The Flathead Calendar

883

THE TWELVE FLATHEADS

As every student of history knows, the Twelve Flatheads were the greater part of the Thirteen Significant Accomplishments of King Mumberthrax the Insignificant.*

In the immortal words of Boswell Barwell, the royal biographer:

Mumberthrax's place in history was secured by the one thing at which the Flatheads tended to excel: procreation. He sired twelve amazing children; twelve offspring who would transform the kingdom. As these magnificent siblings grew in notoriety, as their vast achievements became legendary, they became known as the Twelve Flatheads.**

In 783 GUE, the coronation of Lord Dimwit Flathead the Excessive, Mumberthrax's firstborn, began at Flatheadia. This calendar, brought to you under the auspices of the Flatheadia Chamber of Commerce and the Frobozz Magic Calendar Company, celebrates the centennial of that memorable occasion.

Reproduced for this calendar are Leonardo Flathead's famous portraits of the Twelve Flatheads.*** Leonardo brilliantly captured the varied personalities of the siblings on canvas over a span of seventeen years, starting with his own self-portrait in 766 GUE (see Jelly) and finishing with his Coronation Portrait of King Dimwit in 783 GUE (see Estuary).

We are grateful for permission to reprint the accompanying excerpts from Boswell Barwell's exhaustive biography, The Lives of the Twelve Flatheads.****

* The thirteenth accomplishment was a decree that made Double Fanucci the National Sport of Quendor. Legends say that Double Fanucci was invented by Zilbo III, the last king of the Entharion dynasty. Double Fanucci Championships had been an annual event since 691 GUE, and Mumberthrax's Proclamation of 757 simply gave the sport official royal approval.

** From the introduction to The Lives of the Twelve Flatheads.

*** The originals can be seen in the gallery at Flatheadia Castle. Acknowledgement is gratefully made to Winifred Booblort of the Flatheadia Castle Preservation Society for her invaluable help.

**** Copied right in 804 GUE by the Frobozz Magic Biography Publishing Company.

DIMWIT FLATHEAD
Excessive Ruler of the Empire
(723-789)

Dimwit, as Mumberthrax's firstborn, grew up as heir to the throne of Quendor. A tad spoiled, little Dimmie was fond of torturing his nannies in the castle dungeon.

Dimwit spent most of his early adulthood vacationing (with 40,000 attendants) in the sparsely populated Eastlands across the Great Sea. Dimwit, who despised the outdoors,* was enthralled by the underground caverns there.

When Mumberthrax felt death's icy hand in 770 GUE, Dimwit began his vibrant reign. He immediately moved the capital of Quendor from Egreth, in the Westlands, to Aragain, in the Eastlands. Aragain, a small village, was transformed and renamed Flatheadia. Dimwit also decreed that Quendor be called The Great Underground Empire.**

Dimwit's grandiosity knew no bounds. His wondrous coronation ceremony*** quickly earned him the nickname Lord Dimwit Flathead the Excessive. On a whim, in 783, he ordered the erection of Flood Control Dam #3, an underground project whose uselessness and cost did not diminish its magnificence. He also had huge granola smelters built near the Antharian Granola Mines.

Some bitter, unappreciative chroniclers have described Dimwit's castle as his biggest folly. It covered 8,600 square bloits, and housed, at one time, over 90% of the empire's population.

Dimwit's last great project was the erection of a huge statue of himself in the Fublio Valley. Nine bloits tall, it necessitated the deforestation of 1,400 square bloits.

It was rumored that Dimwit was planning the construction of a new continent in the Flathead Ocean; a continent whose contours would have resembled his own features. Sadly, Dimwit passed away in 789 before he could realize this incomparable goal. His death has always been shrouded in mystery.

* Dimwit was petrified of rain, which puddled embarrassingly on his level pate.

