This Week in Milford

September 2, 2019

Happy Labor Day

Filed under: Gil Thorp, Marjie Ducey, Neal's friends, Prairie Style Windows — nedryerson @ 7:46 am

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Sometime between the previous strip and this one, Marjie has stripped off her nail polish. Maybe GilBot 3000 had to restart in the middle of the reading of the roster and Marjie had to occupy herself during the reboot.

We’ve previously heard all these names except for strong armed Chris Schuring. I can’t find any fun google results for him. Oh well, I guess I can knock off early for Labor Day.

Speaking of three solid lettermen:

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August 31, 2019

The Milford Playbook: Student Body Left

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Just when we think we’re getting a deeper dive into the blended Ballard/Roh family dynamic, quick cut to Marjie in Gil’s office getting the roster rundown she should’ve been getting last week when everyone was stuffing their face with sloppy joes. What’s up with Marjie’s manicure? Did she tell the nail technician to paint everything but her lunulae? And how many left elbows does she have such that she can line that notepad up directly under her right hand?

That Finn kid getting sick gave Gil enough time to think up witty repostes to divert attention from the fact his team’s gonna suck and he can’t coach them to play any better. Maybe the Mudlarks need a motivational speaker to come talk to them. One like “Teen Expert and Motivational Speaker” Gabe Salazar. After namedropping Salazar, Gil spouts doublespeak and practically dares Marjie to write anything negative. At least he doesn’t outright insult Marjie the way he did Marty; maybe those sloppy joes were insult enough.

Added new tag “Peering Over Eyeglasses” since that’s what everybody in the Thorpiverse who wears them does with them. It may take a while before we can retroactively tag every instance.

August 22, 2019

Mudlark Football And Manwiches, Traditions In Their Own Minds.

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Time out. As you most of already know, I have been a Thorpiverse junkie practically since I was knee-high to a grasshopper and I am trying to recall the LAST TIME the team EVER took a Hungry Man break after all that blockin’ and tacklin’. A Banquet Frozen Turkey Breast Tenders and Stewed Potatoes with that little itty-bitty brownie crammed in the corner of the plastic plate after 30 suicides? Didn’t happen.

But, okay, wink, wink, I’ll play along, Thorpiverse. They had to pump Healthy Choice Cheese-Free Lasagna out of Luke Bunkin, he was pukin’ all over the artificial turf after he blind-sided the fullback on a botched Off-Tackle set and that pasta came right up to the surface. Sure, Thorpiverse, anything you say.

 

The game is mortified

The plays are so unreal

The season will commence

With stinky tones, I feel

 

Whatever happened to the plot

It used to be so good

It made us feel alive

Not crapping chunks of wood

 

So if you hear us, Gilbert, can’t you feel the SOS

Football’s grinding in a smelly stench of murkiness

 

When you eat

How can we ever think you’ll go on

When you talk

Marjie clogs the plot up until dawn

 

Sorry, Gang, a little Abba music to soothe the savage idiocy. Works every time.

 

Gang, Fuel Mart in Austin, Indiana is your place to go if you’re on the road. Take Exit 34 off of I-65 and head west and take the VERY NEXT ROAD to the right and you’re in the place. Friendly people, plenty of pumps, PLENTY of goodies at great prices, heck, they got my hot dog ready every time. Come see Samantha and company where they treat you like a king. I know, I’ve been going there for years. Gang, if you’re in the area, get your butt on down there where they know you by name. SEVERAL semi’s go there, trust me.

Support Small Business. They make America.

 

Well, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That seems to be the watchword in P1 as one of the Evil Triplets dropped cheating in golf and now wants to make amends and pursue a career cheating in football. By gosh, spearing the tight end when he ain’t looking after he had to use his athletic ability to snare a pass a bit too high on a Double Out Right flat-out works up an appetite.

Now that’s one way of looking at it. If some of you want to cop out and go the Billboard Way,

“This week at Milford McDonald’s, get a Happy Meal and a large-size aluminum container of Milford Yorkshire Hog Farm Sloppy Joe’s, only $1.99. I’M LOVIN’ IT!!!!!!!!!!!”

As long as they can engineer all that into my car while I’m negotiating the drive-thru, I’m in. Just make sure they have extra ketchup in the containers. Last time, the clerk at the window stuck horse radish in my order.

