DARIA 2010: DESTINY DEFERRED

by

Robert Nowall

 

 

ONE LINE SUMMARY: Ten years on in her life, Daria wonders why things didnít work out the way she thought they would.

 

 

Iím not one to explain at length what Iíve written. Either it stands on whatís on the printed page (or web page), or it doesnít.

Just remember that this is set in the year 2010, and we havenít seen much of Daria since she was in high school.

 

************************************************************************

 

(Opening credits, episode name: DARIA in DESTINY DEFERRED)

 

 

SCENE 1: LAWNDALE HIGH, MR. DEMARTINOíS CLASSROOM.

(Exterior shot of Lawndale High. The school buildings are unchanged, except that the round library building behind the school is now two stories taller and painted a different color. Some of the trees are bigger. )

CAPTION: LAWNDALE HIGH, SPRING SEMESTER, 2012.

INTERIOR: MR. DeMARTINOíS CLASSROOM.

(The students donít look all that different from the others. There are more leather jackets and a notable absence of body piercing. All the students wear ID tags, though)

(The desks are updated. Now each has a screen/keyboard/mouse combo. All stuff thatís pretty hot stuff right now but in 2012 is obsolete as all hell).

MR. DeMARTINO (hands on head, tone of voice soft)...only two more months to retirement. Keep *saying* it to yourself, Anthony. Only two more months to retirement. (His hair is now completely steel-gray, but heís otherwise unchanged. He even dresses the same). Hang in there, Anthony, you can wait it out. (His attention turns to the class. His voice is its normal intermittent scream). Now! Students! (He looks around, sizing up his class, looking almost disappointed). The breakup of the Democratic convention of 1860 doomed all hope of a united Democratic ticket and led directly into the Civil War. (Looks around again). Can anybody tell me the cause of the breakup of the convention, and the cause of the Civil War? (Looks around, focuses on one student). Harold!

HAROLD: (a large, heavy-set boy wearing a Lawndale football jersey). Um...ah...the Vietnam War?

MR. DeMARTINO: Wrong! Wrong! Wrong century, Harold! (turning around, facing another student). Nadine! Can you *possibly* tell us the cause of the Civil War?

NADINE: (a willowy blond girl with either dark skin or a deep tan). Um...it was a long time ago, right?

MR. DeMARTINO: Aaargh! (His eyeball bulges out at this).

(The rest of the class falls silent, looks uneasily. Mr. DeMartino focuses on another student, a boy wearing a large sweatshirt and headphones. The headphones are plugged into a hole in the computer terminal on his desk. Heís not paying attention at all. He seems to be listening to something from the computer, rather than Mr. DeMartino. Mr. DeMartino slowly sneaks up on him, then quickly reaches over and turns up the volume knob. The student winces and pulls the headphones off, also pulling the plug. The sound becomes audible as the viewpoint focuses in on the screen. A picture appears, of a man in blood-drenched green surgical scrubs, holding a scalpel, grinning madly.)

ANNOUNCER: ---He thought the way to a manís heart was through his stomach. The sinister sloppy surgeon, next on the video feed from "Sick Sad Website." (The familiar logo, altered to say "Website," appears on screen.)

MR. DeMARTINO: Gah! Aah! (He reaches up and pulls at his hair. His right eyeball does its patented bulging schtick. But something goes wrong, as he falls to his knees, hands over his face). Ow! My eye! Yee...arrgh!

(No student rises to help).

 

 

SCENE 2: PRINCIPALíS OFFICE

EXTERIOR SHOT: (Where it once said "Ms. Li" it now says "Ms. Griffin.")

INTERIOR: PRINCIPALíS OFFICE. (Several teachers are crowded about, most standing. There are some familiar faces (to be described on appearance). Sandi Griffin sits behind the desk where Ms. Li used to. Her outfit is similar to that Ms. Li used to wear but more stylish and showing off her figure better.)

SANDI: ...that the budget for this year is tight, and that this trend will continue is obvious to all of us. (Pause). Finally, I have some sad news. I regret to announce that Mr. DeMartino will not be able to return to his class. That he had only a short time before being able to collect a full pension is regrettable but understanding. Those of us who knew him well will miss him.

MS. BARCH: Lousy contract. (Her hairstyle is almost crewcut short and nearly all gray, but otherwise she looks the same...yíknow, harsh.)

SANDI: I must add that recent setbacks in increasing the schoolís revenue will prevent the assignment of a new substitute for the remainder of the school year. We can only afford to reassign. Therefore, one of you must fill in until this matter can be resolved. Ms. Morgendorffer!

(Camera cuts to show Daria. She is dressed similar to her outfit in the fantasy sequence of "Lane Miserables," and is also not wearing her glasses. Her hair is much the same. Her face shows surprise.)

SANDI: As you are the most junior teacher you will fill in.

DARIA: In DeMartinoís history class? But Iím a journalism major.

SANDI: That does not matter, Ms. Morgendorffer. Iíve taken the liberty of inspecting your high school and college records, and am quite confident of your ability to handle Mr. DeMartinoís class. Itís a little more money for you.

MS. BARCH: (under her breath) *Very* little.

DARIA: But Iím already handling other classes as a substitute.

SANDI: Mr. OíNeill will take over your one and two oíclock classes.

(Quick shot of Mr. OíNeill, next to Ms. Barch. He has gone completely bald except for gray sides. He clearly looks less than pleased at this turn of events).

DARIA: But Iím only supposed to be a teacherís aide!

SANDI: *That* does not matter now. I will make the necessary arrangements. You may download a copy of the state-approved course guide at any time. Your have your own key to the Faculty Lounge, I believe. A key to the Faculty Rest Room will be made available to you at a later date.

MACK: (O. S.) But Sandi! (Camera moves to Mack. He looks the same as always, but is dressed in a red jogging suit and baseball cap. Sandi glares at him). Sorry. Ms. Griffin, history was my major.

SANDI: So it may be, but you are here as football coach.

MACK: Iíve got plenty of time on my hands. I could handle it.

DARIA: Look, Iíve only been here two months.

SANDI: (Ignoring Daria). Donít be foolish. Mr. Mackenzie. Your job is to bring *Llanwdale High* (here she pronounces it as Ms. Li would have) a winning football team. Anything else would simply be a diversion of your time and efforts.

DARIA: As a temporary.

MACK: It wouldnít be a drain on my time. Honest.

DARIA: Itíll drain my time. And my life-force.

SANDI: No, Coach Mackenzie, I cannot allow you to neglect your duties as football coach.

MACK: But football season ended in January!

SANDI: (to Mack) No, your time *must* be taken up with the Lions. There is still too much to do for *next* year. Ms. Morgendorffer *will* handle this. Not you.

(Daria looks sour at this).

SANDI: Her youth and inexperience do not matter. Sheís bright and capable. All she needs to do is stick to the state-approved course guide and she will do just fine. She can handle this, just as I have successfully handled being the *youngest* high school principal in the state. I have no doubts about her abilities.

