Happy James?

Episode 5 in week 4 of the Fabulous Beekman Boys. As far as I know, neither the number 4 or 5 are considered lucky or holy or particularly special. But this episode, I’m betting this episode is something special. Real special, real real, superduper special. As always, I’ll be working with the goat scale.

Brent gets a driving lesson. It is a driving lesson with a tractor. I have stated previously that I think tractors are cool. If I could drive one in NYC, and find somewhere to park, I would. There’s a not a taxi in the city that would fuck with me if I had a tractor. Five goats.

We learn that Brent is a bad driver. Bad drivers are a menace. We learn about Josh and Brent’s childhoods, and see cute pictures of them as kids. Brent likes winning awards. He is a perfectionist. Josh shoots guns and grew up in the country. I knew all of this already, because I have known them for many years, but it’s cute and well done. Brent’s bad: one goat. Cute childhood info: three goats.

We see Porky and Bess, the Beekman Pigs. We learn they will be slaughtered soon. Man, I like the pigs. They’re fat, and I’m also a little fat, and they like to sleep, as do I, and they’re dirty, as I am sometimes. I don’t want the pigs to go. One goat.

Josh and Brent make a salad for dinner. A spinach salad. As Josh starts to make it, he realizes Brent has included both weeds and grass in the salad. Josh does not dig having weeds and grass in his salad. Neither do I. One goat.

They discuss Martha during dinner. Brent got invited to an event she is having promoting cheese. It’s a perfect place for more people to learn about the Beekman cheese. I’m happy for them, and Brent seems very very very happy, but I’m also really sick of hearing about Martha Stewart. If I want to hear about her, I’ll watch her show, not this show.  I say no more Martha. One goat.

The pigs are hanging out in the mud. They’re cool. They eat dirt and snort, which is what my two bulldogs, Boris and Priscilla, also do. I could never eat Boris and Priscilla. The two dudes who are going to “harvest” Porky and Bess show up at the house. Their jobs are to harvest pigs. The plan is to stun the pigs with shots to the head from .22 caliber gun. Once they’re stunned, their throats will be cut. I know that’s how we get bacon and pork chops and pork rinds, but I don’t really want to know. We see a pig montage, which ends with Josh and Brent walking away from the barn, where we know the pigs are about to get shot, and have their throats cut. One goat.

Brent gets ready for the city. He only has gray suits. I only have black suits. If moving to the country means gray only, I’m against it. One goat.

Brent leaves and Josh gets a long list of chores to do while he is gone. When my wife goes away, I spend all day in my boxers watching TV and eating cheetos. Fuck chores. One goat.

First chore is a showdown with the llama, who is narcissistic and dramatic and difficult. I immediately think they should have kept the pigs and shot the llama.  One goat.

After the llama, Josh fixes a fence. I have a bad back. Do not like the idea of fixing a fence. One goat.

Josh has to get to post office. Cows block the way. He’s in a hurry. And while cows are not, I’m willing to bet they’re faster than all of the horrible New Jersey drivers who are always fucking up the streets of New York. I’m pro cow. Four goats.

Brent is at Martha’s cheese event. I am really really really over Martha. She does, however, know her shit when it comes to cheese. We’ll give one goat for that. Two goats.

Brent comes back. Martha loves the cheese. Know I never want to hear the word Martha ever again. Unless she’s going to buy a million dollars worth, who cares if she likes it. Oprah liked my book. We all know how that worked out. One goat.

Josh and Brent cook up some bacon, that at the beginning of the episode, was alive and in their pig pen. It looks like pretty damn good bacon. And really, any bacon is a good bacon, so this is exceptional bacon. Five goats.

Number of categories: 14

Number of goats: 28

Average: 2

Looks like I’m staying in New York. If however, Martha is taken out of the equation, looks like I’ll be leaving the city.

What do you think?  Could James survive a season at Beekman Farm?

by James Frey

Reader Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Karen Sullivan

This was great, James! You are too funny. I loved your book, to hell with Oprah. I got sober, too, and the way I remember things may or may not be quite accurate. So? It's my story. I know you don't do AA, but in every speaker meeting I've ever been to I wonder "Did that really happen?" You'd fit in, even if you don't want to, lol. And at least you sold a crapload of books before Oprah freaked out!



I think your commentaries are a hoot!

First chore is a showdown with the llama, who is narcissistic and dramatic and difficult. I immediately think they should have kept the pigs and shot the llama. One goat.

I laughed so hard I got caught looking at Beekman instead of working!


Agreed, there's too much Martha. Josh made an excellent point that Brent would marry Martha. Let's be honest, I'd marry Martha, she's freaking rich.

"Oprah liked my book. We all know how that worked out." Self deprecation. Awesome.


A very moving episode about Porky and Bess and the reality of farming.I raise meat goats and I hate taking my little charges to the auction house every year,the fear and mishandling they experience and worse…I was moved by them having watched the slaughter as Brent said 'to place a value'on their food.I've worked in many slaughter houses and slaughtered on family farms and i can't say enough about shutting down filthy factory slaughter houses.The problem is there aren't enough small time humane slaughter houses out there.My ideal situation would be how the goat lady,in the movie Cold Mountain,kills her goat.Their courage scored huge points with me.btw,leave Martha alone,I want more Martha!



I get it that you're completely over Martha and that you'd prefer to not hear about her anymore. Fine – you're entitled to your opinion. And I get it that this blog is all about your opinion.

But how about giving a little more credit where credit is due? Martha, like it or not, has played a huge role in bringing the whole story of the Beekman Boys together and to the awareness of a larger public. I found out about Brent, this website, the Beekman Farm, the goat soap and cheese, and most recently I found out about Josh because of Martha. I have read Josh's book and loved it. And I will be forever grateful to Martha for showcasing on her program much of what I now know about Brent, Josh, Farmer John, the goats and many other aspects of this whole fascinating story. In my opinion she is a very fascinating person in her own right.

OK – to be fair I am aware that in many respects I'm a lot like Martha. I like perfection, my standards for "good things" are way up there, and I'm just as curious about a lot of different things as I think she is. I can totally understand why Brent thinks the way he does – and I can also see why Josh gets frustrated with that. Life is a balancing act. These guys live a balancing act.

People are complex, a mixture of good and bad, yin and yang. It helps me a lot to remember that James. Whether or not you choose to remain in NYC is up to you and of no consequence to me. But I love to hear the perspectives of others. So even though I don't always agree, I enjoy reading your blog and will continue to do so.

Best wishes!

Tina Butler

James- You are too funny. Love the Lacoste. So preppy. A girl growing up in the eighties has a soft spot for the "gator." Any chances on bringing back the swatch watch? It's utilitarian for the farm as it's easily cleaned. Just a thought.

Not sure about surviving on the farm. Mine is on a micro-level and it takes A LOT of help from my husband just to take care of my chickens. Thinking about leg bands for the chickens to make them a little more glamorous (and so I can tell them apart).


In Peace, Tina Butler