This Week in Milford

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.”

March 14, 2021

Time for Some Whompin’ Action!

**THIS IS THE SATURDAY POST**

The Lady Mudlarks go all West Virginia Ninja on Oakwood…

… but not before dropping some heavy hints on now-designated Shallow Girl Tessi Milton.

I’ve admired Whigham’s shot-blocking artwork in the past and here again, he delivers. I gotta say Becca’s stuff on that Oakwood girl is pretty sweet but how high is she that she can make that block with her arm out almost horizontally? Maybe the Oak is just that low – more like an acorn, amirite? In any event Milford gets the W though I wouldn’t exactly call six points a whompin’.

Minus the Contessa (hey, that’d make a good band name!), the Lady Mudlarks corral Vic at the announcer’s table. What’s next for young Mr. Doucette may be best left to the imagination, or at least until Monday. Will he roll up to the prom in his GMC Safari with a harem posse? Stay tuned…

March 3, 2021

We’re the Mudlarks, Not the Cougars

Good: Vic Doucette shifting away from providing advice on motorsports careers and back to what he does best: falling back on Bermanisms for Milford hoopsters since he’s run out of NBA PA guys to emulate. Glad he used Tessi’s nickname else we wouldn’t have known if this was a girls’ or boys’ game.

Not so good: some rando Mudlark mom giving Vic the bad touch* while grooming heaping praise on him. Timing couldn’t be much worse given the current headlines about [insert politician/women’s gymnastics coach/team doctor name here]. Doubt the Chief gave that much thought while he was drawing this, unlike the additional details he added to Mudlark mom’s blouse in closeup. I’m imagining an unseen P4 zooming in further to show the stitchwork in the blouse and the unplucked hair in her mustache.

Who are these people? Who is handsy Mudlark mom’s daughter? Tessi? Corina? Becca Ramirez? Or some as yet identified player named Robinson?

Retcon alert: Did we ever hear a rotating parent do PA work for Milford before? After Vic, will we ever hear another Mudlark PA announcer again?

*This was my tentative title for today’s post until I realized I used it about a year ago. Didn’t link to the video then, suppose I could do it now.

February 27, 2021

Wrenching to Conclusions

Tonight I feel like the Rolling Stones going on after James Brown and the Famous Flames at The T.A.M.I. Show. Here goes nothing.

Like a well-executed heel-and-toe shift of your favorite manual gearbox, you expected a segue of Quick Vic Doucette coming over to Doug Guthrie to ask for pointers on making time with Tessi Milton. Instead, like the sickening sound of an over-rev and bent pushrods after a missed shift, you got Vic unloading a barrage of automotive references on an only slightly nonplussed Doug. You’d feel dinged up between the ears, too, if your hair kept changing back and forth between blond and brunette at random. (Now I remember why I usually stick to the B&W version of the strip.)

Things only get worse from there. In a tank town like Milford, it doesn’t take much to connect the dots from Tom and Doug being late for practice because Doug got pulled over, to Gil making Tom and Doug run laps for being late for practice, to Tom spraining his knee while running laps for being late for practice, to Doug feeling guilty because if he hadn’t gotten pulled over neither Tom nor he would’ve been late for practice and Gil wouldn’t have made them run laps. If Doug hadn’t mentioned it before now, maybe Tom did. Or maybe Rick Scott. Or maybe it’s just one of those things that leaked out of the locker room, like a bad case of jock itch.

What doesn’t naturally follow is Vic’s assumption that, rather than feeling guilty about Tom’s injury, Doug now fears he too will get injured. Neither does it follow that that fear extends to Doug’s not being able to race his kart. Doug’s blowing off a race for the Oakwood game suggests that karting isn’t gonna be a stepping stone in his career; we’ve never seen mention of any success of his behind the wheel. I now have no idea how Rubin’s gonna tie the Guthrie part of this arc together. I’m just glad we haven’t seen Co-co-rina in this strip since February 9, though I suspect that streak will come to an end soon.

February 24, 2021

Oh Godleski, Not This Again!

