(Scene: LHS science room. Music: "Fool" -- Blur. AP's got his "Li'l Bastard" glassware out and is tinkering with many multicoloured chemicals. Enter Ms Barch.)

Barch: What do you think you're doing in here?

AP: Workin'. Look, my ... (*ping*) My dad wants me to be some big sports jock sexist guy pig who dates girls for the size of their bras instead of their brain pans and I kinda had to leave for awhile so I wouldn't turn into something like that. And I don't want to be a burden on the family that took me in and expect them to, y'know, clean up after me and things.

Barch: Oh. (beat) Well, I suppose I can understand that. And I see you're doing something educational, which proves you're thinking with your big head, unlike most of your gender. Just be sure to clean up instead of heading off to Aruba without so much as changing the sheets after that night of grunting...

AP: Nonononono! I'll ... I'll keep tidy, promise. Just ... not with the grunting, 'kay?

(Barch leaves. AP sighs with relief and picks up a test tube without looking, dumping it into a flask. Then he looks at the test tube. Then the flask. His eyes go wide and despairing.)

AP: Oh, f--

(Scene: LHS corridor. Music plays on. Barch is walking away when BOOM! The science lab door is blown off its hinges and billows of purple smoke come out. She turns in alarm.)

Barch: What the hell?

AP: (OS) Owwwww...

(Scene: Lane kitchen. Music: "Karmadrome" -- Pop Will Eat Itself. AP's sitting slumped at the table, looking miserable. Daria's sitting next to him, a nearly sympathetic look on her face. Jane hands him a soda and sits down.)

Daria: I despair of you, AP. If you were going to tinker with explosives, you could at least have had the decency to blow up the entire school instead of just the science lab.

AP: I shouldna been doing that crap anyway. My head's not here.

Jane: Well, I don't know where it is, but I bet I can guess who it's with.

Daria: I wish we did know where it was. If we found your head, we'd find Lynn.

Jane: So what's the damage?

AP: Three thousand bucks at least. And he won't let me just pay it.

Daria: Maybe he knows where that money comes from. It should hearten me that, unlike his predecessor, he'd actually care.

AP: Not like that. (to the look) Oh. Right. With the sarcasm. Anyway. He says he has a better idea.

Jane: Tell me that scares you.

AP: That scares me big.

Daria: Does his big idea happen to involve selling your body -- or more specifically, your internal organs -- to medical science?

AP: Wish it did. I only need one lung, one kidney and a bit of my liver. (beat) Look, you're gonna find out soon enough anyway, so can we not do the yakity about it?

(Daria and Jane exchange looks.)

(Scene: Morgendorffer kitchen. The usual breakfast scene -- Daria with the Arts section of the paper, Jake with the rest, Quinn with a fashion magazine and Helen with work papers. After a moment, Helen looks up from the papers with a "let's reach out to the girls" expression on her face.)

Helen: So, Daria, do you have any plans for spring break?

Daria: Yes. I plan to spend more time on a part of my life that I've been neglecting lately.

Helen: That's very commendable, sweetie, but we understand -- with school and your friends, of course you haven't had as much time to spend with us. And of course, your father and I have been so busy lately...

Daria: I know. But the TV's been sitting there patiently waiting for me to use it, as faithful as an old dog that will lie on its owner's grave and howl until it dies of malnutrition.

Helen: Daria, you can't spend your last spring break of high school watching television.

Daria: You'd rather I plan a month of sex, drugs and rock and roll? I'm a teenager; that could be arranged.

Jake: Gah! Daria, don't you dare! You're going to stay home this spring and that's that!

Helen: Jake!

Daria: (small smile) Thanks, Dad.

Quinn: Well, I'm going to spend this spring break at the pool. Some of us have tans to think about.

Daria: And some of us aren't particularly in the mood to court melanoma.

Quinn: Ewwwwwwww!

(Phone rings. Helen picks up.)

Helen: Helloooo? (beat) Yes... (beat) Are you sure you don't mean my other daughter? (pause) I see. Well, I'll ask her about it. (puts her hand over the mouthpiece.) Daria, it's that Mr Caldwell from your school. He says something about wanting you to be on a TV show?

(Cue facefault from Daria.)

(Scene: Caldwell's office. Music: "Sick Happy" -- Hell is for Heroes. Daria is seated in front of Caldwell and the kind of woman Val still thinks she is -- young, 'edgy' and beyond cool in the conventional sense.)

Nate: Daria, this is Angelina Tulley from KSBC.

Lina: Call me Lina, Daria. I'm happy to meet the girl who wrote "My So-Called Angst".

Daria: Even if she's also the girl who gave Val a nervous breakdown?

Lina: Especially then; it's about time that has-been made room for the truly cool.

Daria: Nice to see that the Fashion Club have learned skills useful in their adult lives.

Nate: Daria, Angelina wants to talk to you about appearing on "Little Brother".

(Lina, smiling, hands her a sheet of paper. Daria raises an eyebrow at her and scans it.)

Daria: "Little Brother".

Lina: It's British chic, hon! "Big Brother" is their big-deal show -- and everyone knows that if it's big in England, it'll become counter-culture cool in a few years!

Daria: Then how do you explain the fact that "Big Brother USA" flopped on the big networks?

Lina: See, hon, that's why -- big networks. If you want to start a counter-culture phenomenon, you have to start it on a little station that's no one's much heard of and let word of mouth do the rest! I mean, wasn't that why grunge got popular?

Daria: No. One particularly anthemic Nirvana track and some very good marketing was why grunge got popular.

Nate: Daria, could you please stop second-guessing the media mogul?

Daria: I never started second-guessing a media mogul. I started second-guessing a wannabe, which seems appropriate if she wants to run the next week of my life.

Lina: See, that's why we want you on "Little Brother". Daria, you speak your mind; you're completely honest. Everything we've seen of you shows that you're a perfect candidate for "Little Brother".

Daria: Either you've been hiding at the back of every class I have, or the surveillance systems in the school are back in operation.

(The two adults blush and become inordinately interested in the desk.)

Lina: Well, anyway. See, the great thing about "Little Brother" is going to be that we really see what happens when the masks come off.

Daria: And the screaming matches and scandal won't make having to share the school with the other housemates for another two months any harder.

Nate: The prospective housemates do get a week off school. It might help re-integrate you into... (beat) ...Well, at least let any gossip die down.

Daria: (holds up the paper) No books. No writing implements. No paper. (beat) Mr Caldwell, you know my hobbies. Would depriving me of the few things that keep me sane make such good television?

Nate: Consider this a way of branching out in terms of your personality.

Daria: I keep my personality carefully pruned.

Lina: Come on, hon, it'll be great! There's a prize at the end. It'll be fun!

Daria: I'm morally opposed to fun.

Nate: All right, Daria. You don't respond to bribery, you don't respond to fun ... perhaps you'll respond to the fact that the success of this little televisual experience will mean that your friend Mr McIntyre doesn't have to spend the next five years doing janitorial work to pay off the damage to the science lab.

(Daria looks at Mr Caldwell, then puts a hand to her forehead in frustrated disgust. Lina approaches her and puts an arm around her shoulders.)

Lina: Oh, come on, Nate! No need to threaten her! I'm sure that once she gets a look at the house...

Daria: So much for the property values in that neighbourhood.

Lina: Actually, we didn't have a problem getting the other people on Glenview Road to agree to this -- something about it being better than what else must go on over there.

Daria: Glenview Road. You don't mean number fifteen, do you?

Lina: Word sure gets around. The family's away for the holidays and that Andy kid didn't think anyone'd mind. And it saves his butt so I guess he hopes no one'll mind. So, you in, hon?


Daria: (*sigh*) Yeah. I'm in. In it up to my neck.

(Scene: Pizza King. Music: "Welcome Home [Sanitarium]" -- Metallica. Daria, Jane and AP sitting in a booth. Unusually, they look awkward and uncomfortable in each other's company. After a few moments of silence, AP looks up from his plate and at the two of them before trying to start conversation.)

AP: Last day of school. What're you guys doing with it? The 'cation, I mean.

Daria: (tentative) Probably writing. Yeah. Locked in the house, writing.

Jane: (a little too fast) Art project. Going to take up all my time.

AP: Good! (to the looks) No, see, I had a ... thing, and uh ... well, I'm gonna be busy. Like ... away-busy.

Daria: (looking at him) So it's a good thing that we'll be busy too. Isn't it?

AP: Yeah.

Jane: Yeah.

Daria: Well. Okay then.

Jane: (desperate to change the subject) I never asked. What'd you do about the Merc? I mean, you didn't just leave it there for...?

AP: Well, I kinda wanted to, seeing as how it was all 'cos of Jezebel's turning up that Purple Peril took off the way she did and everything... (shooting a glare at Daria) But she wouldn't let me.

Jane: (looking sidelong at Daria) Well. All you need is a top hat, spats and antennae and you'd be the image of Jiminy Cricket. (smirk) And always let your conscience be your...

Daria: Oh, shut up!

AP: Erudite Emerald got me to dewire all the stuff -- and man, I don't even want to know why Purple Peril had that kinda thing handy cos that was a lot of bang.

Daria: Well, it came in handy later, at least.

AP: (to Jane's questioning look) We stuck the stuff in the trunk, wired to a li'l detonator. We drove it to the quarry, dumped it and then...

(Brief pause.)

Jane: You blew up a Mercedes?

Daria: Fire in the hole.

Jane: You blew up a Mercedes.

AP: It was what she wanted! (beat) I mean, if Jezebel had been in it, I guess she'd've felt bad. Murderery, kinda. But she couldn've driven it anymore...

(Long pause. None of them want to look at each other.)

Jane: So, then, um ... what's the weather like?

(All three of them look out the window, then at each other ... and they smile. Just a little.)

(Scene: Jane's room. Music: "What Lurks on Channel X?" -- Rob Zombie. Jane's packing a bag. Enter Trent.)

Trent: Hey, Janey. I -- whoa.

Jane: Listen, you're going to have the house to yourself for awhile so if you're going to let the place fall apart, take some pictures so I don't have to imagine the progress of the decay.

Trent: Where're you going?

Jane: Who are you -- Dad?

Trent: No. Dad would never ask where you're going.

Jane: Exactly.

Trent: C'mon, Janey. We've done this one before. The other way.

Jane: Okay, okay. I'm going to spend the next little while at Lynn's house.

Trent: But Lynn's place is empty.

Jane: Not anymore, it's not. It's going to be full of cameras and high school students by tomorrow.

Trent: Huh?

Jane: If you want to check on me, just turn to KSBC. "Little Brother" will be watching.

(Jane throws a last handful of art supplies into her bag and zips it up.)

Trent: You said I'm gonna have the house to myself. Did the punk's parents wise up?

Jane: No, I get the feeling he's going on a mission.

Trent: Y'think he's gonna find Lynn?

Jane: I don't know, Trent. I just don't know.

(She slings her bag over her shoulder and walks out.)

(Scene: Cullen house, ext. Two security beasts are flanking the door. A car pulls up and AP steps out, shrugs his bag onto his shoulders with some difficulty and walks up to the door.)

Lina: (OS) Day one; four-thirty p.m.

Beast 1: (As AP reaches for the doorknob) Hold it, kid.

AP: What?

Beast 2: (grabbing AP's bag) Luggage search.

AP: (rolling his eyes) Jeez; this is worse than Heathrow.

(Scene: Chez Cullen, int. Music: "Dog and His Master" -- Marcy Playground. Focus on the front door.)

Lina: (OS) AP, please enter the Little Brother house.

(The door opens and AP staggers in carrying in his oversized rucksack. As the door shuts behind him, he just stares.)

AP: What the hell did you people do to this place?

(Pan to what he sees. The wall between the front hall and the living room has been torn down, as has the one between the living room and the dining room. A large glassless window has been cut in the wall between the kitchen and now common room. The phone, TV, VCR and stereo system have been removed. AP drops his bag and runs upstairs.)

(Scene: Lynn's room, int. Music plays on. The bed, chest of drawers, desk and other furniture are gone -- all that remains are a few posters. Right under the poster of Kurt Cobain sits a big black leather armchair.)

Lina: (OS) Hello, AP. Welcome to the diary room.

AP: What'd you do to the house? It's not my house and Purple Peril's going to kill me!

Lina: (OS) The furniture and appliances that are missing have been locked in the basement, which will only be opened when food deliveries take place.

AP: Never mind the furniture; what about the walls?

Lina: (OS) Little Brother will be responsible for all the renovations after the challenge is over.

AP: Agh, why did I let you people do this to the house?

(He doesn't wait for an answer; he just takes off.)

(Scene: common room. Music plays on. AP is sitting on the sofa, clutching a pillow to his chest. He looks miserable. Eventually, he turns his eyes towards a corner of the room, where there is poised a camera.)

AP: You TV freakos wrecked the house. This can't get any worse.

Lina: (OS) Brittany, please enter the Little Brother house.

(AP makes the kind of noise you'd hear from a dog who's had a door shut on its tail. And in bounces Brittany. As the door shuts behind her, she looks at AP.)

Brittany: Wow, AP. I don't believe you're in something like this.

AP: Yeah, well, I kinda made them sign me up so I could make sure they didn't wreck Purple Peril's house. (beat; grumpy) Yeah. That worked.

Brittany: Gee, I thought this was for the kind of people who wanted to, like, be famous. Daddy told me that being on TV like this would be great for my career.

AP: Greeeeeeeat. If someone offers me a Brylcreem contract, I'm gonna go ballistic.

Brittany: I know; me too! Wouldn't it be great to be offered a modelling contract just because someone filmed us doing normal stuff?

AP: Uh-huuuuuuuuh.

Brittany: So ... you know this place? What's it like? I hope it has nice big bathrooms and do you think I'll have my own room?

AP: There are two bedrooms, so you're gonna have to share. And ... look, why don't we wait until the other people get here and then we'll talk about what those schmucks did to Purple Peril's house and how much she's going to kill me when she finds out what I let them do.

(Brittany, confused by that, just twirls her hair. AP goes back to clutching his pillow.)

Brittany: Do you know who else is coming?

AP: Nup. They keep it all secret.

Brittany: I hope there'll be some cute guys in here.

AP: Gee. Thanks.

Brittany: Oh, and not too many pretty girls cos Daddy says that it wouldn't be good to have any real competition...

Lina: (OS) Daria, please enter the Little Brother House.

(Enter Daria, her duffel bag on her shoulder and a slightly freaked out look on her face.)

Brittany: Oh good!

AP: Oh crap.

Daria: Oh, AP...

AP: I didn't know what they were going to do to the house, 'kay? And that Lina lady says they're going to pay to get it fixed!

Daria: To be honest, I don't think she'd actually mind. Seeing as it's all for a good cause.

AP: (relieved little grin) Thanks, Erudite Emerald.

Brittany: Hi, Daria. I didn't realise you were interested in this...

Daria: That's because I'm not. I just ... wanted to be here. The cameras are incidental.

(AP eyes her cautiously.)

AP: Well, it's a good thing you're here. This was really going to be like an "Odd Couple" kinda thing. Wonder who else is gonna turn up.

Daria: I shiver with anticipation.

Lina: (OS) Jane, please enter the Little Brother house.

(Daria and AP look at each other and smile. Brittany smiles too, for a different reason. Enter Jane, who gets in the door and stops, her eyes going wide.)

Jane: What did they do to this place?

Daria: Think of it as a new movement. Deconstructionism.

AP: It's in a good cause. Isn't it?

Jane: I worked for months on this place!

AP: They're gonna fix it.

Jane: But it won't be the same! What happened to the sanctity of art? (beat) Oh well. At least I can do some work on the hallway ... what's left of it.

Brittany: Oh, hi, Jane! You're going to do artwork? Oh, can I watch? I could really use some more tips!

Jane: Oh God.

Daria: Look on the bright side. There are four more housemates coming in. Maybe some hunk of meat with impressive pectorals and the IQ of a gnat will come along and distract her from any artistic aspirations she may have.

Lina: (OS) Kevin, please enter the Little Brother house.

Brittany: Eep!

(Enter Kevin, grinning. The grin dies when he sees Brittany.)

Kevin: Uh ... hey ... uh, Babe...

Brittany: Don't you "Babe" me, you ... you ... ooogh!

AP: Be careful what you ask for, Erudite Emerald.

Kevin: Aw, come on, Babe! Don't be mad!

Brittany: What do you expect me to be, you ... you ... spoon-tongued liar!

AP: Is that a phrase-thing?

Daria: She means "fork-tongued", I think.

Kevin: Hey, Babe, I never lied to you or anything. I just said that I couldn't go out with you anymore because you weren't a cheerleader!

Brittany: You said you loved me and you were lying!

Jane: How long are we in here dealing with this again?

Daria: I'm counting the seconds until nomination day already.

Lina: (OS) Mack, please enter the Little Brother house.

Daria: Wonderful. The token racial minority has arrived.

(Enter Mack.)

Mack: Wow. What happened to this place?

Kevin: (relieved at the distraction) Yo, Mack Daddy!

Mack: Don't call me that!

Jane: So what brings you into this whole tawdry affair?

Mack: The prize might be cash. I could use it to pay the back allowance I owe my father. Besides, Jodie's busy all break and I didn't have much else to do.

Brittany: Oh, hi, Mack! It's great to have someone popular and honest in here with me!

(Daria, Jane and AP share a look. Mack rolls his eyes.)

Lina: (OS) Ted, please enter the Little Brother house.

Brittany: Oh, no!

(Enter Ted, who smiles at Daria as he enters.)

Mack: I almost feel sorry for Brittany.

Jane: Yeah. All the guys are either taken or ... Kevin.

Ted: Hello!

Daria: Your parents let you do this?

Ted: Oh, they had some problems with it at first. I eventually convinced them that it would be better to get all points of view across to the audience instead of letting the mindless consumer be the sole representative of our youth society.

Jane: So in other words, you lied.

Ted: Like a Persian rug. I just wanted to get out of the house.

Daria: Aren't you going to miss Quinn?

Ted: Oh, sure. But absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Daria: And familiarity breeds contempt. She'll see every aspect of your life and the bloom will surely be off the rose.

Ted: I hadn't looked at it that way. But on the other hand, if we were to ... uh ... make a more permanent relationship, she'd see those things anyway.

AP: People that mature about relationships freak me.

Lina: Tiffany, please enter the Little Brother house.

(Enter Tiffany.)

Tiffany: Wooooooooooow.

Daria, Jane, AP: Aw, Christ.

Tiffany: Sooooo, what do we do here?

(Scene: Lynn's room. Enter Daria.)

Lina: (OS) Hello, Daria.

Daria: (dry) Hello, Little Brother.

Lina: (OS) What are your impressions of the house so far?

Daria: Basically familiar, despite the recent renovations. The lady of the house is going to have words with you, you realise.

Lina: (OS) And what about the housemates?

Daria: Well, I do commend you for your nods toward cultural diversity. But it might have been a good idea to make sure that two of the housemates weren't involved in a messy, sordid break-up. (beat) Unless you made sure that two of the housemates were involved in a messy, sordid break-up as a cheap attempt to boost ratings.

