The Hidden Almanac for
Monday December 8th, 2014
Episode 194
Previous episode: 2014-12-05
Next episode: 2014-12-10


Today we recall the terror of the mailbox bombers. It is also the day the bone skipper fly was first described. It is the Feast Day of St. Sebastian of Drog, and in the garden, there are slugs.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


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

Today is December 8th, 2014.

It was on this day in 1977 that a rash of mailbox bombs began in the city. It lasted for three months and over a hundred mailboxes exploded. While there were only minor injuries reported, at the height of the panic, terror gripped mailbox owners throughout the city, egged on by sensational headlines in the press. “DEATH NARROWLY AVERTED” read one headline, and “MAILBOX BOMBER CLAIMS TEN” read another—the “ten” in this case referring to a set of apartment mailboxes. Postal workers went on strike.

Homeowners chained their mailboxes shut, set up combination locks, and stationed guards. Since this corresponded to the holiday season, sending cards to one’s family suddenly became a dangerous act. At least two people were hospitalized for taking a jolly holiday greeting to the face.

The culprit was eventually revealed to be outside agitators working for a private package delivery service, hoping to cause a breach of trust with the Royal Postal Service. They were charged with ninety-seven counts of interfering with the royal mail and domestic terrorism, and were sent to Echo Harbor to do hard labor in the ichor mines.

And it was On this day that the naturalist Eland the Younger described the bone skipper fly, a type of fly that breeds exclusively in bone marrow. A large fly with a bright orange head, its numbers were severely reduced by habitat loss as the fly could only breed in carcasses with large partially crushed bones. The bone skipper was believed to be extinct until its rediscovery in 2009. We are always glad to learn that a creature has not yet shuffled off this mortal coil, even in the case of the bone skipper fly.

It is the Feast Day of Saint Sebastian of Drog, not to be confused with the far more famous Saint Sebastian who was martyred by arrows. St. Sebastian of Drog was martyred by a septic papercut, and is thus the patron of those who refuse medical intervention. Most doctors really hate it when someone invokes him.

In the garden, the temperature wanders up and down. Slugs come out when it is warm, then retreat when it is cold. The fig has lost all its leaves but the branches are trying to put out new growth.

George the crow is still muttering his part of the unspeakable name. Offers have come into the studio to give George a new home, and we are considering them carefully, though we have not yet given up hope of tearing a hole in the fabric of the universe so that George can be reunited with his family. The daikons, meanwhile, are probably a loss.

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 Whipping Crow Records! The band Slicer is embarking on their second annual holiday tour, stopping in Troyzantium and Echo Harbor and finishing in the most exclusive venue in the city. You can’t actually get tickets now. We just wanted to let you what you were missing.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for December 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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