The Deliberate Agrarian Update
30 June 2010

June was another jam-packed month for me. My thanks to those of you who posted comments at last month’s update. I finally posted a reply there today. As for this here monthly posting, it will be shorter than usual, due to the fact that I put quite a bit of “blogging time” into getting the agrarian haiku poetry contest underway, and that is something I’m kind of excited about.....

Announcing The 
Deliberate Agrarian 
Haiku Poetry Contest 
For 2010

Yes, it’s official. I am sponsoring an online agrarian haiku contest. One never knows how this sort of thing will go over but I’m hoping it will be a real barn burner of a poetry contest.  :-)

There are three categories: Adult, Teen and Youth, so everyone can have some fun with this. I think it would be great if whole families got involved. The fact that I will be awarding a bunch (15 total) of surprisingly nice prizes makes it all that much more appealing.

Please stop on over to the contest web site. Here is the link: 

Whizbang Gets A Logo
I have operated my Whizbang Books mail-order business for ten years without a logo, but that is about to change, and so is the name of the business. I have decided that I like "Planet Whizbang" better and the image above—a leafy green beet surrounded by golden Saturnal rings—will be the official Planet Whizbang Logo. In the months ahead, I will be making the name transition.

And now, 
For something totally different.....

Television Sitcom Idea
A few days ago my wife told me she had an idea for a new television show. We no longer own a television but that is beside the point. This new program would be a situation comedy (a.k.a., sitcom). I'm assuming they still have these on television. 

Marlene told me it would be about a woman who is married to a man who is an inventor. He invented a machine that takes feathers off chickens. And he wrote a book about it.

That concept in itself was pretty funny and we were both laughing at the thought of it. But what made it even funnier was when she added that the book was a big seller. That was almost too absurd.

There was more to the plot... like quirky extended family members and so many competing demands on this woman’s life. The comic relief we found within this harebrained idea was a welcome respite in this month of June now past.

And as I got thinking about the television show idea, I started to get more of a vision for it. For example, here is a picture of the woman’s husband, the inventor/writer.

From all outward appearances the guy looks fairly normal but in reality he’s nuttier than a fruitcake. That smile belies a measure of felicitous insanity. What other explanation would there be for making his company logo a beet surrounded by golden Saturnal rings? And the guy’s business sponsors a haiku poetry contest?

As further evidence of this man’s slightly-unhinged state, I present his most recent invention...

Upon seeing that picture the usual response would be: “What is it?” Well, he calls that thing a Whizbang Bicycle Rim T-Post Trellis. These objects—several of them—are throughout the family’s garden, with beans and peas and cucumbers growing up the strings.

“They’re prototypes,” he says to his ever-patient wife while explaining the concept. She listens intently, sincerely trying to show interest and admiration, while wondering to herself when he is going to finish remodeling the upstairs bathroom he tore apart last winter.

Then, of course, the sitcom will need kids. How about boys. Three of them. One is in the Army in Korea. The other two, still at home, are teenagers. But not just teenagers, they are country-boys with testosterone-fueled redneck inclinations. For fun, they go “mudbogging” with the neighbor boys in their four wheelers.

And when they’re not doing that, they roam the surrounding fields with high-powered rifles, killing woodchucks.

And when they’re not doing that, they come up with good-fun ideas like hitching an old bed mattress to their screaming four-wheeler with a nylon tow strap and pulling each other around and around the outside of the house.... very fast... trying to roll the mattress rider off on the corners.

(sorry, no picture)

Or how about this: working together with those neighbor boys they build a big ramp at the bottom of a hill, on the edge of a pond, and take turns riding bicycles down the hill, as fast as they can, up the ramp, through the air, into the water.

(sorry, no pictures)

One boy does this with his glasses on and looses them forever to the murky bottom of the pond. Another looses his cell phone in like manner (they all have cell phones these days).

So then they get the idea of using another cell phone to call the one under water, thinking that maybe the ring will generate telltale bubbles (it doesn’t). But after some heroic diving, the phone is found, (and it still works just fine).

Things like that (and I’m just scratching the surface of possible script ideas) would, I’m sure, make for a very popular television program, don’t you think?

The woman in the sitcom is, if you get the idea, relatively normal, while everyone around her is not. But, if you ask me, normal is a subjective thing

I suspect that most every family generates sufficient fodder for a sitcom. Nevertheless, I can’t help but think that some aspects of my life are more bizarre than fiction.

Oh, one more thing... Our sitcom family will need a special dog. A yellow or red Blackmouth Cur would be nice, if you ask me. But the woman who is writing the script... she likes her beagle. Lucy is her name or, once you get to know her, you can call her Lu.