This Week in Milford

June 22, 2022

A Cease and Desist Letter from Rowan Atkinson Will Be Forthcoming

For a guy hellbent on keeping a low profile, Mason Hamstetter isn’t exactly avoiding public places. Who knew the Coffee Cantina was so hopping late at night (it is still night, isn’t it)? With three cameo appearances – one by a young Lech Wałęsa, one by a Jimmy Fallon on hiatus from The Tonight Show – the Cantina might just be the hip place to be when the rest of this tank town rolls up the sidewalks. If this leads to a Gil Thorp spinoff, Milford After Dark, I’m here for it.

I’m also here for Ham(m)stetter‘s “moi?” face and spasmodic hand gesture, reminiscent of a certain public figure mocking a certain journalist. Rubin likes to play a lot of journalistic inside baseball in this strip, what with all the name-dropping of Midwest newspaper types and references to infamous plagiarism cases, so I wouldn’t be terribly surprised. Mason is looking rather nonplussed for someone who dares to rouse Gil from his evening wind-down. What did he think this late-night coffee talk would gain him?

Certainly not any respect from Gil. Besides, Gil has a point telling Mason he’s old news. Nobody in Milford cares about your past unless you’re trying to make money using skills you learned in the past. Nobody in Milford ever Googles anybody to find out if they’re living under an assumed name before running them out of town. Nope, not gonna happen.

Now, about that third cameo appearance (in name, not in likeness): Is he the Coffee Cantina’s new mascot?

June 20, 2022

I’ve Had Enough!

Today’s strip is just basically journalistic villain Mason Hamstetter getting laid into by his long suffering wife, Ruth, or whatever they decide her name is. She is, as they say, sick of this shit and her mom jeans are bursting with rage. You go, Mrs. H. We’re all sick of him. Say, when you guys sort out all of your crap, maybe you could spare a second for your son, who’s going blind.

June 18, 2022

I Love the Sound of Breaking Hamms

If Rubin set out to drive clicks to Janet Cooke and Stephen Glass, not to mention Mason Hamstetter, he succeeded. Credit where credit is due, I suppose.

Janet Cooke was a writer for the WaPo who lied about her academic credentials and fabricated a story about a child heroin addict in the District. Bob Woodward – yes, that Bob Woodward – submitted the story for consideration for the Pulitzer and it won. It was soon revealed that there were discrepancies in her backstory; the WaPo board pressured her to confess and the Pulitzer was rescinded. Cook subsequently disappeared from the public eye.

Stephen Glass had been a feature writer and associate editor for The New Republic for several years when rebuttals from the subjects of his articles (D.A.R.E., the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Hofstra University, among others) began to shed light on his journalistic integrity. Glass’ bosses at TNR caught him in a lie involving a software company and its talented young hacker employee, all of which were fabrications created by Glass. He was fired by TNR then, after getting a law degree from Georgetown, was rejected for admission to the New York and California bars due to lack of moral fitness. Kinda makes you wonder why Georgetown Law let him in to begin with.

There have been other plagiarism scandals in this country, from Jayson Blair (not cleared) to Stephen Ambrose (not cleared) to Alex Haley (cleared and not cleared in separate cases) to the current President of the United States (cleared). Some of those charged have built back better than others. Seems like Mason Ham(m)stetter has kinda built back okay, so maybe he needs to chillax with his wife a little bit. It’s not like Gil’s gonna leak this to the press; he and Marty aren’t exactly best buds. Now if Heather Burns crawls out from under Gil’s desk off-panel, all bets are off.

Gil looks perplexed, doesn’t he? I haven’t seen him look like that since he was pondering whether to have an iced tea.

Musical inspiration for today’s post title:

June 15, 2022

Steamed Hamms

Reading Gil Thorp takes more than the usual suspension of disbelief (because reasons) and a really long attention span (to deal with all the smash cuts). This spring’s plot has doled out more than its share of each and today just adds to the pile.

First, we learn that Papa Hamm’s weirdness about being seen in public not drawing attention to himself extends to his family. Why, then, did he allow Gregg to play baseball to being with? More importantly, we learn that the weirdness may be a self-imposed “rule” and not a condition of being in the witness protection program. Finally we learn that Mama Hamm cuts up Papa Hamm’s food for him, which kinda damages what little credibility he may already have. (What else could she be doing behind that word balloon, giving CPR to a Cornish hen?) If anyone needs their food cut up for them in la maison du Jambon, it’s Gregg.

