This Week in Milford

October 24, 2020

Shush Me on the Bus

While there have been a few comics that have addressed the current global pandemic (including, ironically, that other sports-themed daily Tank McNamara), most have not. To date, the Valley has been virus-free, but looking at today’s strip I’m beginning to think Whigham has been influenced in some way by the pandemic’s impact on sports.

I mean, look at those kids on the Milford activity bus. With so little space between the rows of seats they’ve gotta be cardboard cutouts, don’t they? Their conversation is pretty two-dimensional too. The whole lot of them are adding fuel to the fire of the quarterback controversy that isn’t, except for Danny Bonaduce down in front there who’s slowly realizing that it’s not Shirley Jones behind the wheel. Who drives the Mudlark School Bus, anyway? Gil? Kaz? Cheech? Whichever coach isn’t driving needs to back there and nip this crap in the bud.

October 21, 2020

How Is the Milford Offense Like a Diesel Engine?

Neither of them have spark plugs!

This Milford-Madison game reminds me in a way of this past Saturday night’s supposed college football game of the year of the week. The team with a ground-and-pound offense takes an early lead then falls behind, its defense unable to slow down its opponent’s big-play offense. Tasked with orchestrating a rally, the game manager QB commits errors, throwing picks and getting his passes stuffed back in his face at the line of scrimmage. Despite all this, the coach sticks with his game manager, keeping the QB with more raw talent and game-breaking potential on the bench. Run the color version of today’s strip and the Mudlarks even start to look the part. Forgive me if I start referring to Will Thayer as “The Mailman.”

News flash: amateur football has turned into a track meet and defense no longer wins championships. Does Gil stick to his principles and watch his team slip down the standings in the Valley? Or does he decide he has doled out enough punishment and go with the guy that can make things happen? Pity that Gil dismisses everything Marty says out of hand; even a stopped clock sitting in his parents’ basement is right twice a day.

October 17, 2020

Excuse Me, But Where Can I Get an Air Jimmy Hat?

Filed under: actual action, football, Madison Time, Neal's friends — teenchy @ 9:04 pm

Well I’ll be. Faithful TWIMer hitorque was right. It is a James Madison reference. Madison QB Alex Sanborn is a shoutout to a capital management exec and former Northwestern U tennis player.

Should be fun to see if the Mudlarks can hang with a team that runs a modern offense, no? To be fair, the spread has its antecedents in a formation developed by Rusty Russell, the coach at an orphanage high school in Fort Worth, Texas, and built on by Dutch Meyer at TCU (another Fort Worth school) in the late 1930s with Sammy Baugh and Davey O’Brien at quarterback. Later variants were developed by Howard Fletcher at Northern Illinois and Jack Neumeier at Granada Hills High School in Los Angeles.

Will Gil whip out that Delaware Wing-T in retaliation? Hell, Delaware doesn’t even run the Delaware Wing-T anymore. (It’s worth noting that the last time Delaware made the FCS postseason, they lost in the first round to… wait for it… James Madison.) How about the flying wedge?

As long as were talking about Air Somebody-or-other, how’s about a tribute to the original “Air” offense – one that never failed to entertain but somehow always came up frustratingly short. Seems appropriate to cap off a week in which we lost Fred Dean.

June 17, 2020

This Plot Finally Gets Its Much-Needed Crutch

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P1: Don’t look so surprised, Mimi. You knew her ankle looked sketchy. Where was Trainer Rick Scott when you needed him? Does he only train for the football team?

P2: Having once again failed to develop any pitching depth (see Radley, Boo and Hobson, Carrie), Mimi resorts to strategically planting land mines along the basepaths. Unfortunately the mines aren’t very powerful and the Madison runner still scores. An eye for an eye and an ankle for an ankle won’t cut it in the Valley, Mimi. As if you care.

P3: Ah yes, back to the perspective we’re used to in this strip: Girls watching boys. At least I think that’s a girl. Maybe it’s Phoebe and she’ll help Mike and the Misfits hone their skills to beat the Mudlarks. After it’s all done she’ll say it was her way of protesting the draconian zero-tolerance policy that went unchallenged and sent Mike down this path of pathos.

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.

