The Hidden Almanac for
Wednesday April 29th, 2015
Episode 249
Previous episode: 2015-04-27
Next episode: 2015-05-01


Today we recall the publication of a unique self-help book. We also commemorate he opening of the “Old Neighborhood” in the Undercity. It is the Feast Day of St. Turaco, and in the garden, there is mulch.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


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

Today is April 29th, 2015.

It was on this day in 1989 that the self-help book, “Megalomaniacs Can Multitask” was released. It purported to help the reader learn the management secrets of the world’s worst dictators. Critics denounced it as being in dreadfully bad taste, but it nevertheless stayed on the bestseller list for nearly six months. The author, who went only by John S., refused all interviews. When biographers protested that there was no evidence that the Librarian Prince practiced self-actualization in front of a mirror, the publisher stated that it was self-help, not history, and reportedly blotted their tears with wads of money.

And it was on this day in 1822 that the “Old Neighborhood” in the Undercity was finally completed. Martha Bodner, the engineer, rushed development on it and had planned to debut it on the tenth anniversary of the start of excavations. Unfortunately, hard spring rain and a persistent leak from the storm sewers conspired against these plans, and the opening of the model subterranean neighborhood was delayed for two days.

It is the Feast Day of Saint Turaco, patron of water birds. The legend goes that when pursued by heretics into the marshes of the east, St. Turaco prayed for deliverance. A horde of brightly colored birds descended around him, confusing his pursuers with the riot of their wings. In the confusion, Turaco sank into the marsh and breathed through a reed for some hours, until the heretics left. He emerged, muddy but unmartyred. He is portrayed as a bald man, waist deep in water, with birds attending him.

In the garden, mulch has been delivered. Oh, mulch. There is nothing quite like it for returning a sense of order to the garden. I love the smell of hardwood mulch. I have often thought that if we could spread a layer of mulch over the city—and many of our politicians—it would be a tidier and more elegant place.

Among the things being carefully mulched, the coneflowers have reseeded themselves dramatically. Coneflowers are another plant that is either very happy or dead, without a great deal of room in between. The Pallid Coneflower is slower to emerge than the Purple Coneflower, but also lives up to a decade, where Purple Coneflowers frequently are spent within three years. Paradoxical Purple Coneflower—which is yellow—is a sturdy clump-forming plant, though regrettably rare in cultivation.

The Hidden Almanac is brought to you by Red Turtle Tea Company, purveyors of fine and well-armored teas. Red Turtle --- “We Dig Shells.”

Also brought to you by the Sacred Order of Bull Moose Men! Now selling Bull Moose Pajamas to raise money to pay for the lawsuit after the last Running of the Bull Moose Men. Some people just don’t get into the spirit of the thing. But our bills are your gain! You can order your own Bull Moose PJ’s today!

That’s the Hidden Almanac for April 29th, 2015. Be safe, and stay out of trouble.


Out of Character

The Hidden Almanac is a production of Dark Canvas Media, written by Ursula Vernon and performed and produced by Kevin Sonney. Our theme music is Moon Valley and our exit music is Red in Black, both by Kosta T. You can hear more from Kosta T at the Free Music Archive. All other content is copyright 2013 through 2015, Ursula Vernon.

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