Marsha and humble September 30, 2007




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Below is a rough outline of the rants from The humble Farmer radio show week of March 8, 2009




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March 8, 2009 Rants

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1. Any number of up-to-date soul enriching philosophies are now available to anyone able to turn on a radio or TV. The latest one to capture my attention was touted by a man in California who had taken the mystery out of his life by consulting chicken bones. A middle-aged woman, who very wisely brought her problems to the bones, reported that her husband had run off with a 17-year-old girl. Then, realizing his mistake, he had repented and come home for a 30-day breather, only to run off again with a 19-year-old. The chicken bones did not hestitate, but immediately observed, "Cheer up, he's starting to like older women."

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2. Iíve been advertising on Craigís list for a small pickup truck with low mileage. My small pickup truck has around 275,000 miles on it, and although it is the most wonderful little pickup truck anybody could want, it has 275,000 miles on it. Today I got a call in response to my ad. The woman said she had a 1988 Mizzuzu with 138,000 miles on it that could be had for $1695. Thatís about what I had hoped to pay, but --- for a truck with less than 100,000 miles on it. I asked this nice woman where I could see a picture of this truck on line. And thatís when she killed any possibility of a sale right there because --- I heard her computer keyboard clicking. She said I could see it on Craigís list. Yes, you know my next question. Why was she calling to tell me about this truck? She was calling for the man who wanted to sell it. And then my last question: what does this man you work for do for a living? Ugh. Yes. He sells cars. End of story. Now all this is good. I have nothing against people who sell cars. I like people who sell cars. But people who sell cars have to make a profit. And I am not in the socio-economic class of people who can afford to contribute to recovery of the United States economy by buying a truck from someone who has to make a profit. If I were, Iíd go into a used car dealership and I would not be advertising on Craigís list where I hope to practically steal a small pickup truck from the estate of some nice old man who just died. I do not want to buy a pickup truck from someone who wants to sell it. I want to buy a pickup truck from someone who has to sell it.

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3. Today two back to back commercials on television called my attention to two more protagonists in the perennial fight of good versus bad. Here was State Farm Insurance pushing some weight loss program, immediately followed by McDonaldís pushing a bacon sandwich. Just for fun, so I could tell you about it, I Googled McDonaldís bacon sandwich, which turned up a calorie counter and the news that a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit gets a nutrition grade of F, as in Frank. We read that this bacon sandwich is high in co-lest-erol and high in sodium. This is interesting. I went to the doctor yesterday because my vocal cords were not working right. He didnít know if the problem was created and then exacerbated by the acid in my stomach or the drainage from my nose, so I got a pill for each. When I got home and thought about it, I realized that Iíd brought this on myself. Even though I try to ride my bicycle over five miles every morning and attend exercise class three times a week, Iíve gained ten pounds in only four months. You might remember hearing me say that I havenít had any ice cream, cake, cookies, pie, or donuts for over four years. I avoid the famous ď10 worst foods you can eatĒ and buy a dollar fast-food chicken burger only in emergency. But, because of my sit-at-my-computer winter lifestyle, I put on 2 Ĺ pounds every month. And, by gaining only 10 pounds I have changed the geography of the region between my rib cage and my belt. You can easily understand that this gives me a bloated feeling, and that this pressure might well be pushing stomach acid up onto my vocal cords which might well be why I have a sore throat. So --- I am eating two pills a day that I would probably not be needing if I had not gained 10 pounds. My message for you today is --- if, as the months and years go by, you find yourself eating more and more pills, there is a good chance you brought it on yourself, and you know very well what you should do about it.

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4. Because it was a slow day, I made small talk with the young girl behind the counter. She had been over in a corner behind the counter doing whatever young girls on minimum wage do in slack season. As I fumbled around in my wallet, looking for the magic store card that would save me fifty cents, I asked her --- who are the easiest people to wait on --- young or old? I never did find the card and I wasnít even sure if my wife Marsha had one for that store, anyway, but, perhaps just to get rid of me so she could go back to her corner, she rang in the discount. And yes, I canít remember the exact adjective she used to describe us, but it was positive and it amounted to the fact that old folks are easier to wait on. Thatís nice. Iím glad weíre still recognized as having value. Oh, and we do have a card for that store that entitled me to the discount. When I got home Marsha said it was on the carís key chain.

