This Week in Milford

April 22, 2017

Welcome Back Carter – er, Van Auken

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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.

April 15, 2017

Giving Up Walks with a Ghost

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Reading yesterday’s strip left me scratching my head.  I wasn’t sure if Dafne Dafuq was trolling Carrie Hobson by tagging her the “star pitcher” or simply trying to boost her ego.  After all, Carrie’s track record isn’t much to get excited about, so why not get her excited about a track athlete?  Because nobody gets excited about track in Milford – nobody.

Carrie knows the score and isn’t afraid to admit it. In so doing she hips us to the fact that the late Boo Radley was a junior last season – a fact I don’t think Rubin hipped us to before. (Thanks billytheskink for the confirmation; I hadn’t had my coffee yet this morning when I posted.)  Dafuq then seizes the opportunity to further troll Carrie by calling her by Boo’s nickname for True. I think we’ve got a real shit-stirrer in the making here, on the diamond or off.

BTW, have we learned Double D’s position yet? Between those Ernie Lombardi mitts of hers and her penchant for needling people, she seems a natural behind the plate.

Today’s post title inspiration:

April 11, 2017

We’ll be calling him “The Friendly Brain”

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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.

April 8, 2017

Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Pitcher

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Rubin never fails to give us at least one unlikable Mudlark a season and this spring, Ryan “Cane” Van Auken is gonna be that guy. Rubin doesn’t always give us a troll right out of the box so credit where credit is due, I reckon.  Pete plays Henry Hill to Ryan’s Tommy DeVito and just like that we’re off and running. The as yet unnamed Milford mopes (the one far right looking a wee bit like another Ryan) at the end of the bench already have the two thousand-yard stare and the “not this shit again” look on their faces.

Whaddaya think’ll happen next? Gil and Kaz have a “lighten up, Francis” moment with Ryan? Big Ken Brown and Mike Granger, Boy Detectives, dig up dirt on “Cane” and get him in protective custody?  Dead bodies strewn all over Idaho? Stick around if you dare; between this and budding investigative reporter/softballer Dafne Dafonte, we’re in for another three months of rambling wrapped up awkardly in three days interesting times ahead!

April 6, 2017

Southpaw Ex Machina

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“He’s poised, he’s been well coached, he throws hard.  You can tell he’s not from Milford.”

Just as with True Standish in 2014-15, Gil’s chestnuts will be pulled from the proverbial fire by a transfer student. No need to develop this guy as a player or as a character.

But just how impressive is he?  Sure you’re gonna make the catcher’s mitt vap pop (vape? I thought Milford High was a no-smoking campus) if you’re throwing from 20 feet away.   Back up to a regulation distance and let’s hear what happens.

As for his name, when I saw it first it made me think of two 1930s-era pitchers, Johnny “Double No-Hit” Vander Meer and Elden Auker, but he appears to be in sales or engineering.  So how does Pete de Windt know him?  Maybe they ran into each other at the Tulip Time Festival.  Wonder if they know the DeGroots

April 1, 2017

I’m shocked – SHOCKED! – that this story is ending!

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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.

March 30, 2017

I’m Here for the 3-Banger

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OMG at the exposition we have to swallow to get to today’s strip. In hindsight we get to conclude that split-level we saw a week ago is the residence of Ken Brown and Judge Lisa “Hang ’em” Hiatt. At least I got the part about living in someone’s basement right.

BTW Ken, Aaron was talking to you yesterday when he said “Dude! That was awesome!” (Do we really need this much overlap, even in a serial comic?) Did Ken ever stop to recognize the subtle irony in his going from the giver of the silent treatment to the recipient?  Too busy making things happen, I suppose.

FWIW, what’s up with all the post-game double fist pumps?  (edit: Note Mudlarks ##1 and 35’s fist pumps are so energetic they separate their hands from their arms at the wrists!) Relief at not making the playdowns and finally being freed from basketball season? Is male figure at far right Gil getting his drink on, Marty talking into Mr. Microphone, or just some rando? Speaking of randos, what’s up with dude in the puffy vest and tiny sombrero? Maybe we’ll get answers — or at least some more connect-the-dots fun and games – in the next two days before baseball starts.

March 23, 2017

Gil once begat Keri and, uh, some other kid

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“Seriously? With us? Haven’t we spent the last eight years or so removing any evidence that children once lived in this house?”

Maybe Mimi’s not as keen on having a live-in boy toy pool boy as we previously speculated. Fact is, I’m not even sure that’s the Thorps’ house, as a quick ‘n dirty search of the archives doesn’t conclusively show that they live in a split-level. Nonetheless I get the feeling that we’re going to be denied that long-awaited retcon of Gil and Mimi’s kids.

Dodging that bullet Gil, now pissy-faced for ever having taken that bait from Aaron, shows him the door. Maybe Aaron can walk through it and shout out what was just discussed to his teammates same as he did yesterday. Tune in tomorrow when Marty Moon finds a new boarder in his mom’s basement!

metapost: Completely unrelated but it’s nice to see Mr. Bakst giving back to his adopted community.

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