This Week in Milford

May 7, 2022

You, Reading Gil Thorp. Me, Trying To Snark About It.

Charis the tennis player (the only Milford High girl we’ve been introduced to this season so far) points out how ludicrous it seems to jump to conclusions about Papa Hamm’s camera-shyness. Since the witness protection program idea has already been thrown out, it can’t be the reason. Odds are it’s something really stupid he’s using as an excuse for ghostwriting books for business executives.

Smash cut to La Maison Du Jambon where we have another Milford athlete’s mom ticked off at that Milford athlete’s dad’s bizarre behavior. Shades of last spring, non? Mama Hamm’s appearance begs the question: If he’s the one trying to hide, why’s she the one who’s constantly changing her hair, clothes, and glasses? Mama’s confrontational speech reads like a lame Milford Mad Lib:

“You, fantasizing about Marjie Ducey. Me, indulging your fantasy by dyeing my hair blonde and putting on wire-rimmed glasses.”

“You, trying to live down the failed tryout for Colonel Sanders you lost to Norm McDonald. Me, suggesting you should be the one who dyes their hair.”

“You, thinking you can’t be seen. Me, thinking our son can’t see.” Wait, neither of them are thinking this. That’s how this plot has remained even remotely plausible.

Have at it with your own Milford Mad Libs in the comments, gentle readers, and stay dry this weekend.

April 20, 2022

Nothing Here Is Really Surprising, Is it?

When son of teenchy was young I, like most parents of young children, read bedtime stories to him. As SoT got older, the bedtime stories got more age-appropriate as well. We went through a phase where we read the books of Kate DiCamillo. Kate DiCamillo has written some outstanding children’s lit, beginning with Because of Winn-Dixie; two of her books won Newberrys (The Tale of Despereaux and Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures.) Kate DiCamillo has a distressing trope of giving her characters peculiar names (e.g., Despereaux Tilling, Edward Tulane, Peter Augustus Duchene, Louisiana Elefante) and referring to those characters only by their full names.

The last DiCamillo book we read was Flora & Ulysses. The title characters are a 10-year-old girl who looks like Terry Gross and a squirrel who becomes possessed of writing ability after being sucked into a vacuum cleaner. One of the supporting character in F&Y was William Spiver, an 11-year-old boy who is only ever referred to by his full name, William Spiver. Never William, or Willie, or Bill, or Billy, but always William Spiver. William Spiver suffers from hysterical blindness due to some never quite specified family trauma. When it comes to names, Wilson Henry is this season’s William Spiver. When it comes to visual acuity, Gregg Hamm is this season’s William Spiver.

More exposition piling on: Hamm has had problems with his eyesight for years, and has never done anything about it. Hamm is also not From Milford, so Milford’s shallow gene pool cannot be blamed for his vision (some other genetic cause or parental neglect) or credited for his talent (as Milford never grows its own).

The solution to Hamm’s problem can be found today in that other, slightly more realistic, sports comic, Tank McNamara.

March 26, 2022

Somebody Could’ve Used a Magic Peacock

Admit it, gentle readers: Unless you’re a fan of one of the other remaining teams in the Big Dance, you’re all St. Peter’s fans now. March Madness has its own magic peacocks this year, and they have nothing to do with an imagined reincarnation of a player’s recently deceased sibling. Not the Catholic university in North Jersey anyone would have expected to shine in the tournament, is it? Always great to see a Cinderella in March, and yet another reminder that it’s easier for schools to be competitive in college basketball that they can be in college football.

It’s also something to talk about besides this arc-ender that feels like a mistake. This story feels like it should have ended yesterday, with these two mooks hanging Pranit Smoothie upside down by his ankles in front of a stunned home crowd an emptied-out gym. (A shame Pranit Rock couldn’t have them doing the same to his welchers. It would’ve made more sense than that cockamamie bunch of lies he cooked up.) Betcha Gil wasn’t expecting his hired muscle to flex on his own teammates.

Reading today’s strip give me the feeling that Rubin & Whigham intended yesterday’s strip to be the last in the arc, then realized that they had not only counted the days incorrectly but also forgot to end it with their signature touches:

Lame joke? Check!

Main character exiting through doorway? Check!

Awkward high-five/fist bump? Check!

Jazz hands? Check!

