This Week in Milford

July 25, 2020

They Tried to Make Me Go to Milford

Well robmize gently reminded me that I was covering for him this week, so let me get on the stick and give you a twofer.

July 24, 2020

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You know, if this whole summer plot turned out to be nothing but Corinna tossing off one-liners about her family’s criminal past, I could live with it.

Speaking of burning things, Mimi’s gonna end up with some pretty serious burns herself if she doesn’t stop choking up on that spatula. The handle’s there for a reason, Mimi! Luckily she appears to be grilling on a Hammond B3. In any event, Gil is too hammered to notice.

July 25, 2020

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You know, if this whole summer plot turned out to be nothing but drunk, glassy-eyed Gil tossing off Captain Obvious one-liners, I could live with it.

“True should be in rookie camp but the minor leagues have been scrapped this season due to the pandemic he has some lame-assed excuse to come back to Milford.” Quick cut back to the MCC where Gil, with yet another drink glued to his hand, gets the beginning of True Standish’s sob story. Hard to believe it’s been almost five years since True led the Mudlarks to a football state championship and, aside from that little mishap with his girlfriend BFF, had the world on a string. How far and how fast can True fall? Will he be selling industrial solvents on the old Del Bader route before we’re through?

Let’s not cast True aside so quickly. Maybe he can hook up with Trey Davis. I hear Trey’s full-service.

July 18, 2020

Thirsty Week in Milford

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Look out, Milford! Corina and Phoebe are off to do some crimes! Will they go get sushi and not pay?

Not at the Milford Diner, they won’t! They’re gonna get coked up first. Is all this talk of crime and confrontation getting Corina thirsty for more than just a Coke?

Perhaps this chivalrous gent in the Tampa Bay Rays cap can slake that thirst. Alert TWIMers (i.e., most TWIMers) have speculated said gent is unicorn in cleats True Standish. True left for Wake Forest in the fall of 2016 where he was slated to compete for a quarterback spot. He did wow some scouts during his brief stint as Mudlark bullpen ace, but was that enough to lead him down the path of a baseball career? Even if it was, True was shown not to be the kind of guy to call attention to himself by wearing gimme gear, even if it’s from his employer.

So there’s your Saturday cliffhanger, gentle readers. Comment away and don’t be like me  – stay safe, cool and hydrated.

July 11, 2020

Ridiculousness

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Ridiculousness is an MTV show that’s kind of like a more painful version of America’s Funniest Home Videos, starring some flatbiller skateboarder type and with a panel consisting of a rapper, a guest and a woman who laughs like SpongeBob. It’s one of son of teenchy’s guilty pleasures and that’s about all I know about it.

Ridiculousness is also what these past four months have been in this strip. Today this inanity has come to an end and in the most predictable, yet contrived manner possible. I can’t hammer home hard enough how ridiculous it was for Gil not to stand up for Mike against Dr. Pearl and the school board, how even more ridiculous it was for that non-Hadley V. Baxendale lawyer to roll over and play dead without putting up any kind of fight (seriously, are there any decent lawyers in Milford?), and how most ridiculous that someone at State U. bought Gil’s story that Mike’s challenging the Mudlarks to a baseball game, assembling the Valley Modified Freakazoids! and leading them to an ass-whooping-turned-gorgefest somehow exemplified “leadership, responsibility, perseverance” and reversed The Mayor’s rejection decision. (Phew! Gotta watch my pulse rate.)

What else was ridiculous? Mike’s gal pal Phoebe not telling him to put away the butter knife as soon as she saw him whip it out. The Lady Mudlarks’ lack of pitching depth and Mimi’s one-girl rotation (not the first time we’ve seen that). The way the Lady Mudlarks fell off the radar once their lack of pitching depth was shown. The self-congratulatory catering of Gil, Kaz, Rooney and Mimi. Anna Karenina Corinna Corinna bringing softball gear to a baseball game. (BTW, we missed an opportunity to bring up the monster catcher’s mitt Paul Richards designed for Clint Courtney and Gus Triandos to use when catching knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm.)  Finally, we have the ridiculousness of Mike’s former teammates pelting him with their gloves. Hope you don’t end up with a concussion, Mayor!

So a redemptive ending for Mike Knappe via Gilberto ex machina. But what will happen to the Valley Modified Kids? Where’s Ardis Carhee’s Gil Thorp to pull his nuts out of the fire? Where’s Corinna “Don’t Call Me Karen” Karenina’s Mimi to help her overcome her authority issues? These Dead End Kids will be tossed aside and forgotten like so many cardboard cutouts of fans that will populate MLB stadiums if and when the majors resume their sham of a 60-game season in a couple of weeks. That, gentle readers, is the even bigger tragedy here – one that Neil Rubin has used to take us to this slapdash happy ending that, really, isn’t all that happy.

