This Week in Milford

May 7, 2022

You, Reading Gil Thorp. Me, Trying To Snark About It.

Charis the tennis player (the only Milford High girl we’ve been introduced to this season so far) points out how ludicrous it seems to jump to conclusions about Papa Hamm’s camera-shyness. Since the witness protection program idea has already been thrown out, it can’t be the reason. Odds are it’s something really stupid he’s using as an excuse for ghostwriting books for business executives.

Smash cut to La Maison Du Jambon where we have another Milford athlete’s mom ticked off at that Milford athlete’s dad’s bizarre behavior. Shades of last spring, non? Mama Hamm’s appearance begs the question: If he’s the one trying to hide, why’s she the one who’s constantly changing her hair, clothes, and glasses? Mama’s confrontational speech reads like a lame Milford Mad Lib:

“You, fantasizing about Marjie Ducey. Me, indulging your fantasy by dyeing my hair blonde and putting on wire-rimmed glasses.”

“You, trying to live down the failed tryout for Colonel Sanders you lost to Norm McDonald. Me, suggesting you should be the one who dyes their hair.”

“You, thinking you can’t be seen. Me, thinking our son can’t see.” Wait, neither of them are thinking this. That’s how this plot has remained even remotely plausible.

Have at it with your own Milford Mad Libs in the comments, gentle readers, and stay dry this weekend.

May 6, 2022

A Hamm Hmph

Filed under: baseball, Pantheon of Hair, Pissy faced minor character, The Bucket — robmize2013 @ 7:50 pm

Im not sure who the girl is, perhaps the tennis player? Scooters girlfriend.. Anyhoo- they take the whole meal to discuss what we already have known for 2 weeks- Mr. Hamm doesnt like his picture shown. Curtis surmises he may be in the Witness Protection Program. Here’s more on exactly what that is:

I think its way simpler then that, but we dont have enough facts to make a call just yet. All we have is him finishing something on his PC and his wife commenting about it:

Which brings us to P3 and the Hamms enjoying a glass of wine on the porch. I read the Gocomics comments and someone remarked that Mrs. Hamm had changed her hairstyle the same day from ponytail to bobcut. I disagree- she merely removed the rubberband that made the ponytail and let it hang down when she got home: Many women do that..

She also had clips in her hair in the panel from April 1 as an alternative to rubberbands to hold her long hair in place. (See 2 panels above)

But this is my favorite look for her: Looking good indeed.

The artist musta forgot how hot she was in this panel and went back to her other color, to my dismay. Ponytails always make you look fun.

So she doesnt seem too keen on her hubby hiding behind the cameras, for whatever reason, and I really hope the whole baseball season doesnt take a back seat to this. We have bigger fish to fry, like their sons eyes not working.

I’m sure Mrs Hamm approves of my song choice today:

May 5, 2022

It Involves A Double Play, But It Isn’t Baseball.

Filed under: Gil Thorp — tdrewhardin @ 1:32 pm

8:01-Gannon and I decided that the best way to track down any funny business was to head them off at their favorite haunts. This Scooter Borden was an interesting fellow and potentially a link to this Hamm mystique that we were still trying to penetrate but came up with sore fists from trying to beat the door down. Maybe Scooter had the key so we wouldn’t have to check in at Milford Minor Emergency Clinic. One less insurance claim to file in the Health & Benefits Department at the Milford Police Station.

We sat at a booth waiting for The Teenager Who Knew Too Much to walk in. We weren’t going to starve our rear ends off waiting for Archie Andrews to rat on Jughead Jones so we flagged down a waitress. I ordered a Bucket Double Decker Burger w/ side order of Bucket Fries and Gannon ordered Bucket Buffalo Wings.

“Bill, I thought you said you got gastronomic nightmares from spicy greasy food they slop the heifers with before breeding and feed the roaches by the dumpster with at the end of the night.”

“Joe, I won’t lie, this whole Hamm imbroglio is getting to my nerves. I need something you could light a match to that would incinerate Hoosier National Forest in its entirety. As long as they remember to bring the Grape Nehi, I won’t be a walking torch that can flame on its own to the Athens Olympics. I’m in no mood to stick my head on the wick and some idiot shout out LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!!!!!!!!”

Gannon had a point and always called a spade a spade, even if he had to use that same spade to shovel in The Bucket Garden Cobb Salad. We ate in peace and harmony, then trouble walked in.

Scooter had arrived.

“Awwwwriightttt, Buster, state your business and it better be good!!!!!!!!!”

“I’m sorry, who are you?”

“We’re police officers and we’ll ask the questions. What do you know about Gregg Hamm and his family?”

“Gregg’s a straight-A student and one of our ace pitchers. Blind as a bat but we help him along. He leads the team in strikeouts.”

“Look, Scooter, if I want statistics, I’ll go to Milford Magazine and Newspaper and pick up a copy of Elias Sports Bureau Quarterly by the loser who is reading War and Peace cover-to-cover without paying for it.”

“Son, Mr. Friday is only trying to track down anything that would endanger Gregg and his parents. If you know anything, we need it now before a disaster comes their way.”

