This Week in Milford

July 31, 2021

Summers in Milford Are Like Deodorant

sandbagger (n.) – one who conceals abilities or assets at first in order to gain tactical advantage later.

John Jawor is back, looking like he’s dropped a few pounds since we last saw him. That’s not all he’s dropped: there’s also the heavy hint that Carter Hendricks is a sandbagger on the links at the MCC. I freely admit I’m no golfer, so I don’t know the veracity of this explanation of the origins of the term “sandbagging.” However, if one of Hendricks’ patsies gets wind of what’s been going on and breaks his thumbs, I won’t be disappointed.

The only violence we’re likely to see is the awkward crashing together of this summer’s disparate plot lines. Will Gil and Marjie hatch a secret plot to have Heather Burns go undercover as an easy mark for Hendricks in a coed scramble? I’m about as eager to find out as I am to watch the rest of baseball season.

July 9, 2021

Everybody Wins, Except the Readers

Putting up today’s post is more painful than watching Max Scherzer giving up a salami to a Padres reliever just up from the minors during his 7-run meltdown last night in San Diego. That means it’s pretty painful.

A lot of folks called this one, with both Zane and Abel getting a seat on the Milford Library Board either through board-packing or attrition. I’m not gonna waste a whole lot of brain cells trying to fill in the blanks to make this plot make any kind of sense. I will, however, point out that this is the weakest use of Thorpian persuasion for someone’s benefit we’ve seen in some time. Funny how quickly dude rolled over for Gil, especially after Gil told him in so many words that his grandson sucked at baseball.

Did anyone really think Zane’s run for the Board was anything other than symbolic, an effort to keep Abel from being able to gut the library’s funding and resources? Did anyone seriously think the kid was gonna have time to actually serve on the board, between having to study for classes to having to support his family working two jobs and, oh, yeah, to attempt to play baseball? Maybe Gil truly did, since he knew Zane, having only played his freshman and senior years, was no stud on the ball field and wouldn’t have any scholly offers coming his way. Nope, looks like the Milford Library Board is as high as Zane can reach, since his post-graduation prospects haven’t been mentioned at all.

Good thing Gil stuck his neck out for Zane like that. It’s not quite getting him re-accepted at State U after failing to stand up for him over a little thing with a butter knife, but a man’s gotta know his limits.

July 3, 2021

Plot Pacing Is Hard, Too

I realize the Allen Funt/Candid Camera references are my colleague T. Drew’s thing but between yesterday’s and today’s strips I’m left wondering whether Kaz has been playing the long game by goading Gil into meddling with aspects of Milford society that are outside his wheelhouse until he finally gets himself caught in a trap he can’t walk out of. Swaying Allen Funt’s vote on the Library Board by bribing him with pie* doesn’t rise to Abscam levels but it’s a slippery slope from there to sexual favors for invitations to the Milford CC. Then Kaz will have sprung the trap that leads to him getting named Head Coach of all Milford boys’ sportsball teams and athletic director. No more moonlighting as a bouncer and mooching off Kelly Krystek for him then, nosireebob.

Just what kind of skids are being greased here, anyway? Have the codgers on the Library Board realized there’s no logical way they could let the Clark kid have the seat, no matter how strong his arguments are for preserving the status quo? Aren’t there enough of them already on the board to shoot down every Brito proposal and make him look like a jerk – which is SOP for him, anyway – in the process? And, as so many of you gentle readers have commented over the past several weeks, why couldn’t these decisions have been made almost immediately after Zane’s and Abel’s presentations before the board?

Because Rubin doesn’t know how to wrap a story arc up neatly anymore, that’s why. Corina’s college predestination could’ve been wrapped up last weekend and this nonsense the weekend before that, freeing Neal and the Chief to dive into some summer hijinks featuring a Milford alum and some non-revenue sport.

*Have you noticed how easily people in the Thorpiverse are swayed by free food? From Corina Karenna and the other Valley Mod kids last spring to this Allen Funt/Ed Asner lookalike, the offer of eats gets folks in the Valley to do one’s bidding cheap.

late-breaking metapost: Apparently American pies, like so many other things in America, are in crisis; according to this Washington Post editorial, store-bought pie crusts are to blame. I will own up to having used them, including for my start-of-the-pandemic sour orange pie, but I will not own up to having caused America to lose its way.

