This Week in Milford

April 18, 2019

Will It Sell In Platteview?

Filed under: Mimi Thorp, softball — tdrewhardin @ 8:07 am


I have a nagging question that won’t go away. Did Thorpiverse rip off an Omaha phone book somewhere from a deserted phone booth off that snaky metal cord and head to the nearest sleazy diner, order a cheeseburger and coffee, and just start going down the list while he’s waiting for his cheeseburger to reach Tums stage? Musta had a helluva pocket knife to sever the cord. Musta been desperate too as us Thorp veterans are used to generic high school names, a Madison here, a Riverton there, not this Pet Shop Boys Worldwide Pony Express/Overland Trail Heritage of Nebraska Tour 2019 route that T-verse is presently employing. Really, who’s next on the schedule? Chimney Rock? Is their nickname the Slaterunners?

Marty Moon at the mike

“And she’s running on the pitch, the throw down to 2nd, and SHE’S OUT!!!!!!!! That’s right, ‘Lark fans, Jocelynn guns down another Slaterunner. They’d be wise not to run on HER arm!!!!!!!!!”

I’ll let you be the judge.


We were there…on the Oregon Trail

“Mimi, I called their athletic director. I can maybe squeeze it between New Thayer and Scottsbluff. But lining up the umpires is gonna be dicey.”

“But we can hitch our wagons to their posts?”

“Yes. And the Cartwrights own some property by the bluffs. Got holdings all over the West. Nice little lodge your team can sleep in. I’ll mail the check to Ben Cartwright this week.”

“Tell him that we can take on his Virginia City team and we’re rarin’ to go. I understand Hoss is their coach?”


Then there’s the Rockville factor. Back in my home town, Rockville(home of the Dumps), Pringles did a test market survey back in the ’60’s. Well, I think you know where this leads and it isn’t at the Apache Nation where the Lady Mudlarks are scheduled to play next week, complete with exchanging of gifts, peace pipes and beads for Jimi Hendrix hats, one autographed by the same when he was jammin’ with Buddy Miles and Billy Cox on Band of Gypsies.

The trite reasoning was if they’ll munch on those crisp parabola-shaped chips loaded down with more sodium than Gil sprays on his hair every morning, they’ll munch on ’em EVERYWHERE. Yup, even as I text, someone on the Eiffel Tower or in his Maserati going 100MPH on the Golden Gate Bridge or at the South Pole dining with the penguins is munchin’ on Pringles Bar-B-Q or Pringles Cheddar and Sour Cream or Pringles Original (nifty and catchy red design got snackers snackin’, evidently) or Pringles Buffalo Style, all because at one time when the Vietnam War was in full swing, Rockville was indulging in a pop-off cylinder of chips.


Rejected lyrics by Country Joe & The Fish

What are we doin’ over in Vietnam

Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn

Watching the Mudlarks beat Grand Island with singles

Here in my lawn chair snarfin’ up Pringles


Yeah, I like Pringles but I don’t blame Country Joe for desiring something stronger if we wanted to twist the Administration’s arm on pulling out the troops. We could only go so far with “Congress never declared war on ‘nam” logic.


So, yes, this story had a happy ending. Pringles is virtually a multi-national corporation (devouring Pringles Salt & Pepper in Prague, trust me), Rockville got its chips it could virtually call it’s own and city officials even sent a shipment to Platteview. Attaway to pass on the kindness, Rockville. The only hitch was Platteview sent back a case of Pringles Dill Pickle ‘n’ Dijon Ranch. Too many P-view citizenry with acid reflux, they complained.

Ours isn’t a perfect world when promoting Hands Across America.


Lookin’ at my watch a 3rd time

Waitin’ in the back lot for the bus

Food was bad, umps no better

We played our game and got a win for us

I know they need to get some pitching and a cleanup hitter to raise a ton of fuss


Don’t go back to Platteview

Don’t go back to Platteview

Don’t go back to Platteview

And waste another year


Timbuys, Big Guy, I have desperately tried to contact you but my phone evidently won’t send email messages. Sorry to leave you incommunicado and will try to get this fixed. I solved one problem. I can solve others. THANK YOU for all you do for me.


Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“O.J. And His Porsche Overrun By Cattle On The Chisholm Trail!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Suffers minor bruises; Cochran not implicating Lady Mudlarks in lawsuit.”


What a sexy combo in P2. Roy Orbison shades and the MTV logo. And this damn concept would sell if they’d quit spelling “Milford” in Vulcan. You can see the letters of the girl’s uniform in the back but you need a lorgnette to read Mimi’s shirt? God forbid this is the modus operandi on an eye chart at Milford Optical.

“Okay, put the cup over your right eye and read the letter I’m pointing to.”

