This Week in Milford

September 14, 2022

More Pronoun Trouble

Football season! Volleyball season!

Here we go again, but it’s not a dispute as to whether sportsball should take precedence over non-sportsball extracurriculars but the modern problem of remembering what pronouns people choose to identify themselves. Today, Toby née Tabatha identifies as he/him, Keri identifies as they/them, and Gil identifies as coach/Coach.

Now why are these three having this little confab at The Bucket of all places? (And why are they having coffee? Don’t they know there’s a cantina in town for that?) Are they here to pick up them after their postgame dinner? Are they serving as their chaperones for said dinner? Is it time for a jangle-off as Mel and Mimi see who can rattle their jewelry the loudest? Winner gets Gil – if she wants him, that is.

The unspoken tension here is so thick you could cut it with a butter knife, not unlike the one Mimi’s twisting into Mel as she deadnames Toby. Clearly she hasn’t forgotten that Mel wanted to be her at one time. Meanwhile Gil, still aware of that history and that Mimi is unhappy in the marriage, tries to play the supportive husband by throwing out a patronizing “sweetie.” Will Mimi have the divorce papers served publicly to Gil right here in The Bucket, the way Jason Sudeikis had Olivia Wilde served with custody papers while she was presenting at CinemaCon?

One thing is clear: despite Mel’s claim, in Milford, nothing is the same as it was.

edit: Oops! I forgot to identify the players from the Dolphins’ No-name Defense I posted this past Saturday!

Front, reclining: Lloyd Mumphord, CB

Front row, left to right: Bob Matheson, LB; Bill Stanfill, DE; Bob Heinz, DT; Manny Fernandez, DT; Vern Den Herder, DE

Center: Nick Buoniconti, LB

Back row, left to right: Dick Anderson, SS; Curtis Johnson, CB; Mike Kolen, LB; Doug Swift, LB; Tim Foley, CB; Jake Scott, FS

August 15, 2022

Life’s A Beach

Filed under: Bare Midriffs, huge glasses, huge hats, Jami Thorp, Keri Thorp, metapost, Mimi Thorp — nedryerson @ 6:04 am

Here we are, visiting Mimi’s mother (who’s not doing well). Well, you can always swing by Shady Acres Assisted Living Facility, stop in for a quick visit, (Mother, you remember your grandchildren, Jami and Keri? No, sure you do. Remember how they would come visit you every summer? Of course you do, mother. Of course you do.) then get to the shore to enjoy the sun, the crashing of the waves and the absence of Gil Thorp. Seriously, did Mimi straight up lie to Gil?

For some insight on that last question, let’s turn our attention to the latest media appearance by new Gil Thorp writer, Henry Barajas. In this interview featured in The Daily Cartoonist, Henry says:

Something I’ve learned from better writers than myself is to never underestimate your audience—and the reader is always smarter than you. I intentionally leave things “vague” with the promise to follow it up.

So I guess we are smart enough to figure this out. I’m just going to say Mimi lied about her mother. But lying to your spouse and then involving the children is rather low. Maybe I’m not all that smart. By the way, if you read to the end of the interview with Henry, you’ll see that the Daily Cartoonist writer D.D. Degg (great name) throws in a link to TWIM and quotes teenchy’s last post. Wow, This Week in Milford is going places, after sixteen years. Today it’s The Daily Cartoonist (the source for industry news for the professional cartoonist), next up, who knows! (Hat tip to MopMan for calling attention to the TWIM shoutout.)

I don’t want it to sound like I’m throwing shade at Henry Barajas or D.D. Degg of The Daily Cartoonist. I love daily comics and the anticipation of cracking open a browser tab every morning to see what’s going on in Milford or Santa Royale wherever. (Yesterday’s Mary Worth was another one for the ages.) I salute these people who figure out how to pay the bills creating comics. I feel like “comics mockage” as Jason referred to it when he started TWIM is an outlet for our own creativity from the vantage point of the comic strip consumers. Does it veer off into some real aggro attitude sometimes? Maybe, but I think it’s mainly based on devotion to the strips. Am I being sincere here? I think the readers of TWIM are smart enough to know.

So let’s get back to the beach. Jami’s got an ice cream cone and there’s some sniping between him and Keri. Mimi’s reading a book in that classic pose that Whigham uses when the strip’s teen girls lay on their beds with their laptops. Keri is absorbed in her phone. We’ve yet to see the evidence that Keri is “missing her daddy”. We know her daddy has a flip phone and is a little unsure how to use it, so I doubt Ker is texting Gil. (If she was, would she have to keep up the visit Grandma charade? I’m having a hard time keeping the narrative I’ve created straight.)

May 18, 2022

Time, Limp!

Today’s baseball history lesson is the story of Jackie Hayes. Hayes, a shortstop on Wallace Wade’s Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team (yes, Wade coached baseball in addition to football at the time), got his start in the majors in 1928 as a utility infielder for the original AL Senators. Having been awarded the starting second base job for 1929 by the Nats’ new manager, future Hall-of-Famer Walter Johnson, Jackie would lose that job to Buddy Myer, a .300-plus hitter who Washington had reacquired after an ill-advised trade to the Red Sox. While Hayes was the better glove man, Myer was the better hitter and baserunner (he led the AL in stolen bases in ’28 for Boston and would win the AL batting crown in ’35 for Washington). After two more seasons playing sporadically for the Nats, Hayes was traded to the White Sox in a multi-player deal.

