Of Farce and Tragedy
By Thomas

Thanks to Steve Brown for helping me with my grammar.

(Lawndale High. Mr. DeMartino is teaching Quinn's class. A boy about Quinn's age is standing next to Mr. DeMartino)

Mr. DeMartino: So STUDENTS, I have the privilege to INTRODUCE to you our new exchange STUDENT. Marcus Kuppisch from LEIPZIG, Germany.

Mark: But you can call me Mark.

(Cut to the fashion club)

Stacy: He's so handsome, and he has a foreign accent.

Tiffany: Accent. Yeah.

Sandi: German. I bet he's got a nice car.

Quinn: (smirk) Makes you wonder how he got it through customs.

(Sandi's face turns red)

(Cut to Mr. DeMartino)

Mr. DeMartino: Does ANYONE know anything about Leipzig? Quinn?

Quinn: It was part of East Germany. So it's a good thing he didn't come here 20 years ago. Because then we might have shot him.

(Mark laughs)

Stacy: Oh no. Why would we do that?

Mr. DeMartino: That's a good question, Stacy. Or it WOULD have been so, LAST year, when I taught European history. Only YOU didn't pay attention. Why don't you pay attention? Why? WHY?

Stacy: Eeeeeep!

(The cafeteria. Mark and Quinn are sitting at the same table)

Mark: Morgendorffer. Is your family from Germany?

Quinn: I don't know. Why do you ask?

Mark: Your name. It means morning village in German.

Quinn: Oh. (concerned) Is that bad?

Mark: (laughs) You're funny. I like that. Say. Could you show me around town sometime?

Quinn: Are you asking me on a date?

Mark: Can I?

Quinn: Oh sure. Tomorrow? Eight o'clock?

Mark: That's fine. The reason I'm asking is that you seem like a smart girl. Nothing I hate more than dating some moron.

(Quinn looks nervous)

(Sloane TV room. Daria and Tom are watching the Discovery Channel. Elsie is reading a magazine)

TV: After two hours the frontal lobe has been moved aside. The doctor can now begin to remove the tumor.

Tom: Look. It's a boy.

(Daria laughs. Elsie looks at them in disgust. The phone rings. Elsie answers it. Split screen between Elsie and Quinn)

Elsie: Sloane residence. Elsie speaking.

Quinn: Hi, Elsie. It's Quinn. Is Daria there?

Elsie: Yeah. She and my brother are watching a program about brain surgery. I think it's their idea of pornography.

OS Tom: My evil sibling is putting us in a bad light.

OS Daria: But should we get mad or be grateful?

Quinn: Can you put her on?

Elsie: Just a moment.

(Cut to the TV room)

Elsie: It's your sister.

Daria: Guess my mom's gotten tired of calling me herself.

(Split screen between Daria and Quinn)

Daria: Let me start by saying that if you tell mom what Elsie just said, I'll show your friends that picture from Christmas with dad in his Santa costume and you sitting on his lap.

Quinn: (shocked) You wouldn't. Anyhow when are you coming home?

Daria: In an hour. But look. If mom wants to know when I'm coming home the least she can do is call me herself.

Quinn: It's not mom. I have something I need you to help me with.

Daria: Now? That's too bad. Tom is taking me out for dinner tonight.

OS Tom: I am?

OS Elsie: (loud) They're going to that new fast food joint. The one that hasn't even been built yet.

OS Tom: Shut up.

OS Elsie: You shut up.

Daria: I have to go. Don't want to miss the family mauling. (hangs up)

(The Morgendorffer's livingroom. Quinn is standing by the phone. Jake is watching a game on TV)

Quinn: Don't hang up on me, Daria. This is my time of need... Daria? Damn. (hangs up)

Quinn: (walks over to Jake) Dad I need to borrow the car.

Jake: I'm sorry, kiddo. But there isn't much gas left in the tank. And I need it to drive to work tomorrow.

Quinn: Oh. Can I have 50 bucks for a new pair of jeans then?

Jake: Fifty! I don't even have that much money on me.

Quinn: Oh. But if you can't give me any money. Can I at least borrow the car?

Jake: Well I suppose...

