This Week in Milford

June 3, 2023

New Favorite

It’s been a busy week in Milford, what with the Memorial Day salute and the handshake line brawl and the frenemy teammates and the therapy, more of which should be scheduled by la familia Hernandez.

Before we dive into that, I feel like some cheers and jeers are in order for this recent run of strips:


  1. Gil in uniform on Memorial Day (not Henry’s fault, btw, that he wasn’t drawn in the uniform of his canonical branch of service; see his comment on that day’s strip on Gocomics)
  2. Henry’s callback to last November 16th‘s strip in his June 1 strip. That should help people with short institutional memories.
  3. Genuine character development among the Milford jayvee girls’ softball players.
  4. Henry’s sticking to his guns in making Luke Sr. an insufferable monomaniac who will stop at nothing, including using the family of his assistant coach and destroying his relationships with his own, to gain revenge over his perceived rival for a perceived slight from decades past. This all feels like it’s gonna blow up in his face before the calendar year is through.
  5. It looks like between Whigham and the color monkeys, they’ve settled on a color scheme for Valley Tech. That it’s old gold, white and black makes Valley Tech look more like Georgia Tech and – at least in the eyes of yhs – easier to hate. (This is about the only positive in the art department of late; see below.)


  1. The continued failure to recognize that baseball and softball teams carry more than one pitcher. There’s this thing called a rotation, in which a team has multiple starting pitchers and can rest each starting pitcher for several days between starts, reducing the wear and tear on each pitcher. There’s also this thing called a bullpen, which consists of a physical location on a baseball field as well as a team’s pitchers who are not starting pitchers. Recognizing that pitching rotations and bullpens are things would reduce a lot of the implausible aspects of the strip, e.g., Gregg Hamm teaching his blind man kung fu treachery to Leo and Dorothy and only Leo and Dorothy and Pedro being “benched” in favor of The Korean Nightmare today.
  2. The reintroduction of the Marty we used to know and hate. Admittedly this is a minor jeer, but I’m having a hard time grasping it in the overall context of the strip. What’s the point of Marty acting all Dishonest John snapping a pic of the Mudlark vape selling ring? Hasn’t the horse already left that barn? I just don’t know what he’s trying to accomplish her. Will he blow the lid on it and force Milford to vacate the Valley hoops title? Or is he just jealous of Luke replacing him as designated asshole? Surely he knows who butters his bread here, and if he shares it with Gil, Marjie and/or Heather, they’ll focus more on the fact that Marty’s been surreptitiously taking pictures of underage boys than on the content of those pictures.
  3. While I appreciate Valley Tech being clad in pee stain yellow, there have been some notable issues with the artwork of late. I’m pretty sure the Memorial Day strip isn’t the first example of one in which Henry intended one thing and the Chief drew another, and I’m pretty sure more than one of us TWIMers have called that out. It’s a Strother Martinesque failure to communicate in the making. Whigham’s fascination with not completely drawing fences has its consequences today, as Keri’s going to get her earlobes torn off as the jagged edges snag her ginormous earrings (another Whigham fascination).

It might not be an inconsistency but it’s noteworthy that Kwan’s uniform number has changed from 5, a very rare number for a pitcher to 1, an even rarer number for a pitcher. (The only one I can think of off the top of my head is MacKenzie Gore for the Nats; others? please comment.) Between “number one” and “favorite son” I’m getting a bad Charlie Chan* vibe from this, and I hope it’s just me. At least we know that Luke has seen The Sandlot.

Just a sad day to be Pedro, and a sad song to capture the feeling.

*In the Charlie Chan films, Number One Son was played by Keye Luke. Coincidence?

May 27, 2023

Doin’ the Bump, Not the Madison

The fun never ends in Milford as The Hammmmer’s blind magic rubs off on another Mudlark hurler. No-hitters aren’t that uncommon in high school sports given the frequent talent disparities across teams, but it’s a little surprising that a girl whose making the team came as a bit of a surprise* throws one in, what, her second or third start? Madison must really suck this year.

The Capitols’ suckiness extends to their sportsmanship as well. The sports world is full of egregious examples of fights breaking out during postgame handshakes; Juwan Howard v. Wisconsin (speaking of Madison) is only one in a long line. I’m not inserting any here but you can go to YouTube and take your pick. What set Big Barda off here? Was it that Dorothy didn’t take her glove off to high-five right-handed? Does it really matter if you’re high-fiving and not shaking hands?

