The current story line in Mary Worth is about a woman whose compulsive shopping habits have rendered her life out of control. There can be no doubt that the authors of this beloved serial comic strip have pored over decades of Lockhorns cartoons as part of their research into this psychological phenomenon, as Loretta remains to this day the best known literary figure among the world's compulsive shoppers. The most startling aspect of Loretta's affliction is the gloating expression she wears on her face as she returns home with yet more armloads of unnecessary and expensive purchases. She absolutely beams with pride, basking in the purely spiteful pleasure of having run Leroy's credit card debts even higher. Leroy can do no more than take advantage of having been casually standing by the front door with his neighbor as Loretta made her entrance, so as to deliver a one-liner in front of an audience. It remains a mystery as to why Loretta's father ever married a woman who dresses up like Queen Victoria.
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