MS. BARCH: DeMartino didnít stick to the course guide.

SANDI: Mr. DeMartino is no longer here.

MR. OíNEILL: But Ms. Griffin, about the extra class, please---

SANDI: (closing a notebook on her desk) Thatís enough. My mind is made up. Ms. Morgendorffer *will* take over Mr. DeMartinoís classes. She will bring the students up to the high academic standards that I intend to bring to Llawndale High*. (She stands up).

DARIA: What are the Vegas odds on that? (Mack smiles at that. Sandi does not react)

 

 

SCENE THREE: LAWNDALE HIGH FACULTY PARKING LOT.

(Mack walks with Daria to her car. We can see now that Daria is still wearing her Doc Martens, a little larger than 6 1/2 B, now.)

MACK: Iím sorry Sandi dumped on you like that.

DARIA: Donít worry about it. Itís not your fault. (Trying to imitate Sandi) When the *youngest* principal in history---

(Mack laughs. Daria smiles at this)

MACK: So you want to go grab some burgers?

(Daria stops in front of a car, a real rustbucket that bears a suspicious resemblance to Tomís car in "Janeís Addition"---only with more rust).

DARIA: No, Iíve got things to do at home. I promised Jane Iíd be there. (Mock suspicious) And donít you have practice with the team? Wouldnít want to let *Llawndale High* down, would we?

MACK: (Shrugs). Okay. Sure. Broadcast your false loyalty to Lawndale, then. Be that way. (More normal) See you, then. Weíre still on for Saturday, right?

DARIA: Iíll...have to let you know.

MACK: Okay, then. And donít let it get you down. (He leans over and plants a kiss on her cheek, then turns and walks off. Daria gets into her car.)

 

 

SCENE FOUR: DARIAíS APARTMENT. THURSDAY AFTERNOON.

(Exterior: Shot of an old brick building in downtown Lawndale. Dariaís car is pulled up in front of the building, next to a sporty Mercedes convertible. The building has a door that has a doorman attached. We hear voices before we see the people attached to them).

JANE (V. O.): Only a couple of months before retirement? Harsh, Daria, very harsh.

DARIA (V. O.): No notes, either. I donít know what he was teaching.

JANE (V. O.): Umm.

DARIA (V. O.): Now Iíve got a full slate of classes...

(Close up on Dariaía face. She has about as much makeup on her face as she did in "Quinn the Brain." Still no glasses.)

DARIA: ...and itís not the history, or even the course load. I just donít know if I *want* to teach.

JANE (O. S.): Whatís wrong with teaching?

DARIA: Nothing. Nothing at all.

JANE (O. S.): *I* like to teach.

DARIA: But I always thought---

JANE (O. S.): ---that your life would be incredibly different than it is?

(Pan back to reveal Daria, dressed from the waist up as "The Mona Lisa," complete with some kind of black lace shawl/dress that covers her head and shoulders. Pan further back to reveal Jane, standing in front of a canvas on a stand, painting Daria as "The Mona Lisa." The painting is only half finished, most of the work having gone into the face, the background only sketched out in pencil. (It does *not* look like the cover of "The Daria Diaries"). Jane is dressed exactly as she was in high school, but the clothes are more paint-flecked and ragged than before. Her earrings are gone, though.)

JANE: Címon, Daria. Everybodyís life is incredibly different than they imagined. *I* expected to be a famous artist. (mock cheerful) But, then, I discovered that the joy was in the painting and fame and fortune didnít matter.

DARIA: *And* you like to teach. Letís not forget that. (Pause) I wish I could have your joy in it, but I wanted fame and fortune too. Or at least the fortune. (Pause, suddenly looks uneasy). Tell me again why Iím doing this?

JANE: (Takes a step back from the canvas to consider it). Youíre a featured player in my "Great Artists of History" homage. Youíre *perfect* as *La Gioconda* (says it with a flamboyant accent).

DARIA: Couldnít you just *imagine* me as her and paint from your damned memory?

JANE: No, that wouldnít work at all. I told my class it had to be from life. (smirks) So life it is!

DARIA: Couldnít you just paint Quinn as Botticelliís Venus, and be done with it?

QUINN (O. S.): Iím not posing for you again, Jane!

(Camera pulls back to reveal Quinn sitting on a couch behind a coffee table nearby, thumbing through "Lawndale Business Week." Sheís wearing an outfit similar to that usually seen on her mother, but with a little more flash and style).

JANE: You didnít pose for me the last time I painted you.

QUINN: Exactly my point!

DARIA: (to Jane) Tell me again why sheís here?

JANE: (sighs). Half the rent, half the apartment. We agreed.

(The pan-out reveals more of the apartment. It is a loft, with big glass windows in the far right wall, revealing a view of Downtown Lawndale. To the left is a stairway and landing against a wall with four doors, two above the landing, two below. Jane has set up her easel and Daria next to the right wall and windows. What little wall that is not windows is hung with Janeís paintings.)

QUINN: Really, Daria, you should remember these things. Do you remember weíre going to visit Mom and Dad together on Sunday?

DARIA: I remember just fine.

QUINN: Just donít forget. Iím not going there alone.

DARIA: *Iíll* be there. See that you come.

QUINN: (sighs) I just canít face another round of: "Your career is nice, but when are we going to get some grandchildren out of you?"

DARIA: And Iím supposed to be immune to that?

QUINN: Nnnno, but it *will* cut my time on the hot plate by half.

DARIA: (to Jane) You want to come, too? Mom and Dad would love to see you.

JANE: Canít. Sunday in the park with David. Skinny-dipping.

QUINN: Wow, your boyfriend sure knows how to throw a party. (She puts her magazine down on the table, then stands up and stands behind Jane as she paints. Ponders it with chin on hand). You know, I just donít think it looks like her without her glasses.

JANE: (fake vaguely Scottish accent) I quite agree, Quinn me lad. (Normal tone)

But she stopped wearing them. (Pause, resumes in suspicious tone) At least, full time.

QUINN: You know, you could just paint them in. Nobody has to know.

JANE: *Iíd* know. (Jane begins to paint again. Quinn remains standing behind her, watching. Several seconds pass). So, Daria, your life bothering you again?

DARIA: (sighs) Hell, yes. When I got out of college, I thought I knew. Writing, publishing, yíknow. The usual route for a journalism major whoís been writing since she was a pre-adolescent. (Pause, sees if Jane will speak, continues when she doesnít). But nothing I wrote ever *got* published. And now Iím teaching at Lawndale High. (sighs again) I just donít know.

(Quinn moves back to the couch and takes up her magazine again)

JANE: So youíre saying your life didnít work out as you planned.

DARIA: I think Iíve been saying that since I got home.

JANE: Home from work or home from college?

QUINN: (Again not looking at either of them) Why limit it? Sheís been saying that all her life.

JANE: But now reality is finally sinking in. Congratulations, Daria, itís only been, what, twenty-seven years now, right?

