Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2011 0313.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, Hoagy Carmichael, Stephane Grappelli, Ray Brown, Ed Beckert and Denny Breau.

This show contains 39 seconds of The humble Farmer live on stage and 3.45 of guitarist Denny Breau live on stage on Monhegan. It also contains a hint as to why women outlive men.

Much of the video over the music shows Alden Bent painting a bike to look like a John Deere tractor.

The show is tightly scripted. It starts out with a clip of an unfortunate old man on his way to bed. Here's the humorous commentary for The humble Farmer show for the week of March 13, 2011.
1. When I heard my wife say to a neighbor something about, “Arms and legs all worn out” it took me a few moments to realize she was talking about the couch.
2. Here’s a letter from a good friend who has been listening for 20 or 30 years. She went out to a restaurant and this is her report. She says, “Well, we ventured out to try gnaf gnaf gnaf and found it not worth the effort. Go for yourself though and make your own decisions. From the miserable chairs to the waitress with the many piercings and tattoos to the tough pot roast....I found it a big disappointment not the gourmet fine dining experience I hoped for. But we all have different definitions of gourmet and it was good to get out.” Then she later sent me a PS that said, “I was really being nice about the restaurant. I could have told them that the place was a greasy dump and I was surprised that we both were not sick afterward. When I leave food and do not bring a doggie bag home or an extra meal so I do not have to cook the next day you know the place is not a repeat.” Well. Thank you for this letter. And of course my first reaction was, you, my good friend, must be pretty provincial if you don’t want your tattooed, thronged waitress with nose, lip, belly button rings to prance out on platform heels with your roast beef. And after an experience like that doesn’t the fact that the chairs were miserable and the roast beef tough become a trivial sidelight? Yes, my friend, you are truly provincial if that bothers you. Because I believe it was Robert in Brunswick who told me that he was unable to enjoy his sautéed escargot in a ritzy Parisian restaurant because the woman at the next table had a dog on her lap who was sharing her plate of chocolate truffles. You understand that in a high class Parisian restaurant you would never ask for a doggie bag. Instead, you bring your dog who sits in your lap and eats off your plate. Robert says when he moved so he wouldn’t have to look at her he could see into the kitchen where a dog was helping the cook prepare meat loaf. (say what are you doing this afternoon in French and then I want to have supper with you in Italian. In Swedish – I’m so hungry I could eat a horse. ) J ar sa hugrig sa jag kunna ata en hest.
3. One I hauled tons of manure out of a neighbor’s henhouse and after dumping several truckloads of rich potential soil on my garden, a Christmassy feeling of generosity welled up in my throat. Resolved to share a ton of wealth with my old neighbor, Gramp Wiley, I drove into his dooryard.
You probably know that Maine farmers are born shrewd and Gramp Wiley eyed the load with studied indifference.
I said, “I brought you some chicken poop for your soil,”
Gramp Wileys said, “Hmmmm. That stuff might to disrupt the natural system I’ve got here. At present my pH content is just right.”
He had never talked about the “natural system” or “pH content” before so I raised my eyebrows and asked him who he’d been talking to.
Gramp said, “Well, my hippy friends taught me a lot about gardening last summer. They have the best vegetables in town. They were good enough to check my soil and told me it already has enough potash, phosphorus and trace minerals like sulfur and molybdenum.”
Of course I couldn’t find any fault with that. All I know about gardening is clean out the henhouse and dump the mungus where you plan to plant the crops. I tried to look wise and said, “Huh,”
“They told me to stay away from the dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphates and to spray only with pyrethrins,”
And right there I started to move back toward my truck. The lump in my throat that comes from cheerful giving had gone.
Gramp said “I do need more humus, but chicken manure might be too strong and kill my good angleworms. It could also bring in aphids and cutworms. It might encourage slugs and weeds. I’m afraid you’ll have to sell that load to someone who doesn’t care what he does to his soil.”
I said, “Oh I’m sorry you misunderstood me,” “This is free. I wanted to give it to you.”
Gramp said, “It’s free?” “Back right over by my compost heap and dump her right there. My grandfather always said there ain’t nothing that’ll raise bigger squash than chicken manure.”
4. I’ve almost finished reading Idiot America, which was recommended to me by a person who has listened to The humble Farmer for many years. Thank you for contributing to my education. Oh, the entire title of that book is: Idiot America, How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free. A thesis in Idiot America is that whatever the group believes to be true is the truth, be it religion or nostrum science. And I must have thought about that for a week before I remembered where I’d read the same thing in an old book a long time ago. I remember in particular one of the characters in that old book comes across pathetically comical just because of his obvious ignorance and arrogance. He has a son who fibs and lies and takes up with a couple of con men and, thanks to his ability to lie, the kid is able to quickly adapt and succeed in a world of con artists and scams. As I recall, the book contains a burlesque of religion and how a gullible audience can be easily swindled because of its faith. These con men always did very well because to succeed all they needed was a community of gullible fools. One town was no different from any other. And the more I thought about it the easier it was to understand why Huckleberry Finn has been banned by so many libraries in America.
5 A man who reportedly went into a truck stop the other night with a bandanna covering part of his face and a pistol tucked into the waistband of his pants was arrested on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon. Upon reading further we learn that the man had made his way to the truck stop after a friend he reportedly was riding with was arrested about an hour earlier by Maine State Police.
The man allegedly told officers he was not aware that he was breaking any laws. If you’re a teacher this might bring to mind a certain fifth grade kid who never could find a handkerchief to wipe his nose. Don’t tell me that school teachers don’t earn their money.
6. Are you a fan of dog sledding? When was the last time you heard of a dog sled killing the driver by flipping over or hitting a tree or ramming another dog sled at 70 miles per hour in a zero visibility blizzard? Could any Real Maine Man get excited about a sport with such a low mortality rate?

