Central City has been notoriously bad to Milfordians over the years, and it looks like it’s going to be so again in the near future. How do they know Van Auken there? Did he play for Central in the past (and, if he did, wouldn’t Gil and Kaz already be familiar with his work)? That’s unclear from this exchange, but these young ladies know of him there. What’s also unclear is how they plan to “welcome” Ryan back
. Apropos of nothing, I watched Bull Durham last night for the first time in years, so my mind runs to locker room hijinks, garter belts and poetry readings. However, knowing this strip there’ll be mocking from the bleachers, probably involving people dressed up like hurricanes (the meteorological event, not the beverage) and a sign man or two. Meanwhile back in Milford…
… we’ve not yet been treated to a Mouseketeer Roll Call for the Lady Mudlarks*, but it would appear that their catcher is Le Pétomane. Even the home plate umpire is rendered speechless by the Milford catcher’s talking hind parts. It only seems fitting that Mimi’s minions are playing host to a team from the land of the noble gases. Clearly they’re not in Kansas anymore. Tune in on Monday when Carrie Hobson lobs a few smoke grenades of her own across the plate.
*And we seldom are, cf. the boys’ teams.
Maybe Wellington batters could make contact with Ryan Van Auken’s stuff if they weren’t using cricket bats. Maybe CB Bucknor has found an umpiring job closer to his level and called that a foul tip. Maybe Wellington’s first base coach (if they have one) shouldn’t let his baserunners get such a huge lead trailing by three runs. Maybe Wellington shouldn’t channel the early 1980s Phillies by wearing powder blues at home. Maybe I should go back to using the black & white version of this strip for my posts.
In any event, much less drama than we were expecting out of the new kid who, from this angle, is looking an awful lot like the old new kid. Guess we’ll have to wait a bit for his first meltdown. Maybe on the bus ride back to Milford?
Cute boys are all the girls can think about, amirite fellas? Ha Ha!
Bonus point: That is the most pronounced case of EES I have yet seen and somehow Carrie’s face seems (relatively speaking) OK in panel three.
Today the high-rolling Milford School Board veep gets a mashup name from the famed comic and cartoon character and the famed pro wrestling heel manager but one that yields no Google results on its own. He looks like a slightly paunchy version of Gil, and the trifecta of head bobble, exploding eye and freak hand (missing an amputated sixth digit between index and middle fingers) make him right at home in Milford.
He’s clearly capable of picking up a phone and calling Dr. Pearl who, with that broken right wrist of hers, may have had to put him on speaker. The good doctor relays his message to Ms. Rizk, who replies with a deft pop culture/product placement zinger of her own. She may not be much of a journalist, but she knows where she stayed last night.
A couple of cameos to report: the Funkyverse’s Les Moore joins the Milford faculty after having his face slapped for being such a pretentious douche, and an off-camera cameo by Rex Morgan, MD‘s daughter Sarah, who obviously hand-lettered Dr. Pearl’s name plate.
As another rando Mudlark continues to double fist pump for heaven knows what reason, exit stage right Quadruple AAAA and Big Ken Brown in best Rick Blaine and Captain Renault fashion. (This twin figures walking away into the shadows to end an arc thing is becoming a Whigham hallmark.) All that’s missing is Tina Aagard boarding a plane with letters of transit to… a rehab clinic?
Here’s where I profess total ignorance. Is it typical for single parent addicts to be sent directly into residential rehab programs and give up custody of their children during that time, do not pass go, do not collect $200? Is it typical for single parent addicts being sent directly into rehab under such circumstances to not even say goodbye to said children? I’ll give Rubin a smidgen of credit for attempting to address some troubling phenomena facing the US today: the interplay between the spread of opioid addiction and the decline of the white working and middle class.
I will also profess total ignorance of this plot twist when I made my Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner reference a couple of weeks ago. I chose that reference thinking that Gil would use his animal charm to coerce Aaron’s teammates’ families to invite Aaron over for a series of meals. I did not factor race into the equation and, until reading yesterday’s post, didn’t really factor it into this arc at all. Given that Hiatt-Brown household has been portrayed as one of the more successful ones in the Thorpiverse over the past few arcs, I did wonder whether Ken’s snoopiness about Aaron’s home life was going to lead into a subplot that gave him feet of clay. Any thoughts of that have been erased now that Aaron will be getting a taste of Ken’s dad’s home cooking while giving the Hiatt-Browns an intro to the joys of EDM.
Baseball on Monday, then? I wonder what usual suspects Rubin will round up for the team this season.
I am amazed, again, at how much this whole thing is just Gil winging it and largely deferring to AaAa’s whims.
Panel three raises all kinds of questions as Mike’s hangdog expression and Ken’s exploding eyeball suggests that they still feel like they should be solving the case of the kid who’s parents do drugs (and/or live in Norway).
Yeah, you called me on it, Tina
I’m just a Milford wiener
Don’t coach, I just observe
But now I’ve started meddlin’
Someone’s got some Oxy’s peddlin’
Yeah, I got a lot of nerve
Phallic trophies I may brandish
Thanks to golden boy True Standish
Honors that I don’t deserve
But my team’s been gettin’ beaten
‘Cause your Aaron ain’t been eatin’
But I got a lotta nerve?
Now don’t be getting nervous
I’ll be calling Social Service(s)
‘Cause they’re only there to serve us
And we don’t all always get what we deserve…
Then you’re sure to lose your jobs,
Your car, your son. Some nerve!
Reason I like the color version of the strip today: without it, I’d have thought the furniture was made of the same plaster as the walls.
Reason I don’t like the color version of the strip today: Who has skintone teeth outside of a low-budget Hanna-Barbera cartoon?* Maybe I’m wrong and those are just Tina’s badly cracked lips.
*Speaking of meddlin’
Now that we’re here at this pivotal juncture, it looks like we really have to linger on this interaction. Alright, the Monday morning reset dictates that we reiterate a bit, which accounts for half of the strip. So we can keep gnawing on this bone a bit more. Gil does have a duty to Aaron, now that he finally put on a blazer, paid attention and started to care in the morally upright, Gil Thorp way.
Of course Aaron doesn’t want to face this problem head on. He’s developed a coping strategy that he thinks will get him by. This is a bad situation for a kid. There’s no two ways about it. I don’t think Gil has a choice here, so Aaron’s eyeballs will probably be exploding for several days to come.