This Week in Milford

November 25, 2019

Why Did Grandpa Lock Himself In His Bomb Shelter?


This is quite a strip. Three panels and six characters recapping the baffling actions of The Press in “exposing” the Chet Ballard/Chance Macy affair (without mentioning any names). We recap last week’s phone call from Marjie to Chance’s grandfather (with a rug?) and then we get a look at two Milford power couples to see how they prefer to consume their daily news. (One couple reads print and the other online, but both couples employ a “one reads to the other” technique. Ugh. Not a fan.)

So let’s talk about this story that The Star is running. There’s not much there, is there? I can’t understand why they are running the story. The School Board was made aware of Chet’s actions and they did their own investigation. Yes, Marjie (and friend) at The Star triggered the investigation by informing the Superintendent of the anonymous voicemail, but that’s not a story. If the Board takes action against Chet, then we have a story. Is there some reason that Marjie and her editors suspect that the Board will not be taking action even though the paper knows that the Board knows what Chet did? That would be a story too, but we haven’t been given any reason to suspect that this is the case.

The bottom line is that this story is sloppy and slapdash. Great, let’s print it!

September 30, 2019

C’mon Zebra!

Filed under: actual action, Coach Kaz, football, Tilden — nedryerson @ 5:44 am


The word has spread through the Valley Conference. Milford has a hotshot running back named Chance Macy. Chance has a target on his back heading into the match at Tilden.

Detective Kaz is still working on an investigation into the full story behind Chance Macy, but for now it’s Coach Kaz looking out for Chance. Tilden players are taking aim at Chance, THUD!ing him and taking cheap shots. Oh the humanity.

I wonder if this is “too much”.

Are the teams in formation in panel 1? Is 53 of Tilden hanging around in Milford’s backfield? The Zebras are really not paying attention.

September 28, 2019

With A Great Ground Game Comes Great Responsibility

Filed under: Coach Kaz, exposition comics, Fat Guys, football, freak hands, Gil Thorp — teenchy @ 2:29 pm


After a hot sweaty workout complete with gun show, Gil and Kaz towel down and make a little pillow talk. His guard down, a dreamy-faced Gil lets slip just exactly who it is he fantasizes about during these training room sessions. Kaz pretends not to notice, instead continuing his amateur private dick schtick and nosing around for more info on the tight-lipped Chance Macy.  There are as many valid reasons for a high school student with otherwise good grades to be a year behind other students his age as there are readers of this blog.

Speaking of Chance, quick cut to his dinner table where Macy dwarfs his grandparents and where there’s also an empty chair. Grandpa follows Gil’s lead and adds another to the pile of cryptic comments in the fall arc thus far. Where are Macy’s parents? Is he gonna have a similar backstory to Silent John Pascoe? Will it make Chance’s grandparents his equivalent to Aunt May and Uncle Ben? Will he get bitten by a radioactive spider next?

September 26, 2019

“Did You See Him With Shades On And Carrying A Bottle Of Jack Out Of Milford Beverage Warehouse?” “I Did.”

Filed under: big arms, Coach Kaz, exposition comics, Gil Thorp, Milford Weirdos, song parody — tdrewhardin @ 1:11 pm


Down in the dumpy, roach-infested digs

We’d roll and fall in green

You wore a beehive like this Spalding pigskin

Too much Sassoon, too pepper-gray


Why don’t you leave me

So I can possess the game

I hated you, I loved football too


Bad calls in the night

Coach told me I was going to lose the fight

Leave behind my



Thorpiverse Heights


Coach Thorp, it’s me, I’m legal age

I’ve passed the physical, I’m still eligible

Let me in the game


Coach Thorp, it’s me, I’m etc., etc., etc.,


Gang, I apologize, I had this one wrapped up for Christmas but a personal matter turned up and like Grandma Macy, she was was hard to bounce out on the street so I had to find her bifocals which we FINALLY tracked down under the cushion of the couch along with the remote we’ve been searching for for several months. Thank God we weren’t trying to find her dentures. Under the seat slobbering on the channel function? Yuck.

Anyhoo, Today’s post includes a performer I have always admired. Her music is electric and scintillating and really gets in me. But I grew up on Alice Cooper, no problem. I grew up on Black Sabbath, in particular, Ozzy Osbourne, no problem. I lived to tell about it every time I played “Children of the Grave”, the lead-in “Embroyo”, if you want to get greedy, off of “Master of Reality”. I grew up on Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart, no problem.

NONE of these performers have scared the shit out of me the way Kate Bush does. She has an eerie presence that works and adds the touch to her music that really sends me. One night at 2:00AM, I was reading an article on her that I had to put down, her photographs were THAT frightening. But that’s what also makes it appealing for me and will add, in my opinion, the punch to this plotline that is enigmatic and starting to limp after a strong start at the Milford Marathon. God, I hate to see what happens at Heartbreak Hill. Kate will be there to deliver the death blow, trust me.


At the 26 mile mark, situated at the beveled loading dock at Milford Foundry

“Gil, want some Gatorade? You look like you could use some.”

