First off, let me say that I love the TV show just the way it is, and
have tried to be as true as possible to it here, keeping the general
style and plotline in the direction the show's writers seem to have
their minds set on. You won't find the start of any outrageous story
arcs, new major characters or departures in style from the "Daria" we
all know and love. Please let me know how close I got. (And if you're
from MTV, I should mention I'd love to do this for a living.)
(...la la LA la la...)
"Daria versus the IRS"
Written by C.E. Forman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
BEGIN ACT 1.
EXT.: LAWNDALE HIGH. MORNING, MONDAY, APRIL 13th.
INT.: LAWNDALE HIGH, HALLWAY.
(Quinn walks down the hall by herself. She's stopped by the two jerks who
were in the cafeteria scene in "Too Cute.")
JERK #1: Hey, Quinn, wanna go somewhere tonight?
JERK #2: With both of us, maybe?
QUINN: (Why-are-*you*-asking-me-out look.) Uck, get away from me!
JERK #1: (To #2, as she leaves.) Hey, it was right!
(They laugh. She continues onward, only to run into Upchuck.)
UPCHUCK: Don't worry, little missy! Regardless of what everyone else says,
you're *still* #1 in my book!
QUINN: *What*? Don't even *talk* to me, you little weirdo!
(Quinn storms past Upchuck, now wondering what exactly is going on. She
passes the bathrooms as Kevin and Mack emerge from the boys'. Kevin
stumbles, practically doubled over with childish laughter, while Mack has
a disgusted look.)
KEVIN: (Laughs.) "Like toilet paper", I love it!
MACK: C'mon, don't you think that's a little juvenile?
KEVIN: Maybe, but it's still-- (Stops when he sees Quinn.) Check it out,
here she *is*, Mack Daddy! (Laughs even harder now.)
QUINN: (Demands.) All right, what's going on?
MACK: (Shakes his head at Kevin's behavior.) Nothing. (To Kevin.) And
don't call me that.
QUINN: (Doesn't buy it.) Then what's *he* so worked up about?
MACK: (Reluctantly.) Just something somebody wrote on the wall.
(Kevin almost has himself under control, but starts snickering all over
again as Mack says this.)
KEVIN: (In hysterics, barely gets the words out.) Like toilet paper!!
QUINN: (Points at the boys' bathroom.) In there? (Horrified.) About *me*?
MACK: (Disgust.) Yeah. Believe me, I'd tell you if I knew who--
(Quinn pushes past them, enters the boys' restroom. She shoots an
uncomfortable look at the row of urinals on her way to the back wall, where
someone has written a poem in magic marker.)
QUINN: (Reads it, her expression changing from curiosity to sickened horror.)
"You know that popular girl named Quinn?
The most stuck-up bitch that's ever been.
She flaunts herself, you can't escape her,
Then uses guys like toilet paper.
If you want to date her you're out of luck,
But that's okay, she's a lousy--"
(Gasps, apparently it goes on for a couple more verses.)
Oh my *God*!
VOICE: (Male, timid.) Umm... Excuse me?
(Quinn whirls around to find the "Guy" from "Malled" looking at her
uncomfortably. Embarrassed, she returns the expression.)
EXT.: LANE RESIDENCE.
("Sick, Sad World" music.)
INT.: JANE'S ROOM.
(Daria sits on the bed, holding the remote. Jane isn't here. Close-up
of the TV, showing a young child's playroom. On the floor is a lump covered
by a bloody sheet.)
ANNOUNCER: Next on "Sick, Sad World": When imaginary friends go bad!
(Daria hits mute. Trent enters from the hall.)
TRENT: Hey, Janey, can I borrow--... Oh. Hey, Daria.
DARIA: (Freezes.) Hi, Trent. Jane went to get the mail.
TRENT: Ah. (He moves to Jane's stereo system, switches it to the radio.)
(MUSIC: "What You Need", INXS -- the closing strains.)
DARIA: (Shifts uncomfortably.) What's this?
TRENT: New radio station Jesse told me about. 80s retro. Plays a lotta
stuff I used to listen to when I was in school.
DEEJAY: Aaaand that was an old fave, "What You Need" by INXS, on the tri-
county area's retro radio, WRET, where the Internet's just a military
project, and Reagan is still in office!--
DARIA: And the Berlin Wall is still standing.
DEEJAY: --Our Listener Request Block's coming up in just a few minutes, but
right now here's Buckner and Garcia with "Pac-Man Fever"!
(Trent switches it off again as Jane enters with a handful of mail.)
DARIA: Find any?
JANE: Let's see... (Flipping through mail, tosses it onto her bed.)
Electric bill... Kiln Liquidators catalog for Mom... postcard from
Penny with a Guatemala stamp on it...
(Trent picks up the postcard, reads it.)
JANE: ...Missing Persons Bureau, maybe they finally found Dad... not sure
what this is... Hey, here's a couple! Brochure for a grade-Z
matchbook art school, and an army-recruitment flyer for Trent.
DARIA: Those'll work. (Reaches up, Jane hands them to her.)
(Jane gets down on her knees, digs under her bed and pull out a couple of
large cinderblocks that aren't currently in use as bed legs.)
JANE: These okay?
DARIA: Perfect. Now watch and learn.
(Jane turns the TV's sound back on. Daria stands, picks up a roll of parcel
wrap leaning against the wall, spreads a sheet on the bed. Trent puts down
the postcard, watches with interest.)
DARIA: (Shows them the little mail-in cards on the two pieces of junk mail
Jane gave her.) See how it says "Postage will be paid by addressee"
up here? So all we do is-- (Hefts up one of the cinderblocks, sets
it on the parcel wrap, folds the wrap over.) --wrap up the brick
just so... (Secures the wrap in place with tape.) ...and tape the
little reply card to it. (Does so.)
JANE: (Approval.) Voila!
DARIA: See? Now they'll have to pay for postage on this big heavy thing
instead of just the card.
TRENT: (Laughs, coughs.) Hey, that's really cool, Daria.
DARIA: (Pleased.) Thanks. (To Jane.) C'mon, help me with the other one.
(Trent turns back to opening the rest of the mail. Jane spreads another
sheet of parcel wrap as Daria hefts the second cinderblock.)
JANE: Isn't this mail fraud, in a sense?
DARIA: Well you're not supposed to actually fill it out. How else are they
going to catch you?
TRENT: (Reading the letter Jane didn't know what it was.) Oh, *man*...
Janey, take a look at this.
DARIA: Let me guess. You may have already won ten million dollars?
TRENT: Huh-uh. (Shows it.) It's from the Internal Revenue Service.
JANE: You're kidding, the IRS? (Looks at it, realizes he's not.) They
finally caught up with Mom and Dad?
TRENT: Looks that way.
DARIA: (Takes it from Trent, reads.) "...in regards to your noncompliance
in paying the assessed amount of delinquent taxes as specified in our
letter of notice dated 30 days ago, the Internal Revenue Service has
hereby imposed a levy on all assets and personal property under your
name as specified under Tax Code section..." (Trails off, shakes her
head.) I know all these words, but I can't parse this.
TRENT: What's a levy, Daria?
JANE: (Interrupts before she can answer.) Whoa whoa wait a minute, "30 days
ago"? (To Trent.) When Mom and Dad were in Czechoslovakia? What'd
you do with *that* one?
TRENT: (Raises eyebrows.) Uh-oh.
(He heads out, down the hall to his room. Jane pulls Daria along. Close-up
of the TV.)
ANNOUNCER: Tomorrow on "Sick, Sad World", human taxidermy!
INT.: TRENT'S ROOM.
(Trent digs under his bed, pulls out a stack of old mail, flips through it.)
TRENT: Here it is. (Opens it.)
JANE: You didn't even *open* it?
TRENT: I was gonna give it to Mom when she got back.
JANE: So why didn't you?
TRENT: (Defensive.) I forgot, Janey.
DARIA: (Reads this one.) "...assessed amount of delinquent taxes as
specified in our letter of notice dated *90* days ago--"
JANE: (Interrupts.) *90* days ago? What'd you do with *that* one?!