Hey look, some hoops action that doesn’t involve injury, unless you count the bruises the ball’s getting being clanked off the rim. No Muench and a sluggish Guthrie mean the Mudlarks are struggling until Mark Godleski puts one in, then catches fire after Vic eggs him on. Oh my! George Takei‘s not gonna be too happy with Vic’s second Bermanism (Doucetteism?) as Mark hits the no-look fadeaway jumper. Will the next basket be made by Mark “look at those” Godles”(s) heathens making the horns at me behind Vic’s back” ki?

I’m getting the sense here that the Tilden game, while not making or breaking the Mudlarks’ season (they’re not contending for the Valley, or else we’d have heard about it by now), may be dispositive of several characters’ futures. Vic’s gonna Vic and a future calling celebrity softball games awaits him. Muench will play at least another season of baseball as he’s the current version of Paul Beaudry. As for Guthrie, it will be time for him to fish or cut bait between hoops and wheels. He hurts the Mudlarks more than helps them, so maybe he’s best cut out for the garage. Still you’d think if all that time with his tailbone two inches from the ground was propelling his racing career forward we’d have heard about it by now. Doug should ask Corina if Valley Mod has any automotive technician programs and think about transferring there.

February 10, 2021

Spread the Word. How Easy Is That?

Finally we learn who the Lady Mudlarks were playing the past couple of strips, as well as the outcome. Vic either must have said “Co-Co-Rina” off-panel yesterday or unnamed Lady Mudlark randomly tagged Corina with it. Painfully apparent that the Thorpiverse exists in another dimension as she hasn’t been called the painfully obvious and not entirely inappropriate “Corinavirus.” Of course the obvious question is “If Vic Doucette slaps a wacky nickname on you and there’s nobody there to hear it, does it stick?”

It will if The Contessa has anything to say about it. There’s precedent for guys coming out to girls’ games if it means that those girls will keep talking to them. Throw in a pat on the arm and they’ll get the bleachers packed. Maybe the nerd on the left in P3 will have added a few more whiskers to his scraggly mustache (which earns him a Pantheon of Hair tag and earns The Chief kudos for the accurate teenage boy facial hair) in time for the next game when Vic whips people into a frenzy.

February 8, 2021

And The Crowd Goes Eh

Oh boy, Tessi Milton is really laying it on thick. She’s of the opinion that what the Lady Mudlarks really need is a generous helping of Vic Doucette magic. It appears that Vic can’t deny Tessi anything at this point. Will that 2004 GMC Safari be a rockin’ at some point?

So what is Tessi short for? The Contessa? ‘The Contessa’ Milton? Or just Contessa Milton? Oh Vic, I hope you haven’t gotten in over your head.

February 6, 2021

Shouldn’t You Be Playing the Game Instead of Talking to the PA Guy?

“Vic, my man! What happened to you? I thought we were cool. Bros before, uh, not bros.”

“Well, Tessi Milton made it pretty hard, if you know what I mean and I think you do.”

After the past couple of strips this comes as a surprise. I was sure Vic was gonna honor the age-old tradition of giving Milford girls’ teams short shrift compared to the boys’ teams. Wonder if we’ll find out just how Tessi was able to coerce Vic to call the Lady Mudlarks’ games. Somehow I don’t think root beer was involved.

Hey, but that pep talk Vic gave Doug is doing wonders for Doug’s confidence. Not only is he not moping around, he feels relaxed enough to have this little chat with Vic in what appears to be the middle of a game and while he’s in possession of the ball. This stunt should get Doug kicked off the team faster than you can say “Michael Schumacher,” but who knows given how welcoming Gil was when Doug told him he was scrubbing a race so he could play against Oakwood.

edit: Alert (or, at least, less fixated on the idea that Doug is doing something wrong than I) TWIMer Hitorque has pointed out that this convo is probably going on during pregame warmups, which makes far more logical sense than my hot take. Either way, how Tessi convinced Vic to cover the girls’ games still remains a mystery.

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