This Week in Milford

May 20, 2023

In Which Gil Decides to Wrestle with the Pig

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. – George Bernard Shaw

Credit where credit is due: In Luke Martinez, Henry has created one toxic character. His never-ending obsession to one-up Gil Thorp and beat Gil’s teams in every sport he coaches has managed to suck in both his assistant coach and Gil himself. He’s also managed to piss off his elder son who, if there’s any sense of irony in this strip, will soon quit the team and/or transfer to Milford High in the fall.

Why does Gil need to call Hamm? To ask him if he’s seen the Korean Nightmare* clip? He should know the answer to that.

Coachella is looking a bit off-character today BTW, Chief. She needs to shave.

That’s all I’ve got for today. My laptop has been crashing and not recognizing its charger for weeks, and today I finally had to back it up and reinstall the OS. Took hours. Sorry not to have more pithy insights.

Oh, wait: I came across this online earlier this week. It dates from the late 1930s and might be as appropriate to share as Kaz’s out-of-left-field Cab Calloway reference a few days ago.

* Or, as he was known in his home country, “The Nightmare.”

May 15, 2023

Tae Kwan Don’t

The madness continues as it appears our pal Luke is heading to….Korea……to…recruit a high school baseball player??? NOW????

Its fucking May 15th! You mean to fuckin tell me he’s still putting his damn roster together??

If he dont have his team together by now, jesus christ, by the time this dude decides whether or not he want to come to America and settle in Central City everyone will be on summer vacation.

God damn it Barajas you really think anyone with half a brain would fly out to freakin Korea ……………………………………………..






April 19, 2023

Gil You Lying Sack

“I don’t drink.” My ass. What the hell was this, Gil, a stiff virgin Old Fashioned? Does such a thing exist?

Marty got clean and sober recently. Could he have convinced Gil to do the same, maybe at the MCC? Get to retconning, Barajas!

I also expect Henry to retcon Tobe into a diamond superstar. It’ll be interesting to see how he transitions from softball to baseball – that is, unless he was already playing as a girl on a baseball team at his old school.

As for Vapegate? Does Gil know? Of course he knows! He’s got eyes everywhere and Chief Lind in his back pocket. Why didn’t he blow the whistle sooner? He didn’t want to jeopardize the Mudlarks’ undefeated season and shot at the championship, that’s why. Gil hasn’t been watching SEC football for nothing.

Time for some meta:

Over my morning joe I read that Rodney Barnes Damar Hamlin has been cleared to engage in football activities. Here’s hoping he has a safe and healthy life ahead of him. The timeframe for his clearance jibes with the timeframe Rod was given yesterday.

The cartooning world lost two greats this past week in Al Jaffee and Edward Koren. Sly and subversive in their own ways while aiming for different-browed audiences. I’m grateful for their long lives and lengthy careers.

Finally, the world of music lost a giant in Ahmad Jamal. I leave you gentle readers with one of his seminal works.

April 18, 2023

“Sorry, Rodney, You’re Not Getting My Bud Light.”

Filed under: baseball, basketball, freak hands, Gil Thorp, hideous scar faces — tdrewhardin @ 12:08 pm

“Ohhhhhhhh, Coach, they had to amputate this morning. Then my back feels like somebody stuck a sword up my coccyx. I have cancer of the retina and can barely read the eye chart even when it’s highlighted. I have leukocytes running all around my spleen and blood is running all over my ulna and radius. I am puking up six ways to Sunday. I’m getting my rabies shot in an hour. Oh God, Coach, ya gotta help me get delivered from distemper!!!!!!!!!”

“I feel ya, Rodney. But you’re still not getting my Bud Light.”

Surely you remember that Budweiser Light commercial from the ‘80’s when some smarmy bleeding-heart jerk is fishing with his daddy somewhere at Fish & Wildlife USA and this jerk is pouring out a river ululating that he really is enamored with his dad.

“Sorry, Johnny, you’re not getting my Bud Light.”

Unsuccessful, Mr. Jerk leans the other way towards his brother


“Forget it, Johnny.”

This whole shebang arose when I saw the bottles being dumped in the room and my imagination started running wilder than Luke’s preening of himself. Since when do people cart bottles of Dad’s Root Beer up the elevator and sneak it past the nurse’s desk? Oh, don’t mind us, Nurse Ratched. We know he’s afflicted with malaria but we thought the sugar rush would at least keep him awake.

And it’s not like I haven’t witnessed this first hand. When my nephew played high school baseball his senior year, he violently collided with the center fielder(he played right field) on a tweener fly ball. It was scary and something I don’t ever want to go through again. Riding in the ambulance and watching him babbling incoherently was not a pleasant experience. Thankfully, many prayers and notes of encouragement and a great medical staff got him back on his feet. It was bittersweet because his high school career was over but he would live and live very well. I’m very proud of him for what he accomplished.

So again, I can relate to Rodney. Why Thorpiverse has to turn this into Miller Time is the $64,000 question. Like what are you going to tell the cashier at Milford Beverage Warehouse?

“Wow!!!!!!! Two cases of Michelob, two bags of Cheetos, four bags of Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion, and some Totino’s Supreme Reduced Fat Pizzas!!!!!!!!! Must be some party.”

“Nah, Rodney got blitzed when Luke backed up the wrong way in the parking lot. He’s day-to-day but the EEG tests were hopeful.”

This is absurd. A few weeks ago, Kareem was running the team into the ground because the team was not in tip-top condition. I remember reading about one major league manager who, after a gut-wrenching loss one night, had everybody line up along one of the foul lines. He had everybody run from there to the outfield fence and back. Many players came back hacking and wheezing and puking up dinner that afternoon.

He made his point.

Moreover, Buddy Ryan, when he started coaching the Philadelphia Eagles after his acrimonious split with Mike Ditka, conducted a fitness test to weed out the ones who’d been snarfing one Twinkie too many. This one player who had been released from another club went through Ryan’s grueling, grueling challenge. And he was barfing in every direction on the football turf. This prompted Ryan to say

“I knew I shouldn’t have taken a chance on a loser who got claimed off of waivers. He thinks 8-8 is a Super Bowl season.”

