This Week in Milford

September 11, 2018

“Don’t Let The Insurance Companies Gouge You On Your Sorry Piece Of Crap.”

Filed under: big arms, lessons learned, Milford Idiots, The Bucket, The Legend of Joe Sharkey — tdrewhardin @ 3:44 pm

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“Hi, I’m attorney Joe Sharkey with Sharkey and Sons. You might have remembered me from the ’70’s when I could hit the ball a ton but the plotlines ruined my career. Things happen. But they SHOULDN’T happen to you. I might have lost 2 fingers but I sued the sawmill company and live in a nice subdivision, Mudlark Chase, for my efforts. You can live on Easy Street too for your lost appendages. If you or your loved one have been injured in a car accident or your automobile winds up like P2 where you can’t tell the difference between that and Archie’s Jalopy, call The Shark today at 1-FON-THE-JAWS. Insurance companies are hard at work making sure you get no more than your hand can handle out of a gumball machine. Let us fight for you and get you the money you deserve.”

“Hi, I’m Melba Hateley and my back was thrown out when Marty Moon backed a Milford Mini-Transit bus out of Milford Beverage Warehouse and rammed my Mo-Ped. I was getting a dried prune liqueur after a hard day at Milford Foundry when Mr. Moon forgot to check his blind spot in order to make up for lost time after being held up in line in the Warehouse on his lunch break. He was so determined to get his Vodka and run, he rear-ended me and threw me several feet, almost winding up in the Milford Sanitation Truck. I was in the hospital for several weeks from my injury plus a couple more days from Milford General Hospital Garbage Removal and Dermal Disinfecting Procedures. I needed just compensation for my lost wages. Thank God for The Shark.”

“Just remember, one call, THAT’S ALL.”

 

Well, gang, I think you can deduce where I’m going with this one. P2 just got the ball rolling and took things out to orbit.
Thanks for the tip, Tiki. I needed a few pointers on how to break the ice with people I’ve just met. Show ’em my ’69 Ford Mercury 400 V-8 that’s holed up at Milford Scrap Metal, Inc., explaining how I’m going to maneuver this vehicle out of the yard in time for the Milford High School Prom next Spring. “And the winner, for 2 tickets to the Milford Imax Theater, for the vehicle most likely to be sold piece-by-piece on E-Bay…”

 

Tonight at 8, MST (Mudlark Standard Time), catch all the action as Texas Ranger Studman Machomaniac Kent Walker Shaw battles the streets of Milford to harness drug traffic caused by a gang of Mudlark punks. Will he make it out alive in time for the next film session? Stay tuned for another exciting episode right after The Jetsons right here on WDIG-TV.”

 

Texas Ranger Studman Machomaniac Kent Walker Shaw steps of his Texas Mudlark Ranger Cruiser after pulling over a mini-van with 5 teenagers.

“I need to see your driver’s license and registration.” as he spits towards the road. He has made the mistake of expectorating his Red Man Bubble Yum chaw towards a serial killer on the lam before (“Whoops, sorry”, holding off the psycho’s urge to pull his Colt .45 from under the seat, especially when Texas Ranger Studman Machomaniac Kent Walker Shaw handed him a Bounty-the quick picker-upper).

Items are given to Texas Ranger Studman Machomaniac Kent Walker Shaw. Everything is in order, down to the VIN.

“I have a search warrant on a suspicion of your smuggling electronic cigarettes across the county, part of a ring from Milford to Oakwood.”

“Sir, we just came from football practice. If you’d been there, you’d know.”

Trying to recover face that’s been lost now and for 60 years

“Yeah, well, what’s that in your cup holder?”

“Those are candy cigarettes, peppermint and lemon-lime. Want one? Besides, we’re not allowed to eat something after a grueling practice?”

Texas Ranger Studman Machomaniac Kent Walker Shaw never accepts bribes, plus it wouldn’t mix well with his chaw, getting nasty images of him spitting THAT combo on the road and heads back to his squad car. Later, on his cell phone to HQ

“I think we can close the book on this one” as he nukes a raccoon in the parking lot of the Milford General Baptist Church with his chaw.

AS closing credits on the show appear on the screen, Texas Ranger Studman Machomaniac Kent Walker Shaw is seen returning to his original identity, sipping Milford 7-11 Diet Cherry Cappuccino while dissecting game film with Coach Kaz, the kittycat meowing in the MTM Enterprises logo (spinoff from the Mary Tyler Moore Show?-no way) signifying the show is FINALLY over-well, until the next blow anyway.

