The Hidden Almanac for
Friday October 17th, 2014
Episode 172
Previous episode: 2014-10-15
Next episode: 2014-10-20


Today we recall the priest Aaron Monarda and a tortoise. It is also the day the Lizard Pox vaccine became available. It is the Feast Day of St. Cary, and in the garden, there are bulbs. And crows. Mustn’t forget the crows.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


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

Today is October 17th, 2014.

It was on this day in 1926 that the priest Aaron Monarda was visited three times by the ghost of a dead tortoise. Father Monarda was well known for helping turtles across the road, but was somewhat surprised to discover the former tortoise on his doorstep. He eventually discerned that it, too, might desire help crossing over a much larger and more spiritual gulf, and so he performed the Blessing of the Animals for the tortoise and then a modified version of the funeral mass, whereupon the turtle faded slowly away and was not seen again.

And it was on this day in 1977 that a vaccine was developed for childhood lizard pox. Lizard pox is generally not dangerous for children, but can become life-threatening if contracted by adults. Lizard pox is characterized by small, scaly pustles, which spread until the sufferer finally molts their skin, after which they will be immune. Because of the molting process, in less enlightened times, it was suggested that those concerned about freckles seek out infection with the pox, but this is not recommended by physicians today.

It is the Feast Day of Saint Cary, patron of improvisational comedy. He was martyred by a particularly tough audience who pelted him to death, first with vegetables, then rocks, then large farm animals. He is often represented as a man ducking and trying to cover his head. An airborne cow is seen in the background.

In the garden, now is a good time to plant tulips. There are more varieties of tulips than any gardener could grow in one garden, although it is certainly worth trying. The straight species, with narrow, pointed leaves, is magnificent. Also worth mentioning is the recent cultivar “Sorrow Bell” billed as the first weeping tulip. This tulip bends over, which would normally be a fault in these flowers, but which Sorrow Bell does quite elegantly.

The crows have watched us plant tulip bulbs, and cawed, but that is all.

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 St. Offren’s Grounds. All right, we accept that “A Brew Worth Being Martyred For” may have been a little crass as a slogan. We don’t want to offend anyone. We will rebrand simply as “The Martyr’s Coffee” and call it good, all right? You can’t deny that it’s actually her coffee. We have scientists. They did spectrography and crap. Just drink the damn coffee, people, this isn’t an inquisition.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for October 17th, 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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