And it’d be like the Mudlarks going through one of Ryan’s Road to Glory Goes Through Hell workouts only to watch the game get won on an errant slam dunk that won the Valley Conference Slam Dunk Contest after Rodney got smacked with a chairback from Jerry Lawler. God, T-verse thinks mediocre plots are Classic Literature. Nathaniel Hawthorne writing Richie Rich. You want anti-climactic, you’ll get plenty of it in Mudlarkland. Oh, thanks, Kareem, we appreciate your heading the President’s Physical Fitness Program. Now run along and let Rodney get run over by a Union Pacific; we’ll win it filing a protest or question the refs on a correctable error, whichever will get us to baseball faster.

In Dr. Pearl’s office one afternoon, her 1905 Close ‘n’ Play churning out Grateful Dead’s “American Beauty”

“Look, I’ll file all your Hospital Visits-Basketball Injury Reports-Boys and Girls Summaries-2015; I don’t have a lot to do anyway.”

“Gil, for the last time, you’re not getting my Bud Light.”

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Coach Thorp Found Regurgitating On Random City Block!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Milford Lounge owner: ‘I knew we shouldn’t have served Jalapeños Black Eyed Peas for appetizers during Happy Hour.’”

And over on the Glenwood Across The Month Of March And April In One Package Deal, Fred & Wilma decide to stay after three weeks of deliberating, even though Mud Mountain Murphy got religion. They will go ahead and use the Time Share Cabin and therefore Gil and Mimi will have to sleep in the laundry next to Heehaw’s cot. Fred & Wilma will not discuss Denying The Consequent in logic, pointing out they’ve wasted enough time wondering if Ravi Shankar is really Red Sovine. They will take a stroll and MAYBE (Wilma’s words) go to the bedroom. Wilma, there’s no McDonald’s Drive-Thru smack dab in the middle of the Bay of Bengal. Working on your free throw percentage on the ship’s asphalt basketball courts can wait. WILL THEY FINALLY COPULATE???? WILL IT TAKE FRED THREE WEEKS TO DISPLAY HIS WARD CLEAVER BOXER SHORTS TO WILMA????? Don’t lose sleep on this one is all I ask.

Whoever did Tobe’s hair also more than likely did the floral arrangement in the background. You can never have too many rose petals in blue hair. It is indeed nice that Rodney received a plethora of get well cards and I wouldn’t be surprised that none of them belong to Luke. That’s too classy. I couldn’t see Dick Dastardly sending a Be Of Good Cheer singing telegram and the FTD florist to Penelope Pitstop when she’s undergoing breast cancer treatments.

“Pheeeewwwwwiieeeeee!!!!!!! Who threw a stink bomb in Rodney’s room?”

“Oh, I forgot to mention, Luke informed me he was FedEx’ing a sympathy message.”

The only thing missing in this Budweiser Moment are the Clydesdales. Don’t put it past T-verse. If they could finagle Radar’s Grape Nehi’s past the Pinkertons, shoot, just use the service elevator and bring a shovel in case any Clydesdale’s got the runs, close the curtain once they sidle into Rodney’s room, voila!!!!!! Talking about the upcoming baseball season, sipping on a Nehi and stroking a Clydesdale on his chest? It don’t get no better than this. Okay, that’s an Old Milwaukee slogan, not a Bud slogan but don’t rain on my parade. Don’t ruin this moment. Let Gil snuggle with Mr. Ed with a Gerst on n his hand and shut up.

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Valley Tech Prospect Vomits All Over Luke Lunkhead’s Wrestling Outfit!!!!!!!!! Subsequently Cut From Team!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“I knew he couldn’t cut it once he climbed the third floor of the bank tower. Everybody over at New Thayer thought scaling a kiddie slide was like conquering Mt. Everest.”

In Gil’s office

“Oh Kaz, please don’t leave us. I never thought I’d say this but I loved you as our assistant. So did our kids. Don’t take that job at Milford Boys Club as the maintenance technician, our plots will come to a screeching halt.”

“Forget it, Gil, you’re not getting my Bud Light.”

I am not getting a good feeling when Gil in P2 is ripping the bottle cap right off the Bud bottle. I can well imagine the ensuing conversation

“Rodney (hiccup) , I just want to let you know (burrrrrppppp) that we were thinking (belllccchhhhhhhh) of you and anything (hiccup) we can do to make it better (retch) , let us know. You want us to order (snorrrrtttttttt) your hospital food now? Do you want one or two pieces of (hiccup) fried zucchini?”

I mean, I’m sorry. When Fred is about to shake that thang in front of Wilma and cause a minor tremor on the cruise ship, do you think Fred is going to slurp a Grape Nehi FIRST?????I’ve heard of mating rituals but they usually left Radar O’Reilly out of the closet. Why we have to have Gil with a Lowenbrau while Rodney is under sedation after surgery to remove his tonsils is beyond my sanity. Oh, and marigolds Gil dug up out of Mimi’s garden that were overrun with millworms anyway.

On Glenwood Cruise Across The Universe tourlines

“Got to scrap that doggie doody off your shoes, Wilma.”

“Oh Fred, you say the dirtiest things. What else from ‘Exile on Main Street’ can you quote?”

Late Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Final Cuts Will Be Announced Today By Coach Ochoa At Baseball Tryouts!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Those that can eat a Mud Mountain Murphy Cheesecake and run a 6-minute mile without choking it up will be our A Team.”