While still a great fielder, Hayes struggled with injuries on the South Side, including several beanings; in two seasons where he managed to stay healthy, he hit over .300. Things would take a turn for the worse during spring training 1940. After a shower one afternoon, he felt as if he had soap in his right eye. The next day his vision was blurry, and the club sent him back to Chicago for treatment. After several misdiagnoses and no relief from deteriorating vision, Jackie Hayes would be diagnosed with glaucoma.

Hayes wouldn’t give up. He played in a handful of games, but didn’t start for the first time until August 21 when, wearing a makeshift helmet with ear flaps and closing his right eye when he stepped into the batter’s box, he went 2-for-3. Hayes batted .195 in 18 games for the White Sox and retired after the 1940 season. He would go blind in his right eye soon thereafter and went completely blind in 1943, but he did manage to have a productive life after baseball, serving as a county tax collector and occasional visitor to local and regional schools for the blind as a motivational speaker. Still, Jackie Hayes will always be remembered as the first major league baseball player to wear a protective helmet.

The Hammer’s apparent obliviousness to the comebacker whizzing past his right ear made me wonder if he wasn’t already completely blind in his right eye, which triggered my memories of Jackie Hayes. Wonder if Gil could track down one of those padded caps offered to MLB pitchers a few years ago for Gregg, the ones that made them look like the Great Gazoo. I think only Alex Torres ever wore one in a regular season game, so there’s probably a bunch lying around some equipment manager’s cage somewhere.

Finally catching a clue that something is wrong with the Hammer on the bump, Gil quickly tells the suddenly popular Morrison to hit the showers and wait for him with a loofah to get hot fast. Without adequate warmup, there’ll soon be another Mudlark pitcher out with an injury, and Gil’s 10-3 record will be gone quicker than you can say “lemonade on the back porch.” Of course Gil will lay into Gregg before realizing the true extent of the situation and turning his wrath to Papa Hamm. Why Kaz is being spared for letting Scooter Pie talk him out of fielding practice for the Hammer is beyond me, and yet another of the gaps in this plot as massive as the ones left after an infield shift.

March 16, 2022

“Coaching”? Bwahahahaha! >snort<

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to post today’s strip but I can’t stop laughing at it. Will update directly. >snort<

Phew! That took longer than I thought.

Of all Milford’s rivals Valley Tech is always the chippiest, and the girl with the blue ponytail does her best to keep up that tradition. First with the reach-in, which begs the question: If someone fouls Hollis, does that make her a Talley whacker? Then, having heard all the on-court talk about Hollis being a selfish, bossy snitch, VT girl fires off a sarcastic fascist salute. Heil Hollis!

All that pales in comparison to the chef’s kiss that is the last panel. Acquiescing to a player’s request to change positions and, well, letting her succeed there is considered “coaching”? Pretty low bar to clear in Milford to be sure, but that’s no bar at all. Maybe Gil agrees and he’s the one being sarcastic.

Oh, and when was the last time you saw anyone play racquetball? For me, I think it was during Poppy Bush’s administration. Even then, everybody’s racquets had strings.

February 12, 2022

I’m the CAPTAIN. At least for now.

I don’t know what the weather was like today where you are, gentle readers, but here in the Mid-Atlantic it was gorgeous, a glimpse of spring in dreary mid-February. Sunny, a few high clouds, temperatures in the high fifties Fahrenheit, even touching 60 in some places. What a day, then, to spend as much time outdoors as possible, hence my getting to today’s post very late in the day. As I write a winter weather advisory is in effect; snow is forecast to begin around 1 AM EST with a total of 1-3 inches expected, and temperatures will have plummeted about 40 degrees from current by this time tomorrow night. Fun while it lasted, but take heart: true spring is not that far away.

Let’s dive into today’s strip by first reading the US Air Force Academy Honor Code Oath:

We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, (so help me God).

The Honor Oath is administered during a ceremony associated with the Acceptance Day Parade, when basic cadets are formally recognized as fourth-class cadets after completion of Basic Cadet Training (BCT). Once the oath is administered, each cadet is expected to live up to the letter and spirit of the code.

That emphasis is mine. Acceptance Day marks the end of basic cadet training – six weeks of mental, physical and military training. USAFA cadets are expected to live up to the Honor Code after completion of BCT. The Honor Oath is not administered to USAFA appointees during their senior year of high school.

That aside, under what conditions can a USAFA appointee have his or her appointment revoked? My understanding from spending way too much time researching this evening is that, while this is rare, it can happen for medical (e.g., breaking a major bone), academic (e.g., failing a class the last semester of senior year), and conduct (e.g., DUI, drug/alcohol arrest/conviction) reasons. In this age of social media, putting pics of oneself in a cardboard bikini online might rate, but I can’t be certain about that.

