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Purple Shamrock

In 1946, James Curley ("The Purple Shamrock") won his bid for reelection as Boston's mayor. Convicted on several charges of fraud, however, he was obliged to fulfill his mayoral duties from a prison cell.

Curley, unhappy with his state-appointed accomodations, demanded that the court release him on the grounds that he was suffering from twelve (yes, 12) potentially fatal illnesses.

Summoned before the court (in a shirt three times too large), the mayor was asked to name even one of his supposed illnesses. Curley's reply? "An imminent cerebral hemorrhage!"

[Curley's last words? "I wish to announce the first plank in my campaign for reelection... we're going to have the floors in this god-damned hospital smoothed out!" (Curley served as the inspiration for Edwin O'Connor's hero-villain in The Last Hurrah.)]

[To convince the community of a severe illness, a member of the Gnau of New Guinea will remove his clothes, cover himself with dirt and ashes, refrain from conversation, and stop eating.]

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