by: Kemical Reaxion


Ice cream parlor exterior, daytime. A large sign with an ice cream cone on it hangs above the door, and the name, "The Frosty Frog," is written on the sign in large green letters. Jane is walking by herself towards the front door. As she approaches, Ted walks out. He appears somewhat distracted by his thoughts and doesn't notice Jane there, until he runs right into her, almost knocking her down. He is extremely embarrassed by his clumsiness.

Ted: Oh, gosh, Jane. I am so sorry.

Jane: That's okay Ted. No harm done. All my limbs appear to still be intact.

Ted: (lets out a nervous little laugh) That's funny! (beat) So, how are you doing?

Jane: Fine...but I'm kinda in a rush to meet some people, so...

Ted: In a rush? Oh my, yes...everyone seems to be so busy this time of year. I personally have gotten myself into quite an interesting predicament.

Jane: You? Interesting? Not possible.

Ted: Oh, but it's TRUE! I thought to myself, with all this hype about the secret television broadcast, what could I, a mere student, do to make my mark on this event?

Jane: And did your self give you an answer?

Ted: Absolutely. Inspiration hit! You see, I've been studying art intensively since I was two, and I thought this would really give me a chance to showcase my skills. And it would supply me with a huge canvas on which to express my ideas: the high school auditorium!

Jane: (very interested now) Whoa, wait a volunteered to head the decorating committee for this big, nationwide television event?

Ted: No, no, no...I'm not HEADING the committee. I AM the committee.

Jane: That's a pretty big job for such a little guy.

Ted: Yes, but I'm up for the challenge. It's quite thrilling actually. I can't wait to get started. This is going to be so great. Except, I am a little concerned.

Jane: About what?

Ted: Well...I'm not really supposed to talk to anybody about this, the show being such a big secret and all, but I have nowhere else to turn. I'm desperate.

Jane: You sure know how to make a girl feel special.

Ted: To tell you the truth, I have no idea how to decorate for this show since we don't really have television at my house.

Jane: Yeah, that's right. You just sit and watch the corn grow.

Ted: (hesitant) Would you mind maybe...helping me a little?

Jane: You want MY help?

Ted: Well, I figured you're an artist...and....

Jane: And I've caved into the pettiness of society by watching television?

Ted: Something like that.

Jane: Look, if you need any help with it, I'd love to pitch in. I might be willing to give my time to the school, as long as it's in the name of art.

Ted: Super! Why don't we get together after school tomorrow? We can throw around some ideas.

Jane: (unenthusiastic) Great.

Ted: (looks up at the sky) Oops...judging by the position of the sun, it must be close to four o'clock. I'd better run home. I have Kalimba lessons in an hour. I'll see you tomorrow, Jane! (he runs off)

Jane: (to herself) Somebody really needs to buy that kid a watch.

Cut to...

Frosty Frog, interior. The place is brightly decorated, with neon lights around the ceiling, red and white checkered floor, and small 50's-style tables and chairs. Daria, Jodie and Andrea are seated around a table right next to the jukebox. Shot also reveals that the Scorpions are seated at a table across the room. Camera zooms in on "The Pink Ladies" and their conversation.

Jodie: Have either of you heard from Brittany lately?

Daria: No, but about a week ago, the dogs outside my house where getting restless and howling alot. I figured she and her high-pitched squeal must've been nearby.

Jodie: Daria, this is serious. I'm really starting to worry. She's been in Dallas for a while now, and I haven't heard from her since she sent me that postcard almost two weeks ago.

Daria: I'm sure she can take care of herself. And probably most of the starting lineup.

Jodie sighs, shaking her head. Jane walks in through the front door. She spots her friends and makes her way to the table.

Jodie: Hi, Jane.

Jane: Hey, all. I just had one of the weirdest encounters of my life.

Daria: Let me guess. You ran into Ted?

Jane: How'd you know?

Daria: He was in here not moments ago sharing his busy, hectic schedule with us.

Jodie: We heard all about his decorating dilemma.

Jane: And he said he wasn't supposed to talk to anyone about it. I can't believe I agreed to help him.

Daria: You're helping Ted??

Jane: (shrugs) He was desperate.

Daria: That ought to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Jane: Oh, shut up.

Dissolve to...

The same scene, a bit later. The four girls are all sitting around eating their ice cream. Jane has a huge double dip waffle cone. Daria is eating vanilla ice cream out of a cup. Jodie has a single dip frozen yogurt. Andrea is eating a rather large banana split sundae with EVERYTHING on it.

Jodie: So, Jane. Did Jesse get his van fixed?

Jane: Yeah. Got two brand new tires put on the Tank this morning. Cost damned-near everything he had, too. Those things are expensive.

Andrea: For someone who doesn't have a job.

Jane: (grins) Very true.

Jodie: I can't believe someone would slash his tires. That's so low.

Jane: I know. And Jesse's such a lovable guy. I can't imagine who'd want to do a thing like that.

Suddenly, the group's attention is drawn to the Scorpions. The four of them are at their table, laughing and giggling hysterically about something. Daria's eyes narrow as she glares at Sandi for a long while.

Jane: (to Daria) Something wrong?

Daria: I think I smell a rat.

Jane lifts her ice cream cone up to eye-level and studies it for a moment.

Jane: Hmm...must be that mysterious "32nd flavor" I've been hearing so much about.

Quinn gets up from her table and goes to the jukebox. Daria considers her options for a moment before deciding to go talk to her. She puts down her spoon and pushes her chair back.

Daria: I'll be right back.

Daria stands and walks over to the jukebox, standing beside Quinn.

Quinn: (looking down at the song choices) Ugh! I can't believe this! No Backstreet Boys? (notices Daria) God, Daria. What are YOU doing here?

Daria: Must've taken that wrong turn at Albuquerque again.

Quinn: Okay, whatever. (beat) Now why really?

Daria: I've been meaning to talk to you.

Quinn: About what?

Daria: This stupid feud going on between Sandi and Jesse. It's totally uncalled for and I was wondering if maybe you could try and put a stop to it.

Quinn: Daria, if there's one thing I've learned it's that you shouldn't come between two people who are arguing.

Daria: Even if one of them is your friend?

Quinn: I'm not friends with HIM.

Daria: I meant Sandi.

Quinn: Oh...yeah...of course.

Daria: You ARE friends with Sandi, aren't you?

Quinn: Of course I am, Daria. Geez! Do you think I'd BE here with her if I wasn't?

Daria: Good question. But if I recall, you and Sandi had a big fight awhile back and she dumped you off by the side of the road. You AND Stacy, if memory serves.

Quinn: Yeah, so?

Daria: You're not mad about that?

Quinn: Friends fight all the time, Daria. It's the way of the world, or something. People can't just get along all the time. Sometimes you just have to, you know, forgive and forget.

