This Week in Milford

December 7, 2019

Good Ol’ Blow Top

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Mudlarks chowin’ down on sloppy joes
Runnin’ the two-a-day drills
Then Sam Finn passed out and had to go
Whose fault? Sure wasn’t Gil’s
Junior Mudlark tailback Charlie Roh
Had the job in his hat
Got showed up by some old sophomore
That was the end of that
“Blow Top, you’re gonna be
Totin’ the rock for me
Good ol’ Blow Top
Blow Top Chance Macy
Blow Top Chance Macy”
Charlie’s dad tried to derail Blow Top
Diggin’ for bones in his past
The trail he left, they didn’t need a cop
It bit him in the ass
Chance’s fits of rage called “Blow Top”
His backstory is weird
Livin’ with his gram and grandpop
So-called parents? Disappeared
Blow Top, you’re gonna be
Treated by Charlie
Good ol’ Blow Top
Blow Top Chance Macy
Blow Top Chance Macy
Ballard’s in the doghouse with his wife
Didn’t have to make it so hard
Now his credit’s gonna take a dive
Charlie’s got his gold card
“Blow Top, Can’t you see?
Tonight’s tabs are on me!
Good ol’ Blow Top
Let’s hit Ricozzi’s
Let’s hit Ricozzi’s
Let’s hit Ricozzi’s!”
(apologies? No apologies; this song makes me want to throw something sharp)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPM-M79Lfrw
metapost: Dunno what’s gone wrong with my spacing, or why the YT clip isn’t showing. Maybe it’s time for me to hang it up.

December 5, 2019

Because Coach Thorp Won’t Take American Express.

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Must we CONTINUE this comedy of errors, now that December is well under way? Is the check going to bounce and we take the whole month before we have sufficient funds in the savings account at Milford State Bank? I know The Joker paid a visit but I thought MSB was a member of FSLIC. Does it have to get approved by the Milford School Board before the financial pipeline reopens?

You better hope that Chet Baker’s card isn’t declined. It might be around The Super Bowl when Chet is able to pay the minimum again. Apparently all those charges he ran up on the photocopier caused the card to go over the limit. He doesn’t pump THAT much gas into his vehicle at the Milford BP.

At the Milford Walgreen’s

“Okay, sympathy card, friendship card, bag of Cheetos, personalized gym bag, Nike sneakers off the clearance table, Dickies work socks-12 pair, your friend’s prescription of atorvastatin from the pharmacy, windbreaker jacket, and Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio in the 1.5 liter bottle. Do you have your ID with you?”

“He’s underaged. I’m his step-dad. Here’s my driver’s license.”

Showing a picture of Chet Baker at 18 when he was beardless. Clerk is stupified momentarily by the transformation from Skeezix to Alley Oop. Clerk recovers nicely.

“That’ll do ‘er. It’s going to be $134.76. Go ahead and slide your card. BTW, is this all for your friend?”

“Everything but the wine, sir.”

“I know what you mean. If I played football for a guy who spends more time at Mr. Wilson’s house than on the footba-Oh, it says your card was declined.”

“Damn, I made an online payment yesterday. After I sent back Chance’s Gibault School records.”

 

After watching College Football scenes involving unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, many were deserved but getting flagged for embracing your school mascot was a bit much, in my view

Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“O. J. Suspended From Milford Parks & Recreation Adult Flag Football League For One Week!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Just because I hugged my grandma after scoring the winning TD? Cheap call, Man.”

 

Just when we thought we were devoid of Pantheon of Mysterious Objects and the readers who are mystified by them, Thorpiverse would have to inject itself with another dosage of M.C. Escher.

We THINK Charlie’s combo dresser drawer-file cabinet-triplicate safe deposit box (where I would have hidden Chance’s records after jumping from the second story of Milford School Corporation Annex, contraband in tow) is facing towards Chet and Charlie. That would be only logical.

“I’ve told you 3 times the cabinet isn’t parallel with that wall!!!!!!!!!  The window is perpendicular to it!!!!!!!!!!! This isn’t Office Depot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You’re grounded for a week!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And stop calling me ‘Chet’!!!!!!!!!!!!”

And Charlie, if you’re not smart enough to figure out that your step-dad didn’t think you could handle the competition because your STEP-DAD EVIDENTLY COULDN’T HANDLE THE COMPETITION, you need to get off the computer for a season (oops, bad noun, that might take forever, knowwhutImean?) and smell the Folger’s. Geez, no wonder why your Chippendale belongs in the Crazy House of Mirrors at the Milford State Fair.

 

If yore pissed off cuz Milford Guns ‘n’ Ammo won’t accept Amer-ee-cun X-press and yore Milford Guns ‘n’ Ammo Visa Debit card maxxed out and they won’t take yore SNAP card as col-lat-ur-al ta obtain the necessary shells ta shoot a squirrel that’s been hibernatin’ in yore oak tree in the front yard, ya might be a redneck.