TRENT: (Raised eyebrows at Jane's intensity.) I don't have it. Mom or Dad
must've gotten it.
DARIA: Okay, let's not panic.
JANE: I think this would be an excellent time to panic!
DARIA: (Looking at the earlier letter.) Okay, this first one gives a 30-
day notice... of a levy.
TRENT: What's a levy?
DARIA: (Grim tone.) Collection by force. Asset seizure.
JANE: Oh, hell...
DARIA: So I'm guessing the audit results were in this other letter, the one
you don't have. When did your parents go through the actual audit?
(Jane looks at Trent expectantly, waiting for the answer.)
TRENT: What? I'm asleep most of time Mom's here, I dunno.
JANE: Perfect. Just perfect.
TRENT: (Shrugs.) I'll see if I can find it.
DARIA: (Back to the first letter, the new one.) Now it says here to expect
a visit from some representatives within the next five working days,
to go over this mess. Someone'll have to stay at the house for that.
TRENT: Not a problem.
DARIA: Try and get ahold of your parents, too. You do know where they are,
TRENT: (Hesitates.) Um... (To Jane.) What? You live here too, you know.
JANE: (Sighs.) Maybe they left a note, let's try and find that too.
TRENT: What about Summer?
JANE: Summer's in San Francisco, someone spotted one of her kids there.
JANE: I think he's still on his latest honeymoon.
JANE: She's only been in Guatemala a week, she probably can't afford the
border-crossing fee yet. We're on our own with this, Trent.
DARIA: I'll try and talk to my Mom about your options. (Picks up the
letters.) Mind if I borrow these to show her? (Neither Lane
objects.) You have to keep and document everything when you're
dealing with the IRS. My Mom says if you slip up they'll swat you
like a fly.
INT.: MORGENDORFFER KITCHEN.
(Close-up of an actual fly upside-down on the ceiling. From off-camera, a
flyswatter swings into view and clobbers it. Cut to full shot of the
kitchen. Jake, in his "Kiss the Cook" apron, lowers the flyswatter from
above the stove. Daria enters.)
QUINN: (Folding some mixture in a bowl.) Like this, Daddy?
JAKE: (As the freshly killed fly drops into something he's cooking.) Aww,
QUINN: Ewww, *gross*!
(Jake grabs a spoon and proceeds to fish the dead fly out, puts the spoon in
DARIA: (Squeaky voice, a la "The Fly".) Heelp me! Heeelp me!
JAKE: Hey, you're home! How's your friend... (Pulls a pocket notebook from
his apron, glances at it.) ...Jane?
DARIA: She got hit by a semi.
JAKE: (Laughs, rolls his eyes, Daria's such a kidder.) Oh, Daria, c'mon
now, your ol' Dad's not *that* gullible!
DARIA: (Deadpan.) No, it's true. There were earrings and bloody chunks of
bone everywhere. It was terrible.
JAKE: (Horrified look, he's starting to buy into it.) R-really?
JAKE: (Relieved laughter.) Boy, you had me going there, kiddo!
DARIA: Of course I did.
QUINN: (Covers her mouth, looks at what she's mixing.) I don't think I'm
gonna be able to eat any of this now...
JAKE: (Attempting to parent.) You know, that's... really kind of a terrible
joke to make about your friend, Daria.
DARIA: (Would laugh at his attempt if she did that sort of thing.) You're
right, Dad. It was mean-spirited and insensitive, and I'll never
make another crack like that again.
JAKE: (Pleased.) That's my girl! (Pause, frowns.) Wait a minute...
DARIA: The Lanes *are* facing a tax levy, though. They got audited a couple
(Uncertainty on his face, "Do I believe her or not?")
QUINN: Good. That whole family's weird, it's about *time* someone did
something about it.
DARIA: Do you even know what an audit is, Quinn?
QUINN: It sounds like a kind of makeover, but for like a group, and they
teach them how to act less geeky too.
DARIA: (Why bother explaining it?) Is Mom around? I need to talk to her.
JAKE: She has a dinner meeting. (Sudden panicked look.) Oh my gosh, that's
*right*! I promised your mother I'd have *our* taxes done!
DARIA: Nothing like that adrenaline-soaked last-minute effort, huh, Dad?
(Early evening. The family is at dinner, but everyone is preoccupied.
Helen bustles around looking for things, apparently running late. Jake
tries to eat and do the taxes at the same time. Between the bathroom rumor
at school and the earlier kitchen gross-outs, Quinn doesn't eat.)
HELEN: (Urgent.) Where's my briefcase?
DARIA: (Obviously imitating Helen.) Probably where you left it last.
HELEN: Where are my earrings?
DARIA: (Monotone.) How the hell should I know?
HELEN: Where are my car keys?
DARIA: Hiding out in a drainage pipe off the I-90.
(The phone rings.)
JAKE: (Mild, for fear of setting her off.) Honey? I'm sort of trying to
(The phone rings.)
HELEN: Jake, you *promised* you'd have those done yesterday! Why do you
always wait until the last minute for these things? Why didn't you
just hire an accountant? Will someone answer that damn phone?!
(Quinn gets it.)
JAKE: Aww, accountants are for *wimps*, honey!
QUINN: (On phone.) Hello? (Pause, her face crumples.) Shut up! Who *is*
this? (Hangs up.) Uggh! Jerk!
HELEN: (Comes in from the living room, found her missing stuff. Sets down
the briefcase to put in her earrings.) Well, I'm off. Jake, make
sure one of the girls does the dishes.
(The phone rings again, and again Quinn gets it.)
QUINN: (Hint of suspicion this time.) Hello? (Pause. Then, like she's
about to cry.) Dammit, will you quit calling me?!
HELEN: (Grabs the phone from Quinn, threatening.) Hello? Just who do
you think you are, harassing my daughter like this? Do you want a
lawsuit over this because I'd *love* to make it happen!
JAKE: (Shifts into angry, takes the phone from Helen.) Who is this?! You
leave my daughter alone or I'll kick your ass, you hear me? (Beat,
(Beat, outraged surprise.) The little bastard hung up on me!
(Helen's out. Quinn flees the room, angry and embarrassed.)
JAKE: Gosh, I always thought Quinn *liked* boys calling her constantly.
DARIA: This wouldn't get to her so badly if she weren't so shallow.
(Jake puts the phone down and is about to turn back to the taxes when he
notices the sudden silence.)
JAKE: What did your mother say for me to do again?
EXT.: LANE RESIDENCE. AFTERNOON, TUESDAY, APRIL 14th.
(Rain falls steadily. A car pulls up, the Lane house visible through its
rear side windows. MUSIC: "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", Tears for
Fears -- from the car radio.)
(Daria and Jane.)
JANE: (Hangs up phone, turns to a sinkful of dishes.) Okay, I called the
Indian reservation, but the guy said Mom's out in the desert in some
peyote ritual and won't be back for a couple weeks.
JANE: (Hands in soapy dishwater.) Could you get that? I think Trent may
have dozed off again.
(Daria passes Trent on the couch, goes to the front door, opens it to
reveal a middle-aged woman and man in expensive suits, each holding a
briefcase and an umbrella. They look weaselly yet intimidating, the kind
of people you always just wanna smack immediately upon seeing them, only
you don't because you know it wouldn't be worth it after the consequences.)
FEMALE IRS AGENT: (In mid-conversation with the male agent.) --base our
behavior on theirs: They play hardball, we play hardball.
MALE IRS AGENT: Excellent strategy.
FEMALE IRS AGENT: Yes, excellent.
(They stop as they see Daria standing there.)
DARIA: No, thanks. We're not interested.
(She starts to close the door in their faces, but the female agent pushes it
FEMALE AGENT: (Tight politeness.) Good afternoon, Ms Lane. Are your
DARIA: (Slight smirk at the misidentification.) They aren't not here right
now. They're at our summer house down the street.
JANE: (Enters from the kitchen, wiping her hands on a towel.) Is that the
IRS people, Daria?
DARIA: (Looks them over.) Either that or the Jehovah's Witnesses are really
MALE IRS AGENT: (Extends a hand. Monotone voice.) Scott Garfield.
