This Week in Milford

April 22, 2018

Vaya con carne, Martín Luna

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This has to have gone down as the Gil Thorp arc with the least amount of actual sports action ever. It also has to be near the top of arcs requiring the greatest suspension of disbelief. On top of all we’ve had to choke down around Marty, Pirate Boy and the Milford Pirate Network (does one station constitute a network?), now we’re supposed to believe that WDIG has at least three studios? Couldn’t at least one of them held Marty’s substitute, re-creating the basketball games Ronald Reagan style while Marty was suspended?

Marty played his traditional role of designated heel, between making light of the Padillas’ life situation, the gratuitous Mexican food references (intended to woo a potential sponsor but interpreted as “Puerto Ricans/Mexicans are all alike and their cultures all the same”) and the mispronunciation/pissy over-pronunciation in response to criticism. But really, Gil doesn’t come off as much less of a schmuck either. True, he couldn’t have anticipated the tack the MPN took on covering Milford hoops – nor Marty’s blue response to them – but he did in effect goad them on to goad Marty on. His ham-handed efforts at negotiation showed how little he thinks of Milford girls’ basketball and required us to connect the dots and assume Marty’s suspension would turn into termination if Marty didn’t accede.

Finally, Gil’s little dig at Marty in the last panel (yet another in which characters depart via a doorway), meant to remind Marty of the Boricua culture of which he is so ignorant, comes off a bit dickish as well. I’ll admit I like the idea of Marty as Scooby-Doo villain, but wouldn’t that mean he’s actually somebody else under a rubber mask? My money’s on Dr. Pearl.

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April 19, 2018

Gil’s Not Alone in Needing Good Ideas

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If you were plugged into the 24/7 news cycle yesterday, you know that much of Puerto Rico has gone dark again. You also know that that didn’t stop The Show from going on… unlike in Pleasantville Milford, where suspending Marty stops the show dead in its tracks.

Rubin is forcing us to connect many dots today as he lurches toward an awkward, tone-deaf ending to this underwhelming, once-promising arc. The first dot is Gil’s acknowledgement that Karina, at his suggestion, instigated the Milford Pirate Boy Network and thus had a hand in bringing about Marty’s suspension. The second dot is that Gil convinced the Padillas’ and Karina’s teacher to let them skip class (he has a history of doing this, y’know) to sit around the most lovingly rendered cafeteria table in comics history and decide on Marty’s penance. The third dot (and maybe several more after that) is that whatever terms the kids decided on were presented by Gil to Pocket Square Sporting Radio Station Manager, who accepted them and delivered them to Marty as an ultimatum – agree to these or you’re fired.

All of this unfolded even more slowly than Boo Radley’s fatal car crash, but faster than the full restoration of Puerto Rico’s power grid. In a world where teens can tweet and stand against social injustice while adults cower and hedge, all of this would’ve played out in the course of a week. We could’ve been treated with two months of Drunken Uber Driver Marty Moon dumpster diving for the dregs of Johnnie Walker bottles and begging for a cameo on Pirate Boy’s YouTube livestream.

So sit back and buckle up for the last few days of this bumpy ride. Me, I’m off in search of some Pudge Coffee. (Seriously. Check it out. Not affiliated with Pudge or his coffee.)

April 17, 2018

Ohhhhh, Marty, you bankrupted this plot. But you have a free spin token, so spin again!!!!!

Filed under: Gil Thorp, hideous scar faces, Mimi Thorp, Prairie Style Windows — tdrewhardin @ 1:54 am

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WHEEL!!!!!!!!!!! OF!!!!!!!!!!!!! FORTUNE!!!!!

That’s right, gang, Pat Sajak and Vanna White have invaded Milford High School Gymnasium to promote the famous game show. And what better way for WOF to nurture a grass-roots feel than to invite Milford’s own to be contestants? Once a Mudlark, always a Mudlark, even if they have to spin a gigantic wheel to win thousands of dollars/vacations to The Bahamas/consolation prizes to prove it. The screening process turned up 3 worthy contestants, Marty Moon, Mimi Thorp and Vince Packard, and this should be interesting, given all that Marty has endured. C’mon, gang, Marty can’t be crying in his beer at the Milford Lounge forever and does anybody honestly picture him next to Humphrey Bogart at the Boulevard of Broken Dreams? Didn’t think so. I wouldn’t even paint him in that portrait with those dogs playing poker that gets sold on a roadside stand somewhere. Marty puffing away on a Muriel cigar next to some ruffian boxer who’s also smokin’ a stogie? Marty better have a winning hand.

