This Week in Milford

August 2, 2018

Remember When Concussions Were A Big Deal In Milford?

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Here’s the exposition strip we’ve all come to know and love.  To say Gil isn’t up for this is an understatement, as evidenced by his half-hearted attempt to slit his own throat.

Alright, let’s get down to it.  Nobody’s heard of these two jabronis before because they were soccer players.  As we know in the Thorpiverse, playing soccer gets you nowhere and gives you ideas that you can do other things.  Then again, maybe that’s the concussions talking.  Maybe Heather Burns took one too many balls to the head and that made her think she could be a trainer a tight end The Quarterback Whisperer.  I seem to recall a whole story arc revolving around concussions and their impact.  Oh yeah, that was a football arc.  Since we’re talking soccer here it’s only worth one panel.

The Real Wilson Casey was a star tennis player. This could easily have been a summer tennis arc but that would have warped our fragile little minds.

There have been many Tony Pauls.  I’d like to think this one is a shout-out to the industrial designer, but more than likely it’s to the Detroit News sportswriter, given the Michigancentricity of Rubin’s world.

John Jawor wears the same middle-aged white guy face that Del Bader, Wildcat Maris, Father of True Standish, and countless other middle-aged white guys in Milford have worn.  Wouldn’t it have been more interesting if Whigham had drawn him to look more like the real John Jawor?

On that note, here’s an interview with The Real John Jawor.  Maybe it’ll be more interesting than this August plot. One thing’s for sure: The Real John Jawor would’ve told those kids to keep their elbows straight by now.

 

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June 28, 2018

Going Crazy Is A Kind Of Progress

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Were any of you as surprised as I was to find out that The Secret Pelwecki is the The Secretly Not Such a Bad Student Pelwecki?  No?  I know there’s a trope name for giving a character some hidden talent or strength that had heretofore not been shown, but it’s already mid-morning here and I don’t have time to go down the rabbit hole that is TV Tropes to find it.

Speaking of not going down rabbit holes to find info, who is this unnamed coach at State U to whom Gil is putting in a call on Pelwecki’s behalf?   The glimpse of a #1 banner from last decade suggests that he, like Gil, may be cruising on past glories.  Based on yesterday’s convo with flirty Counselor Dern, Gilberto (looking a little off-model today, kinda like a younger Mojo Nixon sans sideburns) will probably try to talk The Coach Who Shall Not Be Named into letting the ‘Weck walk on.  Maybe Gil should ask him if he’s talked to John Pascoe lately.

It’s not like we’ll find out anytime soon ’cause we’re headed back into the Trumpet office to find out what progress Dafne’s made on the Ballad of the Blameless Baders, i.e., very little.  I’m beginning to think Dafne’s serving as Rubin’s author avatar here: both having painted themselves into a corner pursuing an angle on a story that’s unlikely to get published in a school newspaper IRL, they’re making themselves a little crazy trying to figure out a way to polish this turd.

 

June 21, 2018

Poor Poor Pitiful Del

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Abandoning analysis of the absurdities that let a high school student have a conjugal visit with meet and interview an inmate to whom she is not related, let’s focus on what’s being said instead.  Dafne’s casual side eye can only mean one thing: “Now I know where Barry gets it from.”  Nothing is ever the fault of Bader père et fils.

Del’s prison ‘do reminds me of someone else’s but I’m not sure whose. Anyone?  He started sporting a variation of it while he was in county lockup awaiting sentencing.  Del’s lawyer pretty much sucked there, but did clue Del in that he was most certainly not the victim.  So just what kind of bad publicity has Del been getting?  Has anyone else written about him in the Trumpet, the Milford Star, or the Industrial Solvent Sales Monthly?  Sandra Bader been badmouthing him in her Tinder profile?

Since Thursdays have become Rock ‘n Roll Thursdays here in TWIM land, the commentariat will appreciate the inspiration for today’s post.

