This Week in Milford

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.

August 4, 2021

“I’d keep playing. I don’t think the heavy stuff’s going to come down for quite a while.”

It’s a day full of cliches at the MCC, but why blind pigs and acorns? Why not blind squirrels and nuts? Blind pigs and acorns make the best jamón ibérico de bellota, but with size of the bets Carter’s been making I think squirrel jerky Underwood Deviled Ham is more in line with his budget.

Meanwhile, something mysterious appears on the horizon. Funnel cloud? Vic Doucette’s grandpa van? Hendricks’ crappy shot to bluff Heather and Gil? Why not all of the above? Will this group call it quits before they get to see the true nature of the sandbag, or will they play through and tempt the wrath of higher powers?

meta: Wasn’t Local H a topic of discussion on a Rock ‘n Roll Thursday some time back? I’ve lost track of those ever since I switched from posting Thursdays to Wednesdays. In any event I just stumbled across Local H’s cover of TV On The Radio (a band I’ve really been into for the past year or so)’s “Wolf Like Me.” Sharing it here with the original to jog memories and invite comparisons.

August 2, 2021

And We’re Golfing!

Filed under: Gil Thorp, golf, Heather Burns, Milford CC — nedryerson @ 3:47 am

Gil and Heather are not wasting any time! They’re gonna play golf with Carter “Cart” Hendricks to get an up close and personal look at Cart’s technique. Does Gil routinely gamble on the golf course. I guess he’s going to have to to get the full picture. Maybe Gil’s mission is only to see how good Hendricks’ game actually is and we won’t see any gambling. We’ll find out soon enough. We’ll also see what Heather’s role is supposed to be. Maybe she’s been lying in the weeds waiting to drain both of these chumps of some cash. She’s got huge debts to pay off after all.

I wonder how long we’ll stay with this golf outing? Will it be like the golf sequence in Goldfinger? I love that sequence. If you think it’s long and boring, try reading Fleming’s novel. He describes pretty much the whole round of golf. At any rate, Gil Thorp is not James Bond. There is no tight pacing to disrupt here, so I say let’s watch some golf and really meet this plot head on. It’s your honor, sir.

July 31, 2021

Summers in Milford Are Like Deodorant

sandbagger (n.) – one who conceals abilities or assets at first in order to gain tactical advantage later.

John Jawor is back, looking like he’s dropped a few pounds since we last saw him. That’s not all he’s dropped: there’s also the heavy hint that Carter Hendricks is a sandbagger on the links at the MCC. I freely admit I’m no golfer, so I don’t know the veracity of this explanation of the origins of the term “sandbagging.” However, if one of Hendricks’ patsies gets wind of what’s been going on and breaks his thumbs, I won’t be disappointed.

The only violence we’re likely to see is the awkward crashing together of this summer’s disparate plot lines. Will Gil and Marjie hatch a secret plot to have Heather Burns go undercover as an easy mark for Hendricks in a coed scramble? I’m about as eager to find out as I am to watch the rest of baseball season.

July 21, 2021

Getting Hammered at the MCC? What Else Is New?

“How small of a stipend are we talking about, Mr. Coach Thorp?

“Remember how far I held my fingers apart earlier? That’s how small your stipend will be.”

“Seriously? I thought you were talking about your post-practice shrinkage in the showers.”

“Just for that crack, no hot dog for you. Just a drink per game.”

So between her internship at the Star and her stipend from Gildeaux, Heather’s gonna pay down those student loans. Yeah, sure. Maybe that’s where the “I’d love to have you” part comes in. (Offensive line coach at a Big Ten school? Only if she was coaching them the way Clara Bow was alleged to coach the boys at USC.) But hey, at least she’ll be making more than Steve Boone. Can any of the faithful confirm whether he ever got a raise? Will he quit once he finds out about Heather?

Back to the golf mooks. TIL Vegas is a golf betting game for foursomes that involves combining each of a pair’s scores to get a numerical value; the pair with the lower value for a hole wins money from the pair with the higher value of a certain amount per difference in stroke (see here for an example). It’s just more filler to hammer home the point that gambling’s going on at the MCC, but the fact that Hendricks is still wearing his red polo shirt might lead us to think he’s an MCC employee, in which case his betting would be either doubleplusungood or quickly swept under the turf.

July 19, 2021

Carter Presses

Filed under: Gil Thorp, golf, Heather Burns, huge earrings, Milford CC, Pointy Fingers — nedryerson @ 5:33 am

Let’s get comfortable here at Milford CC. We might be here for a while and that’s fine by me. I want to find out about Carter Hendricks. Gil seems to indicate that Hendricks has been a staple on the course since last summer, so maybe he’s not a hustler if he’s a known quantity. Also, he seems to be playing in the same foursome as before, so if he’s hustling them repeatedly, it’s kind of on them. Are the the same guys? I don’t know for sure. They are just grey silhouettes today. I guess I’m just going by one guy wearing the same hat. Plus there was a bald guy in the group in the last strip. We don’t have time to get names from these guys, so who knows.

How will Heather Burns fit in? She interviewed at the Star, so she has some journalistic ambitions. Is there a story in Carter Hendricks or maybe just a personal interest? Like, where are we going with this?

Without much else to discuss, I’ll fall back on one of my favorite inane topics, the process of coloring the strip. The first item up for dissection is the white band aid Carter Hendricks has on his finger. I can’t recall ever seeing a white band aid, at least not the standard consumer band aid for tuna can injuries to digits. But if the finger is already Caucasian flesh tone, then I guess a colorist has to make a choice on the band aid. Whigham didn’t make it a Spiderman band aid to telegraph anything exotic, so we get this “unnatural” white one.

The other coloring issue that has nagged me for the last few strips is that it seems like the coloring person or persons in their usual laziness and/or inattention to the actual story seems to think Gil and Carter Hendricks are the same person. Sure, two different characters can wear the same colored clothing. This is a sports strip, often with many characters in the same team colored gear. But, as a rule, it is probably best to differentiate different characters, especially characters with similar looks, by putting them in different color clothing. When Gil and Hendricks have been in the same strips, they’ve both been in red. The colorists don’t know what’s going on, and don’t care.

July 17, 2021

Please Let This Golf Shark Be Gil’s Long-lost Son

Filed under: Gil Thorp, golf, Heather Burns, huge earrings, Milford CC, Recycled art, talking hand — teenchy @ 11:35 am

Continuing with an idea thrown out by robmize yesterday, kids fresh out of college do not need to have their life’s trajectories neatly laid out before them the moment they’re handed their diplomas. The realities of today’s working world and the high costs of post-secondary education weigh on today’s twentysomethings like they did on few generations before them. So kudos to Rubin for painting that aspect of Heather’s character with a fairly accurate brush. Still Gil can’t help but be a tiny bit of a dick with his little dig at the many things Heather tried to do during her high school days.

Speaking of tiny dickishness: I imagine Friend of TWIM and fellow Thorp snarker Mopman is having a field day with P2 here, skipping over the Get Smart references and going straight to the crotchal area.

Today’s bombshell may be an unintentional one, however. Between the hairline and the coloring, he’s made golf shark Hendricks into a dead ringer for Gildeaux and vice versa. Okay, maybe the sideburns are a millimeter or two different but seriously, how lazy can he get? Lazy enough that we could hope against hope that Hendricks is in reality long lost Thorp son Jami. Now that would make for an interesting summer plot…

Time for an afternoon siesta. Have at it, gentle readers, and catch you next week.

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