The Hidden Almanac for
Wednesday September 25th, 2013
Episode 6
Previous episode: 2013-09-23
Next episode: 2013-09-27


Today in history we commemorate both the Great Tunnel and the mysterious appearance of butterflies. It is also the Feast Day of St. Celadon. In the garden, we have another zucchini suggestion.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac. I'm Reverend Mord. Today is September 25th, 2013.

On this day, twenty years ago,[1] a member of the Prime Minister's cabinet exploded into a cloud of small brown butterflies. Scientists determined that the butterflies were a species known as "Silver Spotted Skippers."[2] Spontaneous butterfly explosions [3] were nearly unknown at that time, and suspicions were raised that the unnamed cabinet member may have been a flock of butterflies all along.[4] There were demands for a full investigation. An official statement was released stating that the cabinet member had been under a great deal of stress and that the Prime Minister's condolences went out to his family.

On this day, in 1774, ground was broken on the Great Tunnel project. The Great Tunnel connected the two halves of the city divided by the Autumn River and was one of the greatest construction projects of the day. It took eleven years to complete and claimed the lives of hundreds of workers. During its heyday, it accommodated more than six thousand people an hour and inspired many songs including the music halls favorites, "Don't Leave Me in the Tunnel" and "My Love is a Tunnel Digging Man." Today the Great Tunnel is no longer used. Instead it is a World Heritage Site[5] for the Mole People and a nature preserve for several species of eyeless salamander.

And today is the Feast Day of Saint Celadon, [6] patron of pottery glazes. Saint Celadon lived in the 9th century AD and created miraculous scenes on the sides of serving vessels, highly sought after in the early Church. Unfortunately he died of some ailment of the lungs, probably from breathing powdered glazes, and is therefore also invoked by those dying of consumption.[7]

Still dealing with excess zucchini? Why not try a zucchini-tini? Peel one small tender zucchini - if you can find one smaller than a baseball bat - and puree it in a food processor or blender. Add equal parts puree and vodka to a martini glass and garnish with a slice of squash.[8] Then throw the entire mess over the back fence and wash the martini glass out, because this is a revolting idea and you should be ashamed of wasting good vodka like that.

The Hidden Almanac is brought to you by Red Wombat Tea Company, purveyors of fine and inaccessible teas. Red Wombat — "We Dig Tea."

Also sponsored by Bob's Discount Car Lot, where we pride ourselves on quality customer service. If you're not happy, we're not happy, not like that human vulture, Steve.

That's the Hidden Almanac for September 25rd, 2013. Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Out of Character

The Hidden Almanac is a production of Dark Canvas Media, written by Ursula Vernon and performed and produced by Kevin Sonney. Our theme music is Moon Valley and our exit music is Red in Black, both by Kosta T. You can hear more from Kosta T at the Free Music Archive. All other content is copyright 2013, Ursula Vernon.


  1. September 25, 1993
  3. Compared with spontaneous human combustion, I'd go with butterflies every time.
  4. Because that's less unlikely.
  5. World Heritage Sites are selected by UNESCO and are places of special cultural or physical significance.
  6. Celadon is a pale green glaze, often with a crackle pattern
  7. Now known as pulmonary tuberculosis, sometimes called the Victorian Novel Disease
  8. This is an unlikely recipe and perhaps a corruption of the original. It may have started as a variation of a frozen margarita or daiquiri, in which case the recipe was probably 1 cup ice, 1 1/2 oz tequila (or rum?), one small tender peeled zucchini. Blend until smooth, pour into a martini glass, and garnish with a slice of squash. Alternatively if it's meant to be a martini-type recipe, it probably involved muddled zucchini and the recipe would have been something like 1 small peeled zucchini, sliced into rounds, some other ingredient (mint? bitters? a sugar cube?), 1 1/2 oz vodka (or gin?). Muddle the zucchini with the mystery ingredient in sturdy glass. Add the vodka and ice and cap with shaker. Shake well, then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a slice of squash.