This Week in Milford

January 11, 2023

Talk to the Stick

Filed under: Chunky Bracelets, golf, Mimi Thorp, Pantheon of Hair — teenchy @ 12:30 pm

Smash cut from the Milford gym (and Kaz’s not-quite-scripted departure) across the country, to an actual, real place. I’ve been to Phoenix a couple of times on business and the aerial view on final approach of the artificial oases of the golf clubs and manicured lawns of Scottsdale never failed to shock me. I don’t think I was as shocked as Mimi appears to be to learn that the woman carrying her clubs is not her caddy, however.

One of the mild surprises of nu-look Gil Thorp is how Barajas manages to work modern problems, if not modern solutions, into the stories without making them the central issue of the arc. The active shooter drill gave Keri a PTSD attack at the Linda Linda’s concert but, unless you count Keri getting off easy for clocking Dorothy after she made fun of Keri’s PTSD, we’ve heard nothing more about it since. Tabatha Gordon came back as Toby to nary a ripple – not even when he turned into a superstar athlete in both of the boys’ sports he went out for. Monday’s potential teen drinking and driving problem: no sweat! Unless you count the sweat poured out during Gil’s conditioning drills.

Here, we might be seeing a little bit of Mimi’s white privilege showing, in that she assumes this Black woman to her right is there just to carry her clubs and nothing more. This Ericka Carter may be a shout-out to a staff guardian at a Lutheran ministry, an ex-soldier turned diesel mechanic, or an attempted murderer but she is not here just to tote Mimi’s bag. Bigger picture is to connect the dots that took Mimi from Milford to Scottsdale – Meemaw’s death, budget cuts killing Mudlark girls’ hoops, Gil’s tacit support of Mimi’s attempted resurrection of a golf career? Let’s hope those dots get connected over the coming days.

January 7, 2023

Not Sure Which Part of This Is Tradition

Is it the bonfire? Wrong time of year for that in Milford. Unless they started it with Gil’s playbook. Then that might be a good new tradition.

Is it the s’mores? I thought sloppy joes were the thing.

Is it ditching your date for your gal pal? In the words of the late Judy Tenuta, “It could happen.”

Is it the man bun? Not sure we’ve seen one of those on a Mudlark before.

I know what it is: it’s the underage drinking! We’ve been down this road multiple times before. All it takes is one snitch and Gil’s zero-tolerance policy and, before you know it, there won’t be enough kids to field a basketball team. Milford forfeits the rest of the season and starts getting ready for baseball. That’s one way to deal with those pesky budget cuts!

September 21, 2022

It Must’ve Been Zane Clark’s Doing

How bleeding edge are we now, kids? The Linda Lindas’ new album is their first album, released only this past June. They’d previously released an EP in 2020. Their breakout hit was “Racist, Sexist Boy” which kinda seems on brand for the nu-look Gil Thorp. Here they are performing it at a public library, which kinda seems on brand for the old-look Gil Thorp.

Rock ‘n Roll Thursday comes a day early to TWIM, then.

That, in a nutshell, is what today’s strip is all about: getting past the hard candy shell of modern society to get to the chewy middle of adolescent desire to be popular and part of a group. Look beyond the hijab-clad volleyball player and her brown-bagged meal (possibly halal, because the MHS cafeteria can’t be trusted) and see the girl who wants to let her circle of friends know she’s hip to the latest music. Look past Arianna’s acknowledgement of the hijab-clad girl (who hasn’t been given a name yet IIRC) and see the girl who wants her friends to know she uses Urban Dictionary. Look beyond Keri’s suddenly green-dyed hair and bejeweled everything and see the girl whose nose is out of joint because she’s not in the team picture one of her teammates took and posted to social media.

So sit back, relax, and watch the old Too Cool For School drama play out with a bunch of new faces. At this rate, we’ll probably see more of that than we will of Mudlark football.