(Starting right in, Daria refuses the handshake. Scott withdraws it,
FEMALE IRS AGENT: (Also deadpan delivery.) Grace Zilkowski. Internal
Revenue Service, Collections Division. (She doesn't offer
SCOTT: Yes, Collections Division. And we're here to collect, so step aside
DARIA: *Excuse* me?
SCOTT: (Hint of snideness.) May we please speak with an adult?
DARIA: You are. I just happen to be trapped in a teenager's body.
(The two agents exchange looks that say, "Oh God, one of *these*." Cut to
show the living room, where Jane is trying to wake Trent.)
JANE: (Shakes him.) Trent? (Raises voice.) TRENT!
TRENT: (Startled out of slumber.) I dunno where it came from, officer, but
it's not *mine*, honest.
JANE: Trent, wake up. We have visitors.
(Trent stands, goes to the door.)
TRENT: Um, may I help you?
GRACE: (Hint of irritation.) Yes, we'd like to speak with an *adult*.
(Awkward pause as they realize Trent *is* the adult here. Condescending
looks from the pair.)
SCOTT: And you are?
TRENT: Oh. Trent.
GRACE: (Sharply.) May we come in, Trent?
(They come inside without waiting for an answer. MUSIC: "Ruined in a Day",
New Order. Trent's got WRET on the family stereo.)
SCOTT: Parents away?
TRENT: Yeah, Mom's in New Mexico. Dad might be there too, I'm not sure.
SCOTT: Just the three of you here, then? Minors, living alone, unsupervised?
GRACE: Yes, very interesting.
TRENT: (A bit irked.) I'm 21. (Indicates Daria.) And she doesn't live
SCOTT: (Looks at a shelf of collected shot glasses the Lanes have in their
living room.) Norway, Albania, Czechoslovakia... Your parents enjoy
extravagant vacations, do they?
TRENT: (Slouches, disdain for authority, especially these two.) I guess.
GRACE: Fascinating, they're able to afford so many exotic trips, yet for
some unfathomable reason appear incapable of paying the government
its rightful dues.
(The two set their briefcases on the coffee table, open them.)
DARIA: So they can be squandered on excesses and meaningless research?
SCOTT: (Pays her no mind.) Mr Lane, let's get right to the point. Your
parents owe six years' worth of unpaid back taxes. (Removes the
figures, waves them in Trent's face.) $27,840 -- combined with the
negligence penalty, lateness fee of five percent of the unpaid
amount for each month to a maximum of twenty-five percent, plus
fifty percent of the accumulated interest on the penalties,
DARIA: Betcha can't say that three times really fast.
GRACE: (Doing the math mentally.) Which comes to $47,906.38.
SCOTT: (Likewise.) Yes, $47,906.38.
GRACE: Oh, and by the way, this year's taxes are due tomorrow, I thought
maybe you'd want to know about that.
(Trent looks completely bewildered, having no idea what to do.)
DARIA: (In the Zone -- she stares 'em down.) Can we pay cash, or do you
want body parts?
GRACE: (Brandishes finger.) You'd do well to knock off the backtalk, young
lady, if you don't want us to make *your* life hell. (Smug pride.)
We're the IRS, that's what we *do* for a living.
DARIA: And cutting annoying, capricious people down to size is what I do.
(The famous smirk.)
SCOTT: Very well, we get the point, you can drop the act now.
DARIA: This isn't an act, I really am this way.
TRENT: (Approving smirk.) Really, she is.
SCOTT: (Ignores her.) The levy has already been imposed. Unless adequate
recompense is received within 10 days, the house and lot will be sold.
JANE: (Outraged.) SOLD?! You can't do this!
GRACE: We just did.
SCOTT: Yes, we just did.
EXT.: LANE RESIDENCE.
(Grace firces the trio outside into the rain.)
JANE: (Protests.) What about our *stuff*?!
GRACE: We'll deal with that after we catalogue and value all your assets.
Once the debt is repaid, anything left over will be returned.
SCOTT: (Calls from inside.) Hey, Grace, get in here! They have tequila!
GRACE: For the time being this house and everything in it belongs to the
(Grace tacks the notice of seizure to the front door, and the two agents
retreat back inside, leaving Daria, Jane and Trent out in the rain, stunned.
Trent finally breaks the tension:)
TRENT: I hope they tell the guy living under the back porch.
(...la la LA la la...)
(COMMERCIAL LEAD-IN: Daria opening the door, to the first glimpse of the
END ACT 1.
(COMMERCIAL: Some of those stupid watches with animated LCD faces on them,
trailers for the "Psycho" remake, Yo Quiero Taco Bell, and something for some
damn thing coming to MTV where they show half of this girl's face with hair
pointing in every conceivable direction and then do a bunch of cutting and
freeze-frame crap with the film so it makes this hideously aggravating noise,
sort of like "ikdfdkqdoaifuaswfodsadfhgfgffjasfjhgdhjkgasdawuifhrhafgdfgjhoj-
sdfgsfjdfshjshjafgjsdhjksdfg." I *HATE* that goddamn thing!)
BEGIN ACT 2.
EXT.: MORGENDORFFER RESIDENCE. EVENING, TUESDAY, APRIL 14th.
INT.: MORGENDORFFER KITCHEN.
(The family, plus Jane and Trent, at dinner, dinner being the Morgendorffer
specialty. They're using the same round table, but with two extra chairs
squeezed in for a tight fit. Daria's guests are situated between her and
Helen, with Trent next to Daria. Trent and Jane have an air of anxiety and
distress about them, from the earlier IRS seizure. Trent sits with his
HELEN: Great dinner, honey. Right, girls?
QUINN: (Dissecting her lasagna into its base components.) Yeah, it's good
Daddy, but don't you think it'd be a lot healthier without all this
meat, and cheese, and pasta?
DARIA: And sauce, don't forget sauce. (She nibbles a bit self-consciously
in front of Trent.)
JAKE: (To Jane and Trent.) Gee, you two are awfully quiet.
DARIA: (To Jane and Trent.) That was just a pointless observation. You
don't have to acknowledge it.
JAKE: Cat got your tongues? (Nervous laughter.)
HELEN: (To Daria.) I think it's wonderful you're having your friends over
for dinner, sweetie! Quinn's friends are here all the time, but we
never get to meet any of yours!
QUINN: That's because she doesn't *have* that many.
JAKE: (Tries to make conversation with Daria's guests, fails.) So. Do you
two like... ...stuff?
TRENT: Um... sure.
JANE: Some of it, anyway.
HELEN: (Sees their plates are empty.) Are you sure you got enough? If you'd
like more of anything, just ask.
(Jane and Trent give Daria sympathetic looks, realizing this is what she has
to put up with every day of her life.)
(The phone rings, Quinn takes it.)
QUINN: Hello? (Her face crumples.) Stop it! Will you just leave me alone!!
(Hangs up, slams the phone on the table.)
DARIA: (To Quinn.) I thought you *lived* for attention from guys.
JANE: (Dares to speak.) What was *that* all about?
JAKE: (Trying to make a funny.) Oh, Quinn's just playing hard-to-get with
the boys like she always does, right sweetie?
QUINN: (That was the worst possible answer.) Daddy! Don't *you* start it
(This makes Quinn all upset, and she flees the table just like last night.
Again Daria gets condolences from the Lanes.)
JAKE: (Looks to Helen.) Well? What did I say wrong *this* time?!
DARIA: Are we dysfunctional yet?
INT.: LIVING ROOM. AROUND MIDNIGHT.
(Daria, Jane and Trent sit on the couch watching TV, Jane between Daria and
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TRENT: (Leans forward, looks across Jane.) Hey Daria, how come you didn't
talk to your parents, like you said?
DARIA: I'm waiting for the right time. Trust me, it's best if we hold off
until Mom's gone and it's just--
(Jake enters, as if on cue.)
JAKE: Well kids, I'm headin' off to bed and Daria's got school tomorrow.
It's like they say, you don't have to go home, but ya can't stay here.
DARIA: (Stands.) Actually Dad, I was hoping I could get a favor out of you.
