Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2012 0212.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.

Music by: Clark Terry, Django Reinhardt, Ted Weems, Brad Terry, Wingy Manone, McKinney’s Cotton Pickers, Erroll Garner, and Denny Breau.

This show contains 3.09 minutes of Denny Breau playing guitar.

This week humble is joined on camera by his young friend, Sylvia, whose smile might well enable her to soon seize control of the entire show.

Most of the video over the music shows humble putting shingles on the back of his 1811 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 Ed Perry, the crabmeat roll magnate, and the kids in the 1919 Model T truck and 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 February 12, 2012.

1. Have you ever noticed that whenever you ask anyone what they do for work, they usually have to repeat it? “What do I do for work?” It’s just as if they had to dig in or back up a bit and put on chains at the bottom of an ice-covered hill, just to get a little bit of mental traction. I’m not saying that’s bad. In fact repeating an answer is preferred over the one you get in some parts of Maine when a man can’t answer your question until he spits.

2. One day my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, put a small card on my desk and asked me if I’d look up her friend’s website. Of course the website that her friend sent was wrong and I had to Google around until I found it. In the process I read the note that her friend had written on the card. In this note Marsha’s friend described her husband as open and caring. I showed it to my wife and said, “Open and caring. I hope you never describe me to anyone as Open & Caring.” And Marsha said, “She’s a psychologist --- she talks that way.”
3. Remember the good old let boys play with dolls and girls play with trucks? As recently as 1957 even the famous anthropologist Ashley Montague subscribed to it. But now they know that the program was a hoax and a fraud. It seems that boys and girls are pre-wired and the environmental and cultural factors are negligible. I thought I was a very destructive child, but discovered on a web site that by taking an axe to old cast iron parlor stoves, and concrete steps, I was manifesting normal little boy behavior. The next level of difference between boys and girls has to do with gender-specific personality traits which affect how children learn. First, a word about gender-specific personality traits. In the 1950s and 1960's and 1970's, it was fashionable to assume that gender differences in personality were "culturally constructed." Back then, psychologists thought that if we raised Johnny to play with dolls and Sally to play with trucks -- then many of these gender differences would vanish. Even today you might have heard some people say that you can change the sexual orientation of a child if you are willing to wear out he knees of your trousers. However, cross-cultural studies over the past 30 years have provided little support for this hypothesis. Here is one of the challenges teachers face: the girl who gets straight A's but thinks she's stupid and feels discouraged, and the boy who's barely getting B's but thinks he's brilliant. Consequently, the most basic difference in teaching style for girls vs. boys is that you want to encourage the girls, build them up, while you give the boys a reality check: make them realize they're not as brilliant as they think they are, and challenge them to do better. --- For all the good it will do, I might add. -- If you want to get 8th-grade girls interested in chemistry, show the girls how chemistry can be used to improve the world. Let them build natural biochemical filters to clean dirty water, so they can see how the water becomes fresh and clean. If you want to get 8th-grade boys interested in chemistry, teach them about dynamite. Can’t you see yourself standing before the school board the following week saying, “How was I to know…”
4. Every time I get an email that suggests we throw everyone out of Congress and replace them, I suspect that they are either mentally challenged or joking. Because everyone knows that almost every person who loses an election returns to Washington as a paid employee of some huge corporation at a much higher salary than they got when they were working there as an elected official. So where do you suppose this "Throw them all out" rhetoric originates? I’m thehumblefarmer at gmail dot com.
5. My wife, Marsha, is the Almost Perfect Woman. When you’re been single for 51 of your 76 years, you know how scary some women can be, because you’ve had the opportunity to read the service manuals on several different models. For some reason that I’ve never understood, some women can’t just say what they have to say. They look at you and say, “We’ve got to have a talk.” So one day I thanked Marsha because she had never said to me, “Robert --- we’ve got to have a talk.” And she said, “Talk. What good would it do to have a talk with you? You don’t hear half of what I say --- and I can’t tell what you do hear because you don’t say anything. You always say that nothing is worth discussing unless it’s a life or death situation or if somebody is going to lose a limb. You’re just like my father.” That can happen when you marry a younger woman --- her father usually is just about your age.
6. One night my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, and I were looking at a DVD movie on one of those little DVD computer disks. Marsha has a friend who gives her a year of Netflix for her birthday. And I read on the screen that if you copy the movie on this DVD computer disk the FBI will batter down the doors to your home, you will be fined $250,000 and you will go to jail for five years. A good friend of mine got in a drunken brawl and blew a man away. Bam. He only served three years for killing a man but I would have to serve five if I copied a movie. Years from now, people will think of our era as that transitional period when a man’s life was no longer worth as much as a plastic disk containing a Spiderman movie.
7. Do you miss the good old songs you used to hear? I don’t see any sense in these rap songs they sing nowadays, do you? Back when I was a kid they sang songs like, Chickery Chick, chala chala, chekala romy, in a bananica, bolika wollica – and they made sense. One morning I got to thinking that it had been a long time since I had heard I’m a Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas. You know you’re old when you realize that you miss the good old songs. Old people have always cried that they no longer hear the good old songs. You probably recall Aristophanes’ story about the young man who sneered at his father when the old man requested someone sing one of the good old songs called Simoides' Shearing of the Ram. The kid had to explain to his father that Simoides’ Ram was a corny old song. Do you hear the same thing from your children and grandchildren? Do they listen to music that you can’t understand or appreciate? You might have seen a TV program advertised on which they promised to play the 40 worst songs from last year. Did it make you wonder how they could be sure they got the right ones?
8. You might have seen that documentary on Sammy the Bull who ratted out his Mafia buddies in return for a new life. How does that work? Does the FBI give informants a pension and a new house where they can spend their golden years pining away in repentance? Psychologists could have told the FBI that Type A individuals who are really good at what they do often long to go back to work, and that Sammy the Bull was one of them. Before he has unpacked his suitcase, Sammy the Bull was back in the business he understood and enjoyed. Of course because he had immunity from his past crimes, the police had to put together a whole new case from scratch. Will you tell me why it is so difficult to collect and present evidence that will put bad people in jail? Let’s go back to the program called Cops. The camera is on a fellow in a stolen car that the police are following at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. A police helicopter in the air also has a spotlight and a camera on the car. Suddenly, the car crosses the median strip and heads the wrong way on an interstate highway. An hour later, after riding on no tires and sparking, smoking rims, the car catches fire and stops. A dozen or more police cars involved in the chase converge on the burning vehicle, someone smashes out a window in the car, and the driver is dragged out and handcuffed --- at which time we hear a voice over that says, “All suspects are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.”
9. One of the most flattering letters I ever got from a radio friend said something like this, “Please, humble, don’t get into social issues. Everything you say makes sense and I don’t want to believe it.” --- But if I don’t occasionally try to say something that makes sense here on your radio, where else can you hear it? You have heard me say that if I do not have at least one meaningful comment for you every week, I do not deserve to sit behind this microphone. My function is to educate as well as to entertain. Last week I know I said something that you needed to hear --- two enraged people asked to be removed from my Whine & Snivel Newsletter mailing list.
10. When I make a mistake, I’m the first person to admit it.

