This Week in Milford

August 4, 2021

“I’d keep playing. I don’t think the heavy stuff’s going to come down for quite a while.”

It’s a day full of cliches at the MCC, but why blind pigs and acorns? Why not blind squirrels and nuts? Blind pigs and acorns make the best jamón ibérico de bellota, but with size of the bets Carter’s been making I think squirrel jerky Underwood Deviled Ham is more in line with his budget.

Meanwhile, something mysterious appears on the horizon. Funnel cloud? Vic Doucette’s grandpa van? Hendricks’ crappy shot to bluff Heather and Gil? Why not all of the above? Will this group call it quits before they get to see the true nature of the sandbag, or will they play through and tempt the wrath of higher powers?

meta: Wasn’t Local H a topic of discussion on a Rock ‘n Roll Thursday some time back? I’ve lost track of those ever since I switched from posting Thursdays to Wednesdays. In any event I just stumbled across Local H’s cover of TV On The Radio (a band I’ve really been into for the past year or so)’s “Wolf Like Me.” Sharing it here with the original to jog memories and invite comparisons.

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 3, 2021

Plot Pacing Is Hard, Too

I realize the Allen Funt/Candid Camera references are my colleague T. Drew’s thing but between yesterday’s and today’s strips I’m left wondering whether Kaz has been playing the long game by goading Gil into meddling with aspects of Milford society that are outside his wheelhouse until he finally gets himself caught in a trap he can’t walk out of. Swaying Allen Funt’s vote on the Library Board by bribing him with pie* doesn’t rise to Abscam levels but it’s a slippery slope from there to sexual favors for invitations to the Milford CC. Then Kaz will have sprung the trap that leads to him getting named Head Coach of all Milford boys’ sportsball teams and athletic director. No more moonlighting as a bouncer and mooching off Kelly Krystek for him then, nosireebob.

Just what kind of skids are being greased here, anyway? Have the codgers on the Library Board realized there’s no logical way they could let the Clark kid have the seat, no matter how strong his arguments are for preserving the status quo? Aren’t there enough of them already on the board to shoot down every Brito proposal and make him look like a jerk – which is SOP for him, anyway – in the process? And, as so many of you gentle readers have commented over the past several weeks, why couldn’t these decisions have been made almost immediately after Zane’s and Abel’s presentations before the board?

Because Rubin doesn’t know how to wrap a story arc up neatly anymore, that’s why. Corina’s college predestination could’ve been wrapped up last weekend and this nonsense the weekend before that, freeing Neal and the Chief to dive into some summer hijinks featuring a Milford alum and some non-revenue sport.

*Have you noticed how easily people in the Thorpiverse are swayed by free food? From Corina Karenna and the other Valley Mod kids last spring to this Allen Funt/Ed Asner lookalike, the offer of eats gets folks in the Valley to do one’s bidding cheap.

late-breaking metapost: Apparently American pies, like so many other things in America, are in crisis; according to this Washington Post editorial, store-bought pie crusts are to blame. I will own up to having used them, including for my start-of-the-pandemic sour orange pie, but I will not own up to having caused America to lose its way.

In any event, I encourage you to read the linked WaPo editorial (which showed up in my feed after the box score to yet another Nats loss, but also owes a tip of the hat to faithful TWIMer vaganova). You’ll learn much about the history of pie and its influence on American culture and probably be more entertained than by reading a week’s worth of Gil Thorp strips. It may even influence you to bake a pie to honor our country’s independence.

June 23, 2021

Suspension of Disbelief? More Like Expulsion of Disbelief!

Gentle readers, I am no less flabbergasted by this strip since Saturday than you are. The time jumps, the unstated assumptions and the unprecedented presumptuousness on Mimi’s part are so mind-boggling that I barely know where to begin and what assumptions to make. That’s the main reason it’s taken me so long to get this post up today.

Going back to Saturday’s strip: Despite her protestations that she doesn’t want or doesn’t intend to go to college (BTW, her eyes were blue when she made that statement; they’re brown now so since then she’s become full of shit), Corina took the ACT. Taking the ACT costs anywhere from $60-80, so it’s not money easily blown by a family tight on money to begin with. How worried is she about her mother and her family finances then, really? Couldn’t she be mopping floors nightly like Zane Clark if she was really worried?

Now let’s try to figure out what kind of machinations Mimi went through to get us through today. Did she apply to the community college in Syracuse (and why Syracuse? Because all of the out-of-conference games for Milford this season were against Syracuse high schools?) and to Le Moyne (also in Syracuse) on Corina’s behalf? Forge her signature? Write her application essay? How do we know Corina’s community college grades will be good enough to allow her to transfer to Le Moyne? How do we know the Le Moyne players will still need a roommate more than a year from now, when the time comes to transfer? There’s just way too much assumed here for us to suspend disbelief.

In today’s last panel, Mimi’s got Jack Elam eyes. Please tell me Corina slapped her walleyed.

metapost: robmize isn’t the only one who can take off for Myrtle Beach on a whim. yhs isn’t spending any time on a golf course, however. Instead I’ve been hobnobbing with the mascot of Myrtle Beach’s minor league baseball team. (They’re a Cubs affiliate, BTW; rob, did you catch ’em while you were here?)

May 12, 2021

Duck! No, Pizza!

