Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 31, 2009

After a year of misery, loathing, anger, resentment, and spite; the Lockhorns find themselves kicked out of their local New Years Eve party and stuck once again with their unbearable selves; how utterly proper. While the details have always been left ambiguous, whatever Leroy's views are on politics, sports, or religion they must be quite extreme and controversial for him to alienate so many people and be such a pariah in the community. After multiple decades of getting banned from parties I don't know how many more homes are left on Long Island for the Lockhorns to be welcomed in. Perhaps a few more years of this and they'll have to seek greener pastures in Westchester or even New Jersey. Push.

Official Count:
Leroy - 111
Loretta - 145
Push - 109

***

With that final push, the foregone conclusion for the past two months finally becomes official: Loretta Lockhorn is the inaugural 2009 "Lockhorn vs. Lockhorn" Champion! Through 365 grueling, excruciating days demonstrating the darkest, ugliest corners of the human condition, Loretta emerges from the abyss as the undisputed champion. For Leroy, hopefully he can learn from his miscues and missed opportunities from this unsuccessful year and find a way to challenge Loretta rather than the Push for positioning. Also, for all the readers out there, thank you all for accompanying me through this harrowing journey through the twisted world of the Lockhorns. Things got a little backed up and rushed at times, but we made it through the entire year (just barely) and I look forward to archiving another 365 round prize fight in 2010 between everyone's favorite loathsome couple: The Lockhorns.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 30, 2009

It's good to see that Leroy is back on his feet again after a rough start to the week. Ironically when it comes to Leroy, nothing cures his funks better than Loretta's poisonous cooking. Here, Leroy doesn't even need a fully cooked meal to get an opportunity to serve up some spite, he dumps this criticism at the preparation stage; right in the kitchen. Actually, going into an uncontrollable tearing phase is one of the the milder side effects one can suffer from consuming Loretta's cuisine. A few tears shouldn't be your first concern, it should be surviving until morning. Leroy serves himself a point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 111
Loretta - 145
Push - 108

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December 29, 2009

There's something creepy and unsettling about this Leroy-less scene with the empty chair at the marriage counselor's office. While it's supposed to show how Leroy has problems committing to things including scheduled marriage counseling sessions, it also sort of looks like Loretta actually murdered Leroy and is making something up to throw off the suspicious counselor. However, if it comes out that Loretta really did murder Leroy, I doubt Pullman would even care. His vacant glassy eyed appearance indicates that that for this session, like most of his other sessions with the Lockhorns, he is obliviously high. It's a push.

Official Count:
Leroy - 110
Loretta - 145
Push - 108

Monday, December 28, 2009

December 28, 2009

As expected, Loretta's brutal assault on Leroy on Sunday night has landed Leroy in the intensive care ward. While most people would be concerned about receiving immediate treatment for their life threatening bodily injuries, Leroy is preoccupied with far more important concerns like giving the doctor an unnecessarily hard time. Leroy's really relying heavily on that Hippocratic Oath to protect him from any spiteful reprisals by the staff. Also, is anyone else a bit freaked out by the size the pillow Leroy's laying on? It's enormous! Push.

Official Count:
Leroy - 110
Loretta - 145
Push - 107

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December 27, 2009: Sunday Showdown!

(Click to enlarge)

Clockwise from the bottom left:
  • Nothing like a good old fashion home cooked meal to kick off the last Sunday Showdown of the year, technically of the decade. Leroy gives our poor first time dinner guest (I don't think there are any second time dinner guests) a quick overview of the rituals involved in eating Loretta's dangerous cooking. Leroy should also mention all the praying that many guests usually engage in during the meal as they pray for some higher power to end their gruesome suffering. Leroy takes the first point.
  • Loretta shows off some of her extensive collection of "I'm With Stupid" t-shirts, or as she likes to refer to them "formal wear". It's a quality rank out by Loretta but we all could have been spared the grossly objectionable sight of her in a tank top. With the end of summer, I thought we were all in the clear regarding seeing Loretta in anything less than a conservative matronly dress. How terribly wrong I was. Loretta ties it up 1-1.
  • I'm having an extremely difficult time processing this scene. So this scene is implying that Leroy just told Loretta he "loved" her and Loretta is reciprocating by giving him an affectionate embrace? Well, the universe hasn't imploded into itself so at least we know that the Lockhorns haven't completely put aside their decades of hatred and started "loving" each other. I'm going to assume, to prevent myself from suffering a fatal aneurysm, that this is all part of some elaborate long con by Leroy to get back at Loretta and that Loretta's showing of affection is actually totally born out of spite to make Leroy feel as uncomfortable as possible. This situation is far too complex to award either side the point, let's call it a push and just hope that everything returns to normal.
  • I've never been more happy to see the Lockhorns involved in a pointless push. The more distance we put between us and that prior horrific display the better. While it's usually Leroy who is the one having problems appreciating high culture, today it's Loretta who seem to be so baffled by modern art that she suspects a trash can may be some sort of installation. Leroy, alas, cannot capitalize on this situation since he's just as confused himself. It's another push and everybody remains tied.
  • Now this is the sort of physical contact between the Lockhorns that I fully approve of! Apparently Leroy's liquored up flirting has reached such an objectionable point that Loretta is now ready to "derail" Leroy, probably with a furious series of left and rights from those monstrous meat hooks she calls hands. It looks like another visit to Dr. Blog is coming up on the horizon. I wonder if Leroy will mock the poor quality of service or the high price...or maybe both! With that pounding, Loretta snatches the last Sunday Showdown of the year, 2-1.
Official Count:
Leroy - 110
Loretta - 145
Push - 106