“I’m really not sure. I’ve never seen his dad do anything stupid. And his mom’s a sweetie. That’s all I know.”

“Yeah, and the farmers who saw Jesse James on his way to rob the stagecoach said the same thing. I oughta book you on a Section 43 Article 909 of the Milford Municipal Code of the Milford Police Department “Willful Misleading, Obstructing, and Concealment of Evidence that Leads to a Strong Conviction and Miscellaneous Ramifications” but I haven’t finished my Bucket Burger yet and I want to try their Bucket Crab Claw Sandwich. But watch your step, I’m not that desperate for a Bucket Brain Sandwich.”

“You heard the man, Son. If you withhold anything, it could hurt you in the long run.”

“You’ll be the first to know. BTW, do you know who was the only player to play in two NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship games but on two different teams?”

“You keep playing with fire you might wind up in two different jails.”

Somber but slightly less funereal trombones blow in as the scene slowly fades out and Gannon finally gets his Grape Nehi.

Have at it, Gang. You think you know, let me know.

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Success Aplenty At The Teacher Job Fair Held At The Milford Civic Center Auditorium!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“O.J.: ‘I’ve always wanted to teach algebra. I never understood that stuff until I took correspondence classes at Milford Community College and I don’t want 6th-graders heading down the road to ruin.”

Gee, if only that was the extent of the problem, do I call Domino’s for delivery or do I take a chance on the Bucket Crab Claw Sandwich? Who cares if my dad was once a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army that once kidnapped Patty Hearst, I’m hungry. Take your time, Gregg, we’ve been piddling around for a month or two now and we’ll probably fart around another month or two until Gil’s Excellent Golf Adventure commences around July 4th. Have plenty of Domino’s 1/2 Pepperoni 1/2 Hamburger and some Pop Tarts available while you do your homework. Writing a book report on “The Last of the Mohicans” can work up an appetite, I’m sure.

But the rest of us mortals are totally in the dark on where in the name of Quinn Buckner (not the trivia answer, BTW, try again) this is heading. Us TWIMers thought that when Scooter diverted over to the tennis courts that we might be embroiled in a Tennis-Baseball story where Scooter is tormented by his snarly bitchy girlfriend who is Smelly Cat Incarnate but Scooter does a Lou Gehrig and hits a grand slam to help the Mudlarks win the State Playdowns and his girlfriend has a change of heart and marries and becomes Carol Brady who gets tormented ad aeternum by Scooter’s stat obsession. Robert Brady who became a stats geek. Deju vu all over again as Yogi Berra once quipped.

But tennis is on the back burner with the rest of the Bucket Pork Fritters and Scooter and Gregg have managed to get through another game without Gregg having to use his seeing-eye dog when waking to the mound. But you KNOW this isn’t going on forever. This one is going to come to a head even though we still have this issue with Mr. and Mrs. Hamm hanging over our heads. Having to deal with an earthquake while there’s a tornado warning issued for Milford and vicinity. Anybody ready?

Didn’t think so.

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Teacher Job Fair Continuing To Exhibit Strong Returns According To The Latest Polls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“School Board President: ‘We even encourage Milford Rideshare for teachers who do not own a vehicle. One 5th-grade Science teacher we hired will be part of a car pool heading to Milford Elementary.”

Oh boy, P2 is the sudden change of direction we needlessly anticipated. Can’t ride off with the girlie-girl on Trigger into the sunset, nosiree. Making a great play to seal the win and talking about it at Miller Time at The Bucket simply isn’t in the cards. Nope, we have to drag this nearly-dead horse around that is instigated by presumably the same player who had his head glued up his rear end. Attaway, Thorpiverse, encourage kids who don’t stay focused to prolong this facade beyond its face value which isn’t valued much beyond a bucket of spit at this point. Yeah, that’s Life, don’t worry about staying hungry and giving your best, just give him that benchwarmer his pipe and slippers, have him sit on the nearest recliner in the dugout and whittle away the time on unconfirmed reports. It’ll put hair on his chest.

Must we bear the cross of another episode that would be better suited on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman? That show at least spun off Fernwood 2 Night. What is going to be the sequel to this useless exchange? “Capricorn One: Hal Holbrook This Time Runs Over Coach Thorp In The Desert In A Space Vehicle”? Hoo boy, Mr. Hamm was one of the surviving astronauts who survived the vicious government cover-up and Holbrook is determined to keep it that way by blasting him with a shotgun when Mr. Hamm is caught off-guard singing the National Anthem. When the announcer tells you to remove your hat, watch your backside, Mr. Hamm.

If ya notice yore 756-pound girlfriend gettin’ a-kost-ed by some strange man wearin’ a pinstripe suit and a badge in the bleachers while yuz playin’ second base for Milford Foundry’s B League Softball team on Open Industrial Thursday Night at Milford Softball Complex and she pistol-whips HIM when he tries to git any skinny on your whereabouts, ya might be a redneck.

