(Montage teaser sequence. Music: Splendora -- "You're Standing On My Neck".

Lynn at her locker, converged upon by Stacy and the other cheerleaders [huddled into a protective knot formation] on one side and Brittany [dressed in a pink skirt and white T-shirt that looks like her cheerleading uniform but isn't] on the other.

Jane surrounded by a mid-sized group of children aged six through twelve, standing in front of the Lawndale Elementary School sign. She holds up a bag -- it is full of cans of spray-paint, a few tubes of Crazy Glue and several containers of glitter. The kids grin and reach into the bag.

Daria, Jane and Lynn walking down a Lawndale street, talking. They stop and turn as they hear a noise, and then a screaming AP staggers quickly past them, being dragged by a number of dogs -- a giant Rottweiler, a German Shepherd, a Great Dane, three Corgis, a Chihuahua and a pair of sickeningly cute Lhasa Apsos.

Jake on a used car lot, talking to a dealer. He pats a black 1982 two-door Toyota Tercel that looks like a good kick might reduce it to its component parts. Jake turns, grinning, to Daria, who is standing at a slight distance from the car, arms folded. She just shakes her head in something that's on the emotional scale between despair and disgust.

Daria and Jodie in a makeshift broadcast studio, talking into a mike. Visible through the soundproof glass behind them is Caldwell, looking strangely agitated. After a moment, his expression takes on a more worried look and he jogs out.

A deserted factory. Tiffany, dressed in white, peering blankly into a birdcage. Lying at the bottom is a dead bird. Upchuck approaches from behind her, his hair slicked back, dressed in black in best post-makeover tradition. He turns her around and they kiss deeply.

A men's room. O'Neill huddled into a ball on the floor, sobbing his pathetic little heart out. Four familiar pairs of boots walk into shot and stop in front of him. Pan up to the confused-looking Daria, Jane, Lynn and AP.

Daria and Lynn, side-by-side, looking at each other and giving the traditional Mona Lisa smile. Pan in and out to change to the TLAS logo. Writing in Daria font underneath reads...)


(Scene: McIntyre Manor, ext. Music: Stamford Amp -- "Buck Rodgers". A hot pink van pulls up in front of the house. The delivery person we see in "Kiss and Makeup" steps out with a clipboard and goes to the back of the van. She opens it up, removes a large box and walks up to the house, then rings the doorbell. Carol answers the door.)

Carol: Oh, hello. (beat) Aren't you one of Andrew's little friends?

Fred: (OS) Oh, for God's sake, it's not even nine in the morning...

(He appears in the doorway and sees the delivery chick who we'll call Candy in honour of her hair.)

Candy: Dude. Hey.

Fred: You're delivering something else?

Candy: Dude. Duh. Job.

Fred: (yelling into the house) AAAAAAAAAANDREW!

(Thudthudthud ... a brief moment's silence ... thunk. AP picks himself up off the floor [he obviously fell down at least three steps] and pokes his head 'round Carol to see Candy at the door.)

AP: Hey! Candy!

Candy: Dude. (thrusts clipboard at him) Sign.

AP: (grabs clipboard, scrawls on the dotted line) Cool! Thanks!

(Candy thrusts the box at AP, who manages by dint of some juggling not to drop it, and heads back to her van.)

Carol: Andrew, why don't you ask your little friend to stay for breakfast? She seems nice, bringing you presents...

(Fred glares at Carol, who blinks vapidly and wanders off. AP is not paying any attention to the byplay; he's examining the new arrival.)

AP: Cooooooool! Flatbed scanner! Finally I can ... uh...

(He finally notices that his father is glaring at him; he turns to Fred with his most innocent Dustpuppy grin, which cuts about as much ice as a soap hacksaw.)

(Scene: Pizza King. Music: Offspring -- "Why Don't You Get a Job?". AP is sitting in a booth with Daria, Jane and Lynn, looking miserable.)

Daria: Well, if you're ordering enough to be on first-name terms with the delivery girl, of course your father's going to get suspicious.

Jane: Well, if you have normal live-in parents, anyway.

Lynn: You couldn't have saved the profligate spending for when you got to college? Apart from parental suspicion, there's the amount of stuff you're going to have to move.

AP: I know, okay? It's just that there was all that nifty stuff at Thinkgeek and...

Daria: You should take the name of that site a little more to heart, AP. (to his confused look) Think, geek; think before you act.

