It's a truly baffling scene the Lockhorns have found themselves in. I mean, really what the hell is going on here?!? Judging by Loretta's comment, I guess Leroy was driving and got lost? But why are they sitting on the desk of a police station, wearing formal suits, and eating ice cream? The officers are as equally stupefied as me. It's almost as if the Lockhorns managed to tear the fabric of time and somehow teleported and materialized right on top of the officer's desk. For a standard "Leroy is a stubborn man who won't ask for directions" joke, this is probably the most fascinatingly surreal Lockhorns panel I have ever seen. Credit to Loretta for looking past the weirdness and still managing to belittle Leroy. Give that woman a point.
...And cue the rimshot! Thank you Lockhorns for applying your always sharp, poison wit to the modern menace of the busy customer hotline. What's next for our sardonic couple? Foul tasting airline food? Snarling traffic jams? High cable bills? Kids with baggy pants? The only time I want to see the Lockhorns on the phone is when one of them is calling the emergency room after greviously injuring the other in a fit of rage. For the first time this year, the push makes its way into the lead.
Loretta's frequent purple confidante must be getting pretty tired of all of Loretta's initially romantic sounding memories being quickly followed by a downer punchline (there should be a trademark comical trombone sound after every one), her eyes seem even more blank and lifeless than usual. While this little recollection about how Leroy is completely devoid of romance would be enough for a point, the lack of a glaring Leroy in the background having just overheard it unfortunately nullifies its potential effects. It's a push.
Leroy's sly critique of Loretta's notoriously bad cooking abilities is actually meant to have two readings. The more obvious reading of it is that despite the fact that the food was so ineptly prepared as to potentially cause illness, Leroy managed to consume it without complications. The more subtle reading is as a spiteful declaration by Leroy that he has managed to secretly develop an immunity to whatever poison Loretta has been using to slowly weaken and kill him. You can almost hear Loretta bitterly muttering "you may have won this round...". A well earned point for Leroy.
With the worsening national recession, it appears that the Lockhorns' financial situation is also getting more dire by the day. Between Leroy's inadequate dead end job and Loretta's crippling shopping addiction, it looks like the Lockhorns are considering turning to crime to make ends meet. While the prospect of "Fun with Leroy and Loretta" seems somewhat interesting, I can't imagine any sort of jointly planned criminal action acutally succeeding. Given their dysfunctions, all heist attempts will probably end in either simultaneous backfiring, fatal doublecrosses or tense Mexican standoffs. Another push.
The Lockhorns should really stop with the contemporary social commentary (unless of course that commentary is "modern married life is awful"). As the Lockhorns have proven over and over again, it's quite difficult to have topical and relevant observations when your life is forever stuck about four decades behind the times. Shouldn't the closest thing the Lockhorns get to reality programming be early episodes of "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom"? One thing is for sure, when the Lockhorns divert their annoyance and displeasure at something other than themselves, nobody wins. Push all around.
Nice opening rank out, Loretta. It's simple and it cuts right to the core by challenging Leroy's masculinity by stating he is a sub par husband. Once again, Loretta really could have gone further with why Leroy couldn't have a trophy wife (lack of money, lack of looks, no charm, etc., etc.). Point to Loretta, nevertheless.
I'm going to take this an indictment of Loretta's notorious shopaholic tendencies than an overall showing of the Lockhorns' crippling credit problems. Women be shopping indeed. Point to Leroy.
The foreign playfulness, the unexpected physical contact...oh my god, she's planning to kill you!! RUN LEROY RUN!! (Still a point for Loretta I guess)
Loretta's crack could work two ways: it could say that Leroy is so cheap that he hired vagrant street buskers for his wedding band or that Leroy's ear for music is so bad that the inept band he hired has become destitute. Either way another point for Loretta.
Playing for pride, Leroy brings up the shopaholic card once again. You can't argue with the facts Loretta, you a have a serious addiction. Leroy wins the point but Loretta wins the day 3 to 2.
