500: Is It Fall Yet?

Written by Glenn Eichler and Peggy Nicoll

NOTE: Edits made by The N appear in red text.
(courtesy of Robert Nowall)

(opening theme song)

SCENE 1 - LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL

(The students in Mr. DeMartino's classroom are packing books into boxes and removing items from the walls. Among them are Daria, Jane, Jodie, Kevin, and Brittany. Daria, Jane, and Jodie are packing books, while Kevin and Brittany are attempting to remove a map of the United States from the wall.)

Mr. DeMartino - Well, students... I certainly appreciate your help in cleaning out the classroom for the summer. It almost makes me forget that most of you didn't learn a thing all year!

Daria - That's not true. I learned to sleep sitting up.

Kevin - (turning) Mr. D., as Q.B., I think I can speak for...

Mr. DeMartino - Careful with that map, Kevin!

Kevin - Eep! (turns and quickly prevents map from falling)

Mr. DeMartino - Now... without turning around. Did you want to dangle a morsel of hope before me by announcing you're doing something constructive this summer, like partaking in much-needed remedial classes or some sort of vocation?

Kevin - (turns again) I'm not going on vacation. Me and Britt are going to be lifeguards.

Mr. DeMartino - No turning, Kevin!

Kevin - Urk! (turns back to map)

Mr. DeMartino - Do not turn until... did you say lifeguards?

Brittany - It'll be really easy 'cause I already know how to use... oops! (teeters and falls off the chair, ripping the map in half) Um, a bullhorn?

Mr. DeMartino - (clutches his head) Augh... argh! Why couldn't I have been born during an influenza epidemic? Or at the base of a volcano? Why did I survive, grow tall and strong, only to squander all my potential by becoming a teacher?! Argh...!

Daria - When he would have made such a wonderful motivational speaker.

(Jodie giggles, but Jane resolutely continues packing. There's obviously still tension here over "the Tom thing.")


SCENE 2 - LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL

(Mr. O'Neill is handing back test papers to his sophomore class, which includes Quinn, Sandi, Stacy, Tiffany, Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie.)

Mr. O'Neill - Now remember, the P-STATs are a good "dry run" for your college boards. If you got 1,200 points or better, kudos! You'll have a wide and exciting choice of colleges. And for those with less, uh, robust scores, there are still wonderful opportunities in the food services sector.

Stacy - Hmm... 940.

Tiffany - 9... 02.

Quinn - 955.

(Sandi scowls at that news, because her test score is 924. Solution? Lie through her teeth, of course.)

Sandi - 956. I guess we're all of comparable intelligence.

Tiffany - Yeah... comparable.

(Quinn displays a "yeah, right" look, as it took Tiffany ten seconds just to say those two words. At that point, however, the dismissal bell rings.)

Mr. O'Neill - All right, have a rewarding and growth-filled summer, everyone. And by the way, we still have openings for counselors at the "Okay to Cry Corral", my day camp for sensitive children and those who'd like to be. It's going to be wonderful.

(His words are falling on deaf ears, as all of his students are filing past him and out the door. All except Quinn, who approaches his desk and waits for him to notice her.)

Mr. O'Neill - I hope... some of... um... all right, then. I'll miss you all, too. (finally notices Quinn standing there) Quinn, you'd like to join the roundup at the Okay to Cry Corral and make a difference in a child's life?

Quinn - Why would I want to do that? I just, um, need to ask you something.

Mr. O'Neill - Problems at home? Is it your mother? She seems awfully stressed. Has she been acting out on you?

Quinn - It's about my test score.

Mr. O'Neill - (dejected) Oh...

Quinn - Um, let's say you got a certain score on a test, and it wasn't terrible, but some other people got almost the same score, people you really thought you could do better than, although for personal reasons you'd rather not name them or say why?

Mr. O'Neill - Um... what?

Quinn - Okay, forget everything I just said. Let's try this. Can I get into Pepperhill with a 955?

Mr. O'Neill - 955? Oh, dear. Well, let's see.

(He goes to his desk and leafs through a book, presumably a reference book on universities, until he finds the entry for Pepperhill.)

Mr. O'Neill - Pepperhill University. It is known more for its wide range of social activities than for academics, but... ah! Uh-oh. I'm afraid to get into Pepperhill you'll need a combined score of at least 1,000.

Quinn - But that's not fair! I didn't have time to study with my Fashion Club duties. Don't extracurricular activities count for anything?

Mr. O'Neill - Hmm. You think you might have done better if you'd studied? Who were those other people you mentioned?

Quinn - I told you to forget them.

Mr. O'Neill - Eep! Of course you did. Well, Quinn, if you think studying would help, I say go for it! Take this summer to crack the books. Hire a tutor. Put your nose to the proverbial grindstone.

Quinn - What's wrong with my nose?

(Mr. O'Neill groans. Unfortunately, it's the kind of response he's come to expect from Quinn.)


SCENE 3 - LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL

(Daria and Jane are walking down the hall, Jane slightly in front. There is obvious tension between the two.)

Daria - I think I'm finally finding out what it feels like to be a Lane.

Jane - That can't be, since it's only afternoon and you're already out of bed.

Daria - I mean the lack of tiresome parental involvement. Mine have been so busy they've completely forgotten to force me into some dumb summer activity. I'm turning into you.

Jane - Well, you've got so much else of mine, you might as well have my identity.

Daria - (slightly indignant) Hey...!

Jane - Take a joke, Daria. Anyway, que ironico. You don't have summer plans, I do.

Daria - Ironico's not a word.

Jane - This old commune-mate of my mother's runs an artists' colony. I've been accepted into their summer program.

Daria - (no enthusiasm whatsoever) That's great...

Jane - That sounds sincere.

Daria - Why didn't you say anything?

Jane - I didn't want to jinx it. Two months of painting and sculpting my heart out in a college town in the middle of nowhere. Starting this weekend.

Daria - Does this college town have a name, or do you just turn left at the kid with the tractor?

Jane - Cheer up, Daria. Without me around, you'll have that much more time for your budding social life.

(Daria makes a face at that; things obviously aren't going well between them, and apparently this was not the first comment of this type from Jane.)


SCENE 4 - LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL

(The Fashion Club is dining together in the cafeteria, as usual.)

Quinn - This college book said you need a score of 1,000 and a B-minus average to get into Pepperhill.

Stacy - God, we're only flesh and blood.

Tiffany - Stacy... eww.

Stacy - Sorry.

Sandi - So we'll go somewhere else. Somewhere that appreciates our specialness and individuality.

Quinn - But I'm sure I can do better on those tests.

Sandi - You can do better?

Quinn - We. Did I say me? We.

Sandi - Gee, Quinn, I'm glad you think you're so much smarter than the rest of us, but you're worried about nothing. We have plenty of time to pull up our test scores next year.

Stacy - Yeah! No sweat.

Tiffany - Stacy... eww.

Stacy - Sorry.


SCENE 5 - THE MORGENDORFFER HOUSE

(Jake is eating a stack of waffles at the kitchen counter, while Daria is making toast. Helen is rummaging through the refrigerator.)

Daria - More waffles, Dad? I found an extra stick of butter.

Jake - No thanks... the old diet, you know. (looks closer at the box of frozen waffles) May second? Hey! It's June! These waffles have expired!

Helen - Relax, Jake. That's a sell-by date. They've been frozen since then. They're fine.

Jake - Easy for you to say. You didn't just eat four poisoned waffles!

Daria - Mom's right. Besides, if you had food poisoning you'd be developing a very mild stomachache by now.

Jake - A mild stomachache? I think I have one, damn it!

(Helen is done in the fridge, so she turns to address Jake's latest neurosis.)

Helen - Jake, can't you ever tell when anyone's joking?

Jake - Of course I can. Um... you're not doing it now, are you?

Helen - It's June?! Oh, my gosh, Daria, what are you doing this summer?

Daria - I was wondering when you'd ask, but don't worry. I have a job.

Jake - Good for you, kiddo.

Helen - I see... and what exactly is this job?

Daria - I'm sorry, but the confidentiality agreement I signed with the government prevents me from revealing that. I've already said too much.

Jake - Wow! I mean, wow, what a funny joke.

Helen - Daria, I'm serious. I'm not going to let you sit around the house all summer.

Daria - Fine. I'll lie around the house all summer.

(Quinn walks into the kitchen, and is immediately ambushed by Helen)

Helen - Quinn, what are your plans for the summer?

Quinn - All right, I admit it! My P-STAT scores were a little low.

Helen - What?

Quinn - Sandi said we have plenty of time to catch up next year.

Helen - What about all the new things you'll have to learn then?

Daria - Yeah. The second half of the alphabet is even harder than the first.

Quinn - Oh, great. So you think I should get a tutor, too. Aren't there, like, any TV shows I can watch?

Daria - Good idea. You wouldn't want to flunk the essay section on Matlock.

Jake - Ha! Matlock.

Helen - Well, if you don't want a tutor, then...

Quinn - Fine! A tutor it is.

(And Quinn walks out, leaving her confused family in her wake.)


SCENE 6 - LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL

(Kevin, Brittany, Mack, and Jodie are in the hallway, signing each others' yearbooks. Other students are cleaning out their lockers.)

Brittany - Just make it out to me -- Brittany!

Jodie - Gee... thanks for clearing that up.

Brittany - You're welcome! What are you guys doing this summer?

(Jodie assumes "the position"... she's obviously recited this one too many times.)

Jodie - Two internships, volunteer community service, a part-time job and, in my spare time, golf lessons.

Kevin - Wow! What about you, Mack Daddy?

Mack - Driving an ice-cream truck.

Kevin - (laughs) That's not very prestidigitatious.

Mack - Thanks for pointing that out.

Kevin - You're welcome.

Jodie - Mack owes his father some money and I think it's very conscientious of him to take that job and pay him back.

Mack - Yeah. He gets the money, I get the humiliation.

Jodie - Mack, it'll be fine.

Brittany - Wait... isn't golf for old people who dress funny?

Jodie - Yeah -- my parents. They're trying to get into Winged Tree Country Club and they want me to learn how to play.

Kevin - Hey, do you get to wear one of those little hats and ring that bell that goes ding-a-ling-a-ling-a-ling? (laughs) A-ling?

(Mack grumbles. Kevin probably doesn't know how close he came to getting flattened right on the spot. Elsewhere, the Fashion Club is strolling down another hallway, presumably looking for yearbook signers.)

Sandi - So I told my parents, all right, I'll go with you on your little trip to Bermuda, but don't expect me to take part in any family luaus.

Quinn - But isn't it Hawaii where they do luaus?

Sandi - Gee, Quinn, that's exactly what my mother said. Maybe you should go with them.

Stacy - What are you doing this summer, Quinn?

Quinn - Oh, nothing special. See some movies, catch up on my dating... (quietly) get a tutor.

Sandi - A tutor?

Stacy - Oh, Quinn, I'm so sorry.

Tiffany - Really...

Quinn - I know. It's terrible. But my mother's making me. Um, you guys will keep it to yourselves, won't you?

Stacy - Of course.

Sandi - You can trust us.

Tiffany - You have our word...

Quinn - You guys are the best!

(And in yet another hallway, Daria and Jane are headed for their lockers, the tension between them thicker than ever.)

Daria - I think we should talk.

Jane - Okay. (stiffly) We are now talking.

Daria - About the Tom thing.

Jane - That I don't want to talk about.

Daria - If you're still upset about it, we should deal with it now. Especially since we won't be seeing each other all summer.