“M…U…C…K…, no wait, start over, M…O…T…H…, ah, a hit, let me try again, M…I…Omega…Gamma…


On a late night episode of F Troop on WDIG-TV

“IT IS…..BALLOON!!!!!!”

“No, Chief, it’s just the Lady Mudlarks landing here for a 3-game series. You did remember to get extra tipis, right?”


And where IS that girl going in P2? The same place Dagwood’s background people go when Dagwood is cussing out Herb Woodley or Mr. Dithers is cussing out Dagwood (BUMSTEAD, you bumbled that Platteview contract!!!!!!!! I’m docking you a week’s pay!!!!!!!!!!!!!) or Dagwood is cussing out Elmo or Daisy the Dog? Okay, I might be stretching the last one but you old timers, I’m sure, remember when that mass of anonymity would pass by while Blondie would go shopping and Dagwood would be with her and she’d be using Dagwood as a sounding board while deciding what to buy? And the blob would keeping passing by in obscurity until Dagwood (normally) would utter some smartass remark, THEN the blob would all be looking their way. And it was a unique Chic Young (the author) trait, something hard to mimic. The blob, or crowd, would fall flat on their face in B.C. or Prince Valiant or Green Lantern or Dennis the Menace or Buzz Sawyer or Roscoe Sweeney or Ziggy. Hell, Marmaduke would scare off the blob.

But that’s where this poor creature is evidently headed, towards Dagwood Hell to face a life of Sisyphean Blondie-gazing, stuck in Macy’s or Kohl’s or Woolworth’s or K-Mart or Saks 5th Avenue or Milford 5-and-10, or wherever Blondie drags Dagwood around to shop for clothes, destined to be a part of men and women whose only purpose in life is to watch Blondie field Dagwood’s zingers. I know I WOULD get right with God if I knew what the consequences were otherwise.


At night I drink myself to sleep

And conjure all the teams

That we have yet to play

Lincoln, Wahoo

It’s a frickin’ holiday

I know it might sound strange to play a squad

That’s known by the moniker, Ogalalla


Don’t go back to Platteview

Don’t go back to Platteview

Don’t go back to Platteview

And waste another year


Uh oh. Santa and his Reindeer has just pulled up. Okay, Santa, I take back all the things I said about Gil’s hair. Can I have that Lionel Train Set and Matchbox Collection I ask you about when I sat on your lap at the Milford Mall? Surely it’s in that bag SOMEWHERE.

And I remember when I was a kid when I went to my dentist and the 2 things that stand out was his Frank Gorshin-as-Riddler laugh and semi-demeanor and his largesse from the Goody Drawer if we were good boys and girls while he and his dental assistants were undergoing root canal work. I’d get a toy plastic car here, the ones you got free inside a box of, say, Trix or Fruit Loops, or a smiley face there. Nope, couldn’t get Barbie Dolls or GI Joe Action Figures, the Goody Drawer wasn’t big enough, just a little reward for behaving yourself while he was fluoridating your gums.

I think Jocelynn brought along the Goody Bag today. You’ve been such good boys and girls, mainly girls, that you are going to get whatever you like in the bag, even if it’s primarily hats.

Here’s a Mouseketeer hat for you, Linda, a Beetle Bailey cap for you, Jamila, so they’ll never see your eyes when you’re pitching, art of deception, y’know, a Bear Bryant fedora for you, Nancy, Roll Tide Roll, a Patton helmet for you, Mimi, er, Coach, it might jump start a dead battery and cause you to actually lead the team not let Gomer Pyle issue the order to fire in the hills of Africa when Erwin Rommel is coming.

Somewhere in Tunisia

“Pyle ist Dummesel. Ich bin optimistisch.”

“Ja, Sie konnen optimistisch seien. Ich nicht.”

Couldn’t say it better myself, Rommel. Mimi needs to be optimistic AND in charge. Might help the team.


So after all the hat-passing, are we going to see any more softball, let alone BASEBALL this year? Or is there going to be another Dances With Wolves powwow, designed to promote Native American relations even if it doesn’t promote sports anytime soon? To quote Stuart Scott, are gonna get jiggy with the plot?

“Chief say we can’t play that weekend. The Great Hunt starts Saturday and men gone all day. Ladies are needed to prepare the cooking. Everybody really hungry and in no mood for softball. We have no problem with following Saturday. We welcome competition.”

I’d have Jocelynn present Gil with a chief headdress but like the true Tatanka that he is, he’s been gone on a Golf Convention down in Florida. Using his Sick Days from school. And he’d look silly anyway with Arnie and the Golden Bear on #4, Dog Leg Right. Hell, Jocelynn, just give him the Slicer/Dicer. He needs to learn how to cut up Julienne Fries anyway when Mimi and the Mudlarks are battling the eskimos in the bottom of the ninth.



