Fast Times at Lawndale High
by Danny Bronstein
April 5, 1995. Milton Junior High School, during an assembly. As Jane sits
drinking a soda, the girls a couple of rows back keep shooting little wads
of paper at her from straws. Finally Jane gets fed up, takes her straw and
blows a wad of paper back at them. It misses and hits Ms. Eisler square in
the eye. Ms. Eisler screams.
Scene 2: At Lawndale High, outside Mr. ONeills class.
Student 1: All right, today, lets everyone sit somewhere besides where
they sat before.
Student 2: Oh, man, thats brilliant! Mr. ONeills gonna freak!
Student 3: This is gonna be so funny!
(Mr. ONeill arrives.)
ONeill: Hello, class. Sorry about the delay. (Unlocks door, the class
follows him and sits down at the desks.)
ONeill: OK, today, were going to read an article by one of my favorite
writers. His work has been described as Orwellian. Can anyone describe what
Orwellian means? (looks at seating chart.) Craig? Craig?
Jennifer: Im not Craig.
Craig: Im Craig. (class laughs.)
ONeill: Yes, thats... very funny, class. Lets see if anyone else can
answer the question. (looks at seating chart.) Jonathan?
Ben: Im Ben.
Jonathan: Im Jonathan. (class laughs.)
ONeill: Well, Im glad you find this amusing, class. Trying to confuse me
Tommy: So what are YOU gonna do about it?
ONeill: Ill have you know... (looks at seating chart, where Tommy is
sitting it says Luisa Rodriguez) ...uh, sir, that that kind of tone can
get you a referral.
Tommy: Ooh, Im so SCARED! Big bad teacher is gonna send me to the
principal! (class laughs.)
ONeill: Ahem. Moving on, Orwellian defines the style of George Orwell, who
wrote stories about the dangers of a totalitarianist government. He wrote
Animal Farm and Brave New World.
Shelly: Orwell didnt write Brave New World!
Jesse: Yeah, get your facts straight, dude! (class laughs.)
ONeill: (to himself) Strange. I didnt make mistakes like that before.
Scene 3: The principals office, at Milton Junior High. Principal Weinrib
is a twitchy, nervous fellow with a balding head and thick glasses. Hes
sitting across from Jane and her mother, Amanda, who is seen only from the
Weinrib: Mrs. Lane, Im terribly sorry to have called you in here on such
short notice, but it seems that your daughter, Jane, was involved in an
incident at school today that may have injured one of our faculty. She
appears to have hit Ms. Eisler in the eye with a projectile of some sort.
Amanda: Jane, is this true?
Jane: I was fighting back, Mom.
Weinrib: Whatever it is you were doing, Jane, I cant guarantee you that
Ms. Eisler wont try to take legal action. Mrs. Lane, we are not unaware
that your daughter has been experiencing certain... problems here at
Milton. Problems fitting in. We feel that it reflects a low level of self
esteem, and it is for that reason that we suggest that she take a course
that were offering here at Milton for girls like her.
Amanda: Youre saying you want my daughter to take a self-esteem course.
Weinrib: Yes, we feel that it will be beneficial to her. She might be able
to fit in better.
Amanda: Oh, bull-shit, Mr. Weinrib. Look, you think Im not aware that my
daughter is different from the other girls? That she cant relate to them?
Do you think thats based on low self-esteem?
Weinrib: Well, I--
Amanda: Girls her age are mean. They talk about nothing but makeup and boys
and shun girls who dont talk about makeup and boys. Do you think that my
daughter has low self esteem just because she doesnt talk about makeup and
Weinrib: I feel that the other girls isolate her because of the way she
Amanda: And you feel that a self-esteem course is going to change that.
Amanda: Look, I dont know what it is my daughter did, and I cant say I
defend her. But my daughter is who she is, and a self-esteem course is not
going to change who she is.
Weinrib: Very well. I see your point. I too can relate to being a misfit at
her age. But let me just say that youre lucky the course is voluntary
here. When she goes to Lawndale High, which is closest to her house so
thats where Im assuming youll enroll her, if she doesnt pass the
psychological exam shell have to take the course whether she likes it or not.
Amanda: Well, well just worry about that when the time comes. Lets go
Jane. (Amanda and Jane leave.)
Jane: Thanks for defending me in there, Mom.
