This Week in Milford

October 20, 2018

Let’s Hope Gil Doesn’t Bring In Social Services Again


We’ve been down this road before, a little over a year and a half ago to be exact. Nosy classmates stick their noses where they don’t belong, Gil gets wind and the next thing you know another Milford High kid’s getting his family busted up like…uh, well, another family that got busted up.  And what’s up with Andre and Movie Boy Weird Joe Bolek getting so chummy so quickly? (I thought Andre’s first word balloon had an extraneous comma.) Are they gonna turn into this year’s Ken Brown and Mike Granger?

Why should Gil know about Tiki’s excessive tardiness? Is there some unwritten rule that Milford athletes who are chronically late to school get kicked off the team, or suspended for the first half against a cupcake non-conference opponent, or something?  Gil suspended Barry Bader for getting ejected but made him travel with the team; maybe there’s some similar obscure punishment in Tiki’s future. (Sorry, I left this sentence unfinished last night.)

Stranger things have happened, so if this ends with a GoFundMe to replace Tiki’s beater Plymouth with something newer so he can get his sister to school on time, then I’m cool with it. Sorry to keep y’all waiting on today’s post.




October 17, 2018

Milford @ Jefferson: Haiku


The Jeffs are wearing

Helmets that look like Dartmouth’s

Or pencil sharpeners


Another team dressed in

White at home, like the Cowboys

Or Bayou Bengals


When did the players

Stop wearing wristbands and switch

Over to Fitbits?


Tiki Jansen won’t

Be getting torched on this play

Saw that pun coming


But wait, he’s been flagged

For making a reacharound

Not in the shower


Marty Moon cannot

Believe his eyes; dancing ice cubes

In front of floodlights


That’s liquor talking

It’s just some good old lens flare

Lay off the rotgut



October 3, 2018

I came here to snark on bad coaching, not to become a cineaste!


Kaz and Joe stood there and looked at each other in silence for five minutes?  That settles it: Kaz is not salaried faculty or staff but hourly contingent labor. In any universe even remotely based in reality a coach might have given a student 5 seconds – okay, 10 seconds if we’re being generous – to answer before telling them to get out of their office the hallway and go to their next period class, or catch a school bus, or whatever.

As with The Legend of Bagger Vance, I’m not going to rehash the plot of Rififi here. The Wikipedia entry for the film states that “[a]fter he was blacklisted from Hollywood, [Director Jules] Dassin found work in France where he was asked to direct Rififi. Despite his distaste for parts of the original novel, Dassin agreed to direct the film. He shot Rififi while working with a low budget, without a star cast, and with the production staff working for low wages.” Low budget? No stars? Staff working for low wages? We could be talking about the Mudlark football team and its coaching staff.

I’d be okay with the next 28 panels of this strip having no dialogue and just action. You?


metapost: Do any of you loyal readers read TWIM on a smartphone?  I compose it on a Dell laptop with AdBlock Plus installed, but usually read comments during the day on an Android phone. Often when I do, I get spammy popup ads telling “Dear Andriod User” that I have won something or other and which I cannot close or navigate away from without closing my browser.  If anyone else is having those problems, please comment (I mean, in addition to any snark) so we can get to the bottom of this. Thanks.

September 8, 2018

Thay You, Thay Me


Coquettish smiles from Gil?  A “WTF is this?” hand gesture from Kaz?  Towel-snapping incidents in the showers?  Oh yeah, Tiki Jansen’s fitting in, alright.  It’s probably too soon to apply the True Standish Principle to young Jansen but he’s sure to have an impact somewhere before long. His ex-teammates at New Thayer probably won’t be expecting the veer this time.  Maybe Gil will have him help implement Steve Owen’s old umbrella defense, but not until mid-season after the Mudlarks have had their ears pinned back a couple of times.

I just played the Pantheon of Mysterious Objects card on what looks like an outdoor executive office chair behind Kaz or maybe a blocking sled, in which case I’d have expected to see Steve Boone riding it. (edit: Then again, it may be an indoor office chair, with Kaz standing awkwardly in front of it. Thanks, Tim. Text and tags adjusted accordingly.)


September 4, 2018

Watching Milford Football From TV Land

Filed under: Coach Kaz, Coach Shaw, Gil Thorp, hideous scar faces — tdrewhardin @ 4:51 pm





Sent forth on a quest from TV Land

Bringing truth and justice to the landdddddddd

It’s Milkmannnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!


Milkman valiantly comes through the back door, past his arch-nemesis, the Coke machine

Gil sitting dejectedly in front of a pile of Miller Lite cans at the MCC

“Why the long face, Coach Thorp?”

“Oh, the golf plot’s over and I never got to see who won. I was so busy promoting it and giving tons of advice, then I got carried away with my drinking. And now, I’ll never get to enjoy the fruits of my labor.”