DARIA: (suddenly disgusted) Thatís it. Iíve had enough. Youíve had enough. Finish the damn painting without me. (She pulls the shawl off her shoulders and shakes her hair loose). Iíve got no time for it now. DeMartino didnít leave any notes behind. *Iíve* got *four* classes to prepare for tomorrow.

JANE: And youíve only been there a month and a half! Congratulations!

QUINN: Maybe youíve found your true calling.

DARIA: Youíre both impossible. (Lowers her head and rubs her eyes). Damn contacts. (Quickly walks up the staircase and disappears into one of the doors)

(Jane and Quinn look at each other, then burst out giggling.)

 

 

SCENE FIVE: GIRLíS REST ROOM, LAWNDALE HIGH, FRIDAY MORNING.

(Four girls, all previously seen sitting in the back of Mr. DeMartinoís class, are sitting around on the floor in a loose circle. They are passing something around hand to hand).

GIRL #1 (KATE) (pale, dark-haired, wearing an oversized sports T-shirt): Poor Mr. DeMartino, tossed out just like that.

GIRL #2 (LYDIA)(dark-skinned bleach-blonde wearing jeans and plain T): Come *on,* Trish, you *know* how he was in class. You *know* what he did.

KATE: Yeah, yeah, but he was so close to retiring. (Pause) And *Iím* Kate!

GIRL #3 (TRISH)(in fact, itís a teenage Trish Gupty, still blonde, dressing something like the Fashion Club used to) *Iím* Trish!

LYDIA: Sure, sure. What do you think of our *new* teacher, whatís Ďer name, Morgen...something?

TRISH: Morgendorffer.

LYDIA: Right. I knew it was something vaguely German. You can tell by her accent. (shudders).

TRISH: You know, she used to baby-sit me and my brother, but I really donít remember her that well.

GIRL #4 (LUCILLE)(a vaguely Eurasian girl, also with blonde hair, another Fashion Club clone): Candy says sheís a hard case when she had her as a substitute in Fifth Period English.

LYDIA: Candy is a moron. (Takes the object being passed around and puts it to her mouth, then puts it down. We canít see what it is). Umm. It doesnít matter who takes over for Mr. DeMartino. I *hate* history class *so* much! (Hands the object to Kate).

(Kate looks at the object in her hand, with distaste. It is a small brownish-green frog).

LYDIA: Well, go ahead.

KATE: (Pause). Yíknow, Trish, I donít know what your brother said, but I just donít think you can *get* high by licking a frog.

LUCILLE: You mean weíve been licking a frog for no reason? (Suddenly panicked). Oh, no!

TRISH: Look, I read the printout myself. Itís a *harmless* high. No side effects, no hangovers. Nothing. (Pause) And he *didnít* say. I found it in his---never mind where I found it. Itís true and thatís that.

KATE: (frowns) Iíll pass. (Hands the frog to Trish, who puts it away in her backpack beside her).

LYDIA: Damnit, itís not about being high, itís about feeling *better*! Canít the rest of you *understand* that? (Pause) Now, about this Old Lady Morgenstern.

TRISH: Morgendorffer.

LYDIA: What- *ever!* I suppose sheíll try to shove a lot of useless facts about this ancient history crap down our throats.

LUCILLE: I hate her already.

KATE: I looked her up. You know she went to Lawndale High ten years ago?

(Gasps from the rest of the group).

KATE: Yeah, most promising student, high grade point average, the works.

LYDIA: Why would someone want to come back to *this* dump? Thereís *got* to be better places to go!

KATE: You would think so. *I* think so.

LUCILLE: You just know sheíll be just another Mister D. Hard ass, bitter at the world for putting her here, taking it out on *us*. Another head case.

KATE: Yeah. (glances at watch on wrist). Isnít it almost time for class? Oh, my God! (gets to her feet).

(The others do likewise, brushing themselves off).

LYDIA: (to Trish). I hold *you* responsible for her.

TRISH: Me? Why me?

LYDIA: She was *your* babysitter!

TRISH: But my brother liked her better! (They exit).

(Out of one of the stalls steps Daria. Her face is a mask of sorrow and shock. She turns to the mirror, brushes a few hairs back into place with her hand, then turns away, and lets out a long sigh.)

END ACT 1

 

 

(commercials)

 

 

ACT 2:

 

 

SCENE 1: INTERIOR, MR. DEMARTINOíS (FORMER) CLASS, FRIDAY MORNING.

(Most students are already seated. The girls seen in the last scene hurry in and take their seats (near the back). Daria enters. She looks over the class, then takes a deep breath and begins to speak, in as cheerful a tone as Daria can ever manage.)

DARIA: Good morning, class. Iím Ms. Morgendorffer. Iíll be taking over for Mr. DeMartino for the day. (Pause. No reaction from the students. Daria takes a deep breath and begins). Now, Iím new here and donít know what youíve been discussing...

(Shot of class, staring at her with the usual blank expressions.)

DARIA: (uneasy, trying to hide it) Can anybody here tell me what subject Mr. DeMartino lectured you on yesterday?

(One student, a blond-haired bodybuilder type, raises his hand. Daria recognizes him, but doesnít look thrilled).

DARIA: Yes! Danny! Can you tell us?

DANNY: Umm...history?

(Giggles from most of the class. Daria looks annoyed for a moment...which passes quickly, replaced by her usual half smile.)

DARIA: Well, with Mr. DeMartino, you canít be sure.

(Bigger laugh from the class. Daria looks pleased).

DARIA: (Sighs). Ah, well. I suppose it doesnít matter what you were studying before. We might as well start with something fresh. Today we will be taking a look back---

(The classroom door flies open, startling Daria and the students. In walks DeMartino. He looks as he did when we last saw him, but now has a bandage wrapped around his head and covering one eye. Daria looks at him in surprise).

DARIA: Mr. DeMartino!

DEMARTINO: *Thank* you, Ms. *Morgendorffer,* for your *assistance.* But Iíve been *able* to *return,* after all. (He steps behind the desk, bends over slightly, to insert a diskette into the appropriate slot on his desk computer. After bringing something up on the screen, he turns to face the class. Daria steps away, looking confused). Now, *yesterday,* we were *discussing*---

(The classroom doors again flies open. Enter Sandi Griffin, followed closely behind by two heavy-set uniformed men. (The uniforms are blue with gold trim. Insignia on these uniforms identifies the men as "Lawndale High School Security." The effect is not at all like the cheerleading uniform.) Sandiís expression is angry and annoyed, that of the two uniform-wearers neutral.)

SANDI: *Mr. DeMartino!* (Pause) *What* are you *doing* here?

(DeMartino turns to face her).

DEMARTINO: (Calmly but stern). Ms. *Griffin*! I am *attempting* to *conduct* my *class,* without outside *interference*! We were in the *middle* of---

SANDI: (angry) Mr. DeMartino, you are no longer in charge of this class! Ms. Morgendorffer has taken over your duties. *You* need rest and relaxation. (Pause). Now, please go with these gentlemen. (Points with thumb behind her. The two men step next to Mr. DeMartino).

