is a fifth-season story, taking place before "Fizz Ed" (October, to be
precise). For those who have read
it, it also takes place just after my story "Is Summer Over Already?" but
for the most part
the goings-on in that fic won't be referred to in this one, so there's no
need to worry about reading that one first (I do ask you to read it just for the
sake of doing so, however). I
prefer each of my stories to stand alone.
However, readers may
understand some of the references better if they've seen the following
"The Old and the
"Is It Fall Yet?"
Mr. O'Neill is
"teaching" while the students show their usual bored indifference.
Daria and Jane sit near the front.
O'Neill: Before we get started on "A Tale of
Two Cities" I wanted to ask the class about some of our feelings upon
completing "Wuthering Heights". I
know it was a very… emotional tale, and some of our more sensitive
students might have come away from it feeling a bit… shall we say, disturbed.
(to Jane) "Disturbed." Yes,
I think that describes some of us very well.
What the hell did I do?
O'Neill: You're an artist, Jane, and so you
must be very in touch with your deepest emotions.
How did this book make you feel?
I'd have to go with… sleepy.
(sighs) I don't
know, Mr. O'Neill… I just couldn't identify with the lead character.
I found it really hard to put myself in that kind of position, and really
relate to the story. It's… kind
of troubling, really.
O'Neill: Oh, that's a shame.
I'll leave you to sort out your inner turmoil. Anyone else?
(whispers) Nice save.
You don't go through self-esteem class seven times with this guy
without learning what the right things to say are.
Moving along – Heathcliffe is often described as a Byronic Hero.
Kevin, what do you think this means?
Whoa, you mean he had a mechanical arm or something?
Man, now I wish I'd read the book!
You know, he can actually be kind of entertaining to watch, in a
monkey-at-the-zoo kind of way.
Unfortunately, there's a drawback.
O'Neill: Daria, what are your thoughts on
(to Jane) That.
Before Daria can speak, Ms. Li
barges into the classroom.
Ms. Li: Students, I have wonderful news!
(aside) Ooch, this
can't be good.
Ms. Li: In cooperation with many
different worthwhile organizations here in Laaawndale, your school has embarked
upon an innovative and forward-thinking new program that, I am sure, will
inspire our students to maximize their potential as citizens and as human
(aside) She's been
reading that list of power words again.
intriguing and progressive of her.
Ms. Li: This program will be called
"Laaawndale Outreach!" It will
be a chance for you young people to bond with your community, by performing
various acts of community service throughout this, er, community.
(aside) I'm feeling more communal all the time.
Furthermore, the state is offering a grant to the school which shows the
most dedication to the service of its community.
Funds. This all makes sense
So, today after class, students will be asked to come down to the main
office and sign up for a community service assignment.
as in "Compelled"?
Let's have none of your backtalk, Miss Morgendorffer!
Of course, participation is strictly voluntary, except in select cases
where students do not choose to volunteer.
However I fail to see why any student would choose not to participate in
this wonderful program, which is sure to teach valuable skills to the students
of Laaawndale High, foster bonding with the city of Laaawndale, and give pride
to the citizens of Laaawndale.
(aside) If she says
"Laaawndale" one more time, I'll gnaw my own leg off.
(aside) Save me a
In addition, students involved in the program will receive Participation
Credit, without which you cannot graduate.
Excuse me? What the hell is
Ms. Li: It was all explained in the
School Review Meeting held last Sunday. Handouts
were given to attendees.
Both of them?
Ms. Li: Here at Laaawndale High, we
recognize the need for students to experience the, quote, "Real World."
I don't get cable at my house.
Ms. Li: I should think you would all be
thrilled to be presented with such an opportunity to help others in your town.
As a former participant in "Awareness of Others Week", I suggest that
I've done my part and it's time to pass the torch to the underclassmen.
Ms. Li: (ignoring her) Remember! Sign up today at three o'clock!
Carry on, Mr. O'Neill. (exits)
What an exciting opportunity! I
hope that you all take advantage of it and learn one of life's most valuable
lessons: that great feeling you get
when you give of yourself.
We learned all about that in Health class last year.
Mr. O'Neill goes
red with embarrassment. Fortunately
for him the bell rings. Everyone
grabs up their books and makes for the door.
Come on, let's get to that sign-up sheet.
Quite the little joiner, aren't we?
Remember what happened last time?
(getting up quickly) I rather enjoyed it myself, but for your
sake, let's move.
Sandi and Stacy are leaving class
I can't believe this. The
Fashion Club is a community service in and of itself.
We should be exempt from this kind of thing.
You are so right Sandi!
Of course I am. Someday,
they'll see that.
Uh-oh. There's a bunch of
people going for the sign-up sheet. Shouldn't
I'll tell you what, Stacy. Why
don't you run in there and sign us both up for something?
There's no reason we both have to scramble through that crowd.
Oh… but, Sandi, I don't think I should pick for you, I mean, what if
I pick the wrong thing?
I have complete confidence in you, Stacy.
Besides, as President of the Fashion Club, it is my
duty to delegate responsibility. Go
Ohhh! I bet I get all
sweaty! (Stacy takes a deep
breath, holds it, and plunges into the crowd that's rapidly forming around the
And don't sign up for clothes donation!
CUT TO: Quinn and Tiffany, leaving a different class.
Don't worry, Tiffany, I'll make sure we get something good. As Vice-President of the Fashion Club,
it's my duty to take responsibility.
Tiffany: You're sooo smart, Quinn…
But I'm not like, you know, a brain or anything!
Tiffany: Of course not…
All right, so I'm trying harder and getting better grades and stuff,
but I'm still the same Quinn!
Tiffany: There's a different girl named
Look, I'll prove it to you! (she
spots the three J's) Joey?
(whiny) Quinn! That
wasn't even close!
Sure, Johnny. Listen, could
you guys do me a favor? I can't
get to the sign-up sheet because there are too many people in the way.
I'll get 'em out of the way!
I'd move mountains for you, Quinn!
Life sucks. (Quinn bats
her eyelashes at him) Whatever
you want, Quinn!
three J's plow forcefully into the crowd, leaving a hole in their wake and
getting a lot of people very angry.
You guys are the best! (she
strides into the gap left behind by the J's and makes her way straight to the
sign-up sheet) Let's see
here… parks and recreation maintenance, not!
Serving food to the homeless… yeah, right.
Clothes donation drive – oh God, never again!
Reading to day-care students… ick.
Here we go! Animal Shelter
Volunteer! All those cute little
puppies and kitties need me… hey Tiffany, I found a good one!
signs her name and Tiffany's to the list, then moves back out of the crowd,
which crushes behind her as the three J's lose their footing and are
CUT TO: Jane and Daria, arriving on the scene.
Did you ever want to see what would really happen if you went into a
crowded room and yelled "Fire!"
Tempting… but I suggest we use more subtle methods.
Just follow my lead.
I leave it in your capable hands.
Daria leads Jane into the crowd
(loudly) Say, Jane, isn't this where they're having the
signups for the ballet team?
Assorted Football Players:
WHAT?? (they run for it)
No, I'm pretty sure that this is the Chess Team tryouts!
Several Other Students:
NO WAY!! (more students run for it)
Wait, I've got it! This is
the line for summer school!
Many more students stampede out of
That thinned the herd a bit. Let's
I'm lost in admiration.
They move forward to sign up.
(looking over the sheet) Hm.
Not much to choose from. Ballet
team might have been preferable. Wait,
here's a good one! (she signs her
What is it?
Graffiti removal! Closest
thing to painting they've got. Unfortunately,
there's only one opening left.
I'm heartbroken. (sigh)
Let's face it, there's nothing actually appealing here.
(she signs her name)
(looking over) What
did you pick?
I'll tell you later. The
crowd's coming back, I suggest we make a hasty exit.
They leave just as the crowd crushes
against the tables again.
Jane and Daria sip
cokes while waiting for their pizza. Trent
moseys in and takes a seat next to Jane.
Hey, Jane. Hey, Daria.
What's going on?
The usual zaniness.
Where's Tom today?
He's out of town for a while. His
parents are making him check out a few Ivy-league colleges.
Judging by his experiences, I can thank my lucky stars that my parents
can't afford to fly me around the country doing the same thing.
Yeah, lucky you. You get to
go to Middleton.
And on that day, Satan will be going to work in a snow plow.
Jane picks up
a paper in front of her and glances over it.
What's that? You doing homework or something?
Trent, how long have we known each other?
It's Ms. Li's latest scheme. We're
all doing community service projects. Ms.
Li provides a free source of slave labor, in return for which she gets
Whoa. Ever see the Shawshank
There's a difference here. In
prison, there's a chance to escape.
