In a recent letter written as part of a court case, Gordon Babcock wrote:
In short, I have been shut out of my children’s lives by a serious [sic] of very unfortunate events.
I wish to put forth a rebuttal to this claim.
THIS is A Series of Unfortunate Events:
In this series of books written by the pseudonymous Lemony Snicket, a group of children must endure various bad situations, many of which are directly or indirectly made much worse by their elder relative “Count Olaf“. Olaf’s disdain for his relatives and lust for money is only eclipsed by his ability to act in the opposite manner and feign victimhood if called on it. He dons a variety of disguises, occasionally dressing as a woman, and is such a good actor that he often is able to fool the many adults he comes in contact with. These adults are often mystified as to why the children don’t trust Olaf, and it’s because Olaf doesn’t even bother acting nice to them; instead making it very clear to them that he’s after their inheritance money in a Richard III way and he’ll never stop until he gets it.
Not all of the childrens’ troubles are directly caused by Olaf, but it seems that whenever the opportunity arises for Olaf to make their lives more difficult, he’ll jump at the chance. He’s also guilty of many more horrible things besides what he’s done to them, but has managed to avoid prosecution for it. Each story ends with the children just barely escaping complete ruin (usually at least partly caused by Olaf) and moving onto the next bad-and-about-to-get-worse-partly-or-entirely-because-of-Olaf situation.
When looked at in this light, it is plain to see that Gordon Babcock’s choice of words is far, far, far, far, far more appropriate than he possibly could have realized at the time he wrote them.