A Jerry Springer joke that would have worked sometime around the late 90s (would you believe it's been 11 years since "Ringmaster" came out?) is about as fresh as it gets in the Lockhorns house. Pretty soon they'll start lobbing those smart comments about the "Thong Song" and the upcoming Y2K bug. For Leroy, the obvious appeal of The Jerry Springer Show is that it provides him with a steady stream of wonderful vicarious domestic violence fantasies that help him get through the day. It's a push.
The Lockhorns demonstrate just how boundlessly perverse their masochism is by attempting the hellish task of going shopping together. How is this even remotely enjoyable for any party? For Loretta, her lone great sanctuary from Leroy is tainted by his antagonistic, doughy presence. For Leroy, he is forced to spend even more time with Loretta in an even more humiliating and emasculating environment. With that said, Leroy seems to be making the best of an insufferable situation by mocking Loretta's overbearing shopping tendencies and generally making life difficult for her. When life hands him lemons, Leroy makes lemonade; bitter, bitter lemonade. The point goes to Leroy.
This is about as close as Leroy gets to demonstrating compromise in his marriage. Actually, there's barely even a joke here to work with. Leroy's explanation would seem to indicate he drives at a moderate speed...hilarious. Loretta, once again, shows what a disgusting hypocrite she is by complaining about Leroy's reckless driving despite committing a vehicular homicide just about every time she rushes to the mall. Push.
It looks like Leroy has finally found a way to keep himself occupied during all those boring theater trips that Loretta forces him to go with. Where exactly is this crazy opera house that contains so many tall, foxy, model types? Unfortunately for Leroy, he'll likely be banned from any future performances when all those offended woman complain to the theater owner about his lecherous ogling. At least he gets a point here.
Was the lamination done to empathize the chore list to Leroy or to make a point about how Leroy will never do any of the chores listed and that nothing will ever change? Either way, Loretta could have done a lot more housework had she not spent all that time laminating. In addition, she should know better than anyone that Leroy is functionally illiterate. It's close but I'm going to have to call it a push.
A sharp little zinger by Leroy at the dinner table. You can always count on Leroy to be at his best during meal time. Something about that horrible looking, disgusting, green sludge that Loretta calls dinner just brings out the best in him. Where would he be without those nightly dinners? Leroy goes up two.
This can either be a comment on Leroy's blithering stupidity and denseness or a scathing indictment on the quality of modern day television. Actually there is a third option; that Leroy is so immobilized by his current attack of severe depression that he can't be bothered to stop watching snow. I'm going to go with the more straightforward reading and say it's Loretta calling Leroy slow. Loretta gets the point but Leroy takes the day 2-1.
Leroy seems to be getting all existentialist here, questioning the absurdity of his human existence. Somehow the Lockhorns manage to become even more depressed looking when they're on vacations. I don't understand why the Lockhorns even go on these trips. They are forced to see each other for almost every waking moment and if they take a plane, they're almost always improperly searched by airport security. It's even worse on a road trip situation like this where they share the same cramped car space for whatever number of hours in what I assume to be awkward, tension filled silence. Speaking of the car, it looks like you can now add hideous, purple, Hyundai Excel hatchback to the growing fleet of crappy, 80s, economy cars that continue to be trotted out by the Lockhorns without any regard for continuity. It's a push.
You know Leroy has completely fallen off the wagon when, that timeless symbol of party drunkenness, the lampshade, makes an appearance. It's pretty safe to say that Loretta was never crazy about Leroy, it's a nice fiction she creates to set up her eventual punchline (get it? She uses the same word "crazy" in two different contexts!). Also, she doesn't appear to be all that crazy in this scene. I mean, who's the person with the wacky lampshade on their head here? I think "crazy to still be with him" would have been a better zinger, but a point is a point.
This is probably Leroy's best rank out of the year, an instant classic. The collision shop line and the salon line would have been quality points on their own but, with one deftly phrased question, he unleashes a double barreled smackdown on BOTH Loretta's poor driving skills and her excessive homeliness. Double the insult, double the misogyny, double the anger. Although the policy is one point per day, I am quite tempted to give this an unprecedented two points. Had he also somehow incorporated a crack about her bad cooking as well, I would have been sold. For now an emphatic point for Leroy.