AP: Little late for that now, Erudite Emerald. Now Dad says that if he sees Candy out there again with a box with my name on, he's gonna meet her at the door with his shotgun.

Jane: Fred McIntyre owns a shotgun? Now that's scary.

Lynn: No, the scary part is the complete lack of accuracy with which he uses it. The only safe place to be standing when he fires is directly behind him. (to the looks) Let's just say the man has a severe problem with his backyard being turned into an urban wildlife park. And I thought everybody liked raccoons.

AP: Look, enough of the sorry-weird that was third grade. (Daria and Jane look at each other again, even more freaked -- "They were eight?") He also cut my allowance. Said something about not giving me jack if I'm spending on that kinda crap.

Jane: Good thing you're independently wealthy.

Daria: Yeah. Even without the Smythe fortune, the Methods bring in enough of the folding green to keep you in Jolt and microchips for the rest of your life.

AP: Yeah, but that isn't cutting it anymore. Dad says he doesn't think I know how to make an honest living and if he doesn't see me with an honest job in a couple days, not only will he make sure that nothing new I ever get gets near me, but I'll be grounded until I get grey hair and the only way I'll see MIT is on TV.

Daria: Then the solution's simple -- get a job.

AP: Doin' what? I mean, I had a job once -- I was a paperboy. And let me tell you, it looked a lot easier on the NES.

Daria: (pulling out a notebook and pencil) Maybe try something that relies less on ... the physical.

Jane: Hey, Axl's usually needs a guy at the cash register.

Daria: (jotting it down) There's the simple stuff -- dog-walking, lawn mowing, housecleaning, babysitting...

AP: Who'd hire me for that after the trebuchet stuff?

Lynn: Hey, if you get really stuck, you can always do pizza delivery.

Daria: (jotting that down as well) How did you get your licence, anyway?

AP: Veeeeeeeeeeery painfully. (beat) Isn't that enough to start with? I'm not liking the whole thing.

Jane: (smirk) You slacker, you!

AP: It's not that -- I just got a bad feeling about it all. I mean, housecleaning? I get jpegs of me in an apron with a feather duster, makin' like the Bizkit boys and breakin' stuff.

(He gets up and walks off. The girls share looks.)

Daria: He gets "jpegs". Now I've heard everything.

Lynn: Speaking of hearing everything, how's the Quinn situation going?

Jane: Hey, yeah, did you finally manage to get inside that fluffy little head of hers?

Daria: Uh. Yeah. Yeah, I did.

(Silence as Daria does her damndest to ignore the expectant looks)

Jane: Do I have to guess?

Daria: I ... just want to get my head around the fact that Quinn voluntarily opened up to me. (beat) Besides, we have other problems to deal with.

(Jane and Lynn look at her curiously, and Daria points towards the counter, where AP is talking to the stereotypical fat Italian guy behind the counter. On the counter is propped a "Driver Wanted" sign. Jane and Lynn look around in just enough time to see the guy behind the counter removing the sign from the counter.)

(Scene: LHS corridor. Music: Love Among Freaks -- "Clerks". AP is at his locker, packing up. Instead of his black T-shirt and blue jacket, he's wearing the Pizza King delivery boy uniform shirt. Daria and Jane approach; Jane's wielding a camera. She takes a picture of AP, who frowns at her.)

AP: What're you doing?

Jane: This is the "before" photo. I figure the plastic surgeons are going to need it after your day's work.

AP: (fuming) Ha. Little sympathy for the techno-weasel here?

Daria: If we were trying to be cruel, we'd be giving the surgeons a picture of Kevin to work from.

AP: Ew. (beat) Could someone tell Purple Peril that my shift stops at ten and I can probably be over right after?

Jane: Oh, I think we can do better than that. We're having a little homework party at her place and I figure we could be hungry around ten.

AP: Cool. I oughta go. Bein' late my first day is probably gonna get me fired.

(Off he goes. Daria and Jane look at each other.)

Jane: Ten bucks. Three days. Four accidents. Five late deliveries. Major bruises, minor grazes and two damaged fences.

Daria: I'll call it at two days, six accidents, six late deliveries -- all related to the accidents -- one broken wrist as well as the bruises and scrapes, and three ruined hedges.

(Enter Lynn, who looks at the two girls wryly.)

Lynn: You're taking bets on how he'll do, aren't you.

Daria: (shamefaced) Well...

Lynn: How much?

Jane: (equally shamefaced) Ten bucks.

