THE STRANGE LOVES OF ANTHONY DEMARTINO

by

Robert Nowall

 

 

 

ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: Another year has gone by at Lawndale High, and saying goodbye proves particularly hard for one of the teachers and one of the students...

 

(Note: This takes place the year after "Is It College Yet?," but at about the same time of year.)

 

 

(opening credits)

 

 

ACT ONE:

 

 

SCENE 1: LAWNDALE HIGH, AUDITORIUM.

(Opening shot of Lawndale High. Students file in the entrance.

(Cut to corridor. A neatly-printed sign on the door says: STUDENT BODY MEETING, AUDITORIUM, 9:00 TODAY. Some half-wit student or teacher has scribbled below that, IF I SAID YOU HAD A BEAUTIFUL BODY WOULD YOU HOLD IT AGAINST ME?

(Cut to interior auditorium. Looking down across the crowd, we see that Principal Angela Li is at the podium speaking. Teachers DeMartino, OíNeill, and Bennett, School Psychologist Manson, and Coach Gibson are sitting in chairs behind her.

LI: (tapping microphone, which is live) Is this thing on? Damn sound system. ( Li speaks more officiously) Students! I am honored to inform you, that we will be having two special guests visiting *Llawndale High* later today. Our school district Superintendent Cartwright will be here, and accompanying him will be Mr. Ecks, who will be deciding whether I---er, whether *Llawndale High* is worthy to receive a substantial grant. (Grunt-giggle.) Now, students, teachers, Iím asking you to be on your best behavior today. I---the school---will be better off for it. (Pause) Now show a little school spirit and behave yourselves!

(Cut to Ms. Morris, sitting in the audience. (We see some familiar students sitting directly behind her.) Morris raises her fist to her mouth and coughs---very loudly.)

LI: Oh, yes, yes, the cheerleaders. The cheerleaders from Great Prairie State University will be visiting this afternoon. A special demonstration of their skills will be put on in the afternoon for those who wish to volunteer to attend. (Glares at audience.)

(Cut to wide-angle shot of audience. No one speaks. Sound of a cricket can be heard.)

LI: Yes, well, then---

(Ms. Morris coughs again, out of the shot.)

LI: Oh, yes. Some of you may remember some of the Great Prairie State cheerleaders from when they attended *Llawndale High* last year. Yes, our prize-winning former cheerleader, er, (looks down at notes on the podium, then looks up) Brittany Taylor, will be among them.

(Cut to audience, close-up on Kevin. Heís still wearing his football jersey and equipment and padding. Heís sitting near some other members of the football team (who are all dressed like normal teenage human beings.))

KEVIN: Brittanyís coming? All right!

(Cut back to Li.)

LI: So if thereís nothing further... (glances down at her notes.) Oh, yes. Ms. Barch will be out for a few days. Thatís all. Dismissed! Go to class! And please remember to act normally and behave yourselves!

(Cut to the audience and Kevin, who start to stand up. One of the football players moves as if to speak to Kevin, but Kevin speaks first.)

KEVIN: Canít talk. Brittanyís coming!

 

 

SCENE 2A: LAWNDALE HIGH, FOOTBALL FIELD.

(Opening shot of players running around here and there on the field running through a few plays. Even if football season is now long past, they still need to keep in shape.

(Closeup on a group of players. Theyíre all in uniform. The Three Js have been talking to Kevin, but we come in, unfortunately for us, just as Kevin speaks.)

KEVIN: Canít talk now, guys. Brittanyís back in town.

(Kevin runs off, leaving the Three Js more confused than usual.)

 

 

SCENE 2B: LAWNDALE HIGH, CORRIDOR.

(Kevin is talking with a group of cheerleaders---not the familiar ones we all know. Again, he speaks.)

KEVIN: Canít think about that. Brittanyís back in town.

(He runs off again. The cheerleaders look as confused and vacant as the Three Js.)

 

 

SCENE 3A: LAWNDALE HIGH, CLASSROOM.

(Closeup on Kevin, sitting at a classroom desk.)

KEVIN: Canít think about that. Brittanyís back in town.

(Pan back to reveal that Mr. DeMartino is the teacher here.)

DEMARTINO: And, pray tell, just *why* canít you think about world *history* today?

KEVIN: ĎCause Brittanyís back in town. (Grins more foolishly than normal.) I havenít seen her since last summer.

(The shots around the classroom show that Kevin is sitting among the class previously junior to him. We see the Three Js, and all the former Fashion Clubbers, at their desks.)

DEMARTINO: Well, *Kevin,* let me put it *to* you *this* way. Do you *want* to spend *another* year sitting in that desk?

KEVIN: Aw, no, man! I canít do that! Iím the QB! Iíve got games to play in.

DEMARTINO: Kevin. *Try* to work with me on this. We were *discussing* World War *Two.*

KEVIN: Uh...yeah, the one that was the one that was twice as big as World War One!