Daria: Especially when your popularity at school is in jeopardy.

Quinn: (she pushes a few buttons) You know, Daria, if you want the fighting to stop, maybe you should just tell Jesse to cut it out.

Daria: Cut it out? But he hasn't done anything. Sandi's just being malicious for the sake of being malicious.

Quinn: Whatever. Daria, if there's one thing I've learned...

Daria: Again?

Quinn:'s that it takes two to fight...or something like that. Just tell him to stay away from her. Then she can't do anything to him, now can she?

Daria: Don't you see? He shouldn't HAVE to avoid her. He hasn't done anything wrong.

Quinn: And just what do you call that incident at the pizza place awhile back? Where he just threw her food on the FLOOR and made a big mess? That wasn't very nice, now was it? (beat) Come to think of it, that's what started the whole thing. And he's YOUR friend, not mine, so technically...

Daria: Whoa. Stop right there. I swear to God, Quinn, if I have to hear you say, "You started it," I might just revert back to my old childhood behavior.

Quinn: What old childhood behavior?

Daria: (raising her voice) The one where I kick your scrawny little ass into the middle of next week.

Quinn: (shocked) What?

Daria: (realizes that everyone is starting to stare at them, lowers her voice) You think you can just blame everybody else for what goes on around you. It's the same thing you did when we were kids. Every time perfect little angel Quinn did anything wrong, it was "Daria made me do it" or "It was Daria's idea." And it always worked.

Quinn: What does THAT have to do with THIS?

Daria: Everything. You're blaming Jesse for what Sandi's been pulling.

Quinn: Well, I don't see what the big deal is. It's not like she did anything REALLY bad. Those were just a few harmless pranks!

Daria: Quinn, she slashed his tires. I'd hardly call that harmless.

Quinn: You don't know for sure that she did that. It could have been anybody. (Daria glares at her for a moment, and she finally confesses) Alright, fine, she did it! I tried to stop her, but she just wouldn't LISTEN. I tried! I really did! It's not MY fault!

Daria: But you're still defending her.

Quinn stops and glances down at the floor, looking a little guilty.

Daria: Forget it. Just let me tell you something, Quinn. One day, you'll turn around and Sandi will stab YOU in the back. You may not think so now, but one day you'll see the way she really is. Sure, I COULD talk to Jesse and ask him to let this thing slide, but do you honestly think that would STOP her? (Quinn says nothing) No. I didn't think so. (walks out the front door, angry as Hell)

Quinn stands there speechless for a moment. Camera cuts back to Jane and the girls. Since their table is near the jukebox, they heard everything.

Jane: I can't believe what I just heard.

Jodie: She can't get away with this!

Andrea: (calmly) The bitch must die.

Jane and Jodie look at her, their eyes widening.

Andrea: Alright, fine. I suppose we could just MAIM her a little.

Cut to...

Lawndale High gym interior, daytime. Daria and Jane, in their typical Lawndale gym clothes, are sitting up in the stands along with a few kids who have also chosen to sit out. One of them has his arm in a cast and the rest just look thoroughly un-athletic. The rest of the students are in a line by one of the baskets, taking turns shooting free-throws and lay-ups. Ms. Morris is overseeing the class, of course.

Daria: So how was your meeting with Theodoro da Vinci?

Jane: Ted? Oh, it was alright, I guess. The kid's nice, but he's a little disturbing.

Daria: A little?

Jane: I did manage to learn something interesting though, believe it or not.

Daria: How to repair a leaky roof with your bare hands using nothing but mud, sticks, and spit?

Jane: Close. I found out what all the fuss is about with this "secret" broadcast.

Daria: Oh?

Jane: It seems SOMEONE entered Lawndale High in the "Sickest Saddest American High School Contest."

Daria: (grins slightly) Gee, I wonder who would do a thing like that? (beat) So, we won?

Jane: all depends on how you look at the situation.

Daria: So Lawndale High is now the sickest, saddest high school in America?

Jane: Oh, it's ALWAYS been that. This just makes it official. And the show gets to do a live broadcast from our very own gym.

Daria: Somehow I get the feeling Ms. Li has never actually seen the show.

Jane: As long as there's a possibility of publicity for her, she'd go along with anything. Anyway, Ted and I threw around some ideas for decorations and we're gonna start working on them tonight.

Daria: So, I'm assuming you're also wanting to attend this big event?

Jane: I wouldn't DREAM of missing it. What about you?

Just then, Ms. Morris walks up to them and tosses a basketball at Jane. Jane catches it easily and glares at Morris.

Morris: C'mon, Ladies. You've been sitting out all week. Get your lazy butts out there and do some lay-ups. (she walks away)

The girls stand and head out to the floor.

Daria: I guess if it's between the Sick Sad World thing and scraping graffiti off the bathroom walls, the former would take less physical effort. (Jane hands her the basketball as they make their way to the back of the line) Count me in.

Cut to...

Jane and Trent's neighborhood, outside, daytime. Jane and Trent are both jogging side-by-side. Jane is wearing her typical running clothes with her headphones hung around her neck. Trent is wearing black jogging pants and a white shirt with the sleeves cut off. Jane isn't even winded, but Trent is sweaty and is having a difficult time keeping up.

Jane: I can't believe I actually talked you into running with me.

Trent: Well, you said you wanted to talk, and this seems to be the only place I can find you these days.

Jane: Hey, I like to run. So sue me!

Trent: had something to ask me?

Jane: Yeah. Are you going to the Sick Sad World thing this weekend?

Trent: I suppose it's either that or listen to Jesse practice the new chord he discovered last night.

Jane: I don't think you'll have to worry about that too much. Jesse's going with me.

Trent: Really? How'd you drag him into it?

Jane: Promise of free food.

Trent: (grins) Works every time.

Jane: So, since Jesse and I are going together, and Jodie and Mack are going together... (she raises her eyebrows at him, waiting for him to put two and two together)

Trent: Yeah? So?

Jane: So...who are YOU going with?

Trent: I don't know, I hadn't really thought about it. (starts getting short of breath from running) Janey, you think we could take a break for a sec?

Jane: Sure. (beat) Wimp.

The two stop running and sit down on the curb by the side of the road.

Trent: Sorry. (beat) What were we talking about again?

Jane: Sick Sad World. This weekend. You need date.

Trent: Oh yeah. Can't we all just go together as a group? Who says you have to have a date to go to this thing, anyway?

Jane: I do.

Trent: (looks over at her suspiciously) Mmm. (thinking) Well, I don't want to ask Andrea. She's kinda scary.

Jane: And she has a boyfriend.

Trent: Really? Must be a very brave man. (thinking) I guess Daria and I could go together, but I don't think she'd say yes.

Jane: Why the hell wouldn't she?

