Fast Times At Lawndale High
By Danny Bronstein
Scene 1: June 4, 1995. Trent is walking in the hallway after school. As he
turns a corner he runs into Shelly.
Shelly: Hey, Trent.
Trent: Uh, hi.
Shelly: Listen, Trent, I notice we havent really talked much since... you
know, our breakup, and I ve been meaning to ask you how youre holding up.
Trent: Uh, fine.
Shelly: You sure? Youve been kind of spacey and distant lately. More so
Trent: Im fine, Shelly.
Shelly: Well, good. Just wanted to make sure were still cool.
Trent: Sure. Were cool. Uh, I gotta go. See ya.
(Trent walks past her. Shelly looks on in concern. Jesse walks by and sees
Scene 2: Jane is sitting in the grass with her new friends, Brittany,
Cindy, Naomi and Claudia.
Claudia: So then, like, he drives up in his car, and its the ugliest Chevy
Ive ever seen! Like, it doesnt even have a CD player in it! So then,
like, we go to Chez Pierre, and dont make me start going into how awful
that was! Like, he starts talking about this trip to Hawaii he took last
spring... Can you believe his family flew coach??? Oh my God, Id just die
if I had to fly coach!
Cindy: Arent you dating his older brother now?
Claudia: Yeah! And can you believe hes still mad at me because of that?
Naomi: Men are so immature.
Brittany: Hey everyone, did you know the Lawndale High cheerleading tryouts
are next month?
Naomi: Youre gonna try out?
Brittany: Yeah! Wanna see the cheer I came up with?
Claudia: Go ahead!
Brittany: (cheering) Go Lawndale Lions, were Number One! Gimme an L! Gimme
an O! Gimme an N! Gimme a D! Gimme an A! Gimme an I! Gimme an L! What does
it spell? Lawndale! Yay!!! (jumps up and down) Whaddaya think?
Cindy: I love it!
Naomi: Way to go!
Jane: Well... it would help if you knew how to spell Lawndale, but other
than that, not bad.
Brittany: Say, Jane, youve been awful quiet.
Cindy: Yeah, Jane, you should talk more.
Jane: I dont feel like talking. Whats there to talk about?
Naomi: You know what you need, Jane? A makeover.
Claudia: Yeah, when are you gonna let us give you a makeover, Jane?
Jane: Uhh... let me think about that a little more.
Brittany: (looks at watch) Hey! its almost 3:30! All the cute food court
guys at the mall are gonna get off work! Come on!
(The girls get up and walk off, all except Jane, who goes the other way.)
Brittany: Coming, Jane?
Jane: Uh, no. I have to go home and jog. Im training for the Lawndale
Brittany: You sure? Lotta cute guys at the mall.
Jane: Thanks, but Ill pass.
Brittany: OK. See you later then. (Brittany and the girls walk off.)
Jane: Later. (rolls eyes and walks off.)
Scene 3: At the Lane residence. Trent and Jesse are in the basement.
Trent: Hey Jesse, wanna hear a new song I wrote?
Trent: I call it Icebox Woman. (starts playing guitar)
Youre an angel in black, you sure have a knack, for putting my heart on
the shelf in the back, Im still waiting my turn oh, when will I learn, my
poor heart, youre giving it freezer burn! Yeah! (stops playing) And thats
all I wrote so far. What do you think?
Jesse: Man, this breakup is really getting to you, isnt it?
Trent: Huh? I dont know what youre talking about.
Jesse: Oh, come on, Trent. That song has Shelly written all over it. Ever
since the two of you broke up, youve been like this.
Trent: Like what?
Jesse: I dont know, depressed, edgy.
Trent: I am not.
Jesse: The day you broke up you went out and beat a guy up.
Trent: Youd have done the same thing for your sister.
Jesse: Still, Id never seen you like that before.
Jane: (from upstairs) Trent! Shellys calling!
Trent: Tell her Im not home!
Jesse: You should talk to Shelly.
Trent: Man, who the hell are you to tell me what to do? Have you ever been
dumped by a girl for another girl?
Jesse: No, but I am your best friend and I do know post-breakup depression
when I see it.
(Trent looks down sullenly.)
Jesse: Good song, though.
Meanwhile, Jane goes into Pennys room. Everything is in boxes. Penny is
putting CDs into a box.