(Cut to the kitchen, just Jake and Daria.)
DARIA: They just need a place to stay for a few days, until they can get
things straightened out with the IRS.
JAKE: (Reluctant.) I dunno, Daria... I think I'd better talk this over with
your mother before we make any decisions.
DARIA: Dad, she's got an early breakfast meeting tomorrow and has to be up
at 5:30. Do you really want to wake her now?
JAKE: Well, no, but--
DARIA: (Let's manipulate Dad.) And do you really want to kick them out,
like Grandpa did with you?
JAKE: (That hits a nerve.) Absolutely NOT! No *way* I'm gonna be like that
DARIA: Then just let them stay tonight, and you can talk it over with Mom in
the morning. And just think how pleased she'll be that you handled
this on your own.
JAKE: Yeah! (More decisively.) YEAH!
(Next morning -- Wednesday, April 15th. Close-up of Helen shouting into her
HELEN: (Furious.) You did *WHAT*?!
(Diagonal split-screen, Jake and Helen, each in their respective office.)
JAKE: (Stammers.) B-but Helen, they don't have anyplace else to--
HELEN: (Impatience.) Yes Jake, your intentions were very noble, but you
obviously haven't thought one bit about the legal implications of all
this! We take them under our roof, we assume responsibility for them,
and if something happens, *we* are liable!
JAKE: (Protests.) But it's only--
HELEN: (Interrupts again.) And not only *that*, but you went off this
morning and just left them alone, in our house! What do we really
know about Daria's friends, Jake, we've never even *met* their
parents! How do we know we can *trust* them alone at the house,
did any of this even *occur* to you? (Lower, mutters to herself.)
No, of *course* it didn't occur to you or you wouldn't have done
anything so stupid to *begin* with...
JAKE: (Still thinks he did the right thing, but Helen's rapidly killing this
feeling.) But Daria said they're *used* to being at home by themselves
a lot. And Trent's 21, he can take care of himself.
HELEN: He's *WHAT*?! Daria's *16*, for crying out loud! Do you really think
he should be living under the same roof as our daughters?
JAKE: (Starting to sweat.) But he seems like a--
HELEN: Oh, give it a *rest*, Jake! You talk too much! (Looks up at someone
who's just entered, then her watch.) My 8:00's here, we'll discuss
this tonight. (Hangs up on him.)
INT.: MORGENDORFFER RESIDENCE, LIVING ROOM.
DARIA: (Comes down the stairs, sees Trent on the couch, in the same place he
was sitting last night.) 'Morning. How'd you sleep?
TRENT: I didn't.
(Shadow of concern on Daria's face.)
EXT.: LAWNDALE HIGH.
(Daria and Jane at a table, a stack of books in the center. Daria reads
one. Jane leans forward with her elbows on the table and her hands folded
on her head, obviously troubled.)
JANE: Trent doesn't seem worried about this at all.
DARIA: Trent's used to this, he tours in a band without any money. (Amused
tone.) Listen to this: You're required by law to report all illegally
earned income on your tax returns, but you can also take all valid
business expenses as deductions.
JODIE: (Approaches with her own set of books, catches what Daria said.)
You're kidding. Seriously?
DARIA: No joke. (Looks at book again.) Except if you're a drug dealer,
then you can only deduct cost of goods sold. (Shakes her head.) Did
they get Kevin to think these up?
JODIE: (To Jane.) I heard about the IRS and your house.
JODIE: (Not sure what else to say.) If there's anything I can do, let me
JANE: Thanks. (Though she doesn't sound grateful.)
INT.: HALLWAY. LAW OFFICES OF VITALE, DAVIS, HOROWITZ, RIORDAN, SCHRECTER,
SCHRECTER, AND SCHRECTER.
(Shot of the door, with all the attorneys' names.)
INT.: HELEN'S OFFICE.
(Helen's going over the IRS mess with Trent. Linda's husband Tom is also
HELEN: Trent, this is Tom Griffin, he's a CPA and the husband of one of
my... er... "friends". He's here to clear up the tax questions while
I handle the legal angle.
TRENT: Hey. (Shakes hands with Tom, who wipes his hand on his pants
TOM: (Going over the figures.) Basically what we've got here is a six-year
record of not filing at all. Your parents' bank account has an audit
trail a mile long. If they'd had a partial payment we might have some
HELEN: I wish I could give you better news, but with six years we're talking
a possible jail term here.
TRENT: (Distressed look.) Jail?
TOM: Not you of course, you're not the one who owed the taxes.
TRENT: Can they sell the house?
HELEN: Legally, yes, after 10 days. Unless we can get them to accept at
least a plan for reimbursement and an initial payment.
TOM: Now you said these two agents who visited you engaged in serious
misconduct: discourteous treatment, failure to notify you of taxpayer
rights, a lack of reasonable time to prepare?
TRENT: Yeah. Couldn't we sue or something?
HELEN: I wouldn't advise that. As a rule the taxpayer loses. (Mutters.)
Bastards! (New idea.) But if we *threaten* to sue, they may settle
out-of-court with an "offer and recompense".
TRENT: What's that?
TOM: A settlement for less than the full $48,000.
HELEN: They may work with us on the civil penalties, though I'm not sure
about the criminal charges. See, they don't like going to court
either. It costs them time and money just like it does us.
(Corrects herself.) "Us" meaning you, of course.
TRENT: Is that all we've got?
HELEN: It looks that way. (Frowns, shakes her head.) From what you've
said, these two sound like malefactors, abusing their authority to
get whatever they can. There's *got* to be something more concrete
here, something we can use to nail them big-time.
(Helen's boss Eric appears in the doorway, sees Trent, takes one look at
ERIC: (Disapproval.) Really, Helen, after all your complaints about our
firm scraping the bottom of the clientele barrel...
EXT.: LANE RESIDENCE.
GRACE'S VOICE: Where *is* it?!
INT.: TRENT'S ROOM.
(She's going through his wastebasket when Scott enters.)
GRACE: (Looks up sharply.) Did you find it?
SCOTT: You would not *believe* what these people have in their basement.
(Remembers her question.) No, I didn't see either letter anywhere.
GRACE: It's got to be here somewhere!
SCOTT: Unless one of them took it when they left.
GRACE: Damn! This could expose us if they figure it out! Okay, don't panic,
they'll bring it when they meet with us, we can destroy it *then*.
SCOTT: Yes, we can destroy it then. (Looking at Trent's duck-phone.) This
is kinda cool, I might just hang onto it.
(Lunch with the Fashion Club. Quinn, Sandi and Stacy have salads. Tiffany
has a plate with a single carrot stick on it, and she takes occasional tiny
bites from it, making sure to wash it down with plenty of diet soda.)
QUINN: ...and then I got the *same calls* last night, asking me about stuff
from that stupid poem! (Wails.) Who would do something like that?
To *me*! I mean, I can see people doing it for *some* people, but
I'm the most attractive and popular girl in the whole school, and I
*don't* deserve to be treated like this!
SANDI: Uh, Quinn? Some might argue that you're the *second* most attractive,
since the most attractive typically assumes the role of Fashion Club
STACY: (Feels sorry for Quinn.) I bet some guy probably wrote it.
TIFFANY: Yeah. Guys are *so* immature.
SANDI: Really. I bet it was some guy you turned down for a date, and he
can't like, get over it, or something.
QUINN: You think so? Maybe it was John, I told him no last week, but only
because I was already going out with Wendell that night, except maybe
it was Allen because I turned him down *before* I made plans with
Wendell, plus then there's all the guys who always ask me out every
week and I *never* go out with them... (Frustrated.) ...that doesn't
really narrow it down at *all*!
SANDI: It was probably some pathetic loser who's never gotten any and never
(Close-up of Quinn as a realization sweeps across her face.)
INT.: LAWNDALE HIGH, HALLWAY.
(Shot of Upchuck as Quinn, both hands around his neck, slams him into a row
UPCHUCK: (Strangled.) Whoa, easy there, toots! This is a bit too feisty
even for *me*!
