This Week in Milford

July 28, 2021

What Happened to Janet?

So it’s now the
Milford Diner?
It’s no longer
Named for Janet?
‘Cause it must be
Janet’s Diner
There can’t be
one more in Milford

An old stomping
ground for Heather
Not like she
doesn’t know the place
And like a
chronic illness
there’s still
that snoop Maureen

So what’s up with
Marjie Ducey?
Does she have
the inside angle?
Did she get it
From Dale Parry?
‘Cause she didn’t
Interview her

Don’t you think
It’s kinda weird
That they’re talking
About work
When Heather has
no job offer?
It seems
so premature

“You say you
were an intern
Can you make
a cup of coffee?
See, I am
The top reporter
I’m not giving
up that title”

“So you’d better
find another role
Like selling
website ad space
You don’t see me
Coaching football players!
You should
Just stay in your lane!”

“Hey Ms. Ducey –
I mean ‘Marjie’ –
I’m not gunning
for your title
I’m just trying
to earn money
Since Coach Thorp
Ain’t payin’ bupkis

“I have covered
boring meetings
Filled with all the
Like that blowhard
Abel Brito
I think
I get the drift”

“Well alright,
then it’s settled
You can go case
the Country Club
I’ve heard that
There’s been gambling
And it’s not
the legal kind…”

“So if you break the story…
And we publish it
Under my byline…”

“I’ll pick up the next drink tab
and you can save some dough…”

July 26, 2021

Please, Call Me The Milford Star’s Marjie

Filed under: Make and Model Mystery Mobile, Marjie Ducey — nedryerson @ 6:11 am

The chance run-in between Heather Burns and The Milford Star’s Marjie Ducey continues. Marjie seems to have some inside knowledge of Heather’s prospects of getting hired at The Star. Marjie’s always seemed like a sensible person, not likely to blow smoke up someone’s butt. Maybe the job offer is a done deal. If this is the case and Heather has a paying job waiting for her, the next question is, will she still dick around with one of Gil’s unpaid coaching gigs. The obvious answer to that question should be, fuck no. Why bother with that? If she was really serious about being involved in coaching, why not do some graduate work in the collegiate ranks and actually build a legitimate resume? I suppose the counter argument would weigh the prospects of building a career in print journalism at this precarious time for that field, but still, Gil’s compensation package is going to be wanting compared to anything else. C’mon Heather, don’t be a chump.

I don’t know if today’s mystery car is the same as yesterday’s mystery car. Of course all the colors have changed (including Heather and Marjie’s clothing) and the usual discontinuous perspective is a given. The logo might be the current Nissan logo. I won’t speculate further because I’m just not a car guy. The other mystery is whether that license plate is an actual randomly lettered/numbered plate or just the standard MST 3K in substandard definition.

July 24, 2021

Heather Rennt (oder “Run Heather Run”)

I wished I could play soccer

I couldn’t, though I tried

I wished I could play football

I didn’t have the size

I am my daddy’s princess

He thinks I’m really grand

And when I was in high school

Played everything but band

I wish I was a writer

Who rakes in lots of green

I haven’t got a prayer

You know just what I mean

I wish I wasn’t desperate

To pay off student loans

I wish I could leave Milford

Who knows just where I’d roam?

Today’s strip is another clear example of Rubin’s horrifically poor pacing ability. Heather’s interview at the Star was featured in the first strip of this arc. If he drags out the hiring decision as long as he dragged out the Milford Library Board decision it’ll be mid-to-late August before she gets the offer – just in time for football season and wacky conflicts of interest. Watch the unpaid offensive line coaching assistant get paid to report on the team she assistant coaches! Watch her stonewall Marty Moon to keep WDIG from getting the inside scoop from the Milford locker room! Watch the Mudlark players give Heather the silent treatment for fear she’ll put anything they say in print!

If only this strip had the same time loop premise as the movie. Heather might’ve kept on running and knocked Marjie to the pavement. The subsequent skull fracture would’ve sidelined Marjie indefinitely and made the job all Heather’s.

meta: I added the “Make and Model Mystery Mobile” tag because I couldn’t figure out if the cinder block on wheels behind Marjie was a Scion xB or a Mercedes-Benz G-wagen. Thinking the latter sent me down a German rabbit hole that led me to the inspiration for today’s post.