Jane - You don't get it, do you? I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to think about it. I told you, I'm not mad at you about Tom. Now let it freaking go, okay?

Daria - Can I at least take you out for a good-luck pizza before you leave for your big art adventure?

Jane - Daria, I said let it go.

(And Jane leaves a dejected Daria in the dust. It's going to be a loooong summer.)


SCENE 7 - THE MORGENDORFFER HOUSE

(Jake is sitting on the living room couch, reading the paper, when Helen walks into the room)

Helen - Jake, put the paper down. That boy Daria's been dating is on his way over.

Jake - You mean Quinn's been dating.

Helen - No, Daria.

Jake - Oh! Good one, honey. Old Jake Morgendorffer sure appreciates a funny joke.

Helen - Jake, will you listen to me, please? Daria's been out with this Tom several times and we're finally going to meet him, and I want to make sure we have our game plan together.

Jake - Wait, I remember now. The guy without any vocal cords.

Helen - I want you to stay cool and relaxed and not embarrass her by getting all nervous and crazy.

Jake - (still not listening) Daria said he communicates by blinking. Now was it one blink for yes or one blink for no?

Helen - Jake, she was joking!

Jake - I know! Ha-ha-ha-ha...! Now, what's the game plan?

Helen - The game plan is, you don't say a word.

Jake - So he won't feel self-conscious about the vocal cords, right?

Helen - Oh...!

(The doorbell rings. Helen opens the door, to find Tom standing on the front stoop.)

Helen - Hello! You must be Tom.

Tom - I...

Helen - I'm Helen Morgendorffer.

Tom - Glad to...

Helen - Won't you come in?

Tom - I'd...

Helen - Great!

(Tom makes a dejected face -- he obviously isn't used to not being able to get in a word edgewise -- and follows Helen into the house.)

Helen - We've heard so much about you, Tom.

Tom - Really?

Helen - Um, well, actually...

Jake - (leaps off the couch) Hey there, young man! Jake Morgendorffer.

Tom - (shaking Jake's hand) Hi, I'm Tom Sloane.

Helen - Sloane? Not the same Sloane as in Grace, Sloane and Page?

Tom - Well, that's my dad, so I guess...

Jake - Grace, Sloane and Page?! Hey, sign me up for a little of that insider trading. (Helen and Tom scowl at Jake's tasteless joke as Daria descends the stairs) Ha-ha! Little joke, of course. Class firm like your father's would never, uh, mmm... (he's getting nowhere) Say, you know, my vocal cords hurt. I'd better go gargle.

(Daria and Tom finally escape the house and proceed to Tom's car.)

Daria - Sorry about that. They've been acting a little strange ever since, oh, I can remember.

(Tom gives Daria a quick kiss, and Daria responds with a small smile.)

Tom - Pizza?

Daria - Okay.

(They finally reach his car. It's not his old rustbucket. It's a new rustbucket -- a Jaguar -- though in obviously better condition than his old Ford Pinto.)

Daria - What's this?

Tom - My new car. Well, my grandmother's old one.

Daria - Did you want this car?

Tom - Well, yeah, after my parents had my old one towed away in the middle of the night. (climbs behind the wheel)

Daria - (gets into the passenger seat) Note to self: leave Quinn out on curb tonight.


SCENE 8 - DOWNTOWN LAWNDALE

(Daria and Tom are walking towards Pizza King, when who should appear but Kevin and Brittany)

Brittany - Oh, hi, Daria!

Daria - Um, hello.

Kevin - Hey, Daria, I didn't know you had a brother.

Daria - What?

Brittany - Jane's going out with your brother? Wow!

Daria - What?

Brittany - You're Tom, right? Jane's boyfriend?

Tom - Well, I'm Tom, but...

Kevin - How long have you and Daria been brothers? I mean, how long has Daria been your brother? Wait a minute, uh...

Tom - Actually...

Daria - Um, listen, it's been great talking and all, but we've got to get back to the Rent-a-Brother shop before they charge us for an extra day. Bye.

(Daria and Tom walk away)

Kevin - You know what, babe? I don't think he's her brother at all.

Tom - What's the matter?

Daria - I can't do this. I can't spend the evening in there explaining to people that no, you're not my brother, and no, you're not Jane's boyfriend, you're actually my, uh...

Tom - Yes?

Daria - Guy I'm dating.

Tom - Okay. I understand. I know, let's bag the pizza place and go to my parents' club.

Daria - You're not much for crafty strategizing, are you?

Tom - Nobody knows you there. Besides, they charge my folks for meals whether they eat them or not, so we might as well get their money's worth.

Daria - Tom, as much as I'd like to help your family in their time of need...

(The Fashion Club chooses that moment to walk by, with each member appraising Tom as they pass.)

Daria - Do they have cheddar fries?


SCENE 9 - WINGED TREE COUNTRY CLUB

(Daria and Tom are sitting in the elegant dining room; it's obvious that it's a haven for the well-off)

Tom - Think you'll come visit me while I'm working in my father's office this month? (fake enthusiasm) You can help me file earnings reports.

Daria - Oh, sure, that old line. (looks around at the other members) Boy, you can really smell the mold on the old money in here, can't you?

Tom - Better on the money than on the food. Uh-oh...

Daria - Someone pull out a new twenty?

(Worse: Angier, Katherine, and Elsie Sloane -- Tom's parents and younger sister -- approach their table. They're dressed in that rich-but-trying-not-to-flaunt-it way. Elsie apparently is not enjoying herself.)

Tom - Mom, Dad... Elsie. Daria, this is my mother and father and my sister, Elsie.

(the Sloanes and Daria exchange greetings)

Kay - I just spoke with Aunt Mildred. She's made a lot of improvements on the house.

Elsie - She had the screen door fixed.

Tom - We always spend August at the cove with my great Aunt Mildred. It's kind of a tradition.

Elsie - In other words, we don't have a choice.

Kay - Elsie!

Angier - How about you, Daria? I'll bet you have something fun planned for the summer.

Daria - Um...

Tom - Actually, Daria's just going to relax. She's earned it -- she made high honor roll all three trimesters.

Kay - Fielding doesn't have trimesters.

Daria - I go to Lawndale High.

Kay - Oh. (pause) Well, high honor roll is an achievement at any school.

Daria - Actually, at ours it just means you managed to stay out of prison all year.

(There's an uncomfortable pause before Elsie starts to laugh, followed by Angier and Kay. Daria, however, is less than thrilled with being put on the spot.)

(Later... Tom and Daria are parked in front of the Morgendorffer house.)

Tom - Sorry about the family onslaught.

Daria - No big deal. Your parents had to find out you were dating me sometime.

Tom - Does that bother you? That I hadn't told them about you?

Daria - (hesitantly) No.

Tom - Daria, I never tell them about anyone I'm dating.

Daria - Now I really feel special.

Tom - Well, you should. Because I like you.

Daria - Thanks. Um, I'd better be going.

Tom - Hold on. I want to ask you... do you, you know... feel the same way about me?

Daria - Uh, yeah. Sure. Bye.

(Daria gets out of the car -- quickly -- leaving Tom pleased, but oblivious to Daria's discomfort.)


SCENE 10 - THE MORGENDORFFER HOUSE

(A young man strolls up the walkway to the front door and rings the doorbell. After a moment, Daria opens the front door.)

David - Hi, I'm David Sorenson. Are you Quinn?

Daria - I don't know. Is this the ninth circle of Hell?

David - The Divine Comedy.

Daria - Wait a minute, you know that? All right. Who are you and what do you want with my sister?

David - I'm here to tutor her.

Daria - Seriously.

(Helen arrives and opens the door wide.)

Helen - Quinn, your tutor's here! David, hi. Helen Morgendorffer. (shakes David's hand, then scowls at Daria) Don't mind Daria. Unemployment does strange things to one's mind.

(Helen and David sit in the living room)

Helen - Eric tells me you've worked wonders with his niece.

David - Jasmine's been doing very well. Of course, it makes my job easier to have the support of involved parents.

Helen - (chuckles nervously) Yes. Quinn!

(David and Quinn sit in the kitchen)

David - I see here that you took European History last year. I guess there's no need repeating that.

Quinn - Oh, yeah. Napoleon, Waterworld, the A La Carta.

David - Hmm... "revisit European history." Moving on to literature. I want you to check off all the books you've read. (hands Quinn a list) No point in assigning Ethan Frome or Silas Marner again.

Quinn - What did they write?

David - (laughs) Uh... okay. How's this for an idea? You tell me which are your best subjects.

Quinn - Well, let's see... I have an unerring color sense.

(At that, David does not look at all impressed, as evidenced by the "this is going to be tougher than I thought" look on his face.)


SCENE 11 - ASHFIELD COMMUNITY FOR THE ARTS

(The director is escorting Jane to her cabin. Her attitude and mannerisms are something of a cross between Amanda Lane and Claire Defoe.)

Director - I got a postcard from your mother. Boy, do I envy her in Death Valley.

Jane - Can you believe there are some people who wouldn't want to go there in July?

Director - I know... here we are.

(The director opens the door of the cabin to reveal a group of young women, all of whom are lounging around the common area of the cabin. They're all dressed in black, and sport oh!-so-trendy haircuts complete with offbeat colors.)

Caroline - I'm not saying Fauvism didn't have its place, but now it just looks like so much black-velvet junk at the swap-meet.

Paris - That's not fair. You can't evaluate the work outside the context of its time.

Caroline - You can if it's good.

Director - (clears throat) Everyone, I'd like you to meet your new housemate, Jane. Jane... Caroline, Jett, Anais, and Paris.

Jane - Hey.

(All of the girls murmur greetings.)

Director - Enjoy. I'll see you later. (she leaves)

Jane - Thanks.

Jett - Nice haircut.

Jane - Thanks, I...

Caroline - Anyway, color is not something you just fling around like a dog marking its territory.

(The girls murmur responses as Jane looks on and wonders what to make of her new roommates.)


SCENE 12 - LAWNDALE PUBLIC POOL

(Kevin and Brittany are dressed in full lifeguard regalia. Kevin is wearing red swim trunks, while Brittany is wearing a red one-piece bathing suit. Both are sporting whistles.)

Brittany - Kevvy! You look so cute.

Kevin - And you look hot.

Brittany - And your muscles, they're so ripply.

Kevin - Aw, babe.

(Behind them, a kid can be seen choking and waving his arms. He's clearly in distress, and it's just as clear that Kevin and Brittany are totally oblivious to his plight.)

Lifeguard - Hey! You guys are supposed to be watching the pool!

Kevin - What about this arm? Is it ripply, too?

Brittany - Ooh... let me see how ripply. Oh...

(The senior lifeguard jumps into the pool and pulls the kid to safety. As she does so, she shoots an angry glance at the two lovebirds.)


SCENE 13 - THE MORGENDORFFER HOUSE

(It's 1:00 in the afternoon, and Daria is still sound asleep. Helen walks into the bedroom and opens a curtain; she's definitely not very pleased. Later that evening, Helen is on the living room sofa as Daria heads for the front door.)

Daria - Can't talk... top secret mission.

Helen - Well, complete your mission soon because I'm sending you on another one. Mr. O'Neill called looking for day camp volunteers and I signed you up.

Daria - You didn't.

Helen - You start Monday. I'm sorry, but you're not staying locked up in your room all summer.

Daria - So instead, you're going to lock me up with a busload of whiny kids and the poor man's Kathy Lee Gifford.

Helen - Daria, you need to be more tolerant. You know what they say. "Judge and be judged."

