Show: The humble Farmer

Episode: humble 2011 0918.mpg


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Episode Description:

Well received in Northern New England for over 30 years, this is the same old fashioned music and humorous social commentary show that has delighted young and old alike every week since April 6, 1978 for radio --- and now for television.

Music by: Clark Terry, Erroll Garner, Dave Frishberg, Bix Beiderbecke, Harry Allen, Denny Breau, Django Reinhardt, and McKinney’s Cotton Pickers.

This show contains 3.08 minutes of guitarist Denny Breau live on stage on Monhegan, 1.37 minutes of humble live on stage in Jefferson, Dr. Dick’s dancing puppets and 6 minutes of Jason Philbrook talking about antique cameras.

Much of the video over the music shows humble servicing his clothes dryer with short clips of humble mowing his lawn and dumping the grass for mulch in his garden. 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 Dr. Dick’s dancing puppets. It ends, as usual, with the Keystone Cops driving a car off the end of a dock.

Here's the approximate humorous commentary for The humble Farmer show for the week of September 18, 2011.
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Is there any point to listening to the radio if you do not occasionally acquire something of value? Please listen closely because you are about to get some tips that you can pass along to men whose wives occasionally spend a week visiting friends in another state, or speaking at conferences in Switzerland. Oh, before I offer you the tips, here is something that might shock you. When I went in to the grocery store I discovered that soy milk costs $6 a gallon. So although you may still want to use it sparingly on your cheerios, your days of chugging it are over. Anyway, here’s tip number one. If she’s not there to remind you, be sure you take the box of recyclable paper to the dump. Dragging it out into the middle of the floor doesn’t seem to do much good because will still be there when you get back home. Tip number two. Before throwing her pants in the wash take her watch out of the pocket. Tip number three. Fold and put away the clothes as soon as you take them off the line. After a few days in the clothes basket they still feel all damp and wrinkly and are covered with little black spots.
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2. Have you ever seen a movie where someone opens a door only to find a creepy looking stranger outside? Do you feel the same way when you get an email letter signed John or Jim or Mary? No mailing address, no phone number, no web site, no nothing but a cryptic letter signed John or Jim or Mary. Perhaps you will tell me why people write these Guess Who letters? Why are your friends afraid to include a phone number and a mailing address on the bottom of their email letters? If they are afraid of identity theft, most any crook worth his salt could get their phone number or mailing address or credit card numbers without looking at their email. Of course, I can understand why anyone would be afraid to send me their home address. They know that most any afternoon I’m very likely to stop by around supper time. I’m humble at humble farmer dot com and I live in St. George, Maine. I’m not the least bit scared of you.
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3. Mea Culpa. In case you do not understand Swedish, I will tell you that Mea Culpa means that I committed a social sin. I now plan to cleanse my soul, and perhaps save you from similar embarrassment by unloading the sordid facts. You have heard me beg you to put an address and phone number on every scrap of your correspondence. I do. And you have heard me say that it is nice to identify yourself when you answer the phone. I do. Robert Skoglund here, what can I do for you? But how do you greet guests when they drive over the rubber hose in your driveway that rings the bell in your cellar --- lets you know that you have visitors? When the driveway bell rang, I was on my way outside. While listening to one of my very exciting stories, the grandchild had fallen asleep in the car on the way home from the dump and Marsha said to leave her there in the car in the sun in the driveway. If she woke her up to lug her into the house she might not go back to sleep. So I was on my way out to the car to check on the child with her monkey puppet on my hand. Got the picture? Guests just arriving in the dooryard, kid sleeping in the car, me on my way out with the monkey puppet on my hand. And of course I did what you or any other normal adult would have done under those conditions. I stuck the monkey puppet out around the corner of the house and had it make faces at the people who were walking up toward the door. When they got to the steps, I hopped out from the doorway and said, “Hi are you radio friends?” “Yes, we are radio friends. We saw your sign.” So far so good. They saw the big sign on my lawn that says The humble Farmer on it, and being radio friends they stopped in to say hi. Because one of the parties was from Germany I was exceptionally wound --- an excuse to hear some German --- and I ranted as I led them into our home, which was littered with blocks, rocking horse, picture books, doll house, a bushel of beanie babies and all those other accoutrements that grandmothers feel are essential to the happiness of a small child. No, they didn’t want anything to eat or drink. And for 10 or so minutes I ranted and showed them through our home--- until I got the feeling that something wasn’t right. Yes, they were radio friends. He was the program manager of a Radio Station in California. And yes, he had never heard of me or this program. So --- I have learned --- late in life --- that you have to answer the door very carefully --- the same way you answer your phone --- “Hi, Robert Skoglund here, what can I do for you” and then listen closely--- because those two poor unsuspecting people from California fled.
