This Week in Milford

March 20, 2019

TFW You Spot an Ultraman Reference in Gil Thorp

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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.

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March 13, 2019

Your 2019 Lady Mudlarks: Flirtin’ With Disaster

Filed under: Gil Thorp, Marjie Ducey, Mimi Thorp, Neal's friends, Pantheon of Hair, softball — teenchy @ 5:41 am

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The jokes will write themselves.

It’s only a matter of what kind of disaster will befall them.

I’m running with the B&W version of the strip ’cause I believe Mimi’s brunette locks to be a colorist’s anomaly, not an indication that she’s given up dyeing her hair in an effort to gain more attention for Milford girls’ sports or to fulfill Gil’s Kenzie Hanley fantasy.  Also pulling the Pantheon of Hair tag for Molly’s kinda sorta pixie cut.

December 19, 2018

Warriors! Come out to play-ay!

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The Arapaho(e) are a Native American tribe of the Great Plains. Arapahoe High School, near Denver, unfortunately made national news almost five years ago to this day for a shooting which left one student dead and the shooter taking his own life.

Well, after that bit of cheer to start off our day, let’s dive in to the traditional Mouseketeer Roll Call of the roster.  This time it’s Marty who’s doing the roll call, as it appears that Marjie whipped out the pepper spray on Gil once he started becoming too much of a close talker.  “Sorry, Mr. Coach Thorp, mediocre may be good enough for Mrs. Coach Thorp, but it’s not good enough for me.”

Marginal Mike Filion and Nosey Parker Andre Ruffin form the backcourt. The starting forwards are seventh-year senior Paul Beaudry and – wait, what?  Is Jorge Padilla still in Milford?  How did Marty pronounce his name? (I’m guessing correctly given Moon’s chastened, pissy look on his face.)  Have the Padillas not moved back to Puerto Rico or at least Georgia?  Rubin dropped the ball bigly on the Padilla story last winter, and I doubt he’ll be picking it up again now.

Nope, my guess is that when we’re not delving into the mystery of Two Billboards Outside Milford or watching Filion having me time in his bedroom, we’ll get some minor focus on “scrawny,” “lanky” center Marcell Irby (thanks to whom I can’t stop thinking of Jerry Clower, which probably says more about me than Rubin) and his struggles in the paint.  Burly Rick Soto will probably sub for Marcell after he gets banged around and Milford will lose any height advantage it may have had.

Arapahoe’s sports teams* are called the Warriors, a perfect setup for Milford’s nerdy cutesy snarky student body.  Maybe Ernie from My Three Sons and the Milford Pirate Network can lead the fans in the chant.

 

 

 

 

*Colorado high school basketball teams participate in playoffs, not playdowns.

December 12, 2018

In Milford, Some of Us All Look Alike

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Wow, feels nice to free myself from the constraints of the haiku form.  Wish I had more to say today.  Bet it would feel nice for Whigham to free himself from the constraints of using the same facial features and hairstyles for all of his Mudlarks.  Let’s take a closer look at that first panel, shall we?

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Do these two not have identical noses?  I leave it to you, gentle readers, to draw your own conclusions.  Guessing Marcell doesn’t use his first name, Duwan.

I reckon after multiple seasons Rubin has decided to imbue Man of a Thousand Faces and Hairstyles “Marginal” Mike Filion with a personality and backstory.  He’s been quiet ever since we’ve been introduced to him, speaking only when spoken to by Gil or Kaz.  But Neal needs another extroverted look-at-me guy to make his plots go, so Filion it is.

Meanwhile Bobby Howry plots his revenge via billboard…

December 5, 2018

But Did Milford Beat Tilden?

Remember football?

Pepperidge Farm remembers

But Milford doesn’t

 

“VT P-U”? Is

Valley Tech playing Dover

Boys from Pimento?

 

Rough year for Techies

Old Dominion beat VT

Now it’s Milford’s turn

 

Milford not used to

Being number one for a while

Sign guy broke his wrist

 

Hiawatha James

Remember him from baseball?

Great name but no lines

 

Know what else is an

Uncharacteristic romp?

No Jansen and no Bolek

 

Also no cheap shots

Express or implied

Where’s the burial?

 

 

metapost: Trying to learn to use the new WordPress Gutenberg editor on the fly.  Hope this doesn’t look too wonky.