9:16PM-The crowd at The Bucket started to thin out and we waited for any more possible hints of suspicious play. In all my years as a police officer, I learned you had to explore all the angles including under the tables even if they had gum stuck on for maybe 10 years. Sometimes the truth doesn’t surface right away and it looks like Gannon’s wife after she smeared Noxzema on her face but if it put a punk behind bars, I didn’t mind having to smell the stale Wrigleys clump.

I did have to caution Gannon after he was getting carried away with his hands on the cheerleaders in the next booth. We couldn’t bust this wide open if Gannon walked out of The Bucket with Dirty Old Man attached on his back. I told Gannon to lay low. We didn’t want to draw undue attention from any criminal or Bill’s wife.

We caught a break and none too soon. Mr. Benchwarmer was flapping his jaws about some subterfuge occurring with the Hamms. Something about the Secret Service. He couldn’t be talking about the Reagan assassination attempt. It was time to finish up the Bucket Mulligan Stew and go to work.

“Hold it right there, Mr. Benchwarmer!!!!!!!!! You may be slick and think nobody is overhearing your conversation about Mr. Hamm and plot overthrows but unless you are in dialogue over Romper Room, you better come clean!!!!!!!!!!”

“I’m not sure I know what you mean.”

“Listen, punk, I sent more people to the chair who tried to play dumb. Fried their fannies right there on the spot when they tried to deny pouring Aunt Jamima on the pancakes when the bottle was right next to the check. What’s the goods on this Secret Service agent and Mr. Hamm?”

“Honestly, all I said was Mrs. Hamm was shading Mr. Hamm as if she was a Secret Service agent.”

“Yeah, and Coach Thorp sat you on the bench because you didn’t hit off the batting tees with authority. I’d put the cuffs on you now for violating Article 221 Section 34 Line 19 of the Milford Municipal Code of the Milford Police Department “Wanton Indiscriminate Conduct that Impedes the Execution and Administration of a Police Officer in the Line of Duty during Sporting Activities” but I haven’t left The Bucket waitress a tip. Now take it and run with it and watch your mouth next time.”

“Listen to him, Son. We are just trying to help. When you spend time with your head not in the game and somewhere up Gil’s sweet spot in his Jordaches, you’re making it tough on yourself and us too. Hit the cages when you keep dipping that shoulder.”

“I will, officers.”

“You better, or you’ll be dipping your fingers to get fingerprinted.”

Loud strident horns chime as Joe picks up Mr. Benchwarmer’s tab and they all leave.

Late Afternoon Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Milford School Corporation Scores Major Coup At Teacher Job Fair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“School Board President: ‘We are pleased to announce the hire of Herman Munster. He will be a teacher’s assistant in the high school Chemistry and Physics classes.”

P3 is a joke. Why do we need to change the subject when it was clear your head was not in the game, as per Scooter Borden? Call the goddam police if you notice anything suspicious but we were on a sports roll and now it’s like getting robbed by Jesse James when your stagecoach was going to an elaborate wedding. And who better to cut the sportsline off at the source than none other than Mr. Benchwarmer? God forbid we have to give the floor to the players who helped win the game. The committee recognizes Mr. Benchwarmer who had his thumb up his derriere the entire game.

Thorpiverse, please quit parading around deadbeats who need to hit the cages and need work on letting down the tailgate when fielding. We don’t really care to give an ear to someone who turns a deaf ear to “two hands and squeeze”. We might use our two hands and squeeze Mr. Benchwarmer. If Mr. Hamm is a fugitive from the law, the truth will come to the surface. We don’t need players who are that in name only. He wants to uncover this one, go major in Criminal Justice at Milford Community College.

Great article on Steve Buttleman, the Official Bugler for the Kentucky Derby (BTW, Buttleman actually plays a herald trumpet as an actual bugle has no valves) . In constant demand for ceremonies besides the Derby (e.g., weddings) , the man is a very humble fellow who sweated his audition, since he was in a t-shirt and cut-offs while everybody else was in their Sunday best. Still proved to be the man for the job and never looked back







“The story you have just seen is true. The names should be changed to protect the innocent and our sanity.”

“On April 29th, trial was held in Milford Superior Court. In a moment, the results of that trial.”

At the Thorp residence one Saturday afternoon after the last cartoon has run its course


Mimi and the kids are playing 5-stud poker. Jaime has an ace stuck in his Underoos for future usage. Keri peeps at her mom’s cards whenever the latter is sipping her Canada Dry.


“Who is playing that trumpet? Some neighbor needs lessons BAD.”

“Mommy, I think it’s coming from the den. I’ve heard Daddy say ‘shit’ every now and then.”

“WHAT???? He better have some explanation if he doesn’t want to sleep in the garage tonight.”

Mimi and the kids head to the den that is securely locked


“Gil, what is the meaning of this? And why is the door locked?”

“Oh hi everybody. I am going to audition for the Kentucky Derby bugler and because I am in serious need of sexual enhancement, I thought I’d kill two birds with one erection. I’ve been trying to pick up the pace for Miles Davis’ ‘Ah-Leu-Cha’. It takes a while but I’ll get the hang of it. But I got a real rise from my Levi’s when I was fumbling Louis Armstrong’s ‘Potato Head Blues’ so there’s hope.

