This Week in Milford

August 17, 2019

Oh Yeah? Jump On This!

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Well, I’m glad that’s settled. Ed is neither the express nor implied racist we suspected him to be (or, at least, he’s not gonna cop to that). Neither is he really that concerned about Jaquan’s post-NBA career. He just wanted baby girl to come home and join/take over his practice. I mean, why should the Foley Law Group beat him to the punch? With that, Ed V. Baxendale joins the pantheon of Milford parents living vicariously through the lives of their children (if not outright preordaining their career paths via their names).

Kinda funny we haven’t seen Gil in the strip for a couple of weeks. Hope he’s watching more of Joe Bolek’s game film. He’d better keep Hadley on speed dial for the next time he needs to intimidate the lawyerless school board, or game the system to recruit outside talent.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a Gil Thorp arc-ending strip without some kind of lame joke and a freeze-frame ending. Good thing Jaquan got Luther, The Anger Translator to stand in for him.

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August 3, 2019

The 20th Hole?

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Gee, it’s been a while since Gil and Mimi had a foursome. When was the last time we saw them with Kaz and Kelly? Last Christmas? Oh, wait, it’s not that kind of foursome.  Just four shadowy figures sitting beneath an impossibly tall patio umbrella.

Speaking of shadowy figures, our weekend cliffhanger threatens to take us inside the inner workings of the star chamber that is the Milford School Board. Carol, who looks suspiciously like Ray Walston or Dr. Pearl (minus the bun) is dissuading the hirsute Mr. (no first name yet) Ballard from bringing up the matter of Tiki. Pray tell why? Tune in on Monday…

July 13, 2019

Guess Who’s Thorping to Dinner

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I kept wanting to drop the Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner reference in the past but I was really trying to shoehorn it into a plot. This week probably has been the most appropriate time to do it to date, what with Ed Asner V. Baxendale putting potential son-in-law Jaquan through the wringer. Granted Ed’s wringer is as dated as the one grandma had on the washing machine on her back porch, but having gotten a hand stuck in one of those once I can attest that they can do some damage.

Speaking of damage, check out Hadley going all Malory Archer on that glass of wine at Ricozzi’s. Girl’s got some pent-up hostility working there. Don’t check her out as much as Mimi’s checking out Jaquan, though. That would be awkward. Hadley manages to steer the chat toward something Gil’s more comfortable with… sportsball. Here comes the pivot to the tale of Tiki Jansen – the one we’ve all sussed out will be about Hadley doin’ some fierce lawyerin’ to get the Jansens into Trey Davis’ house, open a satellite office of her firm in Milford, and convince the Memphis Grizzlies New Orleans Pelicans Charlotte Hornets team Jaquan plays for to move there as well.

Summer’s in full swing here. Break out your beverage of choice, sit back, relax and see how this all falls out.

Added the Ricozzi’s Pizza tag, will apply it retroactively as time permits.

July 10, 2019

Of Bulls and Talking Horses

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I recall having a convo a few years ago with mrs. teenchy* and her late grandmother, a woman born before the US entry into World War I and who nearly lived long enough to see the centennial of the Great War’s start. We were talking about TV and mrs. teenchy asked her grandma if she ever watched The Lawrence Welk Show. “Heck no!” replied grandma, “that show’s for old people!” In her mind, Lawrence Welk’s target demographic was people born in the 19th century.

Previously I’d speculated that Gil Thorp‘s target audience might be people who read GRIT, but now it’s clear: it’s people who are old enough to have watched Mr. Ed**. But yay continuity, if in name only. Visually, it’s another Ed that’s getting the shout-out.

It just dawned on me that it’s never been established which NBA team Jaquan plays for. Today’s strip establishes that he does not play for the Bulls, so the color version of the July 4 strip is just flat out wrong. Blazers maybe?

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It also establishes that lawyer Ed V. Baxendale has become kinda clueless. He should have some idea of the average partner salary in Chicago, even if those average salaries are a bit depressed due to “the city’s historic practice of making lawyers partner at a younger age.” The upshot is that Jaquadley has enough disposable income (and, probably, no student loans) to own multiple properties, including pretty much anything in Milford. Also pretty clueless of him to think that Hadley would have to leave her job for the sake of the relationship. Pretty sexist, too, but that’s par for the course*** in the Thorpiverse.

*Yes, Virginia, there is a mrs. teenchy. Shocking, I know.

**Hey, remember when Mr. Ed took BP with the Dodgers? Wouldn’t a horse playing for the Mudlarks have been more interesting than that TCFS nonsense this past spring?

 

***That’s the only golf reference you’ll be reading here for some time.

July 5, 2019

Old Home Week? More Like Old Home Summer

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Picking up a few of the pieces of the meet-cute backstory from yesterday. TWIM old-timers, you may want to fast-forward through this (or read this kinda summary from two summers ago).

