The Blues Others
by Mike Yamiolkoski


FADE IN




EXT: MIDDLETON ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL

The school is an old gray brick building surrounded by a fence. Students wander in the courtyard, dressed in blue or gray school uniforms. The general atmosphere is quiet and subdued.

CUT TO:




INT: DOORWAY

The door opens into a hallway. Three figures go through the door and walk down it, visible only from the back. The middle one is dressed in a gray school uniform, with no distinguishing features except for the hair - a familiar bowl cut.

The people walk down the long hallway.




EXT: COURTYARD

The three people walk across the courtyard, where other students are milling around. They come to a large door at the other end.

The man on the left turns to face the figure in the middle.

MAN: Well, this is it.




INT: OFFICE

DeMartino stands behind a desk. A number of shelves line the walls behind him.

DeMARTINO: WELL?? What's the story on THIS one?

MAN: High school junior, fifteen credit hours over the summer semester.

DeMARTINO: GPA?

MAN: Passing grades. C-minus average.

DeMARTINO: FIGURES! Give me a MOMENT!

The middle figure steps forward to the counter and drums her fingers on it. Written across her left knuckles in black ink is the name "JANE"

DeMartino roots around under the desk for a moment and comes up with a large box. He notices the hand on the counter, and smacks the box down on top of it, or would have if the owner hadn't pulled it away at the last moment.

DeMARTINO: (pulling out contents of the box) One Timex digital watch – BROKEN!!

He smacks the watch down on the counter to make his point.

DeMARTINO: One camel's hair paintbrush, CLEAN! (he plucks a second brush, wrapped in plastic, out of the box, and holds it gingerly between finger and thumb) One SOILED!!




EXT: SCHOOL

A large black van pulls up to the front gate.

Inside the van, a pair of slender hands grip the steering wheel. On the knuckles is written "DARIA".




INT: OFFICE

DeMartino continues to extract items from the box.

DeMARTINO: One pair of unnecessarily LARGE and THREATENING BOOTS!! (he slams the boots down) One pair faded black SHORTS!! One SHIRT – RED!! One set of three matching silver hoop EARRINGS!! (He holds up and envelope and shakes it meaningfully) TWO dollars and ELEVEN CENTS!! (finally, he withdraws a clipboard and shoves it in front of the figure) Sign HERE!!

The figure takes the clipboard, and makes an "X" on the line.

DeMARTINO: (looking at the clipboard) CUTE, Ms. Lane! Real CUTE!!




EXT: MAIN GATE

The driver of the van is now leaning on the door. She looks up as the gate starts to creak open, revealing the slim, silhouetted figure with the bowl haircut. Once the gate is open, they both walk to the middle of the street, and stop a few feet away from each other.


Close-up on…

DARIA MORGENDORFFER

Cut to Close-up on…

JANE LANE


Cut to Close-up on both:


THE BLUES OTHERS



JANE: Hug?

DARIA: Not a chance in hell.

They both go get in the van, which pulls out.




INT: VAN

The two girls travel on in silence for a bit.

JANE: So, what's this?

DARIA: What?

JANE: What's with the van?

DARIA: The van?

JANE: Yes, the van! What the hell are you doing driving the Tank?

DARIA: I bought it.

JANE: You spent good money on this thing?

DARIA: No. I gave Max a kettle drum for it.

JANE: You got ripped off.

DARIA: Hey, it was all I could afford.

JANE: And suppose it breaks down again on the way home? I don't have my glue gun with me this time, you know.

DARIA: What can I say, it was a bargain.

JANE: Well, Thank You, pal. The day I get out of summer school, and my best friend picks me up in the Tank.

The Tank is approaching a broken water main that is flooding both sides of the highway. Traffic is stopped as city crews frantically try to get it fixed.

DARIA: You don't like it?

JANE: (thinks for a moment) No, I don't like it.

Daria flips the wheel hard to the left, and floors it. The van lurches ahead on the shoulder, barreling straight for the accidental lake. It hits with a colossal splash, spraying water twenty feet high in both directions and drenching the city engineers working on the pipe, not to mention a couple sitting in a convertible on the other side. In seconds, the Tank is out the other side and accelerating down the highway.

JANE: Okay, so it has one redeeming feature: it's too heavy to hydroplane.

DARIA: It's got no muffler, no computer, no fancy gizmos to break. It's trashed anyway so I don't have to worry about scratching or denting it, and it runs best on cheap gas. Besides, it really ticks off my parents and Quinn wants to run away every time she sees it. So what do you say?

Jane tries to crank down the passenger side window and breaks the handle off.

JANE: You might want to fix that.




EXT: LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL

The Tank pulls up outside the main entrance.




INT: TANK

JANE: What the hell are we doing here?

DARIA: You told Ms. Li that you'd stop by and sign up for the Fall Semester.

JANE: And you thought I was serious? Get real, Daria.

DARIA: Come on, Jane. You worked your butt off all summer so that you could still graduate on time. We need to go in there and talk to Ms. Li.

JANE: No. Freaking. Way.




INT: LAWNDALE HIGH

Daria drags Jane down the hallway. The place is deserted except for them. They approach Ms. Li's office.

Just before Daria knocks –

MS. LI: (from inside) Who is it?

Daria looks up and frowns.

DARIA: Damn motion detectors.

MS. LI: Ah, Ms. Morgendorffer, Ms. Lane! Do come in!

JANE: Damn closed-circuit cameras.

They open the door and go into the office.

Ms. Li is doing some paperwork as they come in.

MS. LI: Have a seat, girls.

Daria and Jane sit in a couple of chairs at the far end of the office.

MS. LI: No, come closer. I want to see your faces.

DARIA: (mumbles) And check for hidden microphones.

They drag their chairs closer and sit in silence.

MS. LI: Well, it's certainly good to see you both back at Laaawndale High. Ms. Lane, I trust you've been able to pull up your GPA sufficiently over the summer?

JANE: It's stellar.

MS. LI: Splendid! Then let's see about getting your schedule set for the next semester… (she pulls up some information on her computer) Well, I see that you've met your fine arts requirement several times over, there won't be any need to re-visit that for your senior year –

JANE: Actually, I had planned on at least one art course per semester. You know, it helps to break up the day a bit, and it's nice to have one "A" on my report card.

MS. LI: Well, that might be a bit difficult. You see, I'm afraid we won't be offering any art classes for the next year.

JANE: WHAT?

MS. LI: A dollar only stretches so far, Ms. Lane! I'm afraid there's just no room for Art in this year's budget. But, not to worry, we may be able to reinstate art classes by the time your own children are of high school age!

DARIA: Excuse me, but I believe that a certain portion of the budget is always dedicated to fine arts. While I'll agree it's a bit of a stretch to apply that term to most of the stuff that gets produced in this place, the money is still supposed to go to those programs.

MS. LI: Ms. Morgendorffer, I wholeheartedly agree with you. The money designated for the Fine Arts is being properly applied to the Laaawndale High Creative Dancing Squad and the repainting of the gymnasium, which was, I believe, defaced by none other than Ms. Lane here.

DARIA: Creative Dancing Squad?

JANE: Cheerleaders.

DARIA: Ah.

MS. LI: I deeply regret that the situation is how it is, but unless the school board allocates further funds, my hands are simply tied.

JANE: Hey, no problem. We'll go talk to the school board right now. Let's go, Daria.

MS. LI: Are you insane? I can't allow you two to cast dishonor onto Laaawndale High in such a manner! They might come to the conclusion that the budget is being mismanaged!

DARIA: Gee, where might they come up with that idea?

JANE: Besides, last time I checked, we could go talk to the school board with or without your permission.

MS. LI: Ms. Lane. Do you realize how easy it would be for me to decide that your Middleton credits are incompatible with the standards set here at Laaawndale High? It might not be possible to re-admit you at all, while we sort this whole mess out.

JANE: (angry) You wouldn't!

MS. LI: I'm afraid I might have no choice.

Silence.

DARIA: Suppose we could come up with sufficient funds on our own. Would you agree to spend those funds only for genuine art supplies, and not sneak it into the football budget somehow?

MS. LI: And just where are you two girls going to come up with five thousand dollars?

JANE: (incredulous) How much?

MS. LI: That's what I thought. Well, just to show that I'm willing to meet you halfway on this, I'm prepared to agree to your terms. If you ladies can come up with the otherwise unavailable portion of the fine arts budget on your own, I shall see to it that the money is dispensed according to the recommendations of the art department.

DARIA: Can we have that in writing?

MS. LI: No! Now go on, I have work to do!

JANE: So in reality, you just want us to come in here with five G's and hand it over to you so it can go toward new football uniforms or something. Thanks, but no thanks.

MS. LI: Really, Ms. Lane, if you insist on maintaining this pessimistic attitude, it may be necessary for you to have another round of self-esteem courses with Mr. O'Neill.

DARIA: How about we just take the money directly to the school board, then? We don't have to say that it's to cover what you euphemistically refer to as an "otherwise unavailable portion" – it's simply an anonymous grant.

MS. LI: Yes, yes, do what you want, just don't do it on school grounds!

Ms. Li buzzes the door open, and Daria and Jane exit.




INT: HALLWAY

Daria and Jane emerge from Ms. Li's office.

JANE: Can you believe that load of pig doots?

DARIA: Really. What a bitch.

The door behind them snaps open.

MS. LI: That will be one week's detention! Starting on Monday!

The door swings shut.

DARIA: Damn hidden microphones.

MS. LI: (over speaker) Two weeks!

VOICE: (from behind) Girls, you have to learn not to talk about Ms. Li that way.

Daria and Jane turn around. It's Claire DeFoe, the art teacher.

CLAIRE: (happily) Jane! Daria!

JANE: (smiling) Hey, Ms. DeFoe!

CLAIRE: Come with me, let me get you girls a drink!




INT: TEACHER'S LOUNGE

Daria and Jane sit on the lumpy couch while Claire pulls a few Ultra Colas from the fridge.

CLAIRE: (a bit downcast) I assume you've heard about the cut in the art budget. The word is, with no supplies and no classes, they've decided they don't need a teacher either. I've got a two-week grace period, and then I'm out on the street. Or back in my apartment, I haven't decided which is worse.

DARIA: They wouldn't really do that, would they?

CLAIRE: (shrugs) What's one more non-tenure art teacher to the Board of Education?

JANE: Come on, Miss DeFoe! You're the only thing that keeps this school from being a total joke! And when it comes down to it, you're the only teacher who ever really understood us. You know, helping us out with the poster contest last year, dealing with the morbid paintings we produce.

DARIA: "Still Death With Flowers" was one of my favorites.

CLAIRE: (shaking her head) You know, as much as I hate to admit it, Ms. Li did have one good point. You two could stand a little attitude adjustment from time to time. That cynical outlook serves you up to a point, but there is some good in the world. Tell you what, why don't you head over to O'Neill's classroom tomorrow and sit through just one self-esteem course. I should be able to work it so that that counts for some of your detention time.

DARIA: Miss DeFoe, with all due respect, I'd rather have a steak knife shoved four inches up my left nostril than listen to O'Neill prattle on about his child within.

CLAIRE: (sighs) Daria, humor me on this one. Look at the good that came out of your last time through the course. (she gestures to Jane)

Daria and Jane look at each other, and shrug.




EXT: LAWNDALE HIGH

The bell rings.




INT: O'NEILL'S CLASSROOM

Mr. O'Neill is speaking to the class from his desk. Daria and Jane are sitting in the very, very back row.

O'NEILL: Esteem... a teen. They don't really rhyme, do they? The sounds don't quite mesh. And that, in fact, is often the case when it comes to a teen and esteem. The two just don't seem to go together. But we are here to begin realizing your actuality. And when we do, each and every one of you will be able to stand proudly and proclaim, "I am." Now, before we go any further, let's watch this instructional and inspirational film called "Me, Myself, and I – United We Stand!"

O'Neill begins to fiddle with the projector.

DARIA: (whispering) What if I got into some essay contests? I might be able to pull down a few hundred that way.

JANE: Yeah, but not in two weeks. We need a lot of money fast to do Miss DeFoe any good.

DARIA: Could you sell some of your work?

JANE: If I could make that kind of cash selling my stuff, would I need to hit you up for pizza money?

DARIA: Good point.

O'NEILL: How does this silly thing work? If only the video hadn't gone missing…

JANE: We'll think of something, right?

DARIA: I'm not sure I've achieved that level of optimism yet. Maybe after the movie.

O'NEILL: Hmm… I wonder if the circuit breaker's gone out. I'll go check – Jane, can you let me know when it comes on?

JANE: Whatever.

O'Neill goes into a closet at the front of the room, and starts fiddling with switches.

O'NEILL: Is it on yet?

EVERYONE: No!

At the next flip, the projector comes to life – a bit too suddenly. The film reel snaps off and breaks open the back of the projector, throwing the full fury of its thousand-watt bulb into Jane's face. The fierce glare is accompanied by a terrible shriek of feedback from the speakers.

O'NEILL: Do you see the light?

JANE: (transfixed) The band…

O'NEILL: Jane, can you see the light?

JANE: The BAND!!

O'NEILL: Can you see the light?

JANE: YES!! YES!! I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT!!!

Jane leaps up and runs out of the room, stumbling over desks in her near-blindness.

DARIA: Jane?

She gets up and runs after her.

O'NEILL: (still in the electrical closet) Is it working yet?




EXT: LAWNDALE HIGH

Jane bursts outside, jumping uncharacteristically for joy.

Daria follows soon after.

DARIA: What the hell's got into you?

JANE: The band, Daria! The BAND!!

DARIA: The band?

Jane nods enthusiastically.

DARIA: (finally comprehending) Ah, the band.

Jane nods again.

DARIA: What about selling chocolate door to door?




EXT: LAWNDALE STREET

The Tank drives along a suburban road.




INT: THE TANK

Jane is talking enthusiastically, Daria is listening with something less than enthusiasm.

JANE: I'm telling you, it'll work! We set ourselves up as managers for the Spiral, line up some gigs for 'em, take a nice large slice off the top, boom! Five G's.

DARIA: We are talking about the same band here, right? Your brother's band? The really lousy one that's lucky if someone pays them a hundred dollars for a night of music?

JANE: It's all in the venue. Pick the right one, and everyone will be too plastered to notice what they're playing. Besides, you got a better idea?

DARIA: We could always sell some blood. Or organs. God gave us two kidneys for a reason, you know – Quinn would never miss one.

JANE: Let's at least give it a shot. I mean, what have we got to lose?

DARIA: Aside from the fact that it just plain won't work, the band split up.

JANE: WHAT? When the hell did this happen?

DARIA: Two months ago. I think. I wasn't one of the six people on their mailing list.

JANE: Six? That many?

DARIA: Four of them were the band.

JANE: Does Trent know where they all are?

DARIA: Probably, but that won't do us a lot of good, since I don't know where Trent is.

JANE: (a little miffed) You know, you could have at least kept in touch with my brother over the summer.

DARIA: I figured he probably wrote to you and told you what was going on.

JANE: He's not the kind of guy who writes letters. Besides, whenever I asked you about him, you said he was doing fine!

DARIA: I checked the obituaries every single day, and he never showed up. Look, you of all people should know how hard it can be to keep track of a Lane! Could you say within a thousand-mile radius where any of your siblings are at this moment? Or your parents, for that matter?

The Tank pulls in front of Daria's house.

JANE: Don't you have any idea where he could be?

DARIA: I do have one lead. We could follow up on it tonight or tomorrow.

JANE: Better than nothing, I guess.

DARIA: Oh, crap!

JANE: What?

DARIA: My mom is home.

JANE: Crap! In the middle of the day? That can't be good.

Helen comes out of the house and runs up to the Tank.

HELEN: Daria! I'm glad you're home. We need to go out shopping! (her voice drops an octave) It seems your Aunt Rita is getting married again. You'll need a dress for the occasion. Come on, we'll take my car. (Helen leaves without waiting for a reply)

DARIA: Damn, I haven't been forced to go shopping for six months. I hope she's not thinking of taking me to MOTM.

