Today we find two of Leroy's strongest personal traits, his cheapness and his laziness, in direct conflict with each other. This time it appears that laziness has won out as Leroy is willing to part with his lawn mower for the promise of free lawn care. For some reason Loretta seems to be completely dumbfounded and stupefied by Leroy's exchange with our slightly androgynous looking stranger; either that or she's suddenly suffering a stroke. Maybe it's because "mow my law" could be some sort of euphemism for "have sex with my wife." I was on the fence about awarding a point, but Loretta's reaction tips the scales in favor of Leroy. It's a point for Leroy.
With such a constant never ending supply of horrible dinners by Loretta, Leroy has to keep finding more and more creative ways to criticize them. I particularly enjoyed today's clever put down. Dropping a "Frankenstein" reference is about as sophisticated an insult as Leroy can give; it's not exactly something he could submit to "The New Yorker" but it's still relatively high brow for him. It's also quite an apt comparison since a meal by Loretta can often be described a hideous crimes against nature. Leroy gets the point.
To Leroy's defense, how many straight, middle aged, suburban men really know about Manolo Blahniks? I'd like to consider myself a relatively with it, cosmopolitan guy and I only learned about them a few years ago from a trivia question about "Sex and the City" (apparently there are many references to them on the show). I don't think Leroy would be all that ashamed that he initially thought it was the name of a baseball player, but judging by the scene he seems more upset than usual. I think, based on the fact that he is looking at his watch, that Leroy actually isn't all that hurt by Loretta's comment but is rather dismayed that her leisurely window shopping his keeping him from being somewhere else he'd like to be. Regardless, Loretta still gets the insult in and the point.
Even while wobbling on the precarious edge of complete financial failure and destitution, Leroy still manages to crank out the puns. Perhaps some radical "outside the box" thinking for the Lockhorns might include: (1) not going on ruinous shopping sprees, (2) not destroying the family car every week in a head on collision , (3) cutting down on the high monthly liquor bills, and (4) reducing the number of costly joyless vacations. It is after all a recession, some sacrifices need to be made. In the end though I suspect the Lockhorns will do little to change their usual spending habits and just fall back on their usual plan of lying to the IRS. It's another push.
Leroy may ostensibly come off as fantastic jerk in this scene, obnoxiously hassling the busy hospital staff with the quality of his patient meal. However, I believe Leroy is well within his rights to stubbornly protest the quality of his meals. Due to Loretta's notoriously terrible cooking, an extended stay at the hospital away from home is a fleeting opportunity for Leroy to actually have some decent, non-toxic, cuisine free. In fact I suspect that some of Leroy's medical emergencies are self-inflicted so he can at least have an occasional edible meal. Given all the suffering Leroy has endured, I don't think it's all that unreasonable for the staff to improve the quality of his roast beef dinner. Push.
Apparently the countless years of round-the-clock angry nagging and screaming by Loretta has caught up with Leroy's hearing. For Loretta this is just another physical flaw for her to exploit. I still haven't ruled out the possibility that Leroy is faking his hearing loss in the hopes that Loretta stops or cuts back on the nagging, but Leroy should know that it will only cause Loretta to talk even louder and to repeat everything. The only real option for him would be to permanently injure his ear drums and go completely deaf. Loretta starts off the day with the point.
Loretta pulls off a graceful double strike at Leroy with only one statement. First she's extorting more of Leroy's hard earned money to blow on giant shoes or another identical black dress or whatever she buys at the mall. Secondly she concurrently insults him by stating how his earnings are so pathetic and meager that he can only afford to pay the minimum payment on the credit cards. Of course, given Loretta's reckless charging habits, it's no surprise that Leroy can only afford the monthly minimum. Still, Loretta takes a commanding 2-0 lead.
I think we all share Loretta's dumbfounded shock and horror at Leroy's horrifying attempt to "make our party livelier" by having a threesome with Loretta and some poor bimbo from the local escort service. It seems that Leroy has a fetish for the old high school cheerleader look (he's probably a big "Debbie Does Dallas" fan). Let's hope (dear God, let's hope!) that this is some elaborate prank by Leroy to freak out and embarrass Loretta rather than any sort of general attempt at sexual relations...for all our sakes. Leroy cuts the lead to 2-1.
Now this is the sort of threesome action I expect from the Lockhorns: Leroy, Loretta, and the familiar warm numbing glow of the television. Leroy thought he had won the night by managing to avoid an evening out with Loretta to the movies or the opera, but he did not expect that Loretta would still find a way to annoy and belittle him in front of others from what he thought was the apparent safety of his own home. That's some commendable resourcefulness by Loretta. Loretta locks up the day 3-1.
