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A Western with a Freaky Friday twist

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:02 am    Post subject: A Western with a Freaky Friday twist Reply with quote



Here's a story idea I just came up.

In 1885 a Texas Ranger is in pursuit a Butch-and-Sundance style gang who have been robbing trains and banks. He's intelligent, brave, and has a sense of humor. His trusty horse is beautiful, smart, loyal, and exceptionally well trained.

So far, nothing new, right? Okay, so here's the new part.

For reasons not yet worked out, he and his horse experience a sort of "Freakie Friday" phenomenon -- their minds switch places. The cause of the switch could be somehow connected with the gang (like a weird steampunk-style devise they used on him).

This would require the Ranger to stay on the gang's trail, despite his bizarre predicament. If he can catch them, he can perhaps reverse his unfortunate condition.

The man-in-the-horse discovers he can talk telepathically with the horse, and the horse can talk back. Of course, a horse doesn't have a large vocabulary, so all he get's from old Hammer (the brother of Trigger) are simple thoughts. But everybody knows a cowboy's horse can feel basic emotions (happy horse, angry horse, horny horse, etc.), and it can follow commands.

So, sometimes the horse-in-the-man will think words like "The waterhole is over the hill" or "Watch out behind you!" — thereby helping the man-in-the-horse.

The man-in-the-horse can actually guide the actions and behavior of his smart and well trained horse-mind whenever the "horse-in-the-man" has to pass for a person, but about all he can do is walk reasonably well and look around and listen to what people say — which the man-in-the-horse can hear through the telepathic link, even when they're separated.

In other words, the Ranger can send Hammer (in the human body) into the saloon to look around, observe the people, and listen to conversations. Important clues about the gang and their hideout are learned this way.

And since any smart horse can be trained to follow very complex commands, the Ranger can tell Hammer to nod when spoken to, tip his hat, etc.

I think the dramatic and comedic possibilities of this idea are as wide open as the Oklahoma prairie. It occurs to me that the horse-in-the-man's telepathic "dialog" will sound a bit like Tonto talking to the Lone Ranger — which is perfect, of course.

See what you guys can come up with. Boy, would this make a fun movie or what?

Hey, yer darn tootin' it would, partner!

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Fri Dec 30, 2022 2:21 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Robert (Butch) Day
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was done (sort of) by a DC comic in the late 1950s early 1960s: Congorilla.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congorilla
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Custer
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was "Mr Ed" who came to my mind, though he was "just" a talking, intelligent horse. Congorilla was certainly a mind swap between our White Hunter hero and the gorilla, but they generally didn't work together - our hero, when he needed the strength and tree-swinging abilities and switched minds, would tend to lock up his body, and its ape-controlled brain, somewhere safe...

But the rider-and-horse thing could certainly be fun. Horses do tend to panic rather easily, so would need plenty of reassurance. Most authors would be tempted to go for a mystical Native American ceremony to "trigger" the swap, but a steampunk device would certainly make a change!
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being a sciency kind of guy, I vote for a device that looks like something Artemus Gordon from The Wild, Wild West would create.

And we all know that magic-spell mind swapping has been done to death . . . by Disney alone!

One thing I really like about the idea is the telepathic link the two characters maintain, and the way the man and his trusty steed continue to function as a team, even under the most insane circumstances imaginable.

The telepathic exchange of dialog between the Texas Ranger and his IQ-challenged-but-loyal companion would be a riot. We go way beyond the limits of credibility by having the body of a Texas Ranger walk around sort of zombie-like under the direction of a stallion's mind -- but a good actor would have a ball playing a horse in a cowboy's body.

Bear in mind that whenever the "Texas Ranger" is on the "horse", he doesn't even have to walk. He just sits there and enjoys the ride -- a pleasurable experience a horse would certainly enjoy!

The same actor would get to do all the well written voice-overs for the horse, showing considerable intelligence. The poor Texas Ranger would struggle to pass for a horse while puzzling out how to switch his mind back where it belonged.

As far as how the "horse" would pass for a human, cowboys are famous for their stone-faced stoicism, men of few words who show little emotion, hat pulled low over their squint eyes.

The Texas Ranger would basically keep reminding his loyal steed that it's better to keep quiet and be considered a fool than to open your mouth and look like a horse's ass . . . Very Happy

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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Fri Dec 30, 2022 2:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to see some gifted actor in this role twitch his rump without moving anything else, like a horse does to shoo a fly.
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Custer
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ranger would certainly be a bit jumpy if there were loud noises - and the local townsfolk might find his new habit of drinking straight from a water trough a bit strange. And when a pretty young lady on a frisky young mare rides into town, which of the two would he take an interest in...? Embarassed
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Custer wrote:
When a pretty young lady on a frisky young mare rides into town, which of the two would he take an interest in...? Embarassed

Both.

Did I mention that the Ranger was hung like a horse?

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Custer
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, that kind of story. Which reminds me of a Phil Foglio tale from Xxxenophile where our hero's mind got shifted over into a Rin Tin Tin type canine... and he and his girlfriend managed to, er, make the best of things... Rolling Eyes
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Robert (Butch) Day
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to Phil (he lives in Seattle) that story came about when he got rip-roaring drunk. Ask Pye-rate for the details.
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Custer
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would explain it. It was in many ways the dodgiest theme for a story that Xxxenophile ran, but hey, they were actually boyfriend and girlfriend, so hopefully nobody raised too much of a ruckuss at the time.

I guess I have lowered the tone of this thread a bit, but it was Bud who started talking about the Ranger's, er, equipment... Embarassed
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Robert (Butch) Day
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've learned that (if you value your life AND sanity) you NEVER, EVER cross Kaja (KY-aa)!
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2024 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Custer wrote:
When a pretty young lady on a frisky young mare rides into town, which of the two would he take an interest in...? Embarassed

Actually I'd have to put the blame in your direction, cowpoke. Very Happy
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