I signed up for graffiti removal. This
is a list of some of the more defaced areas of town. I picked it up on the way over here.
Cool. What did you get,
I'm assisting at an elementary school for gifted and talented kids.
What do they need tutoring for, if they're so damn smart?
The way I see it, if that's the case, I get off easy. And if not, I get to mold the minds of our future leaders.
It's a win-win situation.
Daria, when will you learn? Since
when did you have a win-win situation that worked to your advantage in the end?
While you're thinking about that, could we get some pizza? I need some Canadian bacon.
Cranberry Commons, Food Court
Quinn and Tiffany are sitting
together over salads and tiny sodas.
So then I said, Look lady, if you're all out of salmon pink lip gloss,
don't think for a moment that you can get me to buy melon pink lip
gloss and think it's the same thing, because not only do I have a flawless
color sense but I was not born yesterday and I'm not going to be taken
in by your fast sales talk, and she just had nothing to say to that so I
turned on my heel and walked straight out of there.
Tiffany: Wow, Quinn, you really –
So then I just went over to Blushes and Brushes and they had just gotten
a whole new box of salmon pink lip gloss and that glittery eyeshadow
right off the truck that morning so I was the first one to dip into the
box, but I only got a half-dozen of each because who knows what I'd do with it
next month when everything points to darker reds coming back in.
Tiffany: Really, that's –
Anyway, I'm so glad that we're going in together on this project
because it's going to be so great helping all those cute little animals
find homes and besides, I really like talking to you, Tiffany.
Tiffany: Sure, Quinn.
(sees Sandi and Stacy approaching, and looks happy and relieved)
Hey, guys! It's really
great to see you…
(ignoring Tiffany) I'm
really sorry, Sandi! I'm really,
really, really, really sorry!
For the last time, Stacy, just let it go!
It's like this –
(interrupting) Stacy signed us both up to assist in the annual
quilting bee at the Better Days Nursing Home.
(crying) It said
there would be fabric samples! Fabric
Oh, Sandi, that's a shame. But
look on the bright side! You'll
learn so much about sewing, maybe you can make your own outfits instead of
having to go to Cashman's all the time! (smirks)
(scowling) And what,
if I may ask, is your contribution to the community this year?
Oh, Tiffany and I are volunteering at the animal shelter! We're going to help all those adorable little animals find
(stops crying) Really? That's
so nice, Quinn!
Too bad we'll be sewing quilts all day.
Think of all the animals that won't ever find homes because we won't
be there to help them.
With a loud bawl,
Stacy resumes crying. Quinn and
Tiffany glare at Sandi, who glares back for a moment.
Then she notices that a number of other people, some of them Lawndale
students, who have taken note of Stacy's distress, also glaring at her.
Realizing that she may have gone too far, she gets a slightly ashamed
look on her face.
(getting up) Come
on, Stacy. Let's go to the
bathroom and fix your makeup. We can't have people seeing a member of the club go all to
It s-said there would be f-fabric, Quinn.
There, there now… it'll be all right.
Tiffany and Sandi sit in awkward
silence for a bit.
Tiffany: Um… I need another soda.
Sandi watches her
go, and then slumps onto the table, her chin resting on her hand.
Glancing around, she sees the crowd mostly going back to their business.
She also notices Jodie, who focuses back down at a newspaper just after
Sandi notices her disapproving look.
What are you looking at?
(not looking up) Do you really want to know?
(getting riled up) Hey, how I handle Stacy is none of your
I didn't say anything.
Go on, tell me what you really think.
That I'm a cast-iron bitch who treats her friends like dirt.
(finally looking up, and getting ready to leave) Sounds like I
don't need to tell you. (she
Sandi looks like she's about to
say something, then collapses with an air of defeat.
Quinn's on the phone.
God, that was so embarrassing! I
mean, her mascara was running all down her cheeks and everything, she didn't
even want to leave the bathroom.
Tiffany: (from phone)
So, what happened to Sandi?
Tiffany: She just left…
That's weird. Anyway,
it's probably just as well, I think Stacy would have started crying again as
soon as she saw her. So, what do
you think we should wear to the animal shelter?
Tiffany: Hmm… that's hard, you know?
I mean, we don't know what colors the animals will be…
It's something to think about. (-click-)
I'm getting another call, Tiffany, I'll see you tomorrow.
Tiffany: Okay, Quinn… bye –
Quinn cuts her off by clicking over
Hello? Oh hi, Sandi. (a little less enthusiastic than usual)
Hi Quinn. Listen, I hope you don't mind that I had to run off like
that… I, um, had an eyelash in my eye or something.
Sure, Sandi. These things
Um, Quinn? You don't think
I was too hard on Stacy, do you?
Um… well… Stacy's just so tenderhearted, you know?
I wouldn't want her to feel too bad about the whole quilting thing.
I mean, it was just a misunderstanding.
Yeah, well, she feels really bad about it.
Uh, yeah. Well, I should go
I'll see you tomorrow. (hangs up)
(also hangs up) What
(standing in the doorway) Talking
to your friends again?
Eep! Daria, don't do
If you're finally off the phone, I want to call Tom.
(sigh) Yes, Quinn?
Did you ever know someone that you'd been hanging around with for a
while, and although you knew she had a bit of an attitude at first, you thought
you could live with it, and after a while it just got worse until you begin to
wonder why you stay around because she just gets on your nerves?
Actually, I feel that way right now.
Fine, just go call your little boyfriend!
(chucks smiley pillow at Daria and misses)
Quinn, if Sandi's getting on your case, just tell her off. You're smarter than she is, you should be able to take her
on in any verbal volleyball match.
It's not me, Daria. It's
Stacy! I feel so bad about how
Sandi treats her!
If Stacy's decided to be a doormat, there's nothing you can do for
her. She has to figure it out for
herself. Just make sure you're
there for her if you want her to have someone to turn to when she needs it.
(sighs) Thanks Daria.
Quinn turns to the
wall, deep in thought, until she's startled by the smiley pillow hitting her
gently in the back. She starts to
get mad, then realizes Daria didn't throw it very hard, and smirks a bit
before going back to her brooding.
Lawndale Learning and Growing Facility for the Gifted and Talented
The school is an old brick building,
two stories tall, with a playground out back.
Daria walks into the classroom, and
stops in the doorway.
Ah. The ninth circle of
The classroom is,
in a word, untidy. The usual
student desks and molded plastic chairs are present, but strewn about in a way
that suggests that they were dropped from a great height and let scatter where
they may. The walls are decorated
with what is probably student art, and it makes Jane's stuff look tame by
comparison. In addition, there are
a number of animal cages with the tops off, and only about half of them still
have the animals inside. The kids
are engaged in various activities, including creating more hideous works of
"art", playing with the animals, reading, writing, pulled into discussion
groups, etc. There are about thirty
of them and two adults, one of whom perks up and notices Daria.
Oh, you must be Daria!
I suppose it would be pointless to deny it at this stage.
Teacher: Please, come in.
I'm Marge, and I'm one of the coordinators of the Blue group.
Good. I'm feeling a little
blue about this myself. (a minor
explosion from a nearby chemistry kit makes her jump)
What's going on, is this recess or something?
Oh no, we don't artificially structure the day in this facility.
Our children are permitted to learn when they choose, teach when they
choose, and recreate when they choose.
Does that mean I can go home when I choose?
(not paying attention) In
this way, each learns at her or his own pace and at those times best suited to
themselves. Come, let me introduce
you to the people you'll be sharing your time with. This is Gordon, he is the other Blue coordinator.
Gordon: Hello, Daria.
It's wonderful that you could be here with us.
Perhaps you could join our discussion of the cultural mores during the
Wan-Chu Dynasty once you get settled.
(looks at the kindergarten-aged kids involved in the discussion)
That's a little unsettling right there, actually.
Oh, and this is Lester, one of our promising young poets.
Lester's about six years old.
Lester: I sense the weight of
personal regret heavy on your bosom.
Oh, and this is Elaine.
Elaine (a twelve-year old girl) twirls over to Daria, makes a
graceful curtsey, then spins on her toes in the other direction, letting her
long hair drape over Daria's shoulder as she does so.
Elaine is experimenting with communicating through interpretive dance.
She just said how nice it was to meet you, and she hopes you'll become
How does she dance to people she doesn't like?
You'll have a chance to meet everyone as time goes on, of course, but
it's best that they introduce themselves in their own time.
As long as no one is communicating through the use of blunt objects, I
think I can handle that.
Wonderful! I'm going to
leave you to find your own potential as Coordinating Assistant.
Feel free to join any of the discussions you see, or facilitate learning
and growth wherever you can lend a hand.
