The sporadic Lockhorns diversity express chugs along as we come across the first Asian character I've seen since I started covering the strip. Since the service appears to be fine (albeit a tad too intimate) and the issue of unreasonably high prices have not yet arisen, the Lockhorns don't have anything of note about the establishment to complain about. Fortunately, the quick thinking Loretta notices and seizes the opportunity to fire back at Leroy for his constant complaints about her cooking. Although to be fair, there may be a distinction to be made between serving under cooked fillet of sole and the traditional preparation of sushi by a trained sushi chef. As faulty (perhaps fishy?) as the comparison may be, Loretta still gets the point.
Judging by the crude image coming out of their TV, the Lockhorns are lamenting about the antics of The Situation and the rest of the cast of the "Jersey Shore" (or watching some sort of rough knockoff of it). In true Lockhorn fashion, Loretta makes a totally banal observation about reality shows that would have seemed dated 15 years ago. It's not just you Loretta, it's everybody who has ever watched a reality show. Meanwhile Leroy looks like he's suffering from an acute appendicitis. Push. Loretta still leads, 1-0.
I can't imagine the Lockhorns are in Oslo, Norway looking at an original print of Edvard Munch's "The Scream", so I assume they're at some weird Long Island museum that houses replicas of famous modern art (I think I see a faux Mondrian next to "The Scream"). I enjoyed Leroy's interpretation of the iconic expressionist work. Some see a powerful representation of man's existential angst and anxiety, some the despair of the human condition, or the panic and chaos of conscious thought, but Leroy just sees another miserable bald bastard in a bad marriage. Leroy ties things up 1-1.
Leroy may be stuck with another costly repair bill after what is most likely due to damage caused by Loretta's latest destructive driving episode, but it doesn't mean he can't take his anger out on the auto mechanic. While Loretta made an obvious dig at the relatively new phenomenon of reality TV shows in the second panel, Leroy manages to out do her in terms of datedness and banality by commenting on an even more tired subject; the high cost of car repair and unscrupulous mechanics. It's another push, day still tied 1-1.
As she has done like clockwork almost this entire year, Loretta has pulled out another tight Sunday Showdown on the fifth and final panel. This time, it's Leroy's unstoppable dancing feet and insatiable weakness for bimbos that ultimately put him straight into Loretta's crosshairs (or in this case noose). It's interesting to note the conspicuous gulf in period dance styles between Leroy and his Amazon partner. The leggy blonde seems to be working 70s disco moves while Leroy seems to doing some sort of 20s era Charleston. Loretta wins the final point and takes a close Showdown 2-1.
Poor Leroy, already completely emasculated by being forced to carry Loretta's purse and to dutifully accompany her at the department store while she makes expensive purchase after expensive purchase is then told that he will also have to pay for another futile gym membership. This is Loretta's equivalent to running up the score. Sunday victories for Leroy have always been sparse over the years and if this opening blowout is any indication, he may be in for another long day. Loretta goes up 1-0.
After a frustrating, fruitless day of fishing nothing beats getting insulted by your wife in front of an acquaintance just as you walk through the door. I find Loretta's comment to be a little shaky. For her to notice that Leroy has come back from fishing due to the lack of fish, would imply that Leroy would be carrying fish home with him in all other situations. There must be a better, clearer way for her to mock Leroy's poor fishing abilities. Regardless, it's still a point for Loretta; the lead expands to 2-0.
Either the Lockhorns are flying with some obscure, niche, retro inspired airline or they've stumbled upon the set of ABC's new fall series "Pan Am". I suppose I also can't rule out time travel to the early 60's at the dawn of the jet age; after all anything is possible in the wondrous and fantastic world of "The Lockhorns"! Anachronistic surroundings or not, Loretta remains focused on locking up another Sunday, and finds easy pickings with a compromised Leroy. Loretta rolls out to a dominating 3-0 lead.
Having getting absolutely blitzed by Loretta for the first three panels and conceding the day, Leroy shows some faint signs of life and manages to get a weak zinger across at the dinner table. It's such a lazy and feeble line about Loretta's meatloaf that it should almost constitute a "near-point" for Leroy. Loretta's gruesome take on an already much maligned dish like meatloaf should invite a plethora of punishing insults. Leroy's tame complaint almost makes it sound like her meal is actually edible. Criticism aside, Leroy still scores a point. It is 3-1 Loretta.
I guess I should give Leroy the credit here, but this is almost flatter than the last panel. I don't quite see the full insult here. If Loretta's nagging of Leroy is motivated by her conscience, then her conscience would be indirectly guiding Leroy. What's the issue? Maybe he's saying that Loretta is a hypocrite and that while she imposes what her conscience would suggest on Leroy via her nagging, her personal actions are not influenced by her conscience at all (that would explain her unconscionable cooking). I'll give Leroy the benefit of the point but this showdown was definitely not as close as the final 3-2 score would indicate. Loretta takes the day.
