Episode Guide

Lucky Strike
Episode #506
Written by Peter Elwell

(opening theme song)

(at Lawndale High, in Ms. Li's office)

Mr. O'Neill - Angela, we certainly recognize the conflicting emotions you must feel as both educator and administrator, but...

Ms. Barch - Do we get our raise or not?!

Ms. Li - Better! A new coffee maker in the teachers' lounge.

Mr. DeMartino - That's not an offer, that's an insult! Now, as head of the Lawndale Teacher's Union, I...

Ms. Li - With some of those international flavors you can just squirt right out of a bottle. Mmm...

(outside, Upchuck is peeking through the keyhole at what is transpiring inside the office)

Upchuck - Ooh, I like what I'm seeing...

(Daria and Jane approach as Upchuck stands up)

Jane - Ms. Li changing her support hose again?

Daria - That's another habit that will lead to blindness, Upchuck.

Jane - But in this case you'll wish for it.

Upchuck - Your concern touches me, ladies but we've got a cat-and-dogfight here. Me-ouch! And it's about to get strike-o-licious.

Mr. DeMartino - Give us our ten percent or we'll walk!

Ms. Li - Oh, you will, will you? Well, I hope for your sake your negotiating skills have improved since the last time you tried to pull this stunt... or have you forgotten that the dental insurance was contingent on your teaching a sewing class?

Mr. DeMartino - Grr...

Ms. Li - Did you hem those pants yourself?

Mr. DeMartino - That's it! We strike!

(students cheer as the teachers leave Ms. Li's office)

Ms. Li (over P.A.) - Students of Lawndale High, your attention, please.

Jane - Is that the voice in my head that tells me to kill and kill again?

Daria - No. Satan's voice is lower and he has an English accent.

Ms. Li (over P.A.) - In an unprecedented show of spine -- I mean, spite -- your teachers have announced a strike. However, school will continue just as before. (P.A. clicks off)

(students groan)

Ms. Li - It just won't involve teachers.

(in Mr. DeMartino's classroom)

(chalk squeaks as an old woman writes her name on the chalkboard; the students cringe at the noise)

Mrs. Stoller - Class... you may have noticed I'm not your usual teacher.

Daria - If only we didn't have our usual students.

Mrs. Stoller - For our first lesson, let's learn each other's names. I'm Mrs. Stoller.

Kevin - Got it! Man, this class is going to be a breeze!

Mrs. Stoller - And you are?

Kevin - I'm the Q.B.!

Mrs. Stoller - Posture, Cubie, posture.

Daria - We think he's doing very well, considering how he missed out on evolution.

Mrs. Stoller - And what's your name, dear?

Daria - Daria.

Mrs. Stoller - That sounds like a hippie name. I think I'll call you Darlene. So much prettier.

(outside the school; teachers are walking the picket line)

Teachers - (chanting) We need a lot more money! This really isn't funny! You don't pay us enough to buy honey!

Mrs. Bennett - I don't know... this chant...

Ms. Barch - It sucks!

Mr. DeMartino - Hey! I threw out the rhyme about the bunny!

Mr. O'Neill - Um, Anthony... haven't most great labor movements throughout history featured a stirring song?

Mr. DeMartino - Great idea! Make one up!

Mr. O'Neill - Oh. Well, um... let me see... (to "Oh! Susannah") "Well, I came to sunny Lawndale with a smile and a degree..." Hmm, no... uh... oh! (to "I've Been Working On the Railroad") "I've been teaching here in Lawndale on rather modest pay..." No, that's not quite forceful enough.

(in Mr. O'Neill's classroom)

(the substitute, Ken Edwards, is sitting on the corner of the desk)

Mr. Edwards - True literature should inspire us to seek new experiences, to explore new sensations...

(Sandi raises her hand)

Sandi - Mr. Edwards?

Mr. Edwards - Call me Ken.

Sandi - Um, Ken, this is almost interesting, but seeing as how you're only the substitute teacher, perhaps you can give us our book assignments and we can be on our way.

Mr. Edwards - Ah, but what to assign? (approaches the Fashion Club) You see, the only books worth reading are those written in the deep, passionate waters of life.

Stacy - So, like Jaws?