 

There appears to be division here. Some of you who are ALWAYS moanin’ and complainin’ and have to have your own way insist that Gil is a combo Bruce Lee-Godzilla while using his claws to maneuver the Hungry Man Chopped Sirloin Burger and Great Northern Beans, complete with watercress, while Marjie the Cardboard Cut-Out is cheating on her Ultra Slim Fast diet (“Give us a week, we’ll take the weight off this mindless plot”) , leaving her Chocalate Mocha Shake behind the bleachers and going the Steak ‘n’ Shake Burgoo Burger route, all-you-can-eat Sloppy Joe’s at its finest.

Others who are the art connoisseurs of the TWIM readership maintain the position that this is really Henry Fuseli’s “Kriemhild und Gunther”, Sturm und Drang efficiently motorcaded to the Mudlark football field, eating under the bright lights in the Bubba Joe Tilwell section. I would agree, were it not for the John Madden-like character in the background who dons “The Nightmare” cap and seems serious enough to want Milford back to its winning ways, even if it means slaughtering several cows and razorbacks in the Milford Nature Area to pull off this fait d’accomplait. True, “The Nightmare” was also done by Fuseli but the painter never painted a pigskin, let alone a Brunswick bowling ball, therefore cuttin’ some slack is in order.

 

To my grandpa, Leonard Thomas Hardin, I want to follow in your footsteps and be a cook just like you. I dedicate this blog in your memory. You did A LOT for people, Grandpa.

 

While the cuisine at the football practice is a fair one, though slightly inaccurate (Tod Andrews on the phone one day “I never saw you lay a pickle on a Manwich when I was your assistant, Gil”) , it could stand some sprucing up. And what better way to satisfy the appetites of a bunch of ravenous traditional mixture veterans-perennial-young-team-for-6-decades than with Sloppy Joes, beans, cornbread, generous slices of apple pie, etc., washing it down with waterfalls of Mudlar-K-Cola in diferent varieties, i.e. Kiwi, Lemon-Lime, Diet Prune, Big Red, Gin & Tonic, Gooseberry.

But, hey, leave plenty of room in the tummy for Irish Soda Bread.

Simple. Mix in 4 cups of Milford Bakeries All-Purpose Flour with a teaspoon of Morton Salt, procuring plenty of space on the table where the aluminum containers of Milford 7-11 Fried Chicken has been sitting for several Two-a-days. Throw in a teaspoon of Mudlark & Hammer Baking Soda and stir. Next, pour 1 and 1/2 cups of Milford Dairy Buttermilk. Be sure not to spill this on the aluminum container of meat loaf sitting next to your concoction. Several members of the defense, particularly the linebackers, got the runs at last year’s football picnic and it was too late when the coaches tracked the source of the problem.

Preheat oven in the boiler room as Steve Luhm will be on assignment vacuuming the jungle in Madagascar. Set it to 400 degrees. Take well-mixed dough out of bowl and lay out on an 8 and 1/2″ x 11″ baking sheet.  Wait until the offensive line unit has run laps before sticking the dough in the oven. Clear oven of Coke paper cups and dead mice, then add a bit more buttermilk before re-inserting in the oven. DO NOT PULL A GIL AND RUIN THE PLOT, ER, DOUGH BY KNEADING IT. Shape it into a ball, no Nerf Football jobs here, and bake for 40 minutes. Etch Spalding in each quarter and bake for another 25 minutes. Stab with a knife, cut an end zone on each end, then bake until crusty and browned. Let cool on Gil’s hair.

Feeds an army of 150 or a football team of 75, give or take a water boy or two.

 

You munch so far away

Though you are standing near

This team was once alive

But something died, I fear

 

I really hate to rock the boat

Cream cheese caught in my throat

What happened to this plot

It’s limping, barely floats

 

So as you’re sipping Red Bull

Can’t you hear the SOS

The doughnuts fattening Marjie

Shoves the stage to the SOS

 

When you eat

How can we watch you prate in a fog

When you talk

Marjie passing gas on some corn dogs

 

This plot is already beginning to excite me. We learn that the shortest distance between two points is Gil’s butt. Naw, naw, you can’t say Marjie’s butt, she curves and eventually forms a spiral, just shy of her pelvic area, were you able to unfold P2. Okay, so part of Gil’s butt overlaps a tiny bit into the bleachers but not by much. Marjie is still gonna have to indulge in a Nutra-bar or two to edge out Gil.