Amanda: Any time, honey. Now, is there a snack machine around here? I got
the munchies, big time.
Scene 4: In Mr. DiMartinos class.
DiMartino: Well, class, I have your TEST scores here, and it saddens me to
see such DISMAL performances from all of you. What are you kids, on DOPE?
Lets see here... (picks a paper) Lisa Fredericks. You wrote that the Civil
War was fought over Civil Shepard. And you, Victor, where did you learn to
SPELL? You spelled Germany as J-U-R-M-O-N-Y. (class really cracks up over
that.) Have you been studying at all?
(Mr. DiMartino spots Trent.)
DiMartino: Well well, it seems Mr. NO-SHOW actually decided to show. And
Trent: (grinning) Hows it going, Mr. DiMartino.
DiMartino: Nice to see you, Trent. OK, class, lets get started. Open your
textbooks to page 232--
(a pizza man walks in.)
Pizza man: I have a delivery here for a Mr. Trent Lane...
Trent: Right here, dude. (takes pizza and pays the pizza man.)
DiMartino: Trent, what are you doing?
Trent: I ordered a pizza, Mr. DiMartino.
Trent: Cause Im hungry.
DiMartino: (sighs) Trent, whose time is it right now?
DiMartino: Whose time is it right now?
Trent: Uh, yours?
DiMartino: Oh, but that wouldnt be fair to the students, now would it?
Wouldnt it be more appropriate to say that its OUR time?
Trent: I guess...
DiMartino: And being that its OUR time, wouldnt that make this OUR pizza?
Come on, class, everyone grab a slice of OUR pizza!
(Everyone, including the teacher, grabs a slice of the pizza, which leaves
Trent with nothing.)
Trent: Aw, man!
Scene 5: At the Lane residence. Jane and Penny are watching TV. Penny has
long wavy black hair and wears a lot of makeup. She sort of looks Latino.
TV: (voice of Kurt Loder) On the anniversary of the death of Nirvana
frontman Kurt Cobain, we have an exclusive interview with his widow,
Courtney Love.... Ms. Love, please calm down... Ms. Love... Ms. Love, could
you please stop throwing feces at the camera? (Jane changes channel)
TV: (voice of that annoying NBC announcer) Tonight its an episode of
Friends, followed by another episode of Friends, followed by
followed by Chums, followed by that new comedy about pals who hang out at
a coffee shop!
Jane: They truly dont know when to quit. (turns off TV)
Penny: So hows school, Jane?
Jane: Well, today the principal suggested putting me in a self-esteem class
because Im not popular. Then my mom went into this speech about how I
dont need to be popular and I dont need a self-esteem class. The funny
thing is, though, I kind of wonder what its like to be popular. To not
have to sit alone all the time. To have something to do with other people
Saturday nights. Kind of like you were in high school.
Penny: You dont want to be like me, Jane. I hung out with the type of
people who always landed me in jail.
Jane: Still do.
Penny: Hey, Miguel, Lalo and Consuela told me they were going straight.
They gave me their word.
Jane: Whatever. So hows the job hunt going?
Penny: Usually it ends after the interviewer asks me if my name is a joke.
Which is kind of funny since Im not even a Beatles fan.
Jane: At least your name doesnt rhyme.
Penny: Where do our parents come up with these names for us?
Jane: Yeah, really. You know, Penny, have you ever considered trying to
find work in Mexico? I mean, you speak Spanish really well and can relate
to Mexicans better than anyone else. Maybe Mexico is your calling.
Penny: Hey, I think youre on to something, Jane.
Jane: I was kidding, Penny. Mexico is a third world country. Youll be
Penny: No, seriously. Maybe I am better off in Mexico. If anything, my name
wont haunt me as much there since the Beatles arent as popular.
(sound of a car playing Ranchero music in the background.)
Voice: Hey Penny! Get your punk ass out here!
Penny: Theres my ride. See ya. (runs off.)
Meanwhile, Trent and Jesse are hanging out in Trents room. Trent is on the
Trent: Hey Shelly.... Hey, I was wondering, maybe if youre not doing
anything this weekend, we could go to McGrundys or a movie... Oh, I see.
Well, some other time then. See ya. (hangs up.) Dammit.
Jesse: Whats up?
