This Week in Milford

May 18, 2022

Time, Limp!

Today’s baseball history lesson is the story of Jackie Hayes. Hayes, a shortstop on Wallace Wade’s Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team (yes, Wade coached baseball in addition to football at the time), got his start in the majors in 1928 as a utility infielder for the original AL Senators. Having been awarded the starting second base job for 1929 by the Nats’ new manager, future Hall-of-Famer Walter Johnson, Jackie would lose that job to Buddy Myer, a .300-plus hitter who Washington had reacquired after an ill-advised trade to the Red Sox. While Hayes was the better glove man, Myer was the better hitter and baserunner (he led the AL in stolen bases in ’28 for Boston and would win the AL batting crown in ’35 for Washington). After two more seasons playing sporadically for the Nats, Hayes was traded to the White Sox in a multi-player deal.

While still a great fielder, Hayes struggled with injuries on the South Side, including several beanings; in two seasons where he managed to stay healthy, he hit over .300. Things would take a turn for the worse during spring training 1940. After a shower one afternoon, he felt as if he had soap in his right eye. The next day his vision was blurry, and the club sent him back to Chicago for treatment. After several misdiagnoses and no relief from deteriorating vision, Jackie Hayes would be diagnosed with glaucoma.

Hayes wouldn’t give up. He played in a handful of games, but didn’t start for the first time until August 21 when, wearing a makeshift helmet with ear flaps and closing his right eye when he stepped into the batter’s box, he went 2-for-3. Hayes batted .195 in 18 games for the White Sox and retired after the 1940 season. He would go blind in his right eye soon thereafter and went completely blind in 1943, but he did manage to have a productive life after baseball, serving as a county tax collector and occasional visitor to local and regional schools for the blind as a motivational speaker. Still, Jackie Hayes will always be remembered as the first major league baseball player to wear a protective helmet.

The Hammer’s apparent obliviousness to the comebacker whizzing past his right ear made me wonder if wasn’t already completely blind in his right eye, which triggered my memories of Jackie Hayes. Wonder if Gil could track down one of those padded caps offered to MLB pitchers a few years ago for Gregg, the ones that made them look like the Great Gazoo. I think only Alex Torres ever wore one in a regular season game, so there’s probably a bunch lying around some equipment manager’s cage somewhere.

Finally catching a clue that something is wrong with the Hammer on the bump, Gil quickly tells the suddenly popular Morrison to hit the showers and wait for him with a loofah to get hot fast. Without adequate warmup, there’ll soon be another Mudlark pitcher out with an injury, and Gil’s 10-3 record will be gone quicker than you can say “lemonade on the back porch.” Of course Gil will lay into Gregg before realizing the true extent of the situation and turning his wrath to Papa Hamm. Why Kaz is being spared for letting Scooter Pie talk him out of fielding practice for the Hammer is beyond me, and yet another of the gaps in this plot as massive as the ones left after an infield shift.

May 17, 2022

(Ahem) Speaking Of Being Late, Gil.

Filed under: Gil Thorp — tdrewhardin @ 11:53 am

Who is minding the store around here? Remember Fast Times at Ridgemont High when Brad (Judge Reinhold) is working at a convenience store and some maniac robber comes in to hold up the store? Brad is blatantly clueless as he desperately tries to dig out money out of the cash drawer, the maniac threatening to pull the trigger anytime, and probably would but Spicoli (Sean Penn) walks in, unbeknownst to what’s going on. That’s Brad’s window of opportunity as the maniac is distracted, enabling Brad to fling hot water out of a brewing coffee pot at the maniac’s eyes. Justice is served.

That’s really what we need to do with the art and plot, take your pick which one you want to throw the scalding water at first, one is working hand-in-hand incompetently with the other.

Let’s knock out what is more obvious than meets the eye. 38 almost has to mean 3rd base and Ron Cey (The Penguin, baby-shoulda seen that penguin gait when he was trying to stretch a hit into a double) handled a lot of choppers in his day at that position, either when he was with the Dodgers or the Cubs. We’ll put this one to bed because I’m going to give Thorpiverse the benefit of the doubt, I don’t think T-verse had “high chopper to the center fielder” in mind when describing the action. Can you imagine Harry Caray after 10 Buds sloshing out “Thersh a smash to the catcher”? And c’mon, there’s a base right there, and you only have 3 of them plus home plate. Again, there’s no high chopper to home plate that I’m aware of, so take your pick, first, second, or third. I’m picking third.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. As the readers have mentioned, there’s no baseline at the base and I never try to intrude on my colleagues’ posts because I think they’re hilarious anyway but in order to illustrate my point, I have to point out that picture where (presumably) Lehto is fielding the ball. It actually looks like where 2nd could be and evidently the artwork never took into account there are baselines when you start the game. But hey, maybe they didn’t have kids like the readers at TWIM did that played baseball so details like that are similar to a teenager not using Clearasil to zap his zits because he’ll get a date to the prom anyway. Good thinking. You got more pimples than Gil’s absences on your face, no problem, she’ll slow dance with you to Alan Parsons Project’s “Time Keeps Flowing Like A River” when the lights dim low. And Gil came back to the game after his consultation with the IRS. It wasn’t deemed tax evasion this time, thank goodness.

Here’s where Gregg Hamm enters the picture. Since he’s right-handed (this week anyway) , it would only be logical that he’s in a better position to field balls such as slow rollers, high choppers, flares, bunt attempts from the right side. And in a perfect world, Gregg would field aforementioned situations, throw cleanly to first, inning over.

Were it only that simple in Thorpiverse. We never really know that the ball really should have been fielded by Hamm until Gil himself shows up in P2 after using all his sick days that the union negotiated with Thorpiverse over and expresses his bitching in the disguise of concern. We are left with bases that are out of order, .38 Special singing “So Caught Up In You” rather than Hamm taking the mike, and if that’s not enough, New Thayer stealing Milford’s uniforms. Well, that’s what happens when Gil is hors de combat because he really doesn’t give a hang and therefore is a non-entity, again, nobody is minding the store.

As long as I am compelled to break down what a baseball diamond should look like (bleachers right behind 2nd base?) , I have job security for as long as the readers keep me on staff. I thought Alice in Wonderland was confusing.

And with Gil disappearing on us, you KNOW it was only a matter of time before Gil-sightings were going to be a common occurence, certainly as common as third base being where second base normally is and outfield fences right behind the pitcher’s mound. Dude, if Hamm is blind, I’d hate for him to crash into the wall on a comebacker to the mound. Pop-ups to the pitcher at the warning track? Artwork in Thorpiverse at its premium. Anyway

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“O.J. Swears He Saw Gil And Elvis Recently In Milford!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“I saw them both at The Diner. Gil ordered poached eggs, Elvis ordered a BLT. Maureen took their order. Gil’s a lousy tipper, BTW. Gave her an autographed catcher’s mitt.”

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And Thorpiverse, as long as we’re going to play musical chairs with the baseball uniforms, can the We Think He’s One Of Us first baseman in P1 not remind me of Gumby? The Spinners once sang of “The Rubber Band Man”. I think his grandson is playing 1st base for Milford (or New Thayer, depending on whether the color-blind artist just arrived back at the studio off vacation) . Hand me down my walking cane, Gil.

Remember the Mr. Blue Sky video from ELO? Jeff Lynne just released never-before shown camera scenes and you’re getting a sample in P1. Mr. Blue Sky with a telephone pole for a leg, how nice. I know a first baseman has to many times stretch to get the throw and as long he doesn’t resemble a jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces out of place and hope to God nobody’s noticing, baseball will be the better for it. With his configuration, he has no future as a Nick’s Pizza driver. Once he has the pizzas secured, where’s he going to fit his legs? How would he operate the accelerator pedal? Shoot, he’d have to use the emergency brake because his lower appendages would have no access to a conventional braking system.

While we are heavily engaged in Gil-sightings (seen playing one-on-one basketball with Bigfoot at an outdoor court in Yellowstone while the general public was feeding the moose) , Gang, I thought this was a joke until I saw the comic heading, Mark Trail. Evidently, the latest villain is (brace yourself) Surfsquatch. I kid you not. Trying to follow the storyline, Surfsquatch was once a human surfer who ran into one big wave too many and came back as Bigfoot with a surfboard. Is Mark Trail grasping at straws for readership? That’s right, he dumped his wife and the kids, failed to renew his membership at Milford Country Club and rode the big one at Mudlark Lake and returned as Gilsquatch. The subscription rates will shoot through the roof.

I remember when Batman was in a surfing contest with The Joker and, okay, The Joker looked out of place riding on a surfboard in the same apparel he robs Gotham City Federal with but I’ll swallow it. Batman in his apparel with tacky-colored surfing trunks added to it ridin’ the waves probably explained why the show was on the decline. Kinda like Dennis the Menace in his regular overall outfit with Don Corleone Armani pants worn over that. Anyway

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Patrons At Milford Public Pool Claim They Witnessed Surfsquatch And Gil Jump Off The High Dive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Spokesperson: ‘Many speculate that they were practicing Synchronized Diving for the upcoming Milford Municipal Games event but reports have been unconfirmed at this point.'”