Quinn: Thanks, dad. Love you. Bye. (runs of)

Jake: (pause) Hey! Wait a minute.

(Sloane TV room. Tom, Daria and Elsie are watching the movie "Good Will Hunting")

Daria: You know what's strange about this movie?

Tom: That the main character can be a genius without being portrayed as either a freak or a mad scientist.

Daria: That too.

Tom: And he's smarter than you and me?

Elsie: Just say so if you want me to leave.

(Quinn comes in)

Quinn: Hi Tom, Hi Elsie. Daria I need to talk with you.

Daria: Tom. Have we been taking LSD?

Tom: Not that I know of.

Daria: Then why am I seeing Quinn?

Tom: Gas leak?

Elsie: Hey. Give her a break. What is it Quinn?

Quinn: I have a date with the German guy.

Daria: The new exchange student? That didn't take you long. It was his accent right?

Quinn: Uuuh... He wants to date me because he thinks I'm really smart. And now I'm worrying if I might say something stupid to make him dislike me.

Daria: Quinn. You do realize that right now you're in the process of totally humiliating yourself in front of us.

Quinn: I know. But I'm desperate. I want this to work out. You're the brain. Think of something.

Elsie: I got an idea. Have you read "Cyrano de Bregerac"?

Daria: Yeah. (pause) Oh no. And no way.

Elsie: Way. Our dad's got one of those small phones you stick in your ear. Quinn can hide it with her hair.

Tom: And then Daria can tell her what to say over the phone. Smart.

(Daria looks cross at Tom)

Quinn: What're you talking about? Cyrano who?

Elsie: You know. Guy falls in love with girl. But guy is an idiot with words. So guy gets Cyrano to help him. Cyrano tells the guy what to say to the girl.

Quinn: That's brilliant!

Daria: You forgot the part about the guy getting killed in the war. And the girl and Cyrano ending in misery.

Elsie: It's French. They're always tragic.

Daria: This will more likely be a farce.

Tom: First tragedy, then farce. That's Karl Marx right?

Quinn: See? This is why I need you guys. You know this kind of stuff. You can talk with him about Karl Marx.

Daria: Um, Quinn. The guy is from eastern Europe. Talking about Marx might not be a good idea.

(Helen's car. Helen is driving Jake to work)

Helen: Honestly, Jake. How could you let Quinn have your car when you were almost out of gas?

Jake: I don't know.

Helen: You have to learn how to say no to them. For the next week I want you to try to say no to the girls. No money and no car.

Jake: But my dad always said no to me. (agitated) Except when I asked to go to tennis camp. (angry) First he twisted my words. And then it was off to military school. (1)

Helen: Jake! You're not your father. And if anything, we've said "yes" to the girls far too often. (nervous) But that doesn't make me a bad mother. I know I shouldn't let Quinn use my credit cards so much, or bribe Daria all the time. But dammit. I have to work. I...

Jake: Hon. I hear you. No money and no car.

Helen: Just say no.

Jake: "Just say no". Hey. That could be the slogan for a campaign.

Helen: I'm not sure it would work.

(Daria and Quinn are standing in Quinn's room. Quinn is getting ready to leave. Daria is helping her hide the phone with her hair)

Daria: There we are. No one can see it now. I'll try calling you.

(Daria takes the phone in Quinn's room and dials a number)

Quinn: I hear it!

Daria: You answer it by pressing the button behind your ear. Try it.

Quinn: (sticks a hand up to her right ear) I'm ready.

Daria: (whispers into the phone) On a first date?

(Quinn sends Daria a killer look)

Daria: It's working alright. You can drive over and pick him up now.

Quinn: Daria. He's supposed to pick me up. Don't you know anything about dating?

Daria: Newsflash. He's European.

Quinn: You mean in Europe the girls pick up the guys?

Daria: No I mean he doesn't have a car.

Quinn: I know that. It's not like I think he would bring it with him. Unlike some other people I know of. But surely he can borrow or rent...

Daria: He also has no license. They can't get a license over there until they turn 18.

Quinn: (panicking) Oh no. I knew something like this would happen. How am I going to explain this to dad?

