This Week in Milford

July 6, 2020

An Unofficial Loss

The big event has come to a halt. It looks like The Mayor and Gonzo (?) are reviewing the game. The big takeaway is that Hiawatha and Corina Karenna are bonding over ice cream bars. I’ll bet an ice cream bar goes down nice and easy when your standing in the heat with a chest protector strapped to you. The odds are that we’ll never hear from Hiawatha/Corina again. Their meet cute will be as much a footnote to Mudlark lore as the rest of Hiawatha’s appearances.

This postmortem tells us that the game never actually ended. Presumably, the umpire got sick of all the nonsense and walked away. Also, the infield was covered in regurgitated pizza, subs and ice cream so it was kind of a health hazard.

What wrap up would be complete without Kaz and Gil summarizing something that they didn’t participate in? It looks like Kaz is catching Gil just as he’s sliding down a freshly waxed hallway in his socks. (Good job, Steve!) Yep, everyone left happy and there were only a few minor cases of food poisoning.

June 8, 2020

Tracking Monday

Filed under: Coach Kaz, Gil Thorp, Steve Luhm's Ghost Mops These Floors — nedryerson @ 5:43 am

Gil tracks down Kaz to see if Chris Schuring has tracked down Kaz. Life at Milford High is mainly people tracking down other people so they can say things to each other. If you have an office, you’re generally easier to track down, as Gil demonstrates by tracking down Kaz. But, if you are not in you’re office, perhaps because you’re tracking someone else down, you’re generally harder to track down. Now, if you don’t want to be tracked down, but you do have an office, then you’re in a bit of a conundrum.

So now Kaz, having been tracked down by Gil, is being briefed on how to proceed when and if Chris Schuring tracks him down. Gil said he has “a few thoughts” which seems to translate into “here’s what you need to do”.

There is no suspense generated by Chris Schuring’s efforts to track Kaz down. One panel after the Gil/Kaz busines, Chris Schuring has tracked Kaz down. It looks like Kaz was tracked to the cafeteria. Next to the office, the cafeteria is an ideal place to track someone down. Kaz probably has “cafeteria duty”, which made him really easy to track down.

Gil has apparently fully briefed Kaz on his plan vis a vis the arrangement of a baseball game between Milford High and the Valley Modified “squad”. Once Kaz is tracked down by Chris Schuring, he begins to spew out Gil’s thoughts. Remember how the very last strip we had was Gil talking to Chris Schuring about the topic of arranging this game? I guess the speed of Gil’s thoughts have slowed to the point where he couldn’t share them with Chris then, thus necessitating extra layers of tracking and talking.

The kicker to all of this byzantine tracking and sharing is that we got absolutely nowhere today (other than seeing two successful track downs in one strip…Woo-hoo!) So we wait in suspense to see what else Gil told Kaz to tell Chris Schuring. Maybe some extra time to think gave Gil some ideas about how to be supportive of the plan for the game (but he’d prefer to have the ideas come through Kaz so he can stay away from any responsibilities). Maybe Kaz is just going to offer more lecturing on the liabilities at play here and throw more cold water on the plan.

Stay tuned. What else have you got to do?

June 3, 2020

It Helps If You Chant “MEAN MACHINE” While You Read This


Once again Neal Rubin has driven the Milford High Activity Bus off the road and into the ditch. What was being set up as some kind of indictment of school zero-tolerance policies has morphed into some weird-ass pickup game challenge that’s equal parts The Sandlot and The Longest Yard. As farfetched as it is I have a hunch it will come to pass, since Gil’s Mudlarks will probably miss the playdowns as per usual.

This comes off as more ego gratification for the walking ego that is Mike Knappe, but I’m picking up broad hints that there’s a bigger message being sent here: don’t fight the system, accept the hand you’re dealt, and when life gives you lemons, suck on them. Not the best of timing there.

I’m sure Rubin’s got his reasons for going down this path but unlike the Caretaker, I ain’t got eight years to hear them.

May 22, 2020

The ‘Arder They Come


Late in the day before I realized that robmize was taking the weekend off and left Friday to our devices. So I don’t have much to say here except that the first kid we meet in juvie Valley Modified is Ardis Carhee. Googling “Ardis Carhee” gave me exactly one result:


That ain’t Michigan, but maybe it’s near Luckey, or Haskins. Whatever.

What’s Ardis in for? Obsessive-compulsive desk polishing? Nah, just messing with you. He’s probably in for some violation of a Tilden zero-tolerance policy, like bringing a church key to class to open a can of Johnson’s Wax to polish a desktop. Tune in tomorrow to find out what’s up with Ardis and what plans these rude boys have in store.