** Nowadays, these names are used interchangeably.

*** The ceremony took thirteen years to plan and lasted eighteen fun-filled months.

ESTUARY 883

Sand Day  Mud Day  Grues Day Wands Day Birthday  Frob Day(TR) Starday

1: Entharion Day
3: Mom's Birthday
5 (and every Birthday): Dimwit's Birthday Observed
16: Granola Riots (865 GUE)
18: Endless Fire started
30: Flood Control Dam #3 dedicated (783 GUE)

DID U KNOW? Dimwit's Birthday, now associated with big sales at U-Mart and J.C. Zorkmids, was once a day when everyone in the kingdom was required to give the king a present. (773 GUE)

JOHN D. FLATHEAD
Captain of Industry
(725-789)

King Duncanthrax formed the Frobozz Magic Construction Company in 667 GUE to enlarge the underground caverns of the Eastlands. Affiliated companies, such as the Frobozz Magic Dirt Disposal Company, and the Frobozz Magic Sewer Installation Company, soon followed. The next year, FrobozzCo international was formed as a parent company for the burgeoning subsidiaries.

By 743, there were more than 17,000 subsidiaries of FrobozzCo. That same year, a young entrepreneur named John D. Flathead graduated from the venerable Borphee Business School.

At age 22, John D. founded Flathead Industries. FI's business was inventing other companies, which it would then sell to FrobozzCo. Within three years, FI had an annual income of 80,000,000 zorkmids. Eventually, the conglomerate decided to buy FI, renaming it the Frobozz Magic Company Company. John D. became one of FrobozzCo's 39,000 vice-presidents.

It didn't take John D. long to parlay his business acumen and royal connections into the chairmanship of FrobozzCo. Years of heady growth followed. When John D.'s older brother Dimwit became king, FrobozzCo received every contract for Dimwit's incredible projects. Hundreds of new subsidiaries were formed daily; in 781 a huge 400-story headquarters opened in Flatheadia.

John D.'s long-time goal was for FrobozzCo to control every single zorkmid of commerce in the Great Underground Empire. The lone holdout, a small rutabaga farm in Mithicus, finally sold out to FrobozzCo in 789. John D. never heard the news, however. He disappeared, along with a huge entourage, while touring the factories of the Frobozz Magic Snowmaking Equipment Company in the Gray Mountains.

FROBUARYTR 883

FUN FAX FrobuaryTR was originally called Fidooshiary until it was purchased by the Frobozz Magic Month Company in 817 GUE.

3: Undergroundhog's Day
29: Start of Leap Week (Antharia only)

STONEWALL FLATHEAD
Military Hero
(726-789)

T.J. Stonewall Flathead received his celebrated nickname while serving as a Squire in the Royal Army during the famous Battle of the Stonewall in 747 GUE.

The Stonewall was a strategically vital locale, commanding the two most important caverns of the Eastlands. When reports arrived that rebellious natives had captured the Stonewall, T.J. Flathead and his garrison were assigned the mission of retaking it.

After a battle lasting seven weeks, during which T.J.'s men suffered a casualty rate of nearly 75%, the garrison stormed The Stonewall. Once in command of it, they discovered that the reports had been erroneous: The Stonewall was completely undefended, and the supposedly rebellious natives were actually all vacationing in the Gray Mountains. Nevertheless, T.J.'s tactics and strategies during the battle were brilliant, and he would henceforth be known as Stonewall Flathead.

Stonewall rose quickly through the ranks, and in 755 GUE he became General of the Royal Army.

During his 34 years in command, he squelched three provincial rebellions and over 12,000 tax riots. Fortunately, his unlimited conscription powers helped mitigate the 98% casualty rates his army suffered during these difficult battles.

Stonewall died in 789 GUE during the Battle of Ragweed Gulch, when he was accidentally shot by one of his own men.

ARCH 883

KRAZY KWOTES
Why pay less?
-- Dimwit Flathead

11: St. Balhu's Day
19: Frobozz Magic Cave Co. founded (668 GUE)
22: Royal Museum dedicated (777 GUE)

JOHANN SEBASTIAN FLATHEAD
Musical Genius
(728-789)

In 732 GUE, the Frobozz Philharmonic Orchestra was formed. Because of the woeful lack of orchestral music in existence, the FPO unusually settled for playing baroque versions of old folk tunes and popular dance numbers.

