This Week in Milford

January 14, 2023

Not at the Bonfire, He Didn’t

Another smash cut, back to Milford and boys’ hoops action. In the course of hammering Tobias/Toby/Tobe/Toebeans, the Salem player gets a look of consternation as he player he hammered feels… somehow… different.

If Toebeans is getting mugged in P1, is Keri getting mugged in P2? Kudos to the Chief for the arms wrapped around neck poses in parallel. No clue why we’re getting the rando Milfordian showing us his choppers in the foreground, though.

Problems at the charity stripe, Gordon? You need to track down good old Kenzie Hanley to show you how it’s done. But why so distracted by Pedro on Keri like white on rice? Thought Dorothy was your babe and Keri was your bestie when you and they were kids. Have we been thrown from Mimi’s potential girl-on-girl tension to a potential bizarre love triangle?

Talk amongst yourselves. It’s late and I haven’t put a lot of deep thought into this. teenchy out.

January 9, 2023

We Don’t Need No Water!

Filed under: Bonfire!, freak hands, hideous scar faces — nedryerson @ 7:03 am

Despite the fact that all the clothing colors have been changed, I’m actually able to keep all the people straight as we pick up where Saturday’s strip left off. We’ve got Rod, who is Tobe’s friend who, like Tobe, wants to avenge Milford’s loss to Valley Tech in football via basketball.

The hiccupping, drinking kid is Darius. I guess that’s Darius Simmons who we saw as a senior getting his shot blocked by a junior (or was he the junior doing the blocking. This is unclear.) But Darius is among “The Rookies”. There was a TV series about freshly minted cops called The Rookies back when I was little. Shout out to them, wherever they are. Is Darius, junior or senior, truly a rookie? Is he also among the wave of new recruits looking to settle a score with Valley Tech? It’s a shame none of this talent stepped up before.

Rod is concerned about these rookies getting their drink on and sullying the squeaky-clean tradition of bonfires. Everyone knows that bonfires are for making s’mores. Giant towers of flame are always surrounded by people roasting marshmallows. Rod needs to get Tobias, Manbun and Other Scarface out of there before there’s trouble with the law, the school or the integrity of the s’mores. Rod needs Tobe to help with this mission, but Tobe is already in S’mores Mode and everybody knows that Dorothy will not be denied her s’mores.

I came back to add something that escaped me while doing my typically rushed early morning post. The recent film, The Menu has a particularly incendiary take on s’mores. Deranged chef (basically named Chef), played chillingly by Ralph Fiennes has this to say about s’mores:

…the s’more, the most offensive assault on the human palate ever contrived,
unethically sourced chocolate and gelatinized sugar water imprisoned by industrial grade graham crackers. It’s everything wrong with us and yet we associate it with innocence, with childhood, Mom and Dad, but what transforms this fucking monstrosity is fire, the purifying flame. It nourishes us, warms us, reinvents us, forges and destroys us…

Okay, so maybe I thought I knew what was going on but nobody ever really knows. Let’s just hope everyone gets home safely.

I don’t remember much about The Rookies, but it had a classic 70’s theme song with some infectious wah wah guitar, and a few recognizable faces.

December 31, 2022

It Won’t Be the New Year That’ll Suck, IYKWIMAITYD

December 30, 2022

We wrap up the year on the prowl with Keri at Casa Gordon, where Mel has left an unchaperoned Toby to get the party started. What’s with Keri’s exploding eyeball, tho? We knew she was no friend of Dorothy (they’ve already met, or at least Keri’s left fist has met Dorothy’s face) even if she might be a Friend of Dorothy where Toby’s concerned. Gotta be Toby’s referring to her in the past tense. (Never mind that Toby was in utero while Mel was under Kari’s roof; we’ll let the retcon slide for today.) Not so much the notion of being friendzoned, or that Toby’s tight with someone Keri’s not friends with, but being referred to in the past tense, then.

December 31, 2022

Time to pull out the rarely used “sucking face” tag. Time also to pull out the not-so-rarely used (at least by yhs) IYKWIMAITYD tag from Whose Line.

Whether Keri and Pedro are a one-and-done hookup or become something more lasting – and their fathers’ reactions to whatever happens – will be yet another thread woven into the tapestry of Gil Thorp. a tapestry that to our eyes appears “a hodgepodge of many threads, some short and some long, some smooth and some cut and knotted, going off in different directions.” To whom does this tapestry appear a work of art? Are they of this earth? Will we, perhaps, join them in being able to see this current version of the strip as a work of art? Or will we have to wait for the graphic novel?

