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Gee, will you look at that.....

 
 

From Alohomora, October, 2006

As I have not seen mention of this on your "Gee, will you look at that..." page, I would like to point out the hidden message within the recently released Vile Videos found at http://www.lemonysnicket.com/vilevideos. I believe I may have deciphered the secret message:  At one random moment in each video, there is an appearence of a right triangle with letters placed around it at random--well, not-so-random positions.  I have attached a document with these diagrams.  If you are wary of opening the attatchment (and I don't blame you), then here are the positions in the Videos where the triangles can be found:  In Video #1, it is almost exactly half-way through the video after the narrator talks about the phrases physical education, frozen fish, etc. and talks about taking a "perfectly pleasent word and then spoiling it by placing it by a stinky and unpleasent word", at which the word "Lemony" appears on the screen along with the triangle below it.  In Video #2, the triangle appears a little over two-thirds through where the man is drawing on a chalk board while the narrator says "millions suffer from Lemony Snicket, and more fall victim..."  In Video #3, the final triangle appears two-thirds through in one of Mr. Snicket's drawings that he is using to hide his face, after the stick-figure pictures of Olaf's accomplices and then a depiction of the eye.  The words to the song at that moment are "When you see Count Olaf, you're suddenly full of..." and the triangle appears at "full of". When the diagrams are overlapped, and the letters of the diagram from Video #2 are placed inside of the triangle, you can see the phrase "TWO CALLED BEATRICE."  Could it be that there are two Beatrices?  Or could it (unlikely) mean that two people gave Beatrice a call or communicated with her both in similiar ways about the same matter?  And if there's nothing out there, then what was that noise?  Perhaps the answer lies in The Beatrice Letters but as I am a broke college student, buying anything other than food is out of the question, and it is not available at the public library. 

 

 

From Carrie, September, 2005

Dear Webmaster,

I love the ASOUE series by Lemony Snicket :(aka : Daniel Handler : anyone don't believe, just go to : http://www.who2.com/lemonysnicket.html and then do your own searching.
 
Personally I have a few theories on "Beatrice" :- i think there is one really big love circle hidden within these books-, as Lemony was engaged to and actress, who could whistle Mozart's 14th symphony, and we know he was engaged to Beatrice, but not married, and that the B. Orphans' mother could whistle Mozart's 14th.  One can assume that whistling the 14th symphony of Mozart as a secret "VFD" thing or just plain co-winky-dink.  Or that Beatrice and the lovely Ms. Baudelaire are one in the same, though i highly doubt it.  My favorite conclusion is that Ms. Baudelaire acted, along with Esme and who knows, probably Beatrice.  After all it makes sense as almost all the members of VFD have so many different connections to one another, its like one big extended family. (which it most likely is.)
Another one, my best friend likes to spew at me is that Lemony Snicket was engaged twice, if not more and yet both (all) times something happens and it is called off.
not sure how true that is, but what is certain is if we take all the memories of Beatrice that L.S. writes about, then you can automatically assume that Beatrice is not the mother, as she died at the wrong time of day, and in one mentioning (i forget exactly where) you get the impression that Lemony witnessed her death when he tried to warn her about Olaf.
Or you can assume that she is in fact Ms. B and survived the fire, only to die latter.
 
Another thing, I am surprised no one has posted, but in the Grim Grotto  : pg 178 :
".... And a small, ceramic bowl, with a tight-fitting lid to keep something important inside, might be difficult to find in the laundry room of an enormous hotel, particularly if there were a terrible villain nearby,...."
I think if funny L.Snicket has told us where the the sugar bowl is in a way, or that was just so random for words, it baffles me why he would put it in, as most everything else he randomly talks about has a point to either the story line or just moving it along.
 
Another interesting thing to point out. Pgs 87-89 of the Unauthorized Autobiography there is a wedding announcement for Lemony and Beatrice for Jerome and Esme at the same place, but only the first one has words circled/underlined. Personally I love that one, though I would love to know who sent it to Mr. Snicket. 
 