June 2, 2018

Bombs Away, Kevin – er, Barry

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Milford, USA

June 2, 2018

 

Head Baseball Coach

Vacuum Cleaner Repair School

Sucksville, USA

 

Dear Head Baseball Coach:

You better come out here and get this slugger. He just changed his launch angle and he’s hit four home runs in five games and he strikes out once in a while. His home run trot is so good that he has to ask his teammates if he needs to slow it down a little. All he does is adjust his launch angle a sixteenth of an inch, then gives the ball a ride, which leaves his bat looking like a little white bullet, over the fence by 40 feet, easy. He’s a big, 18- or 19-year-old fellow like I told you before (I think), and if you don’t hurry up someone will sign him and he will be the best sluggerer that ever lived. He hits harder than Elmer Vargas or Bryce Larkin ever did, and his hair is greasier than Andrew Gregory’s. He knows where he’s hitting because if he didn’t there would be dead bodies strewn all over Milford.

Oh, wait, scratch that. I was thinking of my second baseman’s old man. Anyway, get out here and check him out before he changes his mind and decides he wants to be a quarterback, or a fullback, or an astronaut or something.  Gotta run – the local sports jock’s got a case of Johnnie Walker waiting for me for pulling his nuts out of the fire and saving his job.

Your pal,

Gil Thorp

Head Baseball Coach (such as it is)

Milford High School Mudlarks

 

*apologies nameless Idahoan

May 19, 2018

Holy Smokes! Marty’s Back!

Filed under: actual action, baseball, Gil Thorp, hideous scar faces, Marty Moon — teenchy @ 2:14 pm

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One of the common pet peeves here at This Week in Milford is the passage of time in the Thorpiverse and how rarely the school year and sports seasons parallel neatly with those in real life. For example, while the Mudlarks are playing what appears to be their second game of the season, high schools in the US have completed their regular seasons and the College World Series is less than a month away. Given that this is the first appearance of Marty Moon since he was given an additional two-week suspension and roasted by Gil on his way out the WDIG door, I want to say two weeks in Milford pass like a month in real time. Of course time dilation is fluid and by the end of next week we could be looking at a playdown scenario.

Me, I’m just waiting to hear what Marty has to say when Jorge Padilla comes to bat. Anyone else feel cheated that Rubin didn’t give us Marty’s on-air mea culpa?

Anyhoo, let’s focus on the action.  Looks like Pelwecki found his missing 1/16 of an inch.  I think I figured out how he found it; he’d been wearing #30 up to this point but now he’s switched to lucky #13.  Our cliffhanger comes at the other end of Barry Bader’s sharply hit ground ball.  Barry’s been a bit tetchy since Dafne set Jay Bhatia on him and got all up in his face about his dad; he’s a firecracker waiting to go off.  Maybe there’ll be a close play at first and Barry will give us that Jimmy Piersall moment I’ve been waiting for for the past two years.

May 8, 2018

Give me 40 acres and I’ll turn this plot around

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She’s back!!!!! Marjie Ducie is back to prime the pump then, like any catalyst, disappears into thin air while the final product sputters to the finish line. Well this time, she learned some valuable pitching lessons that she can take back to her other dimension. Really, once she reaches the end of the Time Tunnel, she can race over to Yankee Stadium (hey, they love baseball in other dimensions too) and ply her trade. Yup, that changeup oughta complement her cut fastball, curve, and forkball. Keep ’em offstride, Marjie. Be sure those Ultra-dimension batters won’t know what’s comin’ next. Because once they got you timed, they start hittin’ ’em back in Gil’s World. Wise to add another pitch to your repertoire.

And I took algebra in high school. I barely remember the Transitive Property but still, who says you won’t need this stuff in real life? Without my caring teacher patiently explaining this principle, it’d be days before I’d put 2 & 2 together and come up with 5′ 8″. No wild guesses needed. I could patiently work through the problem and apply it to a real life scenario (hmmm, this is Thorpiverse, oh, just work with me). Thanks, Teach!!!!! You’ve equipped me to slay the dragons.

