Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2012 0603.mpg

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Episode Description:

The humble Farmer show for June 3, 2012

56 minutes.

Well received in Northern New England for 34 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, Hoagy Carmichael, Artie Shaw, Bennie Moton, Earl Hines, Bix Beiderbick, The Inkspots and Denny Browe.

This show contains a few minutes of Denny Breau playing at a music/humor show with humble on Monhegan.

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

The video over the music is of many subjects, some footage of humble putting up a wall in his new cellar under his 200 year old farmhouse in St. George, Maine. Tame fare, indeed, for viewers expecting someone to be shot, arrested or blown up.

The show is tightly scripted. It starts out with humble doing a satire on candy and soap marketing. Each of the songs and commentary are separated by an American Eagle carved in St. George pine by local artist Bill Libby. For one song there are many pictures of humble’s wife, Marsha. Half way through the production of this show, a car knocked down a utility pole and shut off the power for several hours so humble delivers his commentary in two different shirts on two different days. The show ends, as usual, with the Keystone Cops driving a car off the end of a dock.
1. When I got on an airplane one morning, much to my surprise my seatmate pulled out a salad. Most anyone would carry aboard some little sweet or goodie to eat instead of a salad. I couldn’t contain my amazement and I complimented her on her healthy choice. Don’t you agree that too many people don’t give a fig about what they eat? And here was a woman who obviously cared about not only how she looked, but about her health in general. As she ate that salad you can imagine how I ranted and raved about how she impressed me and how great if this country would be if more people followed her example. As you can believe, she ate every last green leaf of that salad, and then she washed it down with two little bottles of gin.
2. My wife Marsha is screaming. “What a Wus.” “What is a Wus?” I ask. “A Wus is a wimp.” Our friends want us to go up to the end of Long Cove tomorrow afternoon in two rubber boats with motors on them. I own the western side of the end of Long Cove and I’ve probably only seen it from the water three times over the past 40 years. I would like to see those huge pines, but if the boat were to sink or tip over, the cold water would quickly snuff me. If you fall overboard on the Maine coast life jackets only mean that you have a few more minutes to see your life flash before your eyes. Every time I hear about someone who goes through the ice in a snowmobile or perishes in a pond I say to myself, “Why do people go out in little sinkable boats or drive snowmobiles on ice?” And I think how much better it would read in the newspapers if one is trampled out back by a dozen prize-winning beef critters rushing for the grain bucket in your hand. So I tell my wife that the thought of my lifeless body being fished out of Long Cove does not appeal to me. I’d forgotten that The Almost Perfect Woman works on an island on the other end of Long Cove and that she has never walked to get there. Every day, be it foggy, windy, or rainy, she gets in a thing called a Nordica and is ferried to work. “I used to run it myself when I could,” she says. “What a Wus.” And then it occurred to me that many of the fools who went through the ice or flipped over in a canoe might have spent that day in bed had not some higher power cried out with mocking derision, “Wus, Wus, Wus.” Just in case I’m lost at sea this afternoon, please know that I perished under protest.
3. Because it’s hard to prop up a book while eating, I watch TV. And in clicking backwards from channel one with my only uncrumby finger I ventured into a Brave New World. Did you know that the 1600 numbers on Time Warner are hard core porn, all available for an extra fee? The titles of these shows are inordinately graphic. There isn’t much out there available for the basic fee so anyone interested in sports --- indoor or outdoor --- or anything else that might be of interest has to pay extra. As someone who was brought up in a Baptist community I’m continually amazed that what you can and cannot say on the radio or on television has changed over the past 60 years. Some words that I would never say in the company of drunken sailors are heard all the time on all channels, and some words that were quite common when I was a boy and therefore do not offend my ears would get you kicked off the radio in a wink. Before you venture forth into the great world of broadcasting you’d better find out what Swedes are calling themselves nowadays, or your first broadcast might be your last. Because the folks who decide which channels you get and how much you pay for them are getting very greedy, you can expect that there is already a movement afoot to circumvent the whole cable-satellite industry. How do you think we will be getting all of our information and visual entertainment 10 or 20 years from now?
