Lawndale Living Conditions.
By Thomas

Thanks to Steve Brown for helping me with my grammar. And to Milo for Beta reading

Chapter I. Quinn's Torment.

(Morgendorffer livingroom. It's evening. Daria and Helen are sitting on the couch. Daria is reading "Hell's Kitchen" by Chris Niles. Helen is reading a case file)

(Quinn comes down the stairs. She's dressed up for a date)

Daria: Who are you going out with?

Helen: (voiceover) Don't answer that. Daria couldn't care less. She's obviously looking for a way to make fun of you.

Quinn: Robert. I know he's a bore. But this time he's rented a limo.

Helen: (voiceover) Something you still haven't figured out after 17 years.

Daria: Robert... (smirk) Have a good evening.

Helen: (voiceover) Don't ask her why she's suddenly being so friendly.

Quinn: Why're you suddenly being so friendly?

Daria: Why shouldn't I be friendly?

Helen: (voiceover) She's going to use the alphabet trick on her. I can feel it.

Quinn: (nervous) Do you know something I don't?

Daria: I'm not saying. Enjoy your (giggles) date.

Helen: STOP IT!

(Daria and Quinn stare at Helen)

Helen: Dammit, Quinn. Can't you tell Daria is messing with your mind? It's the exact same trick she used two years ago. You're going to say "Come on. Tell me" and then Daria's going to say "Okay. The first letters of the alphabet are A, B and C".

Daria: Um...

Quinn: So there's nothing wrong with my date?

Helen: Of course there isn't sweetie.

(The doorbell rings)

Helen: See? That's probably him right now.

(Quinn opens the door. It's Tom and Robert)

Tom: Oh, hi, Quinn. Me and Robert just met here. And we've agreed to make this a double date. Him, me, you and Daria.


Chapter II. Male bonding.

(Kevin's car. It's a convertible. It's night. Kevin is driving. Brittany is riding shotgun. Jodie and Mack are sitting on the back seat)

Kevin: (loud) Hey, Mack Daddy. Isn't this great?

Mack: (loud) Oh yeah. Driving on an open road without knowing where I'm going is what I love the most.

Kevin: (loud) Yeah. Me too!

Brittany: Oh Kevie. You're so secretive.

Kevin: Babe.

Jodie: You shouldn't be so negative. I'm sure this is a good idea.

Mack: Oh yeah. Going on a double date with Kevin and Brittany. But do we know where to? No, because that's a surprise.

Jodie: So is was my idea to accept. But hey, what's the worst that can happen?

Mack: Jodie, in case you haven't noticed - it's Kevin who's in charge of this. No doubt whatever he has planned will be something ridiculous and possibly illegal.

Jodie: Come on. You need to lighten up.

(Kevin's car drives into an open field. It stops near a sleeping cow. Kevin, Brittany, Mack and Jodie gets out)

Kevin: Come on, bro.

Mack: Where to? All I see here is a cow.

Kevin: Exactly. We're going to do a cow tripping.

Jodie: (buries her face in her hands) Oh no. I'm sorry, Mack. You were right. I never should have accepted Kevin's invitation. (pause) Mack?

(Jodie looks around. She sees Kevin and Mack who are pushing the cow)

Jodie: Mack???

(The cow falls over. Kevin and Mack laugh)

Mack: Look. Over there's another cow.

(Kevin and Mack runs off)

Cow: Muuuuuuh, muuuuuuh.

Brittany: (hugs Jodie) Help me, Jodie. It's dark and the cow is making scary noises. What's making the boys act like this?

Jodie: I don't know. But I'm all for an exorcism.

Chapter III. Wishful Thinking

(A conference room. Dead people are lying everywhere. Melody Powers is standing on the table. She's pointing a gun at Red Li)

Melody: So, Red Li. Looks like you've run out of commie minions.

Red Li: Miss Powers. Surely we can come to an understanding. How much money do you want?

Melody: I'm not for sale. Besides I already have all the guns I need. But I think it's time for you to meet my associate.

(A tall man dressed in a trench-coat comes in. The right side of his face is scarred with burns and he's wearing an eye-patch)

Red Li: (shocked) Mr. DeMar...

