This Week in Milford

April 23, 2018

A Soggy Start

Filed under: Coach Kaz, freak hands, Gil Thorp, Prairie Style Windows — nedryerson @ 5:38 am

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Baseball season is beginning…in the gym. The team is suited up and ready to get out there and start shagging flies and playing pepper, but the weather isn’t cooperating. Gil and Kaz muse about the team and the tight bonds formed between these young men. The young men, as usual, are talking smack about their own. That’s the way it works.

The first player named this spring is (dun dun DUN!) Kevin Pelwecki. Of course Kevin’s claim to fame is that he was a lineman on the football team with dreams of quarterbacking who eventually played some at fullback. I forgot all about his baseball roots. He first appeared as a backup at second for loudmouth Barry Bader. Now he’s boring his teammates talking about launch angles.

Play ball.

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April 18, 2018

Why Is Paloma Standing Behind Gil’s Desk?

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I mean, other than to gratuitously fit her in the frame. Really, Panel Three concisely symbolizes the whole approach of this arc. I’m not even entirely sure what the heck Jorge is talking about when he says Gil ‘might’ be right.

Fortunately, Gil’s not really listening as he strains his neck to make sure Paloma doesn’t clock him with her standard Milford High issue stack of text books.

Minus points: Sartorially, things seem out of whack. We have Mimi in a skirt (!) and long scarf, Gil going from wearing a jacket to short sleeves, and I don’t even want to begin to figure out all the ways Paloma is not dressed like a teenager.

 

April 17, 2018

Ohhhhh, Marty, you bankrupted this plot. But you have a free spin token, so spin again!!!!!

Filed under: Gil Thorp, hideous scar faces, Mimi Thorp, Prairie Style Windows — tdrewhardin @ 1:54 am

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WHEEL!!!!!!!!!!! OF!!!!!!!!!!!!! FORTUNE!!!!!

That’s right, gang, Pat Sajak and Vanna White have invaded Milford High School Gymnasium to promote the famous game show. And what better way for WOF to nurture a grass-roots feel than to invite Milford’s own to be contestants? Once a Mudlark, always a Mudlark, even if they have to spin a gigantic wheel to win thousands of dollars/vacations to The Bahamas/consolation prizes to prove it. The screening process turned up 3 worthy contestants, Marty Moon, Mimi Thorp and Vince Packard, and this should be interesting, given all that Marty has endured. C’mon, gang, Marty can’t be crying in his beer at the Milford Lounge forever and does anybody honestly picture him next to Humphrey Bogart at the Boulevard of Broken Dreams? Didn’t think so. I wouldn’t even paint him in that portrait with those dogs playing poker that gets sold on a roadside stand somewhere. Marty puffing away on a Muriel cigar next to some ruffian boxer who’s also smokin’ a stogie? Marty better have a winning hand.

Especially when we’re still attempting to dig ourselves out of this plot via the-parking-lot-aka-bargaining-table method. Hey, I guess NAFTA, SALT II, and the Yalta Conference (“Sure, Josef, you can have Czechoslovakia if we can take Austria. Oh, damn, I lost the keys to my Ford Explorer. No problem, I have a spare in my briefcase.”) were discussed in the asphalt jungles of your nearest soon-to-make-history-in-encyclopedias-everywhere city, so why not Puerto Rico and/or the fate of Marty’s radio career? And why not the asphalt jungle of Milford?

Before Gil and The Dove, with HOR-hay as an Official Witness, sign ANY agreement (Marty Moon’s broadcasting career realigned in exchange for world peace, I’d say that’s fair), let’s NOT KID OURSELVES as Gil and Mimi are doing in P3. As they walk down the streets of perhaps the Business District of Milford, after intense negotiations in the asphalt jungle (we’re talking Milford, I understand, but work with me), they apparently need to be reminded of the raison d’etre of WDIG. The station isn’t throwing a lifeline to a fellow shark because WDIG is compassionate to a JAWS who forgot how to swim. Peace, Love, and Happiness is for the ’60’s, concepts that don’t apply to a muckraking operation that is ‘DIG. Unless Peace, etc. is subordinate TO the profit ledger. Then Flowers in your Hair is OK as long as the utilities in the building are paid. PEACE and PROFITS walking hand-in-hand, Gil? Did you ever see JAWS and Lassie walk down the aisle of a chapel to exchange wedding vows (…’til death do you part?”     “I do.”)?

Therefore, if anybody’s been dying to know what Marty’s been up to when he’s not feeling sorry for himself, I mean, okay, so nobody’s losing sleep over this one but, hell, I’M DYING TO KNOW, how’s that? You think I like Gil in a parking lot doing a sting operation with The Dove and Jorge CONCERNING MARTY??? Surely Marty kept himself busy. Actually, believe it or not, he did.

