This Week in Milford

December 4, 2019

“The bad thing is, no one under 40 cares about this strip.”

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Reading today’s strip is a lot like buying house brand groceries. The ingredients are the same, the packaging is close enough to fool the casual observer, but when you open the box, pour out the contents then take a bite, something just doesn’t look or taste quite right. Take those teeny tiny backpacks the Milford students are wearing. At son of teenchy’s high school the classes are so far apart, and the time between them so short, that the kids wear expedition size backpacks and lug all of the day’s books and supplies around with them.

Take also Chance and Charlie’s convo. They’re spot on about school board doings – that’s their parents’ deal, not theirs – but their take on the Valley Tech game is more than a bit off. The Mudlarks aren’t gonna make the playdowns, so the only person who’ll be talking about the game will be Marty Moon. Win, and he’ll rag on Gil for underachieving all season; lose, and he’ll rag on Gil for the same old same old. The whole Ballard scandal is what will keep Milford talking long after the pads are put in storage and the last can of Nitrotan is sprayed in someone’s jock.

Finally, take Chet’s sorry-not-sorry apology. I get why Ballard is apologizing to Charlie (that is Charlie, isn’t it? Whigham can’t seem to keep him on model), but shouldn’t he be apologizing to Chance first? Maybe Charlie will tell him that in tomorrow’s strip.  Maybe  he’ll dangle the possibility that he’ll call Chet “Dad” after that, and offer that loser an unwarranted ray of hope. Maybe before it’s all said and done we’ll find out what happened to Chance’s parents. Then again I’m also hoping that any college football team nicknamed “Tigers” or that has a nut for a mascot loses this coming Saturday, but I don’t have my hopes up for that either.

December 2, 2019

Are You Caught Up?

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The rage Mama Roh has been bottling up all fall watching Chet act like a righteous asshole is finally coming out. Having to sit still and listen clearly doesn’t agree with Chet. Look at how his hand is twisting into something a five year old would make out of Play Doh.

I think there are some issues with communication in this relationship. I wonder how these two came together and decided to marry their fortunes together. I also wonder if Chet thought his new wife (does she have a name?) would just naturally assume a subservient role and go along with whatever stupid shit Chet wanted to do. I guess things have changed. However, Chet seems like a dyed in the wool a-hole so I assume it won’t be long before this thing collapses.

 

November 27, 2019

Hasn’t There Already Been an Investigation?

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Excuse me but haven’t Marjie, the superintendent and Captain Man Bun already investigated Ballardgate?  What’s left to investigate?  How about some of the details in today’s strip?

P1: How much squirming must it take to get your forearm in front of you to facepalm at that angle?  Careful Chet, you’ll poke your eye out.

P2: We’re on to the third day in a row where people are just reading Marjie’s article aloud to other people.  I can see why Gil looks a little pissy, especially since Mimi’s leaning over him to point at what she’s reading.  (Bet she’s one of those people whose lips move when they read to themselves.)  It’s enough to distract him from his carbo loading. Must have a heavy day of lifting with Kaz on the agenda.

P3 triggered a lot of childhood memories for me, as I remember fondly the day my father bought me a Howard Elston catcher’s mitt. Superintendent Elston looks like a lot of recycled art pasted together: Lee Corso’s head with Paulie Walnuts’ hair spliced atop a  torso Walt “No Neck” Williams style, an odd suit jacket with contrasting lapels and a pocket square but no necktie, and topped off with Whigham’s signature gesticulating hand.  He gets the “immediate” part of the investigation; not so sure about the “thorough” though, as he sends his female charge off with no real direction.

That’s all I have to say about that.  Tip of the hat to Rubin for reminding me of the first black Yankee and the man who had the unfortunate task of having to fill Yogi Berra’s shoes.

 

November 26, 2019

The Hangover After The Taking Of Mudlark One Two Three

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“Mr. Grey, you idiot. Chance’s files wouldn’t be under Ms. Rizk’s typewriter. Have you considered searching in the file cabinet in Dr. Pearl’s office?”

“That’s the difference between you and me, Mr. Blue. I do my own ransacking and it got me to Nixon’s papers. He turned in the tapes to the Milford Enquirer the very next day.”

“Hey, guys!!!! What the Hell are we looking for? His kindergarten records? His Due Process judgment after what he did to that kid at recess?”

“The concept is very simple, Mr. Green. We want to find anything to ruin Chance so he doesn’t even consider the Manwiches at the two-a-days next season. Utilize your machine gun if you have to in order to open the vault. It’s not on time-release so I’m afraid drastic measures may be in order.”

