This Week in Milford

May 25, 2023

JPS* *Just Plain Sucks

Gee, I didn’t know what HBP meant until Thorpiverse was gracious enough to spell it out for the ignorant masses like myself. The baseball cognoscenti really have it made in the shade. Thank you for enlightening us because I personally thought it stood for Hamm’s a Big Problem.

Now that I’ve used Primal Scream Therapy to shake all the sarcasm out of my person, what was the purpose of listing an interpretation of this term in the first place? Okay, yeah, there’s no doubt there is somebody who has no clue what HBP means. Well and good. But this is a SPORTS strip (sometimes in name only) and the vast majority who read it are knowledgeable about sports and HBP is a “See Spot Run” concept to them. And the people who don’t know, well, the computer has opened up a world of information, thanks mainly to the Internet. You can look it up, as the famous saying goes.

I appreciate the gesture as the explanation is one of convenience and will help SOMEBODY unfamiliar with the term. What makes it somewhat hard to swallow is the context surrounding it. You’re getting Romper Room explanations in plots more byzantine than all those rooms in Umberto Eco’s “The Name of the Rose”. Gil might appear out of room #538 in your friendly neighborhood cathedral with a Sesame Street book explaining logarithms. Okay, kiddies, this book has nothing to do with logs anymore than dogmatic has anything to do with dogs. Don’t get Galileo’s Dogma and Lassie confused.

Then there’s the bombastic narration that’s making this patronizing tripe even worse. I took the privilege to take baseball for granted???? Huhhhhhhh?????? I can decipher James Russell Lowell prose better than this piece of doggerel flashing across the screen. If I wanted Milford characters to wax poetic, I would have checked out plenty of Nathaniel Hawthorne novelettes at the Milford Library Bookmobile that stops in front of Milford Foundry every Tuesday. Do not go gently into my catcher’s mitt. Throw where last Mimi’s ailanthus tree by the garage door bloomed. Oh, this is out of the cradle slowly a crock, no question. Gil is singing a song of himself because he’s full of what I can’t spell and it rhymes with mitt. And it isn’t spit but like hand grenades and horseshoes, close enough.

Gang, bear with me, I just found out a few moments ago that my great-nephew and his 4 x 800 Relay team in High School Boys Track qualified for State. I am obviously one proud great-uncle. But you know what? I couldn’t have done it without the support you have given me over the years. YOU make it happen. It’s YOUR victory as well as mine. Without your encouragement and advice, This Week in Milford ceases to exist. YOU are the reason we are here. I NEVER take any of you for granted. God bless you all.

Frank’s contributions are NEVER taken for granted also, especially his take on Crankshaft. Talk about horsing around while Rome is burning. This week just cranks it up to another ludicrous notch. At the beginning of the week, he’s got to go to the bathroom but has nothing to read when sitting on the john. Okay, I get it, we’ve all been there. But HOW LONG is he going to debate this issue because by my count, he’s pissing in his boxers looking for a stray Reader’s Digest. Is he going to go full poop on Saturday, lacking even a Popular Mechanics to draw from?

“Oh no, we potty train our dogs. That’s not their urine. Ol’ Cranky didn’t receive his mail-order ESPN magazine in time. The postal station manager said the computers were down.”

Then I started thinking. You KNOW Gil isn’t immune from these situations. I have an evil streak in me. Heh heh HEEEEEEEEHHHHHHHH

“Mimi!!!!!!!! I have to take a dump badddddd!!!!!! Where’s my Sports Illustrated????”

“Did you check the laundry room????”

“Why the #%*^+ would I look there???? How’d they get there????”

“Oh, I forgot to tell you. The cat pooped again and the kids didn’t change out the litter box because of the school play. And all the towels were in the wash.”

“That’s *+=#% swell!!!!! Now what am I going to do????”

“Here, my Better Homes & Garden has a lemon cake recipe written by Bob Knight. Enjoy.”

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Crankshaft Airlifted To Milford General After Tumultuous Event!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Mr. Crankshaft lost his Mud Mountain Murphy program and started experiencing bowel movement complications on his way to the stall.”