And what the hell does height differential have to do with what Pitch is being thrown which I wouldn’t be terribly surprised Thorpiverse is implying? Sure, impress us with your baseball knowledge, Thorpiverse, and hope to God we don’t put 2 & 2 together and come up with 5’8″ that it’s all smoke and mirrors. Okay, Gil, I’ll concede Mudlark Baseball is in real trouble if Van Auken attempts to pitch a knuckleball to a catcher who’s 3’5″. Passed balls all game long because this catcher had no vertical leap and Oakwood is up, 10-0, before the crow flies. So go ahead and wow us with height differential, Gil. Even if it really has nothing to do with your discussing the battery, we’ll play along. CYA, Coach.

Anyway, I’ve got some Dave Dudley on tap while Gil and Marjie sit at the bleachers going over late-game situations.

Ridin’ on this plotline

Trapped in a hamster’s cage

I feel like Dennis Weaver

Chased down by a psycho’s rage

Wish I could shake that truck right

Down the cliff and out of sight

6 months of this plot

and I’m-a gonna go berserk tonight

BTW, I realize, by my count, 6 months from now leads into November. 6 weeks might have been more realistic. But by the end of June, this plot is over(don’t hold your breath) and we have filler space to fill with what? More Marty time at the Milford Lounge? Nah, drag this one out ad astra and hope for the best. Maybe something’ll kick in and make sense and we’ll get off this Wheel and reach Nirvana. We’ll have overlapped to football by then.

Gang, I don’t know WHAT I did to deserve this. Do I need to change religions? Was it because I slept in and missed Sunday School last week? Put S & H Green Stamps in the offering plate? Used the F-word in the Benediction Prayer? Well, I’ll admit the last one probably explains why I’m hopelessly riding in this semi, not knowing who the driver is, the Hand of Fate having drawn a curtain between me and whoever’s behind the steering wheel. I’m stuck in this Freightliner headin’ down this endless black ribbon and I have no clue where the heck it’s going. And to add insult to injury, we’re recycling characters from the past (Moose, Daffy Duck, BB) as if regurgitating them will improve the product, or the plot. Oh, that’s right, dig that lamp you threw out on Trash Day from the Milford City Dump, take it home, put in the den, plug it in and see if it’ll help you read when you’re scoping the racing forms in order to bet on the winning horse. Kentucky Derby was founded on said principles.

Nice view of the Rocky Mountains, if nothing else. Is that Pike’s Peak?

Comin’ into Milford

Steering this plot into HellThe trailer’s runnin’ empty

And Daffy Duck’s not writing so well

The story’s bad and nobody cares

The Trumpet’s gettin’ itchy and scared

6 months of this plot

and I’m-a gonna lose my mind tonight

Here I am at the Milford Truck Stop. I heard the 3-Piece Fried Chicken Special is to die for. You get 2 breasts and a wing plus 2 sides and you don’t gotta worry about your Visa card maxing out. Omigod, Jay Bhatia wouldn’t show up at a greasy spoon and report my credit woes to The Trumpet, would he? Would he stoop that low? I did call the Milford Credit Bureau and got a forbearance for a couple of months, so there, Jay, print that in The Trumpet and smoke it. Anyway, drinks are extra. And I think I’ll have the breaded okra and macaroni & cheese. By God, breaded okra will put hair on your chest and help you swing the bat better. And all that grease from the chicken breasts? I think Moose applied a healthy dose to his hair. Otherwise, the rest was donated to the Milford Pantry.

Jay’s pumpin’ information

Trying to get the scoop of his life

Thank God he never caught wind

That Gil was cheatin’ on his wife

Hold the door and let this thing fly

Kiss off Barry Bader goodbye

6 months of this plot

and I’m-a gonna pull my hair tonight

Gang, since Marty’s been suspended, SOMEBODY has to take his place. I’ve been watching the Mudlarks on the portable TV in the cab while gettin’ my kicks on Route 66. I just heard Hawk Harrelson the other day:

“Daffy Duck, SHE GONE!!!!!!!! And after 6 innings, the  White Sox lead the Mudlarks, 7-1. We’ll take a commercial break, this is Chicago White Sox Baseball on WGN.”

