Or, as Groucho Marx once said, politics doesn't make strange bedfellows, marriage does. In today's panel, we have the strangest bedfellows of them all. Even stranger than that, we see Leroy reading a book. Two things, however, are comfortably reassuring, Loretta performing word play on a well worn adage, and Leroy's scowl.
We're back at the neighborhood jewelers, where the classic Lockhorns tug-of-war takes place between Loretta's ridiculously prodigal spending habits and Leroy's downright ornery cheapness. The clerk, clearly exasperated with the latter, replies with a well known supermarket mantra in an attempt to shame Leroy into buying at least the ring at which Loretta wantonly stares.
I'm sure Levittown appreciates neighbors like Loretta. She has invited her friend over to enjoy the privilege of watching her stuff her face with chocolate. As she sits there cramming morsel after of morsel into her mouth, her cheeks distended, she manages somehow to prattle on and on despite an ocean of brown ooze clearly visible through her wide open mouth. The neighbor, adorned in red sweater and matching lipstick, no doubt is mesmerized by a profound sense of disbelief.
Lockhorns Sunday begins in Panel One with a familiar theme, Leroy's ongoing battles with telephone solicitors. Panel Two takes us to the aptly named neighborhood gym where we learn that Loretta's poor self image began at birth when her weight was average. The tension heightens in Center Panel when Leroy, horribly disheveled after a restless night, stumbles into the view of Loretta's webcam. There's always plenty of tension at the Lockhorn dinner table, especially when a hapless guest joins in, as in Panel Four, where we see Leroy comparing Loretta's cooking to festering scab encrusted sores. Leroy ends the day on a strong note in Panel Five. Completely bored at a particularly dull cocktail party (no bimbos), Leroy waves a white flag in exasperation both as a signal to Loretta that it's time to leave, and, more importantly, as a signal to everybody else of his disapproval of the proceedings.
Bad news has hit the Lockhorns' home. Even the most catastrophic events of dire urgency do no more than provide opportunities for Loretta to get in scathing insults at the expense of her husband. Meanwhile, Leroy always looks as if he has received bad news, a testament to his life.
Leroy, with his years of experience, is always willing to give advice to younger men about the intricacies of marriage. Leroy's unique perspective on the matter enables him to articulate with myriad quips and bon mots the idea that marriage is hell. He especially enjoys this activity when Loretta is within earshot. Her devious grin indicates that she is about to return fire by imparting her wisdom, in the guise of insults directed at Leroy, to the young bride, who appears to walking towards the gallows in an apt display of symbolism.
A telltale sign that somebody is being judgemental is when they spend entire days garbed in judges' robes and wielding a gavel. D. Pullman is inured by now to such spectacles from his two biggest customers. He can only sit transfixed, arms folded, staring out into space, wondering why his professional career has come to this. His only solace will be the $175 he earns for the hour, with possible additional benefits if the Lockhorns' vaudeville skit is any good.
Leroy contemplates his task to repair the leaky kitchen faucet. Loretta contemplates the eventual phone call to the plumber after Leroy destroys the faucet. As she's always hovering about for the opportunity to harass Leroy, she grabs it by suggesting in her sly way that Leroy's mental capacities are comparable those of toddlers.
The Lockhorns partake of their favorite hobby, putting on impromptu theater for a neighbor. As if on cue, fashion maven Loretta takes to straightening Leroy's tie, as Leroy delivers his line with the deadpan delivery and impeccable timing we've come to expect from The Lockhorns.
The Lockhorns spend the day engaged in their favorite modes of relaxation, Leroy by watching sports on TV, and Loretta by nagging Leroy for watching sports on TV. Their heavy eyelids indicate weariness in anticipation of the day's battles.