What should be interesting (that is, should be interesting but will probably be disappointing) is the response to Big Barda’s elbow to the back. Dorothy has already turned the other cheek, but will her catcher – who previously threw hands at her – start throwing hands in her defense?

*Note that both Dot’s making the team and hurling the no-no both elicit one-word responses from Keri.

February 15, 2023

If he had a handlebar moustache, he’d start twirling it now

In my last post I wondered why Milford High is facing budget cuts while Valley Tech isn’t, as well as whether the two schools are now in the same town (something we’ve been wondering about collectively). I’m not entirely sure today’s strip answers either of those questions. It might if we let it.

Two Mudlark hoopsters who are definitely not Tobe and Rod carry their candy boxes to set up in from of the Food King. Those boxes look to contain Wonka Bars; if so then they’ve been selling them on the cheap, which doesn’t help Milford’s budget shortfall. They arrive to find Valley Techsters (Techies? Nerds? I dunno) already camped out front selling doughnuts. Does Valley Tech need the money too or is Luke just being a dick?

Now yhs did some Krispy Kreme fundraising BITD so nothing unusual about that method. What is unusual is that Food King is now somehow VT “turf.” So says the guy who asks and answers his own question. Luke is there to supervise the sales and to act as enforcer. If Gil did that, the Mudlarks might have less trouble selling those Wonka Bars. Never gonna happen; Gil is too laissez-faire for that level of involvement.

What does need to happen is those Mudlark hoopsters who are definitely not Tobe and Rod need to whip out their ubiquitous smartphones, record this whole scene and make it go viral. Once the Valley sees a high school athletic director trying to start a turf war and actively threatening students from another school, that pendejo will go back to being a stay-at-home dad rápidamente.


February 11, 2023

¿Por qué Luke come con una espátula?

Luke’s Gil obsession has already started to wear thin on Coach Kim. Now it’s starting to wear thin closer to home, figuratively if not literally. Where are the Martinezes eating, exactly? It’s a place where they can drink out of stemware but apparently also a place they have to bus their own table. Doctors’ table at Milford Medical Center, perhaps.

One thing (among many) that has yet be established in this arc is why Milford High is facing budget cuts while Valley Tech apparently isn’t. They’re in the same conference and neither school is private (that’s St. Fabian’s, remember?); heck, they may be even in the same town now. Are they in the same school district? Do they draw funds from the same tax base? Has there been a shift in funding toward vo-tech schools and away from the rest?

None of that matters in the here and now. All that matters is that Milford is having to scrape for money and Luke is loving it. I don’t know where it was stated that the Milford Lift-a-Thon was a competitive event, but Luke’s gonna make it one. You’d think he’d avoid it completely, seeing how the proceeds benefit Gil’s programs. Everything is a competition to him, though. His wife performs open heart surgery; he gives himself a tracheotomy with a fork at the dinner table.

Today’s translation of P3 comes from Google Translate son of teenchy, who holds a conversational level of Spanish.

Frannie: “Shut your mouth! You’re sleeping on the couch tonight!”

Luke:” I’m sorry, lover!”

Today’s post title also comes from son of teenchy. I’ll leave it to you gentle readers to translate.

January 14, 2023

Not at the Bonfire, He Didn’t

Another smash cut, back to Milford and boys’ hoops action. In the course of hammering Tobias/Toby/Tobe/Toebeans, the Salem player gets a look of consternation as he player he hammered feels… somehow… different.

If Toebeans is getting mugged in P1, is Keri getting mugged in P2? Kudos to the Chief for the arms wrapped around neck poses in parallel. No clue why we’re getting the rando Milfordian showing us his choppers in the foreground, though.

Problems at the charity stripe, Gordon? You need to track down good old Kenzie Hanley to show you how it’s done. But why so distracted by Pedro on Keri like white on rice? Thought Dorothy was your babe and Keri was your bestie when you and they were kids. Have we been thrown from Mimi’s potential girl-on-girl tension to a potential bizarre love triangle?

Talk amongst yourselves. It’s late and I haven’t put a lot of deep thought into this. teenchy out.

November 9, 2022

Oh Daddy!

Oh boy, a flashback. Sepia-toned, in best Tom Batiuk fashion. All that’s missing are the scrapbook corners. What grudge will be aired through it in similar fashion?

