Episode Guide

Write Where it Hurts
Episode #213
Written by Glenn Eichler

(opening theme song)

(at Daria's house)

Jake - Hey, kiddo! Guess you're wondering what old Dad is up to with the big stew pot.

Daria - Guess again.

Jake - Daria, I woke up in the middle of the night with a hankering. I suddenly remembered the old kitchen sink stew they used to serve us at the military academy! You know why they called it that?

Daria - Because they put in everything but the kitchen sink.

Jake - Because they put in everything but the kitchen sink! Hmm, let's see... soup stock, peppercorns, oregano, chilies... (tastes stew, screams, staggers out of kitchen)

Helen - Why is your father...?

Daria - Don't ask.

Helen - Reading something?

Daria - Yes.

Helen - May I ask what it is?

Daria - It's a book. For school. About how fiction should do more than just entertain.

Helen - That sounds interesting.

Daria - Yeah. A writer writing a book about how writers should write books. Must have been a huge seller.

(Jake screams)

Helen - Well... anything else going on in school?

Daria - Let's see... nobody talked to me again this week, I wasn't invited to any parties for the weekend, and I think I'm getting one of those really painful cold sores. So all in all, another great week.

Helen - Oh, Daria...

Jake - (shouts) Helen! Helen! What's the number for 911?!

Helen - Daria, do you have to look at everything in such a negative light?

Daria - Could you possibly be referring to the harsh light of reality?

Quinn - Tiffany says a cold front is coming through. Has anyone seen my really cute fuzzy pink sweater? And if I can't find it can I buy another one? Thanks. (leaves)

Helen - Daria...

Daria - Don't bother.

Jake - (shouts) My tongue! Dear God, it's black! Helen!

Helen - Be right there, Jake.

(in Mr. O'Neill's class)

Mr. O'Neill - So, what Gardner is telling us is that the writer of fiction has a duty that goes beyond the mere telling of a story. His or her job is to tell a story in such a way as to leave the reader... what, Kevin?

Kevin - Screaming for more full-contact martial arts excitement?

Mr. O'Neill - Daria?

Daria - I believe Mr. Gardner feels it's the writer's duty to steer the reader toward more conscientious behavior. No matter how dull that makes the story.

Mr. O'Neill - (sighs) Very good, Daria. Now, keeping that in mind, I want you each to select a book from the list in front of you for a report on its moral intention. Yes, Kevin?

Kevin - People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. I got one, babe. I got one!

(Mr. O'Neill begins sobbing)


Daria - Excuse me.

Mr. O'Neill - Yes, Daria?

Daria - This list of books... I've read all of them.

Mr. O'Neill - Oh, no. Um, would you like to pick another book to read then?

Daria - I guess.

Mr. O'Neill - Wait, brainstorm! Instead of trying to read a story for its moral dimensions, what if you wrote a story with moral dimensions?

Daria - Um...

Mr. O'Neill - A special assignment, Daria just for you.

Daria - I don't know. Who would I write about? What would they do?

Mr. O'Neill - Well, why don't you write a story taking people you know in real life and turning them into fictional characters?

Daria - I wonder if anyone would notice a difference.

(at Jane's house)

Jane - So, how's the story coming? Or does it disturb you if I talk while you're writing?

Daria - It would disturb me if I were actually doing any writing.

Jane - What's the problem? Take people you know and have them do whatever you want. I'd make them crawl, I tell you. Crawl!

Daria - Easy, tiger.

Jane - Who you going to write about?

Daria - I haven't a clue.

Jane - Hmm... how about Kevin and Brittany? You could write a thrilling romance leading up to their storybook wedding.

Daria - You need to start wearing a hat when you go out in the sun.

Jane - Boy, would I like to be there when those two tie the noose.

(Daria's story)

Minister - And do you, Kevin, take this pulchritudinous woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?

Jane - (muffled) Kevin!

Kevin - I, uh... what did you say?

Minister - I said, do you, Kevin, assume legal responsibility for this overripe specimen of femalehood standing next to you? The one in white, son!