Lynn: Cheapskates. (beat) He won't last the day. He'll turn up at my door tonight -- after seven accidents and four late deliveries -- with severe bruising, deep scratches and road rash along his left side. Destruction total will be two hedges, two fences, two mailboxes, one garage door and two of the pizzas.

(Daria and Jane look at each other.)

Daria: I'm not sure I want in on this anymore.

Jane: What, you feel bad about betting on your ex's misfortunes?

Daria: No -- with her in on the pool, I don't stand a chance of winning anymore.

Jane: Hmm. You make a point.

Lynn: First cheapskates, then spoilsports.

(Scene: Cullen living room. Music plays on. There has obviously been a major homework session going on -- there's paper everywhere, along with various textbooks. The three girls are slumped on the sofa; Daria looks exhausted, Lynn looks slightly frazzled and Jane looks frustrated.)

Jane: That's it. I give up. I'm going to carry this C math average around like a millstone.

Daria: Look on the bright side. (beat) We ... uh ... managed to get through another round of assignments without someone losing an eye to a carelessly wielded number 2 pencil.

Jane: Some blessing, seeing as that could never happen to you two. (pokes a pencil towards Lynn's face, the eraser tapping her glasses) See? Blast shields.

Lynn: (grabbing the pencil) Okay, two minutes and the pizza's free.

Daria: I'll take that as a note of worry for your boyfriend's career in the delivery of Italian comestibles.

Lynn: Of course. So you should.

(Doorbell rings [yes, it still sounds like it's dented]. There is a pause as no one moves; they just stay slumped. Doorbell rings again.)

Jane: Is someone going to get that?

Daria: Lynn, it's your house.

Lynn: Jane, you made the suggestion.

Jane: Daria, you're in a better mood.

(Daria sighs and drags herself to her feet. We hear the door open, then close, then Daria leads AP in. He's a mess -- his hair's full of leaves, the left side of his uniform shirt and the left leg of his jeans are shredded, and what we can see of his skin on the left is scratched, bruised and covered with road rash. He is carrying two pizza boxes and does not look particularly happy.)

AP: 'Kay -- in the pool, who had one day, seven accidents, four lates, bad bruising, deep scratches, road rash, two hedges, two fences, two mailboxes, one garage door and two pizzas?

(Daria and Jane dig into their pockets, each hand over a ten-dollar bill to Lynn, who hands them over to AP. He pockets them with a sigh.)

Jane: You know him way too well.

AP: So ... what's next?

(Daria reaches into the paper stack and pulls out the list, handing it to AP without a word. He sighs, drops the pizzas and slumps into an armchair.)


"I'm a Celebrity; Get Me Out Of Here!" -- The very latest in reality TV. Between watching eight celebs bitching and whining in an Australian jungle, you can vote to have said celebs do horrible things like shower in maggots and reach into snake pits to earn themselves dinner. "Survivor" meets "Big Brother" meets "Hello!" magazine.

Toyota -- I don't care how they advertise it -- I will never see a Toyota as a rebel's car.

(Scene: Morgendorffer kitchen. Music: REM -- "The Finest Worksong". The family is sitting at the table, eating dinner. Helen is poking at her food and occasionally remembering to take a bite of food as she pores over legal briefs. Quinn's nibbling, flipping through a copy of "Cheerleadership" magazine. Jake is reading the paper. Daria has a copy of "A Tale of Two Cities". The phone rings. Helen throws her fork down and grabs for it.)

Helen: Eric, please; I'm in the middle of... (beat) Oh. Listen, could this wait? We're right in the middle of din... (beat) All right, but please make it quick. (holds out phone to Daria) Daria, it's for you.

Daria: (taking the phone with a confused frown) Hello?

(Split-screen to AP, who looks miserable and freaked.)

AP: Uh ... Erudite Emerald? You did babysitting, right?

Daria: Uh ... once or twice. For the Guptys. Why?

AP: You know anything about Brian Taylor?

Daria: Not much -- only that he's probably manic and likes to torture small... (it hits) What did he do?

AP: Well, I'm gonna have a hard time explaining what happened to the dishwasher -- remind me never to carry M-80s again. And last time I saw him, he was out in the backyard with their cat, a chunk of steak and ... oh God, a bunch of sewing needles...

Daria: And you didn't call Lynn?

AP: She's at rehearsal and I don't think they can hear the phone over the noise and I needed some help!

Daria: Okay. Just ... ask yourself this simple question. What would Lynn do?

(slight pause)

AP: Okaaaaaaaay... I'm gonna get fired.