JANE: MOTM?

DARIA: Mall Of The Millennium.

HELEN: (from offscreen) Daria! Come on, let's get this over with! You can bring your little friend along if you like.

Daria makes as if to gun the motor and take off, then sighs and thinks better of it.

DARIA: Come on, little friend. Like the lady says, let's get it over with.

JANE: Who said I was going anywhere?

DARIA: You'd let me do this alone?

JANE: Oh, all right, I'll go with you. But the first chance we get, we're bugging out. And I'm driving the Tank – no way in hell I'm sitting in the car with your mom for two hours fielding questions about what I did this summer.

DARIA: That's fair.




EXT: MALL OF THE MILLENNIUM PARKING LOT, OUTER RING

Helen is getting out of the car on one side, Daria on the other. Jane is pulling the Tank into another parking space. They walk through the parking lot toward the conveniently located shuttlebus stop, about three hundred yards away.

DARIA: Let's just do this as quickly as possible. Jane and I have some things we need to take care of.

HELEN: Not to worry, dear, I have an expert ready to help on this. We're meeting Quinn at Cashman's.

Daria stops in her tracks.

DARIA: Did you say "Quinn"?

HELEN: Daria, I know the two of you don't always get along, but she is good at putting together an outfit and I frankly don't have the time today to do this with you.

JANE: (coming up from behind) So, Daria, where are we going first?

DARIA: Right here.

Daria gets into an electric cart parked conveniently by the outer ring shuttle bus stop.

HELEN: Er, now Daria, I appreciate that it's a long walk, but I don't think we're supposed to just take the carts like that.

DARIA: Hop in, Jane.

Jane does so.

HELEN: Now Daria, we should just wait here for the bus like everyone – HEY!!

Daria has floored the pedal and the cart takes off at a breakneck fifteen miles per hour.

HELEN: DARIA, GET BACK HERE THIS INSTANT!!

Helen runs with short high-heel steps to another security cart, where the security guard is sleeping.

HELEN: Get up, you! I need to go catch my daughter!

GUARD: Huh?

HELEN: Oh, move over!

Helen shoves the security guard into the passenger seat and peels out after Daria and Jane.




INT: DARIA AND JANE'S CART

Daria is taking the curves at maximum speed – which isn't much, but the cart isn't exactly designed for smooth cornering at any speed. The wind is whipping through their hair, more because it's windy than because they're going very fast, which they aren't.

JANE: First you lose track of my brother, then you buy the band's only source of transportation for a kettle drum, and now you're going to get yourself grounded and leave me to fix everything!

DARIA: She's not going to catch us! We're graduates of Self-Esteem class.

The cart hits a puddle on a curve and spins out, nearly making Jane lose her grip.

JANE: (threatening) Daria…




INT: HELEN'S CART

Helen is chasing Daria and Jane through the parking lot while the security guard holds on for dear life.

GUARD: Lady, you're gonna get us killed!

HELEN: Don't just sit there, call for backup or something!

GUARD: Uh, yeah, sure. (he picks up the CB radio) Uh, hello? This is Security twelve, Mount speaking. I'm in, er, high-speed pursuit of cart number 107, we're heading north through valet parking toward the Cashman's entrance. Um…

HELEN: Request Assistance!

GUARD: Right! Request assistance!




INT: DARIA AND JANE'S CART

Daria has recovered from her spin and is barreling between the expensive cars in valet parking.

DARIA: We'd be all right if I could just get us back into the outer ring lot.

Just then, the cart bumps hard over a divider and takes out the gate separating valet parking from normal parking. Several red-shirted valets are forced to dodge.

JANE: This don't look like outer ring parking to me!

DARIA: Don't yell at me!

JANE: What do you want me to do, you maniac?

DARIA: Try not to be so negative all the time!

JANE: You're telling me not to be negative?

DARIA: Okay, bad example. What do you suggest we do?

Daria careens around oncoming traffic, narrowly missing an approaching shuttlebus.

JANE: You could start by getting us out of this damned parking lot before you get us killed!

DARIA: You want to get out of the parking lot? (Daria makes a hard left) Okay…




INT: CASHMAN'S

Quinn is making a purchase.

SALESLADY: Will that be all?

QUINN: Hmm… I don't know, do you have this in pink?

The doors behind Quinn bang open as Daria drives through at top speed, crashing headlong through several clothing racks on the way. Quinn dives for cover, as do several other patrons, as Daria tears through Cashman's and out into the Mall. She is followed seconds later by Helen and her terrified passenger, as well as two other carts that have joined the chase.

QUINN: (bewildered) Mom?




INT: MALL

Daria's cart whips out onto the polished faux marble tiles, leaving skid marks as it goes. People dodge out of the way left and right as she "speeds" along.

JANE: (pointing to the left) Hey, there's the Fuzzy-Wuzzy Wee-Bits shop.

DARIA: Yeah. Lots of crap in this mall.

The cart barrels down the straightaway, with Daria leaning on the horn. It makes a fairly pathetic electronic squeak, but it gets people out of the way. Since the display stands can't get out of the way, she simply plows through them.

Helen is right behind.

HELEN: Daria! Get back here this instant! You are going to get a dress for your Aunt Rita's wedding if I have to – (her cell phone rings, she picks it up) – Hello? Eric, this really isn't the best time…

Daria's cart plows through the food court, knocking chairs, tables, and trash cans aside.

JANE: (pointing) Moo Shu Fork.

DARIA: Yeah.

Leaving the food court behind, they pick up speed down a ramp and are able to gain enough momentum to crash through an earring display.

DARIA: (pointing off to one side) Feelin' Feety.

JANE: Damn, this place has got everything.

DARIA: Everything but taste.

Helen's cart crunches through the remains of the food court and drops down the ramp, but the other cart in pursuit trips up on an overturned trash can and flips onto its roof Fortunately, its occupants are buckled in. The cart slides down the ramp and comes to a halt in front of the Doo-Dads store.

Daria and Jane loop around the center of the Mall and start heading back the way they came. On the way, they crash through several clothing racks, and some of the clothes get tangled up on their cart.

DARIA: Looks like they got the roller coaster fixed.

Helen comes around the turn and jams the pedal down. She begins to close the gap.

HELEN: (on phone) No, Eric, I don't have the briefs on the Morrison case with me. (pause) If I told you, you wouldn't believe me. Look, I'm really going to have to call you back at some other time! (pause) Yes, of course I'm always available, just not right now!

Daria and Jane are headed back toward the food court.

DARIA: There's the Doo-Dad Shop.

JANE: What the hell is a doo-dad, anyway?

DARIA: Never did figure that one out.

Daria yanks the wheel hard over and barely misses the previously overturned security cart.

HELEN: (on phone) Well, I can be back at the office in just a few minutes, I just have to pick up my daughter.

GUARD: Look out! (cringes)

Helen's cart strikes the overturned one, spinning it like a top. Helen doesn't even notice but continues on.

Daria and Jane skirt around a large fountain and make for the picture window at the far end of the food court. Helen hits a bandstand in front of the fountain instead and plunges in with a colossal splash.

HELEN: My phone! They broke my phone!!




EXT: PARKING LOT

Daria's cart smashes through the window, lands heavily on the asphalt, and tears away between the endless rows of cars. No one is left to chase them.

JANE: You forgot to trash the Nutty Nutty Nutty World Nut Stand.

DARIA: We'll get that one on the next mall chase.




INT: MALL, FOUNTAIN

Helen is dripping wet in the dripping wet cart next to the dripping wet guard, holding the remains of her dripping wet phone.

HELEN: That girl is so grounded.




EXT: PARKING LOT

It's twilight. Daria pulls the cart up behind the Tank.

JANE: Well, that was fun. Now have you though about how we're going to get anything useful accomplished with your Mom on your case?

DARIA: I have a two part plan in mind. (indicates the clothes trailing from the back of the cart) First, let's get some of these threads into the Tank. We'll need them.

JANE: Second?

DARIA: We go to the last place Helen would ever think of looking for me.




EXT: DARIA'S HOUSE

Music: Peter Gunn Theme

The Tank pulls into a spot down the street and a short way around the corner. Unnoticed by Daria and Jane, another car, a big red 1970's era Chevy, is parked opposite the Morgendorffer residence.

The Tank's side door opens, revealing Daria and Jane dressed in black suits, white shirts, black ties, black hats, and sunglasses. Jane looks at Daria.

JANE: You know, Daria, I think we've found a good look for you.

DARIA: Come here for a moment. I don't think that tie is tight enough.

Daria tries to exit the Tank and misses the step, stumbling into a nearby tree.

DARIA: Ouch! Damn sunglasses!

She replaces the sunglasses with her regular ones.

JANE: Come on, Daria, where's your sense of cool?

DARIA: I'd rather have my sense of sight, thank you very much.

They walk in a very cool manner, in time with the music, up to the front door, where Daria starts digging in her pocket for the key.

Meanwhile, from the driver's side window of the car across the street, a length of PVC pipe emerges. We see for a moment Jane's head lined up in crosshairs from the unseen driver's point of view.

Just as Daria locates the key, a loud, explosive –POP- makes her and Jane jump aside. A large Idaho potato strikes the door and splatters, followed by two others which take out a garden gnome and the window beside the door, respectively. The red car peels out into the night.

In a moment, Daria and Jane get up, brush themselves off, and enter the house without further acknowledgement of the incident.




INT: MORGENDORFFER HOME

Daria brushes off a few remaining pieces of potato and ceramic bits from the late garden gnome as she enters. Quinn comes running up to her, not looking very closely at first.

QUINN: Daria, have you seen Mom? She was supposed to meet me at the Mall and I thought I saw her chasing someone in one of those little electric carts but that can't be right and what are you wearing?

DARIA: Oh, hi Quinn. Gee, I can't imagine what might have happened with Mom. You might not want to ask her about it, she seemed really upset about something earlier. You know how she gets.

QUINN: One thing at a time, Daria. Just how geeky do you think you can dress before someone locks you up for it?

DARIA: You remember Jane, right? She just got out of summer school, she'll be staying here tonight.

QUINN: Whatever. Just keep it down, I'm expecting some important calls.

Daria starts to head upstairs.

JAKE: (in the living room, not looking around) Is that you, Daria? Did you get my Cheez Whiz?

Daria reaches into her pocket, pulls out a can of aerosol cheez, and tosses it to Jake.

JAKE: Thanks, kiddo! (He immediately tilts back his head and squirts a fair portion of cheez into his mouth)




INT: DARIA'S ROOM

Daria and Jane enter.

DARIA: It ain't much, but it's… let's just leave it at that, actually.

The phone rings.

QUINN: (from downstairs) That's for me!

JANE: How often does the phone ring?

DARIA: So often you won't even notice it.

Indeed, Quinn's chatter continues constantly through the rest of the scene. Daria turns on the TV.

TV: Are late-night television variety shows re-writing their tired old acts into feature films? A Sick-Sad-World exclusive, next!

JANE: How the hell are we supposed to get the band back together? You can't seriously think your Mom is going to let you off easy on this one, and besides, I think she knows where you live.

DARIA: This is the last place she'll look, believe me. She'll start with your place, and Trent put a notice on the door two months ago that says the Lanes moved to 1060 West Madison.

JANE: (crashing onto Daria's bed) 1060 West Madison? That's the Lions' practice field.

DARIA: Uh-huh. As long as we're up by noon, we should be able to get out before she thinks of looking here. (yawns) Damn, I'm really whipped.

Daria is about to flop down on her bed when she sees that Jane has fallen asleep there.

DARIA: Hey, that's my bed!

Daria looks angry for a moment, then shrugs, throws a blanket down on the floor, and pulls Jane off the bed onto it. Jane doesn't even stir.

DARIA: Who do you think you are, Goldilocks? My house, my bed.

She lies down and is almost instantly asleep.




THE FOLLOWING MORNING…




INT: DARIA'S ROOM

Daria and Jane are still asleep, and still dressed in the same black suits.




EXT: MORGENDORFFER HOME

The same red car as before pulls up. Its driver gets out – we can't see who it is. The figure walks over to a large, towering tree in the Morgendorffer front yard that somehow we've never noticed, and fires up a chain saw.




INT: MORGENDORFFER HOME, UPSTAIRS HALLWAY.

Helen is pounding on Quinn's door.

HELEN: Quinn! Get up!! Where is your sister?

QUINN: (through door) Mo-OM! She's in her room!

HELEN: That's impossible, she never came home last night!

QUINN: (opens door – she looks "morning") Of course she did! She and her weird friend came in dressed like morticians or something and went straight up to her room. They've been snoring all night! (Quinn listens carefully, and hears the chain saw outside) Sounds like they're still at it.

HELEN: She's in her room? I've been driving around all night, you wouldn't believe where I've been, trying to find your sister, and you're telling me she's been in her room the whole time?

QUINN: Well where else would she be, the Lions' practice field?

HELEN: (dangerously) Don't go there, young lady.

QUINN: Look, she's in her room, I'll prove it to you.

They head down the hall to Daria's room. Quinn tries the knob.

QUINN: Locked. Give me a moment…

Quinn extracts a hairpin from her tangled tresses and begins to work on the doorknob. After a moment…

QUINN: Got it!

Helen practically shoves Quinn aside and shoulders open the door to Daria's room, failing to notice a loud –crack- just outside.

HELEN: You've got a lot of explaining to do, young lady!

Before Daria can even budge, an immense tree crashes through her window and wall, followed by a good portion of the roof that mostly buries everyone in the room, but misses Quinn as she hadn't actually come in yet.

There's a moment of still silence, broken only by the red car once more peeling out and cruising off down the street.

QUINN: (a little scared) M-mom?

Slowly, the rubble begins to move. Daria and Jane struggle out from under the remains of the room's walls and ceiling, brushing themselves off.

DARIA: Hey Quinn, what time is it?

Quinn doesn't speak.

JANE: Never mind. Let's go to work, amiga.

They slip past a still-stunned Quinn, down the stairs, and drive off in the Tank.

Helen struggles out of the rubble a moment later.

HELEN: (through gritted teeth) Both of those girls are so grounded.

QUINN: Um… look on the bright side, Mom. At least the walls were padded.

Helen shoots Quinn a look that would kill a small animal at thirty paces.




EXT: LAWNDALE SUBURBAN STREET

The Tank pulls a dangerous U-Turn in front of oncoming traffic and stops in front of an average suburban home.

Daria and Jane get out.

JANE: Owning this van has seriously affected your driving.

DARIA: What can I say, it gives you a feeling of power knowing you're bigger than anyone else on the road. Besides, it's safer for me to drive like a maniac. The faster I go, the less time I spend on the street, and that's better for all concerned.

JANE: That's twisted, convoluted logic. I like it.

They approach the door to the house and ring the bell.

After a moment, Mrs. Johanssen answers.

MRS. J: (Struggling to catch her breath) What do you want? (she looks back and forth at the girls) Look, if this is about those bad checks, it was the bank's damn fault for not telling me my account was gettin' low!

JANE: No ma'am, it's –

MRS. J: And I don't want to join your weird religion, either!

DARIA: We were just wondering –

MRS. J: (suddenly interested) You're not selling chocolate by any chance, are you?

DARIA: Told you that would have been a good idea.

JANE: Mrs. Johnson, I was hoping you could –

MRS. J: That's Johanssen! Yo-han-sen!

DARIA: Ma'am, is there a Max Tyler or Nicholas Campbell living here?

MRS. J: They moved out last month, and good riddance to 'em.

JANE: May we come in, Ma'am?

MRS. J: You got any chocolate?

Jane digs in her pocket and comes up with a handful of Tootsie Rolls™.

MRS. J: That ain't real chocolate! (she grabs the Tootsie Rolls™ anyway) But it'll do in a pinch. Come on in.




INT: MRS. JOHANSSEN'S HOUSE

MRS. J: I'll be right back, girls. Make yourselves comfy, just don't sit on the furniture or anything. I don't know where you've been. (She leaves the room, gulping the Tootsie Rolls™ down)

DARIA: Why did we need to come in?

