Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2010 0516.mpg

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Episode Description:

Well received by the intelligentsia in Northern New England, this is the same old fashioned music and humorous social commentary show The humble Farmer has produced every week since April 6, 1978 for radio and now on television.

Music by: Earl Hines, Mezz Mezzrow, Charlie Gray, Mose Allison, Lee Morse, Annette Hanshaw and The Andrews Sisters

The show is tightly scripted. Here's the humorous commentary for The humble Farmer show for the week of May 16, 2010
1. Please sit back and listen closely to a didactic little tale because I am going to tell you about the painful process of acquiring wisdom. I once bought hundreds of fence insulators that come 10 or so to the package. One package was one insulator short so I took it back. Don’t ever take a package back to a store and tell the man who owns the store that it was one short. Another time a friend mailed me some material I’d bought. It arrived damaged because it was not properly packaged. Thinking I was being helpful, I suggested that my friend fire the incompetent kid in the mailing room, because a dubber who couldn’t even wrap a package was going to cost the company money. My friend had wrapped it --- so I lost a friend. And now, if you’re ready, here’s where we prove that we’ve learned something about people. This is called wisdom. An associate very kindly loaned me two CDs, still factory wrapped in cellophane. When I opened the package, unfortunately after I got home, one of the CDs was broken. The fault was in the packaging construction, because they’d been pressed onto a spindle that was too large for the hole in the CD. The next time I saw the person who loaned them to me I asked if I could buy the two CDs, and quickly paid for them, without saying that one was broken. You know, in the real world there are times when being practical will do more for you than simple honesty.
2. Aunt Teek’s Road Show
3. A young friend came by with Napoleon Hill’s book, Think And Grow Rich. Isn’t it interesting that this book that was written when I was one year old is still being discovered by new generations. I Googled Think And Grow Rich for a synopsis and read, “Choose a definite goal and place all your energy, all your willpower and all your effort to the achievement of that goal. Leave yourself no way of retreat. Think to yourself that you have to win, or perish in the attempt. Only by doing so will you attain a burning desire to win and that is essential for success at anything.” Think about this: “Leave yourself no way of retreat… Think to yourself that you have to win or perish in the attempt.” This was the philosophy of Adolf Hitler who believed in the power of the will. Hitler believed that Germans who couldn’t win deserved to perish, and in the winter of 1942-43 refused to permit the German 6th army to retreat from Stalingrad. By early February 1943, the army which had been ordered to win, no matter what the cost, had been destroyed. When you read a book like Think And Grow Rich, it might be well to read some other books along with it.
4. After reading about some people in the South Pacific who have been bungee jumping for years, I found a company that will enable you to bungee jump from a helicopter into the mouth of a volcano. What captured my attention was the part of the promotion that said, “Could I die?” The answer was, “Yes. You could. You'll be signing a waiver, so we're cool.”
5. You’ve already heard this, but I’m going to call your attention to it again: Nearly two thirds of all bankruptcies are now linked to illness. How did medical problems propel so many middle-class, insured Americans toward bankruptcy? Oh, There’s the catch word, isn’t it? Americans. So let’s say it again, inserting the word American before bankruptcies. Nearly two thirds of all American bankruptcies are now linked to illness. How did medical problems propel so many middle-class, insured Americans toward bankruptcy? I don’t know if I ever heard of a Swede or Dutchman who lost his home because he got sick and couldn’t work, have you? Americans are fairly intelligent people. Why do you suppose we haven’t checked out some health care systems in other countries and incorporated some of their better aspects into our own system? Why do you suppose that is?
6. One day when I was 10 or so years younger than I am today, a young man was eating breakfast at my house as I put on a friendly old red coat --- getting ready to run a cord of fir through my wood splitter. I turned to The Almost Perfect Woman and said, "This won't take long. Eric is going to help me." I was trying to be funny, because if you know anything about the young men who follow your daughters home from college, you know that they are about as useful as snow shoes on a lobster boat. Yes, they might be studying engineering on full fellowships. Yes, next year when they graduate their starting salaries will be more than you've earned since those golden Bill Clinton years. But their idea of being useful is to destroy your home life by buying your daughter a fish, complete with leaking tank --- or a dog. And you know who ends up taking care of that. So I was surprised when this young fellow Eric followed me. I looked at him with disbelief over my woodsplitter and said, "Are you going to help me and thereby destroy the stereotype of the worthless boyfriend?" This was indeed his intent. But he was wearing a brand, spanking new blue jacket with an attached hood that you can draw together with a string, so you can look like a 14th century monk in an Ingmar Bergman movie. If you've got kids you know that they simply don't care what they do to their clothes, and you can imagine what that jacket would look like after handling a cord of fir. So I told him I was glad that he was going to help me, but he was going to have to change --- I couldn't stand to see anyone destroy a brand new jacket. And he said, "Oh, it's not mine --- your wife says she's been trying to get you to wear it for two years."