July 14, 2021

I’m shocked – SHOCKED! – that I’m using this line again!

We start today with more golf gibberish to the effect that grinning idiot Hendricks here flubbed a shot but got lucky and close to the hole. As a result, he wins a bet with the sturdy looking dude with the color-changing shirt and bucket hat. Shades of Lanny Penn again, maybe – but what’s this? I know there’s a movement afoot to replace Andrew Jackson’s likeness on the $20 bill, but it’s with Harriet Tubman‘s, not Val Kilmer’s.

Quick cut to the offices of the Milford Star where Marjie Ducey’s talking to her editor, whose body looks suspiciously like Gil’s when he’s making the mangia bene hand gesture. Presumably he’s got Heather Burns’ resume in front of him, which should look a little like this:


BA, Journalism, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, 2021

High School Diploma, Milford High School, Milford, ??, 2017


Assistant Coach, Milford 7-on-7 football practice, 2017

Life Coach to Confused NBA Players, 2017

Varsity Football, Tight End, Tackling Dummy, Fifth-String Quarterbacks Coach, Assistant Trainer, and General Distraction, 2016

Varsity Soccer, Dead Weight, ???-2016

Alright, Rubin’s got about six weeks for this arc. How are these rando panels gonna come together, then, gentle readers? Heather Burns gets a job with the Star, but not a permanent job – Milford’s too much of a tank town to need more than one reporter – so she’ll serve as Marjie’s unpaid intern. Marjie puts her on the trail of this gambling and counterfeiting ring at the Milford CC, launching Heather’s career as an investigative reporter* somewhere else while Marjie gets to keep her top dog status at the Star.

*Because that worked out so well for Dafne Dafonte.

May 20, 2021

Baby, I’m Amazed Too.

Filed under: huge earrings, Marjie Ducey, oversize objects — tdrewhardin @ 12:37 pm

Baby, I’m amazed at the way libraries gettin’ all the time

Maybe I’m amazed that way is permanent

Baby, I’m amazed how they pull us out of time

Hang us on a line

Baby, I’m amazed how much we don’t need this

Oh sure, let’s go get another pot of coffee and waste some more time talking about who’s running for library board. We wouldn’t want the Maxwell House to get stale while we’re mulling over something that is common knowledge by now. If you don’t know who’s running in this stupid run-off in Rockville, then DEFINITELY don’t go back to Rockville. You’re missing a good game.

Like we’re going to drag this out until we’re sure Bozo the Clown and Kramer from Seinfeld and Bazooka Joe are throwing their hats in the ring too. In fact, why don’t we invite the whole damn group from The New Christy Minstrels or Fairport Convention to run. I’m sure they can find time in their schedule to play nostalgic Classic Rock or Folk and still be abreast of what’s in the Science and Math section of the library. They’ll veto Coke machines in the Children’s Library just as soon as they are finished touring.

Gang, you are way too kind to me. As usual, I had to run another trip for my dad so blogging was out of the question most of the day. I DID try to prime the pump and get my adrenalin flowing EVENTUALLY. At any rate, I can only pass this along but I will. In the interim, time to get back to work for the best supporters in the business. God bless you, Gang.

And Zane trying to be a bulldog reminds me of an interesting story involving Steve Garvey, the great 1st baseman for the Los Angeles who was part of an infield that included Ron Cey, “The Penguin” at 3rd base (and yes, he ran like a penguin around the bases, hence the moniker) , Bill Russell at shortstop, and Davey Lopes at 2nd base, this infield intact from ’74 to ’81. Garvey had pop on the bat with those Popeye arms and was also an excellent fielder and a fan favorite.

He later played for the San Diego Padres where he was part of a controversy essentially not of his own doing. Charley Williams, an excellent umpire but highly controversial (a plane once flew around Jack Murphy Stadium that displayed a banner saying “Impeach Ump Williams”-To think, I thought Butthead had all the idle time he could handle) and flat out blew a call at home plate in the middle of the game and Garvey was naturally upset. So he yells to Williams “Bear down!!!!!!!!!!!” to which Ump Williams promptly tossed him.