Napalm: Not anymore. The man you left for dead in Vietnam is gone. Now I'm Captain Napalm.

Melody: I promised you could finish her off. But do you mind using my gun?

Napalm: Your word is my command.

(Melody tosses her gun to Napalm)

Napalm: Drink from the fountain of capitalism you commie bitch. (shoves the gun down Red Li's throat) She doesn't look so good now does she Daria?

Melody: What did you call me?

(The class of Mr. DeMartino. Mr. DeMartino is standing in front of Daria's table. Daria looks up)

Daria: Excuse me?

Mr. DeMartino: I asked you a QUESTION Daria. I hope you weren't too BUSY writing to pay ATTENTION.

Daria: I...

Mr. DeMartino: Can I see that? (takes the paper Daria was writing on and starts reading it)

Daria: (voiceover) Oh brother. Not even my mom can save me this time. I'll get suspended. Possibly even expelled. And I was this close to graduation.

(Mr. DeMartino finishes reading Daria's paper)

Mr. DeMartino: (his voice is cracking up) Could you stand up please?

Daria: Um... Sure. (stands up)

(Mr. DeMartino hugs Daria)

Mr. DeMartino: (sobs) Thank you. That was the most beautiful thing I've ever read.

Daria: (whispers) Could you let go of me? I'd hate to see you get fired.

Chapter IV. Unqualification.

(Ms. Li's office. Ms. Li is talking with Mr. O'Neill)

Ms. Li: Now I assure you, you have no cause for concern.

Mr. O'Neill: If you say so... it's just that I'm not sure using students to fill these positions is such a good idea.

Ms. Li: Nonsense. Miss Morgendorffer taught English during the strike (1), did she not? And as I hear she did a better job than you - not to mention I only had to pay her minimum wage.

Mr. O'Neill: But surely you see that Daria is an exception. Using students to fill a position previously held by a teacher is...

Ms. Li: Mr. O'Neill. I am not using the students as teachers, am I? I use them in positions where a teacher isn't really necessary.

Mr. O'Neill: Yes, but does it have to be Tiffany? She isn't exactly one of my... um... Strongest students.

Ms. Li: Then how do you explain that since Miss Blum-Deckler took over your self-esteem class, attendance has gone up by a factor of three?

Mr. O'Neill: I know. But is it really a good sign that students now want to take that class?

(Self-Esteem class. The room is packed with students, freshmen mostly, barely able to control themselves. Tiffany is reading from a piece of paper)

Tiffany: Esteem a teem...

(The students giggles)

Tiffany: ...They don't really... rhyme, do they.

Student 1: Actually they do.

Tiffany: Oooooh. The sounds don't quite... mesh? What does "mesh" mean?

Student 2: That's when you get naked and rub peanut butter all over your body.

Tiffany: Eeeeeew.

Chapter V. So close, and yet so far away.

(Morgendorffer livingroom. Helen, Jake, Daria and Quinn are watching TV)

Quinn: Mom, dad. Daria and I have been talking. And we came to the conclusion that we've never really told you how much we appreciate you.

Daria: As parents we mean. Maybe, just maybe you didn't spend as much time with us as kids in other families spend with their parents. But you've always tried to give us the best.

Quinn: Clothes.

Daria: Books.

Quinn: Makeup.

Daria: Computers. And we appreciate that.

Quinn: Not that we're saying you tried to buy our love. We know how much you love us. And we want to assure you the feeling is mutual.

Daria: Compared to other parents in this town, like the Taylor's or the Gupty's, you're really not that bad.

Jake: (touched) Oh, kiddos... Did you hear that Helen? Aren't they sweet.

Helen: Don't let them get to you.

Jake: But, hon. I would never have talked to my dad like that.

Helen: Jake! Remember what I said. United front.

Jake: (sighs) Yes, hon.

Helen: Let's get started. (turns the TV off) Jake.

Jake: Right. The Morgendorffer family court is now in session.

