This Week in Milford

March 28, 2020

Siriously?

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Four months’ setup for this. One of the lamest intros since “Oprah, Uma. Uma, Oprah.” Alexa is left with a deer-in-the-headlights look the likes of which we haven’t seen since Boo Radley had an unfortunate run-in with Del Bader and a pickup truck.

Although some sources say it’s legit, I have never heard anyone named Serena given the nickname “Siri.” In all the years I’ve followed tennis I’ve never heard it used on the greatest female player in recent times. I never heard called Samantha Stevens’ evil cousin called “Siri.” I never heard Sifl and Olly’s fantasy girl referred to as “Siri” either, but supposedly it’s of Scandinavian origin and that’s her mother’s given name. Okay, fine.

There are still a couple months left in most school years. Many of them will be completed via distance learning, which starts on Monday where I live. Another plot should be starting on Monday in the Thorpiverse as well. Newspaper syndicate lead times being what they are, it will probably not involve distance learning. Some elements of this plot may continue over into the spring. Chris and Alexa may still duke it out for valedictorian.  We may find out Siri’s parents are named Cortana and Mercedes.

Siri and Alexa have nice boots on. Maybe they’ll go ride horses together at the afterparty.

Chris gives this plot the finger. So do I.

March 14, 2020

“Mimi and I washed our hands. Here, Alexa, smell ’em.”

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Well, rob went there yesterday. I was beginning to wonder how long we at TWIM could go without making mention of the current global crisis, one that could end up making the crisis that gave us the Padillas story arc a couple of seasons ago look relatively minor in comparison.

As I write a good many of us may be working from home, either by choice or by force. Some of us may already have been working from home, but travel restrictions may be keeping us from visiting our clients or customers. Rob works for the USPS, so I doubt working from home is an option for him. (Be careful out there, rob.) Some of us may see our work cut back or lost entirely. Too soon to tell.

Less than a month ago I was planning on playing hooky taking the day off from work and going into DC to see something no one has seen in ninety-five years: a major league baseball team that calls Washington home raise a world championship banner. Then the Nats announced they wouldn’t be selling single game tickets for Opening Day, that the tix would only be available as part of a season ticket plan or partial plan. (Ah yes, the sweet smell of success.) Okay, whatevs, I’ll hit StubHub. It might be another ninety-five years before it happens again.

In the words of Gilda Radner’s Emily Litella, “Never mind.” MLB cancelled the rest of spring training and postponed the start of the season by at least two weeks. The NBA, NHL, MLS, and Premier League have suspended their seasons; the XFL (look it up) canceled its season outright. The Masters, PGA and LPGA tours, and most motorsports events have been postponed. The NCAA has cancelled all remaining winter and spring sports championships; any March Madness we see will not be on a basketball court.

Where I live the schools have been closed for at least the next two weeks. The SATs scheduled for today have been postponed. High school sports have been cancelled for the remainder of the academic year, including the basketball playoffs. I guess it’s a good thing Rubin and Whigham have helped prepare us for our immediate sports-free future by turning away from sports to a few weeks of he-said, she-said about academic cheating.

Just wait until the spring story arcs start in a week or two. They’ll make the Thorpiverse look even more like a fantasy land than it already does. Stay safe, TWIMers.

Update (5:25pm EDT): In all the gloom and doom I forgot to wish you all a happy Pi Day. I took time out of my day to bake a pie – an old school Florida favorite, sour orange pie. Here’s a pic so that you may enjoy vicariously. My meringue styling skills could be better.

orangepie

March 7, 2020

Snitchin’ to Rollins

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We’ve come to that time in just about every Gil Thorp arc in which Rubin realizes he hasn’t paced worth a damn and he has to cram a week’s worth of action into a single strip and starts rushing the plot ahead without filling in the details. If this was football season we’d call it the two minute drill, but since it’s basketball season let’s call it throwing up treys and fouling. It’s late in the day and I know most of you TWIMers have probably seen today’s strip already, so I’m gonna rush through this much as Rubin did. Okay? Okay!

P1: I know that AP Chemistry midterm must be hard but, come on, it’s nothing to lose your head over! Maybe this isn’t AP Chem but American Lit and that kid under the first dialog box is acting out “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

P2: Neither the Milford boys nor the girls are making the playdowns ’cause they don’t score enough, so let’s sweep these games under the rug, shall we? Boy, that Marcell Irby sure is lanky!