 

P1: Who knows what lurks in the minds of teenage boys with nothing but nasty cars in their possession that he perhaps hot-wired in a farmer’s pig-sty somewhere, fresh with pig doo-doo in the trunk? And is willing to divulge and share with his friends so that his friends too might be dragged down on the vessel Charon to share the same fate as Proserpina? Where souls suffer day and night because Marty isn’t there from the Milford Transit Authority even if Marty flunked the oral portion of the B License exam because he forgot to memorize the weight of a B vehicle per se? They can no longer make fun of his slamming on the brakes at an intersection because the Thorp kids got too careless in the streets? THE SHADOW KNOWS.

That, or it’s a murder scene of Frankenstein. Hope the Milford Police had plenty of “Do Not Cross” tape on that one.

 

 

And of course, I drew a blank just when that next Classic Comedy Schtik, a la Moby Dick or Great Expectations was ready to emanate from my brain. Just not my day, gang.

And I’m just a little antsy over WHO SHOT COACH SHAW? Maybe that’s the reason the ideas flow until they hit the floodwall. Yeah, that’s it. My Christian Conscience is stemming the spark of creativity. Don’t let Do The Right Thing get trumped from artistic expression.

 

If ya bought a car because ya got a fetish for a beat-up sorry-ass-excuse-for-a-car-ta-drive-ta-work-on-third-shift-at-the-Milford-Foundry but ya kick the tires just ta make shore ya git thar, ya might be a redneck.

 

Okay, gang, back by popular demand, Gene Rayburn is back at the helm for Match Game 2018 ready for you to keep those wits a-blazin’. We’re ready, Gene.

Dumb Dora was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO dumb (HOW   DUMB   WAS  SHE?????), she thought Tiki meant______________ in  Micropolynesian.

 

Shout-out to Elizabeth Thompson in Louisville, Kentucky. She goes to school as a volunteer to help tutor and make sure kids get their lunches and offer encouragement, especially to the underprivileged kids. This is a much-needed service and the best thing is it’s FREE. Elizabeth, the kids lack something when you’re not there. Keep being that parent that perhaps some of these kids don’t have and keep nagging them to aspire to greater heights. They’ll thank you for it when they get older. God Bless you in your efforts.

 

Today’s headline from the Milford Enquirer

“O.J. Cleared of Charges in Coach Shaw Shooting!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Key witnesses confirm he was at a Jehovah’s Witness Convention in Richmond, Virginia; plus, the gloves to the weapon were several sizes too small and used for gardening.”

 

A shout-out is in order for Better Bargains on Cane Run Road and Lower Hunter’s Trace Road in Louisville, Kentucky. They have great buys on many items, including chips and drinks. Just walk in the door and you’ll see a display case with nothing BUT chips. Love it. They have several grocery items reasonably priced not to mention a few goodies (yum yum!!!!!) like Hostess and Little Debbie. Skip the Wal-Mart route and come on down and indulge. The staff has ALWAYS been nice and friendly to me and that just tops off my feelings towards this place. Gang, if you’re in the neighborhood, stop on in. Support small businesses. You NEED a place where everybody knows your name.

 

And I’m not EVEN going to comment on P3. People in the graveyard behind The House of the Seven Gables KNOW it’s The Bucket, NOT The Pail. Stuuuu-pid. That’s right, Ren, tell Stimpy that it’s The Bucket, NOT THE PAIL.

 

“Well, Coach, sounds like another runaround session to me. And we’ll be back for some final thoughts after this. This is Marty Moon and you’re listening to WDIG, a division of Lear Field
Sports.”

 

“Man, I’m like James Brown!!!!!!!!! I FEEEEEELLLLLL GOOD!!!!!!!!!! No more ridin’ around in that wheelchair like the pony at the Milford Wal-Mart!!!!!!!! I’m ready to tackle the world!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Great, Honey, you can tackle me first!!!!!!!!!”

“Blubba, blooba, bleeba, I might fumble the snap. Plus, I wasn’t good at the wraparound technique when I played. Hit ’em like a ton of bricks and hope they fall like a set of dominoes.”

“Well, you can jump on this player once you’ve knocked her cold. It’s not as if I’m returning the fumble for a 99-yard-score.”

“I wasn’t very fast. By the time they were at the 20-yard-line on the other end, I just went to the bench and doused myself with the water bottle”

“You still have to get up for the handshake after the game.”

