This Week in Milford

January 23, 2023

Jami Don’t Vape

Filed under: Jami Thorp — nedryerson @ 6:51 am

Here we have Jami Thorp and maybe one of the Martinez kids in what looks to be a school cafeteria doing a little gaming. I still don’t know what the situation is with the Martinez kids and if they go to school with Jami. Maybe it’s some other kid we don’t know. Jami could have many friends who like to magic blast with him. I suppose Jami and friend take care of their nutritional needs elsewhere so they can game during their lunch period. I don’t recall having enough time during school lunch periods than eat and trade a few insults with other kids, then it was back to being indoctrinated.

Along comes a kid who is going for a Shaggy from Scooby Do look named Nick. Nick identifies Jami and friend as nerds. I guess playing a Silver Sea God card in the school cafeteria is pretty nerdy, but Shaggy Nick with his Rick & Morty t-shirt is giving nerdom a run for its money.

Well, lookah here! Nick seems to be part of the growing vape distribution ring here in the greater Milford area and he’s excited to introduce Jami and pal to the exciting world of illicit teen vaping. C’mon kids, ya gotta vape for the caus. (The cause vaguely being something to do with budget shortfalls for Milford athletics which we needn’t question.) Jami’s no fool. He don’t mix his gaming with vaping because he clearly knows what’s cool.

It wasn’t clear what Jami was playing when he was casting his magic blasts all over the Martinez dining room, but today he has identified what he and his friend are playing as Magic, which I believe is short for Magic: The Gathering.

Magic:The Gathering is something I’ve been aware of for a long time but have never partaken in. My first exposure to Magic: The Gathering was thirty years ago when I was in graduate school. This was the first time I ever had an email address. (To really date this recollection, the email for the university was run on a Pine email server.) There was one guy in my program who also had a part time job as an assistant in our computer lab. This guy was tech savvy (or nerdy, if you will) enough to know how to create a custom signature block on his Pine emails. At the bottom of all his emails was his name, some other data and below that was the phrase: “Will play Magic:The Gathering for food.” That sounded like Greek to me because I had no idea what the heck Magic was. I think I saw this guy with his cards spread out somewhere engaged in some gathering with a fellow nerd but I didn’t ask questions or hang around to figure out what was going on. I saw no evidence of vaping, but I don’t think it had been invented yet.

December 24, 2022

Mele Kalikimaka ‘n stuff

Season’s greetings, gentle readers. I’m here from another hemisphere to take us into the transition out of football and into whatever comes next. Let’s check in with the Thorps to see what’s been going on off the field. I’m not gonna attempt to touch Festivus but I recommend that you check out the Mopped Up Thorp Festivus post; it’s awesome.

December 23, 2022

Oh my goodness this is getting sad fast. Meemaw appears to have left the nursing home to be in home hospice care. A detached-looking Gil stands in the doorway. I wonder if he ever knew how much Meemaw wanted Mimi to divorce him and try to revive a golf career we never knew she had. At least the Thorp kids are providing us the look at a Milford bonfire we didn’t get during football season.

KXCI is a community radio station in Tucson. It also streams online. There’s no reason to wonder, then, whether Milford has moved west of the Mississippi, or get into the matter of those stations east of the Mississippi beginning with K (e.g., KDKA in Pittsburgh, KYW in Philly) or those west of the Mississippi beginning with W (e.g., WHO in Des Moines).

In case you were wondering, The Both was a duo consisting of Aimee Mann and Ted Leo (but no Pharmacists). They’ve recorded a single , self-titled album to date, in 2014. The lyrics are from their song “Nothing Left To Do (Let’s Make This Christmas Blue).”

December 24, 2022

Now we get the triple-header Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa strip. I am not a member of the tribe so I did not know that ugly Hanukkah sweaters are a thing. I did, however, know that Hanukkah menorahs have nine candles, not seven as appear on Rachel’s sweater. I also did not know that Tobias and Mel were canonically Jewish. Kaz is looking a little distracted tbh. Probably thinking about his upcoming bris.

The Thorps manage to smile for their family photo save for Keri, who’s showing off her knuckle dusters and the reason Pedro Martinez has been hanging around. (meta: Moon Mullins points out Keri is flashing the universal symbol for eating at the Y, so not completely out of character.)

Finally we have… who? I honestly do not know and I feel guilty for not knowing. This isn’t the Brown-Hiatt family from a few years bock.* Is it one of Keri’s volleyball teammates? Help me out here, please.

