This Week in Milford

September 23, 2020

And Awaaaay We Roh!

Filed under: actual action, football, hideous scar faces, metapost, Oakwood, shadow figures — teenchy @ 11:20 am

Bonfire’s out of the way, let’s get to footballin’.

Marty’s mom and dad have moved his crate out of the basement into the attic so he peer out the roof vent and down onto Milford. This better situates him to indulge his sportscaster fantasies. Marty always acts so shocked to see the Mudlarks line up in some offensive formation that fell out of favor decades ago. He should know by now that’s Gil’s fallback position when he lacks the horses (or confidence in the horses he has) to play the modern version of the game. All anyone who scouts Milford has to do is hit the library for some dusty old volume on how to defend against these archaic offenses and that’s all she wrote for the Mudlarks.

Gil starts the season with two runs up the gut from Charlie “Ruh” Roh, last year’s backup RB and wish fulfillment vehicle for Chet Ballard. Speaking of whom, where is old Chet these days? Holed up in the crate with Marty; nah, most likely living under his desk at the insurance agency. Back to the gridiron: have you ever seen a zebra signal a first down like that? Looks like he’s ready to snap off a Polish salute. It’s those quirky, not-quite-of-the-current-century details that keep we few coming back to Milford.

metapost: A moment of silence for the late Gale Sayers, whose most famous speech, as paraphrased by Billy Dee Williams, I shared with you all on that fateful day when True Standish learned of Boo Radley’s fate. If there’s a place beyond this one, I hope that Gale and Brian are back together again there.

September 12, 2020

Corina and the Angry Three Inches

Filed under: anatomically implausible, Mimi Thorp, shadow figures, Volleyball — teenchy @ 6:03 pm

I have been compared to several people over the course of my life. When I played baseball I was referred to as “a white Kirby Puckett,” more for my physical dimensions than my batting prowess. On more than one occasion in Philadelphia, I was mistaken for a former Attorney General of Pennsylvania. At a fundraiser for the National Ataxia Foundation and the Bob Allison Ataxia Research Center many years ago, I was mistaken for a certain actor by a couple of drunken attendees and pestered to the point that I signed the actor’s name on a couple of napkins to get them to leave me alone. Until yesterday, however, never have I been compared to Joan Rivers. I was beginning to think of myself as TWIM‘s version of Edwin Jackson – an innings eater. But, okay, fine. If I’m ever half as good at anything as Joan was at comedy, then I will have done well.

On to today’s strip. It wasn’t enough for Rubin to give Corina authority issues; she had to be a general jerk to everyone around her as well. Now we can add “wants to be violent towards people” to her psychological profile. She may also suffer from penis envy a Napoleon complex as she wishes she had Becca’s three additional inches to better inflict harm on her opponents.

I do appreciate the little difference of opinion between Becca and Susan on Corina; hopefully Becca’s take is a sign that Corina’s shtick is getting old. I also appreciate the contortions Mimi’s elbows have to go through to get her forearms parallel to her shirt placket and her palms up at collarbone level.

September 4, 2020

I’m Coming Out, So You Better Get The Perky Started

Hey y’all, it’s your old pal teenchy, subbing for Rob tonight. Have we ever had a dedicated volleyball arc? The closest we’ve come during my tenure here was last spring when one of Mimi’s softball players, Linda Carr, got burnt out on playing for the Valley Elites while not being TCFS so she quit the Valley Elites but went off to college to play volleyball anyway. Valerie Okumbe was a player (and rejector of infamous locker denizen Jamar Gaddis) for Milford (not the Valley Elites) in 2009, but she was never actually shown playing volleyball. I defer to our TWIM statisticians for additional background.

So we may finally get a bit of a fall girls’ sports angle, if only to showcase new resident jerkface Corina Karenna. Frizzy-haired girl Becca (who gets a Pantheon of Hair tag from me) asks an innocent question and gets called “perky” for it. Dark-haired girl Susan drops a hint that she won’t let Corina off quite so easily, even as Corina flips her a comeback (and the bird) as she strides off down the hall. Here’s hoping some of Mimi’s “bigs” tape Corina to a locker, Jamar Gaddis-style.