DEMARTINO: (Starts to get angry, then realizes Kevin is fairly close to the facts.) Very *good,* Kevin. Maybe you *wonít* be here next year, after all.

KEVIN: Hey, no, man. My father says that I gotta stay here till I graduate.

DEMARTINO: But youíve got to---

KEVIN: Either way, Iíve gotta to see Brittany first. (Grins) Man, I havenít seen her since I forget when.

JOEY: Uh, Kevin, it was last year, at that party, when she dumped you...

KEVIN: (angry) Hey! She did not *dump* me!

JEFFY: But I remember she said---

DEMARTINO: (really angry) Knock it off!

(At this, the entire class cringes.)

DEMARTINO: (really on a rip, now) Oh, to think I have *spent* my *life* here, trying to *pour* knowledge into the *uncaring* and *unabsorbant* minds of Lawndale! I could have gone to sea, I could have done *something* with my life besides waste it here!

 

 

SCENE 3B: LAWNDALE HIGH, CORRIDOR.

(Angela Li walks along, followed by Superintendent CARTWRIGHT from "Fizz Ed," and Mr. Ecks, another older man in a business suit.)

LI: We at *Llawndale High* work hard, but our budget for even the barest necessities runs *very* low.

ECKS: And you believe a large grant would tide you over. (Pause) We at the Morrison Trust Foundation are always looking for deserving schools that need funding to carry over until their budget crises are resolved.

CARTWRIGHT: Our schools are well-funded, Mr. Ecks.

ECKS: Really? (Pulls out a small notebook from his pocket, thumbs through it, then thumps one page.) Ah. I see that a couple of years ago, this school spent a substantial sum on a polygraph machine, that had been allocated for roofing repairs.

LI: As a security measure---

CARTWRIGHT: (To Li) Shh! (Pause, as Li shuts up.) We have never had a serious problem at any high school in our district, Mr. Ecks.

ECKS: Security is not an issue. The Morrison Trust Foundation funds are handed out solely for educational purposes, not self-aggrandizing activities.

CARTWRIGHT: (Glares at Li.) I do admit that management of our schools occasionally leaves much to be desired.

LI: Mr. Ecks, we at *Llawndale High* have many and numerous, er, expenses. For example, we have a loyal and long-serving staff of teachers. Many of them have been with us for years. It costs money to keep them here.

ECKS: Money that you could get from our substantial grants?

LI: Mr. Ecks, it is not easy to attract and keep a high quality level of staff in these times.

ECKS: Yes, I see. But how is your school any different from any other?

LI: Sir, many who work here have often passed up lucrative job offers in the private sector, solely for the honor and privilege of teaching the bright young minds who pass through these halls. But love of teaching can only extend so far. We---

(They stop outside a closed classroom door. Ms. Li puts her hand on the doorknob.)

LI: Ah, but let me show you one of our most dedicated teachers at work for ourselves. I think youíll be pleasantly surprised.

(Ms. Li opens the door.)

 

 

SCENE 3C: LAWNDALE HIGH, CLASSROOM.

(It is, of course, Mr. DeMartinoís classroom that they enter. He is still in full rant, leaning against Kevinís desk, his back to the new arrivals.)

DEMARTINO: Youíre *all* a bunch of self-centered *idiots* with *brains* like *sieves*! I canít *take* any more! If I have to spend *one* more *year,* teaching all of you---

KEVIN: Hey! Youíre graduating, too?

DEMARTINO: Gaahhh! Gaahhh! (Leans on Kevinís desk, and yells right in his face, a regular Sam Kinnison performance.) Gaahhh!

LI: Mr. Demartino! What is the meaning of this?

DEMARTINO: Ms. Li? (Stands up and turns to face her. Calms down considerably in the process.) I was just, ah, *lecturing* my students.

MR. ECKS: I find this most disturbing, Superintendent. Most disturbing. (Hurries out of the room.)

CARTWRIGHT: Well, Angela, youíve certainly done it again. Mr. Ecks! Wait up! (Hurries out of the room after Mr. Ecks.)

DEMARTINO: Eh...Ms. Li, I---

LI: (Coldly, but hard.) Mr. DeMartino! My office, after class! (She leaves.)

(DeMartino stands in front of his class, looking a little embarrassed.)

 

 

SCENE 4: LAWNDALE HIGH, MS. LIíS OFFICE.

(Shot of Ms. Liís door.)

LI: What *is* it with you, Mr. DeMartino?

DEMARTINO: Ms. Li, I---

LI: Quiet! I *try* to show some visiting dignitaries how well our school is run. And when I get to *your* classroom, all my work is undone!

DEMARTINO: But I---

LI: Quiet! Is it so hard for you, Mr. DeMartino, to lecture your class without screaming at the top of your lungs? (Pause.) Well?

