perilous paperback

What Shall I Do, Mr. Snicket?
  • Q: Dear Mr. Snicket, I just moved to a new town in the middle of a school year and everybody is already part of a group. How can I make friends? —Slightly Lonely in Palm Springs
  • A: Dear Ms. Slightly, It is one of the curious truths of the world that nobody wants to be friends with someone who appears eager to make friends. The thing to acquire is an air of mystery. Speak little, and listen to everything everybody says. From time to time, say "Hmmm..." thoughtfully, or sigh in a particularly melancholy way while gazing into space. Then, arrange to have a small package delivered to you in the classroom, and do not open it under any circumstances. By lunchtime you will have a small crowd of people nearby, from which you can choose a few select companions. —With all due respect, LS
  • From The Cornucopian Cavalcade in the paperback version of Lemony Snicket's "The Bad Beginning, or Orphans!"