“Mommy, I heard him banging the wall with his crotch when he was playing the trumpet solo for ‘Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?’ He said he’ll be firmer and play better than Lee LackeyGreatDane. Is he our new principal?”

“Honey, that’s Lee Loughnane from the group Chicago and he’s going to be sleeping in the lackey’s quarters if he doesn’t out a stop to this travesty. Gil!!!!!!!!!!! End this at once!!!!!!!!!!!!!”



“Woman, can’t you see I’m practicing? I need space to concentrate because Wynton Marsalis’ ‘J Mood’ can be really tricky. If I can get the fingering right, I’ll play the trumpet and impose pelvic thrusts on you in a fluorish!!!!!!!!!!!!! We’ll have sex better than ‘Hot House Flowers’ before you can say Thelonious Monk.”





“Sorry. I farted on that last one.”

“Mommy, Daddy said after he would play the intro at the Derby, he was going to do the Bartman to show he was sexually liberated.”

“He wouldn’t have the sex life of Bart Simpson if he would take those EREC-6512 Time Release Capsules that I ordered from Milford Men’s Clinic. Take them 6 hours before bedtime and he’ll be harder than having to listen to this foolishness by the time we hit the sheets.”

“Mimi, if I’m to play like Chet Baker, there is no sense in playing a song flute. You don’t go to Milford Jazz Feztival and play ‘Dizzy Atmosphere’ with this second-hand trumpet I bought at Milford Flea Discount Center. I am going to the Milford Outdoor Atmosphere playing Baker’s ‘Who’s Got The Last Laugh Now’ with vim and vigor and also showing my thang can be a diving board for the audience to see. Stick that in your pipe and pump it.”

“Mom, I’m going to go get my tonette and play ‘I Like To Play in my Tonette Band’ and shake my thang in the living room on the ottoman with the windows open so the neighborhood can see.”

“JAIME, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!!! Gil, I am going to count to ten and if-“



“When The Salvation Army Band played better than I did on this cheap-ass instrument that was made from the slags of some tin mine in Minnesota, it was time to get real and get help. I took those EREC-6512 Time Release Capsules my wife was talking about, I may have been wimpy at 6 but by bedtime I was ready to perform. Magic and the Lakers couldn’t hold a candle to the Celtic who was intent on pouncing on his wife and enjoying every minute of it. Talk about crunch time. If you choke under pressure, it’s time to head to Milford Men’s Clinic and feel like Showtime. Come get your own sky hook today and feel like a champion.

Gang, I don’t care what you say, Bill Gannon does not have Erectile Dysfunction. I am not sending him to Milford Men’s Clinic.

But God bless you anyway.

“Mr. Benchwarmer was found guilty of 3 counts of Negligent Attendance to Duty in the Line of Fire and 7 counts of Excessive Insubordination to the Superior Command which is punishable by Article 67 Section 102 of the Milford Penal Code with Dugout Imprisonment for a period not lasting more than 5 years or a fine of $4,645,086 or both.”

“Mr. Benchwarmer is currently serving his sentence of 3 years in the Milford Softball Sportllex dugout.”

Gang, time’s up. The answer is Bob Bender, who was a member of the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers when they won the Championship. He decided to transfer to Duke where he was more comfortable playing for Bill Foster who was returning the Blue Devils to its glory days under the well-respected Vic Bubas. Foster engineered the revival with great recruiting, obtaining Jim Spanarkel, Mike Gminski, and Gene Banks, three future NBA dudes that would post solid pro careers. Bender was a reserve point guard on the team that rode this gravy train to the 1978 NCAA Championship Final where they lost to a veteran Kentucky team that was battle-hardened and ready for action. Jack “Goose” Givens scored 41 points and proved too much for Duke to handle, helping the Wildcats to win, 94-88. Bender would later serve as an assistant to Mike Krzyzewski after Coach K started coaching Duke in the 1980-81 season.

At a Mudlark Baseball game

“Where’s Bender, Kaz?”

“Gil, he says you suck as manager and you need to wash your jeans so he went to go play for La Russa.”

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!

May 3, 2022

“Is That Joe Friday Over There Standing By The Smokemaster Grill?”

Filed under: Gil Thorp — tdrewhardin @ 2:08 pm

This is the city, Milford USA. Really not a whole lot to do unless you call winning the hog-calling contest at Gil Thorp Pure Pork Sausage Annual Picnic a flurry of excitement. It’s not my cup of tea but one of our police detective’s sons won the Hog Rasslin’ Competition-16-18 Division at the picnic so ambition is in the eye of the schmuck that prints the menu at Milford Diner. And as long as the hogs stay in the pen, there’s no sense in reading the hog farmer his rights. But when somebody starts performing payola to guarantee success in the Hog Rasslin’-60 & Over Division under the Smokemaster when people are observing the game, that’s when I go to work. My name’s Friday. I carry a badge.