Obviously this has really upset Hollis; her irises have been completely drained of color. I am also drained having spent the last couple of hours* trying to suss out whether Hollis is on an over-reacting ego trip or if there really is any merit to her notion that not narcing on her underaged-drinking teammate will result in the loss of her ticket to Colorado Springs. On the other hand, if she does narc on her underaged-drinking teammate, she may end up with the kind of injury that will lead to a medical revocation of her appointment.

I’m thinking mountains out of molehills, but will be glad to be proven wrong. Talk amongst yourselves as you wait for the Super Bowl to start.

* Seriously, I spent so much time looking at service academy forums that I forgot to rant about how much I hate how Whigham draws molecular structures.

Sunday evening metapost: I am grateful to TWIMer Philip who, as a former USAF officer, provided a perspective that no amount of online searching could have provided me. I am also grateful for your service.

December 1, 2021

“Sure I have expectations. I expect you to keep my name out of your mouth, starting now.”

Boy, Chance Macy is presumptuous, isn’t he? Since when has the Milford student body outside of Chance’s teammates said anything about what he does after high school? They have wondered aloud about why he and Tevin have decided to use cafeteria tables as their personal soapbox, though. Shows you who rules the roost in the Milford High coop.

As if that wasn’t enough, he feels the need to share his conversations with Gil with the school at large. Yeah, I get it that he can fall back on the “Tevin made me do it” excuse which, if he’s as much a “take my own advice” and “keep my opinions to myself” guy as he’s been painted to be, makes him a huge hypocrite. Chance should have shut up as soon as he said “McGill” and sat right back down.

But wait, there’s more! Macy has the nerve to bring Kianna Bello into the picture. (Is it coincidence that she always happens to be sitting in front of the table the football player stands up on?) Guessing he doesn’t Kianna to talk to him, either. Wouldn’t the casual listener hear Chance and think he’s been talking to Gil about Kianna?

If tomorrow’s strip doesn’t have Kianna interrupting Chance’s mansplaining with a verbal – if not physical – beatdown, I will be sorely disappointed. Of course, disappointment is a way of life in the Thorpiverse. Pity she doesn’t still have those crutches; she could put them to good use in short order.

August 7, 2021

The Facepalm Is Mutual, Gil

As robmize pointed out yesterday, after this past week’s strips the summer plot has as many holes as the swing of one of those kid golfers Gil teaches at the MCC. Shirt colors change, golf carts appear and disappear, and Gil finally remembers that Heather called him before the round with Carter and not the other way around. Gil also remembers that he’s married after glimpsing that giant wedding band on his giant paw, so it’s not just his shirt that quickly turns blue. Still doesn’t stop him from asking Heather if she wants it in P3 (you know what they say, big hands, tiny wristwatch)…

Oh, wait: it’s not Gil Heather wants, it’s a paying job with benefits – and not the kind that Gil’s offering her as a Milford High assistant football coach. Until now her only lead had been with the Milford Star and it would seem Marjie’s boss has been dragging his feet with a job offer. Now Heather’s got a shot at a hospital PR job. Which of the the three offers her more of a future? Newspaper journalism is in its death throes and we can estimate how many female high school football coaches there are in the country. Hospitals are always gonna need somebody to put a positive spin on the lack of open beds, the high cost of procedures, and the latest MRSA outbreak, so it’s not like that’s ever gonna go away.

All Heather needs is Gil’s confirmation that she has about as much of a future coaching football as she did playing soccer and she’ll be out of Milford quicker than you can say “Monmouth.” Sending Heather to Central City gets her out of Gil’s hair, lets Marjie maintain job security, and keeps Rubin from having to remember backstories and developing consistent character traits for her in the future.

March 28, 2021

Two Douches and a Four-speed and a 389

What have we learned today, TWIMers?

  1. Doug Guthrie’s favorite NASCAR racing family? The Pettys.
  2. Vic Doucette was seen by drove a Plymouth Satellite faster than the speed of light.
  3. When it comes to teaching your kids how to drive, Doug’s dad got it all wrong. Kid sits on dad’s lap, steers and shifts while dad works the pedals and takes hold of the steering wheel as necessary.
  4. Thanks to #3, Gil Thorp is the strip that has come the closest to a depiction of road head since For Better or for Worse introduced the bizarre term “going roadside.”
  5. A girl rejecting a guy for his grandpa van? Bad. Said guy catcalling said girl? A-OK!

I guess this wack-ass approach to putting Vic behind the wheel of a cool ride is cheaper than pimping out Vic’s van or fitting hand controls to Doug’s GTO. Style points to Whigham for getting the ’66 Goat interior close to correct, adding a column-mounted tach even if he defaulted to the cliched 8-ball gearshift knob.

Honestly this strip doesn’t feel like any kind of arc-ender, much as we might want it to be. If it is, a metapost might be in order.

meta: Well I’ll be darned; it is the arc-ender. Can you say “anticlimactic”? Sure, I knew you could. The post title is, of course, an homage to the second line of “Little GTO.”

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