This Week in Milford

April 10, 2021

In Milford, Settling Is a Way of Life

Filed under: actual action, baseball, exposition comics, softball — teenchy @ 7:41 pm

Well butter my ass and call me a biscuit. Now this makes two posts in a row where I can actually relate to something in a Gil Thorp strip. Last time out it was going to the public library after school to study before practice. Today it’s knowing when to hang up the tools of ignorance.

I was once a good-field, no-hit catcher (well, not quite no-hit but a spray line-drive hitter without much power) who could handle pitchers okay and didn’t mind the occasional home plate collision. I was also slow as molasses so there really wasn’t any non-catching position other than maybe first base where I wouldn’t be a liability. Along came a kid two years behind me who could do all of that, run the bases and mash taters like it was Thanksgiving. Didn’t take me long to see that I would be relegated to bullpen work at best so I quit the team and confined my catching to church and industrial league softball from then on. At least that kid went on to make All-State so I didn’t feel that badly for leaving the team in the lurch.

Despite only having seen Corina catch twice, at the Valley Mod – Milford pickup picnic and with Ray-in-waiting True Standish over last summer, we’re being told she’s Pudge Rodriguez in a bra. This is exposition par excellence. If we hadn’t had a True Standish in this strip already, I’d go so far as to call Corina a Mary Sue. By finding a place for her in the field, Mimi hints that she hasn’t completely forgotten that Jocelynn Brown has some impact on the lineup. Thanks to Jocelynn having led the rout against Tilden year before last, Mimi and the Lady Mudlarks didn’t have to settle for second in the Valley yet again. Maybe Mimi will ask her to knit a hat for Corina.

Seems like one of you faithful readers commented yesterday to the effect that in the Thorpiverse, players don’t work on their games in the offseason. Well here comes Zane Clark to disprove that theory. He’s been working on his game for the past two offseasons, and the past two seasons for that matter. Wonder if he was playing pickup games with the Valley Mod kids? (edit: Speaking of catchers, what’s up with Boba Fett catching Zane there? No catcher puts their hand that far down to throw signs; if they did, everyone at the game could pick them up.)

If I don’t wrap up this post soon, y’all will have thoroughly commented this strip in yesterday’s comments section. This is what I get for waiting so late in the day to get a post up. Mea culpa.

April 7, 2021

Two Nights – and One Mouth – Running

In the days before the Internet when dinosaurs roamed the earth and yhs was a teenager, part of my weekday routine during sportsball season involved walking uptown from the high school to the public library after classes ended, studying and doing my homework there, then walking back to the high school for late afternoon/early evening sportsball practice. After practice I either hitched a ride home with an older teammate who had his license and lived near me or called my folks from a pay phone at the convenience store nearest the high school and waited there for them to come pick me up. (Oftentimes dinner on those nights would consist of a Stewart hot sandwich and a Coke with salted peanuts in it. Training table of champions.) Same thing applied on game days/nights, though my folks almost always came to games even when I wasn’t a starter or guaranteed to see any playing time.

Guess what I’m trying to say is that the public library’s busiest hours don’t always come in the evenings. Not that it matters to old culo rojo Abel here. Nope, if that place ain’t hummin’ when he’s there, it ain’t hummin’. Speaking of which, why isn’t he there during normal business hours if he needs online access for work? Pulling on his widow’s peak to make it peakier? Oh wait, the pandemic hasn’t hit the Thorpiverse and neither has the concept of working remotely (though that’s what Abel’s doing at night, isn’t he?).

I’m sure that router will be delayed by another day – long enough for Sr. Brito to go back to the library and find out from Dr. Pearl-with-a-dye-job that there’s an opening on the Milford Library Board which he can fill. (Damned if this comic strip isn’t filled with boards and board meetings! You’d think Milford’s adults would find other ways to make life difficult for their children pass their time.) He’ll be slashing budgets and locking doors in no time flat.

Not sure what Sra. Brito is reading but it could be one of many books titled Blue Moon or this. Wonder if she got it at the library.

April 6, 2021

Brito, Unfiltered

See Abel Brito.

See Abel Brito’s tiny body.

See Abel Brito’s tiny briefcase.

See Abel Brito’s tiny bolero jacket.

See Abel Brito’s huge ego.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Abel Brito?

We saw yesterday that Abel Brito is just a step or two behind the times when it comes to internet connectivity and the finer points of working remotely. Maybe even more than a step or two, since he feels the need to print out his work. Good thing Dr. Pearl with a dye job is there to tell him where the printer is. (What? You can’t tell me that’s not Dr. Pearl with a dye job! Things are tough all over, especially since the Milford School Board froze faculty and staff salaries a couple of years ago.) She didn’t tell him how much it costs to print; prolly 5 or 10 cents a copy but free for Milford Library Board members. He did hear there’s a vacancy on the Library Board, didn’t he?