January 15, 2020

You Gotta Have ‘Watha

Filed under: basketball, big arms, freak hands, Gil Thorp, Madison Time — teenchy @ 6:59 am

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You might think that a kid named Hiawatha would be nicknamed “Hi” but this is the world of the comics. Beetle Bailey’s brother-in-law already goes by that name and even though Gil Thorp has been around since 1958, the Walker-Browne Comics Consortium has seniority. Then again maybe Rubin has baseball on the brain and was thinking of long-time Royals catcher (and later manager) John Wathan. I know The Duke was who first came to my mind; after all, Hiawatha is a catcher too. Since I have baseball on the brain, it naturally followed that I thought of that seminal work on Japanese baseball and its reflection of Japanese culture.*

Time for the Mudlarks to start conference play and boy is Chris Schuring edgy. ‘Watha (sporting a new ‘do since football season) and Tom “Butt” Muench try to calm Chris, but little do they know about Chris’ secret humiliation in Gil’s office. Sure, it’s one thing to tell someone to trust their instincts, but what if their instincts and their coach’s directive conflict? Something tells me there’ll be a lot of passing but not a lot of scoring, and the Mudlarks will leave Madison with a big L. If that other big L Teddy DeMarco ends up stuffed in a locker by Saturday, it’ll have been worth it.

 

*If you’re bored this winter and in need of some hot stove reading material, I highly recommend you pick up a copy.

November 7, 2019

We’ll Do The Absentee Coaching Around Here.

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What? The Haley’s M.O. Moment was just a put-on? Chance really wasn’t constipated? His bowels were moving fine, he didn’t need Mudlar-K-Cola Prune-Enriched to fuel his Toyota Corolla jump? He really wasn’t M.-O.K.??????????

What was he doing in the Port-o-Pot? A better question is what happened to all that T. P.????????? I heard of taking one for the team but this is ridiculous. I’m glad he stepped aside by faking his stomach cramps but there is an unaccounted-for amount of Charmin floating around the premises of Milford High School.

So next time you are substitute-teaching at Mudlarkland and you find this Mt. Everest amount of Bounty in the faculty bathroom, you’ll know that it was because SOMEONE remembered at Milford High “There’s no ‘I’ in the word ‘Team'”. Maybe in the word “Shit” but SOMEONE was “Shitting” for the “Team”. Supposedly, anyway.

“Mrs. Thorp, please don’t squeeze the Charmin!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“I wasn’t, Mr. Whipple. I was testing the firmness of these cabbages. It’s our turn to bring the food for the Milford PTA meeting and I’m bringing Southwest Salad Supreme. Where’s your Newman’s Own Roquefort?”

 

And you talk about false advertising. At least SOMEONE was coaching by faking his taking one for the team by faking his swelling of hemorrhoidal tissues. So Rick Scott had to apply a liberal dose to Chance’s crack. Whoop-de-dah. At least his butt was in order and the trainer’s medicine cabinet has an ample supply of Preparation H next to the Flintstone’s Chewables. Nice to know that if Charlie is called upon to fill in again in a pinch to run up the score, Chance will have plenty of Barney’s and Wilma’s when he’s faking his migraines. And doing his part to exercise leadership in the process.

Oh, not Gil, nooooooooo. True, he took the time from Milford Lounge to visit Chance’s grandparents to be assured Chance wasn’t Norman Bates. But he could have sent Lassie to investigate. And saved the trouble of prolonging his absentee landlord status in relation to the football team.

“Lassie, what’d you find out?”

RUFF

“Chance was an ax murderer? How’d he get released?”

RUFF

“He and Papillon jumped the fence? Weren’t they in chains?”

RUFF

“Oh, they were playing flag football.”

RUFF

“And leading The Mean Machine by a touchdown.”

 

Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“30 Rolls Of Milford Tree Farms Toilet Towels Found In Shower Stall Of O. J.’s Condo!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Trail stops cold after contraband unloaded from Milford Roadway terminal.”

 

When I came home last night

You wouldn’t make love to me

You went fast asleep

You wouldn’t even talk to me

 

Give it to me, what you say

Give it to me right away

 

“Dear, you’ll have to turn that down. Chance just went to bed. And put my wig back on the dresser when you’re done funking. I need it for the Embroidery 101 class at Milford High Night School.”

