Op-Ed

Richie works hard minding his own business

One time my Dad preached that you could say something good about anybody. On her way out of the church, an old lady in his congregation challenged him to say something good about the Devil. In an instant Daddy said: "Well, he works seven days a week, and he minds his own business."

By which definition, Richie Farmer works like the Devil.

When other state workers are hammocked and soap-operaed at the house, Richie is at his desk, doing absolutely nothing. At first, that doesn't sound too good, but then you remember it is practice for being lieutenant governor, and we have to have one of those. Seriously though, somebody has to be at the agriculture department every day, lest plants die and cattle brucelloze, or whatever they do, and lest farms cease to be businesses.

And you don't expect him to work for nothing.

And you don't expect him to suite "sweet" up for the state tournament in a Hilton if he could get somebody else to pay for it. I know I wouldn't. It's hard for a person to come down from the ultra expensive lifestyle of being a Wildcat.

And like the Devil complimented by my father, Richie, too was minding his own business, which is to promote Kentucky products, which already has led to the fact that most products enjoyed by kids and others with arrested development who go to the state tournament are either bottled or homegrown in Kentucky.

Brereton Jones started that "Buy Kentucky" stuff in the 1980s, thought it up in the middle of the Big Sandy bridge moving over here from Almost Heaven, where he had been a RINO. He had visions of being lieutenant governor, too, and used as his issue to label and market Kentucky products, like the ones he grew on Libby's farm where they had 13 trucks made in Japan.

And March might not have been a bad time for the commissioner of agriculture to have stepped in and done something to the tobacco companies who breached their contracts, knowing that real farmers don't sue much. While Lexington frolicked, farmers had their crops rejected for artificial reasons. It's like Antiques Roadshow telling you it is not a Strad. That provoked much nostalgia and its cousin, nausea, from farmers old enough to have heard their elders talk about pre-program days.

Or in March, the ag guy could have had all his inspectors rig gas pumps to give you a gallon and a half, one sure way to get back at somebody, we're not sure who.

But a lot of married men go home from the state tournament and find their stuff on the porch and their wife down at some hotshot lawyer's office.

And them trying to play both point and shooting guard on a team in which somebody else is supposed to be the star but who piqued too soon and is having an off season, being scored on at will by the opponent and whose political party just came out against Medicare and whose values are reflected by Donald Trump.

We're just glad that Richie didn't go back to Manchester, whose leadership is in suites of their own, paid for at public expense.

There is a candidate for commissioner of agriculture whose last name is Farmer, something which goes back to Robert Ceepa, the pronunciation of the name of the fellow who put CPA on his legal name to be elected auditor.

Having a name like Farmer will give somebody an advantage, but the smartest one running is a Lackey. Alas and a Lackey.

Larry Webster is a Pikeville attorney.

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