There was an earthquake in Milford. The Coffee Cantina was severely damaged but volunteers from Milford AARP Chapter stopped by to help with the cleanup. New pots were ordered and miraculously, the coffee stayed fresh. People could have used some Folgers during the San Franscisco Earthquake.

But we had a real earth tremor of our own on our hands. My partner, Bill Gannon, and I were assigned to Spectator Fraudulent Activity with Intent to Perpetrate Further Illegal, Immoral, and Illicit Endeavors Including But Not Restricted to Youth Athletic Leagues and Confederations in the Sports and Recreation Division. The boss is Captain Claxton.

“Gentlemen, we got a lulu on our hands and the Mayor of Milford has been ranting and raving about this for weeks. Let’s wrap this one up pronto before His Honor’s blood pressure shoots through the roof.”

“Any leads?”

“We received some footage that some dimbulb ex-soccer player who took Ducey’s place at The Star presented us. And there was no foul ball when this lady was trying to cover for the man sitting next to her in the bleachers. We assume it’s her husband but she could be a hooker taking the dive for her boss, for all we know.”

“She must be head over heels for him if she’s going to go out in the land mine so he keeps his suit and tie intact.”

“We’re way ahead of you, Bill. Why WOULD she take the hit unless there was a good reason?”

“Wish my wife did the same for me but I’m never home.”

“Sorry I can’t give you more than that. Just sit in the bleachers next game and mingle the best you know how. Don’t do nuthin’ stupid but don’t let a guy blow you away when you’re munching on nacho chips.”

“I don’t eat them anyway. Doctor says I fart in technicolor anytime I’m around Tostito’s.”

Somber music slowly blends in as Gannon and Friday leaves Captain Claxton’s office.

As Frank so accurately points out, no coach would allow their players’ minds to wander like the player in P1. Naturally, Gil and his Jordache jeans are nowhere to be found. Open your eyes, Gil and Mr. Benchwarmer, you’re missing a good game. And as Teenchy notes, what newspaper reporter comes to a game with a camcorder like it’s Heather Tarbell’s son’s first T-Ball game? When I watched my nephew run cross country, yes we had a local reporter to scope the scene but he wasn’t lugging around equipment that would eventually get popped in your VCR. And when I watched my great-nephew run a couple of weeks ago, nobody from Anytown Gazette was there with the camera crew. You DO have a pad to write on, we assume, Miss Tarbell?

Back to the original premise, do we have to watch players like Mr. Benchwarmer stick his head up his butt instead of staying focused on the game? But then again, Gil’s had his stuck up his anatomy for 60+ years and that was before he married Mimi. I think I’m seeing a trend.

The “Yes, you too can be a teacher”ads are back. I saw one proudly displayed on a billboard yesterday

Today’s Headline in the Milford Enquirer

“Milford School Board Revving Up ‘See Yourself In A Classroom Full Of Mudlarks!!!!!!!’ Campaign As Applications Are Not Up To Speed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“School Board President: ‘This time, we’ll have plenty of Dunkin’ Donuts and latte at our recruiting session in the Fellowship Hall this Friday.'”

4:23PM-I was still getting over Bill’s comment about Tostitos at our meeting with the boss. I brought plenty of Tums as Bill and I were on stakeout at the Milford ballfield. We hadn’t run into anything suspicious as the batters were taking their swings in the batter’s cage. The first base coach hadn’t pulled out a pistol, not even a stick of gum. Not even a stray foul out of play. If there was an assassin on the loose, he was hiding it well shagging flies in left field. Lee Harvey Oswald did his best imitation as a pinch-hitter. This was going to be a long night.

“I don’t get it, Joe.”

“What do you mean?”

“How are we going to find this whoever who is pursuing another whoever at a high school baseball game? He’s not going to pop up in the concession stand selling Laffy Taffy.”

“Sometimes this plot can get that way. Roll with it.”

“I would if there was something to roll. This Mr. Hammond or Mr. Hamm or whatever else he goes by is a tough nut to crack. I’d rather eat a bar-b-q sandwich that used the wrong charcoal in the Smokemaster.”

“It’s what we’re paid to do.”

“Yeah, but what if we don’t find the assailant? We’ve wasted taxpayer dollars chasing after an umpire that should have been sticking baseballs in the pitching machine rather than calling balls and strikes.”

“Look at Coach Thorp. He’s been financed by the taxpayers basically doing the same thing you described.”

Before we went further into the discussion on Coach Thorp’s slovenly work practices, trouble showed up. Mr. and Mrs. Hamm had just pulled up in the parking lot. Where was Heather Tarbell’s videocorder when you needed it? Drug deals happen everywhere, in the jungle, at the airport, at the dumpster behind Milford Diner, in a basement under the Milford Philatelist Society meeting, right before Milford took on Central in baseball. It was time to punch in at the time clock.

Special Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Signs Are Encouraging As The ‘See Yourself In A Classroom Full Of Mudlarks’ Holds Its First Yard Sale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“The crowd was thoroughly entertained by all the bird whistles and chirpings that Coach Thorp could do.”

