I know, I know. I, too, am not immune from the damn pain in the butt this virus thing has put us in. It’s like every day is mostly like “Groundhog Day”, the movie. The days seem to be all flying by. Every day feels the same. Wearing a mask isn’t natural for most of us. Kissing a friend on the cheek just isn’t the right thing to do when each of you is wearing a mask.
That is—unless you happen to be “Batman and Robin”, masks are not normalcy of life. Even the Lone Ranger only covered his eyes. Why Tonto referred to his pal as the masked man didn’t make sense; the Lone Ranger only had his eyes covered. Only his horse, Silver, was fooled by the Ranger. Each time Silver was mounted by him, he would raise up on his hind legs in an attempt to buck this strange guy from his back. Silver finally calmed down one day when Tonto, who was also the village medicine man, explained to Silver: he could recognize it was the Lone Ranger by the smell of the bad breath he had, which was caused by a neighborhood breakout of a pandemic spread of Native American Halitosis. It turns out the Lone Ranger had a deep-seated grudge against the Chinese and refused to buy anything made by them. The fact was, the Chinese had invented the toothbrush eight hundred years before the Lone Ranger and Tonto arrived from Europe. Another uncommonly known fact was, neither of these pioneer saviors was an American hero in the first place. The Lone Ranger escaped from a prison gang in Canada (maybe it be true), and Kemosabe came here to the States and was actually a Hungarian nonspeaking immigrant; which might explain the later-year Disney movie which points out at the end:
“The Lone Ranger,” Johnny Depp‘s Tonto and Armie Hammer‘s John Reid aka the Lone Ranger aka Kemosabe have quite the love-hate relationship, often sparring with clever insults and digs.”
“”Do you know what Tonto means in Spanish?” Well, just in case you don’t know the answer, “tonto” is a term reserved in Spanish-speaking cultures for the village idiot. It is literally translated to “fool.””
Here’s the truth, (I swear, I wasn’t born yet):
“It was written for radio in 1933, intended to brand the Native American sidekick, legend has it Tonto was named after a Potawatomi Indian who would get drunk around campfires and received the nickname, which in his language translated to “wild one.””
Three stars, 1951: Jay Silverheels (39), Aboriginal Canadian Mohawk,
Silver (age unknown), the horse in the middle, and Clayton Moore (37).
Note: In the earliest days of American western movies, many of the Native American characters were being portrayed by Hungarians and Hungarian immigrants. Who produced them, according to the immigrants, thought their accent sounded like a Native American’s. As a matter of fact, one of the earliest and perhaps best-known immigrants was cast as “Count Dracula”, an actor named Bela Lugosi! Bela’s bio differed depending on who was doing the interview. Lugosi’s accent was caused by his extremely poor English. Whether his homeland was Hungary, Romania, or wherever it might have been, that was the language he was thinking in. In other words, his dragged-out diction was caused by the delay of his personal problems in cyphering English pronunciation. Everyone, men who attended any of the Bela Lugosi films, enjoyed taking a crack at impersonating him:
“Permit me to introduce myself. I am Count Dracula.”
We, kids, had so many important things to ponder when we arrived back home; never bad swords slashing without reason. Just wonderfully, marvelous adventures to recapture. We streamed out of our Saturday adventure with the Count, coming home and trying to find a cape to throw around myself. So when my Father and I joined forces later in the day, I could entertain the family by greeting them with: “Hello. Permit me to introduce myself. I am Count Dracula. I’m here to suck the blood from your neck.” I was particularly sinister with my Mother. Somehow, there was a feeling she was resenting me being the on-stage performer. And then, of course, I enjoyed every second of it, as I’m enjoying it at this moment.
Bye, bye, “Groundhog Day”. A brand new tomorrow awaits us all. Excuse me, please: “Hi-ho, Silver, away! Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, THE LONE RANGER RIDES AGAIN!” And so will we all. The next episode will be without masks.
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