Gang, you Thorpiversean veterans surely remember when the radio (usually) announcer’s comments would show up neatly in a nice caption box in a corner. Berrill was way ahead of his time. That’s why I laugh every daggone time I see the “Play-By-Play By Zeus” commentary bursting in on the action. Who’s giving the descriptions next week, Thor???? I remember the well-respected Tom Sowell once talking about the time he taught at Howard University and some student said that he couldn’t understand why he flunked the exam. He studied for two hours. Sowell said he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry and proceeded to tell him that he spent two hours just prepping for lectures. Point well-taken. Anyway, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I see the caption balloon dangling from the panel edge. Like it’s hanging by a thread, anchored by the Goodyear Blimp. Is this another one of Charlie Brown’s kites that got tangled up by the foul pole? I can see it now

“Gil!!!!!! Get those Prince Valiant thought balloons away from Heehaw’s bed!!!! I’ll not have her watching him undress Mary Worth in his dreams!!!!”


“Mr. Dr. Pearl!!!!!! Get your mind out of the gutter!!!!! My bridge club members can see what we do when we’re on vacation in our Winnebago!!!!!!”


“Oh God, Francesca!!!!! Not when I’m eating my Chile con Arroz Sumergido en El Agua y La Cerveza!!!! Can’t you think about your surgery presentations another time?”

Who says this has to be confined to America?

“[Lim Tak-Shi!!!!!! He is just an exchange student!!!!! You can dream all you want of his pitching in Fenway but I paid for the textbooks, remember?]”

And last and certainly least, Coach Thorp, how many batters are you going to let Blind Man’s Rough plunk before you yank him for a pitcher that did get his eyes checked recently? No way did Coach Sparrow EVER go that far when some pitcher could find the batter’s helmets better than the strike zone when my nephew played ball. Lost pitchers and lost caption balloons, never a dull moment when Thorpiverse is on the mound.

At Milford FWA picnic grounds

“Mimi, I gotta pee pee bad!!!!!! Where’s the outhouse????”

“Gil, you’re out in Mother Nature. It’s one big toilet.”

“But I understand the outhouse has Penthouse next to the extra rolls of Bounty!!!!!!”

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Heehaw In Fair Condition!!!!!!!! Will Be Transferred Out Of ICU This Week!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Milford Adult Care spokesperson: ‘She was obviously rattled when the hallway restroom lacked the necessary resources for perusing while relieving oneself. We put in a maintenance order for a magazine rack yesterday.’”

P2 is making absolutely no sense whatsoever. We went from knocking them on their butts in P1 to a bad Kodak Moment in the next panel. Let me assure you that when Coach Sparrow went out to the mound his first question wouldn’t have been “Was your dad a plagiarist? Because you’ve plunked half the lineup and you’re not finding the strike zone.” Then what would be the point of apologizing that your dad was Pretty Boy Floyd when your pitching is suckin’ pretty bad?

Again, no Coach worth his weight in Gil Thorp Pure Pork Sausage Breakfast Blend would allow his pitching staff to send the majority of the other team’s batters to Milford Minor Emergency Care Clinic because a couple of the pitchers were cousins of Stevie Wonder. Then continue this inanity by asking if his dad is running around on his mom? Oh, that’ll explain why your Valley Conference ERA ballooned in the month of May. Ward Cleaver had those urges for Aunt Bea and therefore Beaver suddenly sucks at throwing a curve to complement his fastball. That makes sense.

Well, you better get your act together because Luke Loser just went overseas to recruit a mega-talent who evidently has a dad who only drops his Haggars at night for the one to which he said “I do” at the Seoul Justice of the Peace. You can’t afford to let your hair down. Or your ethics. Don’t be Luke only without the fetid goatee.

Yes, I realize family problems can affect a kid’s game. But let’s not make this a ridiculous soap opera. There’s a kid carrying some excess baggage and then there’s the Bronx Zoo. At least, I HOPE George Steinbrenner didn’t get to be a millionaire plagiarizing Ellery Queen magazines.

At Dr. Pearl’s domicile

“Honey Britches Sugar Lumpee Lumps Bumpee Bumps Tricky Ricky Icky Sicky Stinky Fink Lilac Lover, have you seen the National Geographic’s? I have diarrhea in the worst possible manner that plagues all mankind.”

“Look under the Breeze towels in the closet.”

If ya refuse ta do Nature’s duty at the FWA spider-web-infested outhouse without a copy of Guns & Ammo that’ll retro at least back to 2016, ya might be a redneck.

P2 also slightly reminds me of a Night Gallery painting. “The Messiah on Mott Street” comes to mind. This kid lives with his grandfather (played by the great Edward G. Robinson) who is dying to the point where he has one foot in the grave. This kid runs into a congenial black man (played by Yaphet Kotto-“Mr. Big” in the James Bond classic “Live and Let Die”.) of whom he manages to bring back to this old man’s flat. Somehow, this man manages to summon a great wind and eventually the old man not only recovers extremely well, to the consternation of his doctor, but obtains solid financial footing thanks to a resettled old debt.