DEMARTINO: But I---

LI: Oh, never mind! Just *try* to control yourself for the rest of the day. Treat your students with *respect.*

DEMARTINO: But, Ms. Li, if you ever had to work with what Iíve had to---

LI: Nonsense! I never hear of Ms. Barch or Mr. OíNeill or Ms. DeFoe bellowing at their students...students which, if I am not mistaken, are the same students *you* teach.

DEMARTINO: But I---

LI: Let me put it this way. I will not tolerate any further disruption of the visit of Superintendent Cartwright and Mr. Ecks to our school. Do I make myself clear?

(Cut to Mr. DeMartino, looking dejected.)

 

 

SCENE 5: LAWNDALE HIGH, CORRIDOR.

(Ms. Li leads Superintendent Cartwright and Mr. Ecks along again. Some students pass in the halls.)

LI: We all have bad days, Mr. Ecks. I assure you, as a teacher, Mr. DeMartino is...very committed.

ECKS: Perhaps he should be.

LI: It would be a shame, Mr. Ecks, to lose a teacher of his quality. (Allows a brief look of obviously fake longing and regret pass over her face before becoming "all business" again.)

ECKS: We can discuss this later. Now, letís talk grades. The Morrison Trust Foundation is interested in supporting schools whose students perform well academically. I understand Lawndale High is not exactly a shining beacon of academic excellence.

CARTWRIGHT: We have had numerous students who have distinguished themselves, Mr. Ecks.

ECKS: I am not talking about a successful football team, Mr. Cartwright.

CARTWRIGHT: Neither am I. A large number of our students go on to higher education. Why, just last year, one of our Lawndale High students made it onto the waiting list at Bromwell.

ECKS: Just the one?

LI: Now, now, Mr. Ecks, you know as well as I do that Bromwell takes only the best. We were all proud that a student from *Llawndale High* got that far. (Pause, then continues in a hushed voice.) And I believe thatís her sister up ahead. No doubt sheís having another stirring conversation with her intellectual peers. Letís listen in as they pass.

(Li, Cartwright, and Ecks stop for a moment. The former Fashion Club comes into view. The camera tracks them as they pass, and continues on them.)

STACY: Oh, Quinn, no one can coordinate a wardrobe like you.

QUINN: Itís a gift.

SANDI: And who knew how you could put your talent to use advising the teachers about their own wardrobes. (Pause.) Iím sure youíll get an "A" in Ms. Bennettís class for your suggestion about *her* wardrobe.

QUINN: Oh, that doesnít matter. Economics is a triple "A." Itís easy. Iím sure Iíd pass anyway. But with graduation coming up soon, I need every good grade I can get. (Pause) Itíd be harder in Ms. Barchís class, I mean, when sheís there.

TIFFANY: But why didnít you say something about her wardrobe?

QUINN: Oh, Tiffany, Iím a girl. That means Iíll get an "A" in Barchís class for sure. Itís just that you have to *suffer* through her classes to get it.

(The former Fashion Club passes out of the shot, all muttering agreement. The camera quickly pans back to Li, Ecks, and Cartwright. Ecks and Cartwright turn and glare at Li.)

LI: Er...ha-ha-ha, Iím sure they exaggerate.

ECKS: Easy classes, Ms. Li? A teacher who gives good grades to girls? And trading grades for wardrobe suggestions?

LI: Mr. Ecks, I assure you---

ECKS: I am concerned, Ms. Li, very concerned. I would not want the Morrison Trust Foundation to bestow grant money on a school where grades are traded for...other favors. (Glares at Li, stalks off. Cartwright follows, leaving Li alone.)

 

 

SCENE 6: LAWNDALE HIGH, FOOTBALL FIELD.

(Shot of field. Brittany and her cohorts from Great Prairie State College are doing a cheer on the sidelines. In this first, quick shot, we canít see them too clearly.

(Cut to a close-up. We see that Angie of the old Lawndale High squad is among them, but not the others. Theyíre wearing green-and-gold cheerleading uniforms. Theyíre surrounded by their admirers, including members of the Lawndale High football team (all in normal clothes), and the present Lawndale High cheerleaders.

(Kevin stands to one side, disassociated from the admiring crowd, and looking a little nervous. He *continues* to wear his football uniform.)

BRITTANY: "Weíre the girls from Prairie State / We cheer the team when theyíre so great / And when theyíre down and not so hot / We cheer them on, and thatís a lot! / Go...team!"

(The crowd applauds. The cheerleading squad breaks up, and go their separate ways. Kevin approaches Brittany, as if to ask a question. Brittany sees him, and looks somewhat sourly at him.)

BRITTANY: (coldly) Kevin.

KEVIN: (hesitates a moment, then speaks quickly.) I gotta go.

(Kevin runs off. Brittany looks confused---well, more confused than usual.)

