Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2011 0501.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, Errol Garner, Fletcher Henderson, Slim Galliard, Herman, Dave Brubeck, Denny Breau, Diana Krall, Ted Weems, McKinney’s Cotton Pickers, Ukulele Ike, Bix Beiderbecke, and Mose Alison.

This show contains a few minutes of that crowd pleasing guitarist Denny Breau live on stage on Monhegan.

Much of the video over the music shows The humble Farmer and his neighbor Mr. Libby working in a rhubarb patch. Tame fare, indeed, for viewers expecting someone to be shot, arrested or blown up.

The show is tightly scripted. It starts out with a clip of Marsh’s grandchild wrapping some rope around an upside-down pair of humble’s sneakers to the background music of Dave Brubeck playing --- it might be Take Five. After fumbling with the rope for some time, she looks up and says, “These are the times that tie men’s soles.”

Here's the humorous commentary for The humble Farmer show for the week of May 1, 2011.
1. Did you read in the paper that a hypnotist was sent to prison for doing naughty things with a young girl who wanted to stop biting her fingernails and came to him for help? Isn’t that just what we need in prison? --- A convict who will be able to augment his income by teaching 300 eager young men how to hypnotize young girls.
2. Once upon a time there was an old man who lived in a tiny village on the coast of Maine. Seventy or so years before when the man was a little boy he used to go into many of the houses in that village to visit the old people who lived there. He’d visit Captain Thomas and Henry and Frank and Phoebe and Percy and Lena and Harvey and Aunt Grace and Alex and Captain Freddy and Uncle Frank and Old Man Elo and Gram Elo and just about everybody else in between. But the world had changed and children didn’t come around to visit old people anymore and you never even saw children playing in the neighborhood because the world had changed. But one day when the old man walked out into the sunshine on his old granite back steps he saw a little dog. The dog was very frightened and quickly ran away when the old man came out on his back steps. And the old man thought to himself how nice it was to have someone from the neighborhood stop by so he went into the house and got --- well, it might have been a cookie. In any case it was something dogs like to eat, and the old man put that little scrap of goodie on the ground over where the dog had been standing. And within a few days the little dog was hanging out in that old man’s back lawn on a regular basis looking for good things to eat like dogs or skunks do. Well, if you’ve read many stories about old men and dogs who make friends you already know without being told that every day that dog was getting more and more comfortable with the old man and would come closer and closer to those old granite back steps. And the old man would talk a peculiar brand of Swedish to that dog and say things to that dog in five or six other languages because the dog understood every one of them just as well as he did English. Then, finally, one day the old man stepped out of the house and what do you suppose he saw right there on his old granite porch? --- Only one of his shoes because that rotten little dog had carried off the other one. If there is a moral to this story you are going to have to figure out what it is for yourself because I am not one to impose my opinions on others.
3. My friend Winky got a job working in a drugstore. He was sweeping up some pills behind the counter when his next door neighbor Sally walked in and asked him for some arsenic. And Winky says, “What you doing to do with arsenic?" And Sally says, “I’m going to kill my husband." And Winky says, “Sally, I can’t sell you arsenic to kill your husband.” And Sally pulls out a picture and shows it to Winky. And in the picture Winky sees his wife hugging Sally’s husband.” And Winky says, “Well --- you didn’t say you had a prescription.”
4. A man came up to me at the Common Ground Fair and said that his name was Harold Mosher and that 35 or so years ago he used to work with me in the Navigator Motel in Rockland for our good friend, the late, great Paul Devine. And Harold asked me if I could remember working with him and I said that I couldn’t. And I said to Harold, “How in the world, after 28 years, can you remember me?” And Harold said, “You used to hang your underwear out to dry in the lobby.”
5. It must be tough to live in a country that has just been defeated by a world war. As you might expect, the country that wins tries to impose its values on the losers. This happened in 1945 when Eisenhower and his victorious allies set up a German constitution that would eliminate what they considered to be the evil elements of fascism. I recently learned this when, after opening the Encyclopedia Britannica at random, I read that in Germany “After World War II [,] the right to organize trade unions and to strike was constitutionally guaranteed.“

This must have changed things around 180 degrees for rich and poor alike in 1945 Germany, because “The Nazis [had] abolished trade unions, collective bargaining and the right to strike. An organization called the ‘Labor Front’ replaced the old trade unions, but it was an instrument of the Nazi party and did not represent workers.”

So I was suddenly awakened to the realization that in 1945 the right to organize trade unions and to strike was one of the basic rights that --- in 1945 --- seemed to be one of the basic differences between a democracy for the people --- and a fascist military-corporate state.

This is such an interesting concept, that I quickly Googled and learned that “Japan [also] has the right to strike enshrined in its Constitution. It was put there after World War 2 as a protection from fascism.”

Ok. We, the victors, wrote constitutions for Germany and Japan to ensure that this military-corporate run type of government called fascism would never again raise its ugly head --- in Germany and Japan. So we’re safe, right?

Well, who would know? We hardly ever hear any talk about fascism nowadays. Although we certainly honor our few remaining venerable veterans and their buddies who died fighting fascism, we’re not even sure what fascism is.

