This Week in Milford

December 24, 2022

Mele Kalikimaka ‘n stuff

Season’s greetings, gentle readers. I’m here from another hemisphere to take us into the transition out of football and into whatever comes next. Let’s check in with the Thorps to see what’s been going on off the field. I’m not gonna attempt to touch Festivus but I recommend that you check out the Mopped Up Thorp Festivus post; it’s awesome.

December 23, 2022

Oh my goodness this is getting sad fast. Meemaw appears to have left the nursing home to be in home hospice care. A detached-looking Gil stands in the doorway. I wonder if he ever knew how much Meemaw wanted Mimi to divorce him and try to revive a golf career we never knew she had. At least the Thorp kids are providing us the look at a Milford bonfire we didn’t get during football season.

KXCI is a community radio station in Tucson. It also streams online. There’s no reason to wonder, then, whether Milford has moved west of the Mississippi, or get into the matter of those stations east of the Mississippi beginning with K (e.g., KDKA in Pittsburgh, KYW in Philly) or those west of the Mississippi beginning with W (e.g., WHO in Des Moines).

In case you were wondering, The Both was a duo consisting of Aimee Mann and Ted Leo (but no Pharmacists). They’ve recorded a single , self-titled album to date, in 2014. The lyrics are from their song “Nothing Left To Do (Let’s Make This Christmas Blue).”

December 24, 2022

Now we get the triple-header Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa strip. I am not a member of the tribe so I did not know that ugly Hanukkah sweaters are a thing. I did, however, know that Hanukkah menorahs have nine candles, not seven as appear on Rachel’s sweater. I also did not know that Tobias and Mel were canonically Jewish. Kaz is looking a little distracted tbh. Probably thinking about his upcoming bris.

The Thorps manage to smile for their family photo save for Keri, who’s showing off her knuckle dusters and the reason Pedro Martinez has been hanging around. (meta: Moon Mullins points out Keri is flashing the universal symbol for eating at the Y, so not completely out of character.)

Finally we have… who? I honestly do not know and I feel guilty for not knowing. This isn’t the Brown-Hiatt family from a few years bock.* Is it one of Keri’s volleyball teammates? Help me out here, please.

It is now after midnight where I am and so, while you may have several hours to go, it is already Christmas Day here. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and we’ll see you again on Boxing Day.

*This should read “a few years back,” but I’m leaving this typo in since that’s what I was drinking on Christmas Eve.

December 19, 2022

Goodnight, Milford

The big gamble didn’t pay off for Coach Thorp. Tobias Gordon’s leap of faith failed and their hopes were dashed in the finals.

Look at the contrast of Coach Luke and Coach Kim basking in glory while the pissy faces of Gil and Kaz tell the story of defeat, humiliation and probably an utter lack of football intelligence. I mean, maybe they should have tried something even trickier like a rainbow flick lob or, ya know, kicking an extra point for the tie. Oh heck, Milford probably would have lost on penalty kicks anyway. Also, there may have been more stoppage time than we had been led to believe, so they could have tried pulling their goalie for a man advantage. Next time, Gil should try the 9-iron and a triangle defense. And that’s why they call it cribbage.

Kudos for the colorist for staying consistent for a whole game.

Hey guys, yhs is really not feeling great today. Please have at it in the comments and I’ll see you next week as we throw out the first shuttlecock.

December 7, 2022

Clean, Old-Fashioned Hit

What a genuine surprise to see today’s strip in good old-fashioned black and white. For once we can imagine Milford in traditional road whites and New Thayer in something other than light blue. Of course we’ll also have to imagine white froth around the mouth of Danny Maivia, too. Wait…

…Danny…Maivia? As in the Maivia and Anoaʻi family of pro wrestling fame? Are we getting set up for Danny to recur a few years from now as “Little Rock” or a new Wild Samoan? Could Hairy Hercules come back and manage him? If these are seeds being planted, let’s do our best to nurture them.

Know what else is old-fashioned? The entirety of P1. Start with the hairstyles: Kaz has gone full Sha Na Na up front with his mullet and the Mudlark to his left is sporting his best mohawk. Milford has also put a mascot on the sidelines, a mashup of the Notre Dame leprechaun and Ernest T. Bass from The Andy Griffith Show. Finally, nothing is as old-fashioned as literally calling out your plays from the sideline without code words, hand signals* or cryptic sign boards. New Thayer a school for the deaf now, Kaz?

I think we know why Danny Maivia is frothing at the mouth, though. Milford-New Thayer has morphed from a football game to a track meet. We’ll see if Gil and Kaz have put an S&C program in place to keep the Mudlarks in this shootout. As for yhs, too many old fashioned references make me want to go mix one up for myself. Too early for day drinking?**

*Kaz might be throwing the Hook ’em Horns in anticipation of Texas joining the SEC for all we know.

