This Week in Milford

June 26, 2021

Mimi Thorp, Ventriloquist

Late post today because (a) this isn’t an arc-ender (or at least it doesn’t read like one) and (b) I had to do some Thorpiverse time travel to fact-check today’s strip.

Second thing first. About this Debbie Roy thing: the story arc Gil refers to predates this blog, to spring 2004 in fact. Debbie Roy served as a potential love interest for the boy on the softball team, Joe Clifford. Clifford’s Lady Mudlark career was about as successful as his efforts with Debbie. It’s worth noting, however, that Mimi did not have a boy on the softball team, as Mimi was NOT coaching the Lady Mudlarks at that time. Someone named “Coach Jensen” was at the helm. (Here’s what Mimi looked like at the time so no, it wasn’t Mimi in a brunette wig role-playing as Holly Dobbs for Gil.) Seventeen years later, Mimi throws her voice to explain that a mid-thirties Debbie stepped up to play a role in Mimi’s Project Corina…

… except maybe it’s not only Mimi’s Project Corina but also Mama Karenna’s. It’s settled, then: Corina’s “caring for her mentally ill mother” and “my grades are bad” excuses are simply that, excuses. Excuses for not going to football games on Friday nights, for essentially lying to Mimi about her grades, for not applying to colleges. Still trying to figure out which one of them forged Corina’s applications (if any), and still trying to imagine Mama Karenna physically giving Corina the boot. I’m picturing something like the opening credits for Top Gear‘s “The Interceptors.”

June 24, 2021

All’s Well That Ends Well And We Hope This All Ends.

Filed under: glasses on forehead, Mimi Thorp, Miserable characters, softball — tdrewhardin @ 1:02 pm

I gotta hand it to Thorpiverse. A clever ending (MAYBE it will end) to one of the subplots that was wallowing in the mud for several weeks may set a trend, although I am wisely not holding my breath. You’re not off the hook, T-verse. Even if it is essentially Corina’s mom who figures into this decision, I still wonder how Mimi managed to pull it off and I am not convinced (probably never will be) that some dubious quid pro quo was employed at the bargaining table. Sure, you can have her, Milford Business College, but only on a full ride and you pass the check under the table at one of the booths at The Bucket. NCAA officials eat lunch there. I wouldn’t want anybody to know how I got new uniforms for my Lady Mudlarks. Oh, and she transfers to a PAC-12 school of her choice at the end of her 2-year sabbatical. I’ll pay for the Bucket Shakes.

And face it, Corina has too much talent to let it go to Mudlarkland and I personally endorse the move. It’s not the move per se that I question, just the modus operandi. When Mimi has been non-existent as a coach and Corina was practically running the team, it makes the strings that Mimi was pulling that much more ridiculous. Let me lounge on the verandah with Gil, OH CRAP Corina hasn’t settled on a school!!!!!!! Gil, I have to make a few phone calls. Damn!!!!!!! Where’s my cell phone? In the kitchen by the toaster???? Who put it there???? I’ll talk with Keri about moving Mommy’s stuff!!!! Now what was the number of Powell College Athletic Department again? I lost the slip of paper. I think the dog ate it.

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“O.J. To Set Aside Sizeable Donation To Milford Business College; Most Earmarked For Athletic Fund!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Man, when they got Corina to join the ranks, that’s when I decided to make the direct deposit. With her on board, they’re Final Four, fer sure.”

And I’ll overlook Mimi’s smarmy smug mien she is exhibiting in front of Corina, even if Mimi really has nothing to get cocky about. She really wasn’t even a catalyst as she just opened the doors for the drug lords executing the drug deal and maybe got half a kilo for being the flunky and part-time watchdog for any potential sting operation on the horizon. But she really didn’t speed up the transaction before the Milford Police busted down the doors nor was she directly involved in the operation per se. Just get the number of the athletic director/The Sopranos and just kick back and relax. Hell, I could have gone to the Milford Phone Directory on my kitchen counter and done the same thing. I bet The Sopranos have a listed number. The point is, Gil has been engineering deals like this for 60 years. He’s opened more doors than that doorman on That Thing You Do. At least the doorman had a better clue on what he was doing and got Guy Patterson to the Milford Jazz Club on time.