Jane - Kevin! (pounds on glass) Kevin!

Minister - Well?!

Brittany - Answer him, Kevvy!

Kevin - Um...

Jane - Kevin!

Kevin - (shouts) Jane!

(Kevin and Jane run from church)

Minister - Ah... Brittany. Please accept my condolences on the unfortunate way the biggest day of your life has turned out.

Brittany - Yes! (tosses bouquet away)

(Kevin and Jane board bus)

(story ends)

Jane - Daria? Daria! What about their wedding? Wouldn't that be funny to write about?

Daria - What? Uh... no. I don't know. (crumples story and tosses it aside)

Jane - Okay...

Daria - I mean, if I were going to write about mating rituals, I think I'd go back a couple hundred years, when women either married or shriveled up and blew away.

Jane - Instead of marrying and then shriveling up, like they do now?

(Daria's story)

(birds chirping)

Miss Quinn - Mr. Lane left his card yesterday. Mother said he appeared most anxious to call upon you.

Miss Morgendorffer - I cannot imagine what for. Mr. Lane's temperament, outlook, indeed, his very manners are such as to arouse bemusement rather than endearment in the object of his attentions.

Miss Quinn - Huh?

Miss Morgendorffer - He's flaky.

Miss Quinn - Flaky though he may be, one day, all of Devonheavenshire will be his -- his to share with whosoever is lucky enough to become Lady Lane.

Miss Morgendorffer - Dear sister, I would hope that whoever does become lady lane does so out of regard for Mr. Lane and not for his estate.

Miss Quinn - What about his car?

Miss Morgendorffer - Hmm...

Miss Quinn - But look! Here approaches Mr. Lane himself, along with his sister's admirer, Mr. Moreno.

(Mr. Lane and Mr. Moreno approach on horseback)

Mr. Lane - Good morning, Miss Morgendorffer, Miss Quinn. I pray the day finds you well.

Mr. Moreno - Yeah.

Miss Morgendorffer - And a good morning to you, sirs.

Mr. Lane - Indeed, it promises to be a glorious morning, and one to gladden the stoniest of hearts.

Mr. Moreno - Yeah.

Miss Morgendorffer - Let us hope so, indeed, for nothing so recommends this world as the promise with which it offers up each gentle day.

Miss Quinn - And, pray, upon this dewy morning, what errand is it that finds you guys abroad?

Mr. Lane - Errand we have none. But with any luck, we shall have sport. We await the other members of our hunting party, and I believe I glimpse them now.

(Joey, Jeffy and Jamie approach on horseback and greet them)

Miss Quinn - Good day.

Joey - Miss Quinn, may I get you a bracing spot of tea?

Jeffy - Do you need a powder, to cure the vapors?

Jamie - I'll tune your pianoforte.

Miss Morgendorffer - Oh, Quinn, your suitors are so numerous because you are so fair and good.

Miss Quinn - Oh, sister, your wit and judgment assure that you will marry not only well, but wisely.

(Miss Quinn and Miss Morgendorffer embrace)

Mr. Lane - Did she say "marry"?

Mr. Moreno - Yeah.

(guys turn horses around and gallop away)

Miss Quinn - Oh, well.

(Miss Quinn and Miss Morgendorffer embrace again)

(story ends)

(Daria crumples story and tosses it aside)

Daria - I really suck at this.

(at Daria's house)

Helen - (into phone) No. No, absolutely not. That is unacceptable. (hangs up) Oh, my God, what has your father done now? Jake! (to Daria) Daria?

Daria - Huh?

Helen - Is something wrong?

Daria - Wrong? Uh, no. I'm thinking about an assignment I got in school.

Helen - Anything I can help with?

Daria - No. (sighs) I'm supposed to write a story using people I know as fictional characters.

Helen - Really? That sounds fascinating.

Daria - Not so far. Everything I write comes out bad. I have no story.

