Her, Uh, Cane

Acknowledgements: First, I must thank the people that created "Daria," "Scooby- Doo," "MST3K," and many other cartoons and other twisted shows too numerous to mention. They helped reinforce my own twisted outlook on reality, and gave me the inspiration to try this thing out. I must also thank my English teachers and professors, for reminding me that writing well is the most important thing you can do to create the impression of intelligence, even when, in actuality, you're totally clueless. I'd also like to thank Michelle Klein-Hass for reviewing this fic, and for encouraging me to do a few more. (Which will appear in the near future.) Finally, I have to thank all of my friends and relatives who have shared their hurricane war stories over the years, and I especially want to thank those friends who had electricity after the storms hit and let me use their power to get stuff done. You know who you are. Merci Buckets.

If you have questions or comments, check the "Notes" section. I've tried to answer as many potential questions/issues as possible there. If it's not enough, please feel free to email me. I encourage your feedback.

Legal Stuff: "Daria" and all related characters are copyright and TM of MTV and VIACOM. "Scooby-Doo" and all related characters are copyright and TM of Hanna-Barberra. The following is a work of parody, created solely for the Author's personal amusement, for the purpose of learning the method of writing a teleplay, for the purpose of critiquing the whole zoo that surrounds each and every natural disaster, and not for any commercial purpose whatsoever. The Author does not wish nor intend to do any of the wonderful creative people at MTV Animation out of any part of their market, as he respects the hard work, dedication, and Old-world craftsmanship they put into each and every show. See Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music 510 U.S. 569 (1994). All rights not belonging to MTV, VIACOM, or Hanna-Barberra, their successors, or assigns, are reserved by the Author of this parody.

This is a modified teleplay format. In order to do this thing the way I wanted it to come out, I had to bend/break a few rules. One of the major rules I broke was the addition of camera angles, which aren't usually included in the scriptwriter's script. What can I say? I always wanted to direct. If you don't want to read the CUT TOs (which are not formatted correctly due to html limitations) then ignore them. For the camera shots, I used a modified and simplified shorthand: WS- Wide Shot/ MS-Medium Shot (normal focal length.) / CU-Close Up (Head & Shoulders Shot) / XCU eXtreme Close Up (Face)/ INT. - Interior / EXT. - Exterior / POV- Point of View that the camera occupies, so you can visualize the scene better / VO (or V/O) Voice-over (you don't see the character speaking.) / OBLIQUE? At a non 90-degree angle. In other words, not straight on, or on the side. Just at an angle somewhere in between. / SS - Split Screen.

Yes, I know, I need to fix the sluglines. I'll do it when I have some free time.

I'll shut up now till the notes. Enjoy.

Roll Intro. to Daria in "Her, uh, cane."

(Written by The Paperpusher)

ACT I

FADE IN.

EXT. MORGENDORFFER HOUSE. DAY. AFTERNOON.

WS of the front of MORGENDORFFER HOUSE, with some windows already boarded up. Dark clouds have rolled in. JAKE is on a two-story ladder, wrestling with a large sheet of plywood, a hammer, and he has a few nails sticking out of his mouth. He is struggling to position and nail another sheet of plywood over one of the second-story windows.

DARIA approaches the house from the sidewalk. She stops at the end of the entry sidewalk to the house and looks up at the enfolding spectacle.

CUT TO MS of DARIA POV HOUSE as she stops in front of the entry sidewalk to the house.

DARIA


Uh, oh, this can't be good. (Sighs, steels herself, and walks up to the base of the ladder.)

CUT TO CU of DARIA looking up the ladder from its base, POV TOP OF THE LADDER.

DARIA


Dad? What are you doing? Are Aunt Rita and Grandma Barksdale coming to visit, or did the Board of Health condemn the house again?

CUT TO CU of JAKE on ladder.

JAKE


(Surprised, juggles plywood and hammer, spits nails out of his mouth.) Huh? What? Oh! (Brightens) Hey, kiddo! (Pauses.) No, there's a hurricane headed right for us! I figured we'd better be prepared this time!

ZOOM OUT to MS of DARIA and JAKE.

DARIA


Dad, we live 80 miles from the coast. Don't you think boarding up the windows is just a bit excessive?

JAKE


(In lecture mode.) You can never be too prepared, Daria.

DARIA


(VO to herself) Maybe, but you don't have to look like a geek about it. (Pauses.) Or make the rest of us look like geeks, too. (Out loud.) Bad day at the office?

JAKE


(Grumbles.) I don't care how smart they think they are, they're fools to go with that jerk Mike Patrick! Damn weasel! (Brightens.) Hey, kiddo, wanna help your old Dad board this place up?

DARIA


I don't think I should be swinging a hammer, especially if Quinn should come around. I think I'll just make sure that we've got enough supplies.

CUT TO CU of JAKE.

JAKE


(Struggles with plywood.) (Disappointed tone.) Okay. Use the credit card if you have to go buy more groceries. Check with your mother to see if she needs anything.

CUT TO CU of DARIA entering house POV STREET.

INT. DAY -- 5 SECONDS LATER-- MORGENDORFFER LIVING ROOM. MS of DARIA, entering LIVING ROOM. DARIA closes the door behind her, then a loud crash is heard.

CUT TO XCU of DARIA as she winces.

JAKE


(VO) Damn plywood!

CUT TO WS of KITCHEN and LIVING ROOM, POV BEHIND THE TABLE. DARIA walks in from the LIVING ROOM.

DARIA stops at the sink to get a glass of water, then sits down at the table, facing camera. She grabs the Arts section of the newspaper and starts reading.

ZOOM IN to MS of DARIA as she sits down at the table

PAN RIGHT TO MS of QUINN, entering from back door, obviously in a hurry.

QUINN


(Irritated.) What is Dad doing to the house? Does he realize how geeky it looks?

QUINN stands in front of the table, as DARIA sits with her newspaper and glass of water.

DARIA


He's boarding up the windows. (Pauses.) Aunt Rita is coming.

QUINN


(Shocked.) You're not serious, are you?

DARIA


No, but there is a hurricane headed straight for us.

QUINN rummages around in her purse, looking for something.

QUINN


(Offhandedly.) Well, whatever. (In a rush.) Tell Mom and Dad that I'll be over at Tiffany's. She broke a heel on the really nice pumps she was going to wear on her date tonight, and we've got to help her put together an emergency outfit.

DARIA


Maybe you could have her pumps declared a federal disaster area. You really ought to inform FEMA and the Red Cross first, though.

QUINN


Ha, ha. Now, are you going to tell them?

DARIA


I guess. Just keep an eye out for the weather. We're supposed to be hit by a hurricane soon.

QUINN


(Not paying attention to DARIA as she fiddles with her purse.) Yeah, right, whatever. Tell Mom and Dad not to wait up for me!

QUINN rushes back out the door.

CUT TO CU of DARIA

DARIA


(Sighs.) Guess I'd better warn Mom.

CUT TO MS of DARIA at the table, picking up the cordless phone. She dials her mother's office number.

INT. DAY -- A FEW SECONDS BEFORE DARIA CALLS -- HELEN'S OFFICE.

MS of HELEN and MARIANNE. MARIANNE is seated at the computer, frantically typing (as usual). HELEN is pacing, as usual. Hold shot for a few seconds. The phone rings.

MARIANNE


Helen Morgendorffer's office.

HELEN


(Angrily.) If that's Larry Philips, tell him that we're ready to go to trial, dammit!

CUT TO MS of DARIA at the KITCHEN TABLE.

DARIA


Can I please speak to my mother?

CUT BACK TO MS of HELEN and MARIANNE.

MARIANNE


Helen, it's your daughter.

HELEN


I'll take it.

HELEN walks over to her desk, pushes a button, and picks up the phone.

HELEN (CONT'D.)


(A little brightly) Hellooo!

SLIDE IN SPLIT SCREEN of DARIA from RIGHT into MS of HELEN.

DARIA


Hey, Mom, it's me.

HELEN


Hi, sweetie, what is it? Anything wrong?

DARIA


Well, let's see, there's a hurricane that's supposed to hit us, Dad is boarding up all the windows, and Quinn's at an emergency Fashion Club meeting. (Pauses.) Someone broke a heel.

HELEN


(Puts hand to forehead, closes eyes.) Oh, no, not now, not today. I don't have time for this! (Removes hand from face.) He didn't lose another client? (Pauses.) (Hopefully.) Could you do me a tremendous favor?