July 11, 2020

Tell The Coach


Okay, just checked in with robmize this afternoon and he’s okay. Here’s Friday’s strip to lead into the grand finale.

As they say in Philly, “Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”

This, gentle readers, is peak Gil Thorp. Finishing second in the Valley? Check. Not standing up to the system, but going along to get along? Check. Pulling strings behind the scenes to help a single kid out? Check. Does the timing of all of this check out? Let’s poned that when I get today’s strip posted. In the meantime, keep an antacid handy and take in the horror that is the Mayor dry humping Gil in P2.


May 26, 2020

Students Who Butter Their Bread With Table Knives Attract The Wrong Elements Of Society.


Many, many moons ago, James Watt, then-Secretary of the Interior under the Ronald Reagan administration, made the most ignorant comment known to Mankind when he stated that The Beach Boys should not perform at National Mall for the 4th of July celebration in the early ’80’s in Washington D.C. because they attracted the wrong elements of society.

Boy, did the doggie-doo hit the fan.

Groups like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin have always had their share of controversy along with a very strong fan base but anyone linking The Beach Boys and controversy had been smoking one too many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches out of The Mayor’s backpack. Adding insult to injury was having Wayne Newton as a replacement. Much as I like Wayne Newton, his own mafia ties was not exactly attracting the Ozzie and Harriet Nelson crowd.

True, Brian Wilson, their main songwriter and essential leader of the band had experienced drug problems but Mike Love, the band’s lead singer, threatened to throw him out of the group if he didn’t get help for his addiction. Problems were satisfactorily resolved by the time they hit the stage.

It was bad enough that putting Watt in charge of a department involving National Parks and the environment in general was like putting John Dillinger in charge of the FSLIC but when he made those baseless comments, several people, led by then-Vice President George Bush, came to the defense of The Beach Boys. Love ’em or Hate ’em, their image has always been Mom and apple pie.

So when I see Andy Rooney futilely try to defend his actions today, I stand amazed. It was like expelling The Beach Boys and sending them to Valley Alternative. Sure, Andy, we know you can’t read minds. If they are singing “409”, that’s a sure-fire sign that they’re going to pull out a switchblade. Nothing like singing “All Summer Long” by the Jets and the Sharks before they rip each other up in the classroom before Mid-Term Exams. You don’t know if that #2 pencil is used to fill in the blank or poke an eye out. Many lawsuits have occurred because they gouged out “None of the above.” Can’t be too careful. I know you have to cover your ass, Andy, or your ass might get buttered along with The Mayor’s Wonder Bread.

And what better way to justify the in-the-end unjustifiable than for Gil to enter the scene? Man, that’ll put the Seal of Approval on this thing. You talk about Fallacy of Argument from Authority. Why, if Gil thinks The Beach Boys attract the wrong elements of society, then we ought to switch our allegiance to the Percy Faith Singers. I was going to the Milford Outdoor Amphitheater to watch The Beach Boys perform “I Get Around”, but now that I think of it, Gil has made me rethink the way the Ray Coniff Singers perform their washing-machine twirling when singing “What I Did For Love”. I’m sure that rinse-cycle technique won’t bring the bums from skid row out of the pits of Hell. Gil listens to Henry Mancini, WHY DON’T YOU? Burning The Beach Boys “Kokomo” even as I am texting.


Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Dr. Pearl Refuses To Endorse Concert By Ferrante & Teicher At Milford High School Auditorium!!!!!!!!! Says They ‘Attract The Scourge Of The Town’!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“After the rioting at the New Thayer concert, it was my duty to impose the necessary precautions. Matters got out of hand after the ‘Midnight Cowboy’ encore.”


