What’s Going On In Gil Thorp? Why Is That Kid Betting on Sports Events? November 2021 – February 2022


That kid, Pranit Smith, is betting on sports things because if you do it right you win money. He may be urgently short on money — he at one point says he gets the coffees he does because of a “low budget”. But that hasn’t been explicit. He’s betting online using his older brother’s identity. He also gives a curiously long explanation for how his brother has the name ‘Bob’. I believe that’s so we the readers understand Bob is a real person and Pranit’s misdemeanor is just using that driver’s license (or whatever the proof of age was) instead of counterfeiting one. It’s about setting the level of his transgression.

This should catch you up on Neal Rubin and Rod Whigham’s Gil Thorp for mid-February 2022. If you’re reading this after about May 2022, or if news about the strip breaks, there’s probably a more useful essay here. Thanks for reading.

Gil Thorp.

15 November 2021 – 5 February 2022.

Last time you’ll recall, consciousness enthusiast Boyd Spiller had been hypnotizing the problems out of everyone. Worked great until the overloaded Kianna Bello sprains her foot after one of Spiller’s hypno-rest sessions. Tevin Claxton, whose choking under pressure seemed relieved by Spiller’s help, had enough.

He climbed on the lunchroom table to announce he’d been seeing a sports psychiatrist who was helping him. Spiller’s YouTube-lesson hypnosis was harmless nonsense until it wasn’t. But thanks for trying to help.

[ The normally reticent Chance Macy takes the pulpit ... ] Kid 'Dude, can you speak up?' Macy: 'Probably not. But here's Tevin, our quarterback. He's been great --- but he had to deal with negative expectations, based on just four or five plays last year.'
Neal Rubin and Rod Whigham’s Gil Thorp for the 3rd of December, 2021. Regarding that first panel: I do not read the comics to be called out like that. And no, the evidence is that I can’t speak up.
So that’s got Bello not talking to Claxton. And Coach Thorp required to give a pep talk about how the team was good because they worked hard and together. They lose the next football game, though, and one of the players gets wounded. The ever-reticent Chance Macy decides it’s his turn to say something. He announces where he’s going to college so he can play football without anyone seeing (it’s Canada). And that everybody has to learn to say when expectations on them are unreasonable.

For example there’s Bello, burdened by how everyone expected she could take on more responsibilities. Or Claxton, who got razzed a lot for a couple bad plays the previous year. Macy calls for everyone to go easier on each other, and ourselves, and “snot-pound Valley Tech”. It reads like a goofy replacement for something an actual high schooler might say. But everyone in the strip agrees they have no idea what that means. Macy just said something weird and got away with it. Since they beat Valley Tech, that’s all working out well. Unfortunately Goshen beating Oakwood means that Milford will finish the season in second place. At least they close the season on a win.


And that closes the football-season story. The 13th of December started the basketball-season story. Girls basketball player, and swiftly-named team captain, Hollis Talley is going to the US Air Force Academy. And, on the boys team, Pranit Smith is doing great in his fantasy-football picks. He’s a mediocre player, but in a tight game Coach Thorp spots where passing the ball to Smith can let him get a three-pointer that wins the match. It sets him on a string of great performances. Since this is early in the season, this has to set some terrible comeuppance in motion.

Smith: 'My first bet was a four-team parlay. One of the teams pushed ... ' Teammate: 'It's football. Everyone pushes.' Smith: ''Push' means tie. Anyway, that made ita three-teamer at 6-1 odds. And I won. I just wish I'd bet more.' Other teammate: 'Congratulations. Sounds like a great first step toward disaster.'
Neal Rubin and Rod Whigham’s Gil Thorp for the 24th of January, 2022. Since there’s no ties in college football, this indicates Smith was betting on professional football. If we were to foolishly try to tie this to current events, then this has to be the week of November 14, when the Lions and Steelers tied. Anyway, since it is true that every team in football pushes, wouldn’t it be a better name for the sport if we called it “pushball”? Let’s just see what happens if we try.

Using his elder brother’s name, Smith opens an actual betting for-cash account. And, worse, it starts out great. Some other kids start giving money to him to put down bets. So everybody else waits for the incredible obvious disaster even people in adjacent comic strips sees coming. Even Coach Gil Thorp Assistant Coach Kaz, who only gets to overhear the players’ nonsense, notices he’s paying attention to his phone rather than the game he’s playing.

Meanwhile on the girls team, the season’s starting pretty rough. Talley feels she should be doing something captain-y to turn things around. But she doesn’t know what. Ask people to do extra practices? Coach Mimi Thorp is also frustrated but hasn’t got an answer. Talley is able to coax some of it out of Cressa Baxter: her knee hurts, but she’s not willing to spend her last season benched. The doctor’s supposed to drain it in a few days so that problem may fix itself.

And one last bit. Gordon Achebe, who I think was on the football team, joined the basketball team. I don’t know the significance of this. (I don’t seem to have mentioned him before, around here.) That it was established suggests he might be being set up for something.

Milford Sports Watch!

Who’s Milford playing? What schools get mentioned in the strip? There’ve been a lot the past couple months, as the strip showed a lot of games being played and a lot of talking about conference rivals. Here’s, to the best of my knowledge, the full list. Also mentioned, as schools that seniors were graduating to, were McGill University and the Air Force Academy.

Next Week!

Whatever happened to Judge Parker? I share what I know from readingFrancesco Marciuliano and Mike Manley’s Judge Parker, if all goes well.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

3 thoughts on “What’s Going On In Gil Thorp? Why Is That Kid Betting on Sports Events? November 2021 – February 2022”

  1. You kind of mailed this one in, which is pretty much how the strip is written, so…
    Kaz, not Gil, noticed Pranit on the phone. Also, Pranit isn’t taking money : The eejit is placing bets without getting cash up front or a legbreaker behind him.
    Cressa, by all laws of Drama, will be a cripple by the end of the season.

    Like

    1. Can’t deny it. I’d had a pretty dismal week, and the strip hasn’t offered the giddy heights of, well, CRUISE SHIPS to hold me up despite that. The earlier parts of the hypnosis story were more fun, with Boyd Spiller trying to bring the harmonic convergence to the 21st century. Guy was like five minutes away from trying to get Marty Moon to astral project.

      Thanks for the corrections. It never crossed my mind that Pranit Smith would be placing bets without taking the cash (except for someone he was good enough friends with that he was willing to cover the loss), although that provides a natural way for the squabble to become something Coach Thorp has to act on.

      Liked by 1 person

Please Write Something Funnier Than I Thought To

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: