Thursday, May 14, 2020

Ranger Jim's Ramblings for May

This month, I thought I'd list a few of my pet peeves that occur al the time in Western fiction and films. I'm hoping some of you will add to the list with your comments/

1. The two man showdown where a lawman and outlaw meet in the street to face each other down. Sure, duels like this did happen, but very raerly. And probably not one involved a lawman attempting to capture an outlaw. Any lawman worth his salt would already have had his gun out, ready to catpure hes man, or shoot him onthe spot if he wouldn't surrender.

2. Horses that run forever and ever. A hors's range at a dead run is two miles, tops.

3. Tied-down holsters, worn low on the hip. Hollywood invention.

4. Men (and women() who are in the saddle all day, but never get dirty. The Lone Ranger in his darling powder blue outfit is a prime example.

5. Corollary to 4. Characters whose hair never gets out of place. And, for men, being on the trail for days, but their whiskers never grow. They always remain clean shaven.

6. Fist fights where no one ever shows a bruise or cut, or breaks a hand on someone's jaw.

7. "It's only a flesh wound." A cliche that drives me crazy.

8. Six-shooters that become 9, 10, or 20 ahooters.

9. Suicidal Indians who keep charging the circled wagons and keep getting mowed down.

10. Men getting shot and the bullet knocks them back half a mile before they hit the ground. Think of the physics. A one ounce piece of metal is not going to send a man flying. He'll just drop. (confirmed by  Ranger Jim Huggins). And it usually took more than one bullet to put a man down for keeps.

11. The wrong weapons for the time period.

12. Corollary to 11. Wrong clothing for the time period.

13. Stagecoach passengesr who never get sweaty or dusty.

14. Crazy ways to mount a horse, especially where a cowboy jumps on his horse by vaulting over its rump and into the saddle. The only thing that would have gotten the cowboy was two hooves planted in his belly.

15. Horsed that never get dirty or sweaty.

16. The stereotype of the drunker town doctor.

17. Robbers who chase a stagecoach after it goes by. Huh? Stage robbers would wait in hiding, then stop the stage before it could pass.

I'm certain there's more. And I'm certain we've all been guilty of using at least some of these false tropes. Let me know what some of yours are.


  1. Great list. Particularly 4,5,& 13. There wasn't enough water for people to bathe more than once a week or two.