I don't even know why the Lockhorns even go on vacations, between the intrusive airport security, antagonistic servers, and high costs, they are clearly more miserable while on a trip then at home. In an admirable display of vengeful spite Leroy has "forgotten" his razor, toothbrush, and camera, which would seemingly insure that he will be unkempt and unhygienic for the rest of the trip but there will be no photographic evidence for Loretta to later use. Leroy salvages a point but still falls short. Loretta takes the day, 3-2.
Pretty weak zinger by Loretta. It sort of reminds me of George's famous comeback ("Well the Jerkstore called...") from the classic Seinfeld episode. Here you have Leroy, blitzed out of his mind, making a complete jackass of himself, stumbling over giant blond bimbos, just waiting to be unloaded on. There are so many possible ways to go with this situation: the drinking, the infidelity, the obnoxiousness, the bimbos, etc. and all Loretta can muster is "jerkpot"? Of course in the end it all comes down to scoring a point anyway possible and there are no extra style points for especially devastating insults, but an artist must take more pride in their work. Loretta ekes out the point.
After seeing so many vicious insults by Loretta regarding Leroy's less than ideal physique, it's a pleasant change of pace to see Leroy throwing some fat jokes back her way. Making fun of Loretta's equally rotund frame has definitely been an under utilized aspect of Leroy's game. Here, Leroy saves himself and all of us from the horror of seeing a totally deluded Loretta attempting to wedge herself into some bimbo-fit capri pants with a well timed cutting comment. I can't even imagine how her monstrous feet could fit in let alone the rest of her lower body. Leroy scores the point.
It's somewhat of a bewildering comment by Loretta. Leroy being a bad dresser with a boundless supply of ridiculous and out of fashion personal clothes is a common source of insults for Loretta. Now she appears to be telling her friend how her main motivation for entering into her terminally dysfunctional marriage was how Leroy's sparse wardrobe afforded her additional closet space. Pick a consistent characterization Loretta, either Leroy has an excess supply of embarrassingly outdated duds or he lacks enough fashion sense to get a decent sized wardrobe. All this in the end is a moot point since Leroy's not around to hear any of it. Push.
Who does Pullman think he's kidding? A fall and catch trust exercise? Between the Lockhorns? Really? The good counselor clearly just wants to see at least one of the Lockhorns get hurt. I guess all those years of exposure to the hostility and negativity of all those fruitless and frustrating marriage counseling sessions has warped Pullman into a bitter broken man who takes sadistic amusement in seeing the sight of Loretta falling over like a lumbering redwood and the ensuing melee it causes. Leroy is more than happy to oblige. Leroy gets the point.
Usually the Lockhorns like to reserve the depressing household financial conversations for the big old timey desk, but this time they're opting for the kitchen table. While most of these dour discussions about the Lockhorns' money woes usually end in a sad push, Leroy manages to deftly spin the situation into a point against Loretta. Leroy briefly raises Loretta's hope for a possible Saturday night on the own perhaps boring Leroy at an opera or museum exhibit, but he quickly gives Loretta the cold sobering backhand of their economic reality. Well done, indeed. Leroy earns the point.
Even though at this point in their long unhappy marriage both Lockhorns are fairly callous to the hurtful insults they sling back and forth to each other, every once in a while one of them really manages to still hit the bone. Leroy's pained expression reveals that Loretta really struck a sore spot with her mean-spirited comment. Perhaps Leroy took great pride in finally finishing his simple wooden bookshelf after all those decades of slow inept home carpentry. Aside from the devastating results, props must also be given to Loretta for taking the bold risk of needling Leroy while he has a dangerous implement in his hand. Loretta gets the point.
The most interesting thing about this panel is the reaction of Loretta's friend, she seems to be quite noticeably offended by either the ridiculously doctored picture or Loretta's photoshopping admission (or perhaps a combination of both). The usual reaction by an acquaintance to any terrible pun or action by the Lockhorns' is one of weary, vacant, glazed-over indifference. Perhaps after decades upon decades of bearing passive witness to the horrors of the Lockhorns' endless domestic conflict all their friends and neighbors have begun to reach a tipping point. With no Leroy present though, it's a push.
Loretta's zinger actually pulls off a double shot, nailing Leroy's latest bimbo as a baby with Leroy getting the indirect insult of being a cradle robber. It's a quality rank out and all but I also feel for the bimbo that unfortunately got caught in the middle. The poor Amazon was minding her own business, sipping cocktails, enjoying the party, struggling to keep her freakishly disproportionate frame from toppling over, when she unwittingly becomes collateral damage to Loretta's attack on Leroy. When it comes to the Lockhorns, innocent causalities are inevitable. Loretta gets the first point.