May 16, 2022

Heather Burns Is Impressed

Filed under: actual action, baseball, freak hands, Gil Thorp, Mimi Thorp, New Thayer — nedryerson @ 8:35 pm

The Thorps are relaxing at home with some coffee and the morning paper. Hey Gil, your team is off to a ten and three start! Say, that’s pretty darn good. Yeah, Heather Burns thinks that’s hot! Oh no! My pinky is looking weird again and I can barely hold on to this supposed newspaper and neither one of us can focus our eyes, so let’s go back to bed until say, June. Sounds good. Wake me up when it’s time for lemonade.

Meanwhile, Half Blind Hamm is back on the bump against New Thayer. It’s a chopper to the left side. Is that good or bad for Hamm? As long as he’s not trying to field it, so what. Guys are going to hit choppers, and dribblers, and squibs, and grounders, and bloopers, and comebackers. It depends on what you do with them. We’ll find out what happens to the chopper later.

May 12, 2022

That Gil You Do.

Filed under: Gil Thorp — tdrewhardin @ 1:28 pm


Doing that Gil you do

Breakin’ this plot into a million pieces

Like you always do

And you

Intend this to be cruel

You never even catch on about the headache

We’ve been poring through

Well, we’re pleading and try to forget you, Gil

But it’s just so hard to do

Everytime you do that Gil you do

Thank you, Philip and Billy for your votes of confidence. It means the world to me and keeps me going.

That said, Thorpiverse, you force me to rip the robe off and tighten the boxing gloves and enter the ring with a vengeance.

I am not denying the stat about Nolan Ryan and it wouldn’t terribly surprise me. Basically, if we’re rounding off the math, out of 100 chances, he mishandled 10 of those. By comparison, Tom Seaver and Steve Carlton only muffed 4-5 of those opportunities. And that’s as close to apples as you could approach with oranges. As I believe Mark Twain once stated “There’s lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Ryan only knew one speed while Carlton and Seaver were shrewd pitchers who mixed their pitches well. And because of that, they may not have always struck out batters, but as Joe Garigiola once pointed out “A successful pitcher will always keep the batter off-stride”. That was Carlton and Seaver incarnate. Even if you made contact with the ball, it wasn’t good contact and many times the ball was a room-service job that Seaver or Carlton could easily throw to 1st base. Factor in Carlton’s pick-off moves, and with that tall lanky frame and his chicanery, you DIDN’T try to steal second, and it’s little wonder that Carlton was one of the greats.

Ryan had no such luxury. A 97MPH fastball that was contacted would COME BACK to the pitcher at 97MPH and remember, T-verse, Ryan was only 60 feet from home plate (okay, 6 more inches to that if ya wanna get chirpy about it) . Comebackers at warp speed were adventures and therefore not always easy to field, let alone throw to first base.

And to follow Philip’s excellent line of reasoning, Ryan was not above throwing chin music, especially if somebody jacked a home run off of him, but he was no different than any other pitcher given that situation. Many pitchers throw brushback pitches in situations like these. And to say Ryan threw at someone’s head when that someone scratched a bunt off of him is about as preposterous as it sounds. Batters were just trying to MAKE CONTACT, so attempting to throw your bat at a 101MPH fastball was out of the question. You pretty much had to swing away. That’s why many of the hits he gave up were home runs because, as mentioned before, a 101MPH offering that was met with solid contact was often going to travel long and fast.

Ryan’s bugbear, T-verse, was not his fielding but his control. When a 101MPH fastball went down Broadway, he pitched a complete-game victory. He set a record at one time for fewest hits allowed per 9 innings (just over 5 hits per 9 innings) . But many years he was in the Top Ten in walks. Batters weren’t about to swing at pitches clearly out of the strike zone because they couldn’t make contact with it anyway. Those nights, Ryan hit the showers in the 3rd or 4th inning. It wasn’t his night. A lot of 18-15 seasons accompanied his career.

To hit this from another perspective would be to bring Bill Buckner into the discussion. He started out with the Dodgers, then later played for the Cubs and Red Sox. Of course, baseball aficionados remember him for his fielding gaffe at 1st base in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. I feel it was unfair because, while he was a better hitter (great eye at the plate, rarely struck out) than fielder, he did a few times lead the league in assists (at 1st base) plus his own bugbear was injuries, constantly fighting with mushy knees his whole career. Those knees failed him on that play (IMO, Red Sox manager John McNamara perhaps might have been better to put Dave Stapleton, a defensive specialist, at 1st base) and the rest, as they say, was history. My point is Nolan Ryan would not have muffed that one. Again, he was a fitness fanatic and was able to make plays like that with a minimum of trouble.

Thorpiverse, please quit rewriting history. Gregg Hamm has a problem and it looks like Gil went to the Milford Lounge for All You Can Eat Brain Sandwiches Happy Hour to address that problem. Don’t make Ryan a scapegoat and make him one of Coach Thorp’s assistants. Then again, Ryan would throw chin music at guys like Bobby Howry so keep the Ryan Express on the backburner for now.

At the Mudlark gym

“Here’s a brand new group I bet you’re gonna love. From right here in Milford THE THORPEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“That’s THORPES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

What is this with Scooter in P1? He looks like he would fit in Dick Tracy’s Rogues Gallery. Gogglebrain. What an apropos appellation. This is about as ridiculous of artwork as I’ve seen in quite some time. Anybody who remembers reading Little Lotta, Little Audrey, Richie Rich, Little Dot surely remember when the artwork was occasionally a little out of kilter. As if the cartoonists were on vacation and the scabs gave it the old college try but us kids wanted the regular cartoonists to return and make Little Dot look like Little Dot, not Gil Thorp with dots all over his face. Who wanted Little Lotta eating banana splits at Coffee Cantina? That’s what he have today, cartoonists on vacation even if they never left the building. Just slop a black streak over Scooter’s eyes and hope to God they’ll recognize the face. Rolling the dice the wrong way, T-verse. A Nolan Ryan comebacker that ended up a gutterball.

I mean, if I want creatures that stepped off the landing craft behind the concession stand and told Coach Thorp he’s more comfortable playing infield, I’ll watch Lost in Space. I can get my Magic Marker and implement a streak across Dagwood’s upper visage and maybe con somebody into believing I saw the same thing in a Ray Bradbury story. I Sing The Body Scooter, what a plotline.

Oh, let me tell you, you always knew when The Flintstones cartoonists went on strike. There was one episode where Betty Rubble was a trapezoid upside down. That’s pretty much Scooter in P1. Betty Rubble with too much lipstick and Papermate smudged on the set.

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“The Thorpes Scheduled To Perform ‘That Gil You Do’ At Milford VFW Memorial Day Dance/Luau!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“The Korean Veterans in particular can’t wait to get on the dance floor. ‘That Gil You Do’ has helped boost beer sales.”

Now there you go again, Scooter, spouting statistics that really don’t tie into reality or really aren’t pertinent to Gregg’s situation. Ryan only had trouble with grounders that flew at him based upon the speed of light. The cans of corn he nonchalantly threw to first, inning over. Gregg can’t even catch the can of corn two inches from his face, either at the speed of light or the speed of a lightning bug. As the readers have mentioned over and over, this is something that should have been diagnosed in the preseason, not when it’s clear Gregg can’t even pick up a ping pong ball when it’s bouncing on the ping pong table. Trash talk the Valley Tech runner all you want, Scooter. Gregg needs help and telling the runner his mother wears army boots and shaves with a garden hoe isn’t going to change the landscape where Gregg couldn’t pick up the garden hoe because he is still trying to pick up the ping pong ball bouncing all over the driveway. Need a putter’s aid, Gregg?

Oh, but when Mister Hamm finally convinces the person taking his ticket at the admission gate that he is not Pancho Villa, he might be able to slip Dr. Scholl Prescription Blu-Blockers through the dugout fence. Gregg can catch the ping pong ball because he can see better plus the ultra-violet rays that scorched Scooter’s forehead are blocked. Yeah, stick that in your jock strap and smoke it, Valley Tech runner.

At the backstage of the Milford County Fair

“You will no longer be The Thorpes. It’s too confusing. Thorpees and Slurpees get mixed in and next thing you know, fans think you’re an traveling advertisement for Milford 7-11. From now on, you’ll just be The Thorps.”

“Can we still get free Slurpees, Mr. White?”

“Sure, Gil. You all look good in Mudlark Red, BTW, have I ever told you that?”


Know all the games they’ve played

And we’re gonna find a way to let Gil know that

They’ll be toast someday

”Cause we

Would be happy, can’t you see

If Gil only let us be the ones to punt it

Bag it permanently

”Cause we try and try to forget you, Gil

But it’s just so hard to do

Everytime you do that Gil you do

We aren’t letting this Nolan Ryan Couldn’t Field A Question concept die, are we? P2 is continuing this half-story and keeping this comatose story alive, warts and all. Sure, I wanted to keep my 103-year-old (true story, BTW) grandmother alive as long as she still had teeth and eyes and some decent sense of mobility but when it was clear Dentu-Cream wasn’t going to make up for lack of teeth and dentures wasn’t going to address the 103-year-old intestines that were digesting her McDonald’s sausage and biscuits, it was only a matter of time before she met her maker. Going to Pearle Vision Center and indulging in Buy One Pair, Get Reading Glasses Free wasn’t going to alleviate the problem of 103-year-old eyes. Thorpiverse, cut your losses.