Judging by P2, I get a sneaking suspicion that this is going to be the crux of the plot the next few weeks. If they’re at Coffee Cantina and someone is shooting a group photo of friends who haven’t seen each other since Tod Andrews dumped Milford and distributed real coaching at Oakwood, and the Hamms are in the next booth, is Mrs. Hamm execute another swan dive in front of Mr. Hamm? I hope to God he’s not eating a Chili Omelet a la Mode. How is she going to explain the chili stains all over her blouse? I lost in Sudden Death at the Gil Thorp Pure Pork Sausage Annual Picnic Cook-Off? If I hadn’t have dumped all that powder at once…

What if they’re at Milford Outdoor Amphitheater for the Jackson Browne “This Plot is Runnin’ on Empty” Tour? Some zealot gets out his Polaroid on Russ Kunkel, the drummer, and the Hamms are within range, is Mrs. Hamm going to cover Mr. Hamm’s head with a Jackson Brown I’m Alive ’97 souvenir shirt? Don’t mind me, I’m just covering that hickey on his bald spot, no biggie. Wasn’t that a great rendition of “Somebody’s Baby”?

At Milford Public Library and Danielle Steel is there for a book-signing and somebody wants to shoot a memory of that patron and Steel posing together on a selfie to post on his or her wall and the Hamms are right behind them, is Mrs. Hamm going to cover Mr. Hamm with “Season of Passion”? Oh, don’t mind us, Mrs. Steel, he literally loves to bury his head in your books.

I mean, when I have to keep exploring all the possibilities and I’m finding what I’m exploring, we are in for turbulent weather. Fasten your seat belt and be ready to apply the Heimlich Maneuver, if needed.

Afternoon Edition to the Milford Enquirer

“Latest Returns Show Teacher Vacancies In Milford School Corporation Are Filling Faster Than Projected!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

sub headline

“School Board President: ‘We offered one more sick day plus renovation of the faculty lounge as incentives and that seemed to impel the latest push.”

5:31PM-We were at the Milford-Central Baseball game to investigate any whiff of illegal proceedings. We tried to be as discreet as possible so I didn’t think it wise to wear that Milford Community College bow tie; it was louder than a ghetto blaster. We sat in the bleachers next to the Student Section. Gannon bought a hot dog and I bought some M & M’s and a Diet Coke. Some freshman might smell my breath but as long the candy melted in my mouth, not in my Sig Sauer, any palooka who even thought about getting out of a lawn chair and making a move at my bullet-prooof vest was going to be deader than the ’62 Mets.

What was making the situation more intriguing was Heather Burns, who brought her videocorder to the game for reasons unknown. We weren’t clear if her father was using that same contraption to film Heather when she was bossing around the football team and a couple of Mudlarks occasionally flipped her off and told her to go back to the soccer team but for the moment, that was on the Smokemaster backburner.

“Joe, think we’ll get Heather on something? She seems to be filming everything and anything but especially in the bleachers where the Hamms are sitting. Are the Russian Bolsheviks sitting ahead of them?”

“No idea. We’ll have to wait and see.”

“Some older couple is in front of them but I don’t think they’ll start a revolution. And the guy running the Rotisserie grill looks better at roasting chickens than firing a gun at the Bay of Pigs.”

“You never know. A guy got busted at the New Thayer game for armed robbery at the concession stand. Would have made off with the loot but spilled some Reese’s Pieces and the police followed the trail to his apartment. Chocoholic fits got him thrown into the slammer.”

Suddenly, we caught a possible break. On a foul ball that went straight at the Hamms was deflected as Mrs. Hamm covered Mr. Hamm and she caught one on her gluteus maximus. Heather filmed the entire incident and would have remained in her video library for centuries but when fans were fighting for the ball, somebody pulled out an Uzi. It was time to go to work.

“POLICE OFFICERS!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOBODY MOVE!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Officer, we’re not the ones with the gun. And the culprit is running off with the ball.”

“Don’t tell me my job!!!!!!!!! I’ve arrested more criminals than you’ve been to ball games!!!!!!!!!! Why do you cover for your husband like he’s the Queen of England?”

“He means more to me than Mimi means to Gil. He had to endure a dental restructuring when a Texas Leaguer somehow bounced in the bleachers and smacked him on the jaw. Did you ever try to kiss a walrus with his cheeks expanded?”

“Cut the funny stuff!!!!!!!!!!! I ought to run you in on a Section 41 Article 78 Clause 2(a) of the Milford Municipal Code ‘Collaboration and Accomplice with Illegal and Foreign Activity with Intent to Disrupt the Peace and its Environs’ but the boss is on vacation at a Cubs game.”

“Look, hear Mr. Friday out. We can’t prove anything but when you are camera-shy whenever a camera rolls your way, surely you can understand our suspicions.”

“Absolutely. We will do everything to cooperate with the authorities. BTW, our son struck out the side. Isn’t that wonderful?”

“Stay away from Pretty Boy Floyd if you want to see your son at all or at least at the next game.”

Loud strident Dark Shadows trombones blast in and end the standoff temporarily.