My big question here is: why would Leroy even agree to go to a romantic movie in the first place? Being the prototypical anti-romantic, football loving, domestic, caveman caricature that he is, it is somewhat baffling to see him in what appears to be (judging from the majority of black formal wear) an extra fancy art house theater. I suspect the prospect of some tasteful nude scenes is what got really him in. Since there's a lack of proof that this movie trip was somehow masterminded by Loretta to annoy Leroy, I'm going to rule it a push.
The only moments when either Lockhorn experiences true, unconditional happiness is when the other is horribly injured. Sure, they'll get amused when pointing out a personality faux pas or enjoy a good snide comment about the other with a friend or crack a smile when they know other is unhappy; but for true bliss nothing beats seeing your spouse in agonizing physical pain. For Loretta, the sight of Leroy in traction and the prospect of months of painful rehabilitation is gift enough, the opportunity for an insensitive comment is just a delicious spite cherry on top. 2009 doesn't appear to be shaping up to be a banner year for old Leroy; not even a month in and this his second trip to the hospital. An emphatic point for Loretta.
An utterly pointless, off topic Lockhorn comic if there ever was one. This worthless half joke (which fails to elicit even a courtesy smile from the mail man) probably could have been lifted and pasted in about a dozen other daily comics. Where's the complex, simmering hatred? Where's the compelling display of human frailty? Where's the subtle critique on the American Dream? Alas, all we get is a pedestrian look at Leroy's credit troubles, without even the benefit of Loretta looking all pissed off in the background or anything. Straight up push.
Loretta breaks her nearly week long slump by returning to the basics, and few get more basic than a "Leroy is a slob" comment (it's right up there with the classic "Leroy is cheap"). The harsh, unrelenting truths about his loveless marriage, his middle aged life, his go nowhere job, and the overall death of all his younger hopes and dreams of happiness have left him a broken man with no will to even attempt the most basic of courtesies like drinking milk from a glass in front of guests. Actually, I'm surprised Leroy can get enough will power to put on pants around the house. For swiftly exploiting all that, Loretta gets the point.
Always the opportunist, Leroy turns the table on the telephone solicitor by attempting to solicit them for the sale of his car. I guess this is Leroy's little way of sticking it to telemarketers who call during dinner. This scene, as with all Lockhorn scenes, is obviously dated considering the prevalence of "do not call" registries and the decline in home phone lines. Frankly I'm shocked that Leroy is even driving a relatively late model Chevy rather than a Packard. Of course all these issues are moot when you realize the more unsettling fact that he appears to be talking on a non-cordless kitchen phone without chords. Lets call it a push and leave it at that.
Convincing the wife that they were going to watch a nature show about lions and bears and then revealing that he was referring to a football game; well played, Leroy. Although I wonder, considering the fact that this year's two Super Bowl teams were determined yesterday, why would they be watching a completely anachronistic NFC North matchup? Did Leroy record that game in November just to use it in this causal prank in January? While I wouldn't have put it past him, it would have made more sense had they been watching yesterday's Eagles-Cardinals game. Also, from the disturbingly orgasmic look on Leroy's face, it's obvious that by this point in his marriage he can only gain sexual satisfaction through annoying his wife. Enjoy that point, Leroy, enjoy it.
Count the Lockhorns as one of those poor middle class households that have felt the squeeze of our current economy. Apparently they couldn't even afford to pay the water bill this month. Of course there's always the possibility that Loretta withheld the bill on purpose, just to make Leroy needlessly tinker with the sink, but I need more evidence. Push.
A quality zing by Loretta if there ever was one. One sarcastic question, one solid put down about Leroy's fashion sense; it's textbook Lockhorns. Point to Loretta.
Is "hard drive" some sort of misunderstood metaphor? Or is Leroy saying Loretta literally lists all of his transgressions on a computer hard drive? Or is he implying she is some sort of android? Judging by Loretta's reaction, I'm going to assume that baffling technology reference was some sort of insult by Leroy. Questionable point to Leroy.
A little road rage, Lockhorns style! Ultimately this is just more neutral "Leroy hates Loretta's mother" shtick. Nobody wins. Push it.
