by Belle Book
What was Quinn really thinking when she ranted about Ken Edwards during "Lucky Strike" to her mother and to Daria? The answer just might surprise you.
This fanfic takes place during the events of "Lucky Strike," when as all fans of Daria know, the teachers of Lawndale High went on a strike and Ms. Li decided to keep the school going -- only with substitutes that weren't really teacher. In that episode, the English substitute teacher started hitting on Tiffany, who was too dumb to really notice -- but I wondered if anyone else noticed? I discussed it with Erin Mills -- before I stopped using IM - and ultimately concluded that Sandi probably didn't notice (since she would later say that teachers were such losers), but Quinn might well have done so. I later concluded that Quinn's rant may well have been her way of indirectly alerting Daria and Helen to what Ken Edwards was doing and thus having him get fired. This fanfic is the result of those ideas. It ends before Daria is asked to be the substitute English teacher by Ms. Li., however, so Quinn has no way of knowing what is going to happen after Mr. Edwards gets fired.
A car pulled up at Morgendoffer Home Base. The back door opened, and out stepped a very cute red-haired young girl about 16 and a half years old. She wore a deep pink long-sleeved shirt with a butterfly on it, and blue jeans. She thanked the three guys driving the car, all of whom looked pretty indistinguishible except that one guy had dark brown or black hair, the second has reddish-brown hair and the third was a blond, then walked towards the house. The girl's name is Quinn Morgendoffer.
Quinn entered the house. Nobody was home, which was a relief to her. She had a lot of thinking to do and she wanted to do it without being distracted by either her father or her mother -- or even Daria, her sister (although she still wasn't ready to admit that Daria was in fact her sister). That was why she asked the Three J's -- dark-haired Joey, redhead Jeffy, and the blond (his name was Jaime, right?) -- to drive her home instead of walking home instead. They were happy to do so, of course -- they were slaves to her every whim, after all.
But now that she was home, Quinn headed up to her bedroom, closed the door, and engaged in some serious thinking.
Just a couple of days ago, all the members of the Lawndale Faculty had gone on strike when Principal Li not refused to listen to the teachers' demands for a raise. However, Ms. Li still intended classes to go on as before, so she had to find substitutes. There was no school the day after the strike because Ms. Li hadn't found enough substitutes at that point, but the following day there were enough substitutes so everyone returned to school.
The first class for the juniors was English class, and the substitute teacher introduced himself as Ken Edwards. The instant Quinn saw him, she had an odd feeling. She immediately disliked him, and she couldn't quite put her finger on why. Then again, he did look like a used-car salesman, so maybe that's why she immediately disliked him. Or at least, that's what she thought at the time. Then Mr. Edwards began to speak.
*"True literature should inspire us to seek new experiences, to explore new sensations..." Mr. Edwards began, sitting on the corner of the desk.
*Out of the corner of Quinn's eye, she saw Sandi raise her hand and say, "Mr. Edwards?"
*Mr. Edwards then said, "Call me Ken," with a sudden show of friendliness which made Quinn rather uneasy. Once again, she didn't quite know why it made her uneasy, just that it did.
*Sandi said, "Um, Ken, this is almost interesting, but seeing as how you're only the substitute teacher, perhaps you can give us our book assignments and we can be on our way."
*Mr. Edwards then said, "Ah, but what to assign?" He then approached Tiffany, Stacy, Sandi and Quinn herself as he added, "You see, the only books worth reading are those written in the deep, passionate waters of life."
*Stacy then asked, "So, like Jaws?"*
Thank God Mr. Edwards didn't turn his attention to Stacy, Quinn suddenly thought, breaking her reverie over what happened in English class. Stacy was a really nice, sweet girl but was rather innocent and naive. Quinn shuddered to think about what might've happened if Mr. Edwards had continued to focus on Stacy instead of turning his attention elsewhere.
*Mr. Edwards said, "Mr. Edwards - No, no, like the novel I'm writing. It's about a slightly older, sensitive man and the love a budding woman child feels for him when she gets to know him better."
*As he said this, he leaned over Tiffany's desk -- and all of a sudden Quinn knew why she disliked him so much. This guy was bad news!