JANE: (pulls out a camera) I wanted some Polaroids. (She snaps a few pictures)

Mrs. Johanssen returns with a gallon of milk, which she starts drinking straight from the bottle.

MRS. J: Okay, what can I do for you girls?

DARIA: Did the boys leave a forwarding address of any kind? Or a phone number?

MRS. J: Nope.

JANE: Did they live quietly? What were their personal habits?

MRS. J: Couple of hoodlums if you ask me. (she noisily guzzles more milk) Makin' all that noise all the time, pretendin' to be some kind of rock band. I tell you, if it weren't for the fact that they brung me all that chocolate, I would've had 'em out on the street a long time ago.

JANE: Can you give us any idea where they might have gone?

DARIA: Perhaps they left some incriminating evidence in their room?

MRS. J: How should I know? Their room was upstairs. I don't go there, it ain't worth the effort.

JANE: Would you do it for a Scooby Snack?

MRS. J: Huh?

DARIA: Never mind. With your permission, we'd like to check their room.

MRS. J: Who are you, anyway? The police?

DARIA: No ma'am. We're high school students.




INT: MRS. JOHANSSEN'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS BEDROOM

Jane and Daria are sifting through boxes and junk.

JANE: Good thing she passed out. I doubt she would have let us come up here otherwise.

DARIA: Find anything yet?

JANE: (Stands up slowly, holding a business card) I think so.

She hands the card over to Daria, who looks it over

CARD: "Trent's Tunes – live every Thursday at the Liquid Lunch Lounge"

DARIA: Sounds like a lead.




INT: LIQUID LUNCH LOUNGE

Trent is onstage in a glittery smoking jacket, singing while Jesse (similarly dressed, but without a shirt) plays a guitar behind him.

TRENT: Her name was Lola,
she was a Showgirl!
With yellow feathers in her hair,
and her dress cut down to there!

Trent continues to sing as Daria and Jane take seats.

JANE: I had no idea it had gotten this bad for him.

DARIA: It's troubling to see someone reach rock-bottom. Especially when there are so many others who deserve it so much more richly than Trent.

TRENT: At the Copa! Copacabana! The hottest spot north of Havana!

Daria and Jane wait out the song to its conclusion. At the end, Trent takes a bow, and no one applauds.

TRENT: Thanks. I'm Trent. This is Jesse. We're Trent's Tunes, but we're thinking of changing the name. We'll be back with more of your favorites after this short break, so until then, get something to drink, or whatever.

Moments later, Trent and Jesse are sitting at the table with Daria and Jane.

TRENT: Hey Janey. Hey Daria. It's cool seeing you guys again. Listen, can I borrow some cash, I've been a little short lately.

JANE: Trent, no one should have to do what you just did to make a living, so if I had any money, I'd have given it to you already. Besides, as I recall, you still owe me for the bail money on the Fremont gig.

JESSE: (to Trent) And you still owe me a shirt.

DARIA: Look guys, we came here for something bigger than that. We're… damn it, I just can't say it with a straight face.

TRENT: Daria, you don't have any other kind of face.

JANE: We're putting the band back together.

JESSE: What band?

JANE: "What band," he asks. The band! Mystik Spiral!

TRENT: Oh. I don't know, Janey. I mean, look at us. We've sold out. We can't go back to what we once were.

DARIA: Who would have thought that Mystik Spiral in its heyday would someday be considered an impossible dream?

JESSE: Yeah.

TRENT: Besides, the other guys split. They're working for the Man, now. You'll never get them back.

DARIA: Where are they?

TRENT: Ah, forget it. Max is the Maitre D' at Chez Pierre. And Nick got married, he bought into a Pizza King franchise.

JESSE: Yeah.

TRENT: They're not going back to the band, not now that they got steady paychecks. Sorry Janey, it just isn't gonna work. Believe me, I wish it would.

JANE: Oh yeah? Well me and Daria, we got a secret weapon.

DARIA: We're graduates of Self-Esteem class.

JANE: I was going to say razor-sharp wit and cutting-edge sarcasm, but that'll do. Oh, and Trent, tell me you have a change of clothes.

Trent looks down at his sparkly jacket, and shrugs.




INT: CHEZ PIERRE

Max is dressed in a tuxedo, talking on the phone. He is still bald but has removed his various body-piercing rings.

MAX: It's mostly French food. (pause) We can arrange for French Fries if you like, but they're not a usual item on the menu. (pause) Yes, we do have the Quinn table available for tomorrow night.

Daria and Jane approach. Max doesn't see them at first.

MAX: Very good then, that's a reservation for Jerome, tomorrow at seven. (pause) Ah, yes, excuse me. (He scratches out the name he just wrote in and writes "Jamie")

Tired of waiting, Jane reaches out and taps him on his bald head.

MAX: AAHHH! Dammit Jane, don't do that! (pause, then into phone) No, not you sir, I have your name correctly, it's James. (pause) Yes, that's what I said, I'll see you tomorrow at seven. (hangs up) What the hell are you doing here?

JANE: Max. How wonderful it is to see you. Your head is looking particularly shiny these days, you know that?

MAX: Listen, Jane, Daria, it's great to see you guys, but I'm kind of busy right now. Could you come back later, maybe we could get some pizza or something?

JANE: Don't be ridiculous, Max! We're here to celebrate my successful completion of Summer School! We'll need a table for two, nonsmoking, and I'm sure that you could ignore that pesky drinking age law for old friends, right? Come on, Daria, let's go get some grub.

MAX: Um, Jane, I really don't think this is a good idea…

JANE: Nonsense! (she sweeps by Max and pulls Daria to a nearby table)

MAX: But Jane, I have to – (phone rings, he grabs it) Good evening, Chez Pierre – Jane, wait a second! – Sir, could you call back in about five minutes?

Jane and Daria sit at an available table. Jane pulls out the wine list while Daria fidgets.

DARIA: Um, Jane, what are you up to?

JANE: Getting Max fired. Or at least convincing him to quit.

DARIA: Couldn't we just ask him to come back to the band?

JANE: And miss out on all this fun? Besides, I'm hungry.

Max, meanwhile, is dealing with customers at the door

MAX: I'm terribly sorry, we'll get you a table as soon as possible.

He cringes as Jane splits the air with a piercing whistle.

JANE: (from offscreen) What's a girl got to do to get service in this place?

MAX: Excuse me, please… (he runs off to the dining room)

A waiter has arrived at Jane and Daria's table.

WAITER: We have the Dom Perignon '71, at $120 a bottle.

DARIA: Has anyone ever told you that you look just like Pee-Wee Herman?

WAITER: Er…

JANE: Sounds like good bubbly. We'll take it.

Max approaches the table, nervously.

MAX: Um, Jane, the food here is really expensive. They charge you five bucks for a damn Coke, and you don't even get free refills. Come on, let's go somewhere else, we'll get some pizza – my treat.

JANE: We're putting the band back together, Max.

MAX: (wide-eyed) Forget it. No way. That band sucked.

DARIA: I agree. But it's the only band we've got.

JANE: It's for a good cause, Max!

MAX: You two never do anything for a good cause. You're cynical and pessimistic.

DARIA: We're graduates of Self-Esteem class.

MAX: What the hell is that supposed to mean?

JANE: You got me, she's the one who keeps saying it.

Suddenly, waiters arrive with trays of appetizers and champagne on ice.

MAX: What the hell is all this?

DARIA: Don't ask me, I can't even pronounce most of it.

From the next table, a familiar voice calls.

SANDI: Excuse me? Sir?

Max leaves Daria and Jane's table and goes to the one next to it, which is occupied by Sandi, Tiffany, Stacy, and three guys.

MAX: Yes Miss, how are your salads?

SANDI: Well, I clearly asked for dressing on the side, but that's beside the point. We'd like another table please – away from those two… people.

MAX: I'm sorry, have they been bothering you?

SANDI: Just look at them! I mean, look at the way they're dressed! I would have thought a place like this would have standards!

TIFFANY: They're wearing men's clothing… that's so wrong…

STACY: And it's out-of-date besides!

MAX: I'll, um, see if I can get you another table.

Meanwhile, a waiter has uncorked Daria and Jane's champagne.

JANE: Could we have straws, please?

DARIA: And I'd kind of like mine in a mug. Got a mug?

Jane notices Sandi at the next table, and wheels her chair over there.

JANE: Hey, ladies! What's going on?

SANDI: Excuse me?

JANE: Oh Sandi, it's you! Say listen, I'm still waiting to hear about my potential entrance into the Fashion Club. You know, you said yesterday how much you loved my outfit!

She smacks Sandi on the back in a "buddies" kind of way, with the result that Sandi spits her water all over the table.

TIFFANY: Sandi… ew…

Max sees what's going on and pulls Jane away, back to her table.

MAX: What the hell are you doing? The owners are gonna make me throw you out!

JANE: You wouldn't throw us out, would you Max?

DARIA: She just got out of summer school – she's been eating school cafeteria food for months. You can't throw us out, it would be inhumane.

JANE: We're putting the band back together, Max…

MAX: I said no! I've got actual money in my pocket for the first time in my life, Jane! Don't do this to me!

Jane spins back over to the Fashion Club's table, where she plants a kiss on Sandi's cheek. Sandi chokes violently on her latest bite of salad as Jane scoots back to Max.

JANE: Come on, Max! You're the only drummer who's ever been able to produce a beat that all three of the other guys can actually follow! Whatever happened to the Criminalé, Max?

MAX: I can't do it, Jane!

DARIA: We've already got Trent and Jesse. We're getting Nick next.

MAX: No way.

JANE: Max. Do not say no to me. There will be terrible consequences if you say no to me.

MAX: Like what?

DARIA: Don't ask questions you really don't want the answer to, Max.

Max swallows hard.

MAX: All right, I'll do it.

JANE: Cool! Great chow, Max. We'll have to come again sometime. Bye-bye, Sandi darling!

Jane and Daria exit. Max sits down and takes a big swig from Daria's untouched mug of champagne.

TIFFANY: Sandi, you know that girl? But… she's so weird…

STACY: (hesitantly) Does this mean that we should all start wearing men's clothing, Sandi?

SANDI: NO!!! (to herself) This isn't happening… where the hell is that Maitre'D?

Max belches loudly, earning dirty looks from everyone in the room.




EXT: PARK

The Tank is taking a "shortcut" through a park, but has found itself caught in major traffic. The road seems to be blocked off due to some kind of commotion up ahead.

A major crowd has gathered surrounding a small bridge that crosses a stream. On the bridge is Brittany and the Lawndale Cheerleading Squad.

BRITTANY: (through a megaphone) All right girls, let's pump up the spirit! L! A! W-N! D, A, L, E! Play real hard and run real fast, lead us to Victory! Goooo LIONS!!!

The cheerleaders jump about wildly, waving their pompoms while the crowd cheers.

BRITTANY: (addressing the crowd) Come on, everyone, let's show our support for Lawndale! (chanting) Lawn-dale-High! Lawn-dale-High!

CHEERLEADERS: LAWN-DALE-HIGH! LAWN-DALE-HIGH!!

CROWD: LAWN-DALE-HIGH! LAWN-DALE-HIGH!!

Meanwhile, back at the Tank, Daria and Jane are fidgeting and waiting for the traffic to move. Kevin passes by the driver's side window.

DARIA: (shouting) Hey, Kevin!

KEVIN: Hey dude!

DARIA: It's me, Kevin. Daria.

KEVIN: Oh! Nice threads, Daria. But, they kind of make you look like a guy. Are you sure you're not Daria's brother?

DARIA: What the hell is holding up all the traffic?

KEVIN: Come on, Daria! It's Homecoming! The cheerleaders are out drumming up some school spirit! Gooooo LAWNDALE!!

Kevin drums his hands briefly on the Tank's hood, then runs off a-hootin' and a-hollerin'.

DARIA: (derisively) Lawndale Cheerleaders.

JANE: (similar tone) I hate Lawndale Cheerleaders.

Daria puts the Tank in gear, drives around the line of stopped cars, and heads toward the bridge where the cheerleaders are forming a pyramid. From the top of the stack, Brittany sees them approach.

BRITTANY: Eep!

Daria guns the motor as the Tank hits the bridge. The cheerleaders leap for their lives over the side into the water. As a bonus, Kevin falls in as well.

The crowd thinks this is the best trick yet, and they applaud wildly as the Tank drives on.

BRITTANY: (dripping wet) Kevvy!

KEVIN: Yo, Babe!

BRITTANY: Kevvy, my hair is ruined! And my pompoms are all soggy!

KEVIN: They look hot to me, babe! You should wear wet T-shirts more often!

BRITTANY: Ooooh!! Shut up, you jerk! (she shoves Kevin's head under the water. He comes up sputtering a moment later, and Brittany grabs him by his football jersey) Kevvy, listen to this! If you ever want to get your hands on my "pompoms" again, you'll find out who was driving that thing and kill him for me!

KEVIN: Hmm… I think it was Daria's brother…




EXT: DEGAS STREET

The Tank cruises along the street, and pulls up to a stop outside of the Pizza King.

DARIA: Now Jane, you're not going to pull the same crap you did back at Chez Pierre, are you?

JANE: Are you kidding? The kind of people who go here wouldn't notice if I shaved my head, painted it green, and beamed into the center of the place claiming to be the ambassador from planet Zorgox.

DARIA: Hm. Let's try it anyway.

JANE: Just follow my lead. I've got an angle on this one.

DARIA: Ho boy.




INT: PIZZA KING

Daria and Jane enter and slide up to the counter. Monique comes out of the kitchen to take their order.

MONIQUE: What do you guys want? (she takes a second look) Sorry, girls. It's the suits.

JANE: Remind me to ask you again why we're dressed this way.

DARIA: Later. (to Monique) You got any potatoes?

MONIQUE: No, this is a Pizza place.

DARIA: I'll have some french-fried potatoes, please.

MONIQUE: Hello? We don't have any!

DARIA: With cheese.

MONIQUE: Whatever. (to Jane) And what do you want?

JANE: Got any pizza?

MONIQUE: No, we call ourselves Pizza King because of the frankfurters. What the hell do you think?

JANE: I'll have four anchovy and mandarin orange pizzas, please. And a Coke.

MONIQUE: You look a little skinny to eat four slices, kid. They're pretty big.

JANE: No. Four Pizzas. And a Coke.

DARIA: And some cheese fries, please.

MONIQUE: (exasperated) You want anything to drink with that?

DARIA: No, ma'am.

JANE: A Coke.

MONIQUE: Sure. I'll be right back.




INT: KITCHEN

Monique heads back into the Kitchen where Nick is busy making a pizza.

MONIQUE: Hey, Nick!

NICK: Yes, love?

MONIQUE: There's these two girls out there dressed like the Reservoir Dogs who want weird stuff to eat. So I figured they were friends of yours.

NICK: Weird stuff to eat? Like what?

MONIQUE: The one with the big round glasses wants French fries, with cheese on 'em.

NICK: That is weird.

MONIQUE: And the other one wants four whole pizzas with anchovies and mandarin oranges. And a Coke.

NICK: Wait a second… It can't be… (he drops the pizza dough he was flipping and runs out)




INT: PIZZA KING, DINING AREA

Nick comes dashing out of the kitchen.

NICK: Jane! And… Jane's friend!

JANE: Hey Nick! How's it going?

NICK: Hey, it's all right. You know, married, job, that kind of thing. How was summer school?

JANE: Ech. Let's not talk about that. You know, they made pizza with ketchup? And government cheese?

NICK: Hmm… I wonder who their suppliers are…

DARIA: Jane, stop giving the boy nifty ideas.

JANE: Right. Nick – we're putting the band back together. We need you on bass guitar.

NICK: (panicking) Not so loud! She'll hear you!

MONIQUE: Nick! Did I hear something about a bass guitar?

Monique re-emerges from the kitchen, looking displeased.

NICK: No, dear. She said, um, "replace the car". They're car salesmen.