Marge goes back to
her group of students. Daria stands
in the middle of the room for a bit, looking at the scene around her with
deadpan eyes. There's a tug on
her sleeve. Daria looks down to see
a little girl holding a large white rat.
He peed on me.
Jane and someone in
coveralls with a clipboard stand in front of a brick wall that's been
liberally defaced with spraypaint.
(that's his name) Okay,
Jen, let me give you the lowdown on this graffiti thing.
Sure. Anyway, you start with
this wall, go around the civic center until you get all this crap painted over.
Then we'll head over to Lawndale Commons, and you can do the same thing
Here's a gallon of white and a roller.
Excuse me, I don't paint with (shudders) rollers. I have some pride.
You want to do half a mile of walls with a brush, I won't stop you.
(sigh) Van Gogh,
forgive me. (she takes the
roller between thumb and forefinger, holding it as far away from her as she can,
and turns to start on the wall) Wow,
look at this stuff. Hey, did anyone
take a picture of this?
No, and we didn't take pictures of the landfill before the Director of
Public Works built his house on it, either.
Just cover it up.
Yeah, but this is really cool. Look
at this design. And this was all
done with spraypaint?
It's graffiti. Get rid of
It's art. I can't just
Hey, if you want to be an art critic, do it on your own time.
You don't get it, do you?
Look, you can paint it white, or I'll get someone else to do it.
It's no skin off my back.
Go find someone else, then. (she
drops the roller and paint bucket and stalks off)
man (Mr. Clay) is giving Quinn and Tiffany the tour. Quinn's dressed primarily in browns, Tiffany in avocado
leggings and a white shirt
Mr. Clay: This is where we keep the larger dogs. They need to be fed once a day, and make sure each of them
always has something to chew on.
Where are the cute animals?
Mr. Clay: Over here is the vet's office.
We have trained people to take care of the sick animals, so you won't
have to deal with that much. Over
there is where we keep the cats.
Tiffany: Kitties… cool…
Mr. Clay: They generally get fed twice a day, but they
won't usually eat everything in front of them all at once.
Litterboxes should be changed once a day.
Tiffany: Why would you keep a box of trash
in there with them?
Mr. Clay: (ignoring Tiffany)
Moving right along, here's the smaller adult dogs, anything under
twenty pounds. The puppies are in a
Quinn is distracted by a poodle
which is nosing the bars. She looks
at the nametag.
Hi, Snookums! Oh, aren't
dog noses Quinn's offered hand and lets her scratch its head.
That's a good puppy! (she
takes a closer look at the nametag) Hey,
this tag has tomorrow's date on it. Weird.
Oh well, bye-bye Snookums!
Snookums whimpers a bit when Quinn
leaves, then sits back down in the back of its cage.
Tiffany: (from up ahead)
Mr. Clay: It's a chinchilla.
Tiffany: Chin… Chin-chin…
Hey guys, wait up!
and Stacy come in through the front doors.
Stacy looks as though she may start crying any moment, and Sandi looks
worried about it and peeved about it at the same time.
They are met by a nurse.
Hello, I'm Sandi Griffin, this is Stacy Rowe.
We're here to volunteer.
Not for reading, I hope? Not
to be rude, but our residents are very picky about the tone of voice that our
(frowns) Exactly what is the matter with my voice?
(small voice) We're here for quilting…
Oh, wonderful! Come right
this way. You wouldn't believe
how hard it is to get young people interested in the art of quilting.
(glances at Stacy) I'm, um, sure it's fascinating.
I didn't mean to, Sandi!
It's all right, Stacy!
You don't need to apologize any more, we're just going to make the
best of it!
It said (sniff) there would be fabric samples…
Sandi sighs with exasperation as
they round a corner into the sewing room.
Do either of you have sewing experience?
I have some… I mean, I can sew a button and stuff…
(hopefully) Out of curiosity, what if we don't?
Oh, our residents would be happy to teach you, of course! Now, Sandi, this is Mrs. Peabody, you'll be working mostly
Mrs. Peabody: Margaret? Is that
No, Mrs. Peabody, Margaret isn't here.
(aside to Sandi) Mrs. Peabody always wanted a daughter, but she
had eight boys instead. This week,
she's been asking for her nonexistent daughter named Margaret.
Don't be concerned if she wants you to call her "Mother".
Stacy, over here is Ms. Chaney.
Ms. Chaney: Well, aren't you a pretty little thing?
(shy smile) Um, thanks.
Ms. Chaney: Oh, but I'm being such a silly old woman,
I'll bet you hear that all the time from the boys in school.
You don't need to hear it from me too.
(blushing) That's really nice of you to say, Ms. Chaney…
Ms. Chaney: Please dear, call me Janice.
If we're going to be working together, we should be friendly with each
other, don't you think so?
Well, if you say so Ms Chan– Janice.
Ms. Chaney: Well dear, let's get right to work. I'm not getting any younger, and we need to finish this
quilt before I head down the tunnel of light.
I imagine that you have an excellent color sense, I can tell by your
Stacy blushes and smiles, unused to
so many compliments.
Sandi, in the meantime, is speaking
with Mrs. Peabody.
So, do you have, like, fabric samples or something that we're supposed
to be looking at?
Mrs. Peabody: Do you know that you have your father's nose, Margaret?
I'm Sandi, Mrs. Peabody.
Mrs. Peabody: (a bit surprised) Oh!
Forgive me, dearie, these eyes aren't what they used to be.
It's quite all right.
Mrs. Peabody: You just look so much like your sister Margaret, it's hard to
tell you apart.
Sandi rolls her eyes.
and Upchuck, both dressed in green coveralls, are standing by the roadside with
a similarly dressed fat, balding man named Leon. Upchuck looks angry about something.
(talking around a cigar) Here's
the drill, boys. Ten miles that way
is the city limit. Pick up all the
trash between here and there, bag it, and leave it to be collected the next
morning. Any questions?
(raising his hand) Yo, dude!
What are all these cars doing on our highway?
(Looks at Kevin as if he's a moron) Well, I'll tell you. A few years back, someone realized that driving on the
highway was a lot less bumpy than driving on plain dirt, and the idea caught on.
Any more stupid questions?
No, I mean, isn't the highway, like, ours?
I mean, we adopted it, right?
Upchuck: Don't bother, he's dumber than the pavement
he's standing on.
Whatever. Just pick up the
trash and watch out for traffic, we've got enough roadkill around here. (He gets in his pickup and drive off).
(to Upchuck) Dude! That
was like, really uncool!
Upchuck: Don't you know what "Adopt-A-Highway" even
means? It means we pick up trash
and that's it! What kind of idiot
signs up for this in the first place?
Hey, maybe I'm not a straight C student like some people, but I know my
rights! This highway is mine now!
Hey, besides, if you're so smart, what are you doing here?
Upchuck: How should I know?
I signed up to volunteer at the YWCA therapeutic massage clinic!
Someone switched my name, and if I ever find out who…
fast-food takeout bag flung from a passing car strikes upchuck in the head,
splattering him with a ketchup-mustard mix.
He grits his teeth and shakes his fist at the blue convertible from where
the bag came.
Ms. Barch: Enjoy your volunteer assignment, male scumbag!
EXT: Lawndale High
The lunch bell rings.
Daria and Jane sit at a table, picking at their food, not eating
Shouldn't we be talking about how our volunteering went, or something?
So, why did yours suck so much?
It's like an entire room full of Guptys.
They throw these kids together into this classroom with absolutely no
boundaries whatsoever. I mean,
I'm all for defying authority, but when there's no authority to defy, it
kind of messes everything up, you know? Am
I making sense?
Not really. Actually, it
kind of sounds like growing up in my house.
So, what sucks about your gig?
They want me to paint over graffiti.
(motions for more with one hand) And…
I don't want to.
Jane, forgive me if I seem obtuse, but what did you think "Graffiti
Removal" actually meant? Did you
think they would move the vandalized walls brick by brick to a museum and then
Yeah, I know, but I figured it would be a bunch of meaningless squiggles
and hearts with "Kevin Luvs Brittany" misspelled in them.
Some of this stuff is real, genuine art. Just because it's on a wall in spraypaint instead of on a
canvas with oils, they call it vandalism.
The nerve of some people.
You don't understand, Daria. Being
raised by bohemians has taught me some important things:
don't eat anything that moves; ask for I.D. when presented with
so-called long lost relatives; never let anyone into the house who's wearing a
suit and tie; and, above all, respect art in all its forms.
The images on these walls may be made by hoodlums with spraypaint, but
they're talented hoodlums with spraypaint who, like it or not, added some
much-needed character to our little burg. I've
spent my life creating art. I
can't just destroy it.
