Lockhorns Sunday! It is clear in Panel One that Loretta is mocking Leroy over his perceived illiteracy. It is not clear what Leroy is holding, what seems to be a rectangular object with a square and a circle on it. Leroy is even grumpier than usual when behind the steering wheel of an automobile, a fact Loretta comically laments to her neighbor in Panel Two. In Center Panel, the bathroom scale uses humor to chide Leroy about his weight. Loretta's smirk suggests that she may have had something to do with this. In Panel Four, it is perfectly understandable that Leroy cannot distinguish between Loretta's attempts at making glaze and plastic wrap that Loretta doesn't bother to remove. The best is saved for last in Panel Five, set in another Levittown cocktail soiree. Leroy is only too happy to point out Loretta's incongruities to his neighbor, who, unlike most of Leroy's interlocutors, actually shows a trace of interest.
We see an unusually elaborate scene in today's comic. We can assume the comatose gentleman in the matching green jacket and toque is Leroy's neighbor, who happens to be passing by while out running his Saturday errands. Leroy, tired from his long wait, leans on a telephone pole. This is all a lot of trouble and effort just for that pun!
At the latest Levittown cocktail party, Leroy has once again immersed himself in drunken revelry. Loretta shows her lack of appreciation for the spectacle by applying a well worn metaphor to convey the idea to her neighbor that Leroy is a hopeless alcoholic.
Leroy's frustrations with automated telephone menus have assumed legendary proportions over the years. The man has so often exploded in a rage while trying to follow byzantine instructions spoken by computer generated voices, only to slam down the receiver in unmitigated angry fury, that he's actually flummoxed when he gets a real person on the other end of the line.
The Lockhorns has long served as a repository for adages and cliches. Today Leroy refers to the oft cited repudiation of the logical fallacy known as tu quoque. It is unclear what Leroy's "wrongs" were, but the open refrigerator door suggests that he merely cheated on his diet again. Given Loretta's belligerent mien, Leroy should replace the milk and opt for bourbon instead.
Frequent sessions with D. Pullman, Marriage Counselor, are de rigueur in the Lockhorns' quest to survive their depressing marriage. Pullman deepens their depression by reminding them about his $175 hourly fee.
Leroy has a patented response to Loretta's imperative that they rent a nature video. It invokes the usual reaction in Loretta, who half-heartedly displays her ire by stating the obvious. Leroy ponders his next move.
Lockhorns Sunday. Loretta partakes in one of her favorite activities in Panel One. She leads a visiting neighbor over to a reposing Leroy just so she can hurl a litany of insults at him in front of an audience. In Panel Two, Loretta and Leroy find themselves in the throes of another harsh Long Island winter. Leroy has some fun with Loretta in Center Panel. He brilliantly counters the cartoon cliche of perfectly rounded mouse holes with a mother-in-law joke. In Panel Four, the Lockhorns storm out of the theater in the middle of the movie as Leroy takes offense at inconsiderate cell phone chatterers in the audience. He is reminded of the jargon of eighty years past. Panel Five offers us the incongruent sight of a gigantic print of the Lockhorns' wedding portrait gracing their living room wall. Apparently, Leroy had it installed, lamp and all, just so he complain about his marriage to his neighbors. Regarding Panel One, this is tit for tat!
Leroy holds court at a Levittown cocktail party with Loretta by his side. Apparently one of the neighbors asked Leroy, most likely in jest, what he would do without his wife. The expressions of dire boredom and dejection on the partygoers' faces indicate where this night is going.
Loretta does a brilliant slow burn as her eyes gaze toward the ceiling. Leroy the klutz has misplaced the car keys yet again. In a clever twist, he uses Loretta's very own unique brand of logic to defend himself.
Loretta has moved the telephone table directly behind Leroy's television viewing chair, thus enabling Leroy to hear every word when she insults him to her friends. It is remarkable that Loretta, as experienced as she is in the art of wordplay, has run out of adjectives to describe her husband, although she's still just as handy with cliches.