MONIQUE: Nick, you are not going back to that grunge band! We decided this together, we'll work here for a while, make some money, and start our own band. Mystik Spiral sucked!

DARIA: (aside to Jane) And he was one-quarter of the reason.

MONIQUE: Remember, when we first got together, we agreed that I was the smart one and therefore I make the important decisions in our relationship, and you say "yes, dear."

DARIA: Probably keeps the two of you from breaking up every other week, like you did with Trent.

MONIQUE: Hey, that spineless narcoleptic wouldn't know a good thing if it jumped out from under his bed and started playing his guitar.

JANE: There are no good things under Trent's bed. I've looked. (shudders)

MONIQUE: Exactly, and I – wait a minute. How do you guys know so much about me and Trent?

NICK: (sighs) Monique dear, this is Jane. Trent's sister. And this is, um, her friend.

JANE: Look, Monique, it's really important we get Nick for this gig. We'll bring him right back when we're done with him.

DARIA: You see, we're graduates of self-esteem class.

Everyone looks at Daria.

JANE: You keep saying that. I don't think it's really as impressive as you think it is.

DARIA: It's all I've got to cling to at the moment.

MONIQUE: Wait a minute. Aren't you that girl who was getting the navel piercing with Trent at Axl's that one time?

NICK: Nah, you're probably thinking of that other girl, you know, with the green hair and the –

DARIA: Um, actually... yeah.

NICK: Huh? Really? I never heard about this.

DARIA: It wasn't my proudest moment, okay? Can we move on?

MONIQUE: Go right ahead, and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. But Nick stays here.

JANE: You gonna let her talk to you like that, Nick?

NICK: Aw, Honey! It's been so long, can't I go and do just one gig?

MONIQUE: It's never just one gig, you know that! It starts with one, and pretty soon you're right back at the Zon every Sunday night!

NICK: (wistful) God, do I ever miss those days.

JANE: Want 'em back? We got your ticket.

DARIA: The Tank's right outside.

NICK: Please?

MONIQUE: No.

NICK: Aw, come on!

DARIA: That'll convince her.

JANE: We'll be waiting in the van. Let's go, Daria.

DARIA: Huh?

JANE: Trust me.




EXT: PIZZA KING

Daria and Jane are sitting in the Tank, when Nick comes up with his guitar case.

JANE: She threw you out?

NICK: (downcast) Yeah.

JANE: Don't worry about it, kid. There's a whole new horizon out there waiting for you. The triumphant return of Mystik Spiral!

DARIA: God help us.

JANE: Hop in the back. Oh, but could you snag us a pizza first? We're still kind of hungry.

Nick turns back to the restaurant.

DARIA: How'd you know he'd win?

JANE: Is that the face of a winner? He lost, Daria.

DARIA: So, how'd you know he'd lose?

JANE: I've seen Monique break up with Trent forty-seven times. You learn to recognize the signs, believe me.

DARIA: That was your plan? Get Monique mad enough at him so she'd break up with him? Nasty of you.

JANE: Actually, I went in there on the assumption that she'd be thrilled to get rid of him. You'll feel the same way after being cooped up with him in this van for a while. (shrugs) Sometimes you gotta improvise. Damn, where's that pizza?




EXT: DEGAS STREET

The Tank pulls up outside a secondhand music & instrument store.

JANE: Why here? This place is a dump.

DARIA: Jane, we have sixty-eight dollars and fourteen cents between us, and that's got to gas up the Tank and get us to the gig, in addition to providing lunch for everyone, as well as all the instruments, microphones, and amplifiers. We couldn't get a rusty harmonica at a real music store, let alone three guitars and a drum kit. This is the only place in town we can even remotely begin to afford.

JANE: Couldn't we just, you know, steal the instruments?

Daria glares at Jane.

JANE: It's for a good cause! And we'd bring them right back!

TRENT: (slides forward from the back of the van) Hey guys, don't worry about it. Me and this guy go way back. I helped him out once, he'll help us out now.

DARIA: He knows you? This does not bode well.

Daria, Jane, and the band exit the Tank and head into the music store. The sign over the door reads "Happy Herb's Used Instruments".




INT: HAPPY HERB'S

Everyone files in through the door, checking out various pieces of musical gear.

HERB: HEY!!!

EVERYONE: AAAAH!!

Herb has jumped up from behind the counter and scared everyone half to death. Daria, naturally, composes herself first.

DARIA: Happy Herb, I presume?

HERB: That's right, I'm Happy Herb and I sell instruments, so come on down!

JANE: Why is he advertising if we're already in the store?

TRENT: Hey Herb. Remember me? Trent, from Mystik Spiral?

HERB: Hmm…

TRENT: You know, "If you need a new car, or your present car sucks –"

HERB: Hey, you're the guy who wrote me that jingle for the car lot!

TRENT: (smiling) Yeah, that's me.

HERB: (frowns) I went out of business the following week.

TRENT: Oh. Sorry, dude.

JANE: Look, Herb. Whatever your past difficulties are with my associate here, let's consider it water under the bridge. We need three guitars, a drum set, microphones, amplifiers, mixing board, the works. What do you got?

HERB: (jovial again) I got all you need! Check it all out, got your guitars over here, got your drums here –

DARIA: We got thirty bucks.

HERB: Got a rusty harmonica right here.

JANE: How about we have the band do a jingle for you?

HERB: Lady, I was a used car salesman. Don't think for one moment that you can put something over on me. I am the King of putting things over on people. Besides, that guy lost me my business last time!

DARIA: Sales dropped that much over a lousy commercial jingle?

TRENT: Hey, I worked hard on that.

HERB: No, they shot through the roof. How was I supposed to know I'd need to stock the lot with decent cars? Lemons were all I had – do you know what a class action lawsuit can do to a guy?

JANE: Well I'm sure enthusiastic about getting our hands on some of this guy's merchandise.

NICK: Eww!

JANE: (glares at Nick) Look, we don't have time to be choosy. We'll pick out the stuff we need, and record a jingle with it right here. You said yourself that business got brisk after you played it the last time – so this time, just make sure you have some good instruments to sell. What do you say?

HERB: Hmm… ah, what the hell. I haven't made a sale in two weeks, what have I got to lose?

DARIA: Pride?

JANE: Too late.

A BIT LATER…

Trent and the Band are set up and singing.

TRENT: If you need a new guitar, or you've blown all your amps,

JESSE: Go to Happy Herbs with a few hundred clams,

TRENT: Then you can play Rock,

JESSE: You can play Blues!

TRENT: You can play "Don't step on my Blue Suede Shoes",

JESSE: We have a full assortment of accessories and picks,

TRENT: Guys who play guitar always get lots of chicks!

TOGETHER: So come down to Herbs – get your ass to Herbs! Located conveniently right here in the 'burbs!

The last note fades into silence.

The silence goes on a bit longer.

DARIA: That was… what's the word I'm looking for?

HERB: That was great!

DARIA: Um, yes. That's exactly what I was going to say. It was great. Nice doing business with you, Herb. Jane, can I speak to you alone while the guys pack up the instruments?

Daria and Jane head off to the side.

DARIA: Jane, are you absolutely sure that this is the best way to go about making five thousand dollars? They're even worse than I remember! And that's saying a lot.

JANE: So they're a little rusty.

DARIA: The wreck of the Titanic is a little rusty. These guys are disintegrating into little brownish-orange heaps.

JANE: Look, we've gone too far to back out now –

DARIA: That's a misconception. It's never too late to back out.

JANE: - and, last time I checked, you didn't have a better idea.

DARIA: (sighs) I'll get the microphone stands.




EXT: HIGHWAY

The Tank, and a rusted-out vehicle with "Pizza King" stenciled on the side, cruise along a highway and pull into a roadside diner. Everyone gets out of the vehicles.

JANE: Hey guys, why don't you all run in and get some cheeseburgers. I need to call someone.

MAX: You're setting up the gig, right?

JANE: Max, I begin to think you don't trust me. That hurts, you know.

The band heads into the diner. Daria stays behind.

JANE: Daria, you could get some food too, you know.

DARIA: No. I don't trust you. Who are you calling?

Jane starts walking toward the phone booth.

JANE: Believe me, it's better if you don't know about it.

DARIA: Jane, the moment you start keeping me in the dark about things, I'm taking my van and going home.

JANE: To your mother?

DARIA: Touché. But still.

JANE: All right. I'm calling someone I swore I'd never, ever call again, and I'll only tell you about it if you promise not to get pissed off.

DARIA: Okay…

They reach the phone. Jane picks up the receiver.

JANE: It's someone with connections.

DARIA: No help.

JANE: Someone who would probably be willing to help us.

DARIA: Now I can't imagine who you could be talking about.

JANE: Someone with a lot of money.

DARIA: (Frowns dangerously) Jane...

JANE: (sighs) Someone named Tom.

DARIA: Hang up that phone right now.

JANE: Do you think I'm happy about this? But look, I figure he owes me one for the lousy, crappy way he stabbed me in the back and nearly ripped our friendship apart.

DARIA: And after all that, you want Tom Sloane back in our lives?

JANE: He's not "back in our lives", we're "using him". There's a difference. Now do you still have his number?

DARIA: (sighs) As hard as I tried to forget it, yes.

JANE: Good. Aw crap, I dropped my quarter.

Jane bends down to search for her lost quarter. As she does, a familiar red car whips by and crashes at full speed into the phone booth, missing Jane by a hairsbreadth. The phone booth explodes in a shower of glass and metal shards, and the car screams on into the night.

Daria and Jane pick themselves up from under the debris.

DARIA: (holding up a quarter) Found it.




EXT: LAWNDALE LIONS PRACTICE FIELD

Brittany and the other cheerleaders are practicing as Kevin drives up in his jeep.

BRITTANY: Okay girls, let's run through it again! Lawndale Lions, give a roar! How about another score! (Brittany notices Kevin approaching) Except for a certain Jerk who won't ever score again unless he's found out who drove us all off the bridge into the creek!

NIKKI: (a cheerleader) Uh, Brittany, that doesn't really rhyme...

BRITTANY: Take five, girls. All right Kevin, what did you find out?

KEVIN: Well, like I said, I thought it was Daria's brother. But I didn't know where he lived. But then I remembered that Daria's brother was dating that one other girl who's really unpopular. But I didn't know where she lived either. (his voice gets a conspiratorial tone) So I did a little detective work...

BRITTANY: (getting impatient) And??

KEVIN: And I didn't find out anything. But then when I was driving back over here, I went by a house that had this big metal thing in the front yard, and I figured, that's gotta be an unpopular person's house! So I tried the door, and it was unlocked, and I looked around -

BRITTANY: Kevvy! You broke in?

KEVIN: Nah, I didn't break anything! Oh, except for a couple of vases, and I also stepped on the cat, but he seemed all right afterwards. But I did see a picture of the girl I was looking for, so that was either her house or someone who just likes pictures of her. At least I think it was her, I always have a hard time remembering girls I've never made out with...

BRITTANY: Ooooohh!

KEVIN: Wait, don't hit me! I decided to stake the place out, but I needed to get some binoculars and cameras and some black clothes and some pizza 'cause I was really hungry, and so I was going to write down the address and stuff, but then I saw that there was this piece of paper attached to the door that already had the address on it, so I figured I'd just grab it and come back here!

BRITTANY: All right, Kevvy. Let's get the rest of the girls and go get that... that... unpopular person! And her brother!

Brittany calls the rest of the cheerleaders over, and they all pile into Kevin's jeep.

KEVIN: Where to, babe?

BRITTANY: (checks the paper) 1060 West Madison!

KEVIN: Let's go!

The jeep peels out, nearly dumping some of the excess cheerleaders off the back. They turn out onto the highway, passing a sign on their way out that reads "LAWNDALE LIONS PRACTICE FIELD - 1060 West Madison".

FADE OUT

FADE IN

It is now late at night. Kevin's jeep, still full of cheerleaders (with windblown hair), pulls back into the practice field in front of the sign.

KEVIN: Hey girls, we're here!

BRITTANY: (dangerously low) I'm still not speaking to you, Kevin.




EXT: DARK AND QUIET ROAD

The Tank and the Pizza delivery car drive along the road, kicking up leaves.




INT: THE TANK

Daria is driving, Jane is looking nervously out the window.

MAX: (Leaning forward) Hey Jane, um, not to complain or anything, but we've been driving for about three hours now.

JANE: I told you before, this place is a little off the beaten path.

DARIA: We passed the beaten path two hours ago, Jane. This is officially the Middle of Nowhere.

JANE: Jeez, you guys are impatient.

DARIA: What's the name of this place, anyway?

JANE: Uh, the name? It's, er...

A converted warehouse-type nightclub appears around the next turn.

JANE: "Girls Night Out." This is the place, pull in here.

DARIA: (very skeptical) "Girls Night Out?"




EXT: PARKING LOT

The vehicles pull into the parking lot and everyone gets out.

MAX: (looking up at the sign) Uh, Jane, that sign says "Boys are Guys".

JANE: What? You gotta be kidding me! The management will hear about this one, let me tell you. I even gave them the spelling of "Mystik Spiral" over the phone to make sure they didn't screw it up. Tell you what, you guys start unloading the gear, Daria and I will get to the bottom of this.




INT: GIRLS NIGHT OUT CLUB

Jane and Daria head in and pull up to the bar.

BARTENDER: (looking them over, seemingly surprised by their wardrobe.) Uh, ladies, we do cater to all kinds of teens, but there's a club down the road a piece that's - how shall I say it? - more in tune with your lifestyle. Don't worry about it, it's not the first time girls like yourselves got confused about the name of this place.

JANE: (to Daria) Now will you remind me why we're dressed this way?

DARIA: As soon as you tell me where our gig really is for the night.

JANE: (ignoring Daria) Hi! Not to worry ma'am, we'll be discreet. And actually, we'll be here all night. You see, we represent the band!

BARTENDER: (more cheerful) You do? Oh, that's cool! (calling off to one side) Hey Val, the band is here!

DARIA: Val? As in, Val?

BARTENDER: The one and only!

DARIA: Jane, you have a great deal of explaining to do.

JANE: Hey, a gig's a gig.

Val approaches. It is indeed Val, as in "Val" and she looks just as thirtysomething-trying-desperately-to-hold-onto-her-youth as ever.

VAL: Hey, girlfriends! You're with Boys are Guys!

JANE: (way too enthusiastic) You know it, Val! And we are just so jiggy with the idea of playing here tonight! This place is so edgy, we're ready to fall right off!

Daria is looking at Jane as if she's lost the last tiny piece of her sanity.

VAL: Wow! Omigod, I am just so beyond psyched about having Boys are Guys here tonight! Is that edgy, or what!

DARIA: I'm going to go with, "What."

VAL: (looking strangely at Daria) Do I know you? You look awfully familiar...

JANE: No, you've never seen her before in your life. Hey Val, I think we should let the band in by the back entrance, you know? Wouldn't want all these teens getting all swoony over them before they even start playing!

VAL: Oh! Good thinking, girlfriend! Wack!

Val departs, thank God.

JANE: (normal tone of voice) I'm going to hate myself before the evening is out.

DARIA: I hate you right now. You didn't get a hold of Tom at all, did you?

JANE: I left a message for him to meet us tomorrow. Hey, it was the best I could do!

DARIA: Uh-huh. And what happens when we bring in the Spiral and these girls get a good look at them - more to the point, a good listen to them?

JANE: Don't worry about it. Everyone knows that Boy Bands have no talent. Neither does the Spiral. They can pull it off. Trust me.

DARIA: Wack.




INT: STAGE

The band is finishing with the set-up. A lot of girls are screaming outside the curtain.

TRENT: Uh, Janey, I don't think the Spiral can do any of this music on the list.

JANE: Hey, don't worry about it. You'll knock 'em dead. Just, uh, try to be a little, you know, cuter than usual.

DARIA: Don't you mean, "edgier"?

TRENT: Edgy, huh? We can do that. Okay guys, "Ice Box Woman" in D.

DARIA: Lord help us.


CUT TO: FRONT OF STAGE

Jane comes out from behind the curtain.

