This Week in Milford

May 20, 2023

In Which Gil Decides to Wrestle with the Pig

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. – George Bernard Shaw

Credit where credit is due: In Luke Martinez, Henry has created one toxic character. His never-ending obsession to one-up Gil Thorp and beat Gil’s teams in every sport he coaches has managed to suck in both his assistant coach and Gil himself. He’s also managed to piss off his elder son who, if there’s any sense of irony in this strip, will soon quit the team and/or transfer to Milford High in the fall.

Why does Gil need to call Hamm? To ask him if he’s seen the Korean Nightmare* clip? He should know the answer to that.

Coachella is looking a bit off-character today BTW, Chief. She needs to shave.

That’s all I’ve got for today. My laptop has been crashing and not recognizing its charger for weeks, and today I finally had to back it up and reinstall the OS. Took hours. Sorry not to have more pithy insights.

Oh, wait: I came across this online earlier this week. It dates from the late 1930s and might be as appropriate to share as Kaz’s out-of-left-field Cab Calloway reference a few days ago.

* Or, as he was known in his home country, “The Nightmare.”

April 19, 2023

Gil You Lying Sack

“I don’t drink.” My ass. What the hell was this, Gil, a stiff virgin Old Fashioned? Does such a thing exist?

Marty got clean and sober recently. Could he have convinced Gil to do the same, maybe at the MCC? Get to retconning, Barajas!

I also expect Henry to retcon Tobe into a diamond superstar. It’ll be interesting to see how he transitions from softball to baseball – that is, unless he was already playing as a girl on a baseball team at his old school.

As for Vapegate? Does Gil know? Of course he knows! He’s got eyes everywhere and Chief Lind in his back pocket. Why didn’t he blow the whistle sooner? He didn’t want to jeopardize the Mudlarks’ undefeated season and shot at the championship, that’s why. Gil hasn’t been watching SEC football for nothing.

Time for some meta:

Over my morning joe I read that Rodney Barnes Damar Hamlin has been cleared to engage in football activities. Here’s hoping he has a safe and healthy life ahead of him. The timeframe for his clearance jibes with the timeframe Rod was given yesterday.

The cartooning world lost two greats this past week in Al Jaffee and Edward Koren. Sly and subversive in their own ways while aiming for different-browed audiences. I’m grateful for their long lives and lengthy careers.

Finally, the world of music lost a giant in Ahmad Jamal. I leave you gentle readers with one of his seminal works.

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.

December 14, 2022

Vive la Résistance!

Gentle readers, I must admit that there are days when I need a little motivation to try and understand a given day’s strip and to make a coherent post about it. Most Some days I have to broaden my horizons and try to find a pop culture reference to tie in the action or the dialogue. Most Some days the pure absurdity of what’s being presented lets the post write itself. Some days – and today is one of those days – that I just have to break the strip down into its individual parts and comment on each part. On those days it helps to have a mantra, and today’s mantra is Ohm. So let’s get to it.

P1: All together now: In American football, the team in possession of the football, or the offense, tries to advance the football down the field to score points while the team without possession of the football, or the defense, tries to stop the offense’s advance and to take control of the ball for themselves. In terms of the goals of each unit, the offense is thus the force and the defense is the resistance.

P2: Marty has been at this gig long enough that he should know the basic rules of the game. He should also know that the end of the second quarter in American football is usually referred to as “halftime” or “the half.” Or it could be that Lachlan doesn’t know that. Lachlan is a name of Gaelic origin, so he could be a noob at calling an American football game.

P3: Now we know how Marty’s been supplementing his income since he lost the TV2 job: by calling illegal dog fights over the dark web. Applying the dog fighting analogy to Valley Tech football might explain why there’s a chain-link fence right along the sideline of their field. Cage match rules at Valley Tech might explain why Maivia’s having such a good night, or day, hard to tell.

Stepping back and looking at the strip as a whole, you can see a flow of action, kind of like Eadweard Muybridge’s photos of horses. It’s the description of the flow that requires detachment and meditation. So please join me. Ohm…

meta: A moment of silence and a bag of candy corn on the curb for Mike Leach. Love him, hate him, or somewhere in between, you have to admit he made college football more interesting and less corporate. Rest in peace, oh pirate.

December 3, 2022

Terriors! Come out to play-ay!

Filed under: Coach Kaz, confusing dialogue, football, Keri Thorp, metapost, New Thayer — teenchy @ 3:10 pm

meta: I missed communication with Rob so neglected to cover for him yesterday. Mea culpa. Friday’s strip doesn’t really advance the plot(s) IMO but I’m adding it at this late time on Saturday night to maintain continuity, something not often achieved in the nu-look Gil Thorp.

December 2, 2022

There’s no “I” in “team” but there is in “Milford Food Bank.” Gil leads the Mudlark gridders in a team building exercise that may help them execute a two-minute drill hurry-up offense somewhere down the line. Keri is there to contribute to the process and keep the guys in line with the threat of a knuckle sandwich. Gil wields a butter knife as a silent reminder that she was lucky to avoid Mike Knappe’s fate. Meanwhile, Kaz shows up channeling his inner Apple Mary (who may or may not be Mary Worth).

December 3, 2022

Seems I already did a variation on this title a few years ago but the joke just writes itself, n’estce pas?

We’re getting the setup for some actual action next week, and in a way that a background check is in order. Presumably this is Milford’s first game against New Thayer this season; so whoever is speaking in P1 must be implying that the Mudlarks have a five-game losing streak against the, um, Terriors?