“Gee, thanks, Mr. Blue.”

“You’re quite welcome, Mr. Green.”

 

And BOY O BOY, to quote Harry Carey, we have hit the jackpot today on the Pantheon of Mysterious Objects.

WHAT in the world is that thing on the Macys’ table. A giant cookie? Gazoo’s flying saucer that got trashed by vandals 2 feet tall? DON’T EVEN tell me that’s an Eggo Waffle. Sure, Kellogg’s is starting a new product line of Eggos with raisins in them the size of a Whammo! Frisbee. If you don’t feel like eating it because you’re hung over like Chet in P3 or you’re on a low-bread-and pastry diet regimen, you can always enter the Frisbee Golf Tournament at Milford Beverage Warehouse with that disc flyin’ high. I’ll hit Captain Rum in par or less every time. Baby, I’m nailin’ that refrigerator door that’s housing the Coors Lite in the Warehouse Beer Den. No need to raise the flag, Gentlemen. In the hole.

Now you eat all your sausage bits from that Bucket Pan Lovers Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza, Mrs. Macy. There are starving kids in Oakwood who would devour a slice of that pepperoni. Oh, you gobbled that up already. My bad.

And does Mrs. Macy carry her Electric Shave apparatus to the table at breakfast time? Does she use it to shave Mr. Macy’s head after he evidently went a little overboard on the Rogaine? I mean, he was Lou Grant a month ago. Now he’s Grandpa Cleaver. The only other reason I can surmise at this point is the turkey they have in the oven. Gotta trim the fat the minute you pull it out of the oven. Leftover turkey with shards of lard is not a Thanksgiving tradition at the Macy’s, that much we know.

Now, I think the canister on the counter IS a cookie jar. When I open the lid, it’s either Oreos or Chips Ahoy! No Keebler Elves disguising it as a Mr. Coffee appliance. Now we’re dealing with Thorpiverse so on any given day, as I learned as a coach, be ready. There is so much parity nowadays in College Basketball. But for now, I’ll stick with my original guess, a cookie jar. Don’t talk yourself out of a victory, especially with 10 seconds to go.

 

If ya get drunk after yore kid hit the game-winning home run in the Milford Optimist League T-Ball Tournament and ya cain’t go ta Chuck E. Cheese’s ta celebrate cuz all them animated musicians up on stage, the ones they hocked from Milford Disneyland Park, are makin’ yore head spin that much more, especially when they’s playin’ the Mudlark Fight Song and Good ol’ Rocky Top, ya might be a redneck.

 

And I have been a fan of Ma and Pa Kettle for years, particularly this episode in P1, Ma and Pa Kettle in the Port-o-Let After They Consumed One Too Many Corn Dogs at the Milford County Fair. It ought to be out on DVD next week. I’ll check Milford Video this coming Monday.

 

“Mr. Brown, check in Coach Kaz’s desk. I understand that he was storing a letter he received from the Milford State Corrections Facility, clearing Chance to play football after not getting violent with his cellmates. The one that talks about his earning a Wal-Mart Good Job button. I couldn’t think of a more damaging piece of information to mar Chance’s record.”

“On it, Mr. Blue”

“Thank you very much, Mr. Brown.”

BUUUUUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

“This is Lieutenant Garber here. What are you doing out of Mudlark One Two Three, Blue? I thought you had hostages.”

“I revised my methods, Lieutenant Garber. I found I could garner more hostage money holding someone’s reputation at stake.”

AAAAAACCCHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOO

“Gesundheit. Blue, how long you gonna stretch this thing out? I mean, Milford has a game tonight. Surely you aren’t going to rain on a kid’s parade?”

“Lieutenant Garber, we killers do what he have to do to attain the prize.”

“Even if it was Gil’s hair?”

“We killers are cold-blooded, not desperate, Lieutenant Garber.”

 

 

Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Hostages Safe From Mudlark One Two Three After Killers Decide To Raid Milford School Corporation Building Annex For Sensitive Information!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Coach Thorp: “It was just a one-night stand and we didn’t take off our clothes. And it was over 30 years ago. I  married her later.”

 

The consolation prize in all this is that Mrs. Roh actually LOOKS LIKE MRS. ROH. No Picasso distortions (Heard at Milford Arts and Science Museum: “Gravel Gertie looks so natural.”) , no Mary Worth disguised as Tootsie Bumstead, no Lois looking like Hi from Hi & Lois, no Hagar the Horrible With Emphasis on Horrible. She is in prime form as she is, through telekinesis from P1, continuing the message and gloating all the while. Gang, can anyone blame her? Thought so.