 

 

July 3, 2020

Wasnt this gonna be a big game?

Dont know where to start- fielding tips, batting tips, pizza breaks, an umpire who by all rights should’ve headed for the hills an hour ago, and now — a sub sandwich delivery guy??  I’ve heard of fiascos but this – tops em all. Its almost turning into a Harlem Globetrotters game, where a semblance of a basketball game turns into a charade with goofy timeouts, confetti in a water bucket, and non-competitive action.

But the difference is WE KNEW BEFOREHAND! This shambles of a game is wasting the time of the fans in the stands (where have they been for 3 days?) and of course Mr. Umpire, who has the balls of a midget. No ump worth his salt would put up with anything like this fiasco. Throw everyone out of the park and go home. Thats what a real man in blue would do. Wasting his fuckin time showing delinquents how to play baseball.. not happening, man. Gimme my 25 bucks and see ya.

Of course with the odd angle of the catcher in P2, the ump stands a good chance of getting clocked in the nuts with a well-timed fastball. But since he doesnt have any, no worries.

July 1, 2020

How Long Before the Dancing Flash Mob?

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We’re back from the pizza break. Just how did those pizzas ex machina show up? Please tell me one of the VM! kids leaned on Nick of Nick’s Pizza to get them gratis. “Nice delivery van you got there. Shame if something happened to it.” Now let’s see if any of these kids puke ’em up like the football players did with their sloppy joes last summer.

Wouldn’t this have been much more entertaining if Rubin had stuck to the old ’80s movie conceits, like in Animal House, Bachelor Party or Revenge of the Nerds? Instead we’re left to watch him trot out more random crap to pad this final week of the arc. The ump is as ready to get this over as we are; I think he heard the malls were reopening and is ready to get back to work at Foot Locker. No wonder he’s annoyed at yet another time out being called – but who’s calling it? Who the hell is this young lady stepping out to give Ardis a “quick pointer or two,” and why did she wait so long to do it? Couldn’t this have happened last week, when the Dead End Kids were practicing?

June 29, 2020

Is There A Gluten Free Option?

Filed under: actual action, baseball, Exploding Eyeball Syndrome, softball, Valley Modified — nedryerson @ 5:44 am

This little game just keeps getting weirder and weirder. Big turnout, swapping players, lending equipment and now some cool dude in a van shows up with 20 pizzas. OMG, it’s the wackiest “game” we’ve ever seen.

This will be fun for the spectators. They can watch these kids eat. (I think that’s what’s missing in spectator sports today, meal breaks for the competitors.) I hope they have some tables and chairs. Some plates and napkins would be good too. If not hey can just spread twenty pizza boxes in the infield dirt and the teams can stand around eating pizza to the delight of the crowd.

June 17, 2020

This Plot Finally Gets Its Much-Needed Crutch

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P1: Don’t look so surprised, Mimi. You knew her ankle looked sketchy. Where was Trainer Rick Scott when you needed him? Does he only train for the football team?

P2: Having once again failed to develop any pitching depth (see Radley, Boo and Hobson, Carrie), Mimi resorts to strategically planting land mines along the basepaths. Unfortunately the mines aren’t very powerful and the Madison runner still scores. An eye for an eye and an ankle for an ankle won’t cut it in the Valley, Mimi. As if you care.

P3: Ah yes, back to the perspective we’re used to in this strip: Girls watching boys. At least I think that’s a girl. Maybe it’s Phoebe and she’ll help Mike and the Misfits hone their skills to beat the Mudlarks. After it’s all done she’ll say it was her way of protesting the draconian zero-tolerance policy that went unchallenged and sent Mike down this path of pathos.

June 3, 2020

It Helps If You Chant “MEAN MACHINE” While You Read This

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Once again Neal Rubin has driven the Milford High Activity Bus off the road and into the ditch. What was being set up as some kind of indictment of school zero-tolerance policies has morphed into some weird-ass pickup game challenge that’s equal parts The Sandlot and The Longest Yard. As farfetched as it is I have a hunch it will come to pass, since Gil’s Mudlarks will probably miss the playdowns as per usual.

This comes off as more ego gratification for the walking ego that is Mike Knappe, but I’m picking up broad hints that there’s a bigger message being sent here: don’t fight the system, accept the hand you’re dealt, and when life gives you lemons, suck on them. Not the best of timing there.

I’m sure Rubin’s got his reasons for going down this path but unlike the Caretaker, I ain’t got eight years to hear them.

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