The Hidden Almanac for
Monday March 3rd, 2014
Episode 74
Previous episode: 2014-02-28
Next episode: 2014-03-05


Today Qualm declared independence from the mainland, after some delay. It is also the day we remember the Pepperoni Pete’s Factory Fire. It is the Feast Day of St. Bennius, and in the garden, there are crocus.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


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

Today is March 3rd, 2014.

It was on this day one-hundred and seventy-five years ago that the small island nation of Qualm declared independence from the mainland. Owing to the slow nature of maritime mail, no one knew that Qualm had seceded until nearly a year later, after which letters had to be sent inquiring as to where Qualm was and whether they perhaps had the wrong address. Eventually it all worked out.

It is the anniversary of the terrible Pepperoni Pete’s Factory Fire, which killed twelve in the city’s industrial district. Greasy rags caught fire and burned unnoticed for over an hour. Fire suppression measures proved ineffective, as the sprinkler system turned out to have been installed upside down. The pressurized cheese vats exploded, sending frozen pizzas and molten cheese raining over the surrounding blocks. Many were injured and at least one person tragically beheaded by a high-velocity frozen flatbread. Pepperoni Pete’s declared bankruptcy and the investors fled the city in disgrace.

It is the Feast Day of Saint Bennius, patron of taxidermy mount makers. This highly specific patronage has only tentative links to the saint in question, who was the abbot of a small monastery in the 16th century. Hagiographers have linked the misunderstanding to a printing mishap, when a pamphlet on the life of St. Bennius had its covers swapped with a handbook on taxidermy preparation. The rest, as they say, is history. A resulting rise in the number of seminary students taking up taxidermy was likely statistically unrelated.

In the garden, crocus are emerging. Admire the crocus. It is a harbinger of spring and warmer weather, unless it is a plague crocus, in which case it is harbinger of something rather more unpleasant. A course of antibiotics is recommended. Plague crocus should be handled with non-porous gloves and never composted.

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 Quiz-Whiz Quiz Show! Test your knowledge of obscure fourteen century herbal remedies and the distant cousins of opera stars with Quiz-Whiz! Now in its twenty-third season!

That’s the Hidden Almanac for March 3rd, 2014. 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, Ursula Vernon.


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