DARIA


Don't worry, Mom, I'm already checking out our supplies. Do you need anything in particular from the store?

HELEN


(Relieved.) Get some canned food and batteries, just in case we lose power. Get some bottled water, and ice, too. (Pauses.) (In a tired, resigned voice.) And while you're at it, get me a big bottle of aspirin. (A little brighter.) Do you need me to pick you up?

DARIA


Don't worry, I'll take care of it myself.

HELEN


Thanks, sweetie. Be careful!

DARIA


I will. Bye. (Hangs up phone.)

SLIDE MS of HELEN OUT OF SS TO MS of DARIA holding phone. She dials another number.

INT. DAY -- A FEW SECONDS EARLIER -- JANE'S ROOM.

MS of JANE, sitting on her bed, sketching something. The phone rings, she picks it up.

JANE


Yo.

SLIDE IN SPLIT SCREEN of MS of DARIA to MS of JANE.

DARIA


Hey.

JANE


What's up?

DARIA


Have you been watching the Forecast Channel?

JANE


Why? Any cool footage of suburbs getting trashed by violent weather?

DARIA


Not yet, but after the hurricane hits Lawndale, who knows?

JANE


What hurricane?

DARIA


The one I just told you about. It's supposed to hit town sometime tonight.

JANE


Whoa. Cool. What are you gonna do about it?

DARIA


Well, my Dad is so worked up about it that he's boarding up all of the windows in the house.

JANE


Well, at least that'll keep him from parenting for a little while.

DARIA


It almost got worse. He wanted to know if I wanted to help him. I managed to escape, though.

JANE


That's a relief. How did you do it?

DARIA


(Sighs.) By volunteering to get supplies at the store. (Hopefully.) Wanna come and see the mad rush?

JANE


(Grins.) Sure, why not?

DARIA


There's something else.

JANE


What?

DARIA


We'll need a ride to get all of the supplies back.

JANE


(Smiles.) Don't worry, I'll take care of it.

DARIA


(Smiles.) I thought you would.

JANE


See you in ten minutes?

DARIA


'Kay. Bye. (Hangs up phone.)

SLIDE OUT MS of DARIA to MS of JANE.

CUT TO CU of JANE

JANE


(Smiles.) I think I'm gonna like hurricane season.

INT. DAY -- SAME DAY -- TIFFANY'S BEDROOM.

WS of SANDI, STACY, and QUINN, seated on the bed, staring at TIFFANY who is standing in front of them. She has obviously been trying on many different outfits, as the castoffs are strewn about the floor. SANDI looks bored, QUINN, pensive, and STACY, vacant.

TIFFANY


Well, does it make me look fat?

SANDI


No, it fits perfectly. What do you think of the color, Quinn?

QUINN


(Pauses.) (Unenthusiastically.) Hmmm... It looks fine.

TIFFANY


Only fine? Let me try something else. (Walks off into closet. Sound of clothes flying around.)

CUT to CU of SANDI and QUINN.

SANDI


(Irritated, turns to QUINN.) Quinn, why did you say that? Now we'll be here for at least another hour, and I have a date.

QUINN


(Offended.) So? Fashion crises always come first over guys. Besides, I could never have told her that she looked perfect in that outfit. I mean, it's at least a month old! (VO to herself) Besides, if I can stall just long enough, Sandi, you'll get caught in the rain. (Smirks slightly.)

SANDI


(Eyes narrow, leans forward towards QUINN menacingly.) As opposed to that thing you always wear?

QUINN


(Rising to the bait, eyes narrow, leans towards SANDI menacingly.) I don't have a thing I always wear! If I've told you once, I've told you a bunch of times that I have many different things that I wear at many different times! (Pauses. Tries to turn the tables.) Besides, how could you possibly ignore a fellow fashion club member in her hour of need?

SANDI


(In that fake angry tone she always uses.) Are you saying that I'm not fit to be prrresident?

QUINN


(Using her own fake angry tone.) Well, that depends on what your priorities are. Are you just going to abandon your fellow fashion club members for some guy?

CUT to WS of TIFFANY'S ROOM. TIFFANY walks back into the room from the closet wearing yet another outfit, sees the tableau and watches quietly. STACEY looks on as well, with a worried expression on her face.

STACEY


(Nervously--how else does she ever act?) Uh, guys, relax! Remember, we're supposed to be helping Tiffany!

SANDI


(Looks crafty-- wants to make sure TIFFANY hears her) You're so right, Stacey. Tiffany should be our first concern. Quinn, sometimes I just don't understand where your priorities are.

QUINN


My priorities? What about your date, Sandi? You know, the one you wanted to go out on so badly that you were willing to leave one of us in the ditch?

TIFFANY


(TIFFANY looks in a mirror.) Uh, guys, what do you think of this outfit?

CUT TO CU of QUINN and TIFFANY.

SANDI & QUINN


(Both turn and yell at TIFFANY.) IT LOOKS PERFECT!!

CUT TO WS of TIFFANY'S ROOM. TIFFANY looks a little bit surprised. STACEY is starting to freak out from all of the tension in the room.

STACEY


(Almost hyperventilating.) I can't stand this -- I need air! (STACEY runs out of the room.)

CUT TO MS of QUINN and SANDI.

SANDI


(Pauses.) (Scornfully.) God, what's her problem?

QUINN


(Annoyed at STACEY.) Seriously.

CUT TO WS of the three.

TIFFANY


(Looking into a mirror.) (Pauses.) Sooo, do you think I should go with this outfit?

SANDI & QUINN


(SANDI and QUINN start gathering their various bits of gear as they prepare to leave.) (At the same time--they both just want to get out of there.) Yes, oh yes, definitely, that's perfect, you look great in that.

TIFFANY


Buuuut....

SANDI & QUINN


(At the same time.) Well, gotta go, you look great, I've gotta get ready... I've got to meet Tommy before dinner ...

SANDI and QUINN both leave the room. TIFFANY just stands there for a second.

TIFFANY


Buuut... do I look fat in this?

INT. DAY -- SAME DAY -- MORGENDORFFER LIVING ROOM.

WS of DARIA, POV TV, seated on the couch, making out a list of supplies to get. The TV is turned on, Sick, Sad World is on.

CUT TO XCU TV. A few elderly men in various leather outfits are led away in handcuffs, then the SSW logo appears.

V/O


Small-town police bust a ring of elderly gigolos. Gropin' Grandpas, next on Sick, Sad World!

CUT BACK TO WS POV TV.

The doorbell rings. DARIA turns off the TV, and walks to the door.

CUT TO CU of door opening, POV DARIA, revealing JANE standing on the front step.

JANE


Ready to go?

DARIA


Yeah. So, what did you get for transportation?

JANE


It was a toss-up between taking a taxi and waking Trent. I checked the cash on hand, so I woke Trent.

CUT TO CU of DARIA.

DARIA


Trent?

EXT. DAY-- 5 SECONDS LATER -- FRONT PORCH OF MORGENDORFFER HOUSE.

WS of DARIA and JANE, walking out the front door. The house has some windows boarded up with plywood. JAKE is on a ladder on the side of the house, straining to finish boarding up the second-story windows.

JANE


(A little exasperated.) Honestly, Daria, who else did you think I'd ask? Upchuck? You know, for someone who's supposed to be smart, sometimes you're impossibly dense.

(Author's Note: I really wanted to get that line in. Even though it's not really asked for, it does express Jane's (and the Author's) feelings about the whole mess.)

DARIA


(Resigned, relenting.) Okay, okay, you're right, I'm sorry.

JAKE drops the hammer and the plywood with a loud crash. Again.

JAKE


(Spits out nails.) Ow! Damn plywood! (Pauses.)

CUT TO MS of JAKE

JAKE (CONT'D.)


(Rubs his wrist.) Hey, kiddo, are you heading to the store?

CUT TO WS of JAKE, DARIA, and JANE

DARIA


(Looks up at JAKE.) Yeah.

JAKE


Could you do me a favor, and get me some aspirin?

DARIA


Already on my list, Dad. Anything else?

JAKE


Get me an ace bandage. (Pauses.) And some olives, too.

DARIA


Roger that.

JAKE


Thanks, kiddo!

CUT TO MS of JANE and DARIA walking towards TRENT'S car, a blue bomb, chugging away. POV STREET.

JANE and DARIA approach the car.

CUT TO MS of TRENT, POV JANE AND DARIA. TRENT is facing them from the driver's seat-- he has turned to the right, and addresses them through the passenger window.

TRENT


Ready to go? Hey, Daria.

