Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2009 0802.mpg

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Episode Description:

humorous social commentary and music

1. The most improbable story to come in my email this week was from my friend, Winky, who took his wife and mother in law moose hunting up in Fort Kent. Of course you don't really have to hunt for moose in Fort Kent, they come to you, and the great fear in the great Maine north woods is that you'll meet one of the long legged fellows on the highway who will invite himself right through your windshield. Anyway, the first morning up in the camp, Winky's wife woke him up just about dawn with the news that her mother had gone for a walk. Well, they rushed out of the cabin and there was his mother in law backed up against the cabin by the biggest moose anybody had ever seen. Winky's wife started hollering, "What are we going to do." Winky said, "Nothing, that moose got himself into that mess, let him get himself out of it.”
2. Although my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, has three grandchildren, the oldest one is going to inherit my farm. If you leave a piece of property to two people, sooner or later there is usually a wicked fight about who gets what, so I’m going to try to eliminate that. Ten or so years ago I borrowed a lot of money to buy an 8 house development contiguous to my farm. Now the only thing to breed out there will be blackflies, and by keeping 8 more houses from being built in St. George, I believe I have made St. George a better town in which to live. Because of my efforts, the amount of social services required will be less in St. George which means your property taxes in St. George will be less, and the minute I get the mortgage paid off, the whole business will go into the Georges Valley Land Trust. We have 82 acres of woods running down to the salt water and you can see pictures of most of it on my web page. You might think my farm would be a nice place to hang out on a warm, summer day, and I do, too. But when one of Marsha’s relatives came to visit with his children, he packed them back into the car and drove five miles to the nearest playground.
3. You get them all the time --- these emails from people who are worried that someone in a socio economic group a step or two below theirs might be getting some help from the government. They keep a close eye on healthcare, social security and any other assistance that might just barely keep a human being from living under a piece of tin on a muddy hillside. They cry, “Oh please deliver us from the evils of socialism.” They will tell you that a man who has his legs blown off in an illegal war or who loses everything he owns in a fire, should be smart enough to survive without help from your tax dollars. Too bad for him. But --- these very same flag-waving folks choose to ignore the much larger cost of corporate welfare. Don’t you and I already take it for granted that were we to cut off corporate welfare, this great country of ours would not survive?
4. According to a think tank at Harvard, within 200 years sexual harassment will not exist in the work place. This is because if present sexual harassment programs are one hundred percent successful, there won't be anyone around in 200 years.
5. Have you had your appendix out lately? Doctors and nurses at our local hospital now put patients at ease by joking with them. When they scrub you with a brush, you might ask, "Is that brush sterile?" And the nurse will say, "Yes, we just did the floors with it this morning." You might ask, "How many times have you done this?" and the doctor will say, "You're the first one." And the nurse will add in a cheery voice, "But don't worry, we looked at the book just this morning." Would you rather that they did it the old way?
6. Whenever I'm feeling optimistic about the future of the country, I turn on the TV. Sometimes mothers and daughters come out and shout at each other. Most of their conversations go like this. "You peep, peep, peep." I'm sure you watch them. Sometimes the guests are men with two wives or women with two husbands. At first I figured that they must get paid. Nobody would make a fool of himself in front of the whole world without getting paid. But then I remembered that without getting paid I made these public radio programs for Maine people for 28 years.
7. You've probably seen that 16 foot granite obelisk on my front lawn with the 5 foot Dan Daniels steel monkey on the top blowing a 5 foot chrome bugle. One of my favorite places in Sweden is near Grebbestad where there's a whole hill covered with similar stones that someone set up 1500 years ago. After looking them over one day, we stopped in a grocery store's parking lot to get something to eat. You've never seen such crowds of people as they have on the coast of Sweden in the summer. You take a place the size of Port Clyde and jam ten times as many summer people into it as Camden has on a hot day in July, and that's what many of those little towns on the coast of Sweden look like in the summer. The sign where we parked said, "Customers' parking, one hour." My cousin Sten Gunnar, who was driving, said, "Oh, good. We're not customers. We can stay as long as we want." If your father or grandfather came from Sweden, you're already familiar with Swedish logic and I don't have to say anymore.
8. Is your husband or wife a flirt? They don't worry about that kind of thing in Sweden. There's an old Swedish saying that, roughly translated, says, "Whet your appetite away, but come home to eat."
9. Bob Crowe asked me if I knew anything about wetlands. We've all heard a lot about wetlands over the past 20 or so years, but I told Bob I wouldn't know a wetland if I saw one. Bob says that if you have to watch where you put your feet when you walk, it's probably wetlands. But then I got to thinking that you have to walk through my pasture the same way.
10. Many Maine businesses give away gifts to customers. Gas stations often give away bottles of soda. You can usually find free food treats in supermarkets. It has been proven that you can increase your business by giving away these inexpensive free gifts.
If you are a carpenter or housepainter, you might want to consider giving your customers little trees or shrubs to plant next to their houses. Your customers will love you. Who can deny that houses look a lot nicer with shrubs up against them or trees nearby on the lawn? But look at the roof and sides of houses that are encrusted with shrubs or have trees towering over them. There was one up by the corner near the Warren post office until it rotted into the ground. Or, if you're like most of us, you can look at your own house. Nothing rots out a house like the shade from a beautiful oak. Nothing peels paint from a house like a near-by flowering shrub. When you house painters give your customers beautiful little trees and shrubs, you're just like the lobstermen who return short lobsters to the sea. You're planning for your future.
11. Pick up any newspaper or magazine printed for general consumption and you will see an article, written by a white liberal, supporting affirmative action. On another page you will see an article, written by a well-educated member of some minority, opposing affirmative action. The only reason either article is in the publication is because the publisher thinks that the topic is a hot one which will generate a profit. Turn two more pages and you will read a story about someone who has been accused of violating someone’s Civil Rights --- by saying naughty words. Forty years ago no one would have thought anything about saying those words, but because human beings have an innate need for naughty words, and because the naughty words of 40 years ago are no longer naughty, new ones had to be invented. This prompts me to confess that last Friday night I found myself in a time-warp. I attended a meeting where everyone was 60, 70 and 80 years of age. We grew up in the 30s, 40s and 50s, and are still burdened with the values of those degenerate days of long ago. Had a member of the Thought Police been there, all of us would have gone to jail, for, without even thinking twice about it, we all stood and sang three verses of the Too Fat Polka. (book 263)
12. Perhaps 100 years ago, old granny would want to visit Sarah, so they’d put her bonnet on her and lug her around the house a couple of times in her chair. And they’d set her down and someone would say to her, “I’m glad you came, Grammy,” and would chat with her awhile. And then they’d lug Granny back around so she’d think she was home. For generations after that, when anyone in that family was just puttering around and not doing anything of importance all day, they’d say they spent the day visiting Sarah. I’m Robert Skoglund. Thank you for spending some time with me today visiting Sarah.

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Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Wednesday, August 5, 2009 - 07:54

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