May 6, 2022

A Hamm Hmph

Filed under: baseball, Pantheon of Hair, Pissy faced minor character, The Bucket — robmize2013 @ 7:50 pm

Im not sure who the girl is, perhaps the tennis player? Scooters girlfriend.. Anyhoo- they take the whole meal to discuss what we already have known for 2 weeks- Mr. Hamm doesnt like his picture shown. Curtis surmises he may be in the Witness Protection Program. Here’s more on exactly what that is:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Federal_Witness_Protection_Program

I think its way simpler then that, but we dont have enough facts to make a call just yet. All we have is him finishing something on his PC and his wife commenting about it:

Which brings us to P3 and the Hamms enjoying a glass of wine on the porch. I read the Gocomics comments and someone remarked that Mrs. Hamm had changed her hairstyle the same day from ponytail to bobcut. I disagree- she merely removed the rubberband that made the ponytail and let it hang down when she got home: Many women do that..

She also had clips in her hair in the panel from April 1 as an alternative to rubberbands to hold her long hair in place. (See 2 panels above)

But this is my favorite look for her: Looking good indeed.

The artist musta forgot how hot she was in this panel and went back to her other color, to my dismay. Ponytails always make you look fun.

So she doesnt seem too keen on her hubby hiding behind the cameras, for whatever reason, and I really hope the whole baseball season doesnt take a back seat to this. We have bigger fish to fry, like their sons eyes not working.

I’m sure Mrs Hamm approves of my song choice today:

April 13, 2022

Gregg Hamm, The Next Ryne Duren. Or Steve Dalkowski. Or Something.

Good grief, how many times is Gil gonna name-check people? Eventually, this strip will just consist of Gil spouting random names. Rubin, if you’re reading this, please know that you can just name check your friends (or pull names from LinkedIn) only so much. It’s as though the story takes a backseat to the shout-outs.

Now on to the story. Gregg’s problem seems to be a non-problem IMO. He wears glasses but can’t see the catcher’s digits? Get a new prescription, dumb-ass. Problem solved. Maybe if he hadn’t dyed his blond hair lavender, he could scrape up enough money for a cheap pair of specs. Wonder if Pranit Rock can lend him some of his gambling winnings?

The two most infamous fireballers with bad eyesight and worse control are called out in the post title. They’re both a little before my time but their stories are legend. Ryne Duren struggled in the minors until he was converted into a relief pitcher. He then went on to have a fitful career with the Kansas City A’s, Yankees, Angels, Phillies, Reds and expansion Senators. Struggling with alcoholism and the death of his infant child, Duren attempted suicide in Washington and was talked down from the ledge by Nats manager Gil Hodges. He was released soon after. After the breakup of his marriage and another suicide attempt, Duren eventually became an addiction counselor and managed to have a productive life after baseball.

Steve Dalkowski‘s story is even sadder. He spent many years in the Orioles’ farm system, never quite getting his act together to get called up to the show. While managing Dalko at AA Elmira, Earl Weaver determined that he was possessed of less than average intelligence. Weaver made it really simple for Dalko, telling him to either throw fastballs down the middle or sliders. Dalkowski’s stats improved but an injury in spring training 1963 effectively ended his career. His post-baseball life was even worse than Duren’s: his alcoholism led to his divorce and, eventually, alcohol-induced dementia. Sadly, he died from complications from COVID-19 almost two years ago to the day, when the virus was ripping through nursing homes in Connecticut.

Not all bespectacled pitchers are doomed to a horrible fate (WARNING: teenchy name drop imminent). Because of my location and my circle of friends, I got to know Walt Masterson fairly well in the final decade of his life. Walt was a workhorse, mostly for the original AL Nats from just before WWII into the early fifties but also for the Red Sox and Tigers. Walt’s glasses weren’t Coke bottle thick but they were tinted due to his extreme sensitivity to light. After his baseball career, Walt was a pitching coach for the Rangers and head coach at George Mason. He was instrumental in the founding of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association and in getting the player pension program off the ground before passing at age 87.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here. Gil needs to treat Gregg a bit like Earl treated Dalko. Put a little sense in his head and send him to an optometrist. Maybe Rubin can name drop one in an upcoming strip.

