Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2011 0904.mpg


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Episode Description:

Our thanks to Bob Nichols for creating PedMedia and making it available to you and me and our rapidly growing body of friends.

Well received in Northern New England for over 30 years, The humble Farmer 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.

Music by: Clark Terry, Erroll Garner, Ted Weems, Bill Evans, Scott Hamilton, and Bix Beiderbecke.

This show contains 3.36 minutes of Denny Breau playing guitar at Dover-Foxcroft, Dr. Dick performing with one of his famous dancing puppets, and a couple of minutes of humble telling a story at the Common Ground Fair. The show also contains Marsha’s grandchildren doing their popular picture-on-the-milk-carton skit. There are scattered guest spots by the cow friends and donkey.

This week humble is joined in the studio again by his young friend, Celia, whose smile might well enable her to soon seize control of the entire show. Celia helped humble emcee one of Denny Breau’s recent concerts and was immediately asked by the manager of the famous Blues Festival in Naples, Maine, if she’d participate there next summer.

Much of the video over the music shows humble putting in a concrete solar radiant heat sink in his new cellar on the new back part of his 200-year-old farmhouse. Skip Kinney, one of humble’s sixth cousins once removed, was in charge of pouring a floor over the beautiful floor Skip’s father put down for humble in the new addition 12 or so years ago. Around 100 years ago humble’s grandmother was Skip’s grandfather’s Sunday school teacher. An old man thinks of these things. 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 humble building his solar collectors two or three years ago. The show ends, as usual, with a backhoe taking out humble's backdrop cloth and 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 September 4, 2011.
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1. You might have heard about the Maine variety store that is losing its license to sell beer, wine and liquor. According to the manager of this store, losing its license to sell alcoholic beverages will take away around 50 percent of the store’s business. Stay tuned because the question which has been in the back of your mind for years will soon be answered: can any Maine country store survive solely on the sale of cigarettes and lottery tickets?
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2. I’m always forgetting things. I forget to shave when I’m in the shower. I go out to the barn and forget to carry out something that is supposed to be carried out to the barn. I go out to cut bushes with my chainsaw and forget to take a wrench and screwdriver so I can tighten up the chain when it gets loose. My wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, has two cardboard signs that she throws on the floor as needed. One says, “Hang Wash” and the other one says “Gas”. She always needs gas for her lawnmower. Visitors who come into the house sometimes see a piece of cardboard on the floor and they pick it up, thinking they are helping out with the housekeeping. Anyway, I need notes to remind me of everything. I tell myself I can’t remember things because being old I’m naturally expected to forget to put on my pants before I go to town. So --- my question to you is --- do you forget things, too? Does everyone, young and old forget things? Because I was once young, I should know the answer to that question, but I’m asking you because I can’t remember.
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3. Do you have notches in your belt or do you have the kind of belt that simply takes in the slack like a line on a cleat and holds what you’ve got? I have notches in my belt and just before I went into a store in Rockland the other day, I felt the need to take up some slack so my pants wouldn’t fall down. I was surprised to see that that gave me three unused notches on the end. And it made my pants double up in places around the waist. For some reason I don’t understand, I’m still losing weight. All of my work shirts are hand-me-downs that came out of a big man’s rag bag, so I’m used to wearing shirts that could accommodate another 50 pounds. But this extra slack I’ve been seeing around my waist is something new. You’ve heard me say that I haven’t had any ice cream or cake or pie or cookies for seven years now and probably because of that I’m down to 159 pounds and for seven years my weight has been slowly but continually dropping, dropping. I did want to mention that three notches is still a bit tight and that two notches is a bit too slack. But I’m not going to punch another hole between holes two and three. What can you tell me about this? Do men automatically lose fat and muscle when they are approaching 80? My arms always have looked like those sported by an anemic model, but now my shoulder seat belt is starting to chafe because there isn’t any muscle around my clavicle to separate the seat belt from the bone. I’m humble at humble farmer dot com. What can you tell me about this losing weight business? When I told my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, that I’d taken in my belt another notch, she said, “Old leather stretches.”
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4. You can’t go anywhere now but what you see someone talking on a cell phone. I’ve seen people tending sheep in Israel who were talking on cell phones. It is my understanding that some people who live in grass huts out in jungles have cell phones. Because they have no money to pay for the cards that energize the things, they call someone and simply say, “Call me back.” When a car passes you on the interstate and then you pass it two miles later you can bet that they don’t have cruise control and that someone just called them on a cell phone. The other day a friend told me that people who talk on cell phones in public places are rude --- especially when they talk in such a low voice that you can only hear half of what they are saying.
