This Week in Milford

June 22, 2022

A Cease and Desist Letter from Rowan Atkinson Will Be Forthcoming

For a guy hellbent on keeping a low profile, Mason Hamstetter isn’t exactly avoiding public places. Who knew the Coffee Cantina was so hopping late at night (it is still night, isn’t it)? With three cameo appearances – one by a young Lech Wałęsa, one by a Jimmy Fallon on hiatus from The Tonight Show – the Cantina might just be the hip place to be when the rest of this tank town rolls up the sidewalks. If this leads to a Gil Thorp spinoff, Milford After Dark, I’m here for it.

I’m also here for Ham(m)stetter‘s “moi?” face and spasmodic hand gesture, reminiscent of a certain public figure mocking a certain journalist. Rubin likes to play a lot of journalistic inside baseball in this strip, what with all the name-dropping of Midwest newspaper types and references to infamous plagiarism cases, so I wouldn’t be terribly surprised. Mason is looking rather nonplussed for someone who dares to rouse Gil from his evening wind-down. What did he think this late-night coffee talk would gain him?

Certainly not any respect from Gil. Besides, Gil has a point telling Mason he’s old news. Nobody in Milford cares about your past unless you’re trying to make money using skills you learned in the past. Nobody in Milford ever Googles anybody to find out if they’re living under an assumed name before running them out of town. Nope, not gonna happen.

Now, about that third cameo appearance (in name, not in likeness): Is he the Coffee Cantina’s new mascot?

June 18, 2022

I Love the Sound of Breaking Hamms

If Rubin set out to drive clicks to Janet Cooke and Stephen Glass, not to mention Mason Hamstetter, he succeeded. Credit where credit is due, I suppose.

Janet Cooke was a writer for the WaPo who lied about her academic credentials and fabricated a story about a child heroin addict in the District. Bob Woodward – yes, that Bob Woodward – submitted the story for consideration for the Pulitzer and it won. It was soon revealed that there were discrepancies in her backstory; the WaPo board pressured her to confess and the Pulitzer was rescinded. Cook subsequently disappeared from the public eye.

Stephen Glass had been a feature writer and associate editor for The New Republic for several years when rebuttals from the subjects of his articles (D.A.R.E., the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Hofstra University, among others) began to shed light on his journalistic integrity. Glass’ bosses at TNR caught him in a lie involving a software company and its talented young hacker employee, all of which were fabrications created by Glass. He was fired by TNR then, after getting a law degree from Georgetown, was rejected for admission to the New York and California bars due to lack of moral fitness. Kinda makes you wonder why Georgetown Law let him in to begin with.

There have been other plagiarism scandals in this country, from Jayson Blair (not cleared) to Stephen Ambrose (not cleared) to Alex Haley (cleared and not cleared in separate cases) to the current President of the United States (cleared). Some of those charged have built back better than others. Seems like Mason Ham(m)stetter has kinda built back okay, so maybe he needs to chillax with his wife a little bit. It’s not like Gil’s gonna leak this to the press; he and Marty aren’t exactly best buds. Now if Heather Burns crawls out from under Gil’s desk off-panel, all bets are off.

Gil looks perplexed, doesn’t he? I haven’t seen him look like that since he was pondering whether to have an iced tea.

Musical inspiration for today’s post title:

June 17, 2022

This storyline has gone to the dogs

Just got home from the Chicago Dogs Bark at the Park ballgame with my own dog; they let the dogs march around the park twice a year and I take her once. So not feeling like commenting on the strip but its obvious that Mr. Hamm has an interesting past life, including a changed name that should have been known by the Milford admissions department when Gregg enrolled. But no.

What the hell that has to do with Blind Man Gregg remains to be seen, no pun intended. Ok Rubin, connect the dots.

My song today is Heat of the Moment, as one line in it has “fall from grace”.

April 18, 2022

Play Ball!

Filed under: actual action, baseball, freak hands, Gil Thorp, google nonsense, metapost — nedryerson @ 3:48 pm

Here we go, gang. After several weeks of lead up to baseball season, the Mudlarks hit the field against Westview and it’s a breeze. Eldrick Boston is plating runs left and right and Gonzo Aceves is baffling Westview hitters with some sort of mystery grip that involves maybe an extra thumb. 8-1 is the final and we can put that in the book. One strip and one road win. Now we can relax and get back to some Scooter and Gregg crap that can spread out to fill panel after panel before we see more actual action!