Fans raised a hue and cry over this one. Yes, you run the risk of getting thrown out if you do want to harbor a bulldog image but let’s face it, Garvey rarely got into it with umpires and “Bear down” really is not the same as “You’re F—ing ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Lee Weyer, a highly respected NL umpire once said that he’d let the player or manager jaw for a while but if they brought Lee’s mother into the equation, they hit the showers. AND THEN, Steve Boros, Garvey’s manager for the Padres, a mild-mannered personality by trade, was so livid with the call and Garvey’s ejection that the next day when the managers were handing lineup cards to the umps, Boros hands Ump Williams a video of the call he blew. Not surprisingly, Boros also got tossed.

But at the rate this story is going, I doubt that Zane is going to bear down. We had our hopes when he got chastised by Peppermint Patty but when he was incognito on his phone in the library, he was more likely to get tossed by Ms. Whopper than Ump Williams.

Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“O.J. Ejected At Milford Parks & Recreation Adult Flag Football League Game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Ump Williams can’t even call a football game. I was in the end zone well before anybody grabbed my flag. If Ump Williams don’t know the meaning of shake and bake, Heaven help him.”

Then there’s those items to the direct left of the Mr. Coffee which will make its entrance into the Pantheon of Mysterious Objects. They could be coffee mugs (doubt it) . They could be cans of spinach (really doubt it) . Or they could be big cans of coffee since there’s a ‘C’ on the container (probably the winner) . But why 2 (or possibly more) coffee tubs? Does Marjie have a coffee addiction? Or is that the symbol of where this plot is going? Yup, have plenty of Snaka while you’re watching Butthead and Zane duke it out for library supremacy. I wouldn’t mind of surfeit of Hills Brothers if Zane would stop being Doug Guthrie and actually follow through with Peppermint Patty’ advice and be a bulldog, tiger, king of the jungle, giraffe in heat, whatever generic animal with sharp teeth and razor claws ON THE PITCHER’S MOUND. I’ll drink to that.

Special edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Man handed a Cease and Desist order by Valley Conference Athletic Association after latest incident!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Conference spokesperson: :’The Committee felt it an inappropriate example to our high school youth for a man to be flying in a plane around the Milford Football Stadium with a banner that read Impeach Coach Thorp’.”

Maybe there’s no plan

Maybe didn’t plan to put us in middle of something that we really didn’t understand

Maybe there’s no plan

Maybe this is out of hand and couldn’t ever help us through the muck

Baby, don’t you see this plot is panned

Ooohhhhh, ooooohhhhh

And the gossip wagon just keeps rolling right along in P2. Gee, is this Gil Thorp or Soap Opera Digest? It’s never a good sign when Marjie Ducey is downing a legion of coffee cups to talk about something that really isn’t gossip material. Ah, but in Thorpiverse, why let truth get in the way of sewage in the headlines. I remember when I was a route driver and I was in Jasper, Indiana at one of my accounts. I was about to leave when I saw a headline in one the tabloids that made me howl with laughter. It was quoted from O.J. Simpson concerning his trial: “Somebody Ought to Cut That Bitch’s Throat!!!!!!” Like that’s a quote you’d read from a politician. Yup, Ronald Reagan and Joseph Biden have violent tempers and occasionally beat their wives and trip old ladies when they’re crossing the streets and are subsequently at the mercy of the National Toilet.

And so let’s ride this for a while and see where it takes us. Marjie, with slight pressure from presumably her editor, will probe this one and turn this into a mudslinging affair. Zane will say that a person with a wife who serves burned fried cottage cheese plus vegetables and ground round that are likely to appear on a plate of the Jolly Green Giant is not fit to lecture us on how to spend tax dollars on library materials. Oh, that cuts to the bone marrow. Butthead will retort that Zane’s been out in the sun too long throwing baseballs through a Goodrich tire and couldn’t possibly fathom the needs of library patrons. Zane will respond that Butthead can’t read and is only faking it when he’s looking at the computer screen. Anybody who is really spending hours playing Donkey Kong has no business telling the library to dump the back issues of The Wall Street Journal. Oh, keep slinging that cow manure, Zane. Butthead will come back with Zane only wants my daughter because he has weird fantasies about women in softball uniforms and therefore is not stable enough to decide on who the Head Librarian should be. Zane will say that Marjie will crawl through the vents every year to get a story from Gil. Whoopsy daisy, that’s true but if we’re going to be dumping cow manure on people’s plate beside the fried cottage cheese, we need to stay on topic. May the best sleazeball win.