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5. In the summer we have four cow friends and a donkey who are guests in our pastures. If you’ve ever stopped out front to get rhubarb you might have heard a voice out back saying, “Nice cows do not moo. They graze quietly in the assigned areas.” You have to talk to cows --- they have to be encouraged. You have to let them know that they are doing a good job. From sporting cows and a donkey on my front lawn, I’ve learned that people don’t mind if cows stand around outside in a summer rain. But there are tree-hugging liberals who gnash their teeth and rend their garments if they see a donkey standing outside in a summer rain. Here’s your chance to educate me. Why should a donkey go in a shed when it’s raining, when cows can live on an open range all winter in blizzard conditions? Your research might show that donkeys have only been domesticated for 5,000 or so years. Before that they were on their own every time it rained. I’m humble at humble farmer dot com.
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6. Because we have cow friends and a donkey in our pastures all summer, I have become intimately familiar with the properties of the electric fence. If you don’t know about electric fences I’ll tell you that there is some kind of coil in a box that sends out a pulsating electric current through a wire. You don’t get a shock all the time. It’s zap, zap, zap and because the shock goes right through cloth you do not want to be touching that wire when the current goes through it --- zap. Depending on how high an energized fence is, some people choose to step over it and some people choose to crawl under it. The men who crawl under an electric fence because they do not dare step over it are obviously telling us either one of two things, the first of which is, “My legs are short.”
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7. No matter what the problem or situation at hand, it seems that it has been encountered by many other cultures in many other ages. Listen to this one about education: By restructuring management and teaching practices, putting more reliance on prepackaged curriculum materials, exploiting the possibilities of computers, radio, and TV, and changing teachers’ roles, it is believed that children and youth would be better prepared to meet the requirements of the modern workplace. This is a very scary news item. In reading it do you not get the impression that the purpose of our schools is to prepare kids to work and not to live interesting, fulfilling and happy lives? We read that corporate America would have schools turn out units that can “keep and create jobs after graduation.” We further read that employers don’t care what you know as long as you can do something for them with what you know. One shudders to think that the curriculum in Maine schools would be tailored to the needs of the business community instead of the individual. In the business community’s ideal world, children would be raised in incubators where they could be conditioned by an endless recording that said “I’m very lucky to have a job here.” There might be more than a few people who read this article on education without understanding its implications, and this is sad. You know --- a real education is multifaceted and enables people to read between the lines. Yes. This was brought to mind when I recently read a few quotes in a book printed over 70 years ago that deplored this practice of preparing kids to work and not to live. Nothing seems to change.
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8. Because I could never afford to have children of my own, a visit from my wife’s grandchildren is always an educational experience. You can be sure that my wife spoils her grandchildren with sugar sweet goodies to the extent that should they live with us full time, they probably would not have any teeth by the time they were 12. One night after supper the two girls, 5 and 7, were running excitedly though the home and the young one was screaming at the top of her lungs. When she paused, screaming, screaming, screaming by my chair I seized her by the wrist. She dropped to the floor, struggling and kicking. I said to her, “Why in the world are you screaming at the top of your lungs?” The oldest one leaned over and whispered in my ear, “She just had chocolate.”
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9. How often do you see a respectable hurricane here on the coast of Maine? One or two a year? I remember one that cleaned off the top of one of my grandfather Gilchrest’s shade trees back in the 40s or early 50s. Anyone in Knox County Maine who thinks about it gets the impression that hurricanes are no more than media events to keep you glued to your television set. Hurricanes and the media start out down in the Bahamas, wherever that might be, and you’ll see palm trees bending over and a blue plastic garbage can blowing down the street. Then the reporter’s out there on Nag’s Head where it can admittedly get pretty rough and behind him you’ll see some boys and girls riding surfboards and the reporter’s mouth is going up and down and there is no sound. And the anchor woman will say, “Well, we’re having a problem there. We’ll get back to Ned later.” Then behind the scenes they scrounge up and down 1700 miles of Atlantic coastline until they find one place where they got 15 inches of rain that made a little pond and you’ll see two or three cars sitting in the middle of it. And all you can think is that they’ll condemn those cars as total losses and then a month later they’ll turn up on a used car lot in Florida with mold under the floormats. If you hang in there long enough, they finally get up to the coast of Maine and you’ll see half a dozen fishing boats tied up to a pier and because there is no surf or spray you’ll hear, “We have water and fog.” I heard her say it. “Stay tuned. We have water and fog.” If you lived in the middle of the Sahara Desert hearing that you were about to be slam dunked with water and fog might make you sit up and take notice. But here on the coast of Maine are you going to pile the kids in the car and take them out to see water and fog? “We’ll be right back after this.” How much of this PR that is given to every hurricane is sponsored by some Chamber of Commerce hoping to sell bottled water and generators? When you hear everyone on television telling you to stay home because of the impending storm, you should not, under any circumstances, go shopping in Rockland, Maine. Because the streets will be so crowded you’ll think you’re trying to get out of Boston after a Red Sox game.
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Thank you for considering The humble Farmer.

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Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Sunday, November 20, 2011 - 07:44


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