CUT TO MS of DARIA and JANE.

DARIA


(In a low voice.) Hey.

JANE


(Grins slightly.) Daria, why don't you sit up front? I'd kinda like to stretch out in the back. (In a tired voice.) My legs are still a little sore from my run.

CUT TO MS of TRENT in driver's seat POV DARIA.

TRENT


Yeah, Daria, hop on in.

CUT TO CU of DARIA.

DARIA


(Shoots JANE a dirty look.) Uh, okay. (Enters car, as JANE gets in the back seat.)

CUT TO MS of all three through the windshield.

TRENT


So, Janey told me that there's some sort of a hurricane coming.

DARIA


Yeah. Didn't the boarded up windows tip you off?

TRENT


(Smiles.) Oh, those. I just didn't want to say anything. I thought that maybe your parents had skipped a payment or two. So, what's the deal with this hurricane?

DARIA


(Looks irritated about the whole thing.) It's supposed to hit sometime tonight. Dad's making sure that no flying debris breaks the windows.

TRENT


Cool. I've never been through a hurricane before. A few rough storms, maybe, but not a full-fledged hurricane. (Pauses.) Especially at night.

DARIA


What's so special about it being night?

TRENT


C'mon, Daria, think about it. Mother Nature will be desperately trying to bury us in our own accumulated junk while we try to sleep. Think of it as a sort of a Zen spiritual struggle thing.

DARIA


(Suspiciously.) Uh, okay.

JANE


(Looks at TRENT, scowls.) Please excuse my brother, Daria. He looks on it as some sort of a badge of honor to sleep through or otherwise ignore any natural disaster he can. Take his room, for example.

DARIA


(To TRENT.) Are you sure your mother never dropped you on your head when you were a baby?

TRENT


(Uses that smile, looks at DARIA.) C'mon, Daria, where's your sense of adventure?

DARIA


(Not giving in, this time.) Right where it should be, surrounded by my senses of reason, good judgment, and common sense. You know, the parts of my brain that say, "Hey, this is a perfectly good airplane. Why should I jump out of it? It'll land soon enough if I'm patient."

TRENT


(Offhandedly.) Been there, done that. (Smiles to himself.) Actually, it's kinda freeing.

DARIA and JANE give TRENT a "shot who?" look.

TRENT


(Coughs.) Never mind. It's a long story. Listen, all I'm saying is that a little fear every now and then is a good reminder that you're alive.

DARIA


Just before you wind up as a big greasy stain on Mother Earth.

TRENT


Hey, there's the store. Got a list?

DARIA


Yeah. Let's split it up so we can get out of here as quickly as possible. (Tears list into 3 parts, hands pieces to TRENT and JANE.) I'll get water and ice.

EXT. DAY. --A FEW SECONDS LATER. -- PARKING LOT OUTSIDE OF "FOOD LORD."

WS of PARKING LOT and STORE EXTERIOR POV STREET.

TRENT'S CAR pulls into a parking space.

CUT TO WS of DARIA, JANE, and TRENT, walking towards the store's front doors.

JANE


(Looks down at list in her hand.) Looks like I'm batteries and aspirin.

TRENT


(Looks down at list in his hand.) (Laughs.) Guess that makes me SPAM and Funyuns.

DARIA


Uh, Jane, why don't you and Trent switch lists?

TRENT


Why? You've never even tried my cooking before.

CUT TO CU of JANE and TRENT.

JANE


(Turns head towards TRENT.) I have. Give me your list. Okay, meet you at the checkout.

As they enter the store, JANE turns her head and her eyes widen in shock.

JANE (CONT'D.)


(Groans.) Oh, no! It's a horde!

INT. DAY.-- A SECOND LATER -- FOOD LORD CHECKOUT AREA.

Left to Right PAN TO WS of huge line of shoppers waiting to check out by sometime next year. Maybe. If they're really lucky.

DARIA


So much for saving time by division of labor.

TRENT


(Defeated.) I knew I should've stayed home. (Pause.) In bed.

FADE OUT.

CUT TO SLO-MO of JAKE juggling plywood and hammer as bumper music (The chorus to "Pepper" by the Butthole Surfers, maybe) plays into COMMERCIAL BREAK (sell Popsisil and Salisocilin here.)

ACT II

FADE IN.

EXT. DAY. -- A FEW HOURS LATER (LATE AFTERNOON, ALMOST TWILIGHT). -- TRENT'S CAR.

CU of the PASSENGER side of the windshield of TRENT'S CAR, POV HOOD. DARIA is in front, JANE is in the back, behind her, with bags of groceries.

JANE


(Disgusted.) I had no idea people could behave in such a herdlike, primitive fashion over a few pounds of frozen water.

DARIA


It must be some sort of instinctual suburbanite response to the threat of losing electricity. I didn't think that people would actually throw punches over a couple of bags of ice.

ZOOM OUT TO MS, including TRENT in the driver's seat. He has a black eye.

TRENT


(Disgusted.) Animals. They're just animals with pagers.

JANE


(Smirks.) But animals without our ice. Speaking of which, do you need some for that badge of honor, won in valiantly obtaining our cold gold?

TRENT


(Considers it.) Hmm... Maybe later.

EXT. SAME DAY -- A FEW MINUTES LATER -- MORGENDORFFER HOUSE. More dark clouds are rolling in.

WS of TRENT'S CAR pulling in front of the now completely boarded up MORGENDORFFER HOUSE. The wind starts to blow the trees around ominously.

DARIA


(V/O) Condemned building, sweet condemned building.

CUT back to OBLIQUE SHOT, MEDIUM, POV 30 DEGREES through driver's side window of TRENT, JANE, and DARIA.

TRENT


(Looks at house.) I don't know, Daria, I think it looks kinda cool.

DARIA


(To TRENT) I thought you only took the one blow to the head. (Sighs.) Can you guys help me get this stuff into Fort Morgendorffer?

JANE


Sure. Trent?

TRENT


Sure. (Pauses.) You know, that plywood looks awfully boring like that.

JANE


Hmmm... I know what you mean...

DARIA


Work first, play later?

JANE


(Smirks.) Deal.

INT. DAY. -- 10 MINUTES LATER -- MORGENDORFFER KITCHEN.

MS of KITCHEN, POV BEHIND TABLE. DARIA, JANE and TRENT have almost finished putting the groceries away. The windows are all boarded up and the whole place is creepy-looking.

DARIA


So, what do you guys plan to do during the storm?

JANE


I dunno. Maybe watch some TV, or work on a sketch or two. Why do you ask?

DARIA


Just wondering.

JANE


You know, Daria, if you want to hang out with us, it's okay to ask. We are your friends after all. Right, Trent?

TRENT


Sure. We could all hang out in the basement. We'd be pretty safe down there from flying debris, wouldn't we, Daria?

DARIA


Sure. This place just looks too creepy. And, besides, I do not want to spend the next twelve hours listening to the howling.

TRENT


(Puzzled.) You'll still hear the hurricane howling at our place, though.

DARIA


I meant Quinn.

TRENT


(Smiles a little.) Oh. Good one, Daria.

DARIA


Thanks.

JANE puts a jar of olives into the fridge and wipes her hands of the chore.

JANE


Okay, that's the last of it. Now, let's go leave some art on that plywood, before it starts to rain.

DARIA


Don't worry, we've still got a little time.

JANE


Got any paint?

DARIA


Let's go see.

INT. SAME DAY. -- 10 MINUTES LATER -- MORGENDORFFER'S GARAGE.

MS of DARIA and JANE standing by a set of metal storage shelves. JANE is rummaging around on the shelves.

JANE


Daria, your parents have no imagination at all. All I can see is Speedy Dri red spray paint.

DARIA


Hmmm, that gives me an idea. (Pauses.) Before we go, let me leave a note for my parents and get my camera.

EXT. SAME DAY. -- 10 MINUTES LATER -- MORGENDORFFER HOUSE.

WS of Morgendorffer house, windows still boarded up, with "REDRUM" in red spray paint painted on all of the plywood. TRENT'S car pulls away, leaving its usual cloud of blue smoke. QUINN enters the shot from the right, looks at the house, and stops.

CUT TO XCU QUINN, whose eyes are biiiig, and her mouth is agape when she sees "REDRUM" painted all over the boarded up windows.

QUINN


Omigod, they didn't leave without me, did they?

CUT TO MS of QUINN as she approaches the door with trepidation, and carefully opens it. The house is pitch black. QUINN looks a little more scared, as the winds pick up, and distant thunder is heard.