Saturday, December 26, 2009

December 26, 2009

Leroy apparently does all his Christmas shopping at the same kitsch filled flea market/auction house that he does his personal lamp shopping. Unfortunately for Leroy, he gets the same uniformly negative reaction from Loretta. Judging by Leroy's look of genuine disappointment, I think deep down he actually thought that Loretta would not find his gift so objectionable. This may have actually been a legitimate giving gesture, free of spite and bitterness. Of course whatever flickering ember of goodwill that may have existed was quickly snuffed out with prejudice by Loretta's comments of disgust. Leroy you weak romantic, when will you ever learn? Loretta gets the point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 110
Loretta - 144
Push - 106

Friday, December 25, 2009

December 25, 2009

This has got to be the most depressing Christmas party I have ever seen. Of the four people present three can either be categorized as explicitly unhappy or completely bored. The only one with anything resembling a smile is Leroy, who is obviously bombed out of his mind on Christmas "spirits". Regardless of whatever presents Loretta received this year, her true gift was the incredibly generous amount of opportunities that arose over the holidays for her to criticize how cheap Leroy was. Her poor friend must be getting so sick of those "Leroy is a tightwad" punchlines. She obviously hears Loretta's puns everyday, but at least before there was a bit more variety in her comments. At least tonight Loretta has the benefit of having Leroy present so she can get a point out of it.

Official Count:
Leroy - 110
Loretta - 143
Push - 106

Thursday, December 24, 2009

December 24, 2009

The Lockhorns' ongoing struggles with the Lenharts seem to have reached a sort of d├ętente with both sides mutually agreeing not to invite or attend each other's party, leading to the only possible scenario where the Lockhorns would be given a thank you note for doing anything. While it looks that an uneasy peace has been temporarily established, the pessimist in me suspects future flare ups between the Lockhorns and their off screen nemeses. The two anatogonistic couples seem to be busy fixtures of the same Long Island middle aged drunken cocktail party scene and tensions still run fairly high. It's yet another push.

Official Count:
Leroy - 110
Loretta - 142
Push - 106

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December 23, 2009

Two days before Christmas and Loretta is getting started on shopping for her gift to Leroy. Why is this not shocking in the least? With the year end title having been locked up for weeks, Loretta is just showboating, tossing out vitriol left and right without any regard for Leroy being there or not. It's quite an embarrassment of riches on the part of Loretta when she can just burn through quality snipes like this just for her personal enjoyment. On the flip side, Leroy's weak overall performance this month seems to give all the indications that he has quit on this year and is thinking ahead to 2010. He really should try to put up some kind of strong finish if only to build momentum for next year. It'd be quite embarrassing if he loses out to "push" for the year. Push.

Official Count:
Leroy - 110
Loretta - 142
Push - 105

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22, 2009

Loretta will utilize even the most minor and esoteric subjects into some sort of put down about Leroy; even excessively generic anti-crime public service announcement posters she passes on the streets. That sort of single minded dedication and focus is equal parts admirable and disturbing. Of course the cardinal Lockhorn rule of two prevents Loretta from cashing in on this quality rank out. Perhaps she should later take an intentional walk with Leroy down the same street so she can actually get credit for hurting Leroy's feelings. Also, I didn't know Long Island had such a big problem with stubbly, capped, masked, robber caricatures running around. Where are the Keystone Kops when you need them? Push.

Official Count:
Leroy - 110
Loretta - 142
Push - 104

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21, 2009

It's obvious that Counselor Pullman has never had to suffer the traumatic experience of eating dinner at the Lockhorns'. If he had eaten before, he would have no doubt found his suggestion that Leroy attempt to compliment Loretta's cooking to be beyond unreasonable. However, given this impossible notion, Leroy masterfully flips it into a deft backhanded compliment that really nails Loretta right between the eyes. It's a pretty commendable piece of insulting, Leroy mocks Loretta's cooking without even a meal present; one of the best jabs of the year. Leroy gets the point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 110
Loretta - 142
Push - 103

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20, 2009: Sunday Showdown!

(Click to enlarge)

Clockwise from the bottom left:
  • Leroy's tale of how he was chased out of his home and into the gym by Loretta's unbearably awful singing and instrument playing would have been a bona fide point but without Loretta around to be insulted it can't be officially counted. Actually Loretta's absence may be an unexpected benefit for Leroy. The sight of a miserable, sweaty, Leroy struggling on a treadmill with apparently no shoes on would be a prime opportunity for her to unleash a bitting quip of her own. Also, what sort of bizarre gym places a treadmill directly in front of the weight machine so both users can't avoid awkwardly staring at each other? It's a push.
  • I guess Loretta's suggestion of personal infidelity is supposed to offend Leroy? While Loretta may be a bubbling cauldron of rage and jealousy every time she sees Leroy drunkenly flirting with bimbos or ogling girls at the beach or coming home suspiciously late, somehow I don't think Leroy would be all that heartbroken if Loretta left him for another man. I think this fisherman would be all too happy to be throwing this catch back out onto the sea. Regardless of Leroy's final reaction, it's still a good insult on paper; Loretta goes up 1-0.
  • I don't get it. Obviously Loretta's persistant reminding of Leroy is textbook nagging, so I'm not sure what Loretta is trying to do by characterizing her nagging in a different manner. She's not even using any sort of euphemism, she's just detailing her nagging. Is this supposed to be some sort of slight on Leroy? All I know is, Leroy's unhappy and Loretta is continuing to nag him so the winner here by default is Loretta. She takes a 2-0 lead.
  • Leroy finally gets a point on the board with a grand toast at the dinner table to the eventual death of his tastebuds. Almost every time Leroy found himself in an extended funk this year, it was usually Loretta's vile homecooking that got him an easy rebound. Regretably, there was only so many meals for Leroy to exploit this year. For Loretta, the tastebuds aren't the only parts of Leroy that she wishes would stop functioning. Leroy cuts the lead down to 2-1.
  • The story may be that Leroy was so absentminded that he managed to accidentally arrive at the opera in his full face painted fan regalia, but I suspect this was all a deceptive ruse diabolically carried out by Loretta to trick him into coming to the opera house looking foolish. I'm not really sure what team or even sport Leroy is so fanatically rooting for here. It almost looks like a weird amalgam of the NY Giants and the Jets colors, but he also looks dressed more for baseball. Confusion aside, Loretta scores a decisive point and takes the day 3-1.
Official Count:
Leroy - 109
Loretta - 142
Push - 103

