This Week in Milford

June 3, 2023

New Favorite

It’s been a busy week in Milford, what with the Memorial Day salute and the handshake line brawl and the frenemy teammates and the therapy, more of which should be scheduled by la familia Hernandez.

Before we dive into that, I feel like some cheers and jeers are in order for this recent run of strips:


  1. Gil in uniform on Memorial Day (not Henry’s fault, btw, that he wasn’t drawn in the uniform of his canonical branch of service; see his comment on that day’s strip on Gocomics)
  2. Henry’s callback to last November 16th‘s strip in his June 1 strip. That should help people with short institutional memories.
  3. Genuine character development among the Milford jayvee girls’ softball players.
  4. Henry’s sticking to his guns in making Luke Sr. an insufferable monomaniac who will stop at nothing, including using the family of his assistant coach and destroying his relationships with his own, to gain revenge over his perceived rival for a perceived slight from decades past. This all feels like it’s gonna blow up in his face before the calendar year is through.
  5. It looks like between Whigham and the color monkeys, they’ve settled on a color scheme for Valley Tech. That it’s old gold, white and black makes Valley Tech look more like Georgia Tech and – at least in the eyes of yhs – easier to hate. (This is about the only positive in the art department of late; see below.)


  1. The continued failure to recognize that baseball and softball teams carry more than one pitcher. There’s this thing called a rotation, in which a team has multiple starting pitchers and can rest each starting pitcher for several days between starts, reducing the wear and tear on each pitcher. There’s also this thing called a bullpen, which consists of a physical location on a baseball field as well as a team’s pitchers who are not starting pitchers. Recognizing that pitching rotations and bullpens are things would reduce a lot of the implausible aspects of the strip, e.g., Gregg Hamm teaching his blind man kung fu treachery to Leo and Dorothy and only Leo and Dorothy and Pedro being “benched” in favor of The Korean Nightmare today.
  2. The reintroduction of the Marty we used to know and hate. Admittedly this is a minor jeer, but I’m having a hard time grasping it in the overall context of the strip. What’s the point of Marty acting all Dishonest John snapping a pic of the Mudlark vape selling ring? Hasn’t the horse already left that barn? I just don’t know what he’s trying to accomplish her. Will he blow the lid on it and force Milford to vacate the Valley hoops title? Or is he just jealous of Luke replacing him as designated asshole? Surely he knows who butters his bread here, and if he shares it with Gil, Marjie and/or Heather, they’ll focus more on the fact that Marty’s been surreptitiously taking pictures of underage boys than on the content of those pictures.
  3. While I appreciate Valley Tech being clad in pee stain yellow, there have been some notable issues with the artwork of late. I’m pretty sure the Memorial Day strip isn’t the first example of one in which Henry intended one thing and the Chief drew another, and I’m pretty sure more than one of us TWIMers have called that out. It’s a Strother Martinesque failure to communicate in the making. Whigham’s fascination with not completely drawing fences has its consequences today, as Keri’s going to get her earlobes torn off as the jagged edges snag her ginormous earrings (another Whigham fascination).

It might not be an inconsistency but it’s noteworthy that Kwan’s uniform number has changed from 5, a very rare number for a pitcher to 1, an even rarer number for a pitcher. (The only one I can think of off the top of my head is MacKenzie Gore for the Nats; others? please comment.) Between “number one” and “favorite son” I’m getting a bad Charlie Chan* vibe from this, and I hope it’s just me. At least we know that Luke has seen The Sandlot.

Just a sad day to be Pedro, and a sad song to capture the feeling.

*In the Charlie Chan films, Number One Son was played by Keye Luke. Coincidence?

May 31, 2023

“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful. Hate me because I look like the rest of you.”

So this played out kinda the way we thought it might on Saturday. Dot’s teammates threw hands in her defense (Repercussions? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?) and now remind her why. Guessing Dorothy didn’t buy Keri a milkshake at the Bucket? That tradition may have gone the way of the last pitcher to honor it.

Panel one of today’s strip – containing a 14-stripe US flag with all of its twenty-ish stars concentrated in the southeastern part of the canton, and the increasingly accepted form of the second-person plural – might lead one to believe Milford has moved below the Mason-Dixon Line. I think they still call carbonated soft drinks “pop” there so maybe I ought not jump the gun.

Weird mix of self-awareness and lack of same going on in the last panel. Unlike her shiner-wearing teammate, Dorothy recognizes that Whigham can only draw a few different facial features. She fails to recognize that it’s not her popularity that draws ire, but her behavior towards others. Making fun of someone traumatized by an active shooter drill is not TCFS, fer sher.

Post title inspired by the famous 1980s ad campaign with the same tagline. You might recognize the actress.

May 23, 2023

FAME!!!!!!!! I’m Gonna Pitch Foreverrrrrr…

Baby, they look at me and tell me I can’t see

But they ain’t seen the best of me yet

Give me time, Korean phenom they’ll forget

I got more in me, this bad plot can set it free

I can catch the tripe in my hand, don’t you even understand

Remember my name


I’m gonna pitch forever. This story will be on the fly [HIGH]
Nothing is coming together. People will watch this and cry [FAME]

Blast this way in the heavens. Light up the sky full of shame [GIL]
Please don’t continue forever

Baby, remember, it’s lame.

This makes no sense whatsoever. We are confronted with this Korean sensation that supposedly will put Valley Tech athletics on the map but not only do we not know how this Korean Kid did (although I assume he slammed the door or did excellent relief) but when Gil said he would go talk to Gregg Hamm, we were anticipating that he would catch Hamm working with the pitchers on a change-up.

Instead, Gregg is playing “Tea for Two” while Shorofsky took a lunch. We were expecting Shea Stadium but the taxi dropped us off at Tin Pan Alley. Like, does Thorpiverse really think we’re that stupid???? C’mon, T-verse, what in the name of Burt Bacharach does THIS have to do with Leo beating Syngman Rhee? Leo is going to mow down the Valley Tech Nine by memorizing “On a Bicycle Built for Two”?

