The Hidden Almanac for
Wednesday October 23rd, 2013
Episode 18
Previous episode: 2013-10-21
Next episode: 2013-10-25


Today marks the passing of the second of the Hateful Decrees. It is also the birthday of the poet Gustavus Savoricus. It is the Feast Day of St. Lafferty, and in the garden, the wooly bears are making themselves known.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac, I'm Reverend Mord. Today is October 23th, 2013.

It was on this day in 1781 that the Librarian Prince passed the second of the so-called "Hateful Decrees", which stated that goats were a figment of the imagination. Those citizens claiming to believe in the existence of goats, or having goats in their possession, were immediately executed and the non-existent goats confiscated. This caused the price of goat cheese to rise astronomically and caused shortages that would endure for months.

Illicit "cheese-easies" sprang up throughout the city, practically overnight. Attempts by the government to link goat cheese to sedition and terrorism failed to engage the popular imagination.

Today is the birthday of the poet Gustavus Savoricus, born John Templeton, who called for a re-discovery of the classics and insisted on giving poetry readings in Latin while wearing a toga. His "Ode To An Impertinent Starling" was translated and sold thirty thousand copies before government censors realized that it was about a prostitute. It remains one of the best selling poetry volumes of all time.

And it's the Feast Day of Saint Lafferty,[1] patron of parents facing slumber parties. A candle burned to this saint is said to protect against homesickness, whining, and projectile vomiting. There are those who say that this is more effective if the candle is burned atop an offering of pie, but any with an open heart and fraying nerves may seek Saint Lafferty's protection.

Woolly bear caterpillars are out and about in the garden now, eating a variety of ornamental plants. While they are a minor nuisance, gardeners have long welcomed these charming caterpillars. The relative length of black and orange in the caterpillars is supposed to predict the harshness of the coming winter.

While many scientists are skeptical of these predictions, a long-term study shows that woolly bears do have a better-than-average record. The only possible conclusion is that woolly bears control the weather. We here at the Hidden Alamanc join many of our listeners in hoping that our small fuzzy overlords will provide a list of their demands sooner rather than later.

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 Heywood's, the oldest cheese-easy still in existence. Come in and try our completely legal cheeses! November is Exotic Cheese Month, and will feature such specials as manticore gouda, nightmare swiss, and platypus stilton.[2]

That's the Hidden Almanac for October 23th, 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. Possibly a relative of Ursula and Kevin's friend Mur Lafferty?
  2. Ursula would later return to the subject of exotic cheeses in Summer in Orcus, in which Summer visits a shop that sells every kind of cheese - except platypus, which is out of stock because the monotreme milkers are on strike - and learns what manticore cheese is good for