If there's one situation Leroy can always count on for racking up insults it's at the dinner table. This time, Loretta's trademark inept cooking abilities have led her to ruin Leroy's steak, presumably by overcooking it. One has to wonder however, if the profuse sweating and struggling may also indicate signs of a poisoning. Assuming he doesn't die by the next strip, point and match to Leroy 2 to 1.
Another day, another shallow, empty dinner party for the Lockhorns. This scene demonstrates the occasional unpleasant incidents that arise when Leroy finds himself hearing anything resembling dissent from his usually mute sidekick. Any trace of disagreement with his bitterly cynical views of marriage and of the female sex leads to a full scale, finger pointing, blow up. Of course, all the drinking contributes to the process as well. While Loretta's cutting comment is well timed, it fails the critical test of being heard by the other Lockhorn to be considered a true pointworthy insult. Push it good.
Look at the uniform expressions of general gloom on everyone's faces; it makes Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks" look like the climax of a rave. In this all too melancholy world we live in, there is no place sadder than the Lockhorn home. I'm also not sure if Leroy is really proving his spousal behavior hypothesis. Judging by the all too familiar position of Loretta in the background, it would appear that a much more accurate axiom would be "if you want to get your wife's attention, make dismissive comments about how they want to ruin all the happy moments of your life to your only friend, within her earshot." Edge goes to Leroy.
Another fashion related put down from the House of Lockhorn; this time it's Loretta's turn at the wheel. Leroy's compromised position as he is being fitted is tailor made (pun totally intended) for pot shots by Loretta about his slovenly physique. While a decent effort by Loretta, I think she's pulling her punches here. The first and most obvious area to talk to the tailor about is Leroy's bulging waistline, maybe something about his flabby arms, or his weak shoulders, etc. There are many other possible painfully self concious areas of Leroy's deteriorating middle aged body that she could have really gone to town on. Nevertheless, a point is a point.
The fact that Leroy and Loretta both appear to embody all the classic negative generalizations of their respective genders provides an infinite well of insults for both sides. These well worn jokes about bad women drivers and slovenly males are what sustains the "The Lockhorns" and gives them a unqiue timeless quality. Here, Leroy is playing up the the long held "women are obsessed with shoes" stereotype much to Loretta's great disdain. I do wonder, however, how Loretta manages to find so many pairs of shoes big enough to fit her grotesquely large feet. She must be a fixture at the local big and tall stores. Leroy takes this round.
I really don't know what to make of the reoccurring good counselor Pullman. Is he displaying a near superhuman devotion to his profession by still attempting to somehow salvage the long sunken wreck that is the Lockhorns' marriage? Or is he just milking more fees from the poor doomed couple for another few decades by knowingly providing obviously futile relationship counseling advice? In either case, the acknowledgment by Loretta that even the act of passively sleeping in the same bed together overnight somehow manages to incite anger within each spouse isn't really a victory for any side. Looks like another push.
Also, as unbelievably disturbing as it is, I would imagine that the Lockhorns would have some pretty amazing angry hate sex.
Nobody really seems to win here. I guess on a broader level it may be commentary on Leroy's trademark cheapness, but I assume he's telling the truth when he says he didn't have the money. It is also doubtful that a pizza delivery driver who is exposed to pizza every day at work would ever accept another slice of pizza as a tip. The delivery person probably just wanted to leave after awkwardly finding himself in the middle of one of their spontaneous bitter shouting matches. I'm calling it a push.
Even at a ridiculously outdated looking magic/cabaret show, Loretta never misses a chance to criticize Leroy's life of sloth. Loretta strikes first.
Loretta turns the tables and makes light of Leroy's lack of fashion sense. Wardrobe is always a fertile ground for insults for both parties considering how both of them are forever frozen in the same late 1960s clothing fashions. Loretta up two.
Despite the rough economy, I doubt the American airline industry has come to the point where there is an extra charge for air sickness bags, for which Leroy is attempting to avoid. Or perhaps he just intends on spitefully vomiting in Loretta's purse during the flight. It's close, but judging by Loretta's angry face, Leroy gets a point.