I understand that the bloodshot eyes are supposed to imply that Leroy is a degenerate drunk who can often be found nursing roaring hangovers from the previous night, but judging by the goofy smile on his face and of his equally glassy eyed friend, it appears that they may be dabbling with the demon weed. Come to think of it, that might explain the lethargy and the cognitive problems. Also, if you had to eat Loretta's cooking everyday, anything to help stimulate the appetite would be greatly welcomed. Loretta gets the point.
It's a shame Loretta isn't here to here be gravely offended by Leroy making light of the relentless unhappiness of their marriage. The grim discount drug store manager doesn't appear to see the humor in Leroy's comment either. Hopefully Leroy will be able to get a custom made "unhappy to indifferent" anniversary card and we'll be able to see Loretta's reaction when he presents it to her on their anniversary. I'm going to have to rule it a push, Loretta leads 1-0.
I don't know why, but I found myself really liking this particular panel. I thought the reversal of the usual neighborhood domestic disturbance complaint situation was pretty clever. Given the Lockhorns' belligerent history, it's actually quite logical that the neighbors would call the police due to silence. An absence of the familiar sounds of the Lockhorns' yelling would likely indicate that one might have finally snapped and killed the other one. It'd be like "Rear Window" [note to self: write treatment for remake of "Rear Window" set in Levittown with the Jimmy Stewart character cast as the suspicious next door neighbor of the Lockhorns]. It's another push, Loretta still leads 1-0.
This scene is a masterclass in weirdly disproportionate Lockhorn perspectives. First off, the car is gigantic, or possibly Leroy is usually small. For a compact hatchback, it is downright cavernous. Secondly, how much gas does Leroy expect to carry back in his ridiculously small gas can? It looks like a miniature handbag. Leroy could legitimately carry more fuel in his left shoe than that container. Loretta's insult comes off as extra cruel given the additional embarrassment of being forced to walk and get gas (I'd like to think that bead of liquid on Leroy's face is a tear rather than sweat, although I wouldn't be surprised if Leroy was in such poor physical condition that he starts sweating after walking five paces). At the very least, Leroy can take some pride in the fact Loretta is apparently acknowledging that he can read. Loretta goes up 2-0, locks up the day.
Leroy's bread and butter food insult comes up far too late to help him win the day. It's not even a particularly good insult at that. Leroy tries to make a humorous twist on an old axiom and but it sort of comes out ambiguous and confusing. So what could qualify as a "detour" to a man's heart. Leroy isn't dismissing Loretta's ability to reach a man's heart, he is saying that it's not through the stomach. I don't even want to venture a guess as to what these "detours" could be. Loretta takes a close affair 2-1.
Loretta's comment makes me wonder if she herself was a tall, striking bimbo in her youth when Leroy first met her and that it was the decades of unrelenting bitterness and regret over marrying Leroy that warped her into the stocky block of spite she is today. It would explain why Leroy would have initially approached her and her overly suspicious and hostile attitudes towards bimbos today. The same could have gone for Leroy; in the bloom of his youth he may have been some chiseled Adonis with a head full of hair before marriage robbed him of his dashing looks. That would really add a fascinatingly tragic undercurrent to everything. Loretta goes up 1-0.
It looks like Leroy is employing a sort of preemptive "you can't fire me, I quit" approach to his most recent argument with Loretta. I would question whether his course of action is actually effective, but the unhappy look on Loretta's face seems to prove it worked. It was a pretty clever gambit by Leroy. Given prior history, it was likely that he was going to lose any sort of verbal argument with Loretta so he decided to accept defeat in a way that preserved his pride and actually gave him the victory. Leroy ties things up 1-1.
There are many ways to read Loretta's comment that Leroy has been "idling kind of rough lately", each more unspeakably awful than the last. I'm not even going to venture describing potential disgusting scenarios, but I'm sure they all involve miscellaneous bodily sounds. I also hope against hope that none of this rough idling is related in anyway to sexual health issues. Why do Leroy and the good doctor even let Loretta into the examination room all the time? They know they'll just be getting nothing but insults. Loretta earns the point, 2-1.
A quick and easy Sunday morning score by Leroy; and he didn't even have to get out of his pajamas or finish breakfast yet! If there was anyone who would find a way to incorporate buckshot into a stack of pancakes, it would be Loretta. I guess that'll be the last time Loretta opts for healthier, gluten free options at the breakfast table. I get a sense that the fourth panel of the Sunday Showdown is often the place where Leroy earns his bread and butter points making fun of Loretta's cooking. If only he had similar luck in the other panels. Leroy ties things up 2-2 as we head to the fifth and deciding panel.
I am quite disturbed by Leroy's bizarre affection towards kitschy clown paintings and figurines. He must really be into them to be able to put up with the constant barrage of criticism by Loretta. Along with clowns, the talking bass and the dogs playing poker reproduction shows that Leroy has an impressively strong and well defined sense of the camp aesthetic, whether this sense of camp is "naive camp" or "deliberate camp", as defined by Susan Sontag in "Notes on "Camp"" is up for debate. What isn't up for debate however is Loretta's victory in yet another Sunday Showdown, as she squeaks out a close 3-2 win.