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December 19, 2009

For a household that has an unfathomable amount of debt, an abysmal credit score, and little to no earning power, the Lockhorns sure are the target of a lot of telemarketers. It's probably all due to Loretta's constant purchasing and proclivity towards signing up for costly scams. Despite Leroy's most spiteful of efforts, there doesn't seem to be any end in sight between the countless groups of telephone solicitors and the Lockhorns. The endless war rages on, with us the general public being the true casualties. Push.

Official Count:
Leroy - 109
Loretta - 141
Push - 103

Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18, 2009

The Lockhorns finally get around to picking up their annual Christmas tree (with only a week to spare). Unfortunately for Leroy, his plan to utilize optical illusions in a totally pathetic attempt at yuletide frugality is already being relayed by Loretta to her friend for the purpose of ridiculing him. I'm not sure why he would tell Loretta about his Christmas tree plan, it sort of takes all the effectiveness out of the deception. Perhaps the original plan was a decoy and he really intends to bring in the walls of his living room to make both the tree and presents look bigger. Regardless, Loretta gets the point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 109
Loretta - 141
Push - 102

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 17, 2009

Leroy comes home from a late night out to the always formidable sight of a disgruntled Loretta. Considering how she was denied an opportunity to serve him a disgusting dinner of piping hot garbage and to take (and immediately belittle) his paycheck, it's no surprise to see that Loretta is infuriated. However, despite her incensed nagging and intense interrogations about forbidden poker games with the guys or secret canoodling with bimbos, Leroy remains boldly defiant in the face of the ever strengthening storm. For his crack about her questioning, Leroy deserves a will earned point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 109
Loretta - 140
Push - 102

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 16, 2009

It seems that the Lockhorns survived their long encounter with Dr. Blog's hideous mutant receptionist only to be rewarded with yet another unreasonably steep bill for his special brand of inattentive medical service. While it used to be that the always financially insolvent Lockhorns were his most commonly defaulting patients, it seems that the economic downturn has made it more difficult for the good doctor to gouge the rest of his clientele. Until the state of the nation improves, it looks like he will have to reduce his fees from "unconscionably expensive" to merely "unreasonably expensive". We all have to make sacrifices in this new economic reality. It's a second straight doctor's office push.

Official Count:
Leroy - 108
Loretta - 140
Push - 102

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15, 2009

Okay, we get it, it's another example of the overpriced, underwhelming, impersonal service that the Lockhorns get at the doctor's office. We're all supposed to sympathize and find humorous this exaggerated depiction of the general doctor's visit peeves we all experience. With that being said, what the hell is wrong with receptionist's face? What's with the disturbing, inhuman proportions and the lack of depth? It's like something out of a Lovecraftian nightmare! This can't be the same beady eyed, horse faced, receptionist that usually works for the doctor, is it? Has she been replaced by this gruesome robot that spouts generic waiting messages? Let's call it a push and leave this terrible place.

Official Count:
Leroy - 108
Loretta - 140
Push - 101

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14, 2009

Even the ever bitter Lockhorns are not immune to the spirit of giving and charity that pervades the holiday season. Unfortunately Leroy's ties are so hideous and lacking in aesthetic merit that even Goodwill refuses to take them for free. Loretta really had her pick of insults in this particular scene. Aside from telling Leroy the embarrassing news that his ties were unwanted by charity, Loretta could have also gone to town on Leroy's outdated and gaudy neon blue, zigzag sport coat. With so many liabilities in fashion alone, it's no wonder Leroy is trailing Loretta by such a healthy margin. It's a point for Loretta.

Official Count:
Leroy - 108
Loretta - 140
Push - 100

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 13, 2009: Sunday Showdown!

(Click to enlarge)