“We’ll be touring all the way into September. The fans think you are hot property so you’ll be busy. And you look good in Valley Tech blue, have I ever told you that?”

“Mr. White?”

“Yes, Gil?”

“I have to coach in September.”

“Gil, this is your shot at the Big Show. Besides, you haven’t shown up the last 60 years. Nobody’ll notice.”

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“The Thorps To Perform ‘That Gil You Do’ At Local Event!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tickets Selling Fast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Concert to take place at 7th inning stretch in game between Valley Modified and Milford Freshman team, just after Jay’s Subs Catering Service arrives.”

And we not only have to send Nolan Ryan to an early grave, we have to get the Shadow People involved. Nothing like zombies painted black talking about how Ryan combed his hair or what hotel he slept in when they were on the road. This’ll liven things up around here, fer sure. As long as this plot is dying a slow death, we might as well involve creatures from outer space discussing to the death how the Pittsburgh Pirates came from 3-1 down to win the ’79 Series. It’s because Pops Stargell fielded a ton because he threw at manager Chuck Tanner before the games. Omar Moreno had that stork batting stance at the plate because Nolan Ryan couldn’t field a foul ball by the dugout. Dave Parker wore a tutu under his uniform. And Rick Rhoden was Tod Andrews when the latter went on summer vacation. Man, I’m like Thorpiverse, full of ideas and something else I better not print with all the Christian zombies reading this post.

Speaking of Dave Parker and Nolan Ryan, the latter was pitching in the twilight of his career in a game with Durwood Merrill as umpire, who was occasionally taken to task on his reputed Grand Canyon strike zone. After one game, where Ryan rang up 14 K’s, 8 of them on called strike 3′ s, Parker complained loud and long to the press. Rarely ever complaining about the umpires, he got his money’s worth as he got heavily fined for the comments.

Dave Winfield playfully quipped but still drove home the point “Nolan Ryan is a great legend but Durwood’s strike zone made him a lot greater.”

Thorpiverse continues to insult our intelligence in P3 by coming up with stories better suited for bedtime stories. Once upon a time there was this pitcher named Nolan Ryan and the big bad dragon bunted off of him and later scored the tying run. The next time up at the plate our dear Nolan threw at the dragon’s head. The umpire issued a warning.

Boy, that’ll put the kids to beddy bye.

Whatever this obsession with Nolan and The Amazing Technicolor Chin Music, it may not really have any basis in the real world but apparently it will get into the Valley Techster’s head and Milford will go on to win in a blaze of glory like they have since some schmuck back in the 50’s helped Milford win because he told the Techster runner, crew cut and all (’50’s, mind you) , that Ernie Johnson helped the Milwaukee Braves win the ’57 Series because he threw at Mickey Mantle and Tony Kubek every time they attempted a suicide squeeze. The tradition, y’know.

We don’t ask a lot (don’t ask Gil a lot)

But we one thing’s for sure (know Gil’s dumb for sure)

It’s the love we haven’t got, Gil

And we just can’t take it anymore (WHOA!!!!!!!!!)

‘Cause we

Could be happy, can’t you see

We could be the ones to grab you

And hang you to a tree

‘Cause we try and try to forget you, Gil

And it’s painful when we view

Everytime you do that Gil you do

“My land, what the Thorps won’t do for an encore!!!!!!!!!! Wasn’t that drum solo by Guy Patterson off of Gil’s hair a fait d’accomplait? We’ll be back at the Milford Outdoor Amphitheater to wrap up this night for the stars on the King Biscuit/Milford Foundry Flower Hour after these messages.”

In the Thorp’s back yard

WHAM!!!!!!!!!!!! BAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’ll teach you to bunt off of me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Next time you try to scoot one down the line, I’ll be throwing at your shoe tops!!!!!!!!!! And wipe that smile off your face!!!!!!!!!”

Mimi and Keri and Jaime are in the living room, watching Milford Championship Pro Wrestling w/ Lance Russell and Dave Brown. Jerry Lawler and Jeff Jarrett are about to implent a Double Arm Bar Vertical Suplex on Mr. Clyde and Freezer Thompson. They hear banging and bonging in the back yard.

“Mommy, who was Morgan Cryin’? Because Daddy said Morgan was going to rip somebody’s jock strap and stuff it in his suitcase.”

“WHAT???? This had better be good!!!!”

In the back yard, Gil is throwing at scarecrows in a simulated batter’s box, using the chess boards for the boxes. Gil is 60′ 6″ and throwing heat at the scarecrows’ crania. In the process, he is working himself into a sexual dither.

“GIL!!!!!!!!!!! What are you doing???? Cease and desist!!!!!!!!!”

“Mimi, I am Nolan Ryan and I won’t let some pussy bunt off of me and get away with it!!!!!!!! I’ll be throwing chin music at Joe Schlabotnik and Buddy Biancalana all day long to send a message to bring your chopped wood to the plate, not a toothpick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I use a toothpick to scrape the olives out of my teeth from that pizza I ate at the Faculty Orgy, not get under the sheets and do battle with my partner!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, Mickey Mantle, try to jack another one out of The House That Ruth Built, I DARE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Mommy, why does Daddy hunch the scarecrow after he’s thrown at his head? Does Morgan Cryin’ get that happy when he’s got a hard-on.?

“Keri, that’s Nolan Ryan!!!!!!!!!! And watch your language!!!!!!!!!!!! Gil, this is a disgrace to me and the kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Keri, a man has to perform on the mound and in bed. When Dennis Eckersly threw that batting practice pitch to Kirk Gibson in the ’88 Series, I’ll bet it’s because he barely scratched the surface with his wife the night before. You won’t win no Cy Youngs throwing hanging curves with your wim wim when doing business with your wife.”

BAMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“Take that, Kirk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Betcha won’t even THINK about parking one on my neighbor’s garage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Mommy, is Kirk Gibson that mean principal at Milford Elementary? He spanked 3 kids with tire jack this week.”

“No, Keri, Honey, and if Daddy would ingest those EREC-7308 Talcum Sensitive Sleep Formula Tablets, there’d be no need to throw at some scarecrows he must have stolen from Milford Valley Vineyards.”

“Folks, it’s like this. A pitcher worth his weight in gold will do what he’s gotta do to protect the plate. And if that means throwing a brushback or two, either at the plate or in bed, then so be it. When was the last time you saw Steve Carlton have to take an early shower because his wife was banging them off the scoreboard at Veteran’s Stadium? Only when he throws some chin music in bed can he keep sex honest. Important in a relationship. And Steve says TAKE THAT Dale Murphy and Bob Horner, you won’t hit another in the Launching Pad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”


“Yes, Jaime, what is it?”

“The farmer from Milford Valley said he won’t press charges if Daddy will throw the scarecrows in the pickup.”

“I naturally obliged and got a glass of water and took the EREC-7308 Tablets. I not only got a good night’s sleep, I got great sex and no jock itch. And I didn’t have to throw whiffle balls at scarecrows to work up a a sweat. Isn’t it time for you to come clean and get your own scarecrows out of the closet? With proven treatment plans and a first-rate medical team voted #1 by Milford Medical Monthly, your Erecrile Dysfunction will land in the seats because YOU hit the long ball. Come get a tape job today at Milford Men’s Clinic.

Man, every time you Gil that thing you do, I just want to read Marmaduke. This has got to stop.

But God bless you anyway, Gang.

At WDIG recording studio

“I QUIT, MR. WHITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Gil walks out

“The Thorps are in breach of contract.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. White.”

“Don’t worry, Guy. Gil will have to return to perform at Mudlark Stadium if he wants to coach football. He didn’t read the fine print.”

May 10, 2022

This Darkness That Has No Dawn.

Filed under: Gil Thorp — tdrewhardin @ 12:57 pm

Elizabeth Montgomery, famous for her role as the beloved witch and housewife, Samantha Stephens, from the popular TV series, “Bewitched”, wanted to branch out and perform other roles as far away from her character as possible once the series ended. I couldn’t blame her as she she was in several movies and TV shows before she ever cast as Samantha. One example was the Twilight Zone episode, “Two”. Trying to piece together what I remember, she plays an enemy to Charles Bronson’s character in a Cold War-like situation where there is destruction all around that perhaps both sides have inflicted on each other and these two are still going at it ANYWAY, even with little resources, any wherewithal destroyed in the winless conflict. She was chilling in the role, displaying how underrated she was, IMO, as an actress.

Besides the Lizzie Borden movie that brought her long-overdue critical acclaim, she also played a lady, Abigail Foster, that had been in a coma for 20 years after a rare disease when she was 17-years-old in “Between the Darkness and the Dawn”. She is totally unaware that she is now 37-years-old and will have to make the arduous adjustment to life as it is NOW. She is floored, for example, that her high school sweetheart is now married to her younger sister.

Gee, Gil has been in a coma for 60+ years. Is Mimi married to Bobby Howry? Man, Milford has changed. And it doesn’t look like that will change based upon the strip for today. Gil just seems oblivious to Hamm’s problem that keeps coming back and won’t disappear. Coach, that’s what happens when you sweep things under the rug, they come out of the carpet and dribble by you like it’s doing today.