Gil, if we wanted the stage troupe from “Fame!”, we would have watched the movie/TV show. There was this one episode where Danny auditions everywhere and gets nowhere but somehow stumbles upon this popular kids show, “Mr. Wacky”. Danny does so well off the cuff that Mr. Wacky hires him permanently, with the understanding that Danny is now Noodles on the show.

And everything is going great until one episode where Noodles is throwing baseballs at this lever connected to Mr. Wacky’s seat inside this dunking booth. And no matter how many balls Noodles throws at the lever, many of them on target to dunk Mr. Wacky, Noodles is the one getting showered with water while Mr. Wacky stays dry. Then Noodles improvises (wasn’t in the script, in other words. Lot of that going around) by running towards the lever and giving Mr. Wacky a thorough dunking. The look inside the glass of the dunking booth of Mr. Wacky in bewilderment says it all.
Once backstage, Mr. Wacky makes it clear to Noodles (Danny, remember) that only Noodles is to be the butt of the jokes. Mr. Wacky is the set-up man to that end, much to the reluctance of Noodles. Danny is understandably not crazy about he being the only one that will get pies thrown in his face.

Unfortunately, Gregg is the new Noodles. We were expecting a pitching coach but receiving a Bozo who plays like Victor Borge who gets Sara Lee Chocolate Crème’s thrust at his visage. Oh this is wacky without the Mister, fer sure, fer sure.

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Gregg Hamm Steps Down From ‘Mister Gil’s Wacky World’ On WDIG-TV!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“I can go over to Valley Tech and be the pitching coach without getting dunked in the booth. Gil will have to go find another loser to do his dirty work.”

The plotline is further going down the drain when Gregg is apparently too blind to recognize the keys on the piano. Gregg, I’m no concert pianist but even I know you don’t play “Fame!” on keys towards the high end of the instrument. It’s entertaining to watch women dance to a pitch equivalent to Alvin & The Chipmunks of Donna Summers’ “MacArthur Park”. The dental drill version of The Trampps’ “Disco Inferno”? Are you serious? We’re getting our chain jerked anyway; must it get jerked further by listening to some falsetto version of “Brown Sugar”? ELO’s Kelly Groucutt did a wonderful job as the falsetto backup for years. I just don’t think it works on “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.

And whaddup with the seat? You couldn’t even fit Gumby in that contraption. I guess if Gregg is blind, he doesn’t know better so Mother Nature cuts him some slack which is just as well. If his vision was 20/20, he’d fall on his ass. Boy, what logic around here. Tommy in a seat barely able to seat a raccoon, now that’s a story backdrop. Remind me to order one like that in case my vision goes he way of this plot.

REX ALERT!!!!!!!! REX ALERT!!!!!!

Rex and Gil are now in a Kentucky Derby horse race of their own and this may go nose-and-nose in a photo finish. Rex is still MIA after Mud Mountain Murphy explained his repentance but goes right around and bows to Dr. Moon even as Ravi Shankar escaped the brig and is somewhere on the boat, God knows where (pardon the pun) . The solution, of course, is for Fred & Wilma to sit on their asses for 3-4 more weeks until plot realization comes full circle. We will serenade you with “Them Muddy Boots” on Muzak while the investigation continues.

No truth to the rumors that Gil and Ravi Shankar are the same people. Gil has no clue how to play the sitar. Same with Rex. He may be pulling a Dr. Schweitzer on us in the jungles of Borneo to conquer herpes among the natives but he hasn’t committed a documented felony. Don’t jump to conclusions in the name of plot sanity. Take a powder and relax.

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Gregg Hamm To No Longer Play The Fool And Walk Into The Dunking Booth On ‘Gil’s Wacky World’!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Somebody FINALLY shut the door.”

In Dr. Pearl’s office one day, with Head East’s “Ticket Back to Georgia” playing over the intercom

“Dr. Pearl, have you been on Mr. Wacky’s show lately?”

“No, Gil, I’m afraid I lost my footing in the faculty lounge during the End-of-Year Celebration.”

I am not EVEN going to try to interpret what the heck is being said in P2. First off, I have never EVER seen “What even” anywhere, comic strip, Herman Wouk novel, newspaper, Bible, Paul Harvey broadcasts, “60 Minutes”, interviews with Michael Jordan, etc., etc., etc. That word HAS to be “whatever” and there is no way you can convince me otherwise. Is this some esoteric phrase that only a few can interpret while the rest of us intellectually stunted sit and grovel with envy that some people possess intelligence somewhere between Dr. Spock and Jeffy from The Family Circus? Did Harrison Ford use this phrase in “American Graffiti” right about when he’s about to drag race Richie the C or Arthur Fonzarelli or What even was challenging him for drag racing bragging rights? “What even” sounds like something out of Hamlet

“What even thou hast done anon yea verily to slay my father

‘Twill vengeance wrought twice upongst Gil and Rex, where’re they what even ply their trade, fare ye well.”

Then FAMILY???? The blonde is a faint trace of Mimi and the other shot out of nowhere. Greg Brady assumes responsibility of the pitchers for Milford High School by playing “Nutcracker Suite” on a cheap Hammond organ while Marcia and Cindy and Alice the Maid cavort around the room???? What makes this worse, this was an interruption of that Korean Kook who was sent in by Luke Loser to save the day for VT Baseball. So we can only speculate that Pedro pissed in his pants while Korea Kid slammed the door that got shut off from civilization because Yogi Berra proved it ain’t over ‘til it’s over by continuing this travesty with a musical from “The Music Man” to “South Pacific”, Yogi on the kazoo. Way to strike out the side, Yogi. If you see a fork in the road of this farce, take it. That’s only logical.

If ya dance ta “A Country Boy Can Survive” being played by the same organ Grandma Redneck played even when the keys were gettin’ yellower than her teeth, ya might be a redneck.

At Mr. Wacky studios

“Rex, where have you been? We’ve been looking all over from you!!!!”

“I needed some extra income and the lemon meringue was pretty tasty. Just don’t tell my wife I’m really Noodles.”