Jane, have you considered the consequences of failing to deliver on one
of Ms. Li's pet projects during your senior year?
I can take it.
Can you take being in the same class as Quinn and her friends?
Another year of Mr. DiMartino?
Jane looks doubtful.
Kevin and Brittany are probably going to flunk too, you know.
(shudders) That wall will be white by next Tuesday.
Hey guys, mind if I sit here?
Before you say anything, be aware that we each already have one more
extra-curricular than we'd ordinarily deem prudent.
(a little miffed) Look,
Mack's sitting with his football buddies.
I just want a change of company for a bit.
Forgive my blunt friend. Have
(shrugs) Eh. No big
deal. So, how are things going with
Daria and Jane:
Really? That's too bad. What are you doing for your volunteer project?
Oh yeah, Daria, you signed up for that Talanted and Gifted School. Funny, I'd think that would be interesting.
Picture this: Take Albert
Einstein, Socrates, William Shakespeare, and Benjamin Franklin.
Put them all together in a room with no rules, no limits, just a lot of
opportunities to learn, grow, and discover new things.
Sounds pretty cool.
Now replace the geniuses with a bunch of kids whose parents just thought
they were brilliant because they could count higher than the Cookie Monster.
Ew. I see your point. So, Jane, what did you really get?
Oh. Well, I can see why that
And what are you doing, if I may ask without seeming too interested?
Oh, I'm volunteering at the soup kitchen, the crisis center, and I
signed up for an internship at Congressman Sach's office.
Extra credit, you know.
Good God, woman, don't you ever sleep?
Wait a minute. Aren't
those all things you were doing anyway?
Jodie smirks and folds her arms across her chest in satisfaction.
I'll be damned.
I don't know whether to be impressed with your little scheme, or pity
you for being in the position to pull it off in the first place.
teetering between those two possibilities myself.
EXT: Lawndale High
Sandi and Stacy sit at the
popular table, in silence. Sandi
looks vaguely uncomfortable, Stacy looks edgy and timid – in other words,
I'm really sorry, Sandi! I
screwed up and got us a bad assignment and I'm just so, so sorry and it will
never happen again!!
(wincing) Stacy, people are looking at us!
(whisper) I'm sorry!
(sighs) Stacy, give it a rest!
You don't have to apologize for everything, you know.
Sandi rolls her eyes.
Quinn and Tiffany approach and sit down.
Hi guys! What's new?
Well, we were about to discuss the pros and cons of quilting, if we could
just get past the sticky point of it being all Stacy's fault that we're
doing it in the first place.
(quickly interrupts) So, how are things at the pound?
Oh, it's so great to be able to help all the cute little animals there!
I fed the chin-chinny…
I mean, sure, some of them aren't so cute and little, but they just
look at you with those big, sad eyes and your heart just melts, and you just
want to bundle them in your arms and tell them everything is going to be all
Sandi glances over at Stacy, who's looking at her with big, sad
So, how's quilting?
Stacy's eyes start to well up with tears, and her chin trembles.
Well as I was saying, Stacy and I were just talking about that, and I was
just about to tell her how it's, um… (mumbles) not as bad as I
thought it would be?
I'm really sor– huh? (she's fairly surprised)
That's great, Sandi!
But I thought – I mean, you didn't look like you were having a good
time, with that woman who wanted you to call her mother and everything…
Well, naturally, I wanted to… maintain a certain emotional distance. (growing confident as she continues her line of BS)
I mean, after all, it would have been psychologically damaging to that
poor woman if I had actually acted like her daughter, don't you think?
That's so thoughtful of you Sandi.
Are you implying that I'd ever be un-thoughtful?
Of course not, Sandi!
You're a very thoughtful person…
Sandi glares at her.
Always thinking of others, that's Sandi!
Sandi tries to smile, but fails and looks glum.
Even she's not so dense as to think any of it's true.
One Week Later…
INT: Lawndale Learning
and Growing Facility for the Gifted and Talented
Daria is in a discussion with one of the "students" who is
sitting on her feet.
Why must you do your paintings while sitting on my feet?
We're allowed to work wherever we want to.
And while I suppose I should be honored that you've chosen my feet, I
still feel compelled to recommend one of the many chairs which have been placed
in this classroom for just such an eventuality.
Your boots are really uncomfortable.
Could you take them off?
I'm going to say this once, kid: Don't
dis the boots. And if they're so
uncomfortable, maybe that's a sign that you should go sit somewhere else.
This place spent a lot of good money on chairs.
Lou Ann: (another
student, overhearing) I just had a discussion with Gordon about experimental
societies that don't use money.
Could we try to keep this discussion focused on alterative places to sit
beyond my feet?
Lou Ann: Discussions
should be allowed to evolve without constraint.
I think society would be better off without money.
Yes. That's an interesting
thought. And if we had no money,
there would be no campaigns for political office, since those are wholly
dependent on money. Without
politicians, we would need other sorts of leaders.
Perhaps a leadership structure more like a corporation, with a board of
directors, and a chairperson. The
chairperson would likely sit in a chair of some kind, as opposed to someone
else's feet. Why don't you try
You have a very closed mind.
Let me try this from another angle.
The leg muscles are among the strongest voluntary muscles in the human
body. I estimate you weigh
approximately seventy pounds. How
far do you think I could launch you across that carpet with a single kick?
(glares at Daria) Violence never solved anything.
Get off my damn feet.
(from the other end of the room) Children!
If I may intrude upon your time, I'd like to introduce a new learner to
our facility. Everyone say hello to
(for it is he) My name is Link, you retard.
(suddenly interested) Link?
(Rather surprised) Daria?
Oh, you two know each other? Isn't
that wonderful! Daria, you can help
with Link's introduction to the facility!
(coming over to Daria) What are you doing here?
You know me. I'm a sucker
for trendy new-age learning environments.
So is my mother. She figured
regular school isn't stimulating me enough.
(mockingly) That's why I'm so down all the time.
It couldn't possibly be because my stepfather's such a jerk and my
damn mother spends every afternoon watching talk shows or that stupid
Um… sure. Well, I wish I
could say that this place will work wonders for you, but so far it seems to me
like "OK to Cry Corral" on amphetamines.
I'll tell you what, though, I'll try to make it a little more
tolerable for you while I'm here, if you could try to do the same for me.
And look, there are thirty kids in this room, they can't all be flakes.
(watching Elaine toe-dance around the carpet) Don't bet on that.
In the meantime, maybe you can help me with something.
Can you get this kid off my feet?
EXT: Lawndale Commons
(remember, he's the supervisor for Graffiti removal)
So you're back.
Yeah. Ready and raring to
Sure. Anyway, you know the
drill. Here's your roller.
Jane sighs and turns to the wall.
Look at it this way, Jane. It's
a shopping center. It doesn't
deserve something this good painted on it.
(with obvious distaste, she starts to paint the wall)
INT: Nursing Home
Stacy is sewing under the direction of Ms. Chaney.
Ms. Chaney: That's
very good, dear. You really do have
a natural talent for this sort of thing.
Thanks, Ms. Chaney.
Ms. Chaney: Now
Stacy, we've talked about this! You're
going to make me feel like an old woman. Of
course, I am an old woman, but that's beside the point.
Sorry. Janice. (smiles)
Ms. Chaney: That's
better. Let me see what you've
done so far. (She accepts the
quilt corner from Stacy and looks it over)
Very nice, dear. Corner
stitching can be the hardest part, and you do it so very well.
What are we making these quilts for, anyway?
Ms. Chaney: They
don't tell us. I think it's
just to give us something to do, actually.
Somewhere under this building there are probably boxes filled to bursting
with moldy old quilts.
Ms. Chaney: Of
course not, my dear! They're
given to the homeless, or those in need, or they're sold to those who take
pity on us for producing such horrid things.
(with that droopy I-said-something-stupid expression she does so well)
Oops! I'm sorry!
Ms. Chaney: What
on Earth for?
For being so stupid! I
always say the wrong thing!
Ms. Chaney: No
dear, I'm sorry that I made you feel that way.
Forgive me for saying so, but you seem a trifle nervous.
Is something wrong?
Why would something be wrong?
Ms. Chaney: My
point exactly. At the risk of
seeming like an old woman spouting platitudes, living a life can be a lot like
making a quilt. If you make one
little mistake from time to time, it's not the end of the world. Just adjust the rest of the pattern to fit, or pull out a few
stitches and start over.
Ms. Chaney: I
could go on to say how life is a patchwork of experiences, held together by the
thread of time, and in the end you have something warm and memorable, but then I
really would sound like an old woman spouting platitudes, and as a teenager your
instincts would lead you to smile, nod, and not listen to a word I say.
