This Week in Milford

September 14, 2022

More Pronoun Trouble

Football season! Volleyball season!

Here we go again, but it’s not a dispute as to whether sportsball should take precedence over non-sportsball extracurriculars but the modern problem of remembering what pronouns people choose to identify themselves. Today, Toby née Tabatha identifies as he/him, Keri identifies as they/them, and Gil identifies as coach/Coach.

Now why are these three having this little confab at The Bucket of all places? (And why are they having coffee? Don’t they know there’s a cantina in town for that?) Are they here to pick up them after their postgame dinner? Are they serving as their chaperones for said dinner? Is it time for a jangle-off as Mel and Mimi see who can rattle their jewelry the loudest? Winner gets Gil – if she wants him, that is.

The unspoken tension here is so thick you could cut it with a butter knife, not unlike the one Mimi’s twisting into Mel as she deadnames Toby. Clearly she hasn’t forgotten that Mel wanted to be her at one time. Meanwhile Gil, still aware of that history and that Mimi is unhappy in the marriage, tries to play the supportive husband by throwing out a patronizing “sweetie.” Will Mimi have the divorce papers served publicly to Gil right here in The Bucket, the way Jason Sudeikis had Olivia Wilde served with custody papers while she was presenting at CinemaCon?

One thing is clear: despite Mel’s claim, in Milford, nothing is the same as it was.

edit: Oops! I forgot to identify the players from the Dolphins’ No-name Defense I posted this past Saturday!

Front, reclining: Lloyd Mumphord, CB

Front row, left to right: Bob Matheson, LB; Bill Stanfill, DE; Bob Heinz, DT; Manny Fernandez, DT; Vern Den Herder, DE

Center: Nick Buoniconti, LB

Back row, left to right: Dick Anderson, SS; Curtis Johnson, CB; Mike Kolen, LB; Doug Swift, LB; Tim Foley, CB; Jake Scott, FS

August 24, 2022

“Luke, this isn’t ‘Nam, this is Milford. There are rules.”

“Are you ready to be fucked, Thorp? I see you rolled your way onto the tee boxes. Dios mio, man. Pedro and me, we’re gonna fuck you up.”

“Yeah, well, you know, that’s just like, uh, your opinion, Luke.”

“Let me tell *you* something, pendejo. You pull any of your crazy shit with us, you flash an illegal putter out on the green, I’ll take it away from you, and stick it up your ass and pull the fucking trigger ’til it goes ‘click.'”

“Jesus, Martinez.”

“You said it, man. Nobody fucks with the Martinez.”

Nice of Luke to bring along some additional eye candy for Mimi, too, in case she likes her men smooth. With Keri’s hair, Pedro could be mistaken for yet another lost Thorp child. Did Pedro come when Luke clapped for him? The Martinez family tackiness just keeps piling on, like a Herk the Mauler finishing move.

Bigger picture question: How was Luke able to join the MCC? I don’t mean that in an ethnic/socioeconomic way but in a geographical one. Does this lend credence to the idea that Valley Tech is also located in Milford? I don’t know that it’s ever been established; I understood that St. Fabian’s shared the town with Milford High, but that’s the extent of it. Talk amongst yourselves.

July 22, 2022

On with the (no) show!

We finally get to the end of the long presentation which culminates in Gil accepting Coach of the year honors for…. what? Conference? Region? State? Hey, they were going to state after the big win on the cold winters night, and Lord knows how cold it would be for the next game or 3. The suspension of reality meter is still off the charts even with a new writer.

I guess Emmitt Tays was an all-time Milford player, but I’d bet my house that there’s not a peep of him in the archives. Good thing he caught that ball at the end of the game or he’d be forgotten about as soon as the lights went out. Who remembers the losers? Well, the Buffalo Bills are an exception.

Legendary, Gil?? I followed my high school team for years after I graduated, and a handful of them made the NFL, but there’s not a one I would call legendary. 1 of em even intercepted a pass in the Super Bowl, and if you walked down the street and asked people who he was, you’d get blank stares. So I have a hard time saying any high school player is legendary. Legendary means EVERYONE KNOWS WHO HE IS.

Babe Ruth was legendary. Jim Brown. Johnny Unitas. Hell, Joe Namath was very average but he won 1 game that made him legendary. So be it.

And P3? Every other table I ever saw with name tags had individual names at each place setting. Not “… Family” Pretty shocking that even Mimi couldnt take the time for this, but the time reference is so vague we dont even know if he’s married or has kids yet. But anyway its very strange to see a vacant table where your own family should be.

So so far this new guy has been nothing short of weird. Old memories, winter football, more bad graphics; we still have no sniff of any writing talent yet. Maybe next week will be that golf story I’ve been waiting for.

If not, there’s always lemonade with Mimi. In the present.

July 4, 2022

That’s One Inspiring Monkey!

Filed under: baseball, Chunky Bracelets, Just Plain Awesome, shadow figures, Valley Tech — nedryerson @ 1:00 pm

I guess I was wrong last Monday. We did see other pitchers contributing something to what has turned out to be a notable baseball season. Gonzo Aceves pitched the final game and the Mudlarks have captured the Valley title. Hold the phone! There’s a state tournament? How much more time will that take?

Milford High students are asking the same question: Why are we still going to school in freakin’ July? Can’t these guys just have these expositional conversations at The Bucket so we don’t have to contemplate bagels in the cafeteria? (That’s what the girl in Panel 2 wants to know!)