JANE: Hey girls, are you ready to party!!

CROWD: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!

JANE: (wincing) Then give it up for Mystik "Boys are Guys", er, Spiral!

CROWD: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!

The curtain drops, and the Spiral hits a chord

TRENT: You're an angel in Black, You sure have the Knack, of puttin' my heart on a shelf in the Back!

The crowd is noticeably losing enthusiasm.

TRENT: I'm waiting my turn, Oh! When will I learn? My poor heart, you're givin' it freezer burn! Yeah...

By now, the crowd is actually booing and throwing plastic cups at the stage.

CUT TO: VAL, OFFSTAGE

VAL: Ugh! That is so bummer! (she shuts down the stage lights and amps)

TRENT: You're my Icebox Woman! You're my... hey, what happened to the sound?

JESSE: Maybe we blew the amps again. We use too much power.

NICK: But hey, look - we got a Mosh pit going!

The crowd is swarming the stage, getting very, very hostile.

DARIA: Reality check, guys - they hate your music and they're trying to get to your throats.

JESSE: Oh. Bummer.

TRENT: So, what do we do?

JANE: Um, Daria, I know I deserve death for asking you this, but do you have any ideas?

DARIA: (sigh) Hang on a sec. (she goes and roots through a cabinet backstage.)

NICK: Uh, Daria, that crowd is looking ugly.

MAX: Speak for yourself, dude. I think they're pretty hot!

TRENT: Dude, they're fourteen years old. That's just sick.

JESSE: Yeah.

MAX: Hey, it's hard to see with all those flying cups!

DARIA: (turns, holding a bunch of boy-band CDs) Okay guys. Have you ever heard of Milli Vanilli?

TRENT: (eyes widening) Whoa, Daria. We can't go there. We just can't. The Spiral has its principles.

JESSE: Yeah.

DARIA: I tell you what. In about fifteen seconds that crowd is going to figure out where the stairs are, and they will then mob this stage and tear you to shreds. Now, unless you all want your obituaries to read "Trampled to Death by Prepubescent Girls in Teen Nightclub" you will begin lip-synching "Boys are Guys" music right now and you will keep it up for the remainder of the evening.

The music starts playing, but since the amps aren't working, the crowd isn't pacified. They've got murder in their cute little fourteen-year-old eyes.

MAX: Principles suck.

NICK: Let's do it.

TRENT: (sigh) Bob Dylan, forgive me.

JESSE: Cool.

Daria heads offstage and finds Val by the switches.

DARIA: Excuse me. (she shoves Val out of the way)

VAL: Hey, are you wacked or something?

DARIA: No, I'm the anti-teen. (she switches the lights and amps back on)

TRENT: (lip synching) Oooooooo...

JESSE: Aaaaaaaah...

NICK & MAX: Yeaaaaaaaahh!!

ALL: Hey, we're singin'!!

The crowd becomes more receptive immediately, and even starts to cheer a bit.

TRENT: Hey girl, I need you with me now...

JESSE: Hey girl, I need you by my side!

TOGETHER: You and me girl, we got it made, so let's go dancing tonight!

The crowd loves it. Soon they're cheering wildly, jumping up and down with enthusiasm.

DARIA: (still offstage, and wincing with the high squealing of the crowd) No wonder they use plastic cups. Glass would shatter.

JANE: (sliding up beside her) Nice move.

DARIA: From now on, we do this together, got it? No more crazy last-minute Jane Lane ideas.

JANE: I'm jiggy, girlfriend.

DARIA: Good. Now let's go get some cheese fries. And while we do that, you can tell me how it is that the Spiral actually knows these songs.

JANE: I was hoping you had a good explanation for that.


SEVERAL HOURS LATER...

The crowd has diminished to a last few stragglers. The Spiral is finishing up.

TRENT: Hey girls, it's been real. Sort of. The management is shutting us down and we're out of CDs - er, we've sung everything we have. So until next time... Oooooooh -cough!

JESSE: Aaaaaaaaaaaah...

MAX & NICK: Yeah, we're singin!

The lights go down, as does the curtain. Daria and Jane are off to one side eating cheese fries.

JANE: Thank God that's over.

DARIA: What?

JANE: I said - take those damned things out of your ears!

DARIA: Oh. (she removes a set of earplugs) Sorry.

VAL: (approaching) Wow, girlfriends! I can't believe how much better they sound live than on CD! That is so jiggy.

DARIA: Yeah, jiggy. Listen, about our money for the night...

VAL: What about it?

DARIA: Well, we'd kind of like to have it now.

VAL: Oh, right! (she pulls out a calculator) Okay, so that's two thousand dollars, less all that damage that was done to the stage when your band played that wacked-out first track -

JANE: What?

DARIA: Excuse me, but I don't think you can hold us responsible for the actions of a few hundred hormone-crazed fourteen-year-old girls.

VAL: (ignoring her) that's including new paint, removing the stains on the curtains, replacing those two broken spotlights...

JANE: Hey, come on, Val! They were just being, you know, teenagers! You know? Edgy? Jiggy?

DARIA: Whatever happened to your Teen Within, Val?

VAL: (suddenly looking nasty) She got in touch with the Thirtysomething Without, "Dar".

DARIA & JANE: Wack.

VAL: (back to her calculator) And, adding in the thirty dollars worth of cheese fries you two just scarfed down, that brings your bill to... well, let's just call it an even one hundred thirty-nine dollars and fifty-three cents.

Trent walks by, picks up a leftover cheeseburger from the table, and eats it.

VAL: And that'll be another seven-fifty.

DARIA: Er...

JANE: No problem! We'll just go take up a collection from the band, okay?

VAL: Cash only.




EXT: PARKING LOT

The band is loading the instruments into the Tank.

MAX: You know guys, that really sucked.

JESSE: Yeah.

MAX: I don't know about all you, but I want out. Maybe I can get my old job back...

TRENT: Hey, you could always join our gig at the Liquid Lunch.

NICK: "Trent's Tunes"? I'd rather we really were Boys are Guys.

MAX: Yeah, no offense man, but I just don't think I can do Barry Manilow covers.

JANE: (hurrying out) Listen, guys, that was great! You really came through, you know!

TRENT: Thanks, Janey.

JANE: Only, they want us to pay for the damaged stage. So you guys better get while the gettin's good, you know?

The band looks a little perturbed.

JANE: Come on, guys, don't look at me like that!

DARIA: That's what I'm here for.

JANE: Look, the next gig's gonna be huge. Way huge. We're talking Van Halen huge.

NICK: I don't know, Jane. I just don't know.

DARIA: What would Kurt Cobain do?

There's a moment of respectful silence.

MAX: All right. We'll give you girls one more chance.

JANE: Great! We'll meet you tomorrow back in Lawndale.

The band piles into the pizza car and drives off.

Jane's smile falls off her face with an audible "thump".

DARIA: Hey, Jane... um, everything's going to be all right.

JANE: (brightening slightly) You really think so?

DARIA: Um... anyway, we got this far, didn't we?

JANE: (sighs) Let's motor.

DARIA: Crap.

This last was said in response to a large bus pulling into the parking lot, with "Boys are Guys!!" painted on the side.

JANE: Wait here.

Jane walks over to the bus as "Boys are Guys" file out one by one.

JANE: Excuse me, boys, I take it you're "Boys are Guys"?

BAND LEADER: Yeah, that's us! I'm Johnny, leader of the boys and driver of the bus. Listen, we usually love to sign autographs, but we're running really late so we need to get inside. Tell you what, though - our third song will be just for you, so make sure you've got a spot close to the stage, okay?

JANE: Well, that won't be necessary boys. (she flashes a playing card as if it's an ID badge) My name is Angela Li, I'm with the American Society for Positive Role Models for America's Youth. I'll get straight to the point. Namely, we're concerned about why it is that men in their mid-twenties would deliberately cultivate an audience of prepubescent girls. We just want to make sure there's no inappropriate motivation behind your music.

JOHNNY: Huh?

JANE: Yes, we'd like to assume that everything is on the level, but unfortunately in today's world we just can't take any chances, can we? Now, Girl's Night Out is a high-class establishment and we want to make certain our entertainers are the sort of people who can show today's youth the values which we value. I'll need you each to fill out a standardized form which, among other things, will serve as written notice that none of you harbor any impure thoughts or lewd and unsavory urges toward the girls in your fan base.

JOHNNY: But -

JANE: It won't take a moment, I assure you. Let me go arrange everything with Val, the owner. We'll get you up onstage as soon as we've set everything straight. I'll need you all to wait right here, and I'll take care of everything.

Johnny and the band look confused and nervous while Jane starts heading back for the Tank. Val comes out of the building as she does.

JANE: (passing by Daria) Get in the van and pray to God it starts on at least the second try.

Daria nods and gets in the Tank.

VAL: Hey, you know girls, you owe me a lot of money for all the damage to the stage!

JANE: Val, we just want to tell you how much we appreciated playing here tonight. Your place rocks with edginess and we are just jiggy about coming back some other time.

VAL: Fork over some cash or I call the cops, Missy.

JANE: Not to worry, Dar's in the van right now writing out a traveler's check.

VAL: Cash.

JANE: Oh yeah, you said that. I tell you what, I'd better go tell her not to bother with the check, we'll just take it out of the gas fund. I'll be right back.

Jane jumps in the van

JANE: Go.

DARIA: We're gone.

The Tank miraculously starts on the first try, and peels out of the parking lot in a cloud of dust.

VAL: HEY!!

"Boys are Guys" rush over to Val.

JOHNNY: Wait! We need those forms!

VAL: Forms? What the hell are you talking about?

JOHNNY: Wasn't she from the American Society of... I forgot. Look, it's not our fault, the girls sneak into our hotel rooms and we can't just send them out into the night alone, I mean, can we?

VAL: Who are you idiots, anyway?

JOHNNY: We're "Boys are Guys"! And I'm trying to tell you, we're not perverts or anything -

VAL: (shocked) You're "Boys are Guys"?




EXT: ROAD

The Tank cruises along the road. In pursuit is a pink SUV with "Val, as in Val!" painted on the side.




INT: VAL-MOBILE

JOHNNY: So, they're not from the Society for keeping us away from young chicks?

VAL: Shut up.




INT: TANK

Daria's driving, Jane is smirking.

The smirk drops off her face when the Valmobile hits them from behind with enough force to shatter the rear windows.

DARIA: Dammit! That was the last part of this van that wasn't broken!

JANE: I sure as hell hope the accelerator still works!

Daria floors it and the Tank pulls away from Val's SUV




EXT: THE SAME ROAD

Helen's car lies in wait behind an Ultra-Cola billboard - the fine print reads "Proud Sponsor of Lawndale High"




INT: HELEN'S CAR

Helen and Quinn are sitting in the car.

HELEN: Quinn, I hope you're sure about this. It sounds pretty farfetched to me.

QUINN: For the last time, Mom, I got a call from Stacy saying that she definitely saw Daria and that weird friend of hers at the Boys are Guys concert! I didn't believe it either, but she said they were wearing men's suits and fattening themselves on cheese fries, so who else could it be? Oh, and she also said that the band has a really strange new look, but that they're even cuter than they used to be in kind of a grungy alternative kind of way, not that I would just take Stacy's word for who's cute because sometimes she has kind of weird taste in guys and -

HELEN: Quinn, please!

The Tank whips by at high speed.

HELEN: I don't believe it.

QUINN: I know, she actually thought that Brent looked cuter with that straggly goatee -

Helen ignores Quinn and takes off after the Tank - driving straight into Val's path.

There's a terrible crunch as both vehicles collide and go rolling. Helen's SUV comes to a rest on all four wheels on the side of the road. The Valmobile ends up top-down in a ditch.

Val, obviously very shaken, crawls out of the driver's side window. The boys comes out from various other windows.

Helen comes out of her car, straightens her suit, and walks across the road.

HELEN: (glaring at Val) You'd better have a really good lawyer, Missy.

QUINN: (following Helen) Mo-OM!! I can't believe you did that! Look at me, my hair's a mess, and I broke two nails, and - hey, aren't you "Boys are Guys"?




INT: SPA

Jane is getting a massage by a bronzed, muscular guy that looks like something Michelangelo would have carved on a good day.

JANE: Come on, Tom! You know I wouldn't be asking you for this if it weren't really important.

Pan to Tom Sloane, who's getting a rubdown by a statuesque, classically beautiful woman.

TOM: Look Jane, I'd like to help, I really would, but just because my family has money doesn't mean that I have any influence. Would I be driving that piece of crap if I did?

Pan to Daria, who's on a table about to be rubbed down by another gorgeous man.

DARIA: We're not proud. We'll play any room you can get. Look, I know as well as anyone that the band sucks, but somehow they always drew a crowd at McGrundy's or the Zon. (she looks up at the masseuse, who's rubbing his hands with oil) Touch me and die.

The masseuse backs off.

JANE: You don't know what you're missing.

TOM: Honestly Jane, I don't know what you think I can do for you. It's not like I have connections on Degas Street.

JANE: We had something a little bigger in mind, actually. We need five thousand dead presidents, fast.

TOM: (chokes) Five Thousand? On their best night, the Spiral never pulled in more than a twentieth of that. Who do you think you are, Boys are Guys?

DARIA: Don't go there.

JANE: You get us a venue and we'll fill it, Tom. Guaranteed. Come on, there must be somewhere that you have a little pull!

TOM: (thinks for a moment) Well, there is one place...

JANE: Where?

TOM: You guys don't mind playing for college students, do you?

JANE: We'll play for the Republican National Convention if there's money in it.

TOM: I could probably book you into Sloane Hall, at Bromwell.

DARIA: Gee, who would have imagined you'd have pull at a place like that?

TOM: It seats five thousand. You could charge two bucks a head, you'd make five G's easy.

DARIA: These kids are rolling in dough. Charge ten bucks.

JANE: This is the Spiral. Charge five.

TOM: Okay. I think I can set it up.

JANE: Cool. Book it for tomorrow night.

TOM: Tomorrow? Listen, I said I think I can do it, it's not a sure thing. And I sure as hell can't do it tomorrow! Besides, if you want to get five thousand kids in there, you're going to need to advertise, and sell tickets in advance - nah, forget it, there's no way.

JANE: You know Tom, I'd like to think I've been awfully understanding about certain events in the past. Do you have any idea the kind of nasty rumors I could spread around Bromwell, the cumulative effect of which would be to make your college years a living hell?

TOM: Um...

JANE: You know, I'll bet even Daria doesn't know about your thing for -

TOM: JANE!

JANE: Tom, we need this gig!

DARIA: We're graduates of -

JANE: Don't say it again, Daria. I'm not kidding.

TOM: Daria, help me out here?

DARIA: Sorry Tom, my hands are tied.

JANE: Speaking of which, another thing I'll bet no one knows about is -

TOM: All right, all right, I'll do it! I'll print up the posters, I'll spread the word around campus, I'll get the hall.

JANE: Tom, you're a prince among frogs. Let's go guys!

TRENT: Aw, come on, Janey, this feels great!

JESSE: Yeah.

Zoom out - the whole band is also getting massaged.

JANE: Oh all right, just make sure you're at the gig on time. Thanks a bunch, Andre, you've got magic hands.

Jane and Daria exit.




EXT: LAWNDALE HIGH

Claire DeFoe is loading kids onto the bus, then gets on herself.




INT: THE BUS

CLAIRE: All right, kids. Now I'm going to confide in you all. We're not actually taking a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You heard me tell you all about Daria and Jane. They went to school here, just like you. And their GPA was dependent on their art class grades just like yours are. Well, Jane's was, anyway. Tonight, they're putting together a concert to help save the art program. So we're heading up North, to get the word out!




EXT: LAWNDALE LIONS PRACTICE FIELD

The cheerleaders practice, oblivious to Daria and Jane behind them, on the roof of the Tank, stealing one of the loudspeakers.




EXT: FIELD

The Tank drives across a field, the loudspeaker attached to the roof.

DARIA: Tonight only. Mystik Spiral. In Sloane Hall at Bromwell.

JANE: Can you put a little more enthusiasm into your voice?

DARIA: (precisely the same tone) Tonight only. Mystik Spiral. In Sloane Hall -

JANE: Maybe I should handle the announcement. You just drive.




EXT: CITY STREET

The Lawndale High School Bus pulls up to a public square. Ms. DeFoe gets out first, with a stack of colorful flyers.

Various students from Lawndale file out one by one, each of them taking a stack.

CLAIRE: Now remember to apply the artistic principles you've learned when displaying the posters! Don't neglect your negative space! Make use of light and shadow to direct the viewer's attention! Treasure your medium!




EXT: OUTDOOR MALL

The Tank drives along through the crowd.

JANE: Tonight only! The triumphant return of Mystik Spiral! Live, at Bromwell University! (off-mike) Most of you will never have another chance to see a college campus. (back on) Mystik Spiral, performing live in Sloane Hall at Bromwell University!




EXT: LAWNDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Lawndale art students hang posters throughout the campus.

STUDENT: Come see Mystik Spiral at Bromwell University! Take the opportunity to cover a few of their trees in toilet paper!

ANOTHER STUDENT: Mingle with the Ivy League - these guys are rich and powerful, ladies! And while you're at it, check out Mystik Spiral, performing live at Sloane Hall!




EXT: STREET

The Tank continues driving along. A motorcycle passes.

JANE: Hey! You on the motorcycle!

The motorcycle wrecks.

JANE: Never mind!




INT: LAWNDALE HIGH GYM

Brittany is announcing through a megaphone.

BRITTANY: All right everyone, let's make this a pep rally to remember! And when we're done, I'm supposed to tell you to (she looks at a poster) head on over to Bromwell University, where Mystik Spiral is playing for the first time in - (she stops suddenly, squinting at the poster, which clearly shows Daria and Jane standing in front of the Tank behind the actual band) Hey, wait a second! KEVVY!!!

KEVIN: Yeah, babe?

BRITTANY: Kevvy, get the squad together! (determined voice) We've got some unfinished business...

KEVIN: The whole squad? Oooh, kinky...

BRITTANY: (smacks him) Kevvy!

KEVIN: Oww!




EXT: STREET

The Tank continues to drive along.

JANE: Tell your friends - if you have any, that is. Mystik Spiral, live at Sloane Hall, tonight only!

DARIA: Five dollar cover charge.

JANE: Five dollar cover charge!

DARIA: That's a lot of entertainment.

JANE: That's a lot of entertainment!

DARIA: For five dollars.

JANE: Hey, do you want to do this?




INT: PIZZA KING

Monique is cleaning some glasses, and looks up to see some of Lawndale High's geekier male students gawking at her.

MONIQUE: What the hell do you guys want?

STUDENT: I... I... I...

MONIQUE: What's this? (she grabs the poster out of his hand) "Tonight Only, Mystik Spiral's Triumphant Return..." well, gotta give 'em credit for trying.

STUDENT: Um... could you... that is...

MONIQUE: Stop drooling on my counter, all right? And go hang this poster in the window if that's what you came for, then buy some pizza or leave.




INT: DANCE CLUB, BACKSTAGE

"Boys are Guys" comes off the stage and clicks off the CD player that they were lip-synching to.

JOHNNY: Another great concert, guys!

VAL: (approaching) All right, boys. We have a lead.

She holds up a Mystik Spiral poster. The band looks at it carefully.

JOHNNY: So, you think we should change our look or something?

VAL: Try not to think too much, Johnny. You'll hurt yourself. Let's go.




INT: TANK

JANE: (on speaker) The incredible Mystik Spiral! All the cool kids are going - don't miss it! (off mike) How are we doing?

DARIA: Well, we've covered all of Lawndale County, most of Carter, and a good part of Middleton.

JANE: Cool. Let's get to the gig.

The van sputters.

DARIA: Oh, crap.

JANE: Don't say that.

DARIA: We're out of gas.

JANE: Definitely don't say that.

The van rolls to a halt at the side of the road.

JANE: Oh, well, it's not like we're actually in the band. They can start without us.

DARIA: Except that we have the instruments.

JANE: Crap.




INT: SLOANE HALL

Mystik Spiral arrives and checks out the immense room from the stage.

TRENT: Whoa.

JESSE: Yeah.

NICK: Damn, will you look at this place! Jane wasn't kidding, this is huge!

MAX: I wonder how much it'll echo when we start playing?

TRENT: Huh?

MAX: We ain't never gonna fill more than ten rows, man. Come on, we've never had a hall this size.

CLAIRE: We'd better fill it. There's a lot of kids who'll be pretty disappointed if we don't.

Everyone turns to see that Ms. DeFoe has walked onto the stage.

CLAIRE: Oh, and I'll lose my job. But really, I'm thinking mostly of the kids.

TRENT: Kids? What do you mean?

JESSE: Yeah?




EXT: GAS STATION

The Tank rolls slowly into a gas station Daria and Jane pushing together with Jane at the wheel. They look practically dead with exhaustion.

DARIA: (panting) Hate... this... van... hate... this... van... hate... this... van... hate...

JANE: (also panting) We're... here!

Daria and Jane both slump against the van, gasping for breath.

JANE: Look... on the... bright side. We were only... a hundred yards... from the gas station.

DARIA: Hate this van.

JANE: Right. I'll... get us some gas. (she stops for a moment) You know, I just realized that it would have made a lot more sense to come down here, buy a gas can, and bring it back to the Tank.

DARIA: (glaring at Jane) Hate you too.

JANE: Why don't I just go get the gas now that we're here.

DARIA: I'll be right here... dying.

Jane gets up and drags herself over to the little building set away from the pumps. A man in coveralls comes out.

GARY: (that's his name) We're out of gas!

JANE: No flies on you. We need to fill 'er up, and we're in a hurry.

GARY: Nope, you don't follow. I said we're out of gas. Damn tanker's late.

JANE: You can't be serious.

GARY: 'Fraid so, miss.

JANE: Well, where's the next gas station?

GARY: 'Bout six or ten miles down the road.

DARIA: (looking at the steep hill that leads up and away from the gas station in the direction Gary's pointing) Jane, don't even think it!

JANE: Don't worry, I have no desire to die. We wait, then.

GARY: Reckon so.

TIME PASSES...


A car pulls into the gas station. Not just any car, but a ghastly pink convertible with customized plates that say "LUV MCHNE" Behind the wheel is the imperturbable Charles Ruttheimer III, AKA "Upchuck".

UPCHUCK: (to Daria, who has her back turned) Excuse me, sir? Could you fill me up with premium, please?

DARIA: (Turning) What do you mean, sir? - Oh God.

UPCHUCK: (suddenly suave) Doth my eyes deceive me? Could it be the lovely Miss Mmmmorgendorffer? I must say, my dear, that's an new and intriguing look for you.

DARIA: Look, Upchuck. I am having one of the worst days of my life. Your arrival here just now has moved it from the top ten to the top three. So unless you have some gasoline, do me a favor and go hide or something.

Upchuck grins lecherously, and pops the trunk. Then he oozes back to the rear of the car and hefts a gas can.

UPCHUCK: Shall we talk terms, my dear?




EXT: SLOANE HALL

People are starting to arrive. Claire DeFoe is standing outside the entrance, where a considerable line is forming. She looks nervous.

CLAIRE: Girls, this is a hell of a time to be late... We can't start without the instruments!




EXT: GAS STATION

Upchuck is standing over his spare tank, guarding it.

UPCHUCK: My goodness, it's getting late. I'd think you'd want to reconsider my terms, my dear.

DARIA: I am not meeting you at any damn motel.

UPCHUCK: Suit yourself... (he begins whistling)

DARIA: Why the hell do you carry around a spare tank, anyway

UPCHUCK: That would be telling, now wouldn't it?

Daria glares at him.

UPCHUCK: Well, if you must know, let's just say that there are advantages to being able to run out of gas on lonely country roads, but still retaining the ability to drive home at the end of the evening.

DARIA: You make me sick.

UPCHUCK: Grr... Feisty!




INT: HELEN'S OFFICE

Helen is pacing around while Marianne types nervously.

HELEN: I'm double booked for meetings, no one told me the Davenport case was back on, and exactly who do I have to grovel at around here to get my damn E-mail delivered on time!

QUINN: (bursting in) Mom!

HELEN: Not now, Quinn! I'm busy!

The phone rings. Marianne gets it.

QUINN: But Mo-OM, it's a one-day sale and I really need some new sandals!

MARIANNE: Helen? It's for you. It's your daughter's principal.

Helen glares at Quinn.

QUINN: Don't look at me! I didn't do anything that I got caught for! I mean - I'll be leaving now...

HELEN: Stop right there, missy! (she picks up the phone) Hello, Helen Morgendorffer.

Split screen with Angela Li.

MS. LI: Ms. Morgendorffer? This is Angela Li, Principal of Laaawndale High. I was calling to see if you were aware that your daughter Daria has not been attending her scheduled detention for the week. I'm afraid it may be necessary to take more sever disciplinary action.

HELEN: What? And here I thought she was only avoiding me! I mean... I had no idea, why do you think she might be skipping classes?

MS. LI: Classes? Has she been skipping classes as well?

HELEN: Ms. Li, do you mean to tell me that you know that my daughter hasn't been in detention but you have no idea whether she's been attending her actual classes or not? I guess we can see where the priorities are in your school...

MS. LI: Ms Morgendorffer! We share a common goal in this situation, that of finding your daughter. I am not aware of her having been in school at all this week. However, a flyer being passed around the school has come to my attention. It seems that your daughter is putting on come kind of concert at Bromwell University this evening.

HELEN: A concert? Are you sure this is Daria you're talking about?

MS. LI: It does seem very unlike her, I'll admit - but nevertheless, I have taken it upon myself to attend this concert in order that I might confront her about this. A good part of the rest of the faculty will be joining me in case she tries to give us the slip. I thought that as a (snort) concerned parent, you should be aware of this.

HELEN: Yes, of course, my husband and I will be there! Thank you, Ms. Li. (she hangs up)

QUINN: Is Daria gonna get busted, Mom?

HELEN: Marianne, take messages until I get back. I have a family matter to deal with.

QUINN: Daria's getting busted, Daria's getting busted!

HELEN: (on her way out the door) Oh, and could you call my husband and tell him to meet us at Bromwell?

QUINN: Wait, Mom! I want to see this! Come on, you have to take me too!

Quinn chases Helen out. Marianne looks over her shoulder to confirm Helen is gone, then takes a quick swig from a hip flask.




INT: SLOANE HALL

Val and "Boys are Guys" show up. The boys are wearing fake mustaches so they won't be recognized.

JOHNNY: Don't see 'em, Val.

VAL: They'll be here.

JOHNNY: You wanna borrow a mustache? You know, so no one recognizes you.

Val gives Johnny a look.




EXT: GAS STATION

Upchuck is filling up the van from his spare tank.

DARIA: You're going to Hell for this, you know.

UPCHUCK: One night of Heaven is worth an eternity of Hell, my dear. So, I'll be seeing you around midnight? The motel is just up the interstate, you can't miss it.

DARIA: (grumbles)

UPCHUCK: I can't hear you!

DARIA: It's better that way, believe me.

UPCHUCK: (suddenly thoughtful) You know, it's odd... I've dreamed of this moment, and yet it suddenly seems so... cheap, and tawdry. (sighs) No, I find I cannot take advantage of a damsel in distress. I release you of your obligation, dear Daria.

Daria punches him in the face.

UPCHUCK: OW!! Careful, I bruise easily! What was that for?

DARIA: For making us bargain for a damn hour over gasoline you're suddenly willing to give up for free. Come on, Jane, let's go.

The girls jump into the van and start it up.

UPCHUCK: You know, you could stop by the motel anyway! I'll be there waiting!

The van pulls out in a cloud of dust.

UPCHUCK: (coughs) Feisty!!




INT: SLOANE HALL

Almost the entire room is filled with a crowd that is becoming increasingly impatient.




INT: BACKSTAGE

MAX: (peeking out through the curtains) Yeah, they're pissed all right. This is gonna be a great show.

CLAIRE: We can't quit now, guys! They'll be here any minute, I just know it!

NICK: It's not like we're waiting on Trent, you know. That could take all night.

TRENT: Hey!

JESSE: True.

TRENT: Yeah, but still...

MAX: Where the hell are they?




INT: LARGE STORM DRAIN

The Tank scrapes along through an oversized storm drain tunnel and pulls to a stop. Daria and Jane get out, open the back, and unload three guitars and Max's drum kit onto a cart they've also brought with them.

JANE: This sucks.

DARIA: Yeah, but it's the only way. My mom is bound to be here, and I don't think I can talk past her this time.

JANE: I don't care that we have to park underground, I mean that it sucks that we have to lug all this crap upstairs. Careful with that bass drum!

DARIA: At least the hall had its own amps. Besides, the real problem is how we're going to collect the ticket money and get it to the School Board office when they open in the morning.

JANE: Couldn't we just hold them up at gunpoint and then apologize for it later? I mean, it's our money, we'd just be collecting it in an unorthodox way.

DARIA: I must be going mad. Your ideas are actually starting to sound plausible to me.




INT: SLOANE HALL

The audience is very impatient.

AUDIENCE: (chanting and stomping) WE WANT THE SHOW... WE WANT THE SHOW... WE WANT THE SHOW...




INT: BACKSTAGE

MAX: That's it. I'm leaving before they skin us.

TRENT: Damn. We were this close!

NICK: Can't play music without instruments, man. Face it, we're sunk.

JESSE: Yeah.

CLAIRE: Wait a minute, I've got an idea. Do you guys do acapella?

NICK: Well, look, not that I don't appreciate the offer, and you're a very attractive woman, but I'm a married man.

Everyone looks at Nick.

NICK: What?

CLAIRE: Just stand in a line here and start snapping your fingers, you'll know what to do. Lights! Curtain!!


THE CURTAIN GOES UP...


Inexplicably, an elaborate background has suddenly appeared behind Claire and the band - a beach scene at sunset. The boys are all wearing suits with no shirts, and Claire is dressed in a white evening gown.

The boys all snap in time.

CLAIRE: Oh, when the sun beats down, and burns the tar up on the roof...
And your shoes get so hot, you wish your tired feet were fireproof...

Under the Boardwalk, Down by the sea...
On a blanket with my baby, that's where I'll be...

BAND: Under the Boardwalk!

CLAIRE: Out of the sun...

The audience joins in with the band.

BAND: Under the Boardwalk!

CLAIRE: We'll be havin' some fun!

BAND: Under the Boardwalk!

CLAIRE: People walkin' above...

BAND: Under the Boardwalk!

CLAIRE: We'll be fallin' in love

BAND: Under the Boardwalk... Boardwalk!




EXT: SLOANE HALL

Daria and Jane sneak as well as they can behind the building, pushing their cart full of instruments.

They pass by the "Boys are Guys" bus.

JANE: Hang on a sec. (she whips out a spraypaint can)

DARIA: What are you doing?

JANE: It'll only be a moment.

Jane disappears around to the other side of the bus, and comes back a moment later.

DARIA: What did you do?

JANE: Just a little practical artwork. Let's go.




INT: SLOANE HALL

Claire and the boys are still singing.

CLAIRE: Oh, Under the Boardwalk! Down by the sea, yeah...
On a blanket with my baby, that's where I'll be...

BAND: Under the Boardwalk!

JESSE: (aside) Dude, is that the only lyric we have in this song?


OUT IN THE AUDIENCE...


Ms. Li and Helen, followed by nearly all the Lawndale High teachers and accompanied by Quinn and Jake, file into the hall.

HELEN: Well, I see the band, but I don't see Daria.

JAKE: That's the band? Um, I need to go do something, Helen. You're okay without me, right?

HELEN: Of course, Jakey. (under her breath) I didn't think it would be that easy to get him out of the way...

MS. LI: Everyone! Cover the exits! Make sure they don't slip past us.

