The show opens with a note from creator Joseph Fink (or is it? He has so many voices…) reminding us to check out the previous live episode, “Condos”, and the fun stuff in the store.*

Cecil is not a good salesman. He likes talking to people, but not to convince them to buy stuff. He prefers just telling stories and letting people interpret them however they want. Still, he is helping his niece  Janice sell Girl Scout cookies. Cecil mentions that Janice’s mom (Cecil’s yet-unnamed sister? It’s good to know Cecil has some family left!) is out of town, and Janice’s stepfather dropped the ball on cookie sales, so Cecil is stepping up to help. Cecil doesn’t seem to like — wait, Steve Carlsberg is Janice’s stepfather? Well, that adds some interesting context to Cecil’s hated of Steve.

English: VALHALLA, N.Y. (June 9, 2007) –...

Navy Cargo Handling Battalion 8 assists hundreds of Girl Scouts from Westchester and Putnam counties in New York load more than 33,000 boxes of cookies as part of “Operation Cookie Drop.” U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Lesley Lykins (RELEASED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The guys in sales, who are all named Sean, just bought some cookies. Cecil notes that he originally bought all the cookies with his own money, but any proceeds from listener purchases buying are an extra donation to the Girl Scouts — Cecil will not be reimbursing himself. Station Management has not bought any cookies yet. Cecil tries to downplay his anger at Station Management — between the StrexPet and the cookies, Cecil is pissed, and calls out Daniel the Producer.

Lauren Mallard, the program director, makes an announcement. StrexCorp agreed to buy all the cookies!  Lauren talks up the Girl Scouts, how they help the women of the future, and the StrexCorp of right now. She’s especially (spell check wanted me to fix my mistyped spelling of this word to “despotically,” which is a little too apropos…) interested in finding girls who can earn their helicopter piloting badge, so StrexCorp bought the Night Vale Girl Scouts. Yay? Tamika Flynn had better watch her back…

Cecil reported the successful sales to Janice, and she’s thrilled. He also insults Steve, while thanking everyone who bought cookies and asking for continued support for the Girl Scouts. He wishes them a fun camping trip, and reminds them to be very careful. Not that they need to hide from enemies. He has no reason to mention that at all!

(Aside: why does my tea taste like soap? The last cup I had in this mug didn’t taste like soap.  Was my tea imported from Night Vale?)

Cecil gives us an update on Khoshekh’s health. The cat is on the mend, but he lost his right eye, and is missing part of his front left paw, so he will limp for the rest of his life. The feeding tube is being removed today, and he’s largely fine. There is even a small silver lining in this cloud: now that Khoshekh is no longer floating four feet off the ground, Cecil got to hold him for the first time. Carlos is allergic to cats, but will be taking Claritin, since Khoshekh will be staying at their place while he recovers.

During the traffic report (spell check wanted to correct my mistyping of “traffic” to “tragic”… hmm…), Cecil sees a flicker of something, and we hear a woman calling Cecil’s name.  Could it be Intern Dana? It is! She is both in the studio and trapped in the desert, as she can travel in space and time. She’s been visiting with John Peters, you know, the farmer, as well as Intern Maureen and members of the army that wanders the desert.  Cecil fills Dana in on her family. Dana says that today is her brother’s 26th birthday, and she got to visit him. When she appeared at the party, the cake said, “Happy 33rd Birthday!” There was a woman at the future party who was the only one not to burst into terrified tears when Dana’s apparition showed up –the woman was Dana herself, in the future! Older Dana calmed everyone down. She disappeared back to the desert before she could find out what happens to herself in the future.  Dana looks forward to being respected, as her older self appears to be.  Cecil gives Dana words of encouragement, and relief that she’ll be back.  But Dana disappears from the studio. As they say goodbye, Cecil asks Dana to say hello to Maureen for him.

This may invalidate my wild speculation.  Or maybe not!

The highway department is asking motorists to turn on their headlights and slow down when driving through constructions zones.  Good advice! Even if the construction workers are communicating to terrifying flying saucers that may or may not plan to abduct you.

The weather is “Haunted” by Maya Kern.

*Note, I don’t get any kickbacks from these links.  Yet. But if anyone wants to throw me a referral link, I wouldn’t say no…

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Reign of the Rocketmen

We jump right into the action this month.

The show opens with Mr. Cullen, the owner of a large collection of gemstones, talking to Mr. Knox, an auctioneer, about their upcoming sale.  Cullen foreshadowingly plans to invest the proceeds into aeronautics.

Suddenly, Rocketmen attack! The head Rocketman, Lyle Fawcett, threatens the two men with a P3X Neutralizer gun — a weapon that incapacitates, but does not kill, by setting off all the body’s pain sensors at once.  The Rocketmen steal the gems.