Helen: Quinn. You're charged with going outside the chain of command. You invited Stacy to sleep over without permission. Note that she's a repeat offender (2). Daria. You're charged with defamation of family. When Stacy came to sleep over, you told her you work at the morgue, and that the meat in our lasagne was something your boss had given you.

Chapter VI. Not in the Family.

(Lane kitchen. Summer is having a cup of coffee. Jane comes in)

Jane: Trent?

Summer: You wish. Trent decided to move to LA. He got tired of living with his parents.

Jane: How? Mom and dad are never here?

(Vince and Amanda come in)

Vincent: Sure we are. And so are all of Summer's kids.

Amanda: We decided to put them in your room.

Jane: My room? But why not Wind or Penny's room?

(Wind comes in)

Wind: (cries) Katie threw me out. Will I ever know love?

(Penny comes in. Her parrot flies over and sits on Jane's head)

Jane: Aaaaah!

Penny: Bad parrot. You don't know where she's been.

(Aunt Bernice and Uncle Max comes in)

Jane: Aunt Bernice? Uncle Max? What're you doing here? You hate our part of the family (3).

Aunt Bernice: Of course we don't. That was all a big misunderstanding. It's you we don't like.

Uncle Max: You're such a bum.

(Jane's room. It's night. Jane wakes up from her dream)

Jane: Hhhhh. (voiceover) It was just a dream, it was just a dream, it was just a dream.

(Lane's kitchen. Trent is having a cup of coffee. Jane walks over and hugs him)

Trent: (smiles) What's that for?

Jane: Nothing really. I'm just glad you're here.

Trent: There has been a bunch of phone messages. Mom and dad's hotel got eaten by termites, Penny was exiled from El Salvador, Wind's houseboat is sinking, Summer is...

(Jane runs away)

Trent: Jane?

(Morgendorffer livingroom. The doorbell rings. Helen answers it. It's Jane. She's carrying a suitcase)

Jane: Mrs. Morgendorffer. I come seeking political asylum.

Chapter VII. Contamination.

(The parking lot of Lawndale High. Tom is waiting by his car. Upchuck is about to drive past him but stops his car)

Upchuck: Tom?

Tom: Charles? Is that you? I haven't seen you for, how long?

Upchuck: Four years I believe.

Tom: Now I remember. You got kicked out of Fieldings for hiding in the girls locker room.

Upchuck: I assure you. It was a case of mistaken identity.

Tom: So that wasn't you bragging about how he would never get caught.

(Cut to Sandi's car where the Fashion Club is standing)

Stacy: (points at Tom's car) My god. How can anyone drive around in that?

Tiffany: It's soooo rusty.

Sandi: And he's talking with Upchuck. Say. Haven't we seen that guy at your house Quinn.

Quinn: Could you excuse me a moment. (leaves)

(At Tom's car)

Tom: ... so now I'm seeing Daria. You know Daria?

Upchuck: I believe I've had the pleasure.

(Quinn walks over to them)

Tom: Hi, Quinn.

Upchuck: Miss Morgendorffer. Rrrrrr.

Quinn: Do you two know each other?

Tom: Yeah. Me and Charles used to be friends.

Quinn: (takes a deep breath) At last. After having endured countless insults, sarcastic comments and mind games. I finally found a way to achieve what I thought impossible. The total humiliation of Daria.

Tom: Um... Are you feeling well?

(Daria walks over to them)

Daria: So, Quinn. I see your boyfriend came to pick you up as well?

Quinn: Oh, Daria. Your wit is as sharp as ever. And you're going to need it. Because it just turned out that Tom and Upchuck are friends.

Tom: Who's Upchuck?

(Tom and Daria are driving in Tom's car)

Tom: What was that all about? Why does your sister think it matters who I knew four years ago?

Daria: Yeah. Can we go to your house? There's something I need to do.

(Sloane house. The bathroom. Tom is sitting in the tub taking a bubble bath. Daria is washing his hair)

Tom: Look this was very romantic to begin with. But now I've been sitting here an hour and the water is getting cold. Your behavior is completely irrational.

Daria: I know. But knowing that you and Upchuck share a common history makes you dirty in my eyes. I have to wash you.