But then you have the Exploding Mouth Syndrome. Now if it’s Exploding Eyeball Effect, the worst that happens is you just have to locate your eyeball on the ground, sort of what you would do if you lost a contact. But I shudder to think if your mouth explodes. How do you look for your lips? Or cheekbones? And do you puke to add insult to injury? Not that I blame Corina for wanting to watch her expectorated mandibles all over Mimi’s MTV shirt. I know Corina is expressing her dismay at her life suddenly being planned out the next few years but can we keep her tongue and her upper palate on the inside? She won’t need a mouth guard at the rate she’s going.

Then there’s the trees. They finally look like trees, not a graduate student project study of Jackson Pollak. But isn’t a bit unnerving to see them angled in a certain direction IN UNISON, as if they’ e listening in on the conversation.

“Yeah, tell her, Girl!!!!!!!!!!!! She ain’t yer mother!!!!!!!!!”

“You go, Mimi!!!!!!!!!!!! Time for Miss Mouth to stand on her own two feet!!!!!!!”

“You tell ‘er, Corina!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jerry Pulver told Gil to shove it up his ass when he tried to strong-arm a scholarship on Jerry to Virginia Military Institute!!!!!!!!!!”

“Don’t let Corina wind up as a flagperson on Milford Highway Department!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Be careful, Mimi!!!!!!!! She may come back and take your job!!!!!! She’s halfway there now!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

A dying oak tree made that last remark, just for the record.

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“O.J. Hired As Chief Consulting Advisor For Milford Business College Football Team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Mr. Simpson will primarily coordinate our recruiting endeavors, particularly focused in the southern part of the country.”

So it wasn’t Mimi in the gym with the Bic pen, after all. It wasn’t even Colonel Mustard at The Bucket with the Bucket Corn Dog. It was Momma Karenna with the chunky bracelet in the conservatory signing the papers. Corina should be able to pass Professor Plum’s blow-off class at that Syracuse community college, no problem.

And just how DID Mommie Dearest Karenna manage to pull all this off? Remember the SNL episode where they did a take-off of the movie that made Joan Crawford infamous? Jane Curtin played Joan and Gilda Radnor played her daughter and I’m thinking the occasion is Christmas or her daughter’s birthday, I forget which, but Joan hands her daughter a birthday present “Well, open it up. My my, it’s a lovely gift, it’s the rest of the cube steak you didn’t finish at dinner last night.” That’s pretty much the Mommy Dearest scenario now. Here’s your graduation gift, Corina. It’s a scholarship to Milford Business College and the Milford Police have filed a bench warrant to make sure you follow through on that graduation gift. So as soon as we go home and you finish the last of the Spaghetti O’s and Hormel Beef Stew I have heated up in the microwave, start packing. You can take the rest of the cupcakes with you when you get to the dorm this evening.

Gee, I hope Keri doesn’t have the Milford Deputy Sheriff in her bedroom when she decides on a major.

And what better way to commemorate Mommie Dearest coming back into Corina’s life after Corina has been part-time coaching the Lady Mudlarks than with a classic from Blue Oyster Cult? I knew you whippersnappers would understand(ha).

Patrons at The Diner are going crazy

They’re choking while consuming corn dogs on rye

Mudlarks are hiding in the dugout, gloves cover face

Coach Thorp has turned the color of Hostess pie

no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no-no, no, no, no

Mom Karenna has risen from the grave

Mom Karenna has risen from the graaaaaaavvvvvveeeese

Really, now that Joan Crawford has RISEN out of Milford Public Cemetery, the next question is WHAT did Joan do to get Corina virtually out the door? She had two weeks with Mimi, you understand. Read the AAA road atlas to her when they went to visit Syracuse? Pick up the bar tab when they sat down with the CC officials at some Syracuse upscale tavern? Offer to bring her lawyer next time if the papers being signed was all Gilspeak? We’re getting the concept that Mommie Dearest was in cahoots with Corina’s 4-Year Excellent Adventure, Thorpiverse. We TWIMers are just amazed that someone who was unsteady and impoverished when she wasn’t on the scene AT ALL in Corina’s life could just walk into LeMoyne Athletic Office and sit down and sign her daughter’s life away with a minimum of discussion. Oh (slap on head) , Mimi was there. She could translate for the athletic director when Mommie Dearest balked at Corina getting shipped to Siberia for summer workouts. Don’t worry, Mrs. Crawford, somebody will be there to translate Russian when Coriba is exercising in the salt mines. And she’ll eat well. There’s plenty of woods to hunt for tiger meat and water regions for sardines. Set your mind at ease, Mommie Dearest.