Jane: Whatcha doin?
Penny: Packing up my Selena albums.
Jane: Wow, youre really gonna do it, arent you? Youre really going to
Penny: Yep. Theres nothing left for me here. I have nowhere to go but
south. Whats new with you?
Jane: Oh, not much. Penny?
Jane: If you hang out with these people whom you dont like and have
absolutely nothing in common with, do they count as your friends?
Penny: I dont know. Why would you want to hang out with people you dont
Jane: Well, because I have no one else to hang out with and these people
tolerate me hanging out with them.
Penny: Do they like you?
Jane: I dont know. They keep asking me to let them give me a makeover.
Penny: Sounds like they dont respect the way you look. What caused them to
let you hang out with them?
Jane: After Trent beat up this one guy for me at a party two months ago,
they all thought it was cool.
Penny: And thats it?
Jane: Thats it.
Penny: Doesnt sound like much.
Jane: So what do you think?
Penny: Let me get this straight. They dont like the way you look and
dress, they have nothing in common with you, but they let you hang out with
them because they like your brother.
Jane: Well if you put it that way, yeah, they dont seem like my friends.
But I dont have any other friends besides them.
Penny: Why not?
Jane: I cant find any people with the same interests as me. You had your
group in high school, and Trent had his, but I just dont fit in anywhere.
Penny: I dont think fitting in is that important, Jane. In my opinion
all you need is one good friend.
Jane: Yeah, well Im still waiting for that one good friend.
Scene 4: Mrs. Barchs science class, on June 5, the day of the science
projects. Students are talking amongst themselves.
Student 1: Hey, did you hear what happened to Mrs. Barch?
Student 2: No, what?
Student 3: Her husband left her!
Student 4: No way!
(Mrs. Barch enters.)
Barch: Good morning, ladies and scum. Its time to present your science
projects. Would anyone like to go first?
(Bobby Sherman raises his hand.)
Barch: Lets see... Jessica?
(Bobby puts down hand in dismay.)
Later on, after the girl finishes...
Barch: Thank you, Jessica. You get an A. Next?
(Bobby raises his hand.)
Thank you, Nora. That was great. Next?
(Bobby raises his hand.)
Much, much later...
Barch: Thank you, Samantha. OK, now that were done with all the good ones,
would any of the men like to give it a shot?
(Bobby raises his hand.)
Barch: (rolls eyes) Oh, fine. Bobby, come up and do your project.
(Bobby comes up with a display.)
Bobby: Over the last few months, I have been doing research on an herb in
the Amazon rainforests that may hold the cure for cancer. What I have for
you all is an actual specimen of this herb and a display showing what it does.
Barch: Wow, Bobby. Thats very impressive. Did you get your sister to help
Bobby: I dont have a sister.
Barch: Well then no doubt your mommy helped you with it.
Bobby: No! I did the whole thing myself.
Barch: Oh, right. You, a male, did all this research and managed to obtain
a life-saving herb all by yourself? You make me sick, Bobby. You fail. Go
Bobby: What? You didnt even give me a chance! Wait, I know what this is.
Youre upset because your husband left you.
Barch: That has nothing to do with it!
Bobby: Oh, come on. You let all the girls go first, then dont even give me
a minute! I think you have this thing against men now.
All the guys: Yeah!
Barch: Thats it! One more outburst out of you and all the men get
detention! Now go sit down! You make me sick!
Bobby: No, you make me sick, Mrs. Barch. (picks up project and sits down.)
Barch: Would anyone else like to go?
(nobody raises their hand.)
Scene 5: Mrs. Barch sits in the teachers lounge angrily smoking a
cigarette. Mr. ONeill approaches her.
Barch: What the hell do you want?
ONeill: Well, I know youre upset about your husband, and I just want you
to know that if you ever need anyone to talk to...
Barch: Why would I want to talk to a man about it? Wait, I know what this
is! You think that since Im newly single, you have the opportunity to hop
into the sack with me! Thats it, isnt it?
ONeill: Well no, thats not it at...
Barch: Well, let me tell you something, buster. Youre never gonna get the
chance to sleep with me! Never! Not even in your wildest dreams! (storms off)
Scene 6: Trent arrives at Shellys place. She lives in a house somewhere
off in the sticks. Trent walks across the front yard, which has tall
unmowed grass and a barking black dog chained to a post, and knocks on the
screen door. Shellys dad, Earl, a tall man with a goatee and a red cap
that says REDS BAIT SHOP and a beer, opens the door.