Trent: Shelly and I have been seeing each other less and less lately. Shes
always hanging out at that new cafe.
Jesse: And she never invites you there?
Trent: She keeps saying I wouldnt like it there.
Jesse: Maybe you should go there some time and check it out. Ill come with
you if you like.
Trent: Sounds like a plan.
Scene 6: At Janes school a couple of days later. As Jane approaches the
school, the guy in the hot convertible with the leather jacket and the long
hair drives by and Jane watches him. This time Brittany notices her.
Brittanys hair is cut shorter than usual, and she wears a blue striped
halter top and jean shorts.
Scene 7: In Janes algebra class. Jane is doing her work while Ms. Eisler
walks around. Ms. Eisler scowls at Jane every time she passes her, and Jane
notices a huge white wad taped to her eye.
Brittany: Jane, could you help me with this problem?
Jane: What is it, Brittany?
Brittany: What comes before A?
Jane: What do you mean?
Brittany: Well, see here, where it says A minus B? Whats A minus B? Is
that one of those numbers that I hear they only teach you in the 11th grade?
Jane: No, Brittany. A and B are variables. It means they could mean any
Brittany: I dont get it.
Jane: Lets say A is 5 and B is 3. A minus B is 2. But if A is 5 and B is
1, A minus B is 4. Do you understand?
Brittany: I get it! But... What if A is 5 and B is, like, one thousand
seventy-five katrillion or something? I dont even think numbers go that high!
Jane: Oh brother.
Scene 8: In the cafeteria. Jane carries her lunch tray to a table at the
corner where the only other occupant is Andrea.
Jane: Mind if I sit here?
(Andrea shrugs. Jane sits down and begins to eat. A group of popular girls
gather around her.)
Girl: (giggling) Hey, Jane? My friends and I have a bet.
Jane: (annoyed) What?
Girl: Are you a lesbian?
Andrea: Yes she is. She made a pass at me.
Girls: (chanting) Ha ha! Lesbo! Lesbo! (run off.)
Jane: What the fuck did you do that for?
(Andrea shrugs. A moment later Brittany comes and sits down at Jane and
Andreas table, looking around to see that no one is watching.)
Brittany: Hey, Jane.
Jane: Wow, Brittany. Thats pretty daring of you, sitting across from a
girl whos just been outed.
Brittany: Whatever. Look, thank you for helping me in algebra. Maybe
theres some way I can help you.
Jane: Oh, I dont know if you have the mental capacity for that.
Brittany: I can introduce you to that guy in the leather jacket youre
always looking at.
Jane: I dont know what youre talking about.
Brittany: He eats at that diner where I waitress. Meet me there after school.
Meanwhile, at another table sit Kevin, Mack and Upchuck. Upchuck and Kevin
are dressed in similar clothing and are actually built the same way.
(Kevins not much to look at without those shoulder pads, is he?) Mack is
Kevin: There she is, guys. The girl of my dreams. Chuck, you got that poem
Upchuck: Here you go. (hands Kevin paper.)
Kevin: Im planning on reading this to Brittany. Tell me what you think,
Mack: Dont call me that! Let me see. (looks at poem.) Kevin, please tell
me these words here are typos for curt and pushy. Look, why
just go up there and introduce yourself to her? Whats the worst thing that
Kevin: Youre right, Mack Daddy. Ill go talk to her right now. (gets up
Mack: I really wish he wouldnt call me that.
Kevin approaches Brittany.
Kevin: (broken voiced) Hey Brittany.
Brittany: Excuse me? Do I know you?
Kevin: (broken voiced) Im Kevin. I was just wondering if you wanted to go
Brittany: Ugh! Get away from me, geek!
Kevin: (broken voiced) OK.
Brittany: Shoot me if Im ever desperate enough to go out with something
Scene 9: In Mrs. Barchs science class.
Barch: Class, you will each have to do a project for your final, which is
on June 5. I will be grading based on effort, creativity and how
informative it is.
Bobby Sherman: (to himself) Perfect! I know just the thing.
Barch: By the way, I will not be here tomorrow so you will have a substitute.
Student: How come?
Barch: My husband and I have an appointment with our marriage counselor.
She says were making excellent progress!
Scene 10: In Mr. ONeills class.
ONeill: OK, class, time for your test on Wuthering Heights. I trust you
have all read chapters 1 through 3?