Daria: Calm down. Go to the garage. I'll borrow the car.

(The livingroom. Jake is reading a book. Daria walks over to him)

Daria: Dad, can I borrow the car?

Jake: I'm sorry but the answer is no. Last time Quinn borrowed it, your mom had to drive me to work the next day.

Daria: Can I have money to buy a new CD then?

Jake: Oh no. That trick won't work with me this time.

Daria: You're probably right. I mean I get an allowance. I should buy my own CD's. Shouldn't I?

Jake: Yes you should.

Daria: In fact I think I'll take your car and drive down to the record store right now.

Jake: That's my girl. You do that.

Daria: Thanks, dad. (leaves)

Jake: (pause) Oh, no.

(Quinn and Mark are driving around town in Jake's car)

Quinn: And to the right we have the Village Green.

Mark: What's that statue?

(Cut to Daria's room. Daria is using the phone)

Daria: I don't know. Never bothered to read the sign. (voiceover) Great start.

(Cut to Jake's car)

Quinn: Umm. I don't know.

Mark: Lucky you. We have monuments everywhere. Like you can't go anywhere without being reminded of some bloody battle or massacre before you were even born. Sometimes I wonder what the point is of remembering history at all.

(Cut to Daria's room)

Daria: So maybe you won't repeat past mistakes. No wait! That's like saying he might turn into a nazi. Let's see. But if we didn't we would lose all the good things too. And we wouldn't be able to understand the works of Homer, Thukydid, Salust or Cicero anymore.

(Cut to Jake's car)

Quinn: ... or Cicero anymore.

Mark: I suppose if you look at it that way.

Quinn: And down here we have the shopping district. But I always use the mall.

Mark: So do I. You know I was only six when the wall came down. My earliest memory is going to a mall.

Quinn: What a coincidence. Mine too.

Mark: (laughs) Good one.

(Cut to Daria's room)

Daria: (voiceover) Somehow I don't think that was a joke.

(The Morgendorffer's are having breakfast)

Helen: So how did your date go last night sweetie? I know he's from Europe. But here in America he has to follow our rules.

Daria: Meaning if he wants to drink you tell him to smoke pot instead?

Jake: (shocked) Smoke pot! But kiddo...

Helen: Daria's joking. The girls have always passed the schools urinalysis. (2)

Quinn: The date went fine. I showed him all of Lawndale. He was really impressed when I told him of how the giant strawberry reminded me of Andy Warhol except that it was the right color.

(Helen and Jake stare at Quinn with open mouths)

Daria: She's joking.

Quinn: And now he's asked me out for dinner tomorrow. I got reservations at Chez Pierre. Oh and don't worry dad. There is plenty of gas left in your car.

Helen: (looks cross at Jake) How?

Jake: (miserably) I don't know.

Quinn: And Daria. You're not doing anything tomorrow. Are you?

(Daria raises an eyebrow)

(Lawndale High. Quinn and Mark are standing by the lockers)

Mark: So then the coach asked me if I played football. And I told him I've played since the age of 10. Then I suddenly realized that he wasn't talking about soccer. But by then I already agreed to try out for the team.

Quinn: How did it go?

Mark: Strangely enough I made the team. There were these three guys who kept trying to bump into me. Like they had a grudge against me.

Quinn: (laughs nervously) Can't imagine why.

Mark: But playing soccer has learned me how to avoid being tackled. Then after I made the team this cheerleader made a pass at me.

Quinn: Blond hair. Squeaky voice?

Mark: You know her?

Quinn: She's really stupid isn't she? You would never go out with her. Would you?

Mark: Maybe if I ran my head against the goal post.

Quinn: Um. Could you not joke about that? (3)

(Cut to Daria and Jane who are standing further down the hall)

Jane: This is the fourth day I've seen those two together. Is she trying to set a new record?

Daria: Or making sure everyone sees her with him.

Jane: But the more time she's with him. The less time you have to listen to her.

Daria: That may not be entirely true. (sigh) How about we accompany the spiral to their gig in Oakwood tonight.

Jane: But the spiral doesn't have a gig in Oakwood.

Daria: Then it's about time we went to Oakwood and got them one.