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 4, 2020

This Is Serious

Filed under: Dr. Pearl, Gil Thorp, Steve Luhm's Ghost Mops These Floors — nedryerson @ 7:34 am

I think we’ve all surmised that the “problem” here is that Mike “The Mayor” Knappe brought a knife to school. He used it openly in Mr. Rooney’s English class to spread Nutso peanut butter on his sesame bagel. At the time, Mr. Rooney admonished The Mayor for goofing around in class brought everyone’s attention to today’s “lesson”.*

Mr. Rooney didn’t raise any alarms in the classroom about a student with a weapon in the classroom. He went about his business and then reported to Dr. Pearl later. This strikes me as a really piss poor reaction by a teacher in applying policy related to minimizing violence at the school. If you are going to treat the knife as a threat, wouldn’t your first step be to remove the threat ASAP? Given that the “perp” was using a knife to spread peanut butter, I would think that Mr. Rooney wouldn’t be risking any personal harm or escalation of danger by telling The Mayor to hand over the knife. Disciplinary action or other measured could happen later, if Mr. Rooney didn’t want to get into all that in front of the class.

Maybe Mr. Rooney has some personal history with knives and he froze up. Maybe the peanut butter triggered him. (I could be wrong about all of this and maybe the peanut butter is “the problem” here. It is apparently deadlier than a butter knife given widespread allergies to peanuts.) No matter what, Mr. Rooney is not anywhere near as competent a classroom manager as the iconic Mr. Hand from the film Fast Times At Ridgemont High. Mr. Hand has been reference here at TWIM of late as an exemplar of shutting down classroom disruption. Mr. Rooney is no Mr. Hand. Maybe there’s a seminar he can attend to get him up to speed.

Is this all an overreaction? Are zero tolerance anti-violence policies going to be forever questioned based on incidents like this one that seem absurd? Perhaps, but I doubt if Milford High School is going to be the place where administrators will square the circle and become innovators in addressing the issue of school violence.

*I think they were going to talk about Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor. The novel is dark and weird. It’s about a young guy named Hazel Motes who gets off a train, takes up with a whore and declares himself to be a preacher. One would think that if a teacher is prepared to lead the class in teaching this material, he wouldn’t shit his pants over a butter knife. I’m still wondering if that was assigned reading or if the English curriculum is just based on trivia, a match the author with the title type thing. It’s strange what passes for education these days.

April 25, 2020

Fear and Loathing at Milford High


Whose win is this?
It’s a save baby.
Whose save is this?
It’s Zed’s.
Who’s Zed?
Zed’s dead baby,
Zed’s dead.

Zed’s dead. Long live Gonzo.

How long can The Mayor’s wise-cracking, non sequitur-spouting, glad-handing schtick keep up? Is it enough to sustain this plot? Keep our attention? I’m having my doubts.

April 17, 2020

Tour de Fourche

Been enjoying 80’s week on Marquis Network the past few days – tonight featured the “Sign Game”; where the Cubs rallied from a 9-0 deficit to beat the Astros 10-9 in 10 innings in late August 1989 to solidify their division title hopes. A fan in the stands had a spiral notebook keeping track of the number of runs they needed to tie and win, crossing off numbers as they kept getting closer. Every time the Cubs scored the camera would show the notebook again. It was as memorable as the game itself, hence my moniker.

Other memories include an appearance by a youthful Jim Belushi in the booth, (had no idea it was him at first sight and he even sounded different), the Shawn-o-meter in the bleachers, Harry singing the 7th inning stretch himself (no need for guest singers yet, woulda loved to hear Belushi give it a whirl anyway), 7 RBI’s by  Astro Raphael Ramirez in a losing cause, bringing to mind the Willie McGee cycle game in another losing effort 5 years earlier in the Sandberg  Game; and seeing players who died too young like Scott Sanderson and Ken Caminiti, reminding us how long ago 31 years was.

Well the girls softball team has traveled to Louisiana (them too?) to play the Tarpons of South Lafourche. I give up figuring out the logistics of this. I guess if gas is only a buck a gallon these days they can swing it.

P1 has a hitter somehow swinging at a ball, missing it by a hair, and still hitting it somewhere. Bad enough that she isnt even wearing gloves so her wrist will take the brunt of the ball, but how do you swing at a ball that close without instinctively bringing your hands in to at least get some of the barrel on it? And how close is the fence to the batter? Her follow-through will make a hole in the fence for sure.

P2 has a 3-player hug thats an optical illusion, much like P1. 2 panels, 2 shitty artwork efforts. Whose arms are around whose?  And is Jamila wearing a batting helmet while celebrating her pitching effort? Why?

P3 – ahh the shiny glass floor where the spring douchbag (winter douchbag was flushed down the toilet last week) is saluting our old friend Phoebe for.. a minor sports accomplishment. Just like the guy scoring 12 points in basketball last winter, big freakin whip. Superstar? 3 rbi’s??

Gonna be a long spring.




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