Both parties are happy. Leroy gets to wolf down something edible, thus providing him reprieve from Loretta's execrable cooking. Loretta gets to nag Leroy unmercifully for cheating on his diet, which will no doubt bring her much pleasure.
Loretta, playing white, has defeated Leroy at chess. How she did this is a mystery. They each have the same four pieces, except for Leroy's bishop to Loretta's knight. Leroy seems to be in check, but Rg7 would take care of that. Why should he concede? He already won at Candy Land; all he needs here is a stalemate. Does he actually want to hear Loretta's insufferable gloating?
This may or may not be Dr. H. Blog, M.D., taunting Leroy unmercifully. The notoriously sickly and accident-prone Leroy seems to attract only the most sadistic practitioners of medicine. Compounding the poor man's misery is Loretta, staunchly by his side.
It's an especially fulfilling Lockhorns Sunday. Leroy is no back row Presbyterian, as we see in Panel One. He's right there in the front pew, a mere arm's length from the preacher, thus lending his witty criticism of the preacher's prolixity a spectacular profoundness. In Panel Two, Loretta is at it again, rewording an old proverb for the purposes of nagging Leroy over anything convenient, in this case his ineptitude as a handyman. Center Panel has the Lockhorns dining out in style. Although Leroy appreciates the opportunity of an edible meal for a change, he's still frugal enough to appeal to Loretta's vanity to cut down the costs. Loretta's ridiculously anachronistic mother makes an appearance in Panel Four, producing an idiotic spectacle that Leroy finds most unappealing, as he reveals to his equally morose neighbor. Leroy is probably implying that he prefers a stretch in prison to his present life. Panel Five brings us to another Levittown cocktail bash, sans the bimbos. Leroy has nothing to do but get smashed, provided the liquor's any good. Most of the guests seem to be busy deciphering somebody's handwriting for some untold reason. Loretta suggests that today's nutty technological world has rendered handwriting a thing of the past.
By now, the neighbors have sincerely regretted asking the Lockhorns over for a visit. Anguished as they are by tedium, they sit morosely on their settee with a grim resolve to get this evening of torture over with. Meanwhile, Leroy objects to what is probably one of the least offensive epithets Loretta has ever used when describing him.
Friday is payday. At the Lockhorns', this means they act out their weekly ritual. Leroy brings his paycheck home, hands it over to Loretta, and stands there fuming with anger as Loretta proceeds to insult him over its perceived smallness. She has injected much mirth into her sarcasm today, it seems.
Leroy, during one of his frequent visits to his personal physician, wonders, "Why should Loretta have all the fun?," and decides to engage in a little word play himself. Unfortunately, his weak demonstration of the homonymy of "beef" fails to impress Dr. H. Blog M.D.
Leroy may rub his neighbors the wrong way, but there's no denying the man is completely unpretentious. He's much happier watching the Jets on TV than attending the opera or reading classical literature. He has tried, inevitably in vain, such cultural pursuits over the years, but only to indulge Loretta and her ridiculous delusions of grandeur as she fancies herself a highbrow. She cannot resist ridiculing Leroy for his failure to match her enthusiasm in her exercises of sheer vanity.
Considering there's never been a time when banks thought the customers were always right, the bank teller seems to be infusing the Lockhorns with a false sense of nostalgia, the better to make their lives as miserable as possible. The Lockhorns, accustomed as they are to contemptuous treatment, simply maintain their stoic, torpid demeanors.
It has been said Socrates had a nagging wife, but she couldn't have been anything like Loretta. The woman hounds Leroy 24 hours a day. How often do the Jets make the playoffs? Yet, there she stands, squarely between Leroy and the television set, arms folded, face in a ferocious scowl, ready to wage on in her relentless assault. Leroy cannot silence her unless he considers dire means.