Jane: Okaaay. But only because I heard that it's dangerous to disagree with the insane.

Daria: Just get me out of here will you?

(Tom's room. Tom is reading a book. His phone rings. He answers it. Split screen between Tom and Quinn)

Quinn: Hi Tom. It's Quinn.

Tom: I'm sorry. Daria isn't here.

Quinn: Figures. I wanted her to help me with my dating again. Only now I can't find her anywhere. I bet she's gone into hiding.

Tom: Now why would she do that?

Quinn: Wait a minute. You can help me.

Tom: Um. But then I can't help search for Daria.

Quinn: Come on. I'll make it worthwhile for you.

Tom: (curious) How?

Quinn: Remember when you forgot your anniversary? (4)

Tom: As did she. Until you reminded her.

Quinn: Never mind that. Next time she's acting weird and won't tell you why...

Tom: You'll let me know.

Quinn: Exactly.

Tom: Deal.

(Morgendorffer kitchen. Jake is making dinner. Quinn comes in)

Quinn: Dad, can I...

Jake: Dammit the answer is no. You can't have the car.

Quinn: What? I just wanted to know if you could help me with my homework. I've got an assignment from Mrs. Bennett.

Jake: (ashamed) Oh, I'm sorry, kiddo. I don't know what came over me.

Quinn: That's okay, dad.

Jake: No, it's not okay. You come to me for help and I yell at you. Just like my dad did with me. (nervous) But I'm not like my dad.

Quinn: Of course you're not. Your dad would never apologize or try to make it up to me.

Jake: That's right. How can I make it up to you?

Quinn: Well. You could let me have the car.

Jake: I suppose.

Quinn: Thanks, dad. Bye. (runs off)

Jake: (pause) GAAAAA!

(Quinn and Mark are driving in Jake's car)

Mark: Where're we going? Not a foreign restaurant I hope.

Quinn: Oh why not?

Mark: I just mean it would be silly of me to come all the way from Germany to the US just to go to, say a French place.

(Quinn laughs nervously)

(Cut to Tom's room. Tom is on the phone)

Tom: Don't panic. Drive to the country club. Ask for a waiter called Jack and tell him I sent you. (voiceover) Sending non-members to the country club. Bribing a waiter. This was not part of the deal.

(Cut to Jake's car)

Quinn: (relieved) Oh don't worry. The place we're going to is as American as MTV.

Mark: Watching MTV is how I learned to speak English. Must run in the family. My brother is 11 years older than me. He learned it listening to illegal records.

(Cut to Tom's room)

Tom: Before the wall came down nearly all western music was illegal. Most of it for no apparent reason. Ask him if he agrees that the banning of foreign music is symptomatic for totalitarian regimes build-in need to control everything.

(Cut to Jake's car)

Quinn: ... build-in need to control everything.

Mark: (nervous smile) Yeah. Definitely.

(The Morgendorffer's are having breakfast)

Helen: So how did your date go? He didn't try anything did he?

Quinn: Mu-oom. I'm 17. When will you start treating me like an adult?

Daria: I agree. Quinn should get a job and pay rent.

Helen: When you move out of the house and not a second before that. So how did it go?

Quinn: It went fine. We talked about who the most important anti-communist writer was. Orwell or Koestler.

Helen: Eh.

Jake: He.

Daria: She's kidding. Are you seeing him again?

Quinn: Tonight.

Daria: Can't I just hit you over the head with the encyclopedia this time?

(Quinn sends Daria a dirty look)

Helen: How did he take you there? I thought that in Europe you need to be 18 before you can get a license.

Quinn: I know. Can you imagine. I had to drive over and pick him up.

Helen: How, *Jake*?

Jake: (whining) I don't know.

(Daria's room. Daria is sitting at her computer. There is a knock on the door)

Daria: Sorry. But you need to drink from the bottle that says "Drink Me" first.

(Quinn enters)

Quinn: Daria...

Daria: Hold it! Does this have to do with your insane dating game?

Quinn: But Daria. It's not a game.

Daria: Thought so. Bye.

Quinn: Come on. This is the last time I need you to help me.