Trent: Well, she doesn't really date much, and I thought it might scare her off.

Jane: Oh, please. You guys get along perfectly. You'd have a great time. (pauses, sees that this isn't working, tries a different approach) You two are friends, right?

Trent: Of course we are.

Jane: So? Jesse and I are friends and WE'RE going together. Nothing wrong with a few friends going to a chaperoned, high school sponsored event together.

Trent: Yeah, I guess you're right. (beat, thinking it over) You're sure she'll be okay with it?

Jane: Positive!

Trent: Alright, sounds cool.

Jane: (grins mischievously) That's what I wanted to hear. (stands) C'mon Trent. Race ya to the corner! (she takes off down the block)

Trent: (watches Jane run off, mutters) Dammit, Janey. (he stands sluggishly and heads after her)

Cut to...

The pizza place, daytime. Daria, Jane, Jodie, and Andrea are seated in their usual booth, sharing a pie. They are in the middle of a conversation.

Jane: So I talked it over with Jesse, and he said to just let the whole thing go.

Jodie: He's not mad at Sandi for slashing his tires?

Jane: Oh, he's mad, but he's pretty laid back most of the time. Revenge isn't at the top of his "To Do" list.

Andrea: Well, that doesn't mean WE can't plot against her.

Jane: I don't know. Jesse asked me not to. He said to just let it slide. Retaliation would just make things worse.

Andrea: That's the point.

Jodie: For once I think Jesse has a point. My belief has always been that people who behave as Sandi does will get what they deserve in the end, regardless of our intervention. She's bringing it on herself and she doesn't need us to help her along that path. She's doing a pretty good job at self-destruction without us egging her on.

Jane: I suppose so. It's just so tempting to plan some elaborate trap for her. (looks at Daria) What do you think, Daria?

Daria: I think Jesse's right. Leave it alone. See what happens. But if she tries anything, he's entitled to a certain measure of self-defense.

Jodie: Of course. What worries me is that she'll probably be at the broadcast too and they're bound to run into each other there.

Jane: I just hope he can keep his cool.

Daria: And if he can't, we can all just sit back and enjoy the fireworks.

Jane: True enough! (beat) And speaking of fireworks, I heard that somebody here has a secret admirer. (she winks at Daria, but Jodie thinks she's actually talking about HER)

Jodie: Oh, PLEASE don't make me talk about that.

Jane: Huh?

Jodie: Don't tell me you haven't noticed Charles following me around like a pathetic little puppy the past week or so.

Daria: Jodie, he does that to every girl with a pulse.

Jane: Sometimes even a PULSE is optional.

Jodie: No, this is different. He's sending me flowers, leaving disgusting love notes on my locker. He even asked me to go with him to the Sick Sad World thing.

Jane: How romantic.

Jodie: Oh, shut up.

Daria: Of course, you said "no," right?

Jodie: Do I look stupid to you? Of COURSE I said no. I'm going with Mack.

Daria: And if Mack suddenly became unavailable?

Jodie: Daria, I'd rather jump into a swimming pool full of water moccasins than go ANYWHERE with that degenerative little freak.

Jane: Well said, Jodie. Spoken like a true smart-ass!

Jodie: Actually, I was being serious.

Jane: Well, you know he's only doing all that stuff because he wants to get on your good side before the Student Council debates.

Jodie: I realize that, and I'll be glad when the elections are over so he can go back to chasing YOU guys for awhile. (beat) Oh, Daria, I almost forgot! You never mentioned if you were planning on attending the Sick Sad World broadcast.

Daria: You're right, I didn't.

Jodie: So you're not going?

Daria: (reluctantly) Um...actually, I am.

Jodie: Really? It doesn't violate any moral or ethical principles?

Daria: Yes, but I'm willing to make an exception.

Jodie: So, who are you going with?

Daria hesitates, glancing over at Jane, who is grinning profusely. Just then, before Daria can answer, the whole group is interrupted as Brittany walks in the door. She is wearing baggy blue jeans and an oversized sweatshirt. She looks much less perky than she usually does. Daria sighs, relieved that the focus is off her for awhile.

Jodie: (shocked) Brittany??

Brittany: Hi, guys. (takes a seat beside Jodie)

Daria: What are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be in Dallas?

Brittany: I just wanted to come back and, you know, visit all my friends and stuff.

Daria: (skeptically) Uh-huh.

Brittany: I mean, I, like, really missed you guys!

Daria & Jane: Uh-huh.

Jodie: Does Kevin know you're back?

Brittany: (crosses her arms stubbornly across her chest) I am not speaking to him.

Just then, Kevin and Mack walk into the pizza place. Mack looks like he's trying to ignore Kevin, as usual, and Kevin in yammering on incoherently, as usual. Brittany, upon hearing Kevin's voice, whirls around to face him. She is thrilled and squeals with delight.

Brittany: KEVVY!

Kevin: (finally seeing her) BABE!

They run to each other and embrace in an extremely cheesy slow-motion sequence, as soaring romantic music plays.

Daria: (pushing her plate away from her) I think I just lost my appetite.

Jane: So much for the lover's quarrel.

Andrea: God, get a room.

As the two continue their "hello's," Mack comes over to the table to get away from them. He just stands there, leaning on the back of the booth.

Jane: (trying to ignore Kevin and Brittany) What would you guys think about going to my house for some left-over birthday cake?

Jodie: I didn't know it was your birthday.

Jane: Who said it was my birthday?

Andrea: I'm in.

Mack: Me too.

Daria: It's gotta be better than watching the mating rituals of a pom-pom and a jock strap.

They all stand and walk out the door. As they pass the two, who are still embracing and giggling and all that mushy stuff, Mack speaks up.

Mack: (to Jane) So, if it's not your birthday, why do you have birthday cake? (they walk out the door)

Kevin: (coming up for air) Whoa! Cake?? Cool! (releases Brittany and follows them out the door)

Brittany: KEVVY! What about me???

Kevin: Don't worry, Babe. I'll save you a piece! (leaves)

Brittany: Ooooo..... (goes to the abandoned booth and sits down)

Helen is in the process of cleaning off the table. She notices Brittany is crying and she looks concerned.

Helen: Brittany? Are you ok, hun? (pauses, thinking) It IS Brittany, isn't it?

Brittany: (sobs) I don't KNOW who I am anymore! And my stupid boyfriend is an insensitive JERK!

Helen: Well, I'm SURE you'll figure things out...

Brittany: I wanted to be, like, this big-shot cheerleader. I wanted to MAKE something of myself and stuff. But I just couldn't DO it! I thought MAYBE Kevvy would BE here, to like, comfort me or whatever. But he's just interested in a piece of SPONGE-CAKE! (Helen misconstrues her meaning, and raises her eyebrows) My life is a MESS.

