This Week in Milford

June 15, 2017

Truly, Madly, Reluctantly, Unfortunately

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Good thing I went with the color version of the strip today. These fair-haired women with prop glasses are all starting to look alike. Today it’s Ms. Rizk, not Dr. Pearl; we know this as Gil is the summoner, not the summoned. (Not that it’s clear Dr. Pearl summoned Gil but, you know, pecking order and all.)

Ever since the Central game the strip has been playing a huge game of connect-the-dots. Great leaps ever forward – from Kaz’s near telepathic understanding of what Gil wants to Gil’s visit to the Van Aukens to Gil’s chat with Dr. Pearl to today – with a lot of gaps to fill. Is it clear that Gil spoke with Ryan at his home? (The “genuinely remorseful” comment to Dr. Pearl might lead us to believe he did.) Whether he did or didn’t, what prompted Gil to speak with Dr. Pearl next? (To get the green light from the Doctor to lean on Ms. Rizk to quash Daftpunk’s article?)

And now, what leads Ms. Rizk to add the “unfortunately” tag to her statement implying that Dafunk’s article has already been quashed? Is it meant for us to deduce that, even though she’s been against Daffy’s hit piece on the ‘Cane from the get-go, she secretly wants to run the article? As our astute readers commented yesterday, this spring arc has turned into another of Rubin’s classic Bechdel Test fails. Girls’ sports have taken a back seat not only to boys’ sports but also to high school journalism which, by maintaining its integrity, may end up protecting a male athlete at the expense of his female victim and accusers. Ms. Rizk’s “unfortunately” may be her subtle form of protest against the Milford jockocracy.

Gil won’t give that a moment’s thought, ’cause sarcastically, he’s in charge.

June 10, 2017

Maybe, But Does Ryan Have a Super Bowl Ring?

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Today’s big highlight is getting to watch Papa Van Auken morph from Dabney Coleman into Carl Brutananadilewski. Holy crap where did his eyelids go? Between Pop’s chest slap and summoned rage and Mom’s agitated temple rubbing, the Van Aukens are starting to pile it on in defense of their son. Granted the Valley is full of gossips with nothing better to do than play telephone and potentially ruin some kid’s life, but dad’s overreacting a bit himself. It’s not like Alyssa and Ryan got married or anything.

is Gil gonna buy their version of the “Ryan hit Alyssa” story? Will he wait to get straight from the ‘Cane’s mouth? Or is a road trip to Central City to meet Alyssa in order? Those don’t often work out well for Milfordians…

May 20, 2017

Change my pitch up

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The big question on all of our minds today: Can the names of juvenile offenders be published in a newspaper? The big answer: Typically, yes, but it depends.

The Supreme Court of the United States has held that reporters’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights outweigh a state’s interests in protections relating to the rehabilitation of juveniles. This means that if a reporter lawfully obtains the names of juveniles involved in crimes, the reporter may publish the names of the juveniles.

In many states, juveniles involved in juvenile proceedings are protected by laws modeled after the Model Juvenile Court Act. If the person in question falls within the definition of a juvenile, court records and law enforcement records involving the juvenile will not be made available to reporters, with some exceptions. If the juvenile is tried as an adult, certain items can be printed and disclosed to the public. Additionally, information collected by newspapers and individuals that includes information released by the courts or the police is not considered criminal history record information and is not treated as protected information. On the other hand, reporters are not allowed access to juvenile court records, or law enforcement records, with narrow exceptions.

Okay, enough of that; I’m not here to turn TWIM into some kind of law journal.  I’m not sure if Rubin’s dark change-up (and we’ve seen a series of them over the past year or so) is a feint to throw us snarkers off the scent, a Batiuk-style ploy to land a Reuben Award, or a veiled cry for help.  Young men hitting young women is certainly nothing to snark about.  Thank goodness we can still snark about close talkers, bizarre perspective, giant earrings, and tiny hotel pens held in giant freak hands.

April 29, 2017

We Get It, Neal; You Don’t Like Track & Field

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Less than an hour away from where I sit and compose this blog post, the final day of the 123rd Penn Relays will be kicking off in a few minutes.  The Penn Relays are only the oldest and largest track and field event in the US; tens of thousands of people are typically in attendance.  All that notwithstanding the Penn Relays are only the second-most hyped sports-related event happening in Philadelphia this week.

It’s not enough that Rubin has had this spring’s female protagonist insulting track and field athletes the past two days; now he suggests that not even those who participate in track and field enjoy watching track and field. (Lemme guess, Neal: were you always getting lapped during P.E. in high school?)  Maybe this just serves to make Dafuq a less sympathetic character, another in a long line of cocky, self-important Mudlarks who will end up knocked down a peg or two by the time their seasons end.