 

On our journey that is the Mudlark Football season, we approach P2 with some reservations. Like who all these people are, which we assume are the fans and families who are celebrating the victory and well they should. I’m having a bit of a problem with the Kent State arrangement of humanity after the Milford National Guard just stepped on the gridiron but I think we can hold our breath that nothing is going to occur. Gil can blow his whistle should a Guardsman aim his Uzi at Chance or Grandma Macy. The whistle is being used for something since it was hanging in the linen closet in Gil’s office, y’know, the one with the windows affording a view of the Trump Towers. Gil was out on the road on another stint of absentee coaching. I heard Courtyard by Marriott gave discounts to Coaches In Absentia.

“But the coupon said that if I was not coaching 10 times, I’d get the 11th stay in a double suite. Free. Shoot, I can’t remember the last time I told the team ‘Win one for The Gipper’. I think when Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released.”

“But the coupon expired after the Tet Offensive.”

 

SOME PEOPLE MIGHT SAY I’M INFATUATED

BUT I DON’T CARE

CUZ THEY JUST DON’T KNOW

THEY’LL NEVER SEE OR HEAR…

 

 

THEY CAN ALL GO TO HELLLLLLLLL

YOU AND I (DO DOOO)

WE GET TOGETHER LIKE GIL AND SHAW (DO DO DOOOOOOO)

Kaz knocks on the door leading into the Intro Woods class which is tightly locked

“Luhm, are you OK? I can hear that music all the way down at The Bucket.”

Luhm rips the needle off of the Vintage Vinyl “Come Get It!!!!!!!!”

“Yeah, just gotta dust the lathe machine and then damp-mop and buffer the floor. I’m good.”

 

RIP, Rick James. Your funkadelic style was an inspiration to many.

 

And while they’re rioting in the streets of Milford in P2, does somebody have a surgical kit handy? I think Gil and Charlie just welded their hands together with a soldering tool. I’ve heard of a coach bonding with his players but this is ridiculous. I hope neither has to go to the bathroom anytime soon. Man, it’s a bitch when one of the Siamese Twins has to let off a load in the Port-o-Pot. The other one can get the Charmin to wipe, assuming Luhm replaced the stolen merchandise.

 

If yore 3rd-shift foreman at Milford Foundry is bein’ non-existent but ya reach yore produk’tivitee goals in yore department and the man comes around ta reward y’all by turnin’up the air conditioner one degree so ya don’t sweat thru yore Hanes T-shirt so bad or smelly, ya might be a redneck.

 

And P3 arrived at the train station right on time.

One of the things I learned when I was pursuing a foreign language in school was that foreign countries, especially Europe, prided themselves on how PUNCTUAL their passenger trains were.

Well, the Orient Express couldn’t have arrived any sooner to practically take the credit for Charlie’s success. And as you can see, Bluto is willing to risk Foot-in-Beard disease to achieve his stated objectives.

Now before we go any further, I am inspired by Bluto’s Weight Watcher program that he has inflicted on himself. Last I remember, he had a paunch that could crush Olive Oyl in the opening round of the Milford Sumo Wrestling Holiday Tournament.

In P3, he has evidently weighed his portions punctiliously, using the metric balance scales he hocked from the Milford School Corporation Science Supply Building while fishing for Chance’s records. Hey, I need to lose a few pounds myself. Bluto, the next time you are in the complex digging for Chance’s dental records (“The pediatrician prescribed Poly-Grip????????”) , would you slip a balance my way? I need to count my Ritz Crackers wisely.

NOW, why in the name of Agatha Christie were we not surprised when Bluto showed his face again? This was the proverbial “Not if, but WHEN”. J. Wellington Wimpy, 1000 Bucket Burgers up his butt while munching on a Big Mac was not going to take part in the baccanalian affairs on the football field (A Funny Thing Happened To Me On The Way To The Football Field-“Something appealing, something appalling…”) to locate Charlie and talk about his TD run. Swee’ Pea was in bed. NO, BLUTO WAS GOING TO UPSTAGE POPEYE ONCE AGAIN AND SAY HE WAS THE ONE WHO INSPIRED HIM TO RUN LIKE FRANCO HARRIS OR ANY OF YOUR FAVORITE NFL RUNNING BACKS. Popeye forgot to eat his spinach and couldn’t inspire you to run around your living room or Gil’s office. Popeye and Bluto will not be at Denny’s for breakfast and Christian fellowship.