Let’s take a look at Gil out there in a coaching box (not clear which one). Gil is old school and needs no helmet. Sharp liners bounce right off his noggin. Speaking of sharp, what’s up with the pants? Are they uniform pants that were miscolored? Does Gil suit up? Maybe he soiled his Mudlark pants and had to borrow some from a Westview coach, or he went down to the local Sacino’s and rented some tux pants. Either way, he’s not looking to good out there, all stoop shouldered and barely able to proffer a hand for Eldrick to slap. I don’t think Eldrick is interested anyway.

Let’s hold our noses and check in on Scooter and Gregg (who’s a blonde again…he puts on a silver tone wig to get the senior discount at the Coffee Cantina?) to see what’s up with the wacky plan for Scooter to read the catcher’s signs then relay them to Gregg with some name calling scheme. What’s this, Scooter says Gregg must talk to the catcher? Has common sense prevailed and has Scooter decided his plan is stupid and overly complicated and that the best course of action would be that Gregg confront his vision issue directly? I doubt it, or else why would we have spent days building the dumb problem up and even more time having Scooter come up with his brilliant plan. I think Scooter thinks Gregg needs to tell his catcher what Scooter has planned. Maybe the catcher can throw in some complicated wrinkles of his own to make it even more ridiculous. Ol’ Gil the coaching statue won’t know what’s going on.

I like how this conversation is happening at a snack vending machine. I’ll bet Whigham has been dying to draw a vending machine for variety. Too bad we can’t see what snacking options exist. Are there Nutboys in there?

The next opponent is the Cooley Cardinals, presumably from Detroit, although the fictional high school from the film Cooley High would make for a fun cameo. Where would Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs play?

metapost: Due to my work schedule, I will probably be putting my Monday posts up in the afternoon going forward.

April 2, 2022

Holy Cow! This Kid’s Gonna Be Annoying!

Filed under: actual action, baseball, Coach Kaz, freak hands, google nonsense, kaz-bot — teenchy @ 9:00 pm

Scooter Borden took his hacks

And gave a baseball forty whacks

When Kaz saw how he had done

He gave Scooter forty-one

Alright, that’s out of the way. Scooter Borden is this year’s Barry Bader, a scrappy second baseman who runs his yap and toots his own horn all the time. The easy comparison is to scrappy second baseman Scooter Gennett, whose MLB career may well be over as he hasn’t played in the bigs since the Giants released him in 2019. I kinda thought the pared-down bill of his batting helmet in P1 (which magically grew back) was a nod to Brooks Robinson as well.

But for people of a certain age, there is only one Scooter.

Father of teenchy was a Navy man, and he spent a portion of the late Fifties and early Sixties based in Bayonne, New Jersey. Yes, that Bayonne, of infamous early SNL fame.

One weekend father of teenchy visited American Shops, a men’s clothing store in Newark where several current and former Yankees would show up, sign 8×10 glossies and help hawk suits. One of the glossies he managed to snag was from none other than the original Scooter himself, Phil Rizzuto. I know the story was not apocryphal as numerous photos exist of Rizzuto working at American Shops, including this one (a Getty Image, so linking and not downloading) of him with Yogi Berra and Bobby Shantz, and this one.

That Rizzuto 8×10 moved around with us for years and eventually went missing. I suppose if I went through father of teenchy’s effects more thoroughly, it would show up. I’m just grateful that he forgave me for playing with and scuffing up the baseball that Lou Boudreau signed for him.

Anyway, back to Milford’s Scooter. Borden might think he’s laying down the perfect bunt, but holding the bat like that is a sure way to get some fingers broken. Kaz better watch his too, hooking them through the cage like that. Will Milford’s Scooter continue to be chirpy and annoying? It’s more likely than him ever doing spots for The Money Store.

Phil Rizzuto has been gone since 2007. Father of teenchy has been gone almost eight years now. Thanks for humoring me as I ramble as much as Phil Rizzuto did to Bill White.