GIL ALERT!!!!!!! GIL ALERT!!!!!!!!!!

As told in “Confessions of a Double Agent”, Gil, Rex, and Chuck Barris (Gong Show host, recall) were engaged in an assassination attempt in Guatemala as the resident dictator was proving too repressive, judging by the Pizza Hut’s that were scaled back in the name of economic recovery. Rex should make it back to his practice and will likely hitchhike on the Glenwood Across The Caribbean once the hit has been executed and Rex’s papers clear customs. If he shaves every other day, he and Chuck should be in a cabin next to Fred & Wilma before the night’s out. Gil will take more time but a few more kickbacks to the kitty should get him back in the dugout by Friday.

Vincent Price was an excellent actor, having been in horror flicks like the Dr. Phibes series. The one complaint that some of his colleagues had about him was he emoted his part dead in the ground. I personally loved his style but can feel people’s take on the issue. God knows that Gregg Phibes is getting carried away with, what? “Machine Head” by Deep Purple? “I Found A Million Dollar Baby At The Bucket At Rush Hour” by Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs? Getting excited over Vic-TOR-ia by playing the Brady Bunch theme on the pipe organ as huge as the Nick’s Pizza semi? That’s right, Gregg Phibes, have them dancing in the aisles playing Joe Walsh’s “A Life of Illusion” on the Wurlitzer. You got them in a whirling dervish. I don’t understand the connection between this and baseball but one over-emoted song at a time.

At Mr. Gil’s studio

“I’m singggggggggin’ in the rain, just sinnngggggin’ in the rain, how happy to be-“

“Okay, Noodles, you’ve gotten splashed enough. Don’t get the uniform too wet or I’ll have to cancel practice. And don’t even THINK of having Leo pitch a strike at the lever.”

Late Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Chuck Barris and Coach Thorp Allegedly Finger Wrong Criminal On Glenwood Across Mars Tourlines!!!!!!!! Rene Belluso Still At Large!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Fred: ‘I am confident Mr. Barris will get his man. BTW, I was a fan of his on The Gong Show. A teacher colleague of mine got gonged because he told jokes worse than Gil.’”

Concerning P3, Gregg, I hate to burst the toy piano you’ve misapplied your fingers thereupon, but do you honestly think anyone is losing sleep over whether you’re Ray Charles or a sting ray? I’ll admit that you’re confusing the daylights out of the readership because one week you can play pinball at Milford Amusement Center like Tommy Walker, then the next week you’re Don Larsen in the ‘56 Series. But let this three-ring circus prevail in our daily routine by waving your supposed blindness the way a horse rider waves a carrot in front of Mr. Ed? Are you serious? We have better things to do than wonder if Dr. Phibes is overemoting his glaucoma and occasionally riding the umpire because Gil doesn’t have the fortitude to get the answers straight to Dr. Phibes’ blindness-on-the-spot. Heck, he can’t even play “Chopsticks”. Leastwise, I hope that’s not what they’re sashaying to.

Then there’s the tidbit I learned today that diabetics are more likely to contract Erectile Dysfunction. Man, all those Ho Ho’s, could it be that… Hmmmmmmmm.

Mud Mountain Murphy on the Glenwood Cruise Across The Zodiac in a luxury suite with the Glenwood Cruise Resident Slut

“Woman, I have more to offer than what’s inside my cowboy hat and I fully intend to take ‘em up on the “Rape Her Within 20 Minutes And The Session Is Free” offer. Now get’em off and let’s go to work!!!!!!”

“Oh Lemuel, the way you talk dirty tantalizes me no end, I feel your earth move under my feet and bod-WOW!!!!!! Looks like someone’s a diabetic and those Nick’s Diner Mt. Everest Banana Split Saturdays are beginning to take their toll.”

“Woman, that ain’t no way ta talk to a man!!!!!! I got my pride!!!!!! I can bang more than my guitar and I’m just about ta show ya the ropes!!!!!”

“Lemuel, I’ve gone to bed with apron strings and I had to fake the enjoyment. I can’t fake earthworms dug out of the ground. You have to start laying off on those Triple-X Hot Fudge Sundaes they serve at the Glenwood Cruise 24/7 Lounge.”

“Now looky here!!!!!!!!!! I got a reputation ta protect and I’m not ‘bout ta see my manhood get fired off like Buck did with my career!!!!!!!! You’re gonna love Them Muddy Boots or my name is Bugs Bunny with a Capital B!!!!!!!!”

“Well, Bugs Muddy, if you’d cease devouring Eggs Benedict Strawberry Shortcakes at the Cruise’s Breakfast Break, you might pump a lot faster. They had to call in a couple of extra servers just to accommodate your fanatical approach to early morning cuisine. I’m surprised you didn’t eat the rooster that went cock-a-doodle-doo. Wasn’t topped with Domino’s sugar could be the only explanation.”

“THAT’S ENOUGH!!!!!!! I still have 3 minutes and I am going to rip it off and go to town even if it’s a bronco that ain’t learned it’s lesson at the Glenwood Rodeo!!!!!!!!”

“Lemuel, you couldn’t even ride on the kiddy pony up front at the Glenwood Wal-Mart when you were consuming all those Strawberry Pop Tarts they were passing around at your last concert. No wonder why your manhood jumped off the ship with Rene Belluso. I’d be hiding too if your manhood was no thicker than a Slim Jim Reduced Fat Calorie Sensitive piece of work.”

“NOW LOOKY HERE!!!!!!! If ya think-“


“Time’s up. The offer expired. Do you want to pay debit or credit?”

“Thank God there was a Milford Men’s Clinic next to the Glenwood Cruise Health Spa. I got enlarged and a massage to boot. It don’t get no better than that. With all the proven treatments and a stern lecture on cutting back on the sweets, The Clinic was a godsend for this sexy cowboy performer. Hey, this cowboy will gladly stuff the Twinkies in the garbage can if he can rape Dolly Parton for free and beat the buzzer in the bargain. Come rape your own Dinah Shore when you ditch the Snickers, only at Milford Men’s Clinic.”

