This Week in Milford

September 5, 2022

Was This Concierge Oreintation?

Happy Labor Day, all. I think the holiday dictates that I needn’t give a full effort into dissecting this strip. Given that my full effort usually amounts to something approaching half-assed, we’re practically done here. It’s time for a picnic and contemplation of the efforts of my forefathers to organize themselves and give me the opportunity to develop leisurely pursuits like snarking on comics. Huzzah!

Okay, there are a few things here to talk about. Apparently, Gil’s role in manning the Oreinetation desk was loosely defined, and he was free to wander off and schmooze with parents if it struck his fancy. While Gil catches up with “Mel”, there’s another parent named Karen standing at the desk who needs help with her child’s schedule. Hold your horses, Karen. Someone will be along to help. Maybe Steve Luhm can show you around.

The Melanie/Kyle backstory timeline kind of baffles me. Their marriage fell apart after Kyle met a PA during filming of Robert Eggers’ new movie. So, this is a movie that’s new, meaning out now? Maybe there was a long postproduction period, who knows. Robert Eggers is a real director whose latest film The Northman came out this year. So Barajas is taking liberties a bit, but it does obscure the timeline a bit. It leaves me to question what happens faster, a divorce or the release of a movie.

What we’re mainly left with is that Melissa “Mel” Gordon requests that Gil watch out for Tobias, or is it Toby? I think if you choose a new name for yourself, you might be less inclined to be cool with someone using a diminutive variation. But Moms gotta mom, I guess.

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.

May 28, 2022

By This Logic, He’d Wear a Football Helmet If He Was Deaf

So, yeah. Protect his eyes but don’t do anything to improve his vision. Maybe Gil is serious about winning the Valley, and this is his weapon of choice: trot the Hammer out to the bump every third day and have him throw wildly at stuff Nuke Laloosh style to put the fear of God into opposing batters. Nah. That would inject some semblance of logic into this arc where none has existed to date.

After pointing the gigantic Flying Fickle Finger of Fate at Ggerg, Gilberto strolls into the shadows with the walking HIPAA violation (recall she showed up at MHS in Tuesday’s strip but by Wednesday, Gil was “paying a visit to” her). Who’s that watching them walk away, Ggerg himself? If so, he peeled out of that uniform pretty darn quick.

I’m still hung up on what “Dr.” Maisano actually revealed in her little chat with Gil. She said his eyesight is gonna get worse and implied he won’t be able to play baseball again. What, exactly, is the problem? Is he literally going blind, and no treatment to halt or reverse his progressive loss of vision is possible? Leaving that dangling might be the biggest of the big holes in this plot.

Speaking of big holes, that blonde woman standing behind Gil in P3 fell into a big one this spring. What’s she been doing with herself since March? Feel free to speculate in the comments.

May 4, 2022

From a Slick Stop to a Meal Stop

Time for a break from the Milford Witness Protection Program for some actual action.

Central tries to mount a late rally against the Mudlarks by putting on Milford’s uniforms and crowding the plate. This ruse fails as Gonzo Aceves gets the batter in disguise to ground into a game-ending double play. Surprising that Gil and Kaz left Gonzo in to pitch a complete game; maybe they were also too busy watching Mama Hamm take a bullet for Papa Hamm to pay attention to the action on the field.

Menawhile Marty’s in his crate, calling the game using the CB radio he pulled from under the dash of his car and taking notes using a carpenter’s pencil. Guess Marty got it from Heather that everyone’s calling Aceves “Gonzo” now. Though he and his butter knife are long gone The Mayor has left his mark, at least for the rest of this season.

Now it’s off for postgame junk food, either at Ricozzi’s or The Bucket. Will the Hammmmer walk into a pane of glass as he joins the rest of the team? Will Papa Hamm be stuffed in the trunk of the Hammmobile when Mama Hamm comes to pick Gregg up? Will Scooter be too busy bragging about the twin killing he turned to bore everyone to tears with baseball trivia? So much to anticipate for the rest of the week!

March 30, 2022

The Untouchables

More exposition today of Scooter’s love of baseball trivia. Also more indulgence of the Chief’s latest fetish: shoe bottoms. (Speaking of fetishes, have you checked out Rex Morgan lately? What’s up with that?)