Daria: Would you prefer watching the Taylor family pet ingest and then regurgitate a bellyful of sewing needles?

(slightly longer pause.)

AP: I gotta go. Thanks. Later!

(Back to single screen. Daria puts the phone down and finds herself meeting the slightly shocked stares of her family members.)

Daria: Emergency Babysitter's Club business.

(Quinn shrugs and goes back to her magazine. Helen looks askance at Daria, but goes back to her legal briefs. Jake looks at Daria a moment longer.)

Jake: Sewing needles? Really? (to Daria's nod) Ewwwww.

(With that and a shudder, he goes back to his paper.)

(Scene: LHS cafeteria. Music: Papa Roach -- "Between Angels and Insects". AP is miserably poking at his lunch. Jane's sitting across from him, watching him strangely. Daria and Lynn enter and sit down.)

Jane: Maybe one of you can talk to him. He's been like this all morning.

Daria: I think I understand. (to AP) So did you manage to incapacitate Brian?

AP: Yep. Managed to stop him from hurting the cat, too. (beat) Still got fired.

Daria: The dishwasher was the final straw, huh?

Lynn: (looking at AP) I'm pretty sure that's not all there was to it.

(Enter Brittany, [still in the pink and white copy of her former cheerleader's uniform] furiously bearing down on AP.)

Brittany: Oh, AP, how could you? I mean, I don't like Brian all that much either and he does some really horrible things sometimes but you didn't, like, have to ... to... Oh, now Daddy's never going to want to hire a babysitter again and now I'll have to miss out on all those fun parties for the models and ... ooh, I hate you!

(Brittany stalks off. Daria, Jane and Lynn turn and stare at AP, who shrinks and blushes.)

Daria: So, in what passes for your mind, what would Lynn do?

AP: Well? I thought a juice glass full of vodka'd put him out, not just get him so drunk he yarked all over the place like Linda Blair! I figured a hyper little freak like him would be okay with depressant chemicals in his system! But nooooooooo, the little monster has to go all staggery on me!

Lynn: For future reference ... I would not do that. Alcohol isn't reliable enough a tranquiliser.

Jane: Well, when word of this gets out, your baby-sitting career is pretty much shot. So that's option number two out of the way. What've we got left?

AP: (pulls out the list) Lawns, houses, dogs and Axl's. (beat) Muuuuuuuuuuh...

Lynn: I can put a good word in for you with Axl.

Jane: Since when did you have pull with Axl?

Lynn: Since I hooked up with the band. Between Trent, Max and the work I had done last spring, we're a very good source of revenue for him. Not to mention that I pointed Mara, Casey and Goat-Boy in his general direction.

Jane: No wonder he can afford to hire someone to work the counter.

Daria: In that case, Degas Street sounds like the next pit stop on your road to riches.

AP: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, it's just a counter job, right? Not too much can go wrong...

Jane: You're jinxing it.

AP: Aw, maaaaan...

(Scene: Degas Street. Music: Incubus -- "Pardon Me". Trent and Max walking. Max's arm is still in a sling, but a lighter weight one than we saw before.)

Trent: Listen; the punk's been doing the after-school job thing, man. He'd be glad to give the drums up to you when you're up to it.

Max: And you're sure that criminale stuff is over?

Trent: Oh yeah. Like the name says -- we're Reformed.

Max: Well ... I'm still gonna have to think about it. (beat) So what's with the punk getting a ... y'know, a straight job? I thought he was loaded.

Trent: Don't ask me, man. Something about his father.

(They're passing Axl's, and their conversation is interrupted by the sound of a scream from inside. A moment later, AP rushes out, bashing into Trent and Max and falling over. Axl pokes his head out the door -- he looks freaked out as well as angry.)

AXL: And I don't want to see your ugly mug around here again, ya clumsy little sod!

AP: Jeez, it was an accident! And you shouldn't have let a register-monkey handle sterilisation anyway!

(Axl just glares at him and retreats into his shop. Trent picks AP up off the ground.)

Max: What was that all about?

AP: Well, see, I saw he was just using matches to clean the needles and thought it'd be a great idea to try rubbing alcohol. I left the cap off the bottle and then he hands me this match and tells me to do the needle for his next customer and I guess I dropped the match because ... well... (beat) It's not like I burned the place down or anything, right? (sigh) Well, back to the drawing board.

(AP slouches away. Trent and Max look at each other.)

Max: And I thought I wasn't built for straight jobs. Y'think it's a drummer thing?

