This Week in Milford

December 7, 2019

Good Ol’ Blow Top


Mudlarks chowin’ down on sloppy joes
Runnin’ the two-a-day drills
Then Sam Finn passed out and had to go
Whose fault? Sure wasn’t Gil’s
Junior Mudlark tailback Charlie Roh
Had the job in his hat
Got showed up by some old sophomore
That was the end of that
“Blow Top, you’re gonna be
Totin’ the rock for me
Good ol’ Blow Top
Blow Top Chance Macy
Blow Top Chance Macy”
Charlie’s dad tried to derail Blow Top
Diggin’ for bones in his past
The trail he left, they didn’t need a cop
It bit him in the ass
Chance’s fits of rage called “Blow Top”
His backstory is weird
Livin’ with his gram and grandpop
So-called parents? Disappeared
Blow Top, you’re gonna be
Treated by Charlie
Good ol’ Blow Top
Blow Top Chance Macy
Blow Top Chance Macy
Ballard’s in the doghouse with his wife
Didn’t have to make it so hard
Now his credit’s gonna take a dive
Charlie’s got his gold card
“Blow Top, Can’t you see?
Tonight’s tabs are on me!
Good ol’ Blow Top
Let’s hit Ricozzi’s
Let’s hit Ricozzi’s
Let’s hit Ricozzi’s!”
(apologies? No apologies; this song makes me want to throw something sharp)
metapost: Dunno what’s gone wrong with my spacing, or why the YT clip isn’t showing. Maybe it’s time for me to hang it up.

November 20, 2019

Carol Forsman Is Deep Throat!


I can understand why Carol Forsman wanted Marjie to meet her at home; she has a history of getting injured in bars.* Also she probably didn’t want to run into Chet Ballard while she was diming on him.

Normally I bristle at exposition strips, but I’m kinda thankful that we didn’t have to see Carol connect all the dots Marjie gave her. The quicker we wrap this stinker of an arc up the better. It’ll be amusing in that schadenfreude way to hear Chet blubber about how he did it all just to hear Charlie call him “Dad” at the custody hearing. He’ll lose his position on the school board and his marriage but hey, he’ll still have that insurance business. As long as he keeps his nose out of Mudlark athletes’ home lives all will be well. Only Gil Thorp and his posse can do that.

Know what else might need a little investigation? How Carol got Steve Luhm to come over to her house and polish those floors. Membership has its privileges.

Oh, I guess there’s that matter of where and what happened to “Blowtop” Chance Macy’s parents. Would it really be so hard to portray some Milford parents as caring and supportive of their children, rather than manipulative, drug-dependent, or living vicariously through them – that is, when they’re present at all? It couldn’t be much harder than showing sports coaches actually, you know, coaching their players.



*The real-life Carol Forsman has dealt with her share of tragedy, and that’s all I have to say about that. Then again, this could be the Carol Forsman who was married to Rodney Benson which, given Rubin’s proximity to Ann Arbor, is more likely the case.

August 7, 2019

Ceci n’est pas une school board meeting.

Running both the color and B&W versions today as a sanity check.



If this is not a school board meeting, then what is it exactly? Some well-connected kid using his connections to get what he wants from a school board that doesn’t want the public to know how readily it caves to that well-connected kid? No wonder nobody wants it made public. Rubin’s left so many dots for us to connect, like those dots on the sidewalk Steve Luhm forgot to sweep up.

So much posturing going on here. Hadley brought her prop, Ed; Ballard (wearing a suit with weird-ass lapels only The Riddler could love) brought his: tiny Carol and another yet-to-be-named ventriloquist’s dummy school board member lady. There’s also an official-looking seal behind Ballard that some Mudlark must have made in shop class, and an American flag that may be displayed in violation of the US Flag Code if there’s an unseen State of Milford flag to its right. Speaking of unseen, Ballard better watch his back before that shadowy figure stabs it.


June 18, 2019

J-a-m-i-l-a Spells “Gilligan”.


God, I love it when the 7 dwarfs come to Milford High School. Is that Doc on the left? Man, he must have hit the Nautilus program hard. And Sleepy on the right? Snow White in between? Wait, she couldn’t have shrunk, if I recall my childhood years at the matinee.

Wait a minute. (Slaps head with a fraternity paddle) Those are MILFORD STUDENTS. And, I presume, they are at Milford High School on their way to class. If I were to play Devil’s Advocate for a sec, I could argue that they’re at Milford Mall, somewhere between Elder-Beerman and The Great Outdoors(“Wouldn’t Jamila look good in that fishing outfit? I like the flannel shirt. Christmas shopping is DONE”) or entering the Milford Civic Center to head to Second Floor, State Revenue Department, Room 247, to pay a delinquent tax surcharge. Baseball uniforms get harder and harder to purchase every year, I reckon.