“Hell, no. I can suck it a few more yards. I’ll have my picture with my family proudly beside me.”

“That’s nice, but the photographer went home for the night.”


If ya gotta pass the ‘rithmatic Final by studyin’ the multi-plik-a-shun tables ’til the rooster crows early mornin’ so yuz can FINALLY pass 3rd grade and be eligible as a redshirt freshman for the junior varsity football team and ya FINALLY got 9 x 9 cuh-rehct by placin’ 9 monkey wrenches on the hood one way and 9 the other way, pointin’ towards the dice in the rear-view mirror, ya might be a redneck.


P1 is scary but if Thorpiverse thinks it’s going to get to Chance singing “The Red Shoes”, I think we better stick with Kate, thank you very much. We are led to believe that Chance is the second coming of Ted Bundy, about to chop up Grandma Macy with a Ginsu knife once he gets off the team bus, unbeknownst to the kids sitting behind him, talking about girls, football, what’s available online at The Bucket (“Let’s order that Bucket Tunaburger again. It’s got tuna wild-caught out of Mudlark Lake.” “HOLD ON. My phone ain’t working.”) .

And what sucks, We were getting used to Chet being an asshole and tolerating his inchoate methods for dealing with his stepson and his potential football talent or dealing with Coach Thorp and his coaching in absentia and still putting a product on the field. Aren’t you getting vertigo jumping from Stiff-Necked Lout to Norman Bates about to turn Grandma Bates into sawdust? Like Robert Frost, I prefer the Road Less Confusing. But I know a lot of you aren’t into “Fire and Ice”. Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks.

STILL, once the only player who hasn’t been carded at Milford Lounge gets off the bus, I would like a little stability here. It’s time to get back to normalcy. So the League of Nations was a bad concept and now we’re going to have to endure every man for himself. But, Hell, we’ve had plenty of practice watching Chet at football games. Talk about grandstanding in the name of your own ego. His son better make the NFL and make this damn thing worth it, is all I can say.


Oooohhh, game gets close, it gets chippy

On the other side from you

I bitch a lot. I whine a lot

Wish I got ‘Dad’ from you


Don’t let Dreher back, Chuck

Cruel Macy, my one blot

My only other running back


Too long, Chance is in the play

Charlie’s coming in on second down, to put it right

He’s rolling right to



Thorpiverse Heights


Charlie, it’s me, I’m obnoxious

I’ve read the pattern, I’m a pro at this

Let me call the plays


Charlie, it’s me, I’m etc., etc., etc.,


Well, did you think the lyric was going to be “I’m a Good Samaritan, I believe in sportsmanship, shake the hand of your opponent when you lose, Charlie”? Hell, we could end the football plot RIGHT NOW and take a sneak preview into basketball. But noooooooooo, Chet’s gotta be an asshole for about 2 more months before we schedule the Billy Graham Crusade at Milford Outdoor Amphitheater. Can’t have Chet answering the altar call before October. Ooops, I forgot, we still have Ted Bundy and his grandma. But you can only chop her up 31 ways if that plot lasts until Halloween. Better to drag this jalopy all the way to the finish line. Jughead Jones will be there at Heartbreak Hill with a Radio Flyer full of Bucket Burgers.


Oh, come on, coaches. In P2, we are subjected to a conversation a bit on the unrealistic side. I was only kidding about Chance being compared to Ted Bundy. They aren’t.

As long as we’re going to be ostentatious about weightlifting and hoist something your average senior citizen with his or her yearly pass at the Milford Athletic Club could jerk up and down without Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em head serving as a spotter, why don’t we at least get real. I have dealt with, either in Babe Ruth or at the private school I coached, SEVERAL players who were short on conversation. That didn’t make them Lizzie Borden. As long as they showed up ready to play and listen, giving me 110%, I really didn’t care if they weren’t much for words.

Now don’t get me wrong. I think it’s in every coach’s best interest to establish an excellent relationship or at least a workable rapport with your players as long as you’re in the same dugout or on the bench.  I can honestly say that I could get players to crash through a wall for me as long as I treated them with RESPECT (Notice big case letters) . The players were GREAT to me and they made me who I am. They took the wins, I took the losses.

But common sense rules the day. If Chance doesn’t have a meat cleaver in his locker, I think it’s safe to say that his grandma will sleep another night. 2541 will enter another halcyon period since it’s hard for me to imagine Silent Chance attacking his grandma with his Boy Scout knife out of his drawer.

Time to hit the sauna, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Head.


Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“O.J. Cleared On Rape Charges In Grandma Macy’s Living Unit!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Judge Ito knows me better than that. I wouldn’t touch her with gloves on or off.”


Then in P3, Coach Kaz is really sweating it out, either from bench-pressing the 25-pound weight (allowing for 5 pounds on the bar) or the agony of cerebralizing whether they’re harboring someone who’s old enough to file for Social Security benefits. Heavy-duty mental loads like this can be hell on the last rep, we know, Coach Kaz. Gil is there with a Handi-Wipe.