Were reality and fantasy to dance as adeptly in the world of Thorpiverse. But alas, reality got splatted like a bug by Jumpstart and fantasy went the way of Alfred Hitchcock’s monthly detective series that Crankshaft is currently reading after snaring it and still making it to the john before ol’ Cranky splatted all over the commode. I wouldn’t want Jumpstart using an old newspaper rag on Cranky’s crud.

Late Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Milford Foundry And Local 814 Reaches Agreement!!!!! Contract Ratified, Ending Potential Strike!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Reading material was the linchpin. Management agreed to foot the bill for bathroom amenities in addition to contributing an extra .25/years of service to pension fund.”

Now let me get this straight. According to P3, the moral of this story is to hope to God your kismet is not in the hands of a father who wrote like John Updike because he wrote John Updike so that you don’t wind up like Ray Charles as a result but if discretion is the better part of valor, pitch as if Dutch Rennert was behind home plate because he’s consistent and be thankful because this may be the last time Dutch umpires because he may get a stroke and share the same bedroom with Heehaw and you may go blind and crazy when Homer the Umpire calls the balls and strikes behind home plate and you may be pitching your last if he doesn’t call the corners. I don’t know about you, but Aesop couldn’t sum it up any better.

Oh, and read Our Daily Bread so that a tornado can come in and raise Heehaw from the dead. You can’t overlook any detail.

REX ALERT!!!!!!!! REX ALERT!!!!!!!!!

Fred & Wilma have departed from Glenwood Across The Universe Tourlines and are momentarily comforted that Jack the Ripper was not in their trunk after Jack escaped the brig. How he escaped is another ridiculous narration for another time, although witnesses could have sworn some stranger with a hoodie was on his knees pleading with Mud Mountain Murphy for pocket change to indulge in tomato soup and crackers at the Glenwood Cruise Snack Bar & Grille. Plus a life preserver in case he needed to jump from the ship again. Mud wasn’t going to give back his old songs but did have a Truck Tyler 5 x 8 available. Truck and Rex must be at the same casino because neither has emerged since Clinton balanced the budget.

Sources have alleged that Rex was hiding in the bushes near the backstop and learning how a blind man can teach high school athletes how to throw on a dime. Rex was seen taking notes, then leaving in the direction of The Bucket. No word if he pulled into the drive-in area. Anybody who notices a Glenwood vanity plate is asked to call the Milford Police Tipline immediately. Your call will be confidential.

“Doesn’t all this Rex-searching make you hungry? I was reading where Mud Mountain Murphy was considering getting a vasectomy and that just got the juices flowing in my salivary glands. I didn’t want to leave my refrigerator devoid of the finest sausage east of the Allegheny Mountains when poring over the surgical procedures necessary to tie ol’ Mud’s tubes. I’ll bet Tennessee Pride wouldn’t know the first thing to catering a smorgasbord when ol’ Mud goes under the knife.

Hello, this is Coach Thorp for Gil Thorp Pure Pork Sausage. Sometimes we get bored and so the excitement of watching Fred & Wilma traveling on the Florida Turnpike and then turning in at the end of the day at a sleazy motel abutting an alligator pit just brings out the finest in our pork products. Just listening to that bacon sizzle and crackle while John Walsh talks about the supposed whereabouts of Dr. Rex in the same venue as the Foque Monster is a match made in Heaven. Believe me, Gil Thorp Italian Spiced Duodenum Sensitive Bacon Strips is the perfect cuisine along with your favorite Kool-Aid when the Glenwood Missing Persons Bureau personnel track the woods in their quest to flag down this enigma wrapped in some raccoon hides because he is tired of raising bratty little snots. Man, the aroma.

But that doesn’t mean that Fred & Wilma are on the run. They know how to slide their Visa card if they want to enjoy the benefits of the motel towels they’ll stuff in the trunk at check-out time. And kibbutzing all this paraphernalia when you are microwaving Gil Thorp Sage ‘n’ Nasty patties is a wonderful combination, like throwing pepperoni on onions when ordering Domino’s delivery. Wash it down with a Schlitz and watching Fred battle his manhood as he goes under the sheets with Wilma or the mice is a meal extravaganza.