Rob is going to kill me, Rob is going to kill me…

Stop by and check out Indigo at the Park in Louisville, Kentucky. I have had a VERY pleasant experience for three years. With excellent bathroom facilities, great kitchen with microwave, stove, and refrigerator, appliances I make liberal use of, a beautiful living room with my books neatly placed and available for easy reference, it has been a perfect atmosphere when texting TWIM. I am near plenty of restaurants, an excellent grocery store, and many stores to shop. Plus, I am across Iroquois Park, one of the more beautiful parks in the city (really should be a state park, IMO) . They have an excellent maintenance staff and Rafael has always handled any maintenance problem with skill and professionalism. Nazaret Lorenzo, the apartment manager, has always been quick to address any issue ASAP to everyone’s satisfaction and has played it straight with me in the three years I have been here. With affordable rates, you get what you pay for plus some here and I have enjoyed what I have in my possession. From Taylor Boulevard and Watterson Expressway, head south for two miles until you get to the south end of Iroquois Park until you get to the Park Road stoplight (Taylor Blvd. is now New Cut Road) , then look to your right. You’ll see the apartment on the southwest corner of the intersection. Lookin’ for a place to stay? Look no further. Here it is.

THE DARK SHADOWS HAND RETURNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was beginning to wonder if I was still living in America. Communist countries who send their enemies to the sharks and starve their constituents when they attempt to prevent ballot-stuffing never allow The Hand on their funny pages. They don’t know what they’re missing.

The “Him go thataway” direction that we’re trailing is one more indication that we are stuck in the mud and telling a teammate to get his head out of his ass and pay attention is really only an isolated incident to the entire storyline buries in its own buttline and not projected to alter that position by Memorial Day or beyond. The consolation prize is the ball field looks like one and even the scoreboard is somewhat presentable although it still looks like inspiration for “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. Picture yourself on the score by the home team, tangerine zeroes and marmalade visitors.

But, man, the trees. This Piggyback Concept might work at an art show but when I’m walking through Iroquois Park, I have yet to see a maple humping a catalpa. This hybrid sassafras-oak-sycamore-mulberry orgy might work at some commune in rural upstate New York but I never saw indiscriminate tree love-making in my front yard when I was growing up. We’ll just have to agree to disagree, Thorpiverse.

“And at the end of 2, it’s Milford, 2, Central, 1. A tightly contested game thus far. Coach Thorp must have dry-cleaned his jeans for once. We’ll return after these messages. This is Marty Moon and you’re listening to WDIG, a division of Learfield Sports.”

“Now there you go again, Marty, making false accusations where there’s no stink. My wife washes my jeans along with all my jock straps once a week, I’ll have you know. If you’d spend less time concerning yourself with how I can pop a quarter in and out at the jumbo washers at Milford 24-Hour Wash-a-Matic and get a free ride for my money and more time with how to improve your sexual innuendos with Peaches, you might find yourself in bed with her more often.

But I want to spend less time on the topic of radio announcers with unrewarded sexual travails and more time talking about the critical shortage of teachers within the Milford School System. Hi, this is Coach Thorp on behalf of Milford Beverage Warehouse and when they were apprised that we have a real problem with teacher turnover, they poured out their hearts by pouring a glass of whiskey, then bearing down to address the problem. Wink Martindale might not have been a game show host, let alone have a statue erected out front were it not for his kindergarten teacher. What if the teacher got burned out and opted for a career as a garbage truck driver? We might have never heard of Joker’s Wild.

That’s why The Warehouse is dead-on in confronting this challenge by commencing a new campaign “Learning, Life, Liquor” and folks, I am 100% behind this program. Get real, how can a person start a liquor business if there’s no 3rd-grade teacher to show him or her the multiplication tables? If you can’t multiply 8 bottles of Jack at 16 dollars a bottle because of a dearth of finger-math instruction, how can you expect to obtain a liquor license? Go work at The Bucket and suffer with the rest of liquor license wannabes?

Therefore, if you fill out an application to be a teacher at Milford Elementary by Memorial Day, just fill out the voucher after you have listed all the grammar schools and universities you attended to guarantee a 20% discount on your next purchase of Jim Beam Slow Drip Aged Premium Whiskey. Face it, teaching kids to read Black Beauty can be a formidable task and it helps to get an early jump. As long as the 4th-graders don’t smell your breath, you’ll be fine.

Hey, we didn’t leave you Coors drinkers out. In fact, Milford Junior High prefers you Rocky Mountain studs when poring over applications for gym class teachers. Nothing like a macho image and a mountain standing behind you when you’re leading the kids through jumping jacks. Yup, blow that whistle with confidence when some 7th-grader isn’t playing fair at slaughterball. And enjoy that 25% discount on all Coors products in the 24-Pack when it gets close to Miller Time.

And boy, do we have a deal for all you Boones Farm winos out there. When you finalize your application and stop using Coach Roy Gillen as a reference when everybody damn well knows you’re just padding your resume, take advantage of the 15% discount on all Boones Farm products and accessories when you fill out the proper papers for high school educator, hall monitor included. Don’t worry, nobody will make you teach Auto Mechanics and the wine is flowing. Get your butt on in here and serve our studentship and have the pride of knowing you are leading the troops into battle. Just fib when they ask you if you ever got pulled over for a DUI and you’ll be Patton for life.