QUINN


(Yells into the house.) Mom? Dad? Daria? Anyone there?

INT. TWILIGHT -- A FEW SECONDS LATER -- MORGENDORFFER LIVING ROOM.

MS of QUINN as she starts roaming around the room, turning on lights.

QUINN walks into the KITCHEN.

CUT TO MS KITCHEN POV TABLE.

QUINN looks around the room, and walks out.

CUT TO MS UPSTAIRS HALLWAY, in front of DARIA'S door.

QUINN walks up to the door, opens it, and looks inside DARIA'S ROOM. She heads back to the LIVING ROOM. Everything is boarded up, and it all looks creepy to her.

CUT TO MS LIVING ROOM POV TV.

QUINN


(As she wanders.) Mom? Dad? Anyone?

EXT. NIGHT -- 45 MINUTES LATER --MORGENDORFFER HOUSE.

WS of MORGENDORFFER HOUSE, boarded up. Rain is now pouring down, winds are blowing, trees are swaying, lightning flashes, and thunder booms.

INT. NIGHT -- A FEW SECONDS EARLIER-- MORGENDORFFER LIVING ROOM.

MS POV TV of QUINN, nervously reading the latest Waif. She jumps as thunder crashes. QUINN starts to reach for the phone, when a loud knocking is heard.

CUT TO MS of FRONT DOOR and QUINN'S SIDE POV KITCHEN. QUINN jumps at the sound, and looks to the door.

VOICES


(Muffled, yelling) Let us in! Let us in!

ZOOM IN to DOOR as QUINN nervously approaches the door, steels herself, and opens it, revealing SANDI and TIFFANY, standing in the doorway, completely drenched, looking like drowned rats wearing too much makeup, which is now slowly running down their faces.

ZOOM OUT TO MS of all three, POV a little to the right of QUINN.

QUINN


(Relieved.) Sandi, Tiffany! What happened to you?

SANDI


Never mind that. It's pouring out here. Can we come in?

QUINN


Sure, sure!

CUT TO WS of SANDI and TIFFANY, walking through the door, past QUINN, who stares at them as they drip all over the carpet. When they aren't looking, she smiles briefly to herself.

TIFFANY


Uhhh, Quinn, do you have any, uh, towels?

QUINN


(Looks away from SANDI and TIFFANY, can't stop smiling.) Sure, let me go grab some. (Runs upstairs.)

TIFFANY


Oh .. my .. God, this place looks sooo creepy!

SANDI


Definitely. I wonder what they were thinking when they decided to board this place up?

TIFFANY


Yeah, that stuff looks sooo ugly.

SANDI


Uh-huh.

QUINN returns, with towels.

QUINN


Here you go, Sandi, Tiffany.

QUINN hands each one a towel.

SANDI


Quinn, what happened to all of the windows here?

QUINN


Oh, that? Uh, I think that my, um, cousin's parents broke out of jail or something, and my parents want to make sure that they can't find us, or something.

SANDI


(Not believing a word.) Rrrreeeeally?

QUINN


Yeah, her parents are sooo weird.

SANDI


And what's with the spray paint?

QUINN


Oh, uh, it must be those vandals that my cousin hangs out with.

SANDI


(Smirks.) Wow, your neighborhood is really starting to go downhill, isn't it?

CUT TO CU of FRONT DOOR. The door opens, and HELEN and JAKE walk in, carrying bags.

JAKE


(Looks uncomfortable, takes bags from HELEN.) I'll take that into the kitchen for you, dear.

JAKE walks off into the KITCHEN, carrying all of the bags.

CUT TO MS of LIVING ROOM/ENTRY HALL POV TV. HELEN walks over to QUINN, SANDI and TIFFANY.

HELEN


(Looks angry.) Quinn, do you know who spray painted "redrum" all over the plywood?

QUINN


(Looks "innocent.") I really don't know Mom, why don't you ask Daria?

HELEN


Where is she?

CUT TO XCU of QUINN.

QUINN


I really don't know. I think she ran off somewhere.

CUT TO CU of QUINN and SANDI.

SANDI


(Smirks.) Wow, Quinn, your cousin sure does act weird. I mean, who would go out when there's a storm coming, or whatever?

CUT TO XCU of HELEN.

HELEN


(Furious.) QUINN! Have you been telling people that Daria is your cousin again?

CUT TO XCU of QUINN.

QUINN


(Stammers.) Uh, uh...

CUT TO MS of MORGENDORFFER LIVING ROOM, POV TV. HELEN, QUINN, SANDI, and TIFFANY are all in a loose semicircle, HELEN is at one end, facing the other three.

HELEN


(Yells.) I can't believe you keep doing that to your very own sister! I really don't know what has gotten into you, young lady, but I'll make sure you don't do that again! Grounded for a month! (HELEN storms out into kitchen. QUINN looks stunned.) (V/O) Jake! Fix me that drink! (Pauses.) Now!

SANDI


(Doesn't mean it.) Gosh, Quinn, what a bummer. (A little angrily, getting back.) But, considering how you've been misleading everyone else, I can't say that I blame her.

TIFFANY


(Closing ranks, she can see the writing on the wall in this battle.) Yeah, I mean, if what you've been saying about your sister isn't true, then what about what you said about my outfit? I'm just sooo stunned.

QUINN storms off and goes upstairs.

INT. NIGHT -- LANE BASEMENT.
MS of DARIA, JANE, and TRENT, who are sitting on old, beat up furniture, watching TV. POV BEHIND at an OBLIQUE. DARIA and JANE are seated on the couch, TRENT is sprawled on an avocado-colored bean bag chair. Some empty food containers rest on a tattered trunk/coffee table. JANE has the remote control. The winds howl a little in gusts in the background.

TV Announcer 1


As the hurricane prepares to slam into Lawndale...

The sound of channels being switched.

TV Announcer 2


And now our top story as our hurricane coverage continues...

The sound of channels being switched.

TV Announcer 3


You can order a video of our hurricane coverage for $9.99 ...

The sound of channels being switched.

TV Announcer 4


Our top story is the hurricane threatening the East Coast ...

The sound of channels being switched.

Sick, Sad World Announcer


Hurricane hijinks surprise storm chasers next on Sick, Sad World!

The TV shuts off, and JANE throws the remote down to the floor.

CUT TO MS POV TV of JANE, DARIA, and TRENT.

JANE


Dammit! I thought cable was supposed to be an escape from the hell that is local TV news!

DARIA


Not when the promise of a good natural disaster beckons. Don't worry, the power will go out soon enough, and then we'll only have to hear updates on the radio every five minutes.

TRENT


Local radio? Yuck. (Shudders.) Daria, how did you get to know so much about hurricanes anyway? (Grins.) Did you research it for a story or something?

DARIA


I wish. (Sighs.) Personal experience, Trent, personal experience. When we lived in Texas, we went through a couple of hurricanes. After the first one almost trashed our house, we finally got the drill down for the second. Of course, during that one part of a tree fell into my bedroom.

JANE


What?

DARIA


Yeah, but I wasn't in it at the time. I was spending some "quality time" with the rest of the family in a high school gymnasium full of cots. (Pauses.) I'm still not sure which place was worse to spend the duration of the storm.

JANE


Is that why your room is always so Spartanly furnished?

DARIA


No, it was pretty empty back then, too. I just never really needed a lot of stuff, except maybe for a few books and CDs. I mean, how can an inside-the-eggshell-egg-scrambler make me a better person? Answer: it can't. I figure that if I could shrinkwrap all of my stuff every now and then, I could get the same experience that I would if I'd bought something new, without spending the money. Any joy of getting baubles and trinkets is transitory. They just all wind up in an old shoe box, becoming just more junk to keep track of, or to worry about losing, and being nothing but a problem.

JANE


(Grins.) So, given your Spartan lifestyle, what would you do with a million dollars?

DARIA


(Thinks.) I haven't the slightest idea. (Pauses.) I know. I'd buy my family a new house.

TRENT


Huh?

DARIA


That way I could keep the other one all to myself. (Smiles.) I didn't say that I'd move with them.

The cordless phone rings. JANE picks it up.

ZOOM IN to CU of JANE.

JANE


Lane residence. (Silent for 3 seconds.) Sure. (Covers mouthpiece.) Hey Daria, it's your mom.

CUT BACK TO MS POV TV.

DARIA


(Softly.) Does she sound mad?

JANE shrugs her shoulders

JANE


(Sotto voce.) No crazier than usual.