Smash cut to the shiny halls of MHS, where we’re supposed to believe Gil just acts on any cockamamie theory one of his players throws out to him. The fact that said player is about as big as Gil wouldn’t have anything to do with that, nosireebob. Only when the prospect of gunplay comes up does Gil spring into action. Thank goodness Rubin hasn’t attempted to write a school shooting plot yet.

Smash cut again to the house of Hamm, where Mama picks up the phone to find Gil on the other end. If Gil’s calling to act on Curtis’ hunch, what does he expect to accomplish? The first rule of the witness protection program is that you never tell anyone you’re in the witness protection program. Is he gonna talk to her about Gregg’s eyesight and all the stops he’s had to pull out to accommodate Gregg on the baseball team? That assumes she and Papa Hamm have had zero clue about his vision problem, which seems highly unlikely since someone had to take him to see the HIPAA-violating eye doc. It also assumes Gregg himself has said nothing to his parents about Gil’s – not to mention his teammates’ – accommodations.

Of course he might have, and they’ve been too busy playing fake fugitives to pay him any attention. Soon we should find out what this whole charade has been about. Most likely Papa thinking he’s more famous for his ghostwriting than he actually is.

June 11, 2022

While Heather Watches, Gil Finds a Pair

Like a baserunner who rounds third and heads for home, the third-base coach’s stop sign unheeded, this plot has now blown past the mere unrealistic into the realm of pure fantasy.

Rob emphasized this yesterday. Let’s say for the sake of argument that Gil was correct and there’s no rule allowing the umpire to force a coach to remove a player from the game. The ump is absolutely within his rights to remove a player, a coach, or a manager from the game if that player/coach/manager is causing a potential safety hazard to the other players. Kaiser Gilhelm does not get to be the decider here, no matter how much of a show he wants to put on for his girl Heather…

… and for the record, his little smart-assed remark about Louis C.K.’s strike zone should get him run to the Milford activity bus for the rest of the game. Arguing balls and strikes is a no go, even if you’re arguing balls and strikes from a previous game. Besides, if Gil won his argument, why is Ggerg sitting on the bench when he gets back to the dugout?

Louis should either stick to refereeing basketball or give as good as he gets, like Bill Haller did to Earl Weaver.

May 25, 2022

What’s a little HIPAA violation between friends?

“Paying a visit to” the eye doctor? Didn’t Hamm just bring her to the ball field yesterday? If Rubin can’t be bothered enough to keep his story straight and have his narration box match the artwork, I can’t be bothered enough to snark on it. So there. I mean, why not just draw people in a featureless void like in 9 Chickweed Lane or late stage Apartment 3-G?

I love how the kid is being blamed for all the adults’ cluelessness (and, in the case of the doctor, professional incompetence) about his condition. Hoping Ggerg tips his mom (Ruth, Daphne, or whatever the hell her name is today) off about this blatant violation of the HIPAA privacy rule. Maybe the Hamms can win a judgement big enough to keep Papa Hamm in a lifetime of disguises.

May 7, 2022

You, Reading Gil Thorp. Me, Trying To Snark About It.

Charis the tennis player (the only Milford High girl we’ve been introduced to this season so far) points out how ludicrous it seems to jump to conclusions about Papa Hamm’s camera-shyness. Since the witness protection program idea has already been thrown out, it can’t be the reason. Odds are it’s something really stupid he’s using as an excuse for ghostwriting books for business executives.

Smash cut to La Maison Du Jambon where we have another Milford athlete’s mom ticked off at that Milford athlete’s dad’s bizarre behavior. Shades of last spring, non? Mama Hamm’s appearance begs the question: If he’s the one trying to hide, why’s she the one who’s constantly changing her hair, clothes, and glasses? Mama’s confrontational speech reads like a lame Milford Mad Lib:

“You, fantasizing about Marjie Ducey. Me, indulging your fantasy by dyeing my hair blonde and putting on wire-rimmed glasses.”

“You, trying to live down the failed tryout for Colonel Sanders you lost to Norm McDonald. Me, suggesting you should be the one who dyes their hair.”

“You, thinking you can’t be seen. Me, thinking our son can’t see.” Wait, neither of them are thinking this. That’s how this plot has remained even remotely plausible.

Have at it with your own Milford Mad Libs in the comments, gentle readers, and stay dry this weekend.

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:

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