(Editor’s note: Every now and again I get the urge to dedicate one of my posts to someone who I deem worthy of this august and I’m sure humbling honor, so today’s bit of frivolity goes out to my two newest fans, Ms. Kathi and Ms. Sus, both of whom seem like very nice ladies with decidedly questionable taste in humor. Welcome aboard, girls.)

Opening shot: Masked man in all gray cowboy outfit and a white hat riding hell-bent for leather on a large, pure white stallion as he repeatedly fires an “Old West” style Colt six-shot revolver at unseen villains, moving left to right across a western plains setting with mountains in the background. As shot opens, begin playing final measures of Rossini’s William Tell Overture. (See link below.)

Voiceover: “A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty “Hi-Yo, Silver…the Lone Ranger”.

I always wondered who LR was firing at in that opening sequence, ‘cause they never showed who it was…his ex-mother-in-law? Bank robbers? (The Old West seemed to have a shitload of bank robbers.) The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders? Donald Trump? The Pillsbury Doughboy? I guess we’ll never know now.

The Lone Ranger.

Lemme’ tell you, I spent more than a few hours as a kid parked in front of our old black and white TV back in the late ‘50s watching Clayton Moore, who played LR, and Jay Silverheels, who played “his faithful Indian companion” Tonto, mesmerized by the stories, the action, that amazing big-ass white horse, the fact that he only used silver bullets (later on, after the whole “TV Westerns” thing died out, Moore, having kept the silver ammo, went on to star in a cheap, straight-to-video B movie, The Lone Ranger: Vampire Hunter), and the whole mystique of no one ever knowing just who the hell this masked guy was. Each episode ended with some befuddled townsperson asking the sheriff, “Who was that masked man?” and the sheriff answers, in a voice dripping with respect and admiration, “That’s the Lone Ranger”, as you hear LR shouting in the background, off-camera, “Hi-Yo, Silver, away!”.

The story-line goes that LR, before he was “Lone”, was part of a group of six Texas Rangers (the lawmen, not the baseball team) who were cruelly ambushed by some dastardly villains and left to die, and by some miracle of TV, “Lone” manages to survive, is found and nursed back to health by Tonto, discovers a silver mine, which accounts for the bullets and the horse’s name, puts on a mask, apparently because that was the way he swung, which by the way Tonto wasn’t buying into even a little, being straight hetero only, and goes off to right wrongs, defend the little guys, stomp the crap outta’ criminals and occasionally talk some pliant young Western gal into a “hook-up” involving him, the mask, the bullets, Silver, who not surprisingly was hung like a horse, a tuba, a midget named Horace and a 55-gallon drum of Jello chocolate pudding.

Of course, nowadays, in this PC society that has evolved around us, Tonto would be a Native Canadian, being a member of the Mohawk aboriginal tribe from Canada, and Horace would be a “vertically challenged” person. And Albert Einstein would write a letter to the producers of the show, complaining about the “speed of light” nonsense in the opening, explaining that according to his equation E=mc “squared”, (I have to write it out, since I can’t figure a way to put the little “2” behind the “mc”), a horse couldn’t actually run that fast, without being converted into pure energy, which would then mean that LR wouldn’t have anything to ride on, since Silver would have been changed from matter into…shit, never mind.

Tonto always called LR “kemo sabe”, which I learned was from the language of the Pot o’ Watami and means “he looks out in secret”. (Why he spoke in the Pot o’ Watami tongue since he was a Mohawk is still a mystery to me.) Anyway, Tonto spent quite a bit of his time bailing LR out of stupid jams that he, LR, had he possessed the brains of a doorknob, shouldn’t have gotten into in the first place. The “faithful Indian companion” often looked to me like he wanted to shake his head in disgust and tell LR, you know what, white man, you’re as dumb as a cannonball in a swimming pool, I think this time, I’m just gonna’ leave you here for the bad Indians to use you as a pin-cushion. (The Pot o’ Watami Native Americans derived the name from their habit of filling large iron cauldrons with “watami” and then placing them out on the prairie for the buffalo to eat (the “watami”, not the cauldrons), which was pretty stupid when you think about it, considering how many bajillions of acres of grazing land the buffs already had available. All right, the correct spelling of the word is actually “Potawatami”, a for-real tribe from what is now the Illinois/Wisconsin area. And FYI, Gary Larsen of The Far Side fame, one of the funniest cartoonists ever in the history of mankind, once opined in a cartoon that “kemo sabe” actually meant “horse’s rear end” in Navajo.)