Mr. Edwards - No, no, like the novel I'm writing. (he leans over Tiffany's desk) It's about a slightly older, sensitive man and the love a budding woman child feels for him when she gets to know him better.

Tiffany - What...?

Mr. Edwards - See... love can be so simple when the hand of experience nurtures the budding flower to full blossom.

Tiffany - You're writing about gardening?

(at the Morgendorffer house)

(Quinn, Helen, and Daria are sitting at the kitchen table; Quinn is in full speed-rant, while Helen is working on some papers)

Quinn - And my Language Arts substitute wouldn't stop talking about this stupid novel he's writing!

Helen - Mm-hmm...

Quinn - About some professor who dates a budding child woman because he wants to blossom her.

Helen - Mm-hmm...

Quinn - And then he started acting out his stupid book for us, stroking Tiffany's hair and telling her about his anguished soul...

Helen - Mm-hmm... what?! He was stroking Tiffany's hair?!

Quinn - I know! Like Tiffany would ever date someone who wore a tweed jacket.

Helen - Daria! Get me the...

(she turns and sees Daria standing beside her, phone in hand; she had seen where this was headed moments earlier)

Helen - (takes phone) Thank you.

(outside the school; a tearful Mr. Edwards is leaving, his belongings in a box)

Mr. Edwards - Oh, Tiffany... Tiffany... I never got to hear you call me "Ken."

(in History class)

Ms. Li (over P.A.) - Attention! Will Miss Daria Morgendorffer please report to the principal's office. Now! (P.A. clicks off)

(Daria stands up and starts to walk out)

Mrs. Stoller - Darlene? Where are you going?

Daria (as she's leaving) - To get Daria.

(in Ms. Li's office)

Ms. Li - If someone asked me to teach a class, I'd be honored. Besides, we wouldn't be in this fix if it weren't for your mother.

Daria - Yeah. Hire one pedophile and she gets all bent out of shape. Besides, I'm not thinking of me. I'm thinking of the children.

(suddenly, "devil" and "angel" versions of Daria appear and hover on either side of her head)

Devil Daria - Not so fast. You'll get out of gym class.

Angel Daria - You? A scab?

Devil Daria - Oh, great. Touched by an angel.

Angel Daria - You'd be betraying your teachers.

Devil Daria - Hey, yeah! You'd be betraying your teachers!

Angel Daria - You'd just be falling into the same trap that managements always use to keep wages low and workers weak.

Devil Daria - Oh, go dance on the head of a pin. You could make Quinn's life really miserable.

Angel Daria - Huh. That's a good point.

Devil Daria - Hey, you hungry?

Angel Daria - Yeah, we can pick this up later.

(the "devil" and the "angel" disappear)

Ms. Li - Ms. Morgendorffer, I'm waiting...

(in English class)

Sandi - This is a waste of time, especially with today being the first day of Cashman's Cruisewear Craziness.

(Ms. Li enters the room)

Ms. Li - Attention, young people! Mr. Edwards will no longer be joining us due to... reasons.

Tiffany - I hope it's not his anguish acting up.

Ms. Li - But I am proud to introduce a substitute with tolerable credentials, who is far less liable to engender a lawsuit that could cost me my very pants.

(Daria enters the room)

Daria - Hello. My name is Miss Darlene and I'll be your new teacher.

(Quinn just stares and blinks, a look of total disbelief on her face)

(at the Morgendorffer house)

(Jake, Quinn, and Helen are sitting at the kitchen table)

Helen - Look on the bright side. It's not every student who has access to their teacher 24 hours a day.

Quinn - But I don't want access! Home is my sanitarium away from school.

(Daria walks into the kitchen and approaches the table)

Jake - Does this mean we can just do our parent-teacher conferences here? Hello, free time for model railroading!

Daria - Morning, Mom... Dad... (to Quinn) ...class.

Quinn - Mo-om! Augh! (Quinn leaves in disgust)

Helen - What's wrong with her?

Daria - It's her grades, or rather, it will be.

Helen - Daria...

Jake - Whoo-whoo! All aboard the Big Jake Express!

(outside the school, on the picket line)

Mr. DeMartino (muttering to himself) - "Now, class, let's check the evenness of your box stitch." No. No. Never again!

(Trent pulls up in his car)

Mr. O'Neill - (to "On Top of Old Smoky") "On top of our paychecks, right under the date, there sits a small number we've all grown to hate..." I don't know, hate is such an ugly word.