P2 also reminds me of a movie with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda called “Yours, Mine, and Ours”. Both played widowed parents with large families, Fonda playing Frank Beardsley, with ten kids and Ball, playing Helen North, with eight kids. It’s a semi-regimented bunch, given Frank’s job as an officer in the U.S. Navy and Helen working as a civilian on Frank’s naval base.
As they’re getting to know each other, one night Frank invites Helen over for dinner, to the minor resentment of the kids (eighteen of them, remember) . The older Beardsley boys play a prank on Helen by spiking her iced tea with gin, vodka, and scotch. Helen is so stone drunk by the time dinner commences that when the family says Grace, Helen is uncontrollably hiccuping as the words are reverently spoken. The coup de grace was when Helen, attempting unsuccessfully to scoop mashed potatoes out of a bowl because she’s too inebriated to lift a toothpick, finally musters a glop but when she then tries to place them on one of the children’s plate, the glop plops down in that child’s lap. Frank is not surprisingly upset. Speaking as a naval officer, he bellows out to the culprits “The court of inquiry is now in session!” The boys finally admit their guilt and apologize.

I’d laugh if Gil got so buzzed off of Hoodad’s, he plops the hospital mashed potatoes into the roses.

“Here, have some peach cobbler, Rodney, whoopsy daisy. Nurse, can we get a dish rag and a mop?”

“It’s okay, Coach. I have to change my gown in a few minutes anyway. And don’t worry about the roses. They clip them every hour and the meat loaf scraps should all be gone by then.”

“Honey Love Dove Baby Buggy Bumpers Sweetie Tweetie, Lily Lollipop Candy Andy Raggedy Ann Doll of Fortune With a Plump Cherry on a Chocolate Dream Pie in Never Never Land with Peter Pan’s Prized Possession-“

“Mr. Dr. Pearl, you can not have the last Bud Light. I’m saving it for my tea party tomorrow.”

“Fred, are you sure that Ravi Shankar isn’t in this room?”

“Wilma, would I boldly go where no man has gone before and expose the sexy hair follicles on my chest? When foreplay is at its acme when I put on a Harold Stassen toupee?”

Yeah, let’s drink to the christening of the Titanic over some bottles of Hoodad’s. Makes perfect sense to me. When Lou Gehrig gave his Luckiest Man Alive speech, somebody slipped a Hoodad’s in his back pocket in case his speech caused parched vocal cords. Washington crossed the Delaware after his troops had breakfast comprised of eggs, grits, bacon, and Hoodad’s. Breakfast of Champions. Rodney will set the world on fire and break Aaron Judge’s home run record one day and it was all because the Resident Nurse allowed to drink a Hoodad’s when he was ingesting Carvedilol. I just hope I’m alive when he is making history. I wouldn’t want to be left out of the Hoodad’s Hoopla.

In other news…

On the Glenwood Cruise Across Ravi Shankar’s Estate Behind The Taj Mahal And The Agra 7-11

“Fred, that moonlight is so romantic. I am in estrus. Shall we go to more intimate quarters?”

“Uhhhhhhh, Wilma, I hear The Police are doing the midnight show. They’re playing all of ‘Zenyatta Mondatta’.

“Can’t that wait? They’re doing an afternoon show tomorrow with Chet Atkins. We’ll have time to enjoy our musical pursuits even if Mud Mountain Murphy took sabbatical at an ashram in Bangladesh.”

“Gee, look at Ted Turner!!!!! Is he still competing as a yachtsman? Somebody throw him a life raft if he collides with this ship. I wouldn’t want another Titanic incident. Hey, Ted, you still have sex with Jane????”

“Speaking of which, Fred-“

“And look!!!!!! The captain told me that the sharks and porpoises come out at 11:00!!!!!! They stage a simulated battle to the delight of the kiddies. It’s like Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, only in the ocean. I think the sharks are the cowboys and the porpoises are the Indians. Moby Dick is Buffalo Bill himself.”

“Speaking of Moby Dick, is yours sufficiently pumped for our honey-“

“Why don’t we get a bite to eat first? All that waiting for three weeks to see if Mud was going to play like Wet Willie or Lawrence Welk really worked up an appetite. I heard there’s a Burger King on the third deck. The Wild-Caught Speckled Tuna Fish Whopper is to die for.”

“Your motives smell like tuna fish, I’ll concede that. Now why don’t we go hand-in-hand and go to Never Never Land and find treasure when we get there.”

“Wilma, I like Todd Rundgren too but I can’t rise to the occasion until we first play a game of Air Hockey in the Recreation Hall. I’ll be ramming it into your net and loving every minute of it.”

“You can still do that without the hockey stick.”

“But I’m scoring points!!!!!! And the trophy is going to look swell next to the possum head trophy on the wall in my den.”

“Fred, are you ashamed to admit that the possum head is BIGGER than your prized possession?”

“Are you talking about my dad’s art?”

“Not really.”


“I’m afraid Wilma scored some points herself. And when my prized possession rivaled Coach Thorp’s, we went as a team down to Milford Men’s Clinic. They gave us the EREC-3405 Comfortably Numb and Hard injections and Gil got immediate results. Let’s just say Cami will be running baseball practice for a while because Gil is having too much fun. And I grab Wilma even during the cruiseline’s Ice Cream Break. We make our own hot fudge sundae and brownies never tasted better. I throw the cherry they stick on top out the porthole in the ocean but Wilma doesn’t mind. We still have the icing on the cake and that’s with the Milford Men’s Clinic Discount Card I use all the time. Come get your own Betty Crocker and lay down with her after you’ve eaten her carrot cake only at Milford Men’s Clinic.”

Gang, Fred was not with Aerosmith at one time. Did you ever see his picture on “Get Your Wings” or “Toys in the Attic” or Night in the Ruts”? Rest my case.

“Oh, Wilma, we shall spend forever wrapped in each other’s embrace and I shall cherish the luscious mess of your lips in a moment of El Dorado with your sensuous body an elixir for my sexual ardor and ever able to more than satisfy my libido until the Twelfth of Never.”

“Fred, you better do better than that if you really want my Bud Light.”

April 12, 2023

Onomatopoeic Wednesday, with a Cameo by the Car Talk Guys

Feels weird, starting a new arc midweek instead of on a Monday. Feels weirder to end an old arc on a Milford win that isn’t a state championship. Feels weirder still to leave so many loose ends untied after an arc-ender.