7. Have you ever heard of an adult who didn't mind growing older, slower and more forgetful? You might have seen the one who grabbed headlines in the paper last week when he crashed his small plane. The sheriff found a very large amount of cash scattered around the crash site but the poor old pilot couldn't remember where he got the money or what he was going to do with it. The drug enforcement administration and the income tax people have been looking into the situation. The most reasonable explanation anyone has come up with so far, is that he was on his way to Lewiston to make his monthly health insurance payment.
8. We heard about Chernobyl and now we are hearing about the destruction of a nuke plant in Japan. You know, that tsunami certainly took out all of the solar collectors that were in the way, too, so why haven’t we heard a word about that? Are you a fan of nuke plants? No matter what you are told by the folks who build and own them for that short-range profit, you know that they are prohibitively expensive and, if anything can go wrong with them, it will. When you figure how much each nuclear power plant is going to cost both taxpayers and the planet earth over the next 100,000 years, you are not going to be able to find a more expensive or disastrous way to generate electricity. One hundred years from now, if anyone is still here, the survivors will probably consider the technological "advances" of the 20th century the most disastrous in the history of the planet. Plastics --- radiation --- the proliferation of infernal combustion engines. We are no more than children playing with dangerous toys that we do not fully understand. How long will it be before we all realize that solar collectors on our rooftops or in our backyards is one of life’s necessities? Until we find a way to make the sun shine at night or on rainy, windy days, whenever feasible our little solar collectors could be augmented with a small but adequate wind generator. Can you understand why so many people are so vehemently opposed to getting their hot water and electricity for free? Because there are certainly many positive aspects to science, there might soon come a day when each home could be painted --- roof and sides --- with a material that will, even on cloudy days, generate five times as much electricity as our primitive present day solar panels. Imagine spraying this stuff on the back of your sweater --- to generate enough energy to power your cell phone --- or all over your car, creating enough power to run it. Hopefully the grandchildren will see a day when panels made in China and nuclear disasters belong to the dark ages.
9. The advertisement that came in my email said, “UNIVERSITY DEGREE PROGRAMS ---- Increase your personal prestige and money earning power through an advanced university degree. Eminent, non-accredited universities [there’s an oxymoron if you ever heard one] will award you a degree for only $200. Degree granted based on your present knowledge and experience. No further effort necessary on your part. Just a short phone call is all that is required for a BA, MA, MBA, or Ph.D. diploma in the field of your choice. For details, call,” such and such a number. I wonder if they accept counterfeit money.

Thank you for considering The humble Farmer.

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File Name of SD Episode: humble 2011 0313.mpg

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

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Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Friday, March 18, 2011 - 19:37

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