(Takes place during mid-fifth season)

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"Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names." – John F. Kennedy

"Don't bite the hand that feeds you." - Proverb

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It's a Nutty, Nutty, Nutty Coincidence

By Mahna Mahna

(In an effort to show forgiveness and "no hard feelings", Daria, Jane, and Tom are sharing a pizza together in a booth at the Pizza King. Jane has her backpack with her, and is rifling through it, looking for something.)

Jane: Where is it?

Daria: Hm?

Tom: Where's what?

Jane: I just bought a whole pack of gum and now I can't find it anywhere! I put it in my bag…

Tom: Stolen, no doubt.

Daria: I'd put Ted Dewitt-Clinton up as suspect number one. (bites her slice of pizza)

Jane: The kid *does* have an unhealthy fascination with gum, but he's not really the type… hmm… (looks at Daria) What are you chewing?

Daria: (with mouth full) Pizza.

Jane: Mm. A likely story. (holds out hand with palm up) Spit it out.

Daria: (still with mouth full) What?

Jane: You heard me, Morgendorffer. I know that's my gum you're chewing. (evil tone of voice) And if I can't have it… NOBODY WILL! Ha ha!

Daria: (to Tom) I knew this day would come. Jane has finally gone insane.

Tom: I don't know. My last piece of Doublemint was suspiciously missing after our last date…

(Both girls roll their eyes at him. Daria smirks.)

Daria: (to Jane, slyly) Are you sure you want it?

Jane: (impatient) Yes! Give it back!

(With gusto, Daria spits the blob of soggy pizza she was chewing into Jane's hand. While Daria grins smugly, Jane has a look of absolute disgust on her face.)

Jane: Ew! Alright, I believe you!

(Jane wipes furiously at her hand with napkins.)

Tom: You!

(Daria and Jane both turn to Tom who is staring wide-eyed and open-mouthed at Daria.)

Daria: What? Haven't you ever seen a girl "share" her lunch with her friend before?

Tom: You!

Daria: Yes. Me.

Tom: I know you!

Jane: (setting dirty napkins aside) Ah, good. After ten long years, he has finally come out of his amnesia. Now he can tell us who the *real* murderer is!

Daria: Why *wouldn't* you know me?

Tom: I mean I know you from somewhere else. I didn't recognize you until just now. You're that girl from the nut stand in the mall!

(Daria and Jane stare in surprise.)

Daria: How… how did you know about that?

Tom: I was a customer! I had forgotten about it until now. You see, it happened two years ago, on my sister's birthday……..

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[[Begin Flashback]]

(We can see Elsie walking through the mall, seemingly followed by what looks like a mountain of bags. As we pan out, though we see the 'mountain' is just Tom, who has been given the task of carrying the stuff. Elsie has been given one of her mom's credit cards so she can shop for her own gifts.)

Elsie: Would you quit complaining? Nobody forced you into coming here, and I'd sure as heck would rather have gone alone.

Tom: (groaning from the weight) And leave you without a pack mule? Trust me. Had I known there would be brute labor involved, I would have stayed home and taken my chances on the couch in the living room with Gilligan, the Skipper, and the Professor.

Elsie: (smirks) That's not a very nice thing to say about Mom and Dad's friends. (pause) Anyway, just consider the bag-carrying your gift to me. It'll be easier for you. You're stronger than I am.

Tom: Lucky me.

(Elsie suddenly stops and sniffs the air.)

Elsie: Oooo… do you smell that?

Tom: (has bags in front of his face) All I smell is paper and plastic. Ah, the scent of our inheritance going down the tube.

(Elsie rolls her eyes and removes a bag so that his face is exposed.)

Tom: (sniffs) Mm… almonds.

Elsie: (pseudo-sweetly) Tom? Buy me some? Please??

Tom: Me? Why can't you pay for your own?

Elsie: The only form of money I have is a credit card. I'm pretty sure 'It's a Nutty, Nutty, Nutty World' doesn't accept American Express. You have cash though. I *know* you do.

(Tom sighs and sets down all the bags.)

Tom: I'll make you a deal. While I'm in line, carry the bags out to the car. I don't want to end this "wonderful" day at the mall with a hernia.

Elsie: I can't carry all of those!

Tom: Sure you can. (He heads toward the nut stand's line.) Just remember to lift with your legs.

(As Tom leaves, Elsie scowls, then begins to pick the bags up one by one.)

(Tom reaches the line just as another customer leaves. We can now see Daria working the counter, wearing her standard 'Nutty, Nutty, Nutty World' uniform, complete with apron and squirrel headgear.)