Helen: (fake interest) Well, maybe if you...

Brittany: (interrupts) I quit the squad. I'm not a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader anymore. It was so HARD and all the girls TEASED me and stuff. It was AWFUL. (looks dejected) What am I going to do? I don't KNOW how to DO anything. Being a cheerleader is all I know how to be.

Helen: (looks into her dishpan, disgusted) Just stay away from waitressing.

Brittany: (cheers up a little) You know? I wish I had, like, one of those guardian angel thingies to tell me what to do.

Helen: Oh, you mean like Frankie? (Brittany looks confused) Avalon??

Brittany: No...I get my make-up from Mary Kay.

Helen: (gives up, walking away) Oh, nevermind.

Helen walks off into kitchen and out of sight. Brittany is the only one left visible in the restaurant. She sits in silence for awhile, her head in her hands, and seems to be thinking... as much as she can, anyway. Then, suddenly, the front door opens and a glowing white silhouette can be seen in the doorway. Brittany looks up in amazement as the figure comes closer. Finally it stops by the table and the front door slams shut on its own. The glowing light disappears, revealing a cartoon version of none other than...John Travolta. In a polyester leisure suit, no less. He smiles down at her.

Brittany: (puzzled) John Travolta?

Travolta: Well, that's what my driver's license says, so I certainly hope so.

Brittany: What are you DOING here?

Travolta: I'm your guardian angel...thingy.

Brittany: (looks at him skeptically) You don't LOOK like an angel.

Travolta: I don't have to LOOK like one. I just AM. Haven't you ever seen "Michael"?

Brittany: (ponders, twirls hair) Yes...but everyone calls him Mack.

Travolta: (grits his teeth) Look, lady, I didn't want to do this whole angel bit again, but I really need the money. So can I just sing my song and get this the hell over with?

Brittany: Ooo! A serenade!

Travolta: Um...yeah.

The music starts up, a disco ball drops from the ceiling and the tiles on the floor start glowing and flashing all kinds of different colors. The whole scene is very Saturday Night Fever.

Your story's dull as spit
A clueless, ditsy twit
Biggest buyer of peroxide
In the state
Your thoughts in space they linger
Twirl hair around your finger
Have ten of them but can't count
Above eight

Cheerleader burnout
So you decide to call it quits
Cheerleader burnout
You've just done one too many splits
Well, you could have told the girls you quit
The squad because of illness
But instead you just convinced them all
You left to join the circus

Babe, when you joined up
You didn't know it'd be so hard
Sweating off make-up
Like a worn out Saint Bernard
Don't try out for the Laker girls
Or you will surely fail
Turn in your pom-poms, Brit
And go back to Lawndale

Cheerleader burnout
Hangin' around with jocks and jerks
Cheerleader burnout
Pondering what makes hair spray work
Well, you think that immigration
Means the flying south of fouls
Absorbing things comes easier
To maxi pads and hand-towels.

Baby you thought that
Basket toss couldn't go astray
But then you went splat
During last week's game with Green Bay
Now your pride is cracked
And that's a fact
You're bruised, exhausted, pale
Paste on a happy face and go back to Lawndale

Baby don't argue
It's time to vacate La-La Land
Baby who are you
To disagree with (points up) high command
Now, get off your ass
Go back to class
Don't wanna hear you cry
Gotta be going that disco in the sky

Cheerleader burnout
Go back to Lawndale (repeat and fade)

As the song ends, the ball disappears and the floor returns to normal. The door opens and the bright light returns. Travolta steps into the light and slowly makes his way out the door. The door slams and the light goes out again, leaving Brittany in the dark, literally as well as figuratively. Close-up shot of Brittany shows her twirling her hair around her finger. She seems to be lost in thought, letting his words sink in.

Cut to...

Lane kitchen. The group that just left the pizza place is now seated around the kitchen table. There is a large greenish lump in the middle of the table, presumably it was once a birthday cake. Jane is holding a knife.

Daria: Tell me, Jane. How long was THIS one in your freezer?

Jane: Since Trent's birthday.

Daria: (pokes a finger at the cake and recoils in terror) Which one? His tenth?

Kevin: (grabbing for the knife) Here, let me at it...

Jane: (swings the knife out of his reach) Oh no you don't! Children are not allowed to play with knives in this house.

Jesse comes up behind Jane out of nowhere and grabs the knife.

Jesse: Cake! Cool! (starts sawing at the cake but doesn't get very far) Frozen. Damn. (yells down the basement stairs) Hey, Trent! You got a chainsaw?

All the others except for Jane suddenly decide it's time to leave. They simultaneously get up and start saying good-byes (probably out of fear for their lives), such as "Oh my, look at the time" and "I didn't realize it was so late" and "I'll catch you later." They all rush out the door, leaving Jane sitting in front of the cake and Jesse standing over the cake with the knife. Jane looks stunned at first, then looks up at Jesse. Finally, she stands and exits the kitchen as well.

Jesse: (shrugs, taking another stab at the petrified cake) More for me.

Cut to...

LHS parking lot, night. It's the night of the big event. Daria and Trent are walking towards the gym. Jesse and Jane are walking side-by-side in front of them. Daria is wearing the same yellow skirt as before, but is now wearing a form-fitting, low-cut white top. A dainty white sweater is draped over her shoulders, and she is obviously a little uncomfortable by the choice of wardrobe. As they walk, she tugs nervously at the sweater, trying to pull it around her a little more.

Trent: You cold?

Daria: No.

Trent: Nervous?

Daria: (sighs, gives up on the sweater for now) I suppose. I'm a little unnerved by the fact that there will be television camera's filming our every move.

Trent: And broadcasting us to millions of viewers nationwide.

Daria: Thanks. That makes me feel much more at ease.

Trent: Hey, don't worry about the cameras, Daria. You look great. (Daria blushes slightly) If the camera is pointed at you, just act natural. Be cool. Keep it loose.

Daria: Loose? In front of millions of viewers? I don't know...

Trent: You gotta make friends with the camera, man.

Daria: You know the cameraman?

Trent: (realizing she's misunderstood what he said) Oh...uh...yeah. His name's...Bob.

Daria: Are you sure that's not "B period, O period, B period"?

Trent: (confused) Huh?

Daria: Boy on bike. (beat, Trent's still confused) Nevermind.

Finally, the four reach the gymnasium. They are walking up to the double doors, which are both propped open with cheap orange chairs. Daria takes a deep breath and the group walks into the gym. Upon entering, Daria looks around at the interior and her eyes widen slightly, as do Trent's. Jane grins proudly as the others survey the scene before them.

Daria: Well, well, well. Looks like you and Ted have been busy.

Jane: This is mostly Ted's handy-work. I was just the idea woman.

Camera switches to the group's point of view, showing the entire inside of the gym.

