This Week in Milford

September 14, 2022

More Pronoun Trouble

Football season! Volleyball season!

Here we go again, but it’s not a dispute as to whether sportsball should take precedence over non-sportsball extracurriculars but the modern problem of remembering what pronouns people choose to identify themselves. Today, Toby née Tabatha identifies as he/him, Keri identifies as they/them, and Gil identifies as coach/Coach.

Now why are these three having this little confab at The Bucket of all places? (And why are they having coffee? Don’t they know there’s a cantina in town for that?) Are they here to pick up them after their postgame dinner? Are they serving as their chaperones for said dinner? Is it time for a jangle-off as Mel and Mimi see who can rattle their jewelry the loudest? Winner gets Gil – if she wants him, that is.

The unspoken tension here is so thick you could cut it with a butter knife, not unlike the one Mimi’s twisting into Mel as she deadnames Toby. Clearly she hasn’t forgotten that Mel wanted to be her at one time. Meanwhile Gil, still aware of that history and that Mimi is unhappy in the marriage, tries to play the supportive husband by throwing out a patronizing “sweetie.” Will Mimi have the divorce papers served publicly to Gil right here in The Bucket, the way Jason Sudeikis had Olivia Wilde served with custody papers while she was presenting at CinemaCon?

One thing is clear: despite Mel’s claim, in Milford, nothing is the same as it was.

edit: Oops! I forgot to identify the players from the Dolphins’ No-name Defense I posted this past Saturday!

Front, reclining: Lloyd Mumphord, CB

Front row, left to right: Bob Matheson, LB; Bill Stanfill, DE; Bob Heinz, DT; Manny Fernandez, DT; Vern Den Herder, DE

Center: Nick Buoniconti, LB

Back row, left to right: Dick Anderson, SS; Curtis Johnson, CB; Mike Kolen, LB; Doug Swift, LB; Tim Foley, CB; Jake Scott, FS

August 21, 2022

A Pinewood Derby

We’ve got some connecting of dots to do today – or, at least, a timeline to string together.

If the events of today’s post# are current, how long ago were Mimi and the kids in Cancun at Mimi’s mom’s place that is conveniently close to a beach? How long was Gil at the Pinewood Summer Camp? Has Gil ever been to the Pinewood Summer Camp before? (How far back do I have to go to find records of the Pinewood Summer Camp? I searched this blog and found none.)

Perhaps more importantly, how long in advance did Gil know about the Coach of the Year award ceremony, and whether or not he was going to win it? Has Gil just been going to these things without knowing who would win? If that’s true then, if he knew about Mimi’s plan to travel to her mother’s, he could’ve sent someone to accept his award in his place. Kaz, for instance.

If Gil didn’t know about Mimi’s plans, why then would he ask her about leaving without saying anything about the trip?## Did Mimi not tell him about them, or did she tell him and he (conveniently or otherwise) not remember that she told him? Which one of them is Paul Newman and which Strother Martin in this scenario?

Perhaps most importantly, how long has Mimi’s mother been ill such that she made these plans? Has she recently fallen ill, or has she been chronically ill?

Too many questions and too few answers. In this new take on the Thorpiverse, we’re gonna have to forget about the easy putts and focus on the long game.

# I originally wrote this post yesterday but forgot to publish it after Rob’s. Mea culpa once again.

## Nice dunk on Marty by Mimi yesterday, BTW.

August 10, 2022

Urban Thorp

Today it’s all flashback as Luke Martinez y Hernnandez spins his tale for Marty’s “podcast,” painting Gil as the Valley’s version of Urban Meyer.

To hear old Hairy Hand Luke tell it, he was quietly minding his own business, admiring his reflection in the carefully polished bar top and nursing his glass of 2% milk while he waited for Bethany the barkeep to pour him another. But where was Bethany? Leaping across the bar to get up in Gil’s grill – and Gil didn’t turn away! (The artwork doesn’t quite match the dialog, Chief.)

