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The Building Committee is a segment of VFD that appears to dictate locations.

Note: All information comes from the Transcript, which takes place sometime after Geraldine Julienne created her column, and when one of the Js is (presumably) old enough to drink brandy. The rest of the specific time period is unknown.[1]

Members / Specultion

Note: Very few clues were given to the identity of the members of this meeting. Only the initials were given, so names following are speculation, though some of it has backing.

  • J - There are two "J"s listed in the transcript, one of whom seems to be the keeper of the transcript, as they refer to themselves as "I" in the introduction, and clarify that I is a pronoun and not an initial; during rollcall, two Js are called and respond, meaning two Js are present.
    • J - Jacques Snicket; met "everyone else" during his training except L "of course", presumably referencing that L is his brother.
    • J - possibly Josephine Anwhistle, as she is a known VFD member, and it is stated the second half of the transcript was to be hidden in a copy of Ivan Lachrymose: Lake Explorer under someone's bed, which later appears to be hers.[2]
    • One of the Js is the Secretary and Transcriber of the meeting. It is unknown which; while Josephine is known for her love of grammar and thus would likely be a decent transcriber, Jacques is also known to be a journalist and reporter.
  • L - two Ls are present at the meeting.
  • M - two Ms are present at the meeting, and one is the Chancellor and organizes the meeting.
    • Both Ms are currently unknown, though they could be Monty Montgomery or Miranda Caliban; as one of the Ms corrected L by using the phrase "which here means," it is also possible that one of them is S. Theodora Markson, who is the only person other than Lemony known to use the phrase.
  • R - two Rs are present in the meeting.
    • R - Duchess of Winnipeg - Vice Chancellor. This is known as she references many things R references later in the autobiography, such as the location of special automobiles or messing up the Sebald Code.
    • R - Unnamed Nine-Year-Old. Nothing else is known about their identity, though it is speculated that they may be a reference to "Romana Quimby, age eight," a book that is referenced in the autobiography.
  • K - Kit Snicket. Though J does not mention meeting her before the committee meeting, it is stated that VFD members can sometimes be trained not to recognize each other.[3] Also, considering that Kit is Jacques's twin, this may have gone without saying.
  • D - Daniel Handler. This is a known fact; he is stated to be the legal representative of one of the Ls, and in the Index, the word "Handler, Daniel" directs to the page where he announces he is at the meeting.
  • S - likely Sally Sebald, who is also referenced later in the Autobiography. She is referenced in the transcript as doing a report on Prufrock Preparatory School, which she later found a picture of in Gustav's script.

Other People Mentioned in the Transcript

Transcript Summary

The transcript was recorded sometime in April. The Code of VFD dictates that the minutes not be read by anyone who did not attend the meeting. The first half was hidden with accompanying photographs and a report on a possible neophyte.

M calls the meeting to order, and R does a rollcall. They begin by reciting the pledge- "the world is quiet here"- and then M makes announcements:

  • At 7pm, they are to meet two doors down, in the lobby, to proceed to the 7:30pm showing of Gustav Sebald's Werewolves in the Rain in order to receive a coded message.
  • The next day, at 9am sharp, the neophytes R, L, K, B, J, E and G will be examined.
    • Due to this, the mapmaking session will be moved from the examination hall to the sculpture garden.

At this, the other M brings up the urgent matter that they will again have to move headquarters, which upsets the other members. M informs them that their spies at The Daily Punctilio have informed them that Geraldine Julienne will be publishing their address in her "Secret Organizations You Should Know About" column.

Duchess R, incredulous, reminds them of the chaos of their recruitment tactics- kidnapping children and scattering them across the globe until people have stopped looking for them and their ankles have healed, and then bringing them to headquarters to teach. She insists that continuing to repeatedly move headquarters will confuse neophytes more- for example, tomorrow morning, the neophytes tested may be tired from helping them move materials to another headquarters, and as they know from S's report on Prufrock Preparatory School, young people who do not get enough sleep are likely to suffer and forget important things, such as the sugar bowl secret.

M reminds her that they cannot afford to be discovered, though members are confused as to how they keep being found, as they've stopped inscribing the V.F.D. Eye onto buildings and stopped using green wood. Jacques Snicket proposes that an enemy has infiltrated their ranks, but Kit Snicket disagrees with him. R and R fight over which is right until M breaks them up, and Jacques reminds them that since he had joined VFD, they have had to flee seven headquarters, and they could have lost untold amounts of information.

As he suggests they have been betrayed, Esmé Squalor and Count Olaf arrive from behind the puppet theater. Olaf pulls a match[4] out of a box and makes several demands.

The second half of the transcript was hidden between pages 302 and 303 of Ivan Lachrymose: Lake Explorer and hidden under someone's bed.