“So, Marty, tell us a little about yourself.”

“I’m a DJ and sports announcer for a radio station. I do play-by-play for high school sports.”

“Wow. That’s interesting. There’s an ugly rumor you got suspended?”

“Totally false. I have been on the job for 60 years and only called in once. My jeep broke down out in the woods and my CB player was on the frizz and I forgot my CB handle. A farmer in a nearby soybean field gave me a lift on his combine and I eventually made it back to Milford.”

“Good deal!!!!!! BTW, what is your CB handle?”

“It’s an original. Just call me ‘Dead Flowers'”

(Awkward pause)

“Well, Vanna, when we take a tour of the town after the show, don’t forget to put roses on HIS grave. Oh, you’re still alive(nervous laughter from the audience, Vanna impatient to turn the letters. It’s a Phrase). Marty, why don’t you get us started and spin the wheel?”

TH– —T R—– —K-

“200 dollars.”

“Is there a ‘Z’?”

“I’m sorry, Mimi, there’s no ‘Z’. Vince, it’s your turn.”

Sppppiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

“Wow, big money, 800 dollars.”

“Is there a ‘C’?”

“YES!!!!!! There IS a ‘C’. If Vanna will get her ass over there, okay, that’s better. We only have a 1/2 hour in this gym.”

TH– —T R—– –CK-

“I’d like to solve the puzzle.”

“Sure.”

“THEY SHOT RIBALD COCKS.”

“Nope, I’m sorry, that is incorrect. Marty, back to you.”

If ya lost that vacation to Acapulco, complete with dancing senoritas that sing like Speedy Gonzales and hotels that cost the GNP of Guatemala with beaches so pristine that you CAN drink the water, because ya lost on “Wheel of Fortune” because ya forgot there’s a ‘C’ in MEXICAN REDNECK, ya might be a redneck.

Gang, I’m a Classic Rock junkie but I have a special addiction for my Rolling Stones. From the album “Sticky Fingers”(the one that shows Coach T.’s crotch shot once you unzip it) comes a song that sums up the relationship between Marty and Ernie. As Ralph Kramden once said to Norton, awaaaaaayyyyyy we go

While you’re sitting there

In your silk-upholstered chair

Broadcasting live for WDIG

I hope you won’t see me

In my ragged company

The parrot done left me in abject poverty

Take me down, Little Ernie

Take me down

I know you think you’re the king of

the high school grounds

And you can send me dead flowers

When I am fired

Send me dead flowers on the radio waves Send me dead flowers

When I retire

And I’ll never forget to put roses on

your graaaaavvveee.

Well, while you’re sitting back

In your rose-pink Cadillac

Calling the game on Milford Playdown

dayyyyyyyssssss

I’ll be at the Milford Lounge

With a needle that I scrounged

And a Natural Lite to take my pain

awaaaaayyyyyyyy

Take me down, Little Ernie

Take me down

I know you think you’re the king when

I’m not around

And you can send me dead flowers when I’m buried

Send me dead flowers on the radio waves

Send me dead flowers when I’m married

And I’ll never forget to put this plot into the grraaaaaaaaaavvvvvvve.

TH– —T R—-Y –CK-

Sppppiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnn

“500 dollars”

“I’d like to buy a vowel.”

“Go right ahead.”

“Is there an ‘E’?”

“YESSS!!!!!! There is one ‘E’. Vanna is there to get it turned around.”

TH– —T RE—Y –CK-

“I’d like to solve the puzzle.”

“I’m with you. Solve it.”

“THE BLOB REALLY ROCKS.”

“Uh, no, Mimi, you might wanna check the board again on that one. Vince, over to you.”