And whatever romantic interest Cousin Itt is engaging in with the person sitting next to him in P2 will presumably remain a mystery although I think his knee pad will be coming off in the next week or two, or so Doctor Hibbert, Homer’s doctor, has repeatedly stated. I’m sure the Manwiches are getting Cousin Itt aroused, judging by his juxtapositioning to the table, right behind Bruce Lee, er, Gil.

 

Let’s focus our attention on the main course. Sure, Sloppy Joes and Jowl Bacon dipped in molasses are nice but for that discriminating assistant football coach with no life or even football players with an extra appetite, One-Pot Roast Chicken is sure to please.

First, get the chicken. If you have a shotgun handy, there are plenty running around in the woods behind the stadium’s Port-a-Pots and ferreting them out ought to be no problem.

Next, take the wishbone out as even Cousin Itt might have problems digesting portions of the chicken if unnecessary parts are allowed to hang around. It’s not necessary to kill off Mercutio in Act 7 long after Juliet has committed suicide but that’s the beauty of Shakespeare. Actors and actresses enter the Pearly Gates at the right time.

Tie in a bundle, exposing the breast as wide as possible, seasoning with salt left over for 2 months on the faculty tables at the high school cafeteria and fresh-ground pepper. Peel carrots, potatoes, celery that have been yanked out of Gil’s garden, slice them in thick portions, then obtain 2 onions that Marty left in the fridge in the break room at WDIG because he changed his mind and wanted to leave his Bucket Cheeseburger plain. Quarter those, then throw all those goodies, sliced and diced, into pot that Mimi bought at the Milford High School Rummage Sale. Set chicken on top of that.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, head down to Milford 7-11 for a Slushee break, then return and place One Pot Roast Chicken in oven and roast for 45 to 60 minutes, or longer, depending on how much of Gil’s dandruff fell in the pot and needs to be singed.

Chicken is done when juices are clear, not pink, when pierced with a knife or tire iron. Serves several with a Bucket Shake.

 

Now here’s where it gets fun. If your dog chewed the comics section of the Milford Enquirer, leaving you with just the first 2 panels and Gil left you hanging with

“But I’m glad we’ve kept the tradition-”

wouldn’t some of you guess that the rest of the sentence would be football related? Thought so.

Here are some ideas

“…of ringing the bell at the entrance to the stadium every time a freshman sacks the varsity quarterback.”

“…of the team captain snapping his jock strap every time a player runs the 40 in 2.7 seconds or less.”

“…of handing the player brave enough to tell Marty Moon to shove it up his ass and that he has a wiener as big as a Vienna Sausage the game ball.”

“…everybody in the stadium standing up everytime the players sing Handel’s “Messiah” when a running back scores a TD on a run 80 yards or longer.”

“…of making the players do 1000 push-ups after they’ve dumped Gatorade on me. Man, that shit gets warm after about 3 quarters.”

 

But noooooooooooooo, we’d never guess that Gil and Marcie are involved in a Lean Cuisine Moment. Well, at least there’s no touching involved. Keeping it on the level with bar-b-q lamb and mashed taters with gravy, there’ll be no front-cover illicit activity coming from that culinary angle, that’s for sure. Now if they can steer it back to football, the circle will be complete.

 

“And that wraps up the Annual Alleged Traditional Football Picnic and, God, I am stuffed. We’ll be back in a moment, enough time to stuff all this Stouffer’s Meat Loaf and Hamburger Helper Mac ‘n’ Cheese Surprise into the doggie bags. I think the Hefty bags should hold. This is Marjie Ducey, you’re listening to WDIG, a division of Lear Field Sports.”

 

Mrs. Shaw knocking on the door of the equipment shed at Mudlark Stadium which is locked good and tight for reasons about to be divulged

“Honeyyyyyyy, it’s time to come to bed!!!!!!!!!!”

“I’ll be out in a minute. I gotta put some more shoulder pads on the shelf. Some are out of sorts and every pad has to be in alphabetical order.”

“Honey, it’s 3:00AM. It takes you that long to put pads back on the shelf?”

“Blubba, blubba, I had to wash out the underarm stains on ’em. Man, some of these players need to apply some Ban Roll-on!!!!!!!”

“Darling, even I know you don’t put a shoulder pad under your arm.”