It’s not always been easy to follow the Barajas-era Gil Thorp, but I’m gonna try to stick with it in 2023. Here’s hoping you all will, too.

December 24, 2022

Mele Kalikimaka ‘n stuff

Season’s greetings, gentle readers. I’m here from another hemisphere to take us into the transition out of football and into whatever comes next. Let’s check in with the Thorps to see what’s been going on off the field. I’m not gonna attempt to touch Festivus but I recommend that you check out the Mopped Up Thorp Festivus post; it’s awesome.

December 23, 2022

Oh my goodness this is getting sad fast. Meemaw appears to have left the nursing home to be in home hospice care. A detached-looking Gil stands in the doorway. I wonder if he ever knew how much Meemaw wanted Mimi to divorce him and try to revive a golf career we never knew she had. At least the Thorp kids are providing us the look at a Milford bonfire we didn’t get during football season.

KXCI is a community radio station in Tucson. It also streams online. There’s no reason to wonder, then, whether Milford has moved west of the Mississippi, or get into the matter of those stations east of the Mississippi beginning with K (e.g., KDKA in Pittsburgh, KYW in Philly) or those west of the Mississippi beginning with W (e.g., WHO in Des Moines).

In case you were wondering, The Both was a duo consisting of Aimee Mann and Ted Leo (but no Pharmacists). They’ve recorded a single , self-titled album to date, in 2014. The lyrics are from their song “Nothing Left To Do (Let’s Make This Christmas Blue).”

December 24, 2022

Now we get the triple-header Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa strip. I am not a member of the tribe so I did not know that ugly Hanukkah sweaters are a thing. I did, however, know that Hanukkah menorahs have nine candles, not seven as appear on Rachel’s sweater. I also did not know that Tobias and Mel were canonically Jewish. Kaz is looking a little distracted tbh. Probably thinking about his upcoming bris.

The Thorps manage to smile for their family photo save for Keri, who’s showing off her knuckle dusters and the reason Pedro Martinez has been hanging around. (meta: Moon Mullins points out Keri is flashing the universal symbol for eating at the Y, so not completely out of character.)

Finally we have… who? I honestly do not know and I feel guilty for not knowing. This isn’t the Brown-Hiatt family from a few years bock.* Is it one of Keri’s volleyball teammates? Help me out here, please.

It is now after midnight where I am and so, while you may have several hours to go, it is already Christmas Day here. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and we’ll see you again on Boxing Day.

*This should read “a few years back,” but I’m leaving this typo in since that’s what I was drinking on Christmas Eve.

November 30, 2022

Between Valley Tech and Milford lies OBSESSION.

We’re still going over the 1987 “game film” (and by “game film,” I mean “a VHS copy of TV 2’s broadcast”) of the state championship game with Gil and Maestro Turturro, but the end is near. Valley Tech has edged the Mudlarks, 14-10 for the title, and Ringo Starr Marty Moon is on hand to interview the star of the game, Luke “El Tigre” Martinez.

El Tigre’s strip of the hula-dancing Mudlark receiver saved the game for Tech, but all Hairy Luke can focus on is Gil and his “spot.” Clearly this is not some kind of revenge fantasy: Tech won the game, no? Was it Gil’s coaching job at Milford and his hot blonde wife Mimi that Luke was coming for? The career sacrifice, marrying the hot med student, becoming a stay-at-home-dad so the the hot med student wife could become a successful heart surgeon – all part of a 35-year-long game to get him to the point that he could coach another Valley Tech team to beat Milford?

Seems like the Milford Star coverage of the game only added fuel to a fire that was burning long before the final whistle. Dude’s got some serious-ass issues to work through. Get help, Luke. We might get more backstory in support of the Martinez monomania, but in the meantime, enjoy the inspiration for today’s post title.

September 30, 2022

Woke me up when September ends

Ah, football at last! Kaz wants a FG, Gil wants to go for it and possibly score a TD. Kaz wins the argument. I thought you were the head coach, Gildo.

Shows the cracks in the armor that will lead to Kaz leaving Milford after this season.

2 bits of weirdness – The holder never says -hut hut hike as far as I know. And – its ONLY 40 yards? 9 out of 10 high school coaches would consider that too far for a field goal. But Gil listens to Kaz. And you dont ‘go for the TD’ when your on the 23 yard line. When its goal to go at the 1 or 2, then you say stuff like that. Milford remains a losing poorly coached underachiever. Good to see some things havent changed around here.