“Bear down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“YOU’RE OUTTA HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Zane, you’re at a debate with Mr. Abel Brito.”

“Oops, my bad, Mr. Moderator.”

And Garvey got some good-natured banter after the incident. When he was taking BP and he’d whiff, a coach or teammate would say “C’mon, Steve, bear down”. Same in the field if he muffed a ball in fielding practice. This incident didn’t die a quiet death. And unfortunately, this gossipmongering is enjoying the same fate, IF it dies at all. Oh, it’s being a bulldog all right. I bet we’d like to send this bulldog to the Milford Dog Pound. Yeah, I’m amazed all right. Zane really does need to bear down but not likely to do so in the near future as long as Crawl Space Ducey and Ms. Whopper Earring is discussing his fate.

Late edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Milford Public Library Withholds Comment Concerning Unusual Occurence Last Tuesday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Library spokesperson: ‘We are at a loss for why a plane was flying a banner that read Impeach Miss Whopper around the skies of Milford but we will investigate the matter and report back’.”

Now wait just a cotton-pickin’ second, Miss Crawl Space. Are we talking about the same person who came in through the bathroom window to interview Gil who is now getting on her high horse and lecturing us on appropriate items to print in journalism? Like we can’t see how dunderheaded and inane this whole situation between Butthead and Zane truly is. Like you’re an authority on appropriate articles to print, ol’ Eats Sloppy Joes in the Noonday Sun to Get a Story That Anyone Would Care to Read. When you’re not hibernating the rest of the season, of course. You need to wash those glasses and get ones with windshield wipers. Like we used to shout at the ump, Open your eyes, you’re missing a good game. Sheesh, you can’t hardly see ANY game when you’re facing 180 degrees the other way. You might want to check on the pulse of the TWIM faithful next time, Marjie. It’s awful hard to do when the air-conditioning ducts you climb through have dust on the them and all over your clothes.

“And we’ll return to decide who won the Butthead/Zane Debate at Milford High School Gym Annex after these messages. You’re watching WDIG-TV.”

“Having to experience the transition from bathtub to shower can be a highly stressful incident. I know my wife, Dr. Pearl, encountered a plethora of trauma when she was faced with the possibility of life with out her rubber ducky.

Greetings, this is Mr. Dr. Pearl and the wonderful people at Milford Bath Magic were able to set my wife in the Elysian Fields especially after she took her medication. They presented her with a floor plan that included a pedastal that could be mounted on the wall so that my wife could take a shower and view her rubber ducky on the stage and thusly perform her process of hygiene with a minimum of problems. My wife now sprays Estee Lauder in pure harmony and bliss.

Now I’ve read the letters and some complain that their bathtub was once inhabited by President Taft. Lord help him if he converted from a tub to a shower. How he applied Head & Shoulders in a shower the size of a phone booth is a mystery they are trying to solve at Machu Picchu. This is of trivial concern to Milford Bath Magic. They run the gamut of sizes from petite to extra-extra-extra large. There is absolutely no need to utilize a crowbar when Babar the elephant steps into the shower stall. He can wash his hair and clean his anatomy and if HE has a rubber ducky, he has room to place it in the soap dish.

Still others beef that their pipes are connected to the tub and the toilet. If somebody is afflicted with diarrhea, they may run into obstacles when they may have to shower at a later date. Again, Milford Bath Magic is way ahead of the game. With state-of-the-art plumbing technology, MBM can solve these problems, enabling those constipated or suffering swelling hemorrhoidal tissues to still douse their hair and flash the victory sign. A 97% rating by the Milford Engineering Society and an A+ from Milford Better Business Bureau displays the finer points of this technology. It might have a couple of roaches but they are sometimes behind the file cabinet in my wife’s office.