September 26, 2018

Save Filion

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Today’s missing panel 4:

Kaz (chasing Andre Ruffin down the hall because, unlike Gil, he doesn’t have the power to pull kids out of class): Who’s this punter Mike Filion told me you know about?

Andre Ruffin: Um, he’s sick. My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw him pass out at Schultz’s Polynesian Garden last night. I guess it’s pretty serious.

Who is this imposter claiming to be Mike Filion, anyway? Whigham needs to find a model for Filion and stick with it.  No matter how he looks, Filion has smarts enough to throw Kaz off his scent.  He saw that shitshow unfold in Oakwood and wants no part of it. Maybe he’s no unicorn in football cleats but he knows that one roughing the kicker call (and I wouldn’t put it past Valley Tech to try it) and Milford’s out a starting QB.

Anyone wanna bet that the kid who used to be pretty good at punting is movie buff Joe Bolek? Yeah, didn’t think so.

 

September 19, 2018

Freddy Got Fingered – No, Really

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I was looking for a Freddy Got Fingered reference in the archives and sure enough I found one.  Still it wasn’t a post title, so…

Freddy’s form looks to be a bit off, but not as far off as the Oakwood ballcarrier in P2 who appears to be running parallel to the goal line, not towards it.  Could be because he’s dislocated his head, or that he’s distracted by Gil’s withered monkey’s paw on his shoulder. Maybe he needs to watch Sam Koch do it.  Better still, maybe he needs to find Sam’s golf bag.  (Seriously, if you have a few minutes to spare, read that golf bag link.  Pretty interesting stuff if you’re a football fan.)  Even better still, after this game take a practice teaching some other schmoe how to long snap and get Sam Finn back there to punt.  Then Freddy can get back to the business of placekicking, working at the family auto mall and dreaming of soccer.

Speaking of soccer [read in Andy Rooney’s voice]: Did you ever notice that Neal Rubin holds a not-so-secret grudge against soccer?  Earlier this week, Freddy uses soccer as an excuse for his lack of punting ability. (Okay, I can buy that, since we’re talking about two entirely different approaches toward putting foot to ball.)  In our last arc, Gil’s Golfing Gallants had turned to golf as an escape from soccer concussions (well, at least one of them; the other just went along for the ride).  Before that, we had the whole Heather Burns saga with mediocre girl soccer player turned backup tight end via the training room. Going back further still we had Milford’s soccer players and coach portrayed as villains for not doing Gil’s bidding and placekicking for him*, which in turn led to the Brody Abro Era. Why does Rubin hate the beautiful game? [Andy Rooney voice off, Linda Richman voice on].  Talk amongst yourselves.

 

*BTW, note in that link that I once had a different screen name. I don’t recall what made me change it.  Note also that the comments section was about triple of what we have now.  Wha’ happen’?

September 15, 2018

Oh Snap!

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Since we’ve dropped the non sequitur about student film buffs and Chekov’s crosswalk for the moment, let’s turn our attention to the practice field where Gil and his staff are turning their attention to special teams.  Let’s break down what we’re seeing here:

  1. Steve Boone is looking younger every year. Must be all that blood going to his cheeks that doesn’t have to go to his left arm anymore.  Oops, did I just say that out loud?
  2. Speaking of left arms, what the hell is going on with Gil’s? Is he supposed to be cupping his hand to his mouth or his ear? Is he signaling for a first down or is that one of those once-innocuous hand gestures that’s now some kind of secret white supremacist code signal?
  3. Sam Finn was a backup at guard for a certain greasy-haired Mudlark who shall remain nameless last season. He’ll probably get more touches than said greasy-haired player this season which leads me to…
  4. Do kids really start specializing as long snappers in high school?  Does Milford, which had to play a female ex-trainer at tight end last season, really have the kind of depth for that?  They apparently don’t have anyone who knows how to punt, which does occasionally happen on high school teams. Can Gil still not convince any soccer players to come out for the team?
  5. Why has Gil yet to retire  the jersey number of his unicorn in football cleats?

metapost: If any of you TWIMers out there live in the path of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Florence, please check in and let us know you’re okay.  Most of teenchy’s friends and fam in Bakst country are doing fine, some without power but none with major property damage or yet displaced from their homes.  Fingers crossed…

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