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4. If you have used a computer for 15 years you know that unless you ask a guru it is virtually impossible to quickly find the answer to any technical question you might have. No matter how you type your question into the little help box on the screen, the answer never even comes close to answering your question. One day I messed up the way my computer screen opened so I only got a half box and I had to click up in the corner to make it bigger. But --- when I typed into Google “how do I get my screen to open full size?” an answer popped up. I found just what I wanted on one of those question and answer web pages. It said, “Hi, how do I make IE, word, and other apps open full screen at launch.” And right there below it was the answer. It said, “Sign Up to See The Solution.”
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5. Laughing is good exercise. Laughing improves your circulation. And, hey, anything helps when you sit at a computer screen for hours, and although I’m not a medic, I would guess that gasping and panting should also be good for the heart and lungs. At least they’re getting some kind of workout. You remember hearing me mention how I handle those calls that we get from all over pumping us for information. Are you courteous when you get a courtesy call from some credit card company, or do you snarl and slam down the receiver? You know me, so you know that I am always courteous. I go along with everybody on the phone. I get their name and I as I write it down I tell them that I’m writing it down. I get the town they are calling from and I write that down and I tell them that I’m writing it down. I might even encourage them by getting very cheerful and chatty and asking them what the weather is there. No problem there, either. But then I ask them for their home phone so I can write that down. And they close up like a clam at low water. If they were quick, they could, of course, stop me dead in my tracks by giving me their father-in-law’s number, but they don’t. They stop. One morning a very nice man named Paul White ho ho ho in Plattsburg asked me why I would want his home phone number. Can you guess what I did? I started to cry, I sobbed and I gasped and I panted and I said that it was only fair. If we were going to be good friends I should be able to call him in case I needed to share my troubles or in case I had to contact him quick at 2 o’clock some morning when I got to worrying about his health. And I cry and gasp and whine and babble nonsense until you’d think you were listening to your typical talk show host on AM radio --- I don’t give them a chance to get another word in I just pant and cry and babble until I hear a click on the other end. You are much more creative than I am. How do you handle these marketing phone calls? I’m humble at humble farmer dot com.
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6. My brother says that he was driving around up country one day and because he didn’t know where he was he stopped and says to a man, “What’s the best way to get to Augusta?” And the guy says, “From here?” You can’t make these things up. A bit later my brother found Augusta and he stopped and asked two women on the street, “How do I get to High Street?” and one of the women said, “Which direction are you coming from?”
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7. Have you ever noticed that whenever you ask anyone what they do for work, they usually have to repeat it? “What do I do for work?” It’s just as if they had to dig in or back up a bit and put on chains at the bottom of an ice-covered hill, just to get a little bit of mental traction. I’m not saying that’s bad. In fact repeating an answer is preferred over the one you get in some parts of Maine when a man can’t answer your question until he spits.
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8. This is a topic that has been chewed over but because it comes up at least twice a week, I’m going to work it over again. Do you find that it is not only next to impossible to give directions to anyone from away --- it is also next to impossible to get directions from your new neighbors? You go down past the ball field and hang a left after Barter’s Garage. Of course it’s not a garage now and hasn’t been since 1947 but you can tell by looking at it that it used to be a garage. Even my wife who has been living in St. George for over two decades said that our neighbors from up the street just called. When she mentioned their names, I patiently pointed out that she was talking about neighbors who live not up the street but down the road. We don’t have streets. There is only one road in St. George and it goes by our house. Marsha still hasn’t acclimated to the grammar of our St. George geography I think I could solve the problem of how to give directions to strangers. If I carried Xeroxed copies of a map of the town of St. George in my back pocket I could just whip it out when anyone asked me how to get to such and such a place. Should they act surprised, I could simply explain that I’m the St. George Chamber of Commerce.

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Thank you for considering The humble Farmer.

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SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: humble 2011 0918.mpg

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

File Size of SD Episode Video: 2,660,669,444 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 05:43


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