BTW, how do they know all this unless they were riding on the bus THEMSELVES? And, okay, if they didn’t ride in the Coach’s Limo (So THAT’S where Thorp keeps his golf clubs in the summer when he’s not not-coaching during the school year) , or in a separate bus which some schools do if the team is carrying a lot of players (i.e., Sophomore bus, Freshman bus, etc.) , and they indeed rode with Ted Bundy and his arguably subversive, slightly dangerous demeanor, what were they doing, observing the entire bus ride back to Milford? And not celebrating with the rest of the team? Concern is one thing. Stretching the storyline so it makes the half hour slot without having to fill in with another Toyota Corolla or Breeze Detergent commercial is another. The silver lining to the latter might be I’d get a towel out of the box when I’m dumping detergent in the washing machine with the “rinse” letters barely legible at the Milford Laundromat to wash my tube socks but that’s about it.

But us Thorpiverse veterans are used to Rubber-Band Man scenarios. Stretch away, Coaches.


“And that just about wraps up the Milford Marathon here at the finish line here by the Wacky Water Slide here at Mudlark Lake. Jerry Pulver Jr. wins the event in a record 2:27:16. Coach Thorp and Coach are yet to be accounted for. I understand they got lost by the drawbridge by The Bucket. They had to wait ’til the Milford & Oakwood frigate finally got its orders. That gives me an opportunity to take a station break. This ius Marty Moon and you’re listening to WDIG-Radio, a division of Learfield Sports.”


“Go away!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m training for the Milford Marathon!!!!!!!!!!”

“Honey, it’s 2:37 in the morning. And why are you training in the bathroom in the basement?”

“I gotta stay mentally strong. You can’t have any lapses in concentration when you’re chuggin’ for 26 miles.”

“Darling, I can give you that extra boost if you’ll give me a chance. Now come to bed with me.”

“Mrs. Shaw, you don’t understand. I have to be at my peak performance. That’s why I’m drinkin’ all these Nutrament Dutch Chocolate shakes. There’s plenty more behind the Pennzoil 10W-30 bottles here in the closet.”

“Aren’t there linens in there too? Where’d you put those?

“Blubba blubba, you’d be surprised how many Holiday Inn towels can cover a case full of Nutrament French Vanilla and Bar’s Leaks. Why it’s a match made in Heaven. And you can’t have any dissension when you’re at Heartbreak Hill. I’ll be sprintin’ like Jesse Owens if I got the Nutrament Black Cherry Special Blend wrapped up out of view.”

“And I don’t EVER remember your buying running shoes.”

“Ickity ackity oop, uh uh, I bought some cross trainers at a yard sale. Kid ran ’em in the Milford High School X-Country meets. Still got some high school invitationals left. I’ll be runnin’ like the wind at mile 15.”

“I just hope the crowd doesn’t notice the wimpy thing between your legs by then. Hard to hide that one with a Holiday Inn towel, My Love.”


“What could I say? She had me and she knew it and I knew it. It was time to take the towels back to Holiday Inn and pay the $7.00 Missing Merchandise Fee, then head down to Milford Men’s Clinic to deal with MY OWN missing merchandise. With treatment programs that work, my significant other came out of hiding and none too soon. I won my age division at the Milford Marathon thanks to the sprints I won in bed. Boy, it’s nice when you can pump your arms and your significant other simultaneously. My wife sure as hell agreed. But don’t take my word for it. Run on down to Milford Men’s Clinic and win your own age bracket. There’s plenty of ribbons to be won there. Come and claim your own Blue Ribbon. You’ll be glad you did.


Gang, thanks for your patience. I can only pass it along BUT I WILL. Y’all mean the world to me.


Ooohhhh, let him have it

Let Charlie take the game away

Oooohhhh, let him have it

Let Chance slice Granny away

You know it’s Gil, Cathy


Chet, it’s me, I’m concerned

I’ve come home, you’re so frazzled

Let Charlie, though fumbling, through the window


Chet, it’s me, I’m cornered

Etc., etc., etc.,


What are Gil and Kaz doing, pumping iron in Thorpiverse Heights? I hope they have plenty of Off!

Well done, Kate.




September 24, 2019

…Wasn’t The Last Time Milford Properties Said We Had To Be Out By The First.

Filed under: Chunky Bracelets, Coach Kaz, What the hell is going on here? — tdrewhardin @ 7:36 am


I’m livin’ with Grandma

We’re splittin’ the rent

It’s best to tolerate the toilet seat slop

Or it’s sleep in a tent


Big windows to let in the sun


Richie Rich poster’s caught in the sun

Ooooooookkkkkk, Grant Hart aside(RIP, Big Guy, you touched MANY people), we know two things 1) Chance Macy reads Hardy Boys Mysteries (“The Clue to Gil’s Safe Deposit Box at Milford Federal”) when he’s not on the gridiron chewing up yardage and running over his opponents 2) Dr. Pearl’s sister lost it all in The Depression and is forced to live with family, the other option Milford Soup Kitchen Ministries and a bed at Milford Temporary Hostel, Inc. I didn’t think Chance was related to Grandma Moses. We would have seen “Winter Scene at Mudlark Lake” rather than Captain America on the wall.