In 2005 Jaquan Case, then playing for Bishop Tardy, was under pressure to turn pro straight out of high school. The pressure was coming from his Uncle Rudy, who was Jaquan’s guardian after the death of both of his parents, and from the sporting goods company Tronix (which would rear its head years later by sponsoring a football camp for college prospects). Meanwhile Hadley V. Baxendale, spawn of lawyers, was making her case that the Lady Mudlarks weren’t getting the perks and attention that the boys’ team was getting. Gil shot Hadley’s demands down whilst manspreading, except the one for letting the girls have the gym on a Friday night because the boys wouldn’t be using it.

After meeting Jaquan in Gil’s office (where he ducked his handler to study), Hadley decided that she needed to help Case make his case to postpone his NBA plans and go to college. With then-boyfriend Steve Luhm’s help, Hadley arranged a meeting between Jaquan, Gil, and Hadley’s lawyer father, Ed (what is it with lawyers named Ed in the comics?) who confirmed that Jaquan’s dealings with Tronix wouldn’t harm his college eligibility. Turned out Rudy could fail and Jaquan could go to college.

As a way of thanking Hadley for helping him make his case, Jaquan pulled some strings and had Tronix send new practice jerseys and game unis to the Lady Mudlarks, who proceeded to work their way through the playdowns against several teams from the Philly suburbs. What Jaquan still thought he owed Hadley is best left to the imagination.

Hello, TWIM readers. We’ve come to the point in this post where those who didn’t read through all of this will have to stand up, or sit down and scroll down the page. In fairness to those readers, we’ll now take a few seconds before we begin side two.

 

 

Thank you. Here’s side two.

Once again Gil reminds us that Milford is a man’s man’s man’s world. He can’t be bothered by such trivia as wedding dates and locations, knit hats, rally hippos, merit badges, and winning ball teams. Those spatula-shaped second-degree burns on the back of his hand might bother him, though.

Oh look, another old character pops in this summer to make us forget about golf.  This time we don’t have to go back a decade and half but only a few months to revisit the tale of Tiki Jansen. You’ll recall Tiki was a New Thayer football player who wanted out of New Thayer because he was being bullied there, so his fam rented an apartment in Milford to give him a fake address and let him play there. Looks like the Jansens are keeping up this charade but the MHS School Board has no interest. How do these plot lines come together? Probably by letting Hadley get in some pro bono work.

July 3, 2019

Jaquan Muffed a Pass But He Couldn’t Pass a…

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Aww, time for the meet-cute (more specifically, the meet-again-cute).  Over dishes stolen from the Coffee Cantina, Gil pretends to care about how Jaquadley hooked up. Deep into his second round of Long Island iced tea, he starts to slump in his chair as Hadley – thankfully not referring to herself in the third person – goes into flashback mode.  Guessing the rounded frame corners are Whigham’s shorthand for a flashback, not going full Batiuk with sepia tones and photo album corners.

Given Rubin’s poor pacing abilities, I have no clue how long he will drag this flashback out. If it ends up with Steve Luhm peering angrily through the Milford CC dining room windows before being tossed out on his ear, it might hold my interest.

 

March 27, 2019

“And we care because?” could be this blog’s motto

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Well, that explains everything, doesn’t it?  The big “RIN” in the sign behind Andre’s head yesterday was short for “RINK,” which Milford has one of, apparently.  (Of course it does. How else could kids practice for skating at the Winter Blast in Central City? And why hasn’t ice hockey ever been a thing in Milford?)  Andre watched his little sister – odd hand gesture meant to signify “little” – skate and saw a group of synchronized skaters perform*. On his way home he got his cheek pierced and had that shark tooth he found at the beach on summer vacation mounted on a stud.

Oh, yeah, one of the synchronized skaters is also one of Mimi’s softball players.  Heaven forbid she prioritize something else over Milford High sportsball!  Prepare for multiple strips shaming poor Molly Hatchet off the ice and onto the diamond.

*I’m sorry, but every time I read “synchronized skating” I thought “synchronized swimming” and could only picture Harry Shearer and Martin Short in that old SNL skit.  Skate away, that’s all.

March 16, 2019

In Kaz We Trust, kinda

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Don’t look now, y’all, but I think Rollen Stewart has broken out of jail!  He left his sign next to Kaz and David Walter and is on the lam.

Between the close talking, face and shoulder touching and Kaz’s uncomfortable leer, I’d say Kaz and Gil have been noticing David pretty hard so far.  Let’s hope it’s only ground balls that hit him in the face.

Today’s strip doesn’t advance the plot much, but it does raise the possibility that we finally get a scrappy athlete who’s not a complete self-absorbed douchebag.  Is that too much to hope for?

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