This Week in Milford

October 19, 2019

Shortest. Debate. Ever.

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Geez, Chet, when has doing the right thing ever stopped you? Or netted you the results you were after?

You do realize that your logins are being captured and it won’t take an internet ninja to figure out what you’ve been up to. Even if it’s Kaz doing the ninjaing (ninjing?). There are steps to be taken between nosing around in students’ permanent records and getting Chance kicked off the football team. Once you take them, it’ll only be a matter of time before everyone from Gil to the mop Steve Luhm left behind in the janitor’s closet will be hip to your scheme. Then the only one getting kicked off of anything will be you off the school board – and maybe out of the family home. I hear Uncle Gary might have some room for you on a sleeper sofa in LA…

October 15, 2019

Disappearing Into The Science Fiction Time Loop

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The notion that Charlie would vaguely remember a kid in another second grade class who transferred the next year nearly ten years later when the kid transferred back into the district strains credulity. These oblique and dilatory plot setups are easily the most frustrating part of reading this strip. Don’t show, don’t tell, only vaguely and irregularly allude to is one sort of storytelling structure I suppose. That this is all centered around a brand new character when the whole Tiki Jansen fiasco would’ve served the dramatic purposes of the current arc is all the more frustrating.

Frankly, Chet’s suggestion is more interesting than whatever desultory denouement we are likely to be treated to at the truncated termination of this Fall’s football foofaraw.

Bonus point: That the leaves are still falling while Chet and Charlie are clearly done raking for the day.

Minus point: Of the Milford villains we’ve been exposed to in the thirteen (!) years this blog has been running, Chet is easily the least interesting. I welcome the commenters to prove me wrong should any of you be so motivated.

October 12, 2019

Maybe that pissiness would be better channeled into helping your kid rake leaves.

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Late start to the day as yhs stayed up late last night to watch Game 1 of the NLCS. With a DeJong and a Bader in one lineup and a Soto in the other, I was getting a very Milfordian vibe. There were no nosy-assed, pushy players’ parents/school board members or hidden backstories (well, one team’s relief pitcher did miss the game on paternity leave) and the announcers didn’t seem like particular homers for either team, so I guess the similarities ended there.

But I digress, mainly because I feel like we’ve trod this well-trodden trail before. Having a player’s past anger management issues thrown up in his face has been done, and the outcome was resolved to the player’s benefit. The difference here is that it wasn’t one of Van Auken’s teammate’s parents throwing his past anger management issues up in his face in an effort to get him benched (or worse) in favor of their less-talented stepchild. News flash, Ballard: these shenanigans won’t guarantee Charlie will start over Chance, they won’t make your stepson a better player, and they sure as hell won’t get him to stop calling you “Chet.”

September 23, 2019

Ease Up, Ballard

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The theme of the fall plot so far is: Chet Gotta Chet.

Today we see him camped out on the front porch, waiting to grill Charlie about football practice. (Maybe that’s a rear entrance with a sliding glass door? It seems like a wide opening for a standard door. Look at all those parallel lines: flooring, siding, a multi tiered tiled deck. That’s some serious drafting. Yes, the architectural details are more arresting than the third or fourth occurrence of Chet Ballard’s overbearing parenting.)

I don’t know anything about high school football practice. I always pictured it as a lot of jumping jacks, running and other conditioning, maybe throw in some drills. Y’all are going to have to enlighten me. Of course there must be scrimmaging too with starters getting more reps than back ups. That seems more like a professional thing that can be picked apart all week by the 900 gossipy shows on ESPN. “Eli’s not getting the bulk of reps in practice and he’s sulking in his Porsche!!”

What is revealed is that Charlie is not just ambivalent toward Chet. He’s kind of over it. Maybe he should have a chat with his mom.

April 27, 2019

I Think We’ve Made a Breakup – I Mean, Breakthrough

Filed under: big arms, freak hands, Gil Thorp, Secret Thoughts, shadow figures, softball — teenchy @ 8:05 am

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“You also don’t want the baggage of a high school boyfriend when you go off to college. Know what?  I don’t want the baggage of a high school girlfriend when I go off to college, either.”

“Well, that’s settled.”

Okay, I suppose we could’ve expected this turn.  It was too much to expect that Linda was all pissy just because she wanted her teammates to be as dedicated to playing softball as she was.  I’ve seen that IRL before, from kids who’ve done nothing but sports as an extracurricular all their lives. They (or, more likely, their parents) see the sports as their only ticket to a college scholarship to the exclusion of all else, sometimes including academics. That there may be other paths warps their fragile little minds.