Helen - Oh, I'm sure... (phone rings) Hang on a second, Daria. (answers phone) Hellooo. No, that's not a counteroffer, it's an insult. I will talk to you tomorrow during office hours. Good-bye! (hangs up) Okay, now, what are the other students writing?

Daria - They're not. This is an extra assignment just for me.

Helen - Ooh!

Daria - A punishment for being smart.

Helen - Now, come on, Daria, I'm sure you'll do a great job if you just put your mind to it.

Daria - You are very, very wrong.

Helen - Sure you will. All you... (phone rings) Yes?! Tomorrow! During office hours. (hangs up) All you have to do is get off your toches and do it! When Quinn has a challenge...

Daria - Quinn? All her challenges involve coordinating her shoes with the color of her date's eyes.

Helen - Daria, what I mean is...

Daria - How can you talk to me about Quinn? She'll never have this kind of problem. It involves thinking. You make me tell you what's wrong, in between calls, and then you bring up Quinn? Don't you know me at all? (leaves)

Helen - Good one, Morgendorffer. (phone rings) Damn! (throws phone at tree)

(Daria's story)

Jake - Man, what a good day to just kick back and chill.

Helen - You got that right.

Quinn - Can't stop to talk. A big party at Stacy's in four hours. Gotta dress.

Helen - Quinn, don't you think you've taken this popularity thing too far?

Quinn - Huh?

Jake - This well-liked teen crap. Don't you have any depth at all?

Helen - Why can't you be more like Daria?

Jake - Oh, hey, Daria.

Daria - Um, do you want to talk to Quinn alone?

Helen - No, sweetie. As a matter of fact, we were just telling her how we wish she'd be more like you.

Jake - Again.

Daria - Well, not everyone can have the same...

Quinn - Don't you think I want to be more like Daria? Don't you think I would if I could? God, Mom and Dad, why won't you accept it? I'll never be like Daria. That's my curse... and my burden. I know it's not your fault, but look what your perfection has done to me. (runs off sobbing)

Daria - Shouldn't we comfort her or something?

Jake - (laughs) Oh, let her go.

Helen - She'll get over it.

Daria - We should at least tell her about that eight-lane highway they built outside the house during the night.

Jake - Hmm... you may be right.

(cars collide outside)

Helen - That can't be good.

(more cars collide)

Quinn - Ow! God!

(story ends)

Daria - Another masterpiece.

(walking to school)

Daria - So it turns out that my life up to now has been a sham. I can't write. I can't produce a simple story.

Jane - Wow, Daria. I never figured you for a lack of imagination.

Daria - I have imagination. I can come up with all sorts of ideas, but none of them feels true.

Jane - Well, what's your definition of "true"?

Daria - Something that says something.

Jane - What? Anything?

Daria - No, something. About something.

Jane - Let me get this straight: you're telling me you want to write something, not just anything, that says something about something.

Daria - Right.

Jane - Gee. Who'd ever believe you're having trouble communicating.

(at Daria's house)

(Helen knocks on bedroom door)

Daria - Whom shall I say is calling?

Helen - Daria, is there anything you want to talk about?

Daria - No, thank you.

Helen - Are you sure, sweetie?

Daria - I need some time alone to work out my feelings.

Helen - Daria!

Daria - Or do a crossword.

Helen - Daria...

Jake - (shouts) Gah, Helen! My stew... the stove's on fire!

Helen - Oh, for the love of...

(Daria's story)

(Jake, on horseback, gallops to hill)

Jake - Unholy mother, sister of Satan, tell me what you see in your filthy brew. Say what the mists of time hold for me.

Helen - Have you my payment? The tender liver of a newborn babe.

Jake - I, um, was in a rush. Will you take a check?

Helen - A check?! Have you two forms of I.D.?

Jake - Tell me you can bring me power! Power to crush my enemies, to triumph over all!

Helen - Yes, I can bring you this power. But why should men get all the good jobs?

(thunder crashes)

Helen - Tell me you can bring me power! Power to crush my enemies, to triumph over all!

Jake - I can't wait to taste this stew!

Helen - For I swear by the unholy imp that spawned you, I will rule the land.

