This Week in Milford

January 20, 2018

Jadine, honey is that you?

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Okay, we get it. Paloma Padilla is suffering from survivor’s guilt of a sort, as she’s complained to her teammates at The Bucket for the past two days. Apparently when you say “chunky bracelets” they just bring you those, too. If this week has been prologue, we’ll spend the next couple of months having Paloma and everyone else tell us about things that happened that we never get to see happen.

Tell-Don’t-Show Disease has spread to Jacky Elenore (who Googles up a blank; guess that spelling throws things off) and Jadine Bynes, who rubs her cheek as if to show us some abrasion or contusion inflicted on her by Paloma. Jadine’s a veteran Lady Mudlark who’s used to getting knocked around by her teammates during practice. She should know how to handle that by now, assuming she’s gotten over those stomach problems.

I’m more impressed by Jacky’s ventriloquist act; throwing your voice while drinking water isn’t the easiest trick.

Today’s post title was a gimme. Get you some!

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January 11, 2018

I bet he can handle himself alright if he has to

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Born in Puerto Rico

Raised in Georgia

My mama gave me the basic facts of life (of life…)

 

On top of all that, he played for the Nats.* Geez, hasn’t Jorge Padilla suffered enough?

Today’s inspiration:

*He could instead be the economist or the lawyer, which would be par for the Rubin course.

January 6, 2018

Look for the Union Label

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Jordy Castillo was Milford baseball’s best story almost three years ago, but his story was never told.  Now it might be – or at least his backstory since then.  I think Kaz is trying to tell us Jordy went to play junior college (a/k/a “juco”) baseball, since junior chambers of commerce don’t typically have baseball programs.

Looks like Jordy’s already joined the union, if I read the lettering on his jacket correctly. What brings him to Gil’s office, and what’s captured his attention there?

“Say, Coach, that’s a nice team photo of your state football champions you got there. Looks like there’s some substandard wiring behind it, though. I heard the Milford School Board went with the lowest bidder when they upgraded, went with some scab – I mean, non-union – outfit to do the job.  It’d sure be a shame if it shorted out back here.  You could lose all these nice pictures, and that coffee pot, and your mug with your name on it… Oh, where was I? So, yeah, I’m an apprentice electrician now.”

It’s way too early to tell if Jordy is Chekhov’s electrician, but if this arc turns into a story about the current job market and the pursuit of a trade versus a college degree after high school it could be interesting, if not ham-fisted as per usual.

December 20, 2017

Gil Thorp – Ventriloquist?

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OK, Rubin, you got me to google “Internet Ninja.”

It so happens that I am rather familiar with many regional and national dialects of English and also with the many different ways it sounds when spoken as a second language. With all respect due to the entrant, that doesn’t sound like it was written by someone remotely familiar with idiomatic English.

Panel Two takes the cake for inanity. Why talk about ‘all that’ Kelly found when you can talk about whether it took her a long time or a short time and when she managed to find the time… Meanwhile, is that an aged Han Solo in the background of this stylish pub with its exposed brick walls and industrial grade window muntins?

I’ve never seen a ventriloquist act in person. Can they really do that trick? I mean, just how persuasive is the illusion in the presence of the performer as opposed to watching on TV? I gotta hand it to him, I did not foresee witnessing this side of Gil. Day drinking? But of course. Vaudevillianism? Well, I guess he did have that act with Herc the Mauler.

December 14, 2017

Takes One to Know One… or Two

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Y’know, it’s been hard to make light of this fall’s subject matter, especially since Rubin’s done the legwork to pull in “Dr.” Joanne Gerstner and give cred where cred’s due. (I’d pat myself on the back for calling out the caveats in the BU study that Dr. Gerstner called out yesterday but that feels like piling on.) By now the TWIM faithful has no doubt seen what happened to the Texans’ Tom Savage and the aftermath last weekend (and no, I’m not gonna link to it) or read about ex-Chief Larry Johnson’s trials and tribulations with what he suspects might be CTE. No, none of this is a laughing matter, and again credit to Rubin for at least trying to approach the subject from a reasonable POV. High school kid has a potential talent outside of a sport that could be negatively impacted by certain injuries that could be sustained in that sport? Concerned parents seek to dissuade their child from participation in that sport for that reason? Sure, it all checks out.