Seven years later, the FPO performed their first symphony. The piece was notable because of the age of its author, a precocious eleven-year-old named Johann Sebastian Flathead.

As he matured, Johann's symphonies increased in length, while his audiences mysteriously decreased in size.* His Symphony #981, the so-called Infinite Symphony, contained over 60,000 movements; over the course of its only performance, several members of the orchestra retired and were replaced by their children or grandchildren.

Dimwit recognized a kindred spirit in his younger brother, and appointed him official court composer in 771. Later that year, he wrote his famous Flathead Overture for Rack and Pendulum to celebrate the dedication of Dimwit's new dungeon.

He spend his latter years composing music for ever more grandiose instruments, such as his Concerto for Woodwinds and Waterfalls. Johann was killed in 789 when a mishap occurred during a rehearsal of his Minuet for Violin and Volcano.

* No reasonable postulation has been made to explain Johann's lack of popularity. It is the belief of this author that the short attention span of the general public precluded it from sitting still for the whole of one of his symphonies.

ORACLE 883

TID BITZ This year is the 100th anniversary of the original Coronation Day. Since Dimwit's coronation, all subsequent kings have been crowned on Oracle 22nd.

3: King Wurb's Birthday
4: St. Foobus' Day
22: Coronation Day
29: dinner at the Bozbo's

J. PIERPONT FLATHEAD
Dauntless Banker and Financier
(730-789)

As a child, J. Pierpont demonstrated both the flair for capitalism and the resourcefulness which would make him the most successful banker in all of Quendor. The enterprising eight-year-old opened a lemonade stand in the center of Egreth Village, using the royal militia to force citizens to buy lemonade. At spearpoint, most people were willing to pay little J. Pierpont's exorbitant price of 300 zorkmids per glass.*

He also used the militia to quash other lemonade stands in the city, and later to shut off all other beverage sources as well. As the prices at his lemonade stand soared into the quadruple digits, J. Pierpont quickly realized the power of monopolies.

In 749, at the age of nineteen, J. Pierpont became a clerk at the Bank of Zork. Six weeks later, following a rash of disappearances of his successive bosses, J. Pierpont became the youngest Chairman of the Board in the bank's history, a testament to his financial acumen.

As Chairman, he used his royal connections to eliminate all competing banks, increasing the Bank of Zork's market share from 99.2% to 100%.** He also supervised the installation of the latest magic-based security techniques to guard the bank's vault and deposit box areas. For unknown reasons, J. Pierpont hired exclusively gnomes to fill his teller and security positions.

J. Pierpont Flathead served as Chairman of the Board until his odd disappearance in 789 GUE, when he entered one of the bank's vaults and never re-emerged. Although gone, he is not forgotten; reproductions of his portrait still hang in every branch of the Bank of Zork.

* Ice was extra.

** He was later able to increase this number to 131% by encouraging customers to deposit their money several times.

MAGE 883

0: Zero Day
1: Mage Day
6: Antharian Marble Pageant
31: St. Honko's Day

QUICKIE QUIZ Who was the first king of the Flathead Dynasty?

ANSWER: Duncanthrax the Bellicose

THOMAS ALVA FLATHEAD
Inventor Extraordinaire
(730-789)

Many have mastered the magical arts; few applied them to the creation of practical devices as masterfully as the great inventor Thomas Alva Flathead.

His brilliance was evident even in childhood. Thomas Alva, the sixth son in his family, was constantly tormented by his siblings: no sooner would he get a toy to play with than some older brother would snatch it away. Thomas Alva quickly remedied the situation by inventing powerful steel traps which, at first glance, looked exactly like toy boats or stuffed dornbeasts.