“Hubba bubba, some of our players are kinda dumb. Sometimes we gotta set ’em straight on where to wear their jock straps. Hoo-eee, we hafta defumigate a few with the Weed-B-Gon when we run out of Renuzit.”

“Sweetie Pumpkin Pie, I think we’ve defumigated all we need to defumigate. Now remove the 7-lb. Master Dead Bolt and let’s eliminate our own demons.”

“Dagnabit, I still have footballs I gotta put back in the bin. They got punctured from laying out in the grass too long. Then Luhm ran over the others with the riding mower. Do you know how long it takes to restitch them, cure them, and blow the big fan on them to dry?”

“I think my sweet little Che Guevara has something else left out to dry.”

“If you’re talkin’ about the helmets, I scraped all the cow manure off of ’em. We made the players do sprints in the stuff. That’ll teach the players where to walk when they go to the Milford Slaughter House to get Manwiches.”

 

“I finally caught onto what she wuz sayin’. I saw one of the helmets, shiny and new straight out of the polisher and saw my own helmet and found out the hard way that I couldn’t stick that into the polisher. I was too short.

I went to Milford Men’s Clinic and boy, the shoe shine job I got on my Significant Other. Cole Haan could not have smeared shoe cream any finer to get the erections of my dreams. And with a free Prick-o-Meter check to ensure sexual pleasure the magnitude of a Jake Slocum western, I am confident there’ll be no more embarrassing tender moments of the inappropriate variety.  Come see for yourself at Milford Men’s Clinic. What have you to lose but your pride and your Beanie-Weenie?”

Gang, comment away. I’m going to go get in line before Cousin Itt snarfs up all the tater tots.

 

Ooooooooooookkkkkkkkk, how could I leave y’all without DESSERT? Okay, okay, there’s plenty of pies and cakes on the table but we can add one more to the fire. After the players have had their fill of Twinkies

Let’s keep it basic. This one is Nectarine & Berry Cobbler and this will take care of any lingering appetite. You know football players and their Grand Canyon stomachs.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Proceed to Milford Dough Factory and purchase a package of sweet biscuits. Come back, hoping the Milford Fire Marshal hasn’t issued warrants, and prepare sweet biscuits on cookie sheets, cutting into 10-14 squares.

Next, get nectarines, blueberries, and blackberries that you plucked illegally from Milford Valley Vineyards property out of the cabinet. Slice nectarines until you get five cups. Slice blueberries and blackberries until you get 2 cups apiece. Combine all of this in a bowl, mixing in Milford Bakeries All-Purpose Lead-Free Non-Phosphate Flour, a pinch of salt, and a half cup of sugar. Throw in Milford Valley Generic Lemon Juice that Mimi uses every Christmas for her fruit cake and mix well. Put entire result in a gratin dish 9 x 12 inches, 2-3 inches deep. Bake for 8 minutes or until fruit softens, hoping to God Coach Kaz isn’t around with his greasy fingers to sample the merchandise, after washing football pants all day.

Place sweet biscuits on the fruit and such in staggered rows and return to the oven. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until biscuits are golden brown, the fruit is bubbling, and Coach Shaw goes back to obscurity, ready to return when Girls Basketball pops on the scene. Let the cobbler cool and serve warm with Milford Dairy Whip (“Freshly Milked From The Goat”) or Milford Dairy Ice Cream (“Ditto”) .

 

August 21, 2019

Sloppy Seconds for Marjie?

Filed under: Chunky Bracelets, exposition comics, football, Gil Thorp, Marjie Ducey — teenchy @ 7:42 am

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A lot of you TWIMers are a lot closer to your football-playing and coaching days than I, so I’m not going to speculate too much on how accurately Rubin & Whigham portray early season practice. I’m sure there’s a lot of variation in when practices go to full pads, though I often nitpick when I see the Mudlarks wearing what look like full game uniforms in practice. Even if those are last season’s game pants and jerseys and not busting the budget, I don’t recall equipment managers ever putting stripes and decals on helmets until maybe the day before the regular season starts. No reason to get them scratched up in practice, and you can always come up with some BS story about having to “earn” them to motivate the players.

Credit where credit is due for Gil, Kaz and Mark bringing the players in when they think it’s too hot and/or humid. August practices where I grew up were 90/90 affairs almost every day; many if not most of our players worked on farms up to and sometime even after the start of school so heat exhaustion could easily have been a thing. This was also the time when common wisdom was moving away from salt tablets to Gatorstuffs for treating dehydration.

