I met Lemony Snicket!

Originally uploaded by Ealasaid.

Holy Moly! Look! I met Lemony Snicket!
Well, OK, Mr. Snicket couldn’t make it. I met Daniel Handler, his representative. I took a ton of photos, of course. They’re in the same set as the shot above.

As usual, Mr. Handler was thoroughly entertaining (although he insisted several times that we should not be laughing because none of this was at all funny). Apparently Mr. Snicket was bitten by a rather large beetle (which was captured, so that Mr. Handler could show it to us). I don’t remember the critter’s Latin name, but Mr. Handler said that it roughly translates to “big ugly bug that attacks Lemony Snicket while he is on a picnic.” It stung Mr. Snicket in the armpit, which led Mr. Handler to tell us the first moral lesson he wanted us to learn: Never raise your hand, it exposes your armpit.
This made it tricky for kids to volunteer for things, such as EAP (Euphonic Auditory Participation, where he picked volunteers to make noises to go with the story) during the short reading he gave. Mr. Handler stole a book from a kid in the audience and read a snippet from it to teach us the second moral lesson: If you see Count Olaf, scream and run away. He read the scene in The Bad Beginning where Olaf and his cohorts come home and yell at the orphans for making puttanesca sauce instead of roast beef.
In case the reading didn’t teach us sufficiently, he also sang a song for us. However, it wasn’t really a song he could sing acapella, and the only instrument he found in the area of the stage was a gong… but then it turned out that a woman in the front row had an accordion, so he used that to accompany himself. But first, he had to tell us how the accordion worked.
See, over the years, many people have hated the accordion because they do not understand it, and people hate and fear what they do not understand (if memory serves, this is where he made a snarky aside for the grownups about a Supreme Court nomination, hah!). He called for two volunteers to help him illustrate how the accordion works. He insisted that his volunteers be friends, and got two girls. He had one stand behind the other and wrap her arms around her friend. Then, he said, “squeeeze her! Tighter! TIGHTER!!!!!!!”
Then he let them go sit down, and explained that folks in the back had probably been spared the horrible sights and sounds, but that people in the front had doubtless heard the girl in front make a terifying death rattle when she was sqoze (“Oh, sorry,” he corrected himself, “was squozen”), which illustrated the final moral lesson: If you squeeze something hard enough, eventually it will make a noise.
Then he picked up the accordion, which he hoped we no longer feared, and played his song. It was a very Tom Lehrer-ish song (If you see Count Olaf, count to zero, and run away. Run run run run run or die, die die die die die die die die die die! was the chorus), and he has quite a nice voice. He informed us that the part of the song where you play the same bit over and over is called “vamping” and that it “is a good way to drive people crazy.” Good to know.
That was about it, really. He was awesome. We then waited around for hours until it was our turn to go up – they were calling people to line up in batches by ticket number, and we were in the high 600s, so we went and got dinner and came back.
Sadly, I finished reading the book in line and wound up taking photos of all sorts of other things – Rachell and Nate, who were with me; Mr. Handler; the schwag they were handing out; etc. Fun times.
When I met Mr. Handler, he asked me about the Ankh-Morpork pin on my lapel, and when I told him it was from the Discworld novels, he said he hadn’t read any, and we had a very brief chat about it. It was awesome. Hooray!

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