“Sir, you’re reading from USA Today.”


It’s not as though we really need this

If it were smut, I wouldn’t read it

And they have played ’bout every town

In Nebraska, up and down

I wonder if that’s how it oughta be


Well, I know it might sound strange but I believe we’ll be in Ogallala once again

Don’t go back to Platteview

Don’t go back to Platteview

Don’t go back to Platteview

And waste another year


Have at it, Gang. I’m going to see if I can get a Yankees cap. Just to remind me that baseball still exists even when the sport wound up in the Bermuda Triangle when Thorpiverse grabbed a hold of it.



Not bad, but that’s Mimi’s Lee’s label.”


“…You’ll wind up on some vacant sand lot

That’s full-time filth

And nowhere else to go…”



April 17, 2019

Even A Blind High-five Finds a Nut Now and Then


“That’s the most uncool thing I’ve ever heard!”

“Wait, what? We live in a place where ease up is part of the local lingo and that’s the most uncool thing you’ve ever heard? That’s almost as uncool as you trying to high-five me with your eyes closed!”

“Oh, yeah. Thanks for not leaving me hanging.”

Speaking of hanging, it’s time to check in on the Coaches Thorp and see what they’re up to when they’re not at Milford High. Quelle surprise, there they are with drinks in their hands again. Mimi seems flummoxed by the idea that kids these days can empathize with one another over something other than the sports team they play on together.  Maybe empathy’s not dead after all.  Maybe she can convince the girls to channel some of that empathy into being a cohesive unit. Maybe she keeps Gil around because of his 46-inch inseam and the Bob Lanier-like boats stuck to the end of it.

April 13, 2019

Slugger, Leader, Hat Model


Fellow TWIM bloggers, where are you going for the color version of the strip?  I used to use the Seattle PI comics page but it looks like it might be behind a paywall now and just accessed it again (thanks to loyal TWIMer Downpuppy).  If one of you find it, could you please update this post with a copy?  Check out Jocelynn’s hat in living color.


That is some serious Carmen Miranda-level shit going on right there.  Somehow I doubt she got a free bowl of soup with it.

This wraps up what has been a long week – five strips to play one game.  Something tells me we’ll see two or three games in a single strip more than once and hey, what about those Mudlark boys?  Been kinda nice not hearing about them.  Kinda nice for Mimi to play cheerleader and not field leader, though that may prove problematic down the line.

A couple of odds and ends to bring today’s post to a close:

We carp about playdowns in the Thorpiverse but I only found out recently that here in Pennsylvania we have high school playbacks!  In multiple sports even!  Best as I can tell, they’re kinda like double elimination rounds where you can play your way back into the state playoffs.

Finally, in stumbling around looking for a color version of today’s strip I stumbled upon this blog, which concisely summed up the BRobby Howry arc in far drier fashion than we did here.  Maybe that’s where all of Jason’s readers wandered off to…


April 11, 2019

Put Me In, Coach, I’m Ready To Coach Today.

Filed under: ?, actual action, freak hands, Just plain sad, Mimi Thorp, Pointy Fingers — tdrewhardin @ 9:17 am


Before we deal with reality here (no sarcasm intended, you know me) , is that the same fence that goes around Shawshank? We’ll never get out alive. Get busy playin’ or get busy dyin’ while we’re waiting for the clock to wind down. At least DuFresne had a stone Carver to weasel out of his own plot. And look where he wound up.


Outside of the Scrimmage Bust, we’ve really not seen Mimi in charge of anything and if today is any indication, that status seems unlikely to change.

Granted, teams need team leaders. Extension of the coaches. Nothing will pull your hair out if you’re trying to implement your system, philosophy, and ideas but no one cares enough to take that on the field or court and branch that system out to other players. Put Jocelynn Brown on my team ANYTIME. My ideas will spread like wildfire with her communication skills.

But P1, while I’m sure Brown will indeed develop into a team leader, if you had to translate, would ring something like “Sit yo’ ass down, Girl, I’ll go out and get her out of her funk.” Mimi, inverted hands and all, is staging little resistance at this point. Yeah, just sit on the bench, Mimi, and keep filing your nails. The inmates are still running the prison and are unlikely to relinquish control anytime soon.

“Hi, Pat Summerall for True Value Hardware. Did your hands make contact with the Milford & Oakwood coal train and you couldn’t spin away? And you’re already diagnosed with dishpan hands??

The good people at True Value have all the equipment to deal with such irregularities that won’t strain your budget.

