This Week in Milford

March 28, 2020

Siriously?

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Four months’ setup for this. One of the lamest intros since “Oprah, Uma. Uma, Oprah.” Alexa is left with a deer-in-the-headlights look the likes of which we haven’t seen since Boo Radley had an unfortunate run-in with Del Bader and a pickup truck.

Although some sources say it’s legit, I have never heard anyone named Serena given the nickname “Siri.” In all the years I’ve followed tennis I’ve never heard it used on the greatest female player in recent times. I never heard called Samantha Stevens’ evil cousin called “Siri.” I never heard Sifl and Olly’s fantasy girl referred to as “Siri” either, but supposedly it’s of Scandinavian origin and that’s her mother’s given name. Okay, fine.

There are still a couple months left in most school years. Many of them will be completed via distance learning, which starts on Monday where I live. Another plot should be starting on Monday in the Thorpiverse as well. Newspaper syndicate lead times being what they are, it will probably not involve distance learning. Some elements of this plot may continue over into the spring. Chris and Alexa may still duke it out for valedictorian.  We may find out Siri’s parents are named Cortana and Mercedes.

Siri and Alexa have nice boots on. Maybe they’ll go ride horses together at the afterparty.

Chris gives this plot the finger. So do I.

March 25, 2020

In Which Chris Schuring Indicates How Much We Still Care About This Plot

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That, or he’s just finished watching a Get Smart marathon.

I’ll admit I’m not much of a TV watcher anymore. Outside of baseball season, it’s mostly nature shows on BBC America or an oldie on Turner Classic Movies for me.  So I’ve gotta hand it to astute TWIMer franku2016 who noted in yesterday’s comments:

This entire plot was on a Modern Family episode a few years ago with a GPA tie between Alex and her academic rival Sanje, and yes, they started dating, much to the dismay of Sanje’s old-world parents.

Despite being on the air for over a decade, Modern Family has flown completely under my radar, so I had to look it up. For those of you who were as clueless about it as me, this show features Ed O’Neill (better known to some of us as would-be patriarch Al Bundy in the 1990s sitcom Married with Children) as would-be patriarch Jay Pritchett. Part of Pritchett’s extended family includes son-in-law Phil Dunphy. A real estate agent, Phil often finds himself losing business to his arch-rival… Gil Thorpe.

Gentle readers, this cannot be mere coincidence, can it? All I know is I’m gonna start checking Modern Family plot summaries for comparison from now on.

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Now that that another installment of “teenchy Is Old and Out of Touch” is out of the way, let’s focus on what’s happening here. It looks like basketball season will be coming to a blessed end this weekend. Chris seems to think the school year will be, too, or at least the spring will do nothing to change the current academic rankings. Alexa’s dislike for him still holds true regardless of the sensitivity of his sarcasm detector. Chris’ altruism comes off to her as condescension if not something even less benign. I don’t think these two are becoming a couple anytime soon, but if this part of the plot continues into the next arc (think True/Boo from a few years back) it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

 

 

 

 

February 12, 2020

It’s not often a lame joke gets called out as a lame joke in Milford

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Where we went: Alexa is hung up on an offhand remark third-grader Chris made to her third-grader self nine years ago. She’s let it affect her self-perception ever since.

Where we could have gone: The white boy who watches Jeopardy! is labeled “smart” and the black girl who watches Jeopardy! is labeled “geeky,” at least by the black girl in her own mind. Apparently nobody else got that message, or else they did and they’ve been keeping it on the down low. So much to mine here; looks like we won’t.

Where we’re going instead: To the Milford High Sanitorium  – or is that “Janitorium”? Luhm’s full janitorial arsenal is on open display above his perpetually shiny handiwork. Phoebe, who has to keep telling Alexa she’s her best friend every other time she opens her mouth, is going to play some sort of intermediary between Chris and Alexa. Maybe Chris wants to ask Alexa to the prom? Share his study guide for AP Western Civilization? Get Phoebe in the Janitorium alone, forcing her to make a tough decision between hooking up with the Mudlark QB and professing her secret love for the one she’s constantly reminding she’s her bestie?

Rubin was doing a good job keeping this story arc between the ditches, but now he’s perilously close to letting it run into the berm. Stick around to watch; I’m planning on it.

January 29, 2020

Jerk and Plow

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With a focus on two basketball players who are both good students, both good team players, but who are both reluctant to shoot the ball, this has been one of the more plausible Gil Thorp plots we’ve seen in some time. We’ve been waiting for this plot to turn in typical Rubin asinine fashion. Looks like we needn’t wait any longer.

Isn’t a “jerk” someone who is typically rude, obnoxious and mean-spirited? How does that apply to someone who gets his homework done ahead of time? “Teacher’s pet” or “smartyboots,” sure. “Jerk,” not so much. Judging from those rectangles where words should be on Chris’ PowerPoint slide, I might add “slacker.” Then again he might’ve written it in Sanskrit and the class laptop everyone has to use to present doesn’t have a Sanskrit font installed.