(Trent approaches Mr. O'Neill)

Trent - Cool tune, man. Classic feel.

Mr. O'Neill - Wait. I know you!

Trent - You're on Spiral's mailing list?

Mr. O'Neill - No, you were one of my students. Trent Lane.

Trent - Um...

Mr. O'Neill - Trent, do you remember how you and your friends used to write "down with the man" on my car with soap?

Trent - Just let it go, man. I mean, bygones, right?

Mr. O'Neill - Well, Trent, today "the man" is coming down on us, the underpaid teachers of Lawndale High, and we could really use the help of a talented songwriter.

Trent - I don't know.

Mr. O'Neill - This is a chance to focus your energy on a cause worthy of your talent, your knowledge, your virtuosity!

Trent - I don't have to read music, do I?

Mr. O'Neill - No!

(Daria and Jane approach the picket line, and see Trent with Mr. O'Neill)

Jane - Well, what do you know? Trent's actually on time to pick us up, and all I had to do was set his clock ahead four hours.

Daria - I don't think he's adjusted to the time change. He appears to be writing a song with Mr. O'Neill.

Jane - He's too good-natured. If a teacher tried to take advantage of me like that, I'd tell them right where to stick it.

(Ms. Defoe approaches the girls)

Ms. Defoe - Jane, thank God. We need your taste and talent.

Daria - Go on, Jane, offer that piece of friendly advice you just mentioned.

Ms. Defoe - Ms. Barch's signs? Well, they aren't really getting our message across. (holds up a sign that has the female symbol superimposed over a fist) Could you help us design some strong graphic statements? I'll write a note to get you out of class. Oh, wait, I guess I can't.

Jane - No, but the scab can. (jerks thumb at Daria)

Daria - Gee, thanks, Mr. Hoffa. (rummages through her backpack)

Trent (singing) - "Your salary offends me, your health plan..."

Mr. O'Neill - "Doesn't mend me?"

Trent - You know, if you're not going to take this seriously, we can just stop right now.

(in History class)

Mrs. Stoller - And so, the people asked George Washington, "Will you be our new king?" And Washington said... (Jane enters the room) ...young lady, you're tardy.

Brittany - Gee, he wasn't very focused.

Jane - I have a note from a teacher. (hands Mrs. Stoller a piece of paper)

Mrs. Stoller - (reads note) "Please excuse Jane from class. Signed: Miss Darlene." Well, on your way, then.

(in English class)

Daria - Okay. We know Mr. O'Neill assigned a play, and you're pretty sure the title didn't contain the word "alien." Do you remember anything else?

Joey - Uh, I think the guy on the cover was wearing tights.

Daria - Hmm. Since there are no wrestling dramas on the syllabus, I'm guessing Shakespeare.

Jeffy - Wait, I remember now. He's a stalker. He follows girls home from parties and peeks in their windows.

Daria - Romeo and Juliet.

(class bell rings)

(in the hallway)

Daria - A classroom full of blank faces is a little spooky, until you plant your feet and stare them down.

Jane - You know, apes interpret that as a gesture of dominance.

Daria - That's what I just said.

(Upchuck, Kevin, and Brittany approach the girls)

Upchuck - Hello, Ms. Morgendorffer! How lovely you look today.

Kevin - Hey, Daria. Could you write me a note that says I didn't put that dent in my dad's car?

Brittany - And can we have one to get out of class so we can make out... (sees look on Daria's face) ...scholarship applications?

(outside, on the picket line)

(Mr. DeMartino grumbles as he walks; Ms. Barch and Ms. Defoe are painting some new signs; Trent and Mr. O'Neill are still trying to compose a song)

Jane - Nice. Nice. Remember, nothing says "death to the bosses!" like primaries. Pastels are for appeaseniks.

Trent and Mr. O'Neill (singing) - "Have you ever been to the children's zoo? When the birdies say 'cheep,' they're talking 'bout you!" (they stop) Nah...

(Mrs. Bennett exits the building and approaches the strikers)

Mrs. Bennett - Good news, everyone! I just came from Ms. Li's office and she's made a final offer. A .08% pay hike and free non-dairy creamer! And Anthony, she says you can put away your sewing kit. So what does everyone say?

