It was once suggested that the caption “Christ, what an asshole.” works with every New Yorker cartoon†. It’s also been suggested that “What a misunderstanding!” and “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” can also be used as universal New Yorker cartoon captions. There have been even ruder universal captions that I won’t link to directly but you can find them via this link.
The first universal caption immediately sprang to mind when I looked at today’s strip. Gil sure looks like he’s trying to stifle a laugh behind his hand as he listens to the family Aagard’s tale of woe. (Semantics question: when a person confesses to something, doesn’t that mean they’re making an admission of something about themselves they would otherwise have kept hidden? Isn’t Aaron simply diming out his mom here?) A subtle twist of the eyebrows would’ve gone a long way here.
Now that Tina Aagard’s dirty laundry has been hung out, it’ll be interesting to see who Gil brings in to help make things better for the Aagards. A doctor? For all we know, a doctor may be enabling mom’s habit. Social Services? The League of Women Voters? The Illinois National Guard? No matter, I suspect we’ll see this scene play out at Schloss Thorp, Big Ken Brown’s House of Making Things Happen and other Milford abodes in the coming week.
†No offense or shock value intended on my part.
“My mom’s drugs. Thalidomide, to be specific. You see, Coach, Mom has leprosy. That’s why she works from home and in the back office of that seedy old hardware store – she doesn’t want to be seen. That’s also why she doesn’t come to our games.
“She was prescribed thalidomide to treat some of its side effects. She knew she wasn’t supposed to be pregnant when she took it, or become pregnant, but she did anyway. Now here I am, with my left hand attached to my shoulder like a flipper. Why else do you think I can’t hit the boards the way you want?”
Okay, you tell me whose hand that is in P1 then. Thing from The Addams Family in his recurring role as co-interrogator with smug-faced Gil?
“Aaron, those are Tic Tacs. She got ’em from Bobby Howry down at the MILFORD RECREATION CENTER.”
What a ham-handed way to work a current health crisis into the strip. And to think we could’ve had a Lady Mudlarks story arc running in parallel to this. Just as well; Rubin only had to introduce one character to fail the Bechdel Test this go ’round.
Man, so aside from Mike, Ken and Gil (who all have basketball performance related vested interests in the matter), it appears no one has bothered to look into this in the years since whatever may or may not have happened to Tina Aagard’s actuarial gig.
I’m sure we’ve seen the slouching Party Professor with the spread collar and incipient beer belly before but I can’t recall when. I do have to wonder how much Gil is going to learn from the fourth, fifth and sixth teachers who relate AaAa’s day to day variable energy levels.
I also have to wonder when next we’ll see an actual plot development.
Bonus points: The art is pretty interesting today. That easy chair in the teacher’s lounge is particularly intriguing as it seems wide enough to fit one and a half people.
It’s good to see that Mike and Ken are back on the case! I couldn’t recall AaAa’s apple gag so I looked it up. The relevant strips were essentially a pre-hash of the story in today’s strip. I’m not entirely clear how serial apple larceny is an endearing quirk, but a lot of things about Milford similarly elude me. That said, going over the point a second time does little to move the plot along.
Indeed, it makes me wonder if perhaps we are in for a refresher on how Molly is ostensibly the name of some girl from Tilden and almost certainly not the street name of one of the many esoteric chemicals Quadruple A takes during his all night raves.
That is stone cold, narration box. Our man quadruple A is just one member of the team who had an off night. Pretty sure the rest of the team has to take responsibility for their contributions to the outcome.
What oh what can possibly be written on AaAa’s t-shirt? I’m sure our commenters can come up with a few ideas.
Hey, what the heck happened in panel three? I thought Ken and Mike were our dynamic drug busting duo. I would really like to see the reference photo for the guy on the right’s hand. That meathook makes Chuck Bednarik look like a hand model.
After four excruciating days of exposition that Aaron Aagard’s girlfriend (and not his drug of choice) is named Molly, and after Gil has thrown Ken “Encyclopedia” Brown and Mike “I Don’t Have a Catchy Sleuthy Nickname” Granger off Aaron’s scent, and after Gil has had an extended expositional chat in the risers with Aaron, we’re now being led down the path of assuming that Aaron’s inconsistent on-court performance has something to do with his mom.
So now it’s our turn to engage in rampant speculation. Is Mother Aagard under house arrest for some criminal activity of her own? Doubtful; that son-of-a-judge Ken Brown would’ve already known about it. Agoraphobic? Possibly, but Aaron’s “…why you don’t come to more games” implies that she comes to some games. (Not as many as Milford’s infamous Sign Man; if we could read that Woodstock scribble of his, maybe that would give us a clue.) Bad hair day? Also possible; check out those roots on Mom. Break out the Preference by L’Oréal, girlfriend!
We do know that Mother Aagard has to work late sometimes, so that’s a plausible excuse. As some TWIMers have speculated, it could be that she suffers from some sort of drug-related problem; with all the talk of drugs in this arc leading us nowhere thus far, they have to be somebody’s Chekov’s gun. I’m sure Aaron will explain all as soon as Gil banishes him to the bench tomorrow. Talk amongst yourselves.
Musical inspiration for today’s post title:
Did I do this right? I’m kinda rusty at this blog posting.
Gosh, but Mike and Ken make quite the couple in panel one.
Meanwhile, as predicted by nearly everyone paying attention,* Molly, at least in this one particular instance, refers to Holly Dobbs‘ illegitimate daughter, Molly O’Herlihy.
Hey, how long of a pause do you think AaAa’s ellipse is supposed to indicate? I think seeing Gil put the same move on AaAa’s girlfriend that he just used to emasculate the Tilden coach would make me pause for a bit too.
* No slight to whoever called it first, I’m just too lazy to look it up.