I'm trying to place all the VFD members:
mainly using the autobiography pgs of 33-47 and what is told to us in the books
 
we know there is an
J,L,M,R,R,ML,K,D,S, and I  or is it meant as "I" (first initial of first name) also O and E (olaf and esme?? maybe, probably)
 
clues : K, J, and L = snicket siblings
           L is sometimes represented by D
           J= secretary
           R= vice chancellor
           R= a nine year old
           O= wants to be called T
one wonders who all these people are we could guess (I=Ivan) (M=Montgamory) (Josiphine)(J=Jacques) (K=Kit)(L=Lemony)(O=olaf) (E=esme) ??? then two would reasonably be the Baudelaire parents, if one already mention wasn't them. and then the Quagmire parents. Was uncle Monty's wife a member and was the Punctilio's writer G.J connected to them, as a member maybe?? just not mentioned, or only through Esme??
I would like so input on figuring out whose who, and yeas or nays to my guesses,
The last thing I will mention that messes with my head a lot, especially since it was late at night when i read this part is the end of Grim Grotto, when Mr. Poe explains that he came to meet the Baudelaires because of a letter signed J.S , then he says he assumed it was from Geraldine Julienne. (well this is just me but if my name was Geraldine Julienne, I wouldn't really sign a letter with the initials J.S. - nor do I see how Mr. Poe can/could ever make that connection)
Personally I will laugh if  there is a flying object in the next book (or the return of one.) as someone else posted a good point about the ending pictures leaving clues to the next books, hmmm.......the twins could come back....maybe..........Hotel D is also mentioned, but that's a given.
 

 

Rebecca sends the following (August 1, 2005)

Dear webmaster,
    I am aware that there has been some speculation as to whether "Snicket" wrote all of the books at once or individually, however, I believe that there is no doubt that he wrote them all at once and this sentence from "The Austere Academy" that starts chapter six proves this.  The sentence is "Prufrock Preparatory School is now closed." and it continues to say "It has been closed for many years..." therefore, "Snicket will have written this at the very least two years after Prufrock Preparatory School had closed and violet would have to be at least 16+ years of age and I believe that in the latest book she is only 15 years of age (forgive me if my memory is incorrect).  I believe that all of the references to Lemony Snicket in the earlier books relate to the later books such as when Snicket talks about being deserted on an island with his chauffer or being in a sword fight and the associates he talks about will show up in the later, if not the last book to reveal all of the mystery behind Lemony Snicket and Beatrice.  I also think that it is entirely possible for Beatrice to be the Quagmire's mother as of course the Baudelaire and Quagmire story are oddly simular and possibly part of some conspiracy, possibly involving VFD, which is how Lemony Snicket may have come to find out about the Baudelaire Orphans.
 
PS - Many of the books I have not read very recently, so I may be incorrect about some of the information posted here, but I just wanted to let people know my view, thus far, no matter correct of incorrect.  And, great site, it has really intrigued me and makes me think about the Lemony Snicket conundrum more clearly and indepth.

 

Jon writes: (July 23, 2005)

In the books, The Baudelaires never, ever heard the name Lemony
Snicket.
Each time it is cut off, and I think that there is some huge thing that
falls into place from remembering his name. They heard Beatrice in the
elevator, but when Klaus says"What do you think she meant by-" Sunny
interupts. Anyways, uh...

 

From Angie H, June 18, 2005

            Firstly, I would like to say that I do not think that Mrs. Baudelaire is Beatrice.  The Baudelaire fire was in the morning whether or not Mrs. Baudelaire died but in the Hostile Hospital Snicket says that the only woman he will ever love married someone else and died in the afternoon.  Another proof of this is a sentence Snicket wrote in the Grim Grotto:  …and to show this article to so many volunteers, including the Baudelaire parents, the Snicket siblings, and the woman I happened to love.  Beatrice and Mrs. Baudelaire are referred to as two separate people here and they must be two separate people.  I also do not think that Snicket is Mr. Baudelaire because in the picture found on page 13 of the Snicket file the children identify their father and see another man who they describe separately saying he looks like an author.  In the Slippery Slope Quigley says this is probably Jacques's brother which would be Lemony.  So how can Mr. Baudelaire and Snicket be the same person if they are in the same picture together as two people?  This is what I think about the information already discussed on this page.  However, I have thought of other theories as to why these things have happened to the Baudelaire children.  In the Unauthorized Autobiography hints are given about how people become members of VFD.  Some of the things mentioned are that they are watched by VFD, sometimes have tutors, and are eventually carried away from home by the ankles to VFD (headquarters?). Also in chapter 3 of the book in the meeting notes of VFD one member says this:  "We are entering people's homes, taking young children who show exceptional observational and/or note taking skills, and isolating them, for long periods at least, from people they know.  We assign them to strangers and scatter them across the globe, performing errands that are perplexing to them, until their ankles have healed, until we know they can be trusted, and until we know that no one is searching for them any longer.  Then, we bring them to headquarters so they can learn the skills they need …".  Isn't this exactly what has been happening to the Baudelaires?  Well, except for the ankles part; Violet even says she remembers someone singing the words "The World is Quiet Here" to her before.  Maybe the whole process they have been going through is just their initiation to VFD except for their parents dying.  I don't know; there are probably many holes in this theory but I wanted to get some feedback on my thoughts from others.

