This Week in Milford

September 5, 2022

Was This Concierge Oreintation?

Happy Labor Day, all. I think the holiday dictates that I needn’t give a full effort into dissecting this strip. Given that my full effort usually amounts to something approaching half-assed, we’re practically done here. It’s time for a picnic and contemplation of the efforts of my forefathers to organize themselves and give me the opportunity to develop leisurely pursuits like snarking on comics. Huzzah!

Okay, there are a few things here to talk about. Apparently, Gil’s role in manning the Oreinetation desk was loosely defined, and he was free to wander off and schmooze with parents if it struck his fancy. While Gil catches up with “Mel”, there’s another parent named Karen standing at the desk who needs help with her child’s schedule. Hold your horses, Karen. Someone will be along to help. Maybe Steve Luhm can show you around.

The Melanie/Kyle backstory timeline kind of baffles me. Their marriage fell apart after Kyle met a PA during filming of Robert Eggers’ new movie. So, this is a movie that’s new, meaning out now? Maybe there was a long postproduction period, who knows. Robert Eggers is a real director whose latest film The Northman came out this year. So Barajas is taking liberties a bit, but it does obscure the timeline a bit. It leaves me to question what happens faster, a divorce or the release of a movie.

What we’re mainly left with is that Melissa “Mel” Gordon requests that Gil watch out for Tobias, or is it Toby? I think if you choose a new name for yourself, you might be less inclined to be cool with someone using a diminutive variation. But Moms gotta mom, I guess.

August 31, 2022

WOKE must be a new rival station to WDIG

Mimi Thorp.

Likes: Hairy stay-at-home dads. Passive-aggressive notes.

Dislikes: Successful coach dads with pilot’s licenses.

Gil Thorp.

Likes: Old fashioneds. Old tech.

Dislikes: Threats to his masculinity.

Jami Thorp.

Likes: Hentai. Staining his pants to hentai.

Dislikes: His mom knowing he looks at hentai.

Keri Thorp.

Likes: Playing her parents off each other. Wearing her politics on her sleeve torso.

Dislikes: Whatever it’s hip to dislike.

Gil Thorp readers.

Pronouns: y’all/ all y’all

Likes: Continuity. Artwork that matches the dialogue.

Dislikes: Retcons. Random pointy fingers. Consistenly inconsistent uniform colors.

June 27, 2022

Marty Wakes Up Just In Time For…Wait For It…

Filed under: actual action, baseball, Gil Thorp, Madison Time, Marty Moon, Prairie Style Windows — nedryerson @ 3:14 pm

Well, look who woke up from a long winter’s (and spring) nap! It’s our old pal Marty Moon, the king of all Milford media (except, not anymore, or ever for that matter). Marty’s gotta get some sound for his “show” and he hasn’t been roasted by Gil in a good while. He picked a great day for a roasting. Gil’s gotta be cranky sitting in his office this late into June, plus he’s all warmed up from tearing into parents, umps and other media personalities like Al Drake from Channel 6.

Marty goes into his wind-up, lobs in his little dig and…..uh, well, Gil kinda half-asses it. Oh well, he’s tired. Marty’s tired (that crate is no place for a long winter’s nap). We’re all tired. If we had more time, Gil and Marty could do some improv games and workshop their little two hander, but we simply must move on.

Speaking of moving on, three games?? Are you kidding me? Well, we know we’ll only see Gregg’s next start since those are the only ones that count this season. Cut to…the camera man from Channel 6 getting some great footage of Gregg dislocating his elbow. Or maybe Gregg is reaching back into a wormhole in the multiverse to shove a tiny baseball into Gil’s ear. Yep, that’s absurd, no two ways about that!

Meanwhile, Scooter’s a little hurt that he’s not getting some pub. I thought he wanted to set a record or host Jeopardy or something. I guess his dreams had to get jettisoned like everybody else’s to make room for Hamm.

Say, did that cameraman have to lug that beast all the way to Madison for this? Wait, Madison? Is it…could it be…Madison Time??

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 17, 2022

This storyline has gone to the dogs

Just got home from the Chicago Dogs Bark at the Park ballgame with my own dog; they let the dogs march around the park twice a year and I take her once. So not feeling like commenting on the strip but its obvious that Mr. Hamm has an interesting past life, including a changed name that should have been known by the Milford admissions department when Gregg enrolled. But no.

What the hell that has to do with Blind Man Gregg remains to be seen, no pun intended. Ok Rubin, connect the dots.

My song today is Heat of the Moment, as one line in it has “fall from grace”.

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.

May 28, 2022

By This Logic, He’d Wear a Football Helmet If He Was Deaf

So, yeah. Protect his eyes but don’t do anything to improve his vision. Maybe Gil is serious about winning the Valley, and this is his weapon of choice: trot the Hammer out to the bump every third day and have him throw wildly at stuff Nuke Laloosh style to put the fear of God into opposing batters. Nah. That would inject some semblance of logic into this arc where none has existed to date.

After pointing the gigantic Flying Fickle Finger of Fate at Ggerg, Gilberto strolls into the shadows with the walking HIPAA violation (recall she showed up at MHS in Tuesday’s strip but by Wednesday, Gil was “paying a visit to” her). Who’s that watching them walk away, Ggerg himself? If so, he peeled out of that uniform pretty darn quick.

I’m still hung up on what “Dr.” Maisano actually revealed in her little chat with Gil. She said his eyesight is gonna get worse and implied he won’t be able to play baseball again. What, exactly, is the problem? Is he literally going blind, and no treatment to halt or reverse his progressive loss of vision is possible? Leaving that dangling might be the biggest of the big holes in this plot.

Speaking of big holes, that blonde woman standing behind Gil in P3 fell into a big one this spring. What’s she been doing with herself since March? Feel free to speculate in the comments.

May 21, 2022

Jinkies! Kaz and Gregg Hamm’s Right Eye Have Something in Common!

Okay, all of you who had Papa Hamm coming to Gil’s office with Gregg, give yourselves a cookie. All of you who had Mama Hamm being named after a character from Scooby-Doo, give yourselves a clairvoyant cookie.

The next mystery to solve is why the Hamms were so clueless about their son’s deteriorating vision. Odds are they invested so much time, effort and money into buying disguises for Papa Hamm they willfully ignored Gregg’s impending blindness. When Gregg told Papa he could barely see him, Papa just took that as evidence of how good his disguises were.

Finally we have Gil navel gazing in the teacher’s lounge, patting himself on the back for not picking up on Gregg’s poor eyesight sooner. As just about every one of you TWIMers have commented, the coaches should’ve picked up on this as soon as they practiced fielding bunts or comebackers. Waiting for Kaz to admit to Gil that he let Gregg slide on practice after taking Scooter’s word that they’d do it at home. Sounds like that would’ve been the first time they did it all season.

Scooter will get his comeuppance soon enough when Gil upbraids him for his complicity in the Hamm scam. Then the Mudlarks will unravel like a ball of yarn and miss the playdowns. Rubin skipped a girls’ plot for this?

meta: Following up on my last post, I found color footage of Jackie Hayes wearing his batting helmet. He appears briefly in a clip from George Case’s color home movies from the late ’30s and early ’40s. Some of his footage appeared in HBO’s When It Was A Game, and it’s also available from Case’s estate as well. Note Monty Stratton, another major leaguer who had to deal with a disability, appears a few seconds later.

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