In any event, I encourage you to read the linked WaPo editorial (which showed up in my feed after the box score to yet another Nats loss, but also owes a tip of the hat to faithful TWIMer vaganova). You’ll learn much about the history of pie and its influence on American culture and probably be more entertained than by reading a week’s worth of Gil Thorp strips. It may even influence you to bake a pie to honor our country’s independence.

May 8, 2021

Color Me Inconsistent

Yesterday and Thursday it was Zane changing outfits from one panel to the next (not to mention Katy’s eyes changing from blue to brown). Before that, it was Mama Brito’s constantly color-changing hair. Today it’s the always-red Mudlarks in black and chartreuse. There’s a lack of institutional control in the Thorpiverse and it’s throwing everyone for a loop. Hell, even Marty’s so pissed that his notebook is bleeding out onto his shirt and he’s karate chopping his pencil. Then again, his sippy cup’s nowhere to be seen so he might just be having a case of the DTs.

The Mudlarks have apparently traveled to Austin, Texas, to face Crockett. (There are no doubt other Crockett Highs; as this one hasn’t been identified by nickname yet, I reserve the right to come back and edit this post.) After his shaky bullpen outing, Zane Clark has somehow earned a right to a start, and he almost immediately goes all Robin Roberts Max Scherzer and gives up a gopher ball. He’s not throwing strikeouts like Mad Max, unfortunately.

Gil and Kaz laugh this off Bull Durham style. Surprised Kaz didn’t make a crack about the ball having a stewardess.

They must figure if Zane digs a hole early, he can’t blow a lead.

Seriously, though. There has got to be someplace that still runs this strip in black and white, doesn’t there?

April 7, 2021

Two Nights – and One Mouth – Running

In the days before the Internet when dinosaurs roamed the earth and yhs was a teenager, part of my weekday routine during sportsball season involved walking uptown from the high school to the public library after classes ended, studying and doing my homework there, then walking back to the high school for late afternoon/early evening sportsball practice. After practice I either hitched a ride home with an older teammate who had his license and lived near me or called my folks from a pay phone at the convenience store nearest the high school and waited there for them to come pick me up. (Oftentimes dinner on those nights would consist of a Stewart hot sandwich and a Coke with salted peanuts in it. Training table of champions.) Same thing applied on game days/nights, though my folks almost always came to games even when I wasn’t a starter or guaranteed to see any playing time.

Guess what I’m trying to say is that the public library’s busiest hours don’t always come in the evenings. Not that it matters to old culo rojo Abel here. Nope, if that place ain’t hummin’ when he’s there, it ain’t hummin’. Speaking of which, why isn’t he there during normal business hours if he needs online access for work? Pulling on his widow’s peak to make it peakier? Oh wait, the pandemic hasn’t hit the Thorpiverse and neither has the concept of working remotely (though that’s what Abel’s doing at night, isn’t he?).

I’m sure that router will be delayed by another day – long enough for Sr. Brito to go back to the library and find out from Dr. Pearl-with-a-dye-job that there’s an opening on the Milford Library Board which he can fill. (Damned if this comic strip isn’t filled with boards and board meetings! You’d think Milford’s adults would find other ways to make life difficult for their children pass their time.) He’ll be slashing budgets and locking doors in no time flat.

Not sure what Sra. Brito is reading but it could be one of many books titled Blue Moon or this. Wonder if she got it at the library.

April 2, 2021

Zane the friendly ghost

Filed under: baseball, hideous scar faces, softball — robmize2013 @ 4:57 pm

Our new, old face is none other then Zane Clark, who is a pitcher, hasnt played in 3 years, and is bigger. Well shit. Show me someone who isnt bigger as a senior then he was as a freshman. I was 5’2″ and grew to 6 feet by senior year, putting on about 55 pounds. And I couldnt play baseball, save for a brief career in little league.

How the hell does Gil just put him on the team after not seeing him throw in 3 years?? Yeah he’s well rested, but dude– there’s something called TRYOUTS that you need to attend, whether youre Dizzy Dean or Dazzy Vance. Even has a damn uniform already. Freshman baseball is a world different from varsity as well. Im sure he loves those red unis — 99% of the world uses white or gray pants with a red top. Not Milford. And who wears their uniform to practice for the thousandth time?? Well– no numbers on these dreds so maybe thats the difference. I can see he has the same mitt he did 3 years ago– it barely fits his hand. My first practice in t-ball one of the kids came up, looked at my pint sized glove and said -“Here– want a bigger mitt?” So I can relate.

So if ol Zane gets lit up in Game 1, dont say I didnt warn you Gil!