Clockwise from the bottom left:
  • For quite possibly the first time ever, Loretta makes someone else more miserable than Leroy in a scene. The first poor soul to be part of this dubious distinction is the completely broken down shoe salesman, who after hours upon countless hours of fetching and fitting specially-made gigantic Loretta sized shoes, is now told that she had been considering Internet shopping all along thus potentially eliminating his sale/commission and rendering all his hard work moot. Loretta is always setting the bar higher and higher in terms of pure sadism. Leroy's explicit eye rolling look of disgust covers the bare minimum to earn him a point.
  • As we learned from last week's Sunday Showdown, Leroy has a real dependence on that first mug of "fortified" Irish coffee for the day. Loretta is obviously mocking Leroy's late wake-up, but noon really isn't all that ridiculous of a rising time, especially for those who enjoy a good sleep-in on the weekends. I think Loretta's just trying to cover up from her friend, her ongoing progressive plot to destroy Leroy via sleep deprivation. Nevertheless, Loretta gets the point and ties the score.
  • If you remove the "at twister" part of the chiropractor's advice, we see the true reasons behind Leroy's visit. I really can't imagine any scenario where the Lockhorns would be playing "Twister" against each other considering all the intimate physical contact, minimum flexibility requirements, and general appearance of fun that accompany the game. Leroy's aching back is obviously from the usual physical altercations that pepper the Lockhorns' day; he just doesn't want to explain their toxic situation to the chiropractor and potentially the police. It's a push.
  • Despite Loretta's long history of torturing others with her horrible singing, it's Leroy who is getting pulled over by law enforcement for singing along with the radio. I guess I didn't get the memo about this being opposite day. Perhaps in the future we will see Leroy cooking awful dinners and Loretta drunkenly flirting with strapping, blond mimbos at parties. Who knows what the new year will bring? As for Loretta, her beaming smile of superiority here gives her the edge and the point.
  • So Leroy bets on the fighter that most closely resembles an anachronistic Victorian-Era widow? Perhaps he's not being that overly literal but Leroy's system does make sense if he's going with the fighter that most resembles Loretta's mother in terms of having a mean spirited disposition and bubbling rage right beneath the surface. One can only imagine the kind of vicious pugilist that someone with even half of Loretta's mother's bitterness and anger would be. Leroy gets the point and forces the 2-2 push for the day. That officially makes it 100 on the year.
Official Count:
Leroy - 108
Loretta - 139
Push - 100

Saturday, December 12, 2009

December 12, 2009

I don't know if Leroy has some sinister ulterior motive like closing the door on Loretta's face or tripping her as she walks by, but on its face, this actually looks like an act of actual courteousness (or at the very least non-hostility, which is just as good in the world of the Lockhorns) on the part of Leroy. Of course the reward Leroy gets for his rare considerate act is an automatic jab by Loretta about how lazy he has become. Leroy seems to have momentarily forgotten the cardinal rule of the twisted world of the Lockhorns: compassion = weakness. Loretta wins another point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 108
Loretta - 139
Push - 99

Friday, December 11, 2009

December 11, 2009

I initially thought that Loretta was using roman numerals and was confused as to why she was mocking Leroy by suggesting he start his autobiography at chapter two. Then I realized that she was referring to the well known chapter of the US Bankruptcy code which obviously made a lot more sense. If Loretta wanted to throw out a more hip and current autobiography joke she might have suggested that Leroy title his autobiography "Going Bald". Of course that would have displayed a shockingly unprecedented degree of currentness on the part of the Lockhorns. Still, Loretta dig is a solid one overall. Loretta scores the point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 108
Loretta - 138
Push - 99

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 10, 2009

Perhaps Leroy is finally catching onto the notion that Loretta can't impulsively fritter away all his money if he impulsively fritters it all away first. By attempting to blow all his money on the ridiculous purchase of a chopper, Leroy has effectively turned the tables on Loretta. It's Loretta who now stares on in defeat as she sees money that she could have spent disappear right in front of her eyes. Leroy even looks a little like Loretta in this scene, wishfully gazing at the chopper like Loretta wishfully gazes at an expensive pair of shoes or a new dress. While it's obviously too late for Leroy to catch up to Loretta on the year, perhaps he'll ride this strategy towards future success. Leroy gets the point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 108
Loretta - 137
Push - 99

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 9, 2009

Leroy, ever the astute social critic, echoes the sentiments of millions of Americans critical of the staggering billions in bailout funds given to aid numerous financial institutions dig themselves out of the economic ruin caused by their own out of control greed and recklessness. The employee of their local bank branch (a suspicious, possibly fly by night, operation that does business only as "Bank") is none too thrilled at Leroy's open protest. Of course there really isn't much Leroy can do but his personal little stunt as the bank goes forward with their foreclosure proceedings on his house. A defiant push.

Official Count:
Leroy - 107
Loretta - 137
Push - 99

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December 8, 2009

Like a rooster at dawn, Leroy is immediately greeted at the start of every morning with a mean spirited barb by Loretta; signaling the start of another unbearable day of failure. Judging by Leroy's drained, haggard appearance, it seems that Loretta's sadistic schedule of sleep deprivation is coming along quite nicely. While she seems well on her way towards completely breaking down Leroy mentally and physically, she still manages to score some extra points on the side by additionally mocking Leroy's ever degenerating physical state. One would expect nothing less than such a thorough effort from Loretta. A well earned point for Loretta.

Official Count:

Leroy - 107
Loretta - 137
Push - 98

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7, 2009

Every once in a while, the Lockhorns take a break from their usual back and fourth routine and find themselves in some really surreal Lynchian scenes. For instance, a simple night at the movies takes a turn into the bizarre when Leroy's "Star-Spangled Banner" ringtone causes everyone in the theater to suddenly stand simultaneously in glassy-eyed attention like a bunch of patriotic zombies. Loretta, never one to be distracted by mind blowing weirdness, only questions Leroy as to when he switched is ringtone. Overall though, I do enjoy these occasional insane pushes over the the common ones. Push.

I wonder if that bald guy up front knows that his long lost Mexican-American half brother is sitting right behind him?

Official Count:
Leroy - 107
Loretta - 136
Push - 98

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 6, 2009: Sunday Showdown!