Now that the media embargo has been lifted, the stories about Gregg Hamm are going to start multiplying until…oh, that story has run its course and we’re moving on to “monkeys on tricycles”. Yeah, that sounds about right.

I know we still have a week of Rubin’s strips left, but I feel he really should have saved that last panel for his last strip as a fitting exemplar of his storytelling. Just kidding, Neal. Thanks for the memories.

Have a happy Fourth. Have fun and don’t do anything stupid. Keep your monkeys in check.

July 1, 2022

No satisfaction

Well its great that Mr. Hamm is apparently going to be outed for whatever he did, even though this camera isnt exactly reaching a broad audience. I would think (again, nothing in this strip is anything like reality) that Hamm wouldnt agree to be interviewed if he thought he would be spotted where someone would possibly know him, but somewhere along the way he probably had a come to Jesus moment and realized he might as well come clean. Gil probably tipped off his old buddy on the phone when he called and they arranged this shenanagan of a news story.

That being said, why does the Central City guy have to put his hand up to the camera man during the interview? Finish the piece and then get on with the formalities. And what kind of authority does this guy from Central City have anyway? He’s a damn TV reporter.

And again, we still are ignoring the elephant in the room; Gregg and his eyesight that needs his ego stroked so he can have one last shot at glory, or a runner-up finish in a high school sport. When is his condition gonna be finalized so we know whats in store for him the rest of his life?

Thats what should be the first story on the news at 10.

June 29, 2022

Tommy Can You Feel Me?

“If we bunt, it’ll only be when the situation calls for it.”
“When do you think the situation calls for it, Tommy?”
“Whenever we’re at bat, Gil.”

Looks like we’re in for another episode of Chain Link Fence Theater. Mighty magnanimous of Coach Luigi Tommy from Goshen to not take advantage of The Hammmmer’s failing eyesight. Guessing his team sucks so hard they’re not in contention for the Valley title. Fear not, Tommy boy: Gil will still be able to join your foursome on Monday.

Does Scooter like to pat Gregg’s ass or what? No wonder we’ve seen so little of Charis the tennis player. We haven’t seen or heard much from Scooter Pie lately either (is he still telegraphing the pitches to Gerg?) and I kinda liked it that way. I know it’s not a carbon copy of the 6/6 strip but close enough that I’m calling it recycled. Where those bleachers came from and the direction in which they’re pointed is up for interpretation.

Rubin’s got exactly two more strips after today to wrap up Milford’s baseball season before his traditional lessons learned/walk away through a doorway strip, so the Mudlarks are about to sink faster than the Lusitania in real time. Fact of the matter is Ggerg is as shy of the limelight as his plagiarizing old man. Expect some lame pun about both of them seeing the light on Saturday.

meta: Thanks to my colleagues for stepping up in my absence. I’ll be glad to rejoin the rotation on or about July 20.

June 22, 2022

A Cease and Desist Letter from Rowan Atkinson Will Be Forthcoming

For a guy hellbent on keeping a low profile, Mason Hamstetter isn’t exactly avoiding public places. Who knew the Coffee Cantina was so hopping late at night (it is still night, isn’t it)? With three cameo appearances – one by a young Lech Wałęsa, one by a Jimmy Fallon on hiatus from The Tonight Show – the Cantina might just be the hip place to be when the rest of this tank town rolls up the sidewalks. If this leads to a Gil Thorp spinoff, Milford After Dark, I’m here for it.

I’m also here for Ham(m)stetter‘s “moi?” face and spasmodic hand gesture, reminiscent of a certain public figure mocking a certain journalist. Rubin likes to play a lot of journalistic inside baseball in this strip, what with all the name-dropping of Midwest newspaper types and references to infamous plagiarism cases, so I wouldn’t be terribly surprised. Mason is looking rather nonplussed for someone who dares to rouse Gil from his evening wind-down. What did he think this late-night coffee talk would gain him?

Certainly not any respect from Gil. Besides, Gil has a point telling Mason he’s old news. Nobody in Milford cares about your past unless you’re trying to make money using skills you learned in the past. Nobody in Milford ever Googles anybody to find out if they’re living under an assumed name before running them out of town. Nope, not gonna happen.

Now, about that third cameo appearance (in name, not in likeness): Is he the Coffee Cantina’s new mascot?

June 11, 2022

While Heather Watches, Gil Finds a Pair

Like a baserunner who rounds third and heads for home, the third-base coach’s stop sign unheeded, this plot has now blown past the mere unrealistic into the realm of pure fantasy.

Rob emphasized this yesterday. Let’s say for the sake of argument that Gil was correct and there’s no rule allowing the umpire to force a coach to remove a player from the game. The ump is absolutely within his rights to remove a player, a coach, or a manager from the game if that player/coach/manager is causing a potential safety hazard to the other players. Kaiser Gilhelm does not get to be the decider here, no matter how much of a show he wants to put on for his girl Heather…

… and for the record, his little smart-assed remark about Louis C.K.’s strike zone should get him run to the Milford activity bus for the rest of the game. Arguing balls and strikes is a no go, even if you’re arguing balls and strikes from a previous game. Besides, if Gil won his argument, why is Ggerg sitting on the bench when he gets back to the dugout?

Louis should either stick to refereeing basketball or give as good as he gets, like Bill Haller did to Earl Weaver.

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