Get a Dewalt 20V Combo Drill Kit on sale for just $159. You’ll also need a Stanley Fatmax Utility Knife to cut through the socket. Great for cutting through the wires when you’re tired of listening to Madden or Brookshier diagram another play.  That’s a bargain for $9.99. A Dewalt 30′ Tape Measure, now selling for $9.99. Gotta have accurate measurements here if you want your appendages screwed back in at the proper angle. GearWrench 8-Piece Set, an appropriate gift for anybody’s birthday, adaptable to any carpal size, on sale for $59.39. Poulan Chain Saw, in case the wrist project was more ambitious than anticipated, selling at a remarkable $55.99.

True Value Hardware has all the things you need to make life a little easier and when you’re finally able to hold tea cups without spilling Earl Grey on Gil’s lap and still be able to watch the game, life is sweeter.

But don’t take my word for it. Stop by your local True Value store and meet the friendly staff who’ll help you with your dreams and designs. And tell ’em Pat sent ya.”

What can I say about P2? It’s a given that Thorpiverse is trying to strut its stuff and flash its Withitness out for the world to see. Art patrons from all over the globe will be mightily intrigued, if not impressed, at this portrait hanging in the Gallery today, next to Dejeuner sur l’Herbe.  Girls who missed scrimmage because the Great Pumpkin was coming to Milford Farm Market to sign autographs in a questionable perspective next to a painting of naked women dining with Men About Town in Gay Paris, you couldn’t match George and Gracie any better.

So Thorpiverse is establishing the strike zone(Hoo boy) by showing what the diamond would look like if we were forced at gunpoint to give up our American Express Traveler’s Cheques AND take a snap shot from a certain angle, focusing on the catcher settling down the pitcher.

And, as mentioned earlier, Jocelynn could possibly be another Ozzie Bean, a catcher on Gil’s team who knew how to shrewdly handle a pitching staff. Yup, Milford Penitentiary was operated by John Dillenger and Pretty Boy Floyd back then, too. I felt sorry for the Sysco semi trying to implement food logistics past those 2 clowns.

Anyway, when she’s telling Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to quit aiming her sky hook and just pitch, is that the 3rd baseman to their left? Really no way that could be the shortstop, Ted Williams was left-handed, unless they got ANOTHER shift on an extreme pull-hitter who’s a 3rd base umpire’s nightmare. But what in the name of Dutch Rennert is she doing facing AWAY from the scheme of things???? Saying “Hi Mom”? If we wanted to be truly fair with perspectives, Mom would have to be perched along with the buzzards with their binoculars watching the same game on one of the branches on the mutant poplar in the background. I reckon that affords a better view than the bleachers and we’ll excuse Thorpiverse for mutant poplars taking foliage liberties in early April. Okay, T-verse, it’s in full summer bloom even if the sugar maple trees in the neighborhood around here are just now shooting out its whirlygigs(wink, wink).

So is the 3rd baseman playing pitch and catch? That’s what warm-ups before the game are for, amiright? And WHO would she be tossing to? The 3rd base umpire, who was last seen hiding behind the tarp rather than get pelted with a down-the-line job, at least that’s what the Missing Persons show reported anyhoo.

“If you’ve seen this man, call now at 1-800-THE-LOST or text at umpireisonthelooseandhis You can leave an anonymous tip and your call can help track down a man who’s needed for the Milford American Legion Tournament next weekend. He is in his 30’s, has blond hair, hazel eyes, calls a strike zone wider than Gil’s verandah, makes an occasional bad call at 2nd base because he’s dyslexic and thinks that’s 1st base. Please, if you’ve seen him, go to the phone IMMEDIATELY. Your tip does make a difference.”


Is the 3rd baseman playing pitch and catch with the 3rd base coach? That, BTW, wouldn’t be Mimi. Try giving the green light when the runner’s rounding 3rd with your hands welded in reverse. Man o man, the welder down at Milford Steel ought to take a urine test pronto. Don’t flash the bunt sign, Mimi.

The only other option is she’s pitching horseshoes. True, there might be a horseshoe pit by the batting cage and I’m sure horseshoe-tossing instills character and competitiveness, in that order (“RINGER!!!!!!!!! IN YOUR FACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!” “CARR, SHAKE HANDS WITH BROWN OR YOU’LL BE RUNNING LAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!”) , but even if there is one (Thorpiverse and its Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds outlook on the softball diamond) , NO WAY could she be doing that with her cauliflower-shaped glove (Milford Sporting Goods were out of Spalding Rutabaga Special Edition) . She won’t get too many ringers that way.

Finally, the (fingers crossed) left fielder with the Christy Mathewson New York Giant 1905 Commemorative World Series Champion Memento uniform, complete with socks up to her pelvic area, is really out of position. No left fielder stands 3 feet from the fence on the 3rd base side unless she may be sneaking in a Camel break. Or kibitzing the 3rd baseman pitching horseshoes. She’s close enough to the action.

