This Week in Milford

April 6, 2022

Next Stop: Donut Town. Population: Two.

That box o’ donuts Heather brought Gil yesterday looked like it came from Donut Town. Wonder if Guy Fieri ever stopped in there? Marjie never brought Gil donuts. She never sat that close to Gil, either. No way they’re not playing footsie or more under the desk. Look at those enormous mitts on Heather; they’re as big as Gil’s. No wonder Gil put her in at tight end.

Aren’t you glad the last couple days of incoherence got settled? Wilson Henry is the catcher. Gregg Hamm is one of the pitchers. As for the rest of Neal’s friends on the Mudlark roster, where have we seen them before?

Gonzalo “Gonzo” Aceves, Dallas George and Curtis Charles return from last season. So, for that matter, do Morton Levi (who was a relief pitcher last season), Eldrick Boston, the aforementioned Wilson Henry and “Blowtop” Chance Macy, who has been around since forever. Go to Canada already! Nomar Ramos played basketball this past season, and Steve Lehto played football. Second base is our midweek cliffhanger.

Zane Clark has graduated. Wonder if he’s still on the library board.

In any event, a veteran roster, one with experience in underachieving. Time to sit back and watch the underachieving unfold. Pass me a donut, willya?

February 16, 2022

Some Hints Are Bigger Than Others

Could you be bothered to sort out the botched language in yesterday’s strip? Yeah, me neither, except to figure out that the end-of-game long bank shot caused the team Pranit bet on to not cover the spread. So he lost on a bad beat. Bad beats are statistically unlikely, but don’t tell that to self-righteous Tevin there. He needs to stop smoking whatever he’s smoking there and do the math.

Doesn’t it seem like Tevin’s itching to rat Pranit out to Gil and Kaz? Now there’s a strategy: Getting tired of playing sportsball but don’t want to quit voluntarily? Get a teammate kicked off the team for something that violates someone’s moral code. Bonus points if the teammate is a good player. Miss the playdowns; season ends early; and you look like the better person – or at least the morally superior one.

That gambit may actually play out on the girl’s team. Some rando blonde lady we’ve never seen Mimi introduces Cami Ochoa (which one? there are multiples), who she’s promoting from JV to varsity during the season. This doesn’t happen very often at Milford High; the last one I can think of is the scrawny but speedy football receiver Max Ortiz. Too many bodies on the Lady Mudlark bench now? Time to make room for Cami!

But who has to make room for Cami? How about the one player who, with the exception of one game, hasn’t been playing as well as she had last season? The one who tasted hard seltzer at a party last week? Now Zoomie-in-training Hollis can dime Cressa out and get her kicked off the team. Talented but inexperienced Cami is too little, too late; Milford misses the playdowns; and Hollis looks like the better person – or at least the one who upheld an honor code.

What about Cressa? Collateral damage.

December 18, 2021

Talley Up the Votes

Time for this season’s Mouseketeer Roll Call, Lady Mudlarks version, and with it comes the changing of the guard. No, I don’t mean Corina Karenna, though that’s how that’s supposed to work. It’s the changing of the guard at the Milford Star and, frankly, Mimi doesn’t know how to handle it.

Instead of talking to a peer in Marjie Ducey, Mimi now has to rattle off her roster to Heather Burns, who roamed the halls of Milford only five seasons previous, and her ever-present smartphone. Look how Mimi can’t make eye contact with Heather. Look how thick Mimi’s mustache is getting. Look at how manly her hands have become. (Then again, she’s always been as manly as Gil, so there ya go.) The players stay the same age, the reporters get younger, but the coach does neither.

Her youth and her backcourt gone, Mimi tires to convince herself that her bigs will save the day. Cressa Baxter did her part last season but what about the other two? Landry Carlson has been a fixture in Milford softball for the past couple of seasons but has never been called out on the hardwood, and where was Hollis “Zoomie” Talley until this past week? Spending her free time with the Civil Air Patrol?

Maybe she’s just relieved to be rid of Corina and Tessi “No Defense” Milton. Without them, there’s less likelihood of dissent among the team… that is, until they try to pick a captain. This should devolve as quickly as that whole TCFS debacle from a couple of softball seasons ago. I might’ve missed this before, but did the Lady Mudlarks always vote on a captain or did Mimi pick them? How did your high school teams select captains, TWIMers? Talk amongst yourselves.

December 15, 2021

Milford Rocks to the Pranit Rock

Boy, wait until the USAFA gets wind that Hollis Talley dislocated her shoulder returning an awkward high-five from a classmate. Hollis appears to be either a deceased Tennessean, a deceased Texan or a deceased Arkansan.