Daria - And I judge myself unfit for human contact.

Helen - That's exactly what you will be if you don't start engaging with the rest of us. (stands up) You keep hiding your real face behind that antisocial mask and one day the mask will be your face. I'm not letting that happen. You're working at that camp. (leaves)

Daria - What about my feelings? What about my rights? (door shuts) What about my bribe?


SCENE 14 - THE MORGNEDORFFER HOUSE

(Quinn and David are in the middle of a tutoring session. Well, David is, anyway; Quinn is on the phone with Stacy.)

Quinn - But Stacy, how can I possibly decide if you should wear your chocolate brown or beige brown headband if you haven't picked out your eyeliner? (looks over at David, and sees how angry he's getting) Beige brown, bye. (hangs up) Sorry.

David - Okay. As I was saying, people in the Middle Ages were in constant...

Quinn - God, we're still in the Middle Ages? I mean, things were so depressing then, and everyone was so short. (phone rings, Quinn answers) Sandi, hi. I'm kind of bus... she wore under-the-knee knee socks? No!

(David has finally had enough; he starts packing up his books.)

Quinn - Hang on a second. Where are you going?

David - Far, far away.

Quinn - Sandi, I'll call you right back. (hangs up) Okay. So we were talking about short people.

David - No, you were talking about sock length. (stands up) See ya.

Quinn - But you can't go! I haven't learned anything!

David - Gee, and how do you propose to do that when you're on the phone through the whole session?

Quinn - But they call, David, they call!

David - Look, you seem bright enough, but I just can't sit here and listen to any more vacuous prattle with your brain-dead friends. Eyeliner, headband colors... God, are you boring.

Quinn - I'm not boring! I'm popular!

David - Hey, the only reason you're popular is your looks, and those won't last forever. You have nothing interesting to say and no intellectual curiosity whatsoever. Do the world a favor and don't go to college. Give up your spot to somebody who wants to learn.

(Quinn gasps; it's obvious she's never been talked to like this before. At least, not by someone whose opinion mattered, on a subject she cared about.)

Quinn - But... you just said I was bright!

David - So what? It doesn't matter, if you're hell-bent on achieving complete brain atrophy before you're old enough to vote.

Quinn - I'm not!

David - Do you even know what atrophy means?

Quinn - David, my friends and I all got practically the same scores on our P-STATs.

David - So?

Quinn - So they were bad. And I know I can do better. It's not like I care or anything, it's just that I know I can.

David - It's not like you care? It's not like you want to do better? Then why the hell am I here?

(Quinn pauses for a moment to let that sink in. Finally, she comes to a decision as she places the phone in the middle of the table.)

Quinn - All right. I care. I want to do better.

David - Okay, then... the Middle Ages.

(David sits down and opens his textbook again as Quinn resigns herself to her situation.)


SCENE 15 - THE "OKAY TO CRY CORRAL" BUS

(Daria and Mr. DeMartino are seated together at the front of the bus, while Mr. O'Neill leads the other kids in song. Daria looks like she'd rather be anywhere else, while Mr. DeMartino looks like he wants to tear a hole in the side of the bus to escape.)

Mr. O'Neill and Kids - (singing to "This Old Man") "With a knickknack, gentle pat, give the dog a bone, this young person helps out at home."

Mr. O'Neill - Now just the counselors. (singing) "This young person, he played..." (sees the look on Daria's and Mr. DeMartino's faces) Oh, dear.

(at the camp, the kids are gathered in the activities room as Mr. O'Neill runs through his introduction)

Mr. O'Neill - Greetings, and welcome to the Okay to Cry Corral. I'm Uncle Timothy, and together, we're going to take a journey to the land of self-discovery. A land where it's okay to laugh, and it's okay... to cry.

Daria - I feel like doing that now.

Mr. O'Neill - And now, I'd like my co-counselors, Daria and Uncle Anthony, to say a few words about what they hope to accomplish here.

Mr. DeMartino - After you, Daria.

Daria - Thanks, Uncle Anthony. (steps forward) My goal is to get out of this unscathed. (steps back)

Mr. DeMartino - I'm hoping to rediscover the joys and satisfactions of teaching, and the motives that led me to pursue such a thankless... I mean, rewarding profession in the first place. At least that's what my doctor says I need to do before I incur a cerebral hemorrhage!

Mr. O'Neill - Uncle Anthony... (chuckles nervously) I mean, what are your goals for the campers?

Mr. DeMartino - Oh. Um... (pulls out a cue card) "To help make this a pleasurable experience for all. Let's learn to love ourselves together."

(pause)

Mr. O'Neill - Okay. (chuckles nervously) Let's divide into three groups, shall we? One, two, three. Daria, you take group one.

(Daria approaches her group, which consists of four kids, one of whom is resting his head on his folded arms.)

Daria - Um... hello. Would, um, anyone like to say anything before we get started?

Kid #1 - How come you're so pale?

Kid #2 - Why do you bite your nails?

Kid #3 - Do you ever smile?

Daria - (to the kid at the end) Um, how about you? Would you like to say anything?

(The kid, Link, slowly raises his head.)

Link - Is it fall yet?


SCENE 16 - ASHFIELD COMMUNITY FOR THE ARTS

(Daniel Dotson, world famous artist -- in his mind -- is giving a lecture before the assembled residents of the art colony. Beside him is one of his works, four paper plates skewered by spears.)

Daniel - When I unveiled "Paper Plate Genocide" in 1991, it was hailed as intriguing, provocative, even brilliant. And not just by me.

(scattered laughter)

Daniel - No, we all know critics tend to get carried away. But what was I thinking when I created a work that seems to have turned out both seminal and semiotic?

Jane - "I can't believe I'm getting away with this?"

(Sitting beside her, a young woman with tatoos on her arms and long, dark hair -- Alison -- glances over at Jane and smirks; she obviously appreciates Jane's sarcastic remark.)

Paris - Excuse me, Mr. Dotson?

Daniel - Please... Paris, isn't it? Call me Daniel.

Paris - Daniel. I just want to say, I think you're the greatest living artist of our time.

Jane - "And not just because I have no taste."

(Everyone except Jane and Alison applaud.)

Guy - I was wondering, where do you get your inspiration?

Alison - "My alimony bills."

(This time, it's Jane's turn to look impressed. She and Alison exchange a look that needs no translation: they're on the same wavelength regarding this full-of-himself poseur.)

Daniel - I don't sit around and wait for inspiration. I grab it -- in the glint of the sun on a frozen peak... in the pain of an arthritic's hobble... in a lover's whisper in the dark. So I'd have to say, my inspiration comes from life itself.

Guy - Wow.

(Now Jane and Alison are frowning. If anything, their hatred of this clown is getting deeper, if that's possible.)

Daniel - Well, that's enough of the old windbag's ramblings for today. We'll pick up here tomorrow.

(The other students sigh with disappointment, then applaud as Daniel leaves.)

Alison - Hi. I'm Alison.

Jane - Jane.

(They shake hands.)

Alison - Our Mr. Dotson's really something, isn't he?

Jane - Well, he certainly doesn't let substance get in the way of self-congratulatory yap.

Alison - At least we'll never have to worry about him intimidating us with his talent.

(Jane lets out a small smile, thinking that this place might not be so bad after all.)


SCENE 17 - LAWNDALE STREET

(several kids, including Sam and Chris Griffin, are crowded around Mack's ice cream truck and screaming their demands)

Chris - I want an Astro-Pop!

Mack - Hang on.

Girl #1 - Ring the bell!

Sam - Give me a fudge bar!

Mack - Just a second.

Girl #2 - (whines) The flavor went out of my sno-cone!

Sam - You suck!

Chris - Yeah, you suck!

(phone rings, Mack answers)

Mack - Yeah?

(split-screen between Mack and Jodie, who's stuffing envelopes for a charity carnival)

Jodie - Sounds like you're having as good a day as I am.

Mack - Well, things are looking up now. Want to do something later?

Jodie - I can't. I'm gonna be stuffing envelopes all night. But I'll see you at my family's Fourth of July party, right?

Mack - Right. Unless I... (loudly) shove an ice cream scooper down someone's throat first!

(In response, one of the kids throws his ice cream code at Mack, hitting him square in the head.)


SCENE 18 - THE SLOANE HOUSE

(Tom and Daria are watching television.)

SSW Announcer - Are drug-crazed rodents raiding your child's medicine cabinet? "Rats on Ritalin," next on Sick, Sad World.

Tom - Maybe you should get some of that for the little campers.

Daria - Ritalin or the rats?

(Kay and Elsie enter the room. Elsie sits on the chair opposite the couch where Tom and Daria are sitting. Elsie is carrying a garment bag, which she unceremoniously dumps on the ottoman.)

Kay - Hello, Daria. It's nice to see you again.

Daria - Um, you, too, Mrs. Sloane. Hi, Elsie.

Kay - Elsie, why don't you show Tom and Daria the dress Richard made you for the Starry Night Ball?

Elsie - Oh, I couldn't ruin the surprise.

Kay - Daria, is there any way I can change your mind about going? Then you and I could gang up and convince Tom.

Daria - Um...

Tom - Sorry, I forgot to tell you. Mom's on the board of the Lawndale Art Museum. They're holding a benefit to raise money for a new wet bar.

Kay - A new gallery. It should be a lot of fun.

Daria - Um, sounds like it.

Elsie - If you like watching ice sculptures melt.

Tom - Actually, these things are excruciatingly dull and stuffy, and I told her there's no way we're going.

Daria - Well, um, I guess that's right.

Elsie - You wouldn't want to compromise your quasi-rebelliousness.

Tom - I hope Richard left enough room in that dress for your faux jadedness.

Kay - Children! You know, Daria, this event is not members-only. I'd love to send your parents an invitation if you think they'd be interested.

Daria - Um... thanks.

Elsie - Are you going to blow off fireworks at the club, too?

Tom - Sorry. I forgot. We can't. I already told... promised Daria I'd go with her to her friend's Fourth of July party.

Kay - Daria, what can we do to get into your good graces?

(An embarrassed Daria's discomfort level reaches an all-time high as she sits in the middle of the conversation.)


SCENE 19 - THE "OKAY TO CRY CORRAL"

(The kids are in the activities room. They're not happy.)

Mr. O'Neill - Now, I want each of you to think of the blue lanyard as representing how you feel on the inside, and the green as how you present yourself on the outside. Picture...

Kristin - It's a hundred degrees! Can't we go for a swim in the lake?

Kids - Yeah... lake!

Mr. O'Neill - Now, Kristin... do we really want to risk exposure to algae blooms? Maybe some other time, when it's not quite as warm out.

(kids groan)

Mr. DeMartino - The blue strand represents the gnawing feeling of failure growing with each wasted year. The green represents the ulcer you're developing from the unrelenting indignities you suffer. Take the blue and cross it under... I mean, over the loop and then through the frustration... argh...! Lanyards suck!

(DeMartino gets up and walks away, leaving the kids confused)

Daria - So continue threading the blue with the green until you've finished. Or can't take the tedium anymore.

(She picks up a book and lets the kids continue with the project. Eventually, Link gets up and walks over to her.)

Daria - Hey, Link. Need some help?

Link - Nope. All done.

(Link tosses his project on the table and leaves. Daria picks it up and examines it: it's a twisted, gnarled mess. Link is obviously not having a good time.)