Is that a typo for “Terriers” or a new nickname entirely? A portmanteau of “Terriers” and “Warriors,” or maybe New Thayer is now a school that trains vintners and wine stewards? I can only think of two school with Terriers for a mascot: Boston University and Wofford. Marty repeats the nickname for emphasis. Funny that he sets up the action in terms of NT ending the Milford win streak rather than Milford keeping the streak going, given that he’s the Milford announcer. Take a couple more hits off the sippy cup, Marty, you’ll find your rhythm.

Back to that streak, tho: If memory (or the search function) serves, Milford played NT twice in 2021, the last season in the Rubin era. They rallied from a 17-13 halftime deficit and won 40-24 in October, but lost to them in classic Rubin tell-don’t-show fashion, 27-21, in the season finale in November. (FWIW, behind its “out-of-nowhere” Delaware Wing-T, Milford beat NT by 18 in 2020.) So the losing streak is one. Exactly one.

So much for continutity. Let’s try to let that go and enjoy the on-field action we’re sure to see next week. Maybe New Thayer will win in extra innings or Milford will keep their win streak going while ending NT’s over them on penalty kicks.

November 21, 2022

Milford Healthcare Mysteries

Filed under: glasses on forehead, Keri Thorp, metapost, talking windows — nedryerson @ 4:32 am

Keri’s volleyball injuries were serious enough to bypass Trainer Rick Scott (if there is a Trainer Rick Scott in the Barajas Milfordverse) and send her straight to the Milford Medical Center. Is the Milford Medical Center something more than a walk-in clinic with a swanky entryway? The MMC has a nice picture window where you can look in and see the staff assessing patients. That’s cool. If the smoking lady hanging out on the front step wants to take a gander at an ankle assessment, she should have a nice view.

So the doctor, or physicians assistant, or nurse practitioner, or licensed practical nurse, or certified nurses assistant doing the examination has determined that the diagnosis is a bruised ankle. But Ned, you say, some of those occupational categories you named can’t write prescriptions! Ah, but who writes a prescription for ibuprofen? It could be a CNA writing a “subscription” on any ol’ pad with a Ziggy cartoon on it. Okay, sure, maybe you need a prescription for a higher dosage than the over-the-counter ibuprofen, but I’ve always been baffled by that when you can do you own dosage with the over-the-counter stuff by gobbling down whatever you want. Okay so maybe the prescription is for a higher dosage with a time release….okay, okay why did I wander down this path? Take some Advil, that’ll be $120. That’s what we have here.

It is possible to go overboard with ibuprofen, but I don’t know how many kids get themselves messed up on over-the-counter pain medication. If the risk is that serious, maybe it’s something that should be discussed with the parent or guardian of a minor!

The Comics Curmudgeon bailed me out this morning by posting today’s Gil Thorp. I don’t know where he gets comics. He has alluded to having a super secret source. I still got nothing on GoComics or seattle pi. Good luck to us going forward. ned

November 19, 2022

“Onomatopoeic Saturday,” or “A Slap on the Wrist, Then a Crack on the Ankle”


SLAP! AGH! AHHH! CRACK! Keri’s turning into an episode of 1960s Batman all by her lonesome. She might’ve had help from Luhm with that last one, though. Such a shiny, shiny floor.

What’s all this about a nurse? Where’s Rick Scott when you need him, not available for the jayvees? No matter; Keri’s getting sidelined for a bit. Call it karma for not getting benched or kicked off the team for punching out Dorothy if you will. Gil has done the same to kids not named Thorp for less.

This should give Barajas time to drop a couple of reaction strips about Keri’s preferential treatment. With all the jumping around we’ve seen, those have been in a little short supply. Consider the Tabitha-now-Toby making the team, making funky plays and converting into a skill position player subplot. In the days of Rubin we’d have had at least one if not more pissy middle-aged person complaining about Toby being allowed to play football, followed by A Very Special Gil Thorp in which some preachy lesson would be learned. In the days of Jenkins this would just not be spoken of.

With Keri sidelined, maybe we’ll smash cut to another subplot. Time for the Luke Martinez Revenge Tour to resume? Or The Last Days of Meemaw? Will she outlast Funky Winkerbean?

meta: Gocomics has been down all day (rumors of turning into a pay site circulating), plus I’m on the road today. Sorry for the late post.

November 14, 2022


We’re back in Orville Redenbacher’s classroom where Keri is falling asleep. She’s losing sleep due to PTSD from the flat-out stupid mass (sic) shooter drill/community theater production she witnessed right here in Mr. Redenbacher’s class. Maybe we will eventually explore what a shitshow that “drill” was and see some of the MHS administration face consequences for staging a theme park stunt show in a high school class. Yeah, the whole thing still bugs me.

Moving on, maybe another way to read this is that Keri is getting sleepy because listening to Mr. Reddenbacher is utterly boring compared to watching him go Herk the Mauler on an armed intruder. Seriously, how are you supposed to follow that. The least Mr. R can do is maybe tear a phonebook in half or demonstrate how to correctly swing a folding chair.

Kids do fall asleep in class. It can be embarrassing. I don’t know that Mr. R did anything especially provocative in waking Keri up that caused all the laughter. (Is it laughter, or did he just write HA all over the blackboard?) Either way, Keri’s now got a new traumatic event to deal with. Maybe she should just transfer to a different class. I think her dad has some pull. Or better yet, she can just transfer to Valley Tech and we can really get our West Side Story reboot in gear.

metapost: tdrew, I’ll cover for you on Thursday.

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