JANE hands DARIA the phone.

DARIA


Hello?

SLIDE IN SPLIT SCREEN CU of HELEN in MORGENDORFFER KITCHEN from LEFT and CU of DARIA on RIGHT.

HELEN


Daria? Are you kids alright over there?

DARIA


Sure, Mom, we're fine.

HELEN


I just wanted to check. (A little miffed.) Next time you decide to go out in a hurricane, young lady, ask one of us first, please. I hate getting a note. Besides, there are all kinds of weirdos out there. Speaking of which, you wouldn't happen to know who spray painted "redrum" all over the plywood sheathing, would you?

DARIA


(Smiles.) (False shock.) Somebody spray painted "redrum" all over the plywood?

HELEN


(Irritated.) Yes.

DARIA


Well, I have no idea who could've done such a thing. Did you check under Quinn's fingernails for paint stains?

HELEN


(A little more irritated.) No, but that one's already grounded for a month.

DARIA


(Smiles broadly.) Really? What did she do?

HELEN


(Doesn't want to talk about it.) It's none of your concern. (Sighs.) But her little friends are over here for the duration of the storm. Apparently they got caught out in the rain.

DARIA


You mean they didn't melt? If you don't mind, I'll stay over here for the duration.

HELEN


(Resigned voice.) I don't see that I have much choice in the matter. (Sound of QUINN, SANDI and TIFFANY chattering in the background.) Girls, KEEP IT DOWN! (In a tired voice.) I don't suppose you have any spare room over there?

DARIA


(Grins.) Yes, but do you want Dad babysitting Quinn and her little friends?

HELEN


(Tired voice.) I see your point. Well, be careful, and call me if you need anything.

DARIA


'Kay. Bye. (DARIA hangs up phone.)

SLIDE SS over to CU of DARIA.

CUT TO MS POV TV.

DARIA


(Grins.) You'll never believe what happened.

JANE


I'm not keen to guess, so just spit it out.

DARIA


I'm not exactly sure what happened, but Quinn got grounded for a whole month.

JANE


(Surprised.) What do you think she did to deserve that?

TRENT


Who's Quinn?

JANE


You remember, Daria's sister?

TRENT


(Darkly.) Oh yeah. Daria's sister.

DARIA


I don't know for sure, but since her little friends are over there, I'm almost positive that Mom caught her referring to me as her cousin again. (Smiles.) Bet she won't try that one for a while.

JANE


(Grins.) Well, at least not for another month. (Pauses.) Man, I am bored. (Looks over at DARIA.) You know, Opal, this hurricane thing isn't nearly as much fun as I thought it'd be.

DARIA


Well, we could always turn the TV back on and watch the reporters' hair not move in the wind.

A strong gust of wind suddenly howls very loudly, and a large BANG is heard. The lights go out.

The room is pitch black, except for three pairs of eyes.

DARIA (CONT'D.)


Or we could just sit here in the dark. Anyone got a light?

TRENT


Coffee, tea, or a flick of my Bic? (Lights lighter. A small patch of light is now illuminating the room. He lights a little stub of candle.) Did anyone think to leave any big candles down here? (Grins at JANE.) Janey?

JANE


(Looks embarrassed. Looks away from TRENT and DARIA) Uh, no, Trent, I didn't leave any candles down here. Uh, why don't you check upstairs?

TRENT


(Smirks.) Okay. Don't go away.

DARIA


Darn, and I had that Bermuda vacation all planned, too.

TRENT walks up the stairs and leaves the room.

DARIA (CONT'D.)


Okay, spill it, Lane. What are you holding back?

JANE


(Looks a little embarrassed.) It wasn't anything big, it was just that Trent caught me down here with a guy a while back, and he still gives me grief about it.

DARIA


You weren't ...

JANE


(Interrupting.) Of course not. Give me some credit. No, it's just that I'm not too proud of getting caught making out with some guy I didn't even like at the time. (Pauses.) Imagine how you'd feel if Quinn walked in on you and ...

DARIA


(Interrupting.) Don't even. I understand. Although I wouldn't take it too hard if I was in your position-- it's not like he's Quinn. She'd use it to leverage some sort of huge bribe out of me, and then use it as a bargaining chip against Mom and Dad. With Trent, at least it's just a little friendly ribbing.

JANE


Well, it's still embarrassing. (Smirks.) Yeah, I bet you wouldn't mind being in my position.

(DARIA shoots JANE a dirty look.)

(A loud crash occurs offstage. DARIA and JANE look at each other with wide eyes in surprise.)

FADE OUT.

CUT TO SLO-MO of QUINN opening door, revealing drenched SANDI and TIFFANY, as bumper music plays. ("Rock You Like a Hurricane," by Scorpions.)

COMMERCIAL BREAK (Insert your targeted marketing here.)

ACT III

FADE IN.

EXT. NIGHT -- NO TIME HAS PASSED -- LANE HOUSE.

WS of LANE HOUSE. The trees are a-blowin' in the wind, which is pretty strong. Rain is falling in almost horizontal sheets. Random debris blows down the street, as the flash and rumble of lightning and thunder are seen and heard. Hold for a few seconds, then

INT. NIGHT -- NO TIME HAS PASSED -- BASEMENT OF LANE HOUSE.

CU of DARIA and JANE, looking at each other in surprise in the candlelight.

JANE


(Concerned.) We'd better check that out.

DARIA


You're right. I'll grab that chunk of candle, so we don't bust our asses floundering around in the dark.

DARIA grabs the candle as the two head up the stairs.

CUT TO MS of DARIA and JANE heading up the stairs POV SIDE of STAIRS, HALFWAY UP.

CUT TO CU of basement door opening, POV KITCHEN. DARIA and JANE look out through the door. DARIA holds the candle up, Scooby-Doo style. (The old Scooby-Doo.)

JANE


Trent? TRENT! Where are you?

A muffled groan comes from the living room.

JANE (CONT'D.)


Trent, don't move, we'll come to you!

CUT TO WS of KITCHEN and LIVING ROOM POV BACK WALL OF KITCHEN looking through to living room. DARIA and JANE head into the living room.

CUT TO MS of LIVING ROOM. DARIA and JANE enter from kitchen. TRENT is lying on the floor, near one of the two couches, holding his hand, and grumbling.

JANE


Trent, are you alright?

TRENT sits up and leans against the closer sofa.

TRENT


Yeah, Janey, I'm ok. The lighter got hot, so I dropped it. The light went out, and when I went to look for the lighter, I tripped and fell and hit my head.

DARIA


Are you sure you're okay?

TRENT


Yeah, yeah, the only thing I injured was my pride. (Grunts.) And maybe my head. Again. Hey, Janey, you got any of that ice you promised? And aspirin, too?

JANE


Sure, I'll go get some from the kitchen. Daria, let me have your candle.

DARIA lights another candle on the coffee table and then hands JANE the first candle.

DARIA


Take it. I was starting to feel like Velma in an old "Scooby Doo" episode. Now that we know that Shaggy's ok, you can go look for Scooby and Fred, and find out who's behind this fake hurricane caper.

JANE


(Smirks.) You meddling kids!

JANE walks off into the kitchen.

TRENT


(Smiles.) I never pegged you as the Velma type, Daria. I always thought of you as more of a Daphne.

DARIA


(A little surprised.) Uh, thanks. (Pauses. Smiles.) Come to think of it, you're not really a Shaggy type either. You're more Fred-like-- you know, cool under pressure. Shaggy, on the other hand, was a total spaz.

CUT TO CU of TRENT.

TRENT


(Chuckles.) I know what you mean. I think maybe he ate a few too many Scooby Snacks. Thanks, Daria. I really do appreciate that, especially since most people think I am a Shaggy type.

START TO ZOOM IN SLOWLY TO XCU of TRENT

TRENT (CONT'D.)


(Starts to get a little irritated from remembering what others have said about him.) You know, a flake. (Looks a little more frustrated.) Ordinary people just don't understand how frustrating it can be to try to live the creative life. They always want to keep you in a pigeonhole -- a neat little stereotype that puts you in your place. A little cardboard shoe box they keep under their bed so that they can look down on you whenever they feel low. Just lift the lid, look down, and laugh. A place that is naturally inferior to their perceived place.

FINISH TO XCU OF TRENT

CUT TO MS of TRENT and DARIA.

SLOWLY ZOOM IN on DARIA to CU as she speaks.