QUINN: (Doesn't let go, clenched teeth, squeezes harder.) Did you write it?
Was it *YOU*?!
UPCHUCK: (Strangled.) Write what? (Realizes he knows.) No! I swear!
It wasn't me!
QUINN: Then who *DID* do it?
UPCHUCK: (Turning purple.) I don't know! Honest! Please! Can't breathe!
(Quinn lets go, moves on. Upchuck rubs his neck as his face returns to a
EXT.: MORGENDORFFER RESIDENCE. AFTERNOON.
(The garage door is open, and Mystik Spiral is practicing.)
TRENT: (Sings, lotsa angst.)
Don't know what to do, I got no place to stay,
Tax man kicked me out, and then took it all away!
(Speaks the next part, over the music.)
A man's home is his castle, I'm a knight without sanctuary,
Exiled, wandering strange lands,
Seeking shelter from the coming storm,
Never certain if this armor will shine again.
(Shouts as they launch the closing guitar-and-drum riff.)
(Jake's car pulls partway up the driveway, he gets out.)
JESSE: I still say we should change that last line.
TRENT: Hmm. Maybe you're right, Jess.
JESSE: Rest of it's brilliant, though!
JAKE: (Obviously dislikes having all these weird people in his garage.)
Who *are* you people?
TRENT: Oh. Hey, Mr M. This is my band.
JESSE: Mystik Spiral.
TRENT: But we've talked about changing the name.
(Daria and Jane arrive home from school, see the band, walk up.)
TRENT: Hey Janey. Hey Daria.
JAKE: Oh, hiya kiddo!
DARIA: (Mortified to have her childish pet-name used in front of the band.)
JAKE: (Looks Jesse over, frowns a bit.) Ever thought of getting a haircut,
son? Someone's liable to mistake you for a girl with those long locks.
DARIA: (Sardonic.) Not to mention that firm muscular chest.
(Low chuckles from Jane the band.)
TRENT: Good one, Daria.
JAKE: (Goes over to Max, the drummer.) Hey-hey, my man, put 'er there.
(Beat.) You dudes play any Village People tunes?
(Again Daria winces, puts a hand to her forehead.)
EXT.: LANDON RESIDENCE.
(Andrew has his sleeves rolled up and is lovingly waxing his Jag. Jodie
comes out the front door with a cold soda.)
JODIE: Mom said to bring you this.
(She sets it on the hood of the car.)
ANDREW: (Freaks.) What are you *doing*, set it on the *ground*!
JODIE: (Obeys, hurt.) Sorry.
ANDREW: (Calms down now that the crisis has passed.) So how's school? Make
any new friends this week?
JODIE: (Irritated.) Dad, I already know everybody. There *aren't* any other
people I can make friends with.
ANDREW: Nonsense, you've just gotta work harder, stop being so laid-back.
Speaking of which, your mother says the Lanes let their house get
taken by the government?
JODIE: Yeah. Jane was really upset today.
ANDREW: Well if you ask me, they've had it coming! Rotten welfare cheats!
JODIE: (Annoyance.) They're not welfare cheats, Dad. They're tax evaders.
ANDREW: Oh. (Change of heart.) Well, nothing wrong with that, that's just
smart business. (Beat.) Too bad they got caught.
INT.: MORGENDORFFER RESIDENCE, UPSTAIRS HALLWAY.
(Quinn opens the bathroom door, catches Trent in front of the toilet
unzipping his fly.)
QUINN: Ewwww, *God*! Haven't you ever heard of locking the door?!
TRENT: (Over his shoulder, same expression he used with Brittany in "Ill".)
Oh. Right. Sorry.
(Quinn backs out, closes the door.)
(Jane is helping Helen with after-dinner clean-up.)
HELEN: Thanks for the help, Jane. I wish Daria and Quinn would help out
like this more.
JANE: So Trent says you looked at our IRS crisis today?
HELEN: Yes, and I think we can at least talk them down on the fines...
JANE: (Notices her reluctance to go on.) But...?
HELEN: (Confesses.) I'm not sure about the jail sentence.
(Jane looks panicked at this possibility.)
JANE: But... it's okay if we stay here until this gets straightened out?
HELEN: (She's had a change of heart.) If you keep being *this* helpful, we
might just adopt you permanently. You can take the guest room, if
your brother doesn't mind the couch.
JANE: Trent slept on a road median once, he'll be fine.
HELEN: (Still those nagging liability issues.) Just... be careful, is all.
(Jane is carrying a number of sharp knives to the sink for washing. Helen
notices, awkwardly tries to take them from her without dropping any.)
HELEN: Here, why don't you let me get those? Oh, and don't forget to use
the handrail when you're going upstairs.
INT.: DARIA'S ROOM.
(Trent surveys Daria's domain for the first time.)
TRENT: (Admiration.) This is *the* coolest room I've ever seen, Daria.
DARIA: I was thinking of getting some chains, maybe a serial-killer poster.
TRENT: I'm gonna decorate my room exactly like this.
(There's a knock on the door. Jake enters, sees Daria and Trent alone
together, and overreacts, fearing the worst.)
JAKE: Um, Daria? Can I talk to you for a second? In private?
DARIA: (To Trent.) Be right back.
(Trent looks through her CD collection. Cut to Jake and Daria, out in the
JAKE: (*Really* uncomfortable with what he's about to say.) Now, sweetie,
your mother and I understand your need for privacy, but... while
your... *friend* is here... well, I think we'd both feel a lot more
comfortable if you'd... leave the door open. (Awkward pause.) Do you
get what I'm saying, kiddo?
DARIA: (Feigns confusion, no change in expression.) Not really.
JAKE: (Even harder to get out now.) We trust you, Daria, we really do.
But... if your door's open, there won't be any temptation to...
(Averts his eyes.) ...you know...
DARIA: (Dad embarrassed me, now it's his turn.) No, I don't know. Explain
it to me.
JAKE: Aww, c'mon, Daria, don't make me *say* it!
DARIA: Say what?
JAKE: (Can't do it, turns.) Helennnn! Helen, *you* come up and take care
of this, I *can't*!
(Quinn and Helen at the table, quality time while Helen organizes her
QUINN: (Venting.) How much longer are Daria's geeky friends gonna be
staying here? I can't have the Fashion Club over when the uncool
people outnumber us 5 to 4!
HELEN: Sweetie, we really don't ask a whole lot of you--
QUINN: (Caught-in-the-act melodrama.) O-*KAY*, I *promise* I'll be home
before 11:30 from now on, but we got *sidetracked*, it was an
*emergency*, Tiffany chipped a nail, it was *JUST*, *ONE*, *TIME*,
are you gonna hold it against me for the rest of my *LIFE*?!?
HELEN: Actually Quinn, all I was going to ask was that you try being a little
nicer to the Lanes while they're here.
QUINN: Mo-OOOO-OMMM!! It's hard *enough* being nice to *Daria*!
HELEN: They're going through a really tough time right now and could use
QUINN: But *I* have problems too, and no one's being any nicer to *me*!
HELEN: (So wrapped up with the IRS case she hadn't noticed Quinn's woes.)
Well what's the matter, sweetie?
QUINN: (Shakes her head, pitiful.) You couldn't possibly understand.
HELEN: Oh, Quinn... (Sighs.) Will you just *try*, honey? Just follow the
example your father and I set?
QUINN: O-*kay*. (Pouts.)
(Trent enters, takes a carton of milk from the fridge, drinks. Jake enters
from the other doorway, with the paper.)
JAKE: (Sees Trent, critical.) Don't drink out of the carton, son! And keep
the fridge shut, were you raised in a barn or something? (Looks out
the window above the sink.) See that? That grass isn't gonna cut
itself, you know. You've been hanging around the house all day, ever
think of getting a job? (Pushes the paper into his hands.) Here,
look in the classifieds, they've got *dozens* of positions open, this
isn't a hotel, you can't stay here forever you know!
(Trent's replaced the carton and is out.)
HELEN: (Rolls her eyes.) Okay, *my* example. Just ignore your father like
EXT.: LAWNDALE HIGH. THURSDAY, APRIL 16th.