                                    Sincerely,

                                                Angie H.

 

From Edward (February 8, 2005)

I'm a twenty something college student who is in love with the Series of

Unfortunate Event stories, ... I have just a bit to add to the "Gee, would you look at that..."
section. Nothing much really. But in the Unauthorized Autobiography, the
Snicket song sung to the "hymn of naval disaster" is "Row, Row, Row Your
Boat." Not much, but it is interesting to hear Violet say in the Grim
Grotto that it is her least favorite song and that her mother would sing
it to her. I suppose some connection could be made for or against
Beatrice being the mother but it's not conclusive, that's for sure.
 

From Kevin (November 27, 2004)

About Beatice being the Baudelaire mother. I've got every book and read them all the time. The Baudelaire parents died in the morning. Mr. Poe said. In another book (which slips my mind) Lemony/Handler says Beatrice died in the afternoon. Therefore Beatrice is not the late Mrs. Baudelaire. 

In THH in the Snicket File it never said WHICH fire had a survivor. My guess is that it was talking about Quiquley Quagmire surviving the Quagmire fire.   At the beginning of each book is an ex-libris with the Baudelaires on top and Olaf on the bottom. They have Olaf in his disguise and in the more recent ones the Baudelaires  in disguise.
 
 

From Sarah (November 24, 2004)

In the Unauthorized Autobiography, Lemony says that is is born at a dairy and he shows a picture of it over the lake. That picture is Central park in New york and it turns out that there was a dairy in the time of late 1800's so at that time or later Snicket was born. Look it up your self at http://www.centralparknyc.org/virtualpark/southend/dairy it is a fact and I'm sure of it so you have a time zone here.
 
Also a book Ian Hamilton wrote a unauthorized biography of Salinger and rewrote it , when the author did not accept extensive quoting of his personal letters. The new version, In Search of J.D. Salinger, appeared in 1988.  As you know J.D. Salinger is one of the authors in the book list of Unauthorized Autobiography Lemony Snicket.

From a reader (November, 2004)

Dear Mr. Webmaster
 
    I did a little bit of research (very little, but I'm certain my sources are correct) and discovered that Mr. Snicket describes William Congreve as an associate of his (Book the eighth, the hostile hospital) . I am not a hundred percent sure of this, but the fact that Congreve died in the year 1729 means that Snicket must be In his three-hundreds or the books he wrote were wrote years ago and only recently found.
    This discovery confuses me and i am in desperate need of an explination, so please help me with this and ease my troubled mind.
 
  With all due respect
  Bobby

In a world that perfectly mirrored reality that would be true (but would you want to read about it?).

Keep in mind though that the Series freely mixes time frames, plausibility, cuisine, and just about every convention that's ever been previously written.  So we see the Baudelaires riding in a horse-drawn carriage in one book, and escaping in a deus ex machina airship in another.  We see people with personal submarines in one book, closely followed by a rediscovery of a Rosetta Stone.  How much more mixed can you get?

Short answer: trying to date the book by the references is a little like trying to locate it by the geographical names -- great fun for a while, but if you keep it up you'll become a candidate for a saucer cult.

I say enjoy the comic book ride and try to get something out of it without reading too much into it.

        -- zyg (webmaster@quidditch.com)

 

 

Lynne weighs in with this:  (October 27, 2004)

Just a thought for the "Gee, will you look at that..." section of your ASOUE page (perhaps you've noted it already, but I didn't see it anywhere in your site):
 
In the first book, Justice Strauss says her recent court case dealt with a "poisonous plant" and something about a stolen credit card.  It seems obvious now, after reading the GG, that this poisonous plant must be the mm, which could mean that perhaps the stolen credit card was what led to the DP's and Widdershin's incorrect assumptions about who had done what.  And did those incorrect assumptions perhaps lead the "good" side of the VFD schism to perhaps burn down the wrong place/person?  And if so, who is the "good" side, really?  (Then again, it's all a "chef's salad," so I suppose the read question is "how many sides are we dealing with in regard to the schism?")  If the Baudelaire parents are operating on misinformation (and the Snickets as well!), whom are we to believe?  Can we even trust Lemony--is he not including himself in the group of "misled" Snicket siblings?  And if the issue with the mm had taken place before the first book, was the Baudelaire's own fire somehow related?
 