And if you really want to be in total ecstasy, check out Truck trying to hit on Melba after he just ordered the omelet. Hey, I like watching Crankshaft utilize his gold digger he uses in his yard because he’s too cheap to use his pocket changer but it’s even more entertaining when Cranky is literally full of poop endeavoring to read Chairman Mao’s Red Book while wiping his extremities and chowing on some Gil Thorp Pure Artesian Water Mild Sausage with scrambled eggs, toast, and a Bud. I’d like to see Tennessee Pride try to top that life-learning lesson. They can’t. They’re too busy coughing up enough to tip Melba at The Diner. I bet Truck Tyler is their accountant.

Folks, when you want the finest in sausage, you know where to go when you grow up. You can lick up the pieces Tennessee Pride loses when loading the box truck or you can score a winner with Gil Thorp Pure Pork Sausage. I can tell you, we never received a citation for littering. Come pick ip a package today and see why. Your taste buds will be grateful and so will you.”

Gang, Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know which one is going to buzz by you when you’re blindfolded. I don’t know, I never wanted to find out.

God bless you anyway, Gang.

In the faculty lounge restroom

“Who brought all these Encyclopedia Brittanicas in here? There’s a bunch stacked by the hand blower.”

“Couldn’t be Kaz. He left a few months ago.”

May 16, 2023

“{BTW, Mom, This Is Hoss Cartwright. He’s Always Wanted To See Korea.}”

Luke Loser, nobody forced you to move to Rockville. To be talking about Hicktown, USA clear across an ocean shows the ignorance that we already knew was, paradoxically speaking, latent but then again pretty darn evident once we got to know you. The last thing I will EVER talk about when I’m standing in front of the Grand Canyon is there being no joy in Mudville tonight. You flew into one of the most beautiful countries in the world and all that’s on your mind is that the Milford Maintenance Department needs to fill that pothole on a street on the way to Valley Tech? Oh, darn, I forgot, Francesca couldn’t get a job in New Thayer because they don’t have a Liposuction Clinic to handle Mabel Ruth’s obesity. Fancy that.

Dude, you need to get a life.

We’re still anticipating who The Korean Franchise might be. I remember when Sports Illustrated ran an article where this pitcher could pitch 168MPH, only to later post APRIL FOOL!!!!! Well, we’re way past April so this had better be good if we’re going to listen to Luke Lunkhead bitch about Milford having no place for the Cartwrights to hitch their horses. And I’m tired of Ben Cartwright letting his horse relieve himself on my practice field. I feel your anguish, Luke.

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Korean Air Lines To Set Up Stops To Milford International!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“We are confident we can negotiate with the Cartwrights on part of their ranch for a separate tarmac.”

At Incheon International Airport

“{Who’s that weirdo with the cowboy hat? I saw him buy it at the Airport Souvenir Shoppe.}”

“{Don’t worry. I’ll keep him in the Seoul Hampton Inn until I locate my recruit. I paid extra for The Cartoon Channel to keep him occupied.}”

Then it hits me. Why are two high school coaches traversing halfway across the globe for a player? Now I could understand Jimmy Dolan. His logic was airtight since it’s college basketball and the player was old enough to vote and old enough to enlist. I’d hitchhike through Africa to get him back to State U. too. But Hicktown High? You’re getting your baggage from the Moscow Airport or the Luxembourg Line or the Eva Peron Buenos Aires Regional baggage claim just to be scouting some zit-faced Korean at the Seoul YMCA???? Was this on the Valley Tech School Board budget? Don’t even answer.

Okay, you don’t like eating your plate lunches at Milford Diner, Loser, but as we used to say at my college “Don’t bitch-TRANSFER”. Nobody is forcing you to eat the Salisbury Steak w/ Creamed Mashed Potatoes & Refried Green Beans. What are you going to do, bribe the Korean Sensation with The Diner Tuesday Special Chicken Tenders & Chess Pie, Maureen the Waitress gift-wrapping it so it doesn’t spoil over 3,000 miles?

Then I wonder if Jimmy Dolan is going to have to endure another game where more than bragging rights are at stake. Are Jimmy, Coach Kim, and Luke Loser going to engage a team in a basketball game with North Korea where if this Terrible Trio lose, not only will the Korean Sensation have to serve in a suburban Pyongyang labor camp somewhere but the trio will have to be permanent card-carrying members of the Communist Party , but if the trio wins, North Korea party members will have to buy season tickets to Valley Tech baseball games? You laugh for now.

Denny Crum, the great college basketball coach for the University of Louisville, passed away a few days ago. He was well-noted for the ‘80 and ‘86 NCAA Championships, both victories coming down to cases, further confirming Crum’s teams as the Cardiac Cards. Milt Wagner’s two free throws with two seconds left and Louisville already clinging to a 70-69 lead (fortunate that Duke had no time outs) also got them named the Clutch Cards.

