This Week in Milford

April 30, 2022

Marjie Ducey Never Lugged a Monster Camcorder Around. Neither Should You.

If you told me today’s strip had been written and drawn twenty years ago and fished out of a drawer for today, I wouldn’t have been surprised. Wonder what was going on in Milford twenty years ago today? I don’t even think this blog had been started yet.

April 30, 2002

Well whaddaya know, Milford was playing Central then too. The laws of gravity weren’t quite as rigid then as now. Okay, what about ten years ago, then? Well thankfully TWIM was in existence, and we were getting to know young Scooter Borden Jaxxxon Kiser.

Back to the present day and still trying to figure out this nonsense. Amazed to find out there’s an online version of the Star, and that it has employees who are dedicated to capturing video for that online version. That’s probably a lie the editor-in-chief told Heather to cover up the fact that it’s not only payroll but also headcount that’s been slashed since Marjie’s retirement. Probably told her this dinosaur of a camcorder was state-of-the-art, too. How naive is she to think that the “beast” takes better videos than today’s smartphones?

Naive enough to know that the only VHS player in town belongs to the Milford High Athletic Department. Between her and Kaz, they’ll go to the videotape and discover the little ruse G-Hammm, Scooter and Wilson have going on. That’s the only way this strip of anachronistic non sequiturs has any relevance to the plot.

meta: Thanks to tdrew for covering for me on Thursday. I owe you one.

April 23, 2022

Can You Fist Bump in Braille?

The grand scheme is in full swing, and with only three players in on it (oh, and a tennis player but who’s counting? Is she even gonna get a story this spring?) it seems to be working. The big question: how long before someone picks up on it, who will that someone be, and how will they know?

Probably not Marty; he’s too busy with his own chatter. Did he get a new set of choppers after basketball season, or has he been sucking on the sugar cubes he’s been muddling with bitters to make his sippy cup Old Fashioneds?

How about Noah Syndergaard Kaz? Gregg’s awkward return of his fist bump might be a clue. Oh wait; it’s his right-angled approach that’s making it awkward.

Maybe another Mudlark who isn’t in on the plan will figure it out, especially if one of them calls Hamm by name while out in the field. Guess it’s a given he can distinguish Scooter’s voice from his other teammates in the heat of the moment.

You know it won’t be Gil; he’s always the last to know and the pissiest when he finds out.

Nice graffiti by the Chief on the dugout there, BTW.

April 6, 2022

Next Stop: Donut Town. Population: Two.

That box o’ donuts Heather brought Gil yesterday looked like it came from Donut Town. Wonder if Guy Fieri ever stopped in there? Marjie never brought Gil donuts. She never sat that close to Gil, either. No way they’re not playing footsie or more under the desk. Look at those enormous mitts on Heather; they’re as big as Gil’s. No wonder Gil put her in at tight end.

Aren’t you glad the last couple days of incoherence got settled? Wilson Henry is the catcher. Gregg Hamm is one of the pitchers. As for the rest of Neal’s friends on the Mudlark roster, where have we seen them before?

Gonzalo “Gonzo” Aceves, Dallas George and Curtis Charles return from last season. So, for that matter, do Morton Levi (who was a relief pitcher last season), Eldrick Boston, the aforementioned Wilson Henry and “Blowtop” Chance Macy, who has been around since forever. Go to Canada already! Nomar Ramos played basketball this past season, and Steve Lehto played football. Second base is our midweek cliffhanger.

Zane Clark has graduated. Wonder if he’s still on the library board.

In any event, a veteran roster, one with experience in underachieving. Time to sit back and watch the underachieving unfold. Pass me a donut, willya?

February 23, 2022

The Goon Squad, Part Deux

Who didn’t see this coming? Pranit Rock may know how to bet on sports himself but he doesn’t know how to bet for other people (money up front, you dolt!) or how to collect the money he’s fronted for other people. So now someone else besides Gil could use some muscle and, again, that muscle is taking the form of Gordon Achebe.

Gordon’s been bulking up on what look like pickles^ so he should be ready to pound that Budweiser some welchers, including the John Daly clone and… uh… the… tennis betting girl? Nah, I can’t see that happening. Gordon has shown himself to have some amount of common sense since his debut in the strip, and I don’t see that going away here. Pranit Fitness is gonna have to find some other way to collect on his debts. Maybe he can send the mook who’s gonna come after him in a matter of a couple of days.

How did the Mudlarks do against Madison, btw? The boys have played four, five games tops? Did Pranit Hollywood maintain his confidence from behind the three-point line, or did it wilt like his betting prowess? Probably will never know except in exposition.