And if we weren’t chasing after so many rabbits that are traversing across the screen every which way, we might actually get somewhere. OMG!!!!!!!! Would I be out of a JOB???? I could get things done. I could go watch my great-nephew run the 3200 at his conference meet today (no worries, my family will keep me posted) . I’d have more time to follow my favorite high school and college teams. The potential.

Suffice it to say, Coach Thorp is still on life-support at Milford General and the doctors are at Milford Country Club picking up where Coach Thorp left off. I think I have job security.

Really, we have plots that are still in the inchoate stage as Scooter’s Statistical Anthology is somewhere nudged in the oak tree with the rsst of the acorns, Ma and Pa Kettle have made sure to bring a shotgun this time in case some Commie tries to bring Pa Kettle back to Siberia, Gil has to go dry-clean his Jordaches, Mr. Benchwarmer is writing a memoir of Ma and Pa Kettle and why Ma stood in the way when ABC Nightline had nothing better to report, and they were in the neighborhood, so while filming Ma Kettle hid Pa Kettle behind the bloodhound so that nobody would discover that Pa Kettle took part in the Bay of Pigs uprising. You can’t let the Revolution know where any traitors are hiding.

And speaking of broadcasting, what the Hell happened to that camcorder Heather Tarbell was lugging around? Did she store it back in the safe deposit box? Along with her mentality? We were ready to be annoyed by her bitchy, confrontational, unwelcome intrusion but it’s like Gil’s mother-in-law coming to the Thorps’ residence and and saying she will be staying the next three months, then jumping on a boat to participate in Bay of Pigs: The Sequel. Another plot in its infancy that still is on life-support with a steady diet of powdered milk. At least Abigail can drink a Diet Coke when she’s filling in the details.

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“O. J.’s Grandmother Awakens From Slumber After 21 Years In A Coma Due To A Heart Attack!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“It’ll be a culture shock. The Bucket menu has changed. I’ll have to break it to her that Bucket McRib sandwiches are no longer served.”

Okay, okay, Thorpiverse, we get it. He’s blind as a bat and he can’t even catch a foul tip and his Commie-Pinko dad who is withstanding some McCarthy lunatic breathing down his neck is helpless to address the problem. We at least have a couple of runaway plots in the ballpark, pardon the pun. Anybody who has taken I-24 in Tennessee just east of Monteagle surely has seen those runaway ramps that semi’s can use in case the brakes fail, a frequent occurence given the dangerous grade of the slope going downhill. One of my dad’s friends had to use that ramp and it saved his life. Problem was, it took a day and a half to get towed out. But that’s the case with these plots veering in God knows where all over Tennessee and beyond. When we finally manage to flag them down, we’re stuck having to watch Gregg unable to pitch and catch or even play pepper because he can’t see past his glasses and that’s stretching. Watch out for that camcorder, Gregg.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if Heather finally returns but God knows under what capacity. It’s been hit-or-miss with her lately and that’s not a good sign. If Gil’s mother-in-law joins the Contras in Nicaragua, is Heather going to be the guest in the Thorp household in this plot du jour? Just don’t film the toilets because Gil somtimes forgets to wipe. Keep it real and film the family at dinner time. Mimi can bribe the kids to eat all their vegetables at Show Time. The plots will be finally dragged out of the mud and we’ll have it all in camera. Something to show the grandkids.

Gang, these lawsuits are getting ridiculous. There’s an advertisement for contacting an injury lawyer over talcum powder misuse? What does a person do with Johnson’s Baby Powder that would constitute misuse? Use it as a meat tenderizer on a person’s T-bone? Snort it when there’s no cocaine in the drawer? Mix that with Quaker State 10W40 when the car needs an oil change?

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“O.J. Obtains An Injunction, Milford Superior Court Orders Gold Bond Medicated Powder Removed From The Store Shelves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“When my grandma started getting zits on her butt, I knew it wasn’t from all that World’s Finest Chocolate she’d been eating for dessert.”

Now who’s the idiot who plopped Peter Lorre in here without telling anyone? I liked him better in “Casablana” and “The Maltese Falcon”, not be relegated to Cartoonland where he’s going to vegetate in Rockville. He’s a radio announcer for WDIG? Did Alfred Hitchcock write the script today? How does Hitchcock know anything about Mudlarks? Spent time at Coffee Cantina observing the Milford populace over Choclate Peppermint Latte and a couple House Apple Strudels? He looks tacky in a beard and mustach-oh, THAT’S MARTY MOON!!!!!!!!!!!! Welcome back, stranger. He shows up about as much anymore as Peter Lorre or Peter Rabbit. Recently, he had that little power struggle with Bobby Howry over the supremacy of WDIG but Marty deftly lured Howry into sticking his foot in his mouth and the struggle died as quickly as it came to life.

Otherwise, anymore, Marty’s been a lion with no teeth, or in his case, a snake with no fangs. I remember once when Chuck Daly, the architect behind the great Detroit Pistons’ run in the 80’s and 90’s, once said when he was retiring “When I started to enjoy the refs and the media, it was time to get out.” When you actually WELCOME Marty Moon on the scene, it’s time to either phase him out or shed the old snake skin and slither back into the broadcast booth. It’s your move, Thorpiverse.

Otherwise, he’s just another announcer in press row and whoever heard of a snake trying to eat Alpo with the rest of the dogs? I don’t think he’ll be riding with Babar the Elephant and the rest of the family when they go on vacation. Where he’s going to stay when they spend the night at the Marriott. The bathroom sink? And don’t put him in a group photo when they take a family picture at the Grand Canyon. Snakes and elephants really don’t mix in the family album.

With Dr. Pearl blasting Guided By Voices’ “I am a Tree” from her 1909 boom box

“No, Gil, I really couldn’t use Mr. Moon as an office aide.”

“What about for summer school?”

Late Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“O.J. Able To Get Grandma To Shop At Costco Without A Memory Aid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“She remember that stores still sold Jif. Proud of her.”

What possible reason could Marty Moon have for sticking his arm behind his head unlesshecis perhaps aerating his underarms???? I remember when Garry Owen, the unofficial emcee on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, used to cup his hand to his ear whenever he read a copy of news, advertisement, Gil’s next hair appointment, Mudlarks next 3 Valley Conference opponents, Dr. Pearl’s renewed wedding vows with Mr. Dr. Pearl at Milford Interdenominational Fellowship Church, etc. but Marty is not even doing that. Marty, we have Q-Tips if you are contemplating plucking the ear wax out of your ear with your index finger.

Then there’s the soliloquy Marty is engaging in henceforth. He has Gregg Hamm basically pistol-whipping himself the way it’s being described

“Gregg was a dumbass who couldn’t pick up that ping-pong ball and throw to first, though for the life of me what he was even doing out of the grassy part of the infield and how a bunt wound up close to second base is beyond my comprehension but Gregg is using a switchblade on himself and carving himself into 728 pieces after bungling that bunt attempt and allowing the Oakwood player to score an inside-the-park home run on a piss-ass bunt attempt that got caught in the shortstop’s testicles and now he’s using the catchers mask to strike his dental work and all his teeth are strewn out in the dugout and I’d hate to see what would happen if he gave up a grand slam. Nuke himself?”

Over and out, Marty.

Late Late Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Milford Chemical Plans Strong Counterargument In Joe Sharkey’s Clientele’s Accusations!!!!!!!!! Claims Their Talcum Powder Is Perfectly Safe!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“These frivilous charges that starving children in China contract the mumps when applying Gold Bond Medicated Powder will be dealt with severely by our legal team.”

Nice to know that Gregg got bailed out by Steve Lehto and Nomar “Ramon Somar to you” Ramos and maybe Gregg will have no more eyeballs bouncing around (from Exploding Eyeball Effect, you understand) with the wiffleball that is still being held at large. We should be able to locate both by the time Luhm lays down the tarp.

But is this going to go back and forth, i.e., Gregg loses a few more eyeballs, Pa Hamm gets caught by the French gendarme and shipped back to Devil’s Island to room with Pa Bader and Papillon, Oakwood goes up 18-2, Scooter tells Gil to get his head out of his Jordaches, Milford regains the lead thanks to 4 grand slams and a balk sending a runner home, Gregg loses his retinae, Pa Hamm escapes and gets on a boat with some Haitian refugees and manages to make it by the 5th inning, etc., etc., etc.?

Hope Gil has a closer.

“And that’s the 12th bunt attempt Gregg Hamm has failed to handle cleanly or at all. Where is Coach Thorp when you need him? A rhetorical question if you ask me. While there’s a pitching change made by Scooter Borden, we’ll take time out with the score, Oakwood, 14, Milford, 3. This is Marty Moon and you’re listening to WDIG, a division of Learfield Sports.”

At the Thorp household

“Mommy, Daddy is in the bathtub naked but he isn’t waking up.”