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5. Kids are bringing home report cards this week. There are a dozen or so printed comments the teacher can choose to check off: "He is not trying," --- "She is not doing her homework." Albert Simmons in Union says the one his son brings home the most is, "He is a delight to have in class." Albert says that it worries him, as it is obviously not the same kid he has at home.

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6. Have you ever heard of an adult who didn't mind growing older, slower and more forgetful? There was one who grabbed headlines in the paper here last week --- crashed his small plane but couldn't remember where he was going or why he was going there. The sheriff found over $75,000 scattered around the crash site but the old guy couldn't remember where he got the cash 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 Augusta to make his monthly health insurance payment.

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7. My neighbor True Hall is a great story teller. Hall told me that the first time Emery Simmons went white water rafting, the fellow heading up the expedition gave him a lecture on safety --- sitting down and so on. They hadn't gone more than a mile when the fellow fell out of the raft, and if Emery hadn't grabbed him by the collar he would have drowned.

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8. We hear that some of the greediest bankers in the land made some unwise loans and that they are now foreclosing on people who should never have been given a mortgage in the first place. There is a way out. Banks won't foreclose on a property that is contaminated by toxic waste--- because then they'd have to pay to clean it up. If anybody asks, I didn't tell you about it. You probably read it in the Wall Street Journal or Forbes magazine.

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9. We hear a lot about the new political correctness. But the only thing new about it is the name for it. Ever since grunts and growls developed into speech there have been taboo words --- things that Mrs. Grundy doesn't want you to say. And these words change from generation to generation. Some of my schoolmates are great-grandparents. I am an old man, and I resent being called a senior citizen. Of course, if being called a senior citizen would take away the arthritis in my joints or let me sleep 8 solid hours without getting up twice in the night, I'd be all for it. I'm surprised that nobody quotes Abraham Lincoln on political correctness, because he once asked how many legs a sheep would have if you call the tail a leg. Someone said, "Five." Lincoln said, "You are mistaken, for calling a tail a leg don't make it so."

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10. You might not guess it, but I'm really nothing but a party animal. Last week I said to my wife, "Let's go out and have some fun tonight." She said, "Good idea. Leave the light on if you get home before I do."

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11. Last week a Rockland High School senior drove a Camden freshman girl home from a dance. On the doorstep she asked that he not tell anyone that he brought her home. He said, "Don't worry, I'm just as ashamed of it as you are."

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12. The John Birch Society has a sign near my house in St. George, Maine. I have been told that John Birchers are anti-Communist. This means that they donít buy anything that comes from China, because they know that every cent those rotten Chinese commies get is another nail in the coffin of American democracy. And when you think about it, now is a good safe time to be anti-Communist because you don't see all that many of them around. Communists are almost as scarce as Maine people who will admit that years and years ago they were suckered into voting to enter a School Administrative District.

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13. One of the most interesting sections of the newspaper is the court record. Unfortunately, it only tells part of the story. You can't read the court record without wishing that you'd been right there so you'd know what really happened. Here's a man who placed another person in fear of bodily injury. Did he invite her to do a popular modern dance? Another man exercised unauthorized control of a parking meter. Is a parking meter something that a normal person would want to bend to their will? I feel bad for the woman who was fined for theft of coffee, cat food, a movie and juice. It really wouldn't take much to brighten up her life. Another woman stole pepperoni, beef jerky and cough drops. They probably had the cuffs on her before she could get the cigarettes in her bag. It can cost you over $100 if you cause annoyance to others by engaging in a fight. The only people annoyed by George Forman were those who bet against him. Here's a man who was jailed for drinking in public, although those who cry for liver transplants often drank in private. Another man was fined $500 for possessing a usable amount of marijuana. How do the authorities decide if a pile of marijuana is large enough to be usable? Did Mother Nature ever make a pile of manure so small that your plants reject it as being unusable? How do people get themselves into such awful messes? If youíve ever taught school, you donít need to ask.

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Robert Karl Skoglund
785 River Road
St. George, ME 04860
(207) 226-7442
humble@humblefarmer.com
www.TheHumbleFarmer.com

© 2009 Robert Karl Skoglund