^ Interesting table manners there. Who takes a bite out of a burger then sets the burger down with that bite facing away from them? For that matter, who palms an apple like, well, a basketball and takes a bite out of it from top to bottom instead of around its circumference? The Chief needs to knock off his fixation on big hands, pointy fingers and clunky jewelry and focus on how live human beings handle everyday objects. Alright, thinking about this nonsense is giving me a headache. I got nothing more intelligent to add to this today. teenchy out.

December 29, 2021

Sweeps Week

All hoops action today as the Milford season opener at All Saints nears the end of regulation. Milford can’t hit treys tonight so they’re gonna have to rely on their inside game to close the deficit. With Ward Korczyk’s layup ( aren’t scores usually called “baskets” and not “hoops”?) off the fast break, the Mudlarks cut the lead to one, 55-54. The setup is for a one-point game either way, which should be resolved tomorrow or Saturday. A non-conference game won’t have any impact on Milford’s Valley title hopes, but it could expose weaknesses that will either be addressed or exploited as the season progresses.

Surprisingly quiet during football season, Marty looks to make his presence known earlier in the basketball campaign. Will he pick up on the behind-the-scenes stories that will influence the on-court action? Or will Heather Burns scoop him for the Star – especially when it comes to the story of the Lady Mudlarks’ Colorado Springs-bound captain who seemingly came out of nowhere?

meta: Football season may be over in the Valley, but we’ve got to take a TWIM time out to remember the late John Madden, who passed away yesterday at 85, popularized the use of the telestrator and turducken, and who lent his name to the video game series that played a supporting role in the fall arc.

December 22, 2021

Low Budget? Wanna Bet?

Who orders tea at the Coffee Cantina? Pranit Smith, that’s who.

Full Pantheon of Hair trifecta today with Tevin’s (that’s still Tevin, innit?) Esquerita ‘do, Pranit rocking the Bobby Bittman and Trevor Lawrence-looking guy looking all Trevor Lawrence-y. Pranit’s rationale for going with the cheap option makes sense…

…but opens the door to speculation. Trevor’s Spidey-sense must be tingling.

Money’s tight for the Smiths, but Pranit is good at assembling and managing a fantasy football team. If he can raise the stakes while maintaining his level of success, maybe he can help augment the Smith family income. Maybe he’ll try to push his luck into other forms of sports gambling. But where will he find the funds to take that plunge?

This is where the Central City Mob steps in. Next thing you know, he’ll get involved in a point-shaving scandal, tanking shots to help make Milford lose or to keep Milford wins close. Nah, that would assume people bet on Valley hoops, which assumes that people are interested in Valley hoops. More than likely he’ll get in deeper in a fantasy football league, where his luck will run out. His contribution to the Mudlarks’ downfall will come via a kneecapping which will come after he can’t pony up his gambling debts.

December 8, 2021

Stumblin’ In

It didn’t take long for VT’s Matt Hasselbeck Jr. to eat his words. Milford draws first blood, but isn’t it kinda chancy (see what I did there?) to have your star tailback returning punts? Oh, what’s that? Maybe he didn’t return the punt and just ran in for the touch on a play from scrimmage? Either way, I hope he ran an extra ten yards through the end zone once he crossed the goal line. Gotta get ready for that Canadian ball, dontchaknow.

On to the next drive and Milford scores on another explosive play, as Tevin goes left while everyone else goes right. Classic misdirection. Pity it’s gonna get called back for holding on the Mudlark that’s got VT #51 tied up. That might be Tommy “Jamón” Serrano, who previously succumbed to Boyd Spiller’s fake juice but hasn’t completely recovered from learning that it was fake. In fact, to the untrained eye (or maybe the eye that was trained half a century ago, give or take) those two look like an electric football Backer figure locked together with an All Purpose figure…

…which would make perfect sense if we revert back to one of our original Gil Thorp tropes: that all of this action is playing out in Marty Moon’s crate in his parents’ basement.

Speaking of Marty, how nice of him to show up to broadcast the Mudlarks’ season finale. How do we know this is the finale? Look at the calendar, and the deus ex machina Rubin’s dropped in our laps. Milford’s gonna drop the Valley title to Goshen – the same Goshen they blew out by 24 not quite two months ago? Doesn’t make any sense unless the Milford loss is the only one Goshen’s suffered all season. If both teams end up tied in conference play, the Mudlarks take the title based on head-to-head. None of that matters when you have a plot to wrap up and you’re you’ve wasted on hooch most of your time on details that didn’t really advance it.

Post title refers to how Goshen will make the playdowns.

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.

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