The Hidden Almanac for
Friday August 8th, 2014
Episode 142
Previous episode: 2014-08-06
Next episode: 2014-08-11


It is the day the Gloomtrust Bank was robbed. It is also the day “Space Cookie” topped the charts, and the birthday of Alexis Beard. It is the Feast Day of St. Vacua, and in the garden, there are elderberries.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


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

Today is August 8th, 2014.

It was on this day in 1982 that a man in a badger suit robbed the Gloomtrust Bank in the city’s financial district. He got away with less than five hundred dollars, but the badger suit became a running joke for late night talk show hosts for weeks to come.

And it was on this day in 1994 that the song “Space Cookie” topped the music charts, where it would remain for over three months. The song was originally performed by the neo-grunge futurist band Tidepool, but was covered by dozens of other artists as the weeks wore on. Cultural leaders decried the album, with its frank depictions of sexual positions and completely incoherent lyrics as an assault on decency. Eventually someone managed to decipher what “Space Cookie” was about, determining that it was, in fact, a dramatic reading of a parking ticket fine and contained no obscenities whatsoever. Today, “Space Cookie” is considered retro and causes mild anguish when people over forty dance to it at weddings.

And it is the birthday of fashion designer Alexis Beard who pioneered a line of white ceramic deer heads that became enormously popular in interior design circles. Beard followed this success with ceramic wolf heads, dragon heads, rhino heads, and slug heads, but none quite achieved the same popularity. He eventually passed away, nearly penniless, in a warehouse surrounded by ceramic animals. Those who found him described it all as extremely creepy.

It is the Feast Day of Saint Vacua, patron of empty places. Vacua was rarely worshipped until the rise of minimalist design, when the saint gained popularity among those who believed that less was more. Images of St. Vacua are, by their very nature, impossible, and the saint is usually represented by an empty frame showing the wall behind.

In the garden, the elderberries are starting to ripen. Various cordials can be made of elderberries, but that is a great deal of work and the interns are all still mooning around the standing stone, so we are leaving them for the birds. Birds appreciate these things. Elderberry bushes have a regrettable tendency to flop and split, and must be cut back severely, whereupon they regrow dramatically from the roots. Then the new growth flops and splits and the gardener begins to wonder why they bother.

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 Jim-Bob’s Standing Stone Removal Service. Got a stone? We’ll pass it for you! Jim-Bob’s Standing--

Oh. Very funny. We are committed to organic principles in this garden. There will be no hosing the frog pond down with stone killer, thank you.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for August 8th, 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.

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