Gil Thorp, 2/23/06
See, now this is why I never wanted to play sports in high school. To catch up those of who don’t follow the Thorpmeisters: Ted Pearse (he of the Mary Tyler Moore ‘do) has just this week had his big secret revealed in a very public fashion by the legendarily vile Marty Moon. It seems that his laid back “man of mystery” demeanor covered up the fact that he lives in a homeless shelter with his out-of-work mom. He kept mum because he was terrified that his chums would reject him if they found out about his hobo status; this is the second time in as many days that he’s used that “being homeless isn’t contagious” line. But in this heartwarming strip, his teammates show their love for and acceptance of him by this little stunt — it’s like when a child goes through chemo and his classmates all shave their heads in solidarity — and Ted’s so happy that he looks like Jimmy Stewart at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life.
Except that they’re showing their love and acceptance by playing to his worst fears and pretending that homelessness is contagious. It’s as if that little kid’s classmates didn’t shave their heads, but instead covered themselves with ghoulish makeup and held up signs that read YOU HAVE CANCER AND YOU’RE GOING TO DIE. I mean, Jesus, if this is how they treat their friends, I wonder what they do to people they don’t like. Presumably the wet towels will come out in a minute and the savage ass-whippings will commence. All in good fun, of course.
Ted’s homelessness was correctly predicted weeks ago in the by some smarty in the comments of this very blog, who should step forth and take a bow. One thing I should note about Ted is his collection of deeply groovy retro shirts. Presumably he’s been able to get these at the thrift stores to which his poverty condemns him because mega-squaresville Milford is utterly lacking in the sort of slumming, underemployed hipsters who would snatch them up in the big city.