Italian village situated on the slopes of a dormant volcano. When experts predicted in 1926 that it would erupt shortly before Christmas, loyal villagers elected to stay, staging an elaborate ceremony to mourn their impending deaths. The expected eruption did not happen and scientists amended the predicted date to Christmas 1927. Another grief-stricken ceremony ensued but the volcano remained dormant. Experts again moved their estimate back a year, establishing a pattern that has continued to the present day. Three generations of Pimentoa children have now grown up to the incessant sobbing of parents convinced that they will never live into adulthood.
Travel & Geography
Tiny island in the East Indian Archipelago whose economy is entirely dependent on tourism. Its one and only town consists of a small hotel and twelve tourist information offices – each one carrying a wide variety of brochures extolling the virtues of the other eleven. It is sometimes called “The Leaflet Capital of the World” and has been named in many travel magazines as the most frustrating holiday experience on Earth.
A state of being which many Native Americans believe can be achieved in place of death if, at the point of dying, the will is strong enough to retain consciousness. Although the body cannot move, and may appear to be dead, the person is actually extremely lucid and at last able to clearly perceive all the rights and wrong, truths and falsities of the universe, as well as being highly attuned to everything in their surroundings. Unfortunately, as the person is unable to communicate this wisdom, the Native Americans soon grow tired of them and bury them anyway.
18th century British explorer born in the East Coast town of Filey, and the first man to sail around the world. Widely credited as bringing about the demise of the then popular “flat-earth” theory, until it was discovered that Quarrier himself had been a supporter of this idea, believing the edge of the Earth to lie just West of the Pennines. His epic global journey is now thought to have been undertaken for the simple purpose of visiting his relatives in Blackpool.
Tiny Japanese floating island, which provokes such indifference in the larger islands that it is often allowed to drift freely away (once reaching as far as San Francisco) before it is grudgingly towed back in. There is evidence that the islanders share this casual disdain for themselves, as theirs are the only schools in the world where every child is picked last for PE.