This is the ninth fic in my chronology. It follows
- "Rose-Colored Lenses,"
- "The Tie That Chokes,"
- "That Thing You Say,"
- "'Shipped Out,"
- "Andrea Speaks!",
- "Cheered Down,"
- "None in the Family, Part One," and
- "None in the Family, Part Two."
Now brace yourselves: I've given my continuum a NAME. But I'm going to force you to read through this fanfic before learning what it is. :-)
Consider this the third of my three "competitive chick" fics. The first two, of course, were "Andrea Speaks!" and "Cheered Down."
I'd give it a 2S... not as long as "None in the Family, Part Two"! And although it's sort of dark, it's not as heavy, either...
And last but not least, I must apologize: I'd drafted this fic prior to the airing of "Jane's Addition," and couldn't figure out how to work in a reference to her new beau, Tom. But I will in future fanfics. Just assume that for now, he's hovering in the background somewhere. Tom Griffin appears briefly, though.
Oh, and if I didn't say so before... enjoy!!
Ten Spot Promo: The one where the woman's running in the woods. She falls, turns on the tape recorder thingy, then gets up and runs off. Yeah, I know I've used this before, but MTV reuses its Ten Spot promos, so what the hey...
[intro theme music...................]
SCENE 1 (Lawndale High)
(Shot of the outside. Cut to shot of Jane and Daria standing in the hallway by their lockers. It's after third period, and students are milling about everywhere. Suddenly, from off screen overhead: )
MS. LI: Attention all students --
JANE: (to Daria) Eureka! She found the P.A.
DARIA: (deadpan) So those drug-sniffing dogs are good for something.
MS. LI: I would like to make a brief little announcement.
(Daria and Jane roll their eyes, knowing the announcement will be anything but brief.)
MS. LI: First, I would like to say once again how deeeeply upset I am about Dean McBale's little grade-changing enterprise. I was never so shocked in my life --
DARIA: Then she was the only one.
MS. LI: -- when I found out. But let's hope the student body president that succeeds him will do a better job upholding the honor of Laaaaaaaawndale High. And with that said, let me read out the names of the nominees...
(Beat. Daria and Jane exchange wary glances.)
JANE: Not another election. [*] see "Andrea Speaks!"
DARIA: Weren't you awake when we picked the nominees second period?
JANE: When have I ever been awake before third period?
DARIA: Point taken.
MS. LI: These students represent the top two vote-grabbers of the student body, the ones --
(Jodie walks up to Daria and Jane.)
JODIE: Hey, you guys.
DARIA & JANE: Hey.
JANE: (to Jodie) This election thing must have you pretty excited.
MS. LI: -- for the good of democracy and -- oh blah, blah, blah. Anyhow, the first of our top nominees is (Pause) Sandra Griffin...
(Daria and Jane look at each other and cringe.)
MS. LI: And our second nominee is (long Pause) er... um... (disbelief) Jane... Lane??
(Daria and Jodie get expressions of shock.)
JANE: (calm) Whoa, Jodie, you weren't nominated??
MS. LI: (muttering) Dammit, they must have put her name instead of Jodie Landon's by mistake...
DARIA: (to Jane. deadpan) Perhaps it's escaped your attention that you were.
JANE: Hmm, yeah, so I was. (Pause. it sinks in.) Whoa! How the hell did that happen??!
(Just then, Brittany and Kevin walk on screen, Brittany wearing her cheerleader's uniform once again.)
KEVIN: (goofy cheerful) Brit and I nominated you.
BRITTANY: (spacy cheerful) An' I got all the cheerleaders to vote for you!
DARIA: Somehow I knew there was a mental error behind this.
JANE: (to Brittany and Kevin. dry) And why me of all people?
KEVIN: Well duh! Our teacher said to nominate someone good at the art of governing.
BRITTANY: And no one's better at art than you are, Jane!
JANE: I had to ask.
BRITTANY: Ooh, I could make up a cheer for you! (Bt) Give me a J, give me an A, give me an --
JANE: (trying to get rid of them) Oh look -- talent scouts for football and supermodeling way over there. (points into the distance.)
BRITTANY & KEVIN: Ooh! (they run off.)
(Jane exhales with relief. She then sees Daria smirking.)
JANE: I hate you.
(Jodie chuckles, obviously finding humor in the situation as well. Jane turns to her.)
JANE: So, Jodie, you still haven't answered my question: why aren't you running??
DARIA: And if you say you weren't nominated, just remember: in some states it's a felony for your nose to be more than twelve inches long.
JODIE: (rolling her eyes amusedly) I was nominated. But I turned it down.
DARIA & JANE: Why??
JODIE: Look you guys, I've got a lot to handle already, what with my other activities and being vice-president...
DARIA: (sardonic) Oh yeah. Vice-president's an important office.
JANE: The highest office one can occupy without doing any real work.
(Jodie rolls her eyes again, this time looking sort of annoyed.)
JODIE: For your information, the vice-president has loads of responsibilities -- and my most important one's to keep the president in line.
(Jane and Daria glance at each other. Neither is completely satisfied with Jodie's response, but they know better than to press.)
(cut to: )
SCENE 2 (Pizza King, that afternoon)
(Shot of the outside. Cut to shot of Daria and Jane sitting in a booth, eating. Off screen, we hear the sounds of Brittany practicing a cheer.)
BRITTANY: Give me a J! Give me an A! Give me an... um, an I...!
(Jane tosses her hands in the air with exasperation.)
JANE: Would she just stop already?! When I'm president, the first thing to go will be cheerleaders and their incessant feel-good prattle.
DARIA: Not even president yet, and already you're planning your first genocide.
JANE: (smirking) I like to think big. (Pause. sighs, comes back to reality.) So, um, when Sandi's president, you think there'll be many changes in the way the school's run?
DARIA: (sardonic) Uh-huh. And all for the better. (Bt) I know I'm looking forward to "A Century of 'Waif'" becoming a course in our curriculum.
JANE: And to moving down to the basement, where all the unpopular and unattractive people will be separated from their social superiors.
DARIA: (smirking) That's nothing compared to what she'll do to the Fashion Club.
JANE: (wicked) Ah yes, I can see it now. Quinn and them will be made into Sandi's personal slaves, forced to kneel on the ground and kiss her Gucci sandals whenever she passes by -- in the process, messing up their hair, make-up, and cute little bondage gowns.
(As Daria smirks and readies a reply, we see Jodie walking over to them.)
JODIE: Hi guys. Talking about Jane's campaign?
DARIA: Wow. Two Jodie encounters in a single day.
JANE: What's the occasion?
JODIE: (good-naturedly) Knock it off.
JANE: We're just envisioning life under the Griffin administration.
JODIE: (surprised) You don't think you could be president, Jane?
JANE: (rolling her eyes) Aw c'mon, Jodie, look at me. These designer threads and holes in my ears scream "weirdo."
DARIA: (to Jodie) You've now entered Outcast Central. Population: no one who'd be here if they had a choice.
JANE: And no one's gonna elect an outcast president.
DARIA: Not that we'd want to be president in the first place.
JODIE: What do you mean?
JANE: (puzzled) Yeah, what do you mean?
DARIA: (to Jodie) I mean we outcasts have a hard and fast rule against joining mainstream student activities. No sports. No clubs. No corruption, no incrimination. We may be pathetic, but at least we have our integrity.
JODIE: (cocking a brow) Is that what you think, Jane?
JANE: (sheepish) Well... I did get burned when I was on the track team last year. Better if I just let my candidacy fade into the sunset.
JODIE: I'm sorry you feel that way -- 'cause I was gonna offer you some campaign strategies.
JANE: (pleasant) Thanks but no thanks. Why don't you take your can-do attitude to another poor sap who needs it?
(Jodie shrugs, looking vaguely disappointed.)
JODIE: If that's how you feel. (Bt) See you guys later. (she leaves.)
DARIA & JANE: Bye.
DARIA: So with that, we allow Sandi Griffin, Ms. Popularity, her easy ascension to the throne.
JANE: Now even if I were going to run, would that outcome have changed? (Bt. sort of bitter) Boy, I can just see Sandi's smug little face as she plots her first official abuses of power...
(cut to: )
SCENE 3 (Griffin residence, evening)
(Shot of the outside. Cut to close-up shot of Sandi.)
SANDI: There's no way I'm running for president!
(Cut to wider shot of the Griffins doing fondue in the dining room. Sandi's sitting across from Linda at one end of the table, while Tom, Sam, and Chris sit at the other end. Tom's struggling to prevent Sam and Chris from gouging each other's eyes out with their fondue forks. Meanwhile, Sandi and Linda talk as though they're the only ones in the room.)
LINDA: (cocking a brow) Now Sandi, that's loser-talk. I didn't raise you to be a loser, did I?
(Sandi slumps forward and swirls her stick in the fondue, a sulky expression on her face.) SANDI: No. (Bt) But if I run for president, everyone'll, like, think I'm some kind of student. Like I care about the school, or something.
LINDA: Sandi, must I remind you to keep your focus on the big picture?
SANDI: What big picture??
(Linda sighs sharply, as if the answer is obvious.)
LINDA: That you could gain a lot of influence at your school. And make contacts that could jump-start your future career.
SANDI: (rolling her eyes. haughty) Contacts? In high school??
LINDA: (annoyed -- Sandi has a point) Or being president would light up your college resume. And let's face it: it could use help. A lot of it.
(Sandi absorbs this comment with a resentful sneer.)
LINDA: Do you think I got where I am today by shirking opportunities like this?
SANDI: You mean from news anchor to marketing V.P.?
(Pause. Linda's eyes narrow slightly. Sandi knows she's hit a sore spot, but she's too irritated to enjoy her brief advantage. Continues to sit there with a sulky expression. Meanwhile Tom's extracted himself long enough from Sam and Chris's feud to catch part of the dialogue. He tries to be of some help.)
TOM: You know, when I was in high school --
LINDA: Tom? Did I say you could be a part of this conversation?
TOM: (chuckling uneasily) Well no, but I just assumed --
LINDA: Don't bother to assume, because when you do, you're wrong. Better to just let me do the assuming for the both of us, hmm'kay?
(Beat. Tom wilts.)
LINDA: Good. (turns back to Sandi, cool and triumphant once again after the reprimand.) And as for you, Sandi --
SANDI: (in no mood for a lecture) Look, Mother, even if I do nothing for this stupid election, I'll probably win by a landslide. I'm up against some loser-freak nobody.
LINDA: Sandi, what did I just say about assuming? Complacency can lead to ruin. (Bt) If you hadn't been so complacent about being president of the Fashion Club, you wouldn't've --
SANDI: (looking slightly wounded) But I wasn't! I was just being nice to that stupid Quinn Morgendorffer because she fell off the stupid pyramid. How was I s'posed to know they'd make her president after I let her back in?? [*] see "Cheered Down"
LINDA: That's exactly my point. You weren't ready for her, and she got you. And you still haven't recovered from your fall, have you?
SANDI: (glaring) I would have if they'd've let me form another fashion club...
LINDA: There's no point in dreaming about the past. If you want to avoid that kind of humiliation a second time, you'd better get on the ball and work to secure your victory. Otherwise, who can predict the self-esteem spiral you could g--
SANDI: All right, Mom.
LINDA: And let me remind you again that I didn't raise you to be a quitter --
SANDI: I know. (Bt) God, you give me, like, this same speech every freaking week.
(Beat. Linda cocks a warning eyebrow -- "Strike two." Sam and Chris stop what they're doing, recognizing these warning signs, and start pointing and laughing at Sandi. Sandi rolls her eyes.)
SANDI: (coolly) You know what?? I think I'll go upstairs an' make some phone calls now. To help jump start my campaign.
(As she stands up, she sees Linda nod with approval.)
SANDI: It's been real. (she leaves.)
(Pause. Linda watches her go, then gets a calculating look on her face.)
