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 28, 2014.

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1. A week or two ago I mentioned that if there is one thing Americans hold dear, it is the right to drive during a blizzard until they get stuck and then have to be rescued or have their frozen bodies removed from their cars two days later. Tim White replied, At least the bodies are frozen. When they get stuck somewhere in warm weather and die the resale value of the car is shot.

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2. Will you permit an old man to tell you something that he picked up somewhere along the way? A cynic is an idealist who has been forced to face the facts.

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3. Did you read about a girl who went off the road due to snowy road conditions. Did you laugh at what it said in the police report? She went off the road due to snowy road conditions. In 64 years of driving I've never gone off the road due to snowy road conditions, but I've probably gone off a snowy road several times because I was driving too fast.

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4. When I was a boyÖ. Donít you hate to have some old geezer start out with, ďWhen I was a boy?Ē I donít like to start out a story this way, but when I was 16 or 17 I used to drive down an icy road and pull on the emergency brake and cut the wheel and spin round and round in the road. You do that long enough, and you will know exactly what to do in later years should your car start to slide on an icy road. Stay off the brake and hold your breath and steer with it. Nowadays you can probably take a course from experts who will teach you how to keep from losing control of your car on an icy road. Youíve seen them giving demonstrations on TV. --- Although there is probably no better way to learn how to control your car on icy roads than to put it in a controlled spin yourself and then learn how to get out of it without going off the road. Itís a skill that is probably easier to learn at 16 than 60. If youíve watched enough news footage of people in Alabama who are driving on an icy road for the first time, you might notice that --- number one, they drive too fast, and, number two, the first thing they do when they start to slide is jam on the brakes and lock all four wheels.

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5. Someone said that Stephen King raised a fuss a while back when he told some students that if they couldnít read theyíd very likely end up working in Walmart or in the army. Letís hope he learned something from this: Always consider the consequences before telling an unpleasant truth in public.

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6. Are Hormones to Blame for Your Flabby Abs? Yes, thatís what the email said: Are Hormones to Blame for Your Flabby Abs? How much you want to bet that theyíre selling a pill that will take the flab out of your abs and everything else? I personally donít sit around thinking about my flabby abs, do you? Unless you go to work wearing only a pair of shorts, should you be unduly concerned about flabby abs? We have talked about this before. The purpose of advertising is to make you dissatisfied with that which you have. Yes, you remember that we talked about this. The only way they can get you to buy more pills, is to invent some new ailment and then convince you that you have it. Iím now sorry I mentioned flabby abs. Not that I worry about flabby abs. At my age Iím just thankful that I can still put on my own clothes.

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7. Although I cannot consider myself a cosmopolitan on a level with James Bond, I have lived in Sweden for half a year, I can buy a hot dog in several languages, Iíve slept in a roadside ditch in Denmark in a pouring rain, Iíve routed a knife-wielding mugger in Casablanca, Iíve eaten spaghetti in Borgiaís Restaurant on Sicily, and I can speak as much Greek as Iíve ever heard James Bond use in a movie. Barracalau. In other words, Iíve been around long enough to know better than to look down at the ignorant peasants in other countries who have never seen a newspaper or a television set. But after getting this email from Africa, Iím going to make an exception. Listen to this letter and tell me if you think the person who sent it could be all that smart. It says: ďDearest One, It is my pleasure to contact you for a business venture which I intend to establish in your country. There is this amount of $7,300,000.00 which my late Father deposited for us in a leading Bank Ö before his death. I have decided to invest these money in your country where it will be safe.Ē Heard enough? If you had 7 million dollars, would you send it to a country that is continually waging a war for the sole purpose of making a few people rich? Would you send your money to one of the few industrialized countries where people have to struggle to have health insurance and where Jeb Bush might well become president? Would you?

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8. My brother once told me that Quakers wonít take an oath. I didnít know that. And when you think about it, why should taking an oath be necessary? Isnít it silly? You might explain this oath taking to me. Doesnít it imply that we take it for granted that you can lie to your friends and business associates and customers in the normal course of business, but when youíre under oath all of a sudden you have to tell the truth? I just saw an episode of Matlock where at a military trial the people werenít required to take an oath and it stuck in my mind. I donít know which is why Iím asking you. Doesnít taking an oath strike you like a vestige of some pagan ritual? I was told that people in New England are not as likely to lie as people from other parts of the country. Do you believe that in New England lying is considered to be as bad as adultery? I think that might be true --- at least in the community where I was brought up --- because, speaking for myself, I do know that the circumlocutive prowess of people who canít lie are often severely taxed.

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9. Why would you send a sympathy card to someone who is not one of your favorite people when I donít even send cards to people I really like? Iím not a fan of cards. I donít believe in sending cards, although I might send you a DVD or a CD of a radio or television program Iíve made. Seventy years ago my grandmother had a card that she sent back and forth to some friend. My grandmotherís parents were born in Aberdeen so she was 100 percent Scotch. This card was called a Scottish greeting card and it circulated. Every year grammie would get the same card back from the friend that sheíd sent it to the year before. And back when I still sent cards to people I used to take a card that someone had sent me and cross the name off the bottom and send that. Why not? Is there anything wrong with crossing the name off a card someone sent you and sending it to someone else? I donít believe in cards. One card costs what --- a dollar or more now. Who can afford to spend a dollar for a card that someone will look at and then perhaps throw in the trash and not even the paper recycling bin? Be honest with me. On your birthday or Christmas --- wouldnít you much rather open the envelope and find a dollar bill instead of a card? I would.

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

© 2015 Robert Karl Skoglund