Or maybe

“The kisses and love

Won’t carry me

’til ya marry me


I got the Wedding Bell Bluuueesss”


Nah, couldn’t be whistling anything by The 5th Dimension. Just chewing on a Bazooka Joe while Jocelynn is learning Mimi’s job.

If ya swagger yore beer belly while yore standin’ in the 3rd base box as a signal that yore softball hitter’s got th’ green light on a 3-0 count ta park one over in the next softball diamond on a typical Monday night Men’s Open 40 and Over League, ya might be a redneck.


Jocelynn, your words of wisdom in P3 are priceless. You will make a great head coach one day. When Mimi is reduced to a role of a mannequin with her hands in reverse gear, you know the stage is yours. She and Gil are on the golf course half the time anyway.



You come on like a dream

Peaches and cream

Lips like strawberry wine

You’re six feet tall

You’re strong

And you’re still throwing heat.


All right, all right, get off my back. Jocelynn Brown and Ringo never met. Ringo just saw that on graffiti somewhere in Liverpool next to “Echo & the Bunnyman is God”. Just became a rough draft and the rest was history. Ringo bunked Pete Best and Mimi felt like Pete Best when George Martin wanted Jocelynn as the coach. Sue me.

Gang, it’s your turn. I’m going to get the left fielder’s autograph. Anyone have a Bic handy?


You walked out of my dreams

And into my arms

Now you’re my angel divine

You’re six feet…



In Dr. Pearl’s office on any given school day

“So you coached the Milford Optimist 3rd Grade Girls Softball League? What was your relationship with the fellow coaches like?”

“You have excellent references. I know Darryl Strawberry personally. He was coaching when Gil was on Sabbatical.”

“We have 3 other candidates to interview. Send me that cover letter at your convenience. My fax number is 1-888-523-9473.”

March 23, 2019

Back Off Boogaloo


“More volleyball? Hell yeah! I know which sport butters my bread – and it sure ain’t softball! Also, with volleyball at least I know what my schedule is gonna look like. No scrimmages on two days’ notice, that’s for sure! Now back off, Jamila. Okay?” – first draft of Linda’s lines in P1

“How dare those girls have lives outside Milford sports!” – first draft of Mimi’s lines in P4

I think it’s fair to say that most of us at TWIM are glad to see a story line in which Mimi and one of her girls’ teams are at the forefront.  It’s also fair to say that Mimi’s not winning any friends here with her attitude.  She shouldn’t be expected to keep track of all her players’ lives, but she should also consider that changing up her team’s schedule on such short notice may have a definite impact on her players. Good thing she’s got a sympathetic ear in her old man there, as they pound down adult beverages at whichever Milford watering hole they’re at. (Barney’s Pub again? Not sure.)

Speaking of adult beverages: When they’re not jogging or at Milford High, are Gil and Mimi ever in each other’s presence without a drink in their hands? A marriage counselor would have a field day with that factoid.


March 22, 2019

Even better news– we may play this scrimmage before April

Filed under: Mimi Thorp, shadow figures, softball — robmize2013 @ 8:53 pm

Well its wonderful that Mimi is (taking up 3 panels needlessly) announcing to the team that they have a scrimmage. Why not just play the scrimmage?

And dont they play volleyball in spring? I dunno. I actually have experience with a player who is so good at sports theyre on another team at the same time and thus cant make all of the first teams activities. In 1998 I coached 12-13 year old baseball and my best pitcher was also on a traveling team; his dad was my assistant and gave me heads up when his son wasnt able to play for my team. He missed 6 games; we went 3-3 in his absence and 10-4 with him, winning the league title with my star ace still collecting 100 strikeouts and impressing me as much as any other ballplayer I coached with his level-headedness and maturity. I thought we handled the matter as well as we could and the team came together as a unit without any friction that could have developed. Nothing like a happy ending as well.

I guess Lindas  teammate needs to chime in about her decision to play a tourney instead of a scrimmage. Myself, I play the tournament first. But the other girl should really stay out of it. Its up to Linda and her parents, who should talk to Mimi about it that evening. But the way this strip goes, we’ll be dicking around for another week before anything gets resolved.

Speaking of another week– I will need a sub next Friday, as I’m going to Texas on Wednesday for the Cubs opening series and wont be back til Monday. Hopefully Mimi will handle this situation as well as I did 20 years ago, but I seriously doubt it. Thanks again gang for filling in.




March 21, 2019

And Don’t Let Them Drink Lipton Iced Tea After Midnight.