And I made a mistake.

A while back a leaky inner tube on my bicycle refused to accept any more patches and I spent 3 or 4 dollars on a new tube. But when I was down to the dump I saw a bicycle in the trash pile and I said to myself, “I will take that bicycle home with me for spare parts and I will buy big fat bicycle tires and inner tubes no more.”

And when I got the bicycle home I said to myself, “The only thing this bicycle needs is a nut on the rear wheel. I wonder what will happen if I put a nut on the rear wheel?”

So I pumped up the tires and I put the nut on the rear wheel and I got on it and rode around in the dooryard on this 5 or 10 speed bike and the gears worked and it went slick as a whistle.

And it reminded me that back in 1943 or so my grandmother cooked for Prince Nicimi up on Chestnut Street in Camden --- lived right across from Dougie Green --- and my grandmother had to cook for two weeks or so to earn money enough to buy me a second hand bicycle. A good bicycle is hard to come by and you can't just cast it aside.

So what am I going to do with this bicycle?

I did not plan to keep this bicycle, I brought this bicycle home from the dump because the tires looked ok, but now I have no idea of how I am ever going to get rid of it because it provides a very comfortable ride.

There is a lesson to be learned here but the only person who knows what it is is a bachelor who invited a desperate young divorcee into his home for just the weekend.
11. My project for the week was hooking up the telephone line in our bedroom for my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman. There is a telephone outlet in the bedroom but it doesn’t work and I can’t remember how that outlet got there. Our house was built in 1811 so the outlet isn’t part of the original construction, I know I put that outlet in there, but I can’t figure out how I did it. I’m probably going to have to run another line in, but I’m going to sleep on it for a while. If you are lucky, you are able to think about projects without rushing into them, because very often there are household members, who wield great power, who want it done now. Do you know who I’m talking about? Don’t think about it --- just do it. John told me that he started to restore a Volkswagen for his daughter’s high school graduation. But John hasn’t finished it yet and she’s now 29 and has a three year old son. Does that tell you something about a man’s propensity for procrastination --- or is it an indication of his daughter’s struggle with our educational system?
Thank you for considering The humble Farmer.

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File Name of SD Episode: humble 2012 0212.mpg

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

File Size of SD Episode Video: 2,638,491,682 Bytes

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Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 14:25

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