January 29, 2022

Three blondes, two toaster pastries, one hairdo

The Trevor Lawrence has caught on like wildfire among the Valley kids: first it was Gabe Landau, then it was Valley Tech’s #11, and now it’s Junior Birdgirl here who’s rocking the stringy blonde locks. Low maintenance, especially when you’ve gotta futz around with those ginormous earrings before and after each game. Takes less thought to draw, too.

Speaking of less thought, Whigham went through some mental gymnastics to come up with today’s product placement. I reckon it went something a little like this:

What is it with Milford kids and free food? No, seriously. Offer up free eats and these kids will do almost anything, even play in a ridiculous organized pick-up softball game. We’ve seen hints thrown that some families in the Valley aren’t very well off or are struggling financially (Aaron Aagard and his mom, the Jansens, the Karennaninas, the Clarks, maybe the Smiths). Is food insecurity a thing there? There are planty of restaurants and bars, S-marts and Speedcos, but have we ever seen a grocery store in Milford? It is kinda Rust Belty there, so food insecurity could be a lurking subtext in Gil Thorp. But I digress. (The things your mind wanders to when you’re snowed in.)

Hollis is trying to ease into the leadership role conferred on her as captain, plying Cressa with off-brand toaster pastries in an effort to find out why she’s not playing as well as she did last season. How well did Hollis play last season, btw? Was she even in Milford? Usually someone who gets chosen to lead has some combination of recognized experience, talent and, well, leadership ability. Hollis and her appointment to Colorado Springs showed up on the scene fully formed like Athena from the head of Zeus.

Will Hollis lead by example, by encouraging Cressa with constructive criticism, a pep talk and a Pop Jiffy Tart, or by busting her chops like a doolie? That’s the cliffhanger we’re left with today. Time to go break out the snow blower. Hope the rest of you don’t have to. teenchy out.

December 22, 2021

Low Budget? Wanna Bet?

Who orders tea at the Coffee Cantina? Pranit Smith, that’s who.

Full Pantheon of Hair trifecta today with Tevin’s (that’s still Tevin, innit?) Esquerita ‘do, Pranit rocking the Bobby Bittman and Trevor Lawrence-looking guy looking all Trevor Lawrence-y. Pranit’s rationale for going with the cheap option makes sense…

…but opens the door to speculation. Trevor’s Spidey-sense must be tingling.

Money’s tight for the Smiths, but Pranit is good at assembling and managing a fantasy football team. If he can raise the stakes while maintaining his level of success, maybe he can help augment the Smith family income. Maybe he’ll try to push his luck into other forms of sports gambling. But where will he find the funds to take that plunge?

This is where the Central City Mob steps in. Next thing you know, he’ll get involved in a point-shaving scandal, tanking shots to help make Milford lose or to keep Milford wins close. Nah, that would assume people bet on Valley hoops, which assumes that people are interested in Valley hoops. More than likely he’ll get in deeper in a fantasy football league, where his luck will run out. His contribution to the Mudlarks’ downfall will come via a kneecapping which will come after he can’t pony up his gambling debts.

October 20, 2021

You Can’t Make Chicken Salad Out Of Boyd Spiller

We’re deep in “teenagers are dumb and do dumb things” territory so I guess we have no choice but to suspend disbelief and see how this unfolds. Why Tevin feels the need to not only tolerate Boyd’s taunts but also encourage his schemes to fix a problem that doesn’t exist is beyond me.

What exactly is the goal of Spiller’s hypnosis? To get Tevin to tuck the ball and run whenever he sees an open receiver? Or to see nothing, thanks to the retinal damage done by staring at Boyd’s MagLite? Better to squawk like a chicken than squeal like a pig, which is what I think Boyd’s teammates are gonna do to him after this little parlor trick backfires.

Pantheon of Hair tag today for Tevin, whose ‘do is starting to reach Esquerita heights. Don’t know who Esquerita was? Time to find out!

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