Lockhorns Sunday is upon us. Leroy, the most accident prone man alive (for now), takes a magnificent pratfall from his bed in Panel One. Loretta shows her usual concern for her loved one by providing her trademark deadpan commentary on the spectacle without missing a beat. The action slows down considerably in Panel Two, where Loretta rejects the saleswoman's suggestion of an ESPN tee shirt as a means of attracting Leroy's attention. Loretta, the most dangerous driver alive (for now), actually has a valid complaint in Center Panel. Otherwise, I defy you to find the New York state law that explicitly bans the application of lipstick and rouge while driving. In Panel Four, Leroy can't resist annoying Loretta with an insult of his insane mother-in-law, who imagines herself to be Whistler's mother. Who could blame him? Panel Five brings us to the Levittown cocktail party circuit, where Loretta, as usual, mesmerizes her woman neighbors with the latest gossip. We're fortunate Leroy's around to provide his appraisal of the situation to his neighbor.
Then the mud fell off! Today we're treated to Loretta's hilarious take on the stereotype of the housewife in hair curlers and mudpack. Only The Lockhorns could pull this off. You know Leroy won't pass up the opportunity to comment on this remarkable spectacle.
There is nothing unusual about seeing Leroy and Loretta arguing in front of the neighbors. What is unusual is seeing Loretta, the world's greatest nagger, all plumb tuckered out after her latest tussle with her husband. She's so worn out that she can't even conjure up any worthwhile wordsmithery, settling here instead for a woefully ineffective rewrite of the old "women, can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em" saw.
Judging by their frequent references to "reality" TV shows, it's apparent the Lockhorns watch a lot of television, and their tastes are not too discerning. Leroy's quip, of course, pertains to Loretta's ridiculously anachronistic mother, a living relic of the nineteenth century seen knitting in the background.
Leroy and Loretta both love to dust off those old adages and use them whenever appropriate. Leroy's chance comes today during one of his frequent visits to his physician's office, where he invariably meets with abuse of some kind.
One would expect Loretta here to recite Henny Youngman's favorite one-liner by telling Leroy he brightens a room by leaving it. However, she does an about face and abruptly begins to nag Leroy about his lack of frugality with electricity. This is strange coming from a woman whose ridiculously irresponsible shopping binges continually keep the Lockhorns drowning in red ink.
Lockhorns Sunday. Whatever Leroy did in Panel One, he hasn't yet expressed enough remorse to satisfy Loretta, who looks primed for another round of relentless nagging. Leroy gets to relax in Panel Two, at least until Loretta drags yet another visiting neighbor woman along, just to insult Leroy in front of an audience. In Center Panel we see Leroy changing a light bulb, a simple chore he makes difficult by standing backwards on the stepladder. Loretta, in typical form, annoys Leroy while he attempts his task. Panel Four has America's favorite couple out for their Sunday drive, with predictable results. Leroy more than evens the score from Panel Two, since a New York state trooper is far more impressive an audience than a Levittown housewife. In Panel Five, an anonymous pharmacist plies his salesmanship on Leroy and Loretta. Considering the insolence to which Leroy is usually subjected during his frequent visits to doctors and hospitals, it's a safe bet for the pharmacist that Leroy is weakened enough to have lowered his sales resistance sufficiently.
Loretta's fanatical desire to appear cultured compels her to subscribe to season tickets for a fancy loge box in the Met, in spite of the Lockhorns' ongoing financial woes, most of which are caused by Loretta's irresponsible shopping binges in the first place. She is also thus compelled to drag Leroy along, quite against his will, to the opera, as well as to other artistic venues which he detests. As if to rub salt in the wound, she will also nag Leroy incessantly into driving faster to the opera, to the inevitable point when Leroy gets pulled over for speeding.
Leroy sits at the infamous tall boy desk, which can only mean he's struggling yet again to come to terms with the Lockhorns' impossibly dire financial situation. He has been reduced to mumbling well worn adages about money, when Loretta decides to chip in with her own bon mot. So pleased is she with her effort that she affects a ridiculous pose with her hand on her hip and her eyes closed, thus making her look every bit as idiotic as she sounds.
Loretta's atrocious cooking is bad enough the first time around, let alone served reheated. Who can blame Leroy for complaining? The brown sludge on their plates looks disgusting beyond description. How Loretta can wolf it down is anybody's guess, but her incredible tolerance for ingesting such vile noxious substances enables her to inflict much punishment on her husband.
Loretta participates in two of her favorite creative pursuits, wordplay and nagging her husband, all in one fell swoop as she leans a snow shovel against Leroy's beloved television set. As a bonus, she gets to complain about Leroy to her neighbor.
