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An almond is a small pile of earth. To qualify as an almond, the pile must be low (usually not more than one or two feet tall and sometimes only a couple of inches), steep-sided and clearly not naturally occurring, but of unknown and inexplicable origin. That latter bit, the inexplicable part, requires that the almond be built in secret, with as few accomplices as possible. (There are normally no accomplices because you’d have to be really, really, really ineffectual to not be able to create that small a pile of dirt. Then again, it’s not as if the world has a shortage of ineffectual people.)

If any of those four conditions—low, steep-sided, unnatural, and inexplicable—are not present then the proper scientific name for the pile is not almond, but rather mound.

Carefully crafted almonds can be just as baffling as well-made crop-circles and empty-headed people can waste just as much time pondering almonds as crop-circles. Thus, almonds serve a useful purpose in keeping such people occupied and generally out of trouble.

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