It is now after midnight where I am and so, while you may have several hours to go, it is already Christmas Day here. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and we’ll see you again on Boxing Day.

*This should read “a few years back,” but I’m leaving this typo in since that’s what I was drinking on Christmas Eve.

November 2, 2022

From Slash Damage to Slash Fiction, Just a Roll Away

Filed under: Boredom in Milford, Jami Thorp, Milford Weirdos — teenchy @ 11:27 am

Before composing today’s post, just for S&Gs I decided to look at the “About” section for Gil Thorp on GoComics:

With sharp, contemporary storylines and concise artwork, “Gil Thorp” provides an important link between high school athletics and contemporary social issues, taking readers to the classrooms and playing fields of Milford High School, where Thorp continues to raise the bar for coaches at all levels. Henry Barajas and Rod Whigham are giving the classic strip an update, ensuring that Thorp continues his reign as coach of the funny pages.

Then, through the magic of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, I decided to look at the “About” section for Gil Thorp on GoComics from 2018:

Created by Neal Rubin and Rod Whigham for and about teenagers, Gil Thorp has developed an intensely loyal readership of all ages. It is a sports strip that is not just about sports, sometimes dealing with topical, teen-oriented issues.

Subtle change but a change nonetheless. I’m waiting to see how Gil “raise[s] the bar for coaches.” Making the rounds of the bars in the Valley, flirting with the barmaids and rating their Old Fashioned game, I reckon. As for “continuing his reign,” will it necessarily involve The Fall of the House of Martinez? Only time will tell.

Now that we’ve been put on notice that the strip is being written with compilation as a graphic novel in mind, I think it bears repeating that we’re gonna have to focus on the long game, not only in plot resolution but also in snark. How, then, does Jami Thorp’s involvement in an RPG with the Martinez brothers advance the plot? Will it open a window into the Thorps’ home life that Luke Sr. will inevitably exploit as he seeks to bring Gil down? Or will Jami’s “magic blast” lead to other games, as innuendoed by his hand gesture and t-shirt graphic?

October 31, 2022

Thorps In Spandex: Trick Or Treat?

Filed under: Gil Thorp, Jami Thorp, Mimi Thorp, Pantheon of Mysterious Objects — nedryerson @ 6:16 am

I don’t have to talk about school shooting drills in the guise of community theater productions of Straw Dogs featuring senior circuit pro wrestling moves? That is a definite treat for me, and not just fun sized!.

The Thorps are trick or treating with Jami. Is Jami too old for tricker treating, stage whispers a very mature man in a full on Superman costume. I think if two parents get into full superhero outfits complete with full bodysuits, boots and capes, there’s an indication that they are into Halloween, or at least one of them is and the other one goes along because he knows what’s good for him. Gil’s going along with this because there’s a promise of some superhero fetish play in his future.

I’m not sure what Jami’s costume is. It’s a white robe with a boxy looking ghost mask. Is that some studio intellectual property that I don’t know or just a twist on the old, lazy I’m going to wear a sheet and be a ghost? His head is kinda kitty shaped. Is that a thing?

What is that lady giving out to trick or treaters, handfuls of jelly beans?

October 17, 2022

The Snacks Are On Pedro

Filed under: Jami Thorp, Prairie Style Windows, Volleyball — nedryerson @ 3:37 am

We’re at a volleyball game. Jami Thorp is there with his friend, the Lightning Bolt Kid. They are both enjoying their phones when someone who is already sitting next to them asks if he can sit with them. Of course, Jami knows this guy, it’s Toby, the new football wunderkind who has a backstory with the Thorps.

Jami, almost uses Toby’s old name, Oh, no! But, it’s cool. Phew. Close one.

What’s this? There’s another member of Jami and the LBK’s party. He’s tall, dark and bearing snacks. It’s Pedro!* He’s making Thorp connections all of the place. The Lightning Bolt Kid might just slink away now that this group has so much more star power.

*I didn’t realize it was Pedro and might have played the “who’s this guy” angle had I not glanced down at the top comment on the GoComics site from Henry Barajas identify snacks guy as Pedro.

October 8, 2022

A Mudlark Victory, Both Literal and Symbolic

Milford, having dropped its opener due to a Kaz spaz playcalling error, came into the Goshen game as rare underdogs (right? Hasn’t Goshen been historically a bottom dweller in the Valley?). The Mudlarks pulled off the upset win thanks to a play obvious to Marty in the press box but not to Goshen and the toe of new kicker Tobias Gordon. Now for a rare look into the stands post-game, pre-Bucket.