And yet another diversion, just as we were getting used to Sharp Dressed Man performing in his role as Obnoxious Oaf in relation to his stepson’s football career, at least at Milford. And if we want to be efficient about this, why don’t we call a truce and say that if Chance’s parents won’t make Grandma Macy sleep next to the Snapper Riding Mower out in the garage and let her bed down in the basement of Chet’s abode, Chet can go to football games in attire from Milford Men’s Wearhouse, acting like a baboon when Gil calls a pass on 3-and-2. I understand Chet has a nice bar down below. Grandma Macy can get drunk and, well, you Jimmy Buffett fans know what I mean.


“Sir, you mind? There’s kids playing over by the press box.”

Big shout-out to Greg Simmons over at Shreves Engines in St. Louis, Missouri. He has been a very loyal customer for years and has weathered a lot of storms to keep his end of things at Shreves more than thriving. Every time I come there, the business is humming and hopping. He gets things done either as the boss man or when he does it himself. Last week, he got a truck unloaded then did business with me in a matter of minutes. Sounds like Small Business America gettin’ it done to me. His crew has always been the best to me as a pleasant bonus. I salute you, Greg. You da Man.

Support Small Business, Gang. It makes America run.


If ya splat a poster on th’ wall that shows Cap’n America battlin’ the aliens, warmongers, Huns, Visigoths, Vikings, Vietcong, Nazis, Siberians, Sandanistas, Martians, Jacobins, Seljuk Turks, Dravidians, Tuscanites, and the charter membership from the Milford Bridge Club and he’s haulin’ his shield around to saw ’em all in two and blastin’ the rest with his ray gun that he hangs on his gun rack in his pickup while his Fruit of the Looms are stickin’ out proud as a peacock in the heat of the action, ya might be a redneck.


Hair wrapped in curlers

Downed my Haley’s M-O

Waitin’ for my grandson to come home

And brag how many yards did he go



Big windows to let in the sun


Big sunbeams shinin’ on his toy gun


Okay. I could bite and get REAL sarcastic here and just jump on Grandma Macy’s comment about fame in P1. But let’s explore the possibilities, you know, solve problems, not fight them. This, after all, is a comedy blog, not the Demarcation Zone. We live to see another day without warfare in the rearview mirror.

“How’s fame treating you, Big Boy?”

“Well, I had to hire an agent to talk with Gil. I needed SOMEBODY to talk some sense into Coach T. 30 carries wasn’t enough and I wasn’t going to be no blocking back for Luke Bunkin when he ran that double reverse sweep. Sacrificial lamb is not in my vocabulary. Then I had to hire a bodyguard to stave off all the groupies at Milford High School. Hey, I almost flunked my Organic Chemistry exam getting mobbed by the sophomore girls in one of the M.C. Escher hallways. Then I had to hire a press agent after Milford Men’s Clinic called for the 15th time. Like I have erectile issues. Where’s Coach Shaw when you need him? He always leaves after suicides. Otherwise, I’m just a normal kid. I poop like everybody else.”

“I always knew you’d turn out to be a good boy. Want some Swiss Miss?”


I love it when I can get to the heart of the matter with no bloodshed, don’t you?


After we get all touchy-feely in P2 and the dust has settled, it has been driving me crazy while I sip on my Chock Full o’ Nuts Natural Blend coffee and try to place the face of the person who has clearly age-progressed. I’m talking about the woman, you ninnies. Didja think I was insinuating that Chance had age-progressed from Pop Warner League?

Misunderstanding out of the way, I think it is safe to say that Velma Dinkley has retired from crime-fighting and ferreting out criminals in caves and barns and silos that surround Milford with Shaggy and Scooby and the rest (Fred and Daphne replacing Professor and Mary Ann in those wheels in the opening credits of Gilligan’s Island) and come to retire in her grandson’s abode. Isn’t this just the storyline tailor-made somewhere in March for a happy ending? Naturally, we’ll have to slog through the rest of the soap opera with Chet “Call Me ‘Dad”, Dammit” Baker and Charlie “Get Off My Case, Dad” Roh, the football season that MIGHT utilize all 3 panels for action down the road (Wouldn’t THAT be a change of pace) , the 5-game season that Mimi teaches as a character-builder to her female hoopsters (“We might be filler while Gil has to convince Jaquan he is NOT a member of the team, but we KICKED GOSHEN’S ASS”) , the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day but if it leads to more tender moments like between Chance and Velma, by gum, I’m all for it. Just keep your dentures in place, Velma, when you kiss out of mutual respect.


Now the ball game is over (guitar struttin’ each line down the pipe in this sequence except last line)

Grandma’s hair in a bun

Totino’s Supreme in the oven

At 2541


Because I will never know how Muldraugh, Kentucky, the only town in Kentucky COMPLETELY surrounded by Fort Knox, has EVER withstood a bomb that went awry in the firing range, even with all that land. I mean, someone could have pull the trigger when the soldier was drunk, right? The Dairy Queen has never endured a wayward A-Bomb?


Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“O.J. Moving To The Other End Of Town After Missile Barely Misses His Condo And Obliterates The Furniture From Evicted Tenants!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“I’m movin’ close by Cochrane’s place. I need some legal advice on my pension plus he’s nowhere near Camp Mudlark.”


We move from the Macy household section of the tour and continue our our Era of Good Feelings in P3. Now wouldn’t it be just like Thorpiverse to ruin the Botticelli landscape by inserting Chet when Charlie was just beginning to have fun playing football? And Coach Kaz needs a pick-me-up after the inexplicable cryptic tete-a-tete he had with Gil and his talking hand the other day. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some lingering bad vibes from that conversation and I’d be pissed too if I was basically blown off after asking a legitimate question. What’s wrong with Chance’s bio nestled in the Milford Enquirer between “I Saw Elvis At The Drive-Thru Picking Up His Medicine At Milford Apothecary!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and “‘Beer Drinking Is Good For You’, A Study At Milford Community College Confirms.”? Gil needs to get off his high hand and take a chill pill. And quit chewing his nails. That talking hand is down to nubs.

So keep Chet out of the conversation and let Gil’s hand get surgically removed. As Allen Neuharth, the great CEO of USA Today once said “Keep your good people on top and keep your bean counters on tap.” Stay in the stands and drink your Mr. Pibb and shut up, in other words, Chet. Stick to insurance and hand-purging.


Granny’s not into fist bumps

She’s privy to hugs

And it won’t be the last time we’ll ever compare Chet

To a roomful of bugs



Big windows to let in the sun


Here’s hopin’ Charlie’s havin’ some fun




Big shout-out to Danielle Harpe (Harpy) who does a great job at Cash Saver in Edwardsville, Indiana. She was very courteous and professional in her job, something us customers always appreciate. As a cashier, she got me out the door before you know it. I could tell she knew her job well, able to steer customers to where they needed to go and she was able to answer any question I had about pricing. Sounds like someone who represents America, Gang. Give her a salute the next time you shop there. She’s earned it.


“And Charlie Roh gives the friendly fist bump to Coach Shaw after Coach Shaw and Charlie have both performed. And that gives me an opportunity to call a station break. You’re listening to Marty Moon on WDIG-Radio, a division of Lear Field Sports.”


“Hi, this is Dr. Pearl. Don’t you think my sister is giving an Oscar-winning rendition? We were both actresses in the school play. As a matter of fact, we were in the play before ‘Our American Cousin”, the fateful show where Lincoln was shot. I will never forget hearing the ambulance coming for ol’ Abe. My sister and I had to hold back the tears.

So how does my sister keep plugging away after all these centuries and still make it to the john well into the millenium? Hugging her grandson and keeping that sleeper hold on him but not enough to dog-hunch him until he goes to bed?

The good people at Bristol-Myers have came up with a cold cream, Acid-Gel that does wonders on the lower limbs. Simply apply a dab to the kneecap and ACL’s are a thing of the past. That’s important because she could have used that when she was a Flapper Girl trying to impress John Barrymore but her knees gave out doing the Charleston. And when her tendinitis was acting up, she needed more than prune juice to move her legs properly. She lost her job as Rosie the Riveter that way and had to go back on welfare. Knowing you weren’t contributing to the war effort while munching on Shredded Wheat from food stamps can be a crusher. And when her toe nail polish won’t wash away, Acid-Gel is right there so embarrassing Revlon stains won’t appear in the carpet. Erase your mistakes and hug ’em tighter when they score the winning touchdown, I’ve always said.

But you too can get this wondrous cream that solves a multitude of sins. You can order it online at or call 1-888-GEL-HELP. AND it will be available at Milford Apothecary and Mudlark Orthodontics come this October. It takes a little time to clear tariff regulations.

What have you got to lose except pain in your legs? I wish I’d had some when I was on the playground with Grover Cleveland. He could be a bully. Come try some today and never feel old again. Now it belongs to the ages.


Comment away, Gang. I’m going to hug Granny Clampett just as soon as she gets done boiling my jowl bacon ‘n’ chicken gizzards. We all need incentive. Like Wilt Chamberlain once said when a reporter asked if he could jump to a chandelier in the building, Wilt replied

“No, but if you throw a $100 dollar bill up there, I bet I learn real fast!!!!”

Motivation, baby.


“He could have topped the century mark in rushing if you’d left him in the game. I know you didn’t want to run up the score-”

“Chet, come to bed.”

September 21, 2019

Talk to the Hands, Maybe


Chance Macy: introvert, or just antisocial?

Bob “Kaz” Kazinski: actual coach, or Gil’s Boy Friday?

Gil “Gil” Thorp: protective of his players, or control freak media manipulator?

Hey, Rubin can write a cryptic strip, why can’t we post cryptic blog posts?

At least the Chief can indulge his hand fetish illustrating this little tête-à-tête. Either Gil has six fingers on his left hand or one of them’s his thumb peeking from between the others. Both Gil and Kaz look to have overdeveloped right hands, IYKWIMAITYD.