“Glippy glop gloopy, ippy oppy, ooppy, la la la lo lo, I was a poor sport. If we didn’t win by at least 35, I hit the showers behind the Coach’s back. I had no respect for a bunch of sissies, especially when they played like girls.”

“Aren’t you forgetting something?”

“What do you mean? I got all the paperwork filled out for that unicorn tag during bow season. I even dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s.”

“The female end of things?”

“I’ll have to check Doe Season on unicorns,especially with a handgun. I’m not certain if you can use a Sig Sauer. I didn’t find that in the huntin’ manual.”

“I’m a girl, Honey.”

Coach Shaw scratches head in slight confusion

“You’re not listed in any season. I could have sworn I didn’t see you. I’ll write a letter to the Game Warden.”

 

“Well, as you can see, I did a poor rendition of ‘Hair’ and I just flat out didn’t see the horns from the unicorns. When Coach Kaz showed me where the Milford Men’s Clinic was on the Milford Mall map, I got there and boy, did they open my eyes to all the treatment plans available. My erections showed me YOU ARE HERE and we went from there to Xanadu. To stand within the Pleasure Dome, indeed. I never read this Colby Jack Taylor but he musta got erections by the bucketful in that cave he found. But, men, you don’t gotta go to Mammoth Cave for you to get it on at the Holiday Inn Express with your honey. Stop in at the Milford Men’s Clinic today. Eliminate the bats in your cave and free your significant other. You’ll be glad you did.”

Gang, you’re on. My dad is going to tow the car to our core business and see how much we can sell to Jasper Engines. They always need used parts.

 

“Hello, I’m Spud Witherspoon. My hearing went tone-deaf after The Pirate Network blew a load at Marty Moon. I got a settlement with TPN after I lost my job on the Milford & Oakwood Express as a conductor because my hearing went all to Hades. One day, the train almost collided with a Union Pacific because I couldn’t hear the train whistle, signalling take-off. I had to call The Shark. Now, I’m a new man after TPN paid for my Beltone and I got my job back after 6 months. No more landing the M & O on Gil’s back patio. And my lost wages paid for my son’s scholarship to Powell College, the same school Gil wussed out on.”

“You heard the man. If you’ve been injured in an accident, call 1-FON-THE-JAWS to get your share of the pie. One call, THAT’S All.”

 

Heard somewhere at the Milford Mall

“How ’bout the owner of the Milford Girls-a-Go Go Club?”

“Negative. He was at the Milford Convention Center for the Billy Graham Crusade.”

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July 28, 2018

Shoot Low, Boys – They’re Ridin’ Shetland Ponies

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Quick show of hands: How many of you had to read A Separate Peace in high school? Anyone?  (Son of teenchy had to read it this past school year.)  Do you remember the scene where Finny breaks the Devon School swimming record for the 100-yard freestyle set by A. Hopkins Parker in the sole presence of Gene, then doesn’t want anyone else to know he did?  Pure of spirit, Finny wanted to break the record for its own sake, for the internal sense of satisfaction it gave him, not for any accolades that may have come his way as a result of doing so.

Kevin Pelwecki is no Finny.

Pelwecki’s sole motive in modifying his launch angle was not to try to help his team or, for that matter, to make a serious effort toward advancing his baseball career or using it as a means to help pay for his post-secondary education.  He did it to call just enough attention to himself that he could put on a false modesty act when it became apparent that this particular talent was not going to help him after Milford High.  (Wonder if he ever went to the prom?) He couldn’t even be bothered to remember the name of the guy whose record he was attempting to break (somewhere, Art Shamsky fumes that Rubin didn’t namedrop him throughout this mess).  With today’s strip – for that matter, with any of the strips involving his efforts to become a quarterback or fullback – Pelwecki cements himself in the pantheon of self-promoting attention whores Rubin seems to think every high schooler has to be in the age of social media.  He has his Uncle Rico moment; now he can walk off like so many have done at the end of a Gil Thorp arc that I’m not even gonna try to link to them all.  (Do note the similarity to the end of the spring/summer 2016 arc, with Pelwecki in the Barry Bader role and Gil in the True Standish role).

Finally, on July 28, this slog of a spring arc is over.  Let us speak no more of Pelwecki, or Dafne Dafonte, or Barry Bader – that is, until we try to reference them in a flimsy attempt to maintain continuity, like so many Joe Sharkeys.