“Has he been drinking? I knew he shouldn’t have attended that Faculty Bacchanalian Orgy LoveFest this aftern-OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KERI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CALL 9-1-1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Whew!!!!!!!!!! That was a close one!!!!!!!!!!! Hi, this is Joe Sharkey, Injury Attorney, and we have helped Milford citizens recover billions in lost wages and outrageous medical bills, not to mention the distress caused by shoddily manufactured products. Mr. Thorp was applying Johnson’s No More Tears Jock Itch Formulated Powder when he passed out because the fumes overwhelmed him. Misapplied crotches and missing out on coaching responsibilities did not contribute to North Carolina State winning the NCAA Championship when Lorenzo Charles slammed it through.”

“Thank God, my daughter had diarrhea or she might not have caught me in time. I had jock itch something fierce but when I applied the medicine, it smelled odd. I found out later on that Milford Chemical had switched routes on the assembly line belt and that their pesticide applications were being inserted in the Petri dish of the jock itch concoction before they have to send it to the pipette streamer for further distilation. And the Bunsen burners had lipstick smeared on them. Who runs the show, Harold Stassen?”

“Man, that sounds like somebody flunked High School Chemistry Education 101. Does anybody know how to operate the blender that dries the test tubes? We weren’t going to let them be held unaccountable for their negligence. Just because my client had jock itch at rabies level does not signify that Milford Chemical could run wild with their production line. I really wonder if employees use safety goggles when adding dihedraysulfanemethyloxideacetylicbutanehydrogenlithioperoxidephenylthalene to the bowl, a key ingredient to jock itch medicine. You misspell this by one letter and you could contract herpes in a matter of days.”

“I received $4,673,907,247 for the mishap. I was sent a written letter of apology and they fired the cafeteria manager. I will use this money for Keri’s and Jaime’s college scholarship fund. Tuition can get expensive so now I’m covered. Thanks, Joe.”

“You heard the man. What are you waiting for? Filing deadlines for claims are rapidly approaching so unless you have filed before the 15th when the moon is in its half quarter and after they celebrate Guy Fawkes Day on the leap year when daffodils are in full bloom on the day Milford Nursery opens its chickpea garden for the summer before the seasonal workers take their second break, you are SOL. Why delay? Get the money you deserve and live life to the fullest. 1-FON-THE-JAWS. One call, that’s all.”

Now, c’mon, Gang, that is NOT Peter Lorre in P2. I saw him speaking German in some foreign flick so the differences are blatantly apparent. Marty barely knows Pig Latin.

Orherwise, God bless you, Gang.

“Mommy, Daddy is scratching himself bad. Does he have mosquitos around his wee wee?”

“Gil, you picked up the Raid can again, didn’t you?”

May 5, 2022

It Involves A Double Play, But It Isn’t Baseball.

Filed under: Gil Thorp — tdrewhardin @ 1:32 pm

8:01-Gannon and I decided that the best way to track down any funny business was to head them off at their favorite haunts. This Scooter Borden was an interesting fellow and potentially a link to this Hamm mystique that we were still trying to penetrate but came up with sore fists from trying to beat the door down. Maybe Scooter had the key so we wouldn’t have to check in at Milford Minor Emergency Clinic. One less insurance claim to file in the Health & Benefits Department at the Milford Police Station.

We sat at a booth waiting for The Teenager Who Knew Too Much to walk in. We weren’t going to starve our rear ends off waiting for Archie Andrews to rat on Jughead Jones so we flagged down a waitress. I ordered a Bucket Double Decker Burger w/ side order of Bucket Fries and Gannon ordered Bucket Buffalo Wings.

“Bill, I thought you said you got gastronomic nightmares from spicy greasy food they slop the heifers with before breeding and feed the roaches by the dumpster with at the end of the night.”

“Joe, I won’t lie, this whole Hamm imbroglio is getting to my nerves. I need something you could light a match to that would incinerate Hoosier National Forest in its entirety. As long as they remember to bring the Grape Nehi, I won’t be a walking torch that can flame on its own to the Athens Olympics. I’m in no mood to stick my head on the wick and some idiot shout out LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!!!!!!!!”

Gannon had a point and always called a spade a spade, even if he had to use that same spade to shovel in The Bucket Garden Cobb Salad. We ate in peace and harmony, then trouble walked in.

Scooter had arrived.

“Awwwwriightttt, Buster, state your business and it better be good!!!!!!!!!”

“I’m sorry, who are you?”

“We’re police officers and we’ll ask the questions. What do you know about Gregg Hamm and his family?”

“Gregg’s a straight-A student and one of our ace pitchers. Blind as a bat but we help him along. He leads the team in strikeouts.”

“Look, Scooter, if I want statistics, I’ll go to Milford Magazine and Newspaper and pick up a copy of Elias Sports Bureau Quarterly by the loser who is reading War and Peace cover-to-cover without paying for it.”

“Son, Mr. Friday is only trying to track down anything that would endanger Gregg and his parents. If you know anything, we need it now before a disaster comes their way.”

“I’m really not sure. I’ve never seen his dad do anything stupid. And his mom’s a sweetie. That’s all I know.”

“Yeah, and the farmers who saw Jesse James on his way to rob the stagecoach said the same thing. I oughta book you on a Section 43 Article 909 of the Milford Municipal Code of the Milford Police Department “Willful Misleading, Obstructing, and Concealment of Evidence that Leads to a Strong Conviction and Miscellaneous Ramifications” but I haven’t finished my Bucket Burger yet and I want to try their Bucket Crab Claw Sandwich. But watch your step, I’m not that desperate for a Bucket Brain Sandwich.”

“You heard the man, Son. If you withhold anything, it could hurt you in the long run.”

“You’ll be the first to know. BTW, do you know who was the only player to play in two NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship games but on two different teams?”

“You keep playing with fire you might wind up in two different jails.”

Somber but slightly less funereal trombones blow in as the scene slowly fades out and Gannon finally gets his Grape Nehi.

Have at it, Gang. You think you know, let me know.

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Success Aplenty At The Teacher Job Fair Held At The Milford Civic Center Auditorium!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“O.J.: ‘I’ve always wanted to teach algebra. I never understood that stuff until I took correspondence classes at Milford Community College and I don’t want 6th-graders heading down the road to ruin.”

Gee, if only that was the extent of the problem, do I call Domino’s for delivery or do I take a chance on the Bucket Crab Claw Sandwich? Who cares if my dad was once a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army that once kidnapped Patty Hearst, I’m hungry. Take your time, Gregg, we’ve been piddling around for a month or two now and we’ll probably fart around another month or two until Gil’s Excellent Golf Adventure commences around July 4th. Have plenty of Domino’s 1/2 Pepperoni 1/2 Hamburger and some Pop Tarts available while you do your homework. Writing a book report on “The Last of the Mohicans” can work up an appetite, I’m sure.

But the rest of us mortals are totally in the dark on where in the name of Quinn Buckner (not the trivia answer, BTW, try again) this is heading. Us TWIMers thought that when Scooter diverted over to the tennis courts that we might be embroiled in a Tennis-Baseball story where Scooter is tormented by his snarly bitchy girlfriend who is Smelly Cat Incarnate but Scooter does a Lou Gehrig and hits a grand slam to help the Mudlarks win the State Playdowns and his girlfriend has a change of heart and marries and becomes Carol Brady who gets tormented ad aeternum by Scooter’s stat obsession. Robert Brady who became a stats geek. Deju vu all over again as Yogi Berra once quipped.

But tennis is on the back burner with the rest of the Bucket Pork Fritters and Scooter and Gregg have managed to get through another game without Gregg having to use his seeing-eye dog when waking to the mound. But you KNOW this isn’t going on forever. This one is going to come to a head even though we still have this issue with Mr. and Mrs. Hamm hanging over our heads. Having to deal with an earthquake while there’s a tornado warning issued for Milford and vicinity. Anybody ready?

Didn’t think so.

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Teacher Job Fair Continuing To Exhibit Strong Returns According To The Latest Polls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“School Board President: ‘We even encourage Milford Rideshare for teachers who do not own a vehicle. One 5th-grade Science teacher we hired will be part of a car pool heading to Milford Elementary.”

Oh boy, P2 is the sudden change of direction we needlessly anticipated. Can’t ride off with the girlie-girl on Trigger into the sunset, nosiree. Making a great play to seal the win and talking about it at Miller Time at The Bucket simply isn’t in the cards. Nope, we have to drag this nearly-dead horse around that is instigated by presumably the same player who had his head glued up his rear end. Attaway, Thorpiverse, encourage kids who don’t stay focused to prolong this facade beyond its face value which isn’t valued much beyond a bucket of spit at this point. Yeah, that’s Life, don’t worry about staying hungry and giving your best, just give him that benchwarmer his pipe and slippers, have him sit on the nearest recliner in the dugout and whittle away the time on unconfirmed reports. It’ll put hair on his chest.

Must we bear the cross of another episode that would be better suited on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman? That show at least spun off Fernwood 2 Night. What is going to be the sequel to this useless exchange? “Capricorn One: Hal Holbrook This Time Runs Over Coach Thorp In The Desert In A Space Vehicle”? Hoo boy, Mr. Hamm was one of the surviving astronauts who survived the vicious government cover-up and Holbrook is determined to keep it that way by blasting him with a shotgun when Mr. Hamm is caught off-guard singing the National Anthem. When the announcer tells you to remove your hat, watch your backside, Mr. Hamm.