INT.: GIRLS' BATHROOM, MIRROR.
(The Fashion Club, checking their hair and makeup.)
SANDI: (Reapplies lipstick.) Maybe you should ask some guys about it.
TIFFANY: (Straightens her hair.) Yeah. Guys talk about stuff like that all
SANDI: One of them is *bound* to know.
QUINN: You're right. Thanks, Sandi! (Leaves to put this new theory to the
STACY: (Curls her eyelashes.) Quinn's so lucky to have us as friends.
SANDI: You said it, Stacy. (Evil smirk, she's secretly relishing this.)
INT.: LAWNDALE HIGH, HALLWAY.
(Quinn interrogates the three J's.)
JOEY: (Innocent.) We would *never* write anything bad about *you*, Quinn!
JEFFY: (Earnest.) We're not like that, we're nice guys! Well, I am anyway.
JAIME: (Frustrated.) "Julius"?! C'mon, Quinn, that's not even *close*!
INT.: LAWNDALE HIGH, BOYS' BATHROOM.
(Quinn's got a row of guys lined up, subjecting them to handwriting-
analysis. Scene opens with Kevin in the hotseat.)
KEVIN: (Demonstrates with a black magic-marker.) See, I make my G's more
like this. And sometimes I forget and write E's backwards. Plus I
can't spell that good.
QUINN: (Satisfied, little nod.) Okay. (Lets Kevin go.) Next!
INT.: MORGENDORFFERS' LIVING ROOM. LATE EVENING.
(Daria and Jane in their bedclothes, Daria moving quietly toward the stairs.)
DARIA: 'Night, Jane.
JANE: I'll be right up.
(Jane doesn't follow, instead goes into the garage. The door is open, and
Trent sits motionless in a folding chair, holding his guitar, silhouetted
against the streetlights outside.)
DEEJAY: (Trent has a portable stereo near his chair.) Aaaand that ends
WRET's tribute to Quiet Riot. Next up, from the shopping malls to
your ears, here's Tiffany!
(MUSIC: "I Think We're Alone Now", Tiffany. [Not *that* Tiffany!] Jane
approaches quietly, thinking Trent might be asleep.)
TRENT: (He's not.) Hey, Janey. (Switches off the radio, leaving only the
sound of crickets.)
JANE: You okay, Trent?
TRENT: I'm thinking of going to Jesse's. Or maybe Max'll let me stay in the
Tank for a couple days.
JANE: What? Why?
TRENT: You've seen Daria's parents. It's obvious they don't want me around.
JANE: What, just because of her Dad? Listen, you can't take anything that
man says at face value. They don't hate you, Trent.
TRENT: Whatever. I just don't wanna sponge off them anymore.
JANE: You've sponged off Mom and Dad for *years* and it's never bothered you.
TRENT: That's different, Janey.
JANE: How? Look, Daria *begged* her parents into letting you stay. How
often does Daria lower herself to something like that? (Beat.) She
wants to see you through this and make sure you're okay. You walk out
now, you walk out on *her*. Is that what you want?
JANE: (Sad smile, half a chuckle.) Look at you. You haven't slept in
almost four days. *You*, Mister Narcolepsy. (Sits in a vacant chair
next to him.) You're a nervous wreck, Trent. Why are you doing this
TRENT: What else *can* I do, Janey? I feel so stupid and useless, I can't
handle this on my own. I'm scared of what could happen. To us, to
Mom and Dad.
JANE: (Confesses.) I'm scared, too.
TRENT: Janey? No matter what happens tomorrow... I promise, I'm gonna look
out for you.
JANE: (Smiles.) You always have.
TRENT: Yeah, I guess.
(Daria, listening by the inside door, slips away. It's not clear now much
she's heard, though her expression indicates she's touched by it.)
(...la la LA la la...)
(COMMERCIAL LEAD-IN: Mystik Spiral practicing in the Morgendorffers' garage.)
END ACT 2.
(COMMERCIAL: You know how sometimes you'll see like just a second of the
"Now" CD commercial and then they'll cut away to an MTV commercial? Why do
they *do* this, is it some way of working in one more teensy commercial by
making it stick in the mind like this? Or is that just what they've got
MTV's most incompetent film operator doing now that they seem to have
finally pulled him/her off the Daria reruns?)
BEGIN ACT 3.
(Split-screen, Helen and Grace. Morning, Friday, April 17th.)
HELEN: I wasn't aware we needed them, but yes, I'll bring the letters too.
Though I must admit I'm somewhat concerned about the treatment my
client has been receiving from you. I *am* fully aware of the
procedures for reporting agent misconduct, you know.
GRACE: (Smug.) You can't *threaten* us. We're the IRS!
HELEN: We'll see about that. (Hangs up.)
(Helen enters the kitchen to find Jane flipping hot pancakes onto a place,
which she takes to Daria. Jake already has a plateful.)
JAKE: (Mouth full.) Wow! These are the *best* pancakes I've ever had!
How'd you learn to make these?
JANE: My sister Summer taught me, before she had four kids of her own.
(She sets another plate in front of Quinn. Trent enters, sits and
sips from the cup of coffee Jane brings him. It's obvious he hasn't
JAKE: (Eager to learn.) How do you keep 'em from burning?
HELEN: (Sits, Jane brings her a plate too.) Oh, Jane, thank you, this is
wonderful! (Turns to her youngest daughter.) Quinn, what do you say?
QUINN: I hope you made these with low-fat butter.
HELEN: (Stern, remember-what-we-talked-about look.) *Quinn*??
QUINN: (Rolls her eyes, grudgingly.) Thank you.
DARIA: Can someone pass the syrup?
JAKE: (Puts up his fist, pretend pugilism.) So, Trent, you ready to kick
some IRS butt today?
TRENT: I guess.
QUINN: (Looks at him.) You're gonna go out in public wearing *that*?!
HELEN: Hmm, maybe we should find you something else. The IRS reps are
supposed to be nonjudgmental, but it's human nature, so why give them
JAKE: (Claps him on the shoulder, delight on his face.) C'mon, we can fix
you up in one of my suits! (He leads Trent out and toward the stairs.)
JANE: (Sits, with pancakes of her own, smirks at Daria.) Poor Trent.
(Daria smirks back, shakes her head.)
INT.: UPSTAIRS BATHROOM.
(Trent's in a long-sleeved button shirt and dress pants, not looking very
JAKE: (Lecturing.) Gotta learn to tie a tie, son. Nobody takes you
seriously with a clip-on. (Bitter-memory expression.) Believe me,
TRENT: Um, okay.
JAKE: We'll start you out on the half-windsor. Now watch: (Stands behind
Trent, goes through the motions as he talks.) The rabbit goes around
the tree, then up the hill and down through his burrow...
(Helen's pacing around, in her running-late mode. Daria helps Jane clean
up. Quinn's nowhere to be seen.)
HELEN: Has anyone seen my briefcase?
JANE: By the couch.
HELEN: Where's my cellular?
JANE: Quinn has it.
HELEN: What happened to those IRS letters?
JANE: I think Jake accidentally took 'em out with the trash.
DARIA: (To Jane.) You realize you're making me look bad.
HELEN: (Calls.) Jaaaake!
(She stops as Jake and Trent come down the stairs. Helen and Daria step
into the living room and gasp at the New Trent: Jake's suit hangs a bit
loosely on his angular frame, but with the jacket and tie he looks *very*
sharp. He's actually combed and parted his hair and has removed all his
earrings. Jake is positively beaming with pride at what he's wrought.
Trent looks both awkward and embarrassed.)
TRENT: (Uncomfortable being stared at.) What?
DARIA: Tr...? (Tries again.) *Trent*??
JAKE: (Nudges him.) Stand up straight, son.
JANE: (Comes over, wiping her hands on a dishtowel.) Ooh, spiffy! (She
obviously hasn't seen her brother like this in a *long* time.)
QUINN: (Comes down the stairs with Helen's cellphone.) Mom, I think
this needs new batter-- (Sees Trent, doesn't even recognize him,
immediately puts on the shallow Quinn charm.) Hi, I'm Quinn! Are
you the IRS guy? (Points at the suit.) That suit matches my blue
evening dress *perfectly*! (Digs in her pocket, produces a card.)
