This Week in Milford

January 18, 2023

You Can Call Him “GilPa” But You Doesn’t Have to Call Him “Gil Exotic.”

Times are tough in Milford. Unspecified budget cuts have had some kind of unspecified effect on Mudlark sports. Kids are being forced to sell cheap substandard chocolate in front of grocery stores. Now Gil himself has stooped to debasing himself in, of all things, a spot for a used car dealer. Not just any used car dealer, mind you, but one whose appearance is explicitly based on Joe Exotic a/k/a The Tiger King. If Joe wasn’t behind bars I’d expect him to come after the Chief for appropriating his likeness.

Of course, GilPa* might not be doing this for the Mudlarks. Mimi’s little jaunt to Scottsdale hasn’t paid for itself yet! The fact that she’s been able to take it may imply that it was her job – and Milford girls’ hoops – that were the victims of the unspecified budget cuts. Then again, GilPa might need to pay a retainer to a divorce lawyer. He could be doing ads for the Foley Law Group before it’s all done. Maybe he could call in a favor from Hadley V. Baxendale.

*Gentle readers, never let it be said that your input falls on deaf ears. Today Gil refers to himself by a nickname used here and in just about every other Gil Thorp comments section known to man. (Me, I’m holding out for “Kaiser Gilhelm.”)

January 4, 2023

Marty can’t tell front from behind. Should we worry?

The Mudlark boys’ basketball opener is under way and, as it’s a non-conference game, it falls upon us to try to figure out where it’s happening. Judging from their bird mascot and that Forest View is two words, not one, I’m venturing a guess that this is the no longer extant Forest View in the Chicagoland region. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen a shout-out* to a defunct high school, though I’m not gonna comb the archives to find the example (it was a Detroit-area school IIRC).

Marty’s looking a little thicker around the middle and in the hand, which must be a side effect of his continued sobriety. Milford was shown yesterday in its road black-and-reds, so why is Forest View wearing what looks like the old “Block M” jerseys Michigan trots out from time to time (and which Milford also wore BITD)? Bigger question: where is this behind-the-back pass Marty’s calling happening, in his mind? Why is Marty continuing to call out uni numbers for the Mudlarks? Is the game being simulcast on TV2 and WBIG radio?

All that aside, how ’bout this NBA-style halftime score! Have both of these teams broken out the run-and-gun or forgotten how to play defense? At the risk of repeating myself, I appreciate Barajas incorporating the trans kid into the strip fairly seamlessly, with virtually no reaction from anyone in Milford, but making the kid magically become a star athlete on every sports team he goes out for strains credulity just a little bit. Can’t wait until baseball season when he breaks Joe Sharkey’s and Kevin Pelwecki’s long-ball records.

*I’m not sure if Mudlark big man Darius Simmons is also a shout-out to a friend, Rubin-style, but sadly the first hit I get when searching for him is a 13-year-old kid who was murdered in front of his mother in Milwaukee about a decade ago. There’s also a Darius Simmons playing football at McGill, where he could be a teammate of Chance Macy’s.

December 21, 2022

A Hot Spit Take

As promised, my jet-lagged and sleep-deprived self is here with today’s post and it’s gonna be blunt.

While Valley Tech players dance around like Matisse’s Icarus, Gil offers Luke a congratulatory handshake and gets a neck full of spittle in return. Not only does Martinez still carry a misdirected 35-year grudge, he also suffers from Napoleon syndrome and delusions of grandeur. Squeaking out a one-point win because you stopped your opponent’s two-point conversion attempt hardly qualifies as an embarrassment. There were no stakes attached to the golf game and no one listens to Marty’s podcast. People can only be embarrassed if they choose to be, and Gil clearly has not chosen to be.

Enough of this chode. He should get what’s coming to him eventually. Enough of the Tuesday morning quarterbacking, too. Gil gambled and the gamble didn’t pay off. It happens. I still think there should be some explanation for why Milford decided to go for two and not try to force overtime with an established kicker (maybe two, if we count Hooper and if the scores that are neat multiples of seven are any indication), but I’m not holding my breath. A few days on the domestic front and a Saturday Christmas Eve strip (surprised no Hanukkah strip with Kaz and his new squeeze) and we should pivot to basketball.