Ah well, to everything there is a season. A time to mow, a time to sweep. A time to click, a time to clack. A time to snark, a time to refrain from snarking.

I’ll just take P2 as an offhand tribute to the Magliozzi brothers. They are well and truly missed.

April 11, 2023

“…Tune In To Baseball Season, Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel.”

All you Baby Boomers will surely remember those immortal words anytime Batman & Robin got caught in The Joker’s deadly laughing gas or The Penguin’s Antarctica ice trap or The Riddler’s question mark that acted like a machete or Catwoman’s lion cage. William Dozier, the executive producer of the show, uttered those immortal words. I think there might have been an audition but many of his colleagues basically said “Dammit, Bill, it’s your show, you do the narration.” The ‘60’s and beyond were never the same.

Many celebrities wanted on the show and so they either played a villain (George Sanders, Otto Preminger-Mr. Freeze, Vincent Price-Egghead, Eartha Kitt-Catwoman, Roddy McDowell-The Bookworm, Cesar Romero-The Joker, Burgess Meredith-The Penguin, Victor Buono-King Tut) or they provided comedy relief popping out of a window on a building The Caped Crusaders were climbing (Sammy Davis, Junior) . Frank Sinatra, trying to recover a bit of the luster he lost in the ‘60’s, trying to appeal to the younger generation, wanted to appear on the show ANYWHERE to shore up his image. Much as I love Frankie (Let me count the ways) , I really couldn’t see him as, say, The Riddler. Really, what was he going to do, have a couple of pieces of airplane shrapnel tumble out of the sky and bonk his head and suddenly, he’s King Tut? Kinda sorta doubtful. Love ya anyway, Frankie.

But doggone, an I-beam didn’t fall on Luke Loser and alter his cranium. I was hoping for

“Nice game. Coach Thorp. I’ve been reading a lot of Grantland Rice when I’ve sitting on the john and I got my inspiration while I was chugging that last stool in the commode and I received an epiphany. It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose to a guy you wouldn’t eat with at the diner with Humphrey and Elvis on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams, let alone pick up the tab on his pickled omelette and stale pancakes I wouldnt feed the snail perched on my porch, it’s how you play the game. Fair play will get you merit raises every time.”

Somebody get a shovel on this one before it gets so deep, you can’t open the door to the basement.

And remember that bet that was made last year (July 28, 2022, to be exact) ? That’s still on, or at least I find it hard to believe Thorpiverse forgot about it. For those with amnesia because they pulled a Gilligan on us from the coconuts that dropped out of the tree and on his head because the squirrels needed the extra real estate, the bet was that if Gil loses, he steps down as a coach but if Luke loses (wash your mouth out with soap, T. Drew. What goon is going to replace him, Honore Vashon from Hawaii 5-0? The Mad Hatter from Batman?) , he never coaches another contest, tetherball to tiddley winks, basketball to bingo.

So my guess would be baseball season is the rubber game of this elongated wager that’s been grinding for months and may grind longer than that. Honore Vashon is not leaving Hawaii and purchasing a condo in Micronesia. But let’s root for the Good Guy anyway, no matter how many times he’s flirted with Beth the Bartender. Honore Vashon may try to hijack the Jack Berrill Coach of the Year award out of Oahu but it’s best to let Steve McGarrett handle that one.

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Rodney Barnes In Stable Condition!!!!!!! Has Been Transferred Out Of ICU At Milford General!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Medical team: ‘Mr. Barnes is up and running. He should make it to the toilet and not use the plastic potty by the time Coach Thorp makes visitation hours.”

“Steve, I caught Luke Loser and Honore Vashon trying to make a move on Dr. Pearl. Isn’t that statuary rape?”

“And complicity in an unnecessary crime, penal code 112 section A of the State of Hawaii. Definitely book ‘em, Dan-O.”

Mopman brings up an excellent point. The wager was never really shook on as Beth the Bartender broke up the encounter between Luke and Gil (based upon 1st panel on July 29 strip the next day) . And knowing Luke, he was perhaps too drunk or loud-mouthed to care, although he appeared in his right mind BS’ing about Tod Andrews (and possibly other Valley opponents) before Gil walked into the bar. That said, I think it’s interesting how Luke is laser-focused on putting Gil out of commission, drunk or sober. The bet, IMO, is still on like an unwritten rule, given hints and circumstances surrounding Gil and Luke but everybody knows that whoever loses, nobody’s going anywhere even after the “Loser Leaves Milford and Valley Conference” cage match. And have no plot to write to keep this Gil versus Godzilla travesty pumping along? Please.

And will somebody please get rid of Gil’s Ricky Nelson Rockabilly look? I don’t know which is worse, that or those hair follicles in P1 that Luke apparently applies tweezers to before getting on his Game Face. I don’t know if I’m looking at a coach or Boone Sawyer. It’s ridiculous that somebody is attempting to add sex appeal to Gil’s persona. Like that’s going to target the Tiger Beat girlie-girls out there and up the readership significantly. If I wanted Bobby Sherman, I’d raffle through my sister’s old records where Donny Osmond and The Cowsills reigned supreme. Mimi, Mimi, do you really love me.

Speaking of Rick Nelson, I may have told this one before but bears repeating as long as T-verse insists on Gil’s Bill Haley’s locks being a permanent fixture, Nelson was a teen idol and a very successful one back in the ‘50’s. With hits like “Hello Mary Lou”, “I Believe”, “Travellin’ Man”, and “Poor Little Fool”, the dude kept himself busy and was a heartthrob many times over.
But like many teen idols, they were getting older and outgrowing their image plus performers like Nelson wanted to write new material in line with the ‘60’s and ‘70’s anyway. Personally, I thought Nelson wrote some damn good stuff but that got lost on the crowd one night at Madison Square Garden where Nelson appeared. Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, et al also headed the list. He played “Hello Mary Lou” but then started playing his new material and the crowd mercilessly booed him off stage. We thought Ricky was going to appear. Who’s this stranger?