Daria: You're sure you're not on any experimental medication?

We finally catch a glimpse of Ted's lovely decorating ability. There is a stage set up at the far end of the gym, and above it, there is a large banner reading "Sick, Sad World!" and under it are the words "Sickest Saddest American High School." There are microphones, a drum set, guitars, and amplifiers set up on stage, and beside the stage there is a TV camera being operated by a short young man in a baseball cap. The older man beside him, the director, is a taller balding man with a beard. There are shrunken heads, skulls and various other bones hanging from the ceiling, and the middle of the gym floor has been completely painted over with the swirling "Sick Sad World" logo. Every inch of the walls is covered in large murals. The extremely realistic murals, each stretching from floor to ceiling, are different depictions of the many strange and outrageous things featured on a regular basis on SSW. There's a mural showing a scantily-clad, big-busted woman holding a crystal ball, reading "Psychic Centerfolds" underneath. There is a hairy naked man holding an open book strategically over his lower extremities, reading "Nude Book Clubs." There are also depictions of "G-String Grandmas," "Breast Implants For Chickens," etc. You get the idea. In the middle of one of the walls, between murals, are the words "People just like you, only more pathetic" painted in large, bright red letters.

Jane: (grinning) Welcome to the freak show.

Cut to...

A bit later that evening, still in the gym. Quinn and Sandi have arrived, dressed in their finest formal attire. They were obviously not expecting the weird decorations and they both look thoroughly disgusted.

Sandi: I can't BELIEVE Ms. Li would allow such distasteful decorations.

Quinn: I KNOW. I mean, couldn't they have at least put up something CUTE? (glances up at the large mural next to her, which is the "Nude Book Clubs" one, and shudders) Ewwww....

The two move to the refreshment table along one of the side walls, where Jane, Daria, Trent, and Jesse are now gathered. Jane and Daria are looking down skeptically at the food before them. There are cookies in the shapes of various strange ax, a severed hand, etc. The dark red punch has eyeballs floating in it. There is also a cake sculpted into the shape of a decapitated head.

Daria: Who's catering this thing, anyway? Penn and Teller?

Jane: Oh, didn't you know? Ted has also been a master chef and culinary genius since age ten. (Daria shakes her head)

Quinn is standing beside them, cutting into a pretty, red heart-shaped cake. As she slices into it, some kind of dark red gel starts oozing out of it. Startled and thoroughly disgusted, she drops the knife and leaps back from the table.

Quinn: Ahhh! Gross! (as she's backing away from the table, she bumps into Trent) Hey, watch it!

Trent: Oh, sorry.

Daria and Jane notice Trent talking to Quinn and they turn to join him. Jesse is also at his side, and Sandi is staring daggers at him, not that Jesse really notices this. He's paying more attention to the food.

Quinn: (squints, looking at Trent) Wait, don't I know you?

Trent: I don't think so.

Daria: (to Trent) Trust me, you're one of the lucky ones.

Quinn: Sure, we've met before. Remember? I'm Daria's sis-- uh, cousin. (Trent raises an eyebrow and Daria looks a little ticked off) My name's Quinn. I'm, like, the most popular student at Lawndale High.

Jane: (whispers) With the worst disposition.

Sandi: (glaring at Quinn) Ahem! I believe I may be a LITTLE more popular. Not that it MATTERS.

Quinn: Oh, yeah, Sandi. Definitely!

Trent looks at Daria, confused. Daria just shakes her head.

Daria: It's a ritual they have. Don't ask. (Trent nods and the four of them walk away from the table)

Sandi: (looks past Quinn) Oh, look, Quinn. There's Tiffany and Stacy. (Sandi and Quinn start towards them, meeting them halfway, various greetings are exchanged) So, Tiffany, did you bring it?

Quinn: (curious) Bring what?

Tiffany, holding something behind her back, nods silently.

Sandi: I felt, like, really BAD and stuff about that fight we had. It was WRONG of me to, like, kick you out and make you WALK home.

Quinn: That was weeks ago. Besides, Stacy and I just took the bus.

Stacy: Yeah. No hard feelings.

Sandi: Whatever. Anyway, I may have conceivably been a little TOO harsh. I SHOULDN'T have gotten mad about what you said. I mean, maybe you're RIGHT. Maybe scorpions are gross or whatever, so I decided a name change was in order.

Quinn: Really?

Sandi: Really. Tiffany, if you will.

Tiffany holds out what she's been hiding behind her back, proudly revealing yet another eggplant-colored jacket. She holds the jacket up so the back is visible to Quinn. It reads "The Yorkies."

Quinn: (confused) The Yorkies?

Sandi: You know. Those cute little dogs like what Tiffany's got.

Quinn: Oh, you mean the little brown dog with the big red bow on its head?

Tiffany: Yeaaaaah.....Peaches.

Quinn: Wow. That's MUCH cuter than those nasty ol' scorpions. I like it.

Sandi: Oh, but you haven't seen the best part. (Tiffany turns the jacket around, revealing that Quinn's name is on the front of the jacket) Well?

Quinn: (thrilled) You want me to join your group?

Sandi: (grins) Of course, and we want YOU to have the first jacket, since it WAS your idea and all.

Stacy: (smiles) Congratulations, Quinn.

Quinn: (grabs the jacket and slips it on) I...I don't know what to say. (emotional) It' beautiful. (beat, as she admires the jacket) Thanks guys. You're the best.

Sandi: (grin widens) No, Quinn. YOU are.

Cut to...

Brittany, Kevin, Mack, and Jodie walk up to the refreshment table along one of the walls. Mack is gazing into the punch bowl. He picks up the ladle and taps one of the eyeballs lightly, dunking it under the surface for a second. Jodie is watching this as well.

Mack: You think they're real?

Brittany: (offended) Of COURSE they're real. I don't know HOW rumors like that get started!

Jodie: Brittany, he was talking about...

Kevin: (notices the punch, interrupts) Cool!

He grabs the ladle and scoops up two of the eyes, then picks them out with his free hand and replaces the ladle. He holds the two eyeballs in front of his own face and turns toward Brittany.

Kevin: (shuts his eyes) Ah! My eyes!! My EYEEEES!!!!!

Brittany: Ewww...Kevvy!!! (Kevin holds one of the eyes out to her, she quickly backs away) Gross! Get that thing away from me. (he comes closer and she backs away again) Quit it! (he comes closer again) Get away!!!

She runs and Kevin chases after her, still holding the two eyeballs. Mack and Jodie watch them go. The two exchange glances, sigh and shrug their shoulders. The camera pulls away to show the two of them standing by the table in silence, with their backs to the wall. Behind them is a mural of a goofy-looking football player with his helmet on backwards, and the writing underneath reads "Half-Baked Halfbacks." Hold for a beat.