DARIA


Yeah, but those people are all just mind-numbed zombies chasing some hazy distant goal of material wealth and comfort that they don't even believe in anymore. They're too stupid to see that the system they've bought into is going to chew them up and spit them out like bad soylent green. I wouldn't let it bother me, Trent. If anything, you should pity them their empty, meaningless existences.

FINISH ZOOM.

CUT BACK TO MS.

TRENT


(Smiles a little.) Thanks, Daria. You know, you have a great way with words.

DARIA


(Smiles a little, too.) Thanks. I try.

ZOOM OUT TO WS of TRENT and DARIA, with JANE entering the room from the kitchen. JANE walks in juggling an icebag and a bottle of aspirin in the crook of one arm, a glass of water in that hand, and a candle in the other hand.

JANE


(In her best Heston voice.) Oh my God, soylent green is made from people!

As JANE walks towards them, ZOOM IN and PAN RIGHT to MS of the three.

All three chuckle. JANE hands TRENT the icebag, and sets down the aspirin and glass of water on the coffee table. TRENT puts the icebag over his eye, so that it's sort of draped over one side of his head.

TRENT


(Relieved.) Ahh, that's much better.

JANE


By the way, did you happen to find any other candles?

TRENT


Oh, yeah, sorry. They're over there on floor under the coffee table, right where I dropped 'em when I fell.

DARIA grabs a few candles and lights them, then places them on the coffee table.

TRENT (CONT'D.)


You know, electricity sure is a funny thing. You never really notice it until it's not around. (Pauses for a brief second. Looks at DARIA in a funny kind of way.) I guess you kind of get so used to it being around that you take it for granted.

DARIA


(Looks at TRENT. Gulps.) Um-hmm. (Looks away.) (A little nervously, wanting and not wanting to change the subject to something less intense.) Uh, Jane, did you get the cooler ready?

JANE


Okay, you've lost me again, Hazel. What's with the cooler?

DARIA


(Sighs.) How many people do you think are without power?

JANE


Wow. A lot.

DARIA


And how long do you think it'll take to restring all of those power lines?

JANE


A while.

DARIA


And what's going to happen to all of that lovely food in the fridge after a day or two without power?

JANE


Ewww.

DARIA


Exactly. You have no idea how bad it'll stink after just a day. (Shudders.) I couldn't eat cheese for a month, let alone lasagna. You now have to decide which foodstuffs you want to stay, and which should be thrown away now. The fridge only has about a couple of hours before it's too warm, so you gotta start winnowing out and putting what you want into the cooler. That's why we risked poor Trent here. No ice, no cold food.

JANE


Wow, so I get to play the part of St. Peter to the food in the fridge?

DARIA


Well, you always wanted to play God. Here's your big chance to audition. You get to decide who gets in, and who'll rot in the trash.

JANE


(Grins.) Well, I'd better go to prepare a place for the chosen ones, then.

JANE heads off into the kitchen.

TRENT


Hey, Daria, how about getting my guitar for me?

DARIA


Are you sure your hand's okay? And what about your eye?

TRENT


The hand's fine. Calluses, you know. Besides, it didn't really burn me that much. It just kinda surprised me.

TRENT takes two aspirin, drinks some water with it.

TRENT (CONT'D.)


Tell you what. Get me my guitar and I'll play something for you. (Winks at DARIA.) It's in the kitchen.

DARIA'S eyes get a little big.

DARIA


Okay.

DARIA heads into the kitchen.

MS of LANE KITCHEN POV LIVING ROOM. DARIA walks into the room. JANE is standing in front of the fridge, with a candle in her hand held high to illuminate the now-darkened interior.

DARIA (CONT'D.)


Searching for some honest flan?

JANE merely grunts, lost in thought.

(Author's note: I couldn't resist a bad pun and play on the image.)

DARIA (CONT'D.)


(To JANE.) So, how goes the exodus?

JANE


(Pensive.) This is tougher than I thought. They all seem so worthy of my cooler, but they won't all fit in. What do you think, Camille?

DARIA


Well, try to make a rough guess of what you think you'll really want to eat over the next few days. Then cast down into the trash those foods that offend you. Do you see Trent's acoustic anywhere?

JANE


(Lost in thought.) (Points at corner.) Yeah, it's over there.

DARIA


Thanks.

DARIA gets the guitar and heads back into the living room.

MS of LANE LIVING ROOM POV OPPOSITE COUCH. DARIA hands the guitar to TRENT.

TRENT


Thanks, Daria. Let me see...

TRENT starts fiddling with the guitar, strumming, then tuning it. DARIA just stands there, watching him for a few seconds. TRENT looks up at her.

TRENT (CONT'D.)


You know, Daria, you might be more comfortable in a sitting position. I won't bite. (Grins.) Promise.

DARIA


(Shakes herself awake.) Sorry, I was kinda spaced out there for a second. I guess I'm more tired than I thought.

DARIA sits down beside TRENT, who is gently strumming away. DARIA tries to stay awake, but the candlelight and the soothing sound of TRENT'S guitar finally lulls her to sleep.

(Come on, you didn't really think anything would happen, did you? --Auth.)

INT. DAY -- NEXT DAY -- LANE LIVING ROOM.

MS of the TWO COUCHES in the room, POV FRONT HALL. The coffee table has two large wax puddles on it, remnants of last night. DARIA is asleep on the couch, glasses off , covered by a blanket. JANE is asleep on the other couch, also covered with a blanket. TRENT is nowhere to be seen. Suddenly, the whine of chainsaws wakes DARIA up.

DARIA shoots up from her recumbent position to a sitting position.

DARIA


What? Huh? Where am I... oh.

JANE wakes up slowly and groans. DARIA grabs her glasses and puts them on.

JANE


(Groggily.) What time is it?

DARIA


Well, how disoriented do you feel?

JANE


(Considers it.) Hmmm. I feel like I need another hour of sleep.

DARIA


Then it must be around 11:30.

Chainsaws continue to whine in the background intermittently.

JANE


I take it that that noise will be going on for a little while.

DARIA


If we're lucky, maybe only a week or two.

CUT TO XCU of JANE.

JANE shoots up, stunned.

JANE


A WEEK??

CUT TO MS of DARIA and JANE.

DARIA


Ah, I see you're awake now. Come on, it's time for the really fun part.

JANE


I thought the fun part was supposed to be last night.

DARIA


Oh, no, now you get to see Mother Nature as a performance artist. There should be all kinds of interesting rearrangements of local features.

TRENT


(Yells really loudly off screen from upstairs bathroom.) AAAAAH! THAT'S COLD!

DARIA


Well, lets start heating water so we can at least feel clean for a day.

JANE


Can it wait?

DARIA


You really do want to open your Christmas present early, don't you? If you really want to see some devastation, I guess we can just throw a little water around and hit the bricks.

INT. LATE MORNING. -- 30 MINUTES LATER -- LANE LIVING ROOM.

MS of DARIA and JANE, both with "hurricane hair," (if you've ever been through a nasty one, you know what it looks like-- curly and flat and unruly as hell. And everyone gets it-- boys and girls.) JANE is carrying a sketchbook under her left arm, DARIA has her camera around her neck. They are standing by the front door.

JANE


Okay, Bertha, I've got my sketchbook. Now what?

DARIA


Time to view the carnage. Imagine what it'd be like if Sick, Sad World redecorated your whole town.

JANE


(Excited.) Wow, kinda like a freaky Christmas present!

EXT. LATE MORNING -- 5 SECONDS LATER -- LANE FRONT PORCH.

CU of LANE FRONT DOOR, POV STREET. Door opens, Jane looks, blinks, and her eyes get rrreeeal big.

JANE (CONT'D.)


(Stunned.) Whoa!

ZOOM OUT TO MS of DARIA and JANE, standing on the front doorstep.

DARIA


(A little surprised.) Wow.

CUT TO WS of LANE HOUSE, with a lot of timber down in the front yard. The path to the street is almost impassible.

DARIA (CONT'D.)


Got any chainsaws?

JANE


(Absently.) Yeah, Wind used them for some sort of log sculpture or something, but that can wait. Now I've gotta see the rest. These'll make some cool sketches. Oh, man, I'm gonna be living fat off of this for at least a year! (Turns to DARIA) Thanks Fran!

CUT TO CU of JANE and DARIA. DARIA looks a little bit angry.

DARIA


(The joke is wearing thin.) It's Daria. Come on, let's reconnoiter the area first. Let's check out the usual haunts.

DARIA takes a picture before moving on.

ZOOM OUT to MS of DARIA and JANE walking over fallen trees to the street.

