This Week in Milford

February 13, 2021

Today I Learned Privilege Is a Thing in Milford

****THIS IS THE SATURDAY POST****

Lemme get this straight. Doug Guthrie decides when he blows off practices and when he suddenly unmisses games there are no consequences from the coaching staff. He speeds through town just as snow beings to fall – from a clear blue sky no less. (I know that when it rains while the sun shines, the devil is beating his wife; what’s he doing when it snows while the sun shines?) He gets pulled over and let go by a deferential Milford cop who asks him pretty please to slow down. Let’s not even bother to guess whether Doug’s self-assessment of his driving skills is sarcastic or not and cut to the chase: just who is Doug’s father anyway?

Could it be there’s finally a man in Milford who is so powerful and influential that even Gil Thorp dare not cross him? Is he the Thorpiverse’s version of Skip Barber or Bob Bondurant? If Pops Guthrie is so wealthy and has such an in with the po-po, why doesn’t he slide them some coin? This poor Milford cop is under-dressed (no coat in the snow) and appears to be driving a Crown Vic Police Interceptor that is ten years old at the newest.

We’ve been wandering almost rudderless for two months now. This latest development has the potential to be more interesting than the social butterfly who can’t play defense stroking the PA announcer with CP’s ego, or why the fire hydrant with a chip on her shoulder cares about any of it. Of course, this means we probably will hear no more about Pops Guthrie until we find out he’s paid off Chief Lind after Doug does donuts on Dr. Pearl’s lawn.

Speaking of donuts on lawns: Doug may own a GTO, but if he owned a Camaro you know it’d be bitchin’.

February 10, 2021

Spread the Word. How Easy Is That?

Finally we learn who the Lady Mudlarks were playing the past couple of strips, as well as the outcome. Vic either must have said “Co-Co-Rina” off-panel yesterday or unnamed Lady Mudlark randomly tagged Corina with it. Painfully apparent that the Thorpiverse exists in another dimension as she hasn’t been called the painfully obvious and not entirely inappropriate “Corinavirus.” Of course the obvious question is “If Vic Doucette slaps a wacky nickname on you and there’s nobody there to hear it, does it stick?”

It will if The Contessa has anything to say about it. There’s precedent for guys coming out to girls’ games if it means that those girls will keep talking to them. Throw in a pat on the arm and they’ll get the bleachers packed. Maybe the nerd on the left in P3 will have added a few more whiskers to his scraggly mustache (which earns him a Pantheon of Hair tag and earns The Chief kudos for the accurate teenage boy facial hair) in time for the next game when Vic whips people into a frenzy.

February 6, 2021

Shouldn’t You Be Playing the Game Instead of Talking to the PA Guy?

“Vic, my man! What happened to you? I thought we were cool. Bros before, uh, not bros.”

“Well, Tessi Milton made it pretty hard, if you know what I mean and I think you do.”

After the past couple of strips this comes as a surprise. I was sure Vic was gonna honor the age-old tradition of giving Milford girls’ teams short shrift compared to the boys’ teams. Wonder if we’ll find out just how Tessi was able to coerce Vic to call the Lady Mudlarks’ games. Somehow I don’t think root beer was involved.

Hey, but that pep talk Vic gave Doug is doing wonders for Doug’s confidence. Not only is he not moping around, he feels relaxed enough to have this little chat with Vic in what appears to be the middle of a game and while he’s in possession of the ball. This stunt should get Doug kicked off the team faster than you can say “Michael Schumacher,” but who knows given how welcoming Gil was when Doug told him he was scrubbing a race so he could play against Oakwood.

edit: Alert (or, at least, less fixated on the idea that Doug is doing something wrong than I) TWIMer Hitorque has pointed out that this convo is probably going on during pregame warmups, which makes far more logical sense than my hot take. Either way, how Tessi convinced Vic to cover the girls’ games still remains a mystery.

January 23, 2021

CK Likes It Rough!

