This Week in Milford

August 31, 2017

Not-so-fast Times at Milf High

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Oh snap! You mean a 30-year-old is able to give an 18-year-old some career advice for once? Is the Thorpiverse becoming less parallel? Somebody pinch me!

When did Heather and softball ever appear in the same sentence in this strip to date? Did the fact that, in Milford, you can ditch softball practice for “journalism” with no ill effects influence her decision? Or is it her understanding that softball and soccer are the only coaching options for women in this country? What about, you know, basketball? You can coach that in Milford without experience; just ask Steve Luhm and Bobby Howry. Maybe Jaquan wants her to coach him.

We’ve had a field day with the badly drawn vehicles in the strip this week. Today Heather’s car looks like the love child of a last-generation Ford Focus and a Subaru Baja.  I’m never quite sure if this is cartoonists’ way of avoiding IP infringement claims, but Rex Morgan‘s Terry Beatty seems to be able to draw a reasonable facsimile of a Mercedes-Benz GL-Class SUV, so take that however you will.

Enough for today; I need to find a sports bar with ACC Network Extra so I can watch True Standish’s Demon Deacons host the mighty Blue Hose this evening.

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August 12, 2017

Killin’, Wishin’, Hopin’

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I’m not gonna engage in mental gymnastics today beyond guessing what Jaquan has backward is that he wishes Heather (or Trey, or Pelwecki, or someone) would tell him they wished he coached basketball.

There’s been too much suspension of disbelief required to hang with this summer plot. An NBA star rehabs an injury under the supervision of one of his old high school opponents, in a gym he converted from his parents’ old house?  That old opponent is now some kind of master trainer with more than one client? The ex-soccer player, ex-undersized tight end is now a coaching genius? The greasy-haired big lunk lineman is suddenly gonna turn into a skilled ball carrier/receiver? The greasy-haired big lunk lineman’s regular-season coaches are gonna note this and give him touches (but not like the touches the coaching genius has been giving him)? Stop this crazy train, I wanna get off.

What I do find remotely plausible is that Jaquan wants to coach. We’ve heard nothing about his NBA career post-draft. Even after donning a hoodie in the middle of summer, he’s drawn only the attention of the cook at Janet’s Diner (via the waitress who looks like Claude Akins). Maybe he’s not the superstar we’ve been led to believe and has just been eking out a living on a string of 10-day contracts between stints in the D-League. Maybe he’s seen enough of how Gil skates by in Milford to want a taste of that life. Maybe I’ve run out of theories and just wish Herk the Mauler would show up again.

metapost: Even as I try to get back into the habit of posting the B&W version of the strip, it’s been pointed out to me that the color version contains a fairly egregious error.

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Musical inspiration for the post title:

June 15, 2017

Truly, Madly, Reluctantly, Unfortunately

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Good thing I went with the color version of the strip today. These fair-haired women with prop glasses are all starting to look alike. Today it’s Ms. Rizk, not Dr. Pearl; we know this as Gil is the summoner, not the summoned. (Not that it’s clear Dr. Pearl summoned Gil but, you know, pecking order and all.)

Ever since the Central game the strip has been playing a huge game of connect-the-dots. Great leaps ever forward – from Kaz’s near telepathic understanding of what Gil wants to Gil’s visit to the Van Aukens to Gil’s chat with Dr. Pearl to today – with a lot of gaps to fill. Is it clear that Gil spoke with Ryan at his home? (The “genuinely remorseful” comment to Dr. Pearl might lead us to believe he did.) Whether he did or didn’t, what prompted Gil to speak with Dr. Pearl next? (To get the green light from the Doctor to lean on Ms. Rizk to quash Daftpunk’s article?)

And now, what leads Ms. Rizk to add the “unfortunately” tag to her statement implying that Dafunk’s article has already been quashed? Is it meant for us to deduce that, even though she’s been against Daffy’s hit piece on the ‘Cane from the get-go, she secretly wants to run the article? As our astute readers commented yesterday, this spring arc has turned into another of Rubin’s classic Bechdel Test fails. Girls’ sports have taken a back seat not only to boys’ sports but also to high school journalism which, by maintaining its integrity, may end up protecting a male athlete at the expense of his female victim and accusers. Ms. Rizk’s “unfortunately” may be her subtle form of protest against the Milford jockocracy.

Gil won’t give that a moment’s thought, ’cause sarcastically, he’s in charge.

June 10, 2017

Maybe, But Does Ryan Have a Super Bowl Ring?

