I cannot remember the last time a secondary character had a featured burn in a panel. Along with her body type and facial features, we can see that Loretta gets her poison tongue from her mother as well. Unfortunately for Loretta, she cannot also inherit her mother's well earned point. Additionally, I couldn't locate it, but I could have sworn there was a past panel where Loretta joked that Leroy went to clown college. Given the current scene that would have been an odd coincidence. The day starts off with a push.
Poor Leroy, every once in a while he'll muster up enough will and gumption to try to improve his wretched health only to fail miserably due to his complete ineptitude at exercise (seriously, how does one get that tangled up attempting to simply jump rope?). If there was ever a fellow who could use some guidance from a professional trainer, it's Leroy. As for Loretta, I am impressed at her use of digital media and the Internet to expand the audience for Leroy's humiliation from merely the neighbors to the entire world wide web. Loretta scores the point and takes a 1-0 lead.
It's another addition of Leroy sticking it to the younger generation! This time, he's directing his bitter displeasure at those wild, blue-haired, youths of Levittown. He's never going to catch up to Loretta if he continues to be preoccupied with directing his efforts at these other superfluous targets. On a side note, I have always wondered where the blue haired old lady stereotype came from. According to Wikipedia, the blue hair was the effect of excessive blue rinse use to reduce the yellowing appearance of grey hair in elderly ladies in the past. Who knew? It's a push, Loretta still leads 1-0.
As silly as Leroy's choice of "romantic poetry" is, Ernest Thayer's famous ode to baseball is kind of a long and detailed poem (I can't imagine Loretta just standing there while he went through the entire rendition). Leroy's selection and recitation of it is clearly not a display of his lack of intelligence; I suppose it goes more towards his utter lack of romantic sense. Loretta displays a real cold blooded killer instinct here. Most spouses when presented with flowers on bended knee would probably forgive whatever incongruous poetry selection their significant other made. However Loretta stayed firm to her hatred and mocked Leroy without a trace of compassion on her face. That's why she gets the point and clinches the day by going up 2-0.
Loretta better be careful about continuing to call her cake "crazy bread". That is a registered trademark of Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc. From what I can see though, her crazy bread doesn't appear all that crazy, it actually looks like a reasonable facsimile of a cake. Dare I say, it even looks halfway edible (it looks to have completely fooled Loretta's friend on the far right). Now if everyone can eat a piece without getting violently ill, that will indeed be the craziest part of all. Leroy gets the point and manages to avoid the shut-out and make it look a lot closer than it was. Loretta takes the day 2-1.
Leroy's comment about his wedding ring is the most overt overture made by a Lockhorn about seeking a divorce thus far. Could it be that after decades upon decades of strife and struggle, some cracks are actually beginning to form in the Lockhorns' deeply dysfunctional yet seemingly indestructible marriage? I always figured the Lockhorns' unhappy union would outlast the heat death of the universe; however if "Cathy" can get married, I suppose the Lockhorns could get divorced. I wouldn't hold my breath for it though. Leroy gets the point and jumps to an early 1-0 lead.
Given their characteristically dated lifestyles and how much they despise each other's company, I find it strange that the Lockhorns do not opt for the old fashioned separate beds. For all their mutual hatred, they share a pretty cozy marital mattress every night. Of course, if they Lockhorns opted for separate beds, we would be missing out on all sorts of classic conflicts like the one in this panel. Leroy looks excessively ashamed by Loretta's complaint, one would think he just wet the bed. Loretta scores a point, it's all tied up 1-1.
I suppose one's belt shouldn't be nearly as tall as oneself. I actually took off my belt just to check. The actual length of my belt in relation to my body never really occurred to me, so I didn't initially think Loretta's comment was all that insulting. It reminded me of the apocryphal fact that your arm span is equal to your height. In fairness to Leroy, just about everyone in the Lockhorns' universe (with the exception of the monstrously proportioned bimbos) has a similarly short legged, rotund figure like Leroy and Loretta (frankly I don't know how she can get away with mocking Leroy's body when they have the exact same body type). Loretta still gets the point and takes a 2-1 advantage.
It may appear that Leroy is complaining about Loretta's inability to recognize other people's points and her selfish insistence on making her own points known; however I'm going to take a more direct reading of his gripe. I suspect Loretta actually carries around some sort of sharp, pointed, object that she is repeatably jabbing Leroy and other individuals with. Perhaps this literal jabbing is done in addition to Loretta making a conversational to really empathize her viewpoint. Or maybe she's just trying to stab Leroy to death. Leroy makes a point and gets a point. The day is tied up 2-2.
Loretta is always ready with the clever word play. I have to admit, I didn't notice that the word "resent" was in "present". Leroy may have been expecting to humiliate Loretta in front of their friends with his insulting gift of a hand vacuum, but Loretta managed to beat him to the punch by insulting his terrible gift giving abilities first. Well played Loretta. Two random notes about the scene: first, the box appears smaller than the hand vacuum that it was supposedly holding; second, I sure hope someone offered the guy on the right a seat, it would be awful rude to force him to stand while everyone else sat. Loretta comes through in the end and takes a thrilling Sunday Showdown 3-2.