Gang, listen, for a plot idea, how about Gregg and Mud playing “Them Muddy Boots” while the ladies dance around so playfully? WHAT???? You don’t think it’s a good plot idea???? How about Alice Cooper and Mud then???? Playing “You Drive Me Nervous”???? Well, the last song sums up my feelings for the plot-jerking so far anyway.

But God bless you anyway, Gang.







“Gil, can the Fame! schtick and come to bed.”

May 16, 2023

“{BTW, Mom, This Is Hoss Cartwright. He’s Always Wanted To See Korea.}”

Luke Loser, nobody forced you to move to Rockville. To be talking about Hicktown, USA clear across an ocean shows the ignorance that we already knew was, paradoxically speaking, latent but then again pretty darn evident once we got to know you. The last thing I will EVER talk about when I’m standing in front of the Grand Canyon is there being no joy in Mudville tonight. You flew into one of the most beautiful countries in the world and all that’s on your mind is that the Milford Maintenance Department needs to fill that pothole on a street on the way to Valley Tech? Oh, darn, I forgot, Francesca couldn’t get a job in New Thayer because they don’t have a Liposuction Clinic to handle Mabel Ruth’s obesity. Fancy that.

Dude, you need to get a life.

We’re still anticipating who The Korean Franchise might be. I remember when Sports Illustrated ran an article where this pitcher could pitch 168MPH, only to later post APRIL FOOL!!!!! Well, we’re way past April so this had better be good if we’re going to listen to Luke Lunkhead bitch about Milford having no place for the Cartwrights to hitch their horses. And I’m tired of Ben Cartwright letting his horse relieve himself on my practice field. I feel your anguish, Luke.

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Korean Air Lines To Set Up Stops To Milford International!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“We are confident we can negotiate with the Cartwrights on part of their ranch for a separate tarmac.”

At Incheon International Airport

“{Who’s that weirdo with the cowboy hat? I saw him buy it at the Airport Souvenir Shoppe.}”

“{Don’t worry. I’ll keep him in the Seoul Hampton Inn until I locate my recruit. I paid extra for The Cartoon Channel to keep him occupied.}”

Then it hits me. Why are two high school coaches traversing halfway across the globe for a player? Now I could understand Jimmy Dolan. His logic was airtight since it’s college basketball and the player was old enough to vote and old enough to enlist. I’d hitchhike through Africa to get him back to State U. too. But Hicktown High? You’re getting your baggage from the Moscow Airport or the Luxembourg Line or the Eva Peron Buenos Aires Regional baggage claim just to be scouting some zit-faced Korean at the Seoul YMCA???? Was this on the Valley Tech School Board budget? Don’t even answer.

Okay, you don’t like eating your plate lunches at Milford Diner, Loser, but as we used to say at my college “Don’t bitch-TRANSFER”. Nobody is forcing you to eat the Salisbury Steak w/ Creamed Mashed Potatoes & Refried Green Beans. What are you going to do, bribe the Korean Sensation with The Diner Tuesday Special Chicken Tenders & Chess Pie, Maureen the Waitress gift-wrapping it so it doesn’t spoil over 3,000 miles?

Then I wonder if Jimmy Dolan is going to have to endure another game where more than bragging rights are at stake. Are Jimmy, Coach Kim, and Luke Loser going to engage a team in a basketball game with North Korea where if this Terrible Trio lose, not only will the Korean Sensation have to serve in a suburban Pyongyang labor camp somewhere but the trio will have to be permanent card-carrying members of the Communist Party , but if the trio wins, North Korea party members will have to buy season tickets to Valley Tech baseball games? You laugh for now.

Denny Crum, the great college basketball coach for the University of Louisville, passed away a few days ago. He was well-noted for the ‘80 and ‘86 NCAA Championships, both victories coming down to cases, further confirming Crum’s teams as the Cardiac Cards. Milt Wagner’s two free throws with two seconds left and Louisville already clinging to a 70-69 lead (fortunate that Duke had no time outs) also got them named the Clutch Cards.

A good story came from Darrell Griffith yesterday at the Yum! Center where a Celebration of Coach Crum’s Life took place. Griffith was once on a breakaway to which he completely blew the dunk. Of course, Crum was upset so when he finally pulled Griffith to the side, he went “Why didn’t you just lay it in?”

Griffith responded “Coach, I’m Doctor Dunkenstein. That ain’t happening.”

Crum’s answer was priceless.

“Then you tell Darrell the next time I want him to lay the ball in.”

Korean Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“{Korean Sensation Benched, May Sit Out Game With Milford!!!!!!!!!}”

sub headline

“{Coach Luke Lunkhead: ‘I don’t care if his fans call him the Korean Dunk Meister, he’ll be dunking on a Nerfhoop in a Hamhung sweatshop if he keeps blowing the bunnies.}’”

At a Seoul McDonald’s

{“Here, son, if you slurp it all down, you’ll see Syngman Rhee at the bottom.”}
{“Mom, I’m a head coach now. With Hoss as an assistant, I have to do my own babying.”}

I think we’d be more successful getting to the last door in Maxwell Smart’s domicile than tracking down this phenom that is likely sleeping in Mammoth Cave via the tectonic plates below Busan. Again, they traveled more miles than the Globetrotters just to hail down a cab and hope to God this phenom is home and not at the library to return library materials? Believe me, I’m not traveling from Blagoveshchensk’s Oblast just to find out if Milford Diner charges extra for sour cream on my Baked Potato & Sautéed Yams. Yeah, I’ll trust that Coffee Cantina serves Lipton Raspberry Unsweetened Tea free from COVID-19, I don’t need to take a row boat across the East China Sea to confirm the rumors.