Sing it proud sister! Loretta strikes a blow for 60's women's rights by rebelling against the traditional domestic chore of a wife picking up after her husband. She makes it bluntly clear to Leroy that if he is going to treat her like a domestic servant, she intends to be paid a fee. Considering how between the shopping, bad driving, and shrew nagging Loretta bears enough negative female stereotypes to personally set back the women's lib movement a century, I'm pretty sure there's no actual feminist motivation behind Loretta's ultimatum. She is obviously just trying to be a jerk to Leroy; and it works, Loretta goes up 2-0.
Actually, Leroy's statement is fairly accurate. Some drivers attempt to draft and get better gas mileage on the road by intentionally tailgating behind other vehicles. Given Leroy's well known financial struggles he is always looking for ways to lighten the burden on his paycheck, including at the pump. In addition to annoying Loretta, the inherent danger of getting into a fiery car wreck that would result in his or her death adds further incentive to keep tailgating. Also, is Loretta in any position to criticize anyone about dangerous driving? Leroy makes it 2-1.
Leroy has apparently stumbled upon the fact that Loretta suffers from a rare neurological dysfunction where conversations about sports render her unconscious. This would explain why Loretta is always so quick to prevent Leroy from watching any sports programming at home (aside from that fact that it is something that gives Leroy joy). He would be well served to always have a portable radio on hand tuned to the FAN whenever he needs a break from her nagging. It's quite a discovery. Leroy ties it up 2-2, which means the Sunday ends as a push.
A clever pun by Loretta, but with Leroy's absence it is unfortunately all for naught. If I were Loretta I would be less swaggering and more suspicious about any gift from Leroy. Unless Leroy was forced to purchase the gift via blackmail or some other form of duress by Loretta, all signs would appear to point to some kind of sinister ulterior motive. She should really listen closely for any odd ticking noises emanating from the pendant. On a side note, what is up with Loretta's friend on the far left side of the panel? Her head is literally the size of the rest of her body! Even by the usual grotesquely disproportionate body standards of the Lockhorn universe, she is nothing short of nightmarish. It's a push.
I suspect that Leroy wasn't deliberately trying to mock Loretta with today's comment. I believe his original intention was to look out for his potbellied friend and assure him that when Loretta stated she was going to slip "into something more comfortable" she wasn't going to change into anything that would reveal more of her objectionable figure. I think we all share the friend's immense sense of relief at Leroy's clarification. Although Leroy may not have initially intended it, he did end up with a solid jab at Loretta (in front of an acquaintance no less) and at the end of the day Leroy finds himself with the point.
Where else would the Lockhorns be on Tax Day then at their local IRS branch office raining misery and sorrow on their unfortunate case officer? Loretta sharply turns the case officer's simple inquiry into Leroy's income into another opportunity to belittle Leroy's low earnings in front of an audience. As humiliating as it may be for Leroy, this may actually benefit the household in the long run since it does make a compelling argument: someone who has bought no new clothes in over 40 years would likely have no income let alone extra hidden income. Loretta earns the point.
Even right after returning home from receiving significant dental work and under the lingering effects of Novocaine, Leroy still manages to slur out a sharp barb about Loretta's cooking; quite an impressive feat. In addition to Leroy's admirable performance playing hurt, you also have to give props for his resourcefulness. He obviously set his dental appointment with the expectation that he would be able to miss dinner. When his appointment unfortunately ended early enough for him to come home for supper he clearly made the most out of a bad situation by rushing home so he could at least trash Loretta's cooking and have the benefit of numbing out the pain of the meal. Leroy scores the point.
Loretta gives about as lackluster and uninspired a put down as one could give while still getting credit, but hey a point is still a point. It's all kind of ironic since she's lazily criticizing Leroy for his trademark laziness. Had Leroy been aware of this and been quick thinking enough, he could have gotten all meta on Loretta and pointed this out, swiftly turned her own slothful zinger right back at her and made her look the fool in front of her friend. Unfortunately, Leroy is a bit too lazy for something like that. Loretta gets the point.
Leroy's bitter punchline echoes the thoughts of basically everyone who has ever been exposed to the Lockhorns. Their friends, their neighbors, their doctor, their lawyer, random waiters, strangers on the street, the readers, all know that their marriage is an absolute disaster in every sense. The Lockhorns themselves seem totally aware of this undeniable fact as well, yet they continue to remain together, eternally joined in mutual misery. Scenes like this maintain the viability of my pet theory that that Lockhorns exist in some otherworldly "Lost"-esque plane where they are forever locked in opposition due to some force of universal karmic equity. Or maybe they're just a couple of spiteful jerks who can't stop mocking each other. Whatever the case may be, Leroy gets the point.