As it relates to modern times, at least the Lone Ranger was wearing a mask, and yes, it only covered his eyes but he seems like a pretty good guy so I’m sure we could have gotten him to cover the rest of his face as well without all the griping and bitching we hear these days every time some mouth-breathing MAGA knuckle dragger is asked to wear a mask to protect the rest of us. Geez, you’d think it was the imposition of the century, like they’re being asked to wear a ball and chain complete with steel manacles and a full coat of armor along with which we’re going to staple this 50 pound weight to your scrotum, or in the case of the female representatives of the mouth-breathing MAGA knuckle draggers, thumbtack the damn thing to your forehead, and then ask you to swim the entire length of Lake Winnebago, thusly clad, all the while chanting “kemo sabe, kemo sabe” over and over again.

Hey, LR wore one, hockey goalies wear them, bank robbers wear them, catchers wear them, Batman wore one and a shitload of guys in cheesy porn movies wear them, not that I’ve ever actually seen a cheesy porn movie, but my friends have told me about them. So get with the fucking program, all right? Geez.

Now that I have all that out of my system, on to today’s topic, which is once again, as I do periodically, answering all the letters, emails, texts, smoke signals (typically from the Potawatami folks), carrier pigeon messages and notes in bottles, asking for my advice on my reader’s love lives.

Yeah, like I have a clue…the last time I had a date, buffaloes were eating watami out of big iron kettles on the prairie.

And so…

“Dear Cap’n John:

                I hope you will be discrete with this inquiry, as I have to remain onmagneto, or whatever the hell that word is. I’m a hetero male in my early 30’s, virile and studly, but I’m having serious problems attracting a good, decent pioneer-type “little woman” to settle down with and raise little cowboys and cowgirls. I’ve tried all the typical singles places, the saloons, the church socials, the barn raisings, some quilting bees, even went to a Singles Bronco Busting Night once at the local rodeo, and nothing. I wear a mask as part of my work, and I thought, gee, maybe some of the ladies will think that’s kinky and, you know, express some interest, but nope, not a one. I’m getting tired of it being me and my horse, out on the prairie, just the two of us…shit, even Silver is starting to look pretty good to me. Can you give me a “hands up”, Cap’n John?

                Riding The Range Alone, Ranger”

Dear “Ranger”:

                You know, I’ve heard you frontier types weren’t real big on personal hygiene…maybe get the smell of buffalo dung off your boots and try splashing on a little Eau de Horse Blanket and you might have better luck with the gals.

“Cap’n John:

               Tonto here. Have heap big problem with squaws, no can find any that don’t already have little papooses in their tee-pees. Tonto need help finding Indian maiden who like Tonto, want to smoke peace pipe and make wampum with Tonto. Have much silver from big, dumb white man with sissy mask, so Tonto okay for money. Need Cap’n to say where all the fine, young Pocahontas’ are. Cap’n please send smoke signal soon, help Tonto pronto. Thank you, kemo sabe.

                Quiver Full Of Arrows, Nowhere To Shoot”

Dear “Quiver”:

                Have you tried the Squaws R’ Us Dating Service? Heap big medicine.

“Dear Cap’n John:

                I’m a vertically challenged person who is having difficulty finding a soul-mate who sees life in the same way I do, that is, at a very low level. I’m financially secure, having been very successful as a partner in a silver mining business, have all my own teeth and hair and a closet full of hip, trendy size XXXX Small clothing that should impress any young (tiny) woman I meet. I don’t want to go on the Internet to one of those online dating services like Loving Munchkins or Tiny HeartThrobs because it just seems like a shortcut to me; I’d rather find a source of eligible bachelorettes to possibly hook up with and spark a romantic fire, even if it’s just kindling at first, rather than logs. I could sure use a hand up, Cap’n John…can you be a big man and help me out?

                If This Were Baseball, I’d Be A Shortstop”

Dear “Shortstop”:

                Tell you what, the short version, I’m afraid my answer might go right over your head.

Looking at the word counter thingie down in the corner of my monitor, I see I’ve gone over my limit again; time to get astride my mount and ride off into the sunset.

Love and saddles,

Cap’n John

Thanks to Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott for the above.