As an adult, Thomas Alva produced a seemingly endless stream of inventions from his laboratory, Froblo Park. His most useful inventions include the magic room spinner and the magic compressor, but he is probably best-known as the inventor of the battery-powered brass lantern.

Thomas Alva also made a number of breakthroughs in the area of personally-ingested magic. His most famous invention in this area was a yellowish-green potion which allowed humans to talk to plants.

All of these inventions were marketed by FrobozzCo International, providing Thomas Alva with generous royalties. But he spurned wealth, living in a small room behind his laboratory and sleeping on an unfinished wooden board. Thomas Alva died in 789 GUE from a severe case of splinters.

JAM 883

KRAZY KWOTES
A good lawyer is much better than a good husband.
-- Lucrezia Flathead

5: Treaty of Znurg (474 GUE)
14: Capital moved to Flatheadia (771 GUE)

LEONARDO FLATHEAD
Artist and Scientist
(731-789)

Little notice was taken of Leonardo Flathead as a child. He was shy and quiet, and quite overshadowed by his aggressive older brothers. It wasn't until his arrival at Galepath University that his genius blossomed and the world began to take notice.

While at the University, Leonardo wrote several major treatises which revolutionized scientific thought. The most famous of these disproved the hoary myth that the world sits on the back of a giant turtle, proving instead that the world actually rests on the head of an enormous troll.

After his University days were over, Leonardo turned from science to art. He became the most famous painter in the land: noblemen from every province were escorted to his studio by Dimwit's personal militia to have their portraits painted.

Unfortunately, during his later years Leonardo became quite senile, and his painting style deteriorated. He took to flinging paint at his canvasses in much the same was that a Borphee baker flings bits of dough into a hot oven to make Frobolli Cakes. His studio became caked with layer upon layer of splattered paint. It was during this period that his famous incomplete work, Obstructed View of Fjord, was lost.

Leonardo made a final, feeble attempt to recapture his former greatness by moving into other media beside paint, but these efforts led to his tragic end. In 789, while working on a large statue intended for the harbor of Antharia, he suffered a fatal plunge into a vat of molten granola.

JELLY 883

TID BITZ The great Thaumaturgist, Davmar, spent six years of his life as a zucchini farmer, but was allergic to zucchinis and could not eat them himself!

3: Double Fanucci became National Sport of Quendor (761 GUE)
4: Filfre Day
25: St. Quakko's Day (maybe)

LUCREZIA FLATHEAD
Legendary Murderess or Innocent Widow?
(735-789)

Of all the Twelve Flatheads, it is most difficult to separate history from legend when studying Lucrezia, the only sister to eleven aggressive brothers. Showing a total lack of understanding for her delicate position, detractors have cruelly tried to claim that Lucrezia had a warped mind.

At the tender age of sixteen, Lucrezia married a very rich but very old nobleman from Gurth, Marcus Bzart-Foodle. Ten-and-a-half months later, he died in bed which his bride. Afterward, Bzart-Foodle's doctor could not recall whether he had warned Lucrezia to avoid over-exciting her husband's weak heart.

Lucrezia's second husband, a wealthy land baron from Mareilon named Oddzoe Glorb III, was found dead just five weeks after the wedding, his body mangled by hellhounds. It was quite understandable that Lucrezia had her multi-volume hellhound training manual removed from the house at once; the sight of it must have brought back tragic memories.

Five days later, Lucrezia sought consolation in a third marriage, to the Governor of Antharia, Hirax Mumbleton. Only two days after that, Antharia was without a governor. Hirax had been discovered in his office, smothered under a ton of raw granola. His sobbing widow immediately cancelled delivery of her daily truckloads of granola, in order to avoid any similar tragedies.

After her next fifteen husbands, all wealthy lords, died on their wedding nights, royal insiders reported that she was so distraught by her tragic string of bad luck that she was becoming dangerously suicidal. Elder brother Dimwit was finally forced into action, and had her locked up in a cell in the dungeon for her own safety. She languished in that cell for the remaining fifteen years of her life. During this period, some 1,800 prison guards were mysteriously poisoned. Some legends say that her own death, in 789, was self-induced.