And as we must assume that the JS that Quigley's telegram was CCed to was the one who sent Mr. Poe to intercept the orphans, was JS (Jerome? Justice?) acting in what he/she thought to be the orphan's best interest or not?  Again, how many sides are there now to this schism? 
And why did Lemony say his sister needed "saving" (as he was picking through his chef's salad he mentioned he was looking for the crouton that might save her) when she was obviously fine at the end of this story segment?  If I have the timeline correct (the timeline of his writing in comparison to the events he writes about, I mean), then Lemony wrote about Kit needing to be saved *after* she picked the orphans up at the beach (at least, he submitted the ms. with that comment included after he knew she'd done it).  Plot hole, or is he hinting about future events?  And he refers to having consulted with his colleagues, which almost implies he's writing from a perspective in time after *all* the events have ended.  Am I wrong to think he's been writing and submitting only in segments and does not know himself what will come next?  Could it be that he is simply submitting the ms. in segments while having written the entire thing already?  I can't help feeling that this issue of his relation in time to the events of the orphans affects our understanding of what he knows or does not know.
 
Ah, but now I'm just rambling.  Really I was just pleased to find the mushrooms mentioned in the first book and to see that Handler had obviously been thinking this through from the start (always expected he had--just nice to finally be in the know enough to find evidence of it myself).
 
After reading about Sunny's ordeal with the mushrooms and her terrible coughing, Mr. Poe's cough seems like it might be related.  Perhaps he was somehow affected by VFD's use of the mm?

Jenny from England sends the following (October 25, 2004)

Dear Webmaster,

 
Thank-you so much for your wonderful Lemony Snicket page.  I knew there was something fishy about those books as soon as I started reading them a few years ago - you'll be pleased to hear that I spotted Poe straight away, and Prufrock came a little later, but it wasn't until my incessant miscellaneous literary research got me as far as finding out that Baudelaire had actually translated Poe, that I knew I had to do some looking-up.
 
I noticed a few intriguing (did I spell that right?) details missing from some of your entries, which I hope you will find enlightening(!):
 
1. The eye: I would just like to point out that in my favourite Edgar Allen Poe story, The Telltale Heart, the old man is killed because of his "evil eye". 
 
2. I thought you might be interested in this French site featuring Baudelaire's translation of The Raven: http://pages.globetrotter.net/pcbcr/corbeau/html
 
3. In your commentary on the Orlando reference, you do mention Shakespeare, but you do not mention that in the Shakespeare play As You Like It, not only do the 2 female leads (Rosalind and Celia) dress up as boys, but Rosalind is in love with Orlando, who fails to recognise her in her disguise - much fun ensues! 
    Another interesting take on this from antiquity is Tiresias (who features largely in The Waste Land -  TS Eliot cites him as the "central character" in his notes).  Tiresias is a man who is turned into a woman by the gods, and the English poet Carol Ann Duffy has written a hilarious poem called Mrs. Tiresias, which I just felt like mentioning there.
 
4. Just a little more about Eliot - he was a HUGE Baudelaire fan (like me) and when he first read the poems he did not have enough French to understand them (like I still don't).  He was a massive Theophile Gautier fan as well, and I always like to think that his dedication tof The Waste Land to Ezra Pound (with a smarty-pants Dante quote as usual) mirrors Baudelaire's dedication of Les Fleurs Du Mal to his "master and friend" Gautier.
 
This is all I've spotted so far, but I would just like to say how nice it is to find a page compiled by such clever people on such an interesting topic.  You won't believe me but I really am 15 years old; I picked up Eliot at 14 and have never looked back!  I'll be back in touch if I pick up on anything else of note, as I have decided to reread the books (when I've finished Candide),
 

Newbia points to the following in The Grim Grotto (September 23, 2004)

.... also have a theory for 'would you look at that?' On the last sentence of page 310, Lemony writes:

"...and to show this article to so many volunteers, including the Baudelaire parents, the Snicket siblings, and the woman I happen to love."
 
That means that the Baudelaire parents are Beatrice are separate people. In other words, Beatrice can't be the Baudelaire mother unless Lemony loved someone else, which is highly unlikely since he's so devoted to her.
 

 

J writes in (August, 2004)

Look, I've read A's comment in "Gee, look at that" And I'm about to tell her she's dead wrong. That fish i TAA is not a herring, it's a salmon, which refers to Cafe Salmonella in TEE. Snicket/Handler uses the end drawings as tools of foreshadowing future events about the books. Here's a list.