 

 

(commercials)

 

 

ACT TWO:

 

 

SCENE 1A: LAWNDALE HIGH, CORRIDOR.

(DeMartino walks along, but is suddenly caught up to by OíNeill.)

OíNEILL: Anthony...can I talk to you?

DEMARTINO: (does not stop walking) Sure!

OíNEILL: Er...in here? (Gestures with his head towards a classroom, his own, empty and with door ajar.)

(DeMartino hesitates and then follows OíNeill into the classroom.)

 

 

SCENE 1B: LAWNDALE HIGH, OíNEILLíS CLASSROOM.

(OíNeill and DeMartino stand in front of the desk, opposite each other. The door is still open a crack.)

OíNEILL: Itís about, well, about my relationship with Janet.

DEMARTINO: (holds up hands, turns away) No! I donít want to get involved! The *last* time got me nothing but pain and a black eye!

OíNEILL: But I canít tell anyone, because nobody but you knows!

(DeMartino seems about to dispute this theory, but changes his mind.)

DEMARTINO: Oh, all right, all *right*! But keep it *simple.* Iíve had a...*really* rough day. I donít *need* to make it any *rougher.*

OíNEILL: Well, you know Janet wasnít here today.

DEMARTINO: Small mercy.

OíNEILL: We think, well...she had morning sickness.

DEMARTINO: You mean *you*...and *she*... (turns away again, shuddering). Ewwwwwww!

OíNEILL: (nervously) Well, we havenít actually gotten the tests back yet. (Pause) Iím pretty worried.

DEMARTINO: As well you *should* be!

OíNEILL: I mean, Janet is, er...

DEMARTINO: A *demon* from the *Outer* Depths?

OíNEILL: Ha-ha-ha...I mean, sheís somewhat, er, advanced in years for a parent.

DEMARTINO: Oh. (Pause) Well, you *two* will just have to *live* with whatever you *decide* to do.

OíNEILL: Iím a little scared, Anthony. I mean, I donít even know whether itís a boy or a girl.

 

 

SCENE 1C: LAWNDALE HIGH, CORRIDOR / CLASSROOM.

(Li is again escorting Superintendent Cartwright and Mr. Ecks around.)

LI: Please, Mr. Ecks! I donít want you to leave here with the wrong impression. (Pause, as Ecks ignores her) Iím sure it was just a misunderstanding. I mean, our faculty is, well, we run this school as one unit, and we regularly consult one another on what is of most concern to us. We---

(They stop, hearing the voices from OíNeillís classroom. Cut to: the classroom. We see the three outside the door.)

OíNEILL: Well, really, a boy, a girl, whatever, it doesnít matter to me.

DEMARTINO: *Obviously* not.

OíNEILL: What would you prefer, Anthony?

DEMARTINO: Iíd rather not state a *preference,* Timothy. I, too, am *neutral* in this matter.

OíNEILL: Well, when allís said and done, I suppose, Iíd prefer a girl.

DEMARTINO: *Well,* donít forget the old rule. When *dating* a daughter, *consider* the *mother,* too.

OíNEILL: I am considering the mother. Weíll be doing this together, all three of us.

(Cut to outside corridor. Mr. Ecks and Superintendent Cartwright glare at Ms. Li.)

ECKS: Regular little Club Med youíre running here.

(He and Cartwright take off. Li follows. Cut back to classroom interior.)

DEMARTINO: (holds up hands) I donít want to hear any more. Have a baby, *donít* have a baby. Work it out *yourself*! (Exits the classroom.)

(OíNeill, head bowed, follows him out, more slowly.)

 

 

SCENE 2A: INTERIOR, TEACHERíS LOUNGE, LAWNDALE HIGH.

(The room is as seen in "The Daria Database," except, along the way, we can see the individual desks in various shots. The only occupants is Ms. Morris, at the table. Sheís eating lunch.

(The door opens and Mr. DeMartino enters. Heís followed by Mr. OíNeill, who heads for the couch. Theyíre followed in by Kevin, who follows Mr. DeMartino. The door swings closed behind him. DeMartino abruptly stops, and Kevin bangs in to him.

(Morris and OíNeill watch both of them.)

DEMARTINO: Ow! (Turns around quickly) *Kevin!* Do you *feel* the *need* to *disrupt* my *every* waking *hour* by your *presence*?

KEVIN: (grins) Aw, no, Mr. D, I havenít got a present.

(DeMartino sees the futility of arguing further, then raises his arm and points towards the door.)

DEMARTINO: Kevin! Out!

(Kevin, dejected, turns and goes. Mr. DeMartino turns around, but before he can take two steps, Kevin is back, and bumps into him again. This time, Mr. DeMartino almost trips.)

DEMARTINO: (nearly at the top of his lungs): Kevin, if you wonít get out---

KEVIN: Aw, but Mr. D, I, er, I need something.

