This Week in Milford

August 13, 2022

Gil and Marty drinking together, mass hysteria!

Everyone who wanted to see some Milford CC action this summer, here it is – only golf is not involved! And you were expecting Luftstalag 13 after yesterday’s strip. Go grab your beverage of choice and settle in ’cause we’ve got a whole lot to unpack today.

  1. What exactly is Gil’s relationship with technology here? He takes great pride in having a flip phone but is oblivious to caller ID, which flip phones have? Okay, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s so antsy about the sitch with Mimi that he can’t be bothered to check to see who’s calling. So, then…
  2. …why can’t Gil meet with Marty while waiting for the call with Mimi? It’s not like he has to sit around Casa Thorp because, again, mobile phone and caller ID. Oh, wait. He’s not saying “Sorry, Marty. I have to stay home until I hear from Mimi,” he’s saying “Sorry, Marty. I thought you might’ve been Mimi.” How do we know this? Because…
  3. …the new writer told us as much on Gocomics this morning. I make it a point to not read the comments on Gocomics when I go there for screen grabs, mainly because I don’t want anyone else’s comments to color my take on the day’s strip. However, it was hard to avoid seeing and reading the comment from henryjbarajas* and not have it influence my take. TWIMers will also note that among his comments, he addressed the Martinez/Hernanndez snafu from earlier this week: “I messed up! It’s Martinez.” Kudos for not blaming Whigham or the colorists on that one. Maybe he’ll give guidance to them on uniform colors, too? Here’s hoping.
  4. That the writer of a daily comic strip is actively interacting with the strip’s readership speaks volumes, and in a positive way. Compare 9 Chickweed Lane and Pibgorn‘s Brooke McEldowney, who won’t even allow people to comment on the windows into his sexual kinks he passes off as comic strips. For us here at TWIM, this is big – even bigger than learning that The Real Vic Doucette was reading us. Will we be on our best behavior from now on? Nah.
  5. Back to plot analysis: Barajas isn’t doing anything to dissuade me from the notion that Gil and Marty have a Ralph/Sam working relationship. As much as Marty has slammed Gil on air over the years, is it possible that he has a shred of journalistic integrity when it comes to all things Thorp**…
  6. …or does he realize that, no matter how new or how sherrify the self-proclaimed new sheriff in town might be, that the Thorps are still the straws that stir the WDIG drink? Hearing Gil’s side of the story helps Marty cement his take that Martinez is a blowhard who likes his drink maybe a little too much. It also adds another layer to The Legend of Gil ThorpTM: Women want him, other coaches want to be him…
  7. …which makes his reveal and plea for help to Marty all the more stunning. Why the hell would Gil offer that up to Marty? Moon has always been beta male to Thorp; one only need look to the fall 2015 arc for evidence. Again, I fear this is going to lead to Gil camping out in Marty’s crate before football season is over, leading to a very Heather Burnsy conflict of interest. Unless, of course, Gil can crash at Kaz’s dojo. I’m still waiting to see what changes in character, if any, Barajas has in store for Kaz.

Well that’s about the longest post from me in ages, but there was just so much to digest today that I thought it merited my full attention. Hope it’s given you plenty to chew on. See you here with Ned on Monday.

* When I read the name “Henry J” my mind went immediately to the compact car built by Kaiser-Frazer in the early 1950s and named for the company founder, Henry J. Kaiser. This is because teenchy is old, but moreso because teenchy is kind of a gearhead. The Henry J predates me by a decade plus, but when I was growing up there was an old guy in my neighborhood who owned one. It was an old car by then and looked extremely out of place even compared to the 1950s cars and trucks still in everyday use. (One particularly sturdy Studebaker pickup truck comes to mind.) Henry Js weren’t very successful, and some of them got rebadged as Allstates and sold through Sears stores. Ponder that for a moment.