Filed under: Gil Thorp, Mimi Thorp, What the hell is going on here? — tdrewhardin @ 3:58 pm


Whooooooooaaaaaaa, we went from Room 222 to Masterpiece Theater. Well, that’s what chunky plots will do, hop from one scene to another. I hope you buckled your seat belt.

Sorting it out (pass the Earl Grey) , we find out that Linda is talented, doting on David, and has too many Gil hairs in the fire. Now, barely after The Bucket waiter says “Hi, I’m Booby, and I will be your waiter this evening”, Thorpiverse dumped another scenario on the table. Man, can’t it wait until Booby asks “Would you like to start out with an appetizer? The Bucket Octopussy Burger is to die for”? Who wants to slog through the burger and Bucket Snail Fries while splitting your attention between “Robert’s Rule of Scrimmaging” and “Fun With Scrimmaging: A New Way Your Family Can Use The Front Yard”?

And fine print? Gil, Mimi didn’t go to Milford Auto Auction. She wants to set up, evidently since she never explicitly said it, a scrimmage with another high school, which is understandable because she wants to see what she’s got without it counting in the Valley standings. Fair enough. Having been a high school booster and coach, she’s got my vote.

But let’s not go the Rocket Science route. Every High School Athletic Association has its rules and, yes, even for scrimmaging. But here’s where me and Don Everly part company, I never got the 4,685 page edition, y’know, the one you use to jack up your car when you’re fixing a flat. Again, as several readers have noted, Thorpiverse is trying to swing its weight around and hammer us with a bit of legal jargon, expecting us to coo and go “Wow!!!!!!!!!! Thorpiverse, why didn’t you attend Milford Community College Law School in the Joe Sharkey Building, y’know, the building next to the Principal Ek Law Library? Perry Mason never argued a case stronger for the Girls softball team.”

Couldn’t you see the old forceful “Perry Mason Theme” ringing in your ear (’twas a bit grating) while the screen flashes “The Case of the Scrimmage Held at Pearl Harbor”. Boy o Boy, where’s the remote?

Fine print? I’ve watched our athletic director call and set up the referees and call the opponents’ coach, informing them where their locker room will be and check for eligibility discrepancies AND have to play Policeman after our rival school and us were about to get into a free-for-all after one of theirs (or vice versa) bowled over the catcher at home plate.

But he never called L.A. Law on Estate Scrimmaging or Mr. Hart or Kingsfield concerning Wills and Ejection Procedures or The Firm about Referees Contracts and Shower Litigation or Matlock and Girls Basketballs in Escrow Accounts. Gil, we’re talking basketball and the High School Athletic Association ALWAYS mails the handbook for proper procedures before the school year so there’s no need to attend Duke Law School to discuss ways to set up a scrimmage.

But I forgot, you were with the golf team when the FedEx man stopped by to deliver the package. Kaz wasn’t around to sign on the Etch-a-Sketch pad? Or was he helping you assist in working with ball drops?


While my head is spinning with all this legalese (fine print, good choice, Gil. Kingsfield will nail Mr. Hart in the Sports Law segment next hour-just stay away from the bow ties, Thorp. They may look spiffy on Kingsfield but really go together with your hairdo like you and Marty) , I’ve got to satisfy my Tori Amos craving. To the tune “Beauty of Speed”




We’re moving sloowwwww

The pace anachronistic

Baseball must wait

It’s just a cold statistic


Can Mimi standddddddd

Practice from odd logistics


Now we’re talking scrimmage

Like it’s something to celebrate

Bring tons of pinatas

Hitting practice at this rate


Pick up all the candy

Don’t litter the infield

Keep an eye on pitching

Forkball’s a thing to wield.


See the plot keep changin’

See the plot keep changin’


See the plot keep CHANGIN’

See the plot keep CHANGIN’


Then there’s Masterpiece Theater, scratch that, Gil with that Apocalypse Now glow in P2. Gil, I know you’d like your own TV show but you ran Booby out of town and I doubt Marty will keep throwing logs in the fire to sustain the conversation. And Mimi will be at scrimmage, don’t forget. Maybe Luhm can throw a couple of twigs after moonlighting as a housecleaner at your house. Just have him chop down your Japanese elms in your back yard and throw the paraphenalia in the glow after he’s through using Scrubbing Bubbles on your bathtub. You can get plenty more at Milford Nursery. You can afford it if you’re going to do that many shows.

Now before I get to the “Gremlins” part of my complaint, allow me to say that P2 reminds me of the atmosphere when Chuck Marlowe, long-time announcer for Indiana University Basketball, used to interview Bob Knight on his weekly TV show. The only thing missing from that baby was the pipe and slippers plus Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” for background music. In this case, It appears Gil is savoring his Nestea Moment without his Fred MacMurrays.