A good story came from Darrell Griffith yesterday at the Yum! Center where a Celebration of Coach Crum’s Life took place. Griffith was once on a breakaway to which he completely blew the dunk. Of course, Crum was upset so when he finally pulled Griffith to the side, he went “Why didn’t you just lay it in?”

Griffith responded “Coach, I’m Doctor Dunkenstein. That ain’t happening.”

Crum’s answer was priceless.

“Then you tell Darrell the next time I want him to lay the ball in.”

Korean Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“{Korean Sensation Benched, May Sit Out Game With Milford!!!!!!!!!}”

sub headline

“{Coach Luke Lunkhead: ‘I don’t care if his fans call him the Korean Dunk Meister, he’ll be dunking on a Nerfhoop in a Hamhung sweatshop if he keeps blowing the bunnies.}’”

At a Seoul McDonald’s

{“Here, son, if you slurp it all down, you’ll see Syngman Rhee at the bottom.”}
{“Mom, I’m a head coach now. With Hoss as an assistant, I have to do my own babying.”}

I think we’d be more successful getting to the last door in Maxwell Smart’s domicile than tracking down this phenom that is likely sleeping in Mammoth Cave via the tectonic plates below Busan. Again, they traveled more miles than the Globetrotters just to hail down a cab and hope to God this phenom is home and not at the library to return library materials? Believe me, I’m not traveling from Blagoveshchensk’s Oblast just to find out if Milford Diner charges extra for sour cream on my Baked Potato & Sautéed Yams. Yeah, I’ll trust that Coffee Cantina serves Lipton Raspberry Unsweetened Tea free from COVID-19, I don’t need to take a row boat across the East China Sea to confirm the rumors.

And even if they get the address correct, what is this supposed God’s Gift To Korean Whiffleball supposed to think when a fellow countryman and the Cartwright family are at his door? Oh, come in, I’ve heard a lot about you. Oh, you owned Ponderosa? We have one downtown, let’s talk about playing for Valley Tech over the Breakfast Buffet. They have a parking section for covered wagons. The Korean Beef Cheese Omelette is to die for. Hoss, I think you’ll really go for the Stir Fried Squid w/ Rice Krispies. I have heard you have had a lot of acid in your large intestine so this is gastronemic-sensitive. Personally, I like the Stone Pot Bi Bam Bap. It adds a couple of miles/hour to my fastball. And I heard they finally washed the ladles after the Restaurant Workers Strike. The Wanton Soup should be lice-free.

Got him in the bag, Hoss.

Seoul Late Edition of the Korean Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“{Bones Discovered In Construction Site Of Gwangju Burger King Traced To Coach Thorp’s Lineage!!!!!!!!}”

sub headline

“{Local anthropology authorities believe Neanderthal Thorp was on recruiting visit for a backup catcher.}”

At a basketball game late in February

“Leo!!!!!!!! @$&#%]?\|!!!!!!!! Next time, lay the ball in!!!!!!”

“Coach, this is the Halftime Slam Dunk Competition, remember?”

Is it me, or do they have lanes to accommodate all the taxis going every which way? One looks like it’s headed straight towards that box truck. The truck itself looks like it’s headed toward some tunnel in the median. You might find this Korean Kolassal down there next to the Cro-Magnons who run the boutiques in Underground Seoul. Looking at these taxi cabs, I will no longer have to explain Brownian Motion and get left hanging. Just call me T. Drew Nye The Science Guy.

If ya eat tha Marinated Tofu ‘n’ Deer Bar-B-Q at the Seoul bistro cuz ya iz gettin’ indigestion from all that recruitin’ uv all them cavemen with a 4-pitch repertoire (fastball, curve, slider, Ephus) and ya got ta clean yore innards out and dump ‘em in tha nearest sewer, ya might be a redneck.

At a Seoul tourist trap

“No, really, this hat is really you. People won’t be calling you Hoss anymore.”

“But a dunce hat?”

“Well, as the saying goes, if the shoe fits…”

Wait a minute. How does Luke know what they’re saying? Don’t go making assumptions, Loser. This is Fallacy of Composition, big time. Just because Coach Kim licks up to you doesn’t mean the rest of South Korea will follow suit. Now I can’t answer for North Korea since they allow limited access but I doubt some North Korean farmer prays five times each day pointed in the direction of the Valley Tech gym. Safe to say incense isn’t being burned in some North Korean village in your honor.