The entire Thorp family is in the stands in a rare show of support – but for whom? Apparently less so for Gil than for Toby and his mom, Mel. The current incarnation of Mel Gordon has been known for wearing t-shirts of metal bands, which makes her choice to wear the AC/DC shirt again bit less fraught with meaning. Keri’s choice – that of a vigilante anti-hero embraced by the military, the police and the far right – is a bit more confusing…

… but no more confusing than Keri flashing the love hands to Tobias. Is it her way of saying “I’ve been supporting you since I was a kid and you were a fetus“? We’ve already seen a bit of awkwardness on Keri’s part where Toby is concerned. Why encourage it, especially now that she’s been shown to be moist for Pedro Martinez?

Maybe we could ask Henry Barajas himself, as Whigham appears to have drawn him into the stands in front of Keri. When the snarkers suggested that Barajas should actually watch a couple of football games before he starts writing about them, I don’t think this is what they had in mind.

October 5, 2022

גמר חתימה טוב

“G’mar chatima tova (גמר חתימ טובה)” is, of course, the traditional Hebrew greeting given on Yom Kippur, which began at sunset yesterday evening. It translates roughly as “a good final sealing,” as in the Book of Life, in which observant Jews are inscribed on Rosh Hashanah and sealed on Yom Kippur.

The Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is, among other things, a day of fasting. Before starting the fast at sunset, a meal called seudah hamafseket is served. Seudah hamafseket is considered festive and may include meat. So there, Keri.

We were getting set up for this for the past two days, what with the bagels for dinner and Kaz’s new SO being named Rachel. This strip has been serving up Christmas Day strips since forever, and the David Greene arc in fall 2001, hinging largely on Greene’s Jewish faith, woke up echoes of Hank Greenberg.

A strip involving Judaism, then, is in relative keeping with the history of Gil Thorp. I can’t think of any other strips that wove Judaism into its fabric beyond the departed Edge City, but I am welcome to have my memory jogged.

G’mar chatima tova to all you gentle readers who observe.

October 3, 2022

Movin’ On Up!

We’re not talking about the football team, their recent loss or their search for a new kicker? I’m happy with that. We’ll get back to that at some point, I presume. Today, the family Thorp is taking a family outing and we begin in an elevator.

An elevator in Gil Thorp? I’m trying really hard to think of a time when an elevator appeared in Gil Thorp and I’m coming up blank. Milford is a place that seems a lot like where I grew up, sort of suburban bordering on rural, with mostly single-family homes and duplex apartments, but no elevator buildings aside from maybe hospitals or courthouses. The only place I’d see people taking an elevator to their living space was on television, like on the Jeffersons. That looked really exotic to me, living in a building with a doorman wearing a vaguely militaristic uniform. Surely such things don’t exist in Milford, but here we are, riding with the Thorps in an elevator, heading to an outing with food, a brunch perhaps?

There is talk of bagels, which Keri will be focused on since she’s aware of the menu at this shindig, which must be largely meat based. Yes, yes Keri, your family knows you are vegan. They spend a fortune on arugula to keep you from starving the death!

Holy Deluxe Apartment in the Sky-yi, we’re heading up to the Penthouse! Are we visiting a head of state, Milford’s leading real estate developer or a dry-cleaning magnate? Are the Thorps underdressed?

What? The swanky penthouse apartment belongs to none other than Bob Kazinski, aka Coach Kaz. Who knew? Look at that pendant lighting and that, um, delicious spread of food. There’s something steaming in a crock, something green and leafy, a bowl of white stuff, another green and leafy dish and many bagels. Bigshot Kaz probably has the elevator bugged, so he heard the Thorps talking about the rationing of bagels, so he welcomes them in by assuring them that we made extra bagels.

I have two questions about Kaz’s statement. First, who made bagels for a gathering? Sure, you can theoretically make your own bagels if you want to spend hours and cover yourself in flour, but more commonly you would get bagels from a deli or somewhere. Maybe, in Kaz’s mind, the making consists of slicing storebought bagels?

The bigger question to me, hungry for some continuity, is who else is in the we that procured/prepared the bagels? I don’t think Kelly Krystek has come up yet in the Barajas era. Does she live in or occasionally shack up with Kaz in the penthouse or is Kaz now part of a throuple (which includes at least one serious baker)?

Let’s dig into those bagels and find out!

Sing along, you know the words….did someone mention pie?
Older Posts »

Blog at