Here’s the fun part. ANYBODY who followed IU Basketball when Knight was coach HAS to remember all the contortions he executed with his body when he was sitting in the recliner, answering Marlowe’s questions. Never pulled a hamstring or needed a neck brace if Marlowe asked about Purdue.

Don’t get me wrong. I stand by Coach Knight because of his strong stance on academics. I pitied the poor fool who didn’t go to class. He got an earful from Knight. I mean, don’t EVEN let Coach Knight find out you were 30 seconds late for class. Yup, he was that strict. Your days were numbered if this became a pattern. VERY numbered. AND he ran a clean program.

But it was hilarious observing his posture while trying, really trying, to uphold a conversation. How Marlowe could be cool as a cucumber (no matter the score) with Knight posing in the recliner as a human amoeba was simply short of amazing.

“Coach, I understand you may sit out Alford due to a bruised kneecap. Does that mean Calloway may get some time at guard?”

Knight with both arms twisted and turned, well, try to imagine what you’d do with chopsticks when you’re at The Bucket eating Bucket Chow Mein (“The Bucket Thai Veggie Stir-Fry is to die for”) while his legs are crossed over so the right heel of his Florsheim can shake hands with his cerebellum (If Marlowe ran a Twister Tournament among all the Big Ten coaches, Knight would win in a rout)

“Well, uhhhhhhh, that depends. Hillman still gives me, uhhhhhhhhhh, good productivity and Bennett has that, uhhhhhhhhh, flair I like with the ball. Runs the point, uhhhhhhhh, as best as I’ve, uhhhhhhhhhh, seen.”

“Coach, you mentioned that Tony Bennett had had great practices and knew how to contribute great feeds in the game…”

“No question, Chuck,” as Knight crosses over the other way and his left Florsheim is touching the top of Assembly Hall, “He’s a great kid and, uhhhhhhhhhh,…”


Now I get to the “Gremlins” part, as promised. Oh, you know, if you watched the movie, you knew there were certain rules you had to follow. One of them, as many of you recall, was DON’T FEED ‘EM AFTER MIDNIGHT. Well, one of the cuties pulled the cord on the clock/radio and you know the inevitable happened. And I don’t think ol’ Glowball has any serious consequences in mind should his mesmerizing spiel in P2 not be followed to the letter. I’m sure Milford is safe for Democracy-

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHH, IT’S GOT ME!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET IT OFF ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET IT OFF ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“Mimi!!!!!!!!!!!! You were told the Jayvee squad was not to hold a scrimmage. What’ll I tell the School Board??????”


At the Milford Moose Lodge, in the main hall by the fireplace, the members out of town for their annual Moose Hunt Extravaganza in Alaska to raise money for playground equipment for the Milford Parks & Recreation


“Coach, do you think David Walter can help the ball club this year?”

Gil, on a bean bag seat, straddling his legs perpendicular to each other, munching on leftover Milford Pizza Hut Pan Pepperoni the members left in the fridge for 3 weeks, Marty trying to avert gazing at Gil’s crotch as a result of a gaping hole that Mimi forgot to patch because she had to firebomb a Gremlin, created because she practiced on Guy Fawkes Day

“Well, uhhhhhhhhh, Marty, that’s an interesting question. He’s, uhhhhhhh, definitely got the tools and can, uhhhhhhhhh, plug the middle. Nobody will bother to swing in his, uhhhhhhhhh, direction. I’ve yet to see him, uhhhhhhhhh, take some swings but, uhhhhhhhhhhhh, I understand he’s, uhhhhhhhhhhhhh, no Joe Schlabotnick.”

“What about the pitching?”

Gil, striking a lotus position, testicles grossing out even the stag mounted on the wall, Marty wearing sunglasses to ward off the glare

“Marty, I’m not really sure. We can’t bring Jackie Hill back, can we? God, she could pitch. Why can’t we, uhhhhhhhhhh, bring her back??????? So what if, uhhhhhhhhh, she’s been gone for over 40 years? I’ve been gone for, uhhhhhhhhhhhh, 60.”

“Anybody coming up from the Jayvee?”

Gil, right arm behind him, at an angle, elbow pointing to the ceiling, other arm trying to stretch it to increase circulation during the interview process, neck bent at a 45 degree angle, Adam’s apple taking a beating, finally bobbing for apples from the side of his head in a tub full of such, ice water included

“Thob gob eeebinn yyyy, uhhhhhhhhhhh-”

“Coach, you mind taking the Fuji apple out of your mouth?”

Using phalanges part of his left foot to dislodge the apple

“They got eaten by Gremlins. Mimi scheduled a referee on Saturday who was a Seventh-Day Adventist.”