Nice bit of analysis from Rob yesterday, and a bit prescient too. Walking fire hydrant Corina convinced Mimi to let her slide over and guard the Central forward while Tessi (she does have a first name) Milton presumably shifted over to cover the off guard Corina had been covering. The strategy pays off as Corina’s presence so flusters the Lady Bobcat that she dislocates her right arm at the shoulder and recalls Alexa Watson a former Ottawa Senator clangs a shot off the underside of the rim.

It’s not entirely clear how Corina, now dubbed CK, ended up with the shiner, but the Central girl’s elbow probably had something to do with it. Taking one for the team seems to have put her back on the good side of her teammate whose eyeball exploded when she called Tessi by her last name. It also saved her having to put it on CK’s face herself during practice. Now let’s see if the Lady Mudlarks run with this idea, letting CK bang into the opponent’s star players while freeing up Tessi to shoot rainbows.

metapost: Late in the day and it’s not news anymore but I can’t let the death of Henry Aaron pass completely without comment. There’s nothing I can say about the Hammer that hasn’t already been said more eloquently by someone else (his NYT obituary, for example). As can be inferred from a lot of my posts, yhs spent a number of years living in Georgia. I got to know a number of people associated with the Braves during that time but, unfortunately, Hank was not one of them.

Henry Aaron was the target of a lot of racial hate in the early ’70s as he closed in on and surpassed Babe Ruth’s home run record. Sadly the news of his death is being similarly clouded, as he died less than three weeks after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Along with former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young, Aaron got vaccinated in public as a means of showing the vaccine was safe and of encouraging the public to get vaccinated. I haven’t seen that the cause of his death has been announced, but there are plenty of rumors flying that the vaccine played a role. Many people are skeptical of the vaccine’s efficacy and safety, and memories of the Tuskegee Experiment have created distrust of government-provided medical care among the population Aaron and Young sought to reassure. Until we know more about Aaron’s passing, we shouldn’t speculate, nor should we draw conclusions about the vaccine’s safety and efficacy regardless of his cause of death.

That’s about as much of a soapbox as I will get on tonight. The world has lost a great ballplayer, a great civil rights activist, and a great man.

December 26, 2020

Doug Guthrie, Kartboy*

Happy Boxing Day! Joyous Kwanzaa! Gentlemen, start your engines! Wait, what?

We may want to rethink that Doug Guthrie/Janet Guthrie relation. Doug’s gearheadedness extends not only to his choice of daily driver but also to that which distracts him from fulfilling his Thorpian duty. There’s gotta be more to the picture than meets the eye here.

What kind of kid dailies a ’66 Goat in the Rust Belt? Not one who cares about exposing it to the winter elements, and most likely not one that had to scrape the pennies together to buy it himself. Hagerty values a ’66 Tri-Power hardtop from $24K for a car in #4 condition to $75K for one in #1 condition. The obvious answer would be that Guthrie’s little GTO must be bankrolled by his family, along with his karting. But not so fast – there are monetary prizes to be had in karting, and it’s been used as a springboard to higher levels of auto racing. The list of Formula 1 champions who started in karts is an impressive one indeed, including current and seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton. So before we dive in and assume this is yet another kid whose parents are living their lives vicariously through, let’s sit back and see how this develops.

Let’s also wait and see how Rubin develops the strip Vic Doucette and how closely his character’s life parallels The Real Vic Doucette’s. If strip Vic puts as much good faith effort into his PA work as he did in his PE class, he may end up doing a decent job. Bonus points if he gets Marty Moon to curse on the air again.

*Milford may have Nutboys but here in the real world there is a Kartboy, a supplier of performance parts for Subarus, VWs and Audis.