TBB: The Snake wrapped around the pole, Dr. Monty keeps snakes.
TRR: A mover is wearing Lachrymose Leeches jersey, which later kills Josephine.
TWW: There is a glasses sign exactly like that of Georgina Orwell's.
TMM: There is a school bus outside the window, the children are sent to boarding school.
TAA: See above.
TEE: There are crows flying overhead, the town is obsessed with crows.
TVV: There is a newspaper clipping that advertises the Last Stop General Store, which is ironically the Bauldelaire's first stop.
THH: There is an advertisement for Madame Lulu in the trunk, Olaf's confidant.
TCC: There is a Snow Scout handbook on the ledge, where they trio meets Quigley.
TSS: This is just a hunch, but there are mushrooms on the ledge, and the clippit on the back of the Grim Grotto cover mentions mushrooms.
 

I received these on July 23, 2004

Here is my Beatice theory:
 
      Beatrice was to be wed to Lemony Snicket @ the Vineyard of Fragrant Grapes, but the wedding was cancelled due to the fact that Count Olaf would set yet another fire and destroy them both. So, heartbroken, Lemony and Beatrice broke up. Then, Beatrice met Mr. Baudelaire, possibly the French poet Charles Baudelaire, and were wed and had the three children. LEMONY IS NOT FATHER BAUDELAIRE! Beatrice was not home when the fire was lit, and- oh dear, I've said to much. Farewell!
 
 ~Anonymous
 

Liz sent me these musings on the family of Edgar Allan Poe (May, 2004):

I'd just like to point out that in the UNAUTHORIZED AUTOBIOGRAPHY we learn that Mr. Poe's sister is the editor of "The Daily Punctilio," and that her name is Eleonora.

Well, Eleonora also happens to be the name of a short story by Mr. Edgar Poe. It is from the point of view of a male narrator who falls in love with his younger cousin, with whom he grew up. It takes place in an Edenesque-like valley.

Partway through the story, little Eleonora dies, but not before receiving the promise that her love will never leave the valley and never love another. He stays in the valley for awhile, but his memories of Eleonora are too painful. He leaves and in the city he makes the acquaintances of many women, but none attract his interest until Ermangarde. He forgets Eleonora for Ermangarde, but upon his wedding night, as he is about to fall asleep, he hears Eleonora's voice telling him that she releases him from his oath and he will learn the reasons upon entering Heaven.

Another thing to note is varying flowers are used throughout this story that serve any number of symbolic purposes.

I studied Poe extensively last semester, and this story doesn't fit the Poe mold. "Morella" and "Lenore" have the lead female return from the dead after a new female has captured the attention of her lover while in "Eleonora" the lead female lets him go. This was written before Poe knew of his cousin-wife Virginia's sickness, but about the time that she started to feel not well. I'm not quite sure if the story "Eleonora" can be made to correspond with A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, but if it does fit as more than just the use of a name, I think it has to do with the fact that this story is an anomaly and unlike any other Poe story in its ending . . .

 

WizardGary2003 sends the following (February, 2004):

I believe that all of the guardians that the Baudelaires went to (Numbers 1-4) were part of V.F.D. You see, in TSS it says that Quigley came
out in Montgomer Montgomery's house. Well, if the Baudelaires had a tunnel and they were part of V.F.D then Dr. Montgomery did too!!  Number three is a little more difficult. I don't know if she was or not.  Josephine may have been a part of V.F.D but I doubt it by her fear of practically everything in the world.  Book four is the Lucky Smells Lumbermill. Well, in the Unauthorized Biography (p. 170 bottom of the page) it says that their emerald lumber was used for years by a variety of organizations for their green headquarters. It also says that the wood was used for the Baudelaire, Quagmire, and Snicket manors.  With this I believe that Sir was part of V.F.D and he made the wood for their headquarters.

I believe that K is Lemony's sister. I forgot where this evidence I found was in the series, I think it may have been in the biography.

I would've never thought of Beatrice being the mother of the Baudelaires... If Lemony is father Baudelaire then, why is his last name Snicket? If the other one with the other father Baudelaire being married to Beatrice is true then why is Snicket researching the man he hates for stealing his woman? It's just my opinion, but maybe.

You have some very good points in you're Gee Will you Look at That?  section. I'll have to look more into it.
 