**Thanks to Ned and you faithful TWIMers for calling out Marty’s Illuminati token AA chip in Monday’s post. I appreciate the background and respect you for rising to your challenges. I don’t know that I’ll feel as comfortable attributing Marty’s dialogue to Johnnie Walker in his sippy cup again, however.

December 3, 2022

Terriors! Come out to play-ay!

Filed under: Coach Kaz, confusing dialogue, football, Keri Thorp, metapost, New Thayer — teenchy @ 3:10 pm

meta: I missed communication with Rob so neglected to cover for him yesterday. Mea culpa. Friday’s strip doesn’t really advance the plot(s) IMO but I’m adding it at this late time on Saturday night to maintain continuity, something not often achieved in the nu-look Gil Thorp.

December 2, 2022

There’s no “I” in “team” but there is in “Milford Food Bank.” Gil leads the Mudlark gridders in a team building exercise that may help them execute a two-minute drill hurry-up offense somewhere down the line. Keri is there to contribute to the process and keep the guys in line with the threat of a knuckle sandwich. Gil wields a butter knife as a silent reminder that she was lucky to avoid Mike Knappe’s fate. Meanwhile, Kaz shows up channeling his inner Apple Mary (who may or may not be Mary Worth).

December 3, 2022

Seems I already did a variation on this title a few years ago but the joke just writes itself, n’estce pas?

We’re getting the setup for some actual action next week, and in a way that a background check is in order. Presumably this is Milford’s first game against New Thayer this season; so whoever is speaking in P1 must be implying that the Mudlarks have a five-game losing streak against the, um, Terriors?

Is that a typo for “Terriers” or a new nickname entirely? A portmanteau of “Terriers” and “Warriors,” or maybe New Thayer is now a school that trains vintners and wine stewards? I can only think of two school with Terriers for a mascot: Boston University and Wofford. Marty repeats the nickname for emphasis. Funny that he sets up the action in terms of NT ending the Milford win streak rather than Milford keeping the streak going, given that he’s the Milford announcer. Take a couple more hits off the sippy cup, Marty, you’ll find your rhythm.

Back to that streak, tho: If memory (or the search function) serves, Milford played NT twice in 2021, the last season in the Rubin era. They rallied from a 17-13 halftime deficit and won 40-24 in October, but lost to them in classic Rubin tell-don’t-show fashion, 27-21, in the season finale in November. (FWIW, behind its “out-of-nowhere” Delaware Wing-T, Milford beat NT by 18 in 2020.) So the losing streak is one. Exactly one.

So much for continutity. Let’s try to let that go and enjoy the on-field action we’re sure to see next week. Maybe New Thayer will win in extra innings or Milford will keep their win streak going while ending NT’s over them on penalty kicks.

October 5, 2022

גמר חתימה טוב

“G’mar chatima tova (גמר חתימ טובה)” is, of course, the traditional Hebrew greeting given on Yom Kippur, which began at sunset yesterday evening. It translates roughly as “a good final sealing,” as in the Book of Life, in which observant Jews are inscribed on Rosh Hashanah and sealed on Yom Kippur.

The Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is, among other things, a day of fasting. Before starting the fast at sunset, a meal called seudah hamafseket is served. Seudah hamafseket is considered festive and may include meat. So there, Keri.

We were getting set up for this for the past two days, what with the bagels for dinner and Kaz’s new SO being named Rachel. This strip has been serving up Christmas Day strips since forever, and the David Greene arc in fall 2001, hinging largely on Greene’s Jewish faith, woke up echoes of Hank Greenberg.

A strip involving Judaism, then, is in relative keeping with the history of Gil Thorp. I can’t think of any other strips that wove Judaism into its fabric beyond the departed Edge City, but I am welcome to have my memory jogged.

G’mar chatima tova to all you gentle readers who observe.

October 3, 2022

Movin’ On Up!

We’re not talking about the football team, their recent loss or their search for a new kicker? I’m happy with that. We’ll get back to that at some point, I presume. Today, the family Thorp is taking a family outing and we begin in an elevator.

An elevator in Gil Thorp? I’m trying really hard to think of a time when an elevator appeared in Gil Thorp and I’m coming up blank. Milford is a place that seems a lot like where I grew up, sort of suburban bordering on rural, with mostly single-family homes and duplex apartments, but no elevator buildings aside from maybe hospitals or courthouses. The only place I’d see people taking an elevator to their living space was on television, like on the Jeffersons. That looked really exotic to me, living in a building with a doorman wearing a vaguely militaristic uniform. Surely such things don’t exist in Milford, but here we are, riding with the Thorps in an elevator, heading to an outing with food, a brunch perhaps?

There is talk of bagels, which Keri will be focused on since she’s aware of the menu at this shindig, which must be largely meat based. Yes, yes Keri, your family knows you are vegan. They spend a fortune on arugula to keep you from starving the death!

