This Week in Milford

May 5, 2021

Highlanders: There Can Be Only None

Filed under: actual action, big arms, Brown Hair, Highlight reel, Neal's friends, softball — teenchy @ 7:48 am

That rarest of strips today, nothing but solid sports action, but here’s a twist: Milford’s opponent represents a school that no longer exists.

Finney High School in Detroit closed in 2009 and was merged with Crockett High School to create the East English Village Preparatory Academy. EEVPA calls its teams the Bulldogs, but at least the colorists got close here. Finney’s namesake was a prominent Detroiter who played a significant role in the Underground Railroad. So consider this a nostalgic shout-out for Rubin’s readers in the Detroit Free Press.

With bags full of Highlanders and the potential tying run at the plate, Landry Carlson gets out of the jam thanks to a diving stop by Katy Brito. Postgame, Landry will go back to, uh, Montana? and Katy will be off to The Bucket the Milford Public Library for coffee and snogs with Zane, that is if daddy dearest hasn’t immediately joined the Library Board and padlocked the place.

March 31, 2021

The View from Mount Gilmore

Looking across Gil’s massive schnozz is giving me a huge North by Northwest vibe.

So are the angles of the prairie style window behind his head in P3.

Nothing like starting your day with a Saul Bass title sequence, is there?

Now, about Zane Clark. There are many, but which one is within Rubin’s circle of friends? Can we expect him to comment here this spring? How can we start piecing together his backstory? Will it be as big a red herring as Doug Guthrie’s just was?

Oh, all right. Let’s take a stab. He’s a senior, so most likely this is a one-and-done arc for him. His home life has apparently kept him from coming out for baseball until now, or maybe he came out for baseball before and his home life prevented him from coming out for baseball again until now. Maybe someone in the home had a substance abuse problem, like Aaaaron Aaaagard’s mom. Maybe there was an unplanned addition to the family, like Jaxxxxon Kiser. Or maybe someone got blowtop mad, like Chance Macy. In any event, prepare to be underwhelmed.

March 20, 2021

Playin’ Burr, Sir!

Off to Vermont we go where we find the Lady Mudlarks playing a team that would seem better suited to be a rival of St. Fabian’s. (Burr and Burton’s most famous alumnus is Bill W.) The Chief has drawn Neal’s buddy at the Detroit News pretty accurately and has her throwing no-look passes and setting fruity picks. (Meanwhile, Louis C.K. is picking up the scraps of his career in stripes, though doing it a girls’ basketball games isn’t the best look.) “Toyota” Cressa Baxter’s efforts are quickly for naught as Milford quickly begins to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory… and oh, look at whose feet Rubin has chosen to lay the defeat: this season’s designated heel and shallow girl. Doesn’t take much to imagine a conversation like this:

Pardon me.
Are we playin’ Burr, sir?

…and Burton. Who’s asking?

Oh, well, sure, sir
Tessi “The Contessa” Milton, I’m at your service, sir
I have been looking for you

I’m getting nervous…

Sir…
I play the game at Milford.
I was seeking some attention for the Lady Mudlarks
When I got sort of out of sorts with a buddy of Doug’s.
I may have teased him. It’s a blur, sir.
He handles the announcements?

You teased Vic Doucette.

Yes!
I wanted him to call for us.
Rile up the crowd, then give us silly nicknames.
He looked at me like I was date bait; I’m no prom date!
So why’m I so bad? Why ride in his grandpa van?

You shouldn’t flirt with nerdy boys just ’cause you can.

I’m a player. Of course, I’m a player!
God, I wish that I could score
Then I could prove that I’m worth more than Corina Karenna (whore!)

Want to hear what I think?

That would be nice

While we’re talking
Let me offer you some free advice.
Shoot less.

What?

Block more.

Huh.

Don’t lead on that kid Vic Doucette; he’ll go with four.

You can’t be serious!

You wanna get ahead?

Yes

Girls who can’t play defense will get read.

January 20, 2021

Made You Look!

Today marks the day that the Vic Doucette Show starts to go off the rails as Vic ignores Gil’s directive that “the basketball comes first.” As much as we might’ve expected it with the ham-handed frankfurter references, Vic will not be singing “Sweet Transvestite” between quarters. Instead he’s launched his own unauthorized contest and a tentative foray into identity theft. Gonna be tough to make out all those vitals on those illegible Michigan Adlertinium driver’s licenses*, though.

How much thought did Vic put into this? Is it his hot dog that he’s giving away? Will he announce the winner’s name over the PA or will this lead to an onslaught of Milfordians with triple-sevens at the refreshment stand? If Vic’s stunt leads to more concession sales, what will he be asked to hawk next? Finally, what’s the over/under on the number of strips before Marty Moon starts to view Vic as a threat to his on-air dominance?

Marty won’t hesitate to let Vic know that Milford is his town. Then young Mr. Doucette may find himself hawking hot dogs in the river, not unlike a vendor local to yhs.