Trent: Could be, man. Could be. (beat) If there was a fire, should we go see if Axl's okay?

Max: God, no! He needs a lesson about keepin' stuff clean anyway! (beat) Wonder who he was piercing?

Trent: Wonder what he was piercing.

(Monique comes out, looking a little bit freaked out. She walks slowly, a little bowlegged, and won't look either man in the eye. Trent and Max look at each other, wince and walk away.)

(Scene: Jane's room. Music: Catatonia -- "Strange Glue". Jane's painting -- a slightly surreal thing involving needles and flames -- and Daria's lying on the bed in her "something's eating at my soul" pose.)

Jane: So come on. What's been eating at Quinn's soul? Cos whatever it is, looks like it's trying yours for a second course.

Daria: It's two things, really. And I can only tell you one of them right now.

Jane: The gossip queen of Lawndale swore someone to secrecy?

Daria: Uh ... something like that, yeah. (beat) Did you notice anything about any of our charges in the after-school programme?

Jane: What, apart from them being young and more rebellious than their parents were willing to admit?

Daria: Do you remember which kids were there?

Jane: Well, there were the Guptys, that Brian kid that AP nearly gave alcohol poisoning, Chris Griff... (she gets it) What was he doing there?

Daria: Part of the reason that Quinn's a little more paranoid than usual lately is that I let slip that Chris Griffin is back in a Lawndale school. Which probably means that the rest of the Griffin family isn't far away.

Jane: She's still worried about Sandi?

Daria: She has every right to be. The Griffins aren't exactly known for graceful defeat.

Jane: Oh, come on. If Sandi was gonna come back to Lawndale High, she'd have done it by now. I bet Linda shipped her off to a private school -- Grove Hills wouldn't take the brainless little snot but Fielding might.

Daria: I hope so. Quinn's got enough to be paranoid about.

(Daria says that with an emphasis that shakes Jane a little.)

Jane: And you won't tell me what else?

Daria: Not ... yet, anyway. But a lot of it you can figure out yourself. Quinn's worse at change than I am and a lot of it's been thrown at her lately.

Jane: Mmm.

(She goes back to her painting. Daria raises her head and looks at it, puzzling over it for a long moment.)

Daria: What's this meant to represent, anyway?

Jane: What, no one told you? AP got fired again. (beat) Well, in the metaphorical sense, anyway. Monique, though ... the physical sense.

(Daria looks from the painting, to Jane's serious face, and back to the painting.)

Daria: Normally, I'd feel a little bit smug over misfortune befalling my boyfriend's on-again, off-again and would demand details. But given the nature of AP's last job combined with the nature of this painting ... I don't even want to guess.

(She flops back to the "something eating at my soul" position. Jane smirks and carries on painting.)

(Scene: Lawndale street. Music: The Dwarves -- "How It's Done". Daria, Jane and Lynn walking.)

Jane: Isn't this invigorating?

Daria: Who made you the Surgeon General?

Jane: Come on; we could use the exercise. And anyway, it wasn't my idea; it was Lynn's.

Daria: I always thought it would take a crowbar to pry you out of the Merc.

Lynn: Usually it would. But I thought we could swing by the park this afternoon.

Daria: Is there a specific reason, or did you just get the sudden urge to stop and smell the roadkill?

Lynn: If you must know, AP is on his next job attempt and intervention may be required on our part.

Jane: How d'you figure that? What was his next choice?

(They stop as they hear a noise -- frenetic barking.)

AP: (OS) Whoooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrgh!

(A screaming AP staggers quickly past them, being dragged by a number of dogs -- a giant Rottweiler, a German Shepherd, a Great Dane, three Corgis, a Chihuahua and a pair of sickeningly cute Lhasa Apsos.)

AP: Helphelphelphelphelp!

(He gets dragged out of shot. Daria and Jane look at Lynn, who seems a little concerned.)

Lynn: I was hoping he wouldn't try this.

Daria: He has a problem with dogs?

Lynn: Dogs have a problem with him. All animals do. It was the reasoning behind the raccoon experiment. At first we thought it was just domesticated animals -- dogs, cats ... hell, even Fuzz-Wuzz tried to bite him at every opportunity. So we attracted raccoons into his backyard and waited to see what happened.

Jane: So? What did happen?

Lynn: What I'm afraid's going to happen now if we don't get to that park in time.

(With that, Lynn sprints off. Jane shrugs and goes after her, also at a run. Daria, looking a little left out, heads off at a jog.)