December 5, 2020

Gil’s Intrigued: The Rest of Us Are Bored

Geez, Marty, why so surprised? Have you killed so many brain cells with Johnnie Walker that you can’t remember Gil trotting out the Wing-T in 2007, also late in the season? (Hint: It was right after you called out Cully Vale as a convicted killer.) From the sound of it Milford may have practiced the Delaware offense but not so much with Leonard Fleming under center. Good thing New Thayer sucks this year.

Today’s strip has the feel of an arc-ender, what with Gil’s “wait ’til next year” spiel to Marjie and his fourth-wall-breaking, shit-eating grin in the final panel.* Gil’s counting on two things here: (a) No one reads the Milford Star (b) Chance Macy doesn’t get blowtop mad for a second straight season. He didn’t lose his cool this season; must have gotten some decent anger management training. Anna Corinna Karenina could stand similar to knock that chip off her shoulder.

Still the Mudlarks have to wrap up their season against traditional rival Valley Tech. Think Rubin will remember that?

*If this does end up being the last strip in the fall arc, I may come back for a metapost.

November 16, 2020

So You’re Saying There’s A Chance?

Filed under: exposition comics, huge earrings, Prairie Style Windows — nedryerson @ 4:44 am

Today we have a conversation between Corina and some of her volleyball teammates. I assumes these are her volleyball teammates. There hasn’t been much done to establish these bit players. There’s one named Becca, I think. But that’s entirely the point of this fall plot. CK is the object of fascination for our two rival QBs and then the volleyball team became a stupid bargaining chip in their game to crack through the CK barrier. So it’s no surprise that the two teammates are sulking about the state of Mudlark football.

Milford has two losses in the Valley Conference. But one of our disposable volleyball players is aware of a scenario for Milford to get the conference title. It’s probably one of those scenarios where two other teams have to tie or something. Now I remember that volleyball player’s name! It’s Becca Exposition!

So CK greets this information with an “Okay.” Is that a drawn out “ooookaay” as in and what am I supposed to do with this or is it really a spark of concern (undercut by the casual application of lipstick). My instincts say CK don’t give a toss because Friday nights are for Crazy Eights with mom.

November 11, 2020

In Which Gil Thorp Finally Acknowledges the Existence of a Virus

No, not that virus, though you gotta admit that social distancing would be a plausible rationale for the seating arrangements in the Milford gym. Today we get a view into the inner workings of the Thorpian Stasi in action.

First, Gil walks in on the aftermath of Kaz shooting up on his desk instead of in what looks to be an Aeron chair but is probably a knockoff. How else do you explain that overdeveloped right arm with veins a-poppin’?

Then we catch Gil repeating the story with his chief informant Mimi. That Gil’s players had begun to show up to support Mimi’s team wasn’t enough for her; in her mind, they should have to do it as a unit. No place for players to sit with their friends on the team and to not sit with guys they wouldn’t hang with outside of football. Gil of course buys into that and decides he needs to get to the heart of the matter. How? Not by actually talking to the two guys who are actually at the heart of the matter, but to put two guys on the hot seat who have been the exact opposite of rivals for the past two seasons.

Finally we find out how Gil “squeezed” the intel out of Macy and Roh: via ungloved prostate exams with zero lube. Why is Gil so angry at these two? Did they not drop trou fast enough for him? Chance and Charlie aren’t the droids you’re looking for, Gilberto, and they’re not the ones who are taking sides in this controversy. EDIT: Alert TWIMer Downpuppy has pointed out that the pair getting reamed out by Gil in P3 are in fact the dueling quarterbacks Rappson and Thayer. Once Gil is finished with his unlubed prostate exams, these two will be singing Kumbayah (h/t hitorque) and playing rock paper scissors for first crack at Corinna. Does Gil know that these two have been actively recruiting teammates to take sides against each other? If not, this is Gil’s problem to solve, not the QBs. By calling them out of class and raking them over the coals, Gil will have sown fear, uncertainty and doubt among every Mudlark football player. That won’t win the Valley but it’ll keep the proles in line and, after all, that’s what the Thorps are all about.

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