But --- if you’ve heard anything lately about people going on strike and the official reaction to it, could it be that there are a lot of folks out there who really don’t want you to be able to recognize fascism when you see it?
6. Sixty-five years ago I used to play with Alvin. We’d walk in the woods and fields and along the shore and if we could find a hornet’s nest we’d poke sticks in it and we’d throw rocks at it. Back then everyone had a dump out back of their house. People threw all their trash in the woods, and we spent a lot of time playing archeologist. Anyone who knows anything at all keeps an eye on little boys when they come near because it is impossible for an adult mind to comprehend the creativity of a ten year old boy. Alvin came by the other day and, in a nostalgic state of reminiscence, Alvin said, “I remember that when we’d break something, the rest of us would run but you were different. You’d go up to the house and knock on the door and confess that you’d just broken something.” I mentioned this to my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman. And she said, “What a stupid little boy you were.”
7. You have heard me say that my wife and I have a symbiotic relationship which is the secret to a happy marriage. I am always cold. She is always hot. When I put an ice-cold hand down the back of her shirt onto her sweaty back, I say, “Ahhh. That feels good.” And she says, “Ahhh. That feels good.” Perhaps you and your spouse sneak about the house surreptitiously turning the thermostat up and down to suit your own personal needs. --- or opening and closing windows when the other isn’t looking. This does not happen in our home ---- because --- when the temperature drops down to 74 – 75 degrees, I always put on extra wooly pants and a sweater.
8. Thank goodness. Here’s something I can tell you about that came to me by way of television and not an email. It was an ad for losing weight and I can’t tell you if it is a pill or a system or a machine because I didn’t notice. But you can be sure that it will cost you money because they aren’t going to be telling you about something on TV unless they want to separate you from your money. The only part of the ad I saw or remembered was people saying: “I lost 26 pounds.” “I lost 42 pounds.” “I lost 34 pounds.” And it flashed pictures of happy, smiling people on the screen. Please listen to me, my friend. I will tell you how to lose 42 pounds, 34 pounds or however many pounds your body will accommodate and guess what? --- it’s not going to cost you a cent. As a matter of fact, it will cost you less money than you are spending now to stuff your face. Over the past few years I have lost 15 or so pounds simply by not eating the good things that my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, likes to make. Soft ginger snap cookies. Warm moist banana bread that melts in your mouth. Blueberry cake all warm and crumbly. Juicy red rhubarb pies that make your jaws ache just thinking about them. For a year I have not had any ice cream or donuts or sausage or bacon. And of course, as a result, even without getting any extra exercise, I have taken in my belt two notches and I am as proud of this as any old man can be. The other night --- up in our bedroom --- just before I slipped into my pajamas, I walked down to the foot of the bed and stood sideways to Marsha, who was already sitting up reading in bed, and I sucked in my gut as far as I could. And of course it gave me the profile of a 55-year old kid with a tiny thin waist and a huge massive chest. I cleared my throat, “ahem ahem.” And Marsha looked up from her book and said, ---- “Wow! I need to trim your eyebrows.”
9. A reader writes a letter to the editor that says: "Its not surprising to me that there exists a strong correlation between the size of a state's prison population and the degree to which its prison system has been privatized. ... I think privatized prisons are, at least in part, responsible for the inordinate number of prisoners in these states (especially Texas) and the inordinately long sentences imposed for what would anywhere else be petty crimes."

Quite a few of us have already figured that out. Prisoners are one of America's most lucrative cash crops.

Some day when you have time, Google around and see how many different businesses it takes to service your average state-run prison. Your eyes will open wide, and you'll probably say, "I never realized that."

If it weren't for the great amount of money to be made by putting people in prison and keeping them there for as long as possible, pot would have been legalized many years ago and half the prisons in this country would be empty.

On the other hand, if you've got a lot of spare cash that you'd like to double in a short amount of time, you might consider investing in privatized prisons. We’re talking here about a growth business that you probably won't see go under in the next 10 or so years. Think about this. Do you know of any other big-money operation that hasn't moved its operations overseas? But how much you want to bet they’re thinking about it?
10. The other day while driving into Maine I saw it for the first time--- Maine’s famous Open For Business sign.

The road that leads into Maine is a good place for the Open For Business sign and the next time you drive into Maine and see it you might laugh, too.

Because what does Open For Business mean but low wages for not only Maine people but Maine children? A “favorable business environment” means no more than a conservative nanny state: socialism for business in the form of property tax and income tax incentives. --- A license to dump most anything you want in the air, on the ground or in the sea. It is no secret that illegal immigrants are attracted to low paying jobs like Castine cadets to coffee. If you don’t believe how a big casino can ruin and bankrupt a town, ask some of your friends who live in Ledyard, Connecticut next to that big casino.

Anyway, isn’t it great that people driving into Maine now can’t help but smile? If you don’t smile the next time you see that sign, you don’t really know what Open For Business means.
11. The dirtiest hotels in the world. That was what the junk email said. Of course I had to Google The dirtiest hotels in the world so I could see where they were. Number one is in San Francisco. Let me read you a sample of the reviews: “First and foremost no one should ever walk into a hotel only to find prostitutes walking around the inside.” Think about this. What reason would anyone have to complain about a prostitute who was on her feet?

Thank you for considering The humble Farmer.

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File Name of SD Episode: humble 2011 0501.mpg

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Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Sunday, May 15, 2011 - 08:40

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