Sanskrit? Urdu? It won’t matter much once Little Teddy DeMarco starts cracking everybody up! DeMarco’s little toy isn’t a Cajun in your Pocket but more a combination joy buzzer/ Plymouth Road Runner horn. Whatever it is, any teacher above preschool level would’ve confiscated it the first time it went off. Teddy should realize that Chris is used to more crowd noise than that when he’s calling signals on the gridiron or dishing the roundball off to a gunner. It’s gonna take more than some lame noisemaker to throw him off his game. Try calling him “Alexa” and see how that works out.

 

January 22, 2020

Lightening the Load, or Taking It?

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The Thorpiverse is known for its occasional stilted dialogue and colloquialisms (the constant use of “ease up” to name one) but it’s by no means the worst offender in the realm of the comics. (Try reading a week’s worth of Funky Winkerbean or 9 Chickweed Lane and you’ll see what I mean.) Still, context is everything in the Valley.

Take today’s strip. If you read the narration box in parallel with the dialogue, you get that Susan Wilcox (née Wilcox-Olson; maybe she got divorced since the last game?) has lightened the mood with her lame joke and lightened her teammates’ loads by taking shots every chance she gets. If you read them in sequence, you might get that Susan is capable of things unfit for print.

But hand it to Susan: she’s singlehandedly helped solve Mimi’s offense problem, at least for the Central game. Solving Alexa’s obsession with her stats – or undoing Mimi’s toxic scoring advice to Alexa – is a load she doesn’t need to take.

December 18, 2019

Nothing Like a Roast for the Holidays

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knock-kneed (/ˌnäkˈnēd/), adj. 1. (of a person) having legs that curve inwards so that the feet are apart when the knees are touching. “The patient had a distinctly knock-kneed gait.” 2. Teddy DeMarco Teddy DeMarco’s stooge (see edit below).

So when dude with the roadrunner fade (who turns out to be Teddy DeMarco; thanks Tim for pointing that out) and Captain Marvel shirt challenges Teddy stooge to “go old school,” that means “walk up to a kid in the cafeteria and roast him.”  Ohhh-kayyy.  Shouldn’t the roast be at least fully baked?  Without the punctuation of a high-five, would anyone have known that was the punchline?  If the roastee is already engaging in self-deprecation, doesn’t that kind of take the edge off the roast?  It’d be easy enough for Chris to come back with something like “Yeah, I know, but basketball’s not my main sport. I was the starting quarterback on the football team, in case you hadn’t noticed.”  Easier still to escalate into a roast battle: “Oh, I guess you were too busy holding that aspirin between your knees to notice. You shouldn’t have bothered; it’s not like anybody wants to go between your knees anyway.  And what’s with your pal there? Coyote after you?”
The apparently good-natured Chris Schuring doesn’t seem to be aware that Teddy just tried to roast him or, for that matter, that Teddy doesn’t even like him, something Alexa alluded to recently.  He may not be the golden child that True Standish was but so far we don’t see that he has any negative qualities.  Something tells me he will serve as the mirror which will reflect Teddy and Alexa’s shortcomings back on them.
*metapost: Edited to reflect which character is actually Teddy.

August 24, 2019

He’s Coherent – Unlike Most Gil Thorp Plots

Filed under: football, Gil Thorp, lame jokes, Neal's friends — teenchy @ 1:56 pm

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When last we saw Sam Finn, he was the guard/long snapper and temporary punter until Kaz could coerce Joe Bolek out of the screening room and into the locker room. Since that time he’s lost his freckles and gained a True Standish mullet, a potato nose, and a sense of humor. Drawing one from the “Other than that, how was the show, Mrs. Lincoln?” playbook, Sam tries to convince everybody he’s okay until he’s not.

Ever-conscientious Gil is all over the EMTs to make sure they take Sam to the ER to get checked out. Nothing like showing the players, their parents and Marjie that he puts the players’ health and safety first. Maybe he should’ve thought about that before he let them eat greasy sloppy joes in the heat of the midday sun before sending them back on the field.

Now it remains to be seen how conditioning will be a recurring theme this fall, much like concussions were the season before last.

August 17, 2019

Oh Yeah? Jump On This!

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Well, I’m glad that’s settled. Ed is neither the express nor implied racist we suspected him to be (or, at least, he’s not gonna cop to that). Neither is he really that concerned about Jaquan’s post-NBA career. He just wanted baby girl to come home and join/take over his practice. I mean, why should the Foley Law Group beat him to the punch? With that, Ed V. Baxendale joins the pantheon of Milford parents living vicariously through the lives of their children (if not outright preordaining their career paths via their names).

Kinda funny we haven’t seen Gil in the strip for a couple of weeks. Hope he’s watching more of Joe Bolek’s game film. He’d better keep Hadley on speed dial for the next time he needs to intimidate the lawyerless school board, or game the system to recruit outside talent.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a Gil Thorp arc-ending strip without some kind of lame joke and a freeze-frame ending. Good thing Jaquan got Luther, The Anger Translator to stand in for him.

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