EXT. DAY -- A FEW MINUTES LATER -- MORGENDORFFER HOUSE.

WS of MORGENDORFFER HOUSE POV STREET. JAKE is removing the plywood from the windows with a crowbar from a ladder. The house is untouched, and only a small pile of branches occupies the end of the driveway. JANE and DARIA pass by.

DARIA


(Shouts to JAKE.) Hey, Dad, the house looks good!

JAKE


(Drops plywood and crowbar with a resounding crash. DARIA manages to get a picture, then lowers camera.) Damn plywood! (Shouts to DARIA) Thanks, kiddo! Everything okay?

DARIA


(Shouts back) Everything's fine. We're just taking a little walk.

JAKE


(Waves, shouts back.) Okay. Remember to get back in before sundown -- there's a dusk to dawn curfew!

DARIA


(Shouts back.) Okay!

EXT. DAY-- A FEW MINUTES LATER -- GUPTY HOUSE.

WS of GUPTY HOUSE POV STREET. It's a mess. Lawn ornaments are scattered in the trees in all sorts of wacky positions. It may not look cute anymore, but it sure does look cool to bored teenagers. DARIA and JANE walk past it and stop.

CUT TO XCU of JANE, who looks ecstatic at all of the possibilities.

JANE


(Gleefully.) This is the best Christmas present ever! Thanks, Daria! Wait here for a few minutes while I get some of the garden gnomes embedded in the tree trunks sketched out in charcoal.

ZOOM OUT to MS of JANE and DARIA. JANE is already furiously sketching. DARIA is considering her angles for her photos.

DARIA


Don't forget to capture the well, too. Truly disturbing. Mother Nature at her best.

DARIA starts snapping some photos.

JANE


(Engrossed in her work.) Hmmm. And those plastic geese planted head-first through the garage windows sure do speak to me.

DARIA


What do they say?

JANE


Thank God we're no longer shamelessly exploited on that horrible lawn. But the least they could've done was clean the garage.

EXT. DAY -- ABOUT 30 MINUTES LATER -- LAWNDALE HIGH.

WS OF THE FRONT OF THE SCHOOL. BRITTANY, KEVIN and a few other students are busy cleaning up debris from the school grounds. DARIA and JANE stop and take in the scene. DARIA snaps a few pictures.

BRITTANY


(Cheerfully (how else?) to DARIA and JANE.) Daria! Jane! Come on and help clean up the school!

DARIA


(Searching for a good excuse.) Uh, gee Brittany, we'd love to, but...

JANE


(Racking her brains for a way out.) Uh, we heard that Food Lord has more ice.

DARIA


Yeah, that's it. Ice. We need more ice.

BRITTANY


Ice? What for? Well, never mind. You're just gonna miss out on all the fun! Jodie promised to put all of our pictures in the yearbook.

DARIA


Uh, Brittany, they already do that for all of the students.

BRITTANY


Yeah, but we'll get a special section!

JANE


(To DARIA.) Don't.

DARIA


But--

JANE


(Eyes closed. Shakes head.) Just don't. It's not sporting.

DARIA


(Sighs.) You're right. Where to next?

JANE


Why don't we check out the Big Strawberry?

DARIA


You've got to be kidding.

JANE


No, seriously, if there's any debris around it, it'd make a cool image.

DARIA


Hmmm... Okay.

EXT. DAY -- A LITTLE WHILE LATER-- THE BIG STRAWBERRY.

WS of the BIG STRAWBERRY, a Lawndale landmark. Unfortunately, the strawberry is on its side, crushed by crumpled Jaguar XJ-12 and a large tree. A MEDIA CIRCUS surrounds the tree, as 4 bored NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS guard the beloved local landmark. A HORDE OF REPORTERS are all setting up shots in front of the crushed tourist trap. DARIA and JANE approach the scene and pause at a safe distance. DARIA takes a picture, then lowers her camera.

CUT TO CU of DARIA and JANE.

DARIA


Behold, the inevitable feeding frenzy of tragedy. (Pauses.) (Smiles.) This gives me an idea.

JANE


What kind of idea?

DARIA


Just follow my lead. I think you'll know where I'm going with this. (Grins.)

JANE


(Grins.) Gotcha.

CUT TO MS of MALE REPORTER, standing in front of the damage, and CAMERA CREW, documenting his serious report.

MALE REPORTER


The biggest loss to the town of Lawndale was the beloved Big Strawberry, a regional landmark that has been in this spot for uncounted years.

CUT TO CU of DARIA and JANE.

DARIA


Uncounted because the fumes from his hairspray have damaged what few brain cells he had to begin with.

JANE


(Scornful.) Landmark? Ha! Some hippies built it in the late '60s as a practical joke. Then somebody in the local Chamber of Commerce figured that it was the only thing that made Lawndale distinctive, so they put it on the cover of the town's marketing pamphlet.

CUT TO MS of another concerned-looking FEMALE REPORTER and her CAMERA CREW.

FEMALE REPORTER


It's still unknown how the car fell onto the beloved local landmark, but meteorologists suspect a small tornado might have been the culprit.

CUT TO CU of DARIA and JANE.

JANE


(Looks at DARIA.) Damn! We must've slept through it!

DARIA


For once, I'm relieved. (In an undertone.) Now, turn around like you're not paying attention.

JANE


Oookay.

ZOOM OUT TO MS of DARIA and JANE, facing away from the scene. ANOTHER REPORTER is moving towards them, mic in hand.

ANOTHER REPORTER


(To DARIA and JANE.) Excuse me, young ladies, I was wondering if I could get your reaction to the storm for the news?

DARIA and JANE turn around to face him.

DARIA


The news? Local or national?

ANOTHER REPORTER


(Puffs out a little.) National.

DARIA


Okay.

ANOTHER REPORTER


What are your names?

DARIA


Daria Morgendorffer.

JANE


Jane Lane.

ANOTHER REPORTER


(To CAMERA CREW) Okay, guys, let's do it in 3..2.. (Mouths the word "one.") (ANOTHER REPORTER straightens up, goes into "broadcast journalist" mode.) So, Daria, Jane, tell us how you're coping with the devastation?

DARIA


What devastation?

ANOTHER REPORTER


From the hurricane?

JANE


You mean there was a hurricane, and we didn't know about it? How come we weren't informed?

DARIA


I thought it was the responsibility of the media to prevent these kinds of surprises! Why weren't we warned? Were you guys showing a sitcom or something, rather than informing your viewers? Now, tell us more about this hurricane of which you speak.

ANOTHER REPORTER


(Starting to feel a little uncomfortable) Uh, well, it was a major hurricane that had winds of 120 miles per hour when it hit the coast. The winds in Lawndale were as high as 75 miles an hour. The power is out in most of the area because of all of the damage it caused due to the high winds. Just look at what it did to the Big Strawberry!

JANE turns to look at the BIG STRAWBERRY'S crumpled form, and screams.

JANE


NO! NO! Not the strawberry! Oh, God, why? WHY?

JANE buries her face in her hands and starts sobbing uncontrollably.

DARIA


(Fixes ANOTHER REPORTER with an angry glare.) I hope you're happy. Look at what you've done to her! After all of the long sessions of intense therapy, she was finally able to come to terms with the loss of the giant banana. Now, this! I just don't know how she'll cope. Don't you know how this town feels about its large produce?? And what will I tell poor little Pepito when he asks why his sister is crying again?

ANOTHER REPORTER


(Looking really uncomfortable.) Look, they just flew me in to cover hurricane Charles. I had no idea ---

DARIA


(Angrily.) Charles? Hurricane Charles? They named that, that lame excuse of a rainshower after Upchuck? You've got to be kidding me! (In a gentler voice.) Come on, Jane, it's time for your medicine. You must be strong for Pepito. He'll need you now more than ever.

DARIA gently leads the sobbing JANE away from the scene as ANOTHER REPORTER looks on, "all astonied."

JANE


(Weeping.) Oh, the poor strawberry, the poor, poor strawberry.

FADE OUT.

EPILOGUE

EXT. DAY -- A FEW MINUTES LATER -- A SIDEWALK IN A NEIGHBORHOOD.

MS POV FRONT of DARIA and JANE walking down the debris-strewn street, both are smiling.

DARIA


You really should consider taking up acting.

JANE


Thanks. You know, I couldn't've done it without your setup though.

DARIA


You're welcome.

JANE


(Looks concerned.) Uh, Daria, we just pranked the national news.

DARIA


So?

