The Hidden Almanac for
Wednesday August 27th, 2014
Episode 150
Previous episode: 2014-08-25
Next episode: 2014-08-29


Today is the probably birthday of “Raygun.” It is also the day Lay McNera debuted a new dress. It is the Feast Day of St. Curlicue, and in the garden, there is grass.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


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

Today is August 27th, 2014.

It is the probable birthday of the graffiti artist known as “Raygun,” whose spray-painted artwork decorated the city for nearly two decades in the 1990s. The identity of Raygun was never confirmed, but on this day every year, a painting would appear somewhere in the city. This painting featured some form of beverage—a cup of tea, a pint of beer, or something similar—inscribed with the words “Happy Birthday to Me.” Raygun’s artwork ceased in 2001, possibly indicating that the mysterious artist had died or moved away. While many of their paintings were lost, they were recognized as a National Treasure in 1998 and the surviving images protected by royal decree.

And it was on this day in 1857 that the famed fashion designer Lady McNara debuted her Celestial Court Dress, which featured nearly a thousand feet of lace. The twelve foot train was embroidered in imitation of the night sky, with constellations marked in seed pearls. The Celestial Court Dress was imitated hundreds of times over the next few years, leading one critic to complain that the Royal Court resembled an astronomer’s observatory. “To look beneath the north star” briefly entered the vernacular as slang for physical dalliance, but fell out of favor as styles changed. It is now only used in a certain sort of historical romance novel.

It is the Feast Day of Saint Curlicue, patron of small embellishments. Much worshiped by Baroque artists, St. Curlicue is invoked by the designers of architectural details and the makers of serif fonts. The story goes that St. Curlicue went slowly blind over the course of two decades, while embellishing a beautiful illuminated manuscript for the Pope. Upon delivering the manuscript that he could no longer see, he miraculously regained his sight. He promptly set to work on another such manuscript, but was eventually martyred by severe eyestrain. His story is a cautionary tale not to rely too frequently on divine intervention.

In the garden, the interns are undergoing treatment for standing stone withdrawal. While necessary, it is inconveniently timed, as this is the season when various grasses are suddenly three feet tall overnight. Large sections of the test garden suddenly resemble a savanna, and it is most displeasing. Meanwhile, the beans are getting their second wind, and tomato blight has finally finished off the Brandywines. Habanero peppers are just beginning to ripen, although these should be handled with great caution as they can cause severe irritation of the eyes and mucus membranes.

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 House of Small Elegant Things, a boutique for those who enjoy the finer things in life, provided they are under fifty microns tall. Come see us at our High Street Location! Bring a microscope.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for August 27th, 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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