QotD: Is “Jimmy Caruso” the shot putter’s name or another euphemism for “The Beaver”?

April 22, 2017

Welcome Back Carter – er, Van Auken

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Central City has been notoriously bad to Milfordians over the years, and it looks like it’s going to be so again in the near future.  How do they know Van Auken there? Did he play for Central in the past (and, if he did, wouldn’t Gil and Kaz already be familiar with his work)? That’s unclear from this exchange, but these young ladies know of him there. What’s also unclear is how they plan to “welcome” Ryan back.  Apropos of nothing, I watched Bull Durham last night for the first time in years, so my mind runs to locker room hijinks, garter belts and poetry readings. However, knowing this strip there’ll be mocking from the bleachers, probably involving people dressed up like hurricanes (the meteorological event, not the beverage) and a sign man or two. Meanwhile back in Milford…

… we’ve not yet been treated to a Mouseketeer Roll Call for the Lady Mudlarks*, but it would appear that their catcher is Le Pétomane.  Even the home plate umpire is rendered speechless by the Milford catcher’s talking hind parts. It only seems fitting that Mimi’s minions are playing host to a team from the land of the noble gases. Clearly they’re not in Kansas anymore. Tune in on Monday when Carrie Hobson lobs a few smoke grenades of her own across the plate.

*And we seldom are, cf. the boys’ teams.

April 6, 2017

Southpaw Ex Machina

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“He’s poised, he’s been well coached, he throws hard.  You can tell he’s not from Milford.”

Just as with True Standish in 2014-15, Gil’s chestnuts will be pulled from the proverbial fire by a transfer student. No need to develop this guy as a player or as a character.

But just how impressive is he?  Sure you’re gonna make the catcher’s mitt vap pop (vape? I thought Milford High was a no-smoking campus) if you’re throwing from 20 feet away.   Back up to a regulation distance and let’s hear what happens.

As for his name, when I saw it first it made me think of two 1930s-era pitchers, Johnny “Double No-Hit” Vander Meer and Elden Auker, but he appears to be in sales or engineering.  So how does Pete de Windt know him?  Maybe they ran into each other at the Tulip Time Festival.  Wonder if they know the DeGroots

April 1, 2017

I’m shocked – SHOCKED! – that this story is ending!

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As another rando Mudlark continues to double fist pump for heaven knows what reason, exit stage right Quadruple AAAA and Big Ken Brown in best Rick Blaine and Captain Renault fashion. (This twin figures walking away into the shadows to end an arc thing is becoming a Whigham hallmark.)  All that’s missing is Tina Aagard boarding a plane with letters of transit to… a rehab clinic?

Here’s where I profess total ignorance. Is it typical for single parent addicts to be sent directly into residential rehab programs and give up custody of their children during that time, do not pass go, do not collect $200?  Is it typical for single parent addicts being sent directly into rehab under such circumstances to not even say goodbye to said children?  I’ll give Rubin a smidgen of credit for attempting to address some troubling phenomena facing the US today: the interplay between the spread of opioid addiction and the decline of the white working and middle class.

I will also profess total ignorance of this plot twist when I made my Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner reference a couple of weeks ago. I chose that reference thinking that Gil would use his animal charm to coerce Aaron’s teammates’ families to invite Aaron over for a series of meals. I did not factor race into the equation and, until reading yesterday’s post, didn’t really factor it into this arc at all.  Given that Hiatt-Brown household has been portrayed as one of the more successful ones in the Thorpiverse over the past few arcs, I did wonder whether Ken’s snoopiness about Aaron’s home life was going to lead into a subplot that gave him feet of clay.  Any thoughts of that have been erased now that Aaron will be getting a taste of Ken’s dad’s home cooking while giving the Hiatt-Browns an intro to the joys of EDM.

Baseball on Monday, then?  I wonder what usual suspects Rubin will round up for the team this season.

March 18, 2017

In Like a (Home)wrecking Ball

Filed under: Chunky Bracelets, Gil Thorp, hideous scar faces, Just plain sad — teenchy @ 11:09 am

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Yesterday we finally found out what Gil’s been feeding Aaron – Purina Rat Chow. Today Gildeaux, the one-man crisis intervention squad, keeps moving the chains forward.* But to get to the goal of a healthy life for young Aaron, he seems determined to drive through the red zone of breaking up the Aagard nuclear family.

What next then for Aaron? Does he become the Thorps’ replacement child? Does Gil have a seven-day plan for him? Does this arc drag out into baseball season? Let’s hope not!

Show of hands: How many of you looked at P2 – especially the B&W version – and thought Tina Aagard was looking through her glasses through her hair a la Cousin Itt? Thought so.

*Yeah, I know football metaphor, so sue me.

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