Tom: But I swear. It's the first time I've spoken with Charles in four years.

Daria: And if you invoke his name one more time. That's how long you'll stay in the tub.

Chapter VIII. Best Friends.

(The bathroom of Mr Fun's Games. Sandi is standing at the mirror. Quinn comes in)

Sandi: Oh, hi, Quinn. What an unexpected surprise.

Quinn: Hi Sandi. Who are you here with?

Sandi: Joey. And you?

Quinn: Jeffy.

Sandi: Joey got reservations at Chez Pierre. Where are you going?

Quinn: Um... Pizza Palace.

Sandi: Oh well. We can't all be lucky can we. Did I mention that his uncle came to visit and let Joey borrow his car. It's a Jaguar.

Quinn: (strained voice) How good for you.

Sandi: Is it true that Jeffy's car is being repaired? What did he pick you up in?

Quinn: (clenched teeth) Actually I borrowed my dad's car and picked him up.

Sandi: Fighting for equality are we.

(The parking lot of the arcade. Joey is showing Jeffy his car)

Joey: So what do you think?

Jeffy: Oh my god. It's the XKR Silverstone Convertible. The ultimate chick magnet. So powerful it can even attract blind chicks. How long have you got it?

Joey: Just tonight. My uncle is leaving in the morning.

Jeffy: You mean I can't borrow it!? But Joey you're my best friend. You have to let me try and drive it.

Joey: Well. My date is using the bathroom. Maybe that gives us time enough for a test drive.

(Morgendorffer livingroom. Jake is watching TV. Quinn comes home)

Jake: You're home early. What happened?

Quinn: I don't know. I went to the bathroom and when I came back Jeffy had disappeared.

Jake: He left you! When I get my hands on him...

Quinn: Calm down, dad. I can get another date. I just want to ask you a theoretical question.

Jake: (nervous) Shouldn't you ask your mom...

Quinn: It's not that. Let's say you see your best friend crawling around on all fours on a parking lot crying "Why me lord, why me" over and over. Is it wrong to think that's funny?

Jake: (pause) How about I give you some money?

Quinn: That's why I love talking with you dad.

Chapter IX. Careful what you ask for.

(Rowe's house. It's evening. Jamie rings the doorbell. Stacy answers it. She's dressed for a date)

Jamie: Nice outfit.

Stacy: You like it? Because I can go change if you'd rather I wear something else.

Jamie: It's okay. I know I can't expect you to be like Quinn.

Stacy: You mean, you'd rather date Quinn than me?

Jamie: Sure. But I can't do that every time. Can I. So sometimes I have to settle for less attractive girls like yourself.

Stacy: Wait here. (closes the door)

Jamie: What did I say?

(20 minutes later. Stacy opens the door. She's loosened her hair, she's now wearing brown shoes, blue jeans, and a pink blouse)

Stacy: Is this better?

Jamie: (long pause) You're not going mental on me are you?

Stacy: No.

Jamie: (relieved) Oh good. For a moment I thought you might take out a knife and stab me.

Stacy: Do you want me to stab you?

(Jamie runs away. Stacy smirk. There is the sound of Mrs Rowe calling from inside)

OS Mrs Rowe: What's going out out there?

Stacy: Nothing. I just did a magic trick on my "date" to make him disappear.

Chapter X. With friends as these.

(Pizza Palace. Jodie and Brittany are sharing a pizza)

Brittany: So Angie said we should go ra-ra-ra-RA. But I said we should go ra-RA-ra-ra.

(Jodie yawns)

Brittany: Am I boring you?

Jodie: No. It's just that my little brother has gotten sick and is crying all the time. Guess who my parents are making look after him.

Brittany: Ummm...

Jodie: (beat) Me, Brittany. I've hardly gotten any sleep these last few days.

Brittany: Oooh. Then it's a shame you're not staying at my place.

Jodie: You know. Sometimes that brain of yours can indeed illuminate the rest of us.

(Brittany looks scared)

(Taylor's dining room. Steve, Ashly-Amber, Brittany, Brian and Jodie are having dinner)

Steve: You should have seen how the last meeting of my focus group went. Lip gloss everywhere. What a cat fight, and one of them was a real cat...