Lockhorns Sunday appears surreal this week. In Panel One, Loretta takes her neighbor over by Leroy napping on the couch for the express purpose of reciting her most atrocious pun yet. In Panel Two, Leroy the frustrated fisherman takes, in a crowded restaurant, what may be the only opportunity he'll ever have of posing with a fish. In Center Panel, despite the Lockhorns having been married for forty-odd years, and despite the myriad vacuum cleaners and ironing boards he's given to Loretta as gifts over those forty-odd years, Leroy nonetheless feels compelled to seek the advice of a "gift counselor." In Panel Four, Leroy takes great delight in drowning out the opera with some cool jazz on his iPod, while Loretta is indignant over his having said it was a hearing aid. Panel Five is the most surreal of all, and is probably wrought with symbolism, as Leroy gleefully remarks that they have beaten the hearse to the burial plot.
Leroy alienates everybody he meets. While applying for membership in the neighborhood gym, he gives, unsolicited, his reason for joining. Leroy exaggerates ridiculously, since pot bellies don't sprout overnight. The attendant clearly is suffering.
The Lockhorns enact this scene so often that it's just a matter of time before Loretta trips all over her tongue trying to play with a cliche: is she saying Leroy laughs all the way to the tellers, or the tellers all the way to the bank? Either way, it makes no sense, and neither does Leroy willfully subjecting himself to this abuse.
Tempers are flaring. Leroy sits, fuming and disgusted, clearly sick and tired of the nauseating piles of glop Loretta regularly serves him for dinner. Loretta storms off into the kitchen in a furor, no longer able to tolerate Leroy's insults about her cooking. This could get violent.
Loretta fancies herself as highly cultured. She is thus compelled to drag Leroy against his will to art galleries, operas, and worst of all, Shakespeare. Leroy's bon mots in the face of such adversity never disappoint.
Over coffee, a dejected Loretta laments to her neighbor about Leroy's birthday gift. Since Loretta's birthday occurrs over three days, 11 to 13 November, we see Leroy's gotten a head start on 2010 by giving Loretta this year's gift in advance. This move is both necessary, considering Loretta's ridiculously poor driving record, and brilliant, as Leroy chalks up another year without buying a mink coat.
Thanks mostly to Loretta's excessive shopping habits coupled with Leroy's meager income, the Lockhorns spend much of their lives keeping one step ahead of a relentless army of creditors. Leroy hopes it is possible for his telephone service to block all creditors' calls; even if this were the case, it would mean yet another monthly bill to pay.
Today's comics are particularly depressing, even by Lockhorns standards, so we're in for a splendid treat. Don't be surprised if you find it difficult to vote for the best panel. For example, in Panel One, Loretta shows why she is the very best when it comes to her craft: she has elevated nagging to an art form, as she cleverly contorts cliches to enable her to say something only once, and yet a thousand times. Loretta exhibits another of her specialties in Panel Two, the play on words, or the metaphor, as applied to a popular adage. Today she has chosen "don't put all your eggs in one basket" as her medium, and she performs her perfunctory task with a heavy sense of ennui and despair, as if she has carried on her noblesse oblige alone on unappreciative ears to the point of wearying strain. Leroy in Center Panel shows Loretta up at her own game. His clever twist, brilliantly timed, on the cliche "come as you are" puts Loretta's efforts in Panels One and Two to shame, especially since he also worked in an implied insult. There's no stopping Leroy once he gets on a roll, and he lets Loretta have it in Panel Four, as yet another unwitting dinner guest is feeling the discomfort of acute nausea, thanks to Loretta's dreadful cooking. Panel Five sees Leroy and Loretta driving off from a visit to Loretta's ridiculously anachronistic mother, a.k.a. "Queen Victoria." Loretta, as well versed in psychobabble as she is, nonetheless prefers not to explore Leroy's acrimony toward his very strange mother-in-law.
One would think Leroy would be happy to be dining out this evening and thus be spared Loretta's horrible cooking. However, he sits there as morose as ever, as Loretta takes a cliche about relationships and alters it to apply to waiters, though in ambiguous fashion. Does she mean she and Leroy should sit at separate tables, or does she simply want a new waiter?
The Lockhorns kick off the new year at yet another Levittown cocktail party. Hoping to spread their their signature glum despair, Leroy takes the lead and begins to regale another couple with a tale of woe, in which an anonymous stockbroker is conveniently blamed for the Lockhorns' ineptitude in stock trading through use of clever metaphor.
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