And we went from the fence bent at an unrealistic angle to what you would see if you were walking the premises with Mr. Bader. Don’t get too near the fence if you don’ want to get electrocuted. And the guard dogs are nearby, you wouldn’t stand a chance of jumping that baby. Shoot, not with those stubs Mimi has that is normally where your hand would be.

One afternoon while “Godzilla” from Blue Oyster Cult is playing

“Yes, Mommie Dearest made me brush my teeth with a toothpick and shower in the hog trough. Then she sent me to Milford High to be the principal.”

“How awful, Dr. Pearl!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Yes, but she really hit new lows in cruelty when I had to watch Gil in action. I’d rather eat that cubed steak.”

Mudlark Baseball has thrown away their pizza

They chain themselves to the axles of Jay’s Subs vans

The sky is filled with Powell College rejects

But Gil Thorp laughs: “Dudes, golf is in my plans”

no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no-no, no, no, no

Mom Karenna has risen from the grave

Mom Karenna has risen from the grrraaaaaaaaaaavvvvvvveeeee

Uh oh. The syrupy sap being spewed by Mommie Dearest in P3 is never a good sign for the victim, i.e., Corinavirus albeit it does signify that the plot, this one anyway, is mercifully coming to an end. We still have the Library Question to deal with but one problem child at a time. Put that sucker to bed and focus on the one ransacking your cabinet.

And okay, kill ’em with kindness but puh-LEASSSSEEEEE don’t do this with the library plot. Or even the Zane Pitching Project which aborted the flight just as soon as Zane took the mound. Jackie Hill, from ’70’s Thorpiverse, at least made it through the season with less baggage. And she never engaged in any verbal confrontation over the Library Reading Room that I’m aware of.


“Come, we’ll talk about reducing library hours to one hour a day at my house. My wife cooks a mean batch of chitlins and Brussel sprouts.”




“Whew, I feel better. And I’m willing to allow the magazine section to reopen if you’ll allow for pay toilets. God knews, we need the tax revenue.”


“Maureen, do you think we should have 3 or 4 librarians on staff?”

“Oh, definitely 4. Can I pour you some more coffee?”

Get this damn thing over with. I’m running out of ideas.

“And Milford beats Oakwood on a walk-off pitch single. Mom Karenna has truly risen from the ashes. I’ll be back with final stats in a moment as Milford wins, 6-5. This is Marty Moon and you’re listening to WDIG, a division of Learfield Sports.”

“Man, Mom Karenna sure knows how to come through in the clutch. And Corina was not too shabby herself as she contributed 7 ribbies. She’ll make a swell roommate at Milford Business College. Go Typewriters!!!!!!!!!!

But i’m not here at the mike to talk about Joan Crawford and her Daughter With RBI’s To Match Her Attitude. Hi, this is Coach Thorp on behalf of Milford Beverage Warehouse and we are getting some hurtful, malicious, and inaccurate commentary from The Bucket about our Wink Martindale statue up front. Not only did they lose their case at the Milford Beverage Commission Ad Hoc Committee hearing but now they’re throwing darts and Bucket Shakes at a revered game show host memorialized by many here in Mudlarkland. Shoot, it’s any day now that he has a star on Milford Walk of Fame. When you can’t remember to bring that extra case brief that might have won them a license in front of an ad hoc committee comprised of 3 members who work for a living, a garbage truck driver, a beautician, and a CPA, naturally you’re going to throw Bucket Fries at your competition.