Over at the Chronicle, owner August Fenwick greets editor Tim Pearly, as Pearly is yelling for Kit Baxter-Fenwick, his ace reporter and Fenwick’s wife.  Gus has brought Kit lunch.  Pearly wants Kit to investigate the Rocketman story, since every other paper has the same information the Chronicle does, and he wants more, an exclusive. Gus’s labs at Fenwick Industries have taken over the Doc Rocket research, since Wentworth James, the Doc’s alter ego and Gus’s old friend, is busy with the war effort. As a result, Gus happens to have schematics of rocketpacks in his labs. The Fenwicks exchange some tit for tat — expertise for the paper’s evening edition, and eyewitness accounts to  help the scientists.

Fawcett talks to a Mr. Buckley their plans. Fawcett is getting greedy. Buckley wants to lay low like they had originally planned.  This out to foreshadow the episode’s conclusion nicely.

English: red panda

English: red panda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Flying Squirrel walks in on The Red Panda working on the Red Knights. The robots talk back, a habit they picked up from Squirrel. Squirrel is annoyed that Panda is too busy working on Knights to stop a Rocketmen swarm. Panda notes that the past robberies were complex and precise, but this one was a bank — well done but not as sophisticated as usual, which means they are getting cocky, and thus predictable. Panda reverse-engineered the rocket packs, and combined with Doc Rocket’s tech, he made himself and Squirrel some rocket packs. Squirrel is overjoyed — hers has a missile. Romance isn’t dead.

Commercial break means bathroom and tea break. While I refresh, Greg Taylor promotes Red Panda Adventures Comics,  the Mask of the Red Panda trade and Night of the Red Panda serial.*

Back to the show. Fawcett and his Rocketmen enter their next crime scene, looking for a large emerald.  Buckley discovers that emerald is a baseball, painted up green and sparkly to serve as bait. Buckley is the smart one, isn’t he?  As Fawcett rants, Red Panda makes his entrance. Fawcett tries to zap panda with the P3X, but he instead shoots the hallucinations that Panda likes to emit at villains.  Panda reveals that what he knows about Fawcett: he was a contractor for the U.S. Defense Department. The government rejected his designs for being too impractical.

The Red Knights file in, and the Rocketmen take off. Squirrel and the Knights follow the Rocketmen while Panda goes for Fawcett. The flying squirrel does love her flying, and she doesn’t mind leading the bots, either. She attacks and captures Buckley.

Red Panda finds Fawcett and taunts him a little. Fawcett cares more about proving that his designs work than about the actual loot. Panda points out that, in general, guns are effective because of the fear of death, not the fear of pain. Fawcett shoots panda. Panda fights it off the effects, then takes out Fawcett.

As he packages the villain for trial, Panda advises Fawcett to use his gifts for the peace effort, but Fawcett vows revenge.

Tune in next time!

*As usual, I don’t make anything from these links, although I’d be willing to! I’ll let you know if that changes.


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The Hidden Almanac for 2014-04-02

A happy and blessed Feast of St. Flounder to you all!

Flatfish are asymmetrical, with both eyes lyin...

Flatfish are asymmetrical, with both eyes lying on the same side of the head (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In today’s Hidden Almanac, Rev. Mord told us about some interesting events that occurred on this date in history: in 1545, the Spice Wars swung in flavor of Prince Sergei III; in 1811, the Bridge of Monks fell down, then got back up; 225 years ago, Poor Schmo’s Book of Proverbs was first published.

In the garden, mushrooms! (The Copy Editor ate them. I choose to take this as a shout-out.)

Today’s sponsors were Red Wombat Tea Company, and Stuart, Stuart, and Swell.

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The Heart is a Lonely Haunter

Ben Blacker announces the show is coming to New York on May 10. Crap, I’m going to miss it. Sounds amazing, too.* Also, he discusses the Night Vale crossover, of which I was so looking forward to hearing a recording. Except they lost the recording. But they’re doing the show again! This year! (Come to New York! I bet I can recruit a posse!)


Then, we start the show! It’s an episode of Beyond Belief, which is a segment I enjoy, so hopefully it’ll be better than a certain past episode.


Frank and Sadie Doyle, upper-crust mediums (media?) are drinking.  Of course. They discuss taking a day off from doing things, which they generally try to avoid anyway.

A knock on the door interrupts, but they decide to resolutely ignore it. This lasts about 45 seconds. It could be a puppy! A puppy capable of knocking! (there’s also an awkward Eskimo joke I’m less thrilled with).

But it’s just Cupid. He’s here because of Penelope Pepperdine, with whom he is in love. He didn’t want to use his arrows — that would be cheating — but that didn’t work, so he shot her after all. But with Diana’s arrows.  She died. Of course. Now he wants to jump off the Doyles’ balcony, so he can go to Hades and bring back Penelope’s spirit. Then he changes his mind and decides to get revenge on Diana — who then shows up.

