©2006 The Angst Guy
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Synopsis: Amy Barksdale tells a
little story, and Daria and Quinn almost die.
Author’s Notes: This was written in response to another PPMB “Iron Chef” challenge, this one offered by Tafka, who asked for stories that were supposed to be serious but come out funny. I’m not sure this one fit the criteria, but it went in anyway. I wrote it in an hour and a half, finishing about 4:30 a.m., when I had the worst head cold in months and could not sleep at all. As usual, it is assumed that the reader is familiar with the major characters of the Daria TV show, so explanations of who is who are not needed.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Tafka for the contest!
“Thanks for taking me out for
lunch,” Amy Barksdale said as she picked up her third garlic breadstick. “I’m
glad I decided to pass through Lawndale more often and visit my favorite
Daria nodded, sitting on Amy’s right
with her mouth full of pizza. Quinn, sitting across from Amy and working her
way through a green salad with light Italian dressing, looked appreciative.
“We’re glad our favorite aunt is here to see us,” she said gaily.
“You should tell us a story,” said
Daria around her pizza. “Something about the good old days,
or whatever they called them back before newsprint.”
“Back in Pleistocene times,” said
Amy. “That darn Ice Age. You want a story about what your mother was really
like as a teenager.”
“Yeah,” said Quinn. “Something we
don’t already know.”
“We know about the tightly wound
pain in the ass part,” Daria put in.
settled back in her seat and looked reflective. “Well, there was that magical
day in late June, the summer I turned ten, when the sky was blue and the sun
was bright and both your mother and Rita got laid for the first time.”
Daria was sipping her Ultra-Cola
when twin streams of sparkling effervescent liquid shot out of her nose. She
dropped her glass, spilling its contents across her lap and the tabletop. She
began coughing nonstop, covering her face with her cotton napkin.
Quinn froze in her seat while taking
a healthy bite of her salad. She stared at Amy in horror, her eyes as big as an
anime character’s. Pieces of red-leaf lettuce with Italian dressing fell from
her open mouth.
“I still can’t believe they did it
on the same day,” Amy went on, ignoring Daria’s coughing fit and Quinn’s
failure to breathe. “I thought for a long time they’d planned it like that,
maybe as some sort of bet to see who would be first to take the stinky bus to
Sausage City, but now I think it was just a twist of fate. I was on the living
room couch reading D. H. Lawrence when Rita came back from a rock concert,
walking strangely. I looked at her closely and noticed her bell-bottoms were
reversed so that her ass was on backwards. She hasn’t changed a bit since then.
“‘Trouble getting dressed this
morning?’ I asked her, trying to be a helpful little sibling.
“Then I remembered she’d had her
jeans on correctly that morning when she’d left. I notice details like which
side of her pants had the American flags sewn on the pockets.
“‘Shut up, Chicklet,’
she said, hurrying past toward her room. ‘Are mom and dad home?’
“‘No,’ I told her. ‘And for ten
bucks, they won’t get a detailed color commentary on your unfashionably
“‘You little four-eyed weasel!’ she
said, her voice full of sisterly affection. She smacked me on the back of the
head the way she always did to show her love, then threw a wadded Hamilton at
me and stuck her finger in my face and said, ‘You breathe a word of this, Anal
Barksdale, and you’ll sleep with the fishes tonight.’
“ I just
sniffed deeply and said, ‘Like that rotting fish you brought home in your
pocket? Oops, I guess that isn’t a fish in your pocket! Sorry!’
“‘I mean it!’ Rita said, and she
gave me a heartfelt noogie. ‘One word, and I’ll tuck
you into a shallow grave.’ She ran to the refrigerator, grabbed a Coca-Cola
douche, and ran off to her bathroom.
“Then your mother came in.”
Daria’s coughing increased
dramatically until she was vibrating like a palm leaf in a Category 5
hurricane. All of Quinn’s chewed salad now lay in her lap, her face an
unwholesome shade of purple.
“Helen had gone off for the day with
her girlfriends to Thunder Demon Speedway, to watch stunt drivers compete to
see who would be first to send his car flying over a line of tractor trailers
and walk away on at least one non-artificial leg. She left wearing a peasant
blouse and jeans, but she came back wearing an I-just-saw-God look on her face
and a skintight, ultra-short red-satin dress that showed enough of her ivory
buns to shame a Wonder Bread bakery. Her panties looked like a leopard had
tried to chew them off her, and someone had autographed the front of them with
a black Magic Marker, right across Mount Venus. I think his first name was
“‘Are mom and dad home?’ she asked,
wobbling like we were having an 8.9 earthquake. It must have been the
“‘You’re in luck—they aren’t,’ I
said, ‘And lucky you again, I’m having a summertime
sale on the Sounds of Silence album, for the low, low price of only ten smackers.’
“‘You wouldn’t dare, Book Breath,’
she mumbled, then looked down the front of her hooker wrap and said, ‘Damn,
where’s my freaking bra?’ Only we didn’t have the word ‘freaking’ back then.
a pair of tiny trophy cups over a stunt driver’s fireplace,’ I said, wanting to
comfort her. ‘This Sounds of Silence sale won’t last forever. Mom and
Dad just pulled into the driveway.’
“Helen was a good sport and only
smacked me on the head once before throwing a ten-spot in my lap. She made it
to her room just seconds before Ma and Pa Barksdale walked in the front door.
She could have been a stunt driver, I bet. I went out that afternoon and bought
a chocolate milkshake, a Carly Simon album, and seven—count ‘em, seven—paperbacks.
That was a wonderful day!”
Amy sighed wistfully. “Where have
those golden moments gone to?” She came to and looked brightly at Daria and
Quinn, each in the last stages of asphyxiation. “So, how are you two getting
03/09/03, modified 09/04/06, 09/22/06, 10/02/06