(There is a moment of palpably embarrassed silence from Lina.)

Lina: (OS) As a treat for your first night within the house, the housemates will be provided with a pizza dinner. You have half an hour to decide upon your order and bring it to the diary room.

(Daria gets up and exits the diary room.)

(Scene: common room. The housemates are sitting around, eyeing each other nervously. Daria, Jane and AP are on the sofa. Kevin, Mack and Ted are sitting at the dining table. Tiffany and Brittany have the armchairs, Brittany's as far from the dining table and Kevin as she can get and still be in the same room.)

Daria: So that's one vegetarian, two cheeseless, four meat feasts, two all-dressed and an APizza.

Kevin: I keep seeing that on the Pizza King menu. What is an APizza anyway?

Mack: You don't want to know. (beat) I'll go put the order in.

(Exit Mack. The rest of them sit there looking at each other awkwardly.)

Jane: Maybe we should talk about something that matters. Sleeping arrangements or something. My vote's for Daria, AP, Mack and me in one room and the rest...

Tiffany: Sleep in the same room with boys? That is soooooo wrong.

Brittany: I'll say. I'm not sleeping in the same room as Kevin!

Kevin: Hey, come on, Babe! Not like it's never happened before!

Brittany: And it'll never happen again, you lying, bad-man pervert! And stop calling me "Babe"!

Kevin: Hey, it's not like I want to be in the same room with you and all your girlie stuff anyway!

Jane: Surprising from a guy who's admitted to wearing her underwear.

Daria: Okay. Okay. Before this reality TV nightmare turns into "When Mass Murders Happen to People Who Deserve It", let's just be boring.

Brittany: But Daria, we're not supposed to be boring! We're on TV!

Ted: Well, Brittany, it sounds like the only way. If you don't want to share a room with Kevin, and Tiffany refuses to share a room with boys, that only leaves one option. The girls can stay in bedroom one and the boys in bedroom two.

Jane: But that means we'll have to share with...

(AP elbows her in the side. She glares at him but shuts up.)

Brittany: I'm going to go move my stuff...

Jane: Dibs on the bed by the window!

Tiffany: I want the one near the closet.

(Exeunt Brittany, Tiffany and Jane.)

Ted: Don't you mind where you sleep tonight, Daria?

Daria: I'll let them make that decision for me. Why expend the effort if I don't have to?

(Scene: Lane living room. Music: "The Lazy Boy" -- Moxy Früvous. Trent is parked on the sofa with Nick and Max; they're watching the TV. Enter Vincent, holding up grocery bags and looking pleased with himself.)

Vincent: Fire up the barbecue, kids! Daddy's back in t... Where is everybody?

Trent: Mom's in Albuquerque, Summer's tracking Courtney and Adrian around Southern Maine, Wind's in Reno with his new wife and Penny's decided to try Argentina.

Vincent: And Janey? Tell me she didn't leave the country before graduating high school.

Trent: Take a look for yourself, Dad.

(He walks over to the armchair and sits down. He glances at the TV, which shows the gang sitting around the dining room table, picking at the detritus of their pizzas.)

Vincent: What's she doing on television?

(Trent shrugs without taking his eyes from the TV. Cut to the scene shown on the TV.)

Lina: (OS) Seven fifty-six p.m. The housemates have finished their pizzas and are now about to find out the nature of their first task in the house.

Tiffany: So do we open the envelope now?

Mack: We've finished eating, so I guess so.

(Jane opens the envelope and pulls out a sheet of paper. She squints at it for a moment, then reads aloud.)

Jane: 'Your first task is to get to know each other by playing a series of "getting to know you" games, as listed below.' (beat) Oh, joy and rapture.

Lina: (OS) The first game is a "Desert Island Scenario" game. The housemates are asked to name the five albums, books and sundry items that they would bring with them if they were stranded on a desert island.

(Back to the Lane living room. Vincent looks at the three young men on the sofa, who are still glued to the television.)

Vincent: What is this?

Trent: For Daria, Shakespeare's collected, "The Beach", "On the Road", "Fear and Loathing" and... Aw, crap.

Max: King?

Trent: Coupland.

Nick: Eugenides.

Max: No, that's Lynn, man.

(Back to the TV. Daria has a look that says, "I don't believe I'm doing this" on her face.)

Lina: (OS) Daria is the first to reply.

Daria: CDs -- The Smiths "Meat is Murder", Offspring's "Americana", Ani DiFranco's "Out of Range", Garbage's eponymous album and Alice in Chains' greatest hits.

Tiffany: Eponymous?

Ted: Self-titled.

Daria: Books -- the complete works of William Shakespeare, "The Beach" by Alex Garland, "On the Road" by Kerouac, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" by Hunter S Thompson and ... "Generation X" by Douglas Coupland.

(Back to the Lane living room.)

Trent: Yes!

(Back to the common room)

Daria: Other items -- assuming the CD player and enough food to survive, I'd opt for a first-aid kit, a Swiss Army knife, a flare gun, a sturdy tent and a sleeping bag.

Ted: Well done, Daria! You're very well-prepared!

Tiffany: That ... is sooooo boring.

Brittany: Yeah, Daria! I'd pick a mirror at least!

Daria: A good idea. I could use it to check my lack of makeup.

Ted: Well, I'd pick the same things as Daria would for my items.

Jane: Art supplies. Definitely art supplies. Chalks, paints, sketchpads, pencils and charcoal.

Ted: But what about survival?

Tiffany: Makeup kit ... perfume ... hair dryer ... curling iron...

Jane: Tiffany ... where would you plug that stuff in?

Tiffany: Ohhhhhh yeah... Good point.

AP: But if there's a CD player, there's gotta be a portable generator, right?

Kevin: Wow, guys, you think too much! And can I have more CDs instead of books? Reading's for brains.

(Daria, Jane and AP share a look, then turn to Mack, who gives them a rueful smirk.)

(Scene: 'spare' bedroom. It's lit green -- the cameras in the bedrooms are also rigged for night-vision. Two bunk beds have been crammed into the space.)

Lina: (OS) 11:56 p.m. Daria has been in bed for nearly half an hour. The others have only just gone to bed. And Ted seems to have been inspired by Daria's book choices.

Ted: Good night, John Boy!

(Cut to the other bedroom -- lit green, it's hard to see much. Daria's eyes open.)

Daria: (stifled groan, then) Good night, AP.

(Back to the boys' room.)

AP: 'Night, Art-Smart Scarlet.

Jane: (OS) Good night, Brittany.

Brittany: (OS) Good night, Kev... uh ... Tiffany!

Tiffany: (OS) Gooooood ... niiiiiight ... Kevin.

Kevin: 'Night, Mack Daddy!

Mack: (groooooooooooan)

(Scene: Cullen downstairs hallway. Music: "Eight Days" -- Pitchshifter. Kevin thumps down the stairs, looks around, then wanders through the kitchen doorway and out of shot.)

Lina: (OS) Day two, 7:30 a.m. Kevin has been awake for half an hour and has decided he doesn't feel like being the only one awake in the house.

(Kevin bursts into shot again, hammering on a large cooking pot with a wooden spoon.)

Kevin: Wakey-WAKEY, guys! C'mon! Let's be on TV!

(Jane staggers down the stairs, grabs the pot off him, sticks it over his head, grabs the spoon and hammers on the pot with it. As she stalks off towards the kitchen, Kevin staggers around for a moment and then falls over.)

(Scene: the kitchen. Music plays on. Jane's brewing coffee. Enter Daria, with AP just behind. Ted comes in wearing striped pyjamas and an "early to bed, early to rise" smile on his face.)

Ted: Good morning, AP!

AP: Dnntrktmrrjsstnmrw. Ssstrrlynthmrnng.

Ted: (stunned) Jane? Good ... morning?

Jane: Mrrrrrrrrgwwytllvhdcffmrr.

Ted: Uh. Daria?

Daria: Good morning. He said ... "Don't talk to me just now. It's too early in the morning". She said ... (pause for thought) "Ohhhhhh, go away until I've had some coffee." (beat) You'd stand a chance of understanding them if I'd been allowed to keep at least one book.

(With that and a pointed glance at the nearest camera, Daria starts rooting through the cupboards. Ted approaches Jane, who's making coffee.)

Ted: Is there any herbal tea? I forgot to pack any.

(Jane just gives him a bleary look.)

Ted: Oh. (beat) Decaf?

(Jane quirks an eyebrow.)

Jane: Rrrmttayrmn?

(Ted looks at her, then looks pleadingly at Daria, who doesn't turn around but seems to sense the look anyway.)

Daria: "Are you out of your mind?"

Ted: Oooooooookay ... uh, no, I... (beat) Hey, that smells interesting.

(Jane grabs a cup and pours. Caffeineated sludge oozes into the cup. She slams it down, shudders and then pours again. She hands the mug to Ted, who looks at it uneasily.)

Jane: Add milk if you want it runny. (beat) And get some to AP.

(She stalks off. Ted looks at the coffee, then downs it. After three seconds, he looks like someone set off a small explosive charge in his head, and a hand goes to his chest.)

(Scene: common room. Music plays on. Daria, Kevin, Mack and AP are hanging around outside a small door in what used to be the front hall. Kevin looks distinctly uncomfortable. We hear a flush from behind the door and it opens. Jane is barely out the door before Kevin pushes his way in and slams the door behind him.)

Lina: (OS) 8:15 a.m. Tiffany has been in the bathroom for half an hour. Brittany has been in the other bathroom for fifteen minutes. The other housemates have had to make do with the half-bathroom downstairs.

(Scene: back garden. Music plays on. The fence has been raised to a height of eight feet and topped with loops of barbed wire. Ted is trying to do Tai Chi but the fluid motions are far too fast and jittery. Kevin steps out and starts running laps. Ted watches him for awhile and then starts jogging with him.)

Lina: (OS) Ted, obviously unused to caffeine, has joined Kevin in his exercise regime.

(Mack joins them outside and watches as Ted runs rings around Kevin -- he is buzzing around the yard like a hummingbird on crack. Then Mack starts jogging with them.)

(Scene: front hall. Jane is doing pencil-sketches on the walls. One is taking shape as Daria -- vague shapes that could be Jane, Mack and AP are alongside.)

Lina: (OS) Jane is working on a mural of the housemates to encourage solidarity within the group. This was the condition under which she was allowed to bring her art supplies into the house.

(Daria approaches and looks at Jane as she sketches.)

Daria: I suppose trying to keep Lynn in the dark about what happened in the house this spring is no longer on the agenda.

Jane: Can't talk now. Creating. (beat) Ohohoh, hold that pose! There's this great "I'm hiding my exasperation" look on your face that just screams "Little Brother Housemate"!

(Daria rolls her eyes and just stands there.)

Daria: How long has Tiffany been in the en-suite?

Jane: (glances at her watch while still sketching) Going on forty-five minutes now.

Daria: Which means that Brittany's been in the other one for a half-hour. I haven't even been able to brush my teeth.

Jane: Hey, creation takes time.

Daria: Call me a stick in the mud...

(AP, wandering past, looks at her a little blearily.)

AP: Yrrrstknmd.

Jane: Coffee's in the kitchen. It's cold, but it's there.

AP: Yrrthn.

(Off he goes.)

Daria: ...But we really should set up a rota for the bathrooms. And to decide who cooks when.

Jane: Good idea.

Daria: Want to help?

Jane: Your good idea. What kind of friend would I be if I took the glory away from you? (to Daria's long-suffering look) That's it! Hold that!

(Daria sighs.)

(Scene: common room. Ted, Mack and Daria are sitting at the dining table. Daria has a sheet of paper in front of her.)

Lina: (OS) 11:15 a.m. Daria, Mack and Ted are setting up a rota for cooking, cleaning and bathroom privileges. As proof of her ingenuity, Daria has used the reverse side of the paper outlining their recent task and one of Tiffany's eyeliner pencils to document the new system.

Mack: But Brittany's had the en-suite first already! Does she have to have the other upstairs bathroom first tomorrow?

Ted: He's right. It's probably better to let her and Tiffany have the bathroom last, seeing as they take the longest. A solid hour, Brittany was in there.

Mack: And an hour and a half for Tiffany.

Daria: On the other hand, those two are the house's chief complainers. They're the ones who care about how they look for the cameras. If we give them early bathroom privileges in the mornings, they're less likely to make life hard for the rest of us.

Ted: Hmm. An interesting perspective.

Mack: Okay. And I guess since you're coinciding their first use of the bathrooms with their cleaning of the bathrooms...

Ted: So what about cooking? I mean, we're a community, so everyone should do their part to make it run smoothly. Hey, it would be interesting to see if we could bring the principles of the Utopian...

Daria: I'm thinking of this experience as less of a Utopian community and more of a Russian Gulag.

Mack: Either way, looks like we share cooking. And cleaning.

(Scene: Cullen kitchen. Music: "Johnny Saucep'n" -- Moxy Früvous. AP's at the kitchen counter, working. His search of the kitchen has actually come up with food -- a loaf of bread, some ham, some cheese, and a tomato that actually looks like it was bought recently. The air is sort of misty. Enter Daria, who watches AP hack away at a hunk of cheddar with a set look on his face.)

Lina: (OS) Twelve twenty-three p.m. According to the cooking rota, AP is to prepare the first shared lunch.

Daria: I take it this is thanks to the Disembodied Voice?

AP: Y'think Purple Peril had food?

Daria: What are you making, anyway?

AP: Some thing Purple Peril taught me to make once when Dad was at conference and Mom was ... Mom. It's a Crock Monster.

Daria: It's what?

AP: You did French; you'd know better'n me.

Daria: (thinking it through) Croque Monsieur.

AP: S'what I said, right? (shrug to Daria's "nooooooot really" look) Anyway, it's mainly toast but with ham, cheese and a tomato bit. S'a little complicated, though, 'cos I can't do the toastie bits in the toaster like a normal guy and I gotta do it in the oven. Toast one side with the griller then th'other side with the ham and cheesy things...

Daria: (looking with concern at the misty air) How long has the bread been in there?

(AP gets an "aw, crap" look on his face and he opens the oven door. Smoke billows out and the smoke alarm finally goes off. AP flails for oven mitts and jams them on his hands as Kevin and a still-jittering Ted come in from the back.)

Kevin: Whoa! Dude! What's...

(AP whips the grill tray bearing eight pieces of flaming, blackened bread out of the oven, turns towards the sink and trips over the oven door. He goes ass over head and the bread goes flying; most of it hits Kevin, who screams and runs from the room. His screaming progress is heard up the stairs and then, dimly, a running shower. The screaming stops. Ted, damn near vibrating, looks on as AP looks up sheepishly at Daria, who's shaking her head at him with a hand over her eyes.)

Ted: Wow! Incredible! Blazing Ballisti-Bread! Is there more coffee?

(AP just starts beating his head on the floor.)

(Scene: Kate's bedroom. Music: "Luxury Cage" -- Republica. This room, Jane's obviously not redone -- the walls are still slash-marked and graffiti-stained. The curtains have obviously been replaced -- they don't quite match the walls. Tiffany is going through the closet, where her clothes are hanging. Brittany is sitting on the bed, tying her running shoes. Tiffany looks at her.)

Tiffany: Sneakers are sooooo last week.

Brittany: Really?

Tiffany: Well, yeaaaaaaah. I mean, with your legs you should be wearing something with a heel anyway...

Brittany: You think so? Oh, but I didn't bring any high heels... Do yours fit me?

Tiffany: Well, I don't know -- and anyway, Sandi always says that you can never lend anything to someone whose skin tone doesn't exactly match your own.

Brittany: But ... there are those black ones... I thought black went with everything.

Tiffany: Yeaaaaaaaah ... but these are brown-black. You want black-black ... or maybe blue-black... This shade is just so wrong for rosy skin like yours.

(Scene: Sandi's room. Music plays on. Quinn and Sandi are on the bed, watching Brittany look at Tiffany with hurt in her eyes.)

Sandi: Like, I don't believe that Tiffany is trying to teach that airhead about fashion.

Quinn: Well, Sandi, she is a model now. Cosmetics stuff and everything. I guess if Tiffany gets in with her, y'know, Brittany could get her some contacts in the industry, or whatever.

Sandi: (looking at Quinn with new respect) When did you get so manipulative, Quinn?

(Quinn looks a little panicked, sensing that she might just break down and tell Sandi everything if she's not careful. So...)

Quinn: (smirk; just like the old days) Oh, Sandi, I could never be as manipulative as you!

(Sandi looks at Quinn a moment longer ... and then they both burst out laughing.)

(Scene: 'diary room'. Music plays on. Enter Brittany.)

Lina: (OS) Hello, Brittany.

Brittany: Oh, Little Brother, it's horrible! Tiffany's being so mean to me!

Lina: (OS; a little avid) Please explain.

Brittany: Well, first she tells me that my sneakers are all unfashionable and then she won't let me borrow something that is! I mean, black is black but she just makes excuses about roses and sunglasses and music and ... oooooogh!

Lina: (OS) So who in the house are you closest to?

Brittany: Well, I thought it was going to be Tiffany -- I mean, she's really sweet when she wants to be and she never makes me feel stupid but she is competition and maybe she knows it and that's why she's not letting my legs look good! (beat) Maybe I should try being close to Daria and Jane -- I mean, I'll look really good next to them and they're never really mean or anything...

Lina: (OS) And what about your relationship with Kevin in the house?

Brittany: (haughty) I'm not talking about that creep. I don't have to talk to him if I don't want to. And I don't want to!

(She removes herself from the diary room with as much grace and dignity as someone with that much bouncity-bounce can manage.)

(Scene: common room. Ted is slumped in an armchair; the coffee buzz has evidently worn off and he looks a little sick.)

Jane: I'm going to the picnic and I'm bringing Autumn Gold eyeshadow ...the balls of Garry Bettman ... chargrilled coelacanth ... a dozen doses of Diazepam...

Ted: (over Jane's litany) What else do we have to do today?

Daria: First nominations.

Jane: ...Ground giraffe guts ... hemlines from 1983...

Ted: Do I have to leave the chair?

Daria: Unfortunately, we're getting the chair.

Jane: Kambucha-kahlua cocktails ... limp-wristed Liberal logistical thinking...

Lina: (OS) Would AP please come to the diary room.

AP: Mrrrrr.

Jane: Nyquil-coated Nerds ... octopus-orang-utan-oregano salad...

(Scene: diary room. AP sidles into the room, sits on the chair and curls up.)

Lina: (OS) AP, please name the first housemate you are nominating for eviction and state your reasons.

AP: Kevin. He wakes us up first thing in the morning, he keeps whining about Brittany being nasty and he's just so ... duh!

Lina: (OS) AP, please name the second housemate you are nominating for eviction and state your reasons.

AP: Brittany. Pretty much the same reasons as Kevin, except she keeps hogging the bathroom too. It sucks and I can't share a house with someone who ... I dunno ... care about their looks that much. Coulda been Tiff, but she doesn't bug me so much.