Abel Brito might be a step or two behind the times when it comes to teenage relationships, too. He’s obviously not happy about his daughter Katy’s dating Zane Clark. Can’t be ’cause the kid is a slacker; he’s hard at work at that very same library Abel’s forcing himself to use. Must be because of his home life, some aspect of which must be making Zane unworthy of his daughter. Wouldn’t it be convenient if the Library Board found a way to keep kids from spending too much time at the library, forcing them to, I dunno, study at home?

meta: Thanks @tdrewhardin for covering for me on Saturday’s post.

March 31, 2021

The View from Mount Gilmore

Looking across Gil’s massive schnozz is giving me a huge North by Northwest vibe.

So are the angles of the prairie style window behind his head in P3.

Nothing like starting your day with a Saul Bass title sequence, is there?

Now, about Zane Clark. There are many, but which one is within Rubin’s circle of friends? Can we expect him to comment here this spring? How can we start piecing together his backstory? Will it be as big a red herring as Doug Guthrie’s just was?

Oh, all right. Let’s take a stab. He’s a senior, so most likely this is a one-and-done arc for him. His home life has apparently kept him from coming out for baseball until now, or maybe he came out for baseball before and his home life prevented him from coming out for baseball again until now. Maybe someone in the home had a substance abuse problem, like Aaaaron Aaaagard’s mom. Maybe there was an unplanned addition to the family, like Jaxxxxon Kiser. Or maybe someone got blowtop mad, like Chance Macy. In any event, prepare to be underwhelmed.

June 3, 2020

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

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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 21, 2019

The Color Of Buttons

Filed under: Just plain sad, Milford Idiots, Pissy faced minor character, softball — tdrewhardin @ 8:14 am

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RIGHT OFF THE BAT I am going to abbreviate this damn thing so that this does not become a Looney Tune anvil around ANYONE’s neck. Yosemite Sam is allowed to sink to the bottom of Davy Jones’ Locker, or deep enough to scare the shit out of you but not deep enough to convince you he’s really going to disappear and fight Daffy Duck beyond the Pearly Gates. He’s going after Bugs for Round 2, trust me. The rest of us would rather not get hung at high noon with acronyms.

So instead of Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is too cool for The Pharaoh and Milford High School Campaign for Jesus, I condensed it to TCFS (Too Cool for School) . I wanted to make the “S” stand for the one that comes after “B”, but some idiot might get the wrong idea and declare “This causes Fungal Bacterial Symptoms and thusly, the “B” was omitted.

Now let’s get down to cases. Are we dealing with school buttons or 5-stud poker?????

“I’ll see your TCFS pledge button on your wim-wim for being Patrol Boy of the Month and raise you 2 jack of diamonds and a TCFS smiley face and a Good Job button by Wal-Mart and Dr. Pearl in the same week.”

 

BIG shout-out to Sharon Dow of Louisville, Kentucky for her impressive dedication to her job here at University of Louisville Hospital. She has waited on me hand and foot and has made my stay here a VERY easy way to go. I can tell she really cares about people as shown by her walking a patient down the hallway, monitoring every step of the patient. I am very proud to say that she keeps a clean house and that patients are the better for it. The ICU unit she is on would be less were she not around. Next time you see her, treat her with respect. She’s earned mine, and then some.

 

Gang, this Twilight Zone backdrop in P1 works in Dagwood (technically named Blondie), it works in Wee Pals, kiddies discussing the NATO question with those bongo drums (or congas, forgot to check my Funk-Wagnalls) from the Zone pulsating in the background, Hell, Mary Worth with her atomic bomb of advice was made for white canvasses but it just falls flat on its face in Thorpiverse. Where do they go once they are trapped in a dimension of sight, a dimension of sound???? Down to The Bucket for a Bucket Clam Burgoo? Sure, Rod Serling is down there now with his endless supply of Pall Malls, discussing their Sisyphean fate while taking an occasional drag FROM his Pall Mall after sampling, of course, The Bucket 3-Course Sampler (Bucket Lasagna, Bucket Fettucine, Bucket Child’s Plate Spaghetti) . Can’t discuss heavy semi-philosophical issues on an empty stomach.

 

Marty Moon at the Milford Lounge one night

“Doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo, doo doo…”

“Why are they playing the Twilight Zone theme from the jukebox???”