This prompted Nelson to write “Garden Party”. It’s clear he’s a little bitter, judging by the lyrics

“They opened up the closet door

And out stepped Johnny B. Goode

Playin’ a song like a-ringin’ a bell

Playin’ like he should”

An obvious reference to Chuck Berry

”If ya wanna play at garden parties

I wish you a lotta luck

But if memories are all I sang

I’d rather drive a truck”:

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Coach Thorp Booed Off Stage At Milford Outdoor Amphitheater At Yesterday’s Rick Nelson’s Garden Party Of Memories!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“I don’t care if his guitar was a gift from his dad for graduating from OCS in the Marines. He can’t play ‘Chopsticks’, let alone ‘Travellin’ Man.’”

“McGarrett, Honore Vashon has been picked by Luke Loser to be one of his assistants for Valley Tech Baseball. Luke says two people can cheat better than one.”

“Book ‘em, Dan-O. And send the final notice to Luke on his parking fines.”

P2 has everything this melodrama could ask for. Two coaches that don’t like each other with the dislike tilting some in a certain direction; I remember one night when Lefty Driesell coached at Maryland and felt he got railroaded by the officials when going up against North Carolina. Deserved or not, Dean Smith, like Bob Knight, had a reputation for bending the zebras in his direction. When Dean tried to shake Lefty’s hand, Lefty went all over the gym to avoid ANY contact with Smith. Ergo, handshakes were out of the question.
That’s kinda sorta what I was expecting here when Elvis, er, Gil tried to extend the hand of fellowship yesterday. I was expecting Luke to go Lefty on us and thereby spice matters up by the time Mudkarks were practicing off the hitting tees. Darn it, T-verse, let Lefty Luke run like a mouse in a maze and maybe add some background music like “The Peter Gunn Theme”. This begrudging look simply won’t cut it. And add some smartass remark to it. One night, when the great Horace Albert “Bones” McKinney was coaching Wake Forest, he was chewing on the referees something fierce. A licensed minister, the referees were obviously a bit taken aback by McKinney’s demeanor. Finally one of the refs shot out “You call yourself a preacher?” McKinney shot back “You call yourself a referee?”

That’s what we need here. Not this needless face-off that’s smoldering worse than the lard greaser in the concession stand. “You call yourself a coach?” “You call yourself a one-woman man?” “You call that a team?” “You call them Homo Sapiens?” “You call Granny Clampett a principal?” “You call Valley Tech accredited?” “You call those your kids?” “You call Valley Modified your kids’ school-voucher choice?” “You call that a beard?” “You call that a tie?” “You call him The Fist Pump Man?” “You call Marty Moon sober?” “You call your wife a doctor?” “You call Heehaw alive?”

There. That’s enough to get started, don’t you think?

Late Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Coach Luke Refuses To Shake Coach Thorp’s Hand, Will Send Certified Check To Support The Lift-A-Thon Instead!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Check will be Registered Mail and transported Special Delivery to avoid mix-up with Netflix videos.”

At Milford High School one night

“I don’t care what anybody says, I’m not shaking hands with that stiff-necked lout. Sue me.”

“Gil, you can come out of the broom closet now. Tod Andrews left 15 minutes ago.”

“Okay, thanks, Luhm.”

The ACC, like all the major conferences, have had their share of controversy, particularly in basketball. Another Dean story-and really, how could it not involve Duke-happened one night when the Tar Heels invaded Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke’s home. Leading up to the game, the Cameron Crazies, Duke’s great fans comprised of mainly the student body, were called into question as they had been from time to time. Many of them are great and know how far they can go when cheering their team or heckling their opponent. Unfortunately, like with any crowd, there’s a few that cross a line and shout racial slurs at the other team and examples like that prompted the ACC to address the situation. Basically, the ACC Commissioner told Smith and Mike Krzyzewski to put a tight rein on their crowds. Coach K sent out a bulletin advising the Crazies to behave themselves.

Late in the game, still up in the air, like most Carolina-Duke games turn out to be, Dean Smith tried to flag down a referee on a questionable call. The ref basically said, play on, Coach. Smith went ballistic. Trying to get someone’s attention, he banged so hard on the scorer’s table that the electronic scoreboard was altered. North Carolina had 78 points but the warped scoreboard now had them for 98 points. Naturally, Coach K was furious after striving to motivate the Crazies to show some class when heckling only to watch Smith act like a jerk. And it didn’t help that North Carolina went on to win the game. Coach K was in his element after the game

“You guys in the media better get your facts straight. You saw what happened out there.”

Tough call, one I’ll leave to the basketball gods to answer. The point is, exploding eyeballs and jiggling chins do not a Carolina-Duke rivalry make. If the Cameron Crazies did nothing but pop their eyeballs out, Duke would be in a world of hurt. Coach K just vibrating his jaw up and down on a questionable block-charge call? You call yourself a comic strip, Thorpiverse? Dean Smith in that Campbell Soup kid hairstyle???? They’d laugh him out of Carmichael Arena. Dean changing his tie at halftime? Better beat NC State, Coach, or they’ll hang your ass with that tie. Couldn’t see Laettner with that rug Lefty Luke is dragging around.

So really, let’s spice up what should have happened and take it from there

VT Crazies

“One-two-three-four, Gil can’t coach this game no more!!!!!!”

or after the Mudlarks are about to lose

“Mimi’s better!!!!!!!



Mimi’s better…”


“Don’t wake Heehaw




“Mr. Referee, I have a question!!!!!!!”

“Sit down, Loser.”



“I’ve heard of pistol-whipping but this is ridiculous. Anybody know CPR?”


“You better get your facts straight. Our team and fans showed the most class.”

“Coach Kim, it helped when Luke left in the 1st quarter for his dental appointment.”