Lina: (OS) Thank you, AP.

(AP looks around the room for a moment longer before uncurling, getting up and leaving. Brittany enters a moment later, sitting down and smiling pretty for the camera.)

Lina: (OS) Brittany, please name the first housemate you are nominating for eviction and state your reasons.

Brittany: Jane, because she hates me! I try to be nice to her and I try to talk to her about her art-project thingie and she keeps looking at me!

Lina: (OS) Brittany, please name the second housemate you are nominating for eviction and state your reasons.

Brittany: Tiffany. Well, she's kind of competition and everything and I guess she doesn't make me feel stupid but I can't really talk to her either! And she's trying to sa ... saba ... mess up how I look so she gets all the credit for being the pretty one in the house!

Lina: Thank you, Brittany.

Brittany: You're welcome!

(And out she bounces. A moment later, Daria arrives.)

Lina: (OS) Daria, please name the first housemate you are nominating for eviction and state your reasons.

Daria: I'll give you them both right now. I'm nominating Kevin and Brittany. Putting them together in the same house was a blatant attempt to boost the ratings of this low-budget Orwellian nightmare and whichever of them goes, it'll make life a lot easier on everyone concerned.

Lina: (OS) Daria, please name the second housemate you are nominating for eviction and state your reasons.

Daria: (raised eyebrow) This is just a recording, isn't it?

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Daria.

(Daria raises both eyebrows this time as she gets up and leaves. After a pause, enter Jane, who's counting on her fingers.)

Jane: (muttering) Octopus-orang-utan-oregano salad ... Pol Pot-pie...

Lina: (OS) Jane, please name the first housemate you are nominating for eviction and state your reasons.

Jane: Tiffany. If I have to hear her describe one more room in the house that I redecorated as 'sooooo wrong' I'll redecorate her. Q*Bert-snout soup...

Lina: (OS) Jane, please name the second housemate you are nominating for eviction and state your reasons.

Jane: Brittany. It's a long story. Raspberry romance lip gloss Annnnnnd...

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Jane.

(Jane gets up with an evil look on her face. As she opens the door...)

Jane: (yelling out) And Satan's scrotum sashimi!

Brittany: (OS; as Jane vacates) Jane! Ewwwwww!

(Enter Kevin, frowning.)

Kevin: Yo! Babe! What's a scrotum?

Lina: (OS) Kevin, please name the first housemate you are nominating for eviction and state your reasons.

Kevin: Tiffany. I dunno -- I mean, I can't really vote off Britt; I mean, she's my ex-babe!

Lina: (OS) Kevin, please name the second housemate you are nominating for eviction and state your reasons.

Kevin: Ted. I dunno; the dude tries too hard! And, hey, it's not like he's a great running partner or anything and he doesn't even like football.

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Kevin.

Kevin: All right! I'm the QB!

(Kevin raises his arms in Nixon's V-for-victory and leaves. He bumps into Mack at the door.)

Mack: Sorry.

Kevin: Hey, it's cool, Mack Daddy!

(Kevin leaves and Mack drops into the armchair with a sigh of disgust.)

Lina: (OS) Mack, please name the first housemate you are nominating for eviction and state your reasons.

Mack: Kevin. It's the Mack Daddy thing. If it's petty, I don't care.

Lina: (OS) Mack, please name the second housemate you are nominating for eviction and state your reasons.

Mack: Tiffany -- I don't think anyone should be here just because they're the minority. I'd nominate myself if I was allowed.

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Mack.

(Exit Mack; enter Ted, who's frowning thoughtfully.)

Ted: Tamarind tartare? But I'm a vegetarian...

Lina: (OS) Ted, please name the first housemate you are nominating for eviction and state your reasons.

Ted: Tiffany. She's probably a perfectly nice human being, but if I have to vote anyone off, it's going to be someone who doesn't add to the house in any way.

Lina: (OS) Ted, please name the second housemate you are nominating for eviction and state your reasons.

Ted: Brittany. It seems a shame that they felt they had to select someone on the basis of their physical appearance.

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Ted.

Ted: (as he gets up and exits) I'm going to the picnic and I'm bringing Autumn Shimmer eyeshadow...

(Enter Tiffany. She sits in the chair and then does the "lock-in profile" thing from "Art Burn".)

Lina: (OS) Tiffany, please name the first housemate you are nominating for eviction and state your reasons.

Tiffany: Ted. He's kinda ... geeky, y'know?

Lina: (OS) Tiffany, please name the second housemate you are nominating for eviction and state your reasons.

Tiffany: Daria. (attempt at thought) She's ... kinda ... geeky, y'know...

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Tiffany.

(Tiffany just sits there. Now Lina sounds less recording-like; she's obviously gone on live.)

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Tiffany.

Tiffany: You're welcome.

(Long pause.)

Lina: (OS) You can go now, Tiffany...

Tiffany: Oooooooooooh yeaaaaaaaaah. Thank you.

(Scene: common room. Music: "The Shortest Straw" -- Metallica. Jane's still working on the wall. Daria, AP, Mack and Ted are playing cards. Tiffany and Brittany have broken out a makeup case and are deep in discussion while testing out colour combinations. Kevin's in a corner, doing push-ups.)

Lina: (OS) Eight-forty-five p.m. The housemates have assembled in the common room to hear which of them is up for eviction tonight.

Ted: Should we really be gambling?

Daria: Oh yeah. Five-card-draw for M&Ms. It's a regular Las Vegas in here.

Lina: (OS) This is Lina, you are live on KSBC, please do not swear.

Daria: But sex, drugs, violence and other adult content are fair game.

Lina: (OS) There are two housemates up for eviction. I will read the names in alphabetical order. So ... the housemates up for eviction are...

(10-second pause)

Jane: Don't you love the way they keep us in suspense?

Lina: (OS) Brittany...

(Brittany looks up in shock, starts to cry and runs out of the room, scattering Tiffany's makeup everywhere. Kevin gets to his feet and watches as she climbs the stairs two at a time, but doesn't go after her. Instead, he drops cross-legged on the floor and actually looks like he's thinking.)

Lina: (OS) ...and Tiffany.

(Tiffany looks up with a slight scowl and then starts picking up her makeup.)

Tiffany: That ... is soooooooo wrong.

Lina: The eviction will take place at noon tomorrow. Thank you.

(Scene: Lane house. Trent, Nick, Max, Casey, Andrea, Mara and Guy are sitting around the TV.)

Lina: (OS) So to give you the rundown -- the two housemates with the most nominations are put to the public vote. Brittany and Tiffany, with four and five nominations respectively, are up for eviction. So, to vote Brittany out of the house, dial...

Guy: Man, this is some lame viewing, no shit.

Nick: So what now? We vote?

Mara: Why? I mean, I don't care which of the little freaks gets the boot. Those're pay numbers; costs to vote.

Trent: She's right. We'll vote when it matters.

(Scene: Morgendorffer living room. Quinn, Sandi, Stacy, Tori and Brooke are sitting on the sofa.)

Quinn: Oh, God, Stacy ... who're you going to vote for?

Stacy: Well ... Britt was real nice to me when I started being a cheerleader and everything...

Sandi: And then you got her fired.

Stacy: Well, I could've stepped down from the head cheerleader thing but ... I mean, you know how it is, Sandi. It's not like you would've handed power back if someone handed it to you on a plate.

Sandi: I never had it handed to me, Stacy. I earned what I had. And I guess so did you.

(Everybody looks at Sandi for a moment.)

Stacy: (changing the subject) I dunno -- part of me's, like, "You can't vote Britt out -- you lost her enough". And the other part's, like, "How could you vote Tiffany out? You've been friends with her forever".

Quinn: Well, I'm voting for Britt to leave. It's, like, she was so weird that time when Kevin was spending all that time with Daria on that science project, or whatever.

Brooke: Oh, so weird. You were just trying to steal her boyfriend; why would she go all weird over that?

Tori: I'm voting Tiff out.

Stacy: But why?

Tori: This whole thing is, like, about who we want to watch most. And Tiff, nice and all as she could be, isn't really a whole lot of fun to watch on TV. And think about it; won't watching Britt torture Kevin be fun?

(They all look at each other. Then Tori, Brooke and Sandi all pull mobile phones.)

Stacy: (reaching for the Morgendorffer cordless) Quinn, can I...?

Quinn: Go ahead! (running into the kitchen) MOM! I NEED TO BORROW YOUR PHONE!

Brooke: What was the number to vote Tiff off, again?

(Scene: girls' room. Jane is sprawled out in bed, fast asleep. Daria is also still in bed but awake, staring at the ceiling. Tiffany is wearing a pale green halter top and black Capri pants and posing in front of the mirror.)

Lina: (OS) Day three, eight-thirty-five a.m.

Tiffany: Daaaariaaa?

Daria: Absent.

Tiffany: Does this make me look fat?

Daria: No more than the thing you wore three outfits ago.

Tiffany: So that diiiiiiiiid make me look fat.

Daria: "She knows she's a winner, she couldn't be thinner..."

Tiffany: (little smile) Thaaaaaaaaanks. For a brain, you're not so bad.

(Daria sighs and rolls over to bury her face in the pillow. Enter Brittany, who looks at Tiffany.)

Brittany: That looks really good on you, Tiffany.

Tiffany: (narrowed eyes) Thaaaaaanks. (beat) I think I'll change.

(She ducks back into the closet. Brittany frowns and then sits down on Daria's bed. Daria looks up.)

Brittany: Daria, I don't understand! Why doesn't she trust me?

Daria: For the same reason you didn't trust Stacy when she made head cheerleader.

Brittany: (twirling hair around finger) Huh? (She's not that stupid) Ooooooooh.

Daria: Now why don't you go filter that through the pom-poms of your mind and let me go back to my attempts to self-suffocate?

Brittany: (all perky) Okay!

(And out she bounces. Daria sighs and jams her head back into the pillow.)

(Scene: common room. Music: "It Could Be You" -- Blur. Brittany and Tiffany are sitting in armchairs; their bags are at their feet.)

Lina: (OS) Eleven-fifty-seven a.m. Brittany and Tiffany are awaiting the final judgement.

(Scene: Stacy's room. Music plays on. The entire cheerleading squad and the new Fashion Club are crammed into the small space, curled up in front of the TV.)

Tori: Wow. This is going to be, like, the best proof of popularity ever. I mean, here's a cheerleader...

Quinn: She's not a cheerleader anymore, Tori. She's more of an ex-cheerleader these days.

Tori: Whatever ... going after one of the most fashionable girls in school.

Quinn: Come on, Tori. You can do both, you know.

Tori: Oh, sure, Quinn, but ... there's got to be a dividing line, right?

Stacy: Who says?

Brooke: Look at it, like, I don't know -- like if you and Quinn made the right decision, or something.

Angie: That's kind of harsh, Brooke.

Vicki: Yeah! I mean, what's wrong with being a cheerleader, all of a sudden?

Tori: You sweat.

Brooke: You have to wear the same outfit as everyone else.

Tori: You have to do all that geeky school spirit stuff.

Angie: Well, at least we care about stuff!

Beth: We have to keep a certain GPA or we get kicked, for one thing. So we're probably smarter than you are, or at least get better grades...

Brooke: Even Brittany?

Beth: Brittany and Tiffany are probably even-steven.

Lisa: And we have better bodies, because we have to keep fit.

Sandi: Well, let's make it, like, a bet or something. If Tiffany gets evicted, then we will never darken the name of the cheerleaders again.

Quinn: And if Brittany gets evicted, we'll stop saying that the Fashion Club's a waste of school time.

(Scene: Lane living room. The remaining members of the Reformed and the Back Alley Name-Droppers are seated around the room, watching the TV.)

Joe: Who do you think's going to win?

Mara: The bimbo with the big tits. (beat; to the looks) Guy vote.

(The guys -- because they're all guys apart from Mara -- keep looking at her for a moment. Then they shrug assent and go back to watching the TV.)

(Scene: the common room. The others have entered the scene -- Jane's working on the mural; Daria and AP and sitting on the stairs watching her work. Kevin's doing sit-ups by the window with Mack holding his feet, spotting him. Ted is setting a plate of sandwiches down on the table.)

Ted: Well, I figured that whichever one of you goes might like one last meal in the house.

Brittany: I'm not hungry. I'm kind of nervous.

Tiffany: That looks ... kinda ... fattening...

Kevin: (doing a final sit-up) Hey! Cool! Food!

(With that, he stands up and heads for the table. Mack follows him and they both grab one. Ted brings the plate over to the staircase.)

AP: What's in 'em?

Ted: Just cheese. I hope our hosts will provide us with the opportunity to make our own food selections soon. We seem low on supplies.

(Daria and AP take a sandwich; Ted offers the plate to Jane, who's painting the green of Daria's jacket. She waves him away with the hand that holds the paintbrush, spattering him liberally.)

Jane: Maybe later. Working now. Go 'way.

Daria: (to Ted's uncertain glance her way) Musae don't need sustenance; Jane's just following that example.

Ted: Isn't that unhealthy?

Daria: Physically. But preventing her from doing what whatever deity put her on this planet for would not only be damaging to her mental health, but to that of those around her. And said deity knows that the people in this house are crazy enough as it is.

Lina: (OS) This is Lina, you are live on KSBC, please do not swear.

AP: M'gonna get reeeeeeeal sick of that by the end of the week.

Lina: (OS) The phone lines closed five minutes ago, and the votes have been tallied. And the first housemate to be evicted from the Little Brother house is...

(Ten-second pause in which Brittany and Tiffany sit looking at each other tensely. Mack, Ted and even Kevin are watching them a little nervously. Daria and AP look stoic as they watch and Jane looks avid, waiting for a good facial expression to paint.)

Lina: (OS) Tiffany.

Brittany: (jumping up for joy) Yeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaay! (looks at Tiffany; a little ashamed) Uh. I mean...

Tiffany: It's okaaaaay. I mean, this place was lame anyway.

Lina: (OS) Tiffany, you have one minute to say your good-byes and leave the Little Brother house.

Daria: Given the speed at which she talks, you should have given her five.

(Tiffany stands up, picks up her bag and moves towards the door. Them she stops and turns towards the other housemates.)

Tiffany: I ... uh ... don't even ... know you guys very well ... buuuuut ... I just wanted to say ... that I think you're all ... really...

(Short pause in which they all look at her expectantly.)

AP: Interesting?

Jane: Supportive?

Daria: Purple? Wh... (She trails off mid-word and thinks the whole thing over with slightly freaked out eyes. After a beat) I think I'll just console myself with the thought that, if I really were psychic, I'd have seen this coming too.

Tiffany: You made me lose my thought. Now I have to start all over.

Lina: (OS) Tiffany, you have five seconds to leave the Little Brother house. Five ... four ... three ... two...

Tiffany: Uh ... later ... I guess.

Lina: (OS) Tiffany, please exit the Little Brother house.

(We hear the door unlock. Tiffany opens it and leaves, shutting it behind her. We hear the door lock.)

Jane: One down. Two to go.

Brittany: Jane, that's not very nice!

Jane: You're telling me. She left before I got a chance to finish painting her. I'll have to work from memory now.

Daria: And then you'll have to soak your brain in bleach. Which I suppose could only be an improvement.

(On the dirty look Jane throws Daria's way...)

(Scene: Stacy's room. The cheerleaders look a little smug; the Fashion Club, slightly sheepish. Quinn and Stacy just look a little confused.)

Beth: Well, there you have it, girls. Peppy and perky triumphs over pretty and pointless.

Sandi: I guess I don't see how I expected anything different. After all, not even we voted for Tiffany. How did we expect her to win the vote if even we wouldn't support her?

Tori: Y'know what I don't get? It was the two most popular girls who were being voted out. I mean, don't those geeks who did the nomination thing know what the public wants?

Quinn: Well, five of them are brains, Tori, and Mack's borderline. Maybe they're not thinking of us at all.

Angie: Well, they should be. I mean, we got them on TV in the first place!

Quinn: Yeah, and knowing Daria, they're gonna punish us for it all week.

Beth: What I want to know is how much they're having to censor this. I mean, this whole thing could be a little more interesting if we saw more of the freaks speaking their minds.

Brooke: Yeah; it could be like that "Popular" show on TV. Or "Cruel Intentions" or "The Craft" or something. I wouldn't be a freak or anything, but sometimes watching them makes me ... I dunno, glad to be what I am, or something.

Sandi: Well ... if you think that's what the public wants...

(Sandi grabs for her mobile phone and hits a speed-dial number. The other girls look at her.)

Quinn: Sandi? What are you...?

Sandi: (into phone) Hello, Mother? You know that Little Brother thing your TV station is showing? Well, I've been talking to your key demo-whatever and I think you might want to make a few changes...

Stacy: Ohmigod, she's going to get them to uncensor?

Quinn: (with slight admiration) I was right, Sandi. I could never be as manipulative as you.

(Scene: Lane house. The guys are looking at Mara, who looks smug.)

Mara: Told you. Bimbo with big tits'll win every time. Now are we gonna pull the geek-ball's warped horror movie collection or what?

(Scene: common room. The remaining housemates are seated at the dining table in a manner slightly reminiscent of a UN summit.)

Lina: (OS) One-thirty p.m. The housemates have been asked to compromise on a set shopping budget to see them through the week. The supplies provided by Little Brother are running low.

Ted: Kevin, you do realise that humans weren't really designed to consume this much red meat.

Kevin: Yeah, but dude! Steaks taste good! Burgers taste good!

Daria: And to think environmental activists are more concerned with that big bunch of trees in South America than clogging the collective arteries of the United States.

Kevin: I know! They should really get their heads straight!

(Daria rolls her eyes.)

Ted: Perhaps we could compromise. Economising on the proteins by getting chicken would save us some money and allow us to get some good organic vegetables.

Jane: Hey, let's get battery hens! We are what we eat, right?

Brittany: Uh, guys? Tiffany took all her makeup with her when she went and I really wanted to get that big makeup kit so I can...

Daria: Brittany, according to Dad's rants about the credit card bills, 'that big makeup kit' costs the GNP of a small third-world country. If you order that, we'll spend the next week eating like its citizens.

Brittany: Yeah ... but we'd look really good!

Jane: Sure; Kate Moss super-anorexia is in this year. (beat) Come on, guys. It'd be a lot easier to just get a bunch of those microwaved meals. I mean, think about the cooking rota.

Mack: Think about the ... blazing ballisti-bread, right?

Kevin: Ow! Dude, don't talk about the bread, okay?

AP: Well, I'm not gonna cook that often. And I did with the numbers and we can't afford enough for all week. We're gonna have to build meals from components.

Brittany: Huh?

Daria: You make meals from ingredients, AP. But apart from that, you've pretty well covered it. What can we afford?

(AP grabs an eyeliner pencil from where it lies and starts writing out a list on the wall.)

Brittany: (scandalised) Well, if I can't have the big makeup kit, I want you to at least replace my eyeliner!

AP: Right, right, fine, just let me work here, 'kay?

(Brittany settles into a slump.)

Jane: (loudly, in the direction of the ceiling) Hey, wanna get a close up on this wall? This is our list here.