(Click to enlarge)

Clockwise from the bottom left:
  • Today's Sunday Showdown kicks off with the always terrifying sight of Loretta belting out the classics on the family piano, making Edith Bunker sound like Alicia Keys by comparison. Leroy instantly gives his trained Pavlovian response to Loretta's familiar shrill stimuli: a cutting remark. If only Leroy really could ship Loretta off to band camp, it would accomplish the dual goals of temporarily getting rid of Loretta and potentially teaching her some degree of musical ability. Alas, all Leroy can do is give his insults and collect his points. Leroy goes up 1-0.
  • The latest edition of Leroy's tacky antique road show brings us this kitschy bear lamp. Loretta is more than ready to ruin Leroy's fleeting moment of happiness and satisfaction by once again criticizing his horrible aesthetic sensibilities. No doubt, Leroy's prized auction item will in the coming days be found "mysteriously" destroyed like many of his other favorite possessions a la "A Christmas Story". Loretta ties it up.
  • We find ourselves skipping through the horror and bloodshed of another session at the marriage counselor's and straight to the eventual conclusion. With her massive head held up high, it appears that Loretta has won this battle in the endless war of attrition that is the Lockhorns' failed marriage. Thoroughly defeated for now, all Leroy can do is put in his grumbling complaints and hope for a more favorable outcome at the next visit. Loretta takes the lead 2-1.
  • Every so often, one of the Lockhorns will cross the proverbial line in terms of their actions against the other; where their spite and cruelty goes beyond what is normally expected by even Lockhorn standards. This would appear to be such a situation. All poor Leroy wanted was his usual breakfast of whiskey loaded Irish coffee to dull the pain of his miserable existence; but Loretta sadistically denied him of even that. Take away his booze and what has the man got? How else can he get through the day? It's a downright ice cold move by Loretta. Loretta goes up 3-1.
  • A look of actual happiness on Leroy's face? He must be drunk and dancing with a bimbo! While Leroy burns up the dance floor with his latest Amazonian conquest, Loretta turns to her trusted friend/sounding board to voice her latest complaint. Although it has cost him countless points all year long, Leroy just refuses to give up the giant bimbos. With this point Loretta puts the exclaimation point on this Sunday blowout 4-1.
Official Count:
Leroy - 107
Loretta - 136
Push - 97

Saturday, December 5, 2009

December 5, 2009

I refuse to accept that the Lockhorns haven't used the "dog-eat-dog" idiom until today. It's such a well worn old chestnut, that I wouldn't be surprised if its was used in the first ever Lockhorn panel. I've only been following 2009 thus far, so maybe there exists a whole bunch of instances of the phrase from the last 40 or so years. With that being said, Loretta's use of it here is downright devastating. Essentially writing off Leroy as a complete loser in front of everyone within shouting distance at the cocktail party is as harsh as it gets. Leroy looks especially dismayed that he just lost the respect of his older bald mustachioed acquaintance. Loretta nails the point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 107
Loretta - 135
Push - 97

Friday, December 4, 2009

December 4, 2009

Is it me or does it seem like the Lockhorns' assigned IRS agent is getting increasingly derisive with every visit? Years upon years of persistently fraudulent paperwork and inaccurate returns would wear down even the most seasoned and professional of IRS agents. At this point it's a game of chicken between the IRS agent and Leroy. Now it's a question of how many income tax shenanigans can Leroy pull and the agent will tolerate before he is eventually sent to prison. The endless struggle continues and, like Alien vs. Predator, whoever wins we lose. Push.

Official Count:
Leroy - 107
Loretta - 134
Push - 97

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December 3, 2009

Leroy's intense air batoning session reminds me of that old episode of the Simpsons where Bart visits Principal Skinner at his home and finds him similarly air batoning to a recording of Beethoven. That scene and this may very well be the only two known depictions of air batoning in the history of media. That being said, I'm actually quite surprised to see Leroy even listening to classical music. For a man who has shown such disdain for the theater, it's a bit incongruous to see him rocking out to the the classics. I would have sooner expected him to be air guitaring than channeling his inner Leonard Bernstein. Of course, the one consistent thing about all this is Loretta's unceasing mockery of Leroy. Loretta gets the point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 107
Loretta - 134
Push - 96

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December 2, 2009

Today's scene finds Leroy explaining to his fellow blue smock wearing commuter and co-worker his lopsided holiday routine with Loretta. Although Leroy's comments about Loretta's spendthrift ways would be a good clean point for him, unfortunately he isn't in the presence of her to make it official. Had he only just waited to unleash his critical commentary at some crowded cocktail party or a terrible dinner gathering or while chatting with the next door neighbors when both Lockhorns would be within hearing distance of each other, he would have earned a much needed point. Alas, it's just another push.

Official Count:
Leroy - 107
Loretta - 133
Push - 96

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1, 2009

It's another depressing scene at the giant old fashioned clerk desk as the Lockhorns take stock of and make somber jokes about their ever worsening finances. Loretta makes a topical reference about Somali pirates that's only about half a year late; I think it's a new personal best. Although given the age of the Lockhorns, Loretta's comment may be referring to the older, skull and bones, pirates. All in all, the whole efforts also seems a bit forced. It's obvious that there has never been a situation in the Lockhorns' long miserable lives where their "ship" was anywhere near "coming in", but for the sake of her punchline Loretta had to start off with a little fiction. Both Lockhorns lose, it's a push.

Official Count:

Leroy - 107
Loretta - 133
Push - 95

Monday, November 30, 2009

November 30, 2009

The usually opportunistic Loretta misses out on a golden chance to gain a point by slinging one of her poisonous fashion quips at Leroy while shopping at the local men's suit shop. The whole scenario is almost gift wrapped for her. Leroy looks quite unflattering in his tight pumpkin orange shirt which accentuates his disgusting physique and Loretta's just sitting right there just ready to pounce; there's even an audience with the store employee to sweeten the deal. Unfortunately, instead of being treated to one of Loretta's classic style critiques, we're left with some lame, uninspired complaining by Leroy over the fit of his shirts. Just a baffling flub by Loretta. It's a push.