(apologies Lewis Grizzard for the post title)

July 20, 2018

The Reinvention Of Barry Bader (And Other Assorted Unearned Payoffs)

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Remember yesterday when we were lamenting the eleventh hour assertion that Jay Bhatia somehow had a story that needed to be paid off? Also, remember how we have intermittently wondered if Kevin Pelwecki’s pursuit of Joe Sharkey’s home run record would have a conclusion? Also, remember how we’ve all wondered just how long this season was going to go and whether anything at all was going to be settled?

Oh, and there was one more thing we’ve all been wondering, what was it…? Oh yeah, Barry Bader. We wondered if, when and how exactly Barry might achieve some measure of growth in his precarious position as a well established asshole beset on all sides by people who are, at best, disinterested in helping him?

Well folks, it looks like it’s all getting paid off right here, in three panels and in stunning Technicolor. At least it looks like it will in the near future. Can Whigrub pull this off in one more strip? Do they dare? Stay tuned.

June 12, 2018

Holding a Finger in The Wind

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Not to get all meta on y’all, but lemme just say that following up on posts such as those Ned penned yesterday can be a bit daunting. That said, let’s get to it.

It seems we’ve come some way in the realm of finger repair and thumb reattachment, such that it’s not preclusive of rehabilitation and return. Unfortunately for Gil’s powers of recollection, as described below, Joe made it to the bigs prior to his injury and may possibly have enjoyed success as a pitcher a la Three Finger Brown. Then again, this was forty years ago so Gil may be forgiven for being a little shaky on the details. Heck, forty years ago I was… Well, let’s just leave it at that it was a real, real long time ago.

Want to know what would make panels two and three a lot more interesting? Context.

Instead of wasting time dragging the Bader characters through the mud for no discernible reason, we could have some sense of how many games have been played, how many remain, what efforts Gil may or may not have made on Kevin’s behalf to get him to the next level, etc.

Heck, we could even have explored an arc where his teammates, annoyed with his obsession for personal stats, go to the coach for help with their well meaning but misguided star. Maybe have Kevin go down swinging when he should have just been trying to advance the runner and the Mudlarks lose a crucial game to a hated rival to miss the playdowns.  The point is: There were a lot of missed opportunities for Lessons To Be Learned.

Instead, we wasted more panels than I am prepared to count on an inane interview of BB by DD that I can scarcely recall as, practically speaking, it had no plot. Which might not be the end of the world, except that it’s the middle of June and I have to imagine the football arc starts in August.

Minus points:

P1: Re: Gil’s up the nostril shot, as my toddler son used to say, “No TANK You!”

P2: Please tell me that is some kind of miniature clipboard.

P3: It’s been my lifelong quest, which I embarked upon eight weeks ago, to break his all-time record, with which I am only vaguely familiar.

metapost: FYI to the team, I have created and applied The Legend of Joe Sharkey category.

June 11, 2018

The Joe Sharkey Story

Filed under: Gil Thorp, metapost, The Legend of Joe Sharkey — nedryerson @ 4:58 pm

It only dawned on me midway through the day that I might find strips featuring Joe Sharkey (the best stick in Mudlark baseball history) in Diamond Gems! A Gil Thorp Baseball Collection. Sure enough, this book does have the whole Joe Sharkey saga.

It starts in 1971, when Yale Cody, the Trumpet sports editor quits the paper, goes out for the baseball, and fails miserably. When Yale returns to the paper, he’s criticized by Diane MacDuff for writing cliched copy about baseball. Yale claims that his writing isn’t interesting because the Milford team is terrible and nobody cares about them. He suggests that what is needed is some novel angle to get attention and comes up with a scheme to get Diane on the team because women’s lib is where it’s at.

Yale takes Diane out on the practice field to show her some fundamentals and his friend Joe Sharkey comes along to help out. Up to this point, Joe has just been Yale’s silent shadow, yawning in the background. While they’re working on fundamentals (and Diane shows no talent for baseball) Joe picks up a bat and starts launching baseballs from both sides of the plate. Yale ignores Joe’s talent because he’s fixated on his scheme to get Diane on the baseball team and doesn’t want Sharkey’s talents to be a distraction.

Even though, by rule, girls aren’t allowed to compete against boys, Gil allows Diane to sit on the bench during games. He sees through Yale’s scheme, but he seems to be trying to avoid criticism for not going along with the Women’s Lib movement. (1971, remember.)

The team doesn’t take kindly to having a girl on the bench (especially when they go to an away game at Valley Tech and they’ve got a banner welcoming Diane MacDuff & Her Swinging Sweethearts.) They start giving Diane grief to try and pressure her into leaving. Joe Sharkey, who has gotten a little sweet on Diane, steps in and tells the team they better lay off Diane. The team is still woeful and nobody is paying any attention after the novelty of a girl on the bench wears off. Yale is ready to call the whole stunt off, but Diane still thinks there’s some point to it and decides to spill the beans to Gil about Sharkey’s hitting prowess.