(cut to: )
SCENE 4 (Lawndale High, a couple of days later)
(Shot of the outside. Cut to close-up shot of a poster of Sandi. She's posed in a way that one can't help but call "seductive," above a caption that reads: "How Can You Resist? Vote Sandi Griffin for president." Cut to a wider shot -- we see that the poster is one of many to line the walls of the hallway. Several people are staring at them, including Daria and Jane.)
JANE: (shaking her head. hushed) The girl works fast, I'll give her that.
DARIA: (deadpan) And if she puts as much effort into governing as she did into choosing a photogenic eyeliner, she'll be the best president this school's ever known.
JANE: Or ever will know.
(We then hear Sandi's voice from off screen, and see her stride past Daria and Jane without so much as acknowledging them. She's too busy being admired by an entourage of students. Pan shot to follow her.)
SANDI: (in the midst of answering someone's question) ... Of course there'll be parties every Friday. There has to be something worthwhile at this school.
MALE STUDENT: Will there be swimsuit models at these parties?
SANDI: I'll see what I can do.
(Sandi stops at her locker, and the group forms a circle around her. As she continues to talk, we see Quinn, Tiffany, and Stacy creep up and stand on the sidelines. Tiffany and Stacy look awed, Quinn steamed.)
TIFFANY: (hushed) Wow...
STACY: Real-live swimsuit models...
QUINN: (irritated) Oh come on, you don't honestly believe she can do that, do you??
STACY: (shrugs her shoulders. admitting) I guess not.
TIFFANY: But it'll still be really cool if Sandi becomes president.
QUINN: Why, Tiffany??
TIFFANY: (vague surprise) 'Cause she could do a lot of big favors for us.
QUINN: (trying to be patient, but there's an edge in her voice) Why would she want to do us any favors?? Sandi hates us, remember??
(Tiffany and Stacy both exchange doubtful looks.)
STACY: Oh... I don't think she hates us. I mean, just because she hasn't talked to us in a month --
SANDI: (snotty tone) Um, excuse me: you three in the back --
(Quinn, Tiffany, and Stacy turn to see Sandi giving them a freezing look.)
SANDI: -- could you, like, kindly shut your little traps while I'm talking?? This isn't, like, preschool.
(The comment is met with mild laughter from the crowd. Quinn's eyes narrow, while Tiffany and Stacy look surprised.)
QUINN: (dripping with faux graciousness) Oh, of course we will, Sandi.
STACY & TIFFANY: Yeah. We're sorry.
SANDI: Hmph, thank you. (tosses her hair. to the crowd.) Now as I was saying: another thing I'll try to do when I'm president is crack down on fashion phonies. (pointed glance at Quinn and the other F.C.'s.) You know -- people who tell you what you should wear when it, like, turns out to be totally wrong an' you end up looking like a freak...
(Other students glance at Quinn, who responds by gritting her teeth and walking away. Several of the male students watch her go with longing, and look as though they want to pursue, but Sandi's throat-clearing recaptures their attention. After a few seconds, Tiffany and Stacy follow Quinn. Pause.)
STACY: Hmm, I guess she does hate us.
QUINN: She's just being a baby. Ever since she dropped out 'cause she could no longer be our president...
STACY: (wilted) Yeah.
(Beat. Quinn puts a hand to her forehead.)
QUINN: (semi-melodramatic) Oh God, she's probably already cooked up a scheme to get rid of us!
STACY: (sounding worried) How?
QUINN: Who knows how?? Maybe by cutting our funding 'til the only place left we can afford to shop is (shudders) J.J. Jeeters.
TIFFANY: (horrified) Ugh!
STACY: (putting her face in her hands) Oh no, no!
TIFFANY: But if that's true, shouldn't we be trying to stay on Sandi's good side?
(Beat. Quinn stops in her tracks and spins around to face Tiffany.)
QUINN: (irritated) If you wanna suck up to Sandi, go right ahead. I've got other plans.
(She stalks off, leaving Tiffany and Stacy behind. Cut to shot of Daria and Jane, still looking at Sandi's poster. Quinn comes over to them, stomps on the floor.)
QUINN: Dammit, Lane, you'd better win this election!
JANE: (sardonic) Whoa. We're on a last name basis, now, are we? To what do I owe --
QUINN: Don't make jokes -- this isn't funny! My whole future depends on whether you or Sandi gets elected.
DARIA: (deadpan) Hoping to ride the wave of nepotism to a cushy high-level position?
QUINN: (ignoring her. to Jane) You do realize that one word from "President Sandi" and the Fashion Club could be history, don't you??
JANE: (wicked delight) Yes, the thought had crossed my mind.
(Quinn glares at her.)
JANE: And sometimes, when life tosses you these kinds of lemons --
DARIA: (smirking) You just gotta suck them dry.
QUINN: (sarcastic) Gee, I'm glad you guys're so understanding. 'Cause if the Fashion Club splits up, I'm gonna have a lot of free time on my hands.
DARIA: Which you could use constructively.
JANE: Yeah -- like form a new club: "Fashion Club Anonymous." Where people learn to put aside their petty obsession with exterior qualities in order to focus on (dramatic pause) the beauty within.
DARIA: (deadpan) F.C.A.: helping fashion victims regain their sanity one day at a time.
(Quinn rolls her eyes.)
QUINN: Actually, I was thinking I could spend my free time giving makeovers to all the losers around me. (looks pointedly at Jane and Daria, who go pale.)
DARIA: You wouldn't.
QUINN: (smirking) Watch me.
JANE: (to Quinn) Okay, crazy thought: if you're so worried, why don't you run for president? You'd probably have a better shot than I would.
QUINN: (tossing her hands in the air) Are you kidding?? I turned it down. I have better things to do.
(Daria and Jane rolls their eyes at her illogic. Quinn gives up trying to appeal to them and walks away. Pause)
JANE: (peevish) That girl just drained all the fun out of my non-candidacy.
DARIA: Don't let her get to you. (Bt) Just imagine the hell we'll put her through when she tries to make us over.
JANE: (wicked) When she starts to do our hair -- diabetic seizure right on the ground.
DARIA: (smirking) That's the spirit. (Pause. sees that Jane has suddenly gone reflective.) Jane?
DARIA: What're you doing?
JANE: I'm wondering how well people could "resist" Sandi if her posters got some facial hair and a few well-placed warts. And I'm imagining a bunch of my really cool art designs next to them.
DARIA: Art designs? (Bt. frowns) Wait, you're not thinking of running, are you?
JANE: I dunno. (Bt) I mean, what would be so bad about it?
DARIA: For starters: the fact that no office is worth what you have to go through to get it. Sandi Griffin would eat you alive.
JANE: Nah she wouldn't -- too afraid of weight gain.
(Beat. Daria rolls her eyes, realizing it will be difficult to get through to Jane.)
DARIA: And as much as we joke about the president having so much power, when all's said and done, he's just an empty suit. Ms. Li runs the show at this school.
(Jane frowns and nods in agreement.)
DARIA: (continuing) Everyone knows that. About all the president can do is give perks to the cronies who elected him. (Bt) Sure, I'd like my own walk-in locker, but not if it means watching you get manipulated by the powers above.
JANE: (reflective) Yeah, I understand. (Bt) But maybe it doesn't have to be that way. Maybe I could change things...
DARIA: (skeptical) Like how?
(Beat. Jane shrugs.)
JANE: I don't know. It was just a thought.
DARIA: Well if I were you, I'd think about something more plausible. Like manning the first space mission to Pluto.
(Pause. Jane heaves a sigh.)
JANE: (slightly peevish) You always know how to deliver that ray of sunshine just when I need it, don't you?
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 5 (Lane house, that evening)
(Shot of the outside. Cut to shot of Jane sitting at the kitchen table, sipping herbal tea. Off screen, we hear a loud, badly-played chord. Jane doesn't even flinch. We then see Trent waltz into the kitchen, guitar in hand, to make coffee.)
TRENT: Hey, Janey.
JANE: Hey. (Bt) Yo, Trent, could I have some advice?
TRENT: Advice? (Bt) I dunno. Advice sounds kind of... authoritarian.
(Jane rolls her eyes with amused exasperation.)
JANE: Not if you don't hold a gun to the person's head and force them to follow through.
TRENT: Hmm... good point. (Bt) Okay, what's up?
JANE: Well... some idiots put me in sort of a bind by nominating me for student body president.
(Trent cocks a coolly-impressed eyebrow.)
TRENT: Whoa, really?
JANE: (hushed, with disbelief) Yeah... really. (Bt) Who'd've thought, huh?
TRENT: President. Now that's real authority.
JANE: I'll say. (Bt) I mean, it's something I'd've never gone for on my own, but now that the opportunity's fallen into my lap...
TRENT: You're thinking you wanna go for it?
JANE: Um, yeah. (Bt) What d' you think?
(long Pause. Jane gets impatient waiting for him to respond.)
JANE: Daria doesn't think I should. She's given me a lot of good reasons not to run, but... I'm not so sure I want to consider them.
TRENT: Why not?
(Beat. Jane flushes a little with uncharacteristic embarrassment.)
JANE: (awkward) 'Cause I mean... why shouldn't I run? Isn't the student body president supposed to represent everybody? (Bt) I may not be as popular as the other girl who's running, but I did get nominated fair and square.
TRENT: Hmmm... good point. JANE: And Daria's a really great friend, but sometimes I think she takes her glass-half-empty philosophy too far.
TRENT: (looking reflective) Hmmm...
(Jane's so absorbed in her problem, she doesn't even realize she could've messed up the chance to pair Trent with Daria.)
JANE: (frustrated) Or maybe I'm just being stupid. (slight chuckle) Like I could put together a campaign that would actually beat Sandi Griffin. I'm not even the competitive type.
JANE: So... forget I said anything. (shakes her head.) Bad idea, Jane.
TRENT: Dunno. Maybe not so bad.
TRENT: Yeah. Why should you have to give up on a dream just 'cause some people say it's not meant to be? Man, if I'd listened to all the naysayers out there, I'd've never joined Mystik Spiral.
JANE: So --
TRENT: (going of on a self-indulgent rant) Instead I'd be wasting my life, wearing a straitjacket they call a "suit and tie," forced to listen to crappy elevator music every morning on the way up to my big office. Bitter. Angry. Ready to kill, ready t --
TRENT: Sorry. (Bt) What I mean to say is if you wanna go for president, Janey, go for president. (Bt) Even if you're not as popular as the other girl, I'll bet you're just as smart. You've got as much to offer that school as anyone else.
(Jane smirks with gratitude.)
JANE: Thanks, Trent. It means a lot to hear you say that.
TRENT: Any time, Janey. (Pause. looks at the coffee label.) Dammit -- decaf. Who bought that? (Bt) Oh yeah, guess it was me. I'd better go buy some real stuff -- gonna pull an all-nighter. (Bt) See ya. (walks out of the kitchen.)
JANE: Later, Trent.
(Pause. Then Jane stands up and walks over to the phone. Hesitates before dialing, then lays it against her ear. Pause.)
JANE: Hi, Jodie? It's me, Jane. How'd you like to talk campaign strategy?
[Shot of Sandi walking past Jane and Daria with her entourage.]
You are now entering commercial HELL. Please keep your seat belt securely fastened. You are about to see some of the lamest commercials put on television.
- "Next Wednesday, on the Ten Spot: Quinn's math teacher has big plans for Quinn. But can he rely on Jake to be the overseer?? Find out next week on an all-new 'Daria.'"
- According to Head and Shoulders, the worst thing to happen to you on your wedding day isn't your betrothed dumping you, or a grisly death during the ceremony. It's... getting flakes on your shoulder. Well of course! I didn't even think that had to be said, it was so obvious...
- Ecampus.com: the one where the guy stands there and burps the information. Wow, that'll really make me want to buy school supplies over the Internet. Never mind that I couldn't even understand what he was... er, saying.
You are now leaving commercial HELL. Aren't you happy you survived?