It's a hilarious start to today's Sunday Lockhorns, as Panel One sees Leroy relaxing while watching TV in what is literally his second home. In Panel Two, we see that Leroy's taste in toupees parallels his taste in clothes. It doesn't take Loretta long to come up with a suitable one-liner. Loretta continues her brilliant streak of scathing insults in Center Panel, where she mercilessly ridicules Leroy's handyman skills in her trademark deadpan delivery. The acrimony continues in Panel Four, where Leroy does not appreciate having been dragged by Loretta against his will to yet another cultural venue, in this case a concert. Thankfully, we end on a cheerful note, as Panel Five brings us to that swinging Levittown cocktail party scene. Leroy, fueled by a few scotch and sodas, gets the party rolling by sauntering over to the nearest towering bimbo. Loretta takes the cue by accosting her neighbor with the latest in her arsenal of insults directed at her husband.
We're back at the Levittown cocktail party scene. Our four guests assume classic theatrical poses as Leroy finds the perfect opportunity to poke fun at Loretta's vanity. He elicits immediately the desired reaction from Loretta. As a bonus, he has bored and annoyed the slightly more realistically drawn neighbors.
You know Spring is just around the corner, Bunky, when Loretta whisks her hapless neighbor by the living room to supply the audience for her annual paean to Leroy's procrastination in dismantling the Christmas tree.
The hospital is Leroy's second home. This time it's unclear whether sickness or accident put him there. From his strangely named physician's comment, we can deduce either he injured himself throwing objects at the TV screen, or simply got violently ill, in response to the latest performance by the Knicks. The third option is food poisoning from Loretta's cooking, where she has worked out a deal with the doctor to trick Leroy into watching her choice of television entertainment.
The familiar sight of Loretta's scowling visage waiting for him by the front door has prompted Leroy to provide solace to his doleful neighbor, reminding him he should be thankful he isn't married to Loretta, lest he, too, continually seek escape with alcohol. Leroy also proves that he's every bit as adept as Loretta at clever wordplay with popular slogans.
Loretta is now in the habit of text messaging Leroy. This, of course, gives her another avenue by which to nag him. So it's no wonder Leroy is now in the habit of leaving his cell phone turned off. Thus Loretta is forced to beckon Leroy verbally to his doom, otherwise known in the Lockhorn household as dinner.
Leroy desperately wants some spice in his life. With his waking hours comprising a tedious hell, his only hope for thrills and excitement lies in his dreams, but his dreams can't bring pleasure if he can't remember them. It's interesting that he choose the adjective "admissible," as though subtly planting in Loretta's mind the suggestion to seek a divorce.
Lockhorns Sunday is off to a slow start in Panel One, where Loretta observes a quirk in human nature while Leroy tries to read his newspaper in peace. The pace quickens a bit in Panel Two. Self styled fashion maven Loretta has never trusted Leroy's taste in clothes. While she's deciding on Leroy's sports jacket, she can't resist ridiculing his posture. Things come to a crawl, literally, in Center Panel. The entire pharmaceutical industry, united in a common purpose to harass and annoy Leroy, keeps meticulous records of the Lockhorns' bathroom floor design and manufactures its pills accordingly. In Panel Four, the pace accelerates full force, as Leroy's unwitting lawyer is a dinner guest for the first, and probably the last, time. Leroy's investment of $6 for the Merlot pays off handsomely by providing the perfect segue into a magnificent insult of Loretta's culinary skills. We end up with a bang in Panel Five, where Loretta's insane mother is finally leaving after a lengthy stay. Leroy again has shown himself to be the master of unstated wit.
Loretta's ego fells her again. Her delusions of being talented extend unfortunately to the kitchen, where she has always been utterly hapless. She should know better than to give Leroy the opportunity to use the greatest weapon in his arsenal: brutal honesty. Sometimes it's too easy.
Loretta once more indulges herself in making comments about her husband in front of a neighbor. The Lockhorns' neighbors find these frequent expositions perversely entertaining. Loretta fails to mention that it's because of her that Leroy must avoid bill collectors in the first place. Even more remarkable is Leroy's luck in not having yet encountered a telephone representative who speaks Spanish.
