This Week in Milford

June 15, 2022

Steamed Hamms

Reading Gil Thorp takes more than the usual suspension of disbelief (because reasons) and a really long attention span (to deal with all the smash cuts). This spring’s plot has doled out more than its share of each and today just adds to the pile.

First, we learn that Papa Hamm’s weirdness about being seen in public not drawing attention to himself extends to his family. Why, then, did he allow Gregg to play baseball to being with? More importantly, we learn that the weirdness may be a self-imposed “rule” and not a condition of being in the witness protection program. Finally we learn that Mama Hamm cuts up Papa Hamm’s food for him, which kinda damages what little credibility he may already have. (What else could she be doing behind that word balloon, giving CPR to a Cornish hen?) If anyone needs their food cut up for them in la maison du Jambon, it’s Gregg.

Smash cut to the shiny halls of MHS, where we’re supposed to believe Gil just acts on any cockamamie theory one of his players throws out to him. The fact that said player is about as big as Gil wouldn’t have anything to do with that, nosireebob. Only when the prospect of gunplay comes up does Gil spring into action. Thank goodness Rubin hasn’t attempted to write a school shooting plot yet.

Smash cut again to the house of Hamm, where Mama picks up the phone to find Gil on the other end. If Gil’s calling to act on Curtis’ hunch, what does he expect to accomplish? The first rule of the witness protection program is that you never tell anyone you’re in the witness protection program. Is he gonna talk to her about Gregg’s eyesight and all the stops he’s had to pull out to accommodate Gregg on the baseball team? That assumes she and Papa Hamm have had zero clue about his vision problem, which seems highly unlikely since someone had to take him to see the HIPAA-violating eye doc. It also assumes Gregg himself has said nothing to his parents about Gil’s – not to mention his teammates’ – accommodations.

Of course he might have, and they’ve been too busy playing fake fugitives to pay him any attention. Soon we should find out what this whole charade has been about. Most likely Papa thinking he’s more famous for his ghostwriting than he actually is.

August 21, 2021

I Love Ducey

Now’s the time all America waits for; that one evening each week where we all sit down to watch the latest hijinks from America’s favorite wacky redhead sports reporter. Wacky… redhead… sports… reporter…

Wait, what?

Okay, Whigham, start ‘splainin’.* As for the rest of you gentle readers, why do you suppose Marjie’s a redhead today?

  1. She noticed John Jawor had dyed his hair yesterday and didn’t want him to feel self-conscious so she dyed hers in solidarity.
  2. She’s going to cosplay as Velma Dinkley at Central City Comic-Con this coming weekend.
  3. The Milford Star has a one-blonde-per-staff quota and since Heather Burns has all but gone through new hire orientation, Marjie got the hint that she’s old news.

You know, maybe it is time for new blood at the Star. When your sports reporter starts writing on her laptop screen with a ballpoint pen, you gotta think she might no longer be the sharpest knife in the drawer. When all she can do is regurgitate the lists of player names Gil spouts to her, someone who knows how to use the Google is at the next level. When she dares contradict the all-powerful Gil Thorp when he wants to publicly shame a small-time golf hustler, she might want to polish up that résumé.

Tune in next week when Heather Burns spruces up her new desk in the Star newsroom while a mysterious redhead applies for a night shift waitressing job at Janet’s Diner. When Maureen asks, “Hey, hon, you look familiar. What’s your name?” the mysterious redhead replies “Margo. Margo Duchesne.”

*Contrary to popular belief, Desi never said to Lucy “you got some ‘splainin’ to do!”

August 18, 2021

What Is It About Industrial Solvent Sales That Leads People to a Life of Crime?

So much for Carter’s – I mean, Carson’s – stint in the Witness Protection Program. Little Miss Investigative Reporter Wannabe has joined the MCC (why else would she be wearing the same colored polo shirt as everyone else? Maybe it’s a Bemidji State polo shirt), thrown on no fewer than six of her extra jangly bracelets and blown his cover. Time for him to hit the road, create another alias and sell stolen golf shoes from the trunk of his car.

It’s been a long day at work (meta) and it’s not over yet so yhs is firing off a late post. I could spend the rest of the evening trying to analyze this so it makes some kind of logical sense but why try? Rubin is throwing exposition left and right to make this golf cheat – clearly the lowest form of humanity in the Thorpiverse – look like even more of a criminal. The Milford Country Club is not a court of competent jurisdiction but here it carries more weight than the Supremes. Do we even have to point out that being charged with a crime isn’t the same thing as being convicted of it? By the end of the week Carson/ter will have been found to be behind the art heist from the Gardner Museum and the ammonium nitrate explosion in Beirut.

How did Hendry/ricks get younger looking from P1 to P3? Is he going to de-age with each accusation until he turns into a fetus, or was he really this age to begin with? Come to think of it, couldn’t these photos of him online have been deepfaked? We know Google exists in the Valley so the “1959 with cell phones” excuse can’t last for much longer.