But I think I better stick with the original premise, they’re in the building of Milford High School, even if they look like GI Joe Action Figures, and are going to class.

Funny how the topic du jour happens to be the baseball team. We Thorpiverse veterans are used to the baseball team getting its A– whooped by an Oakwood here or a Valley Tech there by an occasional 22-1 score, Berrill managing to fit all the carnage in 3 panels BUT WE SAW ACTION!!!!!!!!!

Now, the only way we can receive news on how the season went is through The Leakey Foundation. Yup, if ya wanna know how Lucy turned out or how the Mudlarks fared against New Thayer, you’ll have to keep digging, hoping the flunky for the Archaeologists Team hits the bone this time. It won’t help matters to find a random Mudlark’s ERA by hitting Lucy’s toenail.

It’s pretty damn sad when we have to go through the little bungee cord at the Milford Museum of Arts & Natural Sciences, make a voluntary contribution of $32,458(“Run the card through again. It didn’t read it.”), only to wind up in the Diego Rivera Collection and find out the baseball team didn’t do diddly. Naturally, when it’s posing next to Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky to satisfy Rivera’s leanings, you reap what you sow, but that’s beside the point. Anything belonging to Friedrich Engels stays in the stands with Engels, $40 buttered popcorn and $35 hot dog and all, and what’s on the Mudlark diamond stays on the Mudlark diamond. Leave Lucy in the ground.

Next thing you know, we’ll be learning the baseball team’s whereabouts in the Milford Enquirer.


“Jamila, take a look out the window.”

“OMG, the baseball team is like a worn-out vacuum cleaner, they be suckin’ pretty bad. ”


Come to Jeff Smith Marathon in Edwardsville, Indiana. If you take I-64 in either direction, it is just off Exit 118, south of the expressway, take an IMMEDIATE left once you get on Indiana 62 off the X-way, headin’ west.

Jeff has built an established clientele based on great customer service, reasonable prices, and they got the best mechanics in the business. Then factor in great gas at great prices and  friendly clerks (Hi Crystal) and, Gang, I’m believin’ you have a recipe for success.

Then come down the hill to New Albany, Indiana and take care of Jeff’s brother, Mike, at Mike Smith Firestone. He and his wife are always there with a smile and will give you the same great service and great prices. Man, when my tires were shot, Mike was there to put ’em on and I left with my arm and leg. Don’t get no better than that. And any mechanical problems have ALWAYS been dealt with swiftly and many times I got the vehicle back the same day. Sounds like a winner to me.

Come see for yourself and take care of people like Jeff Smith and Mike Smith who ALWAYS take care of you. Gang, you need business people who run great businesses who know you by name.

And I’m in agreement with Moon Mullins, History 101 or any course with 3 digits affixed to the subject (e.g. Mandarin Chinese 302, Advanced Auto Mechanics 212) does ring of college material.

That said, has ANYBODY EVER seen a class being taught where the blackboard is IN BACK OF the students? Whether it’s Driver’s Ed Night School 415 or Physics 301 or Term Paper Issues 102, it has come to my attention that when our Guest Lecturer at Milford High School who is subbing for Ms. Rizk because Thorpiverse ran out of plotline ideas teaches the class, he really has to have the chalkboard BEHIND him if he’s to outline Journalism Ethics on the board. The objet d’art is doing no good behind the age progressions of Elroy Jetson and Sherman Peabody. Or are we viewing our future Fantastic Four?  Hey, I could see Grace Jones as one of THEM.

Nahhhhhh, Swiss Miss trying to be Ben Grimm? And wear the appropriate outfit? Think we better go back to the Welcome Back Kotter Even If You’re a Crappy Paid Sub Now approach.

Okay, okay, so Ms. Rizk is still at her typewriter and they’ve been carting in Domino’s the last 467 or more days(lost count, sorry) when she’s not on the Bread-and-Water diet and we are seeing an ACTUAL TEACHER. Well, don’t that beat all.

The one tbing we know IMMEDIATELY is that he’s been on a steady diet of Rolaids worrying about the Lady Mudlarks in the Playdowns(like Ned yesterday mentioned, We THINK that’s where this is heading). Given that this is, indeed, not a late entry somewhere, i.e., NBA Playoffs, our Joe Blow teacher still needs to have the chalkboard BEHIND him when he’s teaching the class, before or after he blows off steam from losing sleep over the Lady Mudlarks versus Wellington. Still not sure what he’s teaching but since I don’t see slide rules or calculators on the desk, I don’t think it’s Trig 213 or Algebra 433 or Set Theory 231 or Gaussian Ethics for Advanced Algebra Teaching 333. We just know he gulped one too many Tums.


Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Lost Treasure Uncovered In Inca Empire Excavation!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Scientists reveal that Gil was on his second trip to the mound with Milford trailing Madison, 5-3.”


“Jamila, put down that Mad magazine and come to the window.”

“My Lord, look at them Aussies. They’re bigger than that giant prehistoric kangaroo the Leakey Foundation dug outside of Brisbane. No wonder why Linda quit the team.”

Come to Sister Bean’s Coffee House in Louisville, Kentucky. They are on New Cut Road, approximately 2-3 miles south of the Watterson Expressway. Check out the espressos, lattes, and, of course, coffees in many different sizes and flavors. I go in the drive-thru and am AMAZED at what they have to offer on the menu. For a small business not associated with any major chain(e.g., Starbucks), I AM IMPRESSED. They also have scones, muffins, and brownies in case you like go-withs, which describes yours truly. Factor in friendly service and this writer thinks it’s worth the trip. Come see for yourself.

Support Small Businesses. They make America great.

Gang, remember the Gilligan’s Island episode when Gilligan dreams he’s a dictator of some country? A Latin American dictator in exile finds himself landing on Gilligan’s Island, which precipitates the dream.

That’s EXACTLY what I thought of when I saw P3. Either she’s in the dugout or she’s in the movie “Topaz” where she is Fidel, waving at her supporters. If the latter is the case, I have a little ditty to support her seizure of power, thanks to aiding and abetting in winning the Valley Conference Championship

“Fidel!!!!!!!!! Fidel!!!!!!!!! Way to strike Los Yanquis out with your fastball and slider!!!!!!!!!!!! Mimi taught you well!!!!!!!!!”

Oops, wrong record

Here we go, sung to the tune from “The Little Dictator” episode from Gilligan’s Island




Anything else spells disaster


Guaranteed beyond any reason

To hoist us through this hopeless season





Anything else spells doom


She’s the one who will soon

Be pitching us out of June


O Jamila, for me.


“But Coach Mimi, I don’t want to be your puppet!!!!!!!”

“TFB. Who do you think has been pulling the strings when you and Jocelynn have been bossing everybody around?”


If ya quit the Men’s Slo-Pitch Wednesday Night Modified Industrial League cuz yore manager reminds ya too much of Che Guevara, a dictator plus he’s got the nastiest flea-bitten beard known ta Mankind, and ya doesn’t play fer no Komm-ya-nist who needs ta mail order ‘lectric Shave bladez pronto, ya might be a redneck.


“Are you tired of your car wearing the ‘Wash me’ tag as if that’s an extension of your license plate while your dog hasn’t had a bath in God-knows-when to the point where your neighbor is wearing a clothes pin on his nose? When the dog’s OUTSIDE????

Hi, this is Coach Kaz and if you answered yes to all of these questions, then come to Milford Super Car Wash Emporium Incorporated and you can get your pride and joy through the ringer. Oh, and your pet a good cleansing, to ward off any further confusion.

I was amazed when me and my honey went through the cycle and saw all the different soaps and suds being applied to our car. It was like being in a washing machine, watching Tide and Borax and Turtle Wax all acting in collaboration on the windshield and on the hood down the car door windows and over the trunk to give that Lexus a spit shine of its life. The Turtle Wax Lemon Lime coat even got the eagle poop off the windshield that I got when I was hunting squirrel last Fall.  I never that I’d see the day when I could say that I enjoyed watching Scrubbing Bubbles break-dancing around the hood ornament. Man, this car wash put on a show. Wish the baseball team could have performed even half as good, especially when fielding grounders. The Scrubbing Bubbles would have gotten the mitt on the ground and thrown to first for the out.

Then the drying was the Grand Finale. No using Pampers 18 Months Collection to dry on this bad boy of a motorized contraption. With soft brushes and HAL Computer technology, my Lexus shined like the Lady Mudlarks. And we didn’t need Mussoloni or Jamila to polish off the hood. A second coating of Turtle Wax did the trick.

Speaking of trunk, once we got Tiger out of it and dragged his butt over to the Dog Wash, we were again stupified at the way the dog washers were able to make him Comfortably Numb while applying Head & Shoulders and Milford Soap Connection all over his anatomy. Tiger won’t have dandruff until, well, maybe the golf season. Saved a fortune on any carpet cleaning in our living room. Then drying him off and combing was no sweat. I’ll bet smelling clean makes any animal cooperative. I’ve heard a few goats have graced the Dog Wash and are Lassie when they leave. And I’ll have to remember lacing Milk Bones with Sominex when I take him here again.