Official Count:
Leroy - 107
Loretta - 133
Push - 94

Sunday, November 29, 2009

November 29, 2009: Sunday Showdown!

(Click to enlarge)

Clockwise from the bottom left:
  • Loretta incorporates the famous title of John Gray's bestselling relationship book while successfully shooting down Leroy's attempt to flirt with his most recent bimbo target. Although using a nearly two decade old reference fresh out of 1992 would seem hopelessly dated, it's actually as modern and edgy as it gets for Loretta. I eagerly await to see her start telling Leroy that he is "the weakest link" at future cocktail parties. Loretta takes the early lead and goes up 1-0.
  • When she's not out wrecking cars and ringing up massive credit card bills, Loretta can be found at home supplementing her usual debt generating activities by drawing up four (potentially five) figure telephone charges. Loretta's impressively prodigious telephoning accomplishments are even more impressive when you consider how few friends she actually has. To put up those kinds of numbers with that scarcity of contacts, Loretta must be calling strangers on international lines. Despite the fact that Loretta's burying him deeper and deeper into an inescapable abyss of debt, Leroy still manages to crack wise to his friend about Loretta's excessive phone usage; and for that Leroy ties things up at one.
  • Why would Leroy constantly open himself up to such unnecessary liability by placing himself on a scale? Hasn't he realized by now that Loretta has some mystical sixth sense that alerts her every time he's on it? As today's scene demonstrates, even while carrying pizza boxes into the kitchen Loretta was suddenly summed to the bathroom by her scale sense to throw out a quick dig about Leroy's weight. If I were Leroy, I'd eliminate all bathroom scales from the house and never ever check my weight. Loretta goes up 2-1.
  • The Lockhorns' race to the gritty rock bottom of the socioeconomic ladder continues its blistering, pace. Things have become so desperate at the Lockhorns' home that they now depend on junk mail as an additional source for heat. I know it's suppose to be a humorous scene, showing the ridiculous lengths Leroy will go to reduce spending, but it sort of comes off has heartbreakingly depressing. It looks like it'll be a long, dark, bitter cold winter for the Lockhorns this year. Push.
  • Loretta may mock all she wants, but a switch from scratch offs to Powerball tickets shows a bold, aggressive commitment by Leroy towards higher risk higher reward strategy over the more reliable but unspectacular scratch offs option. For the normally comatose Leroy, this comes as close as it gets to demonstrating initiative. Leroy is finally starting to dream big. Of course, all this still doesn't change the fact that Loretta is still getting a punchline at his expense. Loretta gets the point and handily takes the day 3-1.
Official Count:
Leroy - 107
Loretta - 133
Push - 93

Saturday, November 28, 2009

November 28, 2009

You have to hand it to Leroy, he really puts in that extra effort to be the worst possible husband imaginable. While other comically inept husbands would be buying flowers for their wives to smooth over a forgotten birthday or anniversary, Leroy takes it to another level by forgetting his wife's name. Al Bundy? Ray Barone? Homer Simpson? Andy Capp? Amateurs! Although Loretta's not actually present in the panel, it's pretty clear from Leroy's account that she was definitely slighted prior to the florist visit when he initially forgot her name. I'm going to assume Leroy is telling the truth so I'll give him the point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 107
Loretta - 132
Push - 93

Friday, November 27, 2009

November 27, 2009

With today being Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year and all, I sort of expected today's panel to involve Loretta in one of her shopping frenzies. Instead we find the Lockhorns at another dreary cocktail party lobbing insults like artillery shells. Loretta's lament at that fact that she is not married to a successful husband does a fine job of depressing Leroy and humiliating him in front of his proud looking, handle bar mustachioed acquaintance. For an encore, Loretta should proceed to make fun of Leroy's loud, goofy looking sport coat. Loretta scores the point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 106
Loretta - 132
Push - 93

Thursday, November 26, 2009

November 26, 2009

I feel boundless sadness and pity for the poor young couple forced to endure a nightmare Thanksgiving stranded at the Lockhorns home. The grotesque charade the Lockhorns put on and call Thanksgiving is the very antithesis of the holiday, from the poisonous emotional atmosphere to the (literally) poisonous food. Tasked with the critical responsibility of preparing the all important traditional turkey dinner, Loretta's terrible cooking reaches new heights (or lows) including a gravy so disgustingly thick and solid that Leroy has to carve it. Notice how longingly the couple stares at Leroy's carving knife, the sweet release of death is the only escape from this unbearably agony. Leroy carves up a point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 106
Loretta - 131
Push - 93

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

November 25, 2009

The Lockhorns' continue their strange, nonsensical foray into the brave new world of social networking. Loretta really should not be that surprised at all the enemies Leroy has seemingly gained on Facebook. She's the one who commented just a couple months prior about how Leroy has joined something called an "anti-social network". I'm still unconvinced that they're not making all this up and they're really just staring into the blank unpowered screen of a computer they have yet to figure out how to start. With that being said, the fact remains that Leroy is still a jerk and Loretta still gets the point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 105
Loretta - 131
Push - 93

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 24, 2009

When Loretta gets into her state of maximum rage, she scarcely even looks human. She just becomes this gigantic gaping wailing maw delivering dangerous decibel levels of pure, unadulterated nagging. Given the horrible circumstances, it's downright astonishing how Leroy can look so composed and casual in the face of such a raging storm, let alone break off a quality insult. It seems that his fellow bald acquaintance has already gone deaf from the volume and can only assume Leroy is mocking Loretta. Nevertheless, Loretta is still aware that she is being ridiculed and that's all that matters at the end of the day. Leroy gets the point.