(most of the teachers voice their approval; Mr. DeMartino, however, just stands and glares)

Mrs. Bennett - Anthony, is something the matter?

Mr. DeMartino - My dear Mrs. Bennett. As an informed consumer, you should know that non-dairy creamer offers no sustenance whatsoever... and neither does that offer! (pulls a contract out of his pocket) This is the contract we wrote, and this is the contract she's going to sign! Cover me, boys. I'm going in! (enters the building)

(Ms. Defoe approaches Jane, who's searching the skies)

Ms. Defoe - What are you looking for, Jane?

Jane - Bombers. He'll never make it without air support.

(in English class)

Jamie - (slowly and flatly) "For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her... Romeo."

Daria - Thank you, Joey, Jeffy or Jamie. Laurence Olivier, in his present state, couldn't have done better.

Jamie - Cool!

Jeffy - What does "woe" mean?

Daria - It like the feeling you'd get if the Super Bowl were preempted by Antiques Roadshow.

Joey - Whoa!

Daria - See?

(in the back, Quinn is taking notes, an activity that Sandi does not fail to catch)

Stacy - Quinn, are you taking notes?

Quinn - Um, no. I'm just, er, writing so that girl thinks I'm paying attention when I'm not really.

Sandi - Who cares what a teacher thinks? They're such losers.

Tiffany - Yeah. Eww...

Quinn - She's not a real teacher, Sandi. She's a substitute.

Sandi - Oh. A substitute loser.

Daria - Okay. You've read the play. Tomorrow you take the test.

(students grumble and groan)

Daria - Sorry. Orders from above. I'd suggest you cheat off your neighbors, but considering who most of you are sitting next to...

(at the Griffin house)

(the Fashion Club is in Sandi's room)

Sandi - Quinn, I hope that substitute you've been making excuses for won't be holding us to the same rigid grading standards as everyone else. Perhaps you should remind her how popular we are.

Quinn - But she's weird. I don't think she even cares about popular people.

Sandi - See, there you go, sticking up for her again. It's almost as if you two share some deep, dark secret that might inadvertently come out if tomorrow's test proves too difficult.

(Quinn just sits, dejected, an "oh, boy" look on her face)

(at the Morgendorffer house)

(Daria and Tom are in her room, brainstorming over the test)

Tom - Hey, how about asking them this: "If Verona had had metal detectors, would Mercutio be alive today?"

Daria - If he were, he'd be about 400 years old.

Tom - That's why they'll all get it wrong. Trick question, yeah!

Daria - Gee, I wonder why no one's ever asked you to teach a class.

(Quinn enters the room)

Quinn - (in speed-rant mode) Daria, you know the test tomorrow? It's going to be easy, right? Because if you make it really hard, some popular people won't like it and might take it out on another completely innocent popular person, and besides, it's good to help the popular, because if you don't, it might make you even more unpopular, although I don't know if such a thing is possible.

Daria - Ooh, wouldn't want to risk that.

Quinn - So you'll do it?

Daria - Right after I change into my fur bikini. (Tom smiles at this)

Quinn - Daria!

Daria - You know, I didn't ask for this stupid teaching job. I don't need the work and I don't need the stigma. I've tried to make the class interesting and focus on the play, not the grades. And if, after all that, the only thing your vapid friends can think about is how to finesse taking the test, then they deserve to fail it.

Quinn - Daria, do you want everyone to hate you?

Daria - Hey, why should you go out of your way to protect the stupid? You're not one of them!

Quinn - I... I... you don't understand anything! (storms out of the room)

Tom - Hmm, maybe you should make it easy. Give the poor kids a break.

Daria - I lied about the fur bikini.

Tom - (fake anger) Damn!

(downstairs, Jake is working on his model railroad as Quinn approaches)

Jake - Stupid smoke pellets get stuck so damn easy... doesn't even look like real smoke! Hey, Quinn! You got a hat pin?

Quinn - A what? I don't have time for your crazy jokes, Dad. I have to study for this stupid test Daria is making us take on Romeo and Juliet.

Jake - Hey! I remember that play. Sit down. Let old Jakey help you with your studies.

(Quinn sighs as she sits on the couch)

Jake - Now, if I recall, Romeo meets Juliet by this big, bubbly cauldron...