They charge that we are paying a luxury tax on the statue and passing the cost onto the customers. They’ve been watching one too many Jokers’ Wild episodes. Why would we want to bilk the hand that feeds us when we get enough customers taking pictures of a venerable institution while they’re shopping for that Jim Beam Orange Whiskey for a Wink-friendly $11.99 after you’ve used our coupon? Shoot, Japanese tourists take a family photo with ol’ Wink before they come in and purchase their 12-Pak 12 fluid ounce Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer and Ritz Toaster Chips.

They say we don’t do upkeep on the statue and the patina is beginnig to contort Wink’s visage and make him look like Ernest Borgnine. Apparently, the employees at The Bucket never saw The Dirty Dozen. But that’s what happens when you lose winnable cases because you watch too much Romper Room. We have a fully-staffed maintenance crew that cleans the toilets AND keeps Mr. Martindale as shiny as one of the statues at Promontory Hall at The White House. That’s why we can charge $25.99 for Crown Royal Peach and still afford to be a beacon in the storm. The Bucket legal team is hiding in the lighthouse.

And The Bucket also continually insists that it can obtain its own statue. Why, we can erect a statue of Pat Sajak in the drive-in area and sales would increase threefold. Yeah, right, and where are you going to stick Vanna White? By a non-smoking booth? We’ll be charging our faithful customers $21.99 for a 30-Pak, 12 Fluid Ounce of Busch Light while you call the building engineer and get the estimates. I hope they stay within the bounds of Milford Building Code regulations.

Folks, you know what you want to be when you grow up. You don’t need to go through an ad hoc committee here to experience The Good Life. Come get your great booze at great prices and get a great picture of you and Wink to boot and tell ’em Coach Thorp sent ya.”

I’m telling you, Mom Karenna has risen from the grave, no matter you say, Gang. Now eat that cube steak before it gets cold.

And God bless you, Gang.

At the Harvard Lecture Hall

“I’d rather be out on the golf course, Kingsfield.”

“Mister Thorp, step forward please.”

Gil Thorp comes to the front

“Mister Thorp, here’s a dime. Call your mother and tell her there is serious doubt about your ever becoming a coach.”

Gil goes back, ready to leave, then turns around at the halfway point

“You’ve been spending too much time at Milford Public Library, Kingsfield!!!!!!!!!!!”

Gil is about to leave

“Mr. Thorp, return to your seat. That’s the most intelligent thing you’ve said in 60 years.”

Heard whispering from the Milford Public Cemetery

“Corina, Corina, Corina, Corina, Corina…”


June 18, 2021

College is a hobby?

Filed under: Mimi Thorp, softball, Valley Modified — robmize2013 @ 8:02 pm

And the plot comes to a screeching halt as we go back to Mimi trying unsuccessfully to get Corinna to go to college. Now its – How are your grades? Mimi– dont ALL the players have to maintain a GPA above 2.0 to play extracirricular sports in the first place? Now — June 18- when everyone should be out of school and working on their suntans like I was last week in Myrtle Beach– your asking about grades?? If this isnt harassment I dont know what is. CC should plant that mitt right in Mimi’s face and walk off the field, never to be heard from again.

Way to advance the plot Rubin.

May 24, 2021

Getting Rocked and Rocking Back

Filed under: actual action, Central, softball — nedryerson @ 9:39 am

I don’t have much to say about this actual action softball strip. Landry Carlson is getting rocked, hence some kinda play at third(?) When Milford rocks back, I guess Corina hit the ball over the head of a clueless Central player. Then a sinker in the dirt, which eludes CK and looks like it is going to hit her in the facemask.

Actual action: be careful what you wish for.

May 19, 2021

When The Mudlarks Don’t Play, It’s a Slow News Day

Funny how you don’t realize the pleasure you got from little things you did pre-pandemic until you get to do them again. In yhs’s case it was reading periodicals in waiting rooms. If I didn’t have that opportunity earlier this week, I’d have never learned that politician/activist/novelist Stacey Abrams’ mother was a librarian and basically used the library as Stacey’s babysitter (as did, apparently, the author of the article’s parents). Regardless of your political persuasion, you have to acknowledge that library access helped inspire these women to do great things. Who’s to say that access couldn’t do the same for Zane Clark or some other Milford kid?