DEMARTINO: I *wonít* pass you just *because* youíre on the *football* team.

KEVIN: No, no, nothing like that. I, uh, like, need your advice.

MORRIS: Advice? From him?

OíNEILL: Now, letís not be judgmental here---remember, as I always say, "Donít be judgmental, because when you Ďjudge,í you become Ďmental.í "

DEMARTINO: Keep your *clichéd* choice of *lifestyle* to yourself. (To Kevin, with suspicion in his voice) What *kind* of advice?

KEVIN: Iím, uh, having, like, girl trouble.

DEMARTINO: (seems to consider this for a moment, then turns away.) Iíve had *enough* of that today. I donít want to hear about it.

KEVIN: Aw, Mr. D, I canít think of anybody else who could help. Iím having trouble with Brittany.

MORRIS: She finally see the light?

KEVIN: No, sheís just so, like, sheís not there with me enough.

MORRIS: Then she has seen the light.

KEVIN: I donít know. But itís like sheís broken up with me. And she wonít tell me whatís wrong.

DEMARTINO: She *graduated.* You *didnít.* Is that *wrong* enough for you?

MORRIS: I know thereís some reason I shouldnít say this, but shouldnít you talk this over with your parents?

KEVIN: Nah, I canít. My mom doesnít like Brittany.

OíNEILL: Well, perhaps we can help. (Pause) Perhaps my recent experiences in a serious relationship can---

DEMARTINO: (Suddenly back in the picture.) He *doesnít* need to hear about *that,* Timothy. (Pause) Now, Kevin. Tell me your *problem.* And, for the love of *God,* go easy!

KEVIN: Uh, uh...well, Brittanyís left me.

DEMARTINO: *Naturally,* Kevin, because she *graduated* and went off to *college.*

KEVIN: But, like, she was home last week on vacation, and, like, she wouldnít even come to the phone to talk to me!

OíNEILL: Well, Kevin, I---

(DeMartino glares at him.)

OíNEILL: Eep!

KEVIN: What I need to know is, how do I get her back?

DEMARTINO: You *donít!*

KEVIN: (Pause, while some trace of understanding appears across his traditionally vacant expression.) Oh, man! I know. But Iíd really want to get her back long enough, to, like, say good-bye to her!

MORRIS: Then you *do* realize your relationship is over.

KEVIN: Well, like, yeah. (Pause.) Like, I know itís over, but itís, like, not over. (Pause) I havenít, er, like, dated anybody else since we broke up.

DEMARTINO: Youíre better off *without.* *Women.* Theyíre *nothing* but *trouble.*

MORRIS: Hey!

KEVIN: Yeah, but I canít go on like this. (Pause) But when I saw Brittany today I couldnít even talk to her.

OíNEILL: Well, a nice note to her might melt her heart a little---

DEMARTINO: *Timothy!*

(OíNeill cringes again, and DeMartino, satisfied, turns his attention back to Kevin.)

DEMARTINO: So you want to say *good-bye* to *Brittany.*

KEVIN: Uh...yeah.

DEMARTINO: (sighs) I donít know why Iím *doing* this. *Perhaps* if you *apologize* to her, for being the *idiot* that you were...

KEVIN: Yeah...yeah! (Suddenly excited, then suddenly down.) But whatíll I say?

(DeMartino puts his hands on Kevinís padded shoulders.)

DEMARTINO: Kevin...son...say... (Pause.) Say...my darling Brittany!

(Kevin listens, and slips a little closer to DeMartino to hear better.)

 

 

SCENE 2B: OUTSIDE TEACHERíS LOUNGE, LAWNDALE HIGH.

(Ms. Li walks up. Sheís followed by Superintendent Cartwright and Ecks, who both now look seriously disgruntled. She pauses before the door.)

ECKS: Ms. Li, I think Iíve seen enough of what goes on in your school. More than enough. I do not believe the Morrison Trust Foundation needs to be associated with your school. (Pause) Can I please leave now?

LI: Innocent misunderstandings, all of it, Iím sure. (Pause) If youíll only let me continue, Mr. Ecks. Iím sure I can clear up everything.

ECKS: (Pause, then holds up hand with forefinger extended.) One more incident, Ms. Li. Just one more.

LI: All right. (Pause) Now, *Lawndale High* is a progressive school. We encourage a *close* relationship between teacher and student. (When she says "close," she clasps her hands together.) Itís almost a *sacred* bond, like that of, say, marriage. We who work here value that special relationship, beyond all else. Itís *sad,* gentlemen, when the students graduate, and that fine relationship comes to its natural end.

(She opens the door.)

 

 

SCENE 2C: INTERIOR, TEACHERíS LOUNGE (CONTINUED):

(Ms. Li, Superintendent, and Mr. Ecks come in, and are stopped, momentarily, by what they see. Their expressions, all three of them, convey shock.