For all we know, Coach Kim, brackets and all, could be saying “{Look what the cat dragged in. I only brought him along because Korean Air Lines offers discounts if you bring another body. Yes, I worship the ground he walks on until we have to sit next to each other in the plane. Then I’m reminded he never brings body wash on recruiting trips.}”

Then his mom responds in kind “{No problem. He can sleep with rest of the horses in the barn. I have enough hay we harvested today to make a bed. He can use your brother’s old pillow. I got all the tics killed off.}”

“{Wonderful. Sorry we have to talk Vulcan but I don’t want to hurt his feelings.}”

“{No worries. I made your dad sleep in the barn when he flatulated excessively from that Yook Gae Jang I used to serve every Friday.}”

“And I like Mud Mountain Murphy too!!!! I heard he was scheduled to perform at the Seoul Civic Auditorium. BTW, how do you say ‘Them Muddy Boots’ in Korean?”

“We’ll return to see if Luke Loser found his Fodor’s Korean in 10 Days or if he’ll have to walk the streets of Seoul groping around like Gregg Hamm after these messages. You’re watching WDIG-TV.”

At Coach Kim’s parents’ farm, far from the madding crowd

“{Wow, Mrs. Kim, I never thought we’d get Mr. Loser in the cow stall but he set his alarm so I assume he’s okay.}”

“{I shut the gate so the Japanese Holsteins wouldn’t snuggle up. I was concerned with his snoring but we won’t need to turn on the moth zapper. I just hope our neighbors won’t think there’s an earthquake transpiring.}”

“{And I’m going to shake you up once we get into bed. Put down that cattle prod and stop wasting my time.}”

“{Oh, Mr. Kim, your trash talk is getting this Korean lass hot to trot. I feel like one of our Amur Oblast hogs in heat!!!!! I am more excited than Busan rush hour traffic!!!!!!}”

“{I intend to get past the 38th Parallel North and conquer you and the rest of Kim Jong Un’s band of commies!!!!!! You don’t stand a chance under the sheets!!!!!!!}”

{“Oh, let the bazooka drive it in me, um, er, it appears as if Bazooka Joe is bigger than yours in a cakewalk.}”

“{How do you figure???? I have been breaking bulls all day and if that doesn’t get me harder than the Gulag Archipelago, I will sleep next to Mr. Loser in the bunk with the rest of the chickens.}”

“{Don’t let me stop you. I didn’t have my son because you limped when General MacArthur dropped by to pay a visit. You need to prove you are still a man or move to Indonesia. The village restaurant makes seafood pancakes out of your Cream of Wheat Mush.}”

“{I will not have my masculinity compromised at the North Korean border!!!!!!! You ungrateful woman, you will take my Korean Cuisine and like every bit of it, after dinner mints included!!!!!!!! I came, I saw, I conquered all of Asia!!!!!!!}”

“{I’ll concede the mints since they’re tasty and hard. Your manhood is like a Korean Hot Dog that got left in the dryer too long. I could iron that Oscar Mayer flabby job and never have to worry about wrinkles or otherwise. You ever thought of switching over to Armour Korean Beef Franks?}”

“{I will nab this wild ewe that refuses to lay down her life like the rest of the sheep and teach her a lesson about what happens when you insult a ram!!!!!! Your sexual resistance will get head-butted!!!!!!!!}”

“{Oh, I want to lay, all right. Just not in front of a ram with no horns-}”



“{Mom and Dad, could you keep it down? You woke up the chickens and Mr. Loser can’t sleep in his bunk.}”

“{Saints be praised that Milford Men’s Clinic had an overseas location practically right down the road at our nearest metropolis. And I tried the new, improved EREC-4572 Sea Salt tablets, the salt guaranteeing an erection in 15 minutes or the medications are free. What did I have to lose other than the two horses that ended up in my neighbor’s chicken coop? Now, Mrs. Kim and I threaten nuclear warfare every night and we are bombing each other over and over. There’s no Detente under these covers, not even close. Go to your nearest Milford Men’s Clinic today, now with a new location in Hokkaido, Japan.}”

{Gang, thank you for your-}, oh shoot, I forgot to turn off the Urdu translater. There, in any language, God bless you all. You mean the world to me.

In Tijuana, Mexico, at a pawn shop

“{Tell Coach Thorp, he can’t coach his way out of a lava lamp. And I’ll only take $5 for the watch, I don’t care about no damn 2014 Championship.}”

“What did he say?”

“He said ‘Congratulations on your championship and that he will only charge you $5 for the lava lamp.”

