Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2011 0116.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 for television.

Music by: Clark Terry, Fletcher Henderson, Al Cohn, Charlie Byrd, Harry Allen, Thelonius Monk, and Charlie Gray

This show contains 1.12 minutes of The humble Farmer live on stage in Jefferson, Maine, and 3.46 minutes of guitarist Denny Breau live on stage on Monhegan.

The video over the music is from the museums and flea market at Fort Meade, Florida on January 14, 2011.

The show is tightly scripted. Here's the humorous commentary for The humble Farmer show for the week of January 16, 2011.
1. Long time radio friend Robert in Brunswick sends us this letter. “I am looking after my brother's animals so he can spend 10 days in Europe with his wife and their three kids. I think they are meeting in Switzerland. The first question on the application to become a Swiss citizen is, ‘Are you sane?’” I’d like to thank Robert for sending that along because it is an opportunity to ask you to define sanity. You and I have seen people who were completely bonkers who thought they were acting in a completely rational manner. And, during the course of your life, you might well have calmly done something that the crowd watching would consider completely rational or normal --- although, from somewhere deep down inside, a little visceral voice screamed at you: “Are you crazy out of your mind?” Robert doesn’t know what you and I are talking about here, because he’s not married.
2. I just read in the on-line newspaper that when a woman offered a man a cigarette he punched her in the face. Several readers had something to say about this, but the one that caught my attention said, “She offered him a Virginia Slim and his masculinity was threatened." Wouldn’t you buy a lobster dinner for anyone who can think up something like that --- just to hear them talk for an hour?
3. Suppose you are celebrated far and wide as a world-class expert on raising rhubarb. If someone asks you to come to their grange hall or clubhouse to share your expertise, don’t spend hours preparing a dissertation on the unique properties of oxalic acid. Instead, realize that the one thing that can determine the success or failure of your presentation is the room setup.

And now, if you are ready, jot down these words of advice from someone who has stood before hundreds of audiences. Controlling the lighting, temperature and drafts in the room are important, as is the time of day. Outside of chopping a hole in the wall with an ax or pounding nails into the floor, most things in a room can be moved around to accommodate the needs of your audience. If it’s hot and stuffy, you can sometimes even move a small audience outside into cooler air. Have they just eaten and about to slip off into a digestive coma? You’re already dead meat. Always speak before the meal if you can. If they’ve had a glass of wine, you might as well have stayed home. Stone cold sober Baptist audiences who haven’t had a drink for three generations are the most responsive.

Show up two hours early and position the chairs so people face you without twisting necks or spines. You want to be on an eye level that is comfortable for you and the audience, so distance and height from the front row are important. Can you make eye contact with everyone in the room? Be on the opposite end of the room from the door where people might be coming or going. People can’t attend to what you’re saying in a beehive atmosphere.

If you are standing next to a window or light people will get tired of looking at you long before they tire of hearing you.

For less than 100 people you won’t need a sound system. Listen to inexperienced speakers and you will notice that they speak too rapidly and usually drop their voices so you don’t hear the last two words in the sentence. This is why even sympathetic congregations often do not laugh at the minister’s jokes.

I hate to admit this, but although I might give a letter perfect presentation, it lacks the fire of conviction unless I have two cups of coffee just before going on. If nothing else, coffee, I call it “drug drink,” keeps me from going to sleep on stage. You’re lucky if you don’t need drug drink.

I could say much more about public speaking, with examples, but this is more than enough information for a starting speaker. Do keep in mind that no matter how well you set up the room and scheme and plan, if anything can go wrong, it will.

And lastly, the most difficult thing about speaking before an audience is also the most important. After 18 or 20 minutes you will notice that they are all hanging onto your every word and are obviously enjoying themselves immensely. That is when you thank them for their attention and quickly sit down.

For your information --- I was motivated to write this after attending a class in which the instructor stood with her back to a huge glass window. She had no idea that it was too much light and not her words that captivated us --- much like a field of glassy-eyed deer in a hunter’s spotlight.
4. I have been reading Greek plays to my wife’s little grandchildren --- you know, to set them on the right track academically speaking. And now, were you suppose they would shout if you were to ask them to name the fattest king in Thebes? “Adipose Rex
5. Winky’s wife went to the store and asked him to help her pick out a bathing suit. She asked him if she should get a bikini or an all-in-one and Winky told her to get the bikini --- because she’d never get it all in one.
6. My friend Kevin in Ogunquit told me to watch a documentary on Youtube called “A Crude Awakening". A Crude Awakening was interesting. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what your grandchildren will do in 30 or 40 years when there is no more oil? My grandfather was 25 when Benz made his internal combustion engine in 1885. Your grandchildren might well be 25 when the oil is gone. The good news is that it’s not impossible to live without oil. When I was a kid everyone over 50 could remember the first time they had seen an automobile or an airplane. My friend, 96-year-old Doris, can still remember bringing barrels of apples into town in a horse-drawn wagon. And now it is possible that your grandchildren will see fields that are once again cultivated by horse drawn plows. Farms will once again be one-family affairs like one still sees in a few progressive European countries today. Christmas presents will probably once again be whittled out of wood. People might once again work in their homes or walk to work. Because money would pass from hand to hand several times before leaving a village, the economy and quality of life would inevitably improve. Children who walked to school would discover the difficulty of becoming overweight. Getting along without a bushhog would be a nuisance, but grazing animals might well once again make them unnecessary. What will be necessary and perhaps painful for many to accept is birth control. The only reason this planet supports seven billion people today is because of cheap oil. Without oil, one way or another and like it or not, the population will decrease very suddenly.
7. When my friend Winky took his wife to the emergency room, the doctor came out and said, “I don't like the looks of your wife At all.” And Winky said, “Me neither, but she's a great cook and really good with the kids.”
8. When my friend Winky went to the dentist, the dentist said, “Now --- I want you to relax. I’ll have that tooth out in five minutes.” And Winky said, “What’s it going to cost me?” “$285." Winky said, “Wow, $285 is a lot of money for just five minutes.” And the dentist said, “Well, if it would make you happy I can pull it out very slowly.”
9. Maine is alive with economic activity. My friend Winky sells necklaces made out of moose droppings.
10. One day Winky’s wife said to him, “Look at these rags I’m wearing. They’re so shabby if anyone came to our home, they would think I was the cook.” Winky said, “Not if they stayed for supper.”
Thank you for considering The humble Farmer.

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File Name of SD Episode: humble 2011 0116.mpg

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

File Size of SD Episode Video: 2,660,610,052 Bytes

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Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Monday, January 17, 2011 - 22:43

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