If ya notice yore 756-pound girlfriend gettin’ a-kost-ed by some strange man wearin’ a pinstripe suit and a badge in the bleachers while yuz playin’ second base for Milford Foundry’s B League Softball team on Open Industrial Thursday Night at Milford Softball Complex and she pistol-whips HIM when he tries to git any skinny on your whereabouts, ya might be a redneck.

9:16PM-The crowd at The Bucket started to thin out and we waited for any more possible hints of suspicious play. In all my years as a police officer, I learned you had to explore all the angles including under the tables even if they had gum stuck on for maybe 10 years. Sometimes the truth doesn’t surface right away and it looks like Gannon’s wife after she smeared Noxzema on her face but if it put a punk behind bars, I didn’t mind having to smell the stale Wrigleys clump.

I did have to caution Gannon after he was getting carried away with his hands on the cheerleaders in the next booth. We couldn’t bust this wide open if Gannon walked out of The Bucket with Dirty Old Man attached on his back. I told Gannon to lay low. We didn’t want to draw undue attention from any criminal or Bill’s wife.

We caught a break and none too soon. Mr. Benchwarmer was flapping his jaws about some subterfuge occurring with the Hamms. Something about the Secret Service. He couldn’t be talking about the Reagan assassination attempt. It was time to finish up the Bucket Mulligan Stew and go to work.

“Hold it right there, Mr. Benchwarmer!!!!!!!!! You may be slick and think nobody is overhearing your conversation about Mr. Hamm and plot overthrows but unless you are in dialogue over Romper Room, you better come clean!!!!!!!!!!”

“I’m not sure I know what you mean.”

“Listen, punk, I sent more people to the chair who tried to play dumb. Fried their fannies right there on the spot when they tried to deny pouring Aunt Jamima on the pancakes when the bottle was right next to the check. What’s the goods on this Secret Service agent and Mr. Hamm?”

“Honestly, all I said was Mrs. Hamm was shading Mr. Hamm as if she was a Secret Service agent.”

“Yeah, and Coach Thorp sat you on the bench because you didn’t hit off the batting tees with authority. I’d put the cuffs on you now for violating Article 221 Section 34 Line 19 of the Milford Municipal Code of the Milford Police Department “Wanton Indiscriminate Conduct that Impedes the Execution and Administration of a Police Officer in the Line of Duty during Sporting Activities” but I haven’t left The Bucket waitress a tip. Now take it and run with it and watch your mouth next time.”

“Listen to him, Son. We are just trying to help. When you spend time with your head not in the game and somewhere up Gil’s sweet spot in his Jordaches, you’re making it tough on yourself and us too. Hit the cages when you keep dipping that shoulder.”

“I will, officers.”

“You better, or you’ll be dipping your fingers to get fingerprinted.”

Loud strident horns chime as Joe picks up Mr. Benchwarmer’s tab and they all leave.

Late Afternoon Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Milford School Corporation Scores Major Coup At Teacher Job Fair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“School Board President: ‘We are pleased to announce the hire of Herman Munster. He will be a teacher’s assistant in the high school Chemistry and Physics classes.”

P3 is a joke. Why do we need to change the subject when it was clear your head was not in the game, as per Scooter Borden? Call the goddam police if you notice anything suspicious but we were on a sports roll and now it’s like getting robbed by Jesse James when your stagecoach was going to an elaborate wedding. And who better to cut the sportsline off at the source than none other than Mr. Benchwarmer? God forbid we have to give the floor to the players who helped win the game. The committee recognizes Mr. Benchwarmer who had his thumb up his derriere the entire game.

Thorpiverse, please quit parading around deadbeats who need to hit the cages and need work on letting down the tailgate when fielding. We don’t really care to give an ear to someone who turns a deaf ear to “two hands and squeeze”. We might use our two hands and squeeze Mr. Benchwarmer. If Mr. Hamm is a fugitive from the law, the truth will come to the surface. We don’t need players who are that in name only. He wants to uncover this one, go major in Criminal Justice at Milford Community College.

Great article on Steve Buttleman, the Official Bugler for the Kentucky Derby (BTW, Buttleman actually plays a herald trumpet as an actual bugle has no valves) . In constant demand for ceremonies besides the Derby (e.g., weddings) , the man is a very humble fellow who sweated his audition, since he was in a t-shirt and cut-offs while everybody else was in their Sunday best. Still proved to be the man for the job and never looked back







“The story you have just seen is true. The names should be changed to protect the innocent and our sanity.”

“On April 29th, trial was held in Milford Superior Court. In a moment, the results of that trial.”

At the Thorp residence one Saturday afternoon after the last cartoon has run its course


Mimi and the kids are playing 5-stud poker. Jaime has an ace stuck in his Underoos for future usage. Keri peeps at her mom’s cards whenever the latter is sipping her Canada Dry.


“Who is playing that trumpet? Some neighbor needs lessons BAD.”

“Mommy, I think it’s coming from the den. I’ve heard Daddy say ‘shit’ every now and then.”

“WHAT???? He better have some explanation if he doesn’t want to sleep in the garage tonight.”

Mimi and the kids head to the den that is securely locked


“Gil, what is the meaning of this? And why is the door locked?”

“Oh hi everybody. I am going to audition for the Kentucky Derby bugler and because I am in serious need of sexual enhancement, I thought I’d kill two birds with one erection. I’ve been trying to pick up the pace for Miles Davis’ ‘Ah-Leu-Cha’. It takes a while but I’ll get the hang of it. But I got a real rise from my Levi’s when I was fumbling Louis Armstrong’s ‘Potato Head Blues’ so there’s hope.

“Mommy, I heard him banging the wall with his crotch when he was playing the trumpet solo for ‘Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?’ He said he’ll be firmer and play better than Lee LackeyGreatDane. Is he our new principal?”

“Honey, that’s Lee Loughnane from the group Chicago and he’s going to be sleeping in the lackey’s quarters if he doesn’t out a stop to this travesty. Gil!!!!!!!!!!! End this at once!!!!!!!!!!!!!”



“Woman, can’t you see I’m practicing? I need space to concentrate because Wynton Marsalis’ ‘J Mood’ can be really tricky. If I can get the fingering right, I’ll play the trumpet and impose pelvic thrusts on you in a fluorish!!!!!!!!!!!!! We’ll have sex better than ‘Hot House Flowers’ before you can say Thelonious Monk.”





“Sorry. I farted on that last one.”

“Mommy, Daddy said after he would play the intro at the Derby, he was going to do the Bartman to show he was sexually liberated.”

“He wouldn’t have the sex life of Bart Simpson if he would take those EREC-6512 Time Release Capsules that I ordered from Milford Men’s Clinic. Take them 6 hours before bedtime and he’ll be harder than having to listen to this foolishness by the time we hit the sheets.”

“Mimi, if I’m to play like Chet Baker, there is no sense in playing a song flute. You don’t go to Milford Jazz Feztival and play ‘Dizzy Atmosphere’ with this second-hand trumpet I bought at Milford Flea Discount Center. I am going to the Milford Outdoor Atmosphere playing Baker’s ‘Who’s Got The Last Laugh Now’ with vim and vigor and also showing my thang can be a diving board for the audience to see. Stick that in your pipe and pump it.”

“Mom, I’m going to go get my tonette and play ‘I Like To Play in my Tonette Band’ and shake my thang in the living room on the ottoman with the windows open so the neighborhood can see.”

“JAIME, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!!! Gil, I am going to count to ten and if-“



“When The Salvation Army Band played better than I did on this cheap-ass instrument that was made from the slags of some tin mine in Minnesota, it was time to get real and get help. I took those EREC-6512 Time Release Capsules my wife was talking about, I may have been wimpy at 6 but by bedtime I was ready to perform. Magic and the Lakers couldn’t hold a candle to the Celtic who was intent on pouncing on his wife and enjoying every minute of it. Talk about crunch time. If you choke under pressure, it’s time to head to Milford Men’s Clinic and feel like Showtime. Come get your own sky hook today and feel like a champion.

Gang, I don’t care what you say, Bill Gannon does not have Erectile Dysfunction. I am not sending him to Milford Men’s Clinic.

But God bless you anyway.

“Mr. Benchwarmer was found guilty of 3 counts of Negligent Attendance to Duty in the Line of Fire and 7 counts of Excessive Insubordination to the Superior Command which is punishable by Article 67 Section 102 of the Milford Penal Code with Dugout Imprisonment for a period not lasting more than 5 years or a fine of $4,645,086 or both.”

“Mr. Benchwarmer is currently serving his sentence of 3 years in the Milford Softball Sportllex dugout.”

Gang, time’s up. The answer is Bob Bender, who was a member of the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers when they won the Championship. He decided to transfer to Duke where he was more comfortable playing for Bill Foster who was returning the Blue Devils to its glory days under the well-respected Vic Bubas. Foster engineered the revival with great recruiting, obtaining Jim Spanarkel, Mike Gminski, and Gene Banks, three future NBA dudes that would post solid pro careers. Bender was a reserve point guard on the team that rode this gravy train to the 1978 NCAA Championship Final where they lost to a veteran Kentucky team that was battle-hardened and ready for action. Jack “Goose” Givens scored 41 points and proved too much for Duke to handle, helping the Wildcats to win, 94-88. Bender would later serve as an assistant to Mike Krzyzewski after Coach K started coaching Duke in the 1980-81 season.