But, damn, just when it was about to get nominated in the Oscar Category for Best Improvement in Artwork, the silhouette in P2 took Thorpiverse out of the running. Oh well, there’ll be other Oscar ceremonies.

I mean, Chet is trashy and rednecky with that Dalton Georgia Warehouse Carpeting he calls a beard but let’s not get hasty and draw him like George Washington on Mount Rushmore when the latter forgot to shave.

Joe and Jane Tourist at Mount Rushmore one day

“Oh, look dear, the maintenance crew is sandblasting our Forefathers.”

“Honey, they’re just trimming Roosevelt’s mustache. And Jefferson had some 2-day shadow, that’s what the Park Ranger said.”

 

“How the Hell you expect me to find anything by Chance in Gil’s playbook, Mr. Blue? His whole goddam office’s got playbooks he hasn’t used since they landed on the moon.”

“Patience, Mr. Grey. Go to his personal water closet, you might find a picture of Chance caught masturbating on one of the lockers.”

“If you think for one second I’m going to check under the toilet seat-”

“This is Lieutenant Garber here, do you read me?”

“I read you loud and clear, Lieutenant Garber.”

“Hey, Okay, you got us for the moment. But leave alone the time my partner Lieutenant Patrone hid kiddie porn magazines in the equipment shed.  He was just a teenager. Gil threw ’em out and made him run 100 laps. Don’t you think that’s punishment enough? Gil never returned until basketball.”

AAAAAAAAAACCCCHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOO

“Gesundheit. Whatya say, Blue?”

“We can work with that. We want a better football team, not worthless gossip.”

“You’re a pal, Blue.”

“Anytime, Lieutenant Garber. Mr. Green, it’s optimal that you don’t spray that Cruex Anti-Jock Itch can again. Besides, I’m afraid Gil’s office smells bad enough from the time he failed to curb his dog he brought in one Saturday.”

On the other end

“He bought it, Rico. Now where’s that back-up unit?”

“I called the Milford Police. They’re unavailable until after the reserve game.”

“Ya gotta be kiddin’ me. We got a game on the line.”

“Except we’re talking about saving Coach Thorp’s bacon.”

“Sheeesh, I forgot. Can they leave a quarter early?”

“I’ll ask.”

“Tell ’em split like Thorp and Kaz do at halftime.”

 

 

“BTW, Blue, I understand you know who shot Coach Shaw.”

“That is correct, Lieutenant Garber.”

“Well, can you tell me that much?”

“Certainly. it was-”

AAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

“Gesundheit. Well, what about it?”

“I’m sorry, Lieutenant Garber. I’m afraid we have hazardous material all over Coach Thorp’s game films. You’ll have to allow me a few minutes while we tidy things. (Off the walkie-talkie) “Mr. Green, did you fail to take a Contac again? Mr. Brown, see if there’s Sani-Wipes in Coach Thorp’s gym bags. We don’t want to ruin the 2014 season.”

“Right away, Mr. Blue.”

“How long are we going to put up with TNT snout, Mr. Blue?

“We’ve put up with Gil’s coaching for longer than that. Do you want mucus all over the prairie windows for 60 years, Mr. Grey?”

“Better than waiting for this plot to end, Mr. Blue.”

 

P3 just about says it all. Any of you Mountain fans like yours truly knows that on their classic Flowers of Evil (MISSISSIPPI QUEEN, DA DA DA DA DA, YA KNOW WHAT I MEAN…) was a song titled “One Last Cold Kiss”. The last lines of the tune

Once so proud, he’s beaten now

He will not speak at all

Pretty well sums up the song and Mr. Ballard at the breakfast table. That, or he didn’t eat his Wheaties or that Archway Cookie Herman Munster Always Chows Down On Before He Leaves To Go To Work. But I’m goin’ for the sure out on this bad boy. Don’t prolong the inning.

BTW, did anybody check the score? Look again at Mrs. Roh’s cell phone.

 

“Mr. Grey, I won’t say it again. Hand in your gun, Grouch glasses and Gil’s hair so we can all get out of here.”

Up yours, Mr. Blue. At least Gil doesn’t hide behind these Groucho glasses when he’s confronting the ref.”

BLAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

“Gentlemen, let us depart. Rest in peace, Mr. Grey. He was going to work with the Milford cafeteria ladies when he got out of this-

BLAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

Mr. Brown is shot dead in the Mudlark Girls Gym. Mr. Green escapes through Mimi’s office with Chance’s Boys Town records, especially the citationwhen he was flogged 150 times for saying Father Flanagan never married because Gil beat him to it, and takes a couple of scorebooks that wouldn’t be used until the 2023 season. Extra Kleenex for his sniffles.

“Excuse me, would you mind turnin’ around and droppin’ it? Drop it, I say.”

Mr. Blue drops his gun, scratching the woodwork in the gym.

“Lieutenant Garber.”

“Mr. Blue.”

“Tell me, do you still execute your prisoners?”

“Naw, we ain’t into cruel and unusual punishment no more. Not since The Bucket was converted from a Bed & Breakfast that Gil’s granddad owned before he croaked eatin’ Munchos.”

“Pity.”

Mr. Blue uses his foot to kick on Mimi’s boom box and turns up volume. The Tremeloes’ “Silence is Golden” and the “Flintstones Chewables Theme Song” is blaring from the speakers, motivational tools Mimi uses to get her kids to handle the enemy crowd during the 5-game season.

Mr. Blue’s ears are smoking and his brain is turning into mush.

“Oh my God.”

 

“We will return to the exciting conclusion of The Taking of Mudlark One Two Three after these messages, here on WDIG-TV.”

 

“Man, I wouldn’t want to be in Mr. Blues shoes right about now. Fans have always said my brain is fried but never literally. My noggin is still intact after that end-around takes a loss for 10 yards.

Hi, this is Coach Thorp here. And I got a better way of handling stress and everyday living. That’s why I am proud to announce my new product, Gil Thorp Pure Pork Sausage. Now I know a lot of you prefer Jimmy Dean or Tennessee Pride. To heck with them. What do they put in their sausage anyway? Word’s out that when the pigs go to the Milford Slaughterhouse that they shoot them Yorkshires buckshot full of lead. I’ve heard of fillers but this is taking things too far. Do you want to eat scrambled eggs and smoky links with bullets from a .22? How do you stick the rifle in the poor pig’s mouth? The slaughter dude evidently has good aim. Or lots of practice.

And I understand that Tennessee Pride stuffs their hogs with Bucket Burgers. Yuck. Don’t know boutchoo, but I don’t want sausages on the griddle that are laced with Big Mac’s. My sausages use the finest ingredients that are seasoned with the finest of spices, just like my mom used to get at the Milford General Store. Whenever I sink my teeth into Gil Thorp Pure Pork Sausage, I remember the cumin and the thyme mom used to dump on my pancakes. After she poured Aunt Jemima, naturally.

And Mel Purnell is Goooood but, shoot, who wants a hog on the front cover of the package? That’s why me and Mimi and the kids are on every package that you buy at the Milford IGA or Milford Wal-Mart or wherever you shop. Don’t we look natural posing in front of my cousin’s pig farm? You think Dr. Pearl can pose any better on HER sausage package? And Keri rode a 9-year-old female after the photo shoot. Maybe you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear but you sure can ride ’em cowboy before they become the sausage patties you eat after you’ve eaten your toast and drunk your Minute Maid.

Especially the ones we make at Gil Thorp Pure Pork Sausage. Come taste the difference and see why we say “Don’t get bitter just because our pigs are better.” You deserve some good eatin’ and you’ll get it with Gil Thorp Pure Pork Sausage.”

 

Gang, have at it. In the meantime, I would like to pull a plug for Mel Purnell and his family. They are solid people who have done a ton for the community. They prove that the product is Goooooooodddd because the people are. I salute you, Mel and family.

 

WE ARE FLINTSTONES KIDS 10 MILLION STRONNNGGGGGGGGGG AND GROWWWIINGGGG

“Attaway, Daphne!!!!!!!!!!!! You looked smooth on the lay-up. Goshen can’t put their crowd on the floor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

 

Lieutenant Garber and Lieutenant Patrone knocking on the door of the Ballard’s residence. Chet hides most of the pilfered records of Chance in the bottom drawer of his bureau, under all his packages of Hanes he’s amassed over all the Christmas’s he got from his wife. The rest he crams in the Amana stove in the kitchen.

I’M COMING

“How many more do we gotta see?”

“Six.”

“Yikes. Times like these I wish I went into real estate.”

“Come on, Mr. Ballard, we haven’t got all day!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I’M COMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Opens the door

“What’s up?”