Gil agrees to take a look at Joe Sharkey and his bat is powerful as advertised. He can’t field a lick, but Gil is impressed enough to put him in left field and see how far the bat will carry the team. Joe starts tearing the cover off the ball and eventually commits himself to learn how to field. He eventually starts getting attention from the scouts a few years later.

That’s the basic story of Joe Sharkey’s career as a Mudlark. But there’s more…

In 1974, Gil hears from Joe Sharkey’s dad that Joe is foundering in the Detroit Tigers farm system. He’s playing for manager Bugs McCoy in Plainville. Joe’s dad talks Gil into piloting his plane to Plainville to see what’s up with Joe. When Gil gets there, he finds Joe boozing it up the team’s hotel. Bugs, Joe’s teammates and fans of the Stars have all had it with Joe. He had progressed up to double A but got sent back down and he’s stinking it up.

Joe’s fed up with baseball and he asks Gil if he can fly home with him. Gil says sure, but wonders if Joe shouldn’t at least hang around long enough to get the rest of his bonus. At the minimum, Gil thinks Joe should talk to Bugs before just taking off. Joe says he doesn’t care and gets in the plane to fly home.

A tornado comes up and forces Gil to land in a farmer’s field and the farmer runs out and leads Gil and Joe down into the root cellar. It turns out that the farmer’s daughter, Gretchen, is a fan of the Stars, and Joe in particular. Gretchen has a theory about why Joe is playing poorly. She’s seen him squinting a lot and thinks maybe he has vision problems. Gil insists that Joe get his vision checked and, sure enough, he has become nearsighted. Joe gets glasses and Gil convinces him to head back to Plainville and give baseball one more shot. Joe proceeds to start launching balls out of the park and Bugs is pleased. Gil’s parting shot to Joe is to not turn to the bottle the next time he hits a rough patch.

But, it’s still not over. We flash forward to 1977 and Gil gets a visit from a familiar young woman. It’s Gretchen and she’s now Gretchen Sharkey. The good news is that Joe got called up to the big leagues at the end of the season. The bad news is Joe lost two fingers on his left hand while working on Gretchen’s father’s farm. Joe’s pretty depressed about his career ending so suddenly and Gretchen convinces Gil to try and help lift Joe’s spirits. Gil remembers that Joe used to have a pretty good arm throwing the ball in from the outfield and convinces Joe that he might be able to pitch.

Joe shows enough promise as a pitcher to get a chance to get back into the Tigers organization. Gil even flies him down to Florida in his plane. (They reminisce about the tornado on the way.) They start trying to teach Joe to throw a curve, but he’s distracted being away from Gretchen. He calls to check in on her and she tells him she’s pregnant. Now Joe is more determined than ever to make it!

And, it’s still not over! Gil checks in on Joe in 1979 and he’s still scuffling as a pitcher in the minors. This time, he’s made his mind up for good. He’s going to go back to Nebraska and work on the farm so he can be together with Gretchen and l’il baby Amy.

And that’s it, the whole Joe Sharkey saga. We’ll see tomorrow if Gil can remember any of it or if we’re going to get back into our Barry Bader doldrums or just dick around with The Secret Pelwecki or whatever.

ETA: Has anyone seen Dondi?

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The Toledo Blade May 27, 1971

Interlude

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Ha ha, Joe Shaky! Good one, Gil. You really nailed Kaz with that. Ha ha, Kaz is shaky before he has his coffee. Ho ho, that is rich, Gil!

I don’t know anything about Joe Sharkey. He’s definitely from the pre-TWIM era of Gil Thorp. The way Gil is touching his chin, I think we’re going to go into a flashback. Why not? We’ve got all summer.

All right long time Gil Thorp fans, enlighten us noobs to the legend of Joe Sharkey and his mighty stick!

ETA: It looks like there was a passing reference to Joe Sharkey during the Elmer Vargas story. We’re still largely in the dark. I will thumb through the one Gil Thorp treasury I have at home later and see if there’s a Sharkey story there.

June 24, 2008

Create your own snark!

Filed under: Coach Kaz, Gil Thorp, The Legend of Joe Sharkey — jasbeattie @ 8:56 pm

6/24/08

6/25/08

Sorry, no time to blog…perhaps the details later. For now, create your own snark!

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