A clean car and a clean dog that you can put in the back seat? I only regret we couldn’t put a Valley Conference trophy next to Tiger. Come to Milford Super Car Wash Emporium Incorporated today for that spotless pick-up truck or Cadillac and Rin Tin Tin in the bargain. You’ll be glad you did.”

Get after it, Gang. I’ll be paying homage to Gilligan this afternoon. He has a way of dealing with those Yankee Imperialists.


“Geez, Gil had a suckass season. Got beat, 24-1, by the Azteca Civilization? No wonder why it got buried in Peru.”


“No problem, Gil. We ought to be able to fit Dumbo in Drive-Through #1. That’s where all the semi’s go. And we have plenty of Turtle Wax Raspberry Formula. Ordered the drums last week.


“Jamila, quit going over the pitch sequence with Jocelynn and come over here and look out the window.”

“Oh, forever more. Look at Gil’s golf game. ’nuff said.”

May 14, 2019

Chosen To Play Against That Australian Team


Oh, these things are buttons? And, everyone in the school who has one wears it and everyone who doesn’t wishes they did? (Sorry, Milo.) Well, I guess that makes as much sense as anything, which is to say practically none at all.

Speaking of nonsense, let’s check in on Mimi and her irritable second base player who, in classic Milford teen fashion, wants to be something she’s not. Except that she kinda sort of is but, per life-coach extraordinaire Mimi, she started too late so forget about it anyway. If this is the resolution of Linda’s volleyball induced ennui, I will mark this down as the second most pat plot point wrap-up since Mike Fillion cured his depression by drinking CBD infused chai tea lattes.*

Bonus points: Linda emphatically is not wearing one of those stupid buttons.

I like Mimi’s on-brand screensaver in panel two.

Minus points: The vanishing point in the backgrounds of panels one and two seems to move around a little bit if you look at them for too long (as one does trying to write this stuff).

That said, Mimi has a nice sized office for her tiny desk. The other teachers must be quite jealous.

* Not actually depicted in the strip

May 13, 2019

This Is Really Happening


“Molly, do you ever buy bagels from Arjun Khatri on Fridays?” That right there is about the most out of left field thing I’ve ever read in Gil Thorp. As I write these things first thing Monday morning, something like that can really make me question if I’m this is all real or if I’m dreaming.

Now we have school faculty, like Molly Hatcher’s World History teacher, nominating other students to receive the TC challenge coin. Isn’t this grand?

Now that Arjun Khatri has been designated TC for acts of altruism, do we now have to reevaluate those earlier TCFS candidates? Arjun raised $5000 for the food bank, and you have a collection of stuffed hippos? Yeah, look I’ve only got fifty of these and I doubt if I’m going to get the Flirting With Disaster discount again so that’s going to be a hard pass.

Who is Arjun Khatri? The New Jersey high school wrestler? An aspiring Indian filmmaker, or the singer of Poldo Raichha Chhati:

May 8, 2019

‘Scuse me while I whip this up*


Oooh, hubris! Love it!

So when do the too-cool-for-school girls get their comeuppance? When Molly goes on the DL for chemical burns after Milo accidentally on purpose tips her lab experiment over on her?  When fist bumps go wrong and somebody breaks a hand? Or when another rando MHS student fails to look up from his smartphone, slips on the highly polished floors and crashes into Molly, injuring her horribly? Things are going too well for the Lady Mudlarks – and their behavior becoming too arrogant – for this Era of Good Feelings to last.

Today’s bizarre cameos: Ted Cruz as Milo, Señor y Señorita Wences in the Milford infield. Rocki Prado has a Twitter feed but there’s not much gleaned from it. Props to the Chief for giving her lustrous hair to rival Gilchrist-era Aunt Fritzi and earrings that more closely approximate what girls currently wear than what are usually seen in Milford.


*Which is what I say to myself every day I write a post here.

March 29, 2019

Flogging Molly



Pretty damned presumptuous of  Linda to assume Molly’s skating event didn’t involve her family.  Most young people I’ve known who have been involved with events on ice have had massive family support, not only in dollars but in time (predawn drives to rinks for ice time come to mind).  Also presumptuous of Linda to think her volleyball extracurriculars are somehow more worthy than Molly’s synchronized skating.  Guess that’s what happens when your high school only offers football, basketball, baseball/softball, soccer and track (the latter two we almost never see or hear about because no one named Thorp coaches them).

People who shed in their lockers shouldn’t throw stones, nah mean?  Now Steve Luhm’s gonna have to show up and sweep all that hair off the locker room floor.  More likely, we’re gonna be treated to a couple of days of Molly’s “nobody understands me or my skating hobby” pity party.  That, or Mimi signing up all the Lady Mudlarks for skating lessons so that they can become as graceful as Molly in the field.



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