“Coach Thorp was in disarray as to what diamond ring to buy Mimi before he got married. He was caught in the black market and all he got for his efforts was a swirlie. I was helpless to bail him out. Hi, I’m Sid Andrews, owner of the Milford Diamond Company. If my last name sounds familiar, yes, my brother is Tod Andrews, now coaching all the Oakwood teams, including the rowing team. And let me row you into something that will last a lifetime, a diamond with all the bells and whistles that tells that Special Someone “It’s forever, Love”. When I saw Gil trying to exchange his Marine Discharge Papers for a wedding ring at the Milford Pawn Shop, I threw him a lifeline and got him out to the shopping center parking lot. We put the Discharge Papers under the seat cushion in his car. Thank our lucky stars his Papers were not authorized by a Notary Public or the sale would be final and Gil would be stuck with a stone that got excavated out of Shaft #2 at the Milford Mines. Coal does not bode well at the wedding ceremony. “With this ring…” takes on an entirely different meaning. Fortunately, I showed Gil a wide selection of hand-crafted, sparkling diamonds in many carats and visual claritys, all designed to stay within a teacher-coach’s salary. The friendly staff at Milford Diamond Company knew that Gil hasn’t had a real job in 60 years and odds are, probably never will. Our staff was OK with that. Because they are not working on a commission, they didn’t have to tell Coach Thorp to get a life. A .29 carat, S12 visual clarity diamond ring was shipped FedEx right at Gil’s doorstep, several days before the wedding. Gil did not have to take out another loan and strain his credit plus his Discharge Papers are back in the safe deposit box at Milford Federal. We even paid for the shipping. Everybody was happy.

The Milford Diamond Company. Now Gil has a friend in the diamond business.”

We’re tryin’ to dodge the smokies

Marty’s learning on the job

No Class A license with him

My heart is really starting to throb

He took out an oil tanker rig

Can’t wait till he goes back to ‘DIG

6 days of Marty Moon

and I’m-a doubtin’ I’ll be home tonight

“Harrrrry Carrray, back in Wrigley Field, where the Cubsh are clinging to a 4-3 lead over the Mudlarksh, top of the 8th inning. Here’s Hiawatha Jamesh, the casher, who’s batting .319. Boy, keep thish cookie off the bashes. Say hello to Fred and Marge who are lishining in on KRNT in Des Moines, Iowa, lifelong Cubsh fansh for 35 yearsh. Theresh a pitch, high and away, 1-0.”

“Harry, an interesting stat on Hiawatha James, he hits left-handers a ton, batting .453, and .410 in the daytime. Steve Trout needs to be careful here, Hiawatha can turn on a pitch and with that wind blowing out, he can certainly send one out to Waveland Avenue in a hurry.”

“Boy, Steve, at least Marty didn’t have problemsh with cigar shmoke. Can you put that thing in your pocket? Only the plot shmellsh worsh.”

“Harry, you’re up to your 8th Bud now. How you can smell ANYTHING, let alone this plot, is beyond my comprehension.”

I’d like to put in a word for The Bookworm in Corydon, Indiana. Great people who keep my humor going because I buy a lot of books from them and those books feed me comedy ideas. Being a Western buff, they have an excellent selection of Louis L’Amour works. Hey, That keeps ME coming back for more. If you’re in the neighborhood, check them out. Believe me, it’s great to get some great stuff and people know your name. I’ve been a fan of small businesses forever because, let’s face it, gang, they make the Face of America. The Bookworm is certainly part of that Face.

Okay, gang, it’s your turn. I’m riding into St. Louis where the semi will stop at a terminal and unload this plot. That’ll take forever so I’m here in the Gateway Arch. I’ll be down the chute in about, oh, 3-4 hours if anything interesting develops. Uhhhhh, er, Busch Stadium looks terrific from here.