Trent: Uh, hi, Mr. Van Horn? My names Trent, I was wondering if Shelly was
Earl: Shelly? Oh yeah, shes out yonder in the back choppin wood.
Trent: Oh, OK. Can I go talk to her?
Earl: Go right on ahead.
Trent walks behind the house to Shelly, who is indeed chopping wood with an
axe. Shes wearing blue jeans and a flannel shirt with the sleeves cut off.
Trent: Hey, Shelly.
Shelly: Trent! Wow, hey, hows it going? Welcome to Casa De Van Horn.
Trent: Nice. Whys it so hot, though?
Shelly: Oh, well, summers coming up, and that means well be getting a lot
of forest fires, since the sunlight reflected off the glass buildings at
Halicon Hills Corporate Park seems to hit right around here. Yep, the
volunteer fire department is just about on the edge now.
Trent: That sucks.
Shelly: Well, you learn to live with it. So whats up?
Trent: Shelly, Ive been meaning to talk to you. Remember when you asked me
how I was holding up after our breakup and I said I was fine?
Trent: Well... Im not fine, Shelly. In fact everyone says Ive been acting
really weird and I think theyre right.
Shelly: You wanna talk about whats bothering you?
Trent: Just the fact that one minute youre my girlfriend, the next minute,
boom! youre a lesbian. Its like something out of Sick Sad World or
Shelly: Trent, we went over this before. Its not your fault.
Trent: And thats the other thing, Shelly. I keep thinking that this is my
fault. Its almost like it all began after we had sex. I mean I know it was
my first time and it wasnt yours, and I was just this hideous
Shelly: (laughing) Trent, I cant believe Im hearing this! You actually
think that just because you werent any good that Id up and change my
sexuality? Thats ridiculous! Not only that, but youre acting like Im way
more experienced than you! Come on, Trent, its not like I had that many
guys before you! In fact, I feel really weird about you being so hung up on
me. What do you see in me, anyway?
Trent: I dont know what it is, Shelly. I guess I just always liked how you
were always unafraid to speak your mind and tell things like it is, and how
you just seem... different from other girls. Like chopping wood, for
instance. How many girls do that? And I like your sarcastic attitude toward
everything and how you used to always be there for Janey. I know Janey
liked you a lot. You were always giving her advice.
(Shellys sister, Sheila, who is a year younger, has blond hair and is
wearing a green minidress, enters.)
Sheila: Shelly, have you seen my makeup? My dates gonna be here any minute!
Sheila: Oh, God, this sucks! Listen, if you answer the door, DONT tell him
youre my sister! Id simply die!
Shelly: OK, but itll cost ya. (holds out her hand.)
Sheila: Oh, fine. Here. (hands Shelly $20.)
Shelly: Mums the word. By the way, whys your date meeting you here? Wont
this whole backwoodsy environment scare him off?
Sheila: My God, youre right! Maybe I still have time to call him up and
tell him to meet me at the mall! Can you drive me to the mall?
(Shelly holds out her hand. Sheila huffs and gives Shelly another twenty.
Shelly waves her fingers back and forth.)
Sheila: Argh! You are the worst! (Gives Shelly another $20 and storms off.)
Sheila: (offscreen) Mom! Have you seen my makeup?
Shellys mom, Darlene: No, honey. Caint you see Im on the phone? Hey
Earl! Git yer ass off that couch and help Sheila find her makeup!
Earl: But Darlene, bass fishing is on! You know I never miss that!
Darlene: Earl, dont make me have to whomp yer ass!
Shelly: (taking out makeup kit) Sucker.
Trent: See? Thats what I like about you. I dont know too many other girls
who are like you.
Shelly: Dont worry, Trent. Im sure theres a girl for you out there
somewhere. In the meantime, I hope we can still be friends.
(Suddenly 3 thugs enter Shellys backyard.)
Thug: There he is! Thats the guy who beat up our man Telly!
(Shelly turns to the thugs, still holding the axe. The thugs get scared and
Trent: We can now.