At a Mudlark Baseball game

“Where’s Bender, Kaz?”

“Gil, he says you suck as manager and you need to wash your jeans so he went to go play for La Russa.”

May 4, 2022

From a Slick Stop to a Meal Stop

Time for a break from the Milford Witness Protection Program for some actual action.

Central tries to mount a late rally against the Mudlarks by putting on Milford’s uniforms and crowding the plate. This ruse fails as Gonzo Aceves gets the batter in disguise to ground into a game-ending double play. Surprising that Gil and Kaz left Gonzo in to pitch a complete game; maybe they were also too busy watching Mama Hamm take a bullet for Papa Hamm to pay attention to the action on the field.

Menawhile Marty’s in his crate, calling the game using the CB radio he pulled from under the dash of his car and taking notes using a carpenter’s pencil. Guess Marty got it from Heather that everyone’s calling Aceves “Gonzo” now. Though he and his butter knife are long gone The Mayor has left his mark, at least for the rest of this season.

Now it’s off for postgame junk food, either at Ricozzi’s or The Bucket. Will the Hammmmer walk into a pane of glass as he joins the rest of the team? Will Papa Hamm be stuffed in the trunk of the Hammmobile when Mama Hamm comes to pick Gregg up? Will Scooter be too busy bragging about the twin killing he turned to bore everyone to tears with baseball trivia? So much to anticipate for the rest of the week!

May 3, 2022

“Is That Joe Friday Over There Standing By The Smokemaster Grill?”

Filed under: Gil Thorp — tdrewhardin @ 2:08 pm

This is the city, Milford USA. Really not a whole lot to do unless you call winning the hog-calling contest at Gil Thorp Pure Pork Sausage Annual Picnic a flurry of excitement. It’s not my cup of tea but one of our police detective’s sons won the Hog Rasslin’ Competition-16-18 Division at the picnic so ambition is in the eye of the schmuck that prints the menu at Milford Diner. And as long as the hogs stay in the pen, there’s no sense in reading the hog farmer his rights. But when somebody starts performing payola to guarantee success in the Hog Rasslin’-60 & Over Division under the Smokemaster when people are observing the game, that’s when I go to work. My name’s Friday. I carry a badge.

There was an earthquake in Milford. The Coffee Cantina was severely damaged but volunteers from Milford AARP Chapter stopped by to help with the cleanup. New pots were ordered and miraculously, the coffee stayed fresh. People could have used some Folgers during the San Franscisco Earthquake.

But we had a real earth tremor of our own on our hands. My partner, Bill Gannon, and I were assigned to Spectator Fraudulent Activity with Intent to Perpetrate Further Illegal, Immoral, and Illicit Endeavors Including But Not Restricted to Youth Athletic Leagues and Confederations in the Sports and Recreation Division. The boss is Captain Claxton.

“Gentlemen, we got a lulu on our hands and the Mayor of Milford has been ranting and raving about this for weeks. Let’s wrap this one up pronto before His Honor’s blood pressure shoots through the roof.”

“Any leads?”

“We received some footage that some dimbulb ex-soccer player who took Ducey’s place at The Star presented us. And there was no foul ball when this lady was trying to cover for the man sitting next to her in the bleachers. We assume it’s her husband but she could be a hooker taking the dive for her boss, for all we know.”

“She must be head over heels for him if she’s going to go out in the land mine so he keeps his suit and tie intact.”

“We’re way ahead of you, Bill. Why WOULD she take the hit unless there was a good reason?”

“Wish my wife did the same for me but I’m never home.”

“Sorry I can’t give you more than that. Just sit in the bleachers next game and mingle the best you know how. Don’t do nuthin’ stupid but don’t let a guy blow you away when you’re munching on nacho chips.”

“I don’t eat them anyway. Doctor says I fart in technicolor anytime I’m around Tostito’s.”

Somber music slowly blends in as Gannon and Friday leaves Captain Claxton’s office.

As Frank so accurately points out, no coach would allow their players’ minds to wander like the player in P1. Naturally, Gil and his Jordache jeans are nowhere to be found. Open your eyes, Gil and Mr. Benchwarmer, you’re missing a good game. And as Teenchy notes, what newspaper reporter comes to a game with a camcorder like it’s Heather Tarbell’s son’s first T-Ball game? When I watched my nephew run cross country, yes we had a local reporter to scope the scene but he wasn’t lugging around equipment that would eventually get popped in your VCR. And when I watched my great-nephew run a couple of weeks ago, nobody from Anytown Gazette was there with the camera crew. You DO have a pad to write on, we assume, Miss Tarbell?

Back to the original premise, do we have to watch players like Mr. Benchwarmer stick his head up his butt instead of staying focused on the game? But then again, Gil’s had his stuck up his anatomy for 60+ years and that was before he married Mimi. I think I’m seeing a trend.

The “Yes, you too can be a teacher”ads are back. I saw one proudly displayed on a billboard yesterday

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Milford School Board Revving Up ‘See Yourself In A Classroom Full Of Mudlarks!!!!!!!’ Campaign As Applications Are Not Up To Speed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“School Board President: ‘This time, we’ll have plenty of Dunkin’ Donuts and latte at our recruiting session in the Fellowship Hall this Friday.'”

4:23PM-I was still getting over Bill’s comment about Tostitos at our meeting with the boss. I brought plenty of Tums as Bill and I were on stakeout at the Milford ballfield. We hadn’t run into anything suspicious as the batters were taking their swings in the batter’s cage. The first base coach hadn’t pulled out a pistol, not even a stick of gum. Not even a stray foul out of play. If there was an assassin on the loose, he was hiding it well shagging flies in left field. Lee Harvey Oswald did his best imitation as a pinch-hitter. This was going to be a long night.

“I don’t get it, Joe.”

“What do you mean?”

“How are we going to find this whoever who is pursuing another whoever at a high school baseball game? He’s not going to pop up in the concession stand selling Laffy Taffy.”

“Sometimes this plot can get that way. Roll with it.”

“I would if there was something to roll. This Mr. Hammond or Mr. Hamm or whatever else he goes by is a tough nut to crack. I’d rather eat a bar-b-q sandwich that used the wrong charcoal in the Smokemaster.”

“It’s what we’re paid to do.”

“Yeah, but what if we don’t find the assailant? We’ve wasted taxpayer dollars chasing after an umpire that should have been sticking baseballs in the pitching machine rather than calling balls and strikes.”

“Look at Coach Thorp. He’s been financed by the taxpayers basically doing the same thing you described.”

Before we went further into the discussion on Coach Thorp’s slovenly work practices, trouble showed up. Mr. and Mrs. Hamm had just pulled up in the parking lot. Where was Heather Tarbell’s videocorder when you needed it? Drug deals happen everywhere, in the jungle, at the airport, at the dumpster behind Milford Diner, in a basement under the Milford Philatelist Society meeting, right before Milford took on Central in baseball. It was time to punch in at the time clock.

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Signs Are Encouraging As The ‘See Yourself In A Classroom Full Of Mudlarks’ Holds Its First Yard Sale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“The crowd was thoroughly entertained by all the bird whistles and chirpings that Coach Thorp could do.”

Judging by P2, I get a sneaking suspicion that this is going to be the crux of the plot the next few weeks. If they’re at Coffee Cantina and someone is shooting a group photo of friends who haven’t seen each other since Tod Andrews dumped Milford and distributed real coaching at Oakwood, and the Hamms are in the next booth, is Mrs. Hamm execute another swan dive in front of Mr. Hamm? I hope to God he’s not eating a Chili Omelet a la Mode. How is she going to explain the chili stains all over her blouse? I lost in Sudden Death at the Gil Thorp Pure Pork Sausage Annual Picnic Cook-Off? If I hadn’t have dumped all that powder at once…

What if they’re at Milford Outdoor Amphitheater for the Jackson Browne “This Plot is Runnin’ on Empty” Tour? Some zealot gets out his Polaroid on Russ Kunkel, the drummer, and the Hamms are within range, is Mrs. Hamm going to cover Mr. Hamm’s head with a Jackson Brown I’m Alive ’97 souvenir shirt? Don’t mind me, I’m just covering that hickey on his bald spot, no biggie. Wasn’t that a great rendition of “Somebody’s Baby”?

At Milford Public Library and Danielle Steel is there for a book-signing and somebody wants to shoot a memory of that patron and Steel posing together on a selfie to post on his or her wall and the Hamms are right behind them, is Mrs. Hamm going to cover Mr. Hamm with “Season of Passion”? Oh, don’t mind us, Mrs. Steel, he literally loves to bury his head in your books.

I mean, when I have to keep exploring all the possibilities and I’m finding what I’m exploring, we are in for turbulent weather. Fasten your seat belt and be ready to apply the Heimlich Maneuver, if needed.

Afternoon Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Latest Returns Show Teacher Vacancies In Milford School Corporation Are Filling Faster Than Projected!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“School Board President: ‘We offered one more sick day plus renovation of the faculty lounge as incentives and that seemed to impel the latest push.”

