Marsha and humble

Painting by Sandra Mason Dickson




Robert Karl Skoglund
785 River Road
St. George, ME 04860

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and you end up at The humble Farmer's Bed & Breakfast in a pouring rain.

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It's that time of year again. On January 18, 2016, my 80th birthday, I paid ASCAP $246 for the right to run this radio show for you on the Internet. Although we are not starving, any help you might send along would be appreciated. humble

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Below is a rough draft of humble's rants for your Maine Private Radio show for January 24, 2016

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1. I had a chance to use my Spanish. The woman making the courtesy call for Discover card had a strong Spanish accent, so when she asked if Marsha was home, I said, "Que lastimme." She asked, "So she's not home?" I said, "Claro." She said she'd call back later and I said, "Merci."

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2. One of my friends says, ďIf cameras are going to be set up in classrooms, how about having additional cameras set up at the door of the faculty room and in front of the principalís office. Is whatís good for the goose good for the gander? Iím sorry to be reminded of this because 45 years ago when I was a young unmarried man I taught school alongside of young unmarried women. And because my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, doesnít listen to this program I can confide to you through personal experience --- that had every teacher been videotaped every minute that they were in the school building, there are more than a few of them who would pay a substantial sum for the only copy of that tape today.

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3. There are people who are not suited to live in cold climates and I am one of them. Fortunately it is possible to buy insulated garments that keep heat in against your body and the cold out, and for countless people like me who canít stand the cold, sensible winter clothing is the only thing that makes November in Maine tolerable. By the first of October Iím already wearing socks and warm, wooly bootlike things that keep my feet and ankles warm. Although I canít wear long johns because they make my ankles itch I do wear insulated pants over my dungarees. I put on a warm sweater and on top of that my snowmobile suit. It goes without saying that I have a knit watchcap that comes down over my ears. And, dressed like that, I can manage to stay toasty warm and comfortable --- unless I have to go outdoors.

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4. My buddy Dick Cash used to sing a song called Youíve Changed. Itís such a good tune that Don Doane has probably recorded it. Donít we all change? Wouldnít it be terrible if we didnít? I have the same eyes that I had when I was in the first grade but isnít it interesting that my eyes donít see things the way they did in 1941? You have heard me say on too many occasions that I was a single man between the ages of 34 and 54. For 20 years, those years when most men are building equity while enjoying a happy and comfortable hearth and home, life for me was a constant daily struggle --- to keep from becoming involved in a meaningful relationship. But for the past 25 years or so, my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, has been a part of my existence and I would not have it any other way. The other day I got to thinking how impossibly difficult it would be, starting over out there again, all alone in the hard, cold world. In case you haven't been paying attention lately, nowadays most of the available nice looking young girls have grandchildren who need financial help with their college tuition.

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5. One morning my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, received a phone call from an exhausted daughter who had worked days and then watched a sick child nights for a week. She asked for relief so she could collapse. For the first 15 years of my life, I lived with my parents and my motherís mother in that grandmotherís house. Although my father came there as a boarder married his landladyís daughter and lived there for another 50 years, it was still grammieís house until she died. I didnít know it then, but I now strongly suspect that the place operated under my grandmotherís rules and regulations. Nowadays, too few households enjoy the advantages of three generations in one home. A built in grammie was probably the reason I was reading well above grade level when I started school. Only a working mother, who has also stood nightly watches over a sick one-year-old for a week, can really appreciate what it would mean to have a resident grammie. For kids, life couldnít be better. In the cellar way are metal tins full of hard molasses cookies and donuts, and grammies are more forgiving than parents when one has committed crimes against the establishment. Today I suspect that my father probably didnít have much to say about anything in our very happy household and I am indebted to him for teaching me how to play the role of Man of the House. I simply stand back and get out of the way.

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6. Strange and interesting things happen in your life when you lose weight. When I first stopped eating goodies it wasnít long before I lost 15 pounds and comfortably drew in my belt two extra notches. You know that I do not boast or brag and I am not doing so now. The point of this rant is that you, too, will find that there are economic advantages to losing weight. One day, while crawling under my truck to replace a hide-a-key, I found another hide-a-key I had lost ten years before.