*Today only, the first TWIMer who can show us a driver’s license with three 7s in the number wins a free comment. (For the record, yhs has only one 7 in his driver’s license number.)

January 9, 2021

It’s Not the One Marked “Free Candy”

Today let’s be anoraks and go down the rabbit hole of passenger vans. The Chevy Astro and its GMC Safari sibling were mid-size vans sold by GM from the mid-1980s until the mid-2000s. They were sold in both cargo and passenger van configurations. Even though they haven’t been made in over a decade and a half, you still see them on the road once in a while. I’m guessing in Vic’s case he doesn’t live in his down by the river, so the conversion isn’t of the camper kind but of the kind that helps him accommodate his CP. It should then look something like this:

What’s the point of all this? A point of connection between distracted kartboy Guthrie and overzealous PA boy Doucette. Maybe a few poor showings on the track will convince Doug that racing’s not his future but wrenching is. We can fast forward a few years to find Vic doing PA work for the Detroit Pistons while Doug is swapping actual pistons in the last few internal combustion-engined vehicles in town at the Milford Garage and Auto Body.

Tune in Monday when Vic fills us in on the van and the rest of the Mudlarks finally eat those burgers.

January 6, 2021

Vic Doucette, Firestarter

Filed under: actual action, basketball, Exploding Eyeball Syndrome, Neal's friends — teenchy @ 9:34 am

Lots of fire metaphors at work today. Wonder if Corina’s mom is on the scene?

Looks like faithful TWIMer hitorque was correct in yesterday’s comments: strip Vic Doucette fancies himself another Chris Berman. He’s getting quickly full of himself and embellishing his calls, and odds are he didn’t clear any of this with Gil or his players. (I mean, why play off “fear of God” and not “Godleski, King of the Monsters“?)

When and how will Vic’s mouth get the Mudlarks in trouble? We may soon find out as a Ram knocks the slobber out of a Mudlark’s mouth. Did the Ram charge or was he blocked? Will Vic announce the wrong call or inject his opinion over the mic? Will he cause Milford to get charged with a technical?

Vic’s Bermanism hands us an audience participation opportunity: What Bermanisms would you lay on Gil Thorp characters? I’ll start:

Marjie “Acey” Ducey

Marty “How High The” Moon

Hadley V. “Wink” Baxendale

Bob “The Unabomber” Kazinski

Have at it in the comments, y’all.

December 30, 2020

Roll Your Eyes and Think of England

Filed under: actual action, Bad Jokes, basketball, Neal's friends — teenchy @ 6:58 am

That direction is for us, dear readers, as we are going to be continually subjected to Corina whether we like it or not. Now this little fire hydrant spark plug is going to be some sort of guard. For the sake of the plot let’s hope she’s a shooting guard; I can’t imagine anyone wanting to take direction from this sarcastic smart-ass. What started out as a realistic plot device – plucky girl has a chip on her shoulder because doctors didn’t take her mom’s mental health issues seriously – started to wear thin by the time she invited the dueling QBs to her house and is practically threadbare by now. Why couldn’t Rubin stow her away in an equipment bag until the end of March?

Because Tessi Milton might need a foil. A quick Googling doesn’t turn up a Tessi Milton but LinkedIn serves up a Tess Milton in Australia. Tessi’s being set up as the social butterfly of the Lady Mudlarks and we know by now that in Milford, extroversion always has an ulterior motive. Is it possible she’s hiding some deep dark secret and is overcompensating for it much in the way Corina’s been overcompensating for hers? Sit back and prepare to soak up the sarcasm for a fourth consecutive arc.

December 26, 2020

Doug Guthrie, Kartboy*

Happy Boxing Day! Joyous Kwanzaa! Gentlemen, start your engines! Wait, what?

We may want to rethink that Doug Guthrie/Janet Guthrie relation. Doug’s gearheadedness extends not only to his choice of daily driver but also to that which distracts him from fulfilling his Thorpian duty. There’s gotta be more to the picture than meets the eye here.

What kind of kid dailies a ’66 Goat in the Rust Belt? Not one who cares about exposing it to the winter elements, and most likely not one that had to scrape the pennies together to buy it himself. Hagerty values a ’66 Tri-Power hardtop from $24K for a car in #4 condition to $75K for one in #1 condition. The obvious answer would be that Guthrie’s little GTO must be bankrolled by his family, along with his karting. But not so fast – there are monetary prizes to be had in karting, and it’s been used as a springboard to higher levels of auto racing. The list of Formula 1 champions who started in karts is an impressive one indeed, including current and seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton. So before we dive in and assume this is yet another kid whose parents are living their lives vicariously through, let’s sit back and see how this develops.

Let’s also wait and see how Rubin develops the strip Vic Doucette and how closely his character’s life parallels The Real Vic Doucette’s. If strip Vic puts as much good faith effort into his PA work as he did in his PE class, he may end up doing a decent job. Bonus points if he gets Marty Moon to curse on the air again.

*Milford may have Nutboys but here in the real world there is a Kartboy, a supplier of performance parts for Subarus, VWs and Audis.

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