DEMARTINO: All right, all right! But you *havenít* heard the *end* of this, Ms. Li, not the *end*!

SANDI: (even angrier) Thatís Ms. *Griffin* to you!

(DeMartino steps away from the desk, then strides out of the room.)

SANDI: (to the two men) See that Mr. DeMartino finds his way to the exit. (Turns to Daria) Carry on, Ms. Morgendorffer. (She exits).

(Daria returns to the desk. She looks down at the now lit-up screen. It is a page of notes, entitled "LESSON PLANS," consisting of notes for class. Daria looks at it, then smiles her "Mona Lisa" smile).

DARIA: (a little livelier---for her). Houston, we have lesson plan. Now, we can get somewhere. It says here you were discussing the beginnings of the Civil War. Itís a good a place as any to start...

 

 

SCENE 2: LAWNDALE HIGH HALLWAY.

(DeMartino walk along. A step behind are the security guards. Sandi catches up to them.)

SANDI: Mr. DeMartino! That was foolish! You know your health will not permit you to continue teaching.

MR. DEMARTINO: (Turns and pleads) But Iíve only got *two* more months to *retirement*!

SANDI: I cannot risk it. If you fall down dead from stress in your class, it will reflect badly on *Llawndale High.*

MR. DEMARTINO: But, Ms. Li---

SANDI: Gah! (Raises hand)

(DeMartino turns and hurries along.)

 

 

SCENE 3: DARIAíS (FORMERLY MR. DEMARTINOíS) CLASSROOM.

DARIA: (leaning on her desk, a little more animated). ...therefore, though both sides were painfully unprepared for the Battle of Bull Run, the defenders, by mere virtue of their defensive status, may have had a slight edge. (Pause). Can anybody tell me what the different sides in the Civil War were called? (Looks sternly at Lydia). What about you, Lydia?

LYDIA: (looks nervous) Um...the Communists and the Capitalists?

DARIA: (mouth twitches, almost to a smile). No, Lydia, youíre thinking of the Cold War. (Pause). Care to try again?

LYDIA: The Nazis?

DARIA: (shakes her head). Not yet. That would be World War Two. Iíll throw it open. Class? Anybody?

(Class stares blankly at her. Daria winces. Itís just like what she went through when she was in school, only now sheís on the receiving end. She looks the class over, not knowing them well enough to know if any of them are bright enough to help her out of this jam. Sighs, gives in).

DARIA: No, class, the names of the opposing sides are the Union and the Confederates. Remember those names, because they will almost certainly be on your next test.

(Groans come up from the class. Daria frowns, then, thinking of something, actually does smile.)

DARIA: I suppose most of you think Iím just here to shove a few useless facts about ancient history crap down your throats. (Pauses, smiles). Is that so, Lydia?

(Lydia gasps, as do the other three girls from the rest room).

DARIA: (smirks) And by the way, you canít get anything from licking a common ordinary frog. Except maybe warts.

(The four girls looked shocked and pale now. Trish Gupty, looking about to be ill, gets up and runs out of the classroom.)

DARIA: Just another useless fact. (Her voice takes on the "lecture" tone she used to speak to Quinn with) Can you remember it? It might be on the test.

(The other three girls join Trish Gupty in running out. The rest of the class looks confused, but there are a few smiles among them.)

DARIA: Well. Now that *that* little business is out of the way, can anybody tell me the name of the battle we just discussed?

 

 

SCENE 4: INTERIOR TEACHERíS LOUNGE.

(Daria sits on a couch on one end, the other spaces being taken up with Mr. OíNeill and Ms. Barch. Other faculty members are sitting here and there. All are eating brown-bag lunches, the reputation of Lawndale High cafeteria food being what it is).

DARIA: (looking her usual neutral somber, while holding a sandwich in her hand) Yes, it felt good to do, but I still donít know if I should have humiliated those girls like that. (Takes a bite, chews, swallows).

MS. BARCH: (smiling) Frog licking? Ha, thatís good, really good.

DARIA: I mean, I feel sorry for them.

MS. BARCH: Daria, Daria, youíve got to realize that those boys in your class are all a bunch of little devils.

(Daria looks at her blankly, then takes another bite from her sandwich).

MS. BARCH: I mean "boys and girls," dear, "boys *and* girls." So, you say Trish Gupty was one of the girls who fell for it?

DARIA: Mmm.

MS. BARCH: Then you must know that her brother Tad almost *certainly* had something to do with it.

DARIA: Yes, I know the Guptys. (sigh) I just donít know if I should be here. I mean, I donít know if I should be teaching.

MS. BARCH: (turns to Mr. OíNeill, whoís been trying to eat) Timmy, help me out, here.

MR. OíNEILL: Um, yes, well. (Puts his own sandwich down on the plate resting precariously on his lap, places his hand together in that half-meditative, half-praying gesture.) I know how trying students can be, Daria, but you canít let them get to you.

DARIA: I know. Itís not that. Iím just not certain that I *should* be doing this.

MR. OíNEILL: I see. How so?

DARIA: I just donít know if I *should* be a teacher.

MS. BARCH: Nonsense, dear, youíre an *excellent* teacher. And only an excellent teacher could have pushed her way through the damage *Anthony* *DeMartino" *left behind" (pounds her fist on her knee with each syllable of the last four words. Mr. OíNeillís sandwich plate wobbles on his lap, but he makes a good save and keeps it even).

MR. OíNEILL: Now, Janet, letís be calm about this. (To Daria) It can be hard. Janet and I have been teaching here for many years now. We both know the problems a teacher, even one as good as you are, can have with students. Many students, after all, are quite difficult to teach. (Looks away, remembering and reminiscing. Pan in on his face as he speaks) I remember one student, oh, years ago now. Sophomore English, I think she started in. A talented writer. Itís true, she did all the work I gave her, and did it well, and I gave her good grades, but it was still an ordeal to teach her. Janet can back me up on this, she had her in her class, too. But this girl, she had the most hard-edged, biting sarcasm Iíve ever--- (turns around a little to face Ms. Barch, but still tight on his face.) You remember her, Janet. Thick glasses, always wore this green jacket---

(Mr. OíNeill stops, rather abruptly remembering who the girl was and realizing what became of her. The camera pulls out to reveal Ms. Barch and Daria looking at him. Ms. Barchís expression is angry. They also know who the girl was.)

MR. OíNEILL: (suddenly red-faced) Oh! Uh...uh...

DARIA: Yes, Mr. OíNeill, that was me. Daria Morgendorffer, sarcastic sophomore.

MR. OíNEILL: Uh...um...well...

DARIA: (a little flushed) Iíve got to get ready for my next class. (acidly) Thank you for your advice. Itís been a big help.

(Daria gets up and leaves, her sandwich still in hand. She tosses it in a garbage can as she walks out. Ms. Barch turns to a still-embarrassed Mr. OíNeill, and takes his sandwich from his plate and grinds it into his face.)