The seemingly never ending war of attrition between Leroy and the IRS continues unabated. Exactly how many audits can one man be given within a fiscal year? Does Leroy even bother looking at the forms or actually putting in real numbers when he files his taxes? Why doesn't he just quit paying taxes altogether? It'll be a quicker path to what seems to be his ultimate goal of being locked in a federal prison, away from Loretta. Obviously the spiteful IRS agent realizes that denying Leroy prison and making him go home with Loretta every night is confinement and punishment enough. Push again.
Leroy attempts to make a bold step into the 1980s by looking at some of those newfangled "cordless" phones over at the electronics store. The astute salesman, realizing that anything close to a modern cordless phone would just confused and frustrate Leroy, has dug up the oldest, most out of date model he could find from the storeroom. However, despite the salesman's best efforts, Leroy spurns the cinder block sized antique and is wary of whatever pie in the sky technology it uses to "remember" numbers. Better stick to the safety of the cord, Leroy. It's pretty ridiculous how this scene could have been show exactly the same way 25 years ago. Push.
Another day, another scene of Leroy in the grips of a deep crippling depression. I guess we're supposed to find these scenes funny since they show how "lazy" Leroy is, but it's pretty obvious to most observers that the most severe scenes of Leroy's "laziness", such as this one, more closely resemble suicide awareness PSA posters. Loretta, obviously couldn't care less, a severely depressed Leroy is easy pickings. It also appears that her good friend's recent lobotomy has rendered her equally indifferent as well. Loretta gets the point.
While Loretta's comment about her constant shushing of Leroy would seem to indicate that he's a bit of a talker at the movies, she actually interrupts him anytime he's laughing or smiling, or generally enjoying himself while watching a film. Extending this frustrating practice into the home DVD arena would just be another victory in Loretta's life long quest to suck all the joy from Leroy's life. Loretta goes up one.
Is there a more compelling case for massive healthcare reform in this country than Leroy Lockhorns? Due to a series of chronic middle aged health problems, attempted poisonings, and failed suicide attempts, here's a man who ends up in the hospital just about every other day only to have his dire health emergency needs met every time with cruel jokes about his outrageous medical costs. Take heed, Obama administration. Push for change.
Leroy obviously can't take it lying down since the Lockhorns are in one of the many rooms of their house that is just a monochrome empty void. Loretta better watch it with her smart mouth, she really seems to be pushing Leroy's buttons in this scene. Leroy may not be sure how he'll take it but, if Loretta's not careful, she'll be the one taking it...in the face from Leroy's left fist. Possible domestic violence aside, Loretta goes up two.
Nice one Leroy. With so many terrible meals being served to you daily, it's tough to keep the material fresh, but you once again find another novel way to insult Loretta's horrible meals. While you'll find out soon enough that the "secret recipe" is obviously arsenic, you still managed to stick it to her recipe by comparing it to a traumatic experience. Leroy scores a point.
With the old fashioned Lockhorns, there always exists a strong possibility that they are actually using Morse code. In this case however it's just a weak zinger relating to that age old domestic struggle with the remote control. Loretta, never one to pass up an opportunity to criticize Leroy, even finds a chance right between phone calls. That's commendable. With that point, Loretta takes the day in commanding fashion, 3 to 1.
So it would be as if Loretta took the golf clubs back to the retailer and refunded them for the purchase price? I'm thinking maybe Leroy's so out of touch with modern times that he hasn't really picked up on the idea of store returns. In any case, he should not stand for Loretta's egregious hypocrisy concerning major purchases. How could she possibly give him a hard time about a high end set of golf clubs when her out of control daily spending is portrayed to rival the national debt? Pretty ridiculous. Push for the course.
Well played Loretta; a crafty piece of wordplay to land a cutting indictment on Leroy's laziness and lack of personal work ethic. The sharp elegance and effortless wit of that joke is right up there with the best classic Borscht Belt spousal punchlines. You can almost hear the rimshot off in the distance. This is what I'm talking about, back to basics puns. It's vintage Loretta, vintage Lockhorns. Where would she be if Leroy wasn't such a perpetual fat, lazy, slob? A well earned point for Loretta.
