This Week in Milford

December 28, 2017

There’s a 10-cent Big Guy Deposit Fee in Milford


As this strip stumbles forward to end the football season and the calendar year simultaneously, the slapdash approach to tying up loose plot ends prompts me to approach today’s post in a similar fashion.

“That big kid?” Maybe Gil should’ve signed up for baseline testing himself.

Nice to see Marcie from Peanuts grew up and landed a teaching gig. Is she teaching math (cosines?) or opera (Così fan tutte)? That big kid can sing, or so we’ve been told.

The part of Ricardo “Call Me Richard” Soto, Sr. is being played today by Ivan Reitman-era Bill Murray.  I reckon Billy was able to tear himself away from Mr. Bakst at The Gin Joint. YHS was unable to make it to Charleston this Christmas and so, not unlike Marty Moon, is drinking alone.


December 25, 2017

Time Out


Here we go. Rick Soto is walking in to this improbable confrontation to put the final nail in Uncle Gary’s coffin. The only way this would be interesting is if it’s not Rick, but the guy whose couch Gary slept on rent free for months. That couch was expensive and Gary’s gonna pay!

That’s all neither here nor there. It’s time for the Christmas greeting. It looks like Kelly and Bob get to participate this year. It’s only fitting as it was Kelly’s internet ninja skills that finally nudged this stupid plot from it’s endless torpor. As far as the Thorp kids go, just forget about them. They’re never coming back.

Merry Christmas everyone.


December 22, 2017

We’re So Sorry, Uncle Gary


We’re so sorry, Uncle Gary

We’re so sorry but you’ve become such a pain…

No, no, not again. I won’t go down the song parody path again today.  Nope, as they say on HGTV, this is the day of the big reveal. The suspended law license explains why he has so much time on his hands; the bankruptcy explains why he’s looking to little Ricky as the gravy train. Finally, since we didn’t go all internet ninja on “Gary DuBose” earlier this week, I’ve taken the liberty of doing so. Let’s start here:


Making the HGTV analogy may be appropriate after all, given that the real Gary DuBose looks to be some kind of a real estate flipper. Gil’s hairy talking flipper promises a  “But wait, there’s more!” moment that will keep us on the edge of our Staples-issue office chairs until tomorrow.

December 14, 2017

Takes One to Know One… or Two


Y’know, it’s been hard to make light of this fall’s subject matter, especially since Rubin’s done the legwork to pull in “Dr.” Joanne Gerstner and give cred where cred’s due. (I’d pat myself on the back for calling out the caveats in the BU study that Dr. Gerstner called out yesterday but that feels like piling on.) By now the TWIM faithful has no doubt seen what happened to the Texans’ Tom Savage and the aftermath last weekend (and no, I’m not gonna link to it) or read about ex-Chief Larry Johnson’s trials and tribulations with what he suspects might be CTE. No, none of this is a laughing matter, and again credit to Rubin for at least trying to approach the subject from a reasonable POV. High school kid has a potential talent outside of a sport that could be negatively impacted by certain injuries that could be sustained in that sport? Concerned parents seek to dissuade their child from participation in that sport for that reason? Sure, it all checks out.

We’re left with snarking on the usual shortcomings of this strip: the need to contrive a villainous adult with bad intentions as a plot device; the continual parade of weak, underdeveloped female characters who consistently fail the Bechdel Test; and the haphazard pacing that seldom reflects the actual pace of the season of the sport being played. All of those come to a head today as Rick finally calls bullshit on Uncle Gary’s little charade. Uncle Snidely Whiplash falls back on the “I’mma tell yo’ mama!” defense and it’s up to the reader to connect the dots between a Central City parking lot and Gil’s cushy office. Gil exposes Uncle Gary tomorrow, gets to spout some pithy platitudes on Saturday, and next week will be a mad rush of strips telling but not showing us how Milford misses the playdowns.