**Consider how Marty let B/Robby Howry hang himself on an open mic a la Lonesome Rhodes as an example. Chalk this one up as a point of continuity between the Rubin and Barajas regimes.

August 28, 2021

He Made Her an Offer She Could Refuse

The transformation is well under way. Heather has swapped her slightly orange-tinged hair color for Marjie’s light blonde. Now she just needs to get her ponytail lopped off and shaped into a bob and then, after a visit to Milford Opticians, no one will know the difference.

Of course Gil sees Heather’s new role as a blessing in disguise; he’ll neither have to provide her a concessions stipend nor defend to the Mudlark Booster Club his decision to put a woman on his football coaching staff. Still that doesn’t stop him from trying to hit her up for volunteer work. “Are you kidding?” Heather must be thinking. “Your pay is so bad, you not only have to teach little kids golf in the summertime, you have to go stock shelves at Target afterwards!” (Seriously, never wear a red polo shirt when shopping at Target.)

Thankfully we can put this dud of a summer plot behind us – a plot that, except for the writing out of Marjie Ducey, was as boring and predictable as the high-five from Gil that Heather can return with her eyes closed.

What a poor sendoff for Marjie, huh? I’m gonna rectify that in a separate post.

August 21, 2021

I Love Ducey

Now’s the time all America waits for; that one evening each week where we all sit down to watch the latest hijinks from America’s favorite wacky redhead sports reporter. Wacky… redhead… sports… reporter…

Wait, what?

Okay, Whigham, start ‘splainin’.* As for the rest of you gentle readers, why do you suppose Marjie’s a redhead today?

  1. She noticed John Jawor had dyed his hair yesterday and didn’t want him to feel self-conscious so she dyed hers in solidarity.
  2. She’s going to cosplay as Velma Dinkley at Central City Comic-Con this coming weekend.
  3. The Milford Star has a one-blonde-per-staff quota and since Heather Burns has all but gone through new hire orientation, Marjie got the hint that she’s old news.

You know, maybe it is time for new blood at the Star. When your sports reporter starts writing on her laptop screen with a ballpoint pen, you gotta think she might no longer be the sharpest knife in the drawer. When all she can do is regurgitate the lists of player names Gil spouts to her, someone who knows how to use the Google is at the next level. When she dares contradict the all-powerful Gil Thorp when he wants to publicly shame a small-time golf hustler, she might want to polish up that résumé.

Tune in next week when Heather Burns spruces up her new desk in the Star newsroom while a mysterious redhead applies for a night shift waitressing job at Janet’s Diner. When Maureen asks, “Hey, hon, you look familiar. What’s your name?” the mysterious redhead replies “Margo. Margo Duchesne.”

*Contrary to popular belief, Desi never said to Lucy “you got some ‘splainin’ to do!”

August 18, 2021

What Is It About Industrial Solvent Sales That Leads People to a Life of Crime?

So much for Carter’s – I mean, Carson’s – stint in the Witness Protection Program. Little Miss Investigative Reporter Wannabe has joined the MCC (why else would she be wearing the same colored polo shirt as everyone else? Maybe it’s a Bemidji State polo shirt), thrown on no fewer than six of her extra jangly bracelets and blown his cover. Time for him to hit the road, create another alias and sell stolen golf shoes from the trunk of his car.

It’s been a long day at work (meta) and it’s not over yet so yhs is firing off a late post. I could spend the rest of the evening trying to analyze this so it makes some kind of logical sense but why try? Rubin is throwing exposition left and right to make this golf cheat – clearly the lowest form of humanity in the Thorpiverse – look like even more of a criminal. The Milford Country Club is not a court of competent jurisdiction but here it carries more weight than the Supremes. Do we even have to point out that being charged with a crime isn’t the same thing as being convicted of it? By the end of the week Carson/ter will have been found to be behind the art heist from the Gardner Museum and the ammonium nitrate explosion in Beirut.