Especially when we’re still attempting to dig ourselves out of this plot via the-parking-lot-aka-bargaining-table method. Hey, I guess NAFTA, SALT II, and the Yalta Conference (“Sure, Josef, you can have Czechoslovakia if we can take Austria. Oh, damn, I lost the keys to my Ford Explorer. No problem, I have a spare in my briefcase.”) were discussed in the asphalt jungles of your nearest soon-to-make-history-in-encyclopedias-everywhere city, so why not Puerto Rico and/or the fate of Marty’s radio career? And why not the asphalt jungle of Milford?

Before Gil and The Dove, with HOR-hay as an Official Witness, sign ANY agreement (Marty Moon’s broadcasting career realigned in exchange for world peace, I’d say that’s fair), let’s NOT KID OURSELVES as Gil and Mimi are doing in P3. As they walk down the streets of perhaps the Business District of Milford, after intense negotiations in the asphalt jungle (we’re talking Milford, I understand, but work with me), they apparently need to be reminded of the raison d’etre of WDIG. The station isn’t throwing a lifeline to a fellow shark because WDIG is compassionate to a JAWS who forgot how to swim. Peace, Love, and Happiness is for the ’60’s, concepts that don’t apply to a muckraking operation that is ‘DIG. Unless Peace, etc. is subordinate TO the profit ledger. Then Flowers in your Hair is OK as long as the utilities in the building are paid. PEACE and PROFITS walking hand-in-hand, Gil? Did you ever see JAWS and Lassie walk down the aisle of a chapel to exchange wedding vows (…’til death do you part?”     “I do.”)?

Therefore, if anybody’s been dying to know what Marty’s been up to when he’s not feeling sorry for himself, I mean, okay, so nobody’s losing sleep over this one but, hell, I’M DYING TO KNOW, how’s that? You think I like Gil in a parking lot doing a sting operation with The Dove and Jorge CONCERNING MARTY??? Surely Marty kept himself busy. Actually, believe it or not, he did.

“So, Marty, tell us a little about yourself.”

“I’m a DJ and sports announcer for a radio station. I do play-by-play for high school sports.”

“Wow. That’s interesting. There’s an ugly rumor you got suspended?”

“Totally false. I have been on the job for 60 years and only called in once. My jeep broke down out in the woods and my CB player was on the frizz and I forgot my CB handle. A farmer in a nearby soybean field gave me a lift on his combine and I eventually made it back to Milford.”

“Good deal!!!!!! BTW, what is your CB handle?”

“It’s an original. Just call me ‘Dead Flowers'”

(Awkward pause)

“Well, Vanna, when we take a tour of the town after the show, don’t forget to put roses on HIS grave. Oh, you’re still alive(nervous laughter from the audience, Vanna impatient to turn the letters. It’s a Phrase). Marty, why don’t you get us started and spin the wheel?”

TH– —T R—– —K-

“200 dollars.”

“Is there a ‘Z’?”

“I’m sorry, Mimi, there’s no ‘Z’. Vince, it’s your turn.”

Sppppiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

“Wow, big money, 800 dollars.”

“Is there a ‘C’?”

“YES!!!!!! There IS a ‘C’. If Vanna will get her ass over there, okay, that’s better. We only have a 1/2 hour in this gym.”

TH– —T R—– –CK-

“I’d like to solve the puzzle.”

“Sure.”

“THEY SHOT RIBALD COCKS.”

“Nope, I’m sorry, that is incorrect. Marty, back to you.”

If ya lost that vacation to Acapulco, complete with dancing senoritas that sing like Speedy Gonzales and hotels that cost the GNP of Guatemala with beaches so pristine that you CAN drink the water, because ya lost on “Wheel of Fortune” because ya forgot there’s a ‘C’ in MEXICAN REDNECK, ya might be a redneck.

Gang, I’m a Classic Rock junkie but I have a special addiction for my Rolling Stones. From the album “Sticky Fingers”(the one that shows Coach T.’s crotch shot once you unzip it) comes a song that sums up the relationship between Marty and Ernie. As Ralph Kramden once said to Norton, awaaaaaayyyyyy we go

While you’re sitting there

In your silk-upholstered chair

Broadcasting live for WDIG

I hope you won’t see me

In my ragged company

The parrot done left me in abject poverty

Take me down, Little Ernie

Take me down

I know you think you’re the king of

the high school grounds

And you can send me dead flowers

When I am fired

Send me dead flowers on the radio waves Send me dead flowers

When I retire

And I’ll never forget to put roses on

your graaaaavvveee.

