Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2011 0306.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, McKinney’s Cotton Pickerss, Fats Waller, Django Reinhardt, Erroll Garner, Frank Wess and Denny Breau.

This show contains 48 seconds of The humble Farmer live on stage in Unity, and 1.16 minutes of guitarist Denny Breau live on stage on Monhegan.

Much of the video over the music shows me making a glass backed flat plate solar collector.

The show is tightly scripted. It starts out with a clip illustrating why women live longer than men. Here's the humorous commentary for The humble Farmer show for the week of March 6, 2011.
1. We read that "Last year, 179 people died of drug overdoses in Maine..." We hear that people die trying to smuggle drugs that are concealed in deep dark damp places that no one ever sees. People try to smuggle drugs into prison. Wouldn’t you like to see them bring back the good old days when you'd simply send prisoners a cake with a file in it. You never heard of anyone dying after ingesting a file.
2. Every week for 33 years I’ve made a one-hour radio program just for you. Wouldn’t you want to hope that I am better at making programs now than that 42-year-old kid who started in 1978? If you’ve been hanging in here with me for any amount of time at all, you will remember hearing me make mistakes in almost every program. I’d push the wrong control buttons and you’d hear me muttering about pushing the wrong button or messing up in one way or another. But then you noticed that as the years went by, all this changed. And now you no longer hear me whining and sniveling about making mistakes. This is because when you make a mistake when you’re old, you don’t even notice it.
3. We read that Chinese exchange students are coming to Millinocket. Is it not fitting that Chinese students get to see where so much of their tuition money came from?

Welcoming students from all countries not only educates hosts and visitors but is now a boon to our economy.

At 16 my wife went to school in Chile for a year or so. Later she worked for Time Incorporated in Amsterdam.

The education didn't hurt her a bit and my only complaint is that she always corrects me when I try to talk Dutch or Spanish.

Many of our neighbors agree that it doesn’t hurt anyone to knock around in the world a bit just to see how other people live.

And don't go to just one other country. Spend six months or a year in a country where the standard of living is much lower than ours. It will make you appreciate what we have here and you'll be oh so glad to come home and tell all your friends how lucky we are to live in the good old USA.

Then spend six months or a year in a country where the standard of living is much higher than ours. Your eyes will open wide and when you come home --- if you are foolish enough to get into a conversation about nice homes or paid vacations or new cars or healthcare with someone who has never left the back 40 --- you’ll be considered an anti-American socialist nut.

Any person planning to study abroad should be aware of the inherent risks in a good education so Chinese students, caveat emptor.
4. I don’t remember where I read this or I’d give them credit: Cheap food is going to be popular as long as the social and environmental costs of that food are charged to the future. There’s lots of money to be made selling fast food and then treating the diseases that fast food causes. One of the leading products of the American food industry has become patients for the American health care industry.
5. We just spoke of fast food and how much it is going to cost us down the road. I was visiting my friend Alden Bent from Dover Foxcroft last night when three young kids came by. No kids live anywhere near here but a few show up at vacation time to visit relatives. There was some problem with a bicycle they’d rented. My friend Alden sells and rents bicycles. Yesterday he bought a boy’s bike that had been made into a girl’s bike by simply sawing out the crossbar.

I was with him when we got this bike from an eldery woman who had been riding it and I even rode it down to the car. Nice bike. Had two neat rubber caps, like the little rubbers you put on canes, over the two sawed off stumps.

As I said, last night three very young kids who had rented three bicycles came by with a bicycle problem.

And everything went well until the one who weighed 250 pounds got on the boy’s bike with the crossbar sawed out.

Any girl’s bike would have held her but a boy’s bike with the crossbar sawed out is not made to hold a 250 pound child and she wheeled back the crumpled frame with the crankshaft dragging on the ground.

I’m going to get some pictures of the bike to illustrate the next column I write on fast food.
6. I have read that although for an extra $6 some hotels welcome your pet, there are often size restrictions which limit pets to 25 pounds. I don’t understand this, because I have seen 10 pound dogs chew down doors and I have seen pigs that are housebroken. What do you think about that weight limit on pets? What do you think would happen if Union Fair had a rule that said that nothing weighing over 300 pounds would be allowed on the grounds unless it were wearing a halter? There would be much less crowding around the fried dough booths.

7. For five or so winters my wife Marsha and I have been caregivers for a wonderful woman who is presently 96 years old. You should understand that we live on a small island that contains 300 or so units, so it is a very quiet and a very tight community. On Sunday morning our elderly friend collapsed just like the Wonderful One Hoss Shay and was taken off to the hospital by ambulance. On Monday morning, before I went off to exercise class, which is made up of me and 20 women on both sides of 70, I said to Marsha, “Today I am going to be interrogated at exercise class. Every woman there is going to gather around and pump me for all the gory details. But --- when I came home an hour later I admitted to Marsha that I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was: not one woman had sidled up to me and said, “How’s Doris doing?” Two days later at exercise class --- same thing. Not a peep from any of them. Even though it was old news by Wednesday I couldn’t figure out how they controlled themselves so well because there must be one small tidbit or detail that I could add to round out what they already knew. But --- on Thursday the phone rang and a voice that I recognized as belonging to the woman who exercises on my left said, “Tell me about Doris.” Of course I asked her why she hadn’t asked me on Monday or Wednesday when she’d been jumping up and down right beside me. And, with a breathless voice, she said, “We just found out.” Get it? They didn’t try to pump me dry because they didn’t know about it. I don’t know what you would have said to her right then, but I said, “I want to thank you for restoring my faith in women.”
8. There is a very good chance that you are a genius. Being a genius means that you can immediately see unique and positive alternatives to many situations. Here’s an example. One noon Julian and Lawyer Crandall and I were having dinner at Dave's Restaurant, when a great crowd of sheriff’s deputies and state policemen came in for coffee and filled up the entire counter. Lawyer Crandall looked at all those policemen at the counter, and said with a smile that right then would be a very poor time to hold up Dave's Restaurant. Julian said that that was true, but it would be a very good time to hold up a bank in Thomaston.
9. People from away do not fully understand what motivates Maine people to stand up at Town Meeting and argue for an hour on a $300 item and then appropriate $300,000 for road sand as quick as the moderator can bring the hammer down.
Back before we built a big town office, our town meeting used to be held in the Tenants Harbor Oddfellows Hall. Years ago the place used to be jam packed with people standing up along the walls, but nowadays usually only a few folks attend, and most of them just moved to town and want to find out about this town meeting thing. At a recent meeting the handful of natives argued for 50 minutes over $4,000 that would hire a town constable. Some of the people from away said that we needed a town constable and our own police car with a blue light on it. What the newcomers didn’t understand was that the natives who stood up and said that we didn't need a town police man had waited years for a burglar to break into their house so they could shoot him.
10. There is nothing some people like to do more than send unsigned letters to newspaper blogs. Because they don’t have to sign their letters, they can be as saucy or as naughty as they want. Nobody knows who they are and the only thing the reader is absolutely sure of is their educational backgrounds. The other day one very weighty topic got 246 people worked up enough to send in their opinion on the matter. And I tried to imagine what kind of an article could elicit 400 or 500 irate letters from Maine’s most vocal illuminati. And listen. I could do it by submitting a bill to the legislature that would ban target practice while chugging beer on a snowmobile moving over thin ice.
Thank you for considering The humble Farmer.

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File Name of SD Episode: humble 2011 0306.mpg

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Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Saturday, March 19, 2011 - 03:35

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