“Hi, this is Coach Steve Boone, speaking on behalf of Milford Gentleman’s Club. Practice can get real intense and the plot, as you can see, can be pointless. Sometimes I have to work overtime, with basketball overlapping into Opening Day of my beloved Cubs. That’s why I love the lap dances of Milford’s finest ladies. They help me unwind and forget about the game films Coach is incessantly showing. I’m a Cameo Coach, not Dick Vitale. But rather than lose my job and say “Freeze it, Gil!!!!!”, I turn to the hottest acts in Mudlarkland with ladies like Annie Aardvark cha-chaing on stage, twirling her son’s coxcomb to “Don’t Leave Me This Way” or Penelope Pearl proving age is just a state of mind, gettin’ it on to “What Have You Done For Me Lately?” How she boogies and keeps her beehive is a club secret. While you’re scratchin’ your noggin over that one, check out the club’s 1/2 price daiquiris from 7-9 PM every night. I’m thirsty already. And you’ll also be hungry for love and get it satisfied at the place that’s literally hoppin’ for your business. Come check out the ladies at the Milford Gentleman’s Club and as a bonus catch Hellfire Heather lap dance the owner while twirling a football. Just call her the Meadowlark Lemon of the Gentleman’s Club. She never fumbles!!!!!! Us Cameo Coaches taught her well. And if you poop out from the ladies like Hellfire, and who doesn’t occasionally, there’s wide-screen TV’s all around the club. It’s nice to know that when Gil can act out of character and be a donkey about the Veer offense or a generic play like the double out right, split formation, halfback wishbone option left, single screen off the right tackle, that I can flush that down the toilet and go watch my beloved Cubs. They have toilet paper too, 2-ply jumbo rolls at that, in case you’re wondering. But don’t take my word for it, come on down to the one place exclusively for men where playmates are not restricted to the basketball court and their uniforms really give you a reason to cheer on the team.”

TH-S —T RE—Y S-CKS

Spppppppiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnn

“Hey, ALL RIGHT!!!!!!!! You landed on ‘Win a Trip to Mudlark Lake Resort'”.

“Is there an ‘L’?”

“YESSS!!!!!!!!! THERE ARE THREE OF THEM!!!!!!!!! If Vanna will get there in time. That’s what happens when they only pay minimum wage. And LUCKY YOU!!!!!! I hope you have a special someone in mind.”

TH-S -L-T RE-LLY S-CKS

“Peaches, if you’re watching this, I’m willing to kiss and make up.”

“And Peaches, whoever you are, if you can rescue Marty from the Milford Lounge and land him to safety at this resort, you deserve this trip. Just don’t take the Titanic to get there(audience laughter, Marty shooting daggers at Pat). All right, Marty, what do you wanna do?”

“I’d like to solve the puzzle.”

“Why not?”

“THIS BLOT REALLY SOCKS!!!!!!!!!”

“Noooooooo, I’m sorry, Marty. Mimi, it’s your turn, spin the wheel.”

Spiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnn

“Oooooohhhhhh, just passed that ‘Bankrupt’ sign. Lay it on me, Mimi.”

“Is there a ‘P’?”

“YESSSS!!!!!!! One ‘P’.”

TH-S PL-T RE-LLY S-CKS

“I’d like to solve the puzzle.”

“GO AHEAD!!!!!”

“THIS PLOT REALLY SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!”

“YESSSS!!!!!!! WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!!!!! Johnny, tell Mimi all the fabulous prizes in store for our contestant!!!!!!!!!”

“A BRAND NEW BRUNSWICK BAYLINER MOTORBOAT!!!!!! Yes, dump that Radio Flyer of a craft that your husband’s been sandpapering for the last 25 years when he’s not teaching his daughter how to putt…”

Gang, fire away. Marty’s consolation prize is 2 free passes to the Milford Gentleman’s Club. Marty wanted me to tag along. Being a Christian, I had my reservations. But Jesus drank wine with the sinners plus I’ve never seen Hellfire Heather twirl a football to “Sweet Georgia Brown” while lap dancing. The talents we never knew we had.

April 12, 2018

Marty Moon: The Straw That Stirs the Milford Drink

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Today’s strip just serves to bring the glaring plot holes, inconsistencies and missed opportunities into stark relief, not unlike Marty’s face in P2.  Without belaboring the obvious – oh, who am I kidding? Let’s belabor the obvious:

  1. If an Aagard scores 26 points and there’s no one there to report on it, does it make a sound? Last winter’s saga of Aaron and his opioid-addicted mother ended with his transfer into the protective custody of the Hiatt-Brown family. Rubin brought Aaron back this season, but Big Ken Brown is no longer around to make things happen. Couldn’t those loose ends have been tied up in a panel?
  2. Nice use of parallel drinking by the not-broadcasting broadcasters, one with hooch, the other with Yoo-Hoo (or does that just say “Poo”?). The glaring sign behind Marty’s head must be meant to offer a contrast to his apparent sour mood. It also offers a nice segue into a song parody but I fear those days are behind me. The idea that WDIG can’t or won’t run games without Marty to call them borders on the absurd. Absurd doesn’t begin to describe the Milford Pirate Network’s approach to the games. If they’d been up front about why they popped up then played it straight, they’d still be on the air and no one would’ve cared that there was no coverage from Marty and WDIG. But noooo, MPN based its whole schtick on taunting Marty, so no Marty, no MPN. For that matter…
  3. … no Marty, no Gil to antagonize or be antagonized by Marty. Hence Gil’s call on Pocket Square Sporting Radio Station Manager to no doubt try to get Marty back on the air. As with his meeting with Marty, Gil’s on neutral ground where drinks are involved but this time it’s only coffee (unless Gil’s secretly making it Irish).

