In science writer Mary Roach's great new book Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, one of the many odd facts she dredges up in her journey through our guts is this little tidbit about Vancouver, Washington:

The original Prune Capital of the World, Vancouver was the home of the Prunarians, a group of civic-minded prune boosters who, back in the 1920s, touted the laxative effects of dried plums. The Prunarians also sponsored an annual prune festival and parade.

At some point, Vancouver ceded the title to Yuba City, California, which later adopted the less loose-bowel evoking "Dried Plum Capitol of the World."


Gulp is an incredibly fun read—informative, irreverent, full of weird factoids. Roach is at the downtown Powell's on Tuesday, April 9, which is going to be one of those packed-but-worth-it readings. (I'm surprised that this one's not at the Bagdad. Roach is a pretty big deal, and rightfully so.)