5:31PM-We were at the Milford-Central Baseball game to investigate any whiff of illegal proceedings. We tried to be as discreet as possible so I didn’t think it wise to wear that Milford Community College bow tie; it was louder than a ghetto blaster. We sat in the bleachers next to the Student Section. Gannon bought a hot dog and I bought some M & M’s and a Diet Coke. Some freshman might smell my breath but as long the candy melted in my mouth, not in my Sig Sauer, any palooka who even thought about getting out of a lawn chair and making a move at my bullet-prooof vest was going to be deader than the ’62 Mets.

What was making the situation more intriguing was Heather Burns, who brought her videocorder to the game for reasons unknown. We weren’t clear if her father was using that same contraption to film Heather when she was bossing around the football team and a couple of Mudlarks occasionally flipped her off and told her to go back to the soccer team but for the moment, that was on the Smokemaster backburner.

“Joe, think we’ll get Heather on something? She seems to be filming everything and anything but especially in the bleachers where the Hamms are sitting. Are the Russian Bolsheviks sitting ahead of them?”

“No idea. We’ll have to wait and see.”

“Some older couple is in front of them but I don’t think they’ll start a revolution. And the guy running the Rotisserie grill looks better at roasting chickens than firing a gun at the Bay of Pigs.”

“You never know. A guy got busted at the New Thayer game for armed robbery at the concession stand. Would have made off with the loot but spilled some Reese’s Pieces and the police followed the trail to his apartment. Chocoholic fits got him thrown into the slammer.”

Suddenly, we caught a possible break. On a foul ball that went straight at the Hamms was deflected as Mrs. Hamm covered Mr. Hamm and she caught one on her gluteus maximus. Heather filmed the entire incident and would have remained in her video library for centuries but when fans were fighting for the ball, somebody pulled out an Uzi. It was time to go to work.

“POLICE OFFICERS!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOBODY MOVE!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Officer, we’re not the ones with the gun. And the culprit is running off with the ball.”

“Don’t tell me my job!!!!!!!!! I’ve arrested more criminals than you’ve been to ball games!!!!!!!!!! Why do you cover for your husband like he’s the Queen of England?”

“He means more to me than Mimi means to Gil. He had to endure a dental restructuring when a Texas Leaguer somehow bounced in the bleachers and smacked him on the jaw. Did you ever try to kiss a walrus with his cheeks expanded?”

“Cut the funny stuff!!!!!!!!!!! I ought to run you in on a Section 41 Article 78 Clause 2(a) of the Milford Municipal Code ‘Collaboration and Accomplice with Illegal and Foreign Activity with Intent to Disrupt the Peace and its Environs’ but the boss is on vacation at a Cubs game.”

“Look, hear Mr. Friday out. We can’t prove anything but when you are camera-shy whenever a camera rolls your way, surely you can understand our suspicions.”

“Absolutely. We will do everything to cooperate with the authorities. BTW, our son struck out the side. Isn’t that wonderful?”

“Stay away from Pretty Boy Floyd if you want to see your son at all or at least at the next game.”

Loud strident Dark Shadows trombones blast in and end the standoff temporarily.

Rob is going to kill me, Rob is going to kill me…

Stop by and check out Indigo at the Park in Louisville, Kentucky. I have had a VERY pleasant experience for three years. With excellent bathroom facilities, great kitchen with microwave, stove, and refrigerator, appliances I make liberal use of, a beautiful living room with my books neatly placed and available for easy reference, it has been a perfect atmosphere when texting TWIM. I am near plenty of restaurants, an excellent grocery store, and many stores to shop. Plus, I am across Iroquois Park, one of the more beautiful parks in the city (really should be a state park, IMO) . They have an excellent maintenance staff and Rafael has always handled any maintenance problem with skill and professionalism. Nazaret Lorenzo, the apartment manager, has always been quick to address any issue ASAP to everyone’s satisfaction and has played it straight with me in the three years I have been here. With affordable rates, you get what you pay for plus some here and I have enjoyed what I have in my possession. From Taylor Boulevard and Watterson Expressway, head south for two miles until you get to the south end of Iroquois Park until you get to the Park Road stoplight (Taylor Blvd. is now New Cut Road) , then look to your right. You’ll see the apartment on the southwest corner of the intersection. Lookin’ for a place to stay? Look no further. Here it is.

THE DARK SHADOWS HAND RETURNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was beginning to wonder if I was still living in America. Communist countries who send their enemies to the sharks and starve their constituents when they attempt to prevent ballot-stuffing never allow The Hand on their funny pages. They don’t know what they’re missing.

The “Him go thataway” direction that we’re trailing is one more indication that we are stuck in the mud and telling a teammate to get his head out of his ass and pay attention is really only an isolated incident to the entire storyline buries in its own buttline and not projected to alter that position by Memorial Day or beyond. The consolation prize is the ball field looks like one and even the scoreboard is somewhat presentable although it still looks like inspiration for “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. Picture yourself on the score by the home team, tangerine zeroes and marmalade visitors.

But, man, the trees. This Piggyback Concept might work at an art show but when I’m walking through Iroquois Park, I have yet to see a maple humping a catalpa. This hybrid sassafras-oak-sycamore-mulberry orgy might work at some commune in rural upstate New York but I never saw indiscriminate tree love-making in my front yard when I was growing up. We’ll just have to agree to disagree, Thorpiverse.

“And at the end of 2, it’s Milford, 2, Central, 1. A tightly contested game thus far. Coach Thorp must have dry-cleaned his jeans for once. We’ll return after these messages. This is Marty Moon and you’re listening to WDIG, a division of Learfield Sports.”

“Now there you go again, Marty, making false accusations where there’s no stink. My wife washes my jeans along with all my jock straps once a week, I’ll have you know. If you’d spend less time concerning yourself with how I can pop a quarter in and out at the jumbo washers at Milford 24-Hour Wash-a-Matic and get a free ride for my money and more time with how to improve your sexual innuendos with Peaches, you might find yourself in bed with her more often.

But I want to spend less time on the topic of radio announcers with unrewarded sexual travails and more time talking about the critical shortage of teachers within the Milford School System. Hi, this is Coach Thorp on behalf of Milford Beverage Warehouse and when they were apprised that we have a real problem with teacher turnover, they poured out their hearts by pouring a glass of whiskey, then bearing down to address the problem. Wink Martindale might not have been a game show host, let alone have a statue erected out front were it not for his kindergarten teacher. What if the teacher got burned out and opted for a career as a garbage truck driver? We might have never heard of Joker’s Wild.

That’s why The Warehouse is dead-on in confronting this challenge by commencing a new campaign “Learning, Life, Liquor” and folks, I am 100% behind this program. Get real, how can a person start a liquor business if there’s no 3rd-grade teacher to show him or her the multiplication tables? If you can’t multiply 8 bottles of Jack at 16 dollars a bottle because of a dearth of finger-math instruction, how can you expect to obtain a liquor license? Go work at The Bucket and suffer with the rest of liquor license wannabes?

Therefore, if you fill out an application to be a teacher at Milford Elementary by Memorial Day, just fill out the voucher after you have listed all the grammar schools and universities you attended to guarantee a 20% discount on your next purchase of Jim Beam Slow Drip Aged Premium Whiskey. Face it, teaching kids to read Black Beauty can be a formidable task and it helps to get an early jump. As long as the 4th-graders don’t smell your breath, you’ll be fine.

Hey, we didn’t leave you Coors drinkers out. In fact, Milford Junior High prefers you Rocky Mountain studs when poring over applications for gym class teachers. Nothing like a macho image and a mountain standing behind you when you’re leading the kids through jumping jacks. Yup, blow that whistle with confidence when some 7th-grader isn’t playing fair at slaughterball. And enjoy that 25% discount on all Coors products in the 24-Pack when it gets close to Miller Time.

And boy, do we have a deal for all you Boones Farm winos out there. When you finalize your application and stop using Coach Roy Gillen as a reference when everybody damn well knows you’re just padding your resume, take advantage of the 15% discount on all Boones Farm products and accessories when you fill out the proper papers for high school educator, hall monitor included. Don’t worry, nobody will make you teach Auto Mechanics and the wine is flowing. Get your butt on in here and serve our studentship and have the pride of knowing you are leading the troops into battle. Just fib when they ask you if you ever got pulled over for a DUI and you’ll be Patton for life.

The Bucket can’t touch this one and they know it. They not only can’t get a liquor license, they couldn’t procure teacher applications when they attempted to start their own campaign. The School Corporation felt them too amateurish and unable to understand the depth of the problem. Eating Bucket Burgers with no Busch Beer will curtail the breadth of their acumen. Lunkheads, Lardbutts, Losers.

When you want to change careers from longshoreman to teacher and want the finest of The Good Life in the bargain, you know where you want to be when you grow up. C’mon, fill out that application and get some booze for your troubles and tell ’em Coach Thorp sent ya.”

Gang, you’re too good to me. I was on another grueling trip for my dad and when I saw your support, I did EVERYTHING to give you a winning product. I hope I succeeded.

God bless you, Gang.

“Bill, I gotta go take a dump back in the woods. If you see Mrs. Hamm kissing anybody else besides her husband, make a note until I get back. And call for back-up.”

“Will do, Joe.”

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