May 10, 2023

Dear (Kaz’s) Penthouse…

Well look who’s back. It’s our old pal Bob Kazinski – and now he has a penthouse. Did he move to North Carolina in the interim?

Oh. It’s not Gastonia, it’s The Gaston, Milford’s premier luxury high-rise. We visited Kaz and his new squeeze Rachel in the penthouse for the seudah hamafseket before Yom Kippur. Never mind.

For a moment there I was thinking that Kaz’s Penthouse was a new comedy club and Kaz was polishing his new standup routine. Hey, a Milford Juvenile Sports Program Manager can’t be making that much more coin than a Milford High assistant coach, can he? The Gaston can’t be rent-controlled, can it? Kaz has to have some kind of side hustle going on, amirite?

All of this is conjecture and backdrop for why Kaz feels the needs to regale his audience with a joke that’s even more dated* than Cami’s A League of Their Own line and somehow at Gil’s expense. (Anyone wanna guess what the setup was for the Cab Calloway punchline? Feel free to take a stab in the comments.) Gil “I don’t drink” Thorp finds it most amusing as he continues his lying sack ways – lying, that is, unless he’s still nursing that HooDad’s he had at the hospital while visiting Rod.

There’s gotta be some more exposition down the line this week. Why else would be seeing Kaz for the first time this year? I for one would welcome Kaz’s Penthouse as the Gil Thorp spinoff we all need.

*Cab Calloway’s last public performance came in 1992 at a benefit for the Associated Black Charities in Baltimore. His last public appearance was at the White House in 1993, when President Clinton awarded him with the National Medal of Arts.

April 29, 2023

The Struggle (to show, not tell) Is Real

Filed under: Gil Thorp, exposition comics, actual action, baseball, High Five Fail — teenchy @ 11:45 am

On to baseball and the Mudlarks’ season opener (?) against (?) and those are only two of the blanks we’re left to fill in.

It has to be a home game since the grand slam delivers instant victory. How does a team that loads the bases and wins the game with a grand salami struggle? Ask anyone who’s had the frustration of watching their team puts lots of runners in scoring position and fail to bring them home. Not really a blank, and might explain Marty’s kinda blase home run call.

No, the biggest blank is drawn (along with that hexagonal home plate) in P3. NASA might’ve seen Dee’s homer from space but no one here on Earth saw it. We did see Dee twist his ankle touching home, though. A bit odd to see only one player – and that one not the on-deck batter – out to congratulate Darius. Could be one of those intentional cold shoulders players often get coming back into the dugout.

It’s early in the season; plenty of time for the team and the writer of the strip to find their rhythm. The veteran artist, on the other hand, should have found his some time ago.

March 22, 2023

Showdown at Big Skyhook

Turns out Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s not a Friend of Gil but a Friend of Emmett. Seriously, we’ve gotta get some more backstory on Tays; specifically, where life took him post-Milford to put him in Kareem’s orbit.

Alchesay is a real high school, and Kareem actually coached there, for a single season in 1998-99. It’s located on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona (not the one outside Milford). His time there inspired him to write a book on the experience and no, I’m not gonna read an entire book for the purposes of commenting on a single strip. What I did glean from the second link above is that, during his tenure at Alchesay, Kareem didn’t try to impose his style of play upon the team but instead “help[ed] them perfect ‘Alchesay ball’…. A lot of run and gun. Apache ball.”

What exactly is Milford ball and how Kareem is gonna perfect it before the next game is beyond me. In his memoir on his season at Alchesay, he revealed that he used his martial arts training to subdue a player who harassed the team’s female manager. That may be what comes in handy next. Since Luke Hernandez became the new sheriff at Valley Tech, he’s raised the stakes with every game against Milford. The (Valley Conference?) finals might just become a game of death.

February 25, 2023

My Weekend, My Choice

In the seven months or so since Henry Barajas took over this strip, it’s often felt like we the readers have been under a constant barrage of modern issues (school shootings, drug overdoses, LGBTQ+ rights) along with some timeless ones (marital discord, dying parents/grandparents, financial insecurity). It’s hard enough for us olds, what with our fully developed prefrontal cortexes and less raging hormones. Heck, we’re constantly adding new tags to TWIM just to try and keep up with all the new stuff. Now imagine what it must be like for a teenager. You remember teenagers, those people who were once one of the target audiences for newspaper comic strips, don’t you?

Tobias, formerly Tabatha, Gordon embodies all of that. Even with the increasing acceptance of trans people in a podunk tank town like Milford today’s society, making the decision to come out as one can’t be easy. Add to that the pressure of having your football coach convert you from a kicker into a running back without the benefits of hormone therapy. No wonder Gil has Tobe hitting the weight room.