When some loud braggart starts to flap his jaws

And says Oakwood is great

I tell him right away

Now listen here buddy

I love Alternative School

It’s number one in the State


So be true to your School now

Just like you would to Gil or your mom

Be true to your School now

Flash that Alternative Pom Pom

Be true to your School


If ya have to go to Gil for symp’thy and support after eatin’ an 8-pointer ya ran over with yore pickup and not during bow season and you’ll give Gil some deer meat ta stick in his freezer as a token of appre-she-ay-shun for his support, ya might be a redneck.


And P1 is so full of baloney, even by absurd Thorpiverse standards. If Andy Rooney would piece together what happened as I am doing now and I’m sure the readership is doing, The Mayor’s culinary tastes were oddball, to make an understatement, and his stances on the bases were nothing any T-Ball League coach would teach his or her players but he would never threaten anybody. And that really wasn’t the issue.

Let me reiterate by saying that zero-tolerance is controversial because it does solve some problems but it creates others. Yes, anybody who threatens your life deserves to be fired and needs professional help. But I’ve seen too many people shown the door because the supervisor or co-worker didn’t like that other person and contrived as close to a case as possible even if the charges were flimsy. As long as it got the result, flimsiness was not a concern.

That said, we were subjected to The Mayor sitting in the back seat of somebody’s bag of bolts chowing down on a breakfast Charles Atlas used to advertise in the back flap of a Richie Rich comic book. And that’s okay until we gotta see you eat that stuff in Chem Lab. Heck, we’re creating off the Bunsen burner what’s in your lunch box.

And I’m sure if you’re trying to get to the depths of a Steinback novel, reading about this Okie family trying to engineer a new start in California while some kid in the front row is using a table knife to spread Underwood Deviled Ham on his Star-Kist Tuna sandwich can get nauseating, not to mention DISTRACTING but that was the offense at hand. At no time did The Mayor become an Outsider and demand Andy’s money so that the Mayor could pay gang dues. The Mayor wasn’t getting initiated into The Pharoahs, as in American Graffiti, by hooking  Andy’s pickup with Gil’s desk using a chain and Andy, while leaving the faculty parking lot, goes flying along with the body of the truck into the practice field even while Dr. Pearl was frantically signalling him to stop because she didn’t want her Lexus damaged by a teacher and Chevy Silverado frame in flight.

If The Mayor was being disruptive AND HE WAS you had the option of calling his parents and talking to him and his parents and Dr. Pearl in a conference room to address the situation, an option that was wiser to use. If he still insisted on having his BLT and eat it too, then stronger measures were in order and necessary. Knowing how flighty but cooperative The Mayor has shown us to be, I really don’t think it would have gone that far.

But Gil coming in as Acting Principal because Dr. Pearl never met a form in triplicate she never liked is not a solution. You didn’t take charge when The Mayor was a bad advertisement for The Chopping Block and now you’re moralizing all over the high school. I guess that’s the job description for a non-Acting Coach who’s seeking a new career. Dr. Pearl could certainly use the help.


We play baseball at a sandlot field

The umps are teacher’s aides

The scoreboard’s barely lit

And football’s a team

Of former can’t-miss castoffs

Caught in police panty raids


So be true to your school now

Just like you would to Gil or a gal

Be true to your school now

Valley Rejects teams are your pals

Be true to your school


At the Surfer Girl album shoot at WDIG-TV Foto Studio

“Hell, stick Gil between Dennis and Carl, nobody’ll know the difference. I assume he knows how to hold a surfboard.”]


And, Gang, don’t you love how P2 nails this one in the coffin by having Gil pose for Hungry Man ad straight out of Good Housekeeping? Yup, the Hungry Man stepped into Rooney’s turf and told Rooney he not only is glad Rose of Sharon (or Roshashawrn, depending on which side of the Steinbeck coin you’re flipping) got a job in California scrubbing T-Birds driving out of the car wash until Daddy took it away and thereby The Grapes of Wrath having a Flintstones happy ending (although you had to overlook the Okie banging on the door yelling for Wilma after the saber-tooth cat dumped him outside) , but that both could eat their pile of oversalted, overjuiced Salisbury steaks and mashed potatoes in peace. They might have to use their own table knife to pry the brownie out of the tray now that they sent someone up the river who used a table knife to pry the lid off the pimento spread container and used the same knife to apply Cool Whip to humble pie but they can always borrow utensils at the cafeteria.