 

 

SCENE 5: INTERIOR LAWNDALE HIGH CORRIDOR.

(Daria is walking along. Suddenly she is approached by Mr. DeMartino.)

MR. DEMARTINO: Ms. Morgendorffer!

(Startled, Daria stops and turns around)

DARIA: Mr. DeMartino?

MR. DEMARTINO: (tone of voice calm, for him) I want to apologize for disrupting your class this morning.

DARIA: Thatís all right. (Reaches into a jacket pocket, pulls out a disk.) I believe this belongs to you.

MR. DEMARTINO: Thank you.

DARIA: I took the liberty of copying it.

MR. DEMARTINO: Thatís all right, too. (Pause) Itís just that it can be *hard,* what with my *retirement* coming up in just *two* months---

DARIA: Should you even be here right now?

MR. DEMARTINO: (Shifts mood to arrogant and triumphant) Hah! Iím not afraid of Ms. *Griffin* and her *jackboot* storm troopers. I know *every* place to hide in Lawndale High. She canít *drive* me off *that* easily---

SANDI (O. S.): Mr. DeMartino!

MR. DEMARTINO: Gah! (Quickly runs away. Sandi passes by, running in the same direction. The security guards follow closely behind her. Daria looks at them, bemused. Mack walks up behind her.)

MACK: Tough day on the farm, Daria?

DARIA: (not looking at him) (sighs) Oh, the patient is doing as well as can be expected. (Looks in the direction Mr. DeMartino and Sandi fled.) As well as can be expected.

MACK: You seem a little down. I mean, more down than usual.

DARIA: (turns to face him, sighs again) Let me level with you, Mack. Iím not really sticking much to the course guide. I mean, Iím getting through to some of the students---I think I am---but unless they pass the state tests---

MACK: Donít worry about it. Youíll be fine. You can do this job.

(Daria gets a sour expression on her face.)

MACK: (more somber) Did I say something wrong?

DARIA: (sighs for a third time in this scene) No, itís just something Iíll have to work out.

(Mack puts his hand on Dariaís shoulder in a sympathy grip.)

MACK: Keep a good attitude till you do then. See Ďya Saturday night.

DARIA: Iíll be in touch if I canít make it.

(Mack turns and walks away, smiling. Daria, not looking at him, stands for a second or two, then walks in the opposite direction.)

 

 

SCENE 6: INTERIOR, DARIAíS CLASSROOM (FORMERLY MR. DEMARTINOíS)

DARIA: (standing in front of her desk) ...and when Germany invaded France in 1914, they were trying to win the war in one quick campaign. But they failed, and because they failed, the world is a very different place today. (Looks out at the class, a different one than the previous one, but all similarly dressed.) That covers the battle. Can anyone tell me why they invaded France in the first place? (Looks around, focuses on one attractive dark-haired girl with glasses.) Rhonda!

RHONDA: Um...they were at war?

(Scattered giggles)

DARIA: (looks heavenward in brief despair, then sighs) No, Rhonda, thatís not what I hand in mind. Thereís a little more to it than that. (Looks around the class again, focuses on one student she is sure will know.) Tad Gupty!

TAD: (now grown-up into the body of a football player...but dresses in a simple T-shirt and jeans.) I know what Barbara Tuchmann wrote in "The Guns of August." It was set off by a tangle of alliances. Austria had just---

(The bell rings. The students begin to rise. Daria raises her hands in a "Halt!" gesture.)

DARIA: Class! A moment! I know Mr. DeMartino assigned a paper on world events leading up to 1914 that was due today--- (collective groan from the class. Daria smirks.) ---but, given the recent disruption to this class, Iím giving you the weekend to work on it. Go! (Class gets up and files out.) Tad! I want to talk to you.

(The class files out and Tad remains, standing)

DARIA: I need to ask you something, Tad.

TAD: Yes, Dar...yes, Ms. Morgendorffer?

DARIA: You can go on calling me Daria if you want. I wanted to talk to you about your sister.

TAD: (suspicious) What about my sister?

DARIA: Did you tell her she could get a cheap high by licking frogs?

TAD: (still suspicious) And if I did?

DARIA: And if you did it will go no farther than me. The audio link on the security monitors has gone down and itís video only.

TAD: (relaxing a little). I did not tell her that. I simply left some printout lying around in my wastebasket that told her that.

DARIA: With some strategic omissions, no doubt.

TAD: No doubt. (Grins.) I had to do something, Daria. I heard her tell her friends I was her cousin again. I think she picked it up from your sister.

DARIA: Boy, *that* brings back a lot of memories. (Pause.) Well, she knows now. I overheard her and tipped her off. Itís over now.

TAD: (frowns deeply) Damn! But I was *months* in setting it up! It wasnít easy, getting her to root around in my wastebasket after I put those printouts in it---

DARIA: Itís too late, Tad. Youíll just have to think of some new way to torment your sister. (Pause) And it wonít last forever. Believe me. (Pause again) Go, Tad. Go now. Youíve got another class. So have I. *And* youíve got a lot of thinking to do.

TAD: (Looks her over, then grins, more broadly than before.) Thanks, Daria! (Mock salutes her, then turns and leaves. Daria shakes her head and turns her attention to the monitor screen on her desk.)

 

.

SCENE 7: INTERIOR PRINCIPALíS OFFICE.

(The same crowd of teachers as before are here.)

SANDI: ...and I have since escorted Mr. DeMartino from the building. He will *not* return. (Pause) Thatís all I have for today.

(The teachers, Daria included, rise and start to leave.)

SANDI: Ms. Morgendorffer! If I might have a word with you.

DARIA: (stops, turns) Ms. Griffin.

(The other teachers leave and the two are alone.)

SANDI: Iíve been monitoring your performance all day.

(Daria looks up at a video screen mounted on the wall.)

DARIA: (mutters) Thank you, Angela Li. (aloud) Any problems?

SANDI: No, I think youíve done an excellent job so far. It *is* difficult to take over a class in mid-semester, *especially* when that class was Mr. DeMartinoís. (chuckles to herself. Daria does not. Sandi ignores that and continues) It *is* difficult to make a proper assessment without a proper audio feed, but I could clearly see the students responding to you.

DARIA: (sarcastically) Thank you, Ms. Griffin, I tried my best.

SANDI: (sarcasm going right over her head). You did more than that. (Holds up one hand.) Let me cut this short. I know this assignment was only temporary. I want to tell you that if you want this teaching position permanently, itís yours.

DARIA: (jerking a little at Sandiís words.) Oh! Um, well...thank you?

SANDI: Thatís all right. (Turns back to papers on her desk, then looks up.) Oh, if you see your cousin Quinn anytime soon, tell her I said, "Hi!" (Turns back to her papers for good.)

(Daria turns to leave, and the camera focuses on her face. Dariaís expression has again resumed that "mask of sorrow and shock" that was on it at the end of Act 1)

 

 

END ACT 2

(commercials)

ACT 3:

 

 

SCENE 1: DARIAíS BEDROOM. SATURDAY MORNING.