That off my chest, notice Gil doing a double-take in P3. The predictable continues. Stay tuned.

Assuming you’re well-endowed with Sominex.

 

“And that’s the gun signaling the end of the game. Milford wins it in a laugher, 121-10. I’ll have all the stats for you in a moment. This is Marty Moon and you’re listening to WDIG, a division of Learfield Sports.”

 

SHE’S A VERY KINKY GIRL

THE KIND YOU DON’T BRING HOME TO MOTHER

SHE WILL NEVER LET YOUR SPIRITS DOWN

ONCE YOU GET HER OFF THE FIELD

 

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

 

“Yeah?”

“Gil, your wife just called again. It’s 10:35. Don’t you think you ought to go home to bed?”

“Kaz, I’m as lame as a lollipop that’s been out in the sun too long. I couldn’t stiff if I put on Dean Martin’s “Houston.”

“But Gil, you’ve been playing Super Freak for 3 hours. And I hope you aren’t dancing in your Fruit of the Loom boxers again.”

“Crap. I forgot that Luhm didn’t fix the curtain rod. Do you think anybody can see the lemon-lime pattern?”

“Maybe in the Trump Towers but they’d have to use binoculars and care about what you look like when dressed down to your Calvin Klein Boysenberry Print.”

“It’s just that Rick James gets me in the right mood. Sometimes it takes a little longer, especially after I’d eaten that Fazoli’s Sampler. Lasagna just slows any Erectile process. Bit me and Rick will be partying like it’s 1999. And I’ll be sawing the logs with Mimi cuz I’ll have something hard to saw with.”

“Gil, I think you mean Prince.”

A momentary check into the record inventory

“That’s right. I’ll be gettin’ pumped to Purple Rain by midnight.”

“Gil, I think a better solution would be checking out all the ways Milford Men’s Clinic can help you. They have proven techniques and equipment and you don’t need Milford Book and Music Exchange to solve your problem.”

“You’re saying I won’t need O’Jays ‘Money, Money, Money’ to junp on Mimi with confidence?”

“Gil,  I think you answered your own question.”

 

“There it was. I was confident to open my office door and let Kaz see me in my Hanes Fred Flintstone Print Boxers and Rick James wig. Price you pay if you want to be consistently efficient with your Significant Other. And I am having great sex and couldn’t care less if the tenant on the 11th floor of the Trump Towers sees us. They need to watch infomercials anyway. Come to Milford Men’s Clinic and be your own Funkmeister. Whay have you got to lose but the wig?

 

Gang, go to it. You have truly been patient and I thank you. I just hope Bluto doesn’t dig into my records and find out the reason.

 

At the Milford School Board meeting one evening

“And I also have records when his dad was down in the south, doing heists with Pretty Boy Floyd. What more evidence do we need to declare that Chance is not fit for the football team?”

“Mr. James, some of the evidence is circumstantial-”

“That’s Mr. Ballard!!!!!!!! You don’t recognize me?”

“The dreadlocks don’t match the beard.”

 

At the Milford Comedy Club on Open Mike Night

“…what do I look like, Rick James on the Quaker Oats label?”

Mimi stands up

“I better go out for a smoke break. Anybody got a light?”

“But you don’t smoke. When did you take up the cancer sticks?”

“Believe me, Gil is worth 2 cartons of Virginia Slims.”

November 6, 2019

Oh, What a Feeling!

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Is Chance trying out for the cheerleading squad or auditioning to sell Toyotas?

I realize I’m dating myself with the latter reference (“Ok Boomer” is the pissy way the kids are saying it this week IIRC). Speaking of pissy, nice shift from pissy-faced to all smiles by old Gildeaux there. You’d think Gil would be having a cow about one of his starters benching himself with a fake injury to give his backup some playing time, but it didn’t faze him that much when True Standish did it for Jarrod Hale a few years back.

Nope, Gil’s just relieved that Chance is staying away from The Bucket, where they have sharp utensils handy. Better Macy and his shadow teammates punch the air harmlessly, another audition to shill old Toyotas…

 

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