Kelly Ripa: “I’ll quit tanning when the satchel handles grow out my back.”
Come along, folks, and return with me now to those thrilling days of yesteryear because the “The Lone Ranger” movie opens today! Though I will probably not go see it, I have to admit that I was a big fan of the television show in the ‘50’s. Airing on Sunday mornings, I would race home after Sunday school to watch intently as Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels added to my instruction on how to lead a worthy life. I never missed an episode if I could help it, and as a result, I am no stranger to the history of the Lone Ranger. And if you keep reading, nor will you be.
Before he became a somewhat lonely and stranger ranger, the Lone Ranger courted danger with other known rangers. Until, that is, he found himself the wounded sole survivor of a party of Texas Rangers ambushed by really, really bad guys. Nursed back to health by his soon-to-be trusty side kick, Tonto, the Lone Ranger was left with a score to settle, axe to grind, and fetish to follow. During the delirium caused by so much lead being painfully inserted into various parts of his body, he vowed to avenge the lost rangers by arresting all the bad guys he could find, while hurting them just a little in the process. And in order to accelerate the speed of the spread of his reputation, he would do so while attired provocatively. Though slightly bemused by this turn of events, Tonto decided to tag along, but he drew the line at donning weird garb … well, at least he did in the television version.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch – no, wait, they didn’t have a ranch – meanwhile, back in the desert, the Lone Ranger hatched a plan. While riding a horse named Silver, which he had conveniently saved from a wild buffalo, and shooting silver bullets, which he would only use to maim and not to murder, the Lone Ranger would dispense even handed justice throughout the wild and rugged west. This he eventually did, but to distinguish himself from run of the mill lawmen like Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickok, and Quick Draw McGraw, he did so while wearing a mask that only covered his eyes, his nose, and his chubby little cheeks. That had to drive his publicity agent crazy because at the end of each episode, some sweet young thing – with the perfectly made up eyes and lashes and fluffy big hair that, according to television, was common for all women living among the sand, cactus and 120 degree heat of the southwest deserts – would ask her withered old prospector father “who was that masked man?” Then the father, looking both shocked and pleased that he was one up on his little Missy, would answer – cue the William Tell Overture – “why that was the Lone Ranger!” Which brings me to a question that has bothered me for over fifty years.
It has always been obvious to me why superheroes have to wear disguises … those skintight bod-suits look really cool, and they save the wearer from having to make a bunch of wardrobe decisions. No, actually, those are just bonus reasons. The real reason that superheroes wear disguises is that when they are not out and about super-heroing, they can blend in with us normal types and steal the hearts of all of those naive women with perfectly made up eyes, flowing hair, and no clue as to who that guy is wearing the funny mask. Thus, Batman wears a mask that covers most of his head, and Superman focuses attention elsewhere by wearing his underwear over his pants, thereby allowing him to fool the unobservant by donning nerd glasses when he isn’t in disguise. As a result, Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent have a social life that is the envy of most single men.
But now let’s consider the social dilemma of the Lone Ranger. His disguise is essentially a sleep mask with eye holes
added subtracted added, and this is what he wears while spending most of his day riding around the Southwest desert in the brilliant sunshine! This can only lead to complications whenever his sap is flowing like a maple tree’s in March, and he saunters into El Dorado on a Saturday night to do a bit of line dancing. If he wanders into town while still masked, the local authorities are going to give him two choices: take off the mask or register as a sex offender. And if he takes off the mask before going to town, don’t you think that he’s gonna have a serious set of radical tan lines? In my opinion, he had better not do that or those luminescent, reverse raccoon eyes are a sure bet to give him away. Instead of line dancing, he’ll have to listen to everyone ask the same question: “who is that formerly masked man?” Unfortunately, it appears that instead of a long night of line dancing with booted beauties, the future is going to hold a long line of cold showers in the hot desert for the really Lone Ranger! Oh well, at least if he has to stay home on Saturday nights, he’ll have more money available for buying those silver bullets.
Video note: like I said, I’m probably not going to see the Lone Ranger movie, so if the riddle of the “to mask or not to mask” is answered, let me know in the comments section. (Or maybe Elizabeth R will tell me because it is, after all, a Johnny Depp movie, so she should be first in line at both the ticket window and popcorn stand.) In the meantime, though, here’s another one of those music videos that I like to tag on to my posts to add entertainment, if not coherence. This one is by a pair of Texans who are very good at what they do. Once again the video really doesn’t fit the post (unless I referred to these guys as the Tone Arrangers – no, even I won’t stoop to that), but because it also includes a bouncy ball being chased by a bouncier, scene stealing dog, named Silver, I figured oh, what the hell … (okay, the dog’s name probably really isn’t Silver, but it could be … so, oh, what the hell …)