Ms. Chaney: Let
me tell you something else that I hope you can take to heart: You're not alone in being a little insecure.
Most people don't have any idea what they're doing.
Show me someone who acts all self-confident and self-assured, and I'll
show you someone who's scared to death that they'll be exposed as a –
what's the word you kids use today? – "Poser".
Stacy doesn't say a word, but looks thoughtfully over at Sandi.
Ouch! Dammit, why do they
make these needles so sharp!
Mrs. Peabody: Margaret!
You watch your language! What
would your father say?
INT: Animal Shelter,
Quinn is feeding the dogs.
…And there you go, Ralphie, that's for you… (she scratches the
dog's head) oooh, you're so adorable, I wish I could take you home with
me! (she glances at the tag) That's the strangest thing,
why do they have the wrong dates on all these tags? It says tomorrow's date, just like Snookums' did last
week. Oh well.
Here's some food for you Frankie, and for Dusty, and for… where's
Quinn has stopped in front of
a cage that used to hold Snookums, but now there's a different dog in there.
Snookums must have found a home! Oh,
that's so wonderful! But I'm
really going to miss her… Anyway, here's one for you (checks name)
INT: Animal Shelter,
The phone rings. Tiffany
Hello… you've reached the… Lawndale… Animal… Shelter… can
I… help you?
I'm wearing white and avocado… it goes well with the animals… why
do you ask?
Quinn skips by happily.
Hey Quinn… (pause, then into phone)
That was my friend Quinn… no, there's actually four of us in the
club… what do you mean, threesome?
Quinn continues to an office door and knocks.
Quinn enters. In the
office is the director of the shelter, Mr. Clay.
I finished feeding all the dogs, Mr. Clay!
Mr. Clay: Very
good work, Quinn! I'm glad to see
you showing so much enthusiasm.
Well, what can I say, I love animals.
And it's so nice that we're helping them the way we are.
I mean, I'll miss Snookums, but it's nice to know she got a good home
Mr. Clay: Snookums?
Oh, she was this little white fuzzy poodle or something I saw here last
week. Oh, and that reminds me,
someone's not dating the information cards right, some of them have
tomorrow's date on them.
Mr. Clay: (suddenly
rather grim) Hm. Quinn, do you
have a moment? I need to talk to
you about something important.
Sure. What's up?
Mr. Clay: Have
a seat. (he gets up and goes to
close the door). You see Quinn,
we're a very small facility here in Lawndale, and we serve not only this
community but everything else in a twenty-mile radius.
To put it concisely, we have very little space and a lot of stray animals
to care for.
I know. Isn't it great
that so many of them get adopted? I
think there's almost a dozen that were here last week that aren't here now.
Mr. Clay: (sighs)
Quinn, you don't understand. There
aren't nearly enough people interested in taking home new pets to keep us from
getting dangerously overfilled with animals.
We just don't have the resources to hold them all here until they are
Oh. So, who's taking them
home? I'd kind of like to see
Snookums again, actually.
Mr. Clay: Quinn,
we can't care for all these animals, and no one is taking them home.
We are in a position here where we have no choice but to use euthanasia.
Huh? You're sending them
over to kids in China?
Mr. Clay: No,
Quinn. We… put them to sleep.
Painlessly. We try to be as
humane as possible.
Quinn is struck speechless.
Mr. Clay: I
know this must be hard for you to accept, but understand that we really have no
choice. There are simply too many
of them for us to handle. I hope we
won't lose you as a volunteer, you're one of the best people I have, and
that includes the paid staff.
Quinn's chin trembles. Tears
are running down her face.
I can see that you're a very caring person.
I'm sorry that this has upset you so much–
(interrupting, whispering) You killed Snookums.
Mr. Clay: Quinn,
try not to look at it that way–
Quinn gets up and runs out,
crying in earnest now. Mr. Clay
sighs and turns his chair toward the window, watching her leave.
EXT: Animal Shelter
Quinn bursts out of the front
doors, barely able to see through her tears.
She doesn't go far, soon collapsing in a sobbing heap on the walkway in
front of the building.
after a few minutes...
Quinn looks up. It's
Go away, you murderer!
Mr. Clay: Quinn,
it's not a perfect world. If I
could save all these animals, I would. But
we only have so much space, and so much money.
If they don't get adopted, what are we to do? Let them starve, or turn them back out on the street?
(not crying so hard anymore, but still sobbing a bit)
But… there has to be something you can do besides killing them!
Mr. Clay: We
try, Quinn. Every week I write
letters to the mayor's office and the governor asking for more funds.
We hold bake sales, we get some money from private donations, and
sometimes we're able to send animals to other, better-equipped shelters.
Most of all, we depend on our volunteers.
People like you, Quinn.
Quinn looks up, her eyes no longer so angry.
Mr. Clay: If it
weren't for our volunteer staff, we would only be able to hold half the
animals we do. And the number
coming in doesn't get any smaller. If
you still want to go, I'll understand, and I'll give you a passing grade on
the project. But we do need you,
and I hope you consider coming back. I'll
leave it up to you.
Mr. Clay turns and heads back inside. After a moment, Quinn gets up and follows.
INT: Animal shelter
Quinn is tenderly scratching a cat behind the ears.
Mr. Clay: (calling
from the lobby) Quinn!
It's time to lock up for the night!
I'll be there in a moment!
Deliberately, Quinn places her backpack down beside the cage, then
EXT: Parking Lot
Mr. Clay: I'm
glad you decided to stay, Quinn. I
know it's painful, but I think in the end you'll know you made the right
I hope so, Mr. Clay. (she
snaps her fingers) Oh!
I left my backpack inside!
Mr. Clay: (looks
at his watch) Quinn, it's
late and I have an appointment. Can
it wait until tomorrow?
No, it has my history paper in it, I have to turn it in tomorrow morning!
Mr. Clay: (digs
out his keys) Go ahead, Quinn. But
Thanks! (she runs into
Mr. Clay waits for a moment,
which turns into a longer moment. He
taps his foot impatiently. He
checks his watch again.
Jake's Lexus pulls up, and Daria rolls down the passenger side
Mr. Clay: She
forgot her backpack. Apparently,
she also forgot where she left it. How
long does it take?
Quinn couldn't find her left foot if you showed her the right one and
told her to look for one just like it.
Mr. Clay: You
must be her older sister.
How'd you guess?
Mr. Clay: I
have an older brother.
Daria, this is the right place, isn't it?
Yes, Dad. Quinn's just
saying bye-bye to all the animals.
Mr. Clay: Ah,
Mr. Morgendorffer, I presume?
No flies on you.
Mr. Clay: I'd
like to tell you how proud we are of Quinn.
She's the best volunteer we have.
A very caring and sensitive girl.
(Running up quickly, tossing the keys to Mr. Clay)
Found it! Thanks, bye!
Mr. Clay: Goodbye,
Quinn. See you next week.
How was your day, Quinn?
Dad, step on it! We're
going to miss Fashion Vision!
Yeah, Dad. You wouldn't
want to miss that.
The Lexus pulls out, leaving Mr. Clay shaking his head with
Quinn is sitting nervously in
the back seat, looking over her shoulder. Her
backpack is held tightly on her lap.
It's okay, Quinn. He's
not following us.
Someone's following us? It's
that guy who said how sensitive you are, isn't it?
I knew it, he's a stalker! Those
beady little eyes, that leering look! I'll
teach him to leer at my daughter!!
Da-AD, he's just my boss. But,
um, don't let that stop you from driving faster, there's no telling who else
might be following.
Uh-oh. Quinn got the
Daria's looks up, and turns around. Quinn's backpack is wriggling.
Quinn stares at Daria with wide, pleading eyes.
Did you hear something, kiddo?
Must be the radio, dad. Can
you turn it up, I can't hear it very well.
Jake turns up the radio.
Daria, still turned around,
notices a kitten poking its head out of Quinn's jacket.
She says nothing, however.
I'm sure I hear something. Quinn,
is that you back there?
I'm, um, practicing my kitty noises.
It makes the animals more relaxed around me.
Quinn, hasn't anyone ever told you it's a bad idea to take your work
home with you? (She points at
the kitten coming out of Quinn's jacket.)
Quinn pushes the kitten
gently back inside, only to have a rabbit poke its head out the other side.
Daria shakes her head with disbelief.
Quinn puts a finger to her lips, desperately signaling quiet.
Dad? Have you ever tried
cooking rabbit stew?
Hmm… interesting idea, Daria!
Quinn hurriedly zips up her jacket.
checks the rearview mirror.
(smiling nervously) Um…
INT: Morgendorffer home
Quinn bursts in, runs up the
stairs with her backpack and holding her jacket tightly together, dashes into
her room, and slams the door.