(The bedroom is plain and furnished modestly; itís smaller than her room at the Morgendorffer homestead. An open door leads to the bathroom, a closed door leads to a closet, another closed door leads to the outside apartment. Thereís a desk with a computer upon it, a dresser with the heart and cheese models on it, a bed, and a small table next to the bed with Dariaís glasses and an alarm clock that says "6:59" upon it. There are no padded walls here. Daria is on the bed, tossing and turning in her usual nightmare mode.)

 

 

SCENE 2: DARIAíS NIGHTMARE.

(Daria is back in class, standing before the desk. Now the class looks as it did when she was in high school. Sheís trying to speak, but her mouth just hangs open.)

(P. O. V. spins around to a view of the students. Theyíre all Dariaís old high school classmates. They all look angry. When not speaking loudly enough to understand, theyíre muttering angrily.)

BRITTANY: Youíve become a teacher, Daria!

KEVIN: Like, man, youíve sold out.

ANDREA: You shouldnít even be here.

UPCHUCK: Youíre the very thing you used to make fun of.

(Camera swings back to Daria, who looks older than before. Camera swings back to the students in a 360 degree circle.)

JODIE: You were such a good writer.

MACK: What have you written lately?

JANE: Youíve lost it, pal.

(Close up in on one student. Itís Daria, as she was in high school, green jacket and glasses and boots (Oh My!))

DARIA (HIGH SCHOOL): I never expected to wind up here again!

(Camera swings around again, faster. Daria (Teacher) is now older, grayer. Camera swings back on class. Every student is Daria (High School) now. Camera swings back to Daria (Teacher.) Sheís become very old.)

 

 

SCENE 3: DARIAíS BEDROOM/BATHROOM.

(Dariaís bedroom. The alarm buzzes and she sits bolt upright, face with the usual expression of terror. She grabs her glasses and runs to the bathroom. There she looks deeply into her face in the mirror, relaxes a little, then slips her glasses on. The glasses are the same size as those she wore in high school. She steps away from the mirror, then turns back and reaches for her contacts. These she puts in.)

DARIA: Ow!

 

 

SCENE 4: INTERIOR, FANCY RESTAURANT (NOT CHEZ PIERRE).

(Pan in on a table, past other diners. Daria, Mack, Jane, and an unfamiliar man (Janeís date) sit at the table, food before them. Mack and the man wear suits and ties and Daria and Jane are dressed to kill (or at least wound.))

MACK: So you dreamed of high school again. Thereís nothing odd about that. *I* dream of high school...back in the days before my knee popped and my football playing days were over.

JANE: How is the old knee, Mack?

MACK: Fine, just fine. Iím trying not to be bitter. (Turns back to Daria.) But we were talking about you, my dear.

DARIA: Thank you for remembering, darling. (Pause) It all adds up to one thing. I just donít know if I want to be a teacher.

MAN: (Heís relatively short, and about their age despite salt-and-pepper hair and beard. Heís holding Janeís hand.) Daria, Iíve only known you for a few months, but youíve been on this since you went to work at Lawndale High.

JANE: And if you think what youíve seen is obsessive, David, you should live with her.

DAVID: Someday, soon, perhaps. (Squeezes Janeís hand.) But Iíve noticed a few things. You wear contacts, Daria, donít you?

DARIA: Um, yes, yes I do.

DAVID: But when I first met you, you wore glasses. I havenít seen you wear your glasses since you started teaching.

MACK: Thatís right! You said your contacts irritated your eyes! You hardly ever wore them!

JANE: (really enthusiastic) Yeah! Thatís right! I havenít even *seen* her wear her glasses since she went back to (pause, makes dramatic gesture, speaks in Ms. Liís tone of voice.) *Llawndale High* (Pause, voice returns to normal) Aw, sheís just sensitive about her appearance in front of her students.

DARIA: I--- (realizing thereís no rational explanation for it, buries her face in her hands.) Oh, God!

JANE: Cheer up, Daria, thereís always laser surgery.

DARIA: (Raises her head.) Thanks, everybody. Itís always good to know who I can count on for these little life observations.

MACK: (grinning) Iím sorry, Daria. But itís not the teaching thing thatís bothering you.

DARIA: No. (Pause) I thought when I got out of college I would write. I *did* write. But I couldnít get published. I couldnít get a job on a newspaper. I came back here and moved in with Jane and Quinn, and worked in that (pause, speaks the next words with venom) fast food restaurant (voice returns to normal) for six months.

DAVID: And then you got the substitute teacher gig.

DARIA: Well, it paid better. And I didnít have to work with hot grease. (Pause) But now Iím looking at doing it full time, permanently. (Pause) Iím just afraid Iím abandoning my dreams.

(Silence falls on the table for a minute, as the other three pick at their food. Daria just stares at it. Finally, Jane breaks the silence.)

JANE: So your life didnít work out the way you planned. So what? Whose life does? (Looks at the others.) How many here had other plans for their lives? Letís have a show of hands?

(Jane, David, and Mack raise their hands. Slowly, weakly, Daria does the same.)

JANE: And how many here besides Daria are bitter about it?

MACK: Well, a little. (smiles). But I donít let it get to me.

DARIA: Youíre not bitter about signing with that football college instead of that Ivy League school?

MACK: Well, only a little. (Pause) And Iím not bitter about busting my knee and not playing pro ball, and Iím not bitter about returning to Lawndale High to coach a bunch of Kevin Thompsons to the state championship. (Suddenly intensely serious). All right, all right, Iím bitter about it. Happy?

(Daria puts her hand on Mackís)

DARIA: Iím sorry, Mack, really I am. (Smiles a little at him. Mack relaxes a little.) Iím sorry I brought up my problems like this.

JANE: Hey, you two, you think youíre the only ones here whoís entitled to be bitter. I wanted to be a famous artist, but here I am teaching grade school elementary art classes and squeezing in a little painting on the side.

DARIA: You said you liked teaching.

JANE: (some frustration) I *do,* but itís different from what I wanted to do with my life. Iím just saying.

DARIA: You *also* said the joy was in the painting.

JANE: Did I? (frowns) Well, I might have, but I wanted the money, too.

DAVID: Hah! You three think youíve got a monopoly on fallen dreams. I was going to be the next Eric Clapton, but I couldnít cut it and wound up running a (pause) *thriving* auto parts dealership.

JANE: You used to play the guitar? (Smirks) I should keep you away from Daria. She has a thing for failing musicians.

DARIA: Jane!

(The others laugh softly. Daria smiles weakly.)

 

 

SCENE 5: A SIDEWALK SOMEWHERE IN DOWNTOWN LAWNDALE.

(Mack is walking Daria home. Jane and David are nowhere to be seen. Itís a clear, moonlit night. They are somewhere in the downtown area.

(Also we can see that Dariaís footwear is now something more elegant and only ankle high in leather with a little lift in the heel.)

DARIA: Iím sorry I dumped on you like that, Mack. I really am.