*"What...?" Tiffany asked. Clearly she was clueless as to what Mr. Edwards was implying. But Quinn wasn't.
*Mr. Edwards said, "See... love can be so simple when the hand of experience nurtures the budding flower to full blossom."
*It was obvious to Quinn that Mr. Edwards was hitting on Tiffany, but it still wasn't obvious to Tiffany. She asked, "You're writing about gardening?"*
Quinn's laugh broke her reverie. Looking back on it now, Tiffany's cluelessness was hilarious! But it wasn't funny at the time. Neither was Sandi's lack of awareness of what happened afterwards, as Mr. Edwards began acting out his book for the whole class. Quinn hid her alarm as she watched him stroke Tiffany's hair and tell her all about his anguished soul. Mr. Edwards was a pedophile, and Sandi didn't seem to realize it! Then again, Sandi was bored and just wanted to get out of there, so that's probably why she didn't pay any attention to Mr. Edwards.
Apparently, Stacy had noticed it a little bit, because after class she asked Quinn if Mr. Edwards was right to stroke Tiffany's hair the way he did. Quinn had wasted no time in telling Stacy that he wasn't right to do so and that she was worried about Mr. Edwards. However, before Stacy could panic and possibly hyperventilate, Quinn took the time to reassure her friend that she was going to do something about it, for Tiffany's sake at least. But what?
That was the problem. What could Quinn do about the whole situation? Ms. Li obviously didn't care that Mr. Edwards was a pedophile; otherwise, she wouldn't have hired the guy. But Tiffany could be seriously damaged by Mr. Edwards, since she was so clueless she'd probably be unaware of what he was doing to her. True, her cluelessness might persuade Mr. Edwards it wasn't worth the effort to hit on her. Quinn remembered the time of her cousin Erin's wedding, when the minister hit on her during the reception but he did so in such a way that Quinn didn't really get it -- until her escort, Garrett, came looking for her and caught on. If Garrett hadn't come looking for her, the minister might have given up on Quinn -- or maybe she might've caught on anyway and still ruined his chances by outright rejecting him. Either way, he wound up hitting on one of the bridesmaids after Quinn focused her attention on taking care of Garrett.
But even if Tiffany's cluelessness saved her from Mr. Edwards, he'd move on to someone else -- and Quinn couldn't allow him to hit on Stacy or even on herself. She had to do something to get rid of Mr. Edwards! But what?
Quinn's ruminations were suddenly stopped by a door opening. She opened the door and rushed to the railing to see who had entered. It was Daria. Apparently Daria hadn't gone over to her best friend Jane's like Quinn assumed she would. Maybe Daria would go over there later, or maybe Daria & Jane had plans to meet somewhere for pizza. Or maybe Daria had plans with her boyfriend, Tom Sloane for later on.
That's when the idea came to Quinn.
Their mother would be coming home later on, and she'd probably be busy with paperwork for that huge case of hers that she just got yesterday. If Quinn mentioned what Mr. Edwards did at school to their mother, it was very unlikely that her mother would pay any attention. She'd just be too distracted with all the paperwork to listen properly. But if she mentioned it to Daria, her sister would surely get the phone for Mom, would probably have an easier time getting Mom's attention than Quinn would, and then Mr. Edwards would have to be fired!
Or maybe it would be better not to directly mention what Mr. Edwards did to Daria herself, but do it in the form of a speed-rant over English class. Yeah, that would be a better option. Daria would still catch on, and get the phone for their mother so that the creep could be fired before Mr. Edwards could have his way with Tiffany -- or any other girl.
Now all that Quinn had to do was to think of how to deliver her speed-rant. And that took some time.
Quinn came downstairs as soon as she heard her mother enter the door, talking all about the huge case and gathering the paperwork. Unfortunately, when she sat down at the dinner table, Daria wasn't there. Presumably, Daria was in her room. She'd come down soon enough. And when she did, Quinn was ready to take action!
Luckily, Quinn didn't have to wait long. Daria soon came downstairs and sat down at the table. Their mother didn't pay any attention, as she was busy with getting the paperwork together. At least she'd stopped talking. It was time for action!