We’re left with snarking on the usual shortcomings of this strip: the need to contrive a villainous adult with bad intentions as a plot device; the continual parade of weak, underdeveloped female characters who consistently fail the Bechdel Test; and the haphazard pacing that seldom reflects the actual pace of the season of the sport being played. All of those come to a head today as Rick finally calls bullshit on Uncle Gary’s little charade. Uncle Snidely Whiplash falls back on the “I’mma tell yo’ mama!” defense and it’s up to the reader to connect the dots between a Central City parking lot and Gil’s cushy office. Gil exposes Uncle Gary tomorrow, gets to spout some pithy platitudes on Saturday, and next week will be a mad rush of strips telling but not showing us how Milford misses the playdowns.

If you told me that Uncle Gary and Mama Soto were in some kind of incestuous, mind-controlling relationship and that Mama gets propped up in front of the monitor like one of Saddam Hussein’s human shields on Skype calls to Daddy Soto, I wouldn’t blink. It’d at least offer some explanation for the adult interpersonal relationships in the Soto household.

metapost: In the roar of so many other things going on this week I completely missed the obituary for “Mr. Falcon,” Tommy Nobis. The face of that franchise in its early years – and a force for good in and around Atlanta after his playing career – Nobis was another player haunted by injury to his body and mind.

December 12, 2017

Thank Goodness She Didn’t Refer To Friday’s Game As A Match

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So does anyone ever wonder if Uncle Gary arrived in Milford as a level headed, vaguely successful professional but, after a few days of drinking the local unfiltered tap water, he morphed into this?  Just me? OK.

Minus points: What sort of quasi-Australopithecene noggin is the erstwhile Dr. Joane Gerstner, M.D., displaying on that chart there? That, coupled with her game retort to Crazy Uncle Gary, raises more questions than have been answered (i.e., that Little Ricky definitely, almost positively doesn’t have a concussion-in-fact-they-(concussions)-are-not-even-really-so serious-so-why-would-we-even-need-to-look-at-that-baseline-testing-we-established-earlier-in-the-arc?)

Again, I leave this here.

Bonus Point? The detail on the radiological waste bin warning sticker.

Edited to add this:

November 16, 2017

Football Season! Music Season!

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Ricky Ricardo Soto: Would you like me to sing now or wait till football season’s over?

Uncle Gary: Sing now! Sing now!

RRS: You keep outta this! You don’t have to sing now!

UG: I do so have to sing now!

I demand that you let me sing now!

Let’s run through that again.

RRS: Okay. Would you like me to sing now or wait till football season’s over.

UG: Sing now. Sing now.

RRS: You keep outta this. You don’t have to sing now.

UG: Ha! That’s it! Hold it right there!

<Pronoun trouble.>

It’s not: “*You* don’t have to sing now.” It’s: “*I* don’t have to sing now.”  Well, I say I do have to sing now!

TWIM bloggers and readers: So shoot me now!

***

Andre “Hands of Stone” Ruffin, erstwhile backup tight end, has a name ripped from the police blotter.

Recycled art tag: Casa del Soto.

September 30, 2017

Before the Concussion Protocol, the Tackle-Eligible Protocol

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If you watched last Thursday night’s Packers-Bears game you no doubt saw one of the  dirtiest hits in recent memory. Even if you disagree with that assessment Danny Trevathan’s hit on Davante Adams did not separate Adams’ head from his body, as Oakwood #24’s head appears to have been done by his own teammate. I reckon if I my head separated from my body I’d stiffen eventually, too. Gil’s left palm has also stiffened as he shouts out instructions to his team and introduces us to another of his players. The backup guard may be named for a character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any number of people but is not a member of Split Enz or Crowded House. You’d think he might not want Oakwood to hear that, wouldn’t you?

Downpuppy, you called it! Three yards and a cloud of hair grease as The No Longer So Secret Pelwecki pounds it up the middle.  But wait: wasn’t Pelwecki wearing #11 in practice just a few days ago? Gil should know that players with uniform numbers between 50 and 79 are ineligible receivers in US high school football. They can, however, run or pass the ball so Pelwecki’s okay wearing the same #55 he wore last season (yay continuity!), at least on this play. Will Gil’s brand of smashmouth football win the game and send his players home? And will any of them get a concussion in the process? Stay tuned!

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