Mysterious Corner

Pirate Indicator

A tiny bit late for International Talk Like a Pirate Day, but this is a birthday present I received from my friend Sarah. As we know, being a pirate isn’t just for one day of the year, so any time I find myself short of a pirating action, I aim to make good use of this as we set sail into the silly season, and onward into 2007.

And from Pil & William, this little guy:

Little Pirate

Who has, predictably enough, swashbuckled his way into Mysterious Corner

Avast! Hoist the Jolly Roger and stow the idle chat ye bilge rats! Back to the decks or I’ll have ye all keelhauled!


Tucked away in Mysterious Corner is this innocuous looking wooden box. It has no latches or catches or markings of any kind. It’s a plain pine box.

But if you know how to push the right bit just so…

Here’s another little thing from Mysterious Corner. It’s a tiny glass apple, less than an inch in diameter, that my mum once gave me.

I can’t remember the circumstances under which she gave it to me, or why she would ever have even chosen such a thing for me. But I’m glad she did because it always reminds me of her gentle and quirky nature.

Rest in peace mum.

Hold on to your pyramid hats Cowettes, today we’re going to take a walk on the Wild Side of the Highly Bizarre! “What’s new?” I hear you cry. “I always come to The Cow with that expectation!”

Ah yes, so very true, but today I have one of the most special items in Mysterious Corner to show you.

This is what it says on the front of the box:

The Aetherius Society

Holy Stone



There are copious notes with the Holy Stone but for the sake of brevity I’ll just provide you here with a few extracts. On the ‘Important Instructions’ sheet:

This sacred article is carefully hand-crafted to an exact shape and formula designed by Doctor George King, President of the Aetherius Society.

Here is some information on Doctor George King, including a very scary portrait. The ‘exact shape’ that Dr King has so cunningly designed is what would in less enlightened circles be described as an equilateral triangle. As to the ‘formula’, well, the sacred article appears to be made out of wood, but I guess I could be mistaken on that score. The instructions continue:

Because of the mystical shape of this article, it is fairly fragile. It should not be dropped or roughly handled.

Because of the shape? Because it’s a triangle, it’s fragile? Hmmm. Setting aside the confusing logic, this assertion is just not convincing. A spun-glass Yuletide ornament is fragile. A balsa wood aeroplane frame is fragile. A 150 million year old compsagnathus skeleton is fragile. A solid wooden triangle with sharp points is robust enough to be a murder weapon. But that’s another story.

Do not allow this article to be handled by strangers and only handle it a minimum of times yourself.

Much as you might treat the precious things of the shop, perhaps.

The instructions include various packaging and care tips, including the admonition to ‘always keep the article in an upright position’. This is evidently very important, because it is mentioned several times. An additional Information Sheet that comes with the Sacred Article proclaims in big letters at the top:

Each Shape is a Radionic Machine!

It goes on to say that “all owners of these Shapes, containing Holy Stones from the Holy Mountains charged during Operation Starlight” are urged to regard the Shapes as “little radionic machines!” Doctor King wants us to know that “there is at least 100,000 years of experience behind the knowledge which he put into the design of these Shapes”. Normally, this would provide a bit of a problem since that puts us well back before the Stone Age, but this is no hurdle for the Aetherians, who believe that humans are just an outpost of a huge intergalactic civilization that has been around for yonks. If you care to read about that kind of thing you can spend a lot of time doing so on the Aetherius Society web page.

The Instruction leaflet also has some tips for those wishing to take their Holy Stone & Wooden Triangle on holidays:

If you wish to take this sacred article with you on vacation or other trips, pack it carefully in its own box and pack it in an upright position.

Oh yes, I can see it now:

Would you mind opening your briefcase sir. Hmm. Now, what’s this?

Oh, that’s a Holy Stone from Mt Baldy. See – it says so on the box.

A Holy Stone? It’s set in a rather sharp and quite robust looking wooden triangle – I’m afraid you can’t take that on the plane.

Ooh. Be careful – it’s very fragile. Don’t tip it over. And I’d prefer you didn’t handle it quite so much.

And why would that be, sir?

Well, you see, it’s a little radionic machine…

I see. And what exactly would that do then?

Er. Well. Um. I’m not sure. The instructions are quite comprehensive, but they don’t really say anything about that…

Is that right? Excuse me a minute would you sir… Hey, Frank – take a look at the pointy end of this thing. Does that look like blood to you?

Another curio from Mysterious Corner. This is a little birdy button that tweets when you press it.

Download (Click to play…)

I wish I could tell you a story about it, but again, I can’t remember where it came from.

In the corner of my loungeroom is a small shelf which for possibly understandable reasons has come to be dubbed ‘Mysterious Corner’. It is laden with all manner of arcane trinkets, and I thought I might share a few of them with readers of The Cow. Today I have for your delectation Jesus Saves:

It’s a money box, if you didn’t pick that up. I can’t remember where it came from… (Cissy Strutt?). It has remained empty since I’ve had it. I’m not sure if there is anything allegorical in that.