(Cut to: shot of DeMartino, his arms nearly around Kevin. DeMartinoís back is to the open door. Rather obviously, he did not hear Li and Company come in. Kevin is equally, but in his case typically, oblivious.

(Quick shots taking in Morris and OíNeill. Morris grins and crosses her arms, really enjoying whatís about to unfold. OíNeill looks uneasy.)

DEMARTINO: My darling. *Forgive* me, for not being the *man* you thought I was. Iím *sorry* it didnít work out *between* us. But *you* have your life, and *I* have *mine.* (Pause.) We both *knew* this *relationship* would come to an *end* someday.

OíNEILL: Uh, uh...Anthony?

DEMARTINO: (not looking) Shut up, Timothy! (Pause.) We cannot *build* a *relationship* on our physical *attraction* alone.

OíNEILL: (with a little more urgency) Anthony!

DEMARTINO: Timothy, leave me *alone* right now! Iím in the *middle* of something! (Pause.) Now, where was I? Oh! (Pause) My *darling.* We have *parted,* and it is time to say *good-bye.* (Pause) *Good-bye,* my *dear.*

KEVIN: (blushes) Aw! Heh-heh-heh!

LI: (angrily) Mr. DeMartino!

(DeMartino snaps out of it, as does Kevin. They both see the crowd watching them at the same time.)

KEVIN: Eep!

(Kevin, his tiny mind evidently realizing at least one thing, runs out of the room, past Li, Cartwright, and Ecks. DeMartino, realizing the same thing, stands there uneasily.

(Shot of Ms. Morris, grinning broadly.)

LI: (honestly outraged) What is the meaning of this?

DEMARTINO: Ms. Li! We were just...I mean, we were... Oh God!

(Ms. Li glares at the three teachers remaining.)

LI: The three of you! My office! Fifteen minutes!

(Ms. Li storms out. Superintendent and Mr. Ecks follow behind. The door closes.

(Ms. Morris laughs hysterically.)

 

 

SCENE 3: LAWNDALE HIGH, MS. LIíS OFFICE.

(Shot of Ms. Liís office door. We hear Ms. Liís voice, quite loud, but muffled through the door and walls.)

LI: What in the name of heaven were you doing?

(Cut to interior of the office. Mr. DeMartino, Mr. OíNeill, and Ms. Morris all stand in front of Ms. Liís desk. DeMartino and OíNeill appear in a state of sweaty unease. Ms. Morris still grins broadly.)

DEMARTINO: Ms. Li. I was just...er...*explaining* a few things to Kevin.

LI: Oh, Iíve got a good idea of what you were explaining. (Turns to OíNeill.) And what were you and DeMartino discussing in your classroom right before that?

OíNEILL: What?

LI: I overheard you! What do you call it, when two teachers discuss whether they prefer boys or girls?

(Ms. Morris grins and laughs. Ms. Li turns her attentions to her now.)

LI: I suppose you find this whole escapade funny!

MORRIS: Oh, yes, I do. (A little more seriously.) Ms. Li. I know what went on in the Teacherís Lounge. Kevin Thompson went to Mr. DeMartino for some advice in affairs of the heart. *Why* Mr. DeMartino felt he could handle this, I donít pretend to understand.

DEMARTINO: And whatís *that* supposed to mean?

MORRIS: What you think it means.

LI: Shut up! (Pause) So youíre saying heís corrupting our students with his own foul moral standards, is her?

MORRIS: (grins again) Something like that.

LI: (Back to DeMartino) Thereís a word for what was going on here, you, you, cradle-robber, you!

MORRIS: (still grinning) Oh, come on.

LI: I cannot tolerate yet another incident like this! Kevin Thompson must be, oh...

MORRIS: Thirty-five?

LI: You know what I mean.

MORRIS: I certainly do. But youíre barking up the wrong tree here.

LI: Am I? And what of his classroom antics with OíNeill?

MORRIS: I canít help you with that one. I wasnít there.

(Turns as if to leave. Ms. Li restrains her with a hand on her shoulder.)

LI: And just where are you going?

MORRIS: Iíve had enough. (Shakes Ms. Liís hand off, then turns away.) I have classes to deal with. You can yell at OíNeill and DeMartino in private.

(Opens the door and walks out, closing it behind her.)

LI: Now, then, you claim this is all a matter of misunderstanding. (Pause) Just what *were* the two of you discussing when you denied any preference between boys and girls?

(The "light bulb idea" effect is seen in Mr. DeMartino.)

DEMARTINO: Oh. That. Well, we were *discussing*---

OíNEILL: (realizing) Anthony!

DEMARTINO: Oh. Timothy was just *concerned* over whether his, er... (short pause) *girlfriend* might be, er...in a family way.

LI: Well, that doesnít explain--- (Stops, shakes her head.) Did you say girlfriend?