I always suspected that the warped kind of people that would willingly spend time with the Lockhorns on a regular basis were the most extreme of sadomasochists, today's panel unambiguously proves this to be true. However even with the aid of the a safe word the Lockhorn's deeply perverse, pain-obsessed, guest really should have opted for comparatively less life threatening options for experiencing brutal sadomasochistic pleasure than eating Loretta's cooking, like playing the victim in a snuff film. Leroy gets the point.
If cleaning out a helpless Leroy of all his hard earned money wasn't enough, Loretta also feels the additional need to mock him as she takes the money. One can only imagine the sort of horrifying, dark, piece of information that Loretta is holding over Leroy to blackmail him like this. I can't think of any other reason why Leroy would continue to willingly give his total earnings to his mortal enemy. Whatever leverage Loretta may have, she's definitely playing it for all it's worth. Loretta ties it up 1-1.
Leroy spends another night pathetically wallowing over his lost dreams and how much of an utter failure his life has become, much to the complete lack of empathy of his white haired acquaintance. Despite his sad bemoaning about the death of his dreams of fame and acclaim, Leroy still has the admirable wherewithal to turn his laments into an insult about Loretta's constant nagging. That's a heads up play. Leroy goes up 2-1.
Loretta continues her complete systematic emasculation of Leroy by demolishing one of his last crumbling bastions of male power, his control over the TV remote. With the loss of his ability to control the channels during their prime time viewing, what else really remains of Leroy's domestic hegemony at this point? He certainly doesn't have any power over his money or dinner or where to go out for entertainment. A deft blow by Loretta, well worth the $19.99 for the universal remote at the local RadioShack. Loretta ties it up 2-2.
Had Loretta brought Leroy along to the local branch of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection to witness her fervid "complaint" about his recent lamp purchase, it would obviously be a point. Unfortunately, sans Leroy, it's just another case of a crazy woman wasting everyone's time with her ridiculously misguided view about how the Consumer Protection Bureau works. Loretta's failure to break the tie ends the showdown on an undecided push.
Well, actually it's not the numbers that lie but the people who provide those numbers, but I get what you're trying to get across with your joke. I have to admit Leroy is boldly entering into some dangerous, edgy territory here by going after a woman's age. It's defiantly playing with fire, especially with a woman that's so madly obsessed with maintaining a heavy fog of lies about her superficial appearance and age. Right now Loretta is doing a fine job hiding her homicidal rage under that smiling mask of sanity in the background. Whatever may happen to Leroy later tonight, at least he'll always have today's point.
Loretta digs into the current event headlines for her latest belittling of Leroy's paycheck. Her reference to the "Pay Czar", the popularly known moniker for Kenneth Feinberg the appointed Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation who oversees the compensation of high level executives at corporations that received federal bailout money, jokingly implies that Leroy is a highly compensated top executive. So when she's asking Leroy if the pay czar is aware of his salary she's sarcastically implying that he is receiving an unapproved, excessively high compensation package from his bailed out company. A simple, "whoa there Rockefeller" would have sufficed, but then who am I to question the master? Loretta scores the point.
Nothing is worse than when the Lockhorns quit picking on each other and try their hand at terrible social commentary. Their current "rant" on the decline of television quality is about as lazy and worthless as it gets. Their complaint manages to be generic and trite and at the same time overly general and maddeningly non-specific. Once you add in the fossilized Jerry Springer reference you've got yourself a completely wasted day. To think Loretta could have been landing a cutting remark about Leroy's couch potato lifestyle or Leroy could have been sticking it to Loretta about her incessant harping. Push all around.
After nearly four months, Loretta returns to the local shoe store to once again torment the poor frazzled, nameless salesman, notorious for being the only other character who Loretta has made more miserable than Leroy in a scene. This time, Loretta is intent on torturing him for countless hours with her agonizing indecisiveness, forcing him to go through box after box after box of freakishly large women's shoes until he has completely lost his mind. Leroy can only just sit back and soak up the schadenfreude. Also, I really hope Leroy's mustachioed buddy is just another frustrated husband waiting for his wife to finish shopping rather than some creepy pervert who purchases women's shoes for his own sick pleasures. Leroy gets the point.