Enjoy your macaroni and cheese, Hungry Man. You don’t need Alternative Dude nor his knife for that one.


At the Valley Alternative Baseball Tournament one evening.

“Damn, the other umpire didn’t show up. You’ll have to go to the stands.”

“Dr. Pearl, here’s an indicator. You know how to ump on the bases?”


Oh, we’re back to baseball… or is that softball? Well, if a gun is put to my head, I have never seen too many Thorpiverse baseball games with players with shoulder-length hair, let alone one with a ponytail and I NEVER saw a Berrill-sponsored contest with a player with hair sporting a Beatles mop top or longer unless he also had one tooth in his mouth and bore a rhino horn out of his crotch to  emphasize his uniqueness, oh wait, we already have a weirdo who drinks his Minute Maid out of an elephant tusk and they suspended him.

And guessing softball (or baseball as Plan B) , what could we possibly be trying to accomplish just a few days before June now that Jamila Moses kicked ass as a pitcher but got kicked out of the plot because the focus was on some cowardly teacher who should pursue a new line of work, like garbage collecting, if he can’t handle a class clown whose bark is worse than his sandwiches? Nope, better dump the Phoebe Keener-will-hit-the game-winning-RBI-concept at the College World Series because you really couldn’t cram the developing story by the time Gil hits the links/moralizes that a Junior PGA Golfer deserved to be banished because he used a butter knife when calculating 2-in-the-water-3-out-of-the-water. Unless she can do that in maybe 3 panels. Y’know, have Alexa who’s behind the fence tell Phoebe that The Mayor has a crush on her and his White Castle burgers, Phoebe smack the winner over the 3rd baseman’s head in P2 and then in P3 ride home in Muench’s car in the back seat being high-fived by The Mayor while he also talks about his game-winning catch for Valley Alternative. We ought to be done by June and Gil do all the high-horsing he can handle at Milford Country Club.

Now in P3, is that the lady or the tiger?


Dr. Pearl one day obtaining her District Board Paper Clip Purchases Report-2018 out of the file cabinet, as the shelf slides out








“Who left their walkman in here? Gil? It’s got your name on it.”


Take that, James Watt.


Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Marty Moon In A Fight For His Life After Gaffe At Milford Quarterback Club Luncheon!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“May be suspended again after remarking that Gil’s sex life attracts the wrong elements of Milford.”


WHAP!!!!!!!!!!!! BAM!!!!!!!!!!!!! KAPOWIE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Andy Rooney presses the intercom button


“Some teachers are better off shining someone’s shoes on a street corner in Milford because they put you to sleep reading the cantos from Ezra Pound. And did you ever try to decipher an e.e. cummings poem? I thought Civil Law and The Public Perspective at Milford Community College Law School was a mouthful. ‘anyone who lived in a pretty how town’? No wonder why someone used his knife for more than peanut butter. STILL the law is the law and if you are injured on the job you deserve just compensation.”

“I wound up in the ICU at Milford General after receiving several stitches on the head from the Unabridged Edition of the Random House Dictionary. I was barely able to walk after the punk threw ‘The Love Songs of J. Alfred Prufrock-Leatherbound Edition’ at my kneecap. The doctor said it be at least 8 weeks for things to heal. I had to be back on the job or Gil would be Acting Classic Literature Teacher. No way was he prepared to interpret Francis Flute the Bellows-Mender out of ‘Midsummer’s Night Dream’. I needed help and I needed it fast.”

“We fought the District Board and Milford High School for Mr. Rooney’s loss. They had a slush fund that was financed from students’ sales of World’s Finest Chocolate and I was going to raid the loot. I found out it was going towards more paper clips anyway.”

“I got $564,785,429,074 and some loose change. I was able to buy another dictionary and put the rest in escrow. You never know when my lineage might want a career in education and they need a Guide to Shakespeare or Cliff’s Notes on Paradise Lost. I am living large and at the height of my profession again. I only sent one student to the office this week for falling asleep during ‘The Emperor of Ice Cream’. Thanks, Shark.”