Arriving in St. Louis

Wishing for this thing to end

Things are getting hopeless

Nothing comin’ ’round the bend

Baseball plot is fixin’ to start

Hope it don’t stink up and fart

6 months of this plot

and I’m-a gonna jump the bridge tonight

Gang, are you in for a treat!!!!! With MAJOR help from timbuys, I just made this post even cheaper and gaudier with this video. Now the music buff in me, I will confess, likes the song and its singer, Dave Dudley. But if we’re burning this plot at the stake, I couldn’t think of a more honky-tonk tune to aid and abet in the cause. This plot’ll be reduced to ashes by midnight tonight, thanks to Mr. Dudley and his crew(gaunt-sounding background singers thrown in for free). And if you look closely, the ghostly looking tanker that was chasing Dennis Weaver all over Milford in the movie “Duel”(I believe Steven Spielberg’s 1st flick) is in this video. You guys have SKEWERED Coach T. and Co. all day. You deserve to be rewarded. Enjoy!!!!

April 22, 2018

Vaya con carne, Martín Luna

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This has to have gone down as the Gil Thorp arc with the least amount of actual sports action ever. It also has to be near the top of arcs requiring the greatest suspension of disbelief. On top of all we’ve had to choke down around Marty, Pirate Boy and the Milford Pirate Network (does one station constitute a network?), now we’re supposed to believe that WDIG has at least three studios? Couldn’t at least one of them held Marty’s substitute, re-creating the basketball games Ronald Reagan style while Marty was suspended?

Marty played his traditional role of designated heel, between making light of the Padillas’ life situation, the gratuitous Mexican food references (intended to woo a potential sponsor but interpreted as “Puerto Ricans/Mexicans are all alike and their cultures all the same”) and the mispronunciation/pissy over-pronunciation in response to criticism. But really, Gil doesn’t come off as much less of a schmuck either. True, he couldn’t have anticipated the tack the MPN took on covering Milford hoops – nor Marty’s blue response to them – but he did in effect goad them on to goad Marty on. His ham-handed efforts at negotiation showed how little he thinks of Milford girls’ basketball and required us to connect the dots and assume Marty’s suspension would turn into termination if Marty didn’t accede.

Finally, Gil’s little dig at Marty in the last panel (yet another in which characters depart via a doorway), meant to remind Marty of the Boricua culture of which he is so ignorant, comes off a bit dickish as well. I’ll admit I like the idea of Marty as Scooby-Doo villain, but wouldn’t that mean he’s actually somebody else under a rubber mask? My money’s on Dr. Pearl.

April 19, 2018

Gil’s Not Alone in Needing Good Ideas

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If you were plugged into the 24/7 news cycle yesterday, you know that much of Puerto Rico has gone dark again. You also know that that didn’t stop The Show from going on… unlike in Pleasantville Milford, where suspending Marty stops the show dead in its tracks.

Rubin is forcing us to connect many dots today as he lurches toward an awkward, tone-deaf ending to this underwhelming, once-promising arc. The first dot is Gil’s acknowledgement that Karina, at his suggestion, instigated the Milford Pirate Boy Network and thus had a hand in bringing about Marty’s suspension. The second dot is that Gil convinced the Padillas’ and Karina’s teacher to let them skip class (he has a history of doing this, y’know) to sit around the most lovingly rendered cafeteria table in comics history and decide on Marty’s penance. The third dot (and maybe several more after that) is that whatever terms the kids decided on were presented by Gil to Pocket Square Sporting Radio Station Manager, who accepted them and delivered them to Marty as an ultimatum – agree to these or you’re fired.

All of this unfolded even more slowly than Boo Radley’s fatal car crash, but faster than the full restoration of Puerto Rico’s power grid. In a world where teens can tweet and stand against social injustice while adults cower and hedge, all of this would’ve played out in the course of a week. We could’ve been treated with two months of Drunken Uber Driver Marty Moon dumpster diving for the dregs of Johnnie Walker bottles and begging for a cameo on Pirate Boy’s YouTube livestream.

So sit back and buckle up for the last few days of this bumpy ride. Me, I’m off in search of some Pudge Coffee. (Seriously. Check it out. Not affiliated with Pudge or his coffee.)

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