Student: I didnt.
Another student: Me neither.
(class murmurs agreement.)
ONeill: Did... anyone read?
Class: Nope. Uh-uh.
ONeill: This is awful! At this rate theres no way well meet the district
Scene 11: At a diner. Jane is dressed in Brittanys waitress outfit.
Jane: I cant do this, I cant do this, I cant do this...
Brittany: Come on, Jane, its easy. Just go up there, introduce yourself,
and when you give him the check, slip your phone number under it! Now go!
(pushes Jane through the double doors. Jane approaches Leather Jacket Guy
Jane: Uh, hi. Im Jane.
Guy: Hey there, Jane. Why does your name tag say Brittany?
Jane: Oh, uh, its my first day. Im just borrowing this one until I get my
Guy: I see. Well, Im Telly. Nice to meet you Jane.
Jane: Oh, uh, likewise. Um, heres your check.
Telly: Thanks. Say, Jane, are you busy Friday night? Cause Im throwing a
big party over at my place. Wanna come?
Jane: Sure, thatll be great.
Telly: All right then.
Jane goes back to Brittany behind the double doors.
Jane: He invited me to a party Friday night!
Brittany: Thats great! Can I come with you?
Jane: I dont think hed mind.
Brittany: All right! I love high school parties!
Jane: Youve been to one?
Brittany: Oh yeah, I go to them all the time! By the way, that reminds me,
how far have you gone with a guy?
Jane: Well, I made out in a movie theater once...
Brittany: Thats it?
Jane: Yeah, I guess. Why?
Brittany: Oh, Jane, you really should go all the way.
Jane: Youve gone all the way?
Brittany: Oh yeah, I mean come on, its just sex.
Jane: And people dont think youre a slut or anything?
Brittany: Whats a slut? Ive always wondered, because people always seem
to call me that. What exactly is a slut, Jane?
Jane: Is that like a rhetorical question or do you really not know?
Brittany: Whats rhetorical mean?
Scene 12: In the faculty lounge at Lawndale High. Mr. ONeill sits sullenly
at a table. Mr. DiMartino sits down across from him.
DiMartino: How do you do, Tim?
ONeill: Oh, hello Anthony.
DiMartino: Hows your first semester at Lawndale going?
ONeill: Not too well. Im thinking of quitting.
ONeill: I just cant seem to get through to the students. I dont think
Im cut out for teaching high school.
DiMartino: Well, Tim, Im gonna let you in on a little secret. See, Ive
been teaching here for almost 20 years, and when I started out, the
students treated me the same way they do you.
ONeill: Really? You dont seem like the kind of guy who takes that kind of
DiMartino: Back then I wasnt. I let them taunt me, torture me, I watched
as they wasted their semesters because they were too rowdy to be taught.
But then one day, I figured out the one thing you have to instill in them
in order to get them under control. Fear.
DiMartino: Fear. You cant expect them to listen to you until you let them
know youre the boss. Like, you know that movie about the teacher who gets
a class of tough gang kids to want to learn?
ONeill: To Sir With Love?
ONeill: Stand and Deliver?
ONeill: Dangerous Minds?
DiMartino: No, no, no, that one with Tom Berenger.
ONeill: The Substitute?
DiMartino: Yeah, thats the one. I take as my inspiration the guy from that
ONeill: Thats a disturbing thought.
DiMartino: Maybe so, but it helps. Trust me.
ONeill: OK... Got any place I can start?
DiMartino: Come with me.
ONeill and DiMartino stand in a grassy field with a tree stump. Mr.
DiMartino has an air rifle.
DiMartino: When a student is getting on my nerves, I like to come here.
(digs through his briefcase and takes out several enlarged student photos.)
Lets see here... Ah, OK. Heres one of my favorites. (takes out a photo of
Trent.) Trent Lane. Do you know him?
ONeill: I think hes in my sixth period class. Usually he sleeps through it.
DiMartino: Thats him all right. Rarely shows up, but when he does, hes
always late, and he always decides to eat in class or doze off. One of
those passive-aggressive types. (goes to the tree stump and pins Trents
picture on, then goes back to Mr. ONeill, takes his rifle and aims it at
DiMartino: See, the only way (BLAM!) that I keep (BLAM!) from going psycho
at someone like him (BLAM!) is by taking out my aggression here. (BLAM!)