SCENE 1 (Lawndale High, a couple of days later)
(Shot of the outside. Cut to close-up shot of a poster containing swirly colors and abstract shapes. Cut to wider shot -- that poster, and many more like them, are spread across the hallway, alongside the Sandi posters. We see Jane, Daria, and Jodie gazing at them. Jane is smirking triumphantly, Daria's deadpan, Jodie neutral. It's in between classes, and we see several people walking to and fro.)
JANE: (gesturing at one poster) Well voila! That's the last of 'em.
DARIA: Very colorful.
JODIE: Um, yeah.
JANE: So do they say Jane Lane or what??
DARIA: Actually, "what" was the word I was grasping for. As in what is it?
JANE: (waving her arms energetically) It's unconventionality! It's freedom of expression! It says "Jane Lane is an original"!
DARIA: An original nut case?
(Beat. Jane frowns mildly at her. Before she can respond: )
MS. LI: (over the P.A.) Attention students: in a moment, I will be playing a campaign song for Ms. Jane Lane. And let's remember to rock the vote in three weeks!
(Pause. Daria and Jodie look at Jane questioningly.)
JANE: Oh yeah -- did I mention Trent wrote and recorded a campaign song for me?
JANE: Yeah -- he really got inspired. (Bt) But what's even weirder is that Ms. Li seemed completely okay with me playing it. I thought she'd just blow me off, but she actually seemed (cringes a little) happy.
JODIE: That is weird.
DARIA: Yep. Though after seeing my mom make decorative coasters last night, I'm ready for anything.
(The music starts to play. It's soft, very similar to the music for the jingle in "The Lawndale File." After a few seconds, we hear Trent singing.)
Jane she's pretty cool,
A real cool cat.
She goes to high school,
Ain't nothin' beat that...
(More guitar strumming. Daria and Jodie stare at Jane. Jane shrugs.)
JANE: So it's not Shakespeare.
You gotta be a fool
If you-don't-vote-for-her. So... (sudden loud strumming.)
VOTE VOTE VOTE FOR JANE!!!
VOTE VOTE VOTE FOR JANE!!!
(Daria and Jodie are now cringing. Jane looks uneasy, as though she's regretting her decision to play the song.)TRENT:
VOTE VOTE VOTE FOR JANE!!!
VOTE VOTE VOTE FOR JANE!!!
(Cut to shot of Quinn in the hall. Like the other students, she's transfixed. Wears a horrified expression on her face.)
YOU'LL DRIVE ME INSANE
IF YOU DON'T VOTE FOR JANE!!! (more guitar strumming.)
(Quinn puts a hand to her forehead.)
QUINN: Oh God, no!
(She suddenly realizes that Sandi is standing next to her, smirking at her obvious humiliation. Quinn lamely tries to recover.)
QUINN: Um, I mean: oh no, I hope this isn't the only time we get to hear this song.
SANDI: (not convinced) Uh-huh.
(She and Quinn exchange predatory smiles.)
Jane she's pretty cool,
She goes to high school.
You gotta be a fool
If you don't vote vote vote vote (loud strumming.)
VOTE VOTE VOTE FOR JANE!!!
VOTE VOTE VOTE FOR JANE!!!
VOTE VOTE VOTE FOR JANE!!!
VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE
VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE
JANE, JANE, JANE, JANE, JAAAAAAAANE!!! (one final strum, then silence.)
(Cut to shot of Jane, Daria, and Jodie. Jane cringes slightly, looking amused and embarrassed. Suddenly the people around them start cheering.)
(Cut to shot of Quinn and Sandi. The people near them have started cheering, too. In response, Sandi's expression changes from triumphant to shocked. Quinn looks relieved. Resume shot of Jane, Daria, and Jodie, looking bewildered.)
MS. LI: (over the P.A.) Yes, yes, that was a lovely song. Now quickly allow your anarchic excitement to die down, or I'll sic the riot squad on you. That is all.
(Pause. We then see Brittany running up to Jane, Daria, and Jodie, waving her pom-poms.)
BRITTANY: Wow, Jane, that sounded just like my cheer. Go, Jane, go! Yeah!!!! (jumps up in the air.)
(Before Jane can respond, Brittany runs off. Then Kevin appears.)
KEVIN: (goofy cheerful) Hey Jane, cool song. And catchy. "Vote vote vote vote vote... vote... vote..." (looks at Jane for help.)
JANE: For Jane.
KEVIN: Oh yeah! I got it! (flashes a thumbs up, then runs off.)
(Meanwhile, Daria looks like her usual impassive self, and Jodie is smirking.)
JANE: (amused and exasperated) Geez, who'd've thought Trent could write such a crowd pl--
(Just then Sandi waltzes past, wearing a typical condescending smirk.)
SANDI: Cute song. (Bt) If the rest of your campaign is as good, this might almost be a race.
(Jane frowns as she disappears off screen. Pause.)
JANE: (hushed) Don't underestimate me, Sandi.
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 2 (Lane house, that afternoon)
(Shot of the outside. Cut to shot of Jane, Daria, and Jodie seated at the kitchen table. Jodie's holding a notepad for writing down the campaign ideas Jane has. So far, her notepad is almost blank.)
JANE: Okay, okay... how 'bout this? Mandatory art classes for all students.
(Daria says nothing, but instead looks at Jodie to see her response. She's nixed the last several of Jane's ideas.)
JODIE : (neutral-toned) Uh-huh.
JANE: None of your cutting art to make more room for the three R's -- no sir! It's my belief that if we all took more art classes, we'd lose that aggressiveness that's made Western Civilization so unpleasant these past few centuries. Then we'd stop competing with each other, there'd be no more cliques, and our school would be a better place. Problems solved. (brushes her hands together in a satisfied manner.)
JODIE: Um, uh-huh. (the notepad remains blank.)
JANE: (sensing her lack of enthusiasm. with slight exasperation) Now what's wrong with that?
JODIE: Nothing, Jane. But... I'm just not sure it's practical.
DARIA: (to Jodie. sardonic) Do tell.
JODIE: First of all, I doubt you could convince the school board to increase our art funding. Not when we're using history text books from 1967.
JANE: Hmm, yeah -- that explains why we're so obsessed with Communism around here. No one seems to realize the Soviet Union fell almost ten years ago.
JODIE: Right. (Bt) Second, it doesn't seem like something that could really address the needs of the student body. It's sort of a "feel-good" solution.
JANE: Hmm... yeah. (looks sort of distressed. flops back in her chair.) Well then what should my message to the students be?? I'm fresh out of ideas.
(Jodie pauses to think.)
DARIA: (to Jane) Why even have a message? Just telling the students you won't sic the fashion police on them should be enough.
JANE: (exasperated) Should be -- but for some twisted reason, they seem to look up to Sandi. I wanna know how I can work around that.
JODIE: Well, I found during my campaign for vice-president that just listening to the students' problems went a long way toward gaining their trust.
JANE: (like it's a foreign concept) Listening?? You mean like... I ask, they tell? (Jodie nods.) And that works?
JODIE: You'd be surprised. (Bt) When Dean was president, he left a lot of students to be ignored. I bet most of them would love to spill their guts to you.
JANE: (smirking) Then I could be their hero. I like that.
DARIA: But how can you be so sure Dean didn't start out with that attitude?
JANE: Please, Daria, the guy was a corrupt grade-changing shark who didn't give a damn about anything beyond himself. (Bt) Whereas I'd at least be real to my fellow classmates.
DARIA: (wrinkling her nose) Real?? You think playing Oprah is your way of being real?
(Jodie rolls her eyes at Daria's tone -- she's been a pessimist all afternoon. Jane looks at Daria with a peevish expression.)
JANE: Well why not?? I can listen as well as the next guy. They talk, I say "uh-huh." No sweat.
DARIA: If you say so.
JANE: Hey, Jodie? That reminds me: um, how d' you keep from looking bored when others talk to you?
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 3 (Lawndale High, the next day -- first day of "Jane Lane's Listening Tour")
(Shot of the outside. Shot of some students lying on the grass near the parking lot. We see Jane approach them with an unusual degree of awkwardness. Jodie and Daria follow.)
JANE: Um... hey, guys.
(Pause. The students look up at her, wearing expressions that range from impassive to confused.)
JANE: Um, I don't suppose you'd know me. I'm Jane Lane.
(Pause. No response.)
JANE: I'm... running for student body president?
(Pause. Jane glances back at Jodie for guidance. Jodie gives her a nod that says, "You're doing fine. Keep going." Just then, one of the students shows signs of awareness.)
MALE STUDENT: Oh yeah. Aren't you the one who painted the gym to look like some guy's car crash? [*] see "Daria Dance Party"
JANE: (relieved) Guilty as charged.
FEMALE STUDENT: That was really creepy.
JANE: Thanks! (Bt. sighs, knowing the girl didn't mean that in a humorous way.) Look, I'm a pretty normal person, honest. Don't believe the lies the school psychiatrist tells you.
(Pause. The students frown.)
JANE: I'm kidding. (Bt) The reason I'm here, in fact, is to show you that I'm not your typical ivory tower candidate. I've spent my whole student career as an outsider, so I know how it feels to not be heard. So if you have any complaints, problems about the school, I'm the one to talk to.
MALE STUDENT: (doubtful) And you'll help us?
JANE: I'll try my best.
(Beat. The students look at each other, their faces brightening.)
FEMALE STUDENT: So if I asked you to do something about the lack of toilet paper in the women's bathrooms, you would?
(Jane, Jodie, and Daria all cringe, understanding her problem.)
JANE: Ugh, you bet.
MALE STUDENT: And you'd convince Ms. Li to change her "no T-shirts with subversive logos" policy?
JANE: I could probably arrange something.
FEMALE STUDENT 2: And you'll ask them to clean the gum out of the drinking fountains?
MALE STUDENT: Or to replace the textbooks that have no front or back cover??
JANE: Ugh, yes. (Bt. amazed) Boy, I didn't realize what a crappy school we went to. I'll look into everything.
FEMALE STUDENT 2: Great!
MALE STUDENT: I already like you better than Dean McBale.
JANE: (smirking) Just remember that on election day. (Bt. turns to Daria and Jodie.) Hey, these're starting to add up. Do either of you have something I could use to write them down?
(Daria shrugs, empty-handed. Jodie starts to pull something out, when we see a hand reach over from off screen with a pad and pen. Jane frowns.)
UPCHUCK: (off screen) Allow me, luscious Jane. (pan over to show him.)
JANE: (backing away) Forget it, Upchuck. I'd sooner pick a notebook out of the trash than touch something that's had contact with your body.
UPCHUCK: Grrrrrrrr... feisty! I like that in my female presidents!
JANE: Then you'll love the swift kick in the groin I'm about to give you.
UPCHUCK: (cringing a little) Uh -- but don't I get to tell you my problem?
(Beat. Jane sighs heavily.)
UPCHUCK: Ahhhh... (rubs his hands together with anticipation.) My problem is that there are so many fine ladies, and only one little me. Can you talk Ms. Li into letting me clone myself in the science room?
JANE: I would, Upchuck, but I think even Ms. Li would be against unleashing a plague on the student body.
(Her response is met with mild laughter.)
JANE: Find a good laboratory that's looking for experimental subjects instead.
UPCHUCK: (looking defeated, but impressed) Grrrrrrrr... even when she repels, she attracts! Grrrrrrr...
(He leaves. Jane slaps a hand to her forehead, then sees Daria cocking a droll eyelid at her.)
JANE: Boy, this listening stuff is harder than it looks.
(From off screen: )
SANDI: (calling out) You know, some believe that those who just listen don't have anything to say.
(Jane, Daria, and Jodie turn to look. Cut to shot of Sandi lounging on the hood of her car in the parking lot, surrounded by yet more admiring students. Jane walks over to them.)
JANE: (folding her arms) Really? And which esteemed scholar coined that expression?
SANDI: My mother. (Bt) She taught me that the only way to be a true leader is to be persuasive.
JANE: (sardonic) A visionary?
(Daria and Jodie come over.)
DARIA: (deadpan) Which must be why the Fashion Club is the cutting-edge institution it is today.