Leroy scores a solid comeback to Loretta's complaint about Leroy's lack of persistence by referencing how he' still persistently trying to digest her terrible Thanksgiving dinner. On the surface this may appear to be just a straight up slight on Loretta's cooking but, on a deeper level, Leroy's line about still digesting the dinner is likely a more subtle coded message to Loretta. By "still digesting" he really means "still living despite" and by "Thanksgiving dinner" he means "countless attempts throughout our marriage to fatally poison me". Leroy gets the point, giving him an even fifty on the year.
The topic today at the old marriage counselor's office seems to be anger management issues. It's a nice metaphor by Loretta but I'm still a little confused as to its intention. I guess it means Leroy is quick to argue and be confrontational? Although the ripening fruit picking analogy would still mean that the fighting is acceptable and inevitable. Whatever the comment means, it seems that Leroy is just about ready to "pick a fight", right across Loretta's face. Another productive session for counselor Pullman. Loretta gets the point.
Leroy would have made a stronger case for a point if his comment was directed more along the lines of Loretta needing massive amounts of makeup to cover up the rampant flaws on her aging face. Here, this is just sort of a passive-aggressive statement about how she carries a lot of shit in her purse. It was definitely a big opportunity lost for Leroy, but I'm still inclined to give him the point since it's a borderline case.
Wow, all I've got to say is wow! This is about as close as "The Lockhorns" have come to showing an explicit attempted murder. It's patently obvious that Loretta has switched Leroy's muscle relaxant with some sort of nerve toxin. Look at that gaping smile, the lighted up eyes, that "who me?" look of faux concern; it may as well been a formal confession. Leroy really should have known better than to take any pills around the house without first throughly inspecting it. It's a lesson Leroy will surely remember for next time, if he makes it through the night. Give that woman a point!
Yes Loretta, we all saw that scene from "Creepshow" with Leslie Nielson and Ted Danson. She really isn't playing it subtle here at all. Menacingly holding a sand shovel while questioning your victim about the tide patterns is a pretty obvious way of going about a murder. Even a distracted, bimbo watching, Leroy should be able to put two and two together. Of course, regardless of success, any attempt at spousal homicide is worth a point in my book. Loretta takes the lead.
Loretta does a fine job turning the tables on the purchaser of the jewelry (obviously Leroy) by asking for an appraisal of him. However, the fatal flaw in the scene is the omission of Leroy. Even if the jeweler had something insulting to say about the "value" of Leroy, the fact that he's not there to be hurt by it nullifies the effect. It's a de facto push.
Judging by Leroy's completely, limp, and lifeless position and interpreting "post-game" as Loretta's euphemism for "post-life", then it would appear that she has finally succeeded in poisoning Leroy and is gloating to her perpetually indifferent friend. While the more obvious reading is that Loretta is mocking Leroy for having characteristically fallen asleep while watching sports on TV, we can all dream can we? Loretta goes two up.
The never ending conflict between the Lockhorns and the medical community spills out onto the golf course. The Lockhorns take a brief reprieve from insulting each other and direct their sardonic wit at the twin doctors playing ahead of them. Their hate filled scowls seem to indicate that they're about one more put down away from savagely beating the Lockhorns with their clubs. "Do no harm" indeed. It's a push.
It's a disturbing situation when Loretta appears to be the source of calm and reason in an automobile. As dangerous as Loretta is with her criminally reckless driving, Leroy is just as dangerous due to his explosive road rage. God help the poor soul who was unfortunate enough to have cut him off; the last thing he/she will see before the impact will be the frightening sight of an accelerating cherry red LeBaron driven by a crazed fat bald man . A push for the road. Loretta takes the day with a two nothing shut out.
Loretta tortures another unfortunate cocktail party audience with her shrill, unbearable, wailing and Leroy makes a critical comment about said shrill, unbearable, wailing. It doesn't get any simpler then that. One day some brave soul may eventually work up enough courage to explain to Loretta that she has no singing ability. Leroy obviously (and rather cuttingly) brings it up every time she performs, but she just assumes that it's just Leroy being mean rather than truthfully mean. Without the intervention of a neutral third party to confront Loretta with the terrible truth, no cocktail party is safe. Leroy scores the point, everybody loses.