Scene 7: Mr. ONeill and Mr. DiMartino stand in the field. ONeill looks on
as DiMartino shoots at a picture of a student.
DiMartino: Wanna take a crack at it, Tim? I got the entire football team
here. Whos it gonna be? Tommy? Warren? Jimmy?
ONeill: I dont think so, Tony. This isnt right.
DiMartino: What do you mean? You do find this THERAPEUTIC, dont you?
ONeill: Well yes, but... I didnt take up teaching to end up doing this.
This is a way of expressing hatred for my students, and I dont think I
really hate any of them. I mean yeah, a number of them get on my nerves,
but I dont feel I hate any of them enough to be doing this.
DiMartino: Give it a few years, Tim.
ONeill: And another thing. What was your reason for taking up this
profession, Tony? I believe that a teacher has to inspire students to want
to learn. I dont see that attitude in you.
DiMartino: Ah, yes. The INSPIRATIONAL TEACHER attitude. I know it all too
well. Back when I started teaching, I had it. But that was BEFORE noticing
that my students have the motivation and learning skills of SLIME MOLDS.
ONeill: Well, I believe that if a student is having problems, you should
make an effort to help him out. Have you ever given a student individual
attention, tutored, anything like that?
DiMartino: Well... no.
ONeill: Every student has the potential to be brilliant if given the
chance. I think its a shame you dont see that, Tony. Ill see you around.
Scene 8: Mary J. Bliges Im Not Gonna Cry plays in the background
Mrs. Barch stuffs all of her ex-husbands clothes and various other
valuables into his BMW, throws gasoline all over it, lights it on fire and
Scene 9: Mr. DiMartinos class, June 10. Bell rings, class files out.
DiMartino: (to Trent as he leaves) Trent, Im going to have to see you
Trent: Uh, yeah, sure thing, Mr. DiMartino.
40 minutes after school ends, Mr. DiMartino sits, waits, looks at his
watch, waits, looks at his watch...
30 minutes after that...
Scene 10: Trent is sleeping when the phone rings. He picks it up.
Trent: (mumbles hello)
Jesse: Trent! You coming to the school graduation party?
Trent: Why would I want to do that?
Jesse: Thats what I said, until I found out which band was playing there!
Trent: Band? Dont these things usually have DJs playing repetitive and
Jesse: Not this one. Turns out they got Bats With Guns to perform.
Trent: Bats With Guns? Haw, man, those guys are legends in this town!
Didnt you use to be in that band?
Jesse: Yeah, until they got a record deal and the executives said I had to
leave due to market research. But that was a long time ago. Im over it.
Trent: Man, I didnt even think Principal Li would allow a band like that
to play at her school!
Jesse: Well, you know Principal Li. Shed let the movie Backdraft be
filmed in the gym if there was publicity involved. So, you comin?
Trent: Shyeah! Ill be there! See ya! (hangs up.)
Jane: (barging in) Trent, you have a visitor.
Trent: Yo, Jane, you ever hear of something called knocking?
(Jane rolls her eyes and steps out. Knocks.)
(Mr. DiMartino enters.)
Trent: Mr. DiMartino? What are you doing here?
DiMartino: Hows it GOING, Trent? Trent, during the course of this
semester, you have been in class SIXTEEN TIMES, and nine of those times,
you have SLEPT through everything. Of the seven hours of class that you
have spent awake, do you know how much of my time you have wasted? (Trent
shrugs.) SEVEN HOURS, Trent. You have turned in no homework and FAILED
every test. How does that make you feel?
Trent: I dunno.
DiMartino: Well I, for one, would be DEVASTATED by that. However, I
occasionally believe in second chances, so heres what were gonna do. Over
the next few hours we are going to go over chapters 1 through 8 in the
textbook, so that you can get at least SOMETHING out of this course.
Trent: Uh, I think I left my book in my locker.
DiMartino: Well, then I guess its a good thing I brought mine. Lets get
Scene 11: Jane is helping Penny pack the last of her things. While
rummaging through her closet, Jane stumbles onto something.
Jane: Hey, whats this? (pulls out a whole bunch of small pictures.)
Penny: Oh, those? Those are some of your drawings that you did back when
you were little.
Jane: I used to draw all the way back then?
Penny: Aw, hell yeah. Its all you ever did. You would just pick out
objects at random and sketch them, or take pictures with your little camera
and paint them on a canvas. You dont remember any of that?