SCENE 20 - THE LANDON HOUSE

(The Landon's Fourth of July party is in full swing, with influential guests and various students from Lawndale High in attendance. The Three J's approach Quinn and the Fashion Club, who are standing off to one side of the Landon's deck.)

Joey - Hey, Quinn, can I get you a soda?

Jeffy - How about a lemon for your soda?

Jamie - How about a knife for your lemon?

Quinn - Um, okay. (she watches the J's scramble away to fulfill her wishes)

Sandi - Gee, Quinn... I'm surprised you're not at the planetarium with the jet propulsion club, what with all your tutoring.

Quinn - Sandi, shh. I'm trying to keep that a little quiet, remember?

Sandi - Say no more. As your friend and fellow Fashion Club officer, I give you my solemn word that your secret is safe with me.

Quinn - Thanks, Sandi.

(the Three J's return)

Sandi - I will never tell a soul that you, Quinn Morgendorffer, are seeing a tutor.

Jamie - Quinn... you're seeing a tutor?

Sandi - Quinn, I'm so sorry. I didn't see them sneaking up behind you.

Quinn - Um, yeah... I'm being tutored because of my P-STAT scores.

Joey - That's cool.

Jeffy - Hey, yeah.

Jamie - Awesome.

Quinn - Really?

Jamie - Hey, next year could you help me with my homework?

Joey - No, me! I'm stupider than he is.

Jeffy - I can barely spell my own name.

(As the Three J's continue arguing, Sandi gives Quinn a dirty look; obviously, her little plan has backfired on her.)

Sandi - Gee, I didn't realize being tutored provides you with an opportunity to help others. Maybe I should get a tutor.

Tiffany - Yeah... me, too.

Stacy - Oh, God, I think I need one, too.

(On the other side of the deck, Jodie, her father Andrew, and Mack are talking with another couple, presumably friends of Andrew's, or possibly a client.)

Woman - Jodie, what have you been up to this summer?

Jodie - (totally unenthusiastic) Soup kitchen, crisis center, Congressman Sack's office, fund raising, golf lessons.

Andrew - Isn't she something?

Man - Oh, yes. And Michael, is it? What are you doing this summer?

Mack - Driving an ice cream truck.

Woman - Oh.

(Down on the lawn, Daria and Tom are standing next to the deck, while Kevin and Brittany are sitting on the stairs.)

Kevin - Hey, there's Daria with that guy who claims to be her brother. I'm going to trap him in his own web of lies.

Brittany - Oh, Kevin, you're so... spidery!

Daria - It's been a lovely evening, but I think I'm ready to go home now. (sees Kevin and Brittany approaching) But first, a word from the village idiots.

Brittany - Hi, Daria! Hi, Tom!

Daria - Hey.

Tom - Hi.

Kevin - Say there, um, Tom. If you're Daria's brother, how come we never saw you before this year?

Tom - That should be obvious. They weren't able to match up our telltale birthmarks until now.

Kevin - Oh. Hey, man, I'm sorry.

Daria - I have something to tell you two. Tom's not my brother.

Kevin - Aha!

Daria - He's the mad scientist who built me. He has to hang around in case my internal organs fall out.

Brittany - Eww...!

Tom - I'm her date.

Kevin - (laughs) Good one, man.

Brittany - Wait a minute, Kevvy. He's serious. But how can you be dating Jane and Daria?

Tom - Well, I'm not dating Jane anymore.

Brittany - Oh. (pause) Oh! Daria!

Daria - Um, will you excuse us for a while? We'll be back right after man walks on the sun. (she takes Tom's arm and drags him away)

Brittany - Wow... Daria's dating her best friend's boyfriend.

Kevin - So then, whose brother is he?

(Brittany frowns at Kevin, whose stupidity is exceeded by nothing)

(Jodie walks down the stairs to the lawn just as Daria and Tom approach)

Jodie - Hey, Daria. Thanks for coming. Tom Sloane, right? Jane's boyfriend?

Tom - Actually, we're just friends now.

Jodie - Oh, that's too bad. You guys were a cute couple. Any chance for a reconciliation?

Daria - Um, Jodie... Hell's frozen over and Tom's here with me.

Jodie - What? I mean... it didn't occur to me that, um... you know... (Andrew joins them) Dad! You remember Daria Morgendorffer. And this is Tom Sloane.

Andrew - Sloane? You're not Angier's boy, are you?

Tom - As a matter of fact, yeah.

Andrew - Great guy. And how's your lovely mother, Katherine?

Tom - You know my mother?

Andrew - I just had the pleasure. We're up for membership at Winged Tree and she's on the board. Forget politics. That's power. (laughs)

(Tom simply stands there, unsure of how to respond. Daria and Jodie, however, know exactly how: they're embarrassed.)


SCENE 21 - ASHFIELD COMMUNITY FOR THE ARTS

(Jane and Alison enter the dining room. Each is carrying a tray of food.)

Jane - I can't believe I let you talk me into this.

Alison - You can't eat in your room forever. Why go to an artists' colony if you're not going to mingle with your fellow artists?

Jane - That's like saying why go to a penal colony if you're not going to mingle with your fellow... I think I'll stop there.

Alison - Come on, I know they'll warm up to you if you give them a chance.

Jane - Um, are we by any chance conversing across parallel dimensions?

Alison - I'll bet you dinner I'm right.

Jane - You're on, sucker.

(The girls approach the table where Paris, Jet, and some unidentified guy are sitting.)

Alison - Mind if we join you?

Jet - Not at all.

Alison - How's everyone liking the colony so far?

Jet - I love it. It's so... freeing.

Paris - And Daniel? That man is brilliant. He said my white-on-white painting was a stroke of inspiration.

Guy - I'll bet you two have explored all sorts of strokes together.

(Jet laughs)

Man - Oh well, I suppose genius does have its prerogatives.

Jane - Well, I don't know if Daniel's a genius.

Paris - No offense, Jane, but aren't you still in high school? How much can you know about art at this point?

Jane - Excuse me?

Alison - Paris, we all had to submit a portfolio to be accepted here. I'd say Jane knows quite a bit about art.

Paris - I'm sure you're right. I apologize. Are you guys ready to go?

(the three bid their goodbyes to Jane and Alison as they get up and leave)

Jane - Gee, that was fun. But in the future, let's save time and just roll around on gravel.

Alison - Sorry about that. I guess I owe you one.

Jane - You owe me dinner.


SCENE 22 - THE "OKAY TO CRY CORRAL" BUS

Mr. O'Neill - (singing to "Row, Row, Row Your Boat") "Brush, brush, brush your teeth, using good hygiene, up and down and up and down and floss until they gleam." Everybody!

Kids - (singing halfheartedly) "Brush, brush, brush your teeth, using good hygiene, up and down and up and down, floss until they gleam."

(Daria, meanwhile, can't hear a thing; she's wearing a pair of those earmuffs used by airport employees who work around jet engines. Mr. DeMartino, however, has no such protection, and is barely keeping himself from going postal.)

(Later, at the camp, the kids are painting in the activity room.)

Mr. O'Neill - Remember, don't think about what you're doing, because I don't really want a painting from you. I want a painting from the child within.

Girl - It's so pretty out. Can't we go for a hike? Please?

(the other kids join in and also plead to go outside)

Mr. O'Neill - Now, campers. I wouldn't be a very caring counselor if I let you run higgledy-piggledy through the poison ivy and ticks. One day there'll be time to explore the woods, after we explore ourselves.

(all the kids sigh)

Mr. DeMartino - Well, well, Josh. What have we here? A football player? May I inquire why?

Josh - My child within wants to be a winner. Everyone knows football players are winners.

Mr. DeMartino - I see. Obviously, your definition of a winner is a degenerate slacker with pigskin for brains, an unshakable desire to sleep through class, and a lifetime goal of excelling at arm noise contests while never, ever doing any honest work of any kind! Is that right?!

(Josh starts crying and runs away)

Mr. O'Neill - Oh, my gosh. Anthony, what happened?

Mr. DeMartino - I, uh... Timothy, I think I may have spoken too harshly to a camper.

Mr. O'Neill - Oh, no. Was he traumatized?

Mr. DeMartino - I'm no good at working with young people! Why, oh, why did I ever think I could?

(all the other kids suddenly start cheering)

Boy #1 - Josh is the worst bully at camp.

Girl - I hate his child within.

Boy #2 - Hooray for Uncle Anthony!

(all the kids start cheering for "Uncle Anthony")

Mr. DeMartino - Oh... thank you, campers!

(Meanwhile, Daria is watching in dismay as Link paints a horribly depressing picture: a dark, hunched-over figure standing in the rain next to a tree with no leaves.)


SCENE 23 - THE GRIFFIN HOUSE

(David Sorenson is sitting with Sandi at the dining room table. Sandi doesn't look like she's having a very good time.)

David - Okay, let's talk about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. In 753 B.C., Romulus and Remus...

Sandi - (interrupting) Um, excuse me, is this going to take long? I still have a few accessories left to buy for my date tonight.

David - Well, look. Rome wasn't built in a day, if you know what I mean.

Sandi - Good one. Might I suggest then that we finish this session at Cashman's?

David - Sandi, if you're not going to take this seriously...

Sandi - Are you implying that I can't shop and give you my attention? Because I don't think that's the sort of confidence-building a tutor is supposed to provide his student.

David - (frustrated) We're not going to the mall.

Sandi - You academics aren't very understanding of the pressures facing normal people. Nevertheless, if we leave now, I'll buy you a sno-cone.

David - Forget it. I quit. (picks up his books and leaves)

Sandi - Geek.


SCENE 24 - THE BLUM-DECKLER HOUSE

(This time, it's Tiffany that's under the gun, only Tiffany isn't annoyed. How could she be, when she's totally absorbed with holding a compact up to her face and applying makeup?)

David - Steinbeck was perhaps best known for his poignant novel about the "Okies"...

Tiffany - Uh-huh...

David - A heavy metal band famous for having a baboon on bass.

Tiffany - Uh-huh...

(David grabs the compact out of her hand)

Tiffany - Uh, why'd you do that?

David - Because I'm not here to watch you put on makeup.

Tiffany - But... I don't mind.

David - Well, I do. Now, if you did your reading, you'll recall that Steinbeck was... what are you doing?

Tiffany - This toaster's really shiny.

David - Later. (picks up his backpack and leaves)

(For a few moments, Tiffany doesn't even pick up on the fact that David has left. Then...)

Tiffany - (finally turning around) Huh?


SCENE 25 - THE ROWE HOUSE

(It's Stacy's turn now, just to make the set complete. Unlike Sandi and Tiffany, Stacy actually seems to be trying.)

David - During the Reconstruction, Southerners complained that the newly installed government officials were nothing more than carpetbaggers.

Stacy - They were making fun of their butts? Wait, that would be saddlebaggers...

(David gets a look on his face: "You can't really be that stupid, can you?")

Stacy - (upset) Oh, no... that's the look my mother always gets when I say something stupid. I'm such an idiot. I'll never get anywhere in life!

David - At least you're trying. Unlike Sandi and Tiffany, whom I had to drop. Now, the carpet...

Stacy - Wait -- you dropped them?

David - Yup. The carpetbaggers...

Stacy - Why didn't they tell me? I'm being shut out. I can't believe this is happening to me. I knew this was going to happen to me. Oh, why did I wear that butterfly clip?

(Stacy runs off, crying, leaving David alone to wonder what the hell happened.)


SCENE 26 - CONGRESSMAN SACK'S OFFICE

(Jodie is sitting at a desk, slowly feeding piles of paperwork into a shredding machine as the phone rings.)