7. It can be statistically proven that people come in three sizes: large, average and small. Because most of the women used in television commercials are no more than skin stretched on very small bones, the American woman has been conditioned to place herself in the large category. You can't look at a television commercial without realizing that someone is trying to make women dissatisfied with the way they look, smell or feel. This is why even the most sensible woman might be tempted to lose weight --- to diet. Have you ever lived with a person who eats nothing but salad? After a week you beg them to wolf brownies or at least put enough chocolate sauce on their lettuce to make them sociable. A St. George man tells me that his wife dieted faithfully for three weeks without losing a pound. She got so cranky that he started avoiding her --- he even fell asleep drinking his nightly hot chocolate in front of the TV and stayed on the couch all night. And night after night, his wife lost weight. It was two or three weeks before a doctor figured out why. The television ads for weight loss had made her so sensitive to calories that she'd been gaining half a pound every night just by smelling the hot chocolate on his breath. +
8. When some people fix something it falls apart again within a week. You might be married to one of these people and know exactly who I’m talking about. But there are other masters of the tool chest who are able to make minor adjustments that last forever in their homes. Their secret is called the temporary repair. When they put something up, they don’t intend for it to last. But, nothing lasts like a temporary repair. Hang a door with nails on one hinge --- just so it’ll hang there good enough until you can find some screws to do the job right, and it will be swinging contentedly there the day you die. If you’d put screws in the hinges --- if you’d done the job right, the door wouldn’t have fit, and the screws would have worked themselves out and you would have lived with a door that stuck for years until it fell off and dropped on the dog. Knock down a wall in your kitchen and put up some good solid sheetrock. Do a good job. The cat will claw it down before you ever get around to paint it. But, put a piece of plastic in your smashed out car window --- just to keep the wind out until you can get over to the junkyard to buy a window to fix it right, and that plastic will be there the day you park the old clunker out in the back yard and use the door as a target. If you really want something that will hang in there forever, the rule to remember in Maine is that nothing lasts like a temporary repair.
9. I don’t watch that much television, but my friend Julian was intrigued by the caveat emptor that is included in each televised Viagra ad. Right there in the ad, Julian says, men are warned about the dangers of Viagra. But they don’t come right out and tell you what these dangers are. Yes, they do say that if the pill is still working after four hours, go to a hospital. Good luck with that. Can you imagine your wife letting you out the door? Yes, the ad does warn you that you can sustain damage after four hours but can you guess what it is? --- Can it be that you don’t have enough skin left to close your eyes? Julian says that when you do go to the hospital all they can do is fit you with dark glasses so the sun won’t make you squint.
10. One hears that 25 million or so people in Africa have died from aids and that almost that many have the disease. Given a choice between dying from aids or hunger, it might be hard to choose. Luckily, there is a third choice in a simple inexpensive apparatus that, if distributed, would cut down on the starving children in Africa even as it helped contain the spread of aids. But --- then one sees on the news of the Pope’s visit to Africa with his message of hope and cheer --- and condemnation of that one device that would save and prevent lives even as it automatically raised living standards for millions of people. The good news is that the church no longer attempts to cleanse souls by burning political opponents, and there is no doubt but what this ungodly device will also be accepted --- in two or three hundred years.
11. My old neighbor Gramp Wiley is a typical, stubborn Maine man who wouldn't dare drive his own car without buckling up his own seatbelt. But --- he doesn't like to be told that he has to wear it. Gramp Wiley says that the automobile seatbelt is the greatest safety device in the world today. He won't even let his 16 year old grandson borrow his car --- unless the kid promises that every minute he and his girlfriend are in it, they wear their seatbelts. I said, "Does he drive much?" and Gramp Wiley said, "No, he parks."
Thank you for considering The humble Farmer.

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Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Friday, May 28, 2010 - 20:36

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