Well, while you’re sitting back

In your rose-pink Cadillac

Calling the game on Milford Playdown

dayyyyyyyssssss

I’ll be at the Milford Lounge

With a needle that I scrounged

And a Natural Lite to take my pain

awaaaaayyyyyyyy

Take me down, Little Ernie

Take me down

I know you think you’re the king when

I’m not around

And you can send me dead flowers when I’m buried

Send me dead flowers on the radio waves

Send me dead flowers when I’m married

And I’ll never forget to put this plot into the grraaaaaaaaaavvvvvvve.

TH– —T R—-Y –CK-

Sppppiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnn

“500 dollars”

“I’d like to buy a vowel.”

“Go right ahead.”

“Is there an ‘E’?”

“YESSS!!!!!! There is one ‘E’. Vanna is there to get it turned around.”

TH– —T RE—Y –CK-

“I’d like to solve the puzzle.”

“I’m with you. Solve it.”

“THE BLOB REALLY ROCKS.”

“Uh, no, Mimi, you might wanna check the board again on that one. Vince, over to you.”

“Hi, this is Coach Steve Boone, speaking on behalf of Milford Gentleman’s Club. Practice can get real intense and the plot, as you can see, can be pointless. Sometimes I have to work overtime, with basketball overlapping into Opening Day of my beloved Cubs. That’s why I love the lap dances of Milford’s finest ladies. They help me unwind and forget about the game films Coach is incessantly showing. I’m a Cameo Coach, not Dick Vitale. But rather than lose my job and say “Freeze it, Gil!!!!!”, I turn to the hottest acts in Mudlarkland with ladies like Annie Aardvark cha-chaing on stage, twirling her son’s coxcomb to “Don’t Leave Me This Way” or Penelope Pearl proving age is just a state of mind, gettin’ it on to “What Have You Done For Me Lately?” How she boogies and keeps her beehive is a club secret. While you’re scratchin’ your noggin over that one, check out the club’s 1/2 price daiquiris from 7-9 PM every night. I’m thirsty already. And you’ll also be hungry for love and get it satisfied at the place that’s literally hoppin’ for your business. Come check out the ladies at the Milford Gentleman’s Club and as a bonus catch Hellfire Heather lap dance the owner while twirling a football. Just call her the Meadowlark Lemon of the Gentleman’s Club. She never fumbles!!!!!! Us Cameo Coaches taught her well. And if you poop out from the ladies like Hellfire, and who doesn’t occasionally, there’s wide-screen TV’s all around the club. It’s nice to know that when Gil can act out of character and be a donkey about the Veer offense or a generic play like the double out right, split formation, halfback wishbone option left, single screen off the right tackle, that I can flush that down the toilet and go watch my beloved Cubs. They have toilet paper too, 2-ply jumbo rolls at that, in case you’re wondering. But don’t take my word for it, come on down to the one place exclusively for men where playmates are not restricted to the basketball court and their uniforms really give you a reason to cheer on the team.”

TH-S —T RE—Y S-CKS

Spppppppiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnn

“Hey, ALL RIGHT!!!!!!!! You landed on ‘Win a Trip to Mudlark Lake Resort'”.

“Is there an ‘L’?”

“YESSS!!!!!!!!! THERE ARE THREE OF THEM!!!!!!!!! If Vanna will get there in time. That’s what happens when they only pay minimum wage. And LUCKY YOU!!!!!! I hope you have a special someone in mind.”

TH-S -L-T RE-LLY S-CKS

“Peaches, if you’re watching this, I’m willing to kiss and make up.”

“And Peaches, whoever you are, if you can rescue Marty from the Milford Lounge and land him to safety at this resort, you deserve this trip. Just don’t take the Titanic to get there(audience laughter, Marty shooting daggers at Pat). All right, Marty, what do you wanna do?”

“I’d like to solve the puzzle.”

“Why not?”

“THIS BLOT REALLY SOCKS!!!!!!!!!”

“Noooooooo, I’m sorry, Marty. Mimi, it’s your turn, spin the wheel.”

Spiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnn

“Oooooohhhhhh, just passed that ‘Bankrupt’ sign. Lay it on me, Mimi.”

“Is there a ‘P’?”

“YESSSS!!!!!!! One ‘P’.”

TH-S PL-T RE-LLY S-CKS

“I’d like to solve the puzzle.”

“GO AHEAD!!!!!”

“THIS PLOT REALLY SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!”

“YESSSS!!!!!!! WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!!!!! Johnny, tell Mimi all the fabulous prizes in store for our contestant!!!!!!!!!”