Late Late Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Valley Tech Scoreboard Will Need Serious Repair Stemming From Last Friday’s Game!!!!!! Local Electrician To Conduct Estimates This Afternoon!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“I kept advising Coach Thorp where to place his coffee. But does he ever listen?”

At Milford Outdoor Amphitheater

“Did you ever get a hold of Coach Shaw?”

“Still trying. You sure a Jazz guitar will work on ‘Stood Up’ or ‘Garden Party’?”

“Look, I’m not getting my butt chewed out again after Gil’s debacle.”

Like what was Luke going to whisper in Gil’s ear? You look sexy in that purple tie???? Am I too late for visitation hours???? Are Heehaw and Paul both dead???? Are they going to go through with the burial or do cremation and throw the ashes in Mudlark Lake????

And if they don’t get on to baseball after Luke clearly shows his breath smells as bad as his ethics, shoot the horse.

“And Milford wins a thriller over Valley Tech, 68-67. Sure glad Leo came to play because it’s obvious Gil didn’t come to coach. They should get Luke Loser out from under the bleachers after he refused to shake Gil’s hand. We’ll be back after the tear gas has settled with final stats after these messages. This is Marty Moon and you’re listening to WDIG, a division of Learfield Sports.”


“OMG!!!!!!!!! Rodney Barnes’ legs are at a 23 degree angle with his back!!!!!! Talk about being bent out of shape!!!!!!”

“Quick!!!!!!! Call The Shark!!!!!!!”

“My son was laying there in agony after some Valley Tech thug did a vertical suplex on him. Just because my dear sweetie honeypie snookum widdle teddy bear lily of the valley cookie wookie smiley mamma’s boy set a pick? And I work minimum wage at Milford Foundry.”

“Oh my. Words cannot describe the feelings I had for this lady who worked the smelter at Milford Foundry. Mrs. Fredrica Barnes wasn’t even making enough to pay for her son’s uniform. The insurance company sent her a check that wouldn’t cover the rent for two months. I told her don’t cash it because we’re going for the Gold. When you’re out to claim victory, throw the crumbs to the goats at Milford Petting Zoo. Someone at Milford Insurance Consortium was yachting off the coast of Tanzania thanks to the chicken feed he sent Mrs. Barnes. It was time to lower the jig boom on this scandal.”

“I received $1,673,350,631.68 for my claim. I spent the 68 cents on the pop machine in the lobby of The Shark’s Law Office in sweet victory. Now I can get better hours and an upgrade on my status at Milford Foundry. In fact, my request for a fork lift driver got approved this week. And I won’t have to go through Milford School Lunch Program anymore for Rodney to get carrots slopped on by Dr. Pearl. Thanks, Shark.”

“You heard the lady. Why let some insurance company jerk be at The Masters and spend the money he saved on a $24 Diet Coke? While you’re suffering and getting a dog bone thrown at you as a Certified Check? Al Capone couldn’t rob Our Fair City any better. This is Joe Sharkey and you know my number. 1-FON-THE-JAWS. There are certain deadlines so please get your claim in before that insurance executive sets sail out again with Ferdinand Magellan. One call, that’s all.”

Gang, I will not shake your hand. Not after this plot got skewered by Homer the Referee. You think Homer the Ump isn’t going to do the same? You call yourself a readership?

But God bless you, Gang.

“No way. I refuse to shake his hand even if he offers to sign over the championship.”

“Come to bed, Gil.”

April 6, 2023

“I Finally Got A Hold Of Your Mom At Lemuel’s Concert, Rodney. She’s On Her Way.”

Filed under: basketball, Gil Thorp, hideous scar faces, Make and Model Mystery Mobile — tdrewhardin @ 3:10 pm

Gang, I don’t know who’s doing more farting around, Fred & Wilma at Lemuel-nee-Mud Mountain’s concert or Gil & Luke at the ball game, if you really want to call the latter that. Daggone it, how many days do they need to discuss Black Sabbath isn’t the same since Sabbath began playing Lawrence Welk setlists while on the Glenwood Across The Bering Sea on their honeymoon???? And how many days do we need after we have received strong hints this ain’t anywhere near following the Berrill script where the other team is wearing down because Gil did some coaching for once, using Kareem as a front man, no less????

Come on, Fred, let’s go see if Def Leppard is still playing in the ballroom. No, Wilma, I want an answer from the concert promoter why “Them Muddy Boots” hasn’t been played. I agree, Fred, you’d think the cruise staff would be sensitive to us old-timers. Wilma, it just isn’t right, I was expecting Mud Mountain Murphy and I got Tiny Tim. And Fred, I heard rumors that the captain of this ship wanted Ray Price anyway so he must be in revenge mode. Wilma, that sucks. He’s going to impose Rush’s “All The World’s a Stage” on us? Fred, I wouldn’t complain except Neil Peart is dead so I can’t get his autograph on my lapel. Wilma, if Mud continues to sound like The Statler Brothers, I’m calling my attorney. Fred, I don’t know if you can get a hold of Miss Baxendale at the present moment. She and her boyfriend are at an Al Green concert on the Milford to Finland Cruise.

DAMMIT, if you don’t like the concert GET UP AND LEAVE!!!!!!!!! Why spend two weeks deciding if Deep Purple’s “Woman From Tokayo” is palatable to the ear? At least Gil didn’t take that long getting Rodney in the ambulance.

But that’s just a cheap consolation prize. I didn’t win $1,000,000 but I got this nice Gil Thorp Brylcreem Shaving Kit. Something to show my grandkids.

And we still really haven’t found out about the game. Did Milford win? And was it because of Kareem’s workouts or was that just a sideshow? I better not answer that one, God forbid. The VTers were getting run in the ground but of course, did anyone really expect Luke Lemuel to get a sword when confronted by a warrior with the same weapon?