It’s the one where the Milford Star dissed Luke Martinez and whatever team he was playing for that beat Milford for the 1987 state championship. Guess what, Luke? It’s the Milford Star, not the Whatever Town Your School Is In Star*. Of course it’s gonna report a Milford game in the most positive light for the Mudlarks. I’d bet the Green Bay Press-Gazette is doing the same for the Packers these days.

On that fateful day thirty-five years ago, young Luke was sporting a mullet and his back hair had just started sprouting through his shoulder pads – and yeah, nobody had seen a linebacker with lycanthropy before. Under the tutelage of some Joe Paterno/Tom Landry/Vince Lombardi/Bear Bryant/Tom Bosley melange, Luke wreaked havoc on the Mudlark offense using his signature crotch punch. Luke just rattled off more “daddys” than Early and Rusty Cuyler put together; could one of them have been his coach?

We now know the source of the Martinez grudge, as well as why Gil won’t remember when Teen Wolf’s team beat Milford. Luke Sr. is somewhere between 49 to 53 years old and Gil, unless he took the Milford job straight out of high school (and we know he didn’t), is at a minimum 57 and very likely much older than that. Okay gentle writer readers, ‘splain that in terms of the Thorpiverse space-time continuum.

Today’s musical inspiration:

* Where was Luke playing back in ’87, anyway? Was it for Valley Tech, retconned into being in or in the vicinity of Milford like it is now? Was the state championship an all-Valley Conference affair, kinda like Georgia and ‘Bama this past season and in 2018? A cursory online search doesn’t return Milford playing for the state title in ’87; here’s hoping TWIM‘s unofficial SID, billytheskink, will chime in and set the record straight.

October 10, 2022

Somebody’s Going For It Alright!

Today’s strip starts with what we all assumed would happen eventually, that is some pushback on Gil Thorp bringing a trans kid onto the football team. I would’ve put my money on some Uncle Gary or loud-mouthed school board guy to be making a stink, but nope, it’s coming from the Milford sideline, but clearly this is not your Uncle Gary’s Gil Thorp anymore.

So Guy and Other Guy are dissenters voicing disagreement with wokeness. Should we have a wokeness debate here? I don’t want to because way too much excrement is already slung elsewhere online….and holy crap Guy and Other Guy are witnessing something totally ridiculous!

At first, I thought the announcer(?) was getting into the act and saying “Tobias Rainbow” before I fully digested what those words in the strip actually mean. What the hell do they mean? Is there any legal way to kick the ball to yourself in American football? I can’t quote any of the rulebooks at any level of the sport, but I know I’ve never seen it. I guess Henry Barajas is making up new rules for football now.

The comic button on today’s strip is that Other Guy is suddenly into embracing the new reality of Gil Thorp and winning with unheard of plays while Guy looks on in frustration that he’ll have to find somebody else for pissy-faced grumbling. (I strenuously try to maintain a non-pissy face when I grumble about Gil Thorp.)

This is a very weird strip and I’m going to leave further commentary to the TWIM faithful while I spend the rest of the day in contemplation. Cue the contemplative piano of Mr. Keith Jarrett…

September 9, 2022

Bonfire? No, volleyball..

Filed under: confusing dialogue, Milford Alumni, Pissy faced minor character, Volleyball — robmize2013 @ 6:03 pm

As we wait anxiously for the annual bonfire to kick off the football season (if there is any) we hone in on a JV volleyball game coached by Cami Ochoa, who was just a student lo a few months ago. Yes all of us go through the thought of someone younger then us in a leader position as we get further away from high school (the school principal at mine is only 2 years older then me, and the football coach is 17 years younger). Its tricky to have respect for someone who used to be your colleague but good coaches and leaders draw the line between friendship and coaching your friends. I never wanted to get too close to any of my bosses or players I coached/managed. And I hope Cami follows that edict. But we’ll see.

Dont know why the team is proud of Cami yet. Unless its for being hired to coach them at such a young age.

Then in P3 we have a suggestion that ‘they’ dont care if its her first game. Who, the other team, or her players that just said they did? Im adding ‘confusing dialogue’ to our list of categories, as this was a staple of the old regime. Say one thing and mean up to 3 different things. Bada bing bada boom. And we’ll see if miss orange hair becomes one of the troublemakers/protaganists for the fall stroyline.

Myself, I’d prefer blocking and tackling. And a bonfire.

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