“A BRAND NEW BRUNSWICK BAYLINER MOTORBOAT!!!!!! Yes, dump that Radio Flyer of a craft that your husband’s been sandpapering for the last 25 years when he’s not teaching his daughter how to putt…”

Gang, fire away. Marty’s consolation prize is 2 free passes to the Milford Gentleman’s Club. Marty wanted me to tag along. Being a Christian, I had my reservations. But Jesus drank wine with the sinners plus I’ve never seen Hellfire Heather twirl a football to “Sweet Georgia Brown” while lap dancing. The talents we never knew we had.

April 5, 2018

Marty Blowed Up Real Good!

Filed under: Gil Thorp, hideous scar faces, Marty Moon, Mimi Thorp — teenchy @ 7:18 am

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Ooh, Mimi, twist that knife girl!

I’m enjoying Gil’s mental gymnastics as he justifies the broad hints he threw at Karina. (I’m also wondering how that laundry basket got more cubical overnight.)

I’m on the road most of today. Have fun deciphering how far Gil would let things go up to swearing (hint: interrupting Marty’s broadcasts are apparently a go).

March 22, 2018

Marty Moon: Insulting More Than Just Latinos

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This arc turned from “Let’s empathize with the Puerto Rican kids who’ve been displaced from their homes by a natural disaster” to “Hey, let’s put on a show!” so fast, it’s made my neck snap. All I’m left with is a sense of wonder.

I wonder if Google Alphabet stock has plummeted since Rubin’s name-dropped YouTube Live in the past two strips. I wonder if The Milford Pirate Network has the requisite number of subscribers to allow it to use YouTube’s live streaming via mobile functionality. I wonder if Marty’s mike is hot. (The lightning bolt word balloon would lead me to believe so.) I wonder if this will be Marty’s Lonesome Rhodes moment: the moment when the Milford student body, Dr. Pearl, and WDIG’s listeners decide that while insulting Latinos is okay, insulting Milford students’ intelligence crosses the line. Finally, I wonder if anyone will comment on this post.

 

March 15, 2018

Why Does Dr. Pearl Hate Freedom?

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I don’t have bluebonnets to frolic through – maybe a crocus or two poking through the snow – but I can’t bring myself to analyze today’s strip. Seriously, what is this bullshit? Since when does a school need its sporting events broadcast? We already know that need is not universal. Does Marty have a pee tape of Dr. Pearl stashed somewhere? Or could there still be ramifications from that time Dr. Pearl had Marty’s sister shitcanned as the school counselor to settle a lawsuit that arose from Marty’s sister giving Marty fake news that he used to derail a coach’s career?

Something tells me Dr. Pearl refers to the Civil War as “the late unpleasantness” and would be one of those school officials who would threaten disciplinary action for school protesters, no matter how peaceful. She treats the students like second-class citizens, not unlike Puerto Ricans. (Yeah, I went there.) I’m going to hold out the tiniest thread of hope that Gil’s “But what if…” cliffhanger will give the kids an out to continue protesting Marty. Probably with posters, knowing that just like raised fists they can’t be heard on the radio.

March 10, 2018

Goodnight Moon*

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Goodnight room
Goodnight Moon
Goodnight fans shouting over the Moon
Goodnight light
And the racist goon
Goodnight game
“Goodnight”? Lame
Goodnight Padillas
Oh, goodnight? See ya!
Goodnight job
And goodnight slob
Goodnight little house
And goodnight souse
Goodnight Gil
And goodnight (W)DIG
Goodnight nobody
Goodnight pig
And goodnight to your shot at another gig
Goodnight scars
Goodnight hair
Good night Mudlarks everywhere

*apologies M. W. Brown

 

 

March 8, 2018

Join In the Chant

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I love it that Paloma’s all up in Marty’s grill; too bad Exploding Spittle Syndrome is not a thing. Still I’m a little disappointed in the chant. “Muzzle Marty” is a four-syllable phrase. Why aren’t the protesters using the “clap clap clap-clap-clap” cadence? You’d think they know it since “Mudlarks” is a two-syllable nickname.

Raised fists make for good visuals but they can’t be heard on the radio. Maybe since they’re not in the cheap seats they think they can just rattle their jewelry.

What four-syllable chant would you have the Milford crowd do? Keeping it clean so WDIG doesn’t pull the plug (although Marty’s think-skinned ass may just do it for spite, the station manager may think any ratings are good ratings). “Fuck you Marty” or “Un pendejo” are right out.

Inspiration for today’s post title:

 

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