Sorry for the late and brief post: my laptop crashed and I lost my draft. At least Zane didn’t take the L thanks to his teammates’ bats, but thanks to Morton Levi he didn’t take the W either. (No idea who this Levi kid is, but Levi Morton was a Republican congressman from New York and Vice President of the United States under Benjamin Harrison. Here he’s a kid who came close to taking a comebacker to the head.) Those runners were inherited from Zane so a no-decision for him and a blown save for Morton.

Cut to the bleachers where once again we have a Milford team that’s been practicing in their game unis unless, like the boys, they just got done playing multiple games off-panel. Katy Brito unnecessarily points to herself and to – who? what? where? the general direction of Ricozzi’s? – while inviting her teammates to go get pizza with Zane and her. The two girls at far right look a bit taken aback by the proposition. They know The Bucket is the traditional post-game hangout and besides, they don’t want to watch Katy and Zane in another PDA. Corina on the other hand cocks an eyebrow in interest; she’s all about free eats and she must know about Zane’s backstory so she must figure this one’s on Katy. Wait ’til Abel finds out Katy’s been picking up the tab for not one but two freeloaders! That Milford Library Board job doesn’t pay, dontchaknow.

April 19, 2021

Very Pointedly Not Looking

Zane Clark’s relief appearance is off to a bad start. He walked Nottingham’s first batter and now he has given up a sharp single to right. The tension is rising in the Milford dugout! Kaz’s sideburn thinks maybe Gil should stroll out to the mound and settle Zane Clark down. Gil’s forehead wrinkles dismiss Kaz’s sideburn’s notion. Gil’s turkey neck adds that Gil is not even going to look in Zane Clark’s direction. It’s way too early in the season to start coaching. Everybody knows that showing up for a game and filling out a lineup card is really the most Gil can expect to contribute. To be fair, and we’re always fair here, Gil could be playing it casually because he doesn’t want to coddle Zane or because he doesn’t want to hit the panic button too soon and rattle Zane. Whatever the case, this game is The Zane Show and we are all along for the ride.

We see that Zane is giving himself his own talking to. Maybe Gil is playing this right. Maybe Zane has a good head on his shoulders and despite his disheveled home life, he has the mental fortitude to pull his own head out of his ass.

Here’s a pointed question for our readership: Do pitchers typically have the index finger sticking out of their glove? I did a quick search and looked at some images, but that was boring. It does look like the artwork has Zane’s index finger sticking out of his glove but the colorist colored over it with the brown of the glove. Maybe I’m just seeing it wrong or maybe Zane has a discolored finger. Maybe it will fall off.

While we’re talking Gil Thorp in color, I’ll report that today’s strip image is from the GoComics site, which has typically always used the non-colored strips, but today surprised dozens of people by using a colored strip. What the hell is going on here?!

April 6, 2021

Brito, Unfiltered

See Abel Brito.

See Abel Brito’s tiny body.

See Abel Brito’s tiny briefcase.

See Abel Brito’s tiny bolero jacket.

See Abel Brito’s huge ego.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Abel Brito?

We saw yesterday that Abel Brito is just a step or two behind the times when it comes to internet connectivity and the finer points of working remotely. Maybe even more than a step or two, since he feels the need to print out his work. Good thing Dr. Pearl with a dye job is there to tell him where the printer is. (What? You can’t tell me that’s not Dr. Pearl with a dye job! Things are tough all over, especially since the Milford School Board froze faculty and staff salaries a couple of years ago.) She didn’t tell him how much it costs to print; prolly 5 or 10 cents a copy but free for Milford Library Board members. He did hear there’s a vacancy on the Library Board, didn’t he?

Abel Brito might be a step or two behind the times when it comes to teenage relationships, too. He’s obviously not happy about his daughter Katy’s dating Zane Clark. Can’t be ’cause the kid is a slacker; he’s hard at work at that very same library Abel’s forcing himself to use. Must be because of his home life, some aspect of which must be making Zane unworthy of his daughter. Wouldn’t it be convenient if the Library Board found a way to keep kids from spending too much time at the library, forcing them to, I dunno, study at home?

meta: Thanks @tdrewhardin for covering for me on Saturday’s post.

March 28, 2021

Two Douches and a Four-speed and a 389

What have we learned today, TWIMers?

  1. Doug Guthrie’s favorite NASCAR racing family? The Pettys.
  2. Vic Doucette was seen by drove a Plymouth Satellite faster than the speed of light.
  3. When it comes to teaching your kids how to drive, Doug’s dad got it all wrong. Kid sits on dad’s lap, steers and shifts while dad works the pedals and takes hold of the steering wheel as necessary.
  4. Thanks to #3, Gil Thorp is the strip that has come the closest to a depiction of road head since For Better or for Worse introduced the bizarre term “going roadside.”
  5. A girl rejecting a guy for his grandpa van? Bad. Said guy catcalling said girl? A-OK!

I guess this wack-ass approach to putting Vic behind the wheel of a cool ride is cheaper than pimping out Vic’s van or fitting hand controls to Doug’s GTO. Style points to Whigham for getting the ’66 Goat interior close to correct, adding a column-mounted tach even if he defaulted to the cliched 8-ball gearshift knob.

Honestly this strip doesn’t feel like any kind of arc-ender, much as we might want it to be. If it is, a metapost might be in order.

meta: Well I’ll be darned; it is the arc-ender. Can you say “anticlimactic”? Sure, I knew you could. The post title is, of course, an homage to the second line of “Little GTO.”

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