September 7, 2022

What is this, effing ponderous, man. Ponderous, effing ponderous.

“I want a concerted effort to come out of a strip that isn’t an up-tempo strip about fapping into a damned death dedication!” Here I am set up to spike some snark after Gil played setter yesterday and all I can think of after reading today’s installment is Casey Kasem’s infamous ranting outtake.

Well that puts a damper on my catty remarks about how sick Mimi’s mother really was, how far away (and how close to a beach) from Milford she was living, and how old Cami Ochoa is.* It’s taken me the better part of today to decide which is the bigger bombshell: that Mimi’s mother is terminally ill or that Mimi had an aspiring professional golf career we hadn’t heard about until today.

Let’s start with the first one. When Mimi took the Thorplets to the beach and/or to see her mother, we were under the impression that Grandma Clover didn’t exactly live around the corner. Now we’re told Mimi’s gone “to take care of her mom up north” only to find them at Milford Adult Care LLC? Either Milford is about the size of Sitka, Alaska, or Mimi went up north and brought her mom closer, well, to die.

A slightly meta digression is in order. In the time that I’ve been part of the TWIM rotation, I’ve lost both my parents: father of teenchy in July 2014 and mother of teenchy in November 2016. When my father died, I don’t think I missed a regularly scheduled post; however when my mother died I took a leave of absence from TWIM that lasted until late January 2017. In hindsight I think the main difference was that my mother died very suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly, whereas my father had been terminally ill for over a year and his passing was not so much a matter of if, but when. It also didn’t help matters that I became the sole surviving member of my family after my mother passed and had to deal with the material consequences of that. That’s also why I spent a fair part of 2017 in Bakst country.

What’s my point? My point is that when you know with some certainty that a loved one has a limited time remaining, you are allowed an opportunity to prepare for that eventuality. In Mimi’s case, it appears that includes not only bringing her mom closer to her for the time she has left** but also preparing to pursue a golf dream that’s been on hold for as long as I’ve been reading this strip if not longer. I suppose next we’ll find out that Kaz has gone off on a spiritual trek to Nepal and Silent John Pascoe has returned to help Gil coach the football team.

*How many years of a time jump did Barajas make when he took the super soph from six months ago and made her a high school sports coach? Is there a fountain of youth in Casa Thorp that kept Keri and Jami from aging while Cami did the reverse Benjamin Button? If so, maybe they better give a glass or two to Mimi’s mom. Just sayin’.

**Not sure how Mimi’s mom can say with such certainty that she’s dying in six months and not tonight. Does she have a physician-assisted suicide penciled into her calendar for that date? Does she know that Mimi’s going to carefully wheel her into Milford Adult Care LLC and not do something else with her? There’s a string of morbid jokes as long as my arm I could roll out here but good taste (and maybe my earlier aside) won’t let me do that. Instead I’ll refrain and leave that for the commenters.

September 5, 2022

Was This Concierge Oreintation?

Happy Labor Day, all. I think the holiday dictates that I needn’t give a full effort into dissecting this strip. Given that my full effort usually amounts to something approaching half-assed, we’re practically done here. It’s time for a picnic and contemplation of the efforts of my forefathers to organize themselves and give me the opportunity to develop leisurely pursuits like snarking on comics. Huzzah!

Okay, there are a few things here to talk about. Apparently, Gil’s role in manning the Oreinetation desk was loosely defined, and he was free to wander off and schmooze with parents if it struck his fancy. While Gil catches up with “Mel”, there’s another parent named Karen standing at the desk who needs help with her child’s schedule. Hold your horses, Karen. Someone will be along to help. Maybe Steve Luhm can show you around.

The Melanie/Kyle backstory timeline kind of baffles me. Their marriage fell apart after Kyle met a PA during filming of Robert Eggers’ new movie. So, this is a movie that’s new, meaning out now? Maybe there was a long postproduction period, who knows. Robert Eggers is a real director whose latest film The Northman came out this year. So Barajas is taking liberties a bit, but it does obscure the timeline a bit. It leaves me to question what happens faster, a divorce or the release of a movie.

What we’re mainly left with is that Melissa “Mel” Gordon requests that Gil watch out for Tobias, or is it Toby? I think if you choose a new name for yourself, you might be less inclined to be cool with someone using a diminutive variation. But Moms gotta mom, I guess.

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