The Lone Ranger
By Sid Hecker
The Lone ranger sat on a huge boulder in the High Sierras, belatedly studying for his Bar Mitzvah.
But let us return to those thrilling days of yesteryear, to the Ranger's family. You see, when the Lone Ranger, whose real name was Levi Rabinowitz, was 20, his 75 year old Uncle Morris married a lovely young woman named Shira. So Levi had a new aunt. The marriage, as might be expected, did not work out well, and after three years the couple parted. Meanwhile Aunt Shira and the Ranger had become good friends and soon began traveling together. It was not long before the pair became known throughout the West as The Lone Ranger and his faithful companion "Tanta".
So on that fateful day in May, as she helped him with the Parsha, they heard a shot from below and a posse was seen in the valley pursuing a rider in a black hat at least two sizes too large. The disguise was only minimally effective so the Ranger immediately recognized him as Mendel the marauder, a member of "Good Old Notorious Infamous Furshluginer" gang - acronym -"GONNIFS". Instead of joining the posse, the Ranger whistled for his great white horse Silver - full name Silverstein. He rose toward the edge of the mountain as Mendel came around the bend and flew off, dropping 30 feet on to the bandit's speeding horse. With a loud "oy" the thief tried to elbow his adversary off the horse, but he was no match for the masked man. They both hit the dust and fought furiously until the posse caught up. They immediately placed a noose around Mendell's neck. "Stop!" called Tanta Shira as she wiggled down the mountain path, to the delight of the posse. "You can't hang a man- even this noodnick -without a trial. You're not even sure he's guilty. Justice, justice shall you pursue, and you must administer it without corruption or favoritism." "Where does she get that stuff?" asked Tex, a member of the posse. "Parsha Shoftim , Devarim 16, 20" replied Shira. Pulling out his pocket Tanakh, Tex quickly flipped to the correct page and after a few seconds said "Oh, you're right." "So let's just lock him up" said Sheriff Heschel. They hauled him off to the local clink.
"Hi ho Silver" called the ranger as he and Tanta Shira rode off in to the sunset, which was not so easy, it being eight O'clock in the morning.
They parked Silver and Scout, Tanta's horse, at the local Kinney garage and boarded the train for Abram (a real town in Hidalgo County, Texas) which was close to the little Mexican town of Chutzpaverde. They had heard that the rest of the gang was holed up there, making a tumult. As they watched the scenery, the train door opened with a bang and a very tall cowboy in a ten gallon hat and two six guns entered. "Are there any Jooze in this heah car", he shouted. The Ranger, who was afraid of no one, looked up and shouted back : "Yes, I'm Jewish, what do you want?" "Will y'all please step in to the next car; we need one mo' fo' a minion". "Can I come too?" asked Tanta. "Of course," said the big man, we're Reconstructionists."
After Shacharit the ranger and Tanta were about to relax but were accosted by a rather disheveled looking Indian who sat down near them. Noticing the Mogen David on Tanta's necklace he said "You Joosh?" "Yes," said Tanta Shira. "Sure wish I was Joosh," said the Indian . "Hot nit tsuras genug (You don't have enough trouble)?" "Why would you want to be Jewish?" "Don't you know? All Jooze is millionaires. When a Joo goes broke all the other Jooz give him a quarter and he gets to be a millionaire again." "That's interesting" she said, as she reached for the styles section of the Daily Forward.
Arriving at Abram the pair searched out a saloon for some refreshment. "What'll you have?" asked the bartender. "Sarsaparilla," said the Ranger. The saloon went silent. A huge Mexican stood up and walked toward the bar. He wore an eleven gallon hat and carried three seven-guns in his holsters. He was known as "El Diablo". He tapped the Ranger on his right shoulder. Slowly the masked man turned. El Diablo took one step back and said "Good Grief, it's the Lone Ranger". "Oh, sorry to disturb you sir. And he bowed, walked backward to his table, and sat down.
An elegantly dressed but somewhat inebriated westerner sauntered up to the bar and after ordering a Dr. Brown's Celray Tonic, began boasting to Tanta about his big ranch. "Why ya'll could ride for two hours and still not reach the end of my spread." "Yes, I had a horse like that once", noted Tanta. "You live around here?" he asked, trying to be friendly. "No, but my uncle Rueven has some property of about 35 acres around 50 miles from here". "Haw Haw; what's your uncle's little spread called?" he asked, condescendingly. "Downtown Dallas", she replied. That ended the conversation.