MACK: Thatís all right. What are friends for, if you canít dump on them? (Pause) Besides, I exaggerated. Thereís nothing wrong with my life...or your life, either, Daria.

(By this point, they are standing in front of Dariaís building)

MACK: You doing anything Sunday?

DARIA: (shakes her head). Sorry, but Iím scaling the heights of Fortress Morgendorffer with Quinn tomorrow. Iíll be busy all day.

MACK: I could come.

DARIA: (Intensely serious) No!

MACK: All right then. Iíll find something to do. See Ďya Monday! (Leans over and gives her a quick peck on the cheek, then walks off, smiling. Daria watches him, smiling, until he turns the corner.)

(Quinn emerges from the shadows of the door.)

QUINN: Daria!

DARIA: Aaaaah! (Jumps, spins around.) *Donít* sneak up on me like that, Quinn.

(Quinn laughs at her, and Daria looks her over. Sheís, like Daria, dressed to kill. But the effect is more stunning on Quinn, as is usual in Dariaís life.)

DARIA: So, where are you going so late, young lady?

QUINN: (mock frustrated) *Muh-om!* (smiles) Iím just back. Business date, with a *very* important client. (sighs) But it ended early, so Jamie and I are going out dancing.

DARIA: Really burning your candle at both ends, right, sis?

QUINN: While I can, Daria, while I can.

(A moderately-priced car pulls up and its horn honks twice.)

QUINN: There he is now, Daria! Bye! (Waves at her as she sprints to the car.)

DARIA: (shouts, holds one hand to her mouth) Just remember, Quinn! Weíre going to check up on Mom and Dad tomorrow! Iím not doing that alone!

(Quinn climbs into the car on the passenger side and makes a "Donít bother me" downward stroke with her arm. Once the door closes the horn honks again, twice, and the car rolls off. Daria watches for a moment.)

 

 

SCENE 6A: MORGENDORFFER HOUSE. SUNDAY MORNING.

(Exterior shot of the house. The trees are taller but the rest of the house looks the same.)

(Interior, Morgendorffer kitchen. It looks much the same as weíve always seen it. But the rubber plant in the corner is twice as large, and the clock on the wall has been replaced by a digital model...that flashes "12:00" over and over.)

(Helen enters. Sheís older, but her hair is still the same shade (dye-job?) and shape. Sheís dressed casually in T-shirt and jeans. She putters about the kitchen.)

HELEN: (shouting) Jake! Come down here, now!

JAKE: (O. S.) Just got to find my apron, honey!

HELEN: Oh, for Godís sake, itís down here in the kitchen!

JAKE: (O. S.) Right-o!

HELEN: (muttering) Honestly, that man can be the *most* annoying person on the face of the earth sometimes---

(Jake comes in. Heís grayer and grizzled now, a little thinner. He grabs a red apron from the counter and puts it on. It says "Retired" in white lettering across it. His expression indicated he heard what Helen said.)

JAKE: Iíll get dinner started.

HELEN: (relaxing a little) Iím sorry to be so high strung about this, Jakie, but itís just that we so rarely see the girls anymore.

(A car can be heard pulling up outside, but Jake and Helen donít hear.)

JAKE: I *know,* Helen, but I just want it to be right, too. I love our girls---

 

 

SCENE 6B: EXTERIOR MORGENDORFFER HOUSE.

(Dariaís rustbucket is parked out front. Daria and Quinn walk up the sidewalk to the door. Theyíre dressed casually.)

QUINN: Thanks for the ride, but...donít you think you should do something about that, that...

DARIA: (smirking) Hey! It got us here. *Your* car didnít start. (Pause) Remember, *Iíll* tell them about my job offer. *You* keep quiet about it.

 

 

SCENE 6C: INTERIOR MORGENDORFFER HOUSE.

HELEN: Jake, I *know* we should talk more---

(As Helen speaks, the front door can be heard opening.)

JAKE: Thatís all right, Helen! We all---

DARIA: (O. S.) Mom! Dad! Weíre here!

JAKE: (brightening a little) Theyíre early!

(Daria and Quinn, come into the kitchen. Helen hugs Quinn, who reciprocates the hug, and Daria, who, a little uneasily, does the same. We see here that Daria has grown since high school and is now the same height as her mother. Quinn is a little taller, thanks to the lifts in her sandals.)

HELEN: Girls! Itís so *good* to see you again!

JAKE: Hey, girls, yeah, it is, it really is! (To Daria) Hey, kiddo, how are things with you? (Looks closely at her face) And no *glasses*! Hey!

(Daria looks intensely uncomfortable.)

HELEN: Why no glasses, dear?

DARIA: Um...no reason?

QUINN: Sheís been wearing her contacts since she started teaching. (Hesitates, then explodes) Sheís teaching full-time now!

(Helen and Jake look at Daria. Daria glares daggers at Quinn. Quinn smirks, a little uneasily.)

 

 

SCENE 7: MORGENDORFFER LIVING ROOM, LATER.

(The living room looks much the same. Most notable is a portrait of all four Morgendorffers against one wall. (Obviously the work of one Jane Lane, artiste extrodinaire.) Daria, Quinn, Helen and Jake are seated on the couch, holding cups of coffee.)

HELEN: So, if all goes well, in another five years I should be able to retire. Of course I donít know if I *will,* but itís nice to have the option to do so. (Jake looks uneasy at this, but a glance from Helen makes him put on a happier face. Turns back to Quinn and Daria.) Of course itís not like I have children or, (sigh), *grandchildren* to fill the time.

QUINN: People of your generation retire later now.

DARIA: Might leave more Social Security for us.

JAKE: Yíknow, Quinn, when you got your M. B. A. it was the proudest moment of my life. (Daria frowns at this). But then, you took over Morgendorffer Consulting when I retired and now I *couldnít* be prouder of you than I am now. (Quinn smiles broadly.)

HELEN: Of course, dear, weíre proud of *both* of our daughters. (Pause, then a little harder edge to her voice.) *Arenít* we, Jake?

JAKE: Oh, of course, of course we are. (Turning to Daria.) Now whatís this about full-time teaching?

DARIA: Thereís nothing much to tell. Mr. DeMartino had to leave earlier this week and I took over his classes.

HELEN: Thatís wonderful, dear, promotion to full-time teaching.

(Quinn is about to speak, but stops when Daria glares at her.)

DARIA: Itís not, not yet, but Sandi Griffin offered it to me for next year.

HELEN: (ill-concealed contempt) Yes. Sandi Griffin. The stateís youngest high school principal. When you know a Senator, anythingís possible. (suddenly cheery) Itís still a wonderful opportunity. (Suddenly a little more serious.) But you seem unhappy about it.

DARIA: I just donít know if I want to do this with my life, thatís all.

QUINN: Oh, Mom, sheís been grumbling like this since she started teaching. She goes on and on about it.

