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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Internetpornography, 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 Lockhornschannelling 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Apparently birthday celebrations for Loretta are multi-day affairs. While this would have potentially given Leroy another prime opportunity to cruelly prey on Loretta's age insecurities, it actually turns into a figurative group beat down of Leroy. Fortunately for Loretta, her friends (which appear to include the grown up versions of those creepy twins from the famous Diane Arbus photo) have all conspired to help Loretta get back at Leroy via her gifts. It's actually quite a touching scene (as touching as it gets in the dark world of the Lockhorns), a bunch of friends coming together to help one of their own on her birthday. All Leroy can do is bitterly choke down his cake in defeat. Loretta and crew earn the point.
It looks like the "39th Birthday Party" that Leroy was referring to on Monday actually arrived one day earlier than expected. Given the modest size of Loretta's birthday cake, it's quite impossible to believe that there are an accurate number of candles present. Considering the ideal combination of Loretta's sensitivity regarding her age and the large gathering of friends and neighbors, Leroy manages to hold off passing out on the punch long enough to take full advantage of this amazing opportunity to ruin Loretta's special occasion. Leroy wins the point.
Once again Loretta utilizes her knack for wordplay and logical head games to make Leroy look foolish (although it really doesn't take much to do that in the first place). Every generic question by Counselor Pullman about the state of their marriage is a fertile opportunity for Loretta to unload. The less than quick witted Leroy can only sit back in his chair and admit complete defeat as he tries in vain to make sense of Loretta's remarks. It's quite ironic that Loretta is complaining about listening to Counselor Pullman, since he has long since stopped listening to either Lockhorn. Loretta scores the point.
Loretta is nakedly opening herself up endless mockery if she continues to stick to the laughably deluded fantasy of the recurring 39th birthday. It's more likely that it's been 39 years since she actually turned 39. A reoccurring 49th birthday party would be at least remotely believable, but 39 completely bursts apart the boundaries of plausibility. For Leroy, Loretta's ridiculous contention is just easy pickings for him to derisively replay to his friend, Herb. It's time to update your alibi Loretta. Leroy gets the point.
Leroy kicks things off in fine fashion with a decisive strike at Loretta's age, one of her most sensitive of issues. The fact that the biting remark comes at a dinner function in front of acquaintances is just the extra frosting on the cake. Loretta's forced smile and feigning of ignorance of the insult barely restrains the obvious hurt and humiliation that is bubbling up inside of her. Leroy takes the early lead 1-0.
When it comes to one on one verbal sparring, it's Loretta who almost always comes up the winner. Here, Loretta completely strikes Leroy down with just a simple, clever punchline. Despite his best efforts, Leroy just doesn't have the proficient verbal skills of Loretta to compete with her. It's really in his best interests to avoid such straight up back and forth arguments, they are mainly traps for him to lose to Loretta. You just don't challenge the master at their home. Loretta ties it up.
Leroy diabolically gets Loretta back at her own game by promising her tickets to "the theater", only to bring her to a surgical theater to witness gruesome surgery. He can continue to firmly plead ignorance all he wants but it's obvious that this was a carefully premeditated misunderstanding. This is definitely one of the most creative and clever points Leroy has scored all year. Leroy goes up 2 to 1.
Loretta emphatically reaffirms her intense, long held disdain for old guy/young bimbo pairings at the May/December wedding of an acquaintance. There is absolutely no doubt that she will give a long and spirited filibuster when the reverend rhetorically asks if anyone has any objections to the impending nuptials; thereby ruining the wedding. As for Leroy, he can only quietly look on with a deep, burning envy at the lucky groom. It's a push.
It appears that the ubiquitous hype of the Brett Farve/Green Bay Packers saga has reached even the Lockhorns, albeit a week after the actual game. Can anyone explain to me why a couple from Long Island would suddenly develop such die hard ties with two distant NFC North teams? I think the Lockhorns' inherent hatred for each other causes them to take contrary sides on any controversy they come across whether it be in sports, politics, the weather, etc. Also what is up with Leroy's suit? Apparently his entire body has somehow become a mystical portal to another universe. It's another push, which means Leroy carries the day with a 2 to 1 victory.
Leroy's attempt to escape the unbearable agony of his life by kicking back and enjoying some quality time with the television is thwarted once again by Loretta. Like some sort of twisted nature guide, Loretta leads her friend into the room to observe Leroy in his natural habitat; all the while providing a steady informative narration of humiliating insults and observations. Try as he might, Loretta has thoroughly ruined Leroy's carefully laid homoerotic boxing watching plans. Loretta gets the point.