AUGUR 883

6: St. Bovus' Day
7: Gnusto spell invented (769 GUE)
15: dentist 1:50
16: First Zorkmid minted (699 GUE)

FUN FAX Bottomless pits are the second-leading cause of death in Flatheadia.

RALPH WALDO FLATHEAD
The Poet of the Empire
(737-789)

An unspoken Flathead family motto was quantity over quality, and no one demonstrated that tenet better than Ralph Waldo. During his 40-plus years of putting pen to parchment, he wrote 912 novels, 4,000 short stories, and an incredible 87,000 sonnets. His essays have never been successfully counted.

Ralph Waldo spent eleven years at Antharia University, collecting a chestful of degrees, including three doctorates: Doctor of Idyllic Poetry, Doctor of Excellent Elegies, and Doctor of Octameter Odes. He was very proud of his academic accomplishments, and always signed his name Ralph Waldo Flathead, D.I.P., D.E.E., D.O.O.

Fresh out of college and flush with the enthusiasm of youth, Ralph Waldo wrote a series of lengthy essays which he hoped would uplift the human spirit. Sadly and inexplicably, these essays lifted little more than the profits of the Frobozz Magic Writing Paper Company. The essays from this period include On the Benefits of Keeping Ears Clean and Why Doorknobs are Necessary. Also during this period, he wrote On the Discoloration of Roadside Slush, but the manuscript was lost before it could be published, leaving Ralph Waldo disconsolate for years.

During his middle years, Ralph Waldo spend nearly half a decade living in the granola mines of Antharia. It was during this period that he wrote his longest work, a 60,000 verse epic about the varieties of moss that one finds in granola mines.

Toward the end of his life, Ralph Waldo specialized in exploring related themes, as brilliantly demonstrated by the four sonnets found by his deathbed:

  • Sonnet #87,177 Ode to a Tiny Moist Avocado Pit
  • Sonnet #87,178 Ode to Another Tiny Moist Avocado Pit
  • Sonnet #87,179 Ode to Two Tiny Moist Avocado Pits
  • Sonnet #87,180 Ode to Two Still-Tiny-But-Less-Moist Avocado Pits

Ralph Waldo died in 789 GUE. An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was an overdose of avocados.

SUSPENDUR 883

FUN FAX Some experts claim that Dimwit Flathead could access a secret wing of his castle by sitting on his favorite throne and snapping his fingers.

2: Time Travel Spell invented (927 GUE)
4: Leisure Day
11: Double Fanucci Championships

JOHN PAUL FLATHEAD
Seaman and Explorer
(738-789)

All the Flathead aunts and uncles predicted early on that John Paul would find his destiny at sea. He loved board so much that the royal carpenters were ordered to produce a flotilla of 1,400 vessels for his bathtub.*

From an early age, John Paul suffered from an inferiority complex derived from being the second John among the Flathead children.** This complex made John Paul determined to become a world-famous seafaring adventurer.

At sea, his feats ranged from the courageous (he was the first person to traverse the Great Sea in a one-man ship) to the curious (he set a new record for the most circumnavigations of Antharia on a raft towed by groupers).

In 766 GUE, at the age of 28, John Paul joined the royal navy; by 771, he was the ranking admiral; by 773, every ship in the navy had been sunk or lost at sea. John Paul retired shortly thereafter.

He spent his latter days touring the Flathead Ocean, collecting curios and unusual pets from all corners of the world. Among the most interesting: a large blue toad named Otto who was known for his extraordinary appetite and his curmudgeonly personality.

John Paul died in 789 GUE, during a vacation in Grubbo-by-the-Sea, when his old nemesis, the great white jellyfish, finally caught up with him.

* His bathtub had to be consequently enlarged; a large inland sea resulted.