Daria follows soon thereafter, walking calmly up the stairs.
Jake comes in.
Rabbit stew… sounds like it's time to break out the ol' crock pot!
INT: Quinn's room.
Quinn opens her jacket,
allowing two kittens, a larger cat, and a rabbit out onto her bed.
Then she unzips the backpack, withdrawing a small dog from one
compartment, and two more kittens from the other.
It's okay, guys, you're safe now.
No one's going to hurt you.
Um… I'm not decent!!
That's way too easy a setup, Quinn.
Daria! Go away!
Fine. I'll just go mention
to Dad that I've found the first ingredient for his stew up here.
She jumps up, opens the door, and pulls Daria inside, closing it
Hey! I was kidding about the
stew, you know. I'd never
actually encourage him to experiment in the kitchen.
You're not going to tell him, are you?
Well, I think ten dollars a pet will keep me quiet.
Of course, there's Mom, too. Maybe
I should up the price to twenty…
Fine! (she whips out her
purse and counts seventy dollars into Daria's hands)
There, are you happy?
(riffles through the bills) Actually, I'm impressed. I didn't think you could multiply that accurately.
Just don't tell Mom and Dad, all right?
You know, you're not going to be able to keep this a secret for long.
I'll worry about that later.
A pleasure doing business with you.
Enjoy your pets.
INT: Daria's room
Daria dials the phone.
Jane picks up. Split
Hey, how was your day with our future leaders of America?
Ran into an old friend. Remember
The kid with the complex? Sure.
How's he doing?
Depressed, cynical, and cranky with the world.
My kind of kid.
That wasn't the most interesting thing that happened all day though.
Oh? Do tell.
Quinn brought home a few inmates from the pound.
A dog, a rabbit, and at least four cats.
Sneaked them in right under Dad's nose.
Well, Jake never was one of your more perceptive people.
Sure, getting them home was no problem, but she'll never keep them
under wraps for long. If she wanted
a pet so badly, why didn't she just ask for one?
Dad's always wanted a cat.
I'm guessing she had other motives.
Well, apart from the rabbit, they don't seem like they'd be very
Obviously you've never been to Korea.
But seriously, she was probably just trying to save their little hides
From what? I mean, doing
time can't be pleasant, but it's not like they –
They do, don't they?
If you mean buying them a one-way ticket on the Heavenly Express,
that's a big yes. There was a
local controversy about it a few years ago, but then Tommy Sherman won the State
Championship and suddenly there were more interesting things to talk about.
Daria is silent for a moment.
She looks at the money in her hands with a guilty expression.
You still there?
Um, yeah. Listen, I need to
go check on something. I'll call
you later, OK?
Daria hangs up, and sits for a moment with a thoughtful look on her
INT: Quinn's room
Quinn is petting a kitten. There's
a knock on her door.
Um… I'm not feeling well, come back later?
There's no answer.
Mom, is that you?
Still no answer.
Quinn moves the kitten and the rabbit off her lap, tiptoes across the
room, and cautiously opens the door. There's
a small box in the hall, which she drags in, and looks at the note attached to
(reading) Dear Quinn,
don't you dare think I've gone soft. Daria.
Puzzled, Quinn opens the box.
Inside are three open cans of tuna, some chopped-up meat, a pile of
lettuce leaves, and a carrot. In
addition, there's the money she gave to Daria.
(smiling) Thanks, Daria.
Jake, in his bathrobe, enters the bathroom and looks at his face in the
mirror, rubbing at his whiskers. He
shakes up a can of shaving cream and sprays it into his hand. A cat jumps onto the counter and meows at him.
(sleepy) Hi, kitty.
Jake applies the shaving cream to
his face while the cat watches.
Helen, did you feed the cat?
(from bed, where she's still almost sleeping) We don't have a
Oh yeah. My mistake.
commences shaving. He's about
halfway done when…
(suddenly freaked out) GAAHH!!
Jake drops the
razor and looks frantically about for the cat, which has moved on to other, more
interesting places. In short, the
cat is gone.
HELEN! Where did the cat go?
I told you, Jake, we don't have a cat.
But… but there was a cat here! Right
here in the bathroom!!
Yes, and last week there was a squirrel in the pantry. Jake, I'm really very tired, I was at the office very late
There was a cat! I know I
saw a cat!
Oh, for the love of God, Jake…
Quinn is holding the cat in question
while listening at the door.
Whew! At least it was just
Dad. (to the cat) Snowball,
what have I told you about leaving the room while Mom and Dad are home?
You know we're all in trouble if any of you guys get caught!
I know, you're hungry. Dad
will be gone in half an hour, and then I can get you some food. We just have to wait a little, that's all.
and Jane are walking to class.
So it seems you were right. Quinn's
brought all these animals home out of the goodness of her heart, and hasn't
been entirely successful in keeping them under wraps. I wonder if she'll learn the value of thinking things
Speaking of which, have you considered that the shelter offs a few
animals every week? Quinn's not
likely to stop here.
Couldn't just let me be miserable in the here and now, could you?
You had to point out the black clouds on the horizon as well.
Look on the bright side. Quinn's
going to get in so much trouble over this, she'll be grounded until her senior
True. The funny thing is, I
think she's doing something genuinely unselfish and decent for the first time
in her life. I don't think I'll
get much satisfaction watching this one blow up in her face.
No good deed goes unpunished. Look
at me – I sign up to remove graffiti, and they actually make me remove
Think how I feel, surrounded by all these would-be child prodigies.
At least the graffiti isn't looking for hidden meaning in the works of
Beatrix Potter. If I have to sit in
on one more of those ridiculous pseudo-deep discussions, I'll probably blow a
Why not try a little creative education into the ways of the real world?
We did pretty well with Guptys.
Three problems: There's no
TV, the other coordinators would catch on and put a stop to it, and I don't
have a partner in crime.
There's always Link.
We'd still be outnumbered twelve to one, and the lack of TV is a
considerable handicap. But it may
be worth a shot. Now that we've
solved all my problems, how are things in the world of monochrome wall painting?
I die a little bit with each swipe of the roller. Other than that, peachy.
Sandi, Stacy, and Tiffany stand
around outside the front doors. Sandi
looks very impatient.
Where is Quinn?
Stacy, how late is Quinn now?
Nine minutes, Sandi.
This is entirely inappropriate behavior.
Coordination check is not something to be blown off like some math quiz.
We can't possibly accessorize without everyone here for –
(coming in running) I'm here!
I'm sorry! I got held up
Quinn, if you aren't going to take Coordination Check seriously, please
let the rest of us know so we can plan as a threesome for the day rather than as
Tiffany: That guy on the phone said something
about a threesome… maybe he was psychic…
I'm so sorry, Sandi! Really,
I am! It won't happen again.
I suppose we can forgive this one transgression, Stacy.
I mean, Quinn. (Sandi
sniffles for no apparent reason) That
habit you have of constantly apologizing for everything; it threw me off.
Stacy looks a little miffed, but
Anyway, Tiffany, if you would assume your duties as Coordinating Officer,
we can proceed. (Sandi rubs her
eyes and sniffles again)
Tiffany: All right… We'll start with
roll call… Sandi?
We're all here, Tiffany! (sniffles more forcefully. She's starting to sound distinctly stuffed up) Get on
Tiffany: Um… All right.
Quinn, isn't that the same jacket you wore yesterday to the shelter?
Is it? I must have, um,
gotten dressed in a hurry this morning.
There are some things you make time for.
no excuse for repeating any garment twice in as many days.
As Vice President of the Fashion Club, Quidd, it is incumbent upon you to
set an example -
I said – (she sneezes suddenly) Ah-CHOO!!
As I was saying, you of all people should know the importadce of takig
the decessary tibe to dress id the mordig… AH-CHOOO!!
Tiffany: Sandi… eww…
What's wrong, Sandi? Your
eyes are all red!
I dod't dow what's wrog! Wait…
is there a buddy aroud here?
Not a buddy, a buddy! A
bud-dy! A buddy rabbit!!
I don't think so…
Tiffany: We fed the bunnies yesterday at
(looking over her jacket) Oh look, there's still some rabbit fur
on my jacket.
Quidd, I'b allergic to buddies!!
Oh no! Sandi, your skin's
getting all blotchy!
Oooh!! Ah-CHOOOO!! (she runs off)
Tiffany: Hmm… no one else is wearing rabbit
fur, so I guess that won't be a problem… (she looks around) Where did
Jane and Daria are splitting a pie.
So, tell me more about this Link character.
You know, what kind of pizza does he like, what kind of music does he
listen to, is he single?
Jane, he's eleven years old.