Jake - But what do I get to rule?

(thunder crashes)

Helen - Silence, toothless hag!

Jake - You don't have to get personal.

(story ends)

(in Mr. O'Neill's classroom)

Daria - Um...

Mr. O'Neill - Daria! How's the special assignment going?

Daria - Um, that's what I want to talk to you about. I'd like not to do it.

Mr. O'Neill - Oh, no. What's the matter, Daria? You haven't been able to write anything?

Daria - No, I've written a lot of stuff, but it's not up to my standards. And that disturbs me, because I don't have standards.

Mr. O'Neill - What's wrong?

Daria - It's this idea of using people I know as characters. I think I might be better off with a bunch of characters I just made up.

Mr. O'Neill - But that's the challenge of the fiction writer, Daria. To take what we learn in real life and turn it into something that's not really real, but has a real life all its own.

Daria - Well, that sounds great in theory... I think. But I can't figure out what my characters should be doing.

Mr. O'Neill - Okay. That's not a problem. We'll alter the assignment slightly. Sometimes boundaries can paradoxically provide us with freedom. We'll say it should include an activity of some kind. Let's see... a forest fire? No, that could end in tragedy. Some kind of orthoscopic surgery? No, that can get messy. I know, a game of cards!

Daria - A game of cards?

Mr. O'Neill - Sure, and it can be any card game you want!

Daria - Gee, thanks. That'll really help.

Mr. O'Neill - Glad to hear it. Have fun.

(Daria's story)

(Mack, on horseback, gallops to hill)

Mack - Unholy mother, sister of Satan, tell me what you see in your filthy brew. Tell me what the mists of time hold for me.

Jodie - Have you my payment? The tender liver of a newborn babe?

Mack - I'm a little short on livers. Tell you what: play you a quick game of five-card stud for it.

Jodie - Jacks are wild.

(story ends)

(at Daria's house)

Helen - Daria? Daria, the TV's not on.

Daria - Shh! I'm watching this.

Helen - Daria, I'm sorry about not being more sensitive earlier.

Daria - Doesn't comparing one sibling to another get you an automatic "F" in Parenting 101?

Helen - There is no Parenting 101. That's the problem. There's no course that can teach you to be a perfect mother.

Daria - That's obvious.

Helen - Daria, I apologized for not helping you before. I'm offering to help you now. What do you want to do?

Daria - (long pause) My story sucks.

Helen - Well, honey, I'm sure if you just give it another day or two...

Daria - Everything I do has already been done. I wanted to write something meaningful. I can't write anything at all.

Helen - Maybe you're trying too hard. Maybe you don't have to write something meaningful, just something honest.

Daria - I can do honest. I look around me, I describe what I see.

Helen - How about describing what you'd like to see, honestly?

Daria - What do you mean?

Helen - Daria, the easiest thing in the world for you is being honest about what you observe.

Daria - And...

Helen - What's hard for you is being honest about your wishes. About the way you think things should be, not the way they are. You gloss over it with a cynical joke and nobody finds out what you really believe in.

Daria - Aha! So my evil plan is working.

Helen - If you really want to be honest, be truthful about what you'd like to happen. There's a challenge.

Daria - When the hell did you learn so much about me?

Helen - It's a funny thing, Daria. You give birth to someone, you just get an urge to keep tabs on them.

(Daria's story)

Helen - Oh, hi, sweetie.

Daria - How are you, Mom?

Helen - Pretty good. You know, every morning it's a little harder to get out of bed.

Daria - For me, too.

(both laugh)

Helen - Your father, on the other hand, seems to be getting younger every day. Ever since he retired he's developed such a wonderful perspective.

Daria - Well, triple bypass surgery will do that for a man.

Helen - How's Marcello?

Daria - Oh, fighting the same old curriculum battles against the rest of the faculty. And each fall there's a new batch of freshmen to potty-train.

Helen - I enjoyed your column this week.

Daria - We're preaching to the converted. I get outraged, the readers get outraged, and nothing happens. Sometimes I think I should have gone into television.