August 26, 2019

Practice Interrupted

Filed under: Coach Kaz, Coach Shaw, football, Gil Thorp, Steve Boone — nedryerson @ 5:33 am


It’s such a shame that the peaceful afternoon practice was interrupted. We could have had so much more practice and delved more deeply into the development of the Mudlarks depth chart.

I think that’s Steve Boone in the second panel, but we can’t see his arms because Gil is excitedly announcing the health status of the Finn family. Why is Gil so excited? Because he’s off the hook for serving greasy meat bombs during a hot practice. At least until Marjie is diagnosed with ptomaine poisoning.

August 20, 2019

Ida Bet Ida Tarbell That We’re In For Another Second String Sack Of Spuds But Idaho, Alaska.

Filed under: Coach Kaz, Coach Shaw, football, Gil Thorp — tdrewhardin @ 2:49 am


Ida know, Gang. I’m borrowing this gremlin from The Family Circus because I really want to believe that Jeffy will emerge as the frontrunner at QB and get us deep into the Playdowns but when I see sores all over his body and Gil asks if he got them from bedwetting or illicit sex with Blondie and Jeffy responds, Ida know, I’m not encouraged that Billy, Dolly, Jeffy, Barfy, and PJ will rescue us from another substandard Thorpiverse tale. The last one, outside of a minuscule,  slightly inexplicable summer football scrimmage, had no sports to speak of, no Dolly shown how to use her putter so she can end the trash-talking from the Evil Triplets, the yin to My Three Sons’ yang, no Billy practicing eluding Barfy in the back yard so he can be a first-string running back, not a second-string box of Tuna Helper, no PJ to fast-forward in age progression so he can be 3 months old in May but 16 years in August and help Milford win the Football Summer League with the game-winning tackle. So he had to spear Dagwood Bumstead with his helmet. If the refs ask how did Dagwood snap his spine while jumping over the pile at the 1-yard line, PJ can always respond “Ida know”.

Recently, I rummaged through an average hefty book on what amounted to Literature 101 and along the way, I stumbled upon a romance novel tip sheet. Yeah, really, some guidelines that many romance novel publishing companys prefer you, as the romance novel writer, need to adhere to if you want to write that Great American Romance Classic.

All righty then, fair enough. Let’s sift through this since Gil, Kaz, and ol’ what’s his name(Ida know) are chit-chatting the summer away before we get to September and Days of Our Lives with the Pigskin kicks off the Season Premiere on the WDIG-TV channel.

First off, the Hero has to be installed ideally by the first chapter, DEFINITELY no later than the second chapter.

That would make sense. If Mimi is looking for her Knight in Shining Armor, we really don’t want to labor through 18 chapters before Gil comes in late from his 60-And-Over Bowling League at Milford Lanes. How many spares did Gil pick up during that time? Did she wind up in the arms of Smidgens to tide her over until Gil decided that running up the score against Milford Foundry’s team was no longer any fun after the 8th frame of the 14th game? I can see the publishers’ point, Mimi and Smidgens are awkward bedfellows on the Serta mattress. Better bring Gil in a lot sooner. He can always tell Coach Shaw to get a life and his own comic strip, not mooching off of someone else’s glory when they run over Oakwood in the second panel after squeaking by Tilden in the first panel.

Yeah, Gil most assuredly should arrive at Mimi’s house by the second chapter. No sense in Gil not exploring the wonders of romance like all males do in the incipient stages of the romance novel. You’re not doing any coaching anyway. Get your ass over to Mimi’s arms and at least give her a bear hug, Gil.

Now here’s where the plot begins to develop. And we are advised that themes concerning extortion, international intrigue or espionage, murder, violence, other butt-ugly concepts that ruin your taste for low-sodium buttered popcorn at the Milford Cineplex have no place in a romance novel.

Again, the thesis is a fair one. Thorpiverse scored a touchdown with a Berrill-era name, Chance Macy. Why lay an egg by inserting Hugo Drax on the practice field?

“There’s Mr. Macy running an end-around on Jaws. See that great harm is done to him. Lace his jock strap with cyanide.”

Gang, that’ll work in Moonraker: The Sequel but fizzles in the football plot. As long as we’re going to pull teeth creating a football plot with pointless dialogue and one-panel victory parades sandwiched around a soap opera that ruins the flavor of Stove-Top Stuffing in your turkey at Thanksgiving, why introduce Dr. No to the tackling dummies? He shows up about as much as Coach Shaw.

So when Gil recites a poem to Mimi at The Bucket expressing his love interest, let alone his voracity for sex based upon a key concept he read in Modern Smut that he bought at Milford 7-11

How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways

You have eyes like this avocado in my Bucket Garden Salad

Your smile washes away the misery that torments my soul

The Bucket Meat Loaf and Mashed Taters and your kisses both spice up our romantic inter-



Ever since I can remember, I’ve been coming to The Bucket in my BVD’s and ordering a Bucket Danish and Bucket Maxwell House. Now you gentlemen put down your guns before I use my Magnum and blow your asses off, my Bucket Scrambled Eggs are gettin’ old.