February 7, 2022

Lookin’ For Action

Ah, so Pranit Hollywood agreed to take some action on Jimmy’s behalf and now Jimmy assumes the betting window is open. But Jimmy has some bullying tendencies, so he’s gonna push Hollywood around and try to skate on paying up. He’s spread the word and his buddy, Ted, is also looking for action! Look how quickly this has escalated! I’ll bet Panit Hollywood is regretting all his stupid bragging about his illicit SportsPuke account. Here’s a phrase that would stand Pranit in good stead: No, I won’t take your action. Get your own older brother’s account.

I think Pranit needs to nip this in the bud quickly and find a few enforcers to take Jimmy out back and remind him what happens to welchers. Of course then, he would actually have to take some action to be able to compensate his crew and that could escalate quickly, but at least he could establish the proper power dynamic so he doesn’t become the rare bookie that gets his legs broken. To get the ball rolling, what Pranit needs is some dumb pigeon with a steady income, poor self control and a mediocre understanding of sports. Paging Marty Moon!

As far as Jimmy’s buddy Ted goes, well there’s no Ted Warshefskys to speak of, but there was a prominent trial lawyer in Milwaukee named Ted Warshafsky. Close to Google Nonsense, but merely a glancing blow.

December 24, 2021

Showing Up? We Can Do That!

We conclude Marty Moon’s interview of Gil on a rare note. Gil appears to be answering Marty’s question with something other than condescending snark. It almost sounds like humility! His statement may even go beyond humility and reveal Gil’s sincere indifference about competition! Hey, I have little confidence in our preparedness, but we will actually be present. Damn Gil, that was inspiring.

Milford will open on the road at All Saints, which is not a traditional Valley Conference foe as far as I remember. Also, with the name All Saints, it could literally be anywhere so why bother with the google nonsense (we can save that for the lineup). Yes, it’s mostly lineup time from here on out so hang onto your hats.

I don’t know if we had Dallas George or Curtis Charles on the hardwood before, but they’ve both participated in football and baseball in the last year. Dallas and Curtis both caught passes for the Mudlarks in 2020. Maybe they were around for this past season, but wide receivers didn’t seem to get much ink.

Of course we know all about Tevin, so we can move straight to Wade Korczyk in the front court. Um, well….so much for googling cause Wade Korczyk turns up bupkis. That just leaves our starting center, Gabe Landau. Gabe, like Wade, doesn’t seem to have figured in any other Mudlark sports up to now. (Maybe this is why Gil can’t help but admit that he’s not prepared.) Gabe is maybe a software engineer or the Vice President Of Business Development at HaystackID. Maybe he recently married Kelley Nevils. But now it’s time for Gabe to tip off against All Saints.

Oh my goodness, All Saints unis are a sort of teal color! That’s shocking. The colorists got some new colors for Christmas. Or a new color at least. We’ll watch closely this season to see if there are any other colors in play (if we see much actual action.)

That’s about the extent of it. Maybe we can find out who’s on the bench later. Is Pranit on the squad, doing sportspuke on the bench? We’ll see.

Hey, if I don’t see yez all tomorrow, Merry Christmas!

September 6, 2021

The City Youth Program Is Getting Larger!

Filed under: Gil Thorp, google nonsense, Heather Burns — nedryerson @ 3:09 pm

After Gil and Heather exchange some awkward football tosses, Gil reveals his gambit for giving Heather Burns an opportunity to keep her hand in coaching without crossing any ethical boundaries. HA HA HA! Ethical boundaries! Oh, that’s rich. Gil is drafting Heather to help Wick Harmon grow the city youth program. Apparently, they don’t hit much there but they spend lots of time teaching city youth about archaic offensive schemes that were in vogue back when Ike was carrying his own golf bag.

I googled Wick Harmon and got lost looking at many varieties of Denis Wick Harmon style trumpet mutes. I don’t know much about brass instrument mutes, or the Harmon style mutes in particular, but apparently the first name in that particular style of brass instrument mute is Denis Wick.

Metapost nonsense: I guess now that Heather Burns is a fixture, she should have her own tag (category in WordPress speak). I added the tag and went back and tagged all the posts from the summer “plot”. Retrospective tagging may never happen. We can kick it around at the next editorial board meeting.

Maybe Heather won’t be a fixture if her editor takes a pass on her after her review period when she doesn’t get around to doing whatever else it is she’s supposed to do besides transcribing lineups. Wait! Heather has a nose for a story! What’s all the buzz about Tevin Claxton and his potential to create some more chances for Chance Macy!?

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