DEMARTINO: Yes.

LI: A likely story. (Pause) Mr. OíNeill, you may go now.

(Mr. OíNeill leaves with some relief, closing the door behind him.)

LI: Mr. DeMartino.

DEMARTINO: Yes?

LI: This morning, I asked everybody to behave themselves. So far today, you have been involved in nearly *every* single---do you hate me that much, Mr. DeMartino?

DEMARTINO: Uh---

LI: If I---the school---got a grant, would that be a bad thing?

DEMARTINO: No, but---

LI: Iíve asked, Iíve ordered, and now Iím begging---please, *please!* behave yourself!

DEMARTINO: (uneasily) Er...all right.

 

 

SCENE 4: LAWNDALE HIGH, CORRIDOR.

(Brittany is walking along, with her fellow Great Prairie State cheerleaders and the Lawndale High cheerleaders. Theyíre carrying their pompons with them.)

BRITTANY: I think I better warn you guys, college was something of a surprise. It wasnít what I expected. I mean, you have to *study* cheerleading!

ANGIE: Yeah. They really expect you to work at it. It takes some of the fun out of it.

(The assorted cheerleaders mutter surprise and agreement, depending on which set of cheerleaders theyíre part of.

(Kevin approaches.)

KEVIN: (nervously) Uh, Britt, can I speak to you, like, alone?

(Dramatic and romantic music leads into...)

 

 

(commercial)

 

 

ACT THREE:

 

 

SCENE 1: LAWNDALE HIGH CORRIDOR

(Same as above. Kevin has just asked Brittany if he can speak to her. Brittany coldly turns away and folds her arms across her pulchritudinous chest. She closes her eyes.)

BRITTANY: Kevin. We have *nothing* to say. Itís over.

KEVIN: Er...I know that.

(Brittany opens her eyes.)

BRITTANY: You do?

KEVIN: Uh, yeah. But canít we just, well...canít we just talk?

(Brittany melts a little, and turns back, arms still crossed.)

BRITTANY: Well...I suppose we could. (She turns to the other cheerleaders, who are still hanging around.) Uh, guys, can you, well, leave us alone so we can talk?

(The others move away, muttering some signs of agreement. Brittany turns back to Kevin.)

BRITTANY: Well, mister?

(Kevin looks around. Itís still a little crowded and confined for him.)

KEVIN: Uh, like, not here. Could we go outside?

 

 

SCENE 2: LAWNDALE HIGH FOOTBALL FIELD.

(The field is deserted, what with the time of year for football being well past. Kevin and Brittany walk along the sidelines.)

BRITTANY: (hostile) Well, Kevin, if you have something to say---

KEVIN: (nervous) Uh, no, no! I mean, I---

BRITTANY: Well?

KEVIN: I, er, I just wanted to say goodbye.

BRITTANY: (surprised) Oh.

(They stop and face each other.)

BRITTANY: Well, good-bye, then.

KEVIN: Yeah. Good-bye. (Pause) Er, uh, have you, like, seen anybody?

BRITTANY: I donít think thatís---

KEVIN: (holds up hands) No, no! Donít! I donít want you to be mad at me again!

BRITTANY: What?

KEVIN: I just want to say, uh, say goodbye. Thatís all.

BRITTANY: Oh!

(They stand around for a moment in, for them, awkward silence.)

KEVIN: (looking confused) This is hard.

BRITTANY: (also confused) Yeah. I know. (Pause) Iím sorry, Kevin, but it just had to be this way. Good-bye.

(Brittany walks off, leaving Kevin confused. But only for a moment, as he runs after her.)

KEVIN: Hey, Britt, wait! Brittany!

 

 

SCENE 3A: LAWNDALE HIGH, CORRIDOR.

(Ms. Li has resumed escorting Superintendent Cartwright and Mr. Ecks around. Ecks is in front, and looks seriously disgruntled at still being at Lawndale High. Ms. Li follows, in "serious begging" mode. Cartwright brings up the rear, looking resigned to it all.

(Itís between classes so no students are around.)

LI: Mr. Ecks, I think you have the wrong impression of our school.

ECKS: I donít care. I just want to get out of here.

LI: Iím quite sure, if you just give me a chance, I can explain everything.

ECKS: I donít see any point.

LI: Perhaps our school is having a bad day. Could you grant me that? At least say we could be having a bad day.

(They reach the front entrance.)

ECKS: I donít care anymore. I just want out.

 

 

SCENE 3B: LAWNDALE HIGH, FRONT STEPS.

(The door flies open, and Ecks walks out, still closely followed by Li and Cartwright. They stop short, as Brittany and Kevin run into view.)

KEVIN: Britt, *please!* Just a little more?

(Brittany stops and faces Kevin. Li, Cartwright, and Ecks watch as they talk.)