Cut to...

Again, later that evening. Jane, Jesse, Trent, and Daria standing off in a corner somewhere. Jane is looking up at the murals, running her fingers along the wall. Daria is looking up too, expressionless. Trent looks bored and Jesse is finishing off a cup of punch.

Jane: I just can't get over these paintings. What style. What brilliance. What technique.

Daria: What a load of crap.

Trent: (not paying attention, snaps back to reality) What?

Jane and Daria glance at each other and Jane shakes her head, grinning. Then, looking past Daria, she spots another mural.

Jane: (pointing at the mural, which is of a group of intoxicated dancers) Hey, look, Daria. "Tanked In A Tu-Tu."

Daria: (glances at the painting, as Kevin and Brittany run by in front of it, Kevin still carrying the eyeballs) Getting tanked sounds pretty good right about now.

DeMartino passes by the group and hears what Daria said. He's carrying a brown paper bag and looks more on-edge than usual.

DeMartino: TELL me about it. (keeps walking)

Daria and Jane exchange glances, but don't look terribly surprised.

Trent: Hey, guys. Jess and I are gonna raid the refreshments again. You want anything?

Daria: No, I saw some of the food they had over there, and I don't trust anyone who would make cookies in the shape of a skull and crossbones. (beat) But you go right ahead.

Trent: Suit yourselves. (he and Jesse exit)

Moments later, their attention is drawn to the stage. There is a band on-stage setting up their instruments, preparing to play. The band consists of Monique on lead vocals, Nick and Max on guitar, and Tom on drums. Jane is staring at Tom, watching him work, and her eyes have a glazed-over appearance to them. She is grinning and looks distant. Daria notices this and isn't terribly thrilled about her reaction. Then, Jake, dressed in a bright green polyester suit, walks up to the microphone. He taps on the mic a few times before proceeding.

Jake: Ahem. Welcome Lawndale students! My name is Jake 'The Snake' Fontaine and I'll be your host for this evening.

Jodie and Mack walk up to Daria and Jane as Jake continues talking.

Jodie: Hey, Daria. Isn't that your...

Jane: ...uncle?

Daria: (to Jane) Oh, shut up.

Mack: What's up with his name? Doesn't he have the same last name as you?

Daria: Fontaine is his stage name. Apparently Morgendorffer just wasn't 'jiggy' enough.

Mack and Jodie laugh.

Jake: (continuing) And you can just IMAGINE how excited I was when your own Principal Li offered me the esteemed honor of hosting this monumental event. Now, speaking of Ms. Li, some of you might be wondering why she's not here.

Daria: (under her breath) Wrong again.

Jake: Well, she called only moments ago from her cell phone. She's stuck in traffic but she should be here any minute. I have been asked to wait for her before proceeding. (to the band) So, how about a little music, guys? Just until she arrives?

Nick: No problem, Pops.

Jake walks off stage and Monique takes over the microphone.

Monique: Hey, my name's Monique and we're The Gamblers. (to the band) Count it off for us, Tom.

Tom counts off, clicking his drumsticks together, and the band starts playing "I'm Only Happy When It Rains" by Garbage. Monique's voice is pretty good, but Tom's drumming is outstanding. Jane notices this fact, but she's not the only one. Trent and Jesse return to their group, each carrying a cup of punch and more food than they have any right to be eating.

Jane: Hey, Trent. Looks like your girlfriend finally left The Harpies.

At the word 'girlfriend,' Daria glances over at Jane, looking a bit hurt.

Trent: Yeah, again. (takes a bite of one of the infamous 'skull and crossbones' cookies) But she's not my girlfriend anymore. We broke up.

Jane: Again?

Trent: For REAL this time.

Jane: (whispers to Daria) Just like the last twenty times they broke up.

Jesse: Hey, their drummer is pretty good.

Daria: (glares at Jane) You're not the ONLY one that noticed. (Jane grins sheepishly)

Jane: (tries to be nonchalant) So, um...anybody happen to know this mystery boy's name?

Trent: His name's Tom. I met him at the Zen once when Monique and I were in a band together. Nice guy.

Daria: (can't stand talking about Monique OR Tom anymore) Um...I have to know...

Jane: Powder your nose?

Daria: Yeah. Sure. Would you excuse me?

Daria leaves the group and heads for the restrooms. She walks down a short hallway and pushes open the door to the ladies room. The room appears to be empty, and she walks to the short row of sinks. She stops, looks at her reflection in the mirror for a moment, then turns on the cold water faucet. Removing her glasses, she splashes cold water on her face. Suddenly, the bathroom she thought was empty, turned out not to be. One of the stalls opened behind her. She quickly dried off her face with a paper towel and replaced her glasses. She turned to find Andrea standing at the sink next to her.

Daria: Hey, what are you doing here?

Andrea: Taking a piss.

Daria: No, I mean...I didn't think you'd be caught dead at something like this.

Andrea: I'm a woman. I can change my mind without notice. Is that a problem?

Daria: I don't suppose it would matter if it WAS.

Andrea: (drying her hands under an air dryer) Actually, I wasn't going to come. I was supposed to drive up to see Ben this weekend, but he ran into a little trouble and had to leave the country.

Daria: (suspicious) HAD to leave the country?

Andrea: That's what I said.

Daria: Ok, just asking.

Andrea: (as the dryer shuts off) Mind if I ask you a question?

Daria: You just did.

Andrea: What are you and Trent doing here together?

Daria: I came here with Jane.

Andrea: Yeah, sure you did. (beat) Jane forced him into coming here with you, didn't she?

Daria: Please, don't romanticize it.

Andrea: She's a persistent little nutjob, isn't she?

Daria: What do you mean?

Andrea: What do I mean? She's trying to push you into dating her brother when it's obvious that you don't even like him that much. (Daria's eyes narrow) I mean, if you really wanted to date him, you'd just come out and tell him, right? You wouldn't just let it build up inside you 'til you're ready to explode. You wouldn't wake up one morning and realize you should have told him cuz now he has a girlfriend and you've lost the chance of a lifetime. Would you? (beat) But, hey, look who I'm talking to here. You're a smart girl. You'd never do something that dumb.(opens the bathroom door) Forget I said anything. (exits)

The bathroom door shuts behind her, leaving Daria alone. Daria turns to face her reflection in the mirror again. She sighs, obviously disgusted by what she sees.

Daria: (sarcastic) No. I'd never do that.

Cut to...

Andrea is on her way back to the crowd to find her friends. On the way, a nervous man in a bright green suit runs into her. It's Jake, of course, and he apologizes profusely for his clumsiness.

Jake: Gah! Oh, gee...I'm sorry, young lady. Are you alright?

Andrea: Yeah. (starts to walk on, but Jake stops her)

Jake: Hey, aren't you one of Daria's friends?