If you told me that Uncle Gary and Mama Soto were in some kind of incestuous, mind-controlling relationship and that Mama gets propped up in front of the monitor like one of Saddam Hussein’s human shields on Skype calls to Daddy Soto, I wouldn’t blink. It’d at least offer some explanation for the adult interpersonal relationships in the Soto household.

metapost: In the roar of so many other things going on this week I completely missed the obituary for “Mr. Falcon,” Tommy Nobis. The face of that franchise in its early years – and a force for good in and around Atlanta after his playing career – Nobis was another player haunted by injury to his body and mind.

December 7, 2017

We can’t trust Rick’s long-term health to some big-city lawyer, either


He said “tested” instead of “studied”? Does he know anything about scientific research? Currently the only reliable diagnoses of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) are post-mortem studies of brain tissue. Testing for CTE may come in the future, once reliable biomarkers are found. The data Uncle Gary cites comes from a study, not from testing. Why leave out the CFL players and collegians, Gary? Huh? How about the caveat that the brains donated belonged to people who had been symptomatic?

A reader new to Gil Thorp who had just read only the past week of strips might be forgiven for siding with creepy uncle.  Longtime readers know Gary is just one in a long line of Thorpiverse adults seeking to exploit a child athlete for their own personal gain or wish fulfillment. That he chooses to do so by cherry-picking data favorable to his case is consistent with his portrayal as some kind of lawyer (ambulance chaser PI litigator, maybe? still not established) but calls his own credentials into question. Why Connie Soto or, especially, Absent Dad Soto hasn’t yet done so is one of the biggest plot holes in this fall story arc.

December 1, 2017

Get On The Bus!

Filed under: actual action, Exploding Eyeball Syndrome, football, Milford Idiots — nedryerson @ 11:48 am


Wow, that first panel is really something. Rick and his teammates are watching their QB(?) as he retreats from at least two defenders who are likely to induct him into the Milford Pantheon of Head Injuries. The cozy confines of the playing field and sidelines are also rather remarkable.

The second panel has some interesting sights, as well. Is #7 draping his arm around a reporter conducting an interview? Is that a reporter with long, dark hair? Who could that be?

Rick’s statement is really one of the funniest things I’ve read in this strip in a while. It’s funny because of its naked sincerity. Who wouldn’t want to ride on a bus with friends, cracking wise rather than sit in the car listening to Uncle Gary?

Speaking of Uncle Gary:

November 29, 2017

Worst Maternal Instinct Ever


Alternate title to today’s post: Milford! Drive Away From Here And Never Come Back!

We give Rubin a lot of well deserved grief for poor plot construction and characterization, but I think Connie (is that her name? Can’t be bothered to look it up…) Soto takes the cake. It’s amazing, we know more about Rick’s dad’s story and he’s been in Dubai this whole time!

Bonus Question: Is Uncle Gary wearing the jacket I think he’s wearing?

November 23, 2017

Hawker Rocked Like a Hurricane


Finally the focus turns to football, just as it should on Thanksgiving Day. I know I’ve ranted about Milford and other teams wearing white at home but absent any explanation it’s a pet peeve of mine*. Maybe New Thayer is the Valley’s version of LSU and they’ve got a wacky coach like Les Miles. They have a fancier crate for Marty than Marty has at home, I’ll give ’em that. That and a cooler turn in the weather has Marty breaking out his Captain Haddock mock turtleneck.

I suppose we’ll spend the next couple of days in suspense over which Mudlark comes out of this game with a concussion. Nick Hawker is thrown out there as the first candidate; he doesn’t appear to be the ball carrier in P3, so I’m thinking New Thayer’s initial approach is to take away the dive. Gil should know by now that a key to a successful option offense is to chop and cut block like a mother, Georgia Tech style. Maybe a NT defender will land a knee to the head of a chopping Milford lineman. You knew these boys would be tempting fate yesterday by getting their burgers from a drive-thru and not at The Bucket.

It’s this kind of gridiron analysis that we’ve been pining for all season long. Have at it, TWIMers, and happy turkey day!

*TWIMer Downpuppy notes the Mudlark unis are a bit snazzy in the color version of today’s strip, not unlike a Georgia blackout.


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