Daria: It would be, wouldn't it. Three dates with the same guy. Must be a new record.

Quinn: Oh ha, ha. I mean. I'm taking him to Lover's Lane.

Daria: That place? But you've only known him for a week.

Quinn: Geee. I'm just going to kiss him. That's all. (smirk) Are you worried about me?

Daria: Of course not!

Quinn: You can come with me, if you promise not to get seen. And if you help me this time. I swear never to bother you again.

Daria: Like all the times you swore never to speak to me again?

Quinn: Um. I won't bother you for a week?

Daria: Deal.

Quinn: Great. Now all I need is for you to get me dad's car.

Daria: Excuse me? Have you tried using the homework trick?

Quinn: Afraid so.

Daria: Oh brother.

(Morgendorffer livingroom. Jake is watching the news. Daria walks over to him)

Daria: Dad. Have you seen mom. I need to borrow her car.

Jake: The answer is no. You can't have my... Helen's car? But why do you want her car?

Daria: No reason.

Jake: Are you saying there's something wrong with my car?

Daria: Well. Now that you mention it. The front...

Jake: There's nothing wrong with my car. Sure it may not be as big or as expensive as your mother's, but I see no reason why you can't borrow my car.

Daria: Thanks, dad. (leaves)

(A minute goes by. Jake buries his face in his hands)

(Lovers Lane. Daria and Elsie are sitting in Tom's car. Daria is holding a cell phone)

Daria: Will you go first or shall I?

Elsie: Meaning?

Daria: Why are you here?

Elsie: When you called you said you needed Tom's car. You didn't say who should be driving it. Besides don't you find this a little romantic?

Daria: "Cyrano de Bergerac" may have been romantic. This is ridiculous.

Elsie: So why are you here? Unlike Cyrano you could have done this from home.

Daria: Promise not to tell anyone. Including Tom.

Elsie: I promise.

Daria: I'm worried about her. (into the phone) Quinn. Try talking about the stars. Now remember. Away red. Towards blue.

(Cut to Jake's car where Quinn and Mark are sitting)

Quinn: Aren't the stars beautiful. And they're so far away you can't even comprehend it. And some of them aren't even stars but other galaxies. Did you know that the galaxies are red or blue depending on whether they move away or towards us.

Mark: No, I didn't. In Germany they don't teach us relativity theory until our final year.

(Cut to Tom's car)

Daria: Me thinks he's being ironic.

Elsie: Me thinks he's going to break up with her. And me can't blame him.

(Cut to Jake's car)

Mark: Look. I wanted to go out with you because you seemed like a smart girl. Someone I could talk with. About school, movies, your culture. You know, ordinary stuff. But when I go out with you I have the feeling I'm dating Madam Curi.

(Cut to Tom's car)

Daria: Uh-oh.

Elsie: Oh yeah. He's going to break up with her alright.

(Cut to Jake's car)

Quinn: Who's that?

Mark: Oh come on. Like you wouldn't know. On our last date you told me of how Schroedinger got the inspiration for his cat paradox while making love.

(Cut to Tom's car)

Elsie: You actually told her to say that?

Daria: (blushes) No, that must have been Tom.

(Cut to Jake's car)

Quinn: But, Mark... I don't have to be like this. I'm not always an intellectual. We can talk about everyday stuff if that's what you want.

Mark: Quinn, please. I couldn't ask you to dumb yourself down. What kind of relationship would that be?

Quinn: You don't understand. I wouldn't be dumbing myself down. I...

Mark: What? Don't tell me you can just turn your higher brain functions on and off.

(Cut to Tom's car)

Elsie: You think he's on to us?

Daria: As long as he doesn't come over here with a shotgun, who cares? (into the phone) Sorry, Quinn. Can't help you with this one. (turns the phone off)

Elsie: What did you do that for? Don't you want to hear them break up?

Daria: It's tempting. But unlike you I have to live with her.

Elsie: Guess she won't be driving him home this time.

Daria: What're you getting at?

Elsie: It's a long way to walk, and a cab might take him on a detour, him being foreign and so on. You can get a ride home with Quinn. Can't you?

Daria: I don't believe I'm hearing this.