Cravendale -- Milk. Tagline goes, "Milk so good the cows want it back". What would they do with it? I'm pretty sure that after weaning, cows are lactose intolerant.

Next on TLAS -- Quinn's worst fear [no, not a grunge revival] comes true in "Fashion Victims".

(Scene: Lynn's room. Music: Something for Kate -- "Working Against Me". AP has removed his jacket -- it's lying on the floor by his feet. His jeans legs are rolled up. His bare arms and legs are punctured with several bite marks -- not terribly deep but a couple of them are bleeding. Jane's taking pictures as Daria holds a first aid kit, waiting to hand Lynn things. Lynn is currently disinfecting the wounds on AP's right arm.)

Lynn: I think this one needs a Band-Aid.

(Wordlessly, Daria digs and finds one, handing it over to Lynn.)

Jane: I have never seen anything like that. Not even on "Animal Maulings".

AP: Hey, it's just lucky that my clothes are supersaturated with sulphur and cyanide or I'd be dead by now.

Daria: You let me suggest dog-walking when you're the diametric opposite of Dr Doolittle?

AP: It was worth a shot, right? And don't worry -- it's not gonna happen again.

Jane: Let's hear it for the SPCA.

AP: Well, like I said; my clothes have all that stuff in. The bigger dogs'll be off their food, the littler ones probably had to go to the vet and I'm not sure that Chihuahua's gonna make it. (beat) Serves the little rat right for trying to hamstring me.

Daria: Well, that leaves lawn mowing and housecleaning. Which one next?

AP: Housecleaning isn't gonna happen. After the dishwasher thing at the Taylors', no one's letting me inside their houses ever again, not even to clean a little even when they're there. So guess it's gonna be lawns.

Jane: Oh, come on -- there's got to be someone out there who'd take a chance on you for the housecleaning.

Daria: You could call in a favour with the Landons. I'm pretty sure that they don't hold what happened to Brian against you. In fact, they'd probably congratulate you for it.

AP: Tried it. And ... well ... there's more than one reason they don't like me over at the Landons'.

(He cuts his eyes to Lynn, then quickly away. She looks at her boots guiltily.)

Jane: But would anyone who listened to Radio Schmoe ever let you near their lawns again?

AP: There's a saying I heard once -- you can shear a sheep every year of its life but skin it only once. They know that I'm not gonna kill their lawns cos if I do they'll never hire me again.

Daria: You make a good point. And I'm sure I could get Dad to hire you. Mom lost her briefcase in the grass last week and she's been nagging him to get it mowed whenever she has a minute. (beat) With her caseload, you wouldn't think that would be a big deal to Dad, but...

AP: Nifty! I got five other people too! The Blum-Decklers, the Guptys, the Bennetts, the Rowes the Whites. Would've been the Thompsons too, but then they remembered that I delivered them pizza last week.

Daria: What was the damage?

AP: One wrecked pizza, fifteen minutes late ... and they were the one with the garage door. I dunno what I'm gonna do if this goes wrong.

Lynn: Just do the best you can. If you do the job carefully and as well as you know how, what can go wrong?

AP: (mournful look at her) Now you're jinxing it, Purple Peril.

(Fade out on Lynn's "oops" look.)

(Scene: Stacy's room. Music: Dandy Warhols -- "Get Off". Stacy and the rest of the cheerleaders are sitting around, a stack of CDs and so forth around them.)

Stacy: I don't know about this, you guys. I don't think that people really appreciate cheerleaders at chess games.

Angie: Well, I think Brittany had a point about letting people know that we care about the whole school, even the geeky parts.

Beth: Maybe, but remember last time we turned up at a chess game?

Stacy: Yeah; I didn't realise people with such skinny arms could throw that hard.

(The sound of a riding lawn mower drifts through the open window. The girls look towards it, a little annoyed.)

Quinn: Stacy, could you tell your dad to do that some other time? I mean, we're trying to have a meeting here!

Stacy: It's not my dad, Quinn. He hired that weird little guy Lynn's dating to mow the lawn.

Vicki: Well, can you get him to, like, knock it off or something?

Quinn: Let me.

(Quinn gets up off the floor and moves to the window; the others stare at her.)

Lisa: Like, she's volunteering to talk to a geek?

Stacy: That's Quinn; she's so giving.

Quinn: (yelling out the window) AP! Would you please give it a... (beat) Omigod, what are you doing? Stop! You're going too fast! That's her...