SANDI: (missing the sarcasm) Exactly. (Bt. looks pointedly at Jane.) And if you can't take the heat, maybe you should get out of the, um... sun, or something.
(Several members of her entourage laugh.)
MALE STUDENT: Good one, Sandi.
(Sandi smirks at him like a dog owner who's pleased that her pet has performed the right trick.)
JANE: (exasperated) Okay, Sandi. So what exactly are the big schemes you've designed to dig a hole and bury me in it?
(Sandi shudders, and glares at her.)
SANDI: You don't have to get gross about it. But since you asked... (knowing glance at her entourage) what d' you say to four-hour school days? Or to being able to fire the teachers you don't like??
JANE: I'd say great -- if I thought it could work.
SANDI: (smirking) Oh, it'll work, all right.
JODIE: (annoyed) The president doesn't have the authority to do that, Sandi.
SANDI: Maybe not now, but when I assume the position --
DARIA: No one will resist? No guys, anyway.
SANDI: (not getting it) Uh... yeah.
JODIE: Sandi, being president won't give you powers that not even the school board has.
SANDI: (getting defensive) How do you know? Maybe all it takes is the right person to do --
JANE: Okay, well let's say you do manage to enact a plan that lets the students fire teachers they don't like. Say one kid decided to fire a teacher who'd made his life a living hell. But the problem is, that same teacher who he hated turned out to be another student's only link to sanity.
(Beat. Sandi watches her blankly.)
JANE: And when that teacher left, the student snapped, and decided to take out his revenge not only on the kid who'd fired the teacher, but on every student who'd ever looked at him the wrong way.
(We hear a collective gasp from the crowd, and see many students get fearful expressions. Daria looks subtly impressed by the way Jane took command of the situation. Jodie, too, appears pleased. Meanwhile, Sandi looks a little freaked out. Then she glares at Jane.)
SANDI: Weirdo. You know that would never happen.
JANE: Don't be so sure about that, Sandi.
SANDI: Why? Is it something you've been planning??
(At this, Jane frowns. Daria and Jodie also frown darkly.)
DARIA: Hey, Sandi --
JANE: (maintaining her cool) Just where d' you come up with that idea?
SANDI: 'Cause only a freaky Goth chick like you could be that screwed-up.
JANE: (slowly losing her cool) I prefer Gothic art chick, thank you.
SANDI: (smirking) Whoops. Sorry. Don't want to upset you.
(She glances at the members of her entourage, several of whom respond with nervous giggles.)
JODIE: (eyes narrowing) Don't listen to her, Jane.
JANE: (irritated) Look, Sandi, I've had just about enough --
(Suddenly, from off screen: )
QUINN: (chipper) Hi, you guys!
(She saunters on screen, casts a pointed, irresistible look at the male members of Sandi's entourage, then walks away. A large number of the guys look as though they're struggling between staying with Sandi or going after her. Finally they break away and run after Quinn. Cut to shot of Quinn and the guys.)
QUINN: (tossing her hair. innocent tone) Y' know, I was thinking: wouldn't it be really cool if Jane Lane was president?
(Sandi forgets what she and Jane were fighting about, and watches this exchange with a shocked expression. Jane smirks with relief.)
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 4 (school hallway, Monday the following week)
(Shot of Jane and Daria at their lockers. They're acting like their usual selves, but there's definite tension between them. While Jane fiddles around in her locker, Daria reads the underground newspaper. Just then, Jodie comes up to them with the school paper in hand.)
JODIE: Hey Jane, don't feel discouraged: the Lowdown says you're starting to creep up on Sandi in the polls.
JANE: I am?? (looks at the article to which Jodie's pointing, gets an amazed look on her face.)
JODIE: It says a lot of people really like that you're bothering to listen to them. And that they've found holes in Sandi's so-called "vision" for the school.
JANE: Well I'll be damned. (Bt) You know it's funny that Ms. Li hasn't caught whiff of her schemes.
JODIE: She probably doesn't take them seriously.
JANE: This is Ms. Li we're talking about.
DARIA: More likely she knows Sandi's popular, so she cuts her slack she wouldn't you.
JANE: (brow wrinkling with concern) Hmmm...
JODIE: Well anyway, your outsider approach also seems to be affecting how students see you.
(Daria cocks a wary eyelid at the word, "approach.")
JODIE: (to Jane) You don't come across as one of the elitists. You're down-to-earth. People are starting to see you as a force of change.
JANE: Well zippidy-doo-dah -- I feel like celebrating! This loner art chick's proving to the world that she's not gonna lie down an' fade away.
JODIE: (smiling) Easy, there: don't celebrate too soon. You've still got a lot of people to talk to, and then there's the speech you have to give on election day.
JANE: (pumped-up) Well bring it on -- I'm ready for anything. (Bt) Say, Daria, any news about my surge in the underground paper?
DARIA: Hmm... nope. Not a word. (Bt) Although there is this article about a girl who thought she could beat the popular crowd, but instead she let herself be turned into them.
(Pause. Jodie and Jane pick up on Daria's subtle meaning and frown.)
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 5 (lunchtime, later that day)
(Shot of Jodie walking with Jane through the cafeteria.)
JODIE: Don't let her get to you.
JANE: You mean Daria and her incurable self-righteousness?? (rolls her eyes and sighs.) I'm trying not to, but it's hard when your best friend won't support you on something that's important.
(Jodie nods with understanding.)
JODIE: It could be she's just jealous. You know, 'cause you had the courage to run for office and she didn't.
JANE: Yeah, maybe so. (Bt. frowns) Though this isn't the first time she's rained on my parade.
JODIE: Look, Jane, I know Daria's your best friend, and her opinions mean a lot to you. But if you want to do what you need to for this election, you may just have to ignore her.
JANE: (resigned) Yeah. You're right.
(Cut to shot of a table of nerds. Jane and Jodie approach them.)
JANE: (hushed) This listening stuff is still a little weird to me. So's spouting campaign sound bites. It just doesn't feel quite real. (Bt. half-joking) You sure you wouldn't rather run in my place?
JODIE: (hushed) You're doing fine. I know sound bites suck, but they're a necessary evil in politics.
(Jane nods, then glances at the nerds and makes a throat-clearing sound. The nerds look up at her.)
JANE: (mustering a cheerful tone) Hey guys, the name's Jane Lane and I'm running for student body president. I'm here to listen so if you've got a problem, any problem, I'm your girl.
(Pause. The nerds look at each other questioningly. Suddenly one gets up -- one we recognize as Barry from "'Shipped Out." He looks enraged, and points a finger at Jane accusingly.)
BARRY: (squeaky Corey voice) Don't believe her, men! This woman set me up with that foul temptress, Daria Morgendorffer! (to Jane) Oh you'll pay. You'll paaaaaaaaay!
(Jane looks at Jodie and groans.)
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 6 (the next day, the first of a montage of scenes taking place throughout the week)
(The toned-down portion of the music from Jane's campaign song plays throughout this montage. Shot of Jane standing on the volleyball court in the midst of a gym class game. She's surrounded by curious students, to whom she's talking with much more confidence than the day before. Keeps making exaggerated gestures to illustrate her points. Meanwhile Daria stands in the background, impassive.)
JANE: ... And when I say I'm here to hear, I mean I'm here to hear, 'cause I know what it's like to not be listened to. (pauses momentarily to hit a flying volleyball back over the net without so much as looking at it.) Heck, I'll even listen to you! (looks pointedly off screen.)
(Pan over to show Andrea sitting in the bleachers. She stares back at Jane blankly. Resume shot of Jane.)
JANE: See, like the rest of you, I, too, feel like I'm not being heard by the powers-that-be at the top of the food chain. Which is why I'm determined to be the first candidate who truly cares --
(Cut to close-up of Daria. She rolls her eyes. fade-out.)
(fade-in to shot of Sandi heading out the door of one of the school buildings in the direction of the quad. She suddenly freezes and gets a shocked look on her face - cut to her POV. We see Jane sitting at a table littered with various art supplies, in the midst of painting a student's face and listening his problems. Behind the student is a line of other students that looks about a mile long. Several people who've already had their faces painted are standing nearby, gazing at each other, and Jane, admiringly. Resume close-up of Sandi. Her shock has been replaced by irritation, and as she slowly turns around to go back inside, she continues to watch the activity in the quad with a dark frown.)
(Cut to close-up of Jane. She's been sitting at the table, painting and listening to the students for a long time. Her expression is now one of weary cheerfulness. As she nods her head to the one student's voice, she peers out at the long, long line behind him. Closes her eyes, gets a "Why me?" look on her face. fade-out.)
(fade-in to shot of Jane walks down the hall with a group of students that's smaller, yet similar to the entourage Sandi had in Act One.)
MALE STUDENT: (to Jane) You'll get them to serve vegan in the cafeteria?
FEMALE STUDENT: You'll make sure they install private showers in the locker rooms?
JANE: (enthused) I'll do my best. Remember: when you're listened to, you're already halfway to the final results. (pumps a fist for emphasis.)
(They pass by Ms. Li and Mrs. Manson, the school psychologist. Pause shot on the two of them.)
MANSON: (hushed) Don't you find the messages she espouses to be disturbing?
MS. LI: (unusually nonchalant) Oh fiddle-faddle! It's just good clean student fun!
(fade-out. fade-in to shot of Jane, sitting on one of the desks in DeMartino's classroom, some time after class. DeMartino stands over her, lecturing, while Jane watches him with a wary expression.)
DeMARTINO: My only hope, Candidate LANE, is that you've absorbed enough of my TEACHING to understand how to be a good civic LEADER --
(Just then, O'Neill passes by the open door of the classroom, his face red and eyes teary. Looks inside, sees Jane.)
O'NEILL: (wailing) I need someone to listen to me!!!
(He rushes toward her. Jane cringes, jumps off the desk, and looks at her watch.)
JANE: Whoops! I'd love to but -- gotta go!
(She runs off. DeMartino's eye bulges and he frowns in a "surprise, surprise" manner. Then he glances uneasily at the whimpering Mr. O'Neill. fade-out.)
(fade-in to shot of Jane sitting on the grass, listening to a student wrap up a summary of financial problems.)
MALE STUDENT: It was really nice of you to sit here so long.
JANE: (sober) Hey, it's no problem. Maybe I can help.
MALE STUDENT: (grateful) Thanks, but I think it'd take a miracle for me to afford that kind of tutoring.
JANE: Yeah, well, you may have just met the miracle worker.
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 7 (hallway)
(Music ends. Shot of two guys passing out T-shirts and buttons bearing the same funky design as the one on Jane's posters. Over the design reads the message: "I'm here to hear." In the background, we hear the muffled sounds of Jane talking. From off screen: )
SANDI: Just what the hell do you think you're doing?!
(The guys get shocked looks on their faces and drop the stuff on the ground. Sandi walks up to them with a stormy expression on her face.)
SANDI: You were supposed to be passing out stuff for my campaign, not for that loser's.
GUYS: But uh... Q-Quinn said...
SANDI: (eyes narrowing) Quinn.
(She marches away, in Quinn's direction. On the way, she sees Brooke, the wanna-be F.C., also passing out Jane's stuff. Brooke catches site of Sandi's evil eye and cringes guiltily. We then see Sandi head toward Quinn, who's cheerfully standing off to the sidelines, passing out more buttons. She sees Sandi and smirks.)
QUINN: (chipper) Hi, Sandi! Good luck on election day!
(Sandi can't reply -- she just stalks away and stands by another part of the crowd. We see a lot of familiar faces, including Kevin, Brittany, and Mack, as well as Jodie and Daria, who aren't standing together. Jodie's watching Jane with approval, Daria with her usual impassiveness. Jane's standing on a chair, talking to some of the students.)
JANE: ... Well sure I can look into it, I don't see why not. I mean like I've been saying all along, I'm here for you. Isn't that what the president's all about??
(Mild clapping from the audience, and several pleased looks. Near Daria, we see a hyper-charged Kevin and Brittany.)