** In his autobiography, Mumberthrax explains that when he named John Paul he simply forgot about John D.

OTTOBUR 883

6: St. Wiskus' Day

TID BITZ Antharian cave-dwelling witches can sometimes be summoned by coughing.

FRANK LLOYD FLATHEAD
Royal Architect
(741-789)

As children, all the Flathead siblings adored playing with blocks.* However, only Frank Lloyd drew plans before building.

Frank Lloyd got his big break at the tender age of 17, when his father, King Mumberthrax, commissioned him to design a new wing for Castle Egreth. The resulting wing was breathtakingly impressive. As Frank Lloyd himself wrote, the conjunction of space and time seems to interface in a presubjected instantiation of the underrepresented whole. Frank Lloyd became, overnight, the hottest architect in the Kingdom.**

His reputation established, Frank Lloyd designed virtually every important Quendorian building during his three decades as Official Court Architect. His designs ranged from his vacation chalet in the Gray Mountains to the Great Meeting Hall of the Enchanters' Guild in Borphee, but Frank Lloyd is best known for his most ambitious work: the 400-story FrobozzCo building in Flatheadia.

Overlooking exaggerations such as on a clear day you can see the FrobozzCo building from anywhere in the world, it is still the most ambitious building ever designed or built. A FrobozzCo Building address is most prestigious, and Frank Lloyd himself had a penthouse office, until a slight case of acrophobia forced him to relocate to a nineteenth-story office with a pleasant southern exposure.

The carcinogenic chemicals used in the eighth century to create blueprints finally took their toll on Frank Lloyd, and he died in 789 GUE.

* Nanny Beeble, governess to the children, recalls that many had teams of slaves whose exclusive job it was to move the larger blocks.

** The fact that the new wing of Egreth collapsed two years later, killing over 4,000 royal guests, was credited to a miscalculation on the stonemason's part. He was summarily executed.

MUMBERBUR 883

DID U KNOW? Some silly people actually believe that the Empire will collapse on Curse Day this year.

12: leave for Flatheadia
14: Curse Day

KRAZY KWOTES
You ain't nothing but a hellhound.
-- Elvis Flathead

BABE FLATHEAD
Athletic Superstar
(748-789)

Often called the flattest of the Flatheads, Babe, the youngest of the twelve, was born with an aptitude for sport. He demonstrated his dexterity and coordination early on, throwing baby blocks at his older siblings with impressive speed and accuracy.

As a youth, he was always captain of the Little League teams, thanks in part to a pressure applied by his uncle, Mayor Fiorello Flathead. Even as a teenager, he was something of a lady's man and a party animal, and his older brother Dimwit would frequently have to bail the Babe out of jail following one infraction or another. By all accounts, Babe and Dimwit, despite their 25-year age difference, were closest of all the Flathead siblings. When he reached college age, Babe selected Mithicus Province University from amongst many eager suitors. At MPU, Babe was a 43-letter man, leading his team to championships in every existing college sport and several non-existent ones as well.*

Throughout the Babe's professional sports career, he excelled in everything he tried: bocce, tag-team kayaking, full-court furbish. There was only one exception. Try as he might, Babe could not master Double Fanucci. Even the unexplained disappearance of the 339 leading Double Fanucci players failed to get Babe into the championships. Fanucci experts believe that Babe's difficulty with the game could be traced to one weakness: his failure to remember that three undertrumps after an opponent's discard of a Trebled Fromp is an indefensible gambit.

By 782 GUE, the Babe was such a phenomenal drawing card that Dimwit constructed the kingdom's largest sporting arena, Flathead Stadium, in his honor. It was there, during the shark-wrestling semi-finals in 789 GUE, that the youngest of the Twelve Flatheads met his end.

* Many experts feel that Babe's teams would have won these championships even if every competing school had NOT had their QCAA memberships revoked.

DISMEMBUR 883

QUICKIE QUIZ Who said A home that's cut in half usually falls over?

Answer: Abraham Flathead

9: Unnatural Acts (672 GUE)
31: Beginning of Flathead Dynasty (659 GUE)