I feel Loretta's reaction to the doctors' comment about Leroy could have been a whole lot more devastating. Leroy gives her this wide open opportunity to say what she thinks is wrong with Leroy and she responds with a relatively mild statement about how she doesn't know what's wrong with him in general. She may just be diverting any suspicions away from the highly likely fact that she is responsible for whatever injury or ailment that has landed Leroy in the hospital. Loretta gets the first point and leads 1-0.
Loretta suspects Leroy's less than subtle car interest stems from a mid-life crisis and his fears of aging and his mortality. That may well be the case, however she is apparently oblivious to Leroy's compensation issues below the belt given the overwhelming phallic nature of the car he's interested in. Seriously, why doesn't the manufacturer just paint it flesh tones while they're at it. It is understandable however that Loretta, like the rest of us, would have a subconscious aversion to anything relating to Leroy's junk. Loretta grabs the point and builds her lead to 2-0.
Judging by the light attendance and uniform displeasure of the remaining audience, I'm going to assume the Lockhorns went to a showing of "Cloud Atlas". I am actually surprised that Leroy has moved on to DVDs, I would have said he was still making the transition to VHS. While the DVD format is now technically obsolete, being only one generation back in a technology trend is as bleeding edge as it gets for the Lockhorns. It's a push. Loretta still leads 2-0.
If the numbers were being written prior to the application of their corresponding color paints then Leroy's paint by numbers approach would make some sense. It would help organize his task (albeit a bit excessively) and he would just paint over the numbers he put down. It would appear idiotic and pretty nonsensical if he, for some reason, wanted the numbers put on after applying the paint (maybe for future reference?). I think Loretta is just making all this up about Leroy to try to explain to her friend why she's vandalizing her own home. The absence of Leroy means I have to rule it a push, however with a 2-0 lead with one panel to go, that is enough for Loretta to clinch a victory.
Leroy's insult about Loretta growing old has a spiteful, "take you down with me" element to it. I suppose that's unavoidable when you're mocking the age of someone that is likely the same age as you or even younger. Loretta's massive insecurities about her looks and her aging is just about her greatest vulnerability and definitely the one that hits closest to the core. Add the enhanced humiliation of having an audience of your friends and you've got yourself one brutal body blow. Unfortunately for Leroy it all comes a bit too late. Leroy earns the point but Loretta coasts to a 2-1 Sunday Showdown victory.
I noticed that after the previous two weeks of novelty and experimentation, the Sunday Showdown seems to have returned to its usual five random panel format. I have to admit it does feel comfortable. As for Leroy it seems that he can get away with rampant leering and even close quarters dancing with the young bimbos, but apparently he crosses a line with Loretta when he starts jitterbugging with them. It may be understandable since this is the closest I have seen Leroy with a lady. Weirdly in nearly all these bimbo situations the girls all seem to enjoy or at least not object to Leroy's advances. Perhaps he has some hidden charm that he only breaks out when he's with women that aren't Loretta. Loretta gets the point and jumps ahead to a 1-0 lead.
As a leaf blower owner myself, I can totally relate to Leroy's petty frustration at trying to blow away every loose fallen leaf. An obsessive compulsive urge to keep everything spotless and tidy comes over me when I'm clearing out my driveway. My personal advice to you Leroy is to upgrade from the electric blower you appear to be using to a gas powered model, the increase in power is well worth it (also the backpack makes you feel a little bit like a Ghostbuster). Perhaps it may also prevent future frustrating situations like this for Loretta to capitalize on. Loretta gets another point and leads 2-0.
They say a new car loses value as soon as you drive it off the lot, so at least Leroy's got that going for him. One might consider Leroy allowing Loretta to be the first to drive the new car out of the dealership as a massive lapse in judgement. I think he deliberately let her drive with the expectation that she would quickly wreck it (although he may have been legitimately surprised at just how quickly she managed to crash). That also may explain why he would have agreed to purchase such an ugly looking car. Leroy gets on the board as Loretta leads 2-1.
As of this post there is only one Major League Baseball game being played and it's in San Francisco. I am assuming that this scene was from last week for either Game 1 or 2 of the ALCS at Yankee Stadium. If that is the case then Leroy's complaint about the high ticket prices have been echoed by many; though on the other hand prices are generally higher for a playoff game. I'm sure his complaints about the ticket prices here were nothing compared to what I assume to be his later anger at the lackluster Yankees for being swept by the Tigers. It's a push as Loretta stays on top 2-1.
This is definitely the strangest cameo I have ever seen in a Lockhorns panel. Somehow Counselor Pullman has brought in three frequent panelists from ABC's Sunday morning political affairs program "This Week" (I personally would have preferred an appearance by the pundits of "The McLaughlin Group"). I guess Pullman will be playing the George Stephanopoulos role as presenter. Why any of these people would agree to randomly show up at marriage counseling session to have a round table discussion about a couple's marriage is anybody's guess. Maybe this is some weird publicity agreement between the show and "The Lockhorns". Thanks to baffling efforts of Pullman, the panels ends in a push and Loretta manages to hang on for the 2-1 victory.
It appears that while "The Lockhorns" have returned to the traditional five panel Showdown from last week's carnival based craziness, they are staying with the consistent story arch between the panels approach. The theme for today is: the Lockhorns take to the skies. I am actually starting with the top left panel instead of the bottom left since there is an obvious order now for these scenes. As for the first scene, we see the extremely rare sight of Leroy saying he can actually afford something, albeit relative to a shopping trip with Loretta. Leroy's line about the vacation being cheaper than a trip to the mall is a gross understatement. An all inclusive, year long, trip around the world would be cheaper. Purchasing your own private jet would be cheaper. Leroy scores a point and takes off to a 1-0 lead.
