This Week in Milford

July 11, 2020

Ridiculousness

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Ridiculousness is an MTV show that’s kind of like a more painful version of America’s Funniest Home Videos, starring some flatbiller skateboarder type and with a panel consisting of a rapper, a guest and a woman who laughs like SpongeBob. It’s one of son of teenchy’s guilty pleasures and that’s about all I know about it.

Ridiculousness is also what these past four months have been in this strip. Today this inanity has come to an end and in the most predictable, yet contrived manner possible. I can’t hammer home hard enough how ridiculous it was for Gil not to stand up for Mike against Dr. Pearl and the school board, how even more ridiculous it was for that non-Hadley V. Baxendale lawyer to roll over and play dead without putting up any kind of fight (seriously, are there any decent lawyers in Milford?), and how most ridiculous that someone at State U. bought Gil’s story that Mike’s challenging the Mudlarks to a baseball game, assembling the Valley Modified Freakazoids! and leading them to an ass-whooping-turned-gorgefest somehow exemplified “leadership, responsibility, perseverance” and reversed The Mayor’s rejection decision. (Phew! Gotta watch my pulse rate.)

What else was ridiculous? Mike’s gal pal Phoebe not telling him to put away the butter knife as soon as she saw him whip it out. The Lady Mudlarks’ lack of pitching depth and Mimi’s one-girl rotation (not the first time we’ve seen that). The way the Lady Mudlarks fell off the radar once their lack of pitching depth was shown. The self-congratulatory catering of Gil, Kaz, Rooney and Mimi. Anna Karenina Corinna Corinna bringing softball gear to a baseball game. (BTW, we missed an opportunity to bring up the monster catcher’s mitt Paul Richards designed for Clint Courtney and Gus Triandos to use when catching knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm.)  Finally, we have the ridiculousness of Mike’s former teammates pelting him with their gloves. Hope you don’t end up with a concussion, Mayor!

So a redemptive ending for Mike Knappe via Gilberto ex machina. But what will happen to the Valley Modified Kids? Where’s Ardis Carhee’s Gil Thorp to pull his nuts out of the fire? Where’s Corinna “Don’t Call Me Karen” Karenina’s Mimi to help her overcome her authority issues? These Dead End Kids will be tossed aside and forgotten like so many cardboard cutouts of fans that will populate MLB stadiums if and when the majors resume their sham of a 60-game season in a couple of weeks. That, gentle readers, is the even bigger tragedy here – one that Neil Rubin has used to take us to this slapdash happy ending that, really, isn’t all that happy.

 

 

Tell The Coach

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Okay, just checked in with robmize this afternoon and he’s okay. Here’s Friday’s strip to lead into the grand finale.

As they say in Philly, “Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”

This, gentle readers, is peak Gil Thorp. Finishing second in the Valley? Check. Not standing up to the system, but going along to get along? Check. Pulling strings behind the scenes to help a single kid out? Check. Does the timing of all of this check out? Let’s poned that when I get today’s strip posted. In the meantime, keep an antacid handy and take in the horror that is the Mayor dry humping Gil in P2.

 

July 6, 2020

An Unofficial Loss

The big event has come to a halt. It looks like The Mayor and Gonzo (?) are reviewing the game. The big takeaway is that Hiawatha and Corina Karenna are bonding over ice cream bars. I’ll bet an ice cream bar goes down nice and easy when your standing in the heat with a chest protector strapped to you. The odds are that we’ll never hear from Hiawatha/Corina again. Their meet cute will be as much a footnote to Mudlark lore as the rest of Hiawatha’s appearances.

This postmortem tells us that the game never actually ended. Presumably, the umpire got sick of all the nonsense and walked away. Also, the infield was covered in regurgitated pizza, subs and ice cream so it was kind of a health hazard.

What wrap up would be complete without Kaz and Gil summarizing something that they didn’t participate in? It looks like Kaz is catching Gil just as he’s sliding down a freshly waxed hallway in his socks. (Good job, Steve!) Yep, everyone left happy and there were only a few minor cases of food poisoning.

July 5, 2020

Baseball, pizza, apple subs, and… Ice Cream??

As much as we all wish our colleague Teenchy a swift recovery from whatever is ailing him, the first thought that crossed my mind when I heard about his condition was.. the strip was finally so far off the tracks that it made him physically ill.

And I’m sure thats not far off for the rest of us.

How on Gods green earth is this happening? We start off with the promise of a possibly exciting matchup thats so unknown that we dream of a memorable conclusion that will have the Milfordites talking about it the rest of the summer.

