At the fifth annual hermit conference, the keynote speaker was the greatest hermit currently in the field.

His speech, of course, would be on his area of expertise: urban hermitage. He would present ideas of hermiting in an urban atmosphere: how to avoid people when there were so many around, how to defeat raccoons, how to construct hardy shelters from odd throwaways. From sewers to night-movement to back alley transit and farming, his fellow hermits were either excited or horrified.

It was sad for all, then, when the hermit conference was cancelled due to lower-than-expected registration. Some wrote angry letters, but most stayed in and felt relief, knowing they wouldn’t be ostracized if they didn’t make it.


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