The Lockhorns' long suffering marriage counselor, Pullman, may possibly be reaching his absolute limit with Leroy and Loretta's antagonistic antics. There was a brief scare last month when he suddenly walked out of a session only to warily return a week later. The fact that he has managed to even put up with these weekly assaults of frustration and futility for all these years is downright incredible. I can't imagine he needs the money that desperately. Perhaps he keeps seeing the Lockhorns because he has developed some sort of sadomasochistic complex over the years. It's a push.
This may seem like just another lame "Lockhorns" panel where they waste their time making some laughably dated complaint about what they consider "modern living" (this time a scathing indictment of newfangled toasters with superfluous functions). However, since making toast in a toaster can technically be considered a form of cooking, I suspect Loretta is just such a poor cook that she cannot properly complete the simple task of loading slices of bread into a toaster without seeking technical support. Unfortunately for Leroy, he just lets this golden opportunity for an easy point slip right through his fingers. It's another push, as we continue to wait for the first point to be scored.
I find Leroy's comments to Loretta to be particularly nasty. Well played, Leroy. Normally this panel would be a situation where Loretta would be racking up a point by making a snide remark concerning Leroy and the featured bimbo. Leroy manages to preempt Loretta and, instead of being chastised for his ogling, cruelly explains to Loretta how she is lacking compared to the glamorous bimbo. Leroy's choice of keeping what Loretta has "twice as much" of in comparison to the bimbo ambiguous was a nice touch; there are countless, terrible ways that can be construed. Leroy draws first blood, 1-0.
A particularly idiotic train of logic stated by Leroy, but alas Loretta fails to make a move on it. Even if his insane argument was valid, it still wouldn't prevent him from getting a ticket. It would just mean that the police officer would also get a speeding ticket as well. I doubt that they would both cancel each other out. Then again I'm putting in far too much thought to such a meritless, stupid argument. The pointless panels keep on coming with another push. Leroy still leads 1-0. This is soccer-esque scoring.
It's always a rare sight to have both Lockhorns looking happy in the same panel. Often times this is due to them making everyone else around them unhappy. This is sort of the case here in this rather bizarre final panel. For reasons unexplained, the Lockhorns find themselves sitting right in the middle of an orchestra. For some reason the normally concert-hating Leroy is happy to be right in the middle of a concert performance, while the equally delighted Loretta can only comment as to how great these inexplicable seats are. In a day full of strange but ultimately fruitless, pushes, this final bit of silliness is utterly proper. In one of the oddest Sunday Showdowns in memory, Leroy pulls off a rare 1-0 victory.
I just made a random observation that Loretta must get her gigantic clown feet from her father as her mother's are the polar opposite in terms of size. As for everything else, she might as well be Loretta in a wig and glasses. I am a little surprised that Leroy referred to Loretta's mother as "her" rather than opting for the more insulting and dehumanizing "it". Leroy's put down would definitely have been stronger if he went with the "it". In the end though, it's only a minor complaint. Leroy gets the point and takes the early 1-0 lead.
When your wife is driving the household into crippling debt at the instant speed of the internet, the only thing you can really do is to try and earn yourself a point by complaining about it to a friend. Having his paycheck transferred directly to Loretta's Paypal account would, in addition to facilitating Loretta's internet shopping sprees, shorten the turnaround time between Loretta finding Leroy's paycheck to cruelly mocking him about how small it is. Leroy is suddenly on fire and finds himself with a rare 2-0 start to a Sunday Showdown.
Doesn't it look like the Lockhorns are playing tennis in their socks? It may seem like I am overly preoccupied with the Lockhorns' feet, but they are just hard to ignore given their prominent size. I like Leroy's approach to what should have been a negative situation for him. He is clearly losing to Loretta, but before she can make some sort of mocking observation, he flips the paradigm and lays out his own biased rules; which in turn ends up antagonizing Loretta. Game. Set. Match. Leroy continues his unexpected surge and with that point actually clinches the day 3-0.
The fourth panel has been historically the place where Leroy usually gets in an easy dig about Loretta's bad cooking. Often by the time the winnable forth panel came around Leroy was already headed towards a loss and the points were mainly to salvage some pride. The situation has been oddly reversed today with Loretta trying to make the score appear closer than it seems with an easy point attacking a classic Leroy flaw: his trademark stinginess. Loretta gets her first points of the day and Leroy leads 3-1.
Leroy doesn't look as happy as he should be, given Loretta's extended absence. I suspect he's just worn out and hung over from all the unrestrained partying and wanton bimbo ogling he's been up to in her absence. If the piles of dirty dishes and cookware are any indication, he certainly looks like he's been enjoying actual edible cooked meals too. It would have been great to see Loretta's horrified reaction to the trashed house and her realization that Leroy may have enjoyed himself somewhat without her constant efforts. For now it's a push and in a shockingly dominant performance Leroy takes the day 3-1.