Hey, did anybody notice they’re playing baseball again? With more wacky rules to make the game more attractive to the attention-span challenged? Wonder how Rubin will approach the season. Another spunky, talented out-of-towner moves to Milford and joins the Mudlarks? The team rallies around a stuffed animal or some other superstitious good luck charm? A slight infraction leads to the benching of a star player until the last game of the season, when nothing’s on the line? What’s the over/under on any of these happening?

See you Monday to find out where it all starts. Until then, go Peacocks!

March 21, 2022

What Does Cressa Want?

Cathy still has the floor. She’s been filibustering all weekend, pleading the case for her bestie, The Captain with the dislocated hip. Tell ’em, Cathy. Hollis wants what’s best for everyone. She wants wins and for everyone to be better. Sheesh, Cressa, what don’t you get about that?

Mimi, on the way out the door for cocktail hour, picks up on Cathy’s inspiring defense of The Captain and she…makes a face. Maybe she’ll make Cathy co-captain for the last couple games. Maybe she’ll tell Cressa to hit the showers because she’s stinking up the place and the rest of the team is dressed and ready to go. Maybe she won’t do anything because why not, these girls will work it out. They always do. It’s the Milford way.

March 2, 2022

Kaiser Gilhelm Steps Up

Man, check out the withered arm on Gil! Is he ready to be Emperor of Germany or what? Actually, his forearm looks to be appropriately sized, but his bicep has shriveled considerably. Must be hard keeping his arm still above the elbow while he shoots pocket pool. That, or all the blood in his arm has traveled to his super engorged hand.

Now that Dr. Pearl’s involved, Pardon My Pranit is just steps away from taking the express bus to Valley Modified. He should’ve gone there first to find his hired muscle.

What’s today’s lesson, gentle readers? All together now: “Always get the money up front before you place someone else’s bets.” Sheesh, what an amateur.

February 28, 2022

Gil Makes His Move

Gil has been stirred from his default setting of blissful unawareness by Gordon’s disclosure. Initiate Gilbot 2000 Concern Sequence! So now that Gil knows about the gambling situation (plus the potential violence situation) what is his responsibility in this matter. Should this be reported up to the administration of Milford High, so parents can be notified and other steps taken to correctly apply the policies of the school? Nah, ol’ Gil just launches himself straight into action and grabs Pranit out of the classroom to start applying justice Thorpstyle.

C’mon Gil, you can’t soft pedal this, although we haven’t been given any reason to believe that Gil would try to bend the rules to keep Pranit from getting tossed out of school. Has the kid even played any games since the very beginning of the season? We have no clue. Maybe Gil is doing the “right thing” and taking Pranit (who has suddenly gotten a bit darker in skin tone) straight down to the office to let them sort out this ridiculousness.

February 26, 2022

Please Gordon Don’t Hurt ‘Em

“Not exactly, I mean.

A threat should do it, mostly.

Maybe just a hint.”

We’ve hit the home stretch

Finally Gil Thorp’s involved

What took him so long?

For that matter, why

three strips for Pranit to ask

Gordon to be goon?

For that matter, why

is Gordo acting so surprised?

Muscle’s all he’s been!

The king of picking

winners should have gotten all

the money up front

But noOOOo! What a putz!

Where’s he gonna find a goon

On such short notice?

Cressa Baxter? She’d

do it for a Jiffy Tart

Or can of White Claw

Gordon doesn’t know

the difference between what’s

crazy and stupid

Check out Gil’s office

All those empty picture frames

Titles never won

Empty picture frames

or mirrors? Maybe Gil Thorp

is a vampire

(edit: Dunno wth is going on with my spacing; these are haikus and the spacing between paragraphs isn’t showing when I publish. Little help?)

February 19, 2022

Future: it’s not just what Steve Luhm uses on the floors

Sound General Quarters! General Quarters! All hands man your battle stations! Wait, wrong branch. Let’s try some other rallying cry.

Wonder Twin Powers, activate!

Shape of – a Milford victory!

Form of – a ??? defeat!

Shape of – a teenage growth spurt!

Form of – post-game dap!

Shape of – a sophomore sensation!

Form of – a senior benchwarmer!

Shape of – new hotness!

Form of – old busted jawn!

“Perfectly hilarious” per faithful TWIMer hitorque.

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