I read an article once in Time/Newsweek in their guest editorial where an ex-Marine explained why Marines in general sometimes had trouble adapting to another country. This writer pointed out that Marines are used to fighting honorably. So when terrorists come along and commit dirty underhanded acts of violence, Marines many times don’t know how to respond. In the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” when Indiana Jones is confronted with an Arabian who flaunts this huge sword at him, challenging Indiana to a duel, we in the audience were shocked when he simply used a pistol to gun this Arabian down. The writer scored a brilliant point when he wrote that a Marine would have tried to go get a sword of his own.

Therefore, don’t count on returning to the building to see if Lemuel will engage in a fencing match or use his cannon stored away in the officials room. Gil better bring that bazooka stored in his gym bag. Sometimes you have to even things up.

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Milford-Valley Tech Game To Be Decided By Coin Flip!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Dr. Pearl to proctor the metal detector proceedings to ensure coin possesses equal weight and texture on both sides.”

At Lemuel Lama concert

“…no, Wilma, I want to go watch Procol Harum. I heard Gary Brooker really isn’t dead and he was autographing Cruise Diner napkins.”

“Oh Fred, maybe Mud is just bloated from all that ice cream sundae at the Cruise Dessert Bar. We can watch Gary Glitter tomorrow…”

I’m not familiar with ambulance protocol but I’m sure the “7” on the side of the ambulance means something. I’d spit out my dinner if that was

“Milford Ambulance Emporium

Open 24/7 at your convenience.

Available with those whose go-go lifestyle had too much go in it.”

And is that REALLY “Milford” spelled on the side? Hard to tell when it’s written in Sanskrit. Still, I’m wagering Sanskrit and English employ the letter “M” and so let’s venture a little further. The “I” and “L” are rough-hewn but I don’t believe “Maladjusted” would be painted on an ambulance. The fourth letter is highly debatable and I’m tempted to insert a “T” at this critical juncture. But why would a paramedic and an EMT drive around in a vehicle with “Maltese Falcon” stenciled in? Just wouldn’t make sense. “Manhattan Transfer?” Are they coming to Milford to perform?

And about as much sense as a vehicle lodged up Gil’s butt and somewhat hindering the launching of Rodney into the ambulance. Who parked there? Is Marjie Ducey or Heather Burns there to do a story and were too lazy so they park in the Fire Zone? SCREEECCCCHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! Oh, don’t mind us, Gil. We’re here to do a story. Just a few more pictures of Rodney’s entrails and we’re good to go. Hey, paramedic, move out of the way. I need to get a comment from Rodney before press time. Really, Rodney. So the VT player who committed this cowardly act just got released from Valley Modified last week? Where’s his parole officer? I need a statement from him too.

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Coach Luke Insists No Foul Play Was Involved In Collision With Rodney Barnes!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“I will be more than happy to discuss more on this topic on my lakefront property on the Redneck Riviera.”

At the Lemuel Mountain Murphy concert

“…but we need to go to sleep now. Truck Tyler won’t be playing ‘Louie Louie’ until his midnight show, Wilma.”

“Fred, dammit, that’s our song. The Rolling Stones will play another ‘Beggar’s Banquet Tour’ in the guest room on Saturday…”

Rodney is giving the thumbs up so all is right with the world. That’s one worry out of my way. A couple of days ago he was Hank Gathers but this generous plotline didn’t allow for another Boo Radley. God, I couldn’t imagine this tragi-comedy being dragged on the way they dragged Ridley’s celebrity status around the building for weeks on end. I’m sorry Gathers died and I was shocked when it happened. Watching the medics patiently answer the media’s questions after watching Gathers collapse merely added to the tenseness I felt the night he died. However, displaying Gathers in the Milford Enquirer, one day in the Wal-Mart Lingerie section, the next day in the Ideal Chess Moves column, the next day in the Weather Report, was akin to how T-verse handled Radley after she died. She got elevated to sainthood by the time the summer sports season elapsed.

And even if Rodney doesn’t croak, and it’s now a safe bet he won’t, we still have to go back in the gym and Luke play “What-Me Worry?”. Oh sorry, Gil, I hope Rodney is okay. I only told my player to viciously crash into him and take out his teeth and gouge his eyeballs and use a 2 x 4 to damage his abdomen and bite off his ears and pull his hair. But I never instructed him to hit below the belt. I have an Honor Code, y’know. I’ll bench any player who cheats while he’s playing dirty. Another Life Lesson in the works.

Therefore, I hope and pray that this is just a temporary setback. And that it won’t last longer than Fred & Wilma’s Boring Adventure. But I may have answered my own question.

Late Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Coach Kim: ‘I Did Not Tell Any Valley Tech Player To Commit A Flagrant Foul!!!!!!!!!!’”

sub headline

“You’ll have to ask Coach Luke if he felt the same way.”

“…Come on, Fred, the bed’s too big without you.”

“Wilma, I didn’t know The Police were in the program. Are they playing before or after ‘Them Muddy Boots’?…”

It looks like Rodney is dressed for the occasion. The gas mask is inserted so in case Gil ate too much concession stand chili…

Glad to see Rodney is not in any danger and they didn’t have to rip his uniform off. Oh, I forgot, that’s when they embalm him. But he’s not dead (yet) . Darn, he’ll still have to sign the waiver forms and say they can stick an emery board in his mouth and inject needles in his butt. I was really expecting them to spread the blanket sheet over the rigor mortis. Luke, you’ll have to do better.

Filler Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Basketball Game To Resume After Long Powwow With Milford Emergency Medical Staff!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Coach Thorp Spokesperson: ‘The EMT left a beeper number for the doctor-on-call should any further unfortunate events occur during the course of the game.’”

At the Glenwood Rex Is MIA On This Cruiseline cruiseline

“…I’m sure Hank Williams will be up on stage anytime now. It was Mud that was found dead in that vehicle on New Year’s Eve, Wilma.”

“But Fred, that has to be Mud even if he looks like Ringo Starr in dire need of Ultra Slim-Fast. I’m almost sure of it…”

If ya blindside a deer because ya really want to take it out especially cuz ya can’t cash yore welfare check until this Friday, ya might be a redneck.