HELEN: Daria, youíre not thinking of quitting. (Pause, continues when Daria doesnít answer.) I mean, unemployment is at a twenty-year high, and finding a job as good as teaching at Lawndale High wonít be easy---

DARIA: Itís not *that*! (Pause) I know what state the economyís in. I read the news sites.

(Helen looks deeply, and silently, at Daria.)

HELEN: Youíre not worried about being able to do it, are you? (Pause) Daria, youíre a smart girl and you can handle this. (Pause again) When I think of some of the *boneheads* who were there when *you* went to school---

DARIA: I *can* handle it. Iíve got no problem with that.

HELEN: Then what could it be?

DARIA: (sighs) My life is turning out a lot different than I expected.

JAKE: (grimly, as at the beginning of a typical rant about his childhood) Oh, how I know how *that* feels! I remember the time when I wanted to take tennis lessons. I had one lesson! (More forceful) The instructor said I had *talent*! But my father told me tennis was for sissies, and the next thing I knew I was off to *Buxton* *Ridge* *Military* *Academyl* (pounds his fist on the coffee table with each word) before I could take Lesson Two! (Stands, shakes his fist at the ceiling, shouting now.) Hear that old man? I wanted tennis lessons!

HELEN: Jake! Heart!

JAKE: Oh. (grins, sits down again, the rant forgotten.) Never mind. Daria, what your mother means is that we worry about you.

DARIA: Worry?

HELEN: Yes, dear. Youíve always had your pre-conceived notions about how things should be. When things donít quite work out the way you want them to, you mope about it. (Pause). Daria. Donít let your old plans ruin your life. You have so much to look forward to.

DARIA: But Iím just saying I wanted to write, not teach. I wanted to make a living at writing, not to just do it as a hobby. (Pause) An unpaid hobby.

HELEN: You know, Daria, thereís nothing stopping you from writing and teaching together. What have you been writing lately?

(Daria opens her mouth to speak, then closes it and frowns.)

QUINN: (suddenly excited) Oh! Thatís right! I donít think sheís done any writing since she started teaching! I never realized it till now!

DARIA: I---

HELEN: Daria, youíre a good writer, whether or not you can make a living from it. Donít ever forget that.

DARIA: Mom, you have to say that. Youíre my mother.

HELEN: But I mean it. And just because you havenít had any success so far doesnít mean you wonít later. Thereís no guide to the future. You just have to keep trying.

QUINN: And then youíve at least had the fun of doing it. (Helen and Jake look at her, their expressions showing their surprise and shock) Er, thatís what Jane says, anyway.

HELEN: (To Daria) You donít have a guide to the future, Daria. Nobody does.

DARIA: (Long pause) Thanks, Mom. This has actually been helpful.

JAKE: (smiling) Weíre here for you, kiddo.

HELEN: Yes, dear. Just remember weíre proud of you, whatever you do. (Pause) So how is Mack?

DARIA: (blushing a little, uneasy at this turn of conversation) Oh, Mackís fine. Heís still coach.

QUINN: They went out on a date last night!

DARIA: (frowns a little, then relaxes) You know, Quinn went out dancing with Jamie last night.

QUINN: Oh, Daria, Jamie *works* for me! Itís nothing serious!

HELEN: (Turning to Quinn). Now, Quinn, your father and I are *very* happy for you, too. But when are you going to settle down and give us grandchildren?

QUINN: I will, Mom, I will. But I have to meet the right man first!

HELEN: You know your biological clock wonít stay wound up forever, Quinn.

QUINN: Muh-om!

(The argument spins around this now. Daria sits in the middle of it, silent, with her "Mona Lisa" smile on it.)

 

 

SCENE 8: LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL, INTERIOR HALLWAY.

(Daria and Mack walk along.)

MACK: So your mother was actually helpful to you.

DARIA: My family never did hit full disfunction, thank you.

MACK: (pause) So, what are you writing now, if thatís not prying.

DARIA: It is, and Iím working on a true-life account of a bitterly-disillusioned brand-new teacher.

MACK: Is it autobiographical?

DARIA: I havenít decided yet.

(Mr. DeMartino comes up. The bandage over his head has been replaced by an eye patch. He seems pleased with himself.)

DEMARTINO: Congratulate me, Mr. Mackenzie, Ms. Morgendorffer.

MACK: Congratulations. What am I congratulating you for?

DARIA: Should you even be here? Last I saw Sandi Griffin was chasing you from the building.

DEMARTINO: Thatís all in the past now. Youíre looking at the new Assistant Librarian.

MACK: ...And?

DEMARTINO: And, Mr. Mackenzie, I continue on staff at Lawndale High, and retire at the end of the term! (grinning, a frightening thing to see) I was able to work out all the details over the weekend. All I have to do is stay out of Ms. Griffinís way.

SANDI (O. S.): Mr. DeMartino!

DEMARTINO: Gah! (Runs down the corridor. After a moment, Sandi Griffin runs by, after him.)

DARIA: So allís well in his world.

MACK: Yeah, but I imagine Sandi will have something to say to him before he retires.

(Trish Gupty walks by, alone, without her frog-licking companions. Daria looks after her, then turns back to Mack.)

DARIA: Catch up with you later, Mack. Iíve got something to do.

MACK: Right. See Ďya. (Waves as he walks off.)

(Daria catches up with Trish. Trish look at her uneasily.)

DARIA: Trish, I just want to tell you not to worry about being overheard by the spy system here. The sound wires are still ripped out. Nobody but me knows about what you did in there but me.

TRISH: (still uneasy) Yes, Ms. Morgendorffer. Um, how did you hear?

DARIA: Letís just say I havenít gotten my key to the Faculty Rest Room yet. (Pause) Just remember, when youíre holding a meeting in a public restroom, always check the stalls to see if theyíre occupied.

TRISH: (a little more relaxed) Thank you, Ms. Morgendorffer.

DARIA: So when you and your group plot revenge against your brother, just remember to look before you talk.

TRISH: (relaxing even more, then smiling. Speaks in a hush.) Oh, Daria, thatís already set. Youíll hear about it soon enough. (Smiles at her, waves, then walks off).

(Daria watches her walk, then reaches into an inside jacket pocket and pulls out a pair of glasses and puts them on. She smiles.)

 

 

SCENE 9: INTERIOR DARIAíS / JANEíS / QUINNíS APARTMENT.

(Pan across the doors off the stairway. Focus in on Dariaís door. We can hear the sound of fingers clicking across a keyboard. Pan down to the easel where Janeís "Mona Lisa" painting of Daria is still set up. The painting now has Daria in her glasses.)

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If anybody has any questions, comments, whatever, for the time being I can be reached at: RobtNowall@aol.com

Or you could post them wherever the Outpost Daria crowd is posting.

DISCLAIMER: "Daria" and the characters and settings from it are the copyrighted property of MTV Networks / Viacom International. Their particular use in this parody is copyright (c) 2000 by Robert Nowall and is not intended to profit the author, and may not be distributed without permission of the author. (That means please donít post or ciruclate this without getting in touch with me first.)

This work was written from 5/13/00 to 8/2/00.