I'm guessing that Leroy has asked Dr. H. Blog M.D. for a second opinion after the doctor informed him he was overweight, hence the doctor's comment. I say guessing because I don't know what actually happened, since the doctor's response does not seem to fit at all as a retort to "I want a second opinion." The confusion and awkwardness is enhanced further by Loretta's giggling at Leroy's misfortune, especially since, as I have pointed out several times lately, their bodies have exactly the same shape.
A woman neighbor visits Loretta. She sits on the couch, transfixed with a stare of boredom, as though she would rather be anywhere else on the planet, as Loretta insults her napping husband with yet another play on words. I wonder why this scene seems so familiar?
Leroy recalls yesterday's episode at Jones Beach when it was revealed he has the body of a frog, so it stands to reason he wouldn't want to look at Loretta's body if he can help it, since their body types are, to all appearances, identical.
Panel One, upper left Love means never having to say, "Love means never having to say, "Love means never having to say, . . . and so forth. This is an infinite loop, reminiscent of the trap one falls in when one relies on cliches too often. Nonetheless, Leroy deserves credit for disguising his wisdom as a proud proclamation of his cheapness.
Panel Two, lower left Loretta receives many women visitors. Invariably, she leads them directly by wherever Leroy happens to be in the house for the express purpose of insulting Leroy in front of an audience. This ritual has been enacted thousands of times, each with its own unique effect. The woman visitors always look the same, though.
Center Panel There you have it. Leroy has the body of a frog. Knowing this, we can assume Loretta does also, since, when clothed, their bodies look exactly alike. You would think an amphibious couple would spend more time at the beach, but this is their first visit all year. I do not understand Loretta's comment; how does one "stay sucking"?
Panel Four, upper right In hot doubles action on the local tennis courts, Leroy tries to motivate his partner, Loretta, the legendary chatterbox of Levittown.
Panel Five, lower right Real-life attorney Ted Sklar peers down at the Lockhorns, out on their Sunday drive, from a billboard. I do not understand Loretta's comment. Surely she means exactly the opposite, that Leroy is extremely unlucky, otherwise he'd have divorced her years ago. Theirs is a marriage held together by the bonds of cheapness. Nobody can accuse Ted Sklar of false advertising.
It's the rare evening where the Lockhorns dine out in style, which means at an establishment that is not a fast food joint. Loretta voices her opinion on the matter in her trademark sarcastic manner when the waiter presents her with the ketchup. Touche. As the evening wears on, the waiter will likely have some good stories to pass on to his coworkers for when business is slow.
It figures that Loretta, when caught off guard, is bedecked in the most cliched getup imaginable for the American housewife: bathrobe, hair curlers, fuzzy slippers, but I have to ask, where's the mudpack? Leroy's expression clearly indicates that the timing of his invitation to the neighbors was purely intentional. When has he ever invited neighbors over, anyway? The male guest and Leroy exchange knowing glances. I figure the couple have been contemplating marriage, and Leroy set the guy straight in a most striking way.
After the extremely rare occasion when Leroy buys Loretta a ring, what does she do but bring it right to the jewelers to get it appraised! You can't blame her for her curiosity, as Leroy's cheapness is legendary. Who knows where he got that thing? Why, its stone consists of a mineral unknown to science! Or, it could be the jeweler flunked chemistry in high school.
Today's scene is familiar. Leroy is napping in his favorite armchair. Loretta receives a visitor. Loretta wastes no time in parading her visitor by the reposing Leroy, for the express purpose of insulting Leroy in front of an audience. The neighbors always seem bored or annoyed by such performances, but you have to wonder why they keep visiting the Lockhorns with such consistent frequency. Maybe it's like watching cable TV. You know it's nothing but crap, and yet, you keep going back for more.
At first glance, Loretta's extravagantly arrogant pose takes center stage, as she gloats in triumph in her trademark affected manner, having officially conferred upon her husband the status of public butt of complaints. A closer inspection, however, reveals that it is Leroy who steals the show with his excellent deadpan reaction.