Another thing about TRR. Montgomery says that his assistant Gustav got sick, it was something along those lines. It says in the Biography that they have a code called the Sebald Code created by Gustav Sebald. If this is true then Montgomery had to be a part of V.F.D. Also the four of them saw the movie Zombies In the Snow. In the Biography it says that Zombies in the Snow was written by Gustav Sebald. So the Baudelaires were listening to the hidden message (Biography pages 61-65) of V.F.D without even knowing. Maybe Montgomery thought that the Parent Baudelaires had told (or rather the Baudelaire Children had already asked the question "What was that Noise?") and he thought they might have gotten the message all ready.  But then again, if that's true then why would they be with Montgomery Montgomery rather then the V.F.D headquarters?

Also, if Olaf was trying to kill the rest of the V.F.D members off then he was trying to double his gaining by killing a member and stealing the fortune.
 

A wishes to opine and argue as follows (January 27, 2004):

...
I want to mention some notes on "red herrings". In TAA, there is a picture of Isadora and Duncan Quagmire being kidnapped. The car they are being pushed into has a fish drawn on its rear bumper. In TSS I think the fish in the Stream are herrings as well.
 
Also, in TSS, the fact that V.F.D. may very well mean "Volunteer Fire Department" is brought up. This is amplified by Olaf's reaction to the Baudelaires when they (in disguise) tell him they are Volunteers. (On a side note, I think that perhaps Volunteer Fire Department is more well-known in America, while Volunteer Fire Dousers might be more well-known in Britain.) This would explain Olaf's statement about Vicious Fire Dispensers (the opposite of the Dousers).
 
Lemony Snicket supposedly has both a brother and a sister. His brother is mentioned more in ASOUE, but in TSS he sneaks a letter to his sister in between the text (pg 100). The leads me to believe that she is still alive and his brother may not (Quigley mentioned that he has not seen Jacques for a while, but this may be because he is eihter 1. dead or 2. in jail). In the Autobiography, Lemony mentions that his mother didn't find three children at home (when she came back) but two half-full cups of tea and a worried husband. This means that all three Snicket children must be members of V.F.D. and one of them didn't drink tea at the time of being taken. Lemony states that he was old enough to walk when he was taken, and that his brother was allowed to finish his tea. So either the Snicket sister was too young to drink tea, didn't like it, or the third cup of tea was finished (i.e. not half-full) and so wasn't mentioned.
 
By the way, in TCC Lemony writes in the dedication "For Beatrice- Our love broke my heart and stopped yours." This seems (to me at least) to debate the fact that Beatrice is Mother Baudelaire. If Olaf (and/or Esme) off-ed the Parent Baudelaires, then would that be the incident that stopped her heart? Could Esme have been in love with Lemony (or Jacques), and believed that Beatrice stole him from her, and thus the desired revenge? This would mean that Lemony Snicket is Father Baudelaire!
 
I suppose the above theory could work except in the case that I have missed something. :) But if Lemony is Father Baudelaire, then he has a reason to research the Baudelaire Orphan case, hide from Olaf and others, and he would also be the parent still alive as said in TCC and TEE. And finally, if Beatrice and Lemony never in fact married, then Father Baudelaire could have been a ruse to keep Mother Baudelaire safe. This would help explain why the Baudelaires had a secret tunnel under their house, and how Mother Baudelaire knew disguise techniques and what books to read to Klaus. (At the very least the Parent Baudelaires were volunteers, along with the Quagmire parents)
 
And I have some theories on who's who in V.F.D. In the Autobiography, Jacques writes a letter to Lemony, and in it mentions H and a self-sustaining hot-air mobile home he (H) was always talking about building. H=Hector. In the Autobiography there's a transcription of a meeting before the schism. There's a L, and a J (two of each actually), who could be Lemony and Jacques. But there's also some neophytes with the initials J and L. R is also there (Lemony's friend the countess most likely). G is the one publishing the hiding places of V.F.D. in _The Daily Punctillio_, so she's Geraldine Julienne. When the schism occured, O and E were there. E could be Esme, but I think not seeing as she was busy with Jerome (I think). O could be Olaf but he says that he prefers to be called T, so either Olaf has another name or O is not Olaf and is someone else  (like Olivia from TCC. This is further supported by TCC, pg 253, when Lemony says "my former associate Olivia".). If Beatrice was a Volunteer (this would explain her (not) being at the masked ball, and she must have known about Lemony's profession if they were to be married), then she could be the B that Jacques says not to contact in his letter to Lemony (Autobiography). This could mean that maybe Lemony DID contact B(eatrice), despite what his brother said, and this lead to her death. There was a teacher at the Prep school in TAA named Ms. K. (she's also mentioned in the Autobiography in a letter written to the Spats from the headmaster). A "K" is mentioned in the Autobiography in the part with the song "The Little Snicket Lad", and again in the Autobiography in Jacques' letter to Lemony (she was also possibly at the meeting. Also in the Headmaster's letter he writes that Ms. K "kidnapped" two children and ran away holding them by their ankles. Will we see these children again in another book?). 
 