Ted: I'm sure it says in the rules that we're not supposed to address the cameras...

Kevin: C'mon, dude, you can fit a couple of steaks on there... Hey, what's an artichoke?

AP: Thought we could whip up some pizzas.

Rest of group: (unison) No!

(AP's shoulders slump for a minute, then he keeps writing.)

(Scene: 'diary room'. Music: "Bored and Extremely Dangerous" -- Bad Religion. Enter Daria. She sits down in the chair and leans back, looking up at the ceiling.)

Lina: (OS) Hello, Daria.

Daria: All right. When do you break out the polygraph and pentathol?

Lina: (OS) Wh-what?

Daria: I'm not here of my own free will. I was summoned. And the items I mentioned are standard for interrogations.

Lina: (OS; getting back to the script) So how have you been finding life in the house?

Daria: (sigh) I haven't been finding life in this house.

Lina: (OS) Could you explain?

Daria: We're existing as lab rats, trapped in a run and performing for survival. I don't see how you call that living.

Lina: (OS) Are you finding it easy communicating with the housemates?

Daria: The only thing we're managing to communicate is our growing contempt for each other. So I'd like to congratulate you for creating a miniature working model of Western society.

Lina: (OS) Well. Uh. How are you keeping yourself amused?

Daria: Watching the mental decline of my peers, and counting the hours until this place degenerates into a remake of Lord of the Flies.

Lina: (OS; a little scared) Do you ... really think that's likely?

(Daria just looks stoically at the camera for a moment. Then fast cut to...)

(Scene: back garden. Music plays on. Kevin's doing sit-ups on the flagstone patio. About three feet away, AP's sitting cross-legged on the lawn, looking at a bleach bottle carefully, chewing his lower lip. Ted walks over, watches him for a moment, then hunkers down beside him.)

Ted: What's so interesting about a bleach bottle?

AP: S'what's in the bleach bottle.

Ted: Oh. (beat) What's in the bleach bottle?

AP: Bit of this, bit of that. Should go boom real pretty. Soon's I can find a fuse.

(Ted frowns at AP and the bleach bottle, then gets up and hurries away. AP watches as Ted jumps over Kevin and runs into the house.)

Kevin: Yo! Dude! That's really uncool!

AP: Hmm. Bubble Boy. No kiddin'.

(He goes back to his study of the bottle. A moment later, Ted runs back out, jumps over Kevin again and hurries to AP's side with a box in his hand.)

Kevin: Dude, knock it off!

AP: Hey. Thought you'd be hiding in the diary place by now.

Ted: Would this work as a fuse?

(He holds up the box -- Tampax. AP looks at it, shocked, then turns to Ted with amazed, impressed eyes. Kevin sits up and stares.)

Kevin: Hey! What're you doin' with...?

Ted: (ignoring Kevin) So would it?

AP: Maybe. (grabs the box, with a grin) Let's see!

(Ted digs in his pocket and produces a box of matches. Focus on Kevin, who's looking at them in utter shock. Mack steps into the doorway and watches for a moment, then turns to Kevin.)

Mack: What's going on?

Kevin: I dunno; they're gonna light that girlie thing and then there's gonna be...

AP: (OS) Fire in the hole!

(Kevin ducks. Mack slides the patio door shut. Then there follows a loud explosion; bits of dirt and grass rain down on Kevin. After a moment, Kevin looks up and frowns. We hear AP and Ted chuckling in the background.)

Kevin: You two geeks are warped!

AP: (OS) You still got your eyebrows?

Ted: (OS) You'll have to tell me what you used. I'm sure we could get this crater another three inches deeper.

Kevin: (head in hands) Aw, maaaaaaan!

Lina: (OS) Would AP please come to the diary room.

AP: Aw, jeez, what now?

Mack: It's this challenge thing.

Ted: Oh, of course -- the proof that we were actually paying attention to the getting to know you games.

Mack: We answer enough questions right, they throw us a party.

AP: Good thing Igor's not in on this; we'd all look like idiots.

Kevin: Hey, cool! Who's bringing the keg?

Mack: Kevin, we're not getting a keg from these people.

Kevin: Aw, come on, Mack Daddy! Jack always brings a keg!

(Mack and AP share a look as AP heads into the house.)

(Scene: diary room. AP enters and sits in the chair.)

Lina: (OS) Good afternoon, AP.

AP: Look, you don't care squat for me and I can't stand you. So stop makin' with the nicey-nice and ask the stupid questions, already.

Lina: (OS; sigh) Name the current housemates that have been involved in high school athletics.

AP: Kevin and Mack, duh. (beat) Uh ... Jane ran track for awhile and Brittany was a pom-pom.

Lina: (OS) Which housemate has a collection of postcards encompassing over 300 cities?

AP: That'd be Art-Sma... uh. Jane.

Lina: (OS) Thank you, AP.

(AP shrugs, gets up and walks out. Enter Brittany in bra and panties.)

Lina: (OS) Good afternoon, Brittany.

Brittany: I don't know if it's so good. I mean, all I wanted to do was go out and lie in the sun and maybe get a tan and everything but there's a big smoking hole in the lawn and the smoke smells weird

Lina: (OS) Are you ready for your first question?

Brittany: (hair-twirling) Ummm ... I think so.

Lina: (OS) Name the current housemates who have been involved in the Boy Scouts.

Brittany: Um ... well, I know Kevin used to be one because sometimes in my bedroom he makes me wear his old uniform and everything and it's really tight and smells like mothballs. And I guess Mack might have been one...

Lina: (OS) Now, here's the second question...

Brittany: But wait a minute! Don't I find out if I got it right?

Lina: (OS; stifled sigh) Not yet, Brittany. We wait until everyone's finished.

Brittany: Ohhhhhhhhh. Okay!

Lina: (OS) Which housemate's favourite television programme is "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"?

Brittany: Uh ... Tiffany? (beat) Well, I know she isn't in the house anymore or anything but I can't think of anyone else in here who likes Buffy...

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Brittany.

(Out bounces Brittany. Enter Daria.)

Lina: (OS) Good afternoon, Daria.

Daria: It would be, if I could spend it in the comfort of my own home with a good book like a free person. I'm more and more sure every day that this little televisual experience violates my Constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of misanthropism. (beat) You have questions. So do I, but most of mine involve questioning your IQ and sanity, so we'll leave that until my last night in this concentration condo. Go ahead.

(Slight pause in which we hear Lina swallow nervously.)

Lina: (OS) Which housemate's new year's resolutions include learning a new word every month?

Daria: I know a few housemates that would benefit from that resolution, AP foremost among them. But I'd guess Brittany. She's the only one here with the optimism for that kind of resolution and unlike Kevin, she has just enough brains to realise she needs it.

Lina: (OS) Which housemate claims to be able to remove the cork from a wine bottle using only string?

Daria: Kevin, and the pedant in me thanks you for adding the "claims to be able to".

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Daria.

Daria: I'd tell you what you're welcome to do, but that should probably wait until Little Brother can't touch me.

(Daria exits; enter Jane.)

Lina: (OS; giving up on good anything with this bunch) Hello, Jane.

Jane: Hello, Little Bother. Your latest quiz-kid has arrived; lay it on me.

Lina: (OS; groan) Give the full name of the housemate whose name was changed after their father attended a sporting event.

Jane: Oh, an easy one. Michael Jordan Mackenzie -- the sporting event was a Bulls game, in case you've been living under a rock for the last decade.

Lina: (OS; stifled sigh) Which housemate's hobbies include gum-chewing, duelling, photography and building furniture?

Jane: The gum's a giveaway. Ted.

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Jane.

(Exit Jane; enter Kevin.)

Lina: (OS) Hello, Kevin.

Kevin: (grin) Hey, Babe!

Lina: (OS; sigh) Are you ready for your questions?

Kevin: Is this gonna go on my report card or anything?

Lina: (OS; stifled groan) No, Kevin. This isn't school.

Kevin: Okay! Cool! Go ahead!

Lina: (OS) Name the current housemates who were involved in yearbook.

Kevin: Uh ... that Ted guy, right? Oh, wait, that Daria chick was in on it for awhile too. Yeah! I'm the QB!

Lina: (OS; exasperation held in check by sheer force of will) Which housemate's claim to fame was winning the "Students at the Dawn of a New Millennium" poster competition?

Kevin: (frown) That's Jane, right?

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Kevin.

Kevin: It was Jane ... right?

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Kevin.

Kevin: Or maybe it was that Daria chick...

Lina: (OS) Good-bye, Kevin...

Kevin: (pouty) Aw, man!

(Kevin stomps out. Enter Mack.)

Mack: Just ask. I want to make sure Ted and AP don't kill anything down there.

Lina: (OS; nervous) Okaaaay... Which housemate drew ... (distaste) a pigeon sticking its head in a hole when asked to draw the animal that best represented them?

Mack: Um... Jane?

Lina: (OS) Which housemate's favourite song is "Tubthumping" by Chumbawumba?

Mack: (rolled eyes) Kevin. He sings it in the showers after every game.

Lina: (OS; relieved that someone was civil and intelligent) Thank you, Mack.

(Mack exits. Enter Ted.)

Ted: Could we get this done quickly? AP's showing me how to make a really good explosive with that shampoo Brittany uses.

Lina: (OS; freaked) Ah ... okay, if you want... Which housemates have hated nicknames, and what are they?

Ted: Well, Mack hates it when Kevin calls him Mack Daddy. Uh ... I think that's it.

Lina: (OS) Name the housemates who have written for a high school newspaper.

Ted: Daria wrote for the Highland paper -- the fashion column. And Brittany does the advice column in the Lowdown.

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Ted. Could you please assemble the housemates in the common room for the results of your challenge?

Ted: Oh. All right ... but I wanted to ... we had explosives.

Lina: (OS) House rules, Ted. All housemates must be in the common room when the challenge results are given out.

Ted: (standing; clicking his heels together and giving a Nazi salute) Jawol, mein Fuhrein!

(Exit Ted; over the speakers, we can hear Lina softly whimpering.)

Male Voice: (OS; muted) Lina! The mic!

Lina: (OS) Oh, sh--

(The sound cuts abruptly.)

(Scene: common room. Music: "Screenshot" -- Pitchshifter. AP and Ted are sitting in armchairs, grumping. Kevin's tossing a baseball with Mack; he looks smug. Jane's now painting Kevin's hair on the mural; Brittany's sitting on the steps, still in bra and panties, glaring at the picture Jane's drawing. Daria's lying on the floor, staring at the ceiling.)

Lina: (OS) Hello, housemates.

Kevin: Yo, babe!

Brittany: Don't you 'babe' her, you... you...

Jane: What do you care? I thought you hated him.

Brittany: I do hate him! I just ... I just don't want to make the nice Lina lady suffer, that's all!

Ted: (sulky) Methinks the bimbo doth protest too much.

Brittany: HEY!

Lina: (OS; long-suffering sigh) And now, the results of the challenge. Remember, you need eight correct answers to win the challenge. (beat) AP. When asked which current housemates have been involved in high school athletics, you said Kevin, Mack, Jane and Brittany. (beat) That was correct.

Daria: Also obvious.

Lina: (OS) When asked which housemate has a collection of postcards from over 300 cities, you said Jane.

AP: And I was right; I know.

Brittany: Wow, Jane! Really?

Lina: (OS) Brittany. When asked which housemates were once Boy Scouts, you said Kevin and Mack. (beat) The correct response was Kevin, Mack ... and AP.

Mack: (astounded) You were a Boy Scout?

AP: 'Til I lost some guy his eyebrows, yeah. So?

(Even Daria looks at him a little bit funny after that.)

Lina: (OS) When asked which housemate's favourite show is 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', you said Tiffany.

Kevin: (condescending) Babe, Tiffany's not a housemate anymore...

Brittany: Well, who do you think is still in the house who'd watch Buffy?

Kevin: Uh ... you?

Brittany: She wouldn't ask me about me, silly!

Mack: I've got to admit; I'm curious now.

Lina: (OS) The correct response was...

Daria, Jane: (in unison with Lina) AP.

(The boys all look at him like he's grown another head.)

Kevin: Dude! That's a chick show!

AP: Yeah, and there's good-looking women and crossbows and monsters. Your point?

Kevin: Hmm. Oh yeah.

Lina: (OS) Daria. When asked which housemate's New Year's resolution was to learn a new word every month, you said Brittany. (beat) That was correct.

Brittany: (smiling at Daria) Wow, Daria, you're really good at this!

Lina: (OS) When asked which housemate claims to be able to remove the cork from a wine bottle using only string, you said Kevin.

Kevin: (frowning) I know I know how to do that!

Lina: (OS; sigh) That was also correct.

Mack: Way to go, Daria.

Daria: It's a case of knowing your enemy as your friend.

Lina: (OS) Jane.

Jane: Cut to the chase; right on both counts. I am the queen of meaningless housemate trivia.

Lina: (OS) Mack's full name is Michael Jordan Mackenzie, renamed so after a Bulls game, and I do watch ESPN, thank you. And Ted's hobbies are indeed gum-chewing, duelling, photography and making furniture.

Jane: But gum-chewing's not a hobby. It's a way of life.

Daria: Zen and the art of purposeless mastication.

Lina: (OS) Kevin. When asked to name the housemates involved in yearbook, you said Daria and Ted. (beat) That was correct.

Kevin: All riiiiiiiight! I'm the...

Daria, Jane, AP, Mack, Ted: (unison) We know, we know, the QB.

Lina: (OS) When asked which housemate won the "Students at the Dawn of the New Millennium" poster contest, you said Jane.

Daria: Well, at least he realises which housemate is known for her artistic endeavours.

Lina: (OS) The correct answer was Brittany.

Kevin: (wide eyes) Oops...

Brittany: I don't believe you, Kevin! I was really proud of that!

Kevin: C'mon, Babe, don't be mad now! We're on TV!

Brittany: Stop calling me Babe! I hate you!

Lina: (OS; loud) Mack! (beat; normal voice) When asked which housemate drew a pigeon with its head in a hole as the animal best representative of themselves, you said Jane. (beat) The correct answer was Daria.

Mack: (slight disappointed wince) Should've figured.

Daria: Hey!

Lina: (OS) When asked which housemate's favourite song is Chumbawumba's "Tubthumping", you said Kevin. (beat) That was correct.

Kevin: All right! I'm the QB!

Lina: (OS) Ted. When asked which housemates have hated nicknames, you said Mack 'Mack Daddy' MacKenzie.

Kevin: Aw, he got it wrong!

Lina: (OS) The correct answer was Mack ... and Daria 'Misery Chick' Morgendorffer.

Ted: Oh. (beat) I'm sorry I forgot.

Daria: I'm not. I'm just sorry that name had to be broadcast on public access television.

Lina: (OS) When asked which housemates were involved in a school newspaper, you said Daria and Brittany. (beat) That was correct. And with nine correct answers, you won the challenge.

Kevin: All riiiiiiight!

Lina: Will you please go upstairs to the bedrooms while the party is set up in the common room. While the party is in progress, you will be called upstairs to give your nominations.

(The PA clicks off. The gang gather themselves and head upstairs.)

(Scene: boy's room. People can be heard moving around downstairs.)

Mack: AP in Boy Scouts. That's got to have hurt someone somewhere along the way.

AP: Like I said; some singemarks, a set of eyebrows went foomp, nothing big.

Ted: So what do you think this party will be like? Aside from a few school dances, I've tended to avoid that sort of thing. The only casual party I've ever been to ... well, I wasn't allowed in.

Kevin: No way, dude! You're a brain! Brains don't go to parties!

Mack: (glaring at Kevin) Daria's been to at least one.

Kevin: Yeah, but that's Daria. Daria may be a brain, but she doesn't know the rules.

AP: Oh, she knows 'em. She just likes breakin' em.

Kevin: Dude. That's really uncool.

Lina: (OS) Would all housemates please report to the common room. (cheerful) It's party time!

AP: (getting up; nasty) Oh yeah. We'll boogie-oogie-oogie til we just can't boogie no more.

(AP exits; Ted follows)

Ted: (heading out the door) How does one ... 'boogie-oogie-oogie'?

Kevin: So who's bringing the keg?

(Mack groans and drops face-down on his bed.)

(Scene: common room. Bowls of chips and dips and things are scattered on the coffee table. Music: "Tubthumping" -- Chumbawumba [presumably in honour of Kevin].)

Lina: (OS) Seven-thirty-nine p.m. Having answered just enough questions correctly, the housemates are given a party. Brittany is taking advantage of the festive atmosphere.

(Cut to the Morgendorffer living room. The cheerleaders are perched on the sofas, watching the scenes play out on the TV.)

Beth: Any bets on what else she's taking advantage of?

Stacy: Oh, come on, Beth! Brittany's sort of sweet, and you know how hung up she is on Kevin...

Quinn: (sagely) That doesn't mean she can't go after other guys to make herself feel better. Oh, it's not like I think it's going to work or anything, but it's the way girls try half the time.

(Back to the scene from the TV. Brittany is sidling up to Mack.)

Mack: You can't be serious.

Brittany: Oh, Mack! I mean, it's not like it's really going to, I dunno, mean anything or anything but ... well, aren't you a little lonely?

Mack: Without Jodie, yes. Doesn't mean I can replace her with just anyone.

Brittany: But I'm not just anyone!

Mack: I ... I think I'm in a bit more of a friendly mood, thanks, Brittany.

(He walks off)

Brittany: But ... but I can be really friendly!

(But Mack has gone off into a huddle with Jane. Brittany puts her hands on her hips and blows a lock of hair out of her eyes. Back to the cheerleaders, who are giggling amongst themselves.)

Angie: And she can be, too. I've seen her and Kevin under the bleachers.

Beth: If you want to call that friendly. That looked more like dentistry to me.

Stacy: You guys are so nasty to Brittany sometimes...

Vicki: Oh, we like her, really, but she is really easy to make fun of.

Quinn: Vicki's right -- she's kinda giggly and silly and...

Beth: ...Going after your boyfriend.

Quinn: Yeah, and going after my boy-- (beat) What?

(Back to the common room.)

Ted: Now, honestly, Brittany, I don't think this is proper...

Brittany: Well, why not? You like cheerleaders; I know you do!

Ted: No. I like Quinn. (beat) In fact, I think my time would be better spent with Daria -- I can be closer to the one I care about that way. (turning his back on Brittany) Oh, Daria! (slight pleading) Help me?

(Back to the Morgendorffer living room. Beth is chuckling.)

Beth: Run, Forrest, run!

Quinn: Hey! That's my boyfriend you're talking about!

Angie: Okay ... run, Quinn's guy, run!

(All the other cheerleaders [even Stacy, albeit apologetically] start giggling. Quinn looks indignant.)

Vicki: Jeez, when did Britt get to be such a ... a ... I dunno, what is she being?

Beth: She's trying to be a vamp. And she's failing. But she's always been like that when Kevin's being a ba-- Is that Lynn's guy she's trying it with now?