4. Months and months before the Common Ground Fair is to be held in Unity, you can go to their web page and right there, on page one, is the date of the next fair printed in big letters. So many people make it easy for us to find the upcoming date for their events that perhaps I’m spoiled. Although I’ve attacked it on several occasions, right up until today I’ve been unable to find a web page that tells me when and if my 1965 Gorham Normal School Class is having a reunion. Of course now Gorham Normal has another name but we still lovingly refer to it as “Normal” and as we get older we sometimes think it would be nice to get together with old friends from “Normal” just to see if their spouses are now fat and dumpy. The last time I looked to see if there is an alumni meeting scheduled for this year I found a web page that lists the Alumni directors for 2009 and another page that says I can view online alumni events from September 21, 2011 to February 01, 2012. If you make web pages you know that web pages can be easily changed or updated in a matter of minutes. Even I can do it. My email to the alumni office got no response. At first I wondered if there might be a simple explanation in this almost unbelievable grisly story from Lehigh Acres, Florida. A German woman and her son from Germany maintained a home in Florida. One day they told U. S. friends they were moving back to Germany. But their friends in Germany thought they were staying in Florida. Three years later a friend learned that their house was to be sold for non-payment of taxes. When he went to their house to check things out he found that their mummified bodied had been dead for over three years. How could this have happened? Although their property taxes hadn’t been paid for years, their income had been automatically deposited in their bank account which automatically paid their utility bills. The air conditioning provided an excellent environment for mummification. My first question was: “Has anyone actually opened the doors to the USM Alumni office in recent years?” My first thought was: “Let’s hope that they have simply discontinued the meetings.” Luckily, I was able to contact a pleasant young man in one of the innumerable Portland offices who was able to get through to the Alumni office and they in turn, got back to me. There will be a meeting. But why isn’t it promoted better? The only reason I could come up with is that an alumni meeting doesn’t make a few people a lot of money.
5. My friend Sal is exactly like so many of my other friends: he can do things that I, and perhaps you, can’t do. He is a specialist in his field. Sal spends summers down the road a bit from me in Port Clyde, Maine and winters down the road a little bit from me on the Florida Keys. Oh, the one thing that you and Sal have in common is the stories you tell me, and this is one of them. Every January there is an antique car and tractor fair in Fort Meade, Florida. It is such a large fair that one rents a golf cart at the gate for $65 just to get around. One year Sal arrived at the fair too late to rent a golf cart. Alas! Every last one was gone. But when he walked onto the grounds he saw a small tractor for sale. Sal said, “I bought it for $400 and rode around on it all day.” I said, “But what did you do with it after the fair?” Sal said, “I sold it for $2600.”
6. If you are a nurse thank you for the good work you do. We admire you. Here’s another amazing testimonial to your prowess. One morning I got a letter from Rafiq Rehman, a rich man in the UAE, who wanted to send me his remaining millions that I may distribute it to charity. Yes, you see, he would give all this money away himself but he has prostate and esophageal cancer and writes to me from his bed on his laptop as he patiently waits for the end. I have to call this letter to your attention because --- I got a similar letter from the very same Mr. Rehman five or six years ago, saying that he was dying with prostate and esophageal cancer. He has done well to hang on this long and it only because of a skillful nurse that by now he doesn’t also complain of bed sores.
7. You remember Chomsky’s famous sentence: Curious Green Ideas Sleep Furiously. This was a sentence that perhaps had never been said before. At our supper table I heard my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, say a sentence that has probably never been spoken before. Did Doke meet Bianca in Guatamala? I enjoyed it so much I wrote it down and couldn’t wait to pass it along to you. Doke is Marsha’s Dutch friend who went to Guatamala to study Spanish for two weeks. While there Marsha asked Doke to visit her friend Bianca. And, being as curious as a green idea sleeping furiously, Marsha asked, Did Doke meet Bianca in Guatamala? If you ever heard a sentence that you think no one has ever heard before, I’m the humble farmer at gmail dot com Which reminds me --- You will remember that my friend Lawyer Crandall once boasted to me that he said something in court that the judge had never heard before. Crandall says he stood right up there in court and said, “Judge, my client is guilty.”