There’s a grain of truth in observing that Bethany might have a thing for Gil, but it wouldn’t have been easy for Knuckles there to pick up on it as much as he was running his mouth. If Marty lets this hit the podosphere, this might boil down to a he-said, she-said, with Gil flying Bethany in to cast the tiebreaker.

Marty sounds downright incredulous in response – which does not sound like Marty Moon at all! Kinda reinforces the notion that Gil and Marty have a Ralph and Sam-style working relationship. Looking forward to seeing Gil leave his doghouse for a round of Johnnie Walkers with Marty at Barney’s before this arc is through.

Special Guest Cameo: The role of Gil in P3 is being played by Bob Crane.

July 22, 2022

On with the (no) show!

We finally get to the end of the long presentation which culminates in Gil accepting Coach of the year honors for…. what? Conference? Region? State? Hey, they were going to state after the big win on the cold winters night, and Lord knows how cold it would be for the next game or 3. The suspension of reality meter is still off the charts even with a new writer.

I guess Emmitt Tays was an all-time Milford player, but I’d bet my house that there’s not a peep of him in the archives. Good thing he caught that ball at the end of the game or he’d be forgotten about as soon as the lights went out. Who remembers the losers? Well, the Buffalo Bills are an exception.

Legendary, Gil?? I followed my high school team for years after I graduated, and a handful of them made the NFL, but there’s not a one I would call legendary. 1 of em even intercepted a pass in the Super Bowl, and if you walked down the street and asked people who he was, you’d get blank stares. So I have a hard time saying any high school player is legendary. Legendary means EVERYONE KNOWS WHO HE IS.

Babe Ruth was legendary. Jim Brown. Johnny Unitas. Hell, Joe Namath was very average but he won 1 game that made him legendary. So be it.

And P3? Every other table I ever saw with name tags had individual names at each place setting. Not “… Family” Pretty shocking that even Mimi couldnt take the time for this, but the time reference is so vague we dont even know if he’s married or has kids yet. But anyway its very strange to see a vacant table where your own family should be.

So so far this new guy has been nothing short of weird. Old memories, winter football, more bad graphics; we still have no sniff of any writing talent yet. Maybe next week will be that golf story I’ve been waiting for.

If not, there’s always lemonade with Mimi. In the present.

July 20, 2022

Are these guys all gonna go join John Pascoe at State?

A little over a week in and Barajas has run out of dialogue? Five straight panels of nothin’ but action? How are we supposed to respond to this?

I suppose by nitpicking the artwork to begin with. It’s an “unforgiving Milford night” that looks like daytime. That’s another one that’s on Whigham and/or the colorists. Ditto with the Milford and Oakwood uniforms. As I’ve often railed on in the past, color-on-color games are rare at any level with only a few exceptions. Finally, if this is a flashback, when did this game occur? (I think a call to TWIM SID billytheskink may be in order.) Did Milford’s uniforms canonically look like that that season? Take a look at these examples from the Berrill and McLaughlin eras – or, heck, from the earlier Rubin & Whigham era. Canon is important in the Thorpiverse, except when the matter of the Thorp kids comes up.

The next thing to nitpick is the lingo. “It’s good!” usually refers to a kick attempt for a field goal or PAT, not a touchdown. Since the Mudlarks were down by six, presumably Tays’ TD catch tied the score and it was the point after kick that was good. But what’s this “State” thing? It’s “playdowns” around the Valley and don’t you fergit it!

Call it whatever you will, we come away from today’s strip knowing that Milford made the football postseason in whatever season this represents. Why does Gil look so pissy, then? Is it because the player behind him has started bonking him on the head, or is it his typical response when he figures out he’s gonna have to do more coaching that he thought would be necessary during a season?

July 15, 2022

Old days, good times I remember…

I dunno what to make of the new writer so far; I know its a small sample size but… we havent done a thing to advance the plot again; all we’re doing is reviewing some old stories ex-players are telling to prove what a great coach Gil Thorp is, when the reality is he’s pretty much sucked eggs since most of us have started writing this blog. and if he thinks I’m giving him a pass he’s in for a rude awakening.