Afterward they stopped at the post office to see if any mail had arrived. " Hi ranger", called the clerk. "Long time no see. I have a letter for you from someone named Rabinowitz. The Ranger opened the letter and read aloud, "Levi, you haven't written, you haven't telegraphed. Are you wearing that cashmere sweater I bought you for Chanukah? Are you eating enough vegetables? Have you heard from that nice lady Shira? I haven't seen her since the divorce. I'm sending you a salami as soon as you let me know where you are." "Uh Oh," he said . "I guess she hasn't heard that we.." "What you mean we?" There's no we until you ask . "Hey, look at that herd of cattle over there, we should discuss the cattle vs. sheep issue". and she muttered something not quite proper for a lady.
"Sometimes I think you like that horse better than me. In fact." "Now cut that out!" he bellowed.
Their horses had now arrived by special train and they were ready to head south to confront the gang
After riding a while at a gentle pace, they came upon a man resting on a large peddler's pack at the side of the road. "Whoa" there masked man," he said, with a bit of a smirk. "How come you're wearing those white pants? They look ridiculously tight for you." The Ranger reached down to his holster. But noticing that the man was unarmed, he simply said in loud and hostile voice "What's your name, stranger?" "Levi," the man replied, with a friendly smile. "Hey, that's my name. And I suppose your last name starts with an R, wise guy." "No, with an S - for Strauss. " The Ranger bought three pair of blue jeans from him and the couple rode on.
As they rode along, Shira looked up, noticing a pillar of cloud that seemed to follow them. Or were they following the cloud? It seemed to be guiding them somehow, and she began to think of where they were going and what the future would bring. So she started to softly hum a few bars of the wedding song. He didn't seem to notice. She said "well?" "Well what?" "You know, what we've talked about". Do you want to be the LONE ranger all your life?" And those tight white pants do look a little funny. "Uh, I think Silver threw a shoe. We'd better stop at the next town. There must be a blacksmith or maybe a silversmith there. We could also stop for brunch". "Brunch; what in the thundering sagebrush is brunch?" Are you from another planet, or another century?" She was getting pretty irritated and sulked all the way to Slivoville.
The blacksmith didn't think Silver needed a new shoe, so they proceeded to a restaurant named "The Best Little Deli in Texas.". Shira asked for a western omelet and a salad and the Ranger ordered a hot pastrami on rye with potato salad, coleslaw and a kosher pickle. When the waitress arrived with the dessert menu, the Ranger looked anxiously at the ice cream selections. Shira grabbed the menu from his hand and yelled, "What are you thinking? You just had meat. I'll tell your mother!" Now he was irritated. The waitress looked down and asked unselfconsciously, "Why are you wearing that mask?" "So no one will know he's Levi Rabinowitz" said Shira. "Stop that," he demanded. Now they were both irritated and stomped out, leaving a very small tip.
Knowing that their mission was a difficult one they decided to ask for help from their old friend, Sachel, Chief of the Hekawe. The Ranger referred to their past exploits and the honor in which they held each other . So when the chief was asked if he would come to fight the violent gang he replied with great dignity, "bist du meshugah?" We're not going down there to get wiped out by those bums. You go; I'll stay here and entertain your girlfriend. Let me know how it goes". The Ranger thought he'd try something else. He whistled for Silver and whispered something in his ear. The intelligent horse whinnied and trotted off. In about fifteen minutes he returned with a little kitten sitting in the saddle. The Ranger was enraged. "You stupid horse, I said bring a posse." As they were leaving the chief said, "By the way, do you know how the Hekawe Indians got their name? We were riding in the desert and became completely lost. Finally, in frustration, I yelled 'Where the heck are we?" "Very funny" grumbled the Ranger, and they rode on.
As they approached Chutzpaverde they noticed two men carrying a cluster of grapes on a pole between them. The Ranger dismounted and asked if they could provide some information about the town they were approaching. "First, tell us why you're wearing that mask, stranger" "So no one will know he's.'"Will you stop that" he yelled. Caleb, the smarter looking one said "It's a nice town, nice people. They treat strangers very well. But his partner, Nahbi said, "Don't listen to this klutz. They're devils; they practice idolatry; they eat shellfish; the accountants carry shotguns. Don't go near the place". The Ranger and Tanta Shira moved on. It was almost high noon.
The Gonnifs were ready for them. They opened fire with revolvers, rifles, blunderbusses, left over matzoh balls, hard as rocks. But the sky darkened. Rain and brimstone fell and more. Was it a volcanic eruption? The Gonnifs ran in panic.
Three weeks later the Ranger was Bar Mitzvahed. It was a huge affair, five piece band playing klezmer, a Viennese table, the works. "You know," Shira said, "as long as the rabbi is here..."
from the January 2014 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
Material and Opinions in all Jewish Magazine articles are the sole responsibility of the author; the Jewish Magazine accepts no liability for material used.
|All opinions expressed in all Jewish Magazine articles are those of the authors. The author accepts responsible for all copyright infrigments.|