KEVIN: (to Brittany) Hey, babe, you think Jane'll give the football players special parking spots outside of homeroom? Y' know, for in case we, like, oversleep or somethin'.
BRITTANY: Let's ask her, Kevvy!
(Daria watches this exchange, and slowly raises her hand.)
DARIA: (to Jane) Um, excuse me?
(Pause. Jane stops talking and looks at Daria.)
JANE: (somewhat wary) Yeah... Daria?
DARIA: You seem to be promising many things to many different students. How do you propose to carry out these promises?
(Beat. Jane glances with some uncertainty in Jodie's direction.)
JANE: Well we sort've talked... she thought --
DARIA: (pointed look) What do you plan to do?
(Pause. Jane rolls her eyes.)
JANE: (defensive) How can I have a plan when I haven't even been elected yet?
DARIA: Easy. You could be studying the powers of the office right now. Or forming alliances with some of the less hostile faculty members so you'll have backup support.
(Jodie wears a resigned expression as she listens to yet another example of Daria's pessimism. Sandi cocks an amused brow at Jane's obvious discomfort.)
JANE: I could still do those things -- the election's still a ways away. (Bt. sarcastic) But thanks for the ideas, pal: wish I could've heard them a while ago.
DARIA: No problem. (Bt) I'm just sorry I had to be the one to come up with them.
(Jane looks even more annoyed. Cut to close-up of Sandi, looking satisfied.)
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 8 (Griffin house, that afternoon)
(Shot of the outside. Cut to close-up of Sandi, now gazing downward and frowning. Cut to wider shot: she's standing in the living room, school paper in hand, while Linda is seated on the coach. Sandi takes one last look at the paper, then flings it down.)
SANDI: Stupid school poll. I can't believe I've lost my stupid lead.
LINDA: (smug) Sandi, I warned you what would happen if you grew complacent.
(Sandi looks at her mom with an extremely frustrated expression.)
SANDI: But I wasn't! I've been, like, totally into this election stuff!
LINDA: If you say so. But the point is, now that you're down, are you just going to lie there like an old dog? Or are you going to do something?
SANDI: (glaring at her) 'Course I'm gonna do something! There's still enough time. (Bt) The only reason I didn't do enough earlier is 'cause I felt sorry for that Gothic nobody.
LINDA: Felt sorry for her? (Bt. rolls her eyes. with condescension and something approaching affection.) Sandi, pity makes you weak. Haven't you learned that by now??
(Sandi rolls her eyes.)
LINDA: Don't you remember what happened the last time you felt sorry for someone?
(Pause. Sandi now gets a resentful, sheepish look on her face. Her mom can really twist a knife.)
LINDA: You thought that girl would never catch up, and now she has. Do you want her to beat you?? SANDI: (sober) No. (Bt) From now on, I'll show that freak what I'm really all about.
LINDA: (satisfied) Thatta girl.
SANDI: First I'm gonna have to find out who's still loyal to me. Thanks to that Jane and Quinn, I'm losing support... and that's not how it's supposed to be. Jane's the one who should be down and out, not me. (Pause) So I'm just gonna have to get dirt on her.
[Shot of Jane hitting a volleyball back over the net while she's giving her campaign talk.]
You are now entering commercial HELL. Please keep your seat belt securely fastened. You are about to see some of the lamest commercials put on television.
- Those exercise machine commercials: the ones which show some super-buffed guy or super-toned woman and claim that you, too, can be buffed if you use the blahbedy-blah machine. Yeah... for ten hours a day.
- Viagra: yes, it's nice that old men can rev up their libidos by popping a pill... but the commercial confuses that with love. It shows a bunch of attractive middle-aged men walking confidently up to the women and taking them into their arms. Ooh, how romantic... except that most women could tell you that increased sexual prowess doesn't make them love their partners any better.
Anyway, I'm sick of hearing about Viagra. Viagra... Viagra... Viagra... Viagra... Viagra... Bob Dole... Viagra... Viagra... Viagra... Viagra.....
- Speaking of sex... here's a perfect commercial to show during a TV program geared toward teenagers: Alyssa Milano, or a look-alike, lounging on the bed in lingerie, assuming various erotic poses. Meanwhile, her half-naked boyfriend ignores the mountains of condoms in his medicine chest in favor of Candie's fragrance, which he squirts -- guess where?? There's an appealing tongue-in-cheek tone to this ad, but it doesn't overcome the tackiness.
You are now leaving commercial HELL. Aren't you happy you survived?
SCENE 1 (Lawndale High, the next day)
(Shot of the outside. Cut to shot of Daria standing at her locker, wearing an impassive expression. Jane strides up to her, holding a copy of the school paper.)
JANE: (mustering enthusiasm) Hey! Did you hear?? I'm tied with Sandi!
DARIA: (deadpan) Congratulations.
JANE: (trying to pump her up) And if momentum stays on my side, you could be looking at the new student body president in a week. Just think of that, huh? Just imagine how we could shake things up around here once I get in a position of power.
(Beat. Jane gives up trying to appeal to her. Tosses her hands in the air, gets a peevish, somewhat resentful look on her face.)
JANE: (quiet, awkward) Look, Daria, I don't ask much from you as a friend. But couldn't you at least try to show some enthusiasm for me?
DARIA: (picking up on Jane's tone, but still deadpan) Sure.
JANE: (annoyed) No, you're not sure. What's wrong? (Bt) Are you weirded out 'cause I've been spending so much time with Jodie?
(Daria shrugs, looks slightly uncomfortable.)
DARIA: I'm weirded out by a lot of things. Your whole running for president is weird.
JANE: (rolling her eyes) 'Cause it's not something Jane Lane's supposed to do??
DARIA: More like something you don't know how to do. So far, all you've been doing is spouting the things Jodie wants you to say.
JANE: (defensive) Hey, c'mon -- Jodie's a pro at this election stuff. Why shouldn't I follow some of her suggestions?
DARIA: Maybe 'cause you should be coming up with your own ideas. It is your campaign.
JANE: Hey, I've got ideas.
DARIA: Name one.
(Jane pauses for a moment, reflects, then looks at Daria with a frustrated expression.)
JANE: I can't when you're making me all nervous.
(Beat. Daria cocks an eyelid.)
DARIA: What's more, I haven't been able to figure out your reason for running. Other than sheer and utter vanity -- which I was hoping you didn't have.
JANE: (sarcastic) Could it be because I care about the students?
DARIA: (can't resist the urge to smirk) Care about the students?? From which T.V. show?
(Beat. Jane rolls her eyes.)
JANE: I know you think it's a far-fetched concept -- me caring about anyone beyond our privileged circle. But believe it or not, this campaign has taught me a lot about the student body. I do want to help people out.
(Beat. Daria shrugs, concedes this point.)
JANE: But maybe that's what's really bugging you. If I'm less alienated, then that could mean you'll have to become less alienated -- and maybe you're not ready for that. Maybe you're too afraid.
(Beat. Daria responds by quietly shutting her locker. She turns to Jane, wearing a serious expression.)
DARIA: If I'm afraid of anything, it's of what's gonna happen to you if you do get elected president. If you're so easily influenced by someone like Jodie, I'd hate to think how you'd handle the pressures put on you by Ms. Li or the popular crowd.
JANE: Them?? (Bt. chuckles with disbelief.) Jodie's a friend, Daria. They're... (cringes) not. I know who my enemies are, and believe me, I won't let myself get swayed by any of them. I told you I'd try and change things if I got elected.
DARIA: I really hope so, Jane.
(She and Jane look at each other for a split second longer. Then Daria shrugs a "good bye" and walks away. Jane watches her go, trying not to look worried.)
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 2 (computer lab)
(Shot of the door as seen from the outside. Cut to inside shot. We see Barry seated at one of the computers, looking nervous -- primarily because Sandi's hovering over him, viewing what's on the screen. She doesn't look happy.)
SANDI: (irritated) Six hours of hacking her file and this is all you could come up with? "Academic probation"??
BARRY: (quavering) I-I tried, Sandi, I really, really tried...
SANDI: (eyes narrowing) Be quiet. (Bt) I guess I'll have to resort to my own devices.
BARRY: B-but will you still p-promise to support my --
SANDI: (icy) Dead animals society?? Perhaps. (Bt) I might need your nerd powers again in the not-too-distant future. But for now, I think I'll visit Ms. Li an' see what she might volunteer....
(And with that, Sandi strides out of the computer lab.)
(cut to: ) SCENE 3 (Ms. Li's office)
(Shot of the door as seen from the outside. We see Sandi walk up to it normally, then pause, almost as though she's reluctant to go ahead with what she's planning. Finally she tosses her hair in a "carpe diem" manner and opens the door. Cut to shot of the inside. Ms. Li doesn't notice that Sandi's walked in. She's absorbed in a phone conversation, and is turned toward the back wall.)
MS. LI: Yes, Mrs. Griffin, pleeeese go on...
(Upon hearing that, Sandi gets a shocked look on her face. Cut to shot of Ms. Li, which becomes a split-screen diagonal -- Ms. Li on the left, Linda Griffin on the right.)
LINDA: (no-nonsense) The order for the new basketball uniforms went on my account, the new security lights should be there next week, and I've arranged for the T.V. station where I work to flash "Lawndale High rules" on screen every ten seconds. Is that enough?
(Ms. Li is impressed, but tries to conceal it. Bobs her head back and forth in consideration.)
MS. LI: Hmmm... hmmm... veeery nice, except for one thing. What about getting Helen Morgendorffer to participate in the charity raffle?
LINDA: (superior smirk) I'm way ahead of you. The poor thing's been making decorative coasters for two weeks.
MS. LI: (amazed) But-but how??
LINDA: It's amazing what a little info about someone's marriage problems can do.
MS. LI: (can barely conceal her glee) M-marriage problems... oh-ho, you're good, Mrs. Griffin! That'll teach her to be allergic to crepe paper! [*] see "Just Add Water"
LINDA: She actually used that excuse?
MS. LI: Ohhhhhh yes. (Bt) God, how I hate that woman!
LINDA: Don't we all, Ms. Li. Don't we all.
(They share a sinister chuckle.)
MS. LI: Well you've more than held up your end of the bargain. Come election day, the ballot boxes will be stuffed with your daughter's -- (turns around, sees Sandi. gets a shocked look on her face.) Oh! Ho-ho-ho, Ms. Griffin!! I didn't, um, see you... there.
(Cut to shot of her and Sandi. The shock has died from her face, and has been replaced by dull anger.)
SANDI: (flat) What're you and my mother talking about?
MS. LI: Oh-ho, just --
SANDI: (eyes narrowing) Well would you, like, be kind enough to give her a message from me? (Bt) Tell her to stay the hell out of this. She thinks it's her right to, like, bail me out whenever I'm in trouble. Well this time it's different.
MS. LI: (pacifying) Oh now, Ms. Griffin --
SANDI: I'm gonna win this stupid election on my own, so don't do me any goddamn favors.
(Without waiting for Ms. Li's reply, she bolts out of the office, slamming the door behind her. Ms. Li watches her go with chagrin, then returns her attention to the phone.)
MS. LI: (to Linda) So do I still get to keep the security lights?
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 4 (hallway, a couple days later)
(Shot of Jane walking along. Nearby we see several people standing around, whispering. They keep giving Jane timid looks. Jane puts on her election face and makes a move to talk to them, but their body language suggests that they'd rather be left alone. Confused, Jane shrugs and continues walking. We then see Jodie come toward her from the opposite direction. She, too, notices the looks and whispers, and frowns.)
JODIE: Looks like the rumor mill's been started up. By Guess Who?
JANE: (sardonic) Surprise, surprise. (Bt) But how bad could any rumors about me be?? People already know I'm an outsider -- that's been my whole platform.
JODIE: Well whatever it is, hopefully it'll pass.
(Jane nods, then glances again at all the whispering people. Tries to seem nonchalant, but can't help but look uneasy.)