GO TO HELL, CALLAHAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BLAM!!!!!!!!!!!BLAM!!!!!!!!!!!! BOOM!!!!!!!!!!BLAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SMASH!!!!!!!!!!!!CRASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!MORE BLAM!!!!!!!!! STILL MORE BLAM!!!!!!!!

As the remaining thug hold his water pistol to Tiki’s head

“Go ahead. Make my day.”

Well, the thug drops the gun, justice is thankfully served, but, Gang, the publishers score on this one. Exhibit A that violence and romance don’t mix in an award-winning Harlequin romance. Ship Callahan and Drax to the Louis L’Amour section and let ’em engage in Last Man Standing tactics. Keep the kissing and Elizabeth Barrett Browning poetry well-preserved in new wineskins.


It’s time to playyyyyyyyyyyy NAME THAT NATIONALITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Contestestants guess correctly that Kato wasn’t from East Germany and win a tour of the studio where Green Hornet was shot plus cash by the bucket!!!!!!!!!!! And now, here’s your host, a man who swears he’s not a citizen of the Lapp region…..Wink!!!!!!!!!!! Martinnnnnnnnndale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, so I’m being a bit of a smartass trying desperately to pinpoint where Mr. Roh is from. Safe to say he didn’t wander out of Lulu’s bed from the corn patch on Hee Haw. So WHERE IS HE FROM???????

And if attempting to locate a guy’s whereabouts is not a lot of fun and games-really, didn’t we go through this with Tiki last year (“There he is with the Spanish Inquisition, hiding behind the motorboat”…”NOBODY EXPECTS THE…”) and THIS YEAR TOO at the expense of the world of sports, the raison d’etre of Thorpiverse?-we get subjected to Coach Shaw’s new look. He is no longer Bob Vila, hosting a show on how to refurbish the pool room and throw out the old pool table with all the scratches and chewed through 8-balls and cue balls by all the resident mice and convert it into a small chapel, complete with offering plates and hymnals (“You’ll be the envy of the neighborhood when you lay a few bars on that Wurly, singing ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus”) , when he’s not emceeing Mudlark Lake Bass Fishing Tournaments in December on the Outdoor Channel (“Gil, my man, hold on to the rod!!!!!!!!!! Whew, he’s bigger than Andre the Giant!!!!!!!”) . No, Coach Shaw went to the makeup room and Pond’s Cold Creamed his way into Che Guevara. La Revolucion hijo exito grande, Fidel!!!!!!!!!!!

“Thanks, Shaw, but we’ll have bigger success if Fidel can convince me to hang onto the football on a Statue of Liberty.”

So anyway, Che is Cuban who speaks Spanish when he’s not cameoing as the football coach and leads revolutions on the weekend. Busy schedule.

STILL, who is Charlie Roh? Did he climb over the wall at the 38th parallel and seek asylum in Seoul so that he could cross over the Pacific in a rowboat so that he could show his shake-and-bake moves to Gilberto?  Ida know, some people will escape oppressive Communist regimes to be a halfback, I reckon.

Or is he a Maoist? He is distributing Little Red Books by pretending he wants a spot on the Mudlark Football team. Try him at tight end as long he as he is implementing Marxian subterfuge. Milford needs to keep its offense honest.

Wait, maybe he’s Japanese. His grandfather bombed Pearl Harbor and has hidden on Wake Island and shared a tree house with Tiki on a coconut tree until the coast was clear. But how many Japanese children in Osaka are named Charlie? There’s a Grandpa Jones in Nagasaki? Lulu? The jury is still out on this matter.

Can’t be Eskimo or Hawaiian, unless Roh is short for Hulumakolotekaroh, a name you’d find for a street sign in Pearl City. Honolulu City Council wanted the name but, as seen, it was taken by PC. And Roh isn’t Aleut or Inuit enough to justify any roots in Alaska or Yukon Territory.

Which can only mean we will spend the next 6 weeks in language lab and leave the football to The Family Circus in a pickup game in the street. They’ll be playing touch-football-below-the-waist with Wally and The Beaver. But Ida know.


If ya stage a romance with yore cousin who is modeled after one of ’em Harley-quin classics and makes the cutoff of 28 years old, young fer a heroin-e, even though she’s ugly as sin and has sailor’s chest hair and one molar on her back side of her mouth which helps her chew Wrigley’s and M & M’s, if nuthin’ else, an’ a tattoo of a Valentine on both cheeks of her rear end, ya might be a redneck.


Then there’s the heroine herself. This is no time for Dr. Pearl and her friends from the Gilded Age. Ya gotta keep the age bracket between 19 and 28. And she can be smart but no Harvard Ph.D’s here. If you feel you must use Dr. Pearl or one of her prune -faced friends, she wasn’t in the same graduating class with John Quincy Adams. I concede that she doesn’t look professional in a graduating gown sitting next to Daniel Boone so you’re gonna have to find your own happy medium. Alexander Hamilton or any flunky who took dictation on The Federalist Papers will work.