“Well, Coach, even though the plot stunk out a rhino’s butt and you needed heavy duty Pampers on that bad boy to stanch the stink, take comfort that the plot was as predictable as the sun rising in the east and that those losers who cheated and couldn’t golf moron status on the IQ meter got what’s coming to them. They had to call a rollback tow truck to haul off the trophy for our heroes.”

“Good deal!!!!!!!!!!!! Wilson and Tony deserve it. What happened to those cheats?”

“They were guillotined in the Milford Public Square at the crack of dawn this morning as part of a purge to eliminate bad boys who push bad plots WAY past the breaking point. “Only ‘Hi, Honey, I’m Home!!!!’ pushed the envelope any further but they were out of Milford’s jurisdiction and the courts could do nothing. I gave them a bottle of skim milk, they smoked their last Winstons, then the priests read their Last Rites. They left the earth in style.”

“What about Mimi? I forgot all about her.”

“Well,  she almost ran off with Gilligan but the Skipper hauled him back due to mutiny and so you get a reprieve. I say a cold bottle of milk on the house plus another quick snort from the Milford Men’s Clinic oughta do the trick.”

“Gee, thanks, Milkman.”

Too late, Milkman is off to help Moose with his batting average.

“That might take a whole case of 2%, Moose.”


Oh, and there’s Coach Shaw, fresh from his tour at the Milford Girls-a-Go Go Club. Does he ever COACH? I’m sure part of the job description is watching game film but you DO play football on the field. Why do I get the feeling that when Milford is playing Oakwood in a driving rain that Coach Shaw is on the computer playing  Electronic Arts XB1 Madden NFL 19.

“Who won?”

“The Raiders.”

“I mean between the Mudlarks and New Thayer!!!!!!!”


Really, I am scratching my noggin attempting the impossible, i.e., remembering when Coach Shaw taught a Mudlark how to block, how to tackle, the proper technique for putting on your jock strap, how to steady the tee so the football won’t fall off on the kickoff, how to do the Ickey Shuffle, the Sack Dance, The Fun Bunch Celebration, REALLY, WHAT IS COACH SHAW’S ROLE ON THE TEAM? What did Gil tell him in the interview process?

“Okay, Game Boy, we’ll start you off watching hours and hours of videotape, then we’ll progress up to a cup of Sanka after 18 hours, then we’ll bring you on the field after Tod Andrews leaves. After 40 years, you’ll know the playbook like the Gettysburg Address.”


“Gilligan, this plot is promulgating obfuscated shards of ambiguous and equivocal minutiae.”

“Yeah, Professor, and it’s pretty confusing too.”


“Don’t tell me how to do my job!!!!!!! I may not have liked getting suspended but I’m getting the hang of this bus thing. It’s like riding a bicycle.”

“But, Mr. Moon, you’re at the Milford Greyhound station.

Ashley Bishop, that one’s for you, My Friend. Keep tutoring the students to greater heights. Your ideas gave me a great deal of inspiration and keeps my blog a-goin’ Who knows, one of your students could take my place. Keep up the great work.


And then there’s the 3 blind mice in P1 which I’m presuming(tread lightly, T. Drew) is the warmup for the football plot. Now why aren’t they watching Nick at Nite like their next-door neighbors in P2? Hey, the family that promotes boring football plots together watch the same programs together. You’re not gonna pull one on us, Thorpiverse. If Coach Shaw, Thorp, Kaz, whosoever’s on the john in Gil’s toilette, have to watch Joe Friday Marathon Night on Tuesday, so do the other 3 people. We’re team around here. You can’t win if you’re not of like mind and purpose. We all stomach another episode of Petticoat Junction or call it a season.

Oh, and then we’re trying to get fancy bouncing around software lingo. Oooooooookkkkk, so Coach Kaz is not a dumb jock and he goes to the Milford Computer Palace when his eyes are not fixed on Monday Night Football. Yeah, there’s an association “Montana, hitting Rice on a slant, at the 45, the 40, the 30, the 20, the 10, TOUCHDOWN!!!!!!!!!! And the 49ers lead 24-21, over Dallas early in the 3rd quarter.”

“Shit, I knew I should have gotten more cartridges. Honey, I’ll be right back.”

“Would you get some milk and bread while you’re out?’

“Sure. Does the Milford 7-11 still close at 11?”

“No, I think they’re on extended hours ’til midnight.”


Nick at Nite presents


A young Dick York is in a typical domicile in Milford. He is getting ready for the Homecoming Game tonight as Milford takes on Goshen

“You want to look dignified, classy, and clean for tonight’s game. But you also want to kick some booty. In other words, you want to look SSSSWWWWWWEEEEEELLLLLL. All right. Let’s begin.