In Linda’s case, volleyball is that ticket out of Milford.  Now, David has planted the seeds of FUD in her head.  Let’s hope she doesn’t tear up that ticket; last thing we want to see is Rubin bringing her back in three years paying to have “FIRE MIMI THORP!” billboards up on the edge of town.

Pity that kids these days don’t know the satisfaction of slamming a handset into the receiver to end a call. They don’t make ’em like that anymore.

 

April 10, 2019

The Bases Are Loaded: Is the Artist Loaded Too?

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Okay, could all y’all who said you were going to sleep please wake up and help me figure out the bizarro details in today’s strip?

Panel one starts out okey-dokey. Nice detail on the batting gloves, Chief and, uh, nice effort on using words that a softball player might use, Rubin.  Jocelynn Brown must be part of the Brown-Hiatt family ’cause she’s making things happen.

We get to panel two and what the hell is going on here?  Is this a Milford baserunner, base coach, or someone standing on a bag about six feet from the outfield wall?  Did she get her arms from an all-you-can-eat Alaskan king crab leg buffet?  Is she wearing Japanese tabi cleats?  Isn’t 410 a deep wall for high school softball?  (With this perspective, kinda makes you think that should read 4/20.)  Finally, is that a smaller Ricozzi’s Pizza billboard on the fence?  How funny would it have been had big money BRobby Howry kept buying ad space ripping Gil on his own playing field?

On to panel three.  I know that ideally a home plate umpire doesn’t line up directly behind the catcher, so as to have a better view of the outside corner of the plate.  I can’t recall ever having seen an ump line up that far off center – nearly perpendicular to the catcher – even with an unseen left-handed batter up.  Maybe someone who’s been to a softball game more recently than I can confirm this is legit.

Oh, and someone please tell me Benson uses this cheer:

 

Okay, everybody back to sleep now.

March 28, 2019

I Never Knew “Pictures at an Exhibition” Would Appear In Milford

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IT’S THE BLOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVERYBODY RUN FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Relax. It’s only the students at  one of the picnic tables,  gossiping about Andre Dawson when he was with the Cubs, pretty hot news among teenagers, then the conversation that’s been on the backburner after they got tired of talking about Mike Krukow’s career at Wrigley (“Gnarley, dude, he struggled with that wind blowing out”) has been taken out of the oven FINALLY that of what Molly Hatchet does in its spare time when they’re not touring New Thayer, Oakwood, Madison, Goshen, etc., with Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Charlie Daniels Band. I understand the Marshall Tucker Band practices pirouetting in water polo when they’re not on the road again.

They are so caught up in this fad we call (by their own definition, unfortunately) synchronized skating, they’re oblivious to the girl in the background that got ran over by the waffle iron.

 

Mr. Horse, trying to be a Mudlark Cafeteria Lady, having already passed the Cream Slaw Certification Test

“Nope, I don’t think these linens fit.”

 

 

I’m sorry, Gang, I’m TRYING to be nice but

“Gimme 3 steps, gimme 3 steps, Mister, and you’ll never see me no more…”

“Okay, that’s a rap. You can take your skates off.”

 

Eggo Head is just the start of a bad joke.

Gil catches Dr. Pearl in the hallway before her staff meeting

“DR. PEARL!!!!!!!!! DR. PEARL!!!!!!!!!! You know how Eggo Head burned her hair???????”

“No.”

“She forgot to use Pam while sticking her head on the pancake griddle.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Boy, put some Aunt Jemima on them babies.

 

And the artwork coming directly from El Prado. Really, is this truly a comic strip??????? P1 is just classic Cezanne, the missing piece being “Still Life With Apples”, something not shown in P1 because Eggo Head is sitting on them while consuming a Bartlett pear and those same apples would be shown in P2 if The Blob wasn’t chowing down on them while washing it down with leftover Milford students. The Blob resembling The Everly Brothers???? Gil must have been mighty tasty.

Meanwhile, back at the NR Ranch (“non-Reality”) , I mentioned ‘Pictures at an Exhibition” the other day, a concept album based the Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s work of the same name, which my favorite group, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer recorded and put their personal stamp to and ran with. Getting mixed reviews because it was slightly controversial, it stood the test of time and came out a cult classic, loved by many critics. I just never thought we’d see a sample of it in today’s strip.

“The Gnome” is P1 and I think “The Great Gates of Kiev” is located somewhere where Eggo Head’s hair is parted.

The Gnome telling a joke to his baby sister, whose in the lower right hand corner. Does she need a high chair, BTW, if her caption is somewhere where Luhm could sweep it up with his janitorial-sized broom?

“Baby sister, do you know why Gil will never be Eggo Head?”

“No.”

“He’d have to find a different rake to comb his hair, plus VO5 and Pam are combustible when fried together in the skillet. Try explaining that one to the Milford Fire Marshal.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

 

Then P2 definitely has to be “Promenade”.