Really, instead of looking all deer-in-the-headlights and throwing up the jazz hands, all he had to do was stonewall, call Heather’s little screen grabs “fake news” and he’d have been in the clear. After all, if you repeat a lie often enough, doesn’t it become the truth? Tens of millions would agree.

August 16, 2021

Cart Carson Is Less Than Zero

The impressive Heather Burns has cracked the case. It was Carter Hendricks’ blue orange green-and-white “rain top” that gave it away! (Um Heather, in the Thorpoverse, colors change all the time. In the previous strip, your striped shirt had one color and Gil was wearing red. You owe Mimi an apology!)

Heather must have found some BSU team photos if she’s so sure that Carter Hendricks is Carson Hendry, who won two conference gold championships with the Bemidji State Beaver’s golf team. BSU plays in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, so they competed against the likes of Concordia-St Paul and Minot State in North Dakota!

Carson Hendry has been knocking around for the last 15 years as a professional golfer! His handicap, as last recorded on Heather’s source for all pro golfer data was a -1. OMG! That’s better than scratch, says Gil! Very astute, Gil. Yes that;s how that works. A scratch golfer has a zero handicap. -1 is less than zero, so it is better than scratch. You’re really good at this, Gil. Get yourself a cookie and change your shirt again.

August 14, 2021

One Short of a Foursome Again

At Casa Thorp, Gil quickly moves from leaning in behind Heather Burns before Mimi comes back into the living room delivering three Red Bull and vodkas. That ain’t all she’s delivering: with that crop top along with the less formal sweatpants with built-in camel toe, she’s bringing the fan service in on that same silver platter.

Before Heather loosens up and gets ready for this threesome, she has to drop the bombshell from the last threesome she had with Gil: that there was no such person as Carter Hendricks until two years ago. Before then, he was known as Jami Thorp Rupert Hall. No, he’ll end being someone else – Henry Carter or some such – who played for Boise Bridgewater Bemidji Ball State in his color-shifting rain jacket.

Now that that’s settled, can we wrap this up and give Heather her Milford Star by day, Milford Mudlark by night dual life ASAP? NFL preseason got fully under way tonight and so will high school football in a lot of places over the next couple of weeks.

November 27, 2019

Hasn’t There Already Been an Investigation?

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Excuse me but haven’t Marjie, the superintendent and Captain Man Bun already investigated Ballardgate?  What’s left to investigate?  How about some of the details in today’s strip?

P1: How much squirming must it take to get your forearm in front of you to facepalm at that angle?  Careful Chet, you’ll poke your eye out.

P2: We’re on to the third day in a row where people are just reading Marjie’s article aloud to other people.  I can see why Gil looks a little pissy, especially since Mimi’s leaning over him to point at what she’s reading.  (Bet she’s one of those people whose lips move when they read to themselves.)  It’s enough to distract him from his carbo loading. Must have a heavy day of lifting with Kaz on the agenda.

P3 triggered a lot of childhood memories for me, as I remember fondly the day my father bought me a Howard Elston catcher’s mitt. Superintendent Elston looks like a lot of recycled art pasted together: Lee Corso’s head with Paulie Walnuts’ hair spliced atop a  torso Walt “No Neck” Williams style, an odd suit jacket with contrasting lapels and a pocket square but no necktie, and topped off with Whigham’s signature gesticulating hand.  He gets the “immediate” part of the investigation; not so sure about the “thorough” though, as he sends his female charge off with no real direction.

That’s all I have to say about that.  Tip of the hat to Rubin for reminding me of the first black Yankee and the man who had the unfortunate task of having to fill Yogi Berra’s shoes.

 

November 23, 2019

“And Now We Pause for Station Indentification. This Is the Milford Mudlark Radio Network.”

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“I would never do something so unprofessional… Oh? Okay, so maybe I did something so unprofessional, but somebody had to think of the children!”  It’s all I can do to keep myself from making a political reference in today’s post. Chet’s denial of wrongdoing immediately followed with an admission of wrongdoing and an attempt to make it about something other than his own self-interest would serve him well in an executive branch position.

Speaking of the executive branch, looks like Marjie’s on the horn to LBJ who may or may not be giving her his pants order. Can’t be Chance Macy’s grandpa, can it? He had more pronounced male pattern baldness last time we saw him. But who else would be saying Chance would be “prepared” for whatever come next? And who’s this “us” Marjie’s referring to? Did she give Superintendent Whatshisname and Captain Man Bun a day to look into this? Just how is Chance getting “prepared”? Does it involve a whetstone?

Now let’s wrap this thing up before Christmas and move on to hoops. Milford’s lost two in the conference so playdowns are out of the picture; we’ve got enough time for a face-saving victory over Valley Tech as Chet Ballard slinks off the school board, out of his marriage, and under the desk at his office. Maybe we can revisit him a couple of years from now, after he’s sent to jail for insurance fraud. The way he sings, he’ll make a great canary.

November 20, 2019

Carol Forsman Is Deep Throat!

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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.

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