First, be sure your underwear has just come clean out of the dryer. No sense in the nose tackle smelling the stink from your fart stains when you’re in formation. And you don’t want that static cling on your butt(as our young York double-checks his derriere).

Then, take a shower, making sure you use plenty of soap. It’s also a good idea to practice blocking by burying your shoulders against the tile wall(young York with his mouthguard in place, banging the wet walls, causing Dad down below, who’s reading the Milford Enquirer, to wonder what is going on).

Then, brush your teeth. You might lose half of them for tonight’s game, but no referee wants to pick up green teeth. There’s a 15-yard penalty for said offense.

Next, practice the pre-game handshake. You can practice with your dad, grandpa, your neighbor, the mailman, the meter man, the paper boy, your dog. It might not be a good idea to tell the paper boy ‘we’re going to run your ass over with a lawn mower’, but the other said personnage is perfectly acceptable(young York doing pre-game handshake with Lassie and Rin Tin Tin).

Then, practice your tackling. Use the front yard and practice with your girlfriend. When you get smacked a million times from the rejection of your advances, you’ll be ready to tackle The Refrigerator tonight(York displaying black eye and bruises all over his face.)

Oh, you also need to practice running with the football. You’ll have to go to Milford Wal-Mart to shoplift one. You’ll need speed and agility and a good lawyer for this one but if it gets you that late game-winning TD, it was worth a night in jail, plus the fees Dad has to pay the bail bondsman(young York running past the 80-year-old door greeter who’s trying to stop him).

FINALLY, eat a good hearty meal. You can’t play football on an empty stomach. Eat plenty of vegetables and a good steak for the energy you’ll need tonight(young York eating such plus the Chef Boy-R-Dee he’s hiding under the table out of the can).

These things should make you a winner and still be a toady under Coach Thorp’s system. Isn’t that SWWWWEEEEEELLLLLLLL?(As young York rides off with Gil and his family in his Rolls Royce to return to their chateau)”


If ya picketed in front of TV Land’s headquarters and organized a sit-in at the same place because they didn’t have enough huntin’ and fishin’ presentations on Nick at Nite, ya might be a redneck.”











Neil Greenwell, I dedicate the last one to you. You do a great job at UPS and the company is a better store for your efforts. Your cheerful outlook on life is a blessing on me and I KNOW you make your co-workers better by your example. God Bless You, My Man.


“And that wraps up this Tournament. Why Coach T. wasn’t at his own Tournament is beyond anyone’s comprehension. We’ll be back for some final thoughts after this message. You’re listening to WDIG, a division of Lear Field Sports.”


Mimi gets ready for bed, a bed much smaller since Gil returned after his vacation at MCC(See previous post).

She has “It’s Your Thing” from The Isley Brothers blasting from the boom box. She’s gonna be a hot time in the ol’ town tonight.

Until Gil drops his pants. Then she forgets to turn on the oven.

“Gil, are you really up to this? Because that isn’t the case, otherwise.”

“Mimi, I’ve been waiting for this all week. It’s been a Hard Days’ Night and I was sleeping like a log in the MCC locker room.”

“There’s something else that went to sleep and it wasn’t your feet.”

“Mimi, I’ll just take some Nyquil and wait for The Moment. I get a lot more aroused when I’m sleepy and relaxed.”

“It appears something else OD’d on Sominex.”


“What could I say? I was a goner and so was my Significant Other and I don’t mean Mimi. We were both Down in the Hole. Then Wilson and Tony suggested Milford Men’s Clinic. Their fathers had a Lazurus for a weapon as well until they hit the Milford Mall and went down to the place next to Orange Julius. Slurping a Cherry-Lime Fizzy Freeze with an erection at the corner booth. Ummm, ummm, Life is good.”


Two Brits, ina record store one day, sizing up “Emotional Rescue” from The Rolling Stones

“Sooo ‘at’s wher’ they got th’ idea for ‘Doon in th’ ‘ole.”

“Blimey, eye deedn’t now ‘ey were Gil Thorp groupies, ya now?”


Gang, comment away. My Colts are gonna beat Coach Shaw’s team on Game Boy. Luck will be playing this time. Just watch.







Coach Kaz opens the door and catches Gil in his boxers again.

“Gil, is this chronic?”

Gil turns off school intercom

“Hell, Kaz, I couldn’t paddle a kiddie raft to shore with the oar I had yesterday. I couldn’t even get up for ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’. I had to boost my dosage and get this CD from Milford Music Exchange.”


August 2, 2018

Remember When Concussions Were A Big Deal In Milford?


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.


June 28, 2018

Going Crazy Is A Kind Of Progress


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


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.

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