BRITTANY: Well...okay. (Pause) So you just want to say goodbye.

KEVIN: Uh, yeah. (Pause) I know itís over, between the two of us and you and me, but, like, canít we still be like friends?

BRITTANY: (melting a little) Oh, Kevvy, thatís...thatís... (hardening again) But you *know* thereís no you and me and you again. Remember, we always said we had a love that will last till graduation.

KEVIN: Yeah... (nods) Yeah.

BRITTANY: But then I graduated and you---well---

KEVIN: But Iíll be graduating this year! Mr. D and Mr. O practically guaranteed it.

(At this, Ecks and Cartwright both glare at Ms. Li. Ms. Li grins nervously.)

KEVIN: So...can I call you?

BRITTANY: Oh! Iíve got to get back to Great Prairie State tonight.

KEVIN: Yeah, but after that?

BRITTANY: Well...we can always be friends.

KEVIN: (slightly disappointed) Yeah.

BRITTANY: Then maybe Iíll see you this summer vacation, then.

KEVIN: (suddenly happy again) Hey! Awright!

(Kevin grabs Brittany and kisses her. Brittany returns the kiss, but for only a split second, then both break it off. She pulls back, and slaps him.)

KEVIN: Ow! Hey!

BRITTANY: Ooh, you just canít keep your hands off of anybody! No matter what!

KEVIN: Hey, now, Britt, I didnít mean---I mean, I---aww! (Pause) Iím sorry, Britt. I, er, just got caught up in the moment, okay?

BRITTANY: (uneasy) Well, okay.

KEVIN: I

ECKS: (To Ms. Li) You just have people all over each other in this school, donít you?

(Brittany and Kevin are suddenly aware of the three others watching them, and step apart from each other a little, embarrassed.)

KEVIN: Uh...Ms. Li! We were just, uh, ah...

LI: (holds up hands) Never mind, never mind! Go about your business.

KEVIN: Right!

(Kevin heads off in the direction they came. Brittany looks a little puzzled, then suddenly shocked.)

BRITTANY: The squad!

(Brittany runs off, back into the school, past a still-angry Mr. Ecks, an upset Superintendent Cartwright, and a stunned Ms. Li.)

LI: I can *explain,* Mr. Ecks, I really can---

ECKS: (holds up a hand) No, no, donít bother.

LI: But your grants---

ECKS: (coldly) Good day, Ms. Li...Superintendent. (Nods, and walks off quickly.)

CARTWRIGHT: (walks after him, out of shot, but still audible) Mr. Ecks, this wonít affect your position on the rest of the district, will it? Mr. Ecks? Mr. Ecks!

(Ms. Li stands on the steps, her pleading look giving way to seething anger. She frowns, starts breathing heavy, for several seconds...then abruptly relaxes and shrugs.)

LI: Oh, well.

 

 

SCENE 4A: CORRIDOR, LAWNDALE HIGH.

(We hear the sound of the school bell. Students come out the doors and into the corridors. After a moment, Mr. DeMartino comes out and walks along. The camera follows him, through the crowd of students, down several doors to the Teacherís Lounge. He enters.)

 

 

SCENE 4B: TEACHERíS LOUNGE, LAWNDALE HIGH.

(Inside, Mr. DeMartino starts to close the door, but is stopped by an extremely exuberant Mr. OíNeill, who barges in, nearly knocking Mr. DeMartino over.)

DEMARTINO: Timothy!

OíNEILL: (looks momentarily contrite) Oh. Anthony. Sorry. (cheers up and smiles) I just heard from Janet! Sheís not...I mean, weíre not...I mean---

DEMARTINO: (suddenly thrilled, too) You mean sheís *not* pregnant?

OíNEILL: Yes! Iím so *happy*!

(OíNeill grabs DeMartino about the chest and lifts him off the ground, squeezing him tight.)

DEMARTINO: Timothy! Youíre *cutting* off my *circulation*!

OíNEILL: I canít help it! Iím the happiest man on earth!

(OíNeill lets off a little. DeMartino relaxes, and lets off a little smile...which vanishes as he looks towards the door.

(Ms. Li and Ms. Morris stand at the door. Ms. Morris grins, but Ms. Li looks about to explode. Neither speak.)

 

 

(end credits)

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This parody of "Daria" is copyright © 2003 by Robert Nowall. It is not intended to profit the author in any way, and may not be distributed without permission of the author. (That means please donít post or circulate this without getting in touch with me first.) For the time being, Robert Nowall can be reached at: RobtNowall@aol.com

Thanks to Thea Zara, RedlegRick, crusading saint, Steven Galloway, THM, and Roger E. Moore for beta reading. And probably others, too, whose replies I mislaid somewhere. Though I really didnít follow some of the major suggestions made, I *did* give them serious consideration...thatís why this took so damned long to complete...

Written 9/4/02 to 1/21/03

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