Wanna try it?
ONeill: Oh, I dont know if I can...
DiMartino: Come on, Tim. Surely there must be some student who really gets
on your nerves.
ONeill: Uh, hmm... Got a picture of that guy whos the quarterback? Always
runs into the goalposts during games?
DiMartino: Tommy Sherman? Sure, here you go. (pins picture of Tommy to the
tree stump, comes back and gives rifle to Mr. ONeill.) Take your best shot.
ONeill: (aiming) So, Tommy Sherman. Mr. Hotshot Quarterback. (BLAM!)
Always making sarcastic comments about everything I say and do. (BLAM!)
Always mocking me. (BLAM!) Think youre so tough, huh? (BLAM!) Well, I
dont think youre so tough. (BLAM!) I think youre just full of hot air.
(BLAM!) In fact, I hope that stupid goalpost falls on you one day. (BLAM!)
Crushes your skull. (BLAM!) Breaks every bone in your sorry arrogant body.
(BLAM!) You think thats funny? (BLAM!) Do ya? (BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!)
DiMartino: Whoa, I think thats enough, Tim.
(DiMartino and ONeill look at the picture, all the shots hit dead center
and theres barely anything left of Tommys head.)
DiMartino: Not bad. Youre on your way.
Scene 13: Friday night. At the Lane residence.
Jane: Trent, Im going to Tellys party with Brittany.
Trent: OK, have a good time. (Jane leaves.)
Jesse: You ready, Trent?
Trent: Lets go.
Trent and Jesse walk down a street. They pass a newsstand. They recognize
the clerk there.
Jesse: Dude, that was Curtis Stalato! He has a few classes with us!
Trent: Hes working at a newsstand? Whoa, thats one thing you wont see me
(they reach a cafe.)
Trent: Lets see what Shellys up to.
Trent and Jesse enter the cafe. Shelly is up on the stage singing a
rage-rock song with an all-girl band.
Trent: I didnt know Shelly was in a band.
Jesse: There sure are a lot of chicks here...
Trent: Hey, shes pretty good.
(Trent and Jesse go near the front of the stage and watch Shelly sing. What
they dont notice is the morose-looking girl dancing in front of them. When
the song ends, Shelly makes a come-hither motion with her finger, and the
girl gets up on the stage and makes out with Shelly. Trent and Jesse look
around the room and notice that a bunch of other girl couples are making out.)
Jesse: This is so cool! (Trent glares at him.) Uh, except for Shelly and
that girl up there. I feel really bad for you, man.
Shelly: (spotting him) Trent!
Scene 14: At Tellys party. Beastie Boys music blares out of the stereo as
couples everywhere socialize. Brittany is talking to a whole group of guys
in the corner. Jane and Telly, meanwhile, talk in the corridor. They have
to raise their voices to be heard over the music.
Jane: So what school do you go to?
Telly: Lawndale. Im a junior.
Jane: Lawndale? Oh yeah, my brother Trent goes there.
Jane: You know, tall scraggly-haired guy, tattoos on his arms, plays in a
Telly: Doesnt ring a bell.
(the door behind them opens and a guy and girl walk out of it.)
Telly: Hey, its vacant. Wanna go in?
(Jane looks at Brittany who gives her a thumbs-up.)
Jane: Lets go.
Scene 15: Trent and Shelly sit outside the cafe.
Trent: So, youre a lesbian. When were you planning on telling me?
Shelly: I didnt know until just recently. And anyway, Im bi, Trent. Dont
act so surprised. Remember when I told you my parents thought I was screwed
Trent: Yeah, but I thought you meant, yknow, sex-drugs-rock n roll kind
of screwed up. Not this. Was this brought on by me?
Shelly: No, Trent. I had to use the bathroom while passing through this
area, and while waiting in line here, Tracy and I met and just... hit it
off. Next thing I knew, I was spending most of my time here. Im sorry, Trent.
Trent: Well, at least its better that I found out for myself rather than
through the grapevine.
Shelly: Through the grapevine?
Trent: Sorry. Sometimes I quote Creedence at awkward moments.
Shelly: So youre OK with this?
Trent: No. But its not like this is something I can change.
Shelly: I can really use a ride home. Can you give me a ride home?