(Loud crash from outside; the rest of the cheerleaders now spring to their feet and run for the window.)

AP: (OS) Owwwwww...

Vicki: Oh. My. God...

Stacy: Those were my mom's prize rosebushes! (beat) That was a really old apple tree! (beat) That was Dad's new lawn mower!

AP: (OS) That ... was an experiment with superfuel gone really, really wrong...

(Scene: Morgendorffer kitchen. Music: Nine Inch Nails -- "Head Like a Hole". We hear a buzz of a lawn mower from outside. Jake enters, roots in the fridge and emerges with a carton of orange juice. Then he hears the noise from outside and peers out the back window. Cut to what he sees -- AP, who's shed his jacket, sweating over their lawn mower. Jake watches him for a minute, then opens the window.)

Jake: Hey, son! Come on in and have something to drink!

(AP gives him a weary thumbs-up and shuts off the mower. Cut to a few minutes later; AP, sweaty and dishevelled-looking [well, more so than usual], staggers into the kitchen.)

AP: Hey ho, Mr M.

Jake: Hey, son! Take a load off!

(AP collapses into a kitchen chair and accepts the glass of juice from Jake.)

AP: Thanks, Mr M. (sigh) Mind if I ask how I'm doing?

Jake: Well ... looks like you're doing a bang-up job!

AP: Don't with the "bang", Mr M. Banging's why this is gonna be my last lawn mown except for the one at my house. Maybe not even that one.

Jake: Aw, come on, son! Whatever it is couldn't have been that bad...

AP: I wanted to do it right and so I figured that they'd be happier if I did it quicker so I tried this superfuel formula I'd been working on in someone's riding mower and it kinda went out of control and I'm crap at driving anyway so I ran over prize rosebushes and crashed into a tree and now the mower's wrecked and this is the last thing I could think of to do and Dad's gonna kill me.

(Pause. AP takes a swig of juice.)

Jake: Y'know, I know just how you feel, son. Why, my father was never satisfied with anything I did either. I mean, why else would he have broken my mother's heart and my spirit by sending a young boy off to military school at a sensitive age?

AP: Uh ... um ... Mr M...

Jake: Don't ever let him break your spirit, son! And even if he does send you off to Buxton Ridge, don't ever let Corporal Ellenbogen talk you out of going after your dreams, even if it is just to mow people's lawns for the rest of your...

AP: Mr M, please! I mean, ah ... you've gotta have something better to do with your time than talkin' to the lawnmower geek.

Jake: Oh right. We got a new computer today and I've been dying to try it out!

(Jake wanders off. AP shrugs and finishes off the juice.)

(Scene: Morgendorffer living room. Music: Weird Al -- "It's All About the Pentiums". There's a desk in the corner; Jake's sitting at it, frowning at the computer. AP enters, looking even more the worse for wear than he did before.)

AP: Hey, Mr M, I...

Jake: Oh, hey, son. (digs in his wallet, pulls out a bill and hands it over to AP. Then glares at the screen.) Damn idiot computer! Turn, you stupid hourglass, turn!

AP: Hey, did it freeze on you?

Jake: (touching the monitor casing) No, it feels warm enough to me, but nothing's moving on the ... GAH! Now the screen's blue!

AP: BSOD, huh? Well, do the Vulcan Nerve Pinch on it and I'll have a look, if you want.

Jake: Vulcan ... nerve...?

AP: Slang, Mr M -- control-alt-delete. (He leans over and demonstrates. Then he notices that Jake's got a martini glass nestled in the CD drive.) Okaaaaay, who told you this was a cupholder?

Jake: (proud) Oh, I figured that out all by myself!

AP: Actually ... well, it's not a cupholder, Mr M. Now, what were you doing when it stopped?

Jake: I was making a pie chart for the next Proven Profits Power Breakfast, playing two-deck Solitaire, writing to my Congressman, watching a Pandacam and talking to someone called HotStuff199 who seemed like Quinn's type -- he wanted to know what I was wearing...

AP: Well, you might want to stay away from that channel for awhile. And that's the problem -- you got this thing second-hand, right?

(Helen enters and stands back watching this take place.)

Jake: Well ... yeah...

AP: This thing isn't powerful enough for that kind of multitasking. I mean, webcam feed's gonna take up a whole lot of memory and it's not like the pandas are gonna do anything; they won't do ... well, it to save their own species and...

Helen: (let's stop this now) AP, hello! You did a wonderful job with the front lawn.