Holy Deluxe Apartment in the Sky-yi, we’re heading up to the Penthouse! Are we visiting a head of state, Milford’s leading real estate developer or a dry-cleaning magnate? Are the Thorps underdressed?

What? The swanky penthouse apartment belongs to none other than Bob Kazinski, aka Coach Kaz. Who knew? Look at that pendant lighting and that, um, delicious spread of food. There’s something steaming in a crock, something green and leafy, a bowl of white stuff, another green and leafy dish and many bagels. Bigshot Kaz probably has the elevator bugged, so he heard the Thorps talking about the rationing of bagels, so he welcomes them in by assuring them that we made extra bagels.

I have two questions about Kaz’s statement. First, who made bagels for a gathering? Sure, you can theoretically make your own bagels if you want to spend hours and cover yourself in flour, but more commonly you would get bagels from a deli or somewhere. Maybe, in Kaz’s mind, the making consists of slicing storebought bagels?

The bigger question to me, hungry for some continuity, is who else is in the we that procured/prepared the bagels? I don’t think Kelly Krystek has come up yet in the Barajas era. Does she live in or occasionally shack up with Kaz in the penthouse or is Kaz now part of a throuple (which includes at least one serious baker)?

Let’s dig into those bagels and find out!

Sing along, you know the words….did someone mention pie?

October 1, 2022

A Day for Definitions*

mudlark, n. 1. (mainly UK) someone who searches the mud near rivers trying to find valuable or interesting objects. 2. (UK) a horse who runs well on soft, wet ground.

Neither of those define an actual bird and, of the two, only the latter makes much sense as a sports team mascot (e.g., Indiana Pacers, Murray State Thoroughbreds/Racers). The only NCAA Division I school with a peacock mascot had a Cinderella run in the most recent March Madness (beating the aforementioned Murray State in the process) and a shout-out at the end of the Pranit Smith winter arc. Trotting out a reference to what was already an idiotic Rubin plot from nine years ago doesn’t establish continuity; it throws a marrowless bone to a readership looking for some strand of it after the past 2.5 months have made their collective heads spin.

context, n. the situation within which something exists or happens, and that can help explain it.

As much as we all bitched about the lather, rinse, repeat of the beginnings of a Rubin sportsball season, they helped place the wackiness that followed in some sort of context. We’d have Gil and/or Mimi tick off to Marjie and/or Marty the starting lineups named after Rubin’s friends or colleagues IRL; we’d see a Milford team play a non-conference opponent (probably another shout-out) on the road (Connecticut? South Carolina? Vermont? Chuck a dart at the map, Rubin!); then we’d dive into the Valley Conference schedule. Sometimes – make that often – games would pass and we’d get no detail about them beyond the result. Other times, single games would drag on for days or even weeks.

When they did, however, we would at least know the opponent, the score, and the quarter or inning. Sometimes we’d even know the time remaining, the field position, down and yards to go, the outs, the count on the batter, the number of fouls on the hoopster. Yesterday we had to connect a lot of dots to make sense of what was going on on the field. There were 10 seconds left in the game and Milford had a 4th-and-1 on the (school?) Bobcats’, oh, say, 23. Gil wants to go for the end zone; Kaz wants to send the kicker out to attempt a 40-yard field goal. Somehow Kaz, who heretofore has not been the OC and playcaller, overrules Gil (who used to be in charge of calling plays). Since high school kickers who can hit from 40 are scarcer than peacock’s teeth, the kick is predictably no good. The Bobcats run out the clock and the Mudlarks lose.

What was the score of the game? Would a field goal have won it? For the sake of argument, let’s assume it would. Knowing poor Hooper wasn’t likely to make it from 40, why not go for the first down? Did Milford not have any time outs left? That would’ve been a factor in the decision as well. All that matters is the Mudlarks lost, Patrick Swayze Kaz feels shame, and Gil stares blankly out the prairie style window at the mule golden retriever trans soccer player who will make Hooper history, Milford woke, and Luke Martinez leave town when he kicks the winning field goal to beat Valley Tech in the season finale.

*(Source for both definitions: Cambridge Dictionary)

September 30, 2022

Woke me up when September ends

Ah, football at last! Kaz wants a FG, Gil wants to go for it and possibly score a TD. Kaz wins the argument. I thought you were the head coach, Gildo.

Shows the cracks in the armor that will lead to Kaz leaving Milford after this season.

2 bits of weirdness – The holder never says -hut hut hike as far as I know. And – its ONLY 40 yards? 9 out of 10 high school coaches would consider that too far for a field goal. But Gil listens to Kaz. And you dont ‘go for the TD’ when your on the 23 yard line. When its goal to go at the 1 or 2, then you say stuff like that. Milford remains a losing poorly coached underachiever. Good to see some things havent changed around here.

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