Daria: Welcome to 'It's a Nutty, Nutty, Nutty World'. We're just nuts about… (turns her head to her right)… Aw, nuts.

(Tom turns to see what she's looking at, then lets out a chuckle. We can now see Kevin… with his head stuck inside one of the nut bins.)

Kevin: (meekly) Help?

(Daria heads over to help with a dumbfounded look on her face.)

Daria: How… why… never mind. I'm not going to ask.

(Daria begins pulling on his waist to try to free him.)

Daria: How you got stuck in the macadamia container, I'll never know.

Kevin: (as if explaining to a child) Dude. Macadamia is a country. I'm stuck in the nut thing, Daria. The *nut* thing. Ow! You're hurting me!

Daria: (still pulling) No, I'm *helping* you.

(As Daria struggles to free him, Kevin begins to talk to himself.)

Kevin: I'll be stuck here for the rest of my life. What'll the… OW… guys say? They'll start calling me 'that *loser* with the nut thing…Ow… on his head' and say "Hey, loser! Nice day for some nuts! Ha ha!" And then I'll… ow… get kicked off the team…OW…and Britt will start going out with the new QB and I'll be all alone with no team, no babe, no… hey, I wonder what would happen if I turned my head like this.

(Kevin leans his head to the left so that his ear almost touches his shoulder.

If Kevin had done this earlier, his head could have slipped out of the opening easily. Now, as Daria pulls with full force, his head comes out at rapid speed, causing him and Daria to fly backwards. Daria's head is rammed into a nut bin behind her labeled 'filberts'. The container falls and causes nuts to cascade down to the floor, where Kevin and Daria now lie.

Daria rubs her head as the manager rushes out of the back room. He gapes at the mess before him.)

Manager: What happened to the filberts?!

(Daria and Kevin begin to get up from the floor. The manager grabs a broom and hands it to Kevin.)

Manager: This is coming out of your salaries! Kevin, start cleaning up. Daria, take care of that customer, then help Kevin.

(Daria turns to Tom again, looking exhausted and murderous at the same time.)

Daria: (glares) Well?!

(Tom, who has been laughing the whole time, calms himself and looks almost sheepish at Daria's glare.)

Tom: Just a bag of almonds… please.

(Daria hurriedly grabs a bag, fills it, then stretches out her hand.)

Daria: That'll be $2.57.

(Tom starts to reach for his wallet, when he notices the sign on Daria's left, which says, "Service with a smile, or you don't "shell" out any "cash—ews")

Tom: Wait a minute… you didn't smile. I think you know what that means.

(Daria stands in disbelief for a second.)

Daria: You can't possibly expect me to…..

(Tom waits expectantly.)

Daria: (sighs) I guess you can.

(She proceeds to take money from her own pocket to pay for Tom's almonds. As she puts the money in the cash register, she forms an idea. Roughly opening the nut bag, she holds her mouth up to it and makes a noise that distinctly sounds like spitting. She then shoves the bag across the counter to Tom)

Tom: (indignant) Tell me you did *not* just do that.

Daria: Do what?

Tom: You spit in my almonds!

Daria: Hm. Maybe I did, and maybe I didn't… (smirks) but I guess you'll never know. Enjoy.

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Daria: Oh. I guess I sort of remember that. (embarrassed) Um… sorry.

Tom: Hey, I provoked you into doing it. You were put into a lousy mood, and I took advantage.

Jane: (shakes her head and smirks) Tom, Tom, Tom. When will you learn not to annoy those who handle your food?

Daria: So I guess I owe you some mind game-free almonds.

Tom: Nobody owes anybody anything…

Jane: Actually, somebody owes *me* a pack of gum. (to Daria) But did you really do it?

Daria: Actually, I---

Tom: (interrupting) No, don't spoil the mystery. I was kind of hoping that you *did* do it. You see, I ended up using the nuts you gave me anyway…

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[[Flashback]]

(Tom walks back to Elsie, who already has two new shopping bags. Elsie quickly grabs the almonds from Tom.)

Elsie: Finally! I'm starving!

(She thrust the shopping bags at a disgruntled Tom.)

Tom: (smirks) I just hope the nuts are as good as the customer service was, sis.

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The End

Thanks to my beta-readers: Beth Ann, Lawndale Stalker, Robert Nowall, Angelinhel, and my mom.

Wallace: "The question is, what is a Mahna Mahna?"
Statler: "The question is, who cares?

-The Muppet Show (The Mahna Mahna