Jodie - Congressman Sack's office. Hey! How's it going?

(split-screen between Jodie and Mack, who's in his ice cream truck)

Mack - Terrible. You want to go to a movie Saturday?

Jodie - I have to pull a double shift at the crisis center.

Mack - You know, I never see you anymore.

Jodie - I know, but look at it this way. I'm wasting away the summer stuck inside all day. At least you get to drive around in your nice white suit ringing your little bells.

Mack - Hey, you think it's funny that I have to do this?!

Jodie - Who said it was funny? (the other line rings) I got to get this. I'll talk to you later. (hangs up)

Kids - We want ice cream!

Mack - (hangs up) Yeah... later.


SCENE 27 - THE MORGENDORFFER HOUSE

(Daria is alone in her room, reading a book, when the phone rings.)

Quinn - (shouting from off-screen) Daria! It's that Tom!

Daria - (picks up phone) Hello?

Tom - Hey, it's me. I was wondering what you're doing tonight.

Daria - Actually, I'm... not feeling that well.

(split-screen between Daria and Tom)

Tom - Still? Then can I bring you a bowl of soup? I'll even throw in a couple of goldfish crackers. Or real goldfish, if you prefer.

Daria - Thanks, but I'm kind of beat. I think I'll pass.

Tom - Daria... is everything all right?

Daria - Never better. I mean, except for this cold.

Tom - You know I'm leaving for the cove in a week, right? I won't see you for a month.

Daria - I know. Um, a month's not that long.

Tom - All right. Call me if you feel like getting out, okay?

Daria - Sure.

(As they hang up, Daria leans back and gets a "dammit, why is this happening to me?" look on her face.)


SCENE 28 - THE "OKAY TO CRY CORRAL"

(Mr. O'Neill is talking to Link in his office. Link is obviously not happy to be there, but then, that's no different than what we've seen so far.)

Mr. O'Neill - Link, I asked you to stop by because I've noticed you seem a little bit... subdued.

Link - I was gonna say miserable, but okay.

Mr. O'Neill - Growing up is kind of like being a kite, isn't it? We want to fly, but we don't really trust ourselves to cut the parental string and soar with the birds. (chuckles)

Link - A kite doesn't fly if you cut its string. It blows around in the wind for a while and then crashes.

Mr. O'Neill - Exactly. Just the way we...

Link - You might know that if you ever took us outside.

Mr. O'Neill - Oh, well, I...

Link - What do you know? 'Cause it seems to me you spout out a lot of crap about loving ourselves, and that doesn't do any good to someone trying to figure out why his mother threw his father out for being a jerk and then went and married a bigger one.

Mr. O'Neill - Oh, well, that certainly sounds like something we can talk about...

Link - I don't want to talk about it. I want to go to a real camp where you run around all day doing stuff until you're too tired to think. Can we do that, "Uncle Timothy"?

Mr. O'Neill - Well, you see, Link, much as I'd like to, we have to keep the other children's safety in mind.

Link - (stands) That's what I thought. You don't really care about making kids feel better.

Mr. O'Neill - Of course I do!

Link - Okay, then I guess the problem is just that you suck at it. (slams the door as he walks out)

Mr. O'Neill - It'll be okay. That was just Link's anger with himself talking. (sobs quickly, then recovers)

(In the activity room, Daria is sitting with a couple of other kids when she spots Link stoming angrily towards the exit.)

Daria - Um, keep up the good work. (she follows Link, catching up with him near the exit) Hey, everything okay?

Link - How can you stand this place?!

Daria - Um, 'cause I'm one of the guards instead of the prisoners?

Link - Yeah. Right.

Daria - Look, you want to go for a walk?

Link - (sarcastically) Outside? That would be dangerous.

Daria - Tell you what. I won't say a word. It'll be just like going by yourself, except for the by-yourself part.

(And with that, she opens the door and walks outside with Link.)


SCENE 29 - THE HUNGRY PALETTE RESTAURANT

(Jane and Alison are sitting at a booth, a bottle of wine between them.)

Alison - God, I envy you, Jane. To have all that talent and focus at your age.

Jane - Oh, come on.

Alison - I wish I could be in high school again, knowing what I know now.

Jane - A little perspective and you could sidestep all the torture, huh?

Alison - No.

(they both laugh and take a drink)

Jane - Hell, I'd trade places with you in a minute. You're doing exactly what I want to. Making it on your own as an artist.

Alison - Trying to, anyway.

Jane - Hey, you'll do it.

Alison - So will you. (they clink glasses) Little more?

Jane - Why not?

(Alison pours more wine into Jane's glass)

Alison - You and your future. Me and my so-called career. I guess we've each got something the other would love to have.

(Jane raises her glass while Alison takes a drink from hers, all the while wearing a strange expression...)


SCENE 30 - THE MORGENDORFFER HOUSE

(Jake and Daria are sitting in the living room on opposite couches. Each is reading the paper as Helen walks into the room.)

Helen - Daria? How are things at camp? (pause) Daria?

Daria - Well, let's see. Tomorrow we're going to push the campers to their physical limits by having them make paper doll chains.

Jake - Ha! A joke... right?

Daria - That's what I keep telling myself.

(phone rings; Helen answers)

Helen - Hello? Yes, this is Helen Morgendorffer. Kay Sloane? Oh, yes, hello!

(split-screen between Helen and Kay)

Kay - It's very nice to speak with you at last. I'm sorry we haven't met yet.

Helen - Oh, yes, I know.

Kay - In fact, that's sort of why I'm calling. We're having a little benefit for the Lawndale Art Museum we're calling the Starry Night Ball. Do you think you might like to attend? We could finally meet and do our bit for the arts.

Helen - The Starry Night Ball? What a wonderful idea. Without the arts, what distinguishes us from animals, right?

Daria - Well, let's see. Animals don't feel the need to suck up to wealthier animals.

Kay - Wonderful. It's on September eighth, and tickets are a thousand dollars per couple. (Helen's face falls to the floor) Or you can buy a table for $5,000, but please don't feel obligated to do that.

Helen - Um, did you say the eighth? Oh, dear, that's the weekend of the office retreat. Well, I'll check to be sure, but... yes, I'm sorry. It was nice speaking with you, too. Good-bye. (hangs up) Whew...

Jake - Damn it, Helen, I want to go to the ball!

Daria - Yes, why should your wicked stepsisters have all the fun?

Jake - I mean to hobnob with all those rich people. Clients... money...

Daria - Hobnob?

Helen - Jake, the tickets are a thousand dollars.

Jake - A thousand bucks! Insensitive rich bastards! Don't they know some people have to work for a living?!

Helen - Relax. I think she bought my excuse.

Jake - Thank God.

Daria - Thank God.

Helen - Oh, dear... I hope they won't think we're cheap now.

Daria - Who cares what they think?

Helen - What's the matter with you?

Daria - (stands) It's bad enough the rest of the town grovels at the Sloanes' feet. Now I have to put up with it in my own home? (leaves)

Helen - Was I groveling?

Jake - Was she joking?


SCENE 31 - ASHFIELD COMMUNITY FOR THE ARTS

(Jane and Alison are lounging on the floor in Alison's cabin. Jane is looking over a book of Alison's pastel sketches. Both are drinking more wine.)

Jane - These pastels are great.

Alison - Thanks. I wish the galleries felt the same way.

Jane - They're nuts.

Alison - I knew you'd get what I'm trying to do. Top that off?

Jane - No, I'd better call it a night. I get cranky if I don't get my usual 12 hours. (stands up)

Alison - Come on, it's still early. I'm sure we can find something to do to amuse ourselves.

Jane - Well, that's where the whole sleeping thing factors in. (yawns) I'll see you tomorrow. I'm exhausted. (walks to the door)

Alison - (grabs Jane's arm to keep her from leaving) I can't let you walk home in your condition. I'm going to have to insist that you lie down.

Jane - No, really, I'm fine.

Alison - (puts her other arm around Jane) I promise not to kick you out of bed in the morning. Well, unless you're snoring.

Jane - Thanks, but I... oh, God. (backs off as she realizes what's going on)

Alison - What's the matter? I'm not your type?

Jane - Um, Alison... I'm straight.

Alison - Yeah, right. I don't think so.

Jane - (getting upset) I'm not gay.

Alison - (laughs) where have I heard that before? Wait a minute. Is this your first time with a girl? Well, no wonder you're nervous.

Jane - Alison... read my lips. I like guys.

Alison - And hanging out with bisexuals in their bedrooms after they buy you dinner.

Jane - Hey, I didn't know you were bi. And the dinner thing was settling a bet.

Alison - Sure... settling a bet. I'm sorry, baby, but I never hit on straight chicks.

Jane - Listen, you've been really nice to me and all, and I really appreciate it, but I'm not interested in women.

Alison - You mean you're not ready to admit it.

Jane - I gotta go.

(She high-tails it out of Alison's cabin and rushes back to hers. As she closes the door, she leans on it with a stricken and confused look, as if she's been betrayed for the second time by someone she considered a friend.)


SCENE 32 - LAWNDALE PUBLIC POOL

(Kevin is surveying his surroundings by looking through the mouthpiece of a bullhorn. Brittany is examining her hair, which is now a sickly shade of green!)

Brittany - Eep!

Kevin - Man, it's hard to see out of this thing.

(Brittany runs over to Kevin)

Brittany - Kevvy, this is terrible! That icky pool water is turning my hair green!

Kevin - Wow, you really do have green hair. (teasing) Green hair, green hair!

Brittany - Kevvy, it's not funny!

Kevin - Ho-ho-ho! It's the jolly green babe.

Brittany - Ooh...

Kevin - Ho-ho-ho! Green babe. (Brittany stomps on his foot) Ow!

Brittany - You big jerk!

(Brittany starts chasing Kevin around the pool and pummeling him, then shoves him into the water and does it some more. The other kids take the cue and start doing the same with each other until the head lifeguard blows her whistle to break things up.)

Lifeguard - You two mess up one more time and you're fired.


SCENE 33 - THE "OKAY TO CRY CORRAL"

(The campers, plus Daria and Mr. DeMartino, are sitting in a circle. In the center is Mr. O'Neill, who is trying to engage the students in yet another feel-good exercise.)

Mr. O'Neill - Now, everyone hold the hand of the person next to them while we all visualize the same word: "trust."

Curtis - But we've been sitting inside all day. Can't we go out and play? Please?

Mr. O'Neill - Now, Curtis, we're listening to our souls. It's much easier to hear them indoors.

(the kids sigh)

Boy - Uncle Anthony, can't you talk to him?

Girl - You're such a great counselor.

Mr. DeMartino - Um, Uncle Timothy... perhaps little Curtis has a point. Maybe frolicking outdoors would offer a refreshing counterpoint to sitting in a circle like a quilting bee of shut-ins!

Mr. O'Neill - Anthony, please. You're supposed to be setting an example. Besides, quilting can be very therapeutic. (alarm beeping) Now... oops. Time for my Echinacea. I'll be back in a jiffy. Now everyone, hold hands and feel the warmth. (walks away)

(The kids reluctantly take each others' hand. A grumbling Mr. DeMartino does the same, only to find that his are now smeared with peanut butter.)

Mr. DeMartino - Argh! Peanut butter! Sitting in circles... stupid songs... arts and crafts... cruel and unusual... hell! I can't take it anymore!

(Mr. DeMartino runs over to the sink and rips it out of the wall with a grunt, then flings it through the nearest plate-glass window.)

