore where there’s some catacombs. They wait until there’s rioting in the streets after another Papal decree, then they make their move to smuggle them to a United Airlines plane and stack ’em in the luggage portion of the plane.”

“How the Hell do they get past the Customs at the Aeroporto di Roma!!!!!!!!!! You’re gonna tell me they lug crates of records up a chute next to someone’s Samsonite of Hanes and sport coats!!!!!!!!!!”

“Simple. Some of the Customs officials are Chiffon and Beatles fans. Plenty of cash supplied from a Swiss bank account in Geneve and the crates are put on a C-130 next to arms Oliver North smuggled to Nicaragua. Just inventory to the Logistics lieutenant.”

“I vote Republican, jackass!!!!!!!!! Watch your mouth!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“The rest they store in the Papal Archbasilica di St. John Lateran. “When We Was Fab” next to a saint buried in a vault below the sanctuary is the last place la polizia would look.”

“I don’t want any advice on how a police officer, Italian or American, should conduct their investigation!!!!!!!! Now scram!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Oh, and you dropped your copy of the rental contract with Alamo. Better be careful, they might smuggle that and “From Behind That Locked Door”.

“GET A HAIRCUT AND GET OUT OF TOWN!!!!!!!!!!!” I’ll run you in on Milford Penal Code Article 364, Section 45, Clause 58 “Intent to Impede an Officer While Conducting International Affairs in the Line of Duty!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“You heard the man, boys. Smuggle your locks and at least get to Paris. You can miss a day of school before we nail you for truancy. BTW, how are you going to get back?”

“You never find out. Thorpiverse just zaps us there and we’re there. Kinda how Friday gets his own haircut at Milford Style Shop.”

Friday pulls out his Sig Sauer but the Hardy Boys are already zapped to Greenland.

 

A shout-out to Belinda Hawkins of Louisville, Kentucky for her courageous stance against bullying concerning her grandson, Jose. She is going to home-school him and do it her way. She worked several years in convenience stores, many of those years as an assistant manager. She KNOWS the meaning of work and can instill that into Jose. The reality is, schools are going through trying times but Belinda is leading the charge in doing something about it. Way to take the initiative, Belinda. You have my blessing to work with Jose. Never give up. You both are too smart for that. You represent America.

 

All righty then. Let’s get out of Rome and approach it from another angle. I’m thinking they indeed have a contract, but a much graver one, i.e., The Sopranos. I know Gil should step down as coach but do The Sopranos have to leave New Jersey, let alone involve 3 girls, to make their point? Why drag them into this, not to say they couldn’t flash a weapon (see “Prizzi’s Honor”) ? As macho as they were, it was hard for me to fathom  getting mixed up with the female Harlem Globetrotters.

Put in perspective. Anyone remember when Doonesbury went caustic on Frank Sinatra??? Don’t get me wrong, I love Frankie with my life but those comics of him at the gambling tables were a riot (“That’s DOCTOR Sinatra to you, Chiffons!!!!!!!!!”) . And his mob dealings were painfully obvious.

And remember Doonesbury showing Frankie posing with mafiosos in a photograph,  many of them part of a family??? The Gambinos, I’m thinkin’ but God knows. Anyway, let’s try squeezing those 3 girls  in the picture, in fact why not have them pose to the left and right of Frankie. What better way to show loyalty and respect (the mafia, remember) if P1 is going to harp on family matters? If it’s that clandestine, it’s hard for me to think they’re talking about The Brady Bunch

“Here’s the story

Of Lou Gambino

…the  lower left in curls.”

 

Besides, I don’t think the other mafiosos in the picture would mind 3 girls from Milford (family matters, right?) displaying their pearly whites along with these rough-hewns. As long as these 3 girls aren’t Corleones, of course.

For that matter, I wouldn’t be surprised if that photo got taken in the gym after practice. Perhaps Mimi doesn’t mind these thugs observing practice as long as the 3-point-circle doesn’t get dynamited.  Ehhhhhh, better not go that far. Especially when they didn’t play basketball. It was just IM’s But they still took the picture. And we got a credible explanation why there was no basketball. Priceless.

“Sonny, I thought I told you to dynamite the boys gym. I ain’t fightin’ the Gambinos in the bleachers. I’m too old for that.”

“Sorry, dad. We wired Gil’s office. The Gambinos won’t come around as long as there’s no leadership.”

“You do me honor, my son. Now order me some Bucket Linguini.”

 

Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Emerson, Lake, and Palmer Estate Sues The Chiffons Over Copyright Infringement To ‘Pictures at an Exhibition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'”

sub headline

“Estate points out that ‘Sweet Talkin’ Guy’ sounds similar to ‘The Hut of Baba Yaga.'”

 

Today’s Women’s History Month entry is Marie Curie. Polish by birth, she eventually moved to Paris, partly to escape persecution, partly to encounter better opportunity. She became a professor while there and in the process discovered polonium and radium, 2 elements off the Periodic Table. Her brilliant mind and constant search for the truth through diligent research earned her the distinction of being the first person to earn a Nobel Prize in 2 different fields, Chemistry and Physics. She also fell in love with and married her lab partner, Pierre Curie, for which they enjoyed a health and productive relationship. Please join me in saluting a woman who coined the term ‘radioactivity’ and made great strides to this world by leaving iot a better place through her work.

 

Comment way, Gang. I think it’s safe that they’re not The Chiffons or that they’re not at The Colosseum in P3 with a contract out on Gil. But I’ve been wrong before.

 

11:23PM. We made our move.