P3: DeMarco is dropping in on Steve Harvey Mr. Rollins who, I’m assuming, is the AP Chem teacher. Couldn’t tell from that poor excuse for a periodic table behind his head. We know he’s gonna dime out Schuring; what we don’t know yet is how Schuring’s gonna get his name cleared. Something tells Gil will intervene (heaven knows he hasn’t been busy coaching) and Schuring’s word will be taken because athlete. Then we get a throwaway panel or two telling us why DeMarco’s had beef. Maybe Teddy has a low self opinion.

 

Then Alexa and Chris walk down a hallway, then it’s on to baseball. Hang on for the thrilling conclusion, folks!

February 19, 2020

Phoebe in the Middle

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Poor Kenny Hastings. Minding his own business in the hallway when he gets shoved out of the way as part of an unannounced and unassigned assertiveness training exercise. Doesn’t he know he’s supposed to be taking one for the team? Didn’t Phoebe tell Kenny that pushing your classmates around makes you Too Cool for School? Such selfishness.

Now we get to learn which tactic is the lesser of two evils: pushing other kids around in the hall to improve your assertiveness on the court, or imagining you’re pushing your academic rival down in class rank to improve your assertiveness on the court. My money’s on the latter as it (a) came from a coach, (b) exists only inside the heads of the coach and the player, and (c) involves imaginary a/o/t actual harm.

It’d be funny if Schuring turns out to be the actual bad guy in this strip, doling out fake advice via Phoebe as a means to get Alexa suspended, turn in an assignment late and lose a few precious hundredths of a point off her GPA.  Funnier still if Phoebe is the grand mastermind, making herself the indispensable intermediary between all the major players in this play. She may not end up valedictorian or salutatorian but should have a lucrative career as a political strategist.

January 13, 2020

Tell Chris To Watch His Noggin!

Filed under: Chunky Bracelets, general nonsense, Gil Thorp — nedryerson @ 4:33 am

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Still no word on who this administrative lady is chatting with Gil in the teacher’s lounge about student athlete’s GPAs. We know she’s a witty one, though. Upside the noggin with a Reebok? That’s some colorful slang. Mystery Admin is also quite dialed in to happenings in the student sphere at MHS. She knows all about Alexa’s pursuit of the valedictorian seat as well as Alexa’s potential for footwear assault. One might speculate that there is some kind of gambling going on based on the student rankings and that Miss Mystery is the one who has “hot tips” gleaned from skulking in the hallways, eavesdropping and/or monitoring social media accounts. She’s a Fantasy GPA Insider! Subscribe to her newsletter if you want any chance at taking the trophy.

 

January 1, 2020

Putting Mussels on Our Ears

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Welcome to the year 2020, where Dippin’ Dots are still The Ice Cream of the Future, the halls of Milford High are still as shiny as ever and girls in Milford are still wearing huge earrings.  Alexa and her sidekick appear to have made theirs from mussel shells.

Sidekick there seems to have forgotten that athletic prowess and academic ranking aren’t exactly correlated.  Dropping one’s field goal percentage doesn’t drop one from valedictorian to salutatorian.  Conversely, wishing athletic success to one’s academic competition doesn’t raise one’s class rank, either.  If that were the case, wishing academic failure on one’s competition would lower one’s class rank even further.  Schadenfreude is not a good look on anybody but one, I expect, we’ll see with increasing frequency throughout this arc.

Now Alexa’s off to the MHS Medical Center where she’ll visit a freshly hammered Teddy DeMarco.  Wait, what?  It’s the MHS Media Center?  Cool.  She can listen to the musical inspiration for today’s post title.

 

 

December 17, 2019

Watson, Come Here Into The Gym, We Need You To Play Basketball

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A few years ago, Lester Holt was interviewing a lawyer involved in a controversial case somewhere in rural North Carolina. I can’t remember the exact details but if you’ll allow me to improvise, it was concerning some business or radio station that was defending its Constitutional rights when comments laced with profanity was published or said on the air.

When Holt asked the lawyer about the crux of the case, the lawyer proceeded to quote what he and his plaintiffs were complaining about, bearing in mind this was NOT the defendant’s lawyer

“…and we are objecting to ‘Up shit creek’ or ‘I want to fuck you blind’ or ‘Gil couldn’t coach out of a douchebag’…”

And FINALLY Holt mercifully interrupted the lawyer, since this was on an NBC News Magazine and therefore national news, by saying

ALL RIGHT WE GET THE POINT WE DON’T NEED THIS BARRAGE OF PROFANITY ON NATIONAL TV THERE ARE KIDS WATCHING THIS SHOW

Holt afterwards apologized profusely for what arguably wasn’t necessary to quote on TV, especially because again this was the same lawyer fighting AGAINST what he himself was guilty of and was fighting, i.e., the usage of inappropriate language to drive home the issue.