Lockhorns Sunday kicks off with Panel One, where we see Leroy using a loophole to shirk his duties on Loretta's chores list, prominently posted on the kitchen wall in the fashion of comic strip housewives everywhere. Panel Two sees Leroy at odds with his baldness, while Loretta seizes the opportunity to humiliate her husband mercilessly in front of a visiting neighbor. Leroy is at his subtlest in Center Panel. Given his accident proneness, it's simply a matter of survival that he avoid all skiing trips. Here, he manages also to lampoon Loretta's pretentiousness by facetiously referring to his favorite pastime, the plebeian bowling, in the same vein as one would to the bourgeois pastime of skiing. Panel Four finds Leroy between a rock and a hard place. He's got Loretta right there beside him, nagging him about being late, and he's got a state trooper right on his tail, ready to pull him over for the slightest infraction. Since they're probably on the way to visit Loretta's freak mother, Leroy should just floor it. It's unusual to see Leroy perform even the simplest of household chores, as he does in Panel Five. Thus we learn of his special McDonald's Flintstones cup collection, which he breaks out only on special occasions. Loretta's contempt for Leroy's lowbrow tastes is indicated by her grand gesture of placing her hand over her purportedly fluttering heart, thus making it clear that her remark is soaked in pure sarcasm. Look closely, and you may wonder if she's flipping Leroy off.
With St. Valentines Day just around the corner, Leroy stops off at the neighborhood chocolatier on his way home from work. His long faced neighbor listens as Leroy offers his interpretation of a well worn adage. The neighbor most likely fails to see how a box of chocolates can be construed as going "around" Loretta's diet, whatever that's supposed to mean.
A somber mood pervades throughout as Loretta takes her turn at the infamous tall boy desk where the ghastly arithmetic of the Lockhorns' impossibly dire finances is carried out. Leroy, immobilized in a catatonic stupor of despair, leaves it to Loretta to decide between lesser debt and more frequent flyer miles, an appropriate choice considering how flying is anathema to the Lockhorns.
Great black clouds of smoke billowing from the kitchen is always a welcome sight for Lockhorns fans, since it means another episode of Loretta's disastrous attempts at cooking is on the way. Loretta, sooty and disheveled, with one her lethal weapons in hand, emerges triumphantly from the kitchen and announces to Leroy that their house, with 90% certainty, will not be consumed in a conflagration.
Leroy doesn't appreciate the charges written on Dr. H. Blog M.D.'s bill, which the doctor presented to Leroy immediately upon the conclusion of his examination and which is tastefully emblazoned with "BILL" in gigantic capital letters. This scenario is even more depressing when we consider Leroy's frail health, his accident proneness, his inadequate health insurance, and Loretta constantly by his side.
Loretta has just returned from her favorite activity, shopping recklessly for more womens apparel that she doesn't need. Leroy, numbed by years of such abuse, sits there catatonically as Loretta needles him by reminding him she's put him further into debt on the pretext of buying him a tie that he doesn't need.
The competition among today's Sunday Lockhorns comics is fierce. In Panel One, we learn that Super Bowl Sunday is Leroy's most revered holiday, but not Loretta's. In Panel Two, Leroy, with a single word, reveals to D. Pullman the source of all his frustrations and hostilities. Center Panel brings us to the Lockhorns' lonely celebration, begun yesterday, of Leroy's birthday in what has to be the most philosophical Lockhorns cartoon yet. In Panel Four, Leroy has gotten lost behind the wheel yet again, and it's a sure bet he will not ask for directions and hilarity will ensue. Loretta is correct; when she drives, Leroy knows he'll end up in the emergency room. Outside of Victoria, Australia, we native Rhode Islanders know of no such establishment named Chick-N-D-Lish, and thus are relieved to know that Little Rhody's state bird will continue to propagate its species, in spite of Loretta's narrative in Panel Five. This doesn't matter to Leroy, who is enjoying all the attention.
The Lockhorns celebrate Leroy's birthday alone. It's a quiet and somber scene as Loretta hands Leroy a gift that technically he bought himself, since she doesn't work. How fitting the gift should remind Leroy of the source of his endless regret. Nonetheless, he has the perfect response.
In a coffee klatsch, Loretta addresses a couple whose male member is a caricature of outstanding late actor Jason Robards. It is difficult to imagine any conversation in which Loretta's comment would arise naturally, unless the topic swung around specifically to obsessed parents who are compelled to preserve their offsprings' bedrooms as shrines of some sort, in which case Loretta seizes the opportunity to get in a one-liner about Leroy's slovenliness.
Leroy's obsession with football has reached the point where he's now in a fantasy football league. This fact alone doesn't bother Loretta, since it keeps Leroy occupied and provides her with another reason to nag him. Fantasy cheerleaders, however, is another story. It's surprising Leroy just doesn't go straight to the fantasy porn.
Leroy has heretofore been accustomed to being addressed as "dude." However, that has all changed, as people are now addressing him as "mister." He sees this as a sign of aging, and confides in an uninterested Loretta his uneasiness in facing his own mortality.
The tables are turned. Today it is Leroy who obstinately clings to a point of view and won't listen to reason, as his haughty arrogance conveys his conviction that he is absolutely right. Such behavior is typical of Loretta, yet she cannot deal with it, a fact she bemoans to her neighbor over coffee.
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