Diana and Cupid

Diana and Cupid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She insults and threatens the Doyles.  Frank wants satisfaction, but Sadie wants her night off, so they give Cupid five minutes to take care of business.

The Doyles decide to grab another drink, and adjourn to one of their huge liquor cabinets, just as Mercury shows up. He was the one to switch the bows and arrows! Frank and Sadie tell Cupid and Diana about the prank. They agree to unite in war against Mercury… and then Diana shoots Mercury with one of Cupid’s arrows, and Mercury proceeds to fall madly in love with Cupid.  Less homophobic than I feared but still played for laughs. But it would have been played for laughs if it had been heterosexual, too, I suppose, so OK. Besides, those Greek/Roman gods will screw anything.

Sadie manages to talk Mercury into going to Hades to bring back Penelope, even though it’s counter to his interests. Mercury also gives Diana her arrows back, and the gods all leave.

Frank and Sadie serenade each other, and return to their drinks.


Yes, that was much better.



*I’m not getting paid to put these links up. Yet. If the TAA folks want to change that, I’m listening…

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The Hidden Almanac for 2014-03-28

A happy and blessed Feast of St. Arnulf to you all!

English: Wooden twigs used in an old-fashioned...

English: Wooden twigs used in an old-fashioned fence, in the Tiainen croft in Puolanka, Finland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In today’s Hidden Almanac, Rev. Mord told us about some interesting events that occurred on this date in history: 1899, the Black Beast was seen in the city; Rosemary Jackson was born (no date given); 50 years ago, the snugglepig was introduced (think Cabbage Patch Kid).

In the garden, plants beets, cabbages, and lettuce right away.

Today’s sponsors were Red Wombat Tea Company, and Prickle-Ease Cactus De-spiner.

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The Hidden Almanac for 2014-03-26

A happy and blessed Feast of St. Procyon to you all!

English: A Common Raccoon (Procyon lotor) seen...

English: A Common Raccoon (Procyon lotor) seen near a bike path near Schererville. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In today’s Hidden Almanac, Rev. Mord told us about some interesting events that occurred on this date in history: the Council of 16 engaged in a quiet war against the squirrels (no date given); 87 years ago, the western quarter of the city was knee-deep in ferns; in 1995, refugees fled the kingdom of Lord of the Mountain, which suffered under the Great Lupercalia Drought.

In the garden, frost killed everything you just planted.

Today’s sponsors were Red Wombat Tea Company, and Bob’s Discount Stigmata.

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The Hidden Almanac for 2014-03-24

A happy and blessed Feast of Our Lady of the Olive Groves to you all!

Olives from Croatia

Olives from Croatia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In today’s Hidden Almanac, Rev. Mord told us about some interesting events that occurred on this date in history: in 1782, the next of the Hateful Decrees was passed; in 1988, Chronic Wasting Disease was identified in deer and elk herds; The Essential Vegetables of the West was published (no date given).

In the garden, plant things, even if it’s too cold, because you need to.

Today’s sponsors were Red Wombat Tea Company, and Stink-B-Gone Stinkbug and General Stench Remover


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The show opens with a note from creator Joseph Fink (or is it? He has so many voices…) reminding us to check out a live show, and that Welcome to Night Vale will be at Emerald City Comic Con, including a live crossover with Thrilling Adventure Hour. Also, check out the previous live episode, “Condos”, and the fun stuff in the store.*

There is a visitor in Cecil’s studio. He’s not sure what it is, but it’s adorable! Cecil reminds us of Khoshekh, the cat who hovers in the men’s restroom. The new creature won’t drink the water Cecil offers, just stares at him. Its eyes are all black, and there other dots around its face that might also be eyes.  It makes cut noises. The creature waddles over to Cecil and lets him pet it. It purrs, sort of. Cecil squees as it hugs him; I am dubious about the nature of the hug. The creature bites Cecil. He runs to the bathroom to clean up, and calls into the show on his cell phone, thanks to some help from Intern Jeremy. The creature tried to follow him into the bathroom. He greets Khoshekh, just as the new creature finally breaks into the men’s room. Cecil hides, and asks Jeremy to call Animal Control and take us to the Weather… just as the creature attacks Khoshekh. Khoshekh gets badly hurt. Cecil kicks the creature, and he and Jeremy hold it down until Animal Control attempts to sedate it — but they can’t, because it’s a machine. Animal control takes Khoshekh to a hospital, but they think he’ll live. There will be less of him, but he’ll live. Cecil is heartbroken, and angry that he can’t get revenge.  His new program director, Lauren, wants to know why Cecil destroyed his birthday present. She and Daniel and the rest of the management team got him a StrexPet because he loves animals.