Loretta's comments about Leroy's failed self help attempt reveals the secret of his long personal struggle with adult illiteracy. Props should be given to Loretta for having the foresight to make her cutting remarks within a valid earshot of Leroy. All Leroy can do is put on a desperate farce of literacy by pretending to browse and understand the titles of the books on display. One can only imagine the terrible inner pain and heartbreaking personal shame Leroy feels as Loretta casually mocks his affliction with every random customer that wanders into the Self-Help section. An exceptionally cruel point for Loretta.
For a household that is always teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, the Lockhorns sure have a lot of tax problems. It all really seems to stem from Leroy's unabashedly contemptuous attitude towards the IRS. The possibly of sanctions, fines, or even prison time doesn't seem to phase him at all as he shamelessly admits during every one of his frequent visits to the IRS office that he just doesn't give a flip about the tax code. When you think about his life though, his "nothing to lose" attitude is not surprising. He has no money or assets of value for the IRS to repossess and a prison sentence would be three square edible meals without Loretta. Not a bad situation. Push.
Leroy must be suffering from a temporary delusional episode to think that Loretta won't immediately catch on to his less than subtle poisoning attempt. Has he even considered for a moment that Loretta may become a bit suspicious of the fact that he's actually doing something romantic?As if that wasn't as glaring enough of a red flag; the appearance of Leroy's jagged smile, which only appears when he's ogling bimbos or binge drinking at a neighborhood party, should immediately should set off Loretta's personal suspicions. Leroy should just leave the food poisoning to Loretta and focus on his strengths like making hurtful barbs about Loretta's looks or complaining about the opera. Despite the overall failure, Leroy still gets a point for the effort.
The Lockhorns come off as especially old fashioned and out of touch in today's scene. Not only have individual cell phones surpassed home landlines in this country, the National Do Not Call Registry has all but eliminated the annoying dinner time solicitation. Obviously the Lockhorns have yet to get into either of these developments. I think they just recently stopped cracking jokes about the sub par service provided by the neighborhood milkman and the proliferation of commercials during evening radio broadcasts. Give them about 20 years and maybe they'll get around to complaining about all the needless "spam" they're getting in their "e-mail" account. Let's push again.
Loretta has to get her story straight. Despite the countless examples of her compulsive shopping binges and the ruinous financial aftermaths of said binges, does she really expect Leroy and us to believe that her wardrobe amounts to a sparse shoe closet full of worn and tattered apparel? Something doesn't add up here at all. Pick your caricature Loretta: you're either the shopaholic wife that's dragging the household into the poorhouse or you're the long suffering wife of a financially inadequate husband who can't provide you with nice things. You can't be both. I'm setting this aside as a push.
Loretta mentions the one remote silver lining about the financial woes brought about by her shopping disorder: there's nothing but mounting debt for a mugger to take. However, one has to wonder if a mugger that is so outdated and old fashioned that he dresses like a golden age comic book hoodlum, complete with flat cap and Hamburglar-esque mask, would even know how to utilize a modern credit card. He would seem more at home running around with a bag of money with a dollar sign on it. Nobody wins here, push.
Nothing like a little casual misogyny out in the backyard on a sunny spring day. While this should be a happy moment for Loretta, considering the pain Leroy's in, he manages to deftly turn the tables by offending Loretta with his anti-female comment. His statement would have also worked with mosquitoes and how they're bloodsucking parasites. Based on the scowl factor, Leroy gets the first point.
This might be the first time I've seen Leroy standing next to a tall, buxom bombshell and not looking happy. After living with Leroy for all these decades, does Loretta really think that it's possible that he would find someone to cheat with? She knows better than anyone that he lacks the looks/prestige/money/charm/hygiene to have any female human be attracted to him (especially the completely out of his league models that he only seems to go for). Even if she suspected he was cheating on her, what's the worse that could happen? They'd get divorced? Now that would be a shame. It's another push.