I'm not sure if the Lockhorns made up a generic airline that just happened to have the same name as a small Mexican airline or if they really have an ax to grind about their seemingly appalling customer service; they have often incorporated real world (mostly Long Island based) businesses in the past. In any case, I would be quite wary of an airline that engaged in such meaningless sadism; just look at the expression of pure rage in the face of the flight attendant. She looks like Mussolini giving a speech at a rally. It's a push. Leroy still leads 1-0.
Leroy really does deserve to get a point here, but unfortunately my hands are tied by the rules. If Loretta had any clue as to the serious ogling that Leroy was up to while she was looking at some farmland below then Leroy would get the recognition. Unfortunately Leroy will just have to settle for the quiet personal victory of checking out the sexy stewardess's ass while the wife is distracted. Those towering bimbo stewardesses must have the worst time on these flights. Aside from the nonstop ogling, they can't even stand up straight in the planes. It's another push as Leroy hangs onto his slim 1-0 lead.
We discover yet another personal vulnerability of Leroy that Loretta has turned to exploit: he is deathly afraid of flying. Maybe he's just afraid of the landing and takeoffs. He seemed pretty relaxed and at ease in the previous panel, comfortably leering away. Perhaps he keeps his anxieties under control by getting plenty drunk and distracting himself with the ladies; it's as good a plan as any. The scene is at an interesting angle, the decision not to show a shot of Leroy sucking his thumb seems to work here as we can let our imagination run wild at the image of an infantilized Leroy. Loretta gets the point and we are tied going into the final panel.
This is the only scene I've encountered, to the best of my memory, where neither Lockhorns are featured. These are strange and dynamic times here at the Showdown. A small leap of plausibility is required here though. When did the Lockhorns suddenly become wealthy enough to afford valet service (with two separate valets) to take them home from the airport? Aren't these the same Lockhorns who are often worrying about having electricity in their home for another day? Also judging by the totally forlorn look on his valet's face this "Roth" fellow (who I'll just assume is acclaimed novelist Phillip Roth) seems to be somehow even worse than the Lockhorns. It was an interesting panel and an interesting Showdown overall but it and the day unfortunately ends in a push, with the final score 1-1.
Leroy's insult is irrelevant but still pretty hilarious. Loretta's mother is many things (mean, old, uptight, dowdy, bizarrely trapped in the Victorian era) but she clearly doesn't have any problems with facial hair. This is just an entirely made up flaw, but those are just as valid in the game. I also have to agree with Leroy here, if the five dollar fee is merely to see a bearded lady sitting around it is a total rip off. Hopefully that charge covers the entire freak show. Leroy kicks off this edition of Sunday Showdown with the first point.
This is one those rare Sunday Showdowns where everything takes place in one location rather than be a collection of random scenes; always a special treat. Sure there was some deception on the part of Leroy but taking your wife to the carnival is ostensibly a romantic gesture. At least Leroy didn't promise to take Loretta to "Carnival" and then gave her a DVD box set of HBO's "Carnivàle:, now that would be been a real bummer; going to a local carnival at least has some remote possibility of being a fun experience. Loretta still earns the point for calling Leroy out. The score is tied 1-1.
I am going to have to drop an "OMG" followed by a side of "WTF". An extra middle panel? A dialog free scene? These are some unprecedented developments for "The Lockhorns". Although I can't say no to any form of extra Lockhorns, my one minor complaint about the extra panel is that an even number of panels only increases the chances of a push. I wonder if this is going to be a lasting feature going forward. As for the middle top panel, it is obvious that Leroy steered Loretta over to the "Guess Your Weight" booth so she could be humiliated by the carny's unflattering number. It was a jerk move by Leroy to get the carny beaten up like that just so he could pocket a point, but all's fair in the harsh world of the Lockhorns. Leroy leads 2-1.
The wordless Tunnel of Love sequence proves to be another impressive score for Leroy. Given the unique difficulty of getting an insult in without saying a single word, I am tempted to give Leroy an extra point for wordlessly disappointing Loretta and embarrassing her in front of the shifty carny (although it probably isn't all that hard for Leroy to make himself fall asleep). I have to say, a tunnel of love ride is an ambitious attraction for a carnival to have. It must be quite difficult to set up and later pack up. Leroy earns the point in his sleep and moves to a 3-1 lead.
Completing the day's trifecta of unorthodox Lockhorns features, the fifth panel features the return of the infamous text boxes. As for these features, I have made it clear in the past that I am not a fan. I suppose in today's situation where space was at a premium, the use of the boxes are somewhat justified. I enjoyed the horrified look on Loretta's face after the fortune teller implied that Loretta had found her soul mate in Leroy. On one level the fortune teller's statement is true, despite all their hatred for each other, both Lockhorns must know that there is no one else in the world that would put up with the other. Loretta scores the point. Leroy leads 3-2.
Just as the day is concluding and the Lockhorns are heading out of the carnival Loretta manages to throw in a last second zinger to snatch Leroy's defeat from the jaws of victory. As for Leroy he should hang his head low at the reality of his miserable choke job in the final stretch. All the elements of an ideal Loretta insult are on display: she has bankrupted Leroy for her own personal gain, she is mocking Leroy for being broke, and there is an audience for the mockery. It doesn't get much more textbook then that for Loretta. Today's extra large Sunday Showdown ends in a unprecedented 3-3 tie. Push.