Quinn began by ranting on about most of the other teachers. It wasn't that hard. The substitute History teacher, Mrs. Stoller, obviously had an elevator that didn't go all the way to the top floor. She had begun by asking them what their names were, and it went downhill from there. If Quinn didn't know any better, she would've sworn that Mrs. Stoller thought she was teaching first-graders.
Some of the other substitutes were smarter than Mrs. Stoller was, but they weren't really any more competent at teaching than Mrs. Stoller was. That was because although they all had experience in their respective fields -- the Economics sub was an economist, the Science sub was a scientist, and the Art sub was a professional artist -- none of them had ever taught students before! That was enough material for a speed-rant.
It was time. Quinn now switched over to ranting about Mr. Edwards. "And my Language Arts substitute wouldn't stop talking about this stupid novel he's writing!" she exclaimed.
Mom simply said, "Mm-hmm." Of course. She was too distracted to pay any attention. Daria wasn't paying too much attention either, but Quinn knew that her sister would do so soon enough.
"About some professor who dates a budding child woman because he wants to blossom her," Quinn continued.
Unsurprisingly, Mom once again said, "Mm-hmm." Out of the corner of Quinn's eye, however, she noticed Daria sit up and pay more attention. She didn't know if Daria had heard Mr. Edwards tell this story, but she wouldn't be surprised if he had done so to Daria's classmates.
"And then he started acting out his stupid book for us, stroking Tiffany's hair and telling her about his anguished soul..." Quinn complained. Sure enough, she saw Daria get up and head over to get the cell phone.
But all their mother said was, "Mm-hmm... what?!" She suddenly looked over at Quinn. "He was stroking Tiffany's hair?!" Mom exclaimed.
Quinn couldn't believe it. She hadn't expected what she had said about Mr. Edwards's behavior towards Tiffany to get through to Mom. She had expected Daria to have to get the message through to their mother, but now Daria didn't have to do so. But Quinn knew she had to pretend not to know the significance of the situation. It would definitely motivate Mom to take action.
So Quinn said, "I know! Like Tiffany would ever date someone who wore a tweed jacket." Of course, Tiffany would never date anyone who wore a tweed jacket, but that wasn't what really mattered. What really mattered was getting Mom to have Ms. Li fire that creep, and right now things were working out better than she thought it would.
Indeed, their mother said, "Daria! Get me the..." only to turn around and see Daria was already standing beside her, the phone in her hand. Mom simply took the phone and said, "Thank you" before dialing Ms. Li's number.
Quinn looked down as their mother lit into Ms. Li for hiring a pedophile and threatened to sue Ms. Li unless the principal fired Mr. Edwards. She was looking down to hide the smile of satisfaction on her face. She'd done it. She'd gotten rid of a pedophile and saved Tiffany (at least) from his attentions and from serious psychological damage by getting involved with him.
Their mother's threat to sue Ms. Li worked like a charm, as the principal promised to get rid of Mr. Edwards right away. Quinn was happy as a clam but didn't show it. She didn't need to -- Daria's small smile was enough for her.
The rest of the evening went like a charm for Quinn. Dinner went well, since Dad wasn't trying one of his so-called recipes, which were usually a total disaster. She briefly wondered who would be the new substitute teacher, but was too happy at having gotten rid of Mr. Edwards not to think too much about who the new sub would be. She just hoped it wasn't another pedophile!
After dinner, Quinn went upstairs, where she called Stacy and told her that Mom had threatened to sue Ms. Li if she didn't get rid of Mr. Edwards right away, and then how Ms. Li had agreed to fire Mr. Edwards right away.
"Wow! I'm glad that creep's gone!" said Stacy.
"I'm even happier he didn't try to make moves on you! It was bad enough having him do so to Tiffany!" Quinn said.
"I wonder who our next substitute teacher will be," Stacy wondered.
"Don't know," said Quinn. "And as long as it's not another pedophile, I don't care."
Of course, Quinn had no way of knowing who Ms. Li would choose as the new English substitute teacher the next day. If she had, she might have cared a whole lot more. Or maybe not, considering the results of Ms. Li's hiring the new substitute.
All the characters in this story are the creations of Glenn Eichler and the products of MTV Animation.