And Thorpiverse

WE GET THE JOKE. IT MIGHT HAVE TAKEN ANOTHER 3-PANEL SET TO CATCH IT BUT WE HAVE A FIRM GRASP ON THE HUMOR WE DON’T NEED TO SKIP OVER GIRLS BASKETBALL LIKE WE DID LAST YEAR AND PICK UP WHERE LEFT OFF AND TRY TO GET CREATIVE WITH WATSON COMEDY AT THE BUCKET

They don’t have homework? Richie and Ralph and Potsie and The Fonz sit around at Al’s and conjure up new ways to express themselves about Richie Cunningham’s dad?

The Foghorn Leghorn approach

“Oh, say, can you C, Mr. C.?”

“That’s a funny, Dad.”

 

 

“Oh, Howard, you spilled your fruit punch all over your pants. Let me get you a Bounty.”

“Marion, I’m fine. I’ll just throw them in the wash later…”

“Aaaaayyyyyyy, Mr. C., I wouldn’t let that Hi-C settle on you, Mr.C. You’ll have a sea full of Vitamin C Hi-C all over Mr.C., see?”

“Eat the rest of your peas, Arthur. Here, Howard, here’s a Kleenex.”

 

Gang, if we have to have several more panels of Hee Haw, we’re in trouble

“Man, Roy, I can’t find those county corn yield reports anywhere. Can you help me look?”

“They ain’t come out of Lulu the Supercomputer’s mouth yet, Buck.”

Archie Campebell steps in

“That’s all right. Heck, Lulu’s so fat, they have to perform a Lamaze procedure when she’s spitting printouts.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

 

Alexa, is that you

I hope that football’s finally through

Basketball could be in view

I can pray

Hard to say

There’s only one thing that there’s left to play

Tip-off might be any day

 

We gotta get you a ballgame

It’s the only thing to show that this plot is alive

We gotta get you a ballgame

You better quit walkin’

They call that stuff Traveling

 

Because I’m amused because I saw a sign on a grocery store advising customers to

PLEASE DON’T PARK IN FRONT OF THE STORE

Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Local Resident Fined Severely For Double-Parking At Milford IGA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Coach Shaw: ‘I was just getting eggs for my wife. And that Iams Beef a-Plenty 15-lb. bag for my huntin’ dog was hard on my back.'”

 

Let me get the obvious out of the way in P1. The girls are actually drawn pretty darn well and Phoebe is a cutie in that scene.

Then we get to her burger. Oh my.

Unless The Bucket is marketing Art Nouveau Leaning Towers of Pisa disguised as an overloaded Big Mac with one pickle and onion too many, I think I’ll order the Bucket Full o’ Pasta. C’mon, I’m still utilizing the Italian language.

I could go to a Milford Zoning Board meeting with that structure and make my case for a high-rise condo unit on a vacant lot in Downtown Milford. Drainage shouldn’t be a problem with that thing, just set that Tower of Babel at a perpendicular and the grease is as good as gone. I’ll get approved at next month’s meeting, unanimously.

Now I delve into the not-so-obvious. This one will have to be broken down if we’re to build the logic back up.

And what better way to dive into deductive reasoning than to transpose what’s being said in P1 to Pop’s Choklit Shoppe where Archie and Veronica are sitting in a booth.

“Oh, Archiekins, I am buying the Popsburger Combo with Extra Buffalo Fries and a side order of Onion Rings and Pop’s Veggie Lasagna because Daddy ran over Jughead in his Lamborghini.”

“Did they get Mr. Lodge for a DUI?”

“Now you know Daddy doesn’t drink and drive, Love.”

“That’s true. You still want to go to the drive-in movie. We can go right after Jughead’s funeral.”

“Oh, Archiekins, you say the sweetest things.”

 

If yore computer is nicknamed “Bubba” because it’s the only computer on the planet that gives ya printouts while its butt’s hangin’ out, sportin’ more pimples in its crack than a teenager, ya might be a redneck.

 

Talking ’bout Thorp, he’s so under the gun

This plot is stupid, not a lot of fun

Let’s hope that basketball won’t be shunned

And then we’ll take some time to get your stuff together

GET YOUR STUFF TOGETHER

Cuz, we gotta get you a ballgame…

 

But enjoy the generic School Cafeteria Burger, Alexa. All students get a free one everytime someone calls him or her HAL.

“Would you mind passing the mustard, Dave?”

 

 

“Will Archie Andrews and Moose Mason use hedge clippers to pare the rest of Mr. T.’s grandson’s head? Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion here on WDIG-TV.”