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Today’s big highlight is getting to watch Papa Van Auken morph from Dabney Coleman into Carl Brutananadilewski. Holy crap where did his eyelids go? Between Pop’s chest slap and summoned rage and Mom’s agitated temple rubbing, the Van Aukens are starting to pile it on in defense of their son. Granted the Valley is full of gossips with nothing better to do than play telephone and potentially ruin some kid’s life, but dad’s overreacting a bit himself. It’s not like Alyssa and Ryan got married or anything.

is Gil gonna buy their version of the “Ryan hit Alyssa” story? Will he wait to get straight from the ‘Cane’s mouth? Or is a road trip to Central City to meet Alyssa in order? Those don’t often work out well for Milfordians…

May 20, 2017

Change my pitch up

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The big question on all of our minds today: Can the names of juvenile offenders be published in a newspaper? The big answer: Typically, yes, but it depends.

The Supreme Court of the United States has held that reporters’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights outweigh a state’s interests in protections relating to the rehabilitation of juveniles. This means that if a reporter lawfully obtains the names of juveniles involved in crimes, the reporter may publish the names of the juveniles.

In many states, juveniles involved in juvenile proceedings are protected by laws modeled after the Model Juvenile Court Act. If the person in question falls within the definition of a juvenile, court records and law enforcement records involving the juvenile will not be made available to reporters, with some exceptions. If the juvenile is tried as an adult, certain items can be printed and disclosed to the public. Additionally, information collected by newspapers and individuals that includes information released by the courts or the police is not considered criminal history record information and is not treated as protected information. On the other hand, reporters are not allowed access to juvenile court records, or law enforcement records, with narrow exceptions.

Okay, enough of that; I’m not here to turn TWIM into some kind of law journal.  I’m not sure if Rubin’s dark change-up (and we’ve seen a series of them over the past year or so) is a feint to throw us snarkers off the scent, a Batiuk-style ploy to land a Reuben Award, or a veiled cry for help.  Young men hitting young women is certainly nothing to snark about.  Thank goodness we can still snark about close talkers, bizarre perspective, giant earrings, and tiny hotel pens held in giant freak hands.

April 29, 2017

We Get It, Neal; You Don’t Like Track & Field

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Less than an hour away from where I sit and compose this blog post, the final day of the 123rd Penn Relays will be kicking off in a few minutes.  The Penn Relays are only the oldest and largest track and field event in the US; tens of thousands of people are typically in attendance.  All that notwithstanding the Penn Relays are only the second-most hyped sports-related event happening in Philadelphia this week.

It’s not enough that Rubin has had this spring’s female protagonist insulting track and field athletes the past two days; now he suggests that not even those who participate in track and field enjoy watching track and field. (Lemme guess, Neal: were you always getting lapped during P.E. in high school?)  Maybe this just serves to make Dafuq a less sympathetic character, another in a long line of cocky, self-important Mudlarks who will end up knocked down a peg or two by the time their seasons end.

QotD: Is “Jimmy Caruso” the shot putter’s name or another euphemism for “The Beaver”?

April 22, 2017

Welcome Back Carter – er, Van Auken

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Central City has been notoriously bad to Milfordians over the years, and it looks like it’s going to be so again in the near future.  How do they know Van Auken there? Did he play for Central in the past (and, if he did, wouldn’t Gil and Kaz already be familiar with his work)? That’s unclear from this exchange, but these young ladies know of him there. What’s also unclear is how they plan to “welcome” Ryan back.  Apropos of nothing, I watched Bull Durham last night for the first time in years, so my mind runs to locker room hijinks, garter belts and poetry readings. However, knowing this strip there’ll be mocking from the bleachers, probably involving people dressed up like hurricanes (the meteorological event, not the beverage) and a sign man or two. Meanwhile back in Milford…

… we’ve not yet been treated to a Mouseketeer Roll Call for the Lady Mudlarks*, but it would appear that their catcher is Le Pétomane.  Even the home plate umpire is rendered speechless by the Milford catcher’s talking hind parts. It only seems fitting that Mimi’s minions are playing host to a team from the land of the noble gases. Clearly they’re not in Kansas anymore. Tune in on Monday when Carrie Hobson lobs a few smoke grenades of her own across the plate.

*And we seldom are, cf. the boys’ teams.

April 6, 2017

Southpaw Ex Machina

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“He’s poised, he’s been well coached, he throws hard.  You can tell he’s not from Milford.”

Just as with True Standish in 2014-15, Gil’s chestnuts will be pulled from the proverbial fire by a transfer student. No need to develop this guy as a player or as a character.

But just how impressive is he?  Sure you’re gonna make the catcher’s mitt vap pop (vape? I thought Milford High was a no-smoking campus) if you’re throwing from 20 feet away.   Back up to a regulation distance and let’s hear what happens.

As for his name, when I saw it first it made me think of two 1930s-era pitchers, Johnny “Double No-Hit” Vander Meer and Elden Auker, but he appears to be in sales or engineering.  So how does Pete de Windt know him?  Maybe they ran into each other at the Tulip Time Festival.  Wonder if they know the DeGroots

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