Quinn - No, Dad, she's at this party he crashes with his friend Mercutio.

Jake - Right! The little wooden boy!

Quinn - No, Dad, he's Romeo's pal, but he gets stabbed to death by Tybalt.

Jake - Tybalt? Tybalt?

Quinn - So Romeo kills Tybalt, and then Juliet's dad says she has to marry Paris, so she pretends she's dead...

Jake - Tybalt sounds like the name of a rock.

Quinn - And when Paris sees her... (light bulb goes on) Wait... I know this stuff! Um, got to go. Thanks! (she leaves)

Jake - Any time! (pause) Paris? Wait, that not Romeo and Juliet. That's The Pink Panther! (pauses, resumes working on his train) Damn smoke pellet! Where did I put that hat pin?! (begins whistling)

(at school)

(Mr. DeMartino and Ms. Li are in her office; both are tired and disheveled, obviously from heavy bargaining and lack of sleep)

Ms. Li - Don't think you can intimiate... intermolate... don't think you can scare me with your threat to picket naked!

Mr. DeMartino - You think I'm bluffing?! This is Goodwill polyester I've been sweating in all night. I want to picket naked!

Ms. Li - All right! A two percent raise and a space heater for the teacher's lounge.

Mr. DeMartino - (tugs on collar) Boy! It's getting hot in here!

(in History class)

(Mrs. Stoller is handing out test papers)

Mrs. Stoller - Now, class, sit up straight, and no talking while you take your test.

Kevin - "Name the colors on the American flag?" Hey, no fair! You didn't say we had to know that!

Mrs. Stoller - Cubie, you hush! And posture, Cubie, posture!

(in English class)

(Daria is finishing handing out test papers; Joey raises his hand)

Daria - Yes, Jamie, Joey or Jeffy?

Joey - Um, my test only has one question on it.

Daria - That's right. What is Romeo and Juliet about? Just write what you think and back it up. 200 words, minimum.

Sandi - An essay test?

Stacy - 200 words?

Tiffany - Think...?

(Quinn, however, is attacking her test with gusto; she obviously has a handle on the subject)

(outside, on the picket line)

Mr. O'Neill (singing) - "You call this compensation? You keep your long vacation! You're forcing us to salary arbitration! Mama said strike you out! Yeah!"

(the teachers cheer)

Trent - My work here is done. (leaves)

Mr. O'Neill - What do you think of the song, Anthony? Anthony? Oh my gosh! He's still up there with Ms. Li!

(Mr. O'Neill and Ms. Barch run into the school and barge into Ms. Li's office)

Mr. O'Neill - Anthony? Angela? Any progress?

(they find her and Mr. DeMartino slumped over her desk)

Mr. O'Neill - Oh no, they've killed each other! Dear God, when will the madness stop?!

Ms. Li - (sleepily) Oh, Puffy, you don't need a weapon to make me do your bidding... (she wakes up) Huh? What?

Mr. O'Neill - Oh, they're not dead.

Ms. Barch - What a relief. Get up! (kicks DeMartino's chair)

(DeMartino grunts as he wakes up)

Ms. Li - Thank God. I thought I signed the contract, but it was just a bad dream.

Mr. DeMartino - (weeping) I knew it! But it seemed so real... (points to each of them) ...and you were there... and you... and you!

Ms. Barch - What's that in your hand? Give me that! (grabs the contract out of DeMartino's hand)

Mr. O'Neill - The contract! Anthony, you did it!

(they both look over to DeMartino and Li, who are fast asleep again)

(in History class)

(Mrs. Stoller is handing back the graded tests)

Mrs. Stoller - Here are your tests. I don't think I've ever written so many "A's". You're the smartest and biggest first graders I've ever had.

Kevin - Thanks!

Mack - What a surprise. An "A" and a silver star.

Jodie - Don't get too full of yourself. I got a gold star.

Brittany - I got a gold star, too, and a "C"! Oh... red, white and blue!

(Kevin looks at his paper; he got an "F," and the only color he wrote was "yellow")

Kevin - Hey, no fair! How come Brittany got a star and I didn't?

Mrs. Stoller - Boys with bad posture don't get stars. And Cubie, it's not nice to try to fool the teacher by signing your test "Kevin"!