There are other concerns such as cost. Now honestly, do you think the grand people at Milford Bath Magic fell off the Titanic last week? They have set up a program through Milford Teachers Federal Credit Union so that the payments will not pose a strain on your budget. Believe me, MBM does not cherish the idea of repossessing someone’s shower. The incident last year involving tear gas was a complete misunderstanding as the culprit not only had been 3 years behind on his house payment, but that he fired first. Milford Bath Magic has to protect its investments.

What more proof do you need? With affordable plans and showers that feel like Niagara is draping over you, isn’t it time you deposited your Rust Belt of a tub into perdition? Come see what Milford Bath Magic has to offer. You’ll definitely be singing “Jessica” by The Allman Brothers when you do.”

I’ll say it again. Y’all are too good to me. You make me want to do my best. And I do the very thing I love because of you. God bless you, Gang.

Maybe we’re amazed that this slop is with us all the time

Maybe we’re afraid it’ll never leave town

Maybe we’re amazed at the way Gil sings this bleeping song

Even though he’s bleeping wrong

Maybe we’re amazed at the way Gil won’t seek a new job

“Bear down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Mimi, that’s no way to talk to the kids.”

“LOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UP IN THE SKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT’S A BIRD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT’S A PLANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the banner says…Impeach Dr. Pearl???”

May 19, 2021

When The Mudlarks Don’t Play, It’s a Slow News Day

Funny how you don’t realize the pleasure you got from little things you did pre-pandemic until you get to do them again. In yhs’s case it was reading periodicals in waiting rooms. If I didn’t have that opportunity earlier this week, I’d have never learned that politician/activist/novelist Stacey Abrams’ mother was a librarian and basically used the library as Stacey’s babysitter (as did, apparently, the author of the article’s parents). Regardless of your political persuasion, you have to acknowledge that library access helped inspire these women to do great things. Who’s to say that access couldn’t do the same for Zane Clark or some other Milford kid?

Maybe not Abel Brito, if that’s where this plot is heading.

Why Ms. Birdie Wampfler feels whatever Zane has up his sleeve is newsworthy, why Marjie knows who’s dating whom at Milford High, or why the Milford Star would act on her anonymous tip is beyond me. Could be that beyond the world of Milford High sports nothing really happens in this tank town and the Star is desperate for news of any kind. Probably it’s more like Rubin feeling the need to drag this story out longer than necessary. All I know is that if Marjie’s co-worker/editor/boss is that worried about messing up her manicure, she should just press the buttons on her phone with the end of a pencil or something.

December 7, 2020

It All Looks Goofy

Gil is really excited about the future of Milford football! They’ll be running all kinds of trick plays and those defenses won’t know what hit ’em. As for right now, in this season, at Valley Tech, let’s just hope they don’t turn the ball over four times.

It looks like Thayer and Rapson are finally united and can stand side by side and lead cheers for QB Fleming. This happened just in time for the alien mothership to abduct them and take them to Tralfamadore for extensive probing. They can live out their lives in a zoo. Maybe their keepers will fashion an animatronic Corina to bring them brownies and do other favors for them.

Corina and her volleyball teammates have travelled to Valley Tech to take in the game. I think Corina is eating a hot dog. Is she glad she came? She’ll answer the question after she sees how good the hot dog is.

December 5, 2020

Gil’s Intrigued: The Rest of Us Are Bored

Geez, Marty, why so surprised? Have you killed so many brain cells with Johnnie Walker that you can’t remember Gil trotting out the Wing-T in 2007, also late in the season? (Hint: It was right after you called out Cully Vale as a convicted killer.) From the sound of it Milford may have practiced the Delaware offense but not so much with Leonard Fleming under center. Good thing New Thayer sucks this year.

Today’s strip has the feel of an arc-ender, what with Gil’s “wait ’til next year” spiel to Marjie and his fourth-wall-breaking, shit-eating grin in the final panel.* Gil’s counting on two things here: (a) No one reads the Milford Star (b) Chance Macy doesn’t get blowtop mad for a second straight season. He didn’t lose his cool this season; must have gotten some decent anger management training. Anna Corinna Karenina could stand similar to knock that chip off her shoulder.

Still the Mudlarks have to wrap up their season against traditional rival Valley Tech. Think Rubin will remember that?

*If this does end up being the last strip in the fall arc, I may come back for a metapost.

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