“You heard the man. I may think Wallace Stevens or William Carlos Williams should be a carhop at The Bucket but when somebody’s amiss in their responsibilities, you need to call The Shark at 1-FON-THE-JAWS to write your own novel and get paid for it. One call, that’s all.”


Gang, you mean the world to me. And you don’t make stupid comments like Mr. Watt. I think I’ll stick around. God bless you, Gang.


next to of course gil america i

“Just read the damn poem and write your essay. I have no clue if it’s a misprint. Mr. Rooney will be back next week.”


Hazard a guess about which sport that’s played

My school is standing firm

It always knows the score

We win all the trophies

From handball to forensics

Graduate once more


So be true to your school now

Just like you would to Gil or your wife

Be true to your school now

You’re in school for life

Be true to your school


Rah rah rah

Be true to your school

Rah rah rah

Be true to your school

Rah rah rah…





May 13, 2020

Dead Horse: Beaten.


For the third straight day we’re told that The Mayor has been expelled. Now it’s time for that news to spread throughout Milford and into the Valley.

Gil’s little “I know” and $1.98 will buy The Mayor a cup of coffee at Swifti Mart on his way out of town. I suppose that’s some kind of foreshadowing of Gil testifying on his behalf when this goes to trial, or not. A quick search (which I’m not gonna link to, sorry) shows me that successful challenges of school zero-tolerance policies as arbitrary or capricious, violative of due process, or discriminatory are few and far between but not nonexistent. Imagine if the Knappes win on the merits: The Mayor gets reinstated at Milford High, the Knappes get their attorney’s fees plus damages, Milford school and property taxes go up to cover the costs, Marty Moon never lets Milford hear the end of it, somebody’s head rolls… will that be enough to keep Gildeaux’s mouth shut?

Onto the diamond where the Mudlarks are trying out their new practice jerseys with glow-in-the-dark numbers. Gil gets vague and Kaz gets pissy, probably because he forgot to put his earrings on today. Kaz-bot may be breaking the fourth wall to render an opinion on modern society here.

May 2, 2020

The Mayor Gets Recalled

Filed under: baseball, Dr. Pearl, Gil Thorp, Prairie Style Windows, shadow figures — teenchy @ 9:01 pm


Of Course The Mayor Is #1. Of Course.

Between giving people nicknames they don’t want, giving potential love interests more public attention than they might(?) want, and making a public spectacle of his breakfast choices, it’s clear that Mike Knappe has an ego on him. Why, then, does Gil feed that ego by giving the kid uniform #1?

For the moment it won’t matter ’cause Gil’s called in the artillery to take him down one or more pegs. Doctor Pearl of the Pantsuit Brigade has Gil’s back on this one. The Mayor knows that when The Doctor is in, weisenheimers like him get suspended… or worse.  Mike was probably in middle school when the whole True/Boo thing went down but he no doubt remembers (or the legend has been handed down) that when Dr. Pearl gets involved, things are serious.

Does The Mayor’s level of jackassery to date require this level of intervention this early in the plot? Talk amongst yourselves.

May 1, 2020

Kenny Rogers and the Terminator.

Filed under: baseball, Coach Kaz, Dr. Pearl, Gil Thorp, shadow figures, song parody — robmize2013 @ 7:18 pm


Everyone considered him the mayor of the county.

He’d never stood one single time to prove the Mudlarks wrong

His mama named him Michael, but folks just called him Mayor.

Something always told me they were reading Michael wrong

He was only ten years old when Gil saw him throw a baseball

And Gil decided right then he was headed for his team.

I still recall the final words Gil said to his coach Kazzy

“Son, my work is over, but yours has just begun” (I’ll be back)

“Promise me, Kaz, not to do the things I’ve done

Walk away from Knappy if you can

It won’t mean you’re weak if you just knock him on his cheek

I hope you know the Mayor understands

That he dont have the fight to be a man.”


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