2. Mr. Handler plays accordion on the new Magnetic Fields album, Distortion, due out in January. He will be touring with the band on the West Coast.
3. Mr. Handler only bothered to learn to play the accordion so he could pick up chicks. “When I was coming up it was during that brief time in rock history when no keyboard whatsoever was cool, and that’s the only instrument I played. I really, really wanted to be in a band, so…I took up the accordion.”
4. Mr. Handler is friends with very the first and possibly last composer to be selected as Artist In Residence at the San Francisco dump. It was from said composer that Mr. Handler learned a valuable secret: It is NOT necessary that you wash out your empty yogurt containers when you put them out with your recyclables.
5. Mr. Handler eats a LOT of yogurt. As does his four year old son.
6. Mr. Handler has his fancy-pants, limousine liberal, organic yogurt delivered to his house in San Francisco.
7. Mr. Handler avoided many, many beatdowns during his grammar school days with his ability to soothe the savage beast with the sweet, sweet music of self-deprecating humor.
8. Mr. Handler’s writing desk is an old gynecologist‘s table.
9. Mr. Handler recently met Barack Obama, who told him unprompted that his kids have not read ANY of his books, but they did see the movie Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events. Mr. Fielding was very impressed with Mr. Obama’s candor. Mr. Handler would have lied and said his kids have read ALL of Mr. Obama’s books — if the shoe had been on the other foot.
10. Mr. Handler got an almost perfect score on his SATs.
11. Mr. Handler graduated from Wesleyan College in 1992. Gawker recently named Wesleyan College the “Most Pretentious College In The Entire World.”
12. Mr. Handler spent seven years after college trying to get published. It was eight years before he finally got paid. To date, he says, his books have sold “literally trillions of copies.”
13. Mr. Handler will be interviewing author Jane Smiley and to prepare he recently re-read 10 Days In The Hills. “Phawker readers may prove me wrong,” he says, “but in my humble opinion that book contains the very BEST handjob scene in all of American literature.”
[As told to JONATHAN VALANIA/illustration by ALEX FINE]
TONIGHT AT THE FREE LIBRARY: Lemony Snicket (a.k.a. Daniel Handler)
Why Does Lemony Snicket Keep Following Me?
Tuesday, October 2 (8 p.m.) Buy tickets online