Now it’s time to hear from our Milford boy protagonist this season. Pranit Smith appears to be either a phone scammer or an online scammer. Like seemingly every other Milfordian (Milfordite?) these days, he’s somehow under the spell of the little machine in his hand. Maybe he’s trying to land a spot in the Top 100 Scammers List. Since the only boys’ sport we see in the winter is basketball (no pesky gymnastics, skating or rugby to distract them), Pranit’s gonna be playing hoops for Gil. Why the Valley no hockey? There’s a Winter Blast with ice skating, and we saw a figure skater a while back, so… oh, wait, never mind. I’ve beaten this dead horse before.

Let’s sit back and see how Pranit’s quest to break the Top 100 in whatever will interfere with his sportsball just enough to keep his team from achieving success. Gil will intercede just in time for Pranit to learn his lesson but not in time for the Mudlarks to make the playdowns. Either way, you know he’s gonna hit the court to this tune.

October 27, 2021

Say “Wing-T” again. I dare you. I double-dare you…

Alright alright alright, a second day of action after a week of hypnosis and it’s not trying to cram multiple games in one strip. Pinch me, I’m dreaming. Let’s get to it and break down the film:

P1: In the visitors locker room at New Thayer, a dismayed Kaz either is grasping for a second-half strategy or trying to figure out why Tevin has a Black head but a White arm. If the Mudlarks run the play he’s drawn up, they’ll get flagged for an illegal formation (too few men on the line of scrimmage) and an ineligible receiver downfield (a lineman, really?).

P2: If the New Thayer QB had as much time in the pocket as it took me to figure out if he was getting rushed by DeEldrick Boston or DE Eldrick Boston, he should’ve gotten the pass off with plenty of time to spare. Pretty sure it’s the latter, as we were introduced to Eldrick as the starting first baseman as a sophomore in 2020 and he was giving the chicks something to dig back in the spring. That should make Eldrick a senior by now and no doubt he wants to impress those college scouts Chance Macy’s been ignoring.

P3: One of the reasons Milford’s trailing at the half is that New Thayer’s been loading up the box against the Delaware Wing-T. Gil tests Tevin’s memory of rage comic memes or How I Met Your Mother catchphrases, and Tevin passes with flying colors. Now let’s see if Boyd’s hyp-mo-sis helps Tevin get the ball into his receivers’ hands. Might help if those receivers start looking the ball into said hands.

June 26, 2021

Mimi Thorp, Ventriloquist

Late post today because (a) this isn’t an arc-ender (or at least it doesn’t read like one) and (b) I had to do some Thorpiverse time travel to fact-check today’s strip.

Second thing first. About this Debbie Roy thing: the story arc Gil refers to predates this blog, to spring 2004 in fact. Debbie Roy served as a potential love interest for the boy on the softball team, Joe Clifford. Clifford’s Lady Mudlark career was about as successful as his efforts with Debbie. It’s worth noting, however, that Mimi did not have a boy on the softball team, as Mimi was NOT coaching the Lady Mudlarks at that time. Someone named “Coach Jensen” was at the helm. (Here’s what Mimi looked like at the time so no, it wasn’t Mimi in a brunette wig role-playing as Holly Dobbs for Gil.) Seventeen years later, Mimi throws her voice to explain that a mid-thirties Debbie stepped up to play a role in Mimi’s Project Corina…

… except maybe it’s not only Mimi’s Project Corina but also Mama Karenna’s. It’s settled, then: Corina’s “caring for her mentally ill mother” and “my grades are bad” excuses are simply that, excuses. Excuses for not going to football games on Friday nights, for essentially lying to Mimi about her grades, for not applying to colleges. Still trying to figure out which one of them forged Corina’s applications (if any), and still trying to imagine Mama Karenna physically giving Corina the boot. I’m picturing something like the opening credits for Top Gear‘s “The Interceptors.”

May 12, 2021

Duck! No, Pizza!

Sorry for the late and brief post: my laptop crashed and I lost my draft. At least Zane didn’t take the L thanks to his teammates’ bats, but thanks to Morton Levi he didn’t take the W either. (No idea who this Levi kid is, but Levi Morton was a Republican congressman from New York and Vice President of the United States under Benjamin Harrison. Here he’s a kid who came close to taking a comebacker to the head.) Those runners were inherited from Zane so a no-decision for him and a blown save for Morton.

Cut to the bleachers where once again we have a Milford team that’s been practicing in their game unis unless, like the boys, they just got done playing multiple games off-panel. Katy Brito unnecessarily points to herself and to – who? what? where? the general direction of Ricozzi’s? – while inviting her teammates to go get pizza with Zane and her. The two girls at far right look a bit taken aback by the proposition. They know The Bucket is the traditional post-game hangout and besides, they don’t want to watch Katy and Zane in another PDA. Corina on the other hand cocks an eyebrow in interest; she’s all about free eats and she must know about Zane’s backstory so she must figure this one’s on Katy. Wait ’til Abel finds out Katy’s been picking up the tab for not one but two freeloaders! That Milford Library Board job doesn’t pay, dontchaknow.

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.

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