I mean, The Blob executing a spaziergang (“pleaure walk” to you non-Deutscher whippersnappers) through the cafeteria after a hearty 3-course meal of Alpo, Twinkies, and students is worth the price of admission and going about as slow as this plot. Don’t get no better than that.

“Officer, The Plot’s at the Milford Bowling Alley!!!!!!!!!! It’s eating half the town!!!!!!!!!!! Strip Bowling was tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

 

“The Devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal-”

“NO NO NO That’s not how the tripel axel is done, you have to do this TOGETHER. All right, let’s do it again and SMILE. Let Butch Trucks see those pearly whites.”

 

P3 is interesting. I was tempted to say “The Sage” but what wise man in a lotus position at the peak of Mt. Fuji or Mt. Everest or Mount Washington or Mount Greylock (highest point in Massachusetts, BEAUTIFUL scenery, just threw it in to get a cheap laugh when the audience is getting bored-don’t want to wind up like Gil at the Milford Comedy Club) discusses synchronized bowling????? That one crashed and burned.

So I went with my gut and Ickity Ackity Ooh, uh uh, Ickity Ackity Ooh. ee ee, uh uh, slee, uh uh slut, POOF!!!!!!!!!!! “The Curse of Baba Yaga”. As long as teenagers are going to spend more time fretting over bullfighting and Sammy Sosa’s stats (C,mon, I’ll bet Ron Santo’s contract that the sign said “Bullfighting Ring”, geez Louise) than actual sports, reduced already to an exhibition, pardon the pun, at the Ringling Brothers Circus, we are in for a long Spring and Summer until Gil hitches up with another tag team. Really, I think Gil can teach Jerry Lawler and Jeff Jarrett how to golf. They’ll be sinkin’ those putts at the Mid-South Coliseum by the end of August. The Moon Dogs won’t know what hit’ em. An eagle is more effective than the Sleeper Hold any day.

 

Day 16

Marty is butt naked, confronted with a new challenge. Someone from the Milford Zoological Society, trained in Blobology, managed to direct The Blob towards the Nature Area. Street edges lined with ice, much of it from the ice freezer out front at the Milford 7-11 and the trainer invented a new way for The Blob to stay on the Straight and Narrow. Ingenious way to keep The Blob heading in a certain direction. Can’t eat Gil’s children if his driveway is spayed with permafrost.

Marty has enough problems with the elves from Crackerbox Palace and mosquitos. Now, he and Peaches must run for their lives, knowing The Blob could suck them up in 2 seconds. Can’t go up a redwood like a cat. The Blob can climb also. For the moment, The Blob will be content with a warthog it just steamrolled and call it a night. Marty and Peaches can sleep in their tents and only have to worry about shooing away the moths. And all they have to do is blow out the lantern.

Marty on his walkie-talkie

“It’s by the pond, Marty. It took some Sominex and crashed on a dead poplar.”

“Good. Where’s Peaches?”

“Marty, you know that’s the deal. We’re not allowed to tell. In fact, that’s the first warning AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, where’s the trainer????????? I didn’t know I was a midnight snaaaaaacccccckkkkkkkk-”

“Joe? Joe?”

 

“We’ll be back after these messages.”

 

Gil, accompanied by “Nut Rocker”

 

“Hi, this is Coach Thorp for Milford Beverage Warehouse. God almighty, wouldn’t want to be in Marty’s shoes right now, would you? Just hope The Blob stays away from the daiquiris.

But if Marty thinks he’s got problems, do I have some news for him.

Did your car get repossessed and now you have to go Milford Transit? Did you get cleaned out at the slot machines like I did because I didn’t know when to say when at the Milford Casino Lodge? How ’bout Milford Credit Union putting an estoppal on your account because you ran up a bill at Milford Plumbing Concepts and now they’re dunning you something fierce????? Shoot, I’d run up a bill too if they took 23 times to unclog that toilet in the pool room in the basement. They used that much Drano to flush out the turds, c’mon.

The point is, you shouldn’t let The Good Life get estopped because banks, credit unions, and the loan shark at the poker table isn’t bargaining in good faith. That’s why I’m proud to announce that The Warehouse and Milford Cash Advance have teamed up to help you get your favorite liquors without having to worry about Sonny Corleone knocking on your door about that overdue note.

Just give them your driver’s license, your Social, and 2 recent check stubs, yes, chain gang work release stubs are honored, and you can shop for Buds and Michs with peace of mind. Durn tootin’, Milford Cash Advance will hand you $250.00 cash with interest rates that’ll be as low as the packages of Slim Jims on the impulse-buying rack by the register. Doggone, I know I’ve got MY $250.00 in by wallet so I’m gonna go get a shopping cart by the Bud Man display up front and stock up on all the sinful stuff.