“I don’t know, Marty, but this white karma is giving me hot flashes. Let’s blow this joint so I can blow something else, Big Boy…”

“Hell, no, what would Peaches think???? I got standards, y’know!!!!!”

Suddenly, the congas explode.

 

If ya and yore 4-wheel drive wind up on the planet Mars cuz yore jumper cables didn’t know how to handle the overcharge from all the whiteness emanatin’ from yore glove box, ya might be a redneck.

 

And what is this about our ambitious hero in P1???? Granted, I admire his drive therefore, dammit, give the guy a button and be done with it. It’s not cheapening the product if a person is trying to better himself/herself. I think the problem is assuming that it’s going to wind up on Spielberg’s or Capra’s desk in the near future.

On the set of “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

“Mr. Capra, some kid just gave me a 2500-word essay “How I Enjoyed My Summer in Bedford Falls.”

 

After talking to timbuys while spacily watching Steven Segal shoot a googolplex (did I spell that right????) of Chicanos, Chinese, Rhode Island Reds, blacks, KKK members, the entire population of the Show Me State, Eskimos (guess they got Uzi’s stored in their closets back at their igloos) , Liechtensteiners, Luxembourgeois, Miserable Fat Belgium Bastards, and Santa’s reindeer to rescue his wife and kids from the dentist’s office on the 86th floor of an abandoned equivalent to the Empire State Building

Today’s headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Gil And Rambo Outlast 50,000 Vietcong Guerillas In OT In ‘Rambo’s Tet Offensive Revisited In Mudlark Gym’!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“Jerry Pulver leading scorer with his Remington; Thorp agrees to drop academic eligibility charges.”

 

THEN The Hand from Dark Shadows makes a comeback in P2. No way, Jose, says The Hand. If you want to earn a Good Job button from Wal-Mart, you have to do a better job of stocking the frozen aisle, I mean, Eggo Waffles and Marie Callender Texas Toast have to be on the shelves at the crack of dawn, not to mention Boston Market Cholesterol-Free Turkey Breast ‘n’ Mashed Potatoes have to be zoned better in aisle 2. Oh, and write “Treasure Island” before the delivery truck full of Stouffers gets here at midnight.

Way to take charge, Hand. Who says you only scare people????? You lead by example. And ya got a Good Job button in the bargain.

Finally, there’s P3. Omigod. WHAT other comic strip contains people in dire need of reshaping their trapezoidal butts??? Do you ever see Linus and Luycy shakin’ that octagonal thang around??? When did you EVER see Herb Woodley walk over to Dagwood’s place with geometric inconsistencies ftrom his derriere??????? You factor in the 45-degree lines from the backstop in sync with the dugout fencing and this is a wonderful Cubist painting from somebody trying to get a TCFS button (missed your calling, Mr. Eager Beaver Screenwriter) but art connoiseurs really need to eschew Thorpiverse. And we’re STILL talking TCFS buttons up to First Pitch???? Bet they don’t have their game favces on.

 

“Folks, sometimes life doesn’t always make the easy lay-up and send the game into OT. That’s when you shake the hand of Lou Grant, pull yourselfup by the jock strap and head to the Socker, er, LOCKER room, your Jimmy Chitwood Doesn’t Always Make The 15-Footer So That STATE CHAMPS Appears On The Town Water Tower 47 Years Later speech on 2 3 x 5 index cards in right hand.

That’s what I had to do recently when my cholesterol reading was worse thanmy bowling average, not to mention my golf score on one hot August night on the back nine at Milford Country Club.

Hi, this is Coach Thorp on behalf of Milford Beverage Warehouse. Trust me, it was no fun being transported to Milford General because my a-fib was acting up from too many  $5 Grande Scramblers at Milford Taco Bell. Do you honestly believe I enjoyed laying in a hospital bed listening to Hazel the Maid plug Dos Equis for the Warehouse??? Mr. Baxter, her boss, singing the praises of Milford Beer Nuts Lime and a fifth of Jack??? Now I knlw what Purgatory will sound like when I cross the Charon.

And I’m gettin’ a sneakin’ suspicion that the Warehouse was onto that so they are willing to rectify the situation that’ll cause Otis the Drunk to engineer an Andy Dufresne. And who can blame Otis the Drunk for wading through a Milford sewer line to get these door-busters????

Yep, the Warehouse will give you a free bag of Idaho’s Best French Fries for every $20 of booze you purchase. Ummm,ummmm, I can just savor ’em now, the fries I mean. You don’t put Falls City in the oven, silly, unless you ARE Otis the Drunk.