Helen - (laughs) You in television, Daria?

Daria - I know. Who am I kidding?

Helen - Has there been any further discussion about expanding your little family?

Daria - Mom... you know I'm not ready for kids. The whole idea makes me uneasy and I'm not sure why.

(Quinn enters with children)

Girl - Give me that!

Boy - No, it's mine!

Girl - Mommy!

Daria - Oh, yeah. Now I remember.

Quinn - Hi. You know where Grandma's TV is. Go watch something educational. (kids scamper into living room) Boy, I'm exhausted.

SSW Announcer - Breast implants for chickens...

Quinn and Daria - Not that!

Helen - How are you, Quinn?

Quinn - Oh, you know, another day, another baby.

(all three chuckle)

Quinn - I swear, one of these days I'm going to slip something into Jamie's beer and, while he's unconscious, I'm going to go out and get my tubes tied.

Daria - Better yet, his tubes.

(all three laugh)

Quinn - How's Dad? And what's he want?

Jake - I'm great. Goo-goo.

(baby starts crying)

Jake - Sorry. You know, girls, I was going over my will...

Daria - Not again.

Quinn - Daddy, why are you so morbid?

Helen - That's exactly what I asked him.

Jake - But I like going over my will. It's got all that money!

Daria - Dad, you revised your will two weeks ago when you discovered your old gum wrapper chain in the attic.

Jake - The kids are going to love that. Anyway, who said anything about revising my will?

Daria - So, what are we doing here?

Jake - Well, I was reading my will, thinking about the past and the future, and it occurred to me that you girls have turned out exactly the way I hoped.

Daria - Come on.

Jake - Daria, every week you write that column of yours, trying to wake people up to the truth. My daughter, the crusader.

Daria - Well, there is some pleasure in winning awards for saying the same things that made me an outcast in high school.

Jake - And Quinn, you've taken all that energy and enthusiasm you used to direct toward being, um, a teensy bit self-absorbed...

Quinn - Oh, daddy, I was a stuck-up little nightmare.

Jake - ... and put it all into bringing up those kids.

Helen - And that's no easy task. Believe me, I know.

Jake - How come you never complain about those little monsters of yours, Quinn?

Quinn - Um, I like them, Daddy.

Daria - I'm still not clear on what all this is about.

Jake - Well, I was having so much fun reminiscing I thought, hey! (coughing) Why don't we get together for a family card game just like we used to?

Helen - Family card game?

Daria - We never played a family card game in our lives.

Quinn - Daria's right.

Jake - Oh, do I hear that. I remember asking my father to play "go fish"...! (slams fists on table)

Quinn - Triple bypass, Dad!

Jake - Okay, I'm all right. Anyway, so screw it, then, we never played a family card game. Let's play one now! Bridge?

Quinn - Gin.

Helen - Hearts.

Quinn - Done.

Jake - Okay. I'm going to play a game of hearts with my beautiful wife and my two great kids.

Helen - Oh, Jake.

Jake - How about it, Daria? Hearts?

Daria - (pause) Deal me in.

(story ends)

Daria - It's not very good, is it?

Helen - (tearfully) Oh, Daria...

Daria - It wasn't that bad.

(Helen sobs and embraces Daria)

Daria - Stop, stop! This isn't a story, it's real life!

(walking to school)

Jane - Wow, so your story made your mother cry?

Daria - Out of happiness. That's the sick part.

Jane - And run the reason by me again.

Daria - She took it as evidence that I'm secretly not as alienated as I seem or something. It'll take me years to undo the damage.

Jane - So you going to show it to O'Neill?

Daria - I have no choice. But if he cries, too, I'm dropping out of school.

Jane - Wow. Well, listen, now that you've got such a great attitude and everything, can I have your boots?

Daria - Yeah. Turn around and I'll give you one right now.

Jane - Daria, do you think... someday... I can read your story?

Daria - No. But you can read the one where you run away with Kevin.

Jane - What?!

(closing credits)