This Week in Milford

October 6, 2021

There’s a Certain Aurora Around Milford Volleyball

Tevin Claxton is either shaping up for a career in the diplomatic corps or one as a weatherman, as Boyd Spiller’s constant insults about his so-called “choking” roll off his back like so much rainwater. Time will tell if Claxton’s teammates will take up his case and put Spiller in his place (e.g., taped to a locker). How’s Gil gonna quash this dissent on the football team? He doesn’t have a spunky little libero to tease Boyd over to her house with the promise of her mama’s brownies this season.

Speaking of brownies and snack foods generally, where and when are Tevin and Gordon getting those post-game Blastos? Is this happening Friday night, on the way back from Kettering? Or is it happening early on Saturday, at the Milford Swifti-Mart? I don’t recall my high school sportsball activity bus stopping for food anywhere on the way back from a road game.

On to actual Saturday, early, where Mimi leads a busful of girls to something called “The Aurora Invitational – Powered by Coffee.TM” I suppose Coffee is the paid sponsor for the Aurora Invitational. That looks like Marty Moon’s sippy cup Mimi is clutching, so odds are there’s something else besides coffee in it. How she ended up with Marty’s cup would be a red herring worth exploring.

I’m assuming this is a volleyball thing? The girls are wearing Milford warmups so it’s nothing to do with gymnastics. The only volleyball Aurora Invitational I could find online was a tournament in Missouri over a decade ago. Pity it’s not in Illinois; Mimi could treat the girls to a round of Stan Mikita’s Donuts with that coffee.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c-LRR2cYqY

meta: Thanks to Ned, tdrew and rob for rearranging the deck chairs to cover for my absence on Saturday. Sorry so late with today’s post. Juggling too many things at work.

September 22, 2021

#blownoffthorp

So much for that breather! The Mudlarks slow things down so much that night turned into day. Milford scores 13 more points after switching from the vaunted Delaware Wing-T and hangs half a hundred on Oakwood. It’s a wonder Tod Andrews (that is Tod, innit?) isn’t giving Gil a piece of his mind for running up the score on his hapless Owls.

Up in his crate, Evil Spock Marty gleefully calls the game. No doubt he believes Marjie Ducey’s departure to warmer pastures has cemented Milford’s status as his town. Marty had better keep his head on a swivel, though, since Heather Burns is on the scene quicker than you can tweet #radioisadyingmedium.

Heather’s thumbs are quicker than Marty’s lungs, and her approach to sports reporting is fresher than Shane Beamer’s postgame presser after the Georgia-South Carolina game. She’s got no time for Gil’s old man football coachspeak; she’s off to track down the man of the hour, Chance “Don’t Call Me Blowtop” Macy, and give him a squeeze.

Careful where you grab Chance, Heather: five years’ age difference might not mean much to the cruisers at Barney’s Pub (speaking of Evil Spock Marty) but when it’s a recent high school graduate and a high school senior, well, let’s just say it’s not always looked upon kindly.

September 17, 2021

Oakwood is chanting Kill Gil!

Filed under: actual action, football, hideous scar faces — robmize2013 @ 10:05 pm

I dont know about you, but a bonfire/pep rally isnt exactly the time to roll out the visualization techniques. Boyd still gets the throng wound up, and its on to the game, where the QB steps on the running backs foot, causing a fumble on Saturday for sure.

August 28, 2021

He Made Her an Offer She Could Refuse

The transformation is well under way. Heather has swapped her slightly orange-tinged hair color for Marjie’s light blonde. Now she just needs to get her ponytail lopped off and shaped into a bob and then, after a visit to Milford Opticians, no one will know the difference.

Of course Gil sees Heather’s new role as a blessing in disguise; he’ll neither have to provide her a concessions stipend nor defend to the Mudlark Booster Club his decision to put a woman on his football coaching staff. Still that doesn’t stop him from trying to hit her up for volunteer work. “Are you kidding?” Heather must be thinking. “Your pay is so bad, you not only have to teach little kids golf in the summertime, you have to go stock shelves at Target afterwards!” (Seriously, never wear a red polo shirt when shopping at Target.)

Thankfully we can put this dud of a summer plot behind us – a plot that, except for the writing out of Marjie Ducey, was as boring and predictable as the high-five from Gil that Heather can return with her eyes closed.

What a poor sendoff for Marjie, huh? I’m gonna rectify that in a separate post.

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?

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