The Hidden Almanac for
Monday October 20th, 2014
Episode 173
Previous episode: 2014-10-17
Next episode: 2014-10-22


Today we mark the passing of another Hateful Decree. It is also the day “Winkles and Friends!” first aired. It is the Feast Day of St. Tobias, and in the garden, the crows are talking. I am very happy about this.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


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

Today is October 20th, 2014.

It was on this day in 1782 that the next of the Hateful Decrees was passed by the Librarian Prince, who had taken some time off. The official cause of his absence from governance was listed as “gout” but later historians suspect that he was being quietly fed arsenic by his ministers. And really, who can blame them?

Regardless, this Hateful Decree was, in fact, against arsenic, and corresponded to the execution of three ministers. This was not a terribly unpopular decree, except among rat catchers, apothecaries, and interior designers. (Arsenic had long been used to provide a particularly elegant green pigment, popular in paint and wallpaper.) The rat catchers and apothecaries were issued exemptions, and the interior designers were forced to find less toxic pigments, leading to a general rise in quality of life.

And it was on this day in 1997 that the popular children’s show “Winkles and Friends!” first aired. It consisted of a man drunkenly screaming obscenities at the camera, and aired during Saturday morning cartoons for some weeks before the networks discovered that someone had mislabeled the public access tapes. Winkles was promptly cancelled, much to the outcry of enraged parents who said that Winkles was the only reason their children left them alone on Saturday mornings.

It is the Feast Day of Saint Tobias, who was martyred by being fed to wild animals. He is not the patron of anything terribly interesting, and appears to have led a fairly dull monastic life before the whole wild animal thing. One expects that was more than enough excitement for him.

In the garden, the crows have begun to talk. They say only two phrases, however—“It is coming” and “Cheetos!” The first is delivered in ominous tones. The second appears to be a demand. The interns are buying Cheetos at the wholesale club. The crows continue to be adorable.

If you are not currently being visited by ominous corvids, now would be a good time to treat paths and walkways with pre-emergent herbicides. Corn gluten meal is generally considered to be earth-friendly and will not do anything terribly unpleasant to birds, frogs, or insects. It works as a dessicant to prevent seed germination. This is only somewhat effective in very wet climates, but we at the Hidden Almanac do not condone drenching the garden with poisons unless you are faced with the sort of weeds that can only be controlled through a scorched earth policy, such as kudzu, screaming buttweed, and barberry.

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. We apologize for the use of the word “inquisition” on the last ad spot, as it has been brought to our attention that St. Offren was sentenced to death by inquisitors. Awkward. We have made a sizable donation to one of those charities that gives puppies to sick orphans. Please continue to buy our coffee.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for October 20th, 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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