How ’bout a lip-smackin’ combo of Idaho’s Best Crinkle-Free, Ice-Brewed Fries, topped with Arby’s Famous Horse Radish, washin’ it down with a refreshing cold, krausened Budweiser? Or if some of you commie pinkos like different, try Idaho’s Best Tater Tots ‘n’ Heinz Gluten-Free Ketchup with a glass of Maker’s Mark Hand-Tossed Bourbon, aged since General Braddock gave the order for General Washington to attack Fort Pitt. Yummy, yummy, yuumy, I got love in my tummy; talk about Pavlov’s Dog salivating when he hears the door bell.

But then some of you wine-and-cheese crowd people might prefer Marini & Rossi Pink Chablis Merlot 90 Proof Sparkling and Bubbling non-Biodegradable White Apertif with a generous bowl of Idaho’s Best Honey ‘n’ Garlic Long-Cut, pre-Baked Hash Browns. And watch Dickie V. on Big Monday break down the Carolina-Duke rivalry???? Where’s the remote????

And you can save even more money as Groupon has partnered with the Warehouse to slash the first trip to the Warehouse to a $10 purchase if you’ll purchase at least 3 Snickers bars or 5 Kit Kats as the Warehouse is cleanin’ house. Rumors were abundant that a 3 Musketeers bar and a Cutty Sark simply wasn’t the snack of choice while watching your favorite NFL team so Groupon is leading the charge on this fire sale.

As soon as you have visited yours truly at Milford General, come check out these great buys at The Milford Beverage Warehouse. You’ll have done your good deed for the day and you can live The Good Life to its fullest. This Bud’s for you, My Friend.”

 

Comment away, Gang. I’m going to another dimension to get a trapezoidal butt of my own. When on Mars, do as the Martians do.

“Oh, Marty., you sexy thing you. How’d you manage to get the place?????”

“Simple, Peaches. I just went the Glidden Store and got a couple of paintbrushes out of the garage, and the rest was a piece of cake. Matches the wine, doesn’t it?”

May 16, 2019

National Merit Scholarships Are TCFS?

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Wait, Linda is trolling for a button/badge? And her teammate Nancy, who isn’t even sure if she is a part of things, denied her? But there does seem to be a specific set for couples TCFS achievement? Are there any written rules at this point or at least some sort of appeals process? Will a rival badge-less clique rise up to contest the new social hierarchy only to itself recreate the rigid social boundaries it was meant to disrupt? Will we leave lots of unanswered questions and then, all of a sudden but after several tall lemonades, see Gil teaching golf to surly seven year olds at the Milford CC over the summer?

I think we know the answer to that last one at least.

Bonus points: Nancy is depicted sitting as far away as possible from the steering wheel and its potentially lethal airbag as one should.  Not sure how well she’s going to be able to steer with her elbows locked like that, but one problem at a time I suppose.

Minus points: Even though Nancy has her hands at the recommended 9 and 3 positions, in the event of airbag deployment, her chunky bracelets are sure to become deadly, if fashionable, projectiles. Also, Nancy comes across as super passive-aggressive as she tells and tells us about what happened (or didn’t) after panel one’s exciting action.

January 2, 2019

Martin McDonagh Was Right: Billboards Come in Threes

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Times are tough at the Milford Star.  Ad revenues are way down and they have a staff of three: Marjie Ducey, middle-aged management/editor type guy and the bearded one.  It still has physical offices and the nice little sign out front from its heyday (“Covers the Valley like the Dew“) but it can’t afford to replace that window that mysteriously got broken after the Star ran its piece on the Milford Pirate Network last basketball season.  Well, it’s either that or the window tint fell off; otherwise how could we see the convo between editor type guy and the bearded one?

Bearded guy’s hard-hitting investigative journalism doesn’t really do much to satisfy Editor Guy’s curiosity but it nudges the plot forward just a teeny bit.  Maybe Bobby has rented two billboards and put the same message on both of them two different times, and now plans to do it again.  (“COACH THORP: TAKE A HINT FROM URBAN MEYER AND MARK RICHT”)  Such the suspense!

Meanwhile in the halls of Milford High, unidentified student needles Filion with the slang term that Filion’s been singlehandedly trying to make a thing with the Mudlarks.  Filion fires back with that already tried-and-true phrase of the Milford lexicon, “Ease up!”  Next Gil is accosted by one of the faculty, no doubt to talk about said Filion.  Why she goes to Gil instead of, say, Dr. Pearl is beyond me but then again this strip isn’t named Dr. Pearl.  Probably safe to say that any behavioral anomalies among the Milford student body can be directly attributed to events that happen under Gil’s watch. He’s used to it by now, so her inquiry is not met with a spit take.  All in a day’s work for the most laissez-faire coach in the Valley.

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