And even if they get the address correct, what is this supposed God’s Gift To Korean Whiffleball supposed to think when a fellow countryman and the Cartwright family are at his door? Oh, come in, I’ve heard a lot about you. Oh, you owned Ponderosa? We have one downtown, let’s talk about playing for Valley Tech over the Breakfast Buffet. They have a parking section for covered wagons. The Korean Beef Cheese Omelette is to die for. Hoss, I think you’ll really go for the Stir Fried Squid w/ Rice Krispies. I have heard you have had a lot of acid in your large intestine so this is gastronemic-sensitive. Personally, I like the Stone Pot Bi Bam Bap. It adds a couple of miles/hour to my fastball. And I heard they finally washed the ladles after the Restaurant Workers Strike. The Wanton Soup should be lice-free.

Got him in the bag, Hoss.

Seoul Late Edition of the Korean Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“{Bones Discovered In Construction Site Of Gwangju Burger King Traced To Coach Thorp’s Lineage!!!!!!!!}”

sub headline

“{Local anthropology authorities believe Neanderthal Thorp was on recruiting visit for a backup catcher.}”

At a basketball game late in February

“Leo!!!!!!!! @$&#%]?\|!!!!!!!! Next time, lay the ball in!!!!!!”

“Coach, this is the Halftime Slam Dunk Competition, remember?”

Is it me, or do they have lanes to accommodate all the taxis going every which way? One looks like it’s headed straight towards that box truck. The truck itself looks like it’s headed toward some tunnel in the median. You might find this Korean Kolassal down there next to the Cro-Magnons who run the boutiques in Underground Seoul. Looking at these taxi cabs, I will no longer have to explain Brownian Motion and get left hanging. Just call me T. Drew Nye The Science Guy.

If ya eat tha Marinated Tofu ‘n’ Deer Bar-B-Q at the Seoul bistro cuz ya iz gettin’ indigestion from all that recruitin’ uv all them cavemen with a 4-pitch repertoire (fastball, curve, slider, Ephus) and ya got ta clean yore innards out and dump ‘em in tha nearest sewer, ya might be a redneck.

At a Seoul tourist trap

“No, really, this hat is really you. People won’t be calling you Hoss anymore.”

“But a dunce hat?”

“Well, as the saying goes, if the shoe fits…”

Wait a minute. How does Luke know what they’re saying? Don’t go making assumptions, Loser. This is Fallacy of Composition, big time. Just because Coach Kim licks up to you doesn’t mean the rest of South Korea will follow suit. Now I can’t answer for North Korea since they allow limited access but I doubt some North Korean farmer prays five times each day pointed in the direction of the Valley Tech gym. Safe to say incense isn’t being burned in some North Korean village in your honor.

For all we know, Coach Kim, brackets and all, could be saying “{Look what the cat dragged in. I only brought him along because Korean Air Lines offers discounts if you bring another body. Yes, I worship the ground he walks on until we have to sit next to each other in the plane. Then I’m reminded he never brings body wash on recruiting trips.}”

Then his mom responds in kind “{No problem. He can sleep with rest of the horses in the barn. I have enough hay we harvested today to make a bed. He can use your brother’s old pillow. I got all the tics killed off.}”

“{Wonderful. Sorry we have to talk Vulcan but I don’t want to hurt his feelings.}”

“{No worries. I made your dad sleep in the barn when he flatulated excessively from that Yook Gae Jang I used to serve every Friday.}”

“And I like Mud Mountain Murphy too!!!! I heard he was scheduled to perform at the Seoul Civic Auditorium. BTW, how do you say ‘Them Muddy Boots’ in Korean?”

“We’ll return to see if Luke Loser found his Fodor’s Korean in 10 Days or if he’ll have to walk the streets of Seoul groping around like Gregg Hamm after these messages. You’re watching WDIG-TV.”

At Coach Kim’s parents’ farm, far from the madding crowd

“{Wow, Mrs. Kim, I never thought we’d get Mr. Loser in the cow stall but he set his alarm so I assume he’s okay.}”

“{I shut the gate so the Japanese Holsteins wouldn’t snuggle up. I was concerned with his snoring but we won’t need to turn on the moth zapper. I just hope our neighbors won’t think there’s an earthquake transpiring.}”

“{And I’m going to shake you up once we get into bed. Put down that cattle prod and stop wasting my time.}”

“{Oh, Mr. Kim, your trash talk is getting this Korean lass hot to trot. I feel like one of our Amur Oblast hogs in heat!!!!! I am more excited than Busan rush hour traffic!!!!!!}”

“{I intend to get past the 38th Parallel North and conquer you and the rest of Kim Jong Un’s band of commies!!!!!! You don’t stand a chance under the sheets!!!!!!!}”

{“Oh, let the bazooka drive it in me, um, er, it appears as if Bazooka Joe is bigger than yours in a cakewalk.}”

“{How do you figure???? I have been breaking bulls all day and if that doesn’t get me harder than the Gulag Archipelago, I will sleep next to Mr. Loser in the bunk with the rest of the chickens.}”

“{Don’t let me stop you. I didn’t have my son because you limped when General MacArthur dropped by to pay a visit. You need to prove you are still a man or move to Indonesia. The village restaurant makes seafood pancakes out of your Cream of Wheat Mush.}”

“{I will not have my masculinity compromised at the North Korean border!!!!!!! You ungrateful woman, you will take my Korean Cuisine and like every bit of it, after dinner mints included!!!!!!!! I came, I saw, I conquered all of Asia!!!!!!!}”

“{I’ll concede the mints since they’re tasty and hard. Your manhood is like a Korean Hot Dog that got left in the dryer too long. I could iron that Oscar Mayer flabby job and never have to worry about wrinkles or otherwise. You ever thought of switching over to Armour Korean Beef Franks?}”

“{I will nab this wild ewe that refuses to lay down her life like the rest of the sheep and teach her a lesson about what happens when you insult a ram!!!!!! Your sexual resistance will get head-butted!!!!!!!!}”

“{Oh, I want to lay, all right. Just not in front of a ram with no horns-}”



“{Mom and Dad, could you keep it down? You woke up the chickens and Mr. Loser can’t sleep in his bunk.}”

“{Saints be praised that Milford Men’s Clinic had an overseas location practically right down the road at our nearest metropolis. And I tried the new, improved EREC-4572 Sea Salt tablets, the salt guaranteeing an erection in 15 minutes or the medications are free. What did I have to lose other than the two horses that ended up in my neighbor’s chicken coop? Now, Mrs. Kim and I threaten nuclear warfare every night and we are bombing each other over and over. There’s no Detente under these covers, not even close. Go to your nearest Milford Men’s Clinic today, now with a new location in Hokkaido, Japan.}”

{Gang, thank you for your-}, oh shoot, I forgot to turn off the Urdu translater. There, in any language, God bless you all. You mean the world to me.