8. You have seen movies where people have had wild and unbelievable things happen to them in airports. Nowadays if you miss your flight you might get very hungry --- unless you are as resourceful as the masked rider of the plains. I was trying to open one of those little cellophane wrapped packages of crackers. I worked on it for over five minutes because even The Terminator couldn’t have opened it. You know that in most any other environment you would be able to open anything, but nowadays when you head for an airport you leave at home your knife and your nail clipper and any other sharp object that could possibly be used as a weapon. As I sat there with my stomach growling, I whipped out the tablet that you have seen me carry on my right pant leg. And I whipped out my ball point pen to make a note so I’d remember to tell you about this. And when I looked at what was in my hand I realized that although I would have been divested of a knife or a pair of scissors, the security people did let me into the airport with a five inch Sanford uniball pen with a good firm handle on one end and a point like an ice pick on the other. I opened my crackers. And when I stopped to take inventory I realized that although I couldn’t find the tools in my watch to scale walls or burn through iron bars like James Bond or Batman, I could clean my fingernails with the needle like pin on my nametag or the metal ends on my shoestrings. If you are interested, I am willing to collaborate with anyone interested in writing a book on how to survive in an airport. I’m the humble farmer at gmail dot com
9. A while ago I ran into a man who told me that he enjoyed something I said years ago. I’m sorry that I can’t remember who it was so I could give him credit, but it had to do with the way a Maine man deals with trash. Even monks who live in mountain top caves in Tibet generate trash --- things that have to be burned in the stove or hauled to the dump to be recycled. Some people generate more rubbish than others. But any dump keeper in Maine will tell you that there is a basic difference between the Maine native and people from away. For example, if someone from away hires a carpenter to remodel his house, he will instruct that person to haul all of the left over doors, planks and boards to the dump. And if you happen to be on hand when a truck full of these goodies shows up at the dump, you can do rather well. But Maine men feel that they have to age their trash before they haul it away. They’ll tear out the cracked old 1790 doors and put in nice new sliding glass ones. Or they might put in doors made of laminated fiberboard. But even though they know those old 1790 doors are worthless they can’t throw them away --- until they’re properly aged. So they pile them out beside the barn. Fifteen or 20 years later, they’ll load the rotted remains onto a truck and haul it down to the burn pile at the dump.
A Maine man will do the same thing with old iron. Look behind any native’s barn and you’ll see a pile of twisted, rusty iron. Junk men don’t buy iron any more, and you might need a piece sometime to weld onto your bush hog to hold it together, so that old iron has to lay right there until grass grows over it. Only after you’ve hit it and ground it up with the bush hog for 20 or so summers do you haul it away. The Maine universe is governed by inviolate natural laws, and a Maine man’s inability to haul off trash without first aging it is one of them. If you ever see a native hauling load after load of trash to the dump before it has been properly aged, you can bet your bottom dollar that he just married a beautiful young widow from Connecticut.
10. You have heard me say that I can bring my wife home by simply thinking about stretching out on a bed or couch. Before my head has had time to sink into the cushion, she comes in the door. If you are a creative husband, you can probably think up dozens of ways to make your wife come in through the door, even though you have iron-clad proof that she is on safari in Africa or is reading seismological meters inside a volcano in Guatemala. Here’s my most recent example from the other night. My wife Marsha went off with her daughter and three grandchildren to take a walk down to Fort Point. At five o’clock, which is supper time, she was not home, so, because I’m not a helpless child, I cooked my own supper. But, the instant my fingers released a frozen hotdog over a pan of boiling water, the driveway bell rang. Ding ding ding. Yes. She was home before the hotdog had time to hit the water.
Thank you for considering The humble Farmer.

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Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Friday, June 8, 2012 - 22:07

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