This time, instead of burning the ham into an indigestible mass of black, charred ash, Loretta merely makes it so dry and flavorless that Leroy is reminded of being stranded in a desert. Of course those mirages just may be hallucinations induced by whatever poison Loretta may have cooked into the ham. Just another romantic dinner for the Lockhorns. Even if he ends up dying, he still gets the last insult and the point.
Loretta has a complicated relationship with television. We know she watches a lot of it, but she also seems to be highly critical of it. It's kind of like Leroy with the food; he mentions how it tastes like hot garbage in between stuffing his face with it. Anyone else notice the intense staring contest going on between Leroy and his friend in the background there? It looks like its going to be a close one. With that push, Leroy closes out the day with a rare 2-0 shutout.
I should immediately deduct a point from Leroy just for not wearing a shirt at the beach. At least Loretta has the decency and common courtesy to wear an all black, 1920's style one piece bathing suit/evening dress. Speaking of ogling, does anyone else find it weird that almost every woman on the beach is wearing oversized, round eyeglasses? Is this some sort of beach for myopics? I'm beginning to suspect that Leroy has a bit of an eyeglass fetish. One gigantic bimbo at a party was one thing, but three gigantic bimbos, in revealing bikinis, frolicking in the hot sands, wearing glasses? It's no wonder Leroy is doing his best to subtly hide the excitement in his shorts with his right hand. Now that we've all been scarred for life by that image, let's just quickly give Loretta the point for her comments and try to forget all of this.
Leroy goes straight down to business by hitting Loretta with the fat jokes. He even gives a admirable attempt at being topical by parodying a phrase that only became outdated in the past decade. Adding to the usual damage of calling an insecure, self conscious, middle aged woman fat is the fact that he's mocking her in her own home court: the mall. The mall was her precious and sacred domain before Leroy came in and polluted it with his hurtful truth that she is a plus sized shopper. This scene could have very well gone in the opposite direction and had been about Leroy's emasculating day at the mall, following Loretta around and holding her purse; but he deftly manages to flip the situation. The point goes to Leroy.
Having skied exactly once in my life, I had to look up Leroy's terse remark to determine what was going on. I figured it had something to do with drinking and lounging around. It's an unexpectedly cosmopolitan phrase for Leroy to use or know. I mean, how often do you think he uses phrases with an accent outside of "pie à la mode"? I'm going to have to tip this one in Leroy's favor because his happy leisure has greatly disappointed Loretta, who obviously came into the room with the high hopes of seeing Leroy suffer as he painfully tried to exercise on a machine with pedals that are about a third the size of his actual feet. Savor the flavor Leroy, you get the point.
This is quite a diabolical act of spite on the part of Loretta. By setting up a water cooler, awkwardly right in the middle of their living room, Loretta is attempting to blur the line between home and work for Leroy. For decades, work and home were two awful but distinct periods of torture for him. Loretta appears to be trying to forcibly combine work and home into one unspeakable double horror; a nightmare landscape that combines the soul crushing monotony of work with the domestic torment of being at home with Loretta. Eventually she'll replace all the home furnishings with office furniture, set up rows of cubicles in the hall, strip the kitchen into a break room. stock the linen closet with office supplies, and put a copier in their bedroom. It will be at this point that Leroy will truly know what it's like to be in hell. Well played, Loretta, well played. You have more than earned this point.
While economists and analysts may look towards the performance of the capital markets or consumer confidence surveys, or a myriad of statistical indexes to determine the fragile state of our current economy and to divine clues as to when it will recover; all one really needs to determine the pulse of the national (even global economy) is to follow the Lockhorns. Basically, if there is a higher frequency of scenes like today's where the Lockhorns are complaining about their sour finances then the economy is generally slowing down. Conversely, a scarcity of scenes of financial ruin would indicate a growing, prosperous economy. I would not be surprised if all the world markets dipped in the immediate future. It's a push.
As it turns out Leroy is a man of many hidden talents. He is apparently a world class paddle baller; a skill, no doubt, honed from many solitary hours during his sad, friendless childhood. You can tell he's serious about his paddle balling since he uses what appears to be some sort of custom made, "professional" quality paddle with a black ball. I can only assume that strange, uncomfortable look on his face is his closest approximation of a smile. Since no one's getting hurt here, I'm ruling it a push.