In Tijuana, Mexico, at a pawn shop

“{Tell Coach Thorp, he can’t coach his way out of a lava lamp. And I’ll only take $5 for the watch, I don’t care about no damn 2014 Championship.}”

“What did he say?”

“He said ‘Congratulations on your championship and that he will only charge you $5 for the lava lamp.”

May 6, 2023

These Cameos Are Giving Me Life

Four straight days of actual action and it’s time for a break, right? Right!

What better day for that break than Free Comic Book Day? What better place to celebrate Free Comic Book Day than the famed Golden Apple Comics on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles? What better event to pop in for at the famed Golden Apple Comics than a book signing with none other than Steenz? Boy, Gil and Keri get around. Reckon there was or will be a stopover in Scottsdale as well?

Steenz seems like the perfect cartoonist to do a cameo in Gil Thorp. Like Keri, Steenz’ pronouns are they/their; like Barajas, they took over a long-running legacy comic strip. I must profess that I didn’t follow Heart of the City when it was Mark Tatulli’s strip, even though Tatulli was relatively local to me (South Jersey, on the other side of the Delaware Valley) and the Philadelphia Inquirer was sort of his home paper. I preferred the Charles Addams-like humor of his other strip, Liō, which he still creates.

Unlike Barajas and like Mark Trail‘s Jules Rivera, Steenz took over the writing and artwork, creating a much visually different version of the strip. Where Tatulli’s Heart looked much like his Liō, Steenz’ Heart to my eye looks a lot like the recent Cartoon Network series Steven Universe. Makes sense, then, that an animated version is in the works which will use Steenz’ character design. I’d be curious to know whether Steenz has faced as much backlash over Heart as Rivera has over Mark Trail or Barajas has over Gil Thorp (including what we’ve dished out here, I’ll admit).

I’m also appreciative of Astro Boy’s cameo, too. Takes this old head back a ways. Now head out there and grab yourself a free comic book today, if the mood strikes.

April 28, 2023

That Blue Car Is About To Run Over Fist Pump Man And Drive Up Inma Face.

Ah, the afterglow of a game well-rigged, er, well-played. And where does everybody go after the game? You mean they don’t stop at McDonald’s???? Is this America???? Only in Milford is McDonald’s associated with farm animals and not with Big Mac’s. As in, Ol’ McDonald racked up the last bales of hay and locked them in the barn so he could beat the crowd at The Bucket for a Bucket Burger. When Tobe hits a grand slam to beat Luke’s Losers, he and his buddies will not EVEN be in line for Whoppers. Or Domino’s Bread Sticks. Or The Varsity Cheese Steaks.

No, there’s only one place they’re going to go. And it rhymes with, oops, I’m a Christian. I think you get the general gist.

I get this sick gut feeling that these three will be meeting here for the latest rumors and gossip and, um, uh, SMACK!!!!! oh yeah, game strategy. Speaking of game, I’m a little confused. Wasn’t the score 6 to 3? And I thought, as I’m sure others did too, that it was 3 to 2, given Marty Moon’s account of the game but I think he meant to say THE COUNT was 3 and 2, as in 3 balls and 2 strikes. Anyway, if I’m interpreting the situation correctly, there was more than likely a base-clearing scorcher that seared over the 3rd baseman’s head and the score went from 3 to 2 in favor of Oakwood to a sudden 5 to 3 and then Inma dismounted her garb once again after the go-ahead line shot so she could put her batting helmet on and belted a solo shot for insurance. After 50 years of following Thorpiverse, DON’T rule out what seems impossible at first. Because that’s more than likely how it turned out. You have to store reality somewhere in the garage next to the garden tools.

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“The Varsity Eyeing Key Vacant Sites For Location In Milford!!!!!!!! The Bucket Deeply Concerned!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Atlanta-based outfit felt they could tap market with teenagers averse to Bucket Shrimp Scampi.”

At the Mudlark Softball game

“Inma, you’ll have to remove the headdress if you want to play catcher.”

“No worries. My God will understand my need to protect my face from wild pitches.”

Which just makes me wonder. What is Fist Pump Man doing at The Bucket and for what possible reason could he be pumping his fist? They finally have Bucket Child Plates so his Fist Pump Children can savor The Bucket Moment???? His Fist Pump Man Visa Gold slid through and wasn’t declined this time???? Mama Fist Pump made it through open heart surgery???? FPM, you need to be at the hospital for that one. It makes about as much sense pumping your fist at The Bucket as doing it while riding your bike in the biking portion of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Then those cars parked in the current manner. I do assume we’ve heard of parking lanes and/or spaces. Do people just come on in and hem in some Buick Le Sabre and forget about the blocked-in vehicle until they get the check? And what ABOUT that blue car? You HOPE it is traveling down the street, otherwise, why is it parked in the middle of the road? AND DON’T SAY TO GET TO THE OTHER SIDE!!!!! Yeah, that and the chicken will be sittin’ pretty until her Daddy takes the blue car and the chicken away or Milford Towing shows up sooner.

And is there a Milford Christmas Tree Farm abutting The Bucket property? Don’t look now but those botanical enigmas could be Christmas trees for 10-foot aliens from nearby Jupiter for all we know. Anybody with other reasonable suggestions are more than welcome to chime in anytime. Moreover, WHY is that band blanketing much of the sky? I may not understand the same situation gracing the prairie-style windows at Milford High. Mr. Luhm simply smothered the windows with Windex. But you can’t say that Zeus sprayed an excess of 409 on the sky as punishment from Hera for running around on her and getting kissy-faced with Aphrodite. C’mon, Thorpiverse, and enough of this hideous streak appearing out of infinity and landing in Gil’s office on his lunch pail. Send it over to The Fantastic Four where it can be a villain. Superman battles The Streak and Lex Luthor. I could make a mint.