And if our heroine is not on the same intelligence persona as The Pudd’nhead Tales, it would only stand to reason she is not a manual laborer. She must be a teacher, interior designer, travel agent, etc. Do NOT let Dr. Pearl go down in the trenches and dig ditches with the rest of the Confederate troops. She does not play go-fer for Stonewall Jackson’s coffee. Being Charlie Roh’s limo driver on the way to football practice is gauche with a capital G. Let Charlie steer his own limo out of Nagasaki. Go Greyhound and leave the driving to some struggling Maoist.


And while Che is discussing Charlie Roh the Punjab’s fate, I think I have his message deciphered. I have always loved it when Thorpiverse tries to sound stately and impressive only to realize the conversation is crash-landing in the gutter somewhere.

I am CONFIDENT Coach Che Shaw is saying that if Sahib is not the man at (I think) halfback, he has the junior varsity team to fall back on. But the way ol’ Havana Cigar is putting it, well, “…if he winds up in the lower rung of the Caste System and cannot eat anything unclean and lives the life of a second-class citizen who will sleep in the boiler room of the Flemings’ garage, well, at least a few TD runs and a couple of Ickey Shuffles will elevate him to the Brahmins.” Playing football has its advantages.


In order for your romance novel to be a hit, you MUST have The Other Man and The Other Woman. These characters fill in the gaps and spice up the Romance concept. Be careful here. Don’t have Mimi falling in love with the sanitation engineer for Milford Disposal. Yeah, it’s kinda sexy for a guy to ride a garbage truck around Milford only to go to Mimi’s in the evening and make passionate love while Gil is at The Lions Club board meeting. Gil returning the favor with a woman who rides power mowers and mows down the grass at all the parks around town while Mimi is at the Umpire Rules Clinic does indeed arouse the beast in some people but Gil coming to his senses and asseverating in Chapter 28 that he is through dating menial workers who frequent Temporary Job facilities doesn’t even come close to maximizing the ethereal experience called Love. Gotta make her lawyer or a manager of the Cubs if Gil is to realize the error of his ways and return to Mimi while she’s watching “Dallas”.


“Well, that just about wraps up this preview. Charlie Roh is a cinch to start at quarterback for the nation of Bhutan. We’ll be back for some final words after this. This is Marjie Ducey for WDIG, a division of Lear Field Sports.”


“Folks, are you tired of paying high prices on all your grocery items, even the store brands? Come on, admit it, you’re like me, you hate using your Visa Gold when your purchasing Cocoa Puffs. Consolidating your debt to be able to buy Sugar Pops with more regularity can be a strain on the budget.

Hi, this is Coach Thorp for Milford Beverage Warehouse. When those wussies can’t handle the heat on the field, I go to the kitchen and take advantage of deals only a mother could love. The Warehouse cut a deal with Milford Farm Market and passed the savings on to you.

Check out these door-busters. For every purchase of a 12-pack of Bud Lite, you can get half off Pussy Pops, the store-brand cereal of Milford Kroger. Or you can get Trashy Tarts instead of the Kellogg’s brand and still have gas money on the way home. Why buy a name when you can get booze and a bargain, all in the same bag, paper or plastic?

Want something a little stronger? How ’bout Jim Beam and a 3-pound bag of gala apples that won’t bounce the check? And if you’re not an apple man, try Cutie oranges in the 4-pound bag or 5 mangoes in the same deal. Peeling a banana and downing a Jim and listening to Sammy Sosa send one over Waveland Avenue, hoo-eee,that’s exciting. And all you need is a chaser, not for the bananas, you understand. Hey, whatever yanks your crank.

But if are a whiner, then Martini & Rossi and the Milford Mart store brand pinto beans makes a deadly combo. You don’t have to eat Bush’s Best and down a white wine to clear out the crowd at the picnic table. Yup, you can cleanse your stomach and indulge in a slice of The Good Life. Who says ya gotta eat Trix while you imbibe merlot?

Come to Milford Beverage Warehouse and check out other deals this week. The next time the wife gives you the “Honey-do” list and ya gotta shop for milk and eggs and bread, well, this time, you can walk out with Wonder Bread or Morningstar Farms Scrambled Eggs in one hand and a case of Falls City in the other. Isn’t life grand? Come to Milford Beverage Warehouse where you can have your Sterling’s Draft and drink it too.”


Gang, comment away. I’d bail out too if the Stupidity Index was around 85. It’s a heat wave when it approaches triple figures.


Interesting how the romantic novel tip sheet points out that there is rarely love-making before marriage.

In other words, Gil and Mimi were never in the janitor’s closet before a basketball game. They could withstand their urges and coach the team to victory. Hard to work the refs when the kids see Gil and Mimi zipping their pants coming out of the faculty bathroom. Yeah, I agree, ya gotta keep certain things on the level.

It also mentioned that the venue should be something exotic or exciting like New York or Rio or Paris.

Gil and Mimi exuding romance while Cupid is shooting arrow after arrow at the girl’s gym is a thing of the past. Milford is a great town but hardly a place for exciting romance novels on the drug store shelf. Better stick with Rio.

But Idaho. Alaska.





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