Nice discussion of baseball records unlikely to be broken yesterday. Josh Fruhlinger was pretty spot on when he ventured:

I’m not a “sports guy” but the answer to this question has to be pitching-related, right, since they used to put pitchers in 60 games a year or whatever but now they’ve evolved into delicate, crane-like creatures capable of throwing at superhuman speeds but also they need lots of downtime between starts or their hollow bones will explode?

Count me among those who lean toward the early 20th-century pitching records as the least likely to be broken. I’ll add the 110 career shutouts from the man in whom bitterness was never detected.

Scooter seems slightly impressed that Gregg has some grasp of baseball trivia. That “watch your step,” then, isn’t likely some kind of warning to stay of his trivia turf. Thoughtful of Gregg not to make some kind of crack about Scooter’s step-watching ability being a function of his height. Scoot might’ve gone off Barry Bader style.

February 28, 2022

Gil Makes His Move

Gil has been stirred from his default setting of blissful unawareness by Gordon’s disclosure. Initiate Gilbot 2000 Concern Sequence! So now that Gil knows about the gambling situation (plus the potential violence situation) what is his responsibility in this matter. Should this be reported up to the administration of Milford High, so parents can be notified and other steps taken to correctly apply the policies of the school? Nah, ol’ Gil just launches himself straight into action and grabs Pranit out of the classroom to start applying justice Thorpstyle.

C’mon Gil, you can’t soft pedal this, although we haven’t been given any reason to believe that Gil would try to bend the rules to keep Pranit from getting tossed out of school. Has the kid even played any games since the very beginning of the season? We have no clue. Maybe Gil is doing the “right thing” and taking Pranit (who has suddenly gotten a bit darker in skin tone) straight down to the office to let them sort out this ridiculousness.

February 26, 2022

Please Gordon Don’t Hurt ‘Em

“Not exactly, I mean.

A threat should do it, mostly.

Maybe just a hint.”

We’ve hit the home stretch

Finally Gil Thorp’s involved

What took him so long?

For that matter, why

three strips for Pranit to ask

Gordon to be goon?

For that matter, why

is Gordo acting so surprised?

Muscle’s all he’s been!

The king of picking

winners should have gotten all

the money up front

But noOOOo! What a putz!

Where’s he gonna find a goon

On such short notice?

Cressa Baxter? She’d

do it for a Jiffy Tart

Or can of White Claw

Gordon doesn’t know

the difference between what’s

crazy and stupid

Check out Gil’s office

All those empty picture frames

Titles never won

Empty picture frames

or mirrors? Maybe Gil Thorp

is a vampire

(edit: Dunno wth is going on with my spacing; these are haikus and the spacing between paragraphs isn’t showing when I publish. Little help?)

February 23, 2022

The Goon Squad, Part Deux

Who didn’t see this coming? Pranit Rock may know how to bet on sports himself but he doesn’t know how to bet for other people (money up front, you dolt!) or how to collect the money he’s fronted for other people. So now someone else besides Gil could use some muscle and, again, that muscle is taking the form of Gordon Achebe.

Gordon’s been bulking up on what look like pickles^ so he should be ready to pound that Budweiser some welchers, including the John Daly clone and… uh… the… tennis betting girl? Nah, I can’t see that happening. Gordon has shown himself to have some amount of common sense since his debut in the strip, and I don’t see that going away here. Pranit Fitness is gonna have to find some other way to collect on his debts. Maybe he can send the mook who’s gonna come after him in a matter of a couple of days.

How did the Mudlarks do against Madison, btw? The boys have played four, five games tops? Did Pranit Hollywood maintain his confidence from behind the three-point line, or did it wilt like his betting prowess? Probably will never know except in exposition.

^ Interesting table manners there. Who takes a bite out of a burger then sets the burger down with that bite facing away from them? For that matter, who palms an apple like, well, a basketball and takes a bite out of it from top to bottom instead of around its circumference? The Chief needs to knock off his fixation on big hands, pointy fingers and clunky jewelry and focus on how live human beings handle everyday objects. Alright, thinking about this nonsense is giving me a headache. I got nothing more intelligent to add to this today. teenchy out.

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