(Back to the common room. Brittany has backed AP into a corner and AP looks beyond freaked. Brittany leans in and AP backs off as far and as hard as he can, knocking his head into the wall.)

AP: Look, Ponytail Barbie, no with the out-making! Don't wanna! No way, no how, no chance!

Brittany: But why not? I mean, it's not like...

AP: Okay... In words I can use and you can get ... I think you're stupid and my girlfriend can kill you. And her friend and bandmate's taping this.

(He manages to slide under Brittany's arm and away. Brittany looks terribly sulky and starts scanning the room. Back to the Morgendorffer living room. The girls are all laughing.)

Quinn: That ... that ... perfect!

Angie: Why ... is she ... doing this?

Beth: Gotta be for Kevin. I mean, she wants to try playing the jealousy card. God, you've gotta be kidding; who in there is going to take the sweet but brainless little...

Stacy: Kevin would. Why, oh why won't they get back together?

Quinn: Pride. Pride really sucks.

(Scene: diary room. Enter AP; he sits and glares at the camera.)

AP: I'm nom'nating Kevin first. If he doesn't stop whining about the experiments, I'm gonna ... well, probably break into the basement and find out where you hid Purple Peril's tazer.

Lina: (OS; nervous) AP ... I doubt you'd be able to...

AP: (derisive snort) Watch me. (beat) Anyway. Then Brittany. (beat) She came onto me. Can you give me an 'ew'?

Lina: (OS; taken aback) Ah ... thank you ... AP.

(AP stalks out and is replaced by Brittany a moment or two later.)

Lina: (OS) How are you enjoying the party so far, Brittany?

Brittany: I'm not! I mean, no one wants to hang out with me or anything; well they did sort of but not--

Lina: (OS; "nothing's worth this" tone) Please give your first nomination and state your reasons.

Brittany: AP! I keep trying to sunbathe and he keeps blowing stuff up and I can't take it anymore!

Lina: (OS) Please give your second nomination and state your reasons.

Brittany: Kevin, because he's a mean nasty lying cheating jerk!

Lina: (OS) Th-thank you, Brittany.

(Brittany goes off in a huff. Daria sits down and waits to see if the recording is back. After a moment, she nods half-approval.)

Daria: Ted -- AP's bad enough on his own; with Ted, the back yard has become lethal. Then Kevin -- he seems to think I have AP on some kind of leash -- did he ever figure out that he and I broke up?

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Daria.

Daria: And thank you for not insulting my intelligence for a change.

(Daria exits. A moment later, Jane wanders in.)

Jane: I think I'll nominate Ted first. (beat) It's the commentary on the mural -- I don't need to hear about the influence anime had on the style I picked; I know what I meant. (beat) Annnnnd Kevin. Can he not read? Do the words 'wet paint' mean anything to him? I've had to redo Brittany's bursts three times! If he misses her so bad, why doesn't he go fondle the real thing?

Lina: (OS; fighting a snicker) Thank you, Jane.

(Jane raises an eyebrow; she caught that. Then she exits. Kevin barrels in seconds later.)

Kevin: Yo! Babe! Where's the keg?

Lina: (OS; sigh) Kevin, you're underage. Please give your first nomination and state your reasons.

Kevin: Can I give two together? Cos it's gotta be Ted and AP, Babe. I need a place to work out, dude! It's not fair that they get the back yard to blow stuff up! I mean, blowing stuff up's cool, but why can't they do it inside?

Lina: (OS; not even able to hide the laugh this time) Thank you, Kevin.

(Kevin looks a little weirded out -- "is she laughing at me?" Eventually, the thinking becomes too much effort and then he leaves. Ten seconds later, Mack walks in.)

Mack: My first nomination is Kevin. One more "Mack Daddy" and I might hurt someone. Secondly -- and don't think that I don't like him ... I'll nominate AP. It's just because if he's allowed to cook for us one more time, someone is going to die.

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Mack.

(Mack exits and Ted's in immediately after -- he must have been waiting outside the door.)

Lina: (OS) And are you enjoying the party, Ted?

Ted: I think I'm sickening for the days when women were sexually repressed.

Lina: (OS; snigger) Could you please give your nominations and reasons?

Ted: Firstly, I would like to nominate Kevin. He kicked over our experiment the other day and I didn't think that was in a particularly housemate-friendly thing to do. After him, I'd like to see Brittany leave; she isn't being particularly housemate-friendly either, what with the constant complaining.

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Ted.

(Scene: common room. Music: "Let's Have a Party" -- Backstreet Boys. Brittany is doing old cheerleader routines by herself in the middle of the floor. Kevin is watching her and salivating like Pavlov's dog. Mack and Jane are chatting in one corner, and Daria and Ted are in another. AP's standing precariously on a chair, trying to get into a little box on the wall with a Swiss Army knife. Eventually, Daria and Ted look up at him.)

Daria: If you're trying to trigger the poison gas, you have my complete support.

AP: Wanna pull the wiring. One more note of this crap and I'm gonna paint the red bits on Art-Smart Scarlet's mural thing with somebody's red cells.

Daria: Oh. (beat) In that case, I'd like to nominate Kevin.

AP: Like you did in there?

Ted: AP, you know it's against the rules to tell who you nominated.

(The music stops.)

AP: (perplexed) But I didn't even get in...

Lina: (OS; loud) Attention, Little Brother Housemates!


(He wobbles, then falls flat on his back.)

Lina: (OS) You are live on KSBC, please do not swear.

AP: Damn.

Daria: That technically constitutes swearing.

AP: Double-damn.

Lina: (OS) There are two housemates up for eviction. In alphabetical order, they are...

Ted: The attempt to create suspense ... is it wasted on anyone else in here?

(Daria, Jane, AP and Mack raise their hands. Kevin and Brittany look confused.)

Lina: (OS) Kevin...

Kevin: (wide-eyed) Huh?

Brittany: (whisper) Yes!

Lina: (OS) ...And Ted.

Ted: (blink) Oh. Drat.

Lina: (OS) The party will continue for another hour. Please enjoy yourselves.

(The boy-band stuff starts up again.)

Jane: How can we? That's not music; that's psychological scarring through a sub-woofer.

AP: Y'kay, Buh-- uh, Ted?

Ted: Oh, sure. I suppose this is the sort of experience that can only build character.

Jane: But what if you already have character?

Daria: Jane, just because you are a character...

AP: Guys, c'mon; I saw that movie and know it adverbim; don't need to hear that bit again.

Ted: ("whoa") A-adverbim?

Daria: Andrew Philip McIntyre -- taking malapropisms to a higher state.

AP: (grin) Thanks!

Daria, Jane, Ted: (unison) Not a compliment.

AP: (drooping) Oh.

(Scene: Morgendorffer living room. The girls are looking at each other, stunned.)

Vicki: Oh ... my ... God they want to vote out the QB!

Beth: Yep; brains rule in that house...

Angie: So who're we voting out this time?

Quinn: Angie! That's obvious! I can't vote against my boyfriend!

Lisa: But you can't vote against the QB either.

Quinn: But it's not even football season! Kevin hasn't been a QB since, like, January or something! Ted's my boyfriend! That'd be ... like...

Beth: That'd be a way to get him out of the house so you could spend the rest of Spring Break with him.

(Slight pause.)

Quinn: Give me the phone. It's oh-eight for Ted, right? (beat) Well? You have celphones! Use them already!

(The glare leaves no room for argument. They all pull out mobile phones and start dialling except for Stacy, who looks pleadingly at Quinn.)

Stacy: Sorry, Quinn, but I...


Helen: (OS) Oh, for-- Quinn, do you know what those pay numbers cost?

Quinn: We're making sure Daria stays in!

Stacy: But, Quinn, we...

Quinn: Stacy, shush! Now go get the phone! (Stacy looks at Quinn but leaves. Quinn hits the cut-off button and dials again.) Hello, Sandi? Listen, I want you to... (beat) Oh, you've already voted him out! Thanks!

(Scene: kitchen. Music: "Escape" -- Metallica. Mack is buttering toast; coffee is perking away in the machine in front of him. Enter Kevin.)

Lina: (OS) Day four; eight-fifteen a.m.

Kevin: Hey, Mack Daddy!

Mack: For the last time, stop calling me that!

Kevin: Sure thing! Uh ... hey, bro?

Mack: (long-suffering sigh) Yeah?

Kevin: I'm gonna stay in the house ... right? I mean, I'm the QB and all, and I...

Mack: (glum) Yes, Kevin; odds are you'll stay in the house.

Kevin: (grin) All riiiiiiiight!

(With that, he grabs a piece of toast and runs off into the back garden. Mack shakes his head in mild despair and goes on with the breakfast preparations.)

(Scene: common room. Music plays on. Jane's painting -- the mural's coming along nicely, with Daria, Jane and AP fully painted in; she's putting the finishing touches on Mack's hair. Daria herself is munching on toast and watching Jane paint.)

Jane: Hey, Daria. You ever feel bad for who you nominate?

Kevin: (OS) Go long, Mack Daddy! Go long!

Mack: (OS) Kevin, there's no room to go long!

Brittany: (OS) You're blocking my sun!

(A dull thump is heard, like someone falling over.)

Kevin: (OS) OW! Dude, when're you gonna fill in the holes?

AP: (OS but closer) When Satan hosts ice sculpting, now lay off!

(Enter Ted, holding a mug and jittering a little.)

Ted: Toasttoasttoasttoasttoast...

(Daria hands him a piece of hers; he gives a quivery smile and sort of bounces out.)

Daria: Do you?

(They look at each other.)

Daria, Jane: (unison) Naaaaaah.

(Scene: common room. Music plays on. The gang has assembled. Kevin and Ted are sitting in the armchairs, packed bags at their sides. Mack, Daria and AP are playing cards and Jane's just finishing the blue of Ted's shirt. Brittany is sitting fairly far up the steps; it's obviously as close as Jane would let her get.)

Lina: (OS) Attention, Little Brother housemates. You are live on KSBC; please do not swear.

Mack: What about good ol' fashioned cussin'?

(Daria smirks appreciatively.)

Lina: (OS) The phone lines closed five minutes ago. The votes have been counted. And the second housemate to be evicted from the Little Brother house is...

(Ten-second pause in which everyone looks at Ted.)

Lina: (OS) ...Ted.

Kevin: All riiiiiiiight!

Brittany: (authoritative) Kevin!

Kevin: Eep! I mean, uh ... I ... I gotta go!

(Kevin runs for the back garden.)

Lina: (OS) Ted, you have one minute to say your good-byes.

Ted: Well. It was an interesting experience. I thank you all for making it not overly stifling in here. Jane, your mural is coming along nicely -- I hope Lynn will allow me to come by and see the finished product.

(Jane waves her paintbrush at him idly.)

Daria: Look at it this way. You'll be going home to a hero's welcome, courtesy of one Quinn Morgendorffer.

Ted: (grin) Oh. Well, in that case, do I have to take that whole minute?

Mack: Take care of yourself.

Ted: And you. Try not to be too hard on Kevin.

Mack: (sarcastic) You don't ask a lot, do you?

Lina: (OS) Ted, you have five seconds to leave the Little Brother house. Five ... four ... three...

Ted: Good bye!

Brittany: Bye, Ted!

(Ted walks to the door, hears the lock go, opens it, steps out and shuts it behind him.)

AP: We lost one of our own.

Daria: Oh, the stupidity. (to Mack) Present company excepted.

Jane: Well, at least I finished putting him in the mural...

Daria: Way to grope for that silver lining.

(Mack is sitting there with a thoughtful look on his face. Then he throws in his hand and heads for the stairs, stepping around Brittany on his way up.)

(Scene: diary room. Music: "You Drove Me To It" -- Hell is for Heroes. Enter Mack.)

Lina: (OS; a little surprised) Hello, Mack.

Mack: Hello, Little Brother. I just have one thing to say here.

Lina: (OS) Go ahead, Mack.

Mack: I'm gone. Gone like a cool breeze. This is not worth a vague chance at winning some secret prize. So thanks for having me, but I really have to go.

Lina: (OS) But ... but Mack...

(But Mack has got to his feet and left.)

(Scene: back lawn. Music plays on. AP's poking at one of the holes in the lawn. Brittany's on a deck chair, in her bra and underwear, sunbathing. Mack comes out -- humming "Go Down, Moses" -- with a couple of thick blankets and starts examining the patio furniture -- a sturdy-looking wooden table, a few chairs. He studies the fence with its barbed wire and then turns to AP.)

Mack: You're good with physics and that sort of thing. You think if I got enough air and these pad enough, I could clear it?

AP: Guess; you've got strong legs and you're not so heavy but... (it hits) You're not...

Mack: I'm busting out.


(Brittany looks up quizzically.)

(Scene: the same, a short time later. Music plays on. AP and Jane are supporting the dining table, balanced lengthwise, between them. A series of small steps [a chair, the patio table] have been set up next to it. Daria's looking at the whole thing dubiously.)

Daria: Are you sure you can do this?

Mack: Even if I puncture both hands, it can't hurt worse than this.

Daria: Well, since you put it that way...

Jane: It wouldn't be easier to tunnel?

Mack: It'd take more time than I have. Wish me luck.

Daria: Break a Little Brother taboo.

(Mack gets on the chair, then on the patio table, and then carefully climbs onto the upended dining table, balancing precariously. Daria moves forward and helps to steady it as Mack tosses the blankets over the barbed wire topping the fence, then settles his hands between the barbs and jumps. A second later we hear him land on the other side. Tense silence.)

Mack: (OS; jubilant) The black man is gone! The black man is gone! Praise Jee-sus! The black man is gone!

Brittany: But ... but why didn't he go out the door? (Daria, Jane and AP just look at her.) Oh, right.

(Scene: Cullen house, ext. Music: "Big Cheese" -- Nirvana. Lina is pacing around in front of Caldwell, who looks stunned.)

Lina: You told me that one was the best of the bunch! Smart, popular, well-behaved, ath... (bitter chuckle) Well, obviously a little too athletic...

Nate: (quiet) Those little miscreants must have finally got to him.

Lina: Well, you'd better have a backup. We both have a lot riding on this!

Nate: Well ... I do have one boy I could convince to join the group at this late stage...

Lina: What's wrong with this one? Is this one an all-out psychopath?

Nate: No, just a little ... rude. Look, it's Spring Break, and most students have their own plans! I can get you this one because he's in detention.

Lina: What for? Violating your school mascot?

Nate: No! He just ... invited a few of the teachers to do something anatomically improbable for the crime of giving him homework over the break.

Lina: Oh, wonderful. (sigh) But I guess you're right about us not having a choice. And the ratings are up... Send him in.

(Scene: common room. Kevin is slumped in an armchair, looking bummed.)

Kevin: How could Mack Daddy just run off like that? I mean, sure, most of the people in here are uncool, but hey! He's my bro! We stick together!

Jane: Birds of a feather?

Daria: In Mack's most strongly suppressed nightmares, maybe.

Lina: (OS) Attention, Little Brother housemates. Since the defection of your housemate Mack Mackenzie, you are undermanned. So to solve the problem, a new male housemate will be joining you in about an hour. And to reflect that, we've changed today's challenge.

Jane: What, whichever of us makes him jump the fence wins?

(We just hear Lina groan over the PA.)

(Scene: Lane living room. The Reformed and B.A.N.D. members, plus Andrea, are seated around the place.)

Casey: Dunt bleeve m'watchin s'crap.

Mara: It's addictive. And new male meat's coming in.

Joe: You might have more luck with men if you didn't treat them like cattle, Mara.

Mara: You might get laid if you didn't act like such a...

Max: Hey, shut up! I'm watching this!

Lina: (VO from TV) At four-thirty, the new housemate enters the house, and the housemates get their chance to really get to know their classmate Bill Nolan.

Guy: Hey, isn't that the guy you were on that group date thing with?

Trent: Oh yeah. From that radio show.

Mara: Hmm. Not bad. A six, maybe six and a half. Didn't really satisfy, but he didn't need a lot of recovery time, so it balanced.

(They all just look at her.)

(Scene: common room. Music: "Karn Evil 9" -- Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Bill is perched on the sofa, arms crossed and an expression on his face that says, "Impress me". Enter Daria dressed as Jane, Jane dressed in Brittany's pseudo-cheerleading gear [way too baggy on top], Brittany dressed as Daria [she can't zip the jacket up], Kevin dressed as AP and AP dressed as Kevin. Apart from the freckles and the change in hair colour, you'd be hard put to notice a change.)

Lina: (OS) 4:32 p.m. To help the new housemate acclimatise to the situation in the house, the housemates have prepared a short play. They will portray each other and perform a few typical scenes from the house.

Kevin: (squeaky; grin that's too goofy) Meeglebeeglewoomph!

Daria: (eyes mostly shut) Ywtmvh.

Jane: (perky voice) Hi-eee! I'm gonna go out in the yard and show off my boobs to the world cos I guess if the TV cameras get a look at them, someone'll see the only assets I have and I'm sure to get into soft porn!

Brittany: (trying to be deadpan -- failing) Hi. I'm Daria. Go to hell.

AP: (grin that actually matches Kevin's; cozying up to Jane) Hey, ex-babe!

Jane: Ooh! I don't want to talk to you, you... you ... you... nasty person!

AP: Aw, c'mon, Babe! I mean, all the other girls in here are brains! And, like, you know they'd probably, like, wanna talk and stuff! About, y'know, real stuff! You wouldn't want my head to blow up, would you?

Brittany: Why not? It's inflated enough to.

Daria: Now that would be interesting. A little derivative, but Pollack's coming back in a big way.

Kevin: Aw, talking's for wimps anyway. Now fire and blowy-up stuff -- now that's cool!

AP: Hey, c'mon, dude! I'm just a big ol' weenie who can't take a couple of loud noises and I don't want you having any fun!

Kevin: Hey, man, you're not a weenie just cos you don't want me setting the house on fire, I guess. But hey, I'll do it anyway, just to annoy you!

Brittany: I don't like this. I think you all suck. So I'm going to go to the diary room now and bitch moan whine about all of you to the entire county. Excuse me.

Kevin: Here I am, pouring keroseeeeeeeeene!

AP: Hey, man, move over, I'm trying to build up my muscles so I'll never ever ever have to even pretend I'm anything but a jock and a dope and maybe a beer-swillin' used car salesman when I grow up!

Daria: Hmm. Do oils or chalks work best for open flames and overstretched muscles?

Jane: Oh, come on, you guys! It takes every bit of brainpower I have just to tan over here!

Kevin: Who's got a match?

Brittany: Your face and my...

Kevin: (breaking character) Ba-abe! I thought you only used the nasty words for me!

Brittany: (following suit) You will never hear that kind of thing from me again! I never liked using all those ugly words and ... and ... and, well, those shoulders aren't the only things that the uniform makes look bigger!

Bill: (leaning back; satisfied smirk) Oooooh. Let the gaaaaaaaaames begin.

Kevin: (sidling over to her) Ba-abe! We're on TV!

Brittany: So? It's not like no one else knows what you're like! I know you were with Angie and Vicki and that awful girl with no neck and anyone else you wanted!