“Can we come in?”

“Sure!!!!!!!!!!! Make yourself at home!!!!!!!!!!”

“Appreciate the pleasantries but can you account for your whereabouts last night? Chance Macy’s records were stolen.”

“You’re kiddin’ me.”

“Would I be here if I was kiddin’?”

“I was working.”

“Working? I thought you sold insurance.”

“I’m a forklift operator  for Milford Foundry on 2nd shift.”

“Can they verify that?”

“Garber, while you’re talking to him, I need a smoke.”

“Okay, Rico.”

“Let me turn on that stove in the kitchen-”

I’LL GET IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

“It’s a bit tricky. These Amana stoves are as fickle as Gil’s coaching. There, enjoy your Camels.”

“Thanks, Mr. Ballard.”

“Come on, Rico, let’s go. We’ll be back later with a warrant, Mr. Ballard.”

“Look, I know I’m the black sheep of Milford but I would never stoop so low as to do that. I want my own step-son to succeed on the gridiron but I would never be a mole. Now do me a favor, get the Hell outta here!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Sorry to bother you, Mr. Ballard.”

As Lieutenant Garber shuts door

AAAAACCCCCCHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOO

“Gesundheit.”

Lieutenant Garber re-opens door.

And the stove door pops open.

November 9, 2019

“*69” or “Marjie Got Her Crank Yanked”

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Poor Marjie. Got a voicemail from a mysterious caller and can’t figure out who it was. If only there was some kind of technology that would allow someone to see who called them… technology that existed oh, say, a quarter of a century ago.

Really, does anyone think Chet has the wherewithal to use caller ID spoofing? He doesn’t even have the self-awareness to not blurt out broad hints that he knows Chance’s backstory within earshot of anyone who could make those hints have consequences.

Give Marjie some credit, though: she knew Gil thought Chet was the prank caller without him ever saying so. (Oh, wait, that’s called exposition.) As for Gil’s curiosity, nothing a little trip to the weight room showers faculty lounge wouldn’t fix. Time to put ol’ beardo Ballard on the defensive and start him on down the path off the school board and into the family doghouse.

Today’s post has an alternate title in homage to Rocky and Bullwinkle.

November 6, 2019

Oh, What a Feeling!

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Is Chance trying out for the cheerleading squad or auditioning to sell Toyotas?

I realize I’m dating myself with the latter reference (“Ok Boomer” is the pissy way the kids are saying it this week IIRC). Speaking of pissy, nice shift from pissy-faced to all smiles by old Gildeaux there. You’d think Gil would be having a cow about one of his starters benching himself with a fake injury to give his backup some playing time, but it didn’t faze him that much when True Standish did it for Jarrod Hale a few years back.

Nope, Gil’s just relieved that Chance is staying away from The Bucket, where they have sharp utensils handy. Better Macy and his shadow teammates punch the air harmlessly, another audition to shill old Toyotas…

 

October 23, 2019

A Shot of MYOB With a Cup of STFU Chaser

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Something tells me Chet Ballard strikes out with his wife on a regular basis. Probably why we haven’t seen any siblings for Charlie. Maybe he’ll get lucky at school.

I’m not sure if this unnamed school board lady is the same one Ballard went to when he wanted to make a test case out of Tiki Jansen (in which case her name is Carol), but for the sake of today’s post let’s assume she is. Carol’s seen enough of Chet’s crap to know this needs to be nipped in the bud. This being mid-October, however, it’s too early for Chet to let this go.

So who does Ballard turn to next? Marty Moon? He has been known to let Milfordians (Milfordites?) go on the air and put their feet in their mouths. Seeing as it’s his town, Marty might decide there’s only room for one bearded blowhard. That leaves Marjie Ducey, Gil himself, or a billboard outside Milford.

October 19, 2019

Shortest. Debate. Ever.

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Geez, Chet, when has doing the right thing ever stopped you? Or netted you the results you were after?

You do realize that your logins are being captured and it won’t take an internet ninja to figure out what you’ve been up to. Even if it’s Kaz doing the ninjaing (ninjing?). There are steps to be taken between nosing around in students’ permanent records and getting Chance kicked off the football team. Once you take them, it’ll only be a matter of time before everyone from Gil to the mop Steve Luhm left behind in the janitor’s closet will be hip to your scheme. Then the only one getting kicked off of anything will be you off the school board – and maybe out of the family home. I hear Uncle Gary might have some room for you on a sleeper sofa in LA…

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