QUINN: Mo-OM! You're not going to just rush down there and drag her home, are you? I really don't think I could take that humiliation!

HELEN: Quinn, this has nothing to do with you.

QUINN: Besides, do you really want all these people who paid good money to see this show to blame you for when it doesn't happen?

HELEN: Well... all right. We'll wait until it's over.

Quinn goes over to a table overlooking the stage, occupied by three boys.

QUINN: Hey guys, mind if I sit here?

BOYS: Sure! No problem! Here, take my seat!

QUINN: You guys are the best! (she sits down)

Helen and Ms. Li sit down with her.

QUINN: Um, could you two go sit somewhere else? I'd really rather not be seen in public with my mother and my principal. I mean, I know how popular I am, but that would just be to harsh a blow for even me to recover from.

HELEN: (Sternly) Quinn...

QUINN: Oh, all right, but just try not to look too, you know, authoritative. Hey, who else wants a diet soda? (Points to Helen and Ms. Li in turn) Diet soda? Diet soda? (turns back to her new male admirers) Three diet sodas.


MEANWHILE...


Daria and Jane peek through the curtain at the back of the theater. Mr. O'Neill is guarding that particular entrance.

DARIA: Okay, what do we do now? This place is crawling with teachers.

Onstage, Ms. DeFoe spots them and waves discretely.

JANE: Hold on. We're gonna make an entrance. (she gives a thumbs up to Ms. DeFoe)

CLAIRE: All right, everyone, the waiting is finally over!

RANDOM VOICE: GOOD!!

CLAIRE: It is the pleasure of the management to introduce the evening's star attraction. Please welcome, back from their exclusive world tour of Europe, Scandinavia, and the sub continent, the Triumphant return of... Mystik Spiral!

Suddenly O'Neill is pushed aside as the cart loaded with instruments (and now with Daria and Jane riding on top) comes barrelling through the exit he was watching and speeds down the ramp. Fortunately, there's a ramp leading up onto the stage as well - unfortunately, the cart hits it hard enough to throw all the instruments into the air. The boys scramble to catch their guitars - due to some minor miracle, the drum kit lands more or less intact.

DARIA: Jane, of all the bad ideas you've had on this nightmare, that was the worst.

JANE: Got us onstage, didn't it?

TRENT: You girls all right?

DARIA: No.

JESSE: Dude, we got no time to tune the instruments. Let's get the drums in place and jam.

JANE: Untuned instruments? Maybe this band will sound decent for once.

NICK: Huh?

JANE: Nothing, nothing.

CLAIRE: I think you girls had better start singing before the crowd gets up and leaves.

DARIA: Excuse me? I don't sing.

JANE: I do, but you won't like the results.

CLAIRE: I hate to say it, but you're going to have to. If you two try to just duck backstage, you know Ms. Li is going to nab you. (grumbles) She's enforcing a tiny-print clause in the teachers' contracts stating that they have to help her apprehend truant students. And Daria, I think your mother is up there too. We don't have time to argue!

JANE: Fine, if that's what it takes. Don't you dare try to sneak off, Daria, if I'm doing it, you're doing it. Guys, we'll need to start this with guitars only, but we'll need those drums in about ten seconds. Ready Daria?

DARIA: What are we doing?

Jane whispers in Daria's ear.

DARIA: Not that one!

JANE: It's the only damn song I can sing!

DARIA: Except "Old McDonald"

JANE: You want to do "Old McDonald" for this crowd?

DARIA: All right, we don't have time to argue, let's do it. Intro.

JANE: Oh, and put the sunglasses back on. It'll look good for the crowd. (stepping up to the mike). One, Two, One two three four -

The band hits five familiar notes (the nature of which will be revealed in time)

JANE: Good Evening, Ladies and Gentlemen! We're so glad to see so many of you turn out to hear us tonight!

DARIA: We would especially like to thank all the representatives of the Lawndale High faculty who have chosen to join us this evening!

JANE: We certainly hope you all enjoy the show! Here's a little number that pretty much sums up our attitudes about life.

DARIA: And not just ours, but yours... theirs... everybody's!

JANE: (singing) La la la, la, la
This is my stop,
Got to get off,
I may go pop!

DARIA: (singing, sort of) Excuse me.

The band hits a chord.

DARIA: Excuse me!

Same chord

JANE: I've got to be direct,

BAND: La, la, la...

JANE: If I'm wrong please correct,

BAND: La, la, la...

JANE & DARIA: You're standing on my neck!

The audience starts to get into it.

DARIA: Look right through me,
Say I'm gloomy,
Well, so sue me!

Excuse me,

Chord

DARIA: Excuse me!

Chord

JANE: I've got to be direct,

BAND: La, la, la...

JANE: It's like a big train wreck,

BAND: La, la, la...

JANE & DARIA: You're standing on my neck,
You're standing on my neck,

JANE: You're standing -

TRENT: Nothing is like we've planned it,
So funny I can't stand it,
Wish I was made of granite!

DARIA: I must be on another planet.

Guitar solo. For some reason, the band sounds really hot, and the audience is catching fire!

DARIA: (aside to Jane) Who knew that in order to make them good, all we had to do was not tune their instruments?

JANE: Are you sure it's not our singing?

DARIA: God, I sure as hell hope not.

JANE: Hey, we're on -

(singing) This is my stop,
Got to get off,
I may go pop!

DARIA: Excuse me.

Chord

DARIA: Excuse me!

Chord

JANE: I've got to be direct,

BAND: La, la, la...

JANE: If I'm wrong please correct,

BAND: La, la, la...

JANE & DARIA: You're standing on my neck,
You're standing on my neck,

You're standing on my neck!

EVERYONE: La la la, la, la

AUDIENCE: LA LA LA, LA, LA!

Cheering erupts as the song finishes.

MAX: Dude!

JESSE: Whoa!

DARIA: What's with them?

JANE: They've never heard cheering before. Take a bow, girl!

Daria reluctantly does so.

DARIA: What now?

JANE: You're asking me?

TRENT: Hey ladies, we know you gotta split. I think we can take it from here. Thanks for everything - you made me feel like a star.

JANE: Aw, Trent... (she hugs him)

DARIA: Don't - (too late, Trent hugs her too.) Oh, well.

JANE: Get playing, you need to strike while the iron's hot.

TRENT: (at the microphone) Hey everyone, let's hear it for Spiral's new vocalists!

Cheering

TRENT: This one's a Spiral original - hope you like it. One, two, three, four -

You put me on a short leash,

BAND: And threw away my hydrant!

TRENT: You ate up all my kibble,

BAND: Now my coat's no longer vibrant!

TRENT: My nose is dry and chapped,

BAND: But this puppy's here to stay!

TRENT: Scratch my belly, baby, every dog has his day!

BAND: Waaaoooooo!


CUT TO BACKSTAGE


Jane and Daria slip offstage as the band plays.

JANE: Admit it, you got a kick out of it.

DARIA: I refuse to admit that I have ever received a kick in my life.

JANE: Whatever.

JAKE: (appearing suddenly) Hey, that was great, girls!

DARIA: Oh crap. I can't believe it. Out of all the people who could catch us, it had to be -

JAKE: Jake Morgendorffer, of Jake Morgendorffer consulting. Put 'er there! (he grabs Jane's hand, then Daria's, shaking vigorously). I'm here representing Groovetone records, the eighth-largest recording studio on the Eastern Seaboard. I told them about your show tonight and they sent down a guy to see if you were marketable.

DARIA: Huh?

JANE: Huh?

JAKE: Now I know this is sudden, but they really like your stuff and they've authorized me to offer you ten thousand dollars as an advance on a recording contract. (Jake produces a wad of cash) What do you say, ladies? Do we have a deal?

DARIA: (riffling through the cash) Yeah... sure, it's a deal.

JANE: Hell yeah, it's a deal!

JAKE: Great! Oh, and I didn't catch your names...

DARIA: Dar- lene. Darlene... Blues.

JANE: (smirking) Tiffany Blues.

JAKE: Great to know you, ladies! Now if you'll excuse me, I just need to call my client and let them know I closed the deal. (shakes his fist at the sky) You hear that, old man! I closed a deal! A big one, too!

DARIA: I'm sure Mom - er, your wife will be very proud.

JAKE: Oh yeah, I should get back up there. She has this crazy notion that our daughter is here.

JANE: That's nuts. Well, it's been a pleasure doing business with you Mr. Morgandoppler -

JAKE: Morgendorffer.

JANE: Right. But the thing is, we gotta get out of here, preferably without being spotted. We're, um...

DARIA: We're afraid we'll get mobbed.

JAKE: Hey, no problem. Me and some buddies of mine snuck in here back in my college days to steal the Bromwell team mascot right before a big game. There's a trap door right behind your drummer.

JANE: Cool!

DARIA: Listen, do us a favor. Take this four thousand and give it to the band -

JANE: What?!

DARIA: Hey, they earned it!

JANE: Yeah, but... oh, all right.

DARIA: And then speak with Trent Lane about the contract. He's kind of our second in command.

JAKE: Hmm... you know, that name sounds familiar.

JANE: Whoops, is that the time? Gotta go, thanks Jake!

She drags Daria back onto the stage to escape.

JAKE: Hah! Helen's never gonna believe this! (strolls away whistling)


BACK ONSTAGE...


The Spiral is still playing to an enthusiastic house. Jane and Daria crawl around behind Max, who glances down and sees them.

JANE: You guys keep playing! Daria and I are gonna make a run for it!

Max nods, and continues drumming.


IN THE AUDIENCE...

MS. LI: Something is very wrong here...

HELEN: Where's Daria?

QUINN: She probably ran off in embarrassment. I mean, who told her she could sing, anyway?


IN ANOTHER PART OF THE AUDIENCE...


VAL: Where the hell did they go?

JOHNNY: I think they're still onstage.

VAL: Not the band, you cheesehead? Where are those two girls?




INT: STORM SEWER

Daria and Jane are walking through the sewer, trying to locate the Tank.

JANE: I'm almost certain we parked it right around this bend...

DARIA: Should I be upset that my own father utterly failed to recognize me?

JANE: It happened to me once.

DARIA: Yeah, but your dad had been out of the country for two years and he mistook you for Penny. At least he knew you were one of his daughters.

JANE: Would you rather he thought you were Quinn?

DARIA: (shudders) Point taken.

Suddenly, a silhouetted figure with a machine gun appears in front of them, and blasts a few rounds in their direction. Jane and Daria hit the mud, but not before being shot a few times apiece.

DARIA: Ow! OW!!

JANE: Ow! Those paintball thingies hurt!

Indeed, they are being shot with paint. The shooting continues for a moment, then stops.

DARIA: Who the hell is that, anyway?

VOICE: Well, Jane. I always hoped that the next time we spoke, you'd be crawling in the mud. You and your new girlfriend.

JANE: (looking up with a shocked expression on her face) Alison?

ALISON: (stepping out of the shadows) You're not getting away from me again, honey.

She opens fire again. Daria and Jane cover up, but most of the shots go wild and splatter the walls.




INT: SLOANE HALL

Jake re-appears at the table. Ms. Li is absent.

JAKE: Well Helen, I did it! I scored the most lucrative contract I've had all year.

HELEN: (not really listening) That's nice, Jakey.

JAKE: Yep, just walked right up to 'em and made the deal. Sure, they tried to negotiate, but ol' Jakey's a tough customer! I said, here's my offer, take it or leave it! And they took it!

HELEN: Jake, please, I'm trying to find Daria!

JAKE: By this time next week, we'll be in the recording studio putting out our first album!

QUINN: You signed the band to a recording contract? Wow Dad, that's actually kind of cool.

HELEN: Good for you, Jake. (suddenly wide eyed) What?? Jake, who did you make the deal with?

JAKE: The managers, of course! Those two girls in the suits who did the first number! Shame they had to leave, I would've liked to hear them do an encore.

HELEN: You let them get away? Jake, you Imbecile!

JAKE: What?

HELEN: Oh, just come on!

Helen grabs Jake by the wrist and pulls him out of his chair and out the door, followed by Quinn and the Lawndale faculty.

The Spiral plays on...



INT: SEWER

Jane cautiously stands up. Her suit is splattered with several colors of paint.

JANE: Um... Alison, I don't know what I did to piss you off, but I'm sure we can talk this out.

ALISON: You two-timing, backstabbing little slut!

DARIA: She's definitely on about something, Jane.

ALISON: I pulled out all the stops for you. I took you to the best restaurant in town. I ordered a forty-dollar bottle of wine, using up my last favors with the owner so he wouldn't throw us out when you drank half of it. I invited you to my room, where I showed you my artwork and revealed the innermost torment of my soul. And then, just when the moment is right for us to get a little closer, you get cold feet, spout some BS story about being straight, and run back to your room, where presumably this little hussy was waiting!

DARIA: Hussy?

ALISON: You had me so worked up, I had to go do it with Daniel Dotson! Do you have any idea what a slimeball he is?

JANE: Look, Alison, I don't know where the hell you're going with this, but I really am straight and it's not my fault you let that creep into your pants!

ALISON: Uh-huh, sure, you're straight. That's why the two of you have been inseparable for the past week and going around wearing men's clothing.

JANE: Daria, now would be a really good time to finally remind me of why we're dressed this way.

DARIA: I can't remember anymore.

ALISON: And so, as an entirely justified act of vengeance, not to mention for the sake of my own satisfaction and to make up for my humiliation at your hands, I intend to splatter the two of you with paint until you're so covered with welts you can hardly move.

JANE: (to Daria) Any ideas?

DARIA: You're on your own, amiga.

JANE: Thanks a lot.

She approaches Alison cautiously, stepping carefully through the mud. Alison hefts her machine gun and lowers it to point at Jane's breastbone.

JANE: Alison, I... I'm sorry.

ALISON: (a little taken aback) Huh?

JANE: I'm sorry. I should have been more, well, honest with you. I guess I was just kind of afraid of all these new feelings, you know. I'd never felt that way about another girl before, and, well, you just kind of overwhelmed me, you know.

Alison's expression is unreadable. Daria's is definitely readable, it's one of undisguised shock.

JANE: But you know, if you'd just give me another chance, I think we could be really great together...

She takes off the sunglasses. Her eyes are sparkling, and her lips tremble with anticipation.

ALISON: (dropping the machine gun) Oh Jane... I knew you'd see it my way...

Jane sweeps Alison into her arms, bends her backward and moves in for the kiss. Her lips get closer... closer...

JANE: You didn't actually think I'd do it, did you?

She drops Alison in the mud and runs for it. Daria jumps up and follows as fast as she can go.

ALISON: AARRRGGHH!!

She snatches up the gun and follows them.




INT: STORM SEWER ENTRANCE

Jane and Daria reach the Tank and jump inside.

DARIA: It's 106 miles to Lawndale. We got a full tank of gas, half a pepperoni pizza, it's dark, and I'm wearing thick, round glasses.

JANE: Hit it.

The Tank's tires squeal, and they peel out of the tunnel, knocking the loudspeaker off on the way. Alison comes up from behind and fires a few futile shots after them, but only succeeds in decorating the back doors of the Tank a bit.

Meanwhile, Helen and everyone else get into their cars and take off after the Tank, followed by the "Boys are Guys" bus. A number of police cars soon join the pursuit.




INT: TANK

Daria's checking out the rear-view mirror.

DARIA: Um, Jane, this is bad. The cops are after us.

JANE: Somehow, I doubt they're after us. Just keep going.

DARIA: (shrugs) If you say so.




INT: BUS

Val is sitting in the seat just behind Johnny, who's driving.

VAL: Can't you go any faster?

JOHNNY: Well, I could, but it looks like we're being pulled over.

VAL: What?




EXT: HIGHWAY

Indeed, it appears the cops are not after the van, they're after the "Boys are Guys" bus. The bus pulls to the side of the road, surrounded by cops. One of them gets out and approaches the bus.

JOHNNY: Something wrong, officer?

COP: Step out of the bus, you sick pervert!