JANE


Everyone in the country will see us...

DARIA


(Sighs.) Jane, look around you. (Gestures at the whole mess.) Who here locally will ever see that report?

JANE


You're right. Good point.

INT. EVENING -- SAME DAY -- MR. O'NEILL'S LIVING ROOM.

MS of MR. O'NEILL, seated on one of the large cushions he has strewn about the floor. As a generator whines in the background, the light of the TV is reflected in his eyes. He looks upset.

V/O


(Jane's voice.) Oh, the poor strawberry, the poor, poor strawberry.

MR. O'NEILL


(Visibly upset.) Oh, no! Poor Jane!

FADE OUT.

ROLL CREDITS to the music of "Like a Hurricane" by Neil Young.

Author's Notes: (Only E-mail me with questions if these answers aren't good enough. Well, I guess you can email your comments, as they would be greatly appreciated, but I hope the following answers all questions.)

Shorthand: WS- Wide Shot/ MS-Medium Shot (Normal Length.) / CU-Close Up (Head & Shoulders Shot) / XCU eXtreme Close Up (Face)/ INT. - Interior / EXT. - Exterior / POV- Point of View that the camera occupies, so you can visualize the scene better / VO (or V/O) Voice-over (you don't see the character speaking.) / OBLIQUE? At a non 90-degree angle. In other words, not straight on, or on the side. Just at an angle somewhere in between. / SS - Split Screen.

80 Miles from the coast? Don't nitpick, or else write your own. It's close, but not so close to get completely destroyed, but it is close enough to get roughed up a little.

Texas? Highland was in Texas. Ask Mike Judge. Don't pester me. And, yes, they get nasty 'Canes in Texas, too.

Bottled Water? Yep. Water sometimes goes out after a hurricane -- what with flooding and no power, there can be problems treating and pumping it.

I've told you a bunch of times? Remember, Quinn ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer. She's more like a spatula.

Zen struggle? Well, why not? If you feel that material possessions are just so much junk, then the really cool stuff is the stuff you can't put in a box. This theme runs thru the whole ep. Most of the damage/heartache/stress caused by natural disasters is caused by either being buried in or having to replace lost junk. Junk doesn't make you a better person, just a person who has more junk. "The more things you own, the more they own you," or something.

That smile: You know, the one that made her get her navel pierced? She's learned something from that, I hope.

A "shot who?" look? The sort of look on your face when someone says something that's totally out from nowhere, and all you can think is "what?" Or, if you're from certain parts of the country, you think, "shot who?"

Funyuns? Everyone has a weakness for some kind of trashy junk food. Actually, I just wanted someone to say the word.

Black Eye? Well, not a real shiner, just a little bruise. I'm not that mean.

Olives? How else can HELEN and JAKE cope but with strong martinis?

Redrum? See (watch) "The Shining."

Someone Left a Date Out In the Rain: Again, I wanted it to happen, so I kind of manipulated events to please myself.

"Now!" Said the same way Helen said that final "Nurse!" in "Ill."

Sotto voce: (Italian) In an undertone. (Harvard Dictionary of Music, 4th ed.)

Who's Opal?: Why does Jane keep calling Daria some other name? Opal, Hazel, Bertha, Fran, et. al. were all hurricanes that either did great damage or at least caused great inconvenience. I ruled out having Jane call Daria "Andrew" or "Hugo," as that would make the reference too obvious.

Coffee, tea, or a flic of my Bic? For those of you old enough to remember when smoking was not only allowed on planes, but even encouraged for nervous fliers, Bic lighters were advertised by comely Flight Attendants who would ask their more handsome passengers just that question.

Soylent Green? See (watch) the movie of the same name. A bad movie about future humans turning cannibal.

Honest Flan? It's just a bad pun on the phrase, "searching for an honest man," in reference to the mythical guy (whose name escapes me) who wandered the world with a lantern, searching for an honest man. Flan is the famous desert that should be refrigerated. Daria decided to play on the image of Jane standing in front of a dark fridge holding a candle high. (Well, ok, I decided that she should do it.)

I had Wind do a brief stint as a chainsaw sculptor. So sue me. It was convenient.

Curfew? Yep. Usually dawn-to-dusk, enforced by local law enforcement or military. Prevents all the nasty looting.

The Big Strawberry comes from "The Daria Diaries." I saw it, and then conceived a use for it. (Well, actually, I saw it, and thought that it must be destroyed.)

I made up the history of the Big Strawberry.

The Jaguar XJ-12 might be Andy Landon's, but no one will ever know for sure. (Not even me.)

Tornadoes? They're often spawned by hurricanes when they hit land. Probably the least fun part of riding out the storm is listening for that "freight train" sound. (Not, just me, but also from friends and relatives, who've all either heard or seen them a little too close.)

I chose banana because the word is just so darn funny. Same for Pepito.

"All astonied?" Go read your Norton Anthology of English Lit.

Why does Mr. O'Neill have cushions? Because he always struck me as one of those flaky types that uses a lot of cushions, rather than nice comfortable furniture. I'm surprised that he doesn't force his poor students to sit in a "learning circle" on cushions. (See "Heathers.")

The Bigger Issues:

Yes, ACT III runs a little long if you time it out, but I had to keep it that way in order to keep in all of the goodies I wanted to put in it. Pretend you're watching PBS during a fund drive.

Yes, I know that most TV shows don't have Epilogues anymore. But it's not quite as funny without the epilogue.

Plot Critics: No, there's no real interpersonal conflict here, and I left Quinn and her little friends in Act II, never to return to them again. I needed some spacing in ACT I between scenes, so I used a cheap ploy with a very minor subplot that doesn't really go anywhere, but it sure as hell amuses me. Besides, what good would it be to have someone spraypaint "Redrum" all over the house if no one was there to get freaked out by it? Quinn partially got freaked out because her family's moved so often, for a brief time it appeared that they'd moved out and left her behind. And who wouldn't like to see Quinn get grounded for a month?

Why so much/so little Trent?: Trent was needed to drive the car, and I wanted him to drive the TEB/anti-TEB readers a little nuts, too. He's actually a pretty interesting character. And I have to admit that I couldn't resist roughing him up a little. It always happens to someone during hurricanes, trying to get those last few bags of ice, or falling over in the dark, or getting that blast of cold water. (Personal experience & police reports.)

Why a hurricane? The whole idea of a hurricane episode was brought forth from some of mine and my friends' and relatives' hurricane experiences. Examples: After Fran hit Wilmington, NC in 1996, the reporters all flocked to a 150 year old church steeple that had fallen over in the wind. Thanks to modern building codes, it was the only building that was "dramatically damaged." (Meaning, damaged in a fashion that looks dramatic on TV.) (Trees don't count, as they're not built to any sort of a modern building code.) Therefore, ALL of the reporters did live shots in front of it. It was sooo stupid.

The local TV coverage during the storm in the ep mirrored the recent local coverage here when Bonnie struck the NC coast. One station actually offered to sell videos of its hurricane coverage. Of course, the hurricane's effects here were minimal at worst. I bet they'll have to eat those tapes. (Oh, I hope!)

The idea of the students cleaning up LHS came from Fran as well. UNC students were given a day off from classes to help clean up the campus. There was a very large turnout.

The whole ice thing comes from another true story. An acquaintance, who shall remain nameless, purchased a largeous amount of ice before a hurricane, which also shall remain nameless, hit. Unfortunately, this person had no clue as to what to do with the ice. Therefore, the person left the ice in the freezer, where it melted and ruined all of the person's food in a much messier way. Moral: ice is for food in a cooler! (Or for making good stiff drinks, which some of us need during and especially after hurricanes.)

The thing about food rotting in a fridge is true. If you have to evacuate, just throw it all away before you leave. A friend of mine had to evacuate his townhouse for a week before/after Bertha hit. The stench when he and his wife got back was overpowering, and they still had to throw it all away. So, save a step, plan ahead, and if you have to evacuate, just pitch it out.

UPDATES:

After receiving some very good suggestions from Michelle Klein-Hass, I changed the songs around a little, and I also added the bottom button bars (for the version on my little site).

9/15/98 I fixed the mailto links.

9/27/98 I redid the layout. I'll fix some teleplay issues soon, as well, (like using OS instead of V/O, and a few other cosmetic formatting issues.)

11/22/98 I redid the layout again so this could be uploaded to ff.net, and I fixed the spelling as well.

Final Note: To paraphrase the Theme from MST3K -- "Just repeat to yourself it's just a show, I should really just relax."