 

P2-Boy, are YOU leaving yourself wide open with that question, Chet.

If I were Charlie

“For starters, if you’re going to grow a beard, stop dipping it in the Cool Whip. We had to go the Milford 7-11 on Thanksgiving on an emergency for the 3 pumpkin pies. It’s embarrassing when I have to explain to all my friends why you have an Oreo face.

“He gets that way when there’s no Arm & Hammer in the Lazy Susan.”

After 2 hours of intense negotiations

“And when we play pitch and catch, no more going to Coach Thorp’s garage to borrow the Nerf football.”

“But Gil never use it because he’s too busy being absent because he’s on permanent vacation at the Milford Country Club Golf Course.”

I think there’s some things you can agree to disagree on, Charlie. Union can’t have everything when negotiating with management. Give and take.

“And Chet? Would you like a Certs Peppermint? I have plenty in my paralleogram file cabinet.”

 

Because I was intrigued by a house at the T of the T intersection that was protected by a guard rail, 3 red warning signs, a yellow warning sign with arrows pointing in both directions JUST NOT STRAIGHT TOWARDS THE HOUSE, and some barbed wire as a throw-in

Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Coach Thorp Barricades House After Near-Miss From A Milford National Guard Training Exercise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Those saw horses out of Industrial Arts class ought to make those tanks think twice when they approach Jaime and Keri!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

 

And what would a teenager do with a credit card for a few days?

After Milford FINALLY ends football

CHANCE, WE’RE GOING TO DISNEYWORLD

 

Ooooooookkkkkkkkk, Gene Rayburn is back to restore sanity and hopefully expedite the end of the football process. My money’s on Gene to do so, Gang. Take ‘er away, Gene.

“Dumb Dora was sooooooooooo dumb (HOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DUMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) , she thought she could use Chet’s Visa card to buy _________________________”

 

So THAT’S what happened to Gil’s Nerf Joe Montana Pigskin Special. An anonymous Mudlark and Stick-Figure Face the Zebra are playing pitch and catch of their own. You get that way when you’re mopping up the competition judging by the caption in P3.

I almost thought it was Valley Tech judging by the language that Jabba the Hutt speaks on the player’s shirt but don’t believe Jabba uses the letter “M”. Jabba the Hutt EATS Mudlarks, doesn’t cheer for them.

What is scary is that after we’ve played Musical Chairs reading Chet’s death knell, P3 may be the extent of the football action in this last game. Anytime I see a referee with a hokey-pokey face (“You put your whole chin in, you pull your whole chin out…”) , I’m not bettin’  the ranch, Gang. Especially when Gil dug a trench all the way around his house. When a tricycle couldn’t cross GDMZ (Gil’s Demilitarized Zone) , it’s time to hang up the cleats on this one after you’ve dug all the mud outta the spikes. Subpar, indeed.

“That ends the 3rd quarter. Nobody knows the score but the script says Milford’s ahead. And we’ll continue this travesty after these messages. This is Marty Moon and you’re listening to WDIG, a Division of Learfield Sports.”

“Boy, all this whirlwind of non-activity is working me up an appetite. And making me thirsty.

Hi, this is Coach Thorp for Milford Beverage Warehouse and don’t you know I have a solution for you.

Right now, the Warehouse is stocking Gil Thorp Pure Pork Sausage in the refrigerated section. You can’t miss ’em, they’re next to the daiquiri section in Aisle 2. And instead of egg nog, why not sample some Gil Thorp Mild and Meek with your favorite 24-pack like Michelob Ultra, a bargain at 25.99 and for only 2 bucks more, you got that and my sausage guaranteed. Don’t know boutchoo but Michelob Ultra and fruit cake don’t cut it at my Christmas party.

And Woodbridge Chardonnay and Tennessee Pride Hot ‘n’ Spicy when you and your wife are doing candlelight when the kids are at a slumber party. What a way to ruin a romantic evening. I’m not a fan of sausage flambe. Save your candles for some real eatin’.

That’s why my sausage contains no carbotetrafluorophenols. I light a fire under my players’ butts without having to consult the manual at Dow Chemical. And I don’t light my Double Whopper Sausage and Cheese with them. For $8.77, you got the Chardonnay and Cheese Sausage in Paradise.

And I add a chaser of Maker’s Mark Whiskey to my Gil Thorp Fried Italian Sausage and Lunch-on-the-Go is never the same. And to sweeten the pot, for every flask of Maker’s Mark you purchase at $23.99, the Warehouse will throw in a package of Gil Thorp Pure Fried Italian Sausage in the bag. Ya gotta request plastic to validate the deal.

And Mimi knows I dig Captain Morgan’s Rum whenever she’s grillin’ my Sausage Mignon medium-rare. On a Dixie paper plate, drinkin’ and feastin’ couldn’t be finer, especially when I remember that the bottle runs at $19.99. Kowabunga.

Come in and have it your way and tell ’em Coach Thorp sent ya.