Here's my phone number, call me after you get done with your tax
(Daria shoots Quinn a jealous look. Only Jane notices.)
INT.: LAWNDALE HIGH, HALLWAY.
(Still early morning, before classes. Stacy emerges from the girls'
bathroom, sees Sandi and Tiffany, ducks back inside, against the wall as
they proceed to the *boys'* room.)
SANDI: Now just wait out here, and call me if anybody's coming.
(Sandi goes inside. Stacy emerges, surprising Tiffany.)
STACY: What's Sandi doing in there?
TIFFANY: (Decides it's best to play innocent.) Umm, I dunno.
(Stacy cautiously goes in to see. Tiffany follows. Shot from behind the
two girls, they can see Sandi writing a new Quinn poem on one of the stalls.)
STACY: Oh my *God*! *Sandi's* the one who did it! (Turns to Tiffany.)
We've gotta tell Quinn!
TIFFANY: (The game's up, time to switch to the winning side.) Yeah.
EXT.: LAWNDALE IRS BUILDING.
(MUSIC: "I will Buy You a New Life", Everclear.)
INT.: WAITING ROOM.
(Helen, Trent, Jane and Daria.)
HELEN: You're sure no one at school will miss you girls?
DARIA: No one ever has before.
JANE: (To Helen.) Thanks for letting me come. I can't concentrate at
HELEN: (Stern warning, mostly to Daria.) Just remember, this is *not* a
joke. One flippant remark and you're out, got it?
INT.: IRS AGENTS' OFFICE.
(Two desks, two guest chairs. Everything's arranged in anal-retentive
apple-pie order, from the bookshelves to the office supplies on the agents'
SCOTT: Mr Lane, Mrs Morgendorffer, please have a seat.
GRACE: Yes, have a seat. (Looks over her papers.) We've met with the
IRS Intelligence Division and determine how best to prosecute.
DARIA: IRS Intelligence Division? Isn't that an oxymoron?
HELEN: (Angry, points to the door.) Daria, outside!
DARIA: (Leaves, expressionless.) Twelve seconds. It's a new record.
(She's out. Helen turns apologetically to the agents.)
HELEN: You'll have to excuse my daughter, she's a little--
GRACE: Yes, your daughter and I are already well-acquainted.
SCOTT: (Officious-sounding.) Shall we proceed?
HELEN: (Nudges Trent, he's slouching again, whispers.) Sit up straight.
SCOTT: Now what we typically do for the back taxes and fines, Mr Lane, is
garnish your wages, chop a piece off the top--
GRACE: --After taxes, of course.
SCOTT: Yes, after taxes. We then apply it each pay period until the debt
is paid off.
TRENT: Umm, wages?
HELEN: Mr Lane is currently... without a source of income.
TRENT: (Defensive.) Mystik Spiral gets $100 a gig.
GRACE: (Sighs, irritated.) Very well, we'll deal with this aspect when your
*parents* return. I suppose accumulating interest a little longer
won't make much difference to them.
SCOTT: Now that just leaves the not insignificant matter of the house.
We're still prepared to sell it if an initial payment isn't made.
JANE: "Your unfriendly neighborhood realtor"?
INT.: WAITING ROOM.
(Daria leafs through a financial magazine, drawing mustaches, devil-horns,
google-eyes, etc. on the famous millionaires pictured therein. The door
opens and Jane, carrying a stack of envelopes, joins her.)
DARIA: Mom bounced you out too, huh?
JANE: Actually, Trent did.
DARIA: (Looks surprised.) Well, thanks for trying to pick up the slack.
JANE: No prob.
INT.: IRS AGENTS' OFFICE.
(Helen, Trent and the two agents, as before.)
GRACE: We'll also be sending out a summons for your parents to appear in
court upon their return.
HELEN: I don't suppose you'd be willing to negotiate that?
SCOTT: I'm sorry Mrs Morgendorffer, but evasion of this caliber can't be
sneezed at. We have to use this as an example to the other taxpayers.
GRACE: Yes, the other taxpayers. I believe it's all specified in the letter
dated 30 days ago. (Sudden plotting look.) If you'll hand it here,
I'll point this all out.
TRENT: Um, sure.
(Trent hands over the letter. Scott snaps the switch on a paper-shredder
behind the desks, and Grace moves to shred the letter. Helen lunges out of
her chair, grabs it before she can.)
HELEN: (Demands.) What the hell are you doing?
TRENT: (Looking at the envelope, suddenly his eyes widen.) Hey, look at
this. (Shows Helen.)
HELEN: (Picks up.) What the...? (To the IRS agents, moving in for the
kill.) This letter is dated 30 days ago, but it's postmarked this
*week*! You *withheld* this to make it easier to take the house,
GRACE: I... (She trails off, at a loss.)
SCOTT: Yes, I... (Same.)
HELEN: *I* suggest you notify the Intelligence Division *not* to prosecute
GRACE: (Menacing, but with some fear evident now.) Are you making a *threat*
to a member of the IRS?
HELEN: (Victorious smirk.) Let's just say if you send the Lanes to jail
you'll be joining them very soon.
(Trent, having redeemed himself, puts on a damn-I'm-good smirk.)
(Jake and Daria, on the couch.)
JAKE: (Explaining to her.) Well, kiddo, when we set up your trust, I thought
we agreed you'd wait until you're older. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad
you came to me about this Daria, but... I really think it should be
left in as long as possible. You lose a lot with premature withdrawal,
QUINN: (Comes downstairs, overhears.) Ewwwww, *Daaaad*! Mom already *gave*
us this talk!
JAKE: (Looks up.) Huh?
INT.: MORGENDORFFERS' LIVING ROOM.
(Daria reading, Quinn filing her nails. The phone rings, and Quinn looks at
DARIA: (After about the third ring.) What, am I your personal secretary now?
(Answers it.) Hello? (Pause.) No, this is her sis--
(Quinn shoots a pleading glance. Daria's face shows self-loathing for what
she's about to say.)
DARIA: --er, her *cousin*. Hold on.
(She gives the phone to Quinn, whose expression silently asks "who is it?")
DARIA: It's one of your little backstabbing fashion playmates.
(Daria's words set something off, and suddenly Quinn's eyes light up with
realization, before she even answers the call. Split-screen, Quinn and
Stacy at school.)
STACY: Quinn? It's Stacy. Tiffany and I have to tell you something...
(She wears a guilty look, as if she's somehow doing something wrong.)
INT.: IRS AGENTS' OFFICE.
(Daria and Helen are back. The agents' supervisor is present as well.
Daria slaps a wad of bills on the desk.)
DARIA: Here's your damn money.
SCOTT: And here's the deed to the Lane residence. (Hands it over contritely,
under the IRS bigwig's glare.)
DARIA: (Points to the money.) Cash receipt, please.
(Helen smiles, proud of her daughter.)
HELEN: (Slaps paperwork on the desk, no-nonsense tone.) And you'll find
here a detailed account of your agents' misconduct, along with a
settlement offer for compensatory damage for mental anguish and
punitive damages for blatant abuse of authority.
IRS BIGWIG: Mrs Morgendorffer, please accept my apologies on Mr Lane's
behalf for this unfortunate incident. Let me assure you my
subordinates' actions will *not* go unpunished. (To the two
agents.) This is now an ongoing investigation. Six months
suspension, without pay!
GRACE: (Fingers Scott.) It was *his* idea!
SCOTT: (For once, they're arguing!) You cooperated!
DARIA: Boy, the fun never stops here, does it?
INT: LAWNDALE HIGH, GIRLS' BATHROOM.
(Quinn confronts Sandi by the mirror.)
QUINN: (Seething.) *You*!
SANDI: (Still playing innocent.) What is it *now*, Quinn?
QUINN: YOU did it! You wrote that awful poem about me!
SANDI: (Gets an grieving look we've never seen on Sandi before. She
hesitates, then, gushing:) Okay, I admit it Quinn, it was my doing
QUINN: (Horrified.) How *could* you?!
