Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2010 1121.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: Clark Terry, Erroll Garner, Django Reinhardt, Count Basie, Denny Breau, Sydney Bechet, George Masso

This show also contains live on-stage performances by Denny Breau and The humble Farmer.

The show is tightly scripted. Here's an approximation of the humorous commentary for The humble Farmer show for the week of November 21, 2010
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1. Have you ever read something --- and then, all of a sudden, something that has puzzled you for years suddenly fits into place and makes sense? I read in the Maine Farm newspaper that it is illegal to place manure on fields between December 1 and March 15 of the following year. Doesn’t this pretty well explain why, when you drive past Steve Dennison’s farm around Christmas time, his cows are always wearing such a pained expression?
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2. How do you know when the honeymoon is over? What made you realize that you had been married a long, long time? It happened to me one morning when I woke up. Before I could even groan and get my eyes open, my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, whispered in my ear, “Will you put the windows back in so I can finish painting them?”
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3. You’ve heard me say many times that after flunking out of music school as a clarinet player in 1960, I got $10 for playing bass in a dance band at The Blue Goose every Saturday night which paid my way through undergraduate school. Five dollars paid for food for the week. Five dollars paid for a room for the week. Sometimes I’d get an extra thing down at the Allen A camp in New Hampshire with Tommy Bucci.
Later, when I was in graduate school at the University of Rochester, my band played homecoming dances and frat parties. The boys in Skogie’s Jazz Combo at Rochester were top drawer Eastman students who are famous today. I was always the weakest member in any group I ever played in, but I booked the gigs so it was my band. And when it wasn’t my band, I was tolerated, so I always got to play somewhere. Around 20 years ago the cigarette smoke in hotels and dance halls and other places where we’d play bothered me so much that I had to quit. Only a few minutes in a room full of smoke and I’d be sick. I really enjoy playing so quitting was a hard thing to do. Playing with good people can be so exciting it stands the hair on the back of your neck right on end. But now, in my dotage, I’d like to play a few more times even though I have a problem --- if you don’t play for 20 years your hands won’t do what you want them to do. Four or five years ago I tried to play with Muriel, The Midcoast Monster, and Chris Rogers, but had to stop half way through the first tune because my hands got tired. Getting out to play a few more times is going to be hard to do because too many of the fun people I used to play with died a long time ago. At least one drank himself to death. Many of them smoked themselves into the grave, or were put there by the musician’s occupational hazard of second hand smoke. Coolie Johns and Tommy Bucci are way down in Portland and are safe from my knock on their doors because they are too far away. But here’s good news. I recently got an email from Steve telling me that there is a jam session in Waldoboro on Sunday. In reading the fine print I see that it costs $5 to attend if you don’t play. I think I’ll show up there with my bass next week. Someone is very likely to offer me $5 if I won’t play.
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4. We read that for the first time since 1964 the Republicans control both chambers and the Blaine House. Republicans gained over the entire country, motivating one republican to write on a blog: “We’re sick and tired of the attitude that government is going to take from those of us who work hard and redistribute, simply because they can do it.” I’m sure you are as glad to see this as I am. We have to assume it means that they intend to cut back on the 54% of the federal budget that goes to the military.
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5. Old people can be troublesome. Smart old people can cause even more trouble than your average old person because smart old people can remember things. And many old people like to blab. I suppose they figure that being over 90 entitles them to tell the truth, no matter how many people don’t want to hear it. So hear this. Once upon a time in a city far away some citizens thought it would be nice to raise a statue to a police officer who was gunned down in the line of duty 70 or so years ago. So they did. But a man who will never see 90 again laughed when he heard about it and said that the police officer was a bully. During the depression there would always be a few men loitering on that street corner by the drugstore for lack of anything better to do, and this policeman went out of his way to make their lives even more miserable than they already were. Instead of working quietly to help and protect his friends and neighbors like all policemen do nowadays, he enjoyed flaunting his authority. He enjoyed pushing people around. And one day, while approaching an individual he’d been leaning on pretty heavily, this man simply pulled out a gun and shot the policeman dead. Not a nice thing to do. I don’t recommend it and I’m glad that kind of thing doesn’t happen nowadays, aren’t you? But anyway, before you raise up a monument to honor some long–gone public official, you might want to make sure that everyone who knew him is conveniently dead.