“How do you think you’ll do this year? Give me a prediction.l”

Gil has now wrapped his arms in a strait-jacket position.

“Coach, I can take the jock-strapless look, even tolerate your dumping your head in a tub of Vaseline for Winesap apples, but your funny-farm antics are going too far, in fact”

“Moon, gotta cut this one. We’re from Milford State Hospital. Gil has delusions that he’s Bob Knight. Shoulda never thrown that chair in the Oakwood game. Sent Coach Grant to the hospital with a torn ACL. Went downhill from there. Sheesh, can we close up his pants? I just had jowl bacon for lunch.”


Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“O.J.’s Gerbil Eaten By A Gremlin!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Traced to Mimi scheduling practice with Professor Plum’s team in the conservatory with a knife on Sunday.”


Then there’s P3. O my Lord, WHERE is Berrill?????? Thorpiverse, have you ever heard of the adverb MEANWHILE?????? We jumped from the Moose Lodge in P2 to her office in P3. W reasoned Gazoo didn’t zap her into the conversation. Give us a warning next time. Gilbury Thorpe, in an episode from Masterpiece Theater, discussing the ways Milfordshire should handle the rules of practice concerning Cricket with his assistants Kazewell and Shawswicke, then watching Mimi at the gossip fence with Loweezy and Elviney, this is too much to take. I’ve already discussed Bob Knight the Contortionist.


The tea is cold

The fire up and raging

Discussing rules

Those kind, yeah, not engaging


Smack Coach Thorp on his hair

Tell him, Gil, get to the point

Tired of instant plotlines

Develop one we can anoint, anoint, anoint


See the plot keep changin’

See the plot keep changin’








Do ‘er to ‘er, Gang. MEANWHILE, I’ll be headed to The Bucket to see how Booby’s holding out. he made it past the first week. BTW, I understand the Bucket o’ Shrimp dipped in one of Emeril’s sauces is to die for.


Chuck Marlowe, in a fireside chat with Coach Knight

“Coach, I understand this plot is really giving you fits.”

Coach Knight, sitting in the recliner chair with his arms and legs reminding you of the 7 bridges of Konigsberg

“Chuck, uhhhhhhhhhhhh, Gil reminds me of Coach K when I coached him at Army…”

March 20, 2019

TFW You Spot an Ultraman Reference in Gil Thorp


One of my fondest childhood memories was coming home from school and watching The Happy Raine Show on WCSC-TV 5, the CBS affiliate in Charleston, SC.  Happy Raine was the stage name of Lorraine “Rainey” Evans, who worked in WCSC’s marketing department. The story goes that Evans was working on a promotion for Robin Hood Flour and was mailing out Robin Hood hats, complete with feathers, to clients. One day on a whim she stuck some of the feathers in her hair; the station’s weatherman, Charlie Hall, spotted this and told Evans she could pass as a Native American.  Several months later, Evans was approached to host a live children’s show and thus Happy Raine was born.

The Happy Raine Show featured live segments with kids in the studio audience, like most locally produced children’s shows back in the day.  Interspersed between the live segments were episodes of the Japanese tokusatsu classic Ultraman. I won’t bog you down with the details of Ultraman if you don’t know them already.  Suffice it to say that we Baby Boomer/GenX cusp kids looked forward to seeing what bizarre kaiju Ultraman would fight that afternoon. The kaiju were easy to root against as they stomped around cardboard Tokyo – that is, until the kaiju was Jamila.

The Ultraman Wiki describes Jamila (ジャミラ) as “an astronaut who came into contact with an extraterrestrial mutagen and transformed into a monster.  He returned to Earth with a vengeance for the human race, but was killed by Ultraman.  Deemed a victim of an unfortunate fate, a plaque was raised in the former human’s memory.”



Jamila was one of those rare things on Ultraman: a villain who wasn’t entirely villainous.  Something to wrap your grammar school brain around before it was time to do your homework.

It’s nice to see that Jamila has been reincarnated as a Lady Mudlarks’ pitcher.  Thanks for indulging my childhood nostalgia.  Now let’s deconstruct today’s strip.

P1: Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

P2: Happy Fun Ball is actually a pitch from Jamila that got away from catcher Jocelynn Brown.  Any relation to Big Ken from a few years back?  Nah, more likely a shout-out to one of Neal’s friends at the Detroit News.  Funny how Happy Fun Ball goes from being tiny in Mimi’s hand to enormous in Jocelynn’s, innit?

P3: Since there was no Lady Mudlarks basketball this past season (at least none that we saw), Mimi’s had a lot of time on her hands to think up wacky hijinks like scheduling a scrimmage.  Extra work for the Coaches Thorp?  That’s crazy talk!  Gil’s plying her with Long Island Iced teas to rid her of such notions.

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at