Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2011 1009.mpg

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Episode Description:

Well received in Northern New England for over 30 years, this is the same old fashioned music and humorous social commentary show that has delighted young and old alike every week since April 6, 1978 for radio --- and now for television.

This same humble Farmer program can be heard on Saturdays at 5 on WERU Blue Hill, Sundays at 7 on WRFR in Rockland and Tuesdays at 2 on WMPG Portland.

The programs are generic so you can run a program made in January of 2010 in October of 2012.

Music by: Clark Terry, Erroll Garner, Earl Hines, Django Reinhardt, Count Basie and Scott Hamilton.

This show contains 2.4 minutes of Dr. Dick’s dancing puppets, 3 minutes of Denny Breau playing guitar at Dover-Foxcroft and .3 minutes of humble trying to tell stories against a competing bluegrass band in the next tent at the Common Ground Fair.

Much of the video over the music shows humble and his helper/neighbor Bill Libby putting a new energy efficient window in the back of humble’s 200-year-old farmhouse. Tame fare, indeed, for viewers expecting someone to be shot, arrested or blown up.

The show is tightly scripted. It starts out with a clip of lobsterman Virgil Morse on a Maine dock lifting lobsters out of a lobster car for a customer. The show ends, as usual, with the Keystone Cops driving a car off the end of a dock.