Jane: Well, come to think of it I do draw a lot, in fact it does occupy a
lot of my time at school. But I just do it cause Im bored. These are good
pictures though. I cant believe I dont remember doing any of this stuff.
Penny: You have a real talent, Jane. Maybe with a little work you could be
a professional artist some day.
Jane: I think youre right, Penny. Im going to get to work right now!
Scene 12: 3 hours later.
Trent: So like, America thought, yknow, we cant have Communism spreading
all over Asia, so we gotta get in the middle of it, but the Vietnam War
lasted for years and years and millions of innocent people died and in the
end the whole thing just turned out to be... bogus.
DiMartino: Good ENOUGH, Trent. I think were DONE for today.
Trent: Are you really going to fail me, Mr. DiMartino?
DiMartino: Nah. Ill probably let you slip through with a D minus.
Trent: Thanks a million, Mr. DiMartino.
DiMartino: No problem, Trent.
Trent: Mr. DiMartino?
Trent: Is there a guy like me in all of your classes? A guy you cant stand
who wastes your time?
DiMartino: I guess you can say that. But I think that even with students
like, say, you, its possible to get SOMETHING into their head if both the
teacher and the student make an EFFORT.
Trent: I see.
DiMartino: What are your plans after graduation, Trent?
Trent: Im going to enroll in community college, transfer to the state
university in a couple of years and major in music.
DiMartino: I wish you luck and ACADEMIC SUCCESS, Trent.
Trent: Hasta luego, Mr. DiMartino.
DiMartino, Likewise, Trent.
(Trent and the teacher shake hands. Mr. DiMartino leaves.)
Mr. DiMartino walks to a car thats parked across the street and gets in.
Mr. ONeill is driving and gives him a thumbs-up. After the teachers car
drives off, Trent rushes into his own car and speeds away.
Scene 14: At the graduation party at the Lawndale High gym. Jesse runs into
his old friends, Bats With Guns, as theyre setting up. Theyre all in
their late 20s, with long hair and lots of leather. The lead singer speaks
in a British accent.
Jesse: Well well, if it isnt my favorite sell-outs.
Singer: Jesse? Jesse Moreno? Hey hey, hows my favorite bassist?
Singer: Sorry, mate, second to you I mean. Wow, how longs it been, Jesse,
couple of years?
Jesse: What, since you gave in to the smell of money and left me behind
because I tested badly with a bunch of trendies behind a glass booth? Yeah,
couple of years.
Singer: Hey, Im really sorry about that. You really are a talented
musician. I hope you havent given up.
Jesse: No, a couple of buddies of mine just started a new band. We havent
named it yet.
(Trent joins them.)
Trent: Hey Jesse.
Jesse: Trent! Jeez, man, what took you so long?
Trent: I had to do some... homework.
Jesse: (nudges Trent) All right! I knew she wouldnt stay a lesbian forever!
Trent: No, not that! I had homework! Really!
Singer: Whos this?
Jesse: Oh, uh, this is Trent Lane, the lead singer of our band. Trent, meet
Nigel Posey, lead singer of Bats With Guns.
Trent: (shakes his hand) Oh my God! This is such an honor!
Nigel: Nice to meet you, lad. I see you got a Kurt Cobain thing going
there. Dont blow your brains out, hear?
Trent: (annoyed) Right.
Nigel: Kidding, kidding. Here, have a copy of our first album. Itll be in
stores next month. (gives copies to Trent and Jesse.)
Jesse: Yeah, thanks.
Nigel: Well, me mates and I have to set up now. Nice seeing you again,
Jesse. Give me a ring sometime, well get together, play a few tunes.
Jesse: (insincerely) I will, Nigel.
(Trent and Jesse move away from the stage.)
Trent: Wow! I got to meet the lead singer of Bats With Guns!
Jesse: Yeah, glad youre happy. Youre not the one who got left behind when
the train to fame rolled away.
Trent: Cheer up, man. Youre with my band now. Someday well be more famous
than that band ever was! That is, if we could just find a name for our band.
Jesse: I have a friend whose last name is Hanson. We could use that.
Trent: Nah, sounds like the name of some annoying bubblegum teen band that
appeals to trendy 13-year-old girls.
Jesse: Well yