This Week in Milford

May 20, 2023

In Which Gil Decides to Wrestle with the Pig

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. – George Bernard Shaw

Credit where credit is due: In Luke Martinez, Henry has created one toxic character. His never-ending obsession to one-up Gil Thorp and beat Gil’s teams in every sport he coaches has managed to suck in both his assistant coach and Gil himself. He’s also managed to piss off his elder son who, if there’s any sense of irony in this strip, will soon quit the team and/or transfer to Milford High in the fall.

Why does Gil need to call Hamm? To ask him if he’s seen the Korean Nightmare* clip? He should know the answer to that.

Coachella is looking a bit off-character today BTW, Chief. She needs to shave.

That’s all I’ve got for today. My laptop has been crashing and not recognizing its charger for weeks, and today I finally had to back it up and reinstall the OS. Took hours. Sorry not to have more pithy insights.

Oh, wait: I came across this online earlier this week. It dates from the late 1930s and might be as appropriate to share as Kaz’s out-of-left-field Cab Calloway reference a few days ago.

* Or, as he was known in his home country, “The Nightmare.”

May 10, 2023

Many A Tear Has To Fall

Hello gentle readers, teenchy here. tdrew is MIA and so in the spirit of continuity I’m dropping Tuesday’s strip so that we can move on to Wednesday’s. Will check in on him directly.

The jayvee Lady Mudlakrs get pounded by Goshen and Dorothy isn’t happy about it. Keri continues to slide into apple not falling far from the tree mode, trying to tell her erstwhile nemesis to shake it off.

Meanwhile Coach Ochoa pulls a chestnut from a 30-year-old movie, albeit one that most ball-and-bat players know well. Wonder if she’ll tell them to avoid the clap next.

That’s it for Tuesday. See you in a few with Wednesday’s thrilling strip.

April 24, 2023

Yas Queen, Be Careful What You Wish For

Oh look, Mimi’s back in town, officially handing over the reins of jayvee softball to Cami. Mimi’s off to coach golf… where? Milford High? Scottsdale? We’ve been missing some Mimi (and Meemaw) updates to fill in where they are on their respective journeys. I trust Henry will fill us in on those in his own good time, maybe by July.

Cami’s posting the softball roster fairly realistically. Sometimes coaches post them before giving notice to the players that they’ve been posted, but they pretty much never hang out to watch the kids look at them. Why open yourself to questions about who made the cut and didn’t? Not that standing there with a bunch of your peers to see who made the cut and who didn’t isn’t awkward enough. I remember having similar feelings in grad school when exam grades got posted. They were posted by Social Security number and, as mine was significantly different than everyone else’s in my class, folks could figure out which one was mine straight away. I was glad when they changed to posting by only the last four digits of our SSNs.

Keri’s nemesis Dorothy has made the team; how did Keri know about that on Friday? Dorothy’s slip about making it “on her own” is leading. Did a family member have pull in getting her on the cheerleading squad? Not as much as Gil did after getting Keri a slap on the wrist for bringing a butter knife to school kicking Dorothy’s #&% . Dot’s got some knuckles of her own now, so maybe Keri should think twice before reenacting kicking her #&%.

Then again, Dorothy’s a leftie; maybe she and Keri will find some common ground.

April 22, 2023

Madison Time, just not the kind you’d expect

“It’s what Coach Thorp and I will be doing while you’re playing softball. Duh.” Come on, man, you can’t start a strip off with a loaded question like that and not expect some juvenile retort! The questions from the parents aren’t too farfetched, so kudos for that.

The answer to the third question is “so you don’t call us with questions like the first one.” I’d like to see what they do with question two, though. Between the kids always eating at The Bucket or Ricozzi’s Pizza and the preseason sloppy joes, sports nutrition has kinda gotten short shrift in Milford. No place in the program for HooDad’s and vapes.

Bigger question: Why the focus on Milford JV softball and not varsity? (And since when do jayvees have postseason tournaments? No, really. If any of y’all have examples, please leave them in the comments.) Did they lose too many upperclasswomen to graduation and ODs? It happens IRL sometimes; there’s a big gap between age cohorts and schools just drop the program for a season or two until the next cohort ages in.

But back to this New Haven thing. Is henryjbarajas throwing out recent canon (goodbye, Luckey Haskins?) and taking the strip back to its Connecticut roots? He promised big news in his comment on GoComics today. Breath bated!

We of course cannot have Madison Time without, you know, Madison Time. This one’s in honor of our old friend and TWIM’s former big toe, nedryerson. Here’s hoping life’s treating you kindly, ned, wherever you are.

Apologies for the late post. I lost a (much longer) draft that I thought I’d saved.

April 12, 2023

Onomatopoeic Wednesday, with a Cameo by the Car Talk Guys

Feels weird, starting a new arc midweek instead of on a Monday. Feels weirder to end an old arc on a Milford win that isn’t a state championship. Feels weirder still to leave so many loose ends untied after an arc-ender.

Ah well, to everything there is a season. A time to mow, a time to sweep. A time to click, a time to clack. A time to snark, a time to refrain from snarking.

I’ll just take P2 as an offhand tribute to the Magliozzi brothers. They are well and truly missed.

April 5, 2023

Everybody Wants Out

The basketball arc has gotten so random that the characters have started to have enough. Cami Ochoa didn’t sign on for this when she was promoted from super soph to coach, so she’s calling an Uber to get her the hell out of here. Even Rod has had enough and is faking his own death after the block (or was it a charge? Come on, ref, do your job!).

Credit where credit is due as Barajas pulls this twist out of an actual sporting event. Didn’t expect it to be last season’s Bengals-Bills MNF game* with Rod in the Damar Hamlin role, though.

Whatever the opposite of credit where credit is due for having Tobe attempt to come to Rod’s rescue. He’s already been Mary Sued** into a multi-sport star; now he knows CPR? One PE class lesson doesn’t make you an expert. Gil – or, more likely, Trainer Rick Scott*** – would have pulled Tobe off Rod like a tick.

The EMT (Gil, in a Marine flashback, calls him a medic) can tell Rod’s faking it and is taking his sweet time getting to the kid.

Tomorrow, a meteor hurtles toward the Jefferson gym.

*And no, I’m not linking to it. We’ve seen it enough.

**Mary Sued, that is, if Barajas had been an athlete.

***Anyone seen Trainer Rick Scott lately? Another victim of budget cuts?

March 11, 2023

You get a pair! And you get a pair!! All y’all get a pair!!!

The week ends with the unbeaten Mudlark hoopers making small talk in the locker room. A snapshot of the NBA Eastern Conference standings as of this morning show the Milwaukee Bucks in first place with a 48-18 record (the best record in the league overall) and the Cleveland Cavaliers in fourth place with a 42-27 record. “Donovan” must refer to Cavs shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, who currently leads the team with a 27.7 ppg average.

Gil breaks up the patter by blowing his whistle inside the locker room. He expects anyone can hear him being temporarily deafened by the echo of the FWEET off the metal lockers? Too funny. But never mind that. Coach Thorp, Coach Ochoa and Tays (what, Emmett not good enough to get called “Coach”? They should call him MISTER Tays!) are gonna level the playing field for Leo by giving everyone on the team a new pair of kicks.

Not just any kicks, mind you, but JAMMERS, the only athletic shoes endorsed by former NFL cornerback Quentin Jammer* that come in a talking shoebox. With all that going for them, it seems pedantic to point out that they haven’t mastered proper English. I’m not talking about the use of what is becoming the accepted form of the second-person plural, but about how to punctuate it. “Y’all” is a contraction of “you all” and, as such, the apostrophe goes in the place where the contracted letters “o” and “u” went, not after a letter that was not contracted. It’s the same as “cannot” becoming “can’t” and “do not” becoming “don’t.”

Now where did the money for all these JAMMERS come from? The proceeds from the Milford Lift-A-Thon, Gil’s Tiger King used car spot, or a secret shoe endorsement deal Gil or Emmett had? Maybe we’ll find out on Monday. Y’all come back now, hear?

*That lighting bolt confirms that these are Quentin Jammer endorsed, since he spent eleven of his twelve seasons playing for the Bolts.

January 21, 2023

They seem confident, but Toby’s looking a little jaundiced tbh

Second day in a row and third of six this past week on Rod and Tobe selling vapes. That’s practically a complete story arc in the nu-look Thorpiverse. Still some dots to connect, as usual. Where are they getting the vapes? Where is the chocolate going? Is it straight up barter or are there additional steps in between? Are tattoos and legit DVDs doctored to look fake somehow involved?

Coach Ochoa* is playing bag lady for these two and she’s probably better off not knowing where the money came from. Plausible deniability could go a long way for her and Gil when this racket gets busted and Dr. Pearl comes headhunting.

Chief Lind’s officers will have no problem picking these two miscreants out in that blaze orange shitbox that must’ve come off Foxy’s lot. No problem hauling them in either, as long as they stay away from the trunk. What’s in there with the candy bars that has the power to change the color of clothing and skin? J. Frank Parnell’s aliens? Marsellus Wallace’s briefcase? Bitcoin?

*Who is Coach Ochoa coaching, exactly? The only strips we’ve seen in this season had her holding Gil’s balls in a sack or running the Milford boys through a dribbling two balls at once drill. Is there no Milford girls’ team this season? Some confirmation would be nice (hint, hint).

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