The Hidden Almanac for
Wednesday July 9th, 2014
Episode 129
Previous episode: 2014-07-07
Next episode: 2014-07-11


Today we recall the guppy-fly infestation of 1955. We also celebrate the cure for gastrothropy, and a haiku composed by “Six Notes Returning From The Western Stars.” It is the Feast Day of the Wedding of the Elegant Serpent, and in the garden, there is no rain.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac, I’m Reverend Mord.

Today is July 9th, 2014.

It was on this day in 1955 that an infestation of guppy-flies broke out in the city. This small flying fish, not much larger than a dragonfly, was imported by the exotic pet trade. Unfortunately they escaped from captivity, and a series of extremely humid months led to a massive outbreak. Guppy-flies clogged air intakes and coated the grilles of cars. Pets became ill eating the massive numbers of guppies that filled up the gutters. It was an extraordinary nuisance, causing millions of dollars in damages, and led to the banning of the sale of guppy-flies throughout the city.

And it was on this day in 1921 that a cure was found for gastrothropy, the state of being a were-snail. An outbreak had struck some months earlier, affecting a number of younger sons of good family, and was eventually traced back to the opera. The cure involved butter and salt rubbed on the soles of the feet while chanting the names of saints, and proved broadly effective, though the chanting had to be kept up for many hours. A vaccine was developed some years later and were-snail outbreaks are now small, localized, and easily dealt with.

And it was on this day that the whale wisewoman “Six Notes Returning From The Western Stars” composed her famous haiku “Thoughts of the Barnacle.” This haiku follows the required 5/7/5 format but takes eleven days to perform, as whale syllables last much longer than other people’s.

Today is the Feast Day of the Wedding of the Elegant Serpent. Rice is thrown at sunset and sunrise to celebrate the occasion, and bells are rung at mid-day for seven minutes to drive away evil spirits.

In the garden, lack of rain is leaving things parched and wilted. We must have the weathermancers in. If you cannot get in a weathermancer, try watering the garden by hand for several hours, which is generally enough to spark a rainstorm.

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

Also brought to you by the Kale Council! Kale. It’s still around.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for July 9th, 2014. Be safe, and stay out of trouble.


Out of Character

The Hidden Almanac is a production of Dark Canvas Media, and is written by Ursula Vernon. Our exit music is Red in Black and our into music is Moon Valley, both by Kosta T. You can hear more music from Kosta T at the Free Music Archive. The Hidden Almanac is copyright 2013-2014, Ursula Vernon.

Notes Edit

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