The Hidden Almanac for
Friday December 12th, 2014
Episode 196
Previous episode: 2014-12-10
Next episode: 2014-12-15


Today Eland the Younger described the Zig-Zag Salamander. It is also the day Mandible Park opened, and the day the neck-wear craze began. It is the Feast Day of Saint Allo, and in the seed catalogs, there are squash.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


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

Today is December 12th, 2014.

It was On this day that the naturalist Eland the Younger described the Zig-Zag salamander, a type of salamander found primarily near cave mouths and vividly marked with red zig-zags. Because of their unique habitat, and their need to retreat to deep, cool crevices in the rock in summer, the Zig-Zag is extremely rare and gravely threatened by habitat loss.

And it was on this day in 1899 that Mandible Park was opened to the public. Previously the site of a ceramic factory, Mandible Park encompassed three city blocks, with wooded paths and significant statuary. Topsoil had to be trucked in to cover the remains of the ceramic factory, and there are several rather suspicious hills, but it is a popular picnic destination within the city nonetheless.

And it was on this day, in the Year of the Blunt Ox, that there was a run on scarves and neckties in the town of Echo Harbor. For a few weeks, neckwear vanished off the shelves as rapidly as it was stocked. When asked, several prominent citizens stated that there was “no reason, really,” and “it’s just fashionable, that’s all.” These citizens became agitated if threatened with removal of their neckwear and refused further questions.

More scarves were brought in by truck and the peculiar fashion trend ended some weeks later, as inexplicably as it had begun.

It is the Feast Day of Saint Allo. Allo was an incense maker at the Monastery of Saint Salatius. When raiders came, he threw all of his supplies together, generating vast clouds of extraordinarily scented smoke. This so aggravated the sinuses of his attackers that they fled the battlefield. Allo’s brethren were very grateful, once they could breathe again.

In the garden, the new seed catalogs are promising an unusual variety of Tentacled Summer Squash, which is supposed to be interdimensional portal-resistant. These are always a problem with Tentacled Squash, particularly if they are allowed to cross-pollinate with pumpkins. The new variety, “Asenath’s Improved,” claims to be almost completely magically inert. We have heard this promise before, however, and I would caution the gardener not to put too much faith in this until more field trials have been conducted.

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 Silent Nightclub. Still 100% underground mime-cult free! We just don’t like talking and that’s not a crime, is it? Come by for a completely mime-free experience, guaranteed!

That’s the Hidden Almanac for December 12th, 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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