The humble Farmer: Internet keeps my door open to the weird wide world

If you have been paying attention, you know that it’s been a long time since you’ve read a story where old Maine characters spun their yarns while sitting around an overheated wood stove in a general store. It would sound contrived and even a bit silly should Cap’n Freddy knock the ashes from his pipe and casually mention that he had trouble connecting to his ISP that morning.

We might as well be honest right up front and admit that for the past two years, our social intercourse has been pretty well confined to Facebook posts on our computer screen. We have no idea of what the voices of our friends sound like, or even what they look like, because some post only their 1953 graduation pictures.

Facebook is much like a birthday party, a Saturday night dance at the old Buxton Grange hall or a church supper: It is what you make it. I have carefully crafted mine into a finely honed tool that writes my newspaper columns for me. No matter what I post, the next day I usually find six or more witty comments beneath it. Like picking up fallen apples beneath a tree, my only task is in choosing those that will produce the most nourishment for the least amount of effort.

Sometimes the posts are nothing to laugh at, yet are so curious or unusual that a close reading might make anyone laugh in incredulity. Such was the case today when I mentioned that a man who had been arrested had, according to the newspaper, “bought hundreds of thousands of dollars of razor wire“ that he intended to string around his property.

Well. I wasn’t the only person who wondered if this man owned Rhode Island, because Facebook friend David broke out what he called his SASCO calculator and came up with the following. At a nickel per foot, $100,000 would buy 380 miles of wire. This would be enough to fence 10,000 acres with two strands. Less if he used three, which he might have done when you take his paranoia into account. The USDA says that an average ranch in his section of the country is 2,156 acres, so perhaps he intended to get really serious with the wire up close to home.

This man was held without bail because the warren of escape tunnels leading from his home suggested that he might be a flight risk. His lawyer plans to appeal but said nothing about filling in the holes.

I do leave Facebook when I sleep and eat. Every day my wife, Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, is reminded that she is the best cook in the world. After every meal I always say, “Nobody cooks better than you.”

When I go into my superheated room with my food tray and sit down before my TV screen and watch a Stanford or Yale lecture as I eat, after the first mouthful, I always applaud.

So Marsha has good reason to believe that she is the best cook in the world.

At times, however, a meal is so fantastic that I have to get out of my chair, push aside the earphones that permit me to hear the voices from my Roku screen and actually go out into her chilly space and slather her with praise.

Such was the case last night when I bit into a green veggie that I think was broccoli. It presented no challenge but melted in my mouth like a marshmallow.

“The broccoli is fantastic,” I cried. “It doesn’t crunch. It melts in my mouth. It is cooked to perfection.”

“Oh. You like it that way? I like mine adel en tay.”

Now that I know what “adel en tay” is, I look forward to seeing no more of it on my plate. Adel en tay probably harkens back to the days before woman found a use for fire, and we are well done with it.

This morning I was awake at 7 as usual. But after I turned up the heat I couldn’t get back to sleep. Because I don’t have a nice flat face but was born with a beak like a bird, the apnea mask cuts into the bridge of my nose and, come morning, it hurts. No amount of adjusting the straps seems to help.

Although I couldn’t get back to sleep, I knew that if I got up and engaged in some strenuous activity, I’d immediately be exhausted and need to take a nap.

Getting dressed will usually do it.

The humble Farmer can be heard Friday nights at 7 on WHPW (97.3 FM) and visited at:

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