Just your occasional, run of the mill, non-marriage related, commentary on "modern times", which for the Lockhorns is roughly about forty years ago. Definite push.
Loretta makes a subtle commentary on Leroy's lazy football Sunday activities, but alas it falls short of truly insulting and Leroy isn't even around to hear it. It is ruled a push, but Loretta rides the hot start to take Sunday 2 to 1.
Poor sleepy eyed Leroy marriage complaint sounding board guy. The poor guy can't seem to get a break. He has to put up with Leroy's endless marital laments and tales of domestic violence all day at work, on the commutes to and from work, and during frequent leisurely get togethers of all types. I wonder what affect this has on his relationship with his wife (who I assume acts all day as the captive audience for Loretta's limitless laments)? While Leroy clearly gets off a nice clean hit on Loretta, since she is not within earshot of his comments to be insulted, it's officially a push.
Also what's with the powder blue smocks? Are they hurried dentists or something?
Not to be outdone by Leroy's cutting man-to-man chat from the previous day, Loretta engages in a little "bash her marriage while talking to her friend" girl talk. The tableau of traditional domestic bliss (the doting housewife with the chores and the hardworking breadwinner relaxing at the end of a long day) contrasting with the dark reality of the Lockhorn's hollow marriage is nothing sort of inspired. For all the critical acclaim of the new "Revolutionary Road" film adaptation; the Lockhorns have defined tragic quiet desperation amidst suburbia for decades. Loretta gets the point.
Leroy is back to his old "bash his marriage while talking to his friend" routine. This time it's in a more casual setting than the usual dress and tie affair. It's a good thing the Lockhorns have found another couple masochistic enough to regularly hang out with them and put up with their awkward, spiteful needling. Also, according to Google, the whole "90% line" is credited to Woody Allen; who has indeed been married three times, currently to the adopted daughter of his former longtime girlfriend. Despite the misinformation, the point still goes to Leroy.
A classic bait and switch by Loretta to follow up a seemingly genuine positive complement with a hurtful punchline. I think Leroy got off a little bit easier in this round. Loretta should have added a bit more punch with something to the degree of "...oh wait, that's not your cologne, it's your usual personal stench of failure". Still, Loretta gets the point.
It may look like a standard brush off and insult by Leroy, but deep down I think this one cuts deeper than usual. That foreign expression on Loretta's face appears to be something resembling a smile, so one assumes that she actually got her hopes up for this one. She should however know better that Leroy can't afford such extravagances when it's fairly obvious that the man can't even afford proper, adult sized furniture. Leroy for the win.
A cunning rouse by Loretta; going to an expensive restaurant, stealing Leroy's wallet and feigning the loss of hers, eventually forcing Leroy to endure the humiliation of washing the dishes to pay off the meal, and then "finding" her lost credit card. Those aren't merely beads of toiling sweat sliding down Leroy's face, there are some tears as well. Game, set, Loretta.
A subtle yet cutting jab by Leroy in the first "criticizing each other backhandedly while talking to other people" of the new year. Loretta's physical looks, her abilities in the bedroom, the general enjoyment of their marriage, are all shot down by Leroy's witty analogy. Well played Leroy.
If we are to believe that "The Lockhorns" comic runs on a daily continuity, then there must be some logical reason Leroy is immediately in the hospital after the last strip. I'm going to say it's to recover from an acute stab wound to the abdomen during a domestic quarrel with the Mrs. Being the eternal ball of spite that he is, he still manages to nail a classic "you're a bad cook" line on Loretta from his hospital bed via comparing what looks like burnt to a crisp black hospital food to her cooking. One point for Leroy.
The first morning of the new year and Loretta is already cruelly making light of Leroy's long struggle with binge drinking and alcoholism. Little does she know that Leroy drinks in an effort to forget the harsh, loveless reality that is their marriage. Nevertheless, Loretta draws first blood in 2009.