Kevin: Yeah? Well, what about you and that Stack guy from Oakwood?

AP: Hey, at least that was only one. And I don't sound like that, you stupid jock piece of crap!

Kevin: Yes, you do, you little geek! And you're gonna set the house on fire if you don't stop all that crap you do in the yard!

AP: I'm not gonna burn the house down! Purple Peril would kill me!

Brittany: And I don't sound like that, Jane! That wasn't funny!

Daria: I don't know; I thought it was worth an internal chuckle. And it was truer to form than the implication that I, in your eloquent phrasing, 'bitch moan whine' to the cameras.

Jane: But she did get the 'go to hell' part right.

Brittany/Daria: Shut up, Jane!

(Daria and Brittany just look at each other in horror for a moment.)

Jane: Am I the only one who didn't get offended here?

Daria: Well, single-minded and self-absorbed as you can sometimes be, at least you're comfortable with it.

Jane: Hey, there's no such thing as the right height or the right weight or the right way to think. There's only what's right for me. Because me is who I am.

Daria: Careful, Jane. Seven go-arounds with the Esteem Teens is beginning to tell.

Jane: ...I just quoted O'Neill. Ick.

(Meanwhile, Kevin's got AP in a head lock and is noogieing him mercilessly.)

AP: Jeez, Lobotomy Ken, I got this crap enough in grade school! And only way you'll stop me being me is if you ... owwwwww ... noogie until you see grey matter!

Kevin: A QB's gotta do what a QB's gotta do ... and stop calling me Ken! And I'm not a robot!

AP: Now you know how Mack feels when you call ... aaaaaaaaaagh! ...him Mack Daddy all the time! And that's lobotomy! It's...

(Bill just sits and watches the carnage unfold. He looks unbearably smug.)

(Scene: upstairs corridor. Music: "Plight of Losing Out" -- Medium 21. AP climbs up the stairs and into shot. Kevin trails after, looking hangdog.)

Lina: Five-forty-seven p.m. In an attempt to rectify the group dynamic ... or maybe make a group dynamic for a change ... Kevin is pursuing AP with a proposition.

Kevin: Hey, c'mon! I need someone to pass the pigskin with!

AP: Go find Bill.

Kevin: Dude, he's in the bathroom or something; come onnnnnnn!

AP: Look, I'm no good at that kinda stuff and if you had any kinda brain in there you'd remember that, so would you...

(He reaches the door to the spare bedroom, throws it open and freezes, eyes wide. We can hear pleased moans as Kevin peers in, freezing and looking as freaked as AP.)

Bill: (OS) Get outta here, perv!

Brittany: (OS) AP! Go away!

AP: That's my bed!

Kevin: (giving way to anger) That's my babe!

(Exit Brittany, holding her shirt up in front of her chest, frowning at him.)

Brittany: Listen, Kevin! I am not your babe anymore! And if I want to...

Kevin: (roaring) No one touches my Babe but me!

(With that, he barges in and there are sounds of a scuffle. Jane comes running up the stairs with Daria walking behind.)

Jane: What the...?

AP: M'gonna have to burn the mattress...

(Daria and Jane just peer past him. Cut to inside the spare bedroom; Kevin has tackled Bill and is trying to ram his head into the carpet.)

Kevin: You stay away from my babe!

Brittany: I am not your...

Bill: C'mon, lay off! It was a one-off thing and I don't even like the bimbo. I...

Brittany: Oooh, you dirty liar!

(She runs towards him and kicks him in the knee; he yells and then Kevin starts pounding on his back and shoulders)

Kevin: Don't you call my babe names!

Brittany: I am not your babe and I can take care of myself!

(With that, she kicks Bill again, in the shoulder this time)

Bill: Lay off! Get offa me!

(Daria, Jane and AP exchange looks.)

AP: I'm not sleepin' there...

Jane: Come on; I'm sure I can find some turpentine so you can wash your eyes.

(Jane leads him away. Daria hovers in the doorway just long enough to give a parting shot.)

Daria: Please just maintain this show's PG rating.

(As she leaves, all three combatants look up, searching for the cameras. They back away from each other sheepishly.)

Lina: (OS) What does she mean, 'maintain this show's PG rating'? (mutter in background) What do you mean, this is going out live? (more muttering) But there was ... that ... whose decision was this?

(Scene: Sandi's room. Sandi is sprawled out on her bed, watching TV. Sam and Chris are standing in the doorway.)

Sam: Okay, you be that Bill guy and I'll be that Kevin guy. Hey Sandi! We need a girl!

Chris: Can you call Quinn and ask her to be Brittany?

Sandi: (rolling her eyes, but vaguely amused) Thanks, Mother...

(Scene: diary room. AP enters, still looking a little grossed out.)

Lina: (OS) AP, before we start the nominations, could I ask you to...

AP: Don't want to go to where there was with the groping. And talkin' about that, I'm taggin' Brittany. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew.

Lina: (OS; sigh) And your second nomination?

AP: Kevin. (beat; fed up) Aw, look, I'm not gonna set the house on fire! That's ... perfidy? Parody? Perjury!

Lina: (OS; trying to sort through that) Uh. Thank you, AP.

(Exit AP. Bill slumps in.)

Bill: I know from this nomination stuff. Mom watched the USA thing even though it sucks. I'm nominating Brittany -- the little bimbo thinks it meant something? She was desperate; I was doing her a favour! (beat) Also Kevin. I don't want to mix it up with anyone here. Gonna ruin my chance at the prize.

Lina: (OS; bemused) Thank you, Bill.

Bill: Yeah, yeah, yeah...

(Exit Bill. Thirty seconds or so later, Brittany comes in.)

Brittany: Can I just do my nominations and go? I really want to be somewhere else.

Lina: (OS; trying to be kind) Go ahead, Brittany.

Brittany: I want AP to leave. I can't believe he walked in on me! I also want that stupid spoiler person Kevin out!

Lina: (OS; faint amusement) Thank you, Brittany.

(Brittany stalks out. Enter Daria a split-second later; she obviously wants this over with, as she sits on the edge of the chair, poised for flight.)

Daria: Kevin and Brittany. I can only live in this house if that mess gets sorted out one way or another.

Lina: (OS; fervent) I understand. Thank you, Daria.

(Exit Daria, with Jane entering right after.)

Jane: Kevin and Brittany are both messing with my mural now. I'm tired of having to repaint four of the nine. I'm nominating them in the name of art preservation.

Lina: (OS; you can nearly hear the surprised blink) Thank you, Jane.

(Jane rolls her eyes ungraciously and exits. A few seconds later, Kevin hurries in.)

Lina: (OS; still has to explain to this one) Kevin, please give your first nomination and state your reasons.

Kevin: I gotta say Britt now. She cheated on me.

Lina: (OS; placating tone) And your second nomination? With reasons.

Kevin: Gotta be Jane. She gets so uptight over that stupid stuff on the walls!

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Kevin.

Kevin: Hey, babe? I'm not the QB here, am I? I'm just ... just a guy?

Lina: (OS; stuck) Uh ... well...

(Kevin gets up and leaves.)

(Scene: Kate's room, lit green. Daria is curled up on one bed, Jane is sprawled on another, and Brittany is asleep in her clothes on top of a third.)

Lina: (OS) Day five; two-thirty-one a.m.

(Cut to the spare room, where Kevin is curled up on one bed, alone. He's still awake)

Lina: (OS) The sleeping arrangements have been radically changed after the afternoon's ... um ... events.

(Cut to the common room, also lit green. AP is sprawled out on the sofa on his back, mouth open, snoring.)

Lina: (OS; as if to herself) They're like animals. I don't understand any of this...

(Cut to the back garden. Bill's curled up under a bath towel on one of the deck chairs. He's shivering.)

Lina: (OS; worried) I hope he doesn't catch pneumonia. Our insurance doesn't cover this...

(Scene: kitchen. Jane shuffles past on her way to the coffee maker.)

Lina: (OS) Nine-oh-six a.m.

(Bill enters from the back garden, stretching -- you can hear joints pop as he does.)

Bill: Y'could at least have thrown me a pillow.

Jane: Mwrnn?

Bill: (blink) What?

Jane: (flapping a hand at him) Mmmrrn.

Bill: You're a freak.

Jane: Thnky.

(Bill just looks very oddly at her and walks out.)

(Scene: Morgendorffer living room. Quinn's settled on the sofa, watching TV and talking on the phone. Jake enters with the paper and watches Quinn for a moment.)

Quinn: (into phone) Well, come on, Stacy, at least it was an easy decision this time. I mean, really, what choice did we have? (beat) Yeah, I know, but Kevin started that whole violence thing! I mean, he nearly made AP's scalp bleed. (beat; "eep" expression) Well, I dunno ... I guess I feel a little bit prot... Er... You know, I kinda went away with them last summer and... (inspired expression) I gotta go -- Dad needs the phone. Bye!

(She hits the cut-off button as Jake looks at her.)

Jake: Thanks, Quinn, but I didn't need the phone.

Quinn: Oh, I know, but ... you know ... um ... sometimes you know how you kinda don't want to talk to someone and you have to tell a little eggshell lie?

Jake: Isn't that little white lie?

Quinn: Daddy, ew! White is so three seasons ago! Even metaphors should be at least a little bit fashionable!

(She's now officially lost Jake, and he looks to the TV for salvation [because, of course, it's the American way]. He sees Daria join Jane in the kitchen and his face lights up.)

Jake: Hey, that's Daria on that TV show! Have you been watching?

Quinn: Daddy, of course! I mean, not only is Daria in there but this Little Brother thing is the thing to watch right now! I mean, I may just be a cheerleader now but I still have an obligation or whatever to keep up with the trends!

Jake: So ... how's she doing?

Quinn: (proud) Oh, she's great! Well, I mean, for her! I mean, she hasn't been up for eviction once! Right now it's between the two most popular people in school who made it into the house and we all voted for Kevin because, well, you know, he beat up on that Bill guy...

Jake: And that Andy boy Daria was seeing?

Quinn: That's AP, Daddy! And I guess I kind of don't like that because... (Jake looks at her a little expectantly. Quinn bites her lower lip and looks at the TV a little wildly) Oh, look, they're gonna say who lost the vote!

(With that, Quinn turns her most focused expression on the TV. Jake looks a little cheated, but watches with her.)

(Scene: common room. Brittany's standing by the window, bag at her feet, bouncing nervously. Kevin's sitting on the sofa, drumming his fingers on the armrest; his own bag is sitting next to him on the sofa. Jane is putting the finishing touches on her mural. Daria is using Brittany's much-diminished eyeliner pencil to print [name?]'s poem 'Resumé' on the wall by the dining table. AP's watching her, a little concerned.)

AP: Um ... that's kinda ... um...

Daria: (printing the last line) Look at it as inspirational.

AP: (reading it) ...Oh. I guess.

Lina: (OS) Attention, Little Brother housemates. You are live on KSBC; please do not swear.

Jane: Does her saying that make anyone else want to recite George Carlin's "Seven Words"?

(Daria and AP raise their hands. Kevin and Brittany look at each other and quickly look away again.)

Lina: (OS) The phone lines have closed, the votes have been counted, and the third housemate to be evicted from the Little Brother house is...

(Brittany starts chewing on a knuckle. Kevin winces and crosses his fingers. Even Daria, Jane and AP stop what they're doing and watch, mild tension in their faces.)

Lina: (OS) ...Kevin.

Kevin: Aw, maaaaaaaan!

Lina: (OS) You have one minute to say your good-byes.

(Kevin stands up and looks at Daria and AP. They look back.)

Kevin: Uh ... hey, ah, dude? Sorry about that ... ah...

Daria: Unwanted, over-rough scalp massage?

AP: (shrug) Hey, prolly beats Head n' Shoulders, right?

(Kevin turns to Brittany, who's looking at him with big eyes.)

Kevin: ...Bye?

Brittany: ...Bye.

(They keep looking at each other.)

Lina: (OS) Kevin, please exit the Little Brother house.

(Kevin shakes his head as if to clear it, then grabs his bag and dashes for the door. Silence for a moment.)

Brittany: I ... I'm gonna go unpack.

(She heads upstairs. When she's out of sight...)

AP: Was there tension? I felt tension. I'm no good at crap like that but I felt tension. Like one of Purple Peril's E-strings tension.

(Daria and Jane share a look.)

Bill: (OS) The jock strap gone yet?

Brittany: (OS) BILL!

(Daria presses a hand to her forehead. Jane smirks a little. AP snickers.)

AP: Well, whaddya know? One snapped E-string!

(Jane stifles a chuckle.)

(Scene: Kate's room. Music: "Three of Clubs" -- Hell is for Heroes. Jane is studying the wall with an artist's eye. Daria is lying on one of the beds in the "something's eating at my soul" position.)

Lina: (OS) Three-thirty-three p.m. Having completed the mural in the common room, Jane has apparently been inspired to recreate scenes from the house on any flat surface she can find.

Jane: So ... whaddya think? We could put the blazing ballisti-bread right here.

Daria: How about you put the blazing ballisti-bread right here?

(Daria indicates her forehead. Jane looks at her in concern.)

Jane: Hey, you okay? I mean, you're usually not so open about that whole masochism thing.

Daria: Quite frankly, Jane, I'd welcome third-degree burns just as a relief from the interminable boredom.

Jane: All talk and no read make Daria a dull girl?

Daria: I am a dull girl. I'm not even sure why they haven't kicked me out. I haven't even been up for eviction yet.

Jane: Oh, that's easy. You haven't been up for eviction because you're a dull girl. You sort of fade into the wallpaper.

Daria: Your wallpaper.

Jane: You're such a rake in the grass, girl.

Daria: Isn't that 'snake'?

Jane: No, I meant rake. You know, unmowed lawn, step right on it without seeing it and whap!

Daria: You're trying to say you walked right into that one.

Jane: I took the long way around, okay?

Brittany: (OS) OW! IT BURNS! IT BURNS!

(Daria and Jane share a look.)

Daria: Damnit, she stole my act.

(Scene: back garden. Music: "Stereotypes" -- Blur. Brittany is squirming on a deck chair, bright red with sunburn, screaming. [A well-placed end table liberated from the common room blocks her chest area from view.] Daria and Jane stand by the patio doors and watch.)

Brittany: Somebody do something! It hurts!

Jane: Yeah, someone do something; if she keeps screaming my eardrums are going to start oozing down my face.

Daria: Maybe we should look in the medicine cabinets; see if there's anything in there that might help.

Jane: Last time I saw Lynn do anything medicinal outside of a hospital was stage makeup. Given that I've never even seen her take an aspirin, we might be out of luck there.

Daria: I have it on good authority that there's a first aid kit somewhere in this house.

AP: (approaching from behind with a little jar in his hands) Way ahead of you, Erudite Emerald. Well, not that there was much around for burns, so I kinda had to improv.

Jane: How do you improvise burn ointment?

AP: There's aloe -- she likes with the spiky plants. That'll cool stuff. And with some of the scent-free moisturiser crap Igor left.

Jane: Well, give it to her already; before she attracts every dog in the neighbourhood.

AP: She's ... um ... not wearing anything ... um...

Jane: So? Don't tell me a couple of mammaries are going to scare you off.

Daria: So cool and collected just because you've drawn a few. (to AP) I'd suggest going over there with your eyes closed but...

AP: Well, that's an idea. Thanks.

Daria: (as he wanders away) ...but I only would have suggested it to someone with the motor control of a new-born horse.

(AP, his eyes squinted shut, is groping one-handed in front of him.)

AP: Po-- um, Brittany? I got some...

(He trips over the deck chair she's lying in and falls right on top of her, obscuring her assets. She screams in pain; he yelps in embarrassment.)

Brittany: Owwwwwwww! Watch where you're going!

AP: I'm tryin' really hard not to!

(He rolls off, eyes still tight shut, and Jane wades in, removing her red shirt and draping it over Brittany.)

Jane: Before one or both of you dies.

AP: Anyway, I got some stuff that might help with the burning. Happy applying.

(He chucks the little jar in her general direction; it bounces off Brittany's red-draped stomach and she screams again.)

Brittany: I can't put that on by myself! It hurts to move my arms!

AP: (panic) Well, I'm not gonna do it!

Jane: Hey, don't look at me. My motto is "draw but don't touch" when it comes to bursts.

Bill: (entering) What the hell?

Daria: We're trying a new recipe. Chargrilled cheerleader. It's going to be a big hit at the Jeffrey Dahmer Bar and Grill.

Jane: Okay, that's tasteless even for you.

Daria: Not if barbecue sauce is used in correct proportions.

Brittany: Owwwwwwwwwwwww!

Daria: We were set to add a cooling aloe marinade, but the chefs seem to be balking at the application stage.

Bill: Day-am. Where's she burned?

AP: Same place you were gropin' her on my bed last night.

Bill: Where's the gunk?

Jane: Out there with her.

Bill: (little smirk) Well. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

(He walks out towards Brittany. Daria, Jane and AP exchange looks.)

Daria: Do these patio doors lock?

AP: (grin) Damn straight they do!

(They share another look -- a smirky one.)

(Scene: common room. Music: "Cathode" -- Pitchshifter. Daria, Jane and AP are sitting around the dining table, playing cards. After a moment, we hear soft banging in the background.)

Jane: Sounds like they took another break.

AP: Third period. Should we let 'em back in before they go into sudden-death overtime?

Daria: Leaving aside the rat-like chill that just crawled up my spine at your being able to reference hockey, I'll make the obvious comment that sudden death sounds like the ideal solution to the problems caused by their hyperactive hormones.

AP: I told you, Da... there's a Devils fan at home and I used to play and I have a memory. Anyway, can we please not make for the place where there's death?

Jane: Yeah; I think non-fatal hypothermia's the way to go. You know, lots and lots and lots of cold showers.

Lina: (OS) Would the housemates please assemble in the back yard for the challenge.

AP: Aw, jeez, what now?

Jane: Well, you saw that basketball net in the yard?

AP: Noooo, I was a little busy findin' something to look at that wasn't like out of those top-rack magazines.

Daria: Now if only I could get the question of how you know about those out of my head.

Jane: We have to shoot baskets. Five each. We get fifteen, we get a party.

Daria: Party of five. Your torture is ready.

AP: Don't worry about it -- s'not gonna happen. I shoot the basketball like I shoot my mouth.

(Daria and Jane smirk at him; they throw their hands in, get up and walk out.)

(Scene: Cullen back yard. Music plays on. AP's clumsily bouncing a basketball on the flagstones in front of the net. He tosses it -- it misses the backboard by a clear foot, bounces off the fence and lands in one of the lawn craters.)

Bill: (grabbing the ball) Does that look like a basket to you?

Daria: I'm surprised he managed to sink that ball into anything. That's the fourth time he's missed.

AP: I guess the holes don't count, huh?

Jane: That should have been alternate rule. Basket -- five points. Detonation craters, one point.

(Bill aims, shoots -- nothing but net.)

Brittany: Yaaaaaaaaaaay, Bill!

Daria: Brittany? This isn't the school gym.

