Marsha and humble September 30, 2007





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This is a rough draft of Rants for your Maine Private Radio show for December 14, 2014

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1. Marsha and are not into fancy cars. I mentioned that I would imagine from the ads I see on TV, a lot of people must be making a monthly payment to have a newer car than their neighbor. Tim says, ďDon't assume that the motive to buy a new car is primarily competitive consumerism. The way cars are built these days, and the way New England winters have always treated them, buying a new car is a strategic move akin to leaping from a rapidly fracturing ice floe to one that has not yet deteriorated.Ē Tim might well have added, that some men do the same thing with their wives.

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2. The fact that dozens of women have recently come out of the woodwork to accuse an ancient, wealthy man of bad things must be sending chills down the spines of tens of thousands of ancient, wealthy men in America. Although another wealthy man with many notches on his stick was recently unmasked, his notches were perhaps earned by his winning smile, proving that subterfuge, alcohol and drugs are unnecessary to achieve oneís desires and are the last resort of insecure wimps. We are not surprised at the amount of press generated by this most recent incident. Although hundreds, if not tens of thousands, of men have done the exact same thing only a fraction of them are ever caught, and only the fact that the people involved are not newsworthy keep us from hearing about them. Do you think that this is true?

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3. I just called Apria and begged them for the second time in a week to discontinue the annoying sales calls. The helper said that the record showed that I had called a few days earlier and asked Apria to discontinue the calls and that they were working on it. Well, a week after that they are still calling. Apria are some folks who are charging sky high prices for their sleep apnea products and services. I can say this because I once saw a bill to my insurance company for $220 for a chin strap that I found I could buy on line for less than $20. My insurance pays, which means that you and everyone else pays. A couple of years ago I spoke to a German about this habit American companies have with overcharging for health services and he said such foolishness would not be tolerated in Germany. Although we have an outdated, expensive system of healthcare, here people wave an American flag and roll over and beg to be robbed again. Here being robbed is a patriotic thing. My country, right or wrong. I must admit that I do sleep better and feel better when I use the mask. I do not fit the profile of the person with sleep apnea, because most of them weigh a bit more than my 152 pounds. My friend who put me wise to getting checked for sleep apnea a few years ago would have dressed out at a bit over 250. In case you are still listening, I voluntarily gave up my daily baby aspirin sevearal days ago and feel very good. I've been eating the thing every day for years, but now I'm wondering if that tiny aspirin could have been the cause of my stomach distress. When you get old things wear out. And when you take a pill to cure one thing, it seems to mess up something else. Eat a cough drop to keep from coughing, and you rot your teeth. Eat an aspirin to keep from having a stroke and you burn out your gut. There ain't no beating it.

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4. You have heard many sparkling wits say that growing old beats the alternative. Please notice, if you will, that these perceptive philosophers are very young and that when they acquire the aches and pains that complement three score and ten, if they donít change their tune, they will very likely be singing it in a minor key. Yes, you knew I was going to give you an example. The east wall rotted out of my three-walled tractor shed and the building collapsed. With the help of my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, I was able to restore it to better-than-new, replete with Typar, in three days. But there is a price to pay for climbing up and down a ladder, dragging 12-foot boards out of storage and nailing them in place. Yes, at the end of the third day I dropped into bed and you canít believe the numbing pain that I experienced between my shoulder blades. In the morning I discovered Iíd been lying on my glasses.

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5. Have you ever done anything you wouldnít want people to know about? Perhaps it was 60 or 70 years ago. It really doesnít matter how long ago it was. You might have been 10 years old when you threw eggs at the henhouse. Do you realize that there is a good chance that somebody who was there at the time might still remember it? Perhaps they are just waiting for you to run for mayor or dog catcher so they can come forward and tell everyone about it. Muddy up your good name or whatever reputation youíre presently stuck with. When you stop to think about it, it is very unlikely that anyone will remember any incident the same way you do. People usually have their own version of anything that ever happened. All of this is brought to mind by the inordinate number of famous people who have recently been accused of being naughty 30, 40, 50 years ago. The pressure is so intense, that famous people who have not been accused of anything have recently admitted to our eager sensational press corps that 50 years ago they also did naughty things. You see they are trying to get the jump on a potential accuser by admitting to something that everyone else in the world probably forgot about long ago. I donít know about you, but Iím going to keep my most egregious crimes of the 1940s to myself and take my chances.

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6. Iím reading a book called Your Atomic Self written by Curt Stager. Did you know that scientists can analyze a hair from the top of your head and tell where you were drinking water six months ago? Yes, I could be mistaken, but thatís the way I understand it. Most of the references in this book are from scholarly articles published within the past three or so years, so the science in this book is pretty well up to date. My wife Marsha is reading the book, too. We were talking about body chemistry and the atoms in our bodies and she said that the little cousins who are allergic to bread went to France for three weeks and discovered they could eat the bread without getting sick. The parents were overjoyed. They thought the kids had outgrown their allergies. But the first day back in Maine the kids got sick. I donít know anything about this, but my wife Marsha says there is poison in the food we eat here. There are no government regulations here that prevent big companies from selling food that is not fit to eat. We are talking about genetically modified grains sprayed with who knows what kinds of poisons. Have you heard about such things?

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7. While reading an online newspaper, I found a page of vacation experiences for thrill seekers. Number two is a motorcycle-taxi ride in Thailand. My wife had two friends who were snuffed out in a taxi in Paris and I have ridden in a taxi from Stuttgart to the Mercedes factory in Sindelfingen. I didnít think anything could top that for pure unadulterated fear. Way down at number seven for an exciting vacation is the famous running of the bulls, if you can imagine anything worse than that. But, if I wanted chills and excitement Iíd walk down to the mailbox in December without wearing a scarf and mittens.

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8. And now, just in case you are interested, let us talk of romance. We read that many newly married couples choose to relax at a tropical resort by the water. --- Although those who were born and brought up in Key West might find the dog sled races at Fort Kent, Maine to be much more exciting. And what is the purpose of this honeymoon thing, anyway? Isnít the honeymoon somewhat of an anachronism in these troubled times when people live together and perhaps even have two children before it becomes financially expedient to form a legal bond? And isnít that what all this fuss over same sex marriage is about, anyway? --- Some people of the same sex are going to live together whether anybody likes it or not, but --- should they be permitted to enjoy the same tax and other financial benefits afforded only after a marriage ceremony? We were talking about romance, and here I digress by talking about marriage. One loving couple met when he was having a massage and the table broke. My cousin Rose Marie met her husband when he dropped his suitcase on her foot. One of my wives was walking along the street when I picked her up and carried her off in my Model T. Times have obviously changed. My friend Wilder Oaks says he fondly remembers when a romantic first date meant you took her down to the dump to shoot rats.

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9. From time to time, lobstermen who feel they are being crowded, cut off the offenderís traps. Like any war, this escalates until the ocean floor is littered with thousands of dollars worth of lobster traps and people start pointing guns at each other. Sometimes they attempt to ram the other fellowís boat or shoot at him. It can get very ugly. Hereís a comment someone posted on a blog about a recent lobster war: "Arson, cutting traps, stealing from traps, sinking boats, attempted murder, must be a fortune out there in Lobsters to commit these types of crimes." Is this not an astute observation? How many people have you heard of who shot at each other for the right to mow some rich manís lawn?

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10. Iíve been talking with you on the radio for 35 years. I started April 6 in 1978. And in all that time Iíve learned one very important thing. You want to be pretty careful of what you say on the radio. You never know when somebody might be listening.

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

© 2014 Robert Karl Skoglund