The Hidden Almanac for
Friday May 29th, 2015
Episode 262
Previous episode: 2015-05-27
Next episode: 2015-06-01


Today we mark the beginning of a new phase in the works of the artist Ronald Helgin. It is also the day Authaire published a new treatise. It is the Feast Day of Anthracite, and in the garden, there are oats.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


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

Today is May 29th, 2015.

It was on this day in 1948 that the artist Ronald Helgin, famed by the Modern Peculiar movement, stabbed a traveling salesman in the shoulder with a paintbrush. The police ruled that traveling salesmen were in season at the time, and thus it was a legal attack, but were puzzled by Helgin’s habit of keeping sharpened paintbrushes on hand. “You’d think it would make it difficult to paint with, being all pointy like that,” said one local officer. Helgin declined significantly in his later years, probably owing to poor ventilation in his studio. Biographers suggest that this assault may mark the beginning of his “Paranoid Stabbing Phase” which produced many great paintings and an increasingly high number of casualties.

And it was on this day in 1441 that the natural philosopher Authaire produced one of this lesser known treatises, “Observations on the Inflation of Frogs,” which was an exhaustive attempt to relate the throat sacs of various species of frogs to the orbit of various planets. It was an ambitious work, but doomed to failure, as the telescopes of the era could not detect the planet Demetrius, which of course has the greatest influence upon the frequency and volume of frog-calls.

It is the Feast Day of Anthracite. This form of coal does not much care if you worship it, and it has been suggested that this feast day is a cynical attempt by the coal-lobby to normalize the use of coal-fired plants.

In the garden, the river oats have grown enthusiastically and are now almost waist high. This native grass will grow in partial shade, despite root competition from trees, and reseeds vigorously. It is very useful in shady areas when you have exhausted the potential of sedges. The individual stalks are easily pulled if it gets into an area where you do not wish to have oats, but never fear, you will have to pull them again next year. The seeds are eaten by many game birds. For this to be useful, you probably have to have game birds to begin with, which is difficult if, like us, you garden in an area where quail have been extirpated.

I would like quail to be returned. Quail make the world a better place and harm no one. There is only one recorded instance of quail killing a human, and it occurred in Echo Harbor, so is statistically insignificant.

The CharmX people are still poking at the slab. I wish they would simply open it, have one of their employees blasted by a horror beyond comprehension, and be done with it.

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 a chicken in the Glass Quarter, who found several hundred dollars buried under a corner of the woodshed and wished to donate it to public radio. May the saints look kindly upon you, chicken.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for May 29h, 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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