Mr. DeMartino - I'm going on a hike! (climbs out the window)

(all the kids -- except Link -- cheer and follow him out the window)

Daria - (to Link) Come on. Even I'll admit that was mildly amusing.

Link - Whatever.

Daria - Look, for what it's worth, when I was your age, I, um... had this friend who was kind of like you. The only people she liked were the ones in books, and she spent most of her time in her room convinced the world had been quietly taken over by a race of idiot space aliens.

Link - And then one day your "friend" grew out of it and went on to make many more friends, and now her life is one big bowl of cherries.

Daria - Okay. Bad example. But maybe things would have been a little easier for my friend if she hadn't kept everything bottled up inside. You know, if she'd had someone to talk to.

Link - Or maybe "she" did try talking, and the people just told her to shut up, or paid someone else to deal with her because they were too busy "listening to their souls."

Daria - You think that's what's happening to you?

Link - Hey, look around, Daria. Everybody's so busy being their own best friend, maybe they should try buddying up to the people they brought into the damn world, who never asked to be born.

Daria - Oh.

(uncomfortable pause)

Link - So, what books does your "friend" like to read, anyway?

Daria - Well, let's see. When she was 12, she was really into George Orwell...

(Mr. O'Neill suddenly arrives, proving that he has the absolute worst possible timing of anyone on the planet.)

Mr. O'Neill - Daria! Link! Having a little one-on-one session?

Daria - Yes, and so by definition, it can't include...

Mr. O'Neill - Daria, I knew you could do it. See? It's easier to "rap" with Daria than with me, isn't it? A teen who's closer to your own age. But I'm just as concerned as she is about your well-being.

(Link turns and gives Daria a look of betrayal)

Link - I should have known. (leaves)

Daria - Hey, wait...

Mr. O'Neill - Oh. Did I say something wrong? (Daria simply glares at him, then leaves) Oh, my. What happened to the window? Um... where'd everybody go?


SCENE 34 - THE MORGENDORFFER HOUSE

(David and Quinn are at the kitchen table, in the midst of another tutoring session)

David - But when the workers stormed the Bastille, they only found seven prisoners, and one of them was the Marquis de Sade.

Quinn - Eww.

David - That's more or less the way they felt.

Quinn - Did Marie Antoinette really have the champagne glasses molded after her... you know? (giggles)

David - We really should be focusing more on the politics of the Revolution, but that's what they say. If she'd been a different body type, we'd be drinking champagne out of bowls.

(they both laugh as Helen and Jake enter the room)

Helen - David, I must say I'm quite impressed. I've never seen Quinn have so much fun studying.

Quinn - That's because in school they only teach you the really boring stuff. Mom? Dad? Did you know Marie Antoinette never said "let them eat cake?" That expression comes from a story about a princess, written by Rousseau. Right?

David - Right.

Jake - Lousy tabloids.

(uncomfortable pause)

Helen - We've got to run. Bye.

Jake - (offscreen) Wait... um, I was joking.

Helen - (offscreen) You were not.

Jake - (offscreen) I know.

Quinn - Was Marie Antoinette pretty?

David - They said she was a great beauty. Of course, you won't find a lot of people willing to call their absolute monarch butt-ugly.

Quinn - David, do you think... I'm pretty?

David - Sure.

Quinn - By the way, have you been to Chez Pierre? Because it's really nice if you ever wanted to take me there. And it would be kind of educational, since we're studying French history and stuff.

David - Thanks, but you don't want to be seen around town with an egghead. Your friends would behead you. (looks at watch) Well, that's about it for today. (gathers his backpack and stands) Now, be sure to read the chapter on the Industrial Revolution, and don't forget your vocabulary words. I'll be back for more pedagogy next week. (silence) Quinn? Pedagogy? That's one of the words. (leaves)

Quinn - Yeah. Pedagogy.


SCENE 35 - ASHFIELD COMMUNITY FOR THE ARTS

(everyone is painting in the common room, with Daniel Dotson critiquing each work)

Daniel - (to Jet) Excellent. The brushwork is very confident, and I love the strained, almost antagonistic relationship with color. Really, you remind me of myself when I was young.

Jet - Oh, Daniel. You're not old.

Daniel - Well, I'm certainly young... at heart.

Jane - Not to mention delusional of mind.

(Jane puts down her brush and walks away. On the canvas, we see a dark painting of a woman trapped inside a small safe, screaming in frustration. The woman bears a remarkable similarity to Jane.)

(outside, Jane and Alison approach from different directions)

Alison - Hey.

Jane - Hey.

Alison - Haven't seen you around.

Jane - Oh, you know, the solitary artist. Look, I gotta be honest. That whole thing that happened between -- I mean, didn't happen -- well, it kind of confused me.

Alison - Me, too. Maybe I was hoping a little too hard and saw something that wasn't there.

Jane - But you said you never make a mistake in that, um... area.

Alison - There's a first time for everything. Still want to be friends?

Jane - Sure.

(Alison goes to hug Jane, who backs off slightly)

Alison - Um, maybe we'll skip the hug.

(Jane sees Daniel Dotson approach)

Jane - Uh-oh... don't look now, but it's Toulouse le Dreck.

Daniel - (to Alison) Ready?

Alison - Just a minute.

Daniel - I'll wait for you in the car. (pinches her butt before walking off)

Jane - You're seeing him?

Alison - He's not so bad once you get to know him.

Jane - You said he went through more students than tubes of paint. You can't possibly think he gives a damn about you.

Alison - Who's looking for romance? I just want to have a little fun.

Jane - And if it's with someone who can introduce you to a few gallery owners, that's not so bad either, eh? I think I'm beginning to see how the art world works.

Alison - God, high school. It's all such a big deal with you guys. You take everything so seriously. (leaves)

Jane - Like someone telling you you give off gay vibes just because they're trying to get into your pants.


SCENE 36 - THE "OKAY TO CRY CORRAL"

(It's the last day of camp, and the kids are gathered around the front as Mr. O'Neill gives a good-bye speech.)

Mr. O'Neill - Well, campers, before you go, let's take a moment to reflect on the valuable lessons we've learned about ours...

Boy - Let Uncle Anthony talk!

Mr. O'Neill - ...um, about ourselves and the growth that only we can...

Girl - Uncle Anthony! He's cool!

Mr. O'Neill - ...um, the personal growth that...

Boy - Growth my butt! Uncle Anthony!

(kids clamor for "Uncle Anthony")

Mr. DeMartino - Thank you, campers. Remember: if you feel yourself getting mad, go ahead! If someone's doing something to irritate you, tell them about it in detail! And hike... whenever you feel like it!

(the kids cheer)

Mr. O'Neill - I... I guess maybe I've been doing more harm than good...

Mr. DeMartino - (embraces Mr. O'Neill) Thank you, Timothy. You've reawakened my hunger to enlighten. I want to teach again!

Mr. O'Neill - Ooh... um, that hurts a bit. (laughs nervously)

(Daria approaches Link as he heads for the bus)

Daria - Hey, slow down.

Link - Go to hell!

Daria - Just hear me out. Mr. O'Neill didn't ask me to speak to you, and I would never tell him anything anyway, except my name, rank and homeroom number.

Link - Yeah, right.

Daria - Look, I'm not good at this kind of thing -- probably because I've never done this kind of thing -- but if you ever need someone to talk to, um... I'm around.

Link - I don't need anyone to talk to. Especially you.

(Link walks away, leaving behind a very dejected Daria)


SCENE 37 - THE MORGENDORFFER HOUSE

(The doorbell rings. Helen opens the door and finds Tom standing on the stoop.)

Helen - Tom! Come in. Daria! Tom's here. Jake and I are so sorry we won't be able to make the museum benefit. Normally we love museums. In fact, we were thinking of seeing the Van Gogh exhibit this week.

Tom - Um, that exhibit left a year ago.

Helen - Oh... (chuckles nervously)

(outside, Daria and Tom head down the walk towards his car)

Tom - Well, at least you can be confident your mother's not addicted to sedatives.

Daria - Hey, she didn't ask to be invited to that stupid fund-raiser.

Tom - My mother was just trying to be nice. A lot of people like going to those things.

Daria - Sure. Helping the little people while avoiding contact with them at all cost.

Tom - Um, is something wrong?

Daria - No.

Tom - Come on. I had to beg you to come out tonight, and then the first thing you do is jump down my throat. What's going on?

Daria - I don't know. It's the museum. And the country club. And your family. You know, your whole elitist world.

Tom - It's not elitist. And it's not my world.

Daria - Don't tell me. Tell Aunt Mildred tomorrow when you get to your private island. And be sure not to mention me to her, okay?

Tom - What?

Daria - It's obvious you don't want me mixing with your family, since you didn't ask me to the fund-raiser or the fireworks display.

Tom - Daria, I didn't invite you to those things because I sure as hell didn't want to go and I assumed you wouldn't either. Right?

Daria - Well, you still should have asked.

Tom - You're right.

Daria - Unless you just assumed your parents were gonna hate me.

Tom - What? What are you talking about? My parents think you're great. They know you're really smart and headed for college and stuff. It's not like you're Jane.

Daria - What do you mean, "not like I'm Jane?" Jane's smart.

Tom - (oops!) Yeah, I know she's smart. But she could get a Ph.D or spend the rest of her days painting tiles, and her parents wouldn't care either way. If we did that, our parents would have a fit.

Daria - So what you're saying is Jane isn't up to your family's standards. God, you're a snob.

Tom - Damn it, Daria! Quit trying to pick a fight with me!

Daria - Excuse me?

Tom - You attack my mother for inviting your parents to the fund-raiser, then attack me for not inviting you. You say my family disapproves of you, I say they relate to you better than Jane, and now I'm a snob.

Daria - Forgive me for being a loyal friend.

Tom - Why don't you say what you're really afraid of? The idea that you might actually start caring about someone. 'Cause that would make you vulnerable.

Daria - Look, maybe we just jumped into this dating stuff too fast. Maybe we need to take a break.

Tom - A break? From what? We haven't done anything! Come on, Daria! (Daria doesn't respond) I don't believe this. (still nothing) Well, I'm not going to stand here and beg. (nope, nothing) Fine. Nice knowing you. (gets into his car, pounds once on the steering wheel, and drives away)

Daria - (sadly) Yeah, nice knowing you.


SCENE 38 - CASHMAN'S DEPARTMENT STORE

(the Fashion Club is browsing in the Junior 5 section)

Sandi - Gee, Quinn, it's sweet of you to take time out from your studies to be with the friends you've neglected all summer.

Quinn - Oh, Sandi, I just wish I were as smart as you so I wouldn't need a tutor. You know, David's kind of funny.

Sandi - If by funny you mean extraordinarily unpleasant, I agree completely. That's why I was forced to terminate his services.

Tiffany - What a geek.

Stacy - I know! And so... geeky!

Quinn - But he said...

Sandi - Yes?

Quinn - Nothing. I guess David is a little geeky, although I wouldn't be surprised if some people thought he was cute, you know, in that brainy kind of way.

Sandi - Quinn? Are you trying to tell us something?

Quinn - Me? Oh, no, of course not! Ooh, look! Intermediate markdowns!

(The distraction works, as Sandi, Stacy, and Tiffany scramble over to the marked-down clothes.)


SCENE 39 - THE MORGENDORFFER HOUSE

(Daria is alone in her room, laying on the bed and second-guessing her second-guesses about Tom)

Daria - Of course I did the right thing. He's from his world, I'm from mine. Never would have worked. I mean, unless I tried or something.