It's a familiar sight to the Levittown folk. There's Leroy, leaning against the light pole, much like a loiterer, while he waits for Loretta to return from her latest maniacal shopping frenzy to leave Leroy even further in the red. The neighbors know if they approach Leroy on such an occasion, he'll treat them to a comical bon mot.
It never ends for Leroy. Besides having to endure Loretta's constant nagging, he also bears the distinction of being the most sickly and accident prone yet surviving man in Long Island history. This matters naught to Dr. Blog, M.D., or especially to his impertinent receptionist. In addition to prescriptions and diagnoses, not to mention the staggering bill, Leroy can always count on a good measure of abuse during his frequent visits to his doctor's office.
Loretta strikes back! She wastes no time in demonstrating that she is the very best at insulting her spouse in front of an audience comprising an unwitting neighbor. She also manages to bring out her other specialty, word play with well worn adages. Whatever's broken, Leroy is correct not to bother, in this age of built-in obsolescence.
It's Lockhorns Sunday, where Loretta kicks things off in Panel One in her traditional fashion, parading a visiting neighbor by Leroy as he watches TV so that she may try out the latest in her arsenal of insults, directed at her husband and in front of an audience. In Panel Two, the neighbor woman's hairstyle may have changed, but Loretta's resolve to complain about Leroy hasn't. Leroy's frustrations with automated telephone menus continue unabated in Center Panel. It's no consolation that the recorded hold music is about beer. Panel Four sees Loretta having more fun with well worn phrases, in this case a marketing slogan, which, given the lethal nature of Loretta's culinary arts, may have been intended to be taken literally. Panel Five has the Lockhorns yet again suffering untold abuse at the merciless hands of the airline industry.
It is inconceivable that anybody, even Leroy, is not able to tell the difference between a crossword puzzle and a sudoku. He must be feigning this inability on purpose, to gauge just how stupid Loretta thinks he is. Loretta, of course, is onto his ploy, so she takes full advantage by belittling him as much as possible.
The forlorn expressions of sadness on the Lockhorns' faces set the tone completely. Spending their lives trapped in a loveless marriage wrought with vitriol and spite has depleted their spirits and reduced them to the languid, torpid zombies we now see preparing to run some errands. Leroy, beyond exasperation, still manages to deliver his humorous remark with perfect timing.
Today's minimalism is striking. Just a pair of concentric rectangles gives us a flat screen TV mounted on a wall. Otherwise, all that's needed is Loretta and her neighbor perched on simple wooden chairs: it suffices they be seated, nothing more. We have the perfect setting for the Lockhorns' favorite fodder for entertainment, reality television. Loretta's one-liner is best imagined delivered in a rapid staccato.
Loretta has decided to forgo traditional Christianity for a while, most likely out of the weariness of seeing Leroy sleep through the pastor's sermons week after week. She needs more active means by which to maximize Leroy's misery, as if her incessant nagging, poisonous cooking, reckless driving, and careless overspending aren't quite enough.
Poor Leroy is just the kind of schlep who couldn't figure out how to assemble his desk top computer out of the box by the time its warranty expired. Thus his ineptitude with the VCR is no surprise, and Loretta should now expect the same with the DVD. Twenty years from now, this will give her another opportunity to deliver a deadpan quip about Leroy's utter lack of technological prowess, to the delight of us Lockhorns readers.
Leroy, having been dragged into shopping at the supermarket with Loretta against his will, is understandably in a bad mood. His ire is piqued further by Loretta's ridiculously penny wise, pound foolish ways, as she will go to great lengths to save 39 cents on a box of Bisquick, yet blow hundreds in a matter of seconds when she's out on one of her maniacal shopping frenzies at Bloomingdale's. On top of all this, Loretta's watchful eye spots only those coupons for things which Leroy detests, which includes all items Loretta uses for cooking.
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