Book Review: Farming is a Funny Business

farming-is-a-funny-businessIf you’re looking for a farming focused, funny book for Christmas, you won’t go wrong with Farming is a Funny Business. John and Andrew Arbuckle put out a call last year for funny stories and jokes amongst the Scottish farming population and curated them within this book which is sold by the Scottish charity, the RSABI.

Here’s one example:

A hill walker was thirsty and coming across a hill burn decided to have a drink. The farmer saw him and shouted, “Dinna drink the waater its fu o’ coo’s sharn an p**h!”

The walker replies “My good fellow, I’m from England. Could you repeat that for me in English?”

The farmer replied: “I said, use two hands – you’ll spill less that way!”

And another:

The farmer’s daughter had invited her new boyfriend to tea for the first time. Worried about the way her father spoke she asked her mother to be sure that he said “fertiliser” rather than “manure”. “I will try my best” said her mother, “But it has taken me twenty years to get him to say ‘manure’.”

And one more (I’d love to say this to our bank manager):

This story is told of Tom Barr, legendary farmer from Knocktim, Kirkcolm.

Years ago, he phoned up his bank manager. “Can ye come roon?”

“Certainly Mr Barr. To what do I owe this kind invitation?”

“I want to show you the new combine you’ve just bought me,” replied Tom.

My favourites are the ones of older Scottish farmers, the stories that show the true grit as well as the humour. Do you need an understanding of Scottish dialect to understand them? No, you can work it out or turn to google, some are provided in the glossary too. I was amused to hear that an Irish purchaser of the book requested a refund as it wasn’t quite what they had in mind as a gift for elderly relatives. Okay, there’s a couple of jokes in there you probably wouldn’t read out if your great Aunt Bridget is in the room but the vast majority are fine and I’d no problem giving it to our 12 year old to read. It’s a great book for Christmas as one person can read aloud the really funny ones to everyone else in the room – and all proceeds go to the charity too.

If you’re in the UK, you can also get How To Be A Perfect Farm Wife and An Ideal Farm Husband from the RSABI with a percentage of the purchase price going to the charity. Are they good Christmas gifts too? Of course they are, I was amused on meeting a farmer recently and when he was able to quote a few lines from Perfect Farm Wife to me. I was delighted to hear that they’d had great fun reading bits of it aloud to each other over Christmas.



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