Hey, he'll be legal in five, then.
Seriously, what's the lowdown on this kid?
Well, he's a tough kid in a tough situation.
His family life is really screwed up, and unfortunately he's smart
enough to realize exactly how screwed up it is.
Actually, I don't really know him all that well.
Sounds like you've got some insight into his feelings. You know him well enough to know he's angry and depressed.
Anyone who talks to him for five seconds can tell that. He bites the heads off people who try to get close.
He's angry at the whole world.
I thought you said the two of you were hitting it off.
We seem to have similar outlooks on life, but his walls are miles thick.
He's got a lot of emotional baggage for someone his age.
Most people aren't that bitter until they get deep into middle age –
sooner if they become teachers. I
don't know if I'll ever really be able to connect with him.
Look, Daria, it's not easy getting to know a hard-bitten cynic with a
black perspective on the world. Trust
me on this one. But you never know,
sometimes the effort really pays off.
(a little embarrassed) Um… thanks, I guess.
Of course, I got stuck with you, but on the other hand Link might
be worth getting to know.
Daria flops down on her bed.
The cat (which
Daria inadvertently flopped down on) scrambles out of her room.
Daria looks like she's contemplating running after it, but decides it
wouldn't be worth the effort. Instead,
she turns on the TV.
A thirty-foot jungle snake on the loose in Saskatchewan targets the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police for lunch! The
Mounty Python, next, on Sick-Sad-World!
Daria switches off
the TV, picking up the phone instead. She
checks a note on her bedside table, then punches in a number.
The phone rings.
Tom picks it up.
Daria! I didn't expect to
hear from you tonight.
Better get those coeds out of your hotel room, then.
If I do that, the chambermaids will just figure it's their turn.
How's life in Lawndale?
Eh, same old same old. Except
for the pitter-patter of little feet around the house.
Wow, Quinn works fast. I've
only been gone two weeks.
You're more right than you know. Remember
that community service thing?
Sure. But I didn't realize
they meant that kind of service.
Quinn's working at the local animal shelter.
Turns out they euthanize the excess animals, and Quinn's little heart
went out to them. So we now have
half a dozen new housemates.
How are your parents taking it?
They don't know about it yet. It's
only a matter of time, but meanwhile I'm sharing my bedroom with escaped cats.
Hm. You know, I remember
something about that shelter. My
mother was thinking of making a private donation to them last year – you know,
tax write-off – but she didn't like their policies so she sent it to the
Fremont shelter instead.
The Fremont shelter?
Yeah, there's a larger facility there.
And it's a no-kill shelter. My
mother preferred their more enlightened attitude.
Of course, if she'd given the money to Lawndale, they probably
wouldn't have to kill the animals.
I mentioned it at the time. She
Hm. So how's the college
You'll be pleased to know that football is even more important at this
level than it is in high school. But
on the upside, the professors are allowed to use off-color language in their
Your tuition dollars at work.
Quinn is sitting
at the front desk, handling the phone. She's
also going down a list of animals at the shelter, making little stars next to
some of them. Once she's finished
with that, she flips through her coral pink day planner and selects a number.
hanging out with Jeffy and Jamie, watching football.
In one corner of the room is a shrine to the worship of Quinn, with lots
of pictures and a red telephone (the "Quinn Hotline") which has never, ever
The red telephone rings.
Needless to say, the three boys are thunderstruck.
D-did that really just happen?
It can't be!
Hang on a second…
The phone rings again.
MINE!! (lunges for the phone)
I GOT IT!! (similar lunge)
IT'S MY ROOM!!! (jumps over both of them)
mad struggle for the phone, which ends with Joey on top.
Is that you?
Well of course it's me, Joey.
I mean, unless you've been giving this number out to other girls!
I'd never do that, Quinn! Never,
What's she saying?
Did she mention my name?
Quiet, guys! (into phone) Sorry,
Quinn, the other guys are being kind of rude.
Oh, that's okay, just tell them hi and I'll talk to them soon.
Listen, Joey, have you ever wanted a pet?
Like… (Quinn consults her list) … a terrier, or a cocker
I don't know… I never really thought about it, and my mother said
once she wasn't too keen on having a pet…
Oh, that's too bad. There's
the cutest little dog down here at the shelter that's about to get adopted by
some Russian family who's taking him back to Moscow, and I'd just miss him
so much! I was thinking, if only
someone I knew would adopt him instead, and take him home, and take really good
care of him, I could come by and see him.
I just don't know…
I'd come by and see him a whole lot, Joey.
I've always wanted a dog! What
do I need to do?
Just come on down to the shelter, and I'll set it all up for you!
Thanks so much, Joey, I've always liked you best.
Can you put Jeffy on, you know, so I can tell him?
Sure! (hands phone to Jeffy with a smirk) Quinn has something to
Hi, Jeffy! You know
how I've always liked you best… have you ever considered adopting a
pair of cats?
Jane approaches a long wall with a roller in her hand and a
camera around her neck. An almost
visible cloud of guilt hangs over her head.
She looks down the wall, seeing the swirls of color painted by some of
Lawndale's anonymous artists. Trent
approaches behind her.
See what I mean, Trent?
Yup. It's a wall, all
I wonder if I got enough pictures. Maybe
I should get something from this angle too.
She takes up the camera and fires off a couple of shots
toward the far end of the wall. Suddenly,
she's very angry at the whole thing.
Dammit, what am I doing? I'm
not a sell-out! I mean, next year
I'll be eighteen, I can just drop out of high school and they'll have
nothing to say about it!
Come on, Janey. You don't want to do that.
Yeah, I know. But think of how you'd feel if someone told you to go to a
record store and rub all the albums with sandpaper.
Hmm... can I start with the Disco collection?
(smiles in spite of herself)
Oh, well. I guess the guys
who painted this stuff up here didn't expect it to last anyway.
I just hate being the one who has to white it out.
You know, Janey, if I were painting that wall, I'd do it in black.
It would make more of a statement, I think.
Yeah, well if I were painting it, I'd leave these walls alone,
and do a huge mural on that other wall that shows how I feel about this town and
this stupid project.
Um, Janey… you are painting it.
Jane's eyes go wide, her jaw drops, and the roller slips
out of her hand to splash wetly on the concrete.
You know something, Trent? You're
absolutely right. (she smiles in
a crafty way) Lawndale, when it comes to graffiti, you ain't seen nothing
Lawndale Learning Facility for the Gifted and Talented
Link is sitting by himself in a corner of the room, playing
with a checkerboard. He makes a
move, then spins the board around so he can play the other side.
A girl about his age approaches.
(the girl) Hey new kid, do you want to join our discussion on
I have a headache. That
current enough for you?
(approaching from behind) Don't
steal my material, Link.
(looking up) Thank God, someone almost normal.
Where the hell have you been?
Hey, it's a long walk. (to
Megan) Link and I are going to have some one-on-one, Megan.
Why don't you ask Elaine to join your little discussion?
Yeah, maybe she'll waltz some interesting arguments about conflicts in
the Middle East.
continues playing solo checkers.
Could you use an opponent?
Are you kidding? You'd
kick my butt.
Why else would I ask to play?
So, is this place getting you down?
It's not home, so it does have one thing going for it.
Things are rough at home, huh?
Don't play shrink with me, Daria.
I have enough people doing that.
I'm not trying to be a shrink. I'm
trying to be a friend.
Okay, friend. Why
don't you tell me about all of your problems?
Fair enough. We can start with this idiotic assignment.
I signed up to be a tutor, I end up being a babysitter.
Present company excepted, I don't think I've ever seen such a bunch
of wackos. And I've been to High School.
See? That's the thing.
You signed up for this. You
had a choice. I don't have any
My other choice was clearing out the storm drains on Main Street, but
yes, in a technical sense I had a choice.
It's a fact of life, Link. We
all go through it. When you're a
child, you don't get much of a choice. It
won't get much better anytime real soon, unfortunately.
But it will get better eventually. Especially
since Ms. Li will probably retire by the time you get to Lawndale High.
Link, this isn't easy for me. Could
you try to meet me halfway here?
What's not easy? Being a friend, or being a psychiatrist?
I haven't got that much experience at either one.
And I'm not trying to psychoanalyze you.
I'm trying to get to know you.
(looks her in the eye for the first time) You want to get to know
I'm the kid that everyone always says was such a quiet young man, never
really talked much. Not the
kind of person you'd expect to climb a clock tower with a machine gun and wipe
out half his graduating class.
Don't freak out on me, it's not like I could get a machine gun
Link, let me tell you something. And
if you never listen to anything else, listen to this.
I'm listening. (he doesn't seem to be listening very hard)
You know that I'm not one for opening up to people.