If all this is a pivot towards turning this strip from Gil Thorp into Marty Moon, I could be persuaded to stick around. The travails of a drunken shock jock looking to redeem himself to unwitting victims of his shock doesn’t cover new ground but it has potential.

late metapost: Over lunch I came across this article about Latinos attempting to assimilate in the American South. No one in the story is Puerto Rican, but it touches on an angle Rubin has chosen not to pursue to much extent in this arc.

April 11, 2018

Welp, It’s Long Past Time For Pitchers And Catchers To Report

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And the NBA playdowns are just around the corner so I guess it’s fortunate that we’re taking this week to wrap up all of the loose ends of a typically thoughtful treatment regarding the tragic plight of a serious, real life, on-going crisis.

Duncan with a fucking parrot on his shoulder indeed. At least panel three shows us why he needed to go for the pirate hat to round out his look.

Metapost: Apologies for the late post as I got pulled away from my desk before hitting ‘Publish’.  Boy, I wasn’t in too good of a mood to start the day, was I?

April 9, 2018

The Best Part Of Waking Up Is Pouring Half a Pot Of Coffee On The Floor

Filed under: Coach Kaz, freak hands, Gil Thorp, Prairie Style Windows — nedryerson @ 5:45 am

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I’m still a little unclear on Gil’s role in brokering some sort of reproachment between Marty and the Padillas. Since Marty’s gonna be Marty and not own up to his troublesome behavior, what’s it to Gil? He was supposed to have done something before? Okay, I guess he could have paid a little more attention at what was going on at games he was coaching and flexed even the slightest administrative muscle to get the MPN to stop dicking around. But, Marty’s the one who screwed up there and at that point it had nothing to do with the Padillas. The Padillas want a sincere apology. Gil’s just flailing around here delaying the start of baseball season. Where’s Marty? I don’t want to think about this anymore.

So Panel 3 is a fun way to stop sifting through the dregs of this plot and just focus on good old fashioned giant hands and awkward pouring of coffee. Kaz has replaced his right hand with a child’s foot and is using it to kick himself in the head.

April 7, 2018

Lo siento, no lo siento

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Okay, so Gil’s not meeting Marty at his crate shack but on neutral ground. Dunno why Gil acts so surprised: he knows Marty’s a known souse and it’s not like Gil doesn’t knock back a few every now and then, in public, even. Marty’s got his Captain Haddock brows working again and, yeah, he wants Gil to clean up his mess.

That weak-assed excuse for a mea culpa doesn’t fly anymore, if it ever did. Everyone and her brother knows that “I’m sorry you were offended by my actions” is not the same as “I’m sorry for my actions.”  There’s a few dots here that haven’t been connected – like how Marty thinks all of this is the Padillas’ doing – but hey, baseball season is a week old so let’s wrap this thing up, shall we?

Now I guess we just sit back and wait to see what level of public apology from Marty will suffice. An appearance with Pirate Nebbish Boy from MPN seems more than likely.

March 19, 2018

Got My Social Media Workin’

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Those media savvy kids from Milford are putting their plan into action. They’re going to offer their own alternative to the WDIG radio broadcast of Mudlark Basketball. (In my head, I say it like the PA announcer at The Palace at Auburn Hills saying “DEEE-troit Basket-Ball!”)

We know Marty doesn’t see this coming, because he’s Marty. He’s old media and he doesn’t know what’s about to hit him. Would anybody know if the ratings drop for his broadcast? Actually, traditional listenership of specific broadcasts is probably hard to quantify for a small market radio station, but if listeners are streaming the WDIG feed, the station could keep a close watch on those numbers without having to pay for market research. The more realistic scenario is that WDIG is some type of tax shelter that isn’t supposed to turn a profit (see a late period WKRP episode where Andy Travis confronts Mama Carlson about this very situation) and nobody is watching any numbers at all. This also explains Marty’s continued employment.

Now, we get a glimpse at Duncan and technology. I am actually curious to know how students would go about creating their own broadcast. However, as soon as I saw “transmitter” I realized that I was about to get something else, i.e. seventeen year old kids eschewing the formidable media capable technology they have fully integrated into their every waking moment for conventional technology. So what is going to be “transmitted” and to where?

 

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