Elsie: Hey. They're breaking up. Once he leaves that car, he's fair game. Even you should know that.

Daria: Are you hinting at me and Tom? (5)

Elsie: You said that. Not I.

(A few days later. Morgendorffer kitchen. Quinn is standing by the refrigerator. Daria comes in)

Daria: Can I borrow it when you're done?

Quinn: AAAAAH!! (slams the door shut)

Daria: Was that a no?

Quinn: I've just been to the football game. You won't believe who I saw Mark with.

Daria: Elsie.

Quinn: You knew?

Daria: She told me she would go after him. Back when... You know.

Quinn: And you let her? How could you let her stab me in the back like that?

Daria: What're you talking about? You and Mark broke up. Why shouldn't she go after him? And why're you making such a fuss over it? You got what you wanted.

Quinn: (angry) What do you mean "what I wanted".

Daria: Come on. A new kid with a foreign accent shows up at school. You go out with him a few times. And then you move on to the next guy just like you always do. What difference does it make who he's seeing now?

Quinn: You don't understand. Mark wasn't like other guys. He did sport but he wasn't a jock. He was smart but not a brain. He was handsome...

Daria: But he didn't look like a male underwear model.

Quinn: (sad) And he was fun without being sarcastic.

Daria: (pause) Oh boy. You really liked him.

(Quinn starts crying)

Daria: Maybe it's not too late. If you told him...

Quinn: (crying) The truth?

Daria: Hmmm. That would be a bad idea wouldn't it.

Quinn: (stops crying) I can't believe I could mess up so badly. I've always taken pride in knowing how to date.

Daria: But you weren't looking for a date this time. You wanted a relationship. (sigh) There's still lots of time you know. I didn't get into a relationship until I became a senior. (2)

Quinn: But where am I going to find another guy like Mark? Not at Lawndale High that's for sure.

Daria: I suppose you would know that.

Quinn: (giggles) Stop it Daria. I'm trying to be sad. (pause) Maybe Tom can introduce me to some of the guys from Fielding.

(Daria narrows her eyes)

Quinn: Just kidding. (pause) What's it like? To have a boyfriend I mean.

Daria: It gives you a whole new set of things to worry about. (pause) Wait a minute. Are you envious of me?

Quinn: Well. You're unpopular, you dress horribly and every time you say something it's about, like, icky stuff.

Daria: So we should stop talking about you then?

Quinn: (gives Daria a dirty look) But you have a boyfriend and I don't. And you have a friend you can talk about everything with. I can only talk fashion with mine. Otherwise I have to talk with you.

Daria: Is this where I'm supposed to say something nice to you?

Quinn: Would you?

Daria: Um... I'll help you with your homework.

Quinn: (shrugs) Fair enough. You might regret what you just said though.

Daria: Oh.

Quinn: Ms. Barch wants us to learn the constellations.

Daria: And explain why the virgin is morally superior to the bull.

Quinn: You too?

Daria: Oh yeah. (6) (sigh) Let's get going. We can still make it before the observatory closes.

Quinn: But how? Dad has been hard to get the car out of lately.

(The livingroom. Jake is reading a book. Daria and Quinn walk over to him)

Daria: Dad.

Jake: (suspicious) Yeah.

Quinn: About your car...

Jake: You can't have it!!

Daria: You're right. We shouldn't be borrowing your car anymore.

Jake: Oh.

Quinn: Instead you should buy me and Daria our own car.

Daria: We saw an old BMW down at Herb's for just ten grand.

Jake: Ten grand! I can't just spend that much money. What about the mortgage?

Quinn: But, dad. You can't buy us a cheap car. What would my friends say? And what if it broke down in the middle of nowhere?

Daria: Can we have a motorcycle then?

Jake: A motorcycle! Gaaaa. No, girls! I have to put my foot down here. You'll just have to use my car.

Daria & Quinn: Thanks, dad. (runs of)

Jake: (pause) WHY LORD? WHY?


(1) "Jake of Hearts"

(2) "Is it Fall Yet"

(3) "The Misery Chick"

(4) "Sappy Anniversary"

(5) "Dye! Dye! My Darling"

(6) "Fizz Ed"