Now if you’ll excuse me I need to take a look at the inside of my eyelids. Happy Solstice. teenchy out.

December 7, 2022

Clean, Old-Fashioned Hit

What a genuine surprise to see today’s strip in good old-fashioned black and white. For once we can imagine Milford in traditional road whites and New Thayer in something other than light blue. Of course we’ll also have to imagine white froth around the mouth of Danny Maivia, too. Wait…

…Danny…Maivia? As in the Maivia and Anoaʻi family of pro wrestling fame? Are we getting set up for Danny to recur a few years from now as “Little Rock” or a new Wild Samoan? Could Hairy Hercules come back and manage him? If these are seeds being planted, let’s do our best to nurture them.

Know what else is old-fashioned? The entirety of P1. Start with the hairstyles: Kaz has gone full Sha Na Na up front with his mullet and the Mudlark to his left is sporting his best mohawk. Milford has also put a mascot on the sidelines, a mashup of the Notre Dame leprechaun and Ernest T. Bass from The Andy Griffith Show. Finally, nothing is as old-fashioned as literally calling out your plays from the sideline without code words, hand signals* or cryptic sign boards. New Thayer a school for the deaf now, Kaz?

I think we know why Danny Maivia is frothing at the mouth, though. Milford-New Thayer has morphed from a football game to a track meet. We’ll see if Gil and Kaz have put an S&C program in place to keep the Mudlarks in this shootout. As for yhs, too many old fashioned references make me want to go mix one up for myself. Too early for day drinking?**

*Kaz might be throwing the Hook ’em Horns in anticipation of Texas joining the SEC for all we know.

**Thanks to Ned and you faithful TWIMers for calling out Marty’s Illuminati token AA chip in Monday’s post. I appreciate the background and respect you for rising to your challenges. I don’t know that I’ll feel as comfortable attributing Marty’s dialogue to Johnnie Walker in his sippy cup again, however.

November 30, 2022

Between Valley Tech and Milford lies OBSESSION.

We’re still going over the 1987 “game film” (and by “game film,” I mean “a VHS copy of TV 2’s broadcast”) of the state championship game with Gil and Maestro Turturro, but the end is near. Valley Tech has edged the Mudlarks, 14-10 for the title, and Ringo Starr Marty Moon is on hand to interview the star of the game, Luke “El Tigre” Martinez.

El Tigre’s strip of the hula-dancing Mudlark receiver saved the game for Tech, but all Hairy Luke can focus on is Gil and his “spot.” Clearly this is not some kind of revenge fantasy: Tech won the game, no? Was it Gil’s coaching job at Milford and his hot blonde wife Mimi that Luke was coming for? The career sacrifice, marrying the hot med student, becoming a stay-at-home-dad so the the hot med student wife could become a successful heart surgeon – all part of a 35-year-long game to get him to the point that he could coach another Valley Tech team to beat Milford?

Seems like the Milford Star coverage of the game only added fuel to a fire that was burning long before the final whistle. Dude’s got some serious-ass issues to work through. Get help, Luke. We might get more backstory in support of the Martinez monomania, but in the meantime, enjoy the inspiration for today’s post title.

October 19, 2022

Fluid Dynamics

Move along, nothing to see here. Just two guys showing interest in the same girl. No big deal unless you consider that one of the guys is a trans guy, the other guy is the son of the girl’s father’s new archnemesis, and the girl is gender fluid and/or non-binary. (I’ll leave this here to assist in the semantics and the discussion.) That the girl has expressed interest in the son of the archnemesis might move the needle one way or the other.

However things shake out, Keri doesn’t seem too flustered by it. Props to her. Mimi OTOH doesn’t seem too pleased by the situation. What’s the matter, Mimi? Don’t the Mudlarks usually want a vocal and supportive fan base? Or has this particular support touched a nerve? Mimi needs to take a page from the Dave Chappelle playbook here.

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 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.

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