Even though Scrabble is a word game, Loretta's comment just doesn't make sense. If you're at all familiar with the game, I'm sure you'll agree. Loretta probably has hundreds of tired old idioms and cliches, all involving the noun "word," in mind for recital during tonight's game. A word to the wise.
In Panel One, upper left, Leroy inexplicably leaves himself wide open by tossing out an idiom which Loretta, naturally enough, chews up and spits out right back in his face.
Panel Two, lower left, has the Lockhorns in their bathroom. It's impossible to tell exactly what's going on here. From the gist of Loretta's comment, I can only surmise that's a tube of Preparation H she's holding there. Then again, she could just be caulking the bathroom mirror, but who knows?
Taking in a local production of The Three Penny Opera is a good way to support the arts, as Loretta is wont do do, even if it always involves dragging along an unwilling Leroy. He'll have his say, and it always begins with complaints about the ticket prices, as seen here in Center Panel.
In Panel Four, upper right, the Lockhorns' woes with every imaginable facet of the airline industry continue. Despite having a body with Leroy's exact same dimensions, Loretta somehow managed to escape the humiliation at the hands of the security personnel that Leroy now endures.
You can bet Leroy's been belting down those scotch-and-sodas all night long in Panel Five, lower left, as he partakes in an all too familiar scene at Levittown's latest cocktail bash. With his tongue dangling out the side of his mouth, he tries bumping hips with an hourglass-figured woman whose hips would come up to about Leroy's neck, if he had one. Loretta, no doubt weary from the evening's proceedings, isn't quite up to her usual standards, as her commentary on the spectacle fails to impress her neighbor.
Leroy, yet again, is embroiled in a ferocious argument with one of his neighbors. His irascibility toward his neighbors is legendary. Many of these heated discussions turn to fisticuffs, and it seems like Leroy's interlocutor is deciding between clenching his fist in anticipation of such, or flipping Leroy the bird. Loretta, of course, is there to provide commentary to whomever she can get to listen. She seems to be implying that Leroy brightens up a room by leaving it.
Today's Lockhorns panel employs two elements crucial to its astounding success over the years. One element is, of course, Leroy's carping about Loretta's atrocious cooking. The other element is the time-honored Lockhorns tradition of wordplay on some tired old idiom, in this case "cold comfort," which predates Shakespearean times. The wordplay depends on the idiotic phrase "comfort food," but it is severely hampered here because the modifier "cold" could be misconstrued as pertaining to the temperature of the culinary monstrosity Loretta has served up, instead of the horrifying quality of its essence, as was surely intended. In an attempt to prod the reader in the right direction, the cartoonists depicted the meal in question to resemble exactly, within the context of the delightfully minimalist style in which the comic is drawn, a pile of shit.
Leroy reposes in his favorite armchair, probably exhausted from the latest round of bickering with Loretta. I say this because Loretta doesn't look all too chipper herself. Nonetheless, she staunchly performs her duty by complaining about her husband to her neighbor.
Leroy carries on the Lockhorns tradition of insulting one's spouse by wordplay on a tired old idiom. An irate Loretta no doubt will get her chance to return serve, as these two longtime adversaries are evenly matched in this clever skill. Naturally, today's performance is greeted with a look of excruciating boredom from the receptionist of one Willis Green, DDS, who may or may not soon be incorporated into the Lockhorns pantheon of ancillary characters, alongside the likes of D. Pullman and H. Blog.
D. Pullman, Marriage Counselor, as usual has his hands full. Leroy and Loretta have become embroiled in yet another argument. They both fume with anger as Pullman, once again, is completely at a loss as to what to do. The argument centers on Leroy's hilarious choice for the couple's "song," a choice which, at least from his perspective, is spot on. Why, it's bad enough just forking over $175 an hour just to hear Loretta complain nonstop to this ineffectual putz of a marriage counselor.