How did Hendry/ricks get younger looking from P1 to P3? Is he going to de-age with each accusation until he turns into a fetus, or was he really this age to begin with? Come to think of it, couldn’t these photos of him online have been deepfaked? We know Google exists in the Valley so the “1959 with cell phones” excuse can’t last for much longer.

Really, instead of looking all deer-in-the-headlights and throwing up the jazz hands, all he had to do was stonewall, call Heather’s little screen grabs “fake news” and he’d have been in the clear. After all, if you repeat a lie often enough, doesn’t it become the truth? Tens of millions would agree.

August 14, 2021

One Short of a Foursome Again

At Casa Thorp, Gil quickly moves from leaning in behind Heather Burns before Mimi comes back into the living room delivering three Red Bull and vodkas. That ain’t all she’s delivering: with that crop top along with the less formal sweatpants with built-in camel toe, she’s bringing the fan service in on that same silver platter.

Before Heather loosens up and gets ready for this threesome, she has to drop the bombshell from the last threesome she had with Gil: that there was no such person as Carter Hendricks until two years ago. Before then, he was known as Jami Thorp Rupert Hall. No, he’ll end being someone else – Henry Carter or some such – who played for Boise Bridgewater Bemidji Ball State in his color-shifting rain jacket.

Now that that’s settled, can we wrap this up and give Heather her Milford Star by day, Milford Mudlark by night dual life ASAP? NFL preseason got fully under way tonight and so will high school football in a lot of places over the next couple of weeks.

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?

August 9, 2021

There’s No Ladder Out Of Milford

Filed under: Gil Thorp, Heather Burns, Milford CC — nedryerson @ 3:33 am

We’re talking about the prospects of Heather Burns building a career coaching football. Crusty ol’ Gil Thorp, who has been coaching high school sports in Milford since the 1950’s, is mansplaining the opportunities for and probabilities of such a careeer.

Of course, Gil. Opportunities exist but are not plentiful. One would have to make opportunities, and take what’s available where it’s most likely to be visible and network and all that jazz. Maybe at a NCAA division 1 program, where Heather just came from. That would make sense, but Gil wouldn’t know. People come to Milford for irrational reasons and if they can help ol’ Gil out with free coaching or country club spying, that’s a win for him.

Get out of Milford, Heather. Go back to Iowa where you already had a foot in the door. Apply to graduate school. Get out now, Heather. You don’t want that hospital P.R. job. Trust Ned on this one.

August 7, 2021

The Facepalm Is Mutual, Gil

As robmize pointed out yesterday, after this past week’s strips the summer plot has as many holes as the swing of one of those kid golfers Gil teaches at the MCC. Shirt colors change, golf carts appear and disappear, and Gil finally remembers that Heather called him before the round with Carter and not the other way around. Gil also remembers that he’s married after glimpsing that giant wedding band on his giant paw, so it’s not just his shirt that quickly turns blue. Still doesn’t stop him from asking Heather if she wants it in P3 (you know what they say, big hands, tiny wristwatch)…

Oh, wait: it’s not Gil Heather wants, it’s a paying job with benefits – and not the kind that Gil’s offering her as a Milford High assistant football coach. Until now her only lead had been with the Milford Star and it would seem Marjie’s boss has been dragging his feet with a job offer. Now Heather’s got a shot at a hospital PR job. Which of the the three offers her more of a future? Newspaper journalism is in its death throes and we can estimate how many female high school football coaches there are in the country. Hospitals are always gonna need somebody to put a positive spin on the lack of open beds, the high cost of procedures, and the latest MRSA outbreak, so it’s not like that’s ever gonna go away.

All Heather needs is Gil’s confirmation that she has about as much of a future coaching football as she did playing soccer and she’ll be out of Milford quicker than you can say “Monmouth.” Sending Heather to Central City gets her out of Gil’s hair, lets Marjie maintain job security, and keeps Rubin from having to remember backstories and developing consistent character traits for her in the future.

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