Jake: So, how many windows can I have open with this thing? I paid a thousand bucks for the whole package...

AP: You got rooked! This is an old Pentium! You wanna upgrade, I can give you a Celeron for two hundred. But if you're gonna do with that hunk of junk, keep to two windows and save every five minutes.

Jake: Every five minutes? Gaaaaaaaaaaah!

AP: But it's easy! Just hit control-S!

Jake: Hmm. Well, that's a big help, son! Thanks!

AP: No prob. Oh, and take that martini out of the CD drive. You're gonna wreck it.

(AP starts walking off, but is stopped by Helen.)

Helen: AP, you seem to know a lot about computers. Could you have a look at my laptop? It seems to be going awfully slow and I don't know what to do about it. (when AP hesitates) Would twenty sweeten the deal?

AP: Uh ... sure. Boot it up and I'll see what's what.

(Helen leads the way out of the living room; AP shrugs and follows.)

(Scene: LHS corridor. Music: Bad Religion -- "21st Century Digital Boy". AP's stashing books in his locker -- he looks miserable. Daria, Jane and Lynn walk up to him.)

Daria: You could have waited yesterday. You did a good job at my house.

AP: Yeah, but one person who's happy with their lawn does not a "decent job" make. (sigh) Jeez, it's depressing. Why can't I find a job I can actually do?

Jane: From what Daria tells us, you already did.

AP: Come again?

Lynn: See, if you hadn't spent all last night wallowing in self-pity, you'd know Daria wasn't talking about the lawn.

AP: Start making sense, please.

Daria: (handing over two sheets of paper to AP) Mom and Dad asked me to give you these. The first page is a list of Dad's Power Breakfast colleagues who know even less about computers than he does. He spent the mingling portion raving about you and they all want advice.

AP: So what's page two?

Daria: That one's from Vitale, Davis, Horowitz, Riordan, and the three Schrecters. Budget specifications and software compatibility requirements. They're upgrading their systems and Mom wants to hire you as a consultant.

AP: (wide eyes) Muh ... I ... agh ... why me?

Daria: First, because you're cheap at half the price. Also because you know what you're talking about.

Lynn: And if lawyers are as clueless about computers as consultants, you'll be on-call tech support for half of Lawndale's businesspeople by the end of the week.

Jane: And that sounds like a "decent job" to me. And decent job means no grounding.

(Pause as AP stares at Daria, then looks to Jane and Lynn. All three are smirking at him.)

AP: How's that song go about the 21st Century Digital Boy? "I don't know how to live but I got a lot of toys", or like that?

(The girls smirk at him and he shrugs with a wry grin. Bell rings and they head off in various directions. AP looks a whole lot happier.)



AP's misfortunes -- I think it's well established by now that AP is not the world's most graceful human being. Between his misfortunes on the road, his ineptness at sports and his innate ability to trip while walking on even the smoothest surface, he's not exactly going to be the best person in the world to undertake the kind of physical labour that most boys use to supplement their pocket money. I thought it'd be funny if he had to try.

Axl's -- We know Trent has multiple tattoos, Max has at least one piercing, I'm figuring Jane had her earrings done there and Lynn had several piercings and the tattoo done through our little British needle-rat. So the group has connections with him, and since I bet he pays cash in hand under the table anyway, there'd be no need to fill out forms or what have you.

Cheerleaders at chess games -- As seen in The Daria Diaries, the cheerleaders have cheers for all manner of things that don't want, much less need cheerleaders.

CyberJake -- "Sappy Anniversary" riffing, I know, but we've got it established that Jake doesn't know computers from a hole in a tree. It was very, very useful.


Daria Morgendorffer et al are the creations of Glenn Eichler and Susie Lewis Lynn but are owned by MTV, a Viacom company, copyright 1997, 2000. [Apparently, this is possible by 'work for hire', a concept that eludes me.] Lynn Cullen, AP McIntyre, Mara Fitzgerald, and any other character you don't recognise from any ep, on the other hand, were created and are owned by me, one Janet 'Canadibrit' Neilson, copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002. Touch my characters without consulting me and it will go hard with you. All cameos used with permission, though by this point they're more characters in their own rights. This is a "substantially transformative" derivative work, apparently [what a highfalutin way to say fanfic], and is protected by the Supreme Court's decision in re Campbell v. Acuff Rose Music, so keep the copyright notice where it is and don't post it for money. If you do so without my permission and that of MTV Networks, I WILL pull a Lynn Cullen on you. And then I'll call lawyers.