We have that in common. But
I learned, after a while, that you need someone in your life, even if it's
just one person, whom you can trust. I
can live with it if you don't think I'm that person.
Just make sure you find someone. Because
eventually, people stop trying to get to know you.
And loneliness is everything it's cracked up to be.
(unmoved) I could use a little more loneliness right now.
Daria stands up and walks away, throwing one last look over
her shoulder. After a moment, Link
looks up, as if he's about to say something.
But he doesn't, and instead turns sadly back to his checkerboard.
Sandi is struggling to get two squares of fabric sewn
together. Her fingers are
well-bandaged by now.
How the hell is this supposed to work?
The needle isn't even straight!
Now Margaret, I've told you about that language!
Look lady, I've been as patient with you as I possibly can under very
trying circumstances, but my name is Sandi and I'm not your freakin'
daughter!! Besides, if you had a
daughter, she's be, like, fifty years old by now!
Well, I never! You young people are so rude these days!
You come into my home and start acting all high-and-mighty, thinking you
can be discourteous to someone just because they're elderly!
You should be ashamed of yourself.
(a bit guilty) Um, I'm sor –
Besides, you'll be old yourself one day, and when you are you'll be sorry
you were so nasty to your poor mother!
In the meantime, Stacy is putting a few finishing touches on
Very good, dear. I don't think I've ever seen anyone catch on to the art
of quilting so quickly. We'll be
done ahead of schedule by a whole week!
Well, you're a really good teacher, Janice.
Perhaps we should help your friend over there.
She seems to be getting awfully frustrated.
(under her breath) Good.
Hm? Oh, nothing.
Tell me, do you know how to sew clothes too?
Why certainly, dear. I made
clothes for all my children while they were growing up, and my mother did the
same for me. Of course, the
Depression was on, so she didn't have much choice.
It was either learn to stitch or let the kids go naked.
Oh, but you don't want to hear an old woman go on about things you
learn about in History class.
No! I… kind of like
hearing about it. I mean, you make
it sound interesting, like it really happened instead of it just being all dates
and places and stuff.
That's sweet, dear. It's
really nice to know that kids today can sometimes remember that we were all
young once, and we knew how to live. Let
me tell you about the summer of '41, that was a wild one –
Ms. Chaney is
interrupted by a loud clatter over in Sandi's direction.
What did you just say??
Oh dearie, there's no need to get all upset.
Your mother just needs a little help using the commode, that's all.
Come now, it never bothered you before…
That's IT!! I've ruined a manicure, my dress has blood on it, I've
got some kind of rash from Quinn's stupid rabbits, and this quilt – (she
holds up three sewn together squares of material, one of which promptly falls
off) – this STUPID QUILT is never, never going to get done because all you
do is sit in your delusional world when you're supposed to be showing me how
to sew without putting holes in my fingers, and now you want me to help you with
Now Margaret, you're making a scene.
Just get over here and help your mother to the bathroom.
face goes bright red. She looks
like she might explode. Finally,
She runs over
to Stacy and pulls her out of her chair by the lapels.
Stacy! I can't take this
anymore!! Get me out of here, I… I need to shop!!
(her eyes get a crazy glint) Take me to Cashmans!
I need to see the new winter fashions!!
I need to make Quinn feel inferior!
I need to tell Tiffany she doesn't look fat!!
I need a credit card – FOR GOD'S SAKE, SOMEBODY GET ME A CREDIT
hyperventilating. Stacy, who was
understandably startled, pulls herself together.
(shaking Sandi by the shoulders) Sandi!
Get a grip!! (she slaps
Sandi on the face, not too hard, but enough to get her attention)
(catching her breath) I…
It's all right, Sandi. It's
going to be okay. Just sit down
here, and I'll get you some water or something.
Stacy leaves to go get some water.
Sandi sits for a moment, calming down, glancing around at everyone
staring at her. Her cheeks are
flushed with intense embarrassment.
(more to herself than anyone else) I'm okay… I'm okay… no
problem… I'm the President of the Fashion Club… I'm in charge… I can
Well, Margaret? Aren't you going to help me?
I can't hold it in forever, you know.
(to Ms. Chaney) Save me!
Of course, dear. I'll get a nurse. (she
starts to stand up)
No! Don't leave me with
sighs, and sits back down to wait for Stacy.
(on phone) That is so
sweet of you, Corey! …Sure,
we're on for Chez Pierre this weekend! I
can hardly wait! Just come on down
here sometime before six o'clock and little Bowser will be waiting for you!
Quinn hangs up the
phone and slumps back into her chair. She's
God, who would have imagined talking on the phone could get so tiring!
Let's see now, I found homes for Daisy, Nicodemus, Vinny, Ming,
Sunshine, Alex… and Bowser. But
that still leaves two dogs, three cats, and another rabbit!
What am I going to do?
walks by the desk.
Oh, Quinn, there you are. I
just met some of your friends, coming in to pick up some animals.
I'm glad to see you're spreading the word around.
Every pet that gets adopted makes room for another homeless one.
I'm trying so hard, Mr. Clay. I
just hope it's enough.
(more serious) Quinn, I know what you're trying to do here, and
while I applaud your efforts, please realize that we've been down this road
before. I think it's commendable
that you're doing everything in your power to get more animals adopted, but in
the end I'm afraid you'll find that there are more strays and unwanted pets
than there are people to take them in.
(softly) I just want to save as many as I can…
And that's understandable. Just…
try not to set yourself a hopeless task.
Yes, Mr. Clay.
Quinn turns back to her list as Mr. Clay leaves.
She sees a number of names crossed off, but an equal number that have
stars next to them and are not crossed off.
I guess I should go say goodbye…
Jake is getting ready to prepare one of his infamous
Let's see, got the wok, got the mushrooms, got the beef… wait a
minute! This package had two pounds
of meat! Who took the meat out of
the package on a small kitchen scale..
Dammit! Only a pound and a
half! Where am I going to get half
a pound of beef?
Jake turns to rummage through the refrigerator.
A rabbit hops leisurely across the counter behind him and starts nibbling
on the shredded cabbage.
Hmm… got some beets, got some corn, got some leftover kitchen sink stew
– hey, I haven't made that in two months!
Why the hell do we eat frozen lasagna every night when we have all these
A dog jumps
onto the counter opposite the rabbit. It
Why don't we have any damned meat in here?
Hey, here's some meatloaf! I
could make a stir fry with that! Hm,
and if I add this leftover burger from the Labor Day cookout, that should just
about cover it!
GAAAHH!! (he jumps,
startled out of his wits, and bumps his head on the refrigerator shelf.
An avalanche of food and drink cascades down on him)
What the hell was that??
Jake scrambles to his feet and slips in the eggs, but
manages to grab the counter and hang on. He
looks around frantically, but the rabbit and dog have been scared off by his
accident with the refrigerator. Jake
runs out of the kitchen into the living room, but there are no animals to be
You can't hide from me, dammit! I'll
find you!! So help me, I'll find you ALL!!!
petting a small dog, looking sadly into its eyes as she does.
Goodbye, Frankie. I'm
going to miss you. I'm sorry it
had to be this way.
Quinn is momentarily distracted by someone walking by with
an armload of boxes. He bumps her
slightly on the shoulder.
(that's his name) Oh, 'scuse me, miss.
Didn't see you there.
It's all right. (making
conversation) Haven't seen
Oh, I just deliver the dog food. Big
shipment in this week. Gotta get
rid of these boxes.
Sure. (she pauses, struck
with a thought) Hey, do you think I could have a couple of those?
My, um, cousin is moving up to college.
Take all you want! I sure
don't mind not having to drag 'em out.
Thanks! (she runs off)
Hm. Cute girl.
(He goes to fetch more boxes, whistling as he works.)
Animal Shelter Lobby
the phone and dials.
Hi, Dad?… Yeah, I'll be ready to leave at six-thirty...
Animals? No, I haven't seen any animals around the house... Listen
do you have room in the car for a few boxes?
I, um, need to pack up some clothes and put them into storage, you know,
to wait until they're retro… Great, thanks Dad!
She hangs up,
and dials another number
Hey, Marcus? It's Quinn. Remember
last week, how all the animals got adopted and you didn't have to come in to,
you know, euphemism them?… That's what I said.
Anyway, all the animals on the list this week got adopted at the last
minute… I know, isn't it weird? Two
weeks in a row… Anyway, you don't have to come in tomorrow… Sure, no
problem, I'll take care of the paperwork!
Quinn hangs up again, pulls out her list of animal names,
and crosses off the remaining six. She
looks back over her shoulder toward the kennel.
I hope you guys don't mind sharing a room.
end part one...