But enough of that: what’s up with with this training table, and why is Marjie invited? She usually just shows up with a notepad while Gil rattles off the names of Rubin’s friends on the roster. “Sloppy joe day” must be code for some unspeakable filth that can’t be called by its real name in a family newspaper.

May 1, 2019

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

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“Only one loss.  Are you surprised?”

“Sure as hell am! I haven’t even been coaching this team this spring.”

“There’s a swagger and spirit to this team that’s infectious…. Know what else is infectious? This fungus under my fingernails.”

“Eww! Gotta run, Mimi.  Smell you later.”

I get that Marcie Marjie usually comes over to MHS to interview the Coaches Thorp at the beginning of each season, but it seems like this little talk could’ve been conducted just as easily over the phone.  With all the too-cool-for-school hobbies front and center, the Lady Mudlarks’ record has kind of slipped under the radar.  Not to worry; Marcie will fix that…

… and so will the Lady Mudlarks.  Nothing like jinxing* your team in front of a crowd, is there, Molly Hatchet?  Make sure you say that again, and louder, to the formerly-focused-but-now-more-unfocused-than-her-teammates Linda Carr.  Mimi will need a good scapegoat.

*metapost: I was gonna title today’s post “Jinx!” but looks like I already pulled that stunt.

March 13, 2019

Your 2019 Lady Mudlarks: Flirtin’ With Disaster

Filed under: Gil Thorp, Marjie Ducey, Mimi Thorp, Neal's friends, Pantheon of Hair, softball — teenchy @ 5:41 am

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The jokes will write themselves.

It’s only a matter of what kind of disaster will befall them.

I’m running with the B&W version of the strip ’cause I believe Mimi’s brunette locks to be a colorist’s anomaly, not an indication that she’s given up dyeing her hair in an effort to gain more attention for Milford girls’ sports or to fulfill Gil’s Kenzie Hanley fantasy.  Also pulling the Pantheon of Hair tag for Molly’s kinda sorta pixie cut.

March 11, 2019

Let’s Hear It For The Girls

Filed under: Marjie Ducey, Mimi Thorp, Peering Over Eyeglasses, softball — nedryerson @ 6:52 am

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Spring is in the air! It’s time to kick off our new plot. (What’s that? The last plot was an unsatisfying mess that barely limped over the finish line while puking its guts out all over the spectators? Welcome to Milford!)

For the purposes of today’s strip (colorized version) Mimi Thorp will be sporting chestnut hair. It looks nice on her, coordinates nicely with her similarly colored  bat and batting gloves and the all red uni. I’m going to assume that the colorist made this choice to keep from flooding the strip with blonde due to Marjie’s appearance.

Since we’re starting out with softball practice, can we expect to spend some time with Milford Girls Sports and some female student athletes? Nothing is guaranteed (except disappointment, mostly).

If we are going to focus on a female Mudlark this season, it will be our infielder who makes diving stops on sharp grounders in the hole. (If you are taking grounders, do you wear a batting glove? I never thought about it, but I guess it makes sense from an injury prevention standpoint.) Do we know her? Probably not. But Marjie Ducey appreciates her skill so we will be hearing a lot about her (until focus is pulled away by some nimrod on the baseball team).

December 22, 2018

Won’t Quit? Seems Legit

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Okay, so Milford ran into a buzzsaw of a non-conference opponent in its season opener and lost by double digits. Taken in isolation, yeah, they got their stuff handed to them but in the bigger picture of a basketball season it’s not the end of the world. You learn from your mistakes and apply them to the next game. You can still win your conference and make the playdowns.

Even a mediocre coach like Gil can be given a pass on this one, which makes his extended mea culpa to Marjie a bit odd. Marjie quotes Gil verbatim in the next day’s Milford Star, which is digested over coffee by Bobby Howry the Elder (which he will be tagged until otherwise renamed) who obviously thinks otherwise.

What Bobby’s next Burma Shave billboard will read is today’s cliffhanger.  Bobby’s revenge campaign may be to get Gil canned, but to what end?  He might think he’s better qualified to coach the Mudlarks after his stint at the MILFORD RECREATION CENTER but there’s that little matter of drug dealing that may keep him out of the job.

 

New tag today: Coffee Cantina, the second most popular meeting place in Milford outside The Bucket.

 

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