SLAM!!!!!!!! Dang, that’s really what they should have done several months ago. It took a low-wage-earning EMT to drive home a point we have been clamoring for since the wheel was invented? And watching Gil observe the inevitable. Priceless. Now go back in and kiss and make up with Luke. Or broadside him, I’m easy. God knows, we’ve been left hanging with Gil & Luke and/or Fred & Wilma. What’s another three weeks before we arrive in May?

Gang, while we’re waiting for Gil & Luke to ticket-scalp Fred & Wilma at The Trammps’ Disco Inferno on Glenwood Cruiselines, I am an authorized agent to administer The Milford Men’s Clinic Personalized ED Questionnaire. Now this will only take a few minutes so if you have to pee, use the nearest coffee cup to aid in disposal of personal wastes.

This questionnaire is designed to pinpoint problems you are encountering in your sexual career and is therefore meant to consequently find solutions to these sexual bugbears. Good luck and use a #2 pencil, please.

1) How do you want to improve your sex life?

A) Stronger erections

B) Longer sex life

C) All of the above

This is a legitimate question. Some men are like Gil, they want to flash that diving board all over the swimming pool. Others are like Fred, they want to have sex with Wilma when they’re 97-years-old. You can’t be pooping out when you’re 91 and still call yourself a man. Fred, no need to run out of steam on the first lap, especially when Wilma used pinking shears to remove the lingerie.

Then some want to be Gil AND Fred. Jump off the diving board when you’re as old as Methuselah. Dirty old man doing a swan dive, now that’s the ticket. Fred personally likes doing the cannonball. Hey, we’re flexible here.

2) Do you want to skip waiting rooms and pharmacy lines?

A) Online please!!!

B) Doesn’t matter

It gets touchy here. If it’s Jed Clampett, it probably doesn’t matter whether the whole Ozark Mountain range knows it or Mr. Drysdale is privy to this as it shouldn’t affect how Jed and Mr. Drysdale transact business. Jed can still throw a few more Certificates of Deposits in his Escrow account if the oil business is running dry.

But does Fred dare don a shirt stating “Hey Mud!!!! I come up short with Wilma even at tea time!!!!!!!” Does Gil really want Bozo the Clown on a UPS box presenting the ED pills container with all the boys and girls surrounding him? Standing in line at Milford Pharmacy and explain to the old lady in front him what he’s picking up, even if his insurance will pick up the tab? I think not. It’s best to accommodate those who prefer not to broadcast on Radio Free Europe that Gil chokes when it’s time to perform and we’re not talking anywhere near his throat. Let Jed go over to Walton Mountain and brag about his ED problems with John-Boy, if it’ll make him feel any better.

3) Do you want your ED medicine shipped home in discreet packaging?

A) Yes, keep it private

B) Doesn’t matter

Now people like Wink Martindale are outgoing and outspoken and are fearless when it comes to the mailman delivering his ED prescriptions. Just throw them right in there with Guideposts and the Milford Gas & Electric bill and he’s a happy camper.

But Gil and Fred are more finicky. Why have Wilma be exposed to a package with Barney pumping Betty in bed right about where the stamp got cancelled? Oh, hey, Coach Kaz. Is that my Milford Men’s Clinic Powdered Drink Mix? How’d you know? You could see the label 30 feet away? And it flashed all the colors of the prism? Damn.

Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks, from where I’m observing.

4) Are you new to ED treatment?

A) Yes

B) No

C) It depend on what my mood ring says

Some people like Ozzie Nelson are rookies in this business. Just because Ozzie went soft on Harriett doesn’t mean he can pick up a phone and order Domino’s delivery in 30 minutes or less. That’s why Milford Men’s Clinic has a 24-hour hotline to address your ED concerns with no embarrassing replies because you are a bit lost on how to best locate the pipe fitting. The hotline’s gotcha covered. Just call 1-800-AID-LIMP and they’ll guide ol’Ozzie through the saturnine times.

Then there’s Gil and Fred who are old pros at garden hoses that need more Latex when turning on the jet spray. They know that if they have ED problems, Beth the Bartender is not the person to see, for sexual malfunctions or when Fred gets bored with Wilma. They know one friendly chat with the secretary at the Clinic up front will open the doors to several options. No need to panic and attempt to sidestep Mimi for another week. All is in good hands and they know it.

I think that’s all we have time for. Keep checking the post office box at Milford Post Office for further details and tips.

Gang, thank you for your support. You amaze with your excellent confidence in my posts. I am nothing without you readers. God bless you all.

“…but Fred, the Ray Coniff Singers perform on Friday by the swimming pool.”

“Don’t lecture me on the music agenda!!!!! Wilma, I know when George Jones will be singing ‘Them Muddy Boots’. He and Mud will be singing that and ‘If Drinking Don’t Kill Me’ on the Sunday matinee…”

March 1, 2023

“Know who else cleans and jerks? My mom!”

Finally, a strip we can snark on! The last several strips have been straight up serious as they brought to attention a serious imbalance on the benches and sidelines and in the dugouts. I was halfway expecting acknowledgement that Gil was doing his part by bringing in Emmett Tays, but then he’d have to sheepishly acknowledge that Emmett was getting paid half of what Kaz was getting paid – and that half of nothing is nothing. Was Kaz really volunteering all these years?

Time for the big Milford Lift-A-Thon! Gil has been putting in all the hard work while Mimi’s been off polishing her tonsils golf game. Nice to see he’s been spreading the weight around. For a moment there I thought that big hand was his, not Mimi’s, and that he’d been going at it Quagmire style while she was in Arizona.

What could go wrong here? Which one of Gil’s basketball players will suffer a season-ending injury during this fiasco? How stripped down and greased up will Luke Martinez be when he makes his grand entrance? We’ll see soon enough. In the meantime, I’m content to drop another Regular Show reference and see if Mimi plays Starla to Gil’s Muscle Man.

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