Loretta, as usual, is angry at Leroy. Her response is to give him the cold shoulder while leaving snide little reminders around the house to indicate her ire. The best way to get under Leroy's skin is to remind him of the very words he no doubt most deeply regrets ever having uttered, and she knows it.
I like Panel One, upper left. Loretta is expecting way too much, as any Lockhorns aficionado will tell you.
Panel Two, lower left, is dominated by the Lockhorns' infamous tall boy desk, that symbol of their messy financial state. In a depressed state, Loretta invokes that timeless sitcom, Gilligan's Island.
In Center Panel, an act of chivalry between a young couple prompts Loretta to regale her neighbor with some well-timed self-deprecating humor.
Today's selection of panels is excellent, but if I had to choose one, I guess I'd go with Panel Four, upper right. In spite of having insulted Loretta's horrendous cooking thousands of times by now, Leroy always manages to come up with a new clever twist.
I wouldn't peg Leroy for a woman hater at all. He just plain hates everybody. Thus, I think he was not disparaging women drivers, but instead Loretta in particular. And why not? She's only totaled hundreds of automobiles! Regardless, the woman neighbor seems to appreciate Loretta's remark. She's one the few neighbors over the years who hasn't greeted a remark from either Lockhorn with the same painfully bored expression her husband wears.
Oops. Loretta forgot to insult Leroy yesterday about his paycheck. She makes up for it today by killing two birds with one stone, insulting both his paycheck and his angling prowess with a single contemptuous barb. Leroy has nobody but himself to blame, giving Loretta the perfect opportunity to spew her venom the instant she opens the door to greet him. What the hell did he expect, with that ridiculous display of pride over his catch the size of a minnow?
Facebook has been around for less than a decade. It needs pioneers. Enter Leroy. The man is already a legend in his Levittown neighborhood. His irascibility and antagonism toward his neighbors is the stuff of lore. Rude comments, shouting matches, and even fisticuffs are not outside his realm. An electronic medium may be just what he needs to ensure that his legacy become everlasting.
Loretta says she wouldn't say it. Then, after a brief pause, she says it anyway, after which she reiterates immediately that she wouldn't say it. Notwithstanding she's a fine one to comment on Leroy's weight, Loretta employs her peculiar brand of logic to insult Leroy in such a way as to confuse him into thinking about it for the rest of the day, thus providing the insult with great staying power.
When it comes to experience in refereeing fights, Arthur Mercante Sr. would have to take a back seat to D. Pullman Marriage Counselor, given the countless bouts of spiteful bickering between Leroy and Loretta that Pullman has endured. Not that he's complaining, given that he's endured it all to the melodious tune of $175 an hour. This bearded Solomon sits pensively as he peers at Leroy though his pince-nez spectacles, most likely in contempt, as Leroy's weak jab at Loretta, relying solely on the humorless premise that fault has two meanings, falls short. We can see Loretta primed to counterattack, and she'll no doubt take Round 7 on points.
Loretta, the sage housewife of the Levittown plains, receives many visitors, every one of whom she will lead, nonchalantly, by Leroy's vicinity so that she might deliver a one-liner, always an insult directed toward Leroy which involves wordplay on an idiom, to an audience, invariably unimpressed, of one. Even though Loretta delivers her mot du jour in perfect rhyme, the neighbor's bored expression indicates that this new twist won't make a difference, especially after witnessing perhaps hundreds of such performances. Loretta's wit is again wasted, forever lost in the wilderness of space and time, and deservedly so, much like this blog.
Loretta is the embodying spirit of every negative stereotype pertaining to the American housewife imaginable. Today she adds to the list an incredible naivety. I have a hard time believing she can be that dumb, given all the cleverly plotted abuse, verbal and otherwise, she has directed toward Leroy for years. Then again, as she's never worked, she very well may be ignorant of the ways of bill collectors, which could, at least partially, explain her ridiculously compulsive shopping habits. But if this be the case, why has it taken Leroy so long to notice?