Jane: Don't confuse the poor girl. It's something she knows how to do.

Bill: (tosses the ball her way) Your turn.

(Brittany dribbles a couple of times and shoots the ball. It goes in neatly and Jane retrieves it.)

Daria: Apparently, not the only thing she knows how to do.

Jane: (grin) Hey, if we want to 'take that and party', Brittany and I are your salvation. (tossing the ball to Daria) Unless you want to help out.

Bill: Hey, give me some credit, huh?

Jane: Two whole baskets-worth; joy.

(Daria throws the ball -- it circles around the rim and eventually drops into the net.)

Daria: (a little surprised) Oh.

Jane: And basket lucky thirteen goes to Daria Morgendorffer and the crowd goes wild!

Daria: The feeding frenzy can begin any time now.

(Jane picks up the ball again, tosses it towards the net -- in it goes.)

AP: Way to go, Art-Smart Scarlet!

Brittany: One more and we get a party!

Bill: One problem -- only one basket-tosser left.

(They all turn around to AP, who tries to shrink into his jacket.)

AP: And I can't give my last turn to someone else, right?

Daria: The same way you couldn't give your first, second, third and fourth turns to someone else.

AP: Aw, why'd I have to be last? I mean, now it all rides on me!

Jane: Isn't that the reason you didn't want to go first?

AP: No; didn't want to go first because I didn't it want it to be like a really sucky opening band spoiling the mood for the members of the good band and makin' them make with the missage too. And ... well...

Bill: Shoot the ball, already. Let's get the losing thing over with.

(With that, he chucks the ball hard at AP's stomach, winding him. Once he recovers, he picks up the ball, stands in front of the net and looks at him for a moment. Then he turns around, closes his eyes and holds the ball over his head.)

Brittany: AP, what are you doing? You're going to miss like that!

AP: Yeah, but I'm going to miss anyway. Oughta at least make it make good viewing.

(With that, he tosses the ball behind him. It bounces off the backboard and goes in. Everybody stares.)

Bill: (shocked) Whoa.

AP: ...I didn't just hear 'swish'. (beat) I didn't just hear 'swish'.

Jane: You made a shot. (beat; shrug) I say we party.

(Scene: common room. Daria is sitting in a corner of the sofa, watching Brittany dancing -- not because she wants to, from her expression, but because there's nothing else to watch. Jane is stepping away from Bill, who watches her go for a minute before joining Brittany on the cleared space they're using as a dance floor.)

Lina: (OS) Eight-oh-four p.m. Having successfully completed their task, the housemates are given another party.

(Jane looks back over her shoulder to see Brittany and Bill draped all over each other. Daria, for her part, has sprawled out on the sofa face-down to drown out the sights around her.)

(Scene: Cullen back garden. Music: "TV Movie -- Pulp". AP's sitting in an untidy little sprawl on the flagstones of the tiny area that could be called a patio, his back just resting on one of the deck chairs. He's looking up at the sky. Exit Jane; she's carrying a black tote bag that's clinking gently. Jane sits down on the deck chair next to AP, stretching out her legs as she sets the bag down beside her, just behind AP's head. AP doesn't seem to notice.)

Jane: Found this under the refreshment table. (beat) What'd you put in the punch?

AP: Purple Peril told me about this thing her cousin came up with called Um-Bongo in the Congo.

Jane: Um-Bongo in the...?

AP: The guy who named the piss was stoned outta what mind he had; gotta give a little. (beat) Anyway, it's orange, mango, cranberry juice...

Jane: (raised eyebrow) Annnnnnnnnd?

AP: Vodka, white rum, peach schnapps and tequila for kick.

Jane: (wincing) That would explain why Mr Eyebrow Ring thought it'd be a good idea to go bobbing for erognyous zones.

AP: Eeeeeeeew.

Jane: Hey, you hang at the Zen, you learn how to back them off. And I'm sure it's going to do his street cred all kinds of good when all his thrash-punk buddies watch the playback and find him doing novice gynaecology on a former cheerleader.

AP: Again, eeeeeeeeeeeeeew! How much of the punch did you drink?

Jane: Enough.

AP: Not really; you're still talkin'.

Jane: Hey! (beat) What's with you, anyway? I guess I should ask if you're mad in the American or British sense.

AP: Not mad ... but bound more than a madman is! Shut up in prison, kept without my food, whipped and tormented...

Jane: It's so damn scary, listening to you quote Shakespeare.

AP: Well, I have a...

Jane: I know, I know, you have a memory. Good for you. (beat) Come on, AP. You've got to try to get past this. I bet she's just fine; probably kicking back in Miami or something. Soaking up some rays, clearing her head...

AP: And now we take our tour of the river in Egypt! We're floating, we're floating, we're...

Jane: Okay, okay, jeez! (beat) Look at it this way; she has stuff to come back to. She's got a real family. And she's got you.

AP: Yeah, right. She wanders off on me -- and it's not like I don't get why or anything but I mean, jeez, I should've been there for her and she should've let me! I mean, every single time my dad went all tweeky and wiggy and crappin' on my head, there she was. (beat) 'Cept this time. We should've been there for each other! And we weren't and I'm in this freakshow with her house all in a wreck and she's God knows where doing God knows what with God knows who.

(Silence. AP now looks off at the hole-torn remnants of the Cullen back lawn.)

Jane: Should ... I send Daria out here?

AP: Hell no.

Jane: Should I leave you alone?

(AP just shrugs. Jane sighs and hands him a bottle of Captain Morgan. He looks at it.)

Jane: Well, you'll pay for it in the morning, but I figure for right now, liquid oblivion is just what you need. Hey, you might actually puke up some of the bad-feeling when you're standing-up-falling-down-heaving-gut drunk.

AP: (*blink*) Never had it straight before. What's it taste like?

Jane: Molasses-spiked paint thinner.

AP: Oh. (swigs, gags; in a croaky voice) Want?

Jane: (holding up a bottle of vodka) I'm good. (beat) Where'd you get this stuff anyway?

AP: The locks on the basement aren't for shit. And I left you a surprise behind the li'l dinky thing they got for musicage. Got some of Purple Peril's CDs when I got the drink-stuff.

Jane: When you get tired of drinking alone, c'mon back in, huh?

AP: Crank it, wouldja, Art-Smart Scarlet? Some tunes'd be good.

(Jane gives him a crooked little smile and pats him on the shoulder, then goes back in with the bag of drinkies. AP looks up at the sky for a moment, then toasts the stars.)

AP: Good night, Ms Cullen-Smythe, wherever you are.

(Then he drinks and drinks deep.)

(Scene: McIntyre Manor, living room. Music plays on. Fred is perched on the sofa, beer in hand, watching the TV.)

Lina: (VO from TV) Due to the ... activity in the house at the moment, we will be having an abbreviated nomination at seven a.m. tomorrow. So tune in to...

(Fred grunts and grabs the remote; the sound of some sporting event or other fills the room.)

Carol: (OS; vaguely amused) Crapping on his head, Frederick?

(Fred looks over. Pan to where he's looking. Carol is curled up on a recliner, smoking. She looks a little jittery but more alert than we've ever seen her.)

Fred: The boy needed a firm hand. Never understood him, m'self. Takes after you.

Carol: But you miss him. (to the look) I never said you had to watch this with me; I just said I'd seen him on TV. You miss him, Frederick.

Fred: The boy hates me, Carol. Hates what I tried to make him. Hates what he thinks I made you.

Carol: Then maybe it's time you told him.

Fred: Are you...?

Carol: Insane? Not so much anymore. And from what I hear, he'd actually understand.

(Fred looks at her, then sighs and swigs from the beer.)

(Scene: common room -- empty and mostly destroyed in the way that only a really heavy party could destroy a room.)

Lina: (OS) Day six; seven a.m.

(The sound of an air horn blares over the speakers; and we hear the groaning, screaming and grumbling of the entire group.)

Lina: (OS) AP, please report to the diary room for nominations.

(More groaning.)

(Scene: the diary room. AP enters; he looks like hell on wheels. He drops into the chair and waits.)

Lina: (OS) Good morning, AP.

AP: (giving the camera the finger) Mmm. (beat) I'm nom'natin' Bill an' Britt. No sofa's safe!

(There is a long pause.)

Lina: (OS) Thank you, AP.

(AP just gives the camera the finger again and walks out. A moment later, enter Bill. He looks, if anything, worse than AP did; he's dressed only in a pair of boxer shorts and there's an interesting pattern of lovebites and fingernail marks on his sides and chest. He sits on the edge of the chair gently.)

Bill: Don't ... talk. (beat) First nom's AP. Little pervy freak, him, sometimes. Then Jane -- frigid bitch.

(Exit Bill. Then Brittany strides in and perches on the chair.)

Lina: (OS; uncertain) G-good morning, Brittany.

Brittany: (groan) What's so good about it? I mean, I sometimes tried Kevvy's beer and everything but that punch didn't taste all icky and sour but after awhile the room went all spinny and I think I was a little whoopsy in the closet.

Lina: (OS) Could you please give your first nomi...

Brittany: I want Jane to go! She's trying to take Bill away from me!

Lina: (OS) Brittany, please give your second nom...

Brittany: And I want AP gone too! He's still blowing stuff up!

Lina: (OS) Th-thank you, Brittany.

(Brittany springs out of the chair and leaves. Daria's arrival is in stark contrast to Brittany; there is obviously no bounce to her, but there is also no hangover misery. She is just fed up. She doesn't even sit down; she stands behind the chair and looks at the camera blandly.)

Daria: Bill and Brittany. (beat) Loyalty thing.

(With that, she leaves. Jane shuffles in after her -- now this is the poster child for hangover misery. She's pale, her eyes are bloodshot and there's what looks like sick crusting in the ends of her hair.)

Lina: (OS) Good morning, Jane.

Jane: (weak) Not so loud...

Lina: (OS) Jane, please gi...

Jane: Bill -- get that schmuck out of my face.

Lina: (OS; sounding a little like she wants to cry) Jane, pl...

Jane: And Daria. She wants out.

(After a moment, we hear a sigh that's almost a sob come from the speakers.)

Lina: (OS) Thank you, Jane.

(Jane sits there a moment longer, weaving. Then she looks panicked, claps a hand over her mouth and runs out.)

(Scene: Kate's old room. Music: "Hope Leaves" -- Opeth. Bill and Brittany are on separate beds now, both asleep.)


Brittany: (burying her head in a pillow) Ooooooooooohhh...

Lina: (OS) You are live on KSBC; please do not...

Bill: (groaning) Up yours, you bitch.

Lina: (OS; despairing) Please ... do not ... swear! (beat) There are four housemates up for eviction -- and it will be a speed-vote. The viewers will have from now until noon to decide which housemate should be evicted. The four housemates are, in alphabetical order...

(Scene: spare room. Music plays on. Daria is lying on the bed, staring at the ceiling.)

Daria: Well, at least the odds are on my side.

Jane: No noise. Please no more noise...

Lina: (OS) AP...

AP: (raising a finger) Woot.

Jane: I said no noise...

Lina: (OS) Bill...

Bill: (OS) Sonofabitch...

Brittany: (OS) She said not to swear, Bill!

Jane: (raising her head a little) And I said to stop the NOISE! (pressing a hand to her forehead as she winces) Owowow...

Lina: (OS) Brittany...

Brittany: (OS) Oh, not again...

Daria: Come on; you can say it, starts with a D...

Lina: (OS) ...And Jane.

Daria: (exasperated) What? Did 'Daria' have too many syllables in it?

(Scene: Lane living room. Music: "My Friends Over You" -- New Found Glory. Trent, Nick and Max are asleep on the sofa. Mara, sitting on the floor nearby, pinches Trent hard on the calf.)

Trent: (half-mumble) Hey, Daria, watch the rough st... (opens his eyes and looks at Mara's leering face) Oh. Damn.

Mara: They nominated your sister.

Trent: Oh. Who else?

Guy: (from his perch in an armchair) The bimbo, the skate-trash and the geek.

Max: (awake himself now) So we vote now?

Trent: Well, we want to give Janey her shot at the prize ... right?

Mara: It won't work. They want the bimbo with the big tits.

Max: Hey, we stand by our own!

Guy: We vote for the skate-trash. And he and I are having words when he gets out of there.

Trent: Not alone, man. No one calls Janey that.

(With that, he reaches for the phone.)

Nick: I got second!

Mara: After the babyfather.

Max: Me next! Me next!

(Trent rolls his eyes.)

(Scene: common room. It's empty. Music: "...And She Told Me To Leave" -- Lostprophets.)

Lina: (OS; distressed) Twelve-oh-five p.m. The lines have closed, the votes have been counted ... and few of the housemates seem capable of moving.

(Cut to the spare bedroom. Daria is stuffing a last shirt into Jane's bag; she zips it and tosses it at Jane's feet. Jane groans and curls up a little.)

Jane: Want rid of me that bad?

Daria: I got through the arduous task by fantasising that I had the shot at leaving.

AP: Guess you couldn't pull a switch, huh?

Daria: (a little sad) Wrong member of our coterie for that, AP.

AP: But it's spring. Wear a coat out there and you'd evaporate. (beat; to the pitying look) Oh.

Lina: (OS) Attention, Little Brother housemates! You are live on KSBC; please do not swear.

Daria: I'm holding it in for now. When I finally leave this house, the air will be blue with a week's worth of stifled profanity.

Lina: (OS) The votes have been counted ... and the housemate evicted is...

Jane: (groan) Get on with it!

Lina: (OS; she's snapped) Oh, get the hell out, Jane! That's if you're even capable with your hangover! God, you kids are maniacs!

AP: (indignant) Hey, we're not the ones makin' with the gropey-feely-foo-foo-nasty on every piece of furniture in the place!

Daria: ...'Foo-foo-nasty'?

AP: I know; Purple Peril'd kill me for usin' it.

(By this time, Jane has gained her feet and picked up her bag.)

Jane: Do me a favour?

Daria: Only if involves being smuggled out in your luggage.

Jane: Nah; one of you just ... do something to Bill before he gets out of here?

AP: (grin) Count on it, Art-Smart Scarlet.

Jane: Buck up, Morgendorffer -- only one more day.

Daria: Just a few more miles to tote the weary load. No matter; t'will never be light.

Jane: Just a minute more 'til I totter in the road; and Lynn's camera-ridden home, good NIGHT! (pained wince) Ow.

(With that, she exits. Daria and AP look at each other.)

(Scene: common room. Music: "The Heart of the House" -- Alanis Morissette. Daria's sitting in an armchair, looking at the mural. AP staggers down the stairs and blinks at her.)

AP: Breakfast?

Daria: It's two-thirty in the afternoon.

AP: Yeah, but I figure only way to cancel out Cap'n Morgan'd be Cap'n Crunch. (beat) Where's Ponytail Barbie and Nasty Nolan?

Daria: I'd hope far, far away from here, but that would involve more optimism than I'd see in three of my lifetimes.

AP: Well, at least they're not makin' with the ... (shudder) Ew. (beat) Y'kay?

Daria: I don't believe they haven't voted me off yet. (beat) This is what I get for being inconspicuous.

AP: Well, maybe not like that. Y'know, they had to pick you for a reason. It's like ... y'know those guys who make with the words about the players at sports things?

Daria: Commentators.

AP: Yeah them. Well, y'know, they make the whole thing a bit better. So you're more clued in. Or at least that's what Da-- (cuts himself off) Well, anyway. See, you here is like them there. You make with the words about the people and the things. So they're more clued in. So of course you're not gettin' kicked. We need you.

(Daria looks thoughtful for a moment ... then gives a Mona Lisa smile.)

Daria: You may not have the most extensive grip on the English language, AP, but sometimes you get lucky.

(AP thinks about that and then grins.)

Lina: (OS) Would Daria please report to the diary room.

(Daria groans, gets up and heads for the stairs.)

(Scene: diary room. Music plays on. Daria enters, sits down in the chair and waits.)

Lina: (OS) Daria. Do you ... have any comments on ... your time in the house so far?

Daria: What, you mean besides my utter disappointment at its lack of brevity? (beat) None that wouldn't be lost to editing. So I think I'll save my breath.

(Short pause)

Lina: (OS) Your final challenge ... is one I think you all would derive some benefit from. If you'd reach under your chair...

(Daria does so and pulls out a few slim books. She looks at the covers.)

Daria: "Introductory Etiquette". (beat) I may have been without books for a week, but I'm not that desperate.

Lina: (OS) Your task is to learn a few simple rules of etiquette and to use them at a formal dinner that we will provide at seven o'clock tonight. Also, you'll each make a speech about your time in the house and the people you're sharing it with, which you'll deliver in the final toasts.

Daria: Isn't one of the first rules of etiquette something like, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"?

Lina: (OS; tentative) Yes...

Daria: You may have to waive that rule. Or be faced with a veritable sonic vacuum tonight.

(A thumping sound is heard over the PA; it sounds like Lina's beating her head against a table top. After a moment, the thumping stops and she takes a deep, ragged breath.)

Lina: (OS) You're smart, Daria, okay? Just try. It's the last night. Look at it as a ... a gift.

Daria: Now, if I'm giving this gift to the housemates, they wouldn't appreciate it, mostly because my going that out of character would probably frighten them more than words ever could. If I'm giving it to you, I'd have to ask why I'd give of myself to someone who's already taken my dignity, my privacy and a week of my life. And if it's to the viewers, I'd point out that cruelty to others is a big ratings winner -- witness "Melrose Place".

(In the short silence that follows, you can hear Lina's teeth grind.)

Lina: (OS) Okay, look at it as a trade. You make the speeches, and I don't have the heat in there cranked to Sahara.

(Daria scowls at the camera for a moment.)

Daria: What happened to "no need to threaten her, Nate"?

Lina: (OS) It's the last night. Whatever works.

Daria: Well, after this little exchange is edited into oblivion, I guess I could just ditch it and let you explain to your viewers why all four remaining housemates have chosen to sleep outside.

(Lina gasps, and we hear muttering on the PA. Then...)

Lina: (OS; slightly off-mic) You're shitting me! Live? I... (beat) Oh. I...

(The PA clicks off. Daria smirks.)

(Scene: common room. Music: "Civilised" -- Pitchshifter. Bill and Brittany are sitting on the sofa, whereas Daria and AP are seated at the dining table. All four of them are leafing through the books on etiquette.)

Bill: This is such a crock.

AP: We're not doing this. (to Daria's look) Are we?

Daria: I look at it this way. On the one hand, these are our orders.

Brittany: So we are doing it! (to the looks) Unless we're not.

Daria: On the other hand, we have one housemate whose rudeness is apparently genetically ingrained. Another's sheer sweet perkiness seems to cancel out any higher intelligence. And a third's use of the language calls to mind a blind Parkinson's sufferer using a jackhammer to swat flies.

(The other three look at her. They're not sure exactly how to take what she's saying.)

AP: Dumbing it down for the guy with the jackhammer fly swatter?