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7. How do you know when the honeymoon is over? Listen closely, my young friend because that day might be approaching for you. Perhaps you think that it can never happen to you. You are saying, ďOh no, our marriage is different.Ē --- Donít kid yourself. Sooner or later it happens to everybody, and the best you can do is to hope that it will be later rather than sooner. Yes, there will come a morning when, instead of getting a warm hug and seeing the light of love glowing in her eyes, you will simply hear, ďThat garbage has to be taken out today.Ē

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8. Did I ever tell you about the October my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, spent a week with friends in Pennsylvania where she attended an elaborate Halloween party. She went as an employee, and her job was to make sure that none of the guests got close enough to the candles to set their costumes on fire. She whitened her face with clown paint and wore a sheet --- which reminds me --- the first thing my wife Marsha did when she got home was to go upstairs and rip the sheets off our bed. If you live with a Type A person you will understand this. Type A people donít simply do anything. They canít simply take the sheets off a bed or simply remove the sheets from the bed. They rip them off because Type A people rip and tear. So when Marsha got home she went upstairs and janked off the bedspread. And she grabbed the blankets and slatted them aside. And I said, ďWhy are you changing that bed? Iím the only person who has slept in it for a week.Ē And she grabbed them sheets said, ďThatís reason enough.Ē

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9. A few years ago my wife Marsha went to Holland for a week to say goodbye to her mother in law, The Great & Powerful Oma, who had moved into a hospice. Whenever Marsha is gone, several demanding sociological and domestic problems usually arise which, in this particular instance, I attempted to circumvent by employing the very little I know about quantum mechanics. Although I donít fully understand the paradox of Schroedingerís cat, you and I have talked about it before and I found a use for it when she was gone. The way I understand it, and I know you will correct me, the cat is in the box with a radioactive atom. If the atom decays and the Geiger counter detects an alpha particle, the hammer hits a flask of prussic acid, killing the cat. Before the observer opens the box, the cat must be in a superposition of dead and alive states. Marsha was in Holland and she had no way of opening our bedroom door, the lid on Schroedingerís box, if you will, which would enable her to learn if I made the bed every morning. So, from what I understand of quantum mechanics, our bed was both made and unmade unless Marsha looked in the door which she could not do. So, because it really made no difference if the bed was made or not, guess what?

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10. You have probably never seen any paintings by Debra Yoo. This is because, as far as I know, Debra Yoo is not famous. But then, I only recently heard of James Taylor and Jimmy Buffett ---Boufay so Debra Yoo might be famous, too. Be that as it may, I met Debra Yoo at the Common Ground Fair where she thrust a postcard into my hand. On the back was a painting of an old quarry. As you know, I know nothing about art. Donít you have to admit that if Wassily Kandinsky and Jackson Pollock had been selling stocks and bonds instead of paint on canvas they would have been indicted and locked away for fraud? To my ignorant and uneducated mind, an artist is one who can reproduce on canvas something that exists in the real world. I like Bradley Hendershotís pictures. I like Barbara Ernst Prayís pictures. I like the Wyeth crowd because --- even if I am unable to fathom the depths of whatever it was they were trying to say, I can at least recognize Hen Teel sitting in his kitchen and the quilts out on my clothesline. So I was shocked when Debra Yoo gave me a post card of her painting of a quarry. I said, ďBut Debra, This is a quarry. This isnít real art. --- I can tell what it is.Ē And Debra hung her head and said, ďIím sorry. I canít get past that.Ē

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11. ďWill you take off those ragged pants so youíll look nice for dinner?Ē Thatís what my wife said. And you know just as well as I do what she meant. She meant that I should put on some pants that were not all raggedy looking. Is there anything wrong with pants or shirts that are a bit worn? I am talking about pants and shirts that came right out of the washing machine. My wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, wants me to conform to Camden or Kennebunk rich kid clothing standards when friends come for dinner, and we are talking here about the meal that is eaten at noontime. I am a very sweet and gentle person. My only comments that she might consider to be negative have to do with my begging her to eat less bacon and less chocolate. Or I might beg her to stop working at midnight and come to bed. She considers her body to be no more than a disposable throw-away tool that can be used in any manner to get some job done. In other words, she is the type of employee that every employer loves. Anyway, I do appreciate everything my wife does, so wouldnít you think that she would be willing to settle for my applause and kind words? I know women who wouldnít care what their husbands wore to the dinner table, if they would only say something nice to them from time to time. I know women who would be glad to dress their husbands in rags if it would cut down on their constant complaining and gosh darn crankiness in general. Why is it that no matter how good some people have it, they are never satisfied with what they have? Why do women swap husbands? Why do men swap wives?

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This radio show now goes into over 1,000,000 homes in the United States on cable television. Don't ask me how this happened.
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Please ask to have The humble Farmer's TV show run on your cable station in your home town.
For more information please call humble at 207-226-7442 or email him at thehumblefarmer@gmail.com

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

© 2016 Robert Karl Skoglund