The Penultimate Peril

Neither were you born yesterday, unless of course I am wrong, in which case welcome to the world, little baby, and congratulations on learning to read so early in life. 

In a world too often governed by corruption and arrogance, it can be difficult to stay true to one’s philosophical and literary principles.

The burning of a book is a sad, sad sight, for even though a book is nothing but ink and paper, it feels as if the ideas contained in the book are disappearing as the pages turn to ashes and the cover and binding–which is the term for the stitching and glue that holds the pages together – blacken and curl as the flames do their wicked work. When someone is burning a book, they are showing utter contempt for all of the thinking that produced its ideas, all of the labor that went into its words and sentences, and all of the trouble that befell the author…

One can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.

Everyone wears blindfolds at a High Court trial,” the manager replied, “except the judges, of course. Haven’t you heard the expression justice is blind?”

“Yes,” Klaus said, “but I always thought it meant that justice should be fair and unprejudiced.”

“The verdict of the High Court was to take the expression literally,” said the manager. “So everyone except the judges must cover their eyes before the trial can begin.”

“Scalia,” Sunny said. She meant something like, “It doesn’t seem like the literal interpretation makes any sense,” but her siblings did not think it was wise to translate.

Deciding on a safe answer to a question is like deciding on a safe ingredient in a sandwich, because if you make the wrong decisions you may find that something horrible is coming out of your mouth.

Deciding whether or not to trust a person is like deciding whether or not to climb a tree, because you might get a wonderful view from the highest brand, or you might simply get covered in sap, and for this reason many people choose to spend their time alone and indoors, where it is harder to get a splinter.

And still other people think that destiny is an invisible force, like gravity, or a fear of paper cuts, that guides everyone throughout their lives, whether they are embarking on a mysterious errand, doing a treacherous deed, or deciding that a book they have begun reading is too dreadful to finish.

The last safe place may not be a safe place after all.

Lemony Snicket

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