1776+222 (Give or Take)

"But I can't be on this committee! Jodie has time off for the first time in years this weekend!" Mack Mackenzie complained to anyone who would listen to him.

Jane Lane took Mack by the arm as he led him out of the meeting room in the school. "Oh, don't worry about it. I'll just get Daria to write it up. This is her thing anyway."

Mack was nervous. "I don't know; she had a funny look on her face."

Jane smiled. "She always does."

As Mack, Jane, Ted Dewitt-Clinton, and Charles "Upchuck" Ruttheimer approached the end of the hallway and the stairs to the upper level rooms, they saw Daria Morgendorffer looking down on them from the top of the stairs. "All right, gentlemen and Jane, who will write our proposal for the institution of an academic achievement honors society?"

Jane stepped forward and began singing, only slightly off-key. "Miss Morgendorffer, I say you should write it. You're a brain and this is all your sort of stuff."

Daria sang in response, "Is that so? Well, if I'm the one to do it, they're bound to misconstrue it. I'm obnoxious and disliked, is that enough?"

Jane relented, "I guess so."

Daria continued, "So I say you should write it, Jane, yes you!"

Jane disagreed. "Oh, hell no!"

Daria pushed the pen into Jane's hands. "Yes you, Jane Lane, You!"

"But!"

"You!"

"But!"

"You!"

"Buuuuuuut! Miss Morgendorffer, but Miss Morgendorffer, my straight 'C' average in math could be a tainter. My connection to academics couldn't be fainter! So don't bank on getting much help from a painter."

Mack, Ted, and Charles sang in response from the stairs, "Painter, Painter, don't bank on help from her!"

Jane walked to the top of the stairs with the pen, and handed it down to Mack, who handed it to Charles, who handed it to Ted, who attempted to hand it to Daria, who put her hands up, signifying she wouldn't be writing it. "Mr. Dewitt-Clinton, I say you should write it. You have no faculty grudges, as it were."

Ted nodded. "Well, that's true."

Daria continued. "Whereas, if I'm the one to do it, they're bound to misconstrue it. I'm obnoxious and disliked; do you know that, sir?"

Ted nodded, rolling his eyes. "Yes, I do."

Daria pointed at Ted. "So I say you should write it, Ted, yes you."

Ted pushed the pen into Daria's hands. "Gee willickers, no!"

Daria pushed back. "Yes you, Mr. Dewitt-Clinton, you!"

"But!"

"You!"

"But!"

"You!"

"Buuuuuuut! Miss Morgendorffer, but, Miss Morgendorffer, it must be typed, and my situation can't be bruter. While my handwritten calligraphy may be cuter, you should really ask someone with a computer."

Jane, Charles, and Mack sang their response, "Computer, computer, not his calligraphy!"

Ted then passed off his pen, and it jumped between Mack, Jane, and Charles for a while. Finally, Charles took the pen and the other three folded their arms, and Charles looked at Daria, who had a thoughtful look on her face. "Mr. Ruttheimer, maybe you should write it. With your father's wealth, you're an aristocrat."

Jane, passing by, noted, "I like that word."

Daria continued, "Whereas, if I'm the one to do it, they'll run their quill pens through it."

Jane, Mack, and Ted combined to add, "She's obnoxious and disliked, did you know that?"

Charles's response was, "I hadn't heard."

Daria, undaunted, pressed Charles, "So I say you should write it, Upchuck, yes you."

Charles pressed the pen into Daria's hand. "Not me, my sweet."

Daria was insistent. "Yes, you Mr. Ruttheimer, you!"

"But!"

"You!"

"But!"

"You!"

"Buuuuuuut! Miss Morgendorffer, Rrrrrrr! Miss Morgendorffer. If I wrote it up, the results would not please. As you know, I'm not a favorite of Ms. Li's." He stopped singing and spoke normally. "And anyway, who would support the class sleaze?"

Charles joined Mack, Ted, and Jane, who were now at the top of the stairs, and sang out with them, "The sleaze, the sleaze, he's not a favorite of Ms. Li's!" After that, Charles, Jane, and Ted slowly backed away, leaving Mack as the only one standing at the banister.

Mack looked down at Daria, who was holding out the pen at Mack. "Miss Morgendorffer, leave me alone!"

Daria began, "Mr. Mackenzie…"

Mack cut her off. "Daria, Jodie has a whole weekend off for the first time since I started going out with her. I've got plans for romantic dinners and walks on the beach and everything!"

In response, Daria recited a line from one of Mack's letters to the football team. "'He's almost done paying his debt to society and assures me that when the recruiter used the word kickback, Mr. Gibson thought he said kickoff.' Mack Mackenzie, Let's Tackle Bus Behavior, September 1997; magnificent." Daria walked down some of the stairs as she made her points. "Why, you write ten times better than anyone else in Lawndale High." She stopped and considered her statement. "Possibly excepting me." She turned to Mack who followed her down to the landing she stood on. "For being part of the football team, you have a knack for writing to your audience and working in subtle barbs without offending. Now then," she held out the pen, "will you be an activist, or a lover?"

Mack pretended to think for a second before responding, "A lover," and walking further down the stairs.

Daria turned and called after him, "No!"

Mack leaned over the balcony to address Daria directly. "But I burn, Miss M!"

Daria returned, "So do I, Mr. M!"

Mack replied, skeptically, "You?"

From above them, Ted called down, "You do?"

Jane smiled and called, "Amiga!"

Charles's response was to growl and say, "Feisty!"

Daria, rolling her eyes, turned her eyes back towards Mack. "Mr. Mackenzie, dear Mr. Mackenzie, though I find dressing slutty is quite corny, there are times when my hormones can get quite ornery, but there are more important things than being horny!" Seeing Mack running off, she called after him, "Mack!"

Behind her, Charles, Jane, and Ted were stepping down a flight of stairs and singing, "Being horny, being horny, let's hear it for being…"

Daria stood in front of them and shouted, "Oh, shut up!" She turned around and ran after the man who was now almost all the way down the final flight of stairs. "Now you will write it, Mr. M."

Seeing Daria walking down to him, he started walking up to her. "Who will make me, Miss M?"

"I," said Daria, confidently.

"You?" asked Mack, skeptically.

"Yes," confirmed Daria.

Mack stepped onto the step Daria was standing on. At six feet tall, he towered over the relatively petite frame of Daria Morgendorffer. "How?"

Daria jabbed her finger into Mack's chest. "By physical force, if necessary. It's your duty, damn it; your duty!"

Daria started to walk down the stairs when she was stopped by Mack, who began to sing sweetly, "Miss Morgendorffer, damn you, Miss Morgendorffer. You're obnoxious and disliked, and speaking of which, you have taken all my plans and thrown them in a ditch."

Charles, Jane, and Ted stepped forward, singing in harmony, "In a ditch!"

Mack finished with, "Oh, Miss Morgendorffer, how can you be such a bitch?"

Daria angrily called after Mack, who was descending the stairs, "Mack Daddy!"

Behind her, Jane, Charles, and Ted sang, "Such a bitch, such a bitch…"

Daria turned to them and yelled, "Oh, knock it off!" She chased after Mack and pressed the pen into his hands. "The decision is yours, Mack; do as you like with it!" She stomped off, angry, yet satisfied that it would be done.

As Mack contemplated what to do, from above him, Jane, Ted, and Charles sang, "We may see angst here, yeeeeeeeeeeeeet!"