Finally, you knew it was inevitable. It would only be logical that if you’re going to call it The Bucket that the sign would have a bucket on top promoting the product. There’s really no sense in situating a commode on top and calling it The Bucket. Maybe The Pot, assuming no other restaurant establishment calls itself that and doesn’t display as pictures of Ronald McDonald or Burger King or Colonel Sanders sitting on the can for liberal amounts of time. Or why stick a couch up there and call it The Divan? The Divan Burgers hot off the grill? Divan Chocolate Shakes being slurped and shared by you and your girlfriend? Divan Full o’ Spaghetti? Divan Crab Cakes In Divan Queso Sauce? I don’t see it.

They could stick Gil’s bed up there. The way his Chastity Belt relationship with Mimi is going, you gotta use the bed SOMEWHERE. Gil’s Bed Triple Cheese Burgers. That has a nice ring to it.

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Milford Softball Wins In A Walkoff!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Valley Tech’s GPS system broke down and the team bus could not arrive in time, forfeiting 7-0.”

Passing by The Bucket one day

“What’s our bathroom sink doing on top of The Bucket sign?”

“Gil, I told them it was only temporary.”

Can Inma talk plain English here? Do not go gentle into that softball night. Nope, can’t see it. Once upon a game time dreary, our Mudlarks weak and weary. The Edgar Allan Poe angle is a stretch too. When Mudlarks last on the pitcher’s mound bloomed where Cami sang a Song For Myself because Gil ditched her once again. Possible but Gil isn’t Walt Whitman. We’re still working on his lack of coaching to be bothering with his lack of poetry, in bed or otherwise. It was not the Mudlarks time to question why but simply poop or get off the pot. I think Alfred Lord Tennyson was in an outhouse somewhere in England when these verses saw the light of day. I hope he had plenty of toilet paper.

Brownie points for Keri who does exhibit begrudging acknowledgement of her nemesis even if I really have no clue what brought on the animosity. She’s enemies with the Miller Light Lady for, what? She uses too much fingernail polish before she’s scheduled to pitch? She’s too bubbly when she presents the umps the lineup cards? She posed in a bikini at Team Picture Day? Miller Light Lady got into it with Mimi at the mall over who was first in line at B. Dalton Bookseller? If you’re going to hold a grudge, could you make it believable? As the Umpire Manual says, ejecting a player for trivial offenses is inexcusable. I remember when Joe West called out Andre Dawson when he was with the Cubs on a strike that wasn’t even in the Western Hemisphere and when Dawson, who normally never complained, looked back at West and just quietly said “You got to be kidding me”, West tossed him, a tossing that really had no basis, IMO. The Cub fans were understandably angry and let West have it all night long, although the Cubs did end up winning. Therefore, Keri, if you’re going to toss Miller Light Lady, make sure she said something about your mother. Talking about that earring in your nose won’t cut it.

Late Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Umpire Joe West Ejects Coach Thorp In Game with Oakwood!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“When he said I was blinder than Gregg Hamm, I told him to hit the showers.”

At Valley Tech gym one afternoon

“Steeeee-rike Three!!!!!!!!”

“No, Coach Kim, that’s not the proper mechanics. Listen to me and you’ll strike the fear of Gil, er, God into people.”

“Oh, I lick the asphalt you walk upon, oh mighty Dutch Rennert of the Valley Conference.”

Okay, not bad artwork in P2 even with the brown Cream of Wheat that Inma is consuming. I never know what the connection between that and the Bucket Burgers that the other compatriots literally have on their plate but I’m not the Resident Dietitian at The Bucket.

But is Keri flipping off Inma? I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt but I don’t see any reason why she would brandish a #2 pencil alongside her Bucket Triple Decker. And I don’t think fingers grow out of the hand, at least that’s what I was fought by Mr. Hahn and Mr. Gardiner (great teachers, BTW) in high school Biology. Wait a minute, maybe she just devoured a popsicle. Yeah, that’s it. Or a Klondike Bar and you get a free emery board with every bar you purchase.

Late Late Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Umpire Joe West Ejects Coach Ochoa From The Premises!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Everything went fine until she said I ump like Heehaw.”

In the bedroom one lovely night

“Steeeeee-rike Three!!!!!!”

“Mimi, I haven’t taken my clothes off yet.”

Okay, again, I’ll lay off the Bucket Cheeseburgers and Bucket Fries art stylings today because I would eat today’s cartoon food if push came to Luke’s scraggly shave job.

But what the bejabbers are those ants doing all over the drinking cups? You could make a horror flick out of this

“Them!!!!!!!! The Year They Land On Milford!!!!!”

They were engaged in quiet conversation, Dorothy and Tobe were. They were content with the victory over another Joe Palooka opponent and were on the verge of indulging in the fruits of their labor. The Milford Fire Ants had other ideas. They started with the Bucket Shake. Some Milford Fire Ants enjoyed Bucket Mocha Chocolate Supreme, others gorged on Bucket Tapioca Pudding Shake And Shimmy. The bottom line was, no matter how many #2 pencils they threw at these Creatures of Doom, The Bucket was soon to be ravaged in a matter of time.

Can those Blobby People rescue them from Bucket Hell? If they can rescue Dagwood when he’s ringing out Blondie for purchasing too many packages of Fruit of the Loom at Milford Department Store, all while lurking in the background, bettin’ money says they’ll call Milford Pest Control and mount a campaign only Hannibal would be proud of, minus the elephants. It would help to crush these ants with Dumbo but Raid and elephants might be overkill. Why ruin a good script?

“We’ll be back to see if Umpire Joe West summons Coach Thorp from the Time Out Corner after these messages. You’re watching WDIG-TV.”