Let us revel. Today's Lockhorns Sunday comics cornucopia begins in Panel One, top left, where Leroy is busy at his trusted iMac, apparently using Google to settle a bet with his neighbor, which is plausible, given Leroy's argumentative nature. Since Loretta embodies every negative stereotype regarding American housewives ever conceived, it's not surprising to learn that vanity toward her age is one of them.
Panel Two, lower left, presents a striking scene that makes me wish that View-Master were still around, and that The Lockhorns were on it. Leroy and Loretta, pillars of Levittown society, attend yet another wedding. Usually Leroy waits until after the ceremony to speak his well known views on marriage, roughly comparing it to a life sentence in prison, or worse. This time he draws the ire of his neighbors by using the ceremony itself as a forum for expounding his philosophy. Loretta, thoroughly embarrassed, tries to save face by admonishing her husband in public.
In Center Panel, we have yet another neighbor paying a social call to Loretta, who nonchalantly saunters by the fireplace, where a shoe on a plaque is proudly displayed on the wall overhead. Naturally, the neighbor becomes inquisitive over such an unusual trophy. Loretta is ready with her clever one-liner about Leroy's ineptitude at angling.
We have parking lot hi-jinx in Panel Four, top right, as Leroy was forced to squeeze into a parking spot only an inch wider than his car, thus foisting upon himself and Loretta the ignominy of using the sunroof as a means of egress. For Leroy, the ordeal is more than worth the effort, just to see Loretta become irritated.
We end with Panel Five, lower right, where the Lockhorns find themselves in a familiar setting, a Levittown cocktail party. Leroy's favorite activity at these affairs is getting inebriated and dancing with one of the many unnaturally towering and tiny-waisted women who always show up as guests. This inevitably provides fodder for Loretta to deliver one of her famous one-liners regarding Leroy's outlandishness to anybody who will listen. The only problem is, her comment doesn't make sense, since crazy is an adjective, and besides, wouldn't Leroy bat third?
Somehow, Leroy was able to swing for a reasonably priced low season vacation package for two at Punta Cana. Vacation or not, he must still contend with Loretta's constant nettlesome presence. She has him writing post cards to her insane mother, a living relic of the Victorian Age. This prompts Leroy to speak the simple truth, baldly and directly, with no adages, cliches, or puns thrown in, thereby producing perhaps the greatest mother-in-law gag ever seen in print.
Loretta's head has grown in size to exceed that of her body. It dominates today's panel, encompassing all of its center. The woman on the couch is mesmerized by this freak phenomenon. What has caused Loretta's head to swell to such gigantic proportions? That's easy: after decades of trying, she's finally succeeded in breaking Leroy's spirit. As Leroy's mien in the background confirms, countless years of Loretta's nagging have reduced him to a lifeless mope, forever lost in a daze of anguishing ennui and despair.
Presumably Dr. H. Blog M.D. is Leroy's primary care physician in Leroy's HMO. Thus Leroy, ever irascible, may be taking a well-aimed potshot at the doctor. With Loretta standing right there, he has blown a golden opportunity to say, "My headaches started when I got married." How often does a chance like that pop up?
Again we see Leroy managing his finances on a table, and not at the infamous tall boy desk. This gives Loretta more space, and a better vantage point from which to kibbutz. As she belongs to the same gym as Leroy, may we assume she did not renew her membership? Otherwise, she loses credibility, since she's just as guilty as Leroy at today's scintillating idiom, throwing good money after bad.
The neighbors, you may have noticed, seem to pop in to visit the Lockhorns with unnaturally high frequency. It's always the same. The neighbor looks on with an air of bored indifference as one Lockhorns spouse insults the other, always with a well-timed one-liner delivered to the neighbor comprising an audience of one. Today's audience is especially tough. The bald guy seems thoroughly unimpressed by Leroy's brilliant metaphor about Loretta's dreadful cooking. It is apparent the palates of Levittown are refined to the point where only the purest levels of vicious spite and acerbic loathing will suffice as entertainment.
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