(in English class)

(Daria is handing back the graded tests)

Jeffy - A "B"! You mean you think Mercutio had a thing for Romeo, too?

Daria - No, but you argued your point well, and I thought your ideas for keeping him out of the locker room were original, if a little closed-minded.

Sandi - A "D-minus"? I should have known Quinn would fail us.

Daria - I should have failed you, too. See, in Shakespeare's version, Romeo never goes by the name "Leonardo" or takes a swim in his clothes, but I gave you extra credit for realizing that the movie and the play were somehow connected. (walks to front of class)

Stacy - I guess we shouldn't have copied each other.

(Sandi grabs Quinn's test)

Quinn - Hey!

Sandi - Gee, Quinn. What a surprise you got a "B-plus". I guess having a certain relationship with a certain teacher really paid off.

Quinn - Um, Sandi, I thought she was fairly easy on the grading, as long as you tried to think for yourself.

Sandi - Oh, really? I guess everything's relative.

Quinn - Sandi... ever since they asked this girl to take over the class from that creepy guy who wanted to fertilize Tiffany, it seems to me all she tried to do was make the best of a bad situation. Maybe we should cut her some slack.

(Daria and the other students are now paying close attention to what Quinn and the Fashion Club are saying)

Sandi - See? There she goes, taking sides again. You two are so nice to each other, you're almost like sisters.

Quinn - I'm not taking anyone's side, Sandi. I'm just saying that sometimes people get put in awkward positions. Like a girl who has to wear huge braces in fifth grade, and years later her brothers find pictures of her with them and give those pictures to a friend, who hasn't shown them to anyone out of the goodness of her heart... yet.

Sandi - ("time to shut up") Oh.

Quinn - Besides, why shouldn't I act sisterly towards her? After all... (she looks right at Daria) ...she's my sister.

Sandi - (gasps) Did you hear that? Oh, my gosh! Quinn just admitted that weird girl is her sister!

Stacy - ("well, duh!") Well, um, of course she is, Sandi. We knew that.

Tiffany - We were just being polite about it.

(foiled once again, Sandi sits and scowls while Quinn wears a small, satisfied smile)

(Daria lets out a small smile, which disappears when Ms. Li starts talking over the P.A.)

Ms. Li - (dazed) People of Mars! I mean, students of Lawndale High. This is your leader... um, principal. What was I saying? Oh! The teachers... the teachers... the strike's over! Your teachers will be back tomorrow! Good ni... day. (P.A. clicks off)

Jeffy - Um... Miss Darlene? I think you were, um... you were a pretty good teacher.

Daria - Thanks, Jamie, Jeffy or Joey. For the record, some of you aren't half-bad students. You know who you are.

(Quinn looks up from her test with a pleased expression)

(at the Morgendorffer house)

(Daria is watching television in her room)

SSW Announcer - It's quite a web sight when Civil War buffs get in the buff! "www-dot-gettysbare," next on Sick, Sad World!

(Daria clicks the TV off as Quinn enters the room)

Daria - I already told you, I'm not signing your National Rayon Day petition.

Quinn - Um... you know that grade you gave me? Sandi says I only got it because you're always at my house. Is that true?

Daria - Let me pose you a question, Grasshopper. If I gave you a grade that you didn't earn, that would be acting nice. Could I face myself if I were ever nice to you?

Quinn - Really?! I thought so! And by the way, don't think I could ever be nice to you, either.

Daria - I'm fully aware of that.

Quinn - God only knows what this little foray of yours into teacher geekland cost me in social status.

Daria - I feel your pain.

Quinn - Well. Good night, then.

Daria - Good night... sis.

(Quinn smiles as she leaves the room)

(in History class)

Mr. DeMartino - Yes! I endured! My wits didn't fail! My strength didn't fail! I didn't fail! I got that contract, and if I can do that, I can do anything! Even teach Kevin. (walks over to Kevin's desk and leans over him) So tell me, sonny boy... which war freed us from the iron hand of British rule?

Kevin - Iron... iron... the Golf War?

(DeMartino's face goes utterly slack; he then turns his back, walks over to his desk, and starts weeping)

Brittany - Mr. DeMartino? Do you want to share?

Jane - The joy of teaching didn't last very long with this one.

Daria - You got to grab it while you can.

(closing credits)