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 17, 2013

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Rants March 17, 2013


1. This morning before the sun was up my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, kicked the blankets to the floor and, with trembling fingers, quickly removed my pajamas. She likes to have the wash on the line before breakfast.


2. My friend Winky and his wife came out of the grocery store and bumped into a woman who was quite drunk. It seemed to bother Winky quite a bit and afterward his wife asked him if he knew her. And Winky confessed that it was an old girlfriend who had been drinking since he broke up with her. And Winky’s wife said, "Who would think a woman could celebrate for 26 years?"


3. You know people who are good story tellers. They’re fun to listen to. I can rattle off the names of 6 or 8 of excellent storytellers, because back when I used to have to write a newspaper column once a week and had nothing to say, I’d go see one of them. Eddie Tyler is a good story teller. I have heard Ed Tyler speak before a group and I can tell you that Eddie Tyler knows what's going on. I was on my third glass of punch when Eddie came over and said, "For years I was the supply man down at Marine Colloids. Anybody needed something, they came to see me. I had the reputation for being tight. I didn't give them what they asked for unless they had a good reason for needing it. "One day someone came in and said, 'Ed, someone stole my stapler.' "And I said, 'You're a grown man. Don't come in here and bother me with things like that. You should be able to figure out what to do.' "This fellow left nodding eagerly. "The next day when I came to work, my stapler was gone."


4. I felt pretty good about myself this morning and that’s because I wasn’t thinking. Don’t you think that’s true? You can feel pretty good about yourself if you don’t think about it. Here’s what made me feel so good. I balanced my checkbook. Easy to do. I felt good about being able to find a 30 cent error so easily. I have the figures in my checkbook ledger and I have the figures in the Quicken program that keeps track of my income and expenses and I can go on line and see what the bank has for figures. Of course, the bank is always right, isn’t it? You’ve never seen a bank make a mistake, have you? Anyway, I felt good because I was able to use the Quicken program and I was able to access the bank program on line. But then --- I realized --- that my ability to use these programs was an infallible indication --- that both programs will soon be replaced by new and improved versions that nobody will understand.


5. Have you ever seen the television program Cops? Cops are always pulling over beat up cars that are full of trash and drugs and scruffy, half drunk unwashed people. Sometimes the cops chase those who are stupid enough to run and I’ve seen them snap the cuffs on some ragged bum or hungry looking woman so many times I could probably now do it myself. The Cops program features crimes of lower class, uneducated people, because crimes committed by educated upper-class people --- like robbing your company and stockholders or stealing the pensions of your employees --- well, that really don’t make for good TV


6. If you have listened to my radio program for any amount of time, you know that my primary purpose in chatting here with you --- my goal in life—is to tell you things that will make your life more pleasant. What better employment can one find than to be able to help educate one’s best friends and do it in a manner that might bring a smile to their lips? If I can’t smooth out the bumps in your road of life I can at least prepare you for the fact that they are waiting for you. If you have ever married, I would like you to listen closely to what I am about to say. If you have never married, I would like you to listen even more closely. How much anguish and unnecessary suffering could be spared in this life if, during the wedding vows, the performing magistrate would say, “Do you, Alison, promise to go through Stephen’s pants and remove the Kleenex, loose dollar bills, his ipod and notebook BEFORE throwing them in the wash?”


7. Was it back in the 1960s that we first heard of people who lived on fruit, grains and nuts? They were called hippies and they moved into St. George, Maine from away and bought pieces of land and built little energy efficient cabins and lived on their humungus trust funds and ate fruit, grains and nuts. And as the years went by we learned that the dietary habits of these long-haired people had something going for it because we saw our friends who ate greasy pork chops and slathered butter on their corn dropping dead with heart attacks. And the ones who didn’t have heart attacks had strokes and learned to drag themselves around with one functioning arm and one leg. And one by one some of us old Maine men found that we were not eating meat because we discovered that we would regret it in the middle of the night. And we started to eat salads and we learned that catsup was fattening. But --- I didn’t realize how deep I was getting into the hippy lifestyle until yesterday --- when it took me several minutes to find where my wife keeps the salt shaker.


8. Perhaps the most useless hobby in the world is collecting empty beer cans. Running a close second to collecting beer cans is studying languages. You have heard me tell how, while riding on a train through France on my way to speak at Nijenrode university, I woke up and jumped off at a small village--- thinking I was at the place where I was to change trains. Because the only French word I knew at the time was fox pass, and I certainly made one there, I almost starved to death before I was able to escape the following day on the next train out of town. Oh, and the thousands of francs I had in French money that I had left over from a previous visit were outdated. I’ll never forget that trip. Being trapped in a small town in France with no French francs and no idea of how to say hunger and thirst in patois is not my idea of European travel. But after surviving France and coming back to tell about it, I resolved, while well past the age of 60, to learn to at least read French. Amazingly enough, it can be done. I have a very funny Harlequin Romance in French which I have read over and over. The next time I go to France, I will be ready for them. But --- with my luck --- when I step up to the window and say, “pom fritts, por favor,” they will reply, “Do you want fries with that?”


9. You will recall that I said that I lose at least three pair of glasses a year. This would be a blessing to a poet because a poet could say, “I wonder where my glasses go…” and then write a poem about “I wonder where my glasses go…” which could be sold to a glossy magazine for enough money to buy another pair. As usual, I asked for your help and opinion. Dean in Casco offered the following: I wonder where my glasses go When I come in from shov'ling snow, They've moved from where I set them down, ….. And then Dean says, That's all I've got so far. It sounds more Robert Frost than Longfellow to me. I'll see if I think of more. I may have to change the "down", or the next line will sound more Dr Seuss than Frost.) Noble, noble offering, Dean. Thank you. Then, Mike in Winterport sent this:. By the way, I’m the humble farmer at gmail dot come and I’d like to hear from you, too. Remember that the muse should flow as water from an illuminated Roman fountain, not appear in gobs and squirts as from a trampled tube of toothpaste. This from Mike:

I wonder where my glasses go

Once I have laid them down,

I'd like them to remain in place

And not go gadding 'round.

They have a way of wandering off

Though how I cannot guess,

It might be someone lugs them off

Though no one will confess.

I wonder where my glasses go

When they're not on my face,

No longer where I left the things,

They've gone some other place.

Perhaps they're with the keys I've lost

And pens that I've misplaced,

But I can't find a one of them,

My memory's disgraced.

I wonder where my glasses went

Can't even form a theory,

I only know my oculist

Has never seemed so cheery!

Thank you, Mike


10. If you’ve been watching the news lately this might have a bit more meaning to you. This morning I was singing an old fashioned love song to my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman. The song is from a 1925 show called No No Nanette. And, because this song is a bit dated, I modernized the lyrics. I want to hear from you But I won’t hear from you Because there’s more postage due.


11. You email me a lot of stories like this one for which I am grateful. I don’t know if they are true or not, and I suppose it doesn’t matter. One afternoon a cop saw a bum leaning up against a building drinking something out of a bottle wrapped in a paper bag. And the cop said, “What are you doing there?” And the bum said, “Just what it looks like. I’m holding up the building.” The cop took the bum by the arm and led him off --- and the building fell down.


12. Somebody told me a story about a man who came home and collapsed in the middle of the kitchen. When his wife asked him what he had to say for himself, he raised himself up on one elbow and said, “I don’t have any prepared remarks but I’m willing to take questions from the floor.”


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Robert Karl Skoglund
785 River Road
St. George, ME 04860
(207) 226-7442

© 2013 Robert Karl Skoglund