“I had the wedding plans set. Coach Kaz were going to walk the aisles in the wonderment of matrimony even if they had to utilize a Drott Bulldozer to clear the way leading to the altar. But when Coach Kaz left me for another job, I knew it was time to trim down this sexy, sensuous, unctuous body from its 754-pound stature. Coach Kaz would have to wait and accept the position at the Milford Boys Club as Assistant Recreation Director.

Greetings, this is Mabel Ruth Pearl and when I was so out-of-breath that it felt like I scaled The Balcony at Mount Everest when I said ‘I do’, I surmised that drastic overhauls needed to be implemented in this chiseled granite of Parnassus. Therefore, I applied at Milford Liposuction Academy and sweated through their very thorough examination procedures because I was afraid I wouldn’t meet their cutoff. I was reassured that few people shared my weight considerations and that I would have little impediments on my way to a Lifestyle free of guilt or weight the equivalent of a 19th-century brougham.

Once they finally cleared my dental records at Milford Dental Associates and was exonerated from that wisdom tooth caused by excessive Pay Day bars, I was a Roger That. They sat me in a wheelchair on the day of the procedure and procured one safe enough to cart a dead zebra around the premises. I was taken to the procedure room where I was undressed, save for the gown I was required to wear. I loathed displaying my sexy implants with the Academy staff but it was the price I paid if wanted to metamporhose my way even sexier.

I was attached to several hoses, one to my breasts, one to my navel, one to the crevice in my gluteus maximus and also The Professor and Mary Ann. I was given sleeping gas and I drifted off to Never Never Land where I would have treasure if I stayed in the room, far precious more than gold or Kaz’s earrings. I thought on pleasant things and soared on silky wings, for as long as the heart monitor stayed plugged in. I could immerse myself in corpular liberation as the lipocytes were oozing out the tube injected by my quadriceps femoris and it made me want to do a windmill 360 jam at Never Never Land’s gym. The encephalograph beeped loud enough to wake Pearl Harbor and Air Mabel I was not.

The Liposuctionthreapeuticimmunogonorrhrealoutsourcingpathog-enicoutwashing was a success. No longer would I be required to deduct my clothes as tare weight when I was hailing a taxi cab. I am a liberated woman and on a new mission to flag down Coach Kaz and hold him to that Promissory Note he signed should we reschedule our nuptial assignment. I believe he will honor his commitment to this Cinderella who no longer weighs more than the pumpkin she rode to the ball.

And with Major Insurance plans approving the procedure, you owe it to yourself to live Life to its fullest instead of dressing to your fullest. Come in and discuss your Liposuction issues today at Milford Liposuction Academy and be on the road to recovery by not tearing up the concrete.”

Gang, don’t place that old washtub your grandma showered in when she was a teenager on top of The Bucket sign. It’s a fast food joint, not a laundromat. But God bless you all.

“Streeeeeeee-rike three!!!!!!!!”

“The ball diamond’s the other way, Ump.”

“Boy, Coach Thorp, this one IS blinder than Gregg Hamm.”

Tomorrow’s Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Andre Dawson Wins Protest On Umpire’s Decision!!!!!!! Game Will Resume On Sunday At 1:00PM At Milford Sportsplex!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Domino’s Pizza will deliver this time rather than Nick’s Pizza per final ruling.”

April 24, 2023

Yas Queen, Be Careful What You Wish For

Oh look, Mimi’s back in town, officially handing over the reins of jayvee softball to Cami. Mimi’s off to coach golf… where? Milford High? Scottsdale? We’ve been missing some Mimi (and Meemaw) updates to fill in where they are on their respective journeys. I trust Henry will fill us in on those in his own good time, maybe by July.

Cami’s posting the softball roster fairly realistically. Sometimes coaches post them before giving notice to the players that they’ve been posted, but they pretty much never hang out to watch the kids look at them. Why open yourself to questions about who made the cut and didn’t? Not that standing there with a bunch of your peers to see who made the cut and who didn’t isn’t awkward enough. I remember having similar feelings in grad school when exam grades got posted. They were posted by Social Security number and, as mine was significantly different than everyone else’s in my class, folks could figure out which one was mine straight away. I was glad when they changed to posting by only the last four digits of our SSNs.

Keri’s nemesis Dorothy has made the team; how did Keri know about that on Friday? Dorothy’s slip about making it “on her own” is leading. Did a family member have pull in getting her on the cheerleading squad? Not as much as Gil did after getting Keri a slap on the wrist for bringing a butter knife to school kicking Dorothy’s #&% . Dot’s got some knuckles of her own now, so maybe Keri should think twice before reenacting kicking her #&%.

Then again, Dorothy’s a leftie; maybe she and Keri will find some common ground.

April 22, 2023

Madison Time, just not the kind you’d expect

“It’s what Coach Thorp and I will be doing while you’re playing softball. Duh.” Come on, man, you can’t start a strip off with a loaded question like that and not expect some juvenile retort! The questions from the parents aren’t too farfetched, so kudos for that.

The answer to the third question is “so you don’t call us with questions like the first one.” I’d like to see what they do with question two, though. Between the kids always eating at The Bucket or Ricozzi’s Pizza and the preseason sloppy joes, sports nutrition has kinda gotten short shrift in Milford. No place in the program for HooDad’s and vapes.

Bigger question: Why the focus on Milford JV softball and not varsity? (And since when do jayvees have postseason tournaments? No, really. If any of y’all have examples, please leave them in the comments.) Did they lose too many upperclasswomen to graduation and ODs? It happens IRL sometimes; there’s a big gap between age cohorts and schools just drop the program for a season or two until the next cohort ages in.

But back to this New Haven thing. Is henryjbarajas throwing out recent canon (goodbye, Luckey Haskins?) and taking the strip back to its Connecticut roots? He promised big news in his comment on GoComics today. Breath bated!

We of course cannot have Madison Time without, you know, Madison Time. This one’s in honor of our old friend and TWIM’s former big toe, nedryerson. Here’s hoping life’s treating you kindly, ned, wherever you are.

Apologies for the late post. I lost a (much longer) draft that I thought I’d saved.

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