Leftridge: TV Talk: RFD for You and Me

What you choose to watch on a daily basis says a lot about your character. If you’re watching MTV in this day and age, you’re probably into debacles of human embarrassment, and you probably like to masturbate watching young, pregnant teenage girls scream at their ill-gotten infants.. If you’re into ESPN, you’re probably pretty boring, but you’re at least the kinda guy that can handle his own around the coffee machine (nobody has a water-cooler anymore, whatever the fuck that is). And if you’re into VH1, you probably like watching older quasi-celebrities make asses of themselves AND the early morning top-40 countdown ensures that your teenage daughter might raise an eyebrow over a plate of bacon when you offer an admittedly lousy critique of Gaga’s newest offering.

Keep trying, dad!

If you’re like me, however, you just realized that Time Warner Cable, that heathen of all metropolitan public cable monopolies, is now offering RFD, without demand, and as often or as little as you’d like it.

If you’re like me—and God help you if you are—you fall on the “as often as you’d like” side of the fence.

For those left outside of the barb-wired, hay-strewn circle, allow me to explain what RFD is.

Started in 2000, RFD is, well, just like its postal service namesake would suggest: Rural Free Delivery TV. What is rural free delivery? Well, that comes straight from the post office, the idea that mail is important, goddamnit, and every person near and far—in this case, very far—deserves to have their mail on time and without repercussion. 

The network first began in 1988, started by former Nebraskan farmer and Chicago Mercantile Exchange broker Patrick Gottsch. In less than a year, the failure of a station was gone. Vowing to eternally provide programming to middle America, the visionary continued on his path of evidential dissemination, and in 2000, he re-launched, much to no one’s approval. He stuck it out, however, going public in 2007, and it’s all been gravy since.

In 2009, the station, which reaches some 11 million people a week, was grossing $25,000,000. Not bad for a chunky guy with a mullet.

And how does he make that money? With quality programming that appeals to the lowest common (or perhaps MOST common, as much as we’d not like to admit) denominator.

RFD is full of shows about tractors, and soybeans, and cattle-selling and corn futures. If you watch it early in the morning, you’re liable to catch an auction. In the evening, however, as you’ve settled down to your rickety wooden table with a bowl full of greens, a serving-dish full of fatback and some good old-fashioned corn pone, you’re in for some entertainment, RFD style.

A look through their programming guide is like looking at a Branson travelogue, without the buffets and traffic congestion.

Reruns of Hee-Haw. The Marty Stuart Show. The Roy Rogers Show.

It’s like your grandfather found a doctor’s prescription pad, scribbled some bullshit on it, took it to the CVS, cashed that shit in for some boner-enhancement medicine, and raped the shit out of your television. (this happened… don’t laugh, please.)

God help us.

So I decided to check it out.

And tonight—Saturday evening (yep, I’m that kinda loser)—I watched two shows. I watched Larry’s Country Diner, a…. variety? show that takes place in a… well, a diner. It’s a fake diner, to be sure–  (I think, at least)—but there are people in the audience, at the tables, wolfing down chicken fried steak like it’s been outlawed, and women breathing into oxygen tanks as though their life depended on it (and, well, I guess it does).

The musical guest was one Mac Wiseman, 86, and wheelchair-bound. He sang songs and looked confused (not all that uncommon for someone of his age).

They also had a “did-you-know” segment that’s worth repeating… so, did you know that there are 293 ways to make change for a dollar? Yeah, nobody there knew it, but damned if it didn’t cost us five minutes of television time going over the potential sequences.

God bless the slow-paced life that some are blessed to lead.

After Larry shut down for the night—and night comes early at a country diner—I was treated to “RFD-TV Live with Boehringer-Ingelheim.” I didn’t stick around long enough, so I’m not going to lie, I don’t know if Boehringer-Ingelheim is a dude, or a pair of dudes or a heterosexual married couple. All I know is that I saw one dude, heavily mustached and quite serious, hosting the show.

The topic of the evening—as I’m sure it often is—was horse-health. And I watched it, and I learned. In fact, I’m ready to be there for you, and all of your equestrial needs. Just try me.

Is your horse suffering from PPID? I’m sorry to hear that. But I’d like you to know, there are medications that can prolong your equine’s life, medicine that, 5 years ago even, was frowned upon by horse-caregivers. But we’ve come along way, baby.

If there’s one thing I learned tonight, it’s that PPID- a dopamine deficiency in horses generally 15 years and older– is a serious concern amongst equine owners. Good news is that Prascend"forward thinking in PPID"– is a great, FDA approved product that not only replaces essential missing dopamine transactors, but also combats reattachment issues between previously non-existent neurons and their required reactors.

Am I glad I know this? Yes. Probably.

PPID- commonly erroneously referred to or confused with Cushing’s Disease– is a manageable condition wherein the pituitary gland produces too many dopamine blockers. In Cushing’s disease, the ailment is similar, but the dopamine block occurs in the front third of the gland, whereas in PPID, it happens in the back third of the pituitary gland. Results are similar, but the process differs.

Essentially, it’s the equine equivalent of Parkinson’s.

Now let me work on your fucking horse.

See? It’s that kind of amazing knowledge that RFD drops on an unsuspecting viewer unwarranted, and without provocation.

Aren’t we all the better for knowing how to care for our ailing horses? Godbless you, RFD, and the wisdom that you impart.

And is Boxcar Willie on tomorrow night’s edition of Hee-Haw? One can only hope.

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7 Responses to Leftridge: TV Talk: RFD for You and Me

  1. chuck says:

    Ok, thats kinda funny.
    However, that said, you do need to get out a little.

  2. paulwilsonkc says:

    Also worth of note…
    RFD was also the network that gave Imus his first shot at a show after the “nappy headed ho’s”, Rev Al shake down/incident. Pretty ballsy move for who they are, but he was increased their viewership tremendously before going to WABC. They let him on when everyone else treated him like kryptonite. (Sorry, Im a long term Imus fan)

  3. Orphan of the Road says:

    Postcards from Nebraska
    They run these segments from old CBS Sunday. He was boxing coach at UN when they cut it so the football team could get a foot massage or something of that nature.

    IF you see it take a look. Rog was a classmate of Dick Cavett and they still get into trouble together.

    Rog wrote the bible for relationships when he wrote Everything I Know About Women I Learned From My Tractor. Touching tale of what we men know of love.

  4. smartman says:

    The Red Green Show KICKS ASS! Country’s Family Reunion is better than HEE HAW! And when you need parts for your 1962 International Harvester tractor RFD saves the day! For the real lowdown on pigs and sows don’t go to The Plaza, just tune in to RFD.

  5. Dena says:

    Maybe I’ll get a t.v. now
    Seriously? I ditched Time Warner a couple years ago over some little squabble and basically quit watching t.v. But it might just be the RFD that gets me to come back! I grew up on a steady diet of Hee Haw. I never knew until recently that Hee Haw was in color – we had a black & white t.v. all the way into the 80’s .

  6. Terri says:

    RFD is getting better and better
    It is adding more quality music shows and becoming like the old TNN. It is the Marty Stuart Show not Mary and it is great. Also, Cumberland Highlanders, Reno’s Old Tyme Music, TruCounty, Country’s Family Reunion, Reflections from the Circle, on and on. Great music you can not even get on the radio anymore without XM/Sirius. Lots of old music shows worth watching again (not necessarily Hee Haw). This network owns my DVR now.

  7. kcfred says:

    Find your niche
    …and super serve it. This is what RFDTV does. The people that come there know exactly what to expect. If you’re one of the 40,000,000 people that still live in a rural area, there is no one else poroviding this service. And they do it well.

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