Andrea nods, obviously not interested in getting to know Daria's dad any better. Jake is persistent, trying to 'bond' with his daughter's friend. He sticks his hand out in an offer of a handshake, but it is not received by Andrea.

Jake: Jake Morgendorffer's the name. I'm Daria's dad.

Andrea: Lucky her.

Jake: So, what's your name?

Andrea: Andrea.

Jake: Andrea...Andrea...pretty name. Andrea what?

Andrea: Perish. (beat) You know, as in 'drop dead'?

Jake laughs nervously and pulls at his tie. Then, lost for words, and probably a little scared, he walks away.

Cut to...

Still the gym. Jane, Jesse, Trent, and Andrea are standing around watching The Gamblers play. The band is now playing "What I Really Want" by Alanis Morissette. Finally, Daria rejoins her friends. They are already in the middle of a heated debate.

Jane: Why don't you just ask him?

Trent: I'll get around to it, but I can't ask in front of Monique.

Jesse: She'd get mad.

Jane: Why would you care what she thinks?

Trent: You've never seen her mad before, have you?

Daria: What are we squabbling about this time?

Trent: We think Tom might be just what our band needs.

Jesse: We need a drummer.

Jane: And Trent's such a WIMP that he can't bring himself to ask in front of Madame Monique.

Trent: I'm not a wimp. I just don't want her to think I'm stealing her drummer.

Jane: But, you ARE stealing her drummer.

Andrea: You know, there is always the remote possibility that he'll say 'no.' Ever think of that? (the group stares at her like she's grown an extra head or something) Well, he could. (she walks off)

Jane: She may be right. Why don't you let me handle this? A little female expertise may be in order here.

Daria: Female WILES, you mean.

Jane: Eh, potato, po-tah-to.

Jesse: I don't think you should.

Jane: Why not?

Jesse: He's a musician. You don't know how they can be.

Jane: (smirks) BELIEVE me, I know plenty.

Jesse: I just don't want you to get yourself in too deep.

Jane: In too deep? How could I... (her smile widens) You're jealous, aren't you?

Trent: (mumbles) Uh-oh. I don't like where this is going. (to Daria) You want to get out of here?

Daria: Um...sure, I guess.

As they walk away, they can hear the conversation between Jane and Jesse escalating.

Jesse: I'm just looking out for you, that's all.

Jane: Admit it! You want me!

Jesse: Can't a guy be a little over-protective of his best friend's...

Jane: Over-protective my ASS!

Trent and Daria exit out the front door, and the arguing voices finally fade. Andrea is standing right outside by the door, smoking again.

Daria: That was a side of them I could've done without.

Trent: Me too. They don't fight very often, but when they do, it's best to keep them away from any sharp objects. (Daria's stomach growls loudly, much to her dismay) Hey, Daria, if you're hungry, I've got some leftover pizza in the Tank.

Daria: And how long has it been there?

Trent: Only two days.

Daria: Will wonders ever cease? (beat) Sure, I'd welcome ANY food right now that's non-toxic. (beat) It IS non-toxic, isn't it?

Trent: (laugh/coughs) More or less.

The two walk off in the direction of the parking lot. As they are walking away, Andrea watches them with mild interest.

Andrea: (mumbles) Carpe Diem.

Daria turns and looks at her momentarily. Andrea nods silently then stomps out her cigarette and goes back into the gym.

Trent: What did she say?

Daria: (after a thoughtful pause) Oh, uh...nothing. (beat) It's not important.

Cut to...

Back inside the gym, Quinn is standing with the Three J's at the back of the gym by the emergency exits. The rest of the Fashion Club, otherwise known as "The Yorkies," is standing nearby. Sandi is watching as Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie dote shamelessly on Quinn. Sandi looks angry and begins grinding her teeth.

Joey: Do you want a soda, Quinn?

Jeffy: Hey, Quinn. Do you want to dance?

Jamie: Can I bring you a cookie?

Quinn: (sweetly) Guys, you don't have to do that. (beat) Two cubes, not on the first date, and are you nuts? I'm on a diet.

Joey leaves to get Quinn her soda.

Cut to...

The stage where the band is performing. They finish up the song, then, realizing that nobody seems to be listening, they put down their instruments.

Monique: Let's take five, guys.

Upchuck: (voice, off-screen) You can take me anytime, Sugar Plum.

Monique looks to her right to find Upchuck standing by the stage gawking up at her, a lecherous grin on his face. He has a huge "Vote Chuck" button pinned to his shirt.

Monique: Buzz off, horn dog.

Upchuck reaches out in an attempt to grab her leg. Monique reels back a boot-clad foot and kicks him right in the face. He is knocked back into an unsuspecting Jodie, who is just passing by the stage with Mack. Jodie is knocked to the floor and Upchuck falls on top of her.

Upchuck: Rrrr....feisty. If you wanted to get me on my back, angel, all you had to do was ask me. (looks down at Jodie, growls again) Ooo...two temptresses at once. What's a boy to do?

Mack: Hey! Get off my girlfriend!

Upchuck: Now, now. What's the magic word?

Jodie: Eunuch.

Upchuck: (still not getting up) Rrrrr...feis--

He is cut off as Mack grabs the collar of his shirt and yanks him to his feet. Upchuck squeals like a little girl and shields his face, just in case Mack throws a punch. Mack lets go and helps Jodie up off the floor.

Mack: Upchuck, I'm afraid you just lost my vote.

Jodie smiles up at Mack as he puts his arm around her. The two walk away, leaving Upchuck at the foot of the stage. Rubbing a sore shoulder, Upchuck turns to find Monique standing only a few feet away, talking with the rest of the band. Being his usual persistent self, he ventures towards Monique, the same sleazy grin plastered on his face.

Cut to...

Quinn and the Three J's. Joey is still gone, getting Quinn her soda. The remaining two J's continue to flirt shamelessly, and Sandi is getting angrier by the second. She can't stand the fact that Quinn is hogging all the attention. Soon, Joey comes back and joins the rest of the group.

Quinn: Thanks, Joey!

Joey: So, does that mean you'll go out with me?

Jeffy: Hey, that's not fair. I could have gotten her a soda too!

Jamie: My soda would have tasted BETTER.

Quinn: (in a cheery tone) Please. Stop. There's no need to fight. There's enough of me for all three of you. Besides, you can't expect me to pick a boyfriend right now. (over-dramatic) I'm young. I'm carefree. I have my whole life ahead of me to get bogged down with ONE guy. I just want to have FUN while I CAN!

Joey: But...don't you LIKE us?

Quinn: Of COURSE I like you. I mean, what's not to like?

Music starts as Quinn sings. Tiffany and Stacy join in on backup. Sandi says nothing, and walks off in disgust about half-way through the song.