The Bucket can’t touch this one and they know it. They not only can’t get a liquor license, they couldn’t procure teacher applications when they attempted to start their own campaign. The School Corporation felt them too amateurish and unable to understand the depth of the problem. Eating Bucket Burgers with no Busch Beer will curtail the breadth of their acumen. Lunkheads, Lardbutts, Losers.

When you want to change careers from longshoreman to teacher and want the finest of The Good Life in the bargain, you know where you want to be when you grow up. C’mon, fill out that application and get some booze for your troubles and tell ’em Coach Thorp sent ya.”

Gang, you’re too good to me. I was on another grueling trip for my dad and when I saw your support, I did EVERYTHING to give you a winning product. I hope I succeeded.

God bless you, Gang.

“Bill, I gotta go take a dump back in the woods. If you see Mrs. Hamm kissing anybody else besides her husband, make a note until I get back. And call for back-up.”

“Will do, Joe.”

May 2, 2022

They Shoot Video, Don’t They?

Filed under: actual action, baseball, Brown Hair, Colorist Error, Heather Burns — nedryerson @ 3:44 pm

So, what have we got going on today? It’s still Heather Burns inexplicably shooting video for the Milford Star. That’s right. This dying media enterprise that dumped Marjie Ducey’s salary to hire this dolt is trying to stay relevant by putting video on its website. It’s also diluting it’s all ready craptastic prep sports coverage by replacing garbage reporting with a shaky video of people in the stands? Notice that Heather isn’t using a tripod and she’s holding that “beast” out in front of her. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Visitors to the Milford Star website have been clamoring for this kind of content. If you can’t get a video of a kid sitting in a tree*, the next best thing is randos watching the Mudlarks!

Oh, yeah, there’s a baseball game going on and Gonzalo Aceves is throttling Central. I assume panel 2 indicates that Central batters can only manage weak grounders against Gonzo’s dazzling stuff. Huzzah!

Of course, all this is mostly in service of our A plot, the mysterious Mr. Hamm, who is camera shy for some undisclosed reason. Ruth Hamm is even throwing herself in front of Ol’ Hamm to shield him just in case Heather manages to get a clear, in focus shot of the mysterious bastard. Ruth Hamm may be so afraid of being identified that she changed her hair color since the last game.

*Kid stuck in tree refers to a strip from many years ago where the storyline was about this kid Andrew Gregory who was running around Milford taking videos of exciting things (like a kid sitting in a tree) and selling them to the Star. I was going to try and embed the images from Jason’s posts back in 2008 as it might be more dynamic than just linking back to the posts, but it’s an ordeal to scroll back through fourteen years’ worth of images used in this blog. Links will have to suffice. I think Andrew had a better camera than whatever relic Heather found down at the Star.

April 30, 2022

Marjie Ducey Never Lugged a Monster Camcorder Around. Neither Should You.

If you told me today’s strip had been written and drawn twenty years ago and fished out of a drawer for today, I wouldn’t have been surprised. Wonder what was going on in Milford twenty years ago today? I don’t even think this blog had been started yet.

April 30, 2002

Well whaddaya know, Milford was playing Central then too. The laws of gravity weren’t quite as rigid then as now. Okay, what about ten years ago, then? Well thankfully TWIM was in existence, and we were getting to know young Scooter Borden Jaxxxon Kiser.

Back to the present day and still trying to figure out this nonsense. Amazed to find out there’s an online version of the Star, and that it has employees who are dedicated to capturing video for that online version. That’s probably a lie the editor-in-chief told Heather to cover up the fact that it’s not only payroll but also headcount that’s been slashed since Marjie’s retirement. Probably told her this dinosaur of a camcorder was state-of-the-art, too. How naive is she to think that the “beast” takes better videos than today’s smartphones?

Naive enough to know that the only VHS player in town belongs to the Milford High Athletic Department. Between her and Kaz, they’ll go to the videotape and discover the little ruse G-Hammm, Scooter and Wilson have going on. That’s the only way this strip of anachronistic non sequiturs has any relevance to the plot.

meta: Thanks to tdrew for covering for me on Thursday. I owe you one.

April 29, 2022

Singing the blues

Bad enough that we have a blind pitcher nobody knows about. Now we have another guy who can see just fine bitching about the umps calls. Nomar is blaming the ump for his pitiful performance. Wah wah wah. What a bunch of freakin losers on this team. Of course Chief One Eye didnt notice and has to be warned on the bus postgame about it, so he can bitch about calls when its his turn to draw Blue Narrow behind the plate. Nothing like team camaraderie the wrong way. Didnt Atherton have the same ump? Hey we scored 5 runs.

That bus must be as narrow as Blues’ strike zone with only one ass to a seat.

This team is so mentally weak I have no idea how they survive the season anywhere near the playoffs unless Gil has a meeting to address the whole thing. But we havent seen Gil lately.

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