I'm trying to breakdown Loretta's evaluation of Leroy in this scene. While it's quite likely that Leroy has failed in all three elements of his wedding vows, the fact that Loretta only mentions that he is no good at multi-tasking may imply that he could be faithful in at least one of the categories. If I had to pick one of the three it would be "honor". I guess since Leroy has yet to actually divorce Loretta, he has honored their unholy union. From a process of elimination perspective, it certainly can't be "love" since that's physically impossible for a Lockhorn, while "cherish" would imply some degree of happiness, a highly unlikely scenario. One can still miserably and begrudgingly "honor" an agreement. Yet another push.
Looks like the Lockhorns are carefully sowing the seeds for another year of robust, heated disputes with the agents of their local IRS branch. I for one am already gearing up for what I expect to be some epic showdowns between the Lockhorns and the federal government. Just how many audits will the Lockhorns experience? Will this finally be the year when the IRS sends Leroy to prison for decades of improper tax reporting? What sort of wacky responses does Leroy have in store for the unfortunate IRS agent handling his case? Let the games begin! Push.
Leave it to Loretta to exploit Leroy's deep-seated middle-aged insecurities to get him to do chores around the house. There's really no way Loretta could have lost in this situation. Leroy does the work, Loretta brags to her bespectacled friend about how susceptible to manipulation Leroy is. If Leroy refuses to do the yard work, Loretta could complain to her bespectacled friend about how lazy Leroy was. Game. Set. Match. Loretta starts off the Sunday with a point.
You really can't tell what unexpected and wondrous avenues Loretta will take with her insults. For example, in this scene you would expect that Loretta would throw out some lazy line about the unflattering nature of Leroy's pants. However, she surprises all (especially Leroy) with a surprising dig at Leroy's at-home slobbiness and his inability to properly put his dirty clothes in the hamper. Forget even evaluating the pants for purchase, she's already thinking two moves ahead. She's really putting on a clinic today, 2-0.
Even the supposedly boundless capabilities of the Internet are no match for Loretta on a shopping binge. As it turns out, given the ease and flexibility of E-Commerce, Loretta can make purchases totaling in the billions. Somehow she has managed to accumulate such an astronomical amount of items to purchase that the whole of the Internet cannot match it. It was a case of an unstoppable shopping force running into a seemingly infinite shop and the shop had to cry "no mas". All Leroy can do is mock her and hope for more time from the creditors. Loretta still leads 2-1.
If I was the parent of a new born, I would do everything in my power to prevent any exposure between my infant and the Lockhorns. The exposure to such a harsh dose of terminal unhappiness and spite could possibly be fatal (additionally, the grotesquely misshapen features of the Lockhorns would likely induce life long trauma). Someone should really alert child services about the above couple, no child should be in the same room with such terrible insults (or adults for that matter). Negligent parents aside, Loretta takes over 3-1.
It looks like we're in for another one of Leroy's deep insights into the fragile complexities of love. Professor Leroy's lesson on love for today? Love will lead to your complete downfall and personal ruin. However, I am a little suspicious about Leroy's conclusions. His reference to personal experience would imply that he actually was at one point "in love" with Loretta, which is obviously a total fiction. Regardless, Leroy can still be credited with a point. So after one of the most spirited of Sunday Showdowns, Loretta holds on for the 3-2 win.
Leroy sees Loretta conversing with an acquaintance in a state of disturbingly delirious joy and immediately rushes into action with a well executed, behind the back, put down. Leroy's statement doesn't even seem to be hyperbole; whatever monologue Loretta is so gleefully engaged in has obviously sucked all the joy out of the blank, empty void where the cocktail party is being held. Leroy's bald friend on the right looks downright suicidal. Also, on a random note, doesn't Loretta's facial expression eerily resemble the "Awesome Smiley" emoticon? Freaky. Leroy gets the point.
Loretta's statement about Leroy's unseen belt is obviously supposed to be a cruel dig at his paunchy physique, but it's also a pretty accurate observation. In all this time I've been following the Lockhorns I cannot recall a single scene where Leroy was indeed wearing a belt. From his usual collared shirt and black pants ensemble to his formal cocktail party suits, it's always just been black pants. I never even noticed Leroy didn't have a belt until this very scene. In fact, now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure no one wears a belt in the entire Lockhorns universe! My mind has been officially blown. Also, Leroy is indeed a fatty. Loretta earns a point.
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When Loretta totals the family car, you make a snide remark. After coming home to see that his dangerously reckless wife has smashed his latest car beyond recognition, possibly committed a few fatal hit and runs, all the while coming home from a trip to the mall where she exponentially multiplied the household's already hefty debt, all Leroy can do is drop a caustic comment about her poor driving skills. It's just another Thursday for the Lockhorns. It's a point for Leroy.