Daria: If we do it, we'll probably offend a lot of people and spend our last night in here at each other's throats. Lina will tear her hair out. KSBC's top brass, who seem to have lost their cut-and-thrust instincts when it comes to editing, will spend a great deal of time answering to the sponsors. And the ratings will probably go through the roof.

(Short pause as they look at Daria, considering.)

Bill: (smirk) So we're doing it.

Brittany: (vaguely freaked out) Uh ... okay... (she gives up trying to figure out Daria's reasoning and takes the whole thing at face value) Oh, I hope I have something nice enough to wear...

(With that, she dashes upstairs. The other three look at each other and shrug.)

(Scene: common room, some time later. Music plays on. Brittany's wearing her dress from "This Year's Model"; the others are in normal clothes. An impressive three-course meal is spread out before them -- soup turreen, bowl of salad, roast beef, potatoes, a few different vegetables and a black forest cake. AP's looking at his place setting with some trepidation.)

AP: We need all this fork and knife stuff why again?

Brittany: It says in that book thing that it's bad manners to use the same fork twice!

Daria: But accidentally using some else's fork is rule one at any dinner party.

Bill: So who's dishing up? I'm starving here.

AP: Soup first? Uh ... I'll...

Daria: AP, I don't think...

(He's a little too jittery at the prospect of all those forks to listen; he reaches for the soup, fumbles, and then knocks it over. It spills all over the tablecloth and on Brittany's dress. She wails, pushes away from the table and runs up the stairs. The other three look at each other.)

Bill: I think I'll do the salad. Sit down, clutz.

(AP does, sheepishly. Then he grabs a spoon and holds it up to Daria.)

AP: Soup spoon. Right?

Daria: Very good.

(AP looks at it for a second, then throws it over his shoulder.)

AP: Well, one less thing.

(Scene: Kate's room. Brittany's sitting on the bed in her usual pseudo-cheerleader garb. There's a knock at the door and Daria enters.)

Brittany: He did that on purpose!

Daria: If he'd been trying to spill soup on your dress, the soup would have gone anywhere and everywhere but your dress.

Brittany: (thinking about this) Oh. (beat) But why are you guys always so mean to me?

Daria: (frowning) Excuse me?

Brittany: At the first party, AP said I was stupid!

Daria: He said he thinks you're stupid, which is more of an opinion than a statement of fact. And given his grip on the language, I'm surprised you got that much.

Brittany: Huh?

Daria: You were making unwanted advances. He panicked. And you have to admit, it wasn't the smartest thing in the world to do, given that the whole school is probably watching.

Brittany: I guess... I was just bored and trying to get back at ... well ... he keeps trying with Stacy all the time! Not that I want him back or anything, but he dumped me and why can't I rub it in his nose that I'm single and liking it?

Daria: Once you've left this camera-ridden goldfish bowl, you can flirt your way through every unattached guy in the county if you want to. It's just probably not a good idea to try that with other people's boyfriends when their girlfriends are watching.

Brittany: (finally gets it) Ooooooooh. (beat) So he doesn't think I'm stupid all the time; just that I was being stupid then?

Daria: (slightly uncomfortable) Uh ... something like that.

Brittany: (distressed) Oh, I've been a great big idiot! (Daria fidgets) I don't want to go back out there! That's where all the cameras are going to be and...

Daria: Brittany ... look. At least you were ... interesting. People have been watching you. You've been ... a source of entertainment. And, as much as it might have irritated some people at first, that sort of thing is what the public wants. (beat) Have you ever heard the saying, "There's no such thing as bad publicity"?

Brittany: Um ... I think so! Daddy said something like that when I didn't want to do those tampon commercials.

Daria: However tomorrow's vote comes out, you're going to be remembered. If someone's thinking about who to invite to a party or which blonde to use for a photo shoot, your name is going to come up. Which, given your current ambitions, is a good thing.

Brittany: That's what Ashley-Amber said. That I could act however I wanted so long as I wasn't boring and that people would still like me!

(Short pause. Daria doesn't have a lot to say to that.)

Bill: (OS) Hey, you cheered her up yet? This food's getting cold!

Brittany: Thanks, Daria! I feel better!

(She leaves the room. Daria frowns at her boots.)

Daria: Depression transferrence. Hmm.

(And out she goes as well.)

(Scene: common room. Music: "Independence Day" -- Moxy Früvous. AP's sprawled out in an armchair. Daria's sitting on one end of the sofa. The sound of Brittany sobbing is heard from upstairs.)

AP: Y'know, I kinda expected her to give her tear ducts more than a five-minute break.

Daria: Apparently, we reckoned without the force of brutal honesty that is Bill Nolan.

AP: That was kinda harsh. (beat) 'Cept I don't see how him tellin' her she has the IQ of a blow-up doll made her call you a liar.

Daria: I spent all that time upstairs trying to convince her that just because we think she lacks intelligence doesn't mean she's not likeable or that we're being deliberately cruel. She took that to mean that we don't think she's dumb.

AP: She thinks she's not dumb and she came up with that?

Daria: Actually, to translate that statement into something you want to hear, you have to be either slightly brain-damaged or extremely bright. (beat) And even she admitted that trying to flirt with you wasn't smart given the circumstances you laid out for her at the first party.

(There's a short pause in which they get lost in their own thoughts; neither of them look at each other.)

AP: Hey, Erudite Emerald?

Daria: Yeah?

AP: Gimme a worst-case, huh?

(Daria looks at him, figures out what he means, and...)

Daria: Part of me wants to say that the absolute worst thing that could happen is that Lynn comes home before the KSBC torturemongers manage to repair the damage to Chez Cullen. And then I realise that the absolute worst thing that could happen ... is that she doesn't.

(Long silence. In the background, you can just about hear Brittany sobbing.)

AP: Let's take the first thing. She turns up day after tomorrow. House swarmin' with carpenter ants. What do we tell her?

Daria: Uh ... the only word that comes to mind is ... 'surprise'.

AP: From you? That is wonked. (beat) You said she wouldn't mind. You ... meant it, right?

Daria: Assuming we get a chance to explain. AP, you may have access to the house, but I'm the only one with the key. I let this continue because I figured I'd get the blame. But ... wait. If they wanted the house, why did they come to you? (AP looks at the floor) AP...

AP: I'm her executioner, 'kay? (beat; slams head on table) No, not that but like that!

Daria: ...Executor?

AP: Yeah! That!

Daria: You're the executor of her Last Will and Testament. (beat) She has one?

AP: Uh-huh. Since ten. Dunno if it's legal, really, cos there's not like a Noter or anything but who's gonna quiz? Not like her stuff's exactly legit anyway so no tax people. (beat) She said if she trusts me that far, she trusts me with keys.

(Long silence. Daria looks at AP; respect is warring with terror and sadness in her eyes. Then, curiosity comes and trumps them all.)

Daria: So ... why do you come through the window?

AP: It's tradition.

(Not entirely comfortable silence follows.)

Daria: We should probably turn in. It's going to be a big day tomorrow.

AP: Y'think there's gonna be an audience out there?

Daria: Unfortunately, I don't think anyone in the county is going to be able to resist the opportunity to wave a 'Hi, Mom' sign on live television.

AP: Y'tell me this and expect me to be able to sleep?

Daria: At least you know what to expect, right?

AP: Mmm.

(Scene: McGrundy's. Jane, the Reformed and the B.A.N.D. are sitting at a table. A TV bolted to the wall above the bar shows Daria and AP leaving the common room.)

Joe: So, will we all be there when they come out? Solidarity?

Trent: Dunno, man. I mean, I'm gonna want to ... y'know, greet her. And I don't want that on TV any more'n she would.

Jane: I'll be there to whisk our big TV star back to her land of privacy. The big question is, now that it's crunch time, who're we going to vote for?

Mara: I dunno. You know Lynn'd hand me my ass if I voted for anyone but her boyfriend.

Nick: No kidding, but ... hey, y'know ... we gotta vote for Daria. She's Trent's girl, y'know?

Trent: I think I'm voting for the punk, guys.

Max: Whoa!

Guy: That sucks.

Jane: Not really. You think Daria wants to win this thing?

Trent: (to the looks) Daria hangs back, y'know? Doesn't really like being the centre of attention. If we voted her and she won ... I don't think she'd like it.

Guy: And I'm not voting for the skate-trash. That guy needs a smack, no shit.

Mara: Hey, if we all vote for the same other one ... maybe we can keep the bimbo with the big tits from winning. Score one for the non-conventionally sexy.

Joe: (snerk) I like AP. That's my only reason.

Trent: The punk?

Jane: (smirk) The punk!

(Scene: Morgendorffer living room. Quinn's sitting on the sofa by herself, reaching for the phone. Helen walks in and looks at Quinn.)

Helen: Quinn, what are you doing?

Quinn: Well, it's the last day of this Little Brother thing, and we're voting on the winner, and I thought...

Helen: Quinn ... do me a favour. (beat) Don't vote for Daria.

Quinn: (blink) What?

Helen: I'm glad to see that Daria did so well ... that she got into that house and stayed in right up until the last. It's good to see her ... being accepted ... just for who she is. But you know Daria -- how she feels about spectacle.

Quinn: Not like her glasses, right? (Helen nods with a little smile) Like all the glitzy stuff at fashion shows. Right. (beat) But Mom, she deserves the attention and...

Helen: Quinn, Daria deserves what she wants. And she wants to play it low-key. What she deserves is for her sister to help her get that. Okay?

Quinn: But...

Helen: Please, Quinn, just ... think about it.

(Helen leaves. Quinn thinks about it, picks up the phone and dials.)

Quinn: Stacy, hi! (beat) Listen, you know the Little Brother thing? (beat) Well, actually, I don't want you to vote for Daria. (beat) Because I don't, okay? (beat) No, you don't have to vote for Brittany or that Bill jerk. (beat) Well, then vote for that AP geek, okay? Anyone but Daria, alright? (beat) Okay, I'll call Sandi, Brooke and Tori; you tell the cheerleaders. (beat) Because you're their captain, Stacy! They follow your lead! (beat) No, no, you're we-- Stacy, you... Stacy, make the calls, okay? Bye!

(She hits the cut-off button, shakes her head in fond disbelief and then dials again.)

Quinn: Hi, Sandi?

(Scene: Cullen house, exterior. Music: "The Bitter End" -- Placebo. A stage has been set up on the front walk so the exiting housemates have to cross it to get out to the street. Around that stage stands a crowd of young adults; several have "Hi, Mom!" signs as predicted. Lina stands on the stage, smiling at the crowd.)

Lina: Well, what a week it's been, huh?

(The crowd roars assent.)

Lina: Well, let's meet the friends and family of the last four housemates. For AP we have...

Jane: (waving) Right here!

(She bounds up onto the stage and Lina recoils a little, then collects herself and steps to Jane again.)

Lina: You're here to meet AP?

Jane: AP and Daria. See those cheerleaders over there?

(Lina looks over to where the entire Lawndale High cheerleading squad is waving pom-poms and squealing excitedly.)

Lina: (dubious) Yes...

Jane: Well, one of them is her half-sister but if Daria saw that much Lawndale spirit coming at her, she'd probably think she was getting lynched, so they'll stay way over there and I'll collect my friends and help them piece together the fragments of their house-broken minds.

Lina: So ... the cheerleaders...

Jane: There for Brittany, I think.

Lina: And ... Bill...

Jane: Well, I was talking to those really fashionable-looking girls in the front. (points to Sandi, Brooke, Tori and Tiffany, who carry plastic bags) They're there for him. Sort of.

Lina: (smile) Well, isn't that great, folks? Bill's got himself a fan clu...

(The last syllable is drowned out by a chorus of booing.)

Jane: Nooooooot really. The nicest word I've heard so far is "sleaze" when it comes to him. Actually, they're here to throw rotten fruit at him.

(Cut to where the Fashion Club is standing.)

Tiffany: This fruit smells really, really baaaad.

Sandi: That's the point, Tiffany.

Brooke: Is this fashionable?

Sandi: This is to show a bit of sisterhood, girls. Even the fashionable must rise up and make the opposite sex pay the price if they fail to meet acceptable datable-boy standards.

Tiffany, Tori, Brooke: Ooooh.

(Back to Lina, who looks wide-eyed at Jane.)

Jane: I'd get him out of here fast. That camera equipment isn't going to survive the splatter factor. And I'm going to stand over there now.

(Jane leaves. Lina swallows.)

Lina: Well, actually, ah ... let's go live to the house. (speaking into her headset mic.) Attention, Little Brother housemates! You are live on KSBC; please do not swear!

(From the speakers around Lynn's lawn comes a rapid-fire volley of cursing from AP, Bill and, to a lesser extent, Daria. Lina looks horrified but the crowd cheers.)

Lina: Ah ... well ... with only 21 votes, the first housemate to leave the Little Brother house ... is Bill! Bill, please exit the...

(The rest of her words are drowned out by booing as Bill steps out the front door. He doesn't get two steps away from the house before he's pelted liberally with rotten fruit and insults. He makes it to the stage, looks at Lina with her mic, then steps off the stage and keeps walking.)

Lina: Okay ... maybe the next housemate will ... oh, whatever. With 43 votes, the next housemate to leave the house ... is Daria! Daria, please exit the Little Brother house!

(The cheerleaders wave their pom-poms merrily as Daria exits. She steps up to the stage and takes the microphone from Lina.)

Daria: It's about time.

(She hands the mic back. Lina smiles nervously.)

Lina: Throughout the programme, the opinion seems to have been that you'd have ... got a lot further if you'd ... participated a little more. You might have made the programme better by...

Daria: The only way I could have made the programme better was if I'd started firebombing. Unfortunately, AP beat me to it.

Lina: Well. Thank you, Daria.

(Daria walks over to where Jane stands.)

Jane: Third place.

Daria: In a group of four.

Jane: Nine.

Daria: Shut up.

Jane: You beat me.

Daria: "Shut up". They're two single-syllable words. Even AP understands them. What's your problem?

Jane: Selective deafness.

Daria: Damn you, Lane.

Lina: Now, when it came down to the last two, the vote was very close. One housemate got a hundred and ten votes ... and one got a hundred and twelve.

Crowd: Ooooh!

Lina: And the winner of the first ever KSBC airing of Little Brother is...

(Scene: common room. Brittany is bouncing up and down in the balls of her feet excitedly. AP's standing by the door with his backpack at his feet.)

Lina: (OS; it even shocks her) ...AP?

Brittany: (coming down flat on her feet in shock) What?

AP: (falling against the wall) Come again?!?

Lina: (OS; regaining equilibrium) Brittany, please exit the Little Brother house!

Brittany: But ... but ... but...

(She picks up her bag as if she's never seen one before and walks slowly towards the door. She looks at AP for what seems like a long time, utter confusion in her face. Then she walks out. AP slumps down in a heap next to his bag and sits there listening to the cheers of the crowd outside.)

AP: Sometimes ... people ... freak me.

(Scene: Cullen house ext. Music: "Happy Endings" -- Pulp. Brittany is standing on the stage with Lina pointing the microphone at her. She's moving her mouth, but nothing's coming out but the odd squeak.)

Lina: (taking pity) Well ... thank you, Brittany. I thought you did very well. Now why don't you go and talk to your friends while we talk to AP. (as Brittany leaves the stage) AP, please exit the Little Brother house!

(AP staggers out of the house with his bag. He looks like someone got him with his own knockout spray not so long ago. He clambers up onto the stage and stands there, dazed.)

Lina: Congratulations, AP! How does it feel to be the winning housemate?

AP: ...Warped.

Lina: Uh. Well. As the highest-rated housemate ... only just, but ... you have won this brand new car!

(She points down the walk at a dark blue 2000 VW Beetle parked at the kerb.)

Daria & Jane: (OS; unison) God help all Lawndale pedestrians.

AP: Uh.

Lina: (pointing the mic at him) So, anything to say to our audience?

(AP looks at the microphone shoved in his face like it might bite him ... and then the silence is broken by the rumbling of a badly mistreated engine. Several heads turn to see an ugly, rusting Land Rover pull up behind AP's shiny new prize car. The engine shuts off with what sounds like a death rattle and out steps Lynn, dragging her bag behind her by one arm strap. She leans against the car for a moment, and then turns towards the house and stops dead when she sees the crowd on her front lawn.)

Lynn: Is this a welcome home party or a lynch mob?

(AP runs forward, falls off the stage, picks himself up and launches himself at Lynn, driving her up against her rustbucket as he hugs the life out of her.)

Lynn: (choked) Definitely lynch mob.

AP: Where've you been? What happened? Why didn't you call anybody? Did you have to leave town? And where'd you get this junkheap?

Lynn: Can't ... say ... no ... air...

(AP lets go; Daria and Jane have joined them now. Daria hugs Lynn next, and Lynn's eyes go big -- think Jane's reaction in "Boxing Daria". When she squirms, Daria lets go with a self-conscious look on her face.)

Lynn: You'd better not be next, Lane. Boyfriends and blood-kin I can condone, but...

Jane: Well, I don't want to make our connections any weirder, but when you and your mother both 'walk the earth' on no notice, I wonder if there's not some Lane in you.

Daria: Great. If that's the case, Lynn's little New Year experience turns the whole situation into "Flowers in the Attic".

Lynn: To change the subject and hopefully purge that mental image, this whole hugging thing is so rare that it needed an audience? And televisual documentation?

Daria: (Oh, damn) Um ... excuse me?

Lynn: In short ... what the hell are these people doing on my front lawn?

(Daria, Jane and AP exchange panicky looks.)

AP: Eee.

Jane: Ah...

Daria: Uh... We'll discuss it.

Jane: Over pizza.

Daria: As far away from here as we can get without crossing county lines.

AP: I get my car. You get... (looks at the Land Rover) ...eeew.

Lynn: ("This just got weird even for me) You have a car now.

Jane: Just get in the death trap and let's go before that woman with the microphone gets to us.

(They turn. Sure enough, Lina is traipsing their way with a microphone and a cameraman at her heels. Jane grabs Lynn and shoves her into the car, then goes to the passenger side and gets in herself. Daria and AP stand their ground as Lina approaches.)

Lina: So any last words for our viewers?

AP: (snatches the keys from her hand with a grin) "I can't deny it's killing me / that we were losers on TV!" Parable; Pitchshifter.

(Daria and AP head for the Beetle with Lina looking after them.)

Daria: That's paraphrase, AP.

AP: But it was okay 'sides that, right?

Daria: Surprisingly, yes.

(They get in the car and AP starts the engine. With the rattling motor disaster Lynn drove in with just behind, they drive off into the sunset. Lina turns to the camera.)

Lina: Well. Thank you for watching. Good night.

(Black out.)



Channel Four has a lot to answer for. Watching "Big Brother" last summer sort of made me wonder how the gang would interact in that situation. Sort of like Kara Wild's "Surreal World" but without the connection to the outside world. So yet again, Kara Wild's work gave me leeway to try something, so I really, really have to thank her. Other thanks go out to the usual suspects -- the usual "thanks to Thea_Zara, Ben, Chad and Austin for the support and the beta reading" blah-blah-blah.


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, 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, 2003. 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.