Masked Man

Last Saturday morning I turned on the TV for some entertainment before getting started with my weekly routine. As I’ve mentioned, we don’t have cable or satellite, so the digital conversion more than doubled the number of channels from which we can choose programs. It’s surprising how often I end up watching the channel that has shows from my childhood. Or, maybe it isn’t.

As I sat down to eat my cereal, lo and behold, there was the Lone Ranger, and his pal Tonto! To say I hadn’t seen an episode of The Lone Ranger for 45 years wouldn’t be far off. It was fun to see it again.

As usual, there were bad guys and good guys, and then there was the dynamic duo – good, but perceived as bad, because of the mask and, well, the Indian. Yes, I said it. Native Americans were called Indians then.

Viewing the plot scheme as an adult, I realized that everything that was said or done was merely to lead to another horse chase. I also noticed that horses don’t really run that fast, so the cinematographer used a little trickery to give the illusion of speed.

There was also a lot of shooting while riding at break-neck speed on horses. The chasers fired away, and the chased (chase-ees?) turned around and shot again and again. It’s no wonder nobody hit anything. Also, they apparently were using “12-shooters” instead of the more well-known “6-shooter,” since there seemed to be no limit to the number of shots they took.

I remembered that Tonto, portrayed by Jay Silverheels, spoke somewhat haltingly, which made sense, since the character was using English as a second language. What I hadn’t remembered was that Clayton Moore, who played Lone (I assume that was his first name) really didn’t speak any more fluidly than his friend, saying things like, “We… must… go to the… place… where the gang has… their hide…out.”

The mask, the trademark silver bullets, and of course, “Hi-yo Silver, and away!” were just as I remembered, along with Tonto’s “Me go to town, Ke-mo-sabe.” That name, apparently, meant “trusted friend.”

Maybe the best part about watching the show (other than the William Tell Overture at the beginning) was the first commercial that came on. It was from a “debt relief” company that would like you to consolidate all your high-interest loans into one big medium-interest loan.

In other words, I was watching The Lone Ranger, and saw a commercial for “The Loan Arranger.” I loved it! The question remains whether the Loan Arranger is a good guy or a bad guy. We can send Tonto into town to find out.

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