Some timeline notes as well: I think the Autobiography has been placed together out of order, as the announcement that Geraldine will begin her column "tomorrow" appears after the schism happens. The schism is supposed to have happened after the column has begun (and probably been running for a while- a year or two). This means that Lemony as already been fired from his job as a columnist, so he could have been at the schism (about 1 year later if I did my math right. In the meeting minutes locations of headquarters are noted; there's six total leading up to the one in the Valley) and then he'd have to be one of the older Ls at the meeting and not the neophyte L. Beatrice and Lemony were supposed to get married, but I suspect that the schism stopped that from happening. If Beatrice is Mother Baudelaire and she was married either as a ruse (a red herring if you please) or thought Lemony to be dead and married someone else, then this would account for the "lost love". Oh, one more thing, In the Autobiography there's a list of books that Ms. K (from TAA) wanted her students to read. ASOUE is listed there, which makes me think that other V.F.D. members must know about the books and that they're being written AS THE EVENTS OCCUR (that bit is important; notice the capitals), or at least a little bit behind them. BUT if Lemony is somehow related to the Baudelaire children, then he could have gotten the story from them and then proceeded to gather information while still in hiding.
 
Theory about the significance of sugar bowls: If there's a code using food and fridges (Verbal Fridge Dialogue) then there very well could be a code using sugar bowls. BUT I suspect that sugar bowls may be used to contain something very important, such as notes or perhaps files, and that is why it needed to be saved from fire in TSS. A sugar bowl is mentioned in the Autobiography under the Disguise kit, and is absent from the tea set in TSS.
 
Finally, some theories about the next book and how the latest ones helps. Several times in TSS Lemony states that a brave Volunteer threw the sugar bowl into the river in order to save it from the fire. The river supposedly leads to the last safe place (TSS pg. 336), and if the sugar bowl was thrown into it that means that the sugar bowl is safe and possibly at the last safe place already. The Valley of Four Drafts is in a high place, which means that the river would flow down, which could mean that the last safe place would be below the Valley, and could be either still in the Mortmain Mountains or at a nearby sea (remember the poem in TSS pg. 336). Silent Springs is below the Valley, the Richter Range is to the left and down of it, and Plath Pass is somewhere below. I think that the Silent Springs has the most votes for it, being that "The world is quiet here" fits with "silent", the Stricken Stream has the intials SS as does Silent Spring, and it's below the Valley. It's fairly reasonable that the Baudelaires will at least visit the Springs in the next book. Olaf talks about Hotel Denouement. "Denouement" is a French word which means the ending in the sense of a moral story (I'm fairly certain- my English teacher wasn't too clear about the definition). Hotel Denouement is supposed to be where the last safe place is. Last=end...what does this mean? More tragedy most likely, as the entire series is based upon sadness.
 
Things about Lemony Snicket's Author Pictures:
In TCC's Author Photo Lemony stands in front of a rollar coaster, alluding to the events in the book. In TSS he stands in front of a river, again alluding to the events in the book. I think perhaps it is this way for all the books, but as I only personally own the 9th and 10th I cannot be sure.
 
I hope that this is helpful in any way. 

Alyssa sends the following (November 18, 2003)

There are other proof that Beatrice is Mother Baudelaire.
1) In one of the books (my mind slips which-- TRR, perhaps?), Lemony says that he once saw the woman he loved carried off my a mountain eagle. Later, in TEE, Jerome says that one he was in the mountains with the Baudelaires' mother, when suddenly, out of the sky, swoops--- And there is where he get interrupted. [Posing an interesting question: Is Jerome really Lemony? Did he have to go into hiding after the false rumors of his death and thereby take on an alter ego? In that case, he could be Hector as well, because they were both relatively milquetoast, cowardly fellows in various ways, and Lemony describes himself as a coward on more than one occasion. Also, doesn't Hector often wear a hat pulled down low over his eyes, and isn't that one of the basic disguise techniques of VFDer's? I was also under the impression that Lemony had lost his full disguise kit, therefore having to resort to the Veiled Facial Disguises . . . Such as turning away. Plus, Lemony and HEctor are both VFDer's. Anyway, that wasn't the point.]
2.) In TCC, either Violet or Klaus refers to their mother teaching them to draw fake scars, and Beatrice was an actress.  A tenuous thread, but a possibility.
   Also, going with the fact that there are often "red herrings" (or Ned H. Rirgers) present near these clues, the clue in TEE is probably the most obvious of all, and the book is ended with a giant statue of red herring. (Although that statue was irony that the box of Very Fancy Doilies was the literary red herring for the literal red herring statue.)
 