It’s not Cecil’s birthday. But he is determined to avenge Khoshekh.

In the news, controversy plagues the mayoral race. The current frontrunners, you’ll recall, are: the faceless old woman who secretly lives in your home; and Hiram McDaniels, who is literally a five-headed dragon. McDaniels was recently acquitted of insurance fraud, but allegedly possesses a stolen truck. The faceless old woman’s origin is lost to history, and there’s no birth certificate — is she a US citizen?

In traffic, there is a silver pickup truck. A man is inside.He doesn’t remember things. He can, but he doesn’t. He deals only in the present. He doesn’t answer his phone.

On the community calendar: Night Vale Community Theater is holding auditions for Into the Woods. Those auditioning should bring night vision goggles, glass cutters, and ski masks to the bank. The Museum of Forbidden Technologies is opening a new exhibit on  thought crimes. Anyone who attends will be arrested immediately. On Friday, the Dark Owl Records staff will be wearing black pants and chain mail veils.  Saturday night marks  the opening of  new restaurant Tourniquet. LaShawn Mason, executive chef, was formerly sous chef for top-rated restaurant Shame. The food will feature a mix of molecular gastronomy and human remains. The prix fixe menu includes and appetizer, entrée, dessert, and an awareness of horrible, previously repressed memories. Sunday is.

Carlos and his team of scientists report about the house that doesn’t exist but seems to. The scientists have been monitoring John Peters, you know, the farmer, who has been standing alone in the house for weeks. The house is otherwise empty, except for various photographs of lighthouses. The scientists finally went up to door, but it was locked.  They shook the handle and knocked. John did not answer, but a woman, Cynthia, did. When she opened the door, the room was the same as the one John was standing in, but fully furnished.  Cynthia claims she’s lived in the house longer than the housing development has been in existence.

A word from our sponsor: Do you believe in a smiling god? What if the smiling god is smiling more than ever, with highly reflective teeth? And your reflection in those teeth is perfect? And your perfect self hates your imperfect self? And the god’s tongue reflects your imperfect self? Bleeding? What if you could kill  your imperfect self? StrexCorp can help!

The weather is “Cover Me Up” by Jason Isbell. It’s pleasant and mellow and not especially strange.

*Note, I don’t get any kickbacks from these links.  Yet. But if anyone wants to throw me a referral link, I wouldn’t say no…

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Wild Speculation: The Same Universe?

It is totally word of god that Ursula Vernon’s Hidden Almanac was inspired by Welcome to Night Vale:

A bunch of friends of mine kept telling me that I needed to listen to this podcast called “Welcome to NightVale” because it was delightful and weird. Several of them described it as “Lake Woebegone meets Lovecraft.”


It is not at all like Lake Woebegone meets Lovecraft. Lake Woebegone is the town in Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, of which I happen to be a totally rabid fan* and I was going “Oh my god, do any of these people listen to Prairie Home Companion? Because this is not that! This is a very nice little community radio spoof, and PHC…is a radio variety show with a monologue. Seriously! And anyway, if you were going to do a parody on a Garrison Keillor show and make it freaky and weird, you wouldn’t even pick PHC because it’s too long and you’d have to be a master humorist to pull off the small town thing and you can only throw tentacles at a Lutheran pastor so many times before it stops being funny so obviously the one you’d want to parody would be the little short daily podcast he does called The Writer’s Almanac where he talks about stuff on this day in history and then reads a poem and ohshitthisisactuallyagoodidea.”

She also claims that it takes place in a “totally fictional world mostly inside my head,” but I’m beginning to wonder if that’s, if not untrue initially, then at least becoming less and less true as time goes by.

Between the Intern Infestation in the garden, and the celebration of The Void’s feast day, I’m beginning to wonder if the Hidden Almanac takes place in the same “universe” as Welcome to Night Vale. If Night Vale is this universe’s typical southwestern desert town, perhaps Rev. Mord broadcasts from a typical New England town (I don’t know why I picture the Rev. broadcasting from New England, but there you are).

So, what do you think of my wild speculation? Think there’s any sense to it? If so, feel free to fanfic it up, and post a link! If not, tell me why — and show your work!

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The Hidden Almanac for 2014-03-14

A happy and blessed Feast of St. Worble to you all!

English: Walrus at Kamogawa Seaworld, Japan

English: Walrus at Kamogawa Seaworld, Japan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In today’s Hidden Almanac, Rev. Mord told us about some interesting events that occurred on this date in history: in 1479, and ice orchid was presented to the Queen; the burlap drum was invented (no date given); in the Year of Striking, Unspeakable Beer was introduced. In the garden, do not plant tomatoes.

Today’s sponsors were Red Wombat Tea Company, and Hearthstone Extradimensional Scaffolding.

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