July 6th, 2017
This week, we’re reading The Lockhorns, by Bunny Hoest and John Reiner.
The Lockhorns is a single-panel comic featuring the foibles of middle-aged married couple Leroy and Loretta Lockhorn. The Lockhorns are both hopelessly mediocre– Leroy is lagging behind at work, flirts with younger women who are out of his league, and dozes in front of the television while avoiding as many chores as possible. Loretta is a housewife who can’t cook, overspends, and gossips. They’re both a little shorter, a little slobbier, and a little less attractive than any of their friends or neighbors. What they *are,* though, is sharp-witted, and The Lockhorns match each other verbally tit-for-tat.
The Lockhorns was first conceived as a collaboration between prolific and celebrated cartoonist William Hoest and his wif, Bunny, in 1968. After Bill’s death, it has continued with John Reiner as Bunny’s partner in crime.
The Lockhorns are grumpy, grouchy, and long-suffering, but we’re also assured that they love each other very much, and that what we see in the cartoon is the *worst* of what they have to offer– the “For Worse” part of their marriage vows without the better! We’re seeing the days that don’t go so well, not the days when they’re at their best, which is…reassuring, to say the least. And can help us feel better about *our* worst days.
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