Zane 2018 aint Zane 2021. Good thing he waited til 7 weeks before graduation to show up. Almost burned up his eligibility dicking around for 3 years. Put him in the bullpen until he shows he can come to practice every time, let alone walk in and grab a uniform.

Meanwhile we find out Katy Brito and Zane are seeing each other. Or were. Love the use of ‘ghost’ as its a fairly modern slang term for ghosting– not responding to messages or texts etc. Rubin certainly has been around the kids lately to be using that word. I guess the spring storyline will be about these 2 lovely folks. Methinks the Ghost is the one who turns out to be the weirdo of the two.

March 28, 2021

Two Douches and a Four-speed and a 389

What have we learned today, TWIMers?

  1. Doug Guthrie’s favorite NASCAR racing family? The Pettys.
  2. Vic Doucette was seen by drove a Plymouth Satellite faster than the speed of light.
  3. When it comes to teaching your kids how to drive, Doug’s dad got it all wrong. Kid sits on dad’s lap, steers and shifts while dad works the pedals and takes hold of the steering wheel as necessary.
  4. Thanks to #3, Gil Thorp is the strip that has come the closest to a depiction of road head since For Better or for Worse introduced the bizarre term “going roadside.”
  5. A girl rejecting a guy for his grandpa van? Bad. Said guy catcalling said girl? A-OK!

I guess this wack-ass approach to putting Vic behind the wheel of a cool ride is cheaper than pimping out Vic’s van or fitting hand controls to Doug’s GTO. Style points to Whigham for getting the ’66 Goat interior close to correct, adding a column-mounted tach even if he defaulted to the cliched 8-ball gearshift knob.

Honestly this strip doesn’t feel like any kind of arc-ender, much as we might want it to be. If it is, a metapost might be in order.

meta: Well I’ll be darned; it is the arc-ender. Can you say “anticlimactic”? Sure, I knew you could. The post title is, of course, an homage to the second line of “Little GTO.”

February 17, 2021

All About Shoes

Hey kids! Today you’re gonna get an installment of teenchy’s True Life Stories!

Back in the day when dinosaurs roamed the earth your old pal teenchy drove a ’66 Ford Mustang. These days ’66 Mustangs are considered classics almost on a par with Doug Guthrie’s GTO, but when I owned one it was a just a nice used car. While I was away at college I had a minor fender bender with it, requiring the replacement of the left front fender, the front bumper, and a headlight bulb. Not long after the repairs were done I drove back home to see the folks and let them see how well the repairs had been done. I brought a friend with me and that Saturday night we barhopped. On the way back home, much like ol’ Doug here, I saw the flashing blue lights behind me; unlike Doug, I thought I might be spending the night somewhere other than in my own bed.

Instead of “License and registration, please,” the first words the state trooper drawled to me were “Son, who painted yer car?” Stunned, I asked him to repeat himself, whereupon he proceeded to admire my Mustang’s paint job and its overall condition. I sheepishly admitted to the recent accident and repair and told him the name of the shop that had done the work. The trooper replied, “Well, they did a nice job, but I believe they forgot to hook up yer headlight when they finished up. I’m giving yew a warning and telling yew to hook them wires back up when it gets daylight in the mornin’. Yew’l see my name and badge number on that warning; if yew ever want to sell this car call the barracks and ask for me.”

Sure enough, the next morning I popped the hood and saw the left headlight connector and wiring harness dangling on the inner fender just below the sealed beam unit. I eventually sold the ‘stang but I never did call that trooper, though.

I’m guessing Doug’s having a similar experience with old Officer Wilbon here, but I’m a little confused about the tires comment. The Flowmasters probably let the Tri-Power 389 breathe a bit better but top end is as much a function of gearing as it is of horsepower. Doug might be implying that if the Goat were to run a little faster, he might have to replace its shoes with a set having a higher speed rating. Finding tires in the correct size for older cars is getting harder and more expensive by the day as manufacturers focus production on higher-volume sizes for current models. How that factors into Doug’s decision isn’t clear, and neither we nor Tom Muench have time for that, so off we go to Milford High and hoops practice.

Sorry for rambling on about my youth and the vagaries of classic car tires, but I figure it had to be at least as interesting as watching Tom and Doug awkwardly run laps for being late to practice. (Doug was so distracted he put his sneakers on the wrong feet.) Gil must take comfort knowing the hardwood is one place Clan Guthrie doesn’t lord it over him.

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