Official Count:

Leroy - 105
Loretta - 130
Push - 93

Monday, November 23, 2009

November 23, 2009

Loretta's cold sobering disclosure to Leroy that his collection of tie-dyed apparel are hopelessly outdated and far from enjoying a retro renaissance once again indicts him for having a terminally poor sense of fashion. Aside from demonstrating how out of touch Leroy is with modern fashion trends, the appearance of tie-dyed clothing also intriguingly hints at perhaps a secret past as a member of the 60s counterculture. Perhaps before he met Loretta and became the living embodiment of the establishment, Leroy was a free wheeling hippie with a long flowing head of hair, preaching peace and free love. Now that'd be pretty far out. Loretta gets the point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 104
Loretta - 130
Push - 93

Sunday, November 22, 2009

November 22, 2009: Sunday Showdown!

(Click to enlarge)

Clockwise from the bottom left:
  • The classic American TV sitcom trope of a fat slob husband with an inexplicably attractive wife that has existed from "The Honeymooners" to "Family Guy" could have cut both ways here depending on who made the observation first. Had Leroy beaten Loretta to the punch, he could have spin it lament his lack of a good looking wife. However, it's the quick witted Loretta who draws first blood and leaves Leroy feeling insulted and discouraged. Loretta goes up 1-0.
  • Despite the the obvious mockery of Leroy's alcoholism, Loretta's use of Leroy's precious beer as a bulletin board unfortunately falls short of a point worthy insult. As it has been the case all year, it takes two to insult and a cruel barb without the benefit of the other party is a moot point. Had Leroy been in the scene, looking annoyed and irritated at Loretta's choice of note placement, we'd have a definite point. For now it's a push.
  • It would seem that Leroy is just being characteristically unpleasant and unnecessarily difficult with the poor mailman, but I suspect a specific method to his meanness. Since most of the mail Leroy receives are overdue payment notices and credit card bills, by turning up the old Lockhorn charm and completely alienating the mailman, he hopes he'll offend him enough to have him spitefully "lose" the Lockhorns' usual mail. Judging by the look of contempt on the mailman's face, Leroy is well on his way. It's a push.
  • By allowing Loretta to attempt a parallel parking job, Leroy is basically sacrificing his car and opening himself up to liability for the damages to the two other cars on the street just so he can have an opportunity to ridicule her about her destructively awful driving skills. One has to admire the lengths Leroy is willing to go to place himself in a point grabbing position. It may cost three cars and the lives of any other pedestrians unfortunate enough to be anywhere near Loretta's parking area, but Leroy ties it up at 1-1.
  • Having done a thorough job of deriding Leroy's work outside the home, Loretta now turns to deriding Leroy's work inside the home. Leroy's pride takes another critical hit as Loretta exposes Leroy's impotence and ineptitude at home improvement, which amounts to nothing more than putting duct tape on things. Not only does she emasculate him, but she hopes to cost him money by suggesting a professional repairman. Loretta takes the final panel and the day, 2-1.
Official Count:
Leroy - 104
Loretta - 129
Push - 93

Saturday, November 21, 2009

November 21, 2009

Loretta probably thought she was in for a pleasant evening of sipping cocktails, making small talk, and vigorously interfering with Leroy's bimbo ogling. Unfortunately for her, Leroy manages to counter her plans by throwing her excessive vigilance right back at her face with a well placed bird comparison. After a solid burn like that, it looks like Leroy's in a for a nice trouble free night of binge drinking, drunken lampshade adorned dancing, and unfettered bimbo ogling. It looks like the Lockhorns are getting banned from another party tonight. Leroy gets the point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 104
Loretta - 128
Push - 93

Friday, November 20, 2009

November 20, 2009

Before Leroy can even finish hanging his coat after coming home from the office, Loretta has already located, intercepted, and begun ridiculing the size of his paycheck; now that's the awesome efficiency of a true professional. However, I'm not completely on board with the egg metaphor she uses to mock Leroy's pay. Is she saying it's underdeveloped and small like an egg? Maybe there's a reference here to it not being a proper "nest egg"? It's a little ambiguous but in the end though, the important central message gets through to everyone: Leroy doesn't earn a lot of money. Loretta gets the point and extends her winning streak to three.

Official Count:
Leroy - 103
Loretta - 128
Push - 93

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 19, 2009

Leroy once again finds himself at Doctor Blog's office explaining the marks left by Loretta's physical abuse. Judging by the menacing stare Loretta is directing towards him, he is obviously being coerced by her into giving a less incriminating reason (excessive church poking) for his multiple bruises and broken ribs under the threat of future severe beatings. Unfortunately for Leroy, his unrepentant misogyny and male chauvinist pride prevents him from going to the authorities and admitting he is a battered husband. On the plus side, if (perhaps when) he finds himself arrested and charged for murdering Loretta, he can raise the battered person defense. Loretta knocks in the point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 103
Loretta - 127
Push - 93

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November 18, 2009

It would appear from the above scene that Loretta is just earning a quick point by spitefully waking Leroy up in the middle of the night to bother him with some pointless, petty, minutiae. However, I sense a far more sinister scenario underneath the surface. One look at Leroy's extremely dire state (the heavy bags under the eyes, the severe weariness, the rough stubble, the wild hair) indicates that Loretta has been subjecting Leroy to a sadistic nightly regimen of sleep deprivation torture for at least a week straight in an attempt to degrade and break him down mentally for her own cruel amusement. A bit extreme but Loretta still earns the point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 103
Loretta - 126
Push - 93