Of course they didnt have red uniforms years ago either but we wont dwell on that stuff. I suppose the writer is establishing Gils credibility as a leader of young men, so further stories have some weight from the past. I dont think any regular readers need made-up old situations that may or may not have actually occurred in the strip, and Lord knows there’s no way the writer had time to read through all the old strips available in book form or online. So he’s kinda winging it as if we dont notice nothing is happening for a week. Ha..

Anyway.. it appears the player Tays may have had some domestic issues, but, Gil, other players hit too. And we just got through a story where Gil was the last one to notice a players shortcomings, and now the writer thinks we’re gonna make a hero outa Gildo because of some old story that NOBODY can vouch for except Tays and Gil??

Not in this blog pardner. We need to see what you’ve done for me lately. Hey, a song!

April 20, 2022

Nothing Here Is Really Surprising, Is it?

When son of teenchy was young I, like most parents of young children, read bedtime stories to him. As SoT got older, the bedtime stories got more age-appropriate as well. We went through a phase where we read the books of Kate DiCamillo. Kate DiCamillo has written some outstanding children’s lit, beginning with Because of Winn-Dixie; two of her books won Newberrys (The Tale of Despereaux and Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures.) Kate DiCamillo has a distressing trope of giving her characters peculiar names (e.g., Despereaux Tilling, Edward Tulane, Peter Augustus Duchene, Louisiana Elefante) and referring to those characters only by their full names.

The last DiCamillo book we read was Flora & Ulysses. The title characters are a 10-year-old girl who looks like Terry Gross and a squirrel who becomes possessed of writing ability after being sucked into a vacuum cleaner. One of the supporting character in F&Y was William Spiver, an 11-year-old boy who is only ever referred to by his full name, William Spiver. Never William, or Willie, or Bill, or Billy, but always William Spiver. William Spiver suffers from hysterical blindness due to some never quite specified family trauma. When it comes to names, Wilson Henry is this season’s William Spiver. When it comes to visual acuity, Gregg Hamm is this season’s William Spiver.

More exposition piling on: Hamm has had problems with his eyesight for years, and has never done anything about it. Hamm is also not From Milford, so Milford’s shallow gene pool cannot be blamed for his vision (some other genetic cause or parental neglect) or credited for his talent (as Milford never grows its own).

The solution to Hamm’s problem can be found today in that other, slightly more realistic, sports comic, Tank McNamara.

July 28, 2021

What Happened to Janet?

So it’s now the
Milford Diner?
It’s no longer
Named for Janet?
‘Cause it must be
Janet’s Diner
There can’t be
one more in Milford

An old stomping
ground for Heather
Not like she
doesn’t know the place
And like a
chronic illness
there’s still
that snoop Maureen

So what’s up with
Marjie Ducey?
Does she have
the inside angle?
Did she get it
From Dale Parry?
‘Cause she didn’t
Interview her

Don’t you think
It’s kinda weird
That they’re talking
About work
When Heather has
no job offer?
It seems
so premature

“You say you
were an intern
Can you make
a cup of coffee?
See, I am
The top reporter
I’m not giving
up that title”

“So you’d better
find another role
Like selling
website ad space
You don’t see me
Coaching football players!
You should
Just stay in your lane!”

“Hey Ms. Ducey –
I mean ‘Marjie’ –
I’m not gunning
for your title
I’m just trying
to earn money
Since Coach Thorp
Ain’t payin’ bupkis

“I have covered
boring meetings
Filled with all the
Self-important
Like that blowhard
Abel Brito
I think
I get the drift”

“Well alright,
then it’s settled
You can go case
the Country Club
I’ve heard that
There’s been gambling
And it’s not
the legal kind…”

“So if you break the story…
And we publish it
Under my byline…”

“I’ll pick up the next drink tab
and you can save some dough…”

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