Without waiting for Johnny to get out on his own, the cop opens the door and pulls him out. Other cops go in and bring out the other band members, throwing them over the hoods of their cars. From this vantage point, it is easily discernable that someone has spraypainted "12-year-olds make the best lovers - just ask your daughter!" on the side of the bus.

COP: (pulling Val out) I can't believe a grown woman would let her kids act like this.

VAL: HEY! I am not old enough to be their mother!

COP: Whatever, lady.


MEANWHILE...


The Tank continues down the highway, with a few dozen cars in hot pursuit. Helen is in the lead.




EXT: MOTEL

Upchuck waits by the side of his car, occasionally checking his watch.

UPCHUCK: Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?




TIME PASSES...




EXT: HIGHWAY

The sun is just beginning to come up as the Tank passes by a sign that reads "Lawndale, Next Exit"




INT: HELEN'S CAR

HELEN: I can't believe you were talking to Daria and Jane and not only didn't you recognize them, you actually signed them to a record contract!

JAKE: Dammit Helen, it was an honest mistake! How was I supposed to recognize them in those suits and sunglasses?

QUINN: Do you guys mind? I'm on the phone here! (on phone) Yeah, we're chasing after my sister and her weird friend. They're going to get so busted. (pause) Actually, we're almost back into town. I don't know how they expect to get out of this one.




INT: LAWNDALE HIGH GIRL'S LOCKER ROOM

Brittany and some of the other cheerleaders are suiting up for practice (though one wonders why, as they always wear their cheerleading outfits)

ANGIE: Hey Brittany! Listen to this, I'm picking up someone else's call on my cell phone!

BRITTANY: Cool!

On the phone, they hear -

STACY: So, what kind of car are they driving?

QUINN: Oh, you know, it's that horrible ugly van that she just got.

STACY: That same one that ran all the cheerleaders off the bridge on pep rally day?

QUINN: Yeah. God, that must have been so humiliating...

BRITTANY: KEVVY!!! (she drops the phone and runs out)

QUINN: Did you hear something?

STACY: Must be static.




INT: TANK

Jane is sleeping.

DARIA: Hey Jane. Wake up, this is our exit.

JANE: Whatever.




EXT: HIGHWAY

Daria pulls the Tank hard to the right, barely catching the exit ramp off the freeway. Helen's car is a bit late making the turn, and goes flying off the embankment, to land inside the back of an 18-wheel truck.




INT: HELEN'S CAR

QUINN: (surprisingly calm) Hey mom, could you hand me the phone? I dropped it.

Helen reaches up from under the dashboard and gives Quinn the phone back.

QUINN: Hello, Stacy? Yeah, I'm sorry we got cut off. We're in a truck.

The truck continues down the highway, seemingly oblivious to the fact that it has a red SUV sticking out of its rear end.




INT: MS. LI'S CAR

MS. LI: (into her CB) Attention, all Laaawndale High faculty. We are down by one pursuit unit. However, I am pleased to report that I just got word from Mrs. Morgendorffer that we may now use any means necessary to capture her little delinquent. Maintain pursuit!




EXT: LAWNDALE STREET

The Tank whips through several busy intersections, ignoring oncoming traffic.




INT: TANK

DARIA: Well, that was Seven Corners. If my calculations are correct, we should be very close to the Honorable Glenn W. Eichler Plaza.

JANE: That's where they got that Giant Strawberry.

DARIA: Uh-huh.




EXT: SEVEN CORNERS

While the Tank somehow made it through Lawndale's busiest intersection, the pursuing cars are not so fortunate. A horrific pile-up ensues as automobiles from seven different directions lose track of whose turn it was to go next and converge on the center. After a few minutes of screeching and tearing metal, the intersection finally quiets.



INT: DeMARTINO'S CAR

DeMARTINO: ARGGGH! They broke my WATCH!!




EXT: LAWNDALE STREET

The Tank whips by a side alley, where Kevin's Jeep lies in wait.

BRITTANY: Floor it, babe!

The cheerleaders take off after the Tank.




INT: TANK

A loud clunk is heard, and smoke beings to issue from the hood

DARIA: Oh, hell.

JANE: What the crap was that?

DARIA: I'd say your hot glue finally gave way.

JANE: Uh-oh.

DARIA: And, we seem to have made a wrong turn.




EXT: STREET

The Tank smashes into a construction zone, plowing through one barricade after another. Jane is forced to lean out her window and try to wipe off the accumulating gook from the smoke that continues to issue from the hood.

DARIA: Jane, get back in here! We have windshield wipers!

JANE: They work?

DARIA: Um... no. Get back out there, please.




INT: KEVIN'S JEEP

BRITTANY: Faster, Kevvy!

KEVIN: I'm going as fast as I can!




EXT: STREET

Daria realizes that the road was under construction for a reason - it ends at a drop-off. She stomps on the brakes.

DARIA: Hang on!

The Tank squeals to a violent stop in its own smoke, coming to a halt centimeters from the edge. Daria throws the Van into reverse and floors it.

JANE: Um, Daria...

Jane has seen what Daria hasn't - Kevin's jeep coming up from behind.

JANE: Daria!

The Tank keeps going, and hits a ramp of construction debris. Miraculously, the van goes airborne and clears Kevin's jeep, landing with a sickening crunch on the other side, but keeps going!

JANE: How the hell did you do that?

DARIA: Do what? I lost my glasses at that last stop, I can't see a damn thing.

Meanwhile, Kevin isn't watching where he's going either.

KEVIN: Whoa, babe, did you see that?

BRITTANY: KEVVY! Look out!!

The Jeep goes off the end of the bridge, and drops like a stone.

KEVIN: Oops.

BRITTANY: (coldly) Kevin... I've always hated you.

The Jeep falls into a large, muddy pond and sends up a colossal splash. When the water settles, everyone is up to their lower lip in mud.

KEVIN: Hey, we're all right! So, do you still hate me?

Brittany shoves his head under the mud, a move which is applauded and taken up by the rest of the cheerleaders.




EXT: PLAZA

The Tank rounds the Giant Strawberry and tears across the crowded plaza, with Daria leaning on the horn.




INT: TANK

Jane points at the appropriate building

JANE: There it is!




EXT: PLAZA

The Tank pulls up on the sidewalk outside the building. Jane and Daria get out and run, just as the Tank explodes in a firey orange mushroom.

Both girls stop and look back in disbelief.

DARIA: Damn. That was a good set of kettle drums, too.

JANE: (grabs her shoulder) Come on!




INT: BUILDING

Jane and Daria run inside, then shove a bunch of stuff in front of the door. Once finished, they run down the hall to the information counter.

DARIA: Excuse me - Jodie?

JODIE: (for it is she) Hey Daria, hey Jane. What the hell happened to you guys, you look terrible.

JANE: Well, you see, it all started when I got out of Summer School, and Daria picked me up in the van my brother's drummer used to own, and then we had to go see Ms. Li -

DARIA: (interrupting) Jodie, where is the financial office for the Lawndale School Board?

JODIE: Down the hall, up three floors, first office on your right. So then what -

DARIA: Thank you.

She grabs Jane and they run like mad.

JODIE: (a little miffed) Anytime.

Daria and Jane reach the elevator, get inside, and punch the button to three. "The Girl From Ipanema" plays on the speaker.

As the elevator doors close, Lawndale's finest (meaning the high school teachers) burst into the building. Helen and Jake come up behind them, having presumably gotten a lift out of their predicament.

They approach Jodie en masse.

O'NEILL: Oh, hello, Jodie. Say, did you happen to see Daria and Jane come through here?

JODIE: Um, yeah. I just sent them that way. What's this all about?

O'NEILL: Well, I believe it all started when they were attending my self-esteem class, and -

DeMARTINO: GET out of the WAY!

The teachers plow through, trampling poor O'Neill.

QUINN: (bringing up the rear, still on her cell phone) So anyway, we didn't even get to finish the concert. I mean, not like the music was all that great, but there were some cute guys there. Oh, hey Jodie!

JODIE: Can you tell me what's going on here?

QUINN: Hang on a sec, I'm on the phone. So anyway, we've been chasing them all night and I didn't even get the chance to change clothes. I feel so gross, you know?

JODIE: (sighs) Never mind.




INT: ELEVATOR

The elevator comes to a stop.

JANE: Hang on a sec.

She pulls out her can of spraypaint and a lighter, directs it at the speaker, and gives it a good torching. The speaker shorts out almost immediately.

JANE: I hate elevator music.

DARIA: Good call.

They rush down the hall.




INT: STAIRS

Led by Mr. DeMartino, the Lawndale teachers, plus Helen and Jake, charge up the stairs. O'Neill comes up behind, panting hard, clothes torn.




INT: OFFICE

Daria and Jane burst into the appropriate office, charge up to the counter, and finally stop.

JANE: Yo! A little service!

DARIA: Is this where we can make a donation to the Lawndale School District?

JANE: If so, we'd like to drop off five G's for the Art Department.

The clerk turns around. It's -

MS. LI: Why certainly, ladies! I'll be happy to take that off your hands!

Daria and Jane's jaws drop open simultaneously.

DARIA: How...

JANE: What...

MS. LI: It wasn't hard to guess where you would be going once the concert was over, you know.

DARIA: Wait a minute! This isn't supposed to happen!

JANE: No! We're supposed to win! We're supposed to give the money to a clerk, get a receipt, and then go face the music! Dammit, this isn't fair!

MS. LI: Life isn't fair, girls! (chuckles) Now, shall we conclude our business?

DARIA: And watch this money, this money for which we humiliated ourselves, worked our damn butts off, nearly died, and on top of all that had to sing in front of thousands of people, all go to new football uniforms? Fat chance, Li.

MS. LI: All right, if you want to see your precious Art program fade away...

The sounds of people trying to break into the office gets louder.

DARIA: How about this - we'll throw in an extra thousand in "discretionary funds", and you have to promise - in writing - that the Art program will continue and Ms. DeFoe is given tenure.

JANE: An extra thousand? Come on, Daria, that's all we've got to show for all this!

DARIA: It's that or we just give it all up. (whispers) Besides, there's still the door receipts from the gig.

JANE: Oh yeah! (sighs) All right.

DARIA: (whips out a contract) Sign here, Ms. Li.

JANE: You just carry that around with you?

DARIA: When dealing with Ms. Li, always be prepared to get things in writing.




INT: HALLWAY

DeMartino, looking for all the world like a rabid bull, smashes through the door with a fire axe.

DeMARTINO: Let's GET 'EM!!




INT: OFFICE

MS. LI: Oh, and there's just one more thing. See, this little escapade of yours has cost Laaawndale High a lot of school spirit, and -

JANE: We'll do it, whatever it is, just sign dammit!

MS. LI: Excellent! (she signs) And here is your copy, girls.

Daria takes the paper and shoves it into her pocket, just as a heavy hand falls on her shoulder. She and Jane turn around, to see DeMartino, all the other teachers (except Ms. Defoe) and her glaring mother.

DARIA: Oh, hi Mom. You'll never guess what happened to me today.


FADE TO...


INT: LAWNDALE HIGH GYM

A big banner which reads "PEP RALLY" drapes across the gym. A stage has been set up at the far end, where Mystik Spiral is playing. Jane and Daria are at the microphones. This, presumably, is Ms. Li's final condition.

JANE: Three-Four!

The Band hits a chord

JANE: THREE-FOUR!

Another chord

JANE: THREE-FOUR!

The Band starts playing in earnest. After some buildup, Daria spins around to sing into her microphone.

DARIA: All this energy calling me,
Back where it comes from!

JANE: It's such a crude attitude,
It's back where it belongs!

TOGETHER: All the little kids growing up on the skids are goin'
LAWNDALE ROCKS!! LAWNDALE ROCKS!!!

Jumpin' Jean Genies, Moody James Deanies goin'
LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS!
LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS!

TRENT: Mamma knows but she don't care,

NICK: She got her worries too!

JESSE: Seven Kids and a phony affair,

MAX: And the rent is due!

BAND: All the little chicks with the crimson lips are goin'
LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS!

She's livin' in sin with a safety pin goin'
LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS!
LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS!

JANE: I got some records from World War Two,
I'll play 'em just like me Grand Dad do,

JANE & TRENT: He was a Rocker and I am too!

CLAIRE: Oh Laaawndale Rocks... yeah Laaawndale Rocks!

BAND: So find a place, Grab a space,
And yell and scream for More!

EVERYONE: LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS!
LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS!

LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS!
LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS! LAWNDALE ROCKS!

DARIA: La la la, la, la...

The lights go down as the students cheer and stomp.

JANE: The things we do for the arts.

DARIA: After the kind of singing we've been doing, I should think we owe the Arts something for pain and suffering.

JANE: True. Pizza?

DARIA: You're buying.

THE END


END NOTES:

This idea came on me all at once. For some reason, I was suddenly struck with the image of Daria and Jane in full Blues Brothers gear, with hats, black suits, sunglasses, the works. After pursuing the idea further, I realized that there were a lot of scenes in the movie that could be re-worked to fit Jane and Daria, and a new parody fic was born.

One major difference is simply in the scale of things. Having Daria and Jane chased by a thousand cops just seemed a bit extreme – besides, my intent was to parody the Blues Brothers, not copy them. And really, what justice could ever truly be done to the great Mall Chase scene, probably the funniest ten minutes ever put on film? In a similar vein, I decided to have our heroines defending the school art program instead of orphans, dealing with mall security guards and Helen Morgendorffer instead of cops, and so on. It's still a little extreme for Daria and Jane, but nothing compared to what Jake and Elwood went through.

Jane, of course, is Jake Blues, which matches her more flamboyant personality even if it doesn't match her body type. Elwood seems more subdued and straight-arrow, therefore Daria is cast in his role. Ms. Li is the "Penguin", Trent and Jesse fill in for Murph and the Magictones, Max is Mr. Fabulous, Nick is Matt "Guitar" Murphy – I'm sure anyone familiar with the film can figure it all out. The thing I got the biggest kick over is that Quinn is filling in for John Candy.

Alison in the Carrie Fisher role is one I wasn't too sure about, but it was either her or "Evil Thom" – and for Tom I had other plans. You didn't really think Jane was going to kiss her, did you?

I took some liberties with Val's character. What the heck, no one likes her anyway.

Of course, there are logical inconsistencies with the show. The biggest one concerns when this story is actually supposed to take place – after all, if Jane knows Alison, then that means she's been to the Art Colony, which means that the following year should have been her senior year, so what's she doing going to summer school the next summer and then re-enrolling at Lawndale High? The answer is: I wanted to make use of characters and situations from the fifth season, but to make the story work properly, I had to have them still concerned with Lawndale High. I ask my readers to forgive me this warping of established canon, and remind everyone that this is a parody story and one is generally permitted a certain amount of leeway in such a case. So, this story is a post-fifth season story, but it assumes that Daria and Jane (and the rest of the senior class) did not graduate yet.

I have always been an advocate of the theory that Lawndale is located just outside of St. Louis, Missouri. For the purposes of this fic, I have decided that Lawndale is located on the East Coast near Bromwell - 106 miles away, to be exact.

I have no intention of writing a follow-up to parody Blues Brothers 2000. That movie sucked.



Thanks to:

Dan Aykroyd, John Landis, the late John Belushi, and everyone else who was involved in the original Blues Brothers - probably the single most entertaining film I've ever seen.

Glenn Eichler and all the other people who brought us Daria.

Ruthless Bunny, for doing a fine and much-appreciated beta-reading.

My incomparable wife Rachel, for her usual superb beta-reading job, creative consultation, and for not being too upset that I spent hours and hours writing this.

All the webmasters who are kind enough to post this story.


Disclaimer: I do not own Daria and other associated characters, used without permission.

This story is mine, Copyright 2002 by Mike Yamiolkoski. It may be distributed only in its entirety with this notice intact.

Other Daria fanfics by Mike Yamiolkoski:

Outage
Quinnderella
Is Summer Over Already?
Outside the Box
Community Disservice
The Next Step

Also, please enjoy the Daria Character Database at http://www30.brinkster.com/quadstar/Daria-Online/Daria-Online.htm