 

Because I’m in eternal wonder over these ED ads advising a person to throw away his old dick pills

 

At Mudlark Lake Resort one Autumn afternoon

 

THESE GODDAM PILLS AREN’T GETTING ME ANY HARDER THAN MARTY’S HEAD!!!!!!!!!!! THIS NAXIUM IS WORTHLESS. THE PHARMACIST SAID IT WOULD TAKE CARE OF MY HEARTBURN AND MY ED PROBLEMS. I’M FLUSHIN’ THESE SUCKERS-

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

YEAH?

“Daddy, I gotta go #2 bad. My Underoos are stinky already.”

“Hold on, Jaime. Daddy has to unload some garbage and this can’t wait THAT’S THE LAST TIME I LISTEN TO THOSE ASSHOLES AT MILFORD APOTHECARY. THEY SAID MY WIENER WOULD TURN TO STONE AFTER I USED MIRALAX. I CAN SHIT LIKE A RHINO BUT MY WIENIE’S STILL A WIENIE-

Mimi approaches

“Gil, you OK? They can hear you from the other side of the lake. I could hear you cuss at the boat ramp over the Evinrude motor and that thing was louder than a Who concert.”

“I’m sorry, Honey, but I got to flush my troubles down the drain. The Pharmacy Grad Student at Milford Community College said the Children’s Mucinex Nightshift Relief would cause my thingamabob to be stiff enough to hang a flag on. Snot’s runnin’ out of it more than blood’s flowin’ into it. I’m flushin’ this across the Charon.”

“Gil, you’re in an outhouse.”

“Mimi, I couldn’t care less if I’m in the penthouse. When I use my Mudlark Visa Gold to buy Milford Apothecary Ibuprofen, I expect to dominate my women like Thor shootin’ one out of the sky.”

“Gil, I have a better idea. Why don’t you try one of the EREC-STYLE 9800 that I stuffed in your stuffing and consider it a pre-Christmas gift? It works better than Coricidin or Vick’s VapoRub.”

“HEY THAT’S IT. LET ME RUB SOME ON MY OSCAR MEYER WIENER AND YOU WILL TRULY BE IN LOVE WITH ME!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Maybe so, but in the meantime, you’ll have to clean the poopie off the jungle gym. Jaime just had an accident.”

 

“Why go through all that frustration when I could have used EREC-STYLE 9800, sold exclusively at Milford Men’s Clinic. No more throwing Aleve or Bayer in the dumpster for Milford Sanitary Solutions to pick up. I am not only having the time of my life, but the bathroom is free for my kids when they’ve eaten one chimichanga too many at Milford Taco Bell. Come get your fun at the Clinic and leave Garbage Day for your canteloupe rinds. You’ll be glad you did.”

 

Thanks to Cooper Stewart of Louisville, Kentucky for help with the above idea. Cooper works hard and his raw sense of humor keeps me going and gives me GREAT ideas. Cooper represents America with his dedication to his job and just by being himself. Don’t ever change, My Man. America needs you.

 

Go at it, Gang. I’m going to court to testify for Mr. Lodge. They say he was guilty of pulling a Gil with his car. I wonder how you get busted just by owning an idle car that plops its butt on the practice field but we do have Due Process, Thank God.

 

And when we’re done with youuuuu

We’ll do it with baseball, too.

 

Thanks for putting up with my love for Todd Rundgren. You’re #1 in my book, Gang.

November 27, 2019

Hasn’t There Already Been an Investigation?

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Excuse me but haven’t Marjie, the superintendent and Captain Man Bun already investigated Ballardgate?  What’s left to investigate?  How about some of the details in today’s strip?

P1: How much squirming must it take to get your forearm in front of you to facepalm at that angle?  Careful Chet, you’ll poke your eye out.

P2: We’re on to the third day in a row where people are just reading Marjie’s article aloud to other people.  I can see why Gil looks a little pissy, especially since Mimi’s leaning over him to point at what she’s reading.  (Bet she’s one of those people whose lips move when they read to themselves.)  It’s enough to distract him from his carbo loading. Must have a heavy day of lifting with Kaz on the agenda.

P3 triggered a lot of childhood memories for me, as I remember fondly the day my father bought me a Howard Elston catcher’s mitt. Superintendent Elston looks like a lot of recycled art pasted together: Lee Corso’s head with Paulie Walnuts’ hair spliced atop a  torso Walt “No Neck” Williams style, an odd suit jacket with contrasting lapels and a pocket square but no necktie, and topped off with Whigham’s signature gesticulating hand.  He gets the “immediate” part of the investigation; not so sure about the “thorough” though, as he sends his female charge off with no real direction.

That’s all I have to say about that.  Tip of the hat to Rubin for reminding me of the first black Yankee and the man who had the unfortunate task of having to fill Yogi Berra’s shoes.

 

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