393. From the bazaar
© Bruce Goodman 7 November 2014

Augustine, called Gus, had bought this crummy calendar with crummy pictures of this and that: flowers, kittens, puppies, Anne Geddes’ babies stuffed inside cabbages… However, he was happy to tolerate the pictures, because the calendar gave international holidays (like almost every third day was marked “Bank Holiday in UK”), and it gave the phases of the moon. He liked the moon bit especially, because people would ask, is it a full moon today or tomorrow? His calendar would tell.

When Gus purchased the calendar from a stall at a bazaar, the Romany-looking stall attendant called after him, “Sorry! No! Not that one!” Too late he’d bought it already.

Gus hung the calendar in his kitchen. The full moon symbol was a large circle: O. This month, the full moon was on the 15th.

Something strange was happening. It was in all the papers. Scientists were mystified. A great black spot had appeared on the near-full moon. There it was! This great yellow globe, hanging in the sky, with a large black spot.

Gus was doing the dishes and he glanced at his calendar. There, on the full moon icon was a blob of fly dirt. He cleaned it off. The next day, the papers were full of it again: the large black spot on the moon had mysteriously disappeared.

For the next few nights, Gus caused unscheduled eclipses by running a finger over the moon icon. The following month he placed red cellophane over the icon. What a scientific commotion it caused! A blood moon! Then a blue moon! Then a green moon! The moon waxed and waned, all out of kilter. Every month these strange portents occurred, eclipse after eclipse, colour after colour, until the year ran out.

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