(Quinn enters the room, holding a copy of Ethan Frome)

Quinn - Here's your book.

Daria - Um, that's not mine.

Quinn - Oh, right. I borrowed it from David. Um, what do you think of him?

Daria - Seems like a nice guy. And he obviously has a high threshold for pain. Why?

Quinn - No reason. Do you think he's... cute?

Daria - Well, I suppose in that not-a-brain-dead-surfer kind of way.

Quinn - Yeah...

Daria - I know you may find this hard to believe, but looks aren't everything.

Quinn - Really?

Daria - See, there's this thing called personality? There's also liking the same things, having a similar sense of humor, being able to have five-minute conversations without boring the living hell out of each other...

Quinn - Like you and Tom.

Daria - Did I mention Tom?

Quinn - Well, who else would you be talking about? You're obviously very compatible.

Daria - How would you know?

Quinn - Daria, up until recently dating has been my major field of study!

Daria - Well, you've never met his family.

Quinn - You can't judge someone by their family. What if people judged me by... blech! Got to go. (leaves)

Daria - That's it. Must... contact... intelligent... life. (picks up phone and dials)

(at Ashfield, Jane is sketching on her pad when Anaise climbs the stairs to Jane's loft)

Anaise - Hey. Call.

(Jane picks up the phone)

Jane - Hello?

(split-screen between Jane and Daria)

Daria - Hope you don't mind that I called.

Jane - Daria!

Daria - How are things going?

Jane - Fine, fine, fine. Couldn't be better.

Daria - Sucks, huh?

Jane - Only in a mind-numbingly pretentious kind of way.

Daria - Do you think, um, a familiar face might cheer you up?

Jane - What do you mean? Like floating in space over the bed, saying my name over and over again in a creepy voice?

Daria - Jane...

Jane - Look, I don't really feel like any visitors right now. It's nothing personal.

Daria - Wait...

Jane - I don't want to talk about it, okay? Nothing you could say can change that.

(pause)

Daria - I'll pay you.

Jane - (laughs) Trent was going to drop by on his way to a gig. Maybe you can hitch a ride. They can always use an extra person to push.

(Daria lets out a small smile)


SCENE 40 - LAWNDALE PUBLIC POOL

(Kevin and Brittany are teaching a class on pool safety)

Kevin - Now, this is called mouth-to-mouth regurgitation. Ready, babe?

Brittany - Ready!

(Kevin bends down and breathes into Brittany's mouth)

Kevin - Did you see how I pinched Britt's nose to, like keep the air from getting out? I could just stick my fingers up there, but who knows what...

Brittany - Oh, Kevvy!

(And with that, Brittany grabs Kevin behind the neck and they start making out, right in front of the shocked kids. Just then, the head lifeguard shows up and blows her whistle, scattering the kids.)

Lifeguard - Peep show's over! Everyone scram! Hey, Romeo and Juliet... (blows whistle)

Kevin - Ow!

Lifeguard - You're fired!


SCENE 41 - LAWNDALE STREET

(Mack is in his ice cream truck, catering to bratty kids as usual)

Mack - Here you go.

Girl - It's about time!

Boy #1 - I want a fudgy pop!

Boy #2 - Hey, I was here first!

Boy #1 - Shut up, you jerk!

Girl - This is dripping!

(Kevin and Brittany approach the truck, still dressed in their swimsuits and whistles)

Mack - What are you doing here?

Brittany - Oh, Mack, something terrible happened!

Mack - It's okay. The sun isn't really gone. It's just hiding behind the clouds.

Brittany - No! We got fired!

(Mack suddenly gets a calculating look on his face...)


SCENE 42 - THE HIGHWAY

(Trent is driving the Tank to Ashfield, Daria is riding shotgun, and the other band members are sacked out in back)

Daria - Trent... does it ever bother you that the speedometer is stuck at ten miles per hour?

Trent - Hmm... ten. That reminds me. Time for dinner.

(Trent momentarily loses control as he pulls a candy bar out of his back pocket, sending the Tank swerving back and forth on the highway)

Daria - Just for the record, the police generally don't like it when you drive on the wrong side of the road.

Trent - Tell me about it. (offers Daria a bit of the candy bar)

Daria - No, thanks. Um... how's Jane been doing?

Trent - Oh. Okay.

Daria - I haven't talked to her much this summer.

Trent - Well, you know. The Tom thing.

Daria - Look, we...

Trent - Hey, Janey knows you guys didn't mean to hurt her. She'll come around. Trust me.

Daria - Yeah. Thanks, Trent.

Trent - (singing) "Betrayal, yeah, a stab in the back. Betrayal, yeah, I'm stretched on the rack. Betrayal, yeah, thrown out of the... thrown out of the..."

Daria - Pack?

Trent - (singing) "Thrown out of the pack. Betrayal... betrayal, yeah. Betrayal... betrayal... betrayal, yeah..."

(Daria glances out the side window; this isn't what she needs to hear right now)


SCENE 43 - THE MORGENDORFFER HOUSE

(David and Quinn are at the kitchen table, in another tutoring session)

Quinn - ... and that's how Randolph Hearst's yellow journalism helped get the U.S. into the American-Spanish War.

David - Close enou...

Quinn - The Spanish-American War.

David - You know, I had my doubts at first... serious doubts. But you've come a long way, Quinn. You should be very proud of yourself.

Quinn - Thanks. Um, are you proud of me?

David - Of course. (puts his book into his backpack) And I want you to drop me a line at school and let me know how you're doing in class.

Quinn - David?

David - Yes?

Quinn - Um... I like you.

David - I like you, too.

Quinn - No, I mean I "like" like you.

David - ("now I get it") Oh. Look...

Quinn - I mean, I never thought I could really "like" like someone who wasn't, you know, really cute -- not that you're uncute -- but you know what I mean. You don't try to be cute. Not that I would ever try to make you try to be cute.

David - (after a moment of trying to figure that one out) Right.

Quinn - Well? We can probably get in at least two dates before you go off to college.

David - Look, Quinn, it's very flattering, and you're a really nice kid, but you're not my type.

Quinn - But I already told you! I don't care what you look like.

David - Quinn, look, when I go out, it has to be with someone who has -- how can I put this? -- a certain amount of depth.

Quinn - But I know stuff now!

David - Yes, but why did you want to know stuff? So you'd be able to get into a party school. Talk about a lack of self-esteem.

Quinn - I have tons of self-esteem! I esteem myself more than anybody!

David - (stands) When it comes to appearance, but not in any areas that count. Look at the losers you hang out with. No chance of feeling stupid around them.

Quinn - Losers? But the whole reason I even thought of getting tutored was I knew I could do better on the P-STATs than them.

David - Than they. And I'm glad to hear that. It means you're starting to understand your potential.

Quinn - So...?

David - Quinn, you and I are in two different places, way too far apart to go out. You'd hate it, believe me. But it's a real big compliment. Keep studying and good luck. (leaves)

Quinn - Yeah... good luck. (hangs her head in disappointment)


SCENE 44 - ASHFIELD COMMUNITY FOR THE ARTS

(the Tank pulls into the compound; Trent is still singing)

Trent - (singing) "Betrayal, yeah, you ruined my life. Betrayal, yeah, you're twisting the knife..."

Daria - Trent!

Trent - Huh?

Daria - That's not helping.

Trent - Oh. Sorry. Um, you know how it is. Inspiration.

(Trent parks the Tank, and they both glance at the sleeping trio in back)

Trent - We'd better not disturb them. You got to wake Jesse up just right or he gets all disoriented.

Daria - How can you tell?

Trent - (laughs/coughs) You're funny, Daria.

(they start walking towards Jane's cabin, Daria carrying a duffel bag)

Trent - Anyway, don't go crazy over this Tom stuff. Even Janey said you make a good couple.

Daria - You mean made. We're not going out anymore.

Trent - Really? Why?

(they arrive at the cabin; Trent knocks on the door)

Daria - A lot of stuff. Mainly I got weirded out by his family.

Trent - But you weren't dating them.

(Jane opens the door and sees Trent and Daria standing there)

(in her loft, Jane is showing Daria her paintings; they're dark and harrowing, suggesting the state of mind of someone who's not having a very good time)

Jane - Someday the curators will look back on these and say they're from my "art colonies suck" period.

Daria - Curators?

Jane - Criminologists?

Daria - You know, when it comes to art, you and Link have a lot in common. I'd introduce you, if he didn't loathe every fiber of my being.

Jane - This Link situation really bothers you, huh?

Daria - Serves me right for breaking my cardinal rule and trying to reach out to a lost soul.

Jane - Any kid who looks to you for nurturing is more than just lost.

Daria - (frowns) Gee, thanks.

Jane - Hey, I call 'em like I see 'em.


SCENE 45 - LAWNDALE HOMELESS SHELTER

(Jodie is dishing out soup)

Homeless Man - This soup bites!

Jodie - Then don't have a fourth bowl.

(Mack walks up to Jodie; his hands are behind his back)

Jodie - Mack! (to her co-worker) I'm going to take five.

(Mack and Jodie sit at a table; he hands her a bouquet of roses)

Mack - These are for you.

Jodie - Aw... that's sweet. I've missed you so much.

Mack - Wow. I got to buy you flowers more often. Anyway, I got them to celebrate. I quit my job yesterday.

Jodie - Oh, Mack... summer's not even over. And it was such a piece of cake.

Mack - Piece of cake? Working in a dirty, cramped truck all day for minimum wage? What would you know about it with your glamour jobs and your golf lessons?

Jodie - What's the matter with you? I'm on your side, remember?

Mack - I'm sorry. It's just... wearing that white suit, serving those little brats... I felt like some kind of house slave in Gone With the Wind. It's just not the way I thought the summer would go.

Jodie - Hey, you're no house slave. You owed your father some money. You were doing the stand-up thing and trying to pay him back. No big deal, you'll find another way.

Mack - I paid him back a week ago.

Jodie - Oh! So how come you didn't quit then?

Mack - I wanted to make a little more money so I could take you out for dinner at Chez Pierre.

Jodie - Oh, Mack, that place is so expensive.

Mack - I can afford it... for once.

Jodie - I don't need Chez Pierre when I have a guy like you. (hugs his arm) Wait a minute. Who's driving the truck?

(we now see who's handling the truck: it's Kevin and Brittany)

Brittany - That'll be... $1.60. (takes money) Babe, how much change do I give back?

Kevin - Um, let's see, $1.60 minus five is $4.40.

Girl - But I gave you a five.

Kevin - Right. $5.40!

(the kids look at each other, and each has the same thought: "we've struck paydirt!")

Boy - I'll have a sno-cone and a Popsicle.

Kevin - Let's see, that's a ten, so I owe you...

Boy - $12.20.

Kevin - Right!

(all the kids start clamoring for ice cream; you get the feeling that Kevin and Brittany aren't going to be making much money)


SCENE 46 - THE CLUB GLAMOUR LOUNGE

(This is where Mystik Spiral is playing: a seedy-looking bar that's barely one step above Lawndale's grunge club, the Zon. Daria and Jane are in attendance.)

Jane - The guys here are a lot better-looking in person than on their wanted posters.

Daria - Now I understand why people go to the bathroom in groups.

Jane - Don't worry... I promise not to meet a new boyfriend and leave you alone between sets. I've learned my lesson.

Daria - Okay... speaking of Tom, I guess you heard we broke up.

Jane - I don't read the papers, remember?

Daria - I thought Trent might have said something.