SANDI: B-because I was *jealous*, okay?! Because all the guys are more
interested in you than *me*!!
QUINN: Why didn't you *tell* me? (Stamps her foot.) That was so *mean*
what you did, we're supposed to be friends!
SANDI: (Looks at her own reflection in the mirror, won't look at Quinn.)
I know, I know, and ever since I did it I've just... felt so *bad*!
QUINN: (Surprise.) You have?
SANDI: I wanted to tell you, but I *couldn't*! I was afraid to! (Sniffs,
turns, puts her hands on Quinn's shoulders.) Can you ever forgive
QUINN: (Smiles, teary-eyed.) Of course, Sandi. We're friends, that's what
SANDI: (On the verge of tears herself.) Ohhh *thank* you, Quinn!
(Closeup as the two hug, then zoom back to show each of them planting a
nasty sign on the other's back. Evil smirks -- both were faking the whole
(MUSIC: "Don't Go", Yaz.)
INT.: MORGENDORFFERS' LIVING ROOM.
(The whole family, gathered by the front door, as Trent and Jane prepare to
go back home again.)
TRENT: Thanks again, Mrs M, Mr M.
JAKE: Heyyy, no problem, my man! What're friends for?
JANE: Well, Mom and Dad still have one helluva mess to sort out, but at least
they'll have a house to do it in.
HELEN: And I for one plan on having a serious talk with your parents when
they get back.
DARIA: Good luck.
JANE: I'll have Mom call you.
(Jane and Trent exchange smirks, knowing this will never happen.)
JAKE: Bye... (Takes out his pocket notebook.) ...Jane. See ya, Trent.
(Shakes his hand.)
(Goodbyes all around, the two Lanes head out, down the walk. Daria and
Quinn turn back upstairs. Jake and Helen watch them go.)
JAKE: (Choked up.) I'm gonna miss him, Helen.
HELEN: (Puts an arm around her husband.) I know, Jakey. I know.
JAKE: (Sniffs.) He was like a son to me!
EXT.: LAWNDALE IRS BUILDING. ONE WEEK LATER.
VOICE: (Shouts.) Garfield! Zilkowski! In my office, NOW!
INT.: IRS BIGWIG'S OFFICE.
(Grace and Scott enter their superior's office to find a delivery guy, with
a handtruck laden with wrapped parcels.)
IRS BIGWIG: (To the two agents.) What is the *MEANING* of this?!
(Grace and Scott exchange confused looks.)
DELIVERY GUY: Um, we got another truckload out front. (Flips a page on his
clipboard.) Sign here. Oh, and there's postage due, $15
IRS BIGWIG: (About to blow his top.) *APIECE*?!?
EXT.: LANE RESIDENCE.
(MUSIC: "Safety Dance", Men Without Hats.)
INT.: JANE'S ROOM.
(Close-up of Daria and Jane.)
JANE: God, it'll be great to get back to some painting. It's been over a
DARIA: Just help me finish up here first, okay?
JANE: Sure. This is one debt I'm more than happy to repay.
DARIA: (Deadpan.) Your gratitude is implied. (Beat.) Oh, I gave Trent the
deed to the house. You might want to find out where he stashed it.
JANE: (Shakes her head, mock disapproval.) I'm surprised at you. You had
the deed to my house in your hands, and instead of keeping it you gave
it to Trent.
DARIA: (Shrugs, smirks.) And what the hell would I want with this dump?
(Jane smirks back, punches Daria playfully in the arm. Fade out the music,
closeup of Jane's stereo.)
DEEJAY: (Radio.) You're listening to WRET, Lawndale's source for 80s retro.
Stay tuned for a chance to call in and win genuine Prince memorabilia
-- none of that "Artist Formerly Known As" crap here! But right now,
let's kick off our one-hour Listener Request Block with a little
time-trip back to the Tigris and Euphrates of heavy-metal. This one
goes out to Scott and Grace from Daria, Jane and Trent of Lawndale!
(The radio kicks up "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister, which
continues through the end credits. Daria and Jane exchange smirks. Zoom
back to reveal that both girls are seated on the floor, busy taping the IRS
comment-envelopes to a stack of neatly-wrapped bricks. Daria looks up at
Trent, on Jane's bed. He's sleeping like a baby.)
(...la la LA la la...)
(CREDITS AND CUTE LITTLE RENDERINGS OF THE CHARACTERS.)
AUTHOR'S NOTES: If you didn't catch how Daria got the money to pay off the
agents, go read (or reread) "Lotto Nonsense".
I never intended to slam the IRS at first. I had an idea about Trent and
Jane having to stay over at the Morgendorffer house, but needed a reason.
The inspiration for the IRS angle came from Jane's comment in "Accept No
Substitutes", where she says, "My parents haven't paid taxes for six
Audits and seizure make for a frightening story, one that happens to
thousands of Americans every year. I did, however, take a number of
creative liberties in the interest of pacing this episode. I am fortunate
never to have undergone an audit, and thus have never had to experience
this in person. (Now you watch -- they're gonna nail me this year just for
writing this script!)
First off, the timetable is almost certainly sped *way* up, even with the
two agents jumping the gun. The figures the agents quote to Trent were
fictitious (I didn't do the math), but the procedure they use for calculating
it is as stated here. I have no idea how realistic the excerpts from the IRS
agents' letters are, never having seen these types of letters myself. If I
had you convinced they were real, please don't tell me this as it will only
I can't say for sure how typical the IRS agents' behavior might be. IRS
agents are supposed to be patient and courteous, but of course that's not
always the case, or how would all these horror stories have gotten started
in the first place? Grace and Scott flagrantly violate a number of agency
protocols and taxpayer rights during the course of the story, but I
obviously had to make them jerks or no one reading this would hate them.
(BTW, I was thinking Janeane Garofolo [sp?] and Ben Stein as the voices for
the two agents, whadya think?)
The exact tax laws Helen and Tom quote are probably inaccurate. Some of
them may have changed over the last year, and there are countless subtle
variations from state to state (plus I don't even know for sure where
Lawndale is located).
Special thanks to my cousin Jeff Cassidy -- an accounting major -- for
providing the goofy tax laws Daria reads. (They're the real McCoy, believe
it or not, at least here in Illinois!)
On June 25th, 1997, the government formed the National Commission on
Restructuring the IRS, to respond to the organization's woeful deficiencies.
I personally have yet to see any improvements. If you want to learn more,
please kill yourself now: The last thing this world needs is another tax
expert. (Just kidding. I do recommend the book "Unbridled Power: Inside
the Secret Culture of the IRS" by Shelley C. Davis and Mary Matalin.)
The WRET radio station didn't really have anything to do with anything, I
was just listening to a lot of 80s music from my childhood as I was writing
this one and thought it'd be a cute idea. LMK if you liked it, maybe I'll
bring WRET back.
Would you like to be updated when I release new "Daria" stories and
get sneak previews of what I have in store just around the corner? If so,
send an e-mail and ask to be put on my Daria Fanfic update list. This
won't cram your mailbox full, I promise. One update a week at most.
Also let me know if you want to receive new stories by e-mail, as I'm
doing that now too.
Anybody got any fan art based on my fics? If so, you can send it to:
6823 N. TerraVista #706
Peoria, IL 61614
I'd love to see it. E-mail is good too, JPEGs, GIFs or bitmaps work best.
[Disclaimer: "Daria" and all related characters are trademarks of MTV
Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc., and are used here
without permission for the purpose of fan fiction. I suppose if you
represent MTV's legal department you could sue, but think about it,
what's it really going to get you? I mean, *I* sure don't have any
money, and there's like fifty other people writing these fan stories,
so you might as well just live with it and maybe learn to appreciate
the fact that your show has such a loyal, dedicated legion of fans who
care enough to write things like this. Of course, you *could* just
hire us and that'd solve your problem nicely too.]
[This "Daria" fanfic story is copyright 1998 by C.E. Forman but may be
distributed freely in unaltered form to fans of "Daria" everywhere,
provided the author's name and e-mail address remain intact. Thank
you, and good night.]