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 5 (cafeteria, lunchtime)
(Shot of the tables, students eating and milling around. Jane walks on screen, still looking noticeably uneasy. She goes over to a random table and musters some of the campaign cheerfulness .)
JANE: Hey guys -- remember what's coming up soon?? Election day! Who're ya gonna vote for??
(Pause. The students just sit there quietly and give Jane an odd expression. Jane takes the hint, turns away.)
JANE: (hushed. annoyed) I'll have my humble pie a la mode, thank you.
(She heaves a sigh -- by now she's thoroughly sick of sucking up to people, not that she ever liked it in the first place. After a few moments of indecision, Jane decides to try another table, hoping to get a different response.)
JANE: Hey, you guys, on election day, remember the student who actually listens to you.
(Pause. One of the students actually cringes.)
STUDENT: (menacing) Get the hell out of my face, you loser.
(Pause. Jane looks stunned by his harsh tone. She decides not to reply, and quickly turns away. Continues to walk through the cafeteria, a little shaken.)
JANE: (hushed) Wow, Jane, you're really feeling the love today.
(She's almost made it over to where she and Daria normally sit, when out of nowhere a student crashes into her, practically knocking her to the ground. In the process he reaches over and spills something down her back. Then he runs off.)
JANE: (thoroughly pissed) Watch it!! (She sinks down into her usual seat, removes her jacket, and examines the food stains. Gets a hurt, frustrated look on her face, flings the jacket on the table.) Jesus, what the hell is with you people??! What did I ever do to you??
(She slumps forward, then spies Jodie coming over.)
JANE: (sullen) You're not gonna scorn me, too, are you??
JODIE: (sounding frustrated) No way. I've spent the entire morning trying to diffuse the rumors Sandi spread about you.
(Jane utters a sharp laugh.)
JANE: Geez, these must be some rumors. 'Cause a few days ago, I wasn't getting any of this. (Bt) I mean, what, did she say I'm a slut, or something? A lesbian? That I do drugs??
JODIE: Not exactly --
JANE: That I'm a lesbian who does drugs?? I mean geez, (sarcastic chuckle) you'd think I killed somebody.
(Pause. Several students, upon hearing this last bit, stop dead in their tracks. Jodie lowers her eyes. Jane absorbs their reactions, gets a horrified look on her face.)
JANE: She didn't.
JODIE: Not those exact words, but close enough.
JANE: I don't believe it.
JODIE: (shaking her head) All I can say is that Sandi must have some kind of network running for these rumors to spread through the whole school so fast.
DARIA: (off screen) Oh she's got a network, all right. (She walks toward them, wearing a deadpan expression.) Come see for yourself.
(Pause. Jane and Jodie look at each other, then make a move to follow Daria. fade-out.)
(fade-in to shot of Daria sitting at one of the library computers, with Jane and Jodie hovering over her. The angle is such that we can't see what's on the computer screen.)
DARIA: (reading) W-w-w dot Sandi rules dot com.
JANE: (reading. sarcastic) Sandi's Secrets for a Good Hair Day. All one hundred and fifty-seven of them.
JODIE: (reading) Sandi's Ideas for How to Make the School a Super Awesome Place. (irritated) This is just a bunch of fluff.
JANE: Dammit -- why didn't we think of creating a web site? (Bt. to Daria) So where's the stuff designed to crucify me?
(Daria gets a grim look on her face, then scrolls down to the bottom of the page. Jane and Jodie read, both of their faces growing pale.)
JANE: Good lord.
(cut to: ) SCENE 6 (hallway, a short time later)
(Shot of Daria and Jane walking along, having just parted ways with Jodie. Jane looks understandably pissed off, while Daria looks vaguely concerned.)
JANE: (muttering) She's no dummy, I'll give her that. She never actually comes out and says anything bad about me, but everything in that section points to a criminal past. Can I sue??
DARIA: Sure, if you find a lawyer greedy enough. (Bt) But my mom's been busy.
JANE: I'll do better than sue -- I'll create my own web site: "Jane Lane -- the True Story." May the virtual pen be mightier than the sword.
DARIA: Think people will believe you?
JANE: (downcast) I hope so. (Bt) Um, by the way, thanks for showing me the site.
(Daria shrugs. She's about to respond, when suddenly she and Jane both catch site of something and stop dead in their tracks. Cut to their POV: Sandi is with a reporter and cameraman -- they appear to be wrapping up an interview. Resume shot of Jane and Daria.)
JANE: (frowning) I'm almost afraid to wonder what that was about.
DARIA: I think we'll find out soon enough.
(cut to: )
SCENE 6 (Lane house, after school)
(Shot of the outside. Cut to shot of Daria and Jane in Jane's room. Daria's sitting on the bed, while Jane is venting at her easel. Both are watching the T.V., on which we see a news broadcast of Sandi that was taped earlier. Sandi is standing there, poised and smug, talking to a puff-piece, "human interest story" reporter.)
REPORTER: (gushy) ... And to think, Sandra Griffin, a Lawndale High student running for president of the student body, has donated an unprecedented three thousand dollars to her school to buy new textbooks. What on earth made you do it, Sandra??
SANDI: (faux gracious) Well, it was just sitting there in the account my parents started when I was a baby. I decided the school could put it to better use than I could.
REPORTER: Such selflessness! An unprecedented display from a teenager of this modern world! Sandra, did running for president have anything to do with your donation??
(Cut to brief shot of Daria and Jane. They roll their eyes at the woman's thickness.)
SANDI: Only in the sense that it's made me see how much I want to give back to the school that's given so much to me. I really want to help my fellow students, just as I served them for two years as president of their fashion club.
(Cut to brief shot of Quinn watching with Tiffany and Stacy in the Morgendorffers' living room. Tiffany and Stacy have "Oh, cool!" looks on their faces at the sight of Sandi. Quinn looks resentful.)
REPORTER: Well not to play favorites, but I'm sure in this age of the high school massacre and teen-on-teen violence, you would do an excellent job preserving the harmony of the student body.
SANDI: (suddenly sounding serious) That's exactly what I intend to do, ma'am. 'Cause there've been too many signs of possible disharmony.
REPORTER: (faux intense) Please -- explain what you mean.
(Cut to brief shot of Daria and Jane. They exchange wary looks.)
SANDI: I mean lately some people have been crawling out of the woodwork and claiming to be regular students, when in fact they've, like, never had anything to do with the student body. They've just been alone, an' weird, doing God knows what.
REPORTER: (faux intense whisper) How frightening.
SANDI: I'll say. (ominous) An' it really scares me, what they could be plotting. 'Cause, like, why else would they bother to show themselves -- all of a sudden? (Bt) Just when we learn to trust them most, they could (pause) turn on us.
REPORTER: (breathless) Yes, yes. Some say that's how Columbine started.
(Cut to shot of Kevin and Brittany in the Taylors' living room. They pause long enough in their making out to absorb what Sandi just said.)
(Resume shot of Sandi and the reporter. Sandi nods emphatically.)
SANDI: And I don't want that to happen to our school. (turns to face the camera) So I want to urge all the good students of Lawndale High to be aware. That weird person who may seem so friendly --
(Cut to shot of Kevin and Brittany, watching intently.)
SANDI: (off screen) -- an' wants your support could actually be waiting to hurt you.
(Cut to shot of Daria and Jane watching. Daria looks irritated, while Jane looks about as close to enraged as she possibly could.)
SANDI: (off screen) You never, ever know. I plan to discuss this more at a party I'm --
(Unable to stomach Sandi's visage any longer, Jane looks down at her paintbrush. She focuses grimly on it for several seconds, then gets an idea. Swirls the brush in paint.)
JANE: Pardon me, Daria.
(She leans toward the T.V. screen. From our angle, we can't see what she's painting, but her two long, emphatic strokes suggest a symbol. Daria looks at it, stunned.)
SANDI: (off screen) -- this weekend...
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 7 (Lawndale High, next day)
(Shot of Jane setting up in the art room. She's mixing paints and venting to Jodie, who's standing beside her. It's the very beginning of class -- Ms. Defoe hasn't arrived yet, and students are only just starting to drift in.)
JANE: (grim. angry) Well looks like I'm on the outside again. Only instead of just being ignored, I've become a social pariah. I knew all that respect I was getting wouldn't last.
JODIE: Jane, it's okay -- Sandi may've gotten to a bunch of people, but not the whole student body. You've still got some support.
(Jane utters a sharp laugh.)
JANE: Maybe some -- but what little I've got seems to be slipping fast. Not even Quinn's powers can ward off all the evil eyes I've been getting. They're even coming from people in this class.
(She gestures at some of the students coming in. Many of them are looking at Jane warily and keeping their distance.)
JANE: (grim) I'll admit before the campaign, my opinion of the student body wasn't too high, but I didn't think they could be this easily bought.
(Jodie regards her with a pensive, searching expression. Just then, Brittany and Kevin come in.)
KEVIN: ... An', like, babe, Coach said the new football manual's pictures are gonna be in color.
BRITTANY: Ooh, that sounds pretty! Maybe the new cheerleading manuals will be, too!
(Jane watches them move off screen with a deadpan expression.)
JANE: Et tu, Brute?
JODIE: (sounding sort of quiet) Jane, look, if the students really care about good government, they're not gonna be swayed by any bribes or threats.
JANE: (cold) Yeah, well maybe they don't care. Maybe we've just been fooling ourselves.
(Jodie gives her that searching look again. We then hear one of the students in class speak up.)
MALE STUDENT: (to Jane. snotty) Don't whine just 'cause Griffin told us the truth about you.
JANE: Which truth?? The real one or the one you've manufactured in that genius head of yours?
MALE STUDENT: (unfazed) I always knew there was something freaky about you. The way you dress, the stuff you paint -- all death and disease. Just 'cause Griffin chose to warn us --
JANE: (disbelief) To warn you?? Ooh, how noble. (Bt) Well then why didn't someone warn you about her? I've seen sewage pipes cleaner than Sandi Griffin.
MALE STUDENT: Spoken like a true freak.
JODIE: (before Jane can reply. irritated) Hey, listen. You respect me, right? You know how much I've done for the school, don't you??
(Pause. The guy gets a sheepish look on his face.)
MALE STUDENT: Well yeah. Sure... I do, Jodie.
JODIE: Then you should also know that Jane's a friend of mine. And I don't make friends with psycho killers. Or criminals. Or anyone without moral integrity.
(Pause. The guy looks even more sheepish, nods quickly, then moves away. Jane looks at Jodie, impressed.)
JANE: Wow, Jodie. I owe you one.
JODIE: Don't mention it.
(Just then, Daria walks in. Jane turns to her, peevish and relieved.)
JANE: Well there you are. Where've you been??
DARIA: I got a little sidetracked. (Bt) And maybe I shouldn't tell you this, but your persecutor just passed by this room.
(Daria nods. Without waiting another second, even long enough to put her paint down, Jane leaves the art room. Daria and Jodie exchange "Uh-oh" expressions.)
(cut to: )
SCENE 8 (hallway)
(Shot of Sandi just passing around a corner. She's walking alone. Suddenly we see Jane coming around the corner.)
JANE: Well if it isn't the philanthropist.
SANDI: (caught off-guard) Oh, um... hi.
(She pauses, as if unsure whether to stay or walk on. Glances around uneasily, looking for backup in case she needs it. Unfortunately for her, the hallway's thinly populated, since most people have gone to class. Meanwhile, Jane is standing a short distance away from her, stirring her paint.)
JANE: Saw your web site. And your interview.
SANDI: (eyeing the paint nervously) You're not gonna, like, hurl that stuff at me, are you?
JANE: (faux pleasant) Oh-ho, no. (Bt) I think words will be messy enough.
(Sandi nods, but backs away a little nonetheless.)
JANE: (frustrated) Well I gotta say, Sandi: I'd pegged you for a bitch, but I'd really hoped you'd never stoop so low. You seriously think the presidency is worth making me look like a potential murderer??