Here's the approximate humorous commentary for The humble Farmer show for the week of October 9, 2011.
1. I suppose I should preface my remarks by saying right up front that my comments are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. That’s what it said on the bottom of the article I read so I could tell you that many children have an aversion to bitter foods like certain vegetables. There is a taste gene that could account for kids screaming, “It don’t taste good. I don’t like it.” You could easily understand why a child would scream this if given a glass of beer or wine. In the article it said that childhood may represent a period of heightened bitter taste sensitivity in some children that lessens with age. I can attest that this might well be true. I can remember looking at a plate of scrambled eggs 70 years ago and not wanting to eat it. Now I gobble down scrambled eggs and cry because there is no more. The study I read said that they took samples of DNA from both children and mothers. Have you noticed that they are using this DNA thing almost everywhere now except in the Maine State Prison where there’s a chance that a lot of important people would be embarrassed if DNA evidence freed an innocent man who has already served 20 years?
2. A friend took a picture of me while I was speaking on day two at the Common Ground Fair and posted it on my Facebook page. A woman friend wrote beneath the picture: “I did notice that his suspenders were not centered.” Does this not raise an interesting question? Centered on what? When I looked at the picture I also noticed that my suspenders were not centered but that was the second thing I noticed. The first thing I noticed was that my shirt sleeves were too long. You can see from the picture that I had pulled them up so people could see that I have hands. I have three blue shirts and I wore one for each of the three Common Ground Fair days and on Saturday my sleeves drove me crazy because when I dropped my hands my shirt sleeves slid down to the tips of my fingers. It is very uncomfortable to stand before an audience and speak while wearing a shirt that has sleeves that are 4 inches too long. On Sunday night as I was moving toward our bed I mentioned that my Saturday shirt was made for a gorilla and that I could understand why you always saw pictures of the old time card-players wearing rubber garters on their arms to hold up the cuffs on their shirt sleeves. Whereupon, my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, patiently explained that all of my blue shirts are the same size. Is there any sense to argue with a woman? I had worn the shirts and I knew that two shirts fit and that one had long sleeves. I didn’t need to look at any little tag inside the collar. You can well believe that by Sunday night the Saturday and Friday shirts were already washed, pressed, and back in the closet so, although I was so tired I could barely stand, I staggered over to the closet and dragged out the two clean shirts, and presented Marsha with all three for her inspection. What do you think my wife said after she read the printed proof that, for perhaps the first time in our marriage, I was right? She said, “Well, you could have rolled them up.”
3. Some woman wrote a letter to the newspaper and in this letter she said that Obama was a Muslim who would make friends with those responsible for killing our boys and bringing our country to the verge of economic collapse. And sure enough, the same week I saw him on TV shaking hands with three Republicans.
4. The Encyclopedia Britannica is little more than an alphabetized list of wars, feuds, intrigues, religions, and the unpleasant people who facilitated an imperialistic Mulligan Stew of all these things in their own little bailiwicks since the beginning of recorded history. If you have spent hundreds of hours over the past 20 years reading the Encyclopedia Britannica, you may have also come to the same conclusion. In today’s preprandial reading of the Encyclopedia I read of some people in India being blown off from cannons and didn’t know what it meant. It says: “In January 1872 the Namdharis clashed with the police and 66 of them were apprehended and blown off from cannons at Maler Kotla.” Have you ever heard of people being blown off from cannons? I spent a reasonable amount of time on Google without finding a definition of what must have been an unnecessarily expensive method of execution. I’m the humble farmer at gmail dot com. Can you tell us anything about it?
5. Do you know what heuristic means? To back up, like any old Maine man, before telling you a simple story I have to give you the life history of everyone involved. While speaking with some students at Bates College, a girl named Alice mentioned string theory. Although I had heard of string theory, I was unable to define it. So when I got home I Googled string theory which further encouraged me to take from my library shelves several books on physics plus a thick biography of Albert Einstein which I’ve been reading for several days. And this word heuristic turned up so many times in Einstein’s biography that I looked it up and discovered that heuristic is an educational method in which learning takes place through discoveries that result from investigations made by the student. The next time you see me I hope you’ll slip that word heuristic into the conversation so I’ll know you’ve been paying attention. By then I’ll have forgotten what it means and you can tell me.
6. Dave Rowe went onto my Facebook page and had a few things to say about the post office. I spent $12,000 our little post office in one year doing mailings, but 10 or so years ago they still shut it down. Not big enough. My wife couldn't mail a package the other day because she is at work the only time the post office is open. Working people can't always get to the post office. It is also difficult for many working people to get to the polls twice, once to register and then once again to vote. Do you think it's a good thing that people can register to vote the same day they vote? Otherwise a lot of working people would be disenfranchised.
7. I seem to recall reading that if a man were murdered in Friesland 1,000 years ago, his body was hung up in the house and couldn’t be buried until the family had settled the score. Although bloody family feuds were popular in many cultures in all eras, if they are no longer common, they at least no longer command as much attention in the press as the wardrobe of some movie star you’ve never heard of. You will remember the basic premise for the feud --- you shot my mother, so I’ll shoot your mother – or brother --- or any of your kin foolish enough to go out to the backhouse unarmed. If I may digress, you might remember O. Henry’s story Squaring the Circle. The only two survivors of a generations-long feud between two hillbilly families meet on a busy New York City street and are so glad to see someone they recognize that they shake hands. For millennia many villages over the entire planet were decimated by family feuds. It took someone with the business acumen of a Vito Corlioni to forgo his vengeance, stand up and say, “This is expensive and unless we stop, nobody’s going to make any money.” Fortunately, with big business, it works just the opposite. Any time corporate America can instigate a feud between any two parties, it will make money selling war materials to one or both sides until the money to finance the war is gone.
8. Here's an important public service announcement. There's a new captain on one of our Maine ferry boats who takes every state and federal regulation very seriously. When passengers ask, "Oh captain, can we come up on the bridge and see how you run the boat?" he says, "No, no. Federal regulations say that you can't come up here --- unless you're wearing a bikini."
9. Back when I was a kid I walked to a one room school. That was back when children were not obese because villages had churches, schools, post offices, stores and garages, and when we wanted to go somewhere we walked. You might not believe this, but back then people in a community even had a voice in how their school was run. When I was a kid, only one family had a real shiny bicycle, and they were rich. I remember walking to school and seeing life-sized effigies of Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo hanging by the neck from a Mobil gas sign. In the early 40s you could even earn a medal for killing German, Italian or Japanese citizens. Back then we were taught to fear, hate and kill as many of these individuals as we could, but by the time I was old enough to go to Germany and Italy I didn’t have to shoot anybody. By then we’d been told that the working people who lived there weren’t really bad and the war could be blamed on their crazy fascist leaders who’d tricked people into letting them run things. If you read any history book you might discover that this is usually true: war is caused by an ignorant or mentally unbalanced power-mad leader who is propped up by a few powerful people who stand to make money. Even in 1960 in France and Germany you could still see where WWII machine gun bullets had raked across cement walls. Many, many times I’d look at the people at the next table or on the street or on the train and say to myself, “Gee, if I’d been here 15 years ago I’d be shooting at these guys and they’d be throwing hand grenades at me. If they took me alive I’d be in a concentration camp.” Since 1940 I’ve seen hated enemies come and go. Shoot ‘em one day, set up non-union factories there the next and call it “economic aid.” About the only thing that seems to remain constant is the economy’s need for a hated enemy to justify imperialism and generate fear and finger-pointing among the uneducated populace. To paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut’s colonel in Hocus Pocus, “The Viet Nam war was mostly about selling ammunition.” All of this came to mind one morning when I woke up singing a good old WW II Kay Kyser song called the Fuddy Duddy Watchmaker. My wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, said she had never heard it. If you married a younger woman you know that this kind of thing happens to you all the time, and I’d like you to back me up on what I’m about to say. Although a great age difference will not necessarily destroy a relationship, any man who is contemplating marriage with a younger woman should know that she’s not going to understand a lot of things that he takes for granted.
10. Here’s news. I’m going to computer school. Dr. Peter, who is a friend of mine, paid my tuition to an evening class on how to make web pages. I’ve been making my web pages for years, and if you’ve seen any of them you know why I really wanted to take the class. At our first meeting eight or so of us walked into the classroom, sat down at a computer, and got basic instruction on how to make web pages. At the second meeting we were all sent home because nobody there at the school could figure out how to turn on the computers.
11. Behavioral psychologists have a term they call superstitious behavior. If you put five chickens in separate boxes and let them jump around, and then give each chicken a kernel of corn, each chicken is likely to repeat the last movement it made before receiving the grain. As an aside, I have heard that this is why rich old men buy diamonds and cars for young girls. So one chicken might be continually jumping up and down, another one might be darting to the right, another to the left while another one might be standing in the same place making squatting motions. Now I want you to bring up in your mind, one of your best friends doing the same thing. And if you sit back and give this some serious consideration for a minute or two, you will recall that if you live in rural Maine you have seen your friends running around in circles, squatting in one place, or jumping rapidly from side to side. Although it is a Maine thing, you have certainly noticed that people from away who have just arrived here immediately pick up our superstitious chicken habit. This was brought to mind one day when I saw a houseguest with the entire top half of her body hanging out of the front window of our living room. The next day her husband spent most of the morning all crouched down with his head jammed into a corner of an upstairs bedroom. All of which proves that there is really no limit to the extraordinary contortions and physical machinations that a grown person will attempt just to get into an area where they can hear a few garbled words on a cell phone.
Thank you for entertaining your viewers with The humble Farmer.

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File Name of SD Episode: humble 2011 1009.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:55:56

File Size of SD Episode Video: 2,660,644,868 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 06:38

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