Comment away. I’m going to use Chet’s Visa card and hit McD’s. Anybody want anything?

ONE-HORNED

ONE-EYED

FLYIN’

PURPLE PEOPLE EATER

Oh, that’s the referee. Never mind.

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.

November 30, 2019

Good Lord, I Can See the End from Here

 

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Hey boys and girls! Let’s

Get into the holidays

With a few haiku!

 

Milford Star headline:

Ballard Resigns from School Board

by Marjie Ducey

 

Woodward and Bernstein

Got nothing on Marjie’s mad

Journalism skills

 

It didn’t hurt that

Chet Ballard was as subtle

As a heart attack

 

Wants to be called “Dad”

By his stepson Charlie, but

Tries a bit too hard

 

What was Chet thinking?

Charlie would play more if Chet

Outed the starter?

 

Chet thought he’d dish dirt

Forgot he left a keystroke trail

What a nincompoop

 

Better if he had

Taught Charlie not to fumble

The ball won’t drop itself

 

Guess what’s next, Chet? “It’s

Only going to get worse.”

Time for Divorce Court!

 

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 25, 2019

Why Did Grandpa Lock Himself In His Bomb Shelter?

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This is quite a strip. Three panels and six characters recapping the baffling actions of The Press in “exposing” the Chet Ballard/Chance Macy affair (without mentioning any names). We recap last week’s phone call from Marjie to Chance’s grandfather (with a rug?) and then we get a look at two Milford power couples to see how they prefer to consume their daily news. (One couple reads print and the other online, but both couples employ a “one reads to the other” technique. Ugh. Not a fan.)

So let’s talk about this story that The Star is running. There’s not much there, is there? I can’t understand why they are running the story. The School Board was made aware of Chet’s actions and they did their own investigation. Yes, Marjie (and friend) at The Star triggered the investigation by informing the Superintendent of the anonymous voicemail, but that’s not a story. If the Board takes action against Chet, then we have a story. Is there some reason that Marjie and her editors suspect that the Board will not be taking action even though the paper knows that the Board knows what Chet did? That would be a story too, but we haven’t been given any reason to suspect that this is the case.

The bottom line is that this story is sloppy and slapdash. Great, let’s print it!

November 23, 2019

“And Now We Pause for Station Indentification. This Is the Milford Mudlark Radio Network.”

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“I would never do something so unprofessional… Oh? Okay, so maybe I did something so unprofessional, but somebody had to think of the children!”  It’s all I can do to keep myself from making a political reference in today’s post. Chet’s denial of wrongdoing immediately followed with an admission of wrongdoing and an attempt to make it about something other than his own self-interest would serve him well in an executive branch position.

Speaking of the executive branch, looks like Marjie’s on the horn to LBJ who may or may not be giving her his pants order. Can’t be Chance Macy’s grandpa, can it? He had more pronounced male pattern baldness last time we saw him. But who else would be saying Chance would be “prepared” for whatever come next? And who’s this “us” Marjie’s referring to? Did she give Superintendent Whatshisname and Captain Man Bun a day to look into this? Just how is Chance getting “prepared”? Does it involve a whetstone?

Now let’s wrap this thing up before Christmas and move on to hoops. Milford’s lost two in the conference so playdowns are out of the picture; we’ve got enough time for a face-saving victory over Valley Tech as Chet Ballard slinks off the school board, out of his marriage, and under the desk at his office. Maybe we can revisit him a couple of years from now, after he’s sent to jail for insurance fraud. The way he sings, he’ll make a great canary.

November 20, 2019

Carol Forsman Is Deep Throat!

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I can understand why Carol Forsman wanted Marjie to meet her at home; she has a history of getting injured in bars.* Also she probably didn’t want to run into Chet Ballard while she was diming on him.

Normally I bristle at exposition strips, but I’m kinda thankful that we didn’t have to see Carol connect all the dots Marjie gave her. The quicker we wrap this stinker of an arc up the better. It’ll be amusing in that schadenfreude way to hear Chet blubber about how he did it all just to hear Charlie call him “Dad” at the custody hearing. He’ll lose his position on the school board and his marriage but hey, he’ll still have that insurance business. As long as he keeps his nose out of Mudlark athletes’ home lives all will be well. Only Gil Thorp and his posse can do that.

Know what else might need a little investigation? How Carol got Steve Luhm to come over to her house and polish those floors. Membership has its privileges.

Oh, I guess there’s that matter of where and what happened to “Blowtop” Chance Macy’s parents. Would it really be so hard to portray some Milford parents as caring and supportive of their children, rather than manipulative, drug-dependent, or living vicariously through them – that is, when they’re present at all? It couldn’t be much harder than showing sports coaches actually, you know, coaching their players.

 

 

*The real-life Carol Forsman has dealt with her share of tragedy, and that’s all I have to say about that. Then again, this could be the Carol Forsman who was married to Rodney Benson which, given Rubin’s proximity to Ann Arbor, is more likely the case.

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