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6. My apple trees have a nasty looking black knot and after I’d worried about it long enough I sent an email whining and sniveling for help to all of the nearby Maine orchards that I could find. Terry, who owns an orchard up in Kents Hill, was good enough to suggest I ask Dr. Professor Renae Moran up at Highmoor to look at it. She did, for which I am grateful. We are lucky to have Renae Moran helping us with our orchards. I do not have the feared fire blight and should set about cutting off the black knots. But the letter from Kents Hill reminded me that the last time I spent any time in Kents Hill was playing for a wedding up there perhaps 30 years ago. I think Claude Noel was playing piano and Dick Cash had his flugelhorn. Everyone was being thrown into the swimming pool. This nice looking girl in a soaking wet low cut yellow gown put her nose about 10 inches away from Cash’s nose and whispered, “You wanna get wet?” When Cash looked down at her dress and said yes, she shouted, “Grab him boys.”
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7. Have you ever been fumbling around with some project, not really knowing what you were doing, or simply wondering why what you were trying to do was not happening? Just about that time one of the Lemme Show Ya boys looks over your shoulder, and if you are not careful, you will be elbowed aside and someone who thinks he knows more about the project than you do will be digging you deeper into the hole. To be sure, there are some very clever people like my brother who intentionally fumble just so the person looking over their shoulder will finally scream, “For heaven’s sake --- give me that wrench and let me do that for you.” For over 50 years my brother has polished this skill and long ago mastered the art of standing back while some hapless dubber of a Lemme Show Ya Boy sweats himself deeper and deeper into some inextricable mess. You know as well as I do that it is hard not to want to get right in there when someone asks you how to fix the catch on the dishwashing machine so it won’t unhook itself and shut off half way through the rinse cycle, but today we are going to salute those who are strong enough to turn their backs and walk away. I recently witnessed an example of the powerful IQ and maturity it takes to do this. Please listen closely. I handed my digital camera to Steve, who was sitting next to me at the breakfast table, said that there were 172 pictures in that camera that I’d like to erase and asked if he knew how to do it. Steve, who has a PhD, proved that he is also brilliant, because he handed the camera back to me and said, “I don’t know a thing about it.”
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8. Helen, Ava and Carolyn, radio friends all, with an average age of 80, recently spent a day with us and I availed myself of this combined accumulation of wisdom and asked them some questions. Did you know that parents worry more about their kids when they are grown up than they did when the kids were little? I could never afford to have children so this surprised me and I asked what kids did when they were grown up that was so frightening, and Ava said, “They get into debt --- they have children.”
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9. A nice young girl cleaned my teeth the other day. I think they call them dental hygienists. From my chair I could see outside the window a sailboat that probably belonged to the dentist. If you have been to the dentist lately there is probably no doubt in your mind but what a dentist would use a boat that size to get out to his tender. But I wanted to tell you about that nice young girl who cleaned my teeth. She gave me a wonderful lecture on dental care that I took notes on before leaving the office and will tell you about later when I have time. Yes, her chatter --- no, it wasn’t chatter. Her patter, her one sided conversation was so interesting --- it captivated my attention so completely, and I was concentrating so hard on what she was saying so I could remember what she said about taking care of your teeth so I could pass it along to you, --- her lecture was so wonderful that it was at least 15 minutes before I noticed the terrible office music that was playing in the background.
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Thank you for considering The humble Farmer.

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File Name of SD Episode: humble 2010 1121.mpg

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

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Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 07:06


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