What we got is…not even close. How much food can these players eat in the first place to be able to play at any level resembling competitive when its already 90 degrees or so out (Yes its summer, we knew that before the game started)? I mean, really. During a normal athletic event most players are happy enough with water or Gatorade. This is like a Thanksgiving dinner for chrissake. And these kids are supposed to play with all these carbs and calories and sweets laid out for them?

I had already mentioned the umpire and the fans– did they know what was coming? Nope. Whoever planned this foodfest has shit for brains. And thats putting it mildly.

So I wont belabor their noble efforts to keep observing the constant interruptions in their job (ump) and their free time (fans). Which in any world beside ours would lead to downright mutiny.

Thank God they didnt charge admission for this or they’d be storming the Basilica.

Wherever this storyline is headed from here, somebodys got some major explaining to do. And I cant believe they have a rational one.

Get well soon Teenchy!!

 

July 3, 2020

Wasnt this gonna be a big game?

Dont know where to start- fielding tips, batting tips, pizza breaks, an umpire who by all rights should’ve headed for the hills an hour ago, and now — a sub sandwich delivery guy??  I’ve heard of fiascos but this – tops em all. Its almost turning into a Harlem Globetrotters game, where a semblance of a basketball game turns into a charade with goofy timeouts, confetti in a water bucket, and non-competitive action.

But the difference is WE KNEW BEFOREHAND! This shambles of a game is wasting the time of the fans in the stands (where have they been for 3 days?) and of course Mr. Umpire, who has the balls of a midget. No ump worth his salt would put up with anything like this fiasco. Throw everyone out of the park and go home. Thats what a real man in blue would do. Wasting his fuckin time showing delinquents how to play baseball.. not happening, man. Gimme my 25 bucks and see ya.

Of course with the odd angle of the catcher in P2, the ump stands a good chance of getting clocked in the nuts with a well-timed fastball. But since he doesnt have any, no worries.

July 1, 2020

How Long Before the Dancing Flash Mob?

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We’re back from the pizza break. Just how did those pizzas ex machina show up? Please tell me one of the VM! kids leaned on Nick of Nick’s Pizza to get them gratis. “Nice delivery van you got there. Shame if something happened to it.” Now let’s see if any of these kids puke ’em up like the football players did with their sloppy joes last summer.

Wouldn’t this have been much more entertaining if Rubin had stuck to the old ’80s movie conceits, like in Animal House, Bachelor Party or Revenge of the Nerds? Instead we’re left to watch him trot out more random crap to pad this final week of the arc. The ump is as ready to get this over as we are; I think he heard the malls were reopening and is ready to get back to work at Foot Locker. No wonder he’s annoyed at yet another time out being called – but who’s calling it? Who the hell is this young lady stepping out to give Ardis a “quick pointer or two,” and why did she wait so long to do it? Couldn’t this have happened last week, when the Dead End Kids were practicing?

June 29, 2020

Is There A Gluten Free Option?

Filed under: actual action, baseball, Exploding Eyeball Syndrome, softball, Valley Modified — nedryerson @ 5:44 am

This little game just keeps getting weirder and weirder. Big turnout, swapping players, lending equipment and now some cool dude in a van shows up with 20 pizzas. OMG, it’s the wackiest “game” we’ve ever seen.

This will be fun for the spectators. They can watch these kids eat. (I think that’s what’s missing in spectator sports today, meal breaks for the competitors.) I hope they have some tables and chairs. Some plates and napkins would be good too. If not hey can just spread twenty pizza boxes in the infield dirt and the teams can stand around eating pizza to the delight of the crowd.

June 27, 2020

It’s Different for Girls

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As robmize and you faithful TWIMers pointed out yesterday, this turned into a farce pretty quickly. Players in jeans, an umpire in a zebra shirt, one team’s pitcher coming in to pitch for the other, and now this. Since story arcs always end on Saturdays, I was hoping for the ten-run mercy rule to be invoked today. No such luck; we’re gonna get dragged through this for at least another week.

Confession time: I have owned at one time both a baseball catcher’s mitt* and a softball catcher’s mitt. They are indeed two different creatures. I probably could’ve gotten away with using my regular fielder’s glove to catch softball and, eventually, I did, sending the softball mitt on to someone playing at a more competitive level than I.  Has it been that obvious that Lotus Cortina Anna Karenina has been catching with a softball catcher’s mitt? Click that last link and look at the ball in the pocket of her mitt. It’s proportionately large in there, innit? There was nothing to lead us to believe she wasn’t catching a baseball in that “softball trapper,” a term so loaded with innuendo I ain’t even gonna try to touch it.

 

*Two, actually. My first was an Howard Elston Elston Howard model, my second a Bob Boone.

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