“…forgetting all we have, isn’t it a pity…”

SSSSSSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

Cough, cough,

“Don’t shoot!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t shoot!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“All right, Gannon, read them their rights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Can we include the Dragnet theme on ‘Living in the Material World?'”

“You can make all the records you want where you’re going!!!!!!!!!!! Papa Bader makes plenty of ‘Abbey Road!!!!!!!!!!”

 

The Horse at The Bucket eating Bucket Fries.

“Nope, too salty. Gil sprayed ‘Afro-Sheen’ all over them. Don’t think I like ’em.”

March 16, 2019

In Kaz We Trust, kinda

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Don’t look now, y’all, but I think Rollen Stewart has broken out of jail!  He left his sign next to Kaz and David Walter and is on the lam.

Between the close talking, face and shoulder touching and Kaz’s uncomfortable leer, I’d say Kaz and Gil have been noticing David pretty hard so far.  Let’s hope it’s only ground balls that hit him in the face.

Today’s strip doesn’t advance the plot much, but it does raise the possibility that we finally get a scrappy athlete who’s not a complete self-absorbed douchebag.  Is that too much to hope for?

July 28, 2018

Shoot Low, Boys – They’re Ridin’ Shetland Ponies

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Quick show of hands: How many of you had to read A Separate Peace in high school? Anyone?  (Son of teenchy had to read it this past school year.)  Do you remember the scene where Finny breaks the Devon School swimming record for the 100-yard freestyle set by A. Hopkins Parker in the sole presence of Gene, then doesn’t want anyone else to know he did?  Pure of spirit, Finny wanted to break the record for its own sake, for the internal sense of satisfaction it gave him, not for any accolades that may have come his way as a result of doing so.

Kevin Pelwecki is no Finny.

Pelwecki’s sole motive in modifying his launch angle was not to try to help his team or, for that matter, to make a serious effort toward advancing his baseball career or using it as a means to help pay for his post-secondary education.  He did it to call just enough attention to himself that he could put on a false modesty act when it became apparent that this particular talent was not going to help him after Milford High.  (Wonder if he ever went to the prom?) He couldn’t even be bothered to remember the name of the guy whose record he was attempting to break (somewhere, Art Shamsky fumes that Rubin didn’t namedrop him throughout this mess).  With today’s strip – for that matter, with any of the strips involving his efforts to become a quarterback or fullback – Pelwecki cements himself in the pantheon of self-promoting attention whores Rubin seems to think every high schooler has to be in the age of social media.  He has his Uncle Rico moment; now he can walk off like so many have done at the end of a Gil Thorp arc that I’m not even gonna try to link to them all.  (Do note the similarity to the end of the spring/summer 2016 arc, with Pelwecki in the Barry Bader role and Gil in the True Standish role).

Finally, on July 28, this slog of a spring arc is over.  Let us speak no more of Pelwecki, or Dafne Dafonte, or Barry Bader – that is, until we try to reference them in a flimsy attempt to maintain continuity, like so many Joe Sharkeys.

(apologies Lewis Grizzard for the post title)

July 27, 2018

What a long strange trip its been

Tieing up all the loose ends here on Feel Good Friday–

Panel One – How big is that mitt? Bigger then the players heads. Ryan must have gone to the Mens Big and Tall store for that. You catch a ball in that, it’ll be next week before you get it out. Jon Lester threw his glove one time because of that problem. Whatever it takes..

Panel Two– Nice of Gil to qualify Kevins season instead of just congratulating him and being done with it. Whats a great season when it takes 2 months longer then everyone elses?? This season made the Bataan Death March look like a drive through a car wash.  And the obligatory hands in the air for no reason – yippee, our seasons finally over and we can move on to summer on July Twenty Seventh!

And in Panel Three Kevin assesses his season. At a school as old as Milford, who there now gives a flying fuck about the guys there 30 years ago? Or even 10? High school records are about as big a deal to current players as an ant on their windshield. And Kevin makes a revealing statement –  -its his last season of Real baseball..? So next year he will play either Unreal Baseball, or .. wait for it.. football?  As long as its somewhere not affiliated with this strip.

 

July 26, 2018

Spare Us The Capper

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The “pregame message” from Barry Bader made everything just hunky-dory, and so the silent treatment is just temporary and all his teammates are cool with him. Yeah, right.

Off-model part un: Jay Bhatia has been wearing #7 (while rocking the Tyler Clippard specs) and had black hair all season long. Today’s #7 doesn’t resemble him in the least. Also, is blonde dude in the dugout executing a failed high five or a weak Tomahawk Chop?

Off-model part deux: Where did Kaz’s cap go? Did Barry blow it off his head rounding third? Or did he realize he needed to keep his Botticelli’s Venus locks flowing?

Off-model part trois: Ryan Van Auken has been dark-haired from the get-go, right up through the earlier part of this season. Did he just grab a bottle of peroxide before the game?

Speaking of Ryan, it’s been made pretty clear that he’s been a starter during his entire tenure at Milford (and the only effective one this season, kind of like Max Scherzer minus the heterochromia).  Now, in the last game of his high school career and with a sweet DII ride ahead of him, Gil’s gonna stick him in to close a game that, so far as we know, will have no bearing on Milford’s postseason hopes?  (edit: Compare this to the kid gloves Gil used on his golden boy meal ticket, True Standish.) Watch for the Hurricane to blow a UCL then, two years and a failed Tommy John surgery from now, get into a brawl with Pelwecki in vacuum cleaner repair school shop class.

Musical inspiration for post title on a Rock ‘n Roll Thursday:

metapost: I screwed up some hyperlinks this morning. Thanks for bearing with me.

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