Maybe not Abel Brito, if that’s where this plot is heading.

Why Ms. Birdie Wampfler feels whatever Zane has up his sleeve is newsworthy, why Marjie knows who’s dating whom at Milford High, or why the Milford Star would act on her anonymous tip is beyond me. Could be that beyond the world of Milford High sports nothing really happens in this tank town and the Star is desperate for news of any kind. Probably it’s more like Rubin feeling the need to drag this story out longer than necessary. All I know is that if Marjie’s co-worker/editor/boss is that worried about messing up her manicure, she should just press the buttons on her phone with the end of a pencil or something.

May 12, 2021

Duck! No, Pizza!

Sorry for the late and brief post: my laptop crashed and I lost my draft. At least Zane didn’t take the L thanks to his teammates’ bats, but thanks to Morton Levi he didn’t take the W either. (No idea who this Levi kid is, but Levi Morton was a Republican congressman from New York and Vice President of the United States under Benjamin Harrison. Here he’s a kid who came close to taking a comebacker to the head.) Those runners were inherited from Zane so a no-decision for him and a blown save for Morton.

Cut to the bleachers where once again we have a Milford team that’s been practicing in their game unis unless, like the boys, they just got done playing multiple games off-panel. Katy Brito unnecessarily points to herself and to – who? what? where? the general direction of Ricozzi’s? – while inviting her teammates to go get pizza with Zane and her. The two girls at far right look a bit taken aback by the proposition. They know The Bucket is the traditional post-game hangout and besides, they don’t want to watch Katy and Zane in another PDA. Corina on the other hand cocks an eyebrow in interest; she’s all about free eats and she must know about Zane’s backstory so she must figure this one’s on Katy. Wait ’til Abel finds out Katy’s been picking up the tab for not one but two freeloaders! That Milford Library Board job doesn’t pay, dontchaknow.

May 5, 2021

Highlanders: There Can Be Only None

Filed under: actual action, big arms, Brown Hair, Highlight reel, Neal's friends, softball — teenchy @ 7:48 am

That rarest of strips today, nothing but solid sports action, but here’s a twist: Milford’s opponent represents a school that no longer exists.

Finney High School in Detroit closed in 2009 and was merged with Crockett High School to create the East English Village Preparatory Academy. EEVPA calls its teams the Bulldogs, but at least the colorists got close here. Finney’s namesake was a prominent Detroiter who played a significant role in the Underground Railroad. So consider this a nostalgic shout-out for Rubin’s readers in the Detroit Free Press.

With bags full of Highlanders and the potential tying run at the plate, Landry Carlson gets out of the jam thanks to a diving stop by Katy Brito. Postgame, Landry will go back to, uh, Montana? and Katy will be off to The Bucket the Milford Public Library for coffee and snogs with Zane, that is if daddy dearest hasn’t immediately joined the Library Board and padlocked the place.

April 28, 2021

More Posts About Softball and Food

Filed under: Chunky Bracelets, huge earrings, Mimi Thorp, softball — teenchy @ 9:09 am

Did we miss the return of Beau Dandy to the strip? Oh, wait, it’s just another Milfordian using a term no one else has this century. At least their euphemism for doing the deed is current. Good thing that pork loin came with a side of smashed potatoes.

That dull thud you hear is me banging my head against my desk at the physical return of Lotus Cortina Anna Karenina. Even Mimi is sick of her crap to the point she can’t be bothered to make eye contact. Didn’t she get the memo? She’s not at Valley Mod anymore, no more free food on the Milford dime. Well, uh, maybe we can make this one exception, especially since Mimi’s gonna lay something heavy on her. Just what unearned benefit will be bestowed on Milford’s self-anointed Greek chorus and righter of wrongs? Will Mimi finally acknowledge that her coaching skills are nonexistent beyond soothing words and hand over the reins to Mary Sue Karenna? Will she simply tell Corina she needs to split catching duties with the senior she pushed out from behind the plate? Or is it just time for Corina to pass on the communal pair of big round earrings to the next girl?

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