Joey my love
I'm free a week from Saturday
And if you're nice
Then I might even let you pay
You are so cute, popular, sensitive, funny
And so am I, a perfect match we are, honey
But just as long as you don't run out of money
Joey my love

Stacy & Tiffany: Joey my love, Joey my love, Joey my lo-ove

Jeffy my dear
I am so happy that you called
'Cuz I could use
Another ride out to the mall
Going through racks of clothes like kids go through candy
Finding an outfit that is cuter than Sandi's
If I were you, I'd keep my credit card handy
Jeffy my love

Stacy & Tiffany: Jeffy my love, Jeffy my love, Jeffy my lo-ove

Don't keep your presence from me
We'll have such a good time
Just keep those presents coming
And we'll get along fine
Although shopping's not your knack
I loved the fuzzy backpack
You say it's from the sale rack?
Then take it back
It's a crime!

Jerry, you know
I like to dine at Chez Pierre
And I...

Quinn stops singing as she spots Jamie in front of the stage, waving to get her attention. The backing singers and music continue on without her as she talks to Jamie.

Quinn: (irritated) What!?

Jamie: I'm Jamie.

Quinn: So?

Jamie: You called me Jerry.

Quinn: (rolled her eyes) Ugh! Whatever!

She rejoins Tiffany and Stacy as they finish out the verse.


The way you dwell upon yourself is the lamest
Nobody gives a diddly-hoo what your name is
Jamie my love

Stacy & Tiffany: Jamie my love, Jamie my lo-love. Jamie my lo-ove.

Then, all 3 of them repeat that last line a few times, and the music fades out. Shot of the 3 J's shows them applauding and whistling at Quinn.

Joey: I knew she liked me the best!

Jeffy: What?!?

Joey: Didn't you hear? She called me 'honey'.

Jeffy: Yeah, but she called ME 'dear'!

Jamie: Oh yeah? Well, she called me...

Joey & Jeffy: (simultaneously) Jerry!

Jamie: Shut up!!!

Jamie attacks Joey and Jeffy, and the three start fighting. Pan up to show Quinn grinning, looking very pleased.

Quinn: Oh, no...not AGAIN!

Cut to...

The front door of the gym. Ms. Li is coming in through the double doors. She notices the disgusting murals right away. Her jaw drops open and she is absolutely flabbergasted.

Li: What the HELL??

What she sees next stops her dead in her tracks. As she surveys the scene before her, the song "Firestarter" by Prodigy plays. Musical montage:

The Three J's are in the middle of the floor beating each other up, with Quinn looking on. Sandi is behind her, whispering to Tiffany and grinning. Stacy is standing nearby, biting her bottom lip, looking extremely worried.

Monique is to one side of the stage, holding Upchuck in a headlock. Nick and Max are looking on, enjoying the show.

Jake is seen to the other side of the stage, sitting in a fetal position, rocking back and forth and mumbling incoherently to himself.

Mr. DeMartino is standing off in a corner by the emergency exit, drinking from a not-so-well- hidden whiskey bottle. He looks like he's not feeling a whole lot of pain at this point. Andrea is standing next to him, and he occasionally passes the bottle to her. She is, once again, smoking.

Jodie and Mack are standing towards the front of the gym by the front doors, speaking with Mr. O'Neill. O'Neill is sobbing uncontrollably at the turmoil that has unfolded. Jodie rummages around in her purse and pulls out a Kleenex for him and tries to console him. Mack keeps looking around anxiously, wishing he could be anywhere else at the moment.

Kevin is positioned by the refreshment table, grabbing more eyeballs out of the punchbowl and pelting them at anyone who passes by. Brittany is yelling at him, but won't get too close because she still thinks the eyes are "icky."

Jane and Jesse are yelling at each other. Both are thoroughly angry and red-faced from screaming. Tom is standing off to one side holding a cup of punch, watching with mild fascination.

Most of the other students in the gym are also fighting. Some are chasing each other, some are throwing food at one another, etc. The whole place is pure and utter chaos.

Li also notices, much to her extreme dismay, that the SSW cameraman is filming it all, and the director standing next to him is loving every minute of it. Camera pans to show Li's shocked and angry face. Hold for a few beats. End musical montage.

Cut to...

The Tank in the High School parking lot. Trent and Daria are sitting up front, snarfing leftover pizza. Daria looks a little nervous.

Trent: You know? This has been fun. We should do it again sometime.

Daria blushes a little and nods, but says nothing. They sit in silence for a moment, then Daria finally speaks.

Daria: mind if I ask you something?

Trent: Shoot.

Daria: I was just curious...about Jane and Jesse. Are they, um...

Trent: No.

Daria: Oh.

Trent: Me and Jess have been friends since grade school. Jane was always tagging along with us, so he's become like a brother to her. He's just looking out for her.

Daria: It's just so hard to tell with her sometimes. She doesn't really talk about stuff like that.

Trent: I know. She's pretty secretive about certain things. And she says I'M hard to understand.

Daria: (thinks carefully before speaking again) I don't think you are.

Trent: Yeah, I've always felt like you understood how I think. What makes me tick. (beat) You're kinda hard to figure sometimes, though.

Daria: (sarcastic) That's a shocker.

Trent: (beat, thinking) What is it that you want? Really.

Daria: (getting a little uncomfortable) Uh, could be more specific?

Trent: What do you want out of life? There must be SOMETHING you're passionate about.

Daria: (blushes slightly) Oh, I don't know...

Trent: You can tell me, Daria. Maybe I can help.

Daria sits in silence for a moment, thinking. Andrea's words run through her mind.

Andrea: (echoing voice) If you really wanted to date him, you'd just come out and tell him, right? (beat) Chance of a lifetime. (beat) Carpe Diem.

Daria: (mumbling) Carpe Diem.

Trent: Huh?

Daria: (didn't realize she had said that out loud) What? Oh, um...nothing. (thinks for a moment, then takes a deep breath) Trent?

Trent: Yo.

Daria: There's something I've been meaning to tell you. I'm not real sure how to say it.

Trent: Take your time.

Daria: (takes another breath and plunges forward) I've been thinking...maybe you...I mean...we... (Trent looks over at her, raising an eyebrow) What I mean is, I think that you and I...

Just then their conversation is interrupted by the screeching wail of the fire alarm going off in the gym. Daria stops mid-sentence, not sure exactly what's happening.

Trent: (startled) What the hell?

Suddenly, a large mass of people come running out of the gym. They are screaming and drenched from head to foot. Trent climbs out of the Tank and Daria follows. They walk towards the gym and as they are nearing the large group now assembled outside, Jane runs up to them, also soaking wet. She's laughing and out of breath from running.

Jane: You'll never believe what just happened!


Act I | Act II | Act III | Act IV | Act V | Endnotes