Jane - Nope.

Daria - Questions, comments?

Jane - Please tell me you're not trying to get my sympathy after blowing me off for my now ex-boyfriend.

(Jane heads to the bar; Daria follows)

Daria - You mean he blew you off for me. Although if you recall, that's not the way it happened.

Jane - No, I meant you blew me off for him. You wanted to go out with him regardless of what it did to our friendship.

Daria - Hey! You stopped talking to me, remember? After you broke up with him and said you didn't care if I dated him.

Jane - And you believed me?

Daria - I'm confused. What are we fighting about here?

Jane - We're fighting about you, Daria Morgendorffer, being dumb enough to think a boyfriend is worth screwing up a really good friendship for. A really important friendship.

Daria - (genuine remorse) I'm sorry if I did that. Um, I really missed you this summer.

Jane - (genuine forgiveness) Well, I really missed you, too. Only don't ask me to sleep over.

Daria - Huh?

Jane - Nothing. (sees Trent approaching, and goes into full "tease mode") Oh, hey, Trent? I meant to tell you. You guys have a gig tonight.

Daria - (joining in) You better start soon or you'll miss your next break.

Jane - Unless you take your next break now.

Daria - In which case you better take it on stage. They'll never think of looking for you there.

Jane - And while you're up there, maybe you could play something. Oh, wait, that's what they're paying you for. Never mind.

Trent - You guys are weird. (heads back to the stage)

Jane - So what'd you miss most about me? It was my joie de vivre, wasn't it?

Daria - If you really want to know, it was your damn aura.

Jane - Wow, you did spend the summer with Mr. O'Neill.

Daria - I mean your aura of confidence. I drifted through summer in a perpetual identity crisis, questioning everything I said and did.

Jane - That's funny, 'cause I...

Daria - And I kept thinking about you, up here doing your paintings, making your jokes, being Jane Lane.

Jane - Being Jane Lane's what I do best.

Daria - Precisely. You know exactly who you are, and nobody's ever going to con you into thinking you don't. I wish I'd had you around just as a role model.

Jane - You know, you're absolutely right about me.

Daria - Gee, shall I attempt further heights of ego inflation?

Jane - Please do.

(suddenly, feedback emerges from the speakers as Trent takes the microphone)

Trent - Hey. We're Mystik Spiral. And this one's for Daria and Jane.

Daria - I hope it's not "You Are So Beautiful."

Jane - Oh, please make it "Close to You."

Mystik Spiral (singing) - "When the aliens come, when the death rays hum, when the bummers bum, we'll still be freakin' friends! When the whip comes down, when they nuke the town, when dead clowns can't clown, we'll still be freakin' friends! Freakin' friends! Freakin' friends! Till we come to bad ends, we're freakin' friends! Freakin' friends! Freakin' friends! Till we come to bad ends, we're freakin' friends! Freakin' friends! Freakin' friends..."

(Daria and Jane glance at each other, their friendship healed... then both girls glance at the ceiling at yet another Mystik Spiral "masterpiece.")


SCENE 47 - ASHFIELD COMMUNITY FOR THE ARTS

(Daria and Jane are heading for the Tank. Daria is discussing her situation with Tom.)

Daria - I just couldn't get past all that upper-crustiness. I felt like the poor cousin in a Henry James novel. You know, someone to be tolerated until she gets run over by a horse and buggy.

Jane - Yeah, the Sloanes definitely come from the land of the Muffys. But it's not like they're jerks or anything. I just ignored the money and concentrated on the incredibly well-stocked refrigerator.

Daria - Yeah. Look, why don't you just come back with us?

Jane - I don't know. Some kind of dumb-ass notion about seeing this through, I guess. Anyway, it's just another two weeks and then we'll be back at school! Wait... what's my point?

Daria - That life sucks no matter what, so don't be fooled by location changes.

Jane - You really should write fortune cookies.

Daria - Call me when you get back.

Jane - All right, freakin' friend. (starts to walk away, then stops and turns) Um, I don't believe I'm about to say this, but... you should give Tom another shot. He's not a bad guy. And you could use the recreation.

Daria - Um, what about the whole you-stabbed-me-in-the-back-how-could-you thing?

Jane - I think I actually am over that. As opposed to when I said I was over it but was really still under it.

Daria - Yeah, right.

Jane - Seriously. Give it some thought on the way back.

Daria - I don't think so.

Jane - Or converse with the band. The choice is yours.

(And with that, Jane walks away, leaving Daria to the tender mercies of Mystik Spiral and her own thoughts.)


SCENE 48 - THE MORGENDORFFER HOUSE

(Daria is on her bed, reading, when Quinn walks into the bedroom)

Daria - No, those sandals don't make your toes look fat.

Quinn - So David was right. I am superficial.

Daria - At least you know your strengths. (she glances up and sees the look on Quinn's face: devestation) He really called you that?

Quinn - He said he only dates girls with "depth."

Daria - How did it even come up? (Quinn's look gets deeper) Oh, boy. You asked him out?

(Quinn turns away and starts crying)

Daria - Quinn, you're, um, not as superficial as you act. I'm sure you just feel obliged to stress the moronic aspects of your personality so you'll fit in better with the fashion drones, like a mask you wear 'cause you think they wouldn't like the real you.

Quinn - You mean sort of the way you keep people away by being really unfriendly and stuff?

Daria - Hey, we're talking about you here. (pause) You really liked that guy, huh? (Quinn nods) Well, he certainly wasn't what we intellectuals call a totally buff hottie, so if you saw past his looks, you can't be completely shallow.

Quinn - Thanks, Daria. Damn it, I even told him I liked him! I never do that!

Daria - Quinn... sometimes you reach out to someone and all you get back is a slap in the face. (sees Helen appear in the doorway)

Quinn - Then why even bother?

(Daria waves Helen back)

Daria - I guess because, um, you got to give people a chance. Otherwise, there's no point to the whole being-human routine.

Quinn - Why? David didn't give me a chance!

Daria - Sure he did. Wasn't he going to quit before you begged him not to?

Quinn - Yeah. So?

Daria - So you learned a whole bunch of stuff and found out you don't have to be a dummy if you don't want to... because he gave you a chance.

(Helen figures it's time to intervene)

Helen - Quinn, I...

Quinn - Okay, thanks for lending this to me. A Journal of the Plague Year. Sounds fun! (laughs nervously as she leaves)

Helen - (approaching the bed) "Give people a chance." Sounds like good advice.

Daria - That crap?

Helen - (exasperated) Oh, Daria. Here, this came for you...

(She hands Daria an envelope. Rather than open it, however, Daria simply gives her a "how about some privacy, please?" stare.)

Helen - ...and I guess I'll go see how Quinn is doing. (leaves)

(Daria opens the letter. It's from Link: "My stepfather sucks. E-mail me if you want." Daria finally got through to him, which brings a tiny smile to her face.)


SCENE 49 - LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL

(the Fashion Club is walking down the hallway)

Quinn - Agh! This heat is making my lip gloss all runny.

Sandi - Tell me about it. It's so hot we can't even wear our new fall clothes.

Stacy - They should really start school in November.

Tiffany - I know...

Ms. Li - (over P.A.) Welcome back, students, and remember, the school nurse is in and ready to take your voluntary urine sample. Show your Lawndale High spirit with the gift of urine! (P.A. clicks off)

Fashion Club - Eww...!

(later, in Mr. DeMartino's class)

Mr. DeMartino - All right, which of you promising young people would like to share your definition of Manifest Destiny?

(Quinn raises her hand, then lowers it at a look from Sandi. She hesitates only a moment, though, then confidently raises her hand again.)

Mr. DeMartino - Ms. Morgendorffer? Did you want something?

Quinn - "Manifest Destiny" was a phrase politicians used to say that God wanted the U.S. to keep expanding west all the way to the Pacific ocean. Because why bother owning the country if Hollywood wasn't included?

Mr. DeMartino - Ahh, Quinn, that's very good! Thank you for making my day rewarding.

(class starts to murmur amongst themselves; up until now, Quinn has never shown she has a functioning brain)

Sandi - Gee, Quinn... I hope that little foray of yours into Geekland just now is the result of heat exhaustion, and not an unpleasant side effect of all that tutoring. I mean, you're not turning into a brain, are you?

Quinn - (undeterred) Sandi, just because someone can answer a simple question doesn't mean they're a pedagogue.

(Sandi wants to respond, but can't: she doesn't know what Quinn said, which brings a smile to Quinn's lips.)


SCENE 50 - LAWNDALE STREET

(Daria and Jane are walking home from school)

Daria - So, I guess I got through to Link after all, and all it cost me was a generous period of self-doubt followed by a bracing stint of self-hatred.

Jane - See? Not every human is a manipulative, opportunistic letch, or at least that's what I'm told.

Daria - You didn't make any friends at that art colony, did you?

Jane - Nope. Well, except this one girl, until she got fresh.

(that one brings Daria to a halt)

Daria - You're not kidding.

Jane - As much as I'd like to gain your sour perspective on the whole sordid incident, it's gonna have to wait. I think someone's looking for you.

(Tom pulls alongside Daria and Jane in his new Rustmobile)

Jane - Whoa! Nice car. Where's Jeeves?

Tom - I killed him for his uniform. How are you doing?

Jane - I'm okay. (inclines her head in Daria's direction) She's pretty okay, too.

Tom - Yeah, I know that. Hey, Daria.

Daria - Hey.

Tom - Want to go for a ride?

Daria - Actually, we were just...

Jane - ...saying good-bye. I'll call you later. (leaves)

(Tom opens the passenger door for Daria, and they drive away. When they reach the Morgendorffer house, he pulls in front and stops the engine.)

Daria - Thanks for the lift. Um, I guess I should be going. (starts to leave)

Tom - Just hear me out. Okay?

Daria - Sure. (quickly settles back into the seat)

Tom - There's nothing I can do about the club, my family, the whole thing. And yes, I can see where all of that could make you uncomfortable.

Daria - Thank you.

Tom - But would you also agree that maybe I was right when I said this dating stuff is new to you, and you're afraid of getting hurt, and maybe you were looking for an out before you got too pulled in? (pause) Daria?

Daria - Maybe some of that's true.

Tom - Well, here's the deal. I want to start seeing you again. We can take it slow, but you've got to at least try to trust me. I really like you, Daria, but I don't want to waste any more time if you're not going to give it a chance. (pause) Please?

(Daria mumbles)

Tom - Daria...?

Daria - I want to try again, too.

Tom - Don't say any more. I hate it when you get all mushy.

Daria - Yeah, I don't like it, either. Okay, then, I'm glad. See ya.

(Daria gets out of the car, and just as Tom prepares to pull away, she jumps back in and they kiss... all of which is observed by Helen through the bay window of the house.)

Helen - Oh, Jakey, do you realize what a momentous summer our girls have had? Quinn learned she's smarter than she thought, and Daria has her first boyfriend.

Jake - It's summer already?

Helen - (exasperated) Jake...

(Jake turns around, revealing the mischievous grin on his face. He finally made a joke!)

Helen - You made a joke, didn't you?

Jake - Yep! Old Jake was joking!

Helen - I like a man with a sense of humor.

Jake - (seductively) Why'd the chicken cross the road?

Helen - I don't know.

Jake - Well, you're about to find out!

Helen - Oh!

(Helen starts laughing and whooping as Jake begins to tease her and chase her around the living room. Outside, the sun slowly sets behind Daria and Tom, and on an eventful summer in Lawndale.)

(closing credits)