This Week in Milford

November 27, 2019

Hasn’t There Already Been an Investigation?

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Excuse me but haven’t Marjie, the superintendent and Captain Man Bun already investigated Ballardgate?  What’s left to investigate?  How about some of the details in today’s strip?

P1: How much squirming must it take to get your forearm in front of you to facepalm at that angle?  Careful Chet, you’ll poke your eye out.

P2: We’re on to the third day in a row where people are just reading Marjie’s article aloud to other people.  I can see why Gil looks a little pissy, especially since Mimi’s leaning over him to point at what she’s reading.  (Bet she’s one of those people whose lips move when they read to themselves.)  It’s enough to distract him from his carbo loading. Must have a heavy day of lifting with Kaz on the agenda.

P3 triggered a lot of childhood memories for me, as I remember fondly the day my father bought me a Howard Elston catcher’s mitt. Superintendent Elston looks like a lot of recycled art pasted together: Lee Corso’s head with Paulie Walnuts’ hair spliced atop a  torso Walt “No Neck” Williams style, an odd suit jacket with contrasting lapels and a pocket square but no necktie, and topped off with Whigham’s signature gesticulating hand.  He gets the “immediate” part of the investigation; not so sure about the “thorough” though, as he sends his female charge off with no real direction.

That’s all I have to say about that.  Tip of the hat to Rubin for reminding me of the first black Yankee and the man who had the unfortunate task of having to fill Yogi Berra’s shoes.

 

November 20, 2019

Carol Forsman Is Deep Throat!

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I can understand why Carol Forsman wanted Marjie to meet her at home; she has a history of getting injured in bars.* Also she probably didn’t want to run into Chet Ballard while she was diming on him.

Normally I bristle at exposition strips, but I’m kinda thankful that we didn’t have to see Carol connect all the dots Marjie gave her. The quicker we wrap this stinker of an arc up the better. It’ll be amusing in that schadenfreude way to hear Chet blubber about how he did it all just to hear Charlie call him “Dad” at the custody hearing. He’ll lose his position on the school board and his marriage but hey, he’ll still have that insurance business. As long as he keeps his nose out of Mudlark athletes’ home lives all will be well. Only Gil Thorp and his posse can do that.

Know what else might need a little investigation? How Carol got Steve Luhm to come over to her house and polish those floors. Membership has its privileges.

Oh, I guess there’s that matter of where and what happened to “Blowtop” Chance Macy’s parents. Would it really be so hard to portray some Milford parents as caring and supportive of their children, rather than manipulative, drug-dependent, or living vicariously through them – that is, when they’re present at all? It couldn’t be much harder than showing sports coaches actually, you know, coaching their players.

 

 

*The real-life Carol Forsman has dealt with her share of tragedy, and that’s all I have to say about that. Then again, this could be the Carol Forsman who was married to Rodney Benson which, given Rubin’s proximity to Ann Arbor, is more likely the case.

September 2, 2019

Happy Labor Day

Filed under: Gil Thorp, Marjie Ducey, Neal's friends, Prairie Style Windows — nedryerson @ 7:46 am

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Sometime between the previous strip and this one, Marjie has stripped off her nail polish. Maybe GilBot 3000 had to restart in the middle of the reading of the roster and Marjie had to occupy herself during the reboot.

We’ve previously heard all these names except for strong armed Chris Schuring. I can’t find any fun google results for him. Oh well, I guess I can knock off early for Labor Day.

Speaking of three solid lettermen:

August 31, 2019

The Milford Playbook: Student Body Left

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Just when we think we’re getting a deeper dive into the blended Ballard/Roh family dynamic, quick cut to Marjie in Gil’s office getting the roster rundown she should’ve been getting last week when everyone was stuffing their face with sloppy joes. What’s up with Marjie’s manicure? Did she tell the nail technician to paint everything but her lunulae? And how many left elbows does she have such that she can line that notepad up directly under her right hand?

That Finn kid getting sick gave Gil enough time to think up witty repostes to divert attention from the fact his team’s gonna suck and he can’t coach them to play any better. Maybe the Mudlarks need a motivational speaker to come talk to them. One like “Teen Expert and Motivational Speaker” Gabe Salazar. After namedropping Salazar, Gil spouts doublespeak and practically dares Marjie to write anything negative. At least he doesn’t outright insult Marjie the way he did Marty; maybe those sloppy joes were insult enough.

Added new tag “Peering Over Eyeglasses” since that’s what everybody in the Thorpiverse who wears them does with them. It may take a while before we can retroactively tag every instance.

August 24, 2019

He’s Coherent – Unlike Most Gil Thorp Plots

Filed under: football, Gil Thorp, lame jokes, Neal's friends — teenchy @ 1:56 pm

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When last we saw Sam Finn, he was the guard/long snapper and temporary punter until Kaz could coerce Joe Bolek out of the screening room and into the locker room. Since that time he’s lost his freckles and gained a True Standish mullet, a potato nose, and a sense of humor. Drawing one from the “Other than that, how was the show, Mrs. Lincoln?” playbook, Sam tries to convince everybody he’s okay until he’s not.

Ever-conscientious Gil is all over the EMTs to make sure they take Sam to the ER to get checked out. Nothing like showing the players, their parents and Marjie that he puts the players’ health and safety first. Maybe he should’ve thought about that before he let them eat greasy sloppy joes in the heat of the midday sun before sending them back on the field.

Now it remains to be seen how conditioning will be a recurring theme this fall, much like concussions were the season before last.

May 22, 2019

Land of the Free, Home of the Mud

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Two high school girls power tripping on who they get to include and exclude from their clique? One high school girl practically begging to be let into their clique then getting pissy when they don’t let her? Riveting reading!

Just you wait: Linda will have her revenge! She’s gonna tank the season for the Lady Mudlarks. Kind of ironic given that we’re coming up on the centennial of the Black Sox scandal.  Staring into the bleachers is her prearranged signal to Arnold Rothstein that the fix is in (or is it switching her glove from her right to her left hand?). Pity she didn’t time that a little better; that sharply hit ground ball off her toe is gonna ruin her meal ticket out of this tank town.

Without that volleyball scholly to fall back on, Linda will be doomed to stay in Milford and stew about things that happened to her in high school for the rest of her life. Maybe she can spit in the brisket when she’s waiting the mean girls’ tables at Bob’s BBQ.

A rare glimpse of the Milford mascot atop the scoreboard there. Let’s blow it up so we can get a better look.

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More like a turkey than a lark, the better to fit this plot.

May 16, 2019

National Merit Scholarships Are TCFS?

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Wait, Linda is trolling for a button/badge? And her teammate Nancy, who isn’t even sure if she is a part of things, denied her? But there does seem to be a specific set for couples TCFS achievement? Are there any written rules at this point or at least some sort of appeals process? Will a rival badge-less clique rise up to contest the new social hierarchy only to itself recreate the rigid social boundaries it was meant to disrupt? Will we leave lots of unanswered questions and then, all of a sudden but after several tall lemonades, see Gil teaching golf to surly seven year olds at the Milford CC over the summer?

I think we know the answer to that last one at least.

Bonus points: Nancy is depicted sitting as far away as possible from the steering wheel and its potentially lethal airbag as one should.  Not sure how well she’s going to be able to steer with her elbows locked like that, but one problem at a time I suppose.

Minus points: Even though Nancy has her hands at the recommended 9 and 3 positions, in the event of airbag deployment, her chunky bracelets are sure to become deadly, if fashionable, projectiles. Also, Nancy comes across as super passive-aggressive as she tells and tells us about what happened (or didn’t) after panel one’s exciting action.

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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