SANDI: (very uncomfortable, and with a touch of remorse) That's not, um... exactly what I --
JANE: Well pretty damn close, trust me. (Bt) Too bad we couldn't've just run on the strength of our ideas. But surprise, surprise -- I guess that's just not how Sandi Griffin deals with life's challenges.
(Beat. Now Sandi looks defiant.)
SANDI: Hey, I was just doing what any normal person running for office would do. Just 'cause you weren't smart enough to think of it first --
JANE: (rolling her eyes) Ooh-hoo, right. Normal. If that's normal, then I sure as hell hope to stay a weirdo my entire life.
SANDI: (barely audible) Shut the hell up.
(Beat. Jane's eyes narrow, and she gazes at Sandi probingly. She senses there's something more in Sandi's tone than meets the eye, and decides to take the civil route.) JANE: Look, I'll let you off with a warning. Remove the web site, offer me a public apology, and let's run a real race in the few days we've got left, okay?
SANDI: (haughty) Or else?
JANE: Or else you get a taste of your own medicine.
(Sandi looks at Jane incredulously. Then she tosses her hair and smirks faintly.)
SANDI: Like anyone would believe you. By now you've probably sunk so low, not even the freaks would vote for you. (Bt) The web site stays.
JANE: (eyes narrowing) Fine. (Bt) Then there's something you should know.
JANE: About the paint? I lied.
(Before Sandi can react, Jane splashes it in her face. For several seconds, all Sandi can do is shudder as it trails down her shoulders and spills onto the ground. Then she gets an enraged expression on her face. Looks as though she's about to lunge at Jane, when suddenly she spies a couple of students walking along. The students stop walking and gawk at her. Sandi quickly regains her cool.)
SANDI: (to the students. triumphant) What did I tell you? Dangerous.
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 9 (lockers, shortly after the encounter)
(Shot of Daria and Jodie leaning against them. After Sandi left to wash off the paint, they tracked Jane down. We now see Jane pacing around in front of them with uncharacteristic rage.)
JANE: I can't believe I wasted perfectly good paint on that girl!
JODIE: Shhh, Jane, it's okay. Daria and I --
JANE: (not hearing her) What I should've done was take a paintbrush and cram it up one of Sandi's perfect little nostrils, then watch her die a hideous, agonizing death.
(Jodie sighs. Daria watches Jane with a mixture of sympathy and concern.)
JANE: God, I hate her! I don't understand how anyone can act the way she does. Dammit, she's the one who had the advantages coming into this race, not me.
JODIE: Jane, Daria and I made --
JANE: Well if she wants to play rough, then I'll play rough. I can smear a name as well as the next candidate -- and I don't even have to lie! Sleeps around with the football players, has an eensy-weensy drug problem, got held back in seventh grade, was charged with shop lift--
DARIA: (serious) You sure it's worth it?
JANE: To clear my name, yeah it's worth... (suddenly realizes what she's saying. She stops pacing, blinks as if trying to see clearly, then finally sighs and slumps against a locker.)
JODIE: Jane, I know it's hard, but for now try to forget what's happened and keep your eye on the goal
(Jane laughs sharply.)
JANE: (bitter) The goal, eh? Frankly I'm starting to wonder why I even ran for president in the first place.
JODIE: (a bit surprised. a slight edge in her voice) 'Cause you wanted to help the students, right?
JANE: (looking uncomfortable) Um... yeah.
(Pause. Then Jodie sighs again.)
JODIE: Look Jane, I'm sorry. I sort of feel like this whole thing's my fault.
JANE: (incredulous) Your fault? How??
JODIE: I encouraged you to run -- mainly 'cause I didn't have the guts to run on my own. (Bt) I was too afraid that what's happening to you was gonna happen to me. Since I'm... you know. (gestures at herself.)
(Pause. Jane and Daria look at her incredulously.)
JODIE: (resigned) I really believe that most of the students at Lawndale are nice, but there's always that minority that wants to hate you because you're not exactly like them. During the race for vice-president, I had the displeasure of rubbing them the wrong way several times.
(Beat. Jane and Daria glance at each other.)
JANE: (to Jodie) So what happened?
JODIE: (looking uncomfortable) I got some threats over the phone and some racist slurs thrown at me in the hall. One or two people who looked like they wanted to... (Pause) And that was for vice-president -- I didn't even want to risk what I'd get if I ran for president. (Bt) But still, I don't think even what I got was as bad as what Sandi's done to you.
JANE: (sympathetic. reflective) Damn, too bad that had to happen. You would've made a good president.
JODIE: (sort of dispirited) Maybe.
DARIA: (also reflective) So some insecure idiots kept you from doing what you wanted 'cause they were too afraid it'd mess with their view of the universe.
JODIE: Um, yeah. (Bt. sighs, tries to get past it) Well look, there's nothing I can do about it now. The only thing all of us can do is work hard the next few days on damage control. (to Jane) Then there's the speech at the assembly -- you can address the students then.
(Beat. Jane looks grateful, then resigned.)
JANE: True. But I think it'd take a small miracle at this point to get me back in the running.
DARIA: Or a counter-web site.
JANE: (hopeful) You think you can set one up fast?
DARIA: (smirking) It's already been done.
(Beat. Jane looks at them incredulously.)
JODIE: Daria and I came up with the idea last night.
DARIA: And I got one of the "cute technical types" who likes Quinn to help me set it up this morning.
JANE: (to Daria) So that's where you were before --?
(Beat. Jane shakes her head, stunned and grateful.)
JANE: Wow. You guys are true friends.
DARIA: (serious) Hey, no one gets away with abusing my friend in public. (Bt) Makes it less satisfying when I do it.
(Jane rolls her eyes and smirks.)
DARIA: Besides, Sandi could've been talking about any of us misanthropes when she lashed out at you. It was time to take action.
JANE: (crafty) And just how did you take action, by chance?
DARIA: (smirking) Let's just say that while I didn't stoop to Sandi's level, I did write some stuff that one could construe as unfriendly.
JANE: (smirking) From you, could I expect any less?
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 10 (Morgendorffer house, late afternoon, day before the election)
(Shot of the outside. Cut to close-up of Daria's phone. It starts ringing. Cut to wider shot: Daria walks over from the other side of the room and answers it.)
DARIA: (deadpan) Hello?
JANE: (from the receiver) Just came from school. I was looking at our web site again.
DARIA: (smirking) Two hundred and eleven hits in the past two days. I just checked.
(Cut to split screen diagonal, Jane on the left, Daria on the right.)
JANE: (wicked) I couldn't resist reading your article. "The Dangers of Credulity: Why You Shouldn't Trust a Source That's Been Tainted."
DARIA: Harsh, yet civilized.
JANE: When you put your mind to it, you can really be an effective weapon.
(Beat. Both she and Daria think about that for a moment. Then Jane gets an amused, resigned look on her face.)
JANE: Well anyway, the real reason I called is 'cause I've been thinking. That vanity stuff you accused me of having a while back?
JANE: Well... I kind of, sort of think you might've been on to something. Slightly.
DARIA: (smirking) Oh really?
JANE: Yeah, well... (heaves a sigh) the main reason I wanted to run for president was just to prove to myself that I could. Now and then, I like to think that maybe I am the master of my own destiny.
DARIA: Uh-huh... JANE: And that if anytime I ever really wanted to, I could get something the popular snobs tell me it's not my right to have.
(Meanwhile Daria listens, reflective.)
JANE: (resigned) But, I guess I could've done a better job "controlling my destiny" during the campaign. (Bt) And after Sandi's smear job turned me into a raving lunatic a couple of days ago, I finally started realizing I'd better act in ways that felt good to me instead of worry so much about pleasing other people.
DARIA: Yeah, well, don't beat yourself up about it. You tried something, it didn't work out, and you learned a lesson.
JANE: I guess that's the most positive spin I can put on this experience.
DARIA: (reflective) Too many people are too scared to even reach the "trying" part . (Pause) It took guts to do what you did.
JANE: (surprised) Thanks. (Bt) But why the sudden attitude change? You've been so against this election stuff.
DARIA: (admitting) Yeah, well... I've done some thinking, too. (Bt) It's like you just said: sometimes, when you don't do anything, you're still letting other people control you. And that's a crappy way to live.
JANE: (faint smirk) And neither of us wants to live that way. Right?
DARIA: (faint smirk) Right.
JANE: Hey you know something? I want to see how well the student body can think for themselves -- to see whether that loyalty I felt toward them earlier was justified.
DARIA: Sounds good. How?
JANE: By giving them a chance to prove they know how to elect the right person for president. Care to help me out?
(Pause. Then Daria's smirk deepens.)
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 11 (Lawndale High, assembly, election day)
(Shot of the outside. We hear Sandi's voice-over: )
SANDI: ... And so, as I've tried to show through my textbook donation, my donation of make-up mirrors to the unfashionable --
(Cut to shot of the inside of the auditorium. We see Sandi standing on stage, at the podium, wrapping up her speech to the student body. Jane sits in a chair off to the side, along with Ms. Li and some other members of the faculty, who now and then eye her with suspicion.)
SANDI: -- and the big party I threw at my house in honor of 'N Sync, who would've shown up if their flight from Stockholm hadn't been canceled, that I truly am the student who knows what's right for her school. An' that's why you should elect me, Sandi Griffin, president of the student body. Thanks.
(She does a bow and walks over to the seat next to Jane. Cut to shot of the audience. Students are clapping respectfully, though with not as much enthusiasm as one might expect. Cut to close-up of Quinn and the other F.C.'s: Quinn is slumped over in her seat, looking depressed. Cut to close-up of Daria and Jodie. Jodie looks nervous for Jane, while Daria smirks knowingly. Resume shot of the stage. Jane stands up right as Sandi sits down, to avoid having to sit next to her. Ms. Li has already beaten her to the podium, and is now prepared to assuage the audience.)
MS. LI: Excellent speech, Ms. Griffin. And now, um, students: let's give a big-hearted Lawndale High reception to our second candidate, Jane Lane. Juuuust remember: she hasn't been formally charged or prosecuted for any of her supposed crimes. That is all.
(There's light clapping in the audience and some scattered "boos." Jane calmly walks up to the podium and surveys the audience. Pause.)
JANE: First, I'd like to thank my esteemed opponent for the support she's given me these past few weeks. It's nice to know that even though only one of us will be elected president today, we'll both be winners.
(She smirks knowingly at Sandi, who frowns a little, picking up sarcasm.)
JANE: You can see more of my thoughts on the subject at my web site. (Bt) But what's even better is that even though I'm a person who's never participated in a lot of student activities, you still trusted me enough to do a good job as your president. That trust has meant a lot to me.
(Cut to brief shot of the audience. No one makes a sound, but you can feel some of their guilt.)
JANE: And I do want to do a good job for you. (Pause) But unfortunately, I'll soon no longer be in a position to do so. You see, I just found out that I've contracted a rare life-threatening disease native to the shores of Bolivia. I'll be flying down to South America to start my treatment of painful injections tomorrow.
(Cut to close-up of Sandi. Her face registers vague shock. Cut to shot of the audience. Jodie's wearing a "What the hell??" expression, while Daria continues to smirk. Resume shot of Jane.)
JANE: I've opted for Jodie Landon to run in my place. (Bt) You know Jodie: currently vice-president, in charge of many school activities, generally well-liked and respected. You'll find that on all the ballots, my name's been crossed out, and hers written in its place.
(Cut to brief shot of the audience. Now Jodie looks even more stunned, while Daria looks unsurprised. We can also see Quinn, who's gone from being horrified at Jane's intention to drop out to subtly relieved.)
JANE: And so with that, I'll end my little address with an adios. You can only have one president -- may you choose wisely.
(She brushes her hands together, satisfied. Walks over and slides into the seat next to Sandi, who is slowly comprehending the new state of events. Ms. Li and the other faculty members also appear to be realizing the significance of Jane's speech.)
MS. LI: (hushed) Jodie Landon?? (Pause) Yeeeeeeeees!!!