On top of it all, consider Tobe’s home life: born to teen parents who, unsupported by their parents, might’ve felt compelled to marry and eventually divorced. Being taken in with his unwed mom by said Gil and family. Finally, living with the knowledge that your mother considered aborting you. Too many teens wish to be dead or to never have been born as it is; that Tobe is feeling the same should come as no surprise.

Gil, the only man to apologize to Mel (if you can call this an apology; recall she didn’t accept it) responds to Tobe’s revelation kinda ham-fistedly. He practically takes credit for Tobe’s birth while dissing Tobe’s biological father. Then, as if to make amends, he reinforces the fact that Mel didn’t abort Tobe and that that was the wise choice. Hey, we don’t always say the right things in the right way to the people who need to hear those things the most, but sometimes the effort is what counts.

Sorry it took me so long to get this post up. Outside the “trans kid magically becomes multi-sport star athlete in their new gender” angle, I found very little to snark about. Watching the new remake of All Quiet on the Western Front while composing this post didn’t help, either.

February 22, 2023

What’s the buzz, tell me what’s a-happening?

When do the Mudlarks ride into Jerusalem?

Not until they’re done in Pueblo.

There are multiple high schools in Pueblo, Colorado, none of which are simply named “Pueblo.” This leads me to believe that Milford is playing at Pueblo High School in Tucson. Nice road trip, and no one suspects Gil scheduled it so he could peel off and pay a surprise visit to Mimi in Scottsdale (not that it’s around the corner but, you know, closer than Milford).

Coaches Ochoa and Tays’ presence (or Gil’s lack of same) could be why the Mudlarks are playing with more urgency; that, or a lack of toilet facilities in the Pueblo visitors’ locker room. That grunt at the buzzer came from more than just the effort to get off the shot, IYKWIMAITYD. Did he get the shot off in time? Not as drawn but scoreboard don’t lie and we don’t review video in high school.

Who’s been narrating all of this? My best guess is the newly reintroduced Heather Burns. Appreciating the exposition and continuity Barajas has been bringing us the past few days; hoping he’ll keep it up and help us understand how Heather and Marjie coexist in the nu-look Thorpiverse given Heather took Marjie’s old job.

Now, to answer the rhetorical question: How long can Milford keep this winning streak going? Until the lid gets blown off Rod and Tobe’s fundraising-via-vapes efforts and they get benched/kicked off the team by Gil.

Reference for today’s post title.

January 28, 2023

Atazhoon Goes OTR

Shoni Schimmel‘s WNBA career started out promisingly. A 2014 first-round draft pick of the Atlanta Dream, she made the WNBA All-Star team each of her first two seasons. Surprisingly, she was traded at the beginning of the 2016 season to the New York Liberty for a second-round draft pick. She saw her playing time reduced in New York and suffered a mid-season concussion that caused her to miss the rest of the season. It would mark the beginning of her professional struggles, but she had overcome struggles before.

As a high school shooting guard, Shoni had college-level talent but little opportunity to showcase it to college scouts. Living on the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon had a way of keeping that from happening. Shoni’s mother – who was also her coach – took a coaching job in Portland and moved Shoni and her six siblings there. Though the family had to deal with separation, financial hardship and racial discrimination, the move paid off. Shoni became a first-team high school All-American and got a scholarship to Louisville, where she remains second on the school’s all-time scoring list.

Shoni and her family became the subject of a documentary. The film’s title, Off The Rez, derived from a derogatory term for behaving in a manner in a way deemed unacceptable by one’s peers. The term (abbreviated OTR) is also used by Native Americans to describe what many feel they have to do to escape a cycle of poverty and despair. It looks like what Leo Atazhoon has to do to play for the Mudlarks.

Seems that Barajas and Whigham have been hiding their hands this week. A quick search shows that Atazhoon is actually spelled A’ta’zhóón in Diné or, as it’s referred to in English, Navajo. Quinn A’ta’zhóón was a high school standout in New Mexico who now plays for Yakima Valley College. Kohanon A’ta’zhóón, Quinn’s brother, currently plays for Haskell Indian Nations University. I don’t think any of us ever knew Milford was close to a rez, much less a Navajo one.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. Things seem sad at Leo’s apartment. Could be his mom or a sibling that he’s tucking in as he comes in from the game. Hopefully the situation isn’t as sad as that which has befallen Shoni Schimmel.

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at