Jeanie (November 1, 2003):

I was just reading the "Gee will you look at that" page.  The last bit on there points out a shared talent between Beatrice and the Baudelaire's mother.  I would also like to point out that in book 10 Lemony's sister and the Baudelaire's mother both know the same secret recipe.


 
This, in my oppinion, is Snicket's way of leading everyone off the idea that Beatrice is the Baudelaire's mother.  We now have equal evidence for both theories.
 

Laura writes in (July 30, 2003):

I have an objection to Beatrice being Mrs.Baudelaire...Even though Carrie E. Abelabudite is an anagram for Beatrice Baudelaire, (The Hostile Hospital...I forget which page) there is a Ned H. Rirger on the list. Ned H Rirger = Red Herring. Same goes with the Unauthorized Biography on p.77. There is a Ned H.Rirger Theater on the clipping of The Daily Punctilio.

Chris from Oregon has the most elaborate projection I've seen in a a while.

I forget which book Esme says this in, but she states that she "wish[ed] to steal from [the orphans' mother] the way she stole from me". We also know that Lemony Snicket was engaged to a Beatrice, and that this Beatrice married another man.

 
My theory is this: "Beatrice" is in fact Mother Baudelaire; she broke off her engagement to Lemony to marry Mr. Baudelaire -- who was dating/engaged to Esme soon-to-be Squalor! Beatrice stole from Esme nothing less than Esme's ticket to wealth and in-ness!
 
Esme desired revenge. Enter Count Olaf, with his charm and acting skills. (Hmm -- he's a ham, and her initials are EGGS....) She allowed him to build the ersatz elevator in her building, as well as the tunnel from 667 Dark Ave. to the Palazzo del Baudelaire,
knowing that Olaf intended to snuff the parents, and take the children. If Esme was involved -- especially as Olaf's S.O. -- then she could, in time, get ahold of Mr. Baudelaire's money, thus stealing from Beatrice in the same way Beatrice stole from Esme.
 
Lemony learned of this (probably from tracking Olaf), and tried to warn the Baudelaires. However, if he approached openly, he'd get Olafed. Hence, his attempt to warn Beatrice at a costume ball. (The warning was to the effect of "Count Olaf is coming to kill you".) Yes -- this means Olaf snuffed the Baudelaires.
 
My guess is that the reason Lemony is hiding is two-fold: First, he can't get too close to Olaf without Olaf spotting him; and second, I suspect the fire that Ol-offed the Baudelaire parents
was blamed on him by the ever-inaccurate _Daily Punctilio_!
 
I'd provide citiations, but I'd have to re-read the books, and judging by the broken glass, puddled blood, and slit wrists in front of me, reading more than one of those book in succession is not good for one's mental health. :)
 
BTW: Two other theories:
 
-- Mr. Poe is in Olaf's employ. Once is a tragedy; twice is a coincidence, three times is enemy action, four times means you're a Baudelaire.
 
-- "VFD" originally stood for "Volunteer Fire Dousers"; with Olaf, it became "Vicious Fire Dispensers". How else to explain all the references to fire in Lemony's life?
 

Kudos to Charlotte for the following:

bulletIn medieval France there was a female poet called The Countess of Die (or Dia in some versions).  Her first name was Batrice.  She was in love with a man who spurned her. His name was Raimbaut d'Orange.  Interesting reversal of Lemony Snicket, isn't it?  She even begins one of her poems: I am obliged to sing of that which I would not.

Danielle gets massive credit for the following, starting to answer the question why is Lemony Snicket compelled to tell the tale of the Baudelaire orphans?  (For another take on why you should pay more attention than I did in this case, check out my essay on What does Anton Chekov have to do with JK Rowling):

bulletIn his ...Autobiography, (Snicket)  mentions that he is engaged to be married to an actress in the play The World is Quiet Here. He also mentions that she is able to whistle Mozart's fourteenth symphony. Now, in his books ... he mentions that he was engaged to Beatrice but she broke it off. In The Wide Window Violet (or Klaus) reveal that THEIR MOTHER could whistle Mozart's fourteenth symphony!