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 12 (after the assembly)
(Shot of the auditorium. It's now pretty empty -- most of the students have gone to cast their votes. We see Jane and Daria sitting idly on the edge of the stage. From off screen, Jodie walks up to them, wearing an amused, perplexed expression.)
JODIE: (to Jane) So why'd you do it?
JANE: 'Cause you're the one who's really known all along about what the students need. I figured dropping out would allow you to run without having to go through the nasty campaign. (Bt) You're the right person for the job, Jodie.
JODIE: (quiet. grateful) Thanks. (Bt) So did both of you --?
(Jane and Daria nod.)
DARIA: Three hours of ballot changing.
JANE: (smirking) And we both came up with that Bolivia story -- off-the-wall just felt like the way to go. (to Daria) We work well together, amiga.
DARIA: Yeah. (Bt) Maybe next time...
(Beat. Jodie still looks a little stunned by her good fortune. Cocks an eyebrow at Jane.)
JODIE: But what happens tomorrow, when the kids see you haven't caught the first flight out of Lawndale?
JANE: (nonchalant) Hmm, haven't worked that out, yet.
JODIE: But after all that concern with people treating you badly, aren't you afraid...?
JANE: (putting a hand up) Nah, I'm not afraid of anything anymore. Jane Lane is through with wanting to prove herself to anyone, and is ready to return to the outcast fold. (Bt. to Daria) If you'll have me.
DARIA: (deadpan) We'll reconsider your membership.
(Beat. Jodie looks knowingly at Jane and Daria.)
JODIE: (to Jane) Well, if you say so. (Pause) So, you guys really think I have a shot at being elected?
JANE: Puh-leeese, they'd be nuts not to have you.
DARIA: But just in case, we'd better go cast our votes -- before the next Lowdown reads: "President Griffin Wins By Two."
(Jane nods. She and Daria hop off stage, and walk with Jodie toward the exit.)
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 13 (Griffin residence, that evening)
(Shot of the outside. Cut to close-up shot of the latest issue of the school paper [yes, the Lowdown works fast!]. The front page headline reads: "Landon Wins Handily." Slowly Sandi lays down the paper, the look on her face sullen and dispirited.)
SANDI: (flat) I would've won the election if Jodie Landon hadn't run against me. Nobody could've beaten her.
(Cut to wide shot. Sandi's slumped forward on the living room sofa, while Linda stands over her, arms folded, wearing an expression that approaches sympathy. Sandi eyes her with vague resentment.)
SANDI: Stupid paper said some people thought my campaign was too mean-spirited.
LINDA: Well what do they know, anyway? (Bt) So what's your next move going to be??
SANDI: How should I know?? (Pause) Maybe I'll just sit here 'till I, like, croak or something.
(Beat. Linda shakes her head.)
LINDA: Now do you see why I tried to help you out?? Look at yourself. (gestures at Sandi's slouched-over pose.)
(Sandi first glares at her, then gets a dispirited, contrite expression on her face.)
LINDA: (briskly) Well I'll say this: there's one way you can come out of this with your head held high. All you have to do is follow my lead.
(Pause. Sandi looks at her mother warily, then nods with extreme reluctance.)
(fade-out. fade-in to: )
SCENE 14 (Lawndale High, the next day)
(Shot of the outside. Cut to shot of Jodie standing with Daria and Jane at their lockers.)
DARIA: (to Jodie) Well now that we've helped you get elected, make us proud. Don't get sucked into the cycle of corruption.
JODIE: (cocking a brow) Don't worry -- I can handle Ms. Li and her cohorts. (Beat)
DARIA: (smirking) For some strange reason, I believe you.
JANE: (to Jodie) Well Madam Prez, how'll you exercise your first official act of power?
JODIE: We-ell... before I get started on putting toilet paper in the bathrooms and fixing the drinking fountains, I thought (looks pointedly at Jane) I'd suggest to Ms. Li that we repaint some of the shabbier buildings. With murals.
JANE: (getting her meaning) Hmm, I don't know, Jodie. I told you my people person days are behind me.
JODIE: (good-natured) Aw come on. You said you wanted to do a good job for the students. And no one's better at art than you are.
DARIA: (sardonic) Which esteemed scholar coined that expression?
JANE: (to Jodie) Damn, you're smooth. I'll give it some thought, okay? No promises.
(Jodie smiles and nods. Suddenly, from off screen: )
QUINN: Oh no, oh no!
(She comes up to them, looking absolutely crushed. Jane, Daria, and Jodie look at her, bewildered.)
JANE: (to Quinn) Now what's the matter?
DARIA: (deadpan) More good fortune than you can handle?
JANE: Yeah -- Jodie's president. Your ass is saved.
QUINN: Oh no it's not! Guess who just got made vice-president??
(No response. Then Jane, Daria, and Jodie get stunned looks on their faces.)
DARIA: Not --
JODIE: (peevish) But the vice-presidency's supposed to be an elected position.
JANE: (with amusement and disbelief) Ooh-hoo -- not anymore. I can't wait to hear how this came about.
DARIA: Democracy was fun while it lasted.
(Cut to shot of Sandi and Linda walking down another hall, having just come from the principal's office to finish up business.)
LINDA: You'll thank me some day. A vice-president has almost as much authority as a president, and a lot more free time. Some might say it's the better of the two offices.
(Pause. Sandi doesn't respond. She's slouching in much the same way as she was the day before, walking slowly. Her expression is one of numbness and some mortification. She tries to not hear what her mother's saying.)
LINDA: And if you put your mind to it, you can really use that position to rule over your fellow students. It shouldn't be too hard for a popular girl like you.
THE END [roll the credits......................... end song: "Sandi" by Kara Wild, sung by 'N Sync]
When you think beauty,
When you think style,
When you think someone with a golden smile,
Sandi's comin' your way.
She's come to wish you a happy day.
She wants to make
The school a better place
For you and me and the human race.
America's Girl Next Door.
She's there for you
What are you waiting for?
She's not like some weird strange
How much do you know about them?
They could do pot,
They could do crack,
They could even carry a
Gun in their backpack.
They may be waiting
To blow you away.
Just wants to wish you a happy day.
Vote for Saaaaaaandi,
And every day will be a happy day.
[This song was originally going to go into Act Three, as Sandi's answer to Jane's election song, but I ended up scrapping that scene and replacing it with the more-effective web site one. But I couldn't get rid of the song!]
People have been pretty understanding about having to wait an extra-long time for this fanfic. In fact, their attitude seems to be: "What wait??" Well that's good, because I'd been feeling guilty.
A combination of circumstances prevented me from finishing this fic sooner. One biggie was, of course, the start of my fall semester -- having to resettle into my place in Berkeley, adjust to having classes, et cetera. Secondly, I had to plot my second story arc; I had several ideas for plot lines to follow "Outvoted," but I had not yet settled them into an overarching framework.
Thirdly, this fic just proved to be incredibly difficult to write. I gave starring roles to two characters whom we're not used to seeing in the spotlight. Writing Jane's lines was surprisingly difficult, for reasons which I'll discuss in my essay, "The Unflappable Jane Lane." And my stress was enhanced by the fact that I'd stuck Jane and Sandi in a "fish-out-of-water" situation; thus, not only did I have to figure out how they would respond to a given situation, but how they'd respond to ones which they weren't accustomed to. And a school election is one doozy of a fish-out-of-water situation: you have to showcase the entire school, as well as make the race between Jane and Sandi believable. Plus, it struck me about halfway through my first draft that a rivalry between Jane and Sandi isn't funny -- not like, say, a rivalry between Quinn and Sandi would be. They just aren't natural rivals; Jane is too easy-going, and Sandi would never feel threatened by Jane -- unless, of course, her mother egged her on. So I had to adjust my expectations, which resulted in me altering or enhancing several scenes, mostly to play up the "smear" Sandi does on Jane.
I had originally thought of making this an "outcasts" versus the "popular people" election, but that soon struck me as unworkable. First of all, Jane is nominated by popular people -- Kevin and Brittany. Secondly, even though Sandi is popular, she doesn't represent a uniform, elitist group: she's down-and-out as the ex-Fashion Club president; Quinn and she are practically at each other's throats; and she never interacts with K and B. Plus, aside from Jane and Daria, and possibly Andrea, we have no real evidence of a huge outcast population at Lawndale. Thus, I ended up turning this into a race between an outcast and a popular person.
You were probably wishing you could have seen more of Daria. Well, I'll confess that I pushed her and Quinn into the background on purpose, so I could let Jane have an episode to herself. Contrary to what some may believe, I really do think Daria would be as inactive as she was in this fic, especially since she wasn't the one running for president. She certainly wasn't too supportive of Jane in "See Jane Run" (to which "Outvoted" could be seen as a follow-up of sorts), and Jane had to do some heavy persuading to convince her to help out in "Arts 'N' Crass." In fact, upon my latest reading of Act Two, the thought that ran through my mind was, "God, what a brat." I fear I may have laid on Daria's negativity a little thick, but then again, she was relentlessly negative throughout "See Jane Run" and most of "Jane's Addition." And sometimes I've thought Jane's tolerance of her attitude to be almost saintly.
I express more thoughts on Jane running for president in Points of Interest...
This fic represents the first where I've made major, major revisions. Normally, I write a rough draft longhand, make some modifications, and put the final draft on the computer, all in the space of two weeks. This time, I ended up changing nearly all of the scenes in Act Three and making several alterations to Acts One and Two. There were times when I was convinced that I'd never finish this one, but luckily I persevered. :-) I must confess that even though I'm satisfied with the results, I'm less satisfied with this fic than I have been with my previous ones. I just kept feeling like there was something more I should have done. Like the cheerleading scenario in "Cheered Down," an election scenario provides infinite possibilities, not all of which I could touch upon. Yet at the same time, I felt like I'd done too much, like this fic was too convoluted. Y'all will have to let me know what you think...
Moreover, the outcome of this fic was probably pretty predictable -- but bring me an election fic that isn't! Well, maybe "Triumph of the Retart." I had at one time flirted with the idea of making Jane president, but then I thought: "Nah. That would be stretching the bounds of plausibility too far"...
Now on to Points of Interest...
The Competitive Chick Fic Trilogy: I hadn't planned for "Andrea Speaks!", "Cheered Down," and "Outvoted" to be a trilogy, but it struck me that they naturally formed one by themselves. The ball gets rolling in "Andrea Speaks!", when order in the Fashion Club is disrupted by Quinn challenging Sandi for the presidency, then getting kicked out. The competition continues through "Cheered Down," when Brittany tries to get even with Quinn for getting elected head cheerleader, and Quinn gets even with Sandi by finally becoming F.C. president. Finally, in "Outvoted," Jane gets dragged into this mess by running against Sandi for another high office. Each fic has a twist at the end -- in this one, the twist was, obviously, that Jane arranged for Jodie to run in her place. And after "Outvoted," the dust finally clears: Sandi will be vice-president of the student body for a while, and Quinn will remain F.C. president.
A couple more reasons why "Outvoted" felt less satisfying to write was
- that I kept comparing it to the much-funnier "Cheered Down," and
- between the trilogy and "None in the Family," I was getting really tired of writing fics where the characters were at each other's throats. Look for my next fanfic to be fairly toned-down. Everyone could use a rest. :-)
Jane: We all know that she, like Daria, is pretty cynical, so perhaps it could be considered out of character for her to decide to run for president. But then again, as she herself says in Act One, sometimes when an opportunity like that "falls into your lap," you change your attitude. You could see the same sort of philosophy at work in "See Jane Run": Jane probably never would have gone out for track if
- Ms. Morris hadn't rubbed her the wrong way, and
- she weren't attracted to Evan. Moreover, Jane strikes me as a cautious optimist, someone who's naturally more open-minded than Daria -- and someone who might believe that she could alleviate the problems at her school if given the chance.
In addition, contrary to popular belief, I don't think Jane is the kind of person who's always "above it all": she's got some sensitivity to how others perceive her, as seen in "See Jane Run." I wish the show would explore her vulnerabilities a little more, but for now, I had to make do with what's available. I figured underneath Jane's unflappable fa