Trent: Sure, why not?
Scene 16: Jane and Telly are in Tellys parents bedroom, making out. Telly
has his shirt off and his pants are unbuckled, Jane is stripped down to a
bra and panties.
Jane: (pulling back) Um, you know, Telly, I dont think I can do this. Im
Telly: Oh, come on. I just want to make you happy.
Jane: Well... do you have protection?
Telly: (digging in his pockets) Uh, you know what? Im all out. But dont
worry, Im clean.
Jane: How can I be sure of that?
Telly: What, you dont trust me?
Jane: Well still, isnt there a risk of getting me pregnant?
Telly: Ill take it out before I cum.
Jane: I dont think so.
Telly: Come on!
Telly: Come on!
The door flies open and everyones eyes focus on Jane as she storms out of
the room and leaves the party fully clothed.
Telly: I hope youre comfortable walking home! Its awfully late out!
Guy: (to Telly) Hey man, how was she? (Telly punches him in the face.)
Trent, while driving with Shelly and Jesse in the car, spots Jane walking
all alone. He stops the car.
Trent: Hey Jane, what happened?
A little while later, Jane is in the car with Jesse and Shelly.
Jane: Trent, you dont have to do this.
Trent: Yeah I do. Nobody messes with my little sister.
Trent stops the car in front of Tellys house, kicks Tellys door open. The
partygoers step back as Trent stands in the doorway.
Trent: Wheres Telly?
Telly: That would be me. Who are you?
Trent: Your worst nightmare.
(Trent runs toward Telly, pounces on top of him and proceeds to pound his
Jane: Wow, Ive never seen Trent like this.
Shelly: I think hes extra mad because we broke up today.
Jane: You broke up? Why?
Shelly: He found out I was a lesbian.
(Jane looks at Telly and makes the sign of the cross.)
Scene 17: In Mr. ONeills class a few days later. The class is being
rowdy, talking and throwing paper airplanes.
(no response from them.)
ONeill: Class? (takes out megaphone) CLASS!!
(class shuts up.)
ONeill: Class, I know Ive been a bit lenient with you in the past, but
all that is going to stop right now. For the next half hour, I want you all
to read the chapters in Wuthering Heights you were supposed to have read
last week. I dont care if you have to use Cliff Notes, just sit quietly
and read. I dont want to hear a word from any of you.
Tommy: And if we dont? What are you gonna do about it?
ONeill: What am I gonna do about it? Ill tell you what Im gonna do about
it. You ever had to do weekend detention? I can assign you that. In fact,
anyone who says a word for the next half hour gets five weekends of
detention. In the library. With the air conditioning off. Having to sort
books all day long. Both Saturday and Sunday. I know the librarian. Dont
think I cant make it a reality for you.
Tommy: Man, I dont have to take this shit. I can decide not to show. Then
ONeill: Well, I dont know, Tommy, I guess that will require you to not
show up at school, which means missing practice, which is at school at the
same time. I dont think the coach will be too happy about that, now will he?
Tommy: (standing up) Bullshit. I dont have to take this. None of you have
to take this. Come on, whos with me? (silence.) Whos with me? (silence.
Tommy sits down.)
(Mr. ONeill smiles. He looks over his shoulder, Mr. DiMartino is standing
in the doorway and gives him a thumbs-up.)
Scene 18: Jane carries her lunch tray through the cafeteria. She passes
Brittany, who is sitting with 3 girls at a table.
Brittany: Hey Jane.
Jane: Hey Brittany. Well, I guess you all heard about what happened at the
Girl 1: Yeah, its really cool the way your brother came to your rescue.
Girl 2: I wish my brother could do that for me.
Girl 3: Or any guy for that matter.
Brittany: Come sit with us.
Jane: Uh, thanks. (sits down.)
Brittany: This is Cindy, Naomi and Claudia. Girls, this is Jane.
Jane: Nice to meet you. So, what are you all talking about?
Cindy: We were talking about how cute Brad Pitts butt was. Doesnt he have
a cute butt?
Jane: You know, I really dont get this whole Brad Pitt thing. I mean yeah,
hes handsome and all, but come on! (the other girls glare at Jane.) But he
does have a cute butt, doesnt he?
Naomi: Damn right.
(Jane sits there bored and watches the girls chatter about boys and makeup.)