And I’ve got some Chauvignon Berry Surprise, something I’m going to keep a secret for my wife, I’ll just put in one of the gutters on my roof, to celebrate our 35th, 38th, Hell, I can’t remember, we’ve been married so long and spent a lot of time pretending to be coaches. Then I got some Sterling Classic Roast Fire Brand, guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds and burn a hole in your belly, a problem if you have ulcers, but if you’re drunk on the couch, you won’t feel a thing. And you might have to hit the bathroom stalls a lot but as long as Pee Wee Herman isn’t in there, it shouldn’t be a problem. And when the bank imposed a lien on my house after my Big Adventure at the Casinos, I snatched that 750 ml bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey right off the 3rd shelf. Ummm, ummmmm, I can drink my blues away tonight and puke in the bed if need be cuz Mimi went to her mom’s place with the kids over the weekend. They’ll be visiting Principal Ek’s boyhood home, a historical marker, “The Hut of Baba Yaga”, so I can splay on the Serta mattress like Foster Brooks.

And because The Bucket is bogged down in a legal battle with the Milford Beverage Commission over the liquor license, The Warehouse wants to kick ’em while they’re down by this great offer: Right now, until the end of the month, if you’ll buy 2 bottles of 1.75 Bacardi Superior Rum, The Warehouse will pay your March Milford Gas & Electric bill. No sense in having no lights just because Milford Interiors repossessed the divan. You shouldn’t have to use your neighbor’s water in a bucket just because there’s no electricity for the shower. Yup, they’ll help lighten the load on your bills when the deputy sheriff sends a bench warrant on your motorcycle, even if it’s your only mode of transportation to Milford Foundry. The Warehouse would rather you not pay late fees for the motorbike.

Yeah, Mr. Owner of The Bucket, when you come out of your chateau in Switzerland, wake up and smell the Apothic Red. Because your chances of selling Cook’s Brut Champagne along with a Bucket Double Cheeseburger and Fries as my recouping my losses at the roulette wheel at Milford Casino. At least I have better luck.

Come in and check out our specials and get a bill paid to boot. At Milford Beverage Warehouse, we take the load off, Fanny, and dump it on the car hops at The Bucket.”

 

 

Today’s Women’s History Month entry goes to Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley, affectionately known as Molly Piutcher. Originally a gofer, like several women in the battles during the Revolutionary War, especially for water, the nickname came about when soldiers would shout “Molly!!!!Pitcher!!!!!!”, a nickname that somewhat unfortunately carried a slightly negative tag.

But Mary stepped in during the Battle of Monmouth to stoke the cannon after her husband was hit by a bullet (but survived, thankfully) and immediately boosted soldier morale with her courage in the line of fire. Serving perhaps as a good luck charm, the British retreated and really weren’t a factor for quite soem time. George Washington was so impressed (and he didn’t impress easily) that he awarded her a non-commision and was thereafter addressed as “Sergeant Hays.” Still strongly holding to her femininity, she proved a worthy soldier that helped the Continental Army win a HUGE battle when they were at a crossroads. The momentum swung in the Continentals direction, Mary palying a big part. Please join me in saluting a woman who proved that a woman could more than hold her own on the battlefield.

 

 

 

Comment away, Gang. I’m going to sneak out the back door before Robmize reads all my Cub jokes. Can someone suggest a nice apartment to hide in on Waveland Avenue?

 

Mr. Horse watching “The Blob”.

“Nope, ‘Lawrence of Arabia was much better than this B movie. Doesn’t even have Ronald Reagan when he was 80 years old to rescue the kids. I don’t think I li-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, IT’S GOT ME, WHERE’S REN AND STIMPY???????? STIMPY’S GOT AN ICEBERG STUCK UP HIS BUTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

“I’m as free as a bird now, and this bird you’ll never changgggeeeee.”

I can see Peggy Fleming and her partner with the American flag draped around them in Sochi after that Gold Medal performance.

February 27, 2019

Today’s “Gil Thorp” Sponsored by Staples®…

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…or at least it would’ve been had Staples® not axed that slogan five years ago.

We saw this coming a while back. Isn’t it convenient how the Thorps get others to do their dirty work for free?  Today Marty is a witting accomplice, if a bit behind the times (I mean, who signs their text messages?). Station manager LBJ on the other hand is, well, unwitting. I’m not gonna let any of that that spoil my enjoyment of Marty’s takedown of B/Robby. Kid has it coming.

Speaking of slogans: I wonder the rest of WDIG’s slogan that begins with “We wo” is. Maybe “We would play music but nobody’s listening.” Thoughts?

 

 

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