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 17, 2009

I find the Lockhorns' recent forays into computers and the Internet to have a striking parallel to the space race between the US and USSR. In both cases two hostile powers with two completely diametric views and ideologies, locked in perpetual conflict, competed and pushed each other towards new technological innovations and accomplishments. If Leroy was going to start Tweeting and indulging in Internet pornography, Loretta was bound to follow suit by establishing her own Internet presence; updating her trademark nagging for Web 2.0. However, Leroy demonstrates that there is still no substitute for a good old fashion personal insult. On the whole though, it is nice to see the Lockhorns channelling their boundless hate to constructive pursuits like getting with the 21st century. So I guess there are some potential benefits to being in a toxic, hate-filled marriage. Leroy gets the point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 103
Loretta - 125
Push - 93

Monday, November 16, 2009

November 16, 2009

The straightforward reading of Loretta's statement about the payments for the cupholder is that the Lockhorns are so in such dire financial straits that they have to buy even modest, inexpensive items on extended payment plans. However, maybe the Lockhorns have some sort of outrageously expensive solid gold, diamond encrusted cupholder off panel on their kitchen counter top? Maybe it was impulsively purchased during one of Loretta's feverish rampages through the local mall? Of course none of this changes the fact that the Lockhorns are still drowning in debt with no hope in sight. It's a push.

Official Count:
Leroy - 102
Loretta - 125
Push - 93

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November 15, 2009: Sunday Showdown!

(Click to enlarge)

Clockwise from the bottom left:
  • The Lockhorns' traditional hostile relationship with the service industry continues at the Lawrence Hill Service Station in Huntington. One would think that with all the business the Lockhorns have given the garage over the years due to Loretta's destructive driving, that their mechanic would be a little less sardonic in breaking the news to them that their warranty has expired. There's just something inherently dark within the Lockhorns that brings out the cruelty and meanness in people. Push.
  • Leroy may be forced to pick up the tab for all of Loretta's reckless clothes shopping, but he certainly doesn't have to compliment her when she wears any of it. While Leroy has indirectly insulted Loretta by opting not to tell the unflattering truth about how see looks in her new dress, in actuality he has taken the dare. He has dared to insult Loretta about her fashion and looks before dinner. Leroy goes up 1-0.
  • The Lockhorns decide to treat themselves to a rare fancy night out, enjoying some delicious French cuisine courtesy of Bistro Cassis in Huntington. Between this and the local service station, there is certainly an above average amount of references to local businesses this showdown. It all sort of looks like intentional product placement, but then again no product or business would want to be associated with the Lockhorns. I find Loretta's remarks to be unexpectedly off the mark here. By using the "we", she takes a slam dunk fat joke about Leroy and muddles it up into a general push statement about the Lockhorns as a fat couple. As for Leroy, he's just happy to eat non-poisonous food for once. It's a push.
  • It's always a treat when Loretta's absurdly anachronistic Victorian-era mother shows up at the Lockhorn house. Under the guise of helping Loretta prepare some peanut butter sandwiches, Leroy drops an all too topical "Bette Davis Eyes" reference (I mean it was one of the top hits of 1981) only to follow it up with a comparison to Andy Rooney; an unforgivable insult under any circumstance. In addition, while I suspect she'll somehow find a way to make them inedible, Loretta's peanut butter sandwich making may shockingly count as a successfully prepared meal. Leroy still gets the point and goes up 2-0.
  • Obviously Loretta's comments are intended to demonstrate what an uncultured philistine Leroy is, but I have to say Leroy's alleged cinematic philosophy isn't all that ridiculous. While I'm not going to completely snooze off at the opening credits of an explosion-less film, I have to admit that an explosion in the first five minutes of a film can only add to it. However, it still doesn't change the fact that Loretta made Leroy look foolish in the eyes of their fellow movie night couple. Loretta salvages the point, but Leroy still takes the day 2 to 1.
Official Count:
Leroy - 102
Loretta - 125
Push - 92

Saturday, November 14, 2009

November 14, 2009

That disinterested looking fellow in the flannel has got to be the most unconvincing teenager I have ever seen. He looks like Ray Romano, the current middle aged Ray Romano. He is supposed to be a teenager right? Why else would Leroy be using analogies to being grounded? Unless he's maybe an airline pilot? In any case, Loretta missed a choice chance to criticize Leroy's hideous zigzagged grayish blazer. Instead, Leroy manages to win the day by laying out one of his anti-marriage words of wisdom that always draws the ire of Loretta. Leroy scores the point.

Official Count:
Leroy - 101
Loretta - 125
Push - 92

Friday, November 13, 2009

November 13, 2009

We seem to be entering day three Loretta's birthday blowout bacchanal with Leroy giving Loretta his personally selected birthday gift. Apparently the only gifts Leroy ever gives Loretta are irons and vacuum cleaners; one alternating with the other every year. While giving a gift could dangerously be construed as a sign of affection, Leroy protects himself from any such risks by making them offensively sexist. I think the bow is a nice touch, it says to Loretta that he really put a lot of effort into getting this terrible gift. It's like leaving a penny as a tip to a bad waiter rather than nothing. It really drives home the spiteful deliberateness. Leroy gets the point and finally reaches the one hundred mark.

Official Count:
Leroy - 100
Loretta - 125
Push - 92