(Jodie yawns)

Steve: I'm not boring you, am I?

Jodie: No I'm just having trouble staying awake.

Brian: You sure are pretty. Is it okay for me to take pictures of you?

Jodie: (smiles) Sure. No problem.

(Brittany's room. Brittany is sleeping in her bed. Jodie is lying in a sleeping bag on the floor. Brittany wakes up)

Brittany: Morning.

Jodie: (wakes up) Morning. Aaaah. Did I sleep well?

(Jodie sits up. She's wearing a blue and yellow nightgown)

Jodie: (pause) You know something strange?

Brittany: Oh, yes. When you go to the supermarket, they have these...

Jodie: Not that. Maybe it's just me. But I have no recollection of going to bed or putting on this... (shudders) Thing.

Brittany: That's because you fell asleep at the table. Me and my step-mom decided to put you to bed.

Jodie: You mean to say you undressed me?

Brittany: Was that wrong?

Jodie: Well... That is... I mean no one else saw me without any clothes on, right?

Brittany: Just Brian. But that was only because you said it was okay for him to take pictures of you.


Chapter XI. Will paint for food.

(The Class of Ms. DeFoe. Kevin is sitting on a chair. The students are painting pictures of him)

(Ms. DeFoe walks over to Brittany. She painting a picture of herself hitting Kevin over the head with a shovel)

Ms. DeFoe: Brittany. Has Kevin been cheating on you again?

Brittany: How did you know?

(Ms. DeFoe sighs. She walks over to Daria. She painting a picture of a skeleton in a football uniform)

Ms. DeFoe: Daria. Do you always have to paint something with a skeleton in it?

Daria: You want me to paint a jellyfish?

(Ms. DeFoe sighs. She walks over to Jane. She's painting a picture of Kevin as he is)

Ms. DeFoe: (surprised) But Jane. You're painting just what I asked you to.

Jane: Yeah. So?

Ms. DeFoe: But you've never done that before. You always end up painting something else. Like a replica of a famous painting (4).

Jane: I know. But then I thought. Why not for once do as I'm told. At least one of us should. Right?

Ms. DeFoe: Thanks, Jane.

(The bell rings. Kevin gets up and walks over to Jane and Ms. DeFoe)

Kevin: Cool. It looks just like me. Except my hair is the opposite from when I look in the mirror.

Ms DeFoe: That's because... (sigh) Portraits are that way Kevin.

Kevin: Can I take it with me right away? (hands Jane some dollar bills) Here are the 100 bucks you and my dad agreed on.

(Ms. DeFoe looks cross at Jane)

Jane: Um... Our refrigerator broke down and I have to get a new one.

Daria: Funny. I always thought the price for a new refrigerators was your soul.

Chapter XII. Entrapment.

(Morgendorffer Kitchen. Jake and Daria are reading the paper)

Jake: Gaaah! Did you read this? There has been a sighting of a homeless person in our neighborhood. What if he came here?

Daria: The property value would drop?

Jake: The property value would drop. Oooh. What'll I do, what'll I do?

Daria: You got rid of the squirrel didn't you (5)? You catch him in a trap, drive to another town and release him.

Jake: (to himself) A homeless trap. Hmmmm.

Daria: Um... Dad I was being sarcas...

(Helen comes in)

Jake: Hi hon. Daria just gave me an idea. Traps for homeless people. What do you say?

(Helen sends Daria a killer look)

Daria: What?

(The hallway outside Daria's room. Helen is trying to get in)

Helen: Let go of the doorknob, Daria. I just want to talk to you.

OS Daria: Why? What did I do?

Helen: You turned your dad into a Republican. But it's nothing we can't talk about.

OS Daria: I don't believe you. Last time you looked at me like that I got grounded for a month.

Helen: Don't be silly. (under her breath) Like you would get off that easily.


(1) "Lucky Strike"

(2) "Of Human Bonding"

(3) "The Teachings of Don Jake"

(4) "Art Burn"

(5) "One J at a Time"