Another initially friendly visit by acquaintances, another bridge irreparably burned by Leroy. Leroy needs to funnel some more of that precious hate back at Loretta if he wants to make this race interesting. While his quest to make the Lockhorns the universally acknowledged pariahs of of Long Island (and perhaps even the greater tri-state area) is a noble one, it is quickly approaching crunch time and there are only so many more opportunities left for points. At this stage, additional pushes only serve to whittle down Loretta's magic number to clinch victory. Push.
Loretta is obviously being disingenuous here for the purposing of making an insulting remark about Leroy in front of the insurance salesman. In reality, she would require an extremely large insurance policy to maintain her current shopping addicted lifestyle. Despite the humiliation, Leroy should agree with Loretta and opt for a policy with as small a payout as possible. The last thing he needs is another motivation for Loretta to kill him. Of course buying life insurance is probably a moot point when it comes to the Lockhorns. They'll likely never die, just get more hateful and bitter until the end of time. Loretta gets the point.
Leroy's mustachioed acquaintance may just assume Leroy's statements about Loretta's terrible cooking are just exaggerated jokes, but we know better. Having witnessed all of Loretta's near nightly attempts to poison Leroy with her inedible food, that look of distress and terror on Leroy's face is genuine. He lives every day with the constant grim reality that every foul tasting meal could be his last. Leroy's phrasing actually gives an additional frightening dimension to Loretta's cooking. There is now the implied possibility that Loretta may also actually have a recipe for cooking Leroy and is attempting to murder and cook him into some sort of awful meal which she will consume as a symbolic gesture of ultimate victory. Quite disturbing. Leroy gets the point.
Seeing Loretta in a distressed state on the phone, Leroy manages to sneak in a casual taunt as he walks by with his morning coffee and paper. It's a well placed quick insult; simple and elegant in its composition and execution. He'll need to capitalize on all the small moments like these if he wants to pull off the comeback victory by year's end. He can't just cherry pick the terrible dinners and car accidents for his points, he needs to get down and dirty into the details. Also, check out the Lockhorns using the cordless phone! Is it 1985 already? Leroy gets the point.
After having been exposed to nearly a year's worth of the Lockhorns' explorations into the depths of human cruelty and spitefulness, you would think that I would no longer be surprised by whatever indignities Leroy and Loretta have in store for each other. However, I found today's bathroom scene to be particularly sad. Leroy stands aside Loretta a completely broken man, too devastated by Loretta's sadistically well played double insult of his hair and weight to even look back in anger. The juxtaposition of Leroy's look of utter despondence and Loretta's expression of pure joy is nothing short of compelling. Loretta wins.
Loretta never misses an opportunity to cruelly bludgeon Leroy's dreams with the blunt club of reality. Loretta's mocking of Leroy's gambling habit is especially mean spirited since she knows that his frequent trips to the race track and his constant long shot betting are all desperate attempts at trying to dig the household out of Loretta's ever growing mountain of crushing shopping debts. Even when he's trying to help Loretta's situation, he gets Loretta's wrath. It's an unwinnable situation. Loretta goes up 1-0.
Leroy finds himself in some sort of bizarre, exaggerated, slapstick comedy routine involving his sleep number mattress. I really can't see the need for such hysterics on the part of Leroy. From here it just looks like his bed is a little too soft. In any case, it makes absolutely no sense for him to be calling out to Loretta for help; she would be the last person in the world to give him aide. It's more than likely that she's the one who sabotaged the mattress in the first place. An odd, mostly underwhelming, push.
A putrid, rotting, hollow pumpkin that's been left out too long; how eerily symbolic of the Lockhorn's marriage. Aside from his usual laziness, perhaps that was another reason why Leroy had yet to throw the old jack-o-lantern away? In addition, in the crude, ugly world of the Lockhorns, the more decomposed and lumpy the jack-o-lantern gets the more it seems to oddly become closer to resembling the Lockhorns. It's a push.
It looks like another edition of "Leroy grossly overreacting to a modern day pet peeve"! Today, Leroy directs his special brand of overwhelming spite at the common nuisance of poor drive through intercom systems. While a less hate-filled man would perhaps talk slower and louder or complain about the service to the manager, Leroy prefers to take the obnoxious bullhorn approach. I sure hope Leroy enjoys people spitting in his hamburgers. Yet another push.
We now see just how serious Loretta takes her general fun policing duties. She is so bent on penalizing any sort of joy or happiness coming out of Leroy that she actually shows up to the party in a referee uniform complete with a whistle. I can only sit back and wonder in awe at how miserable she is going to make this evening for Leroy. I can see that whistle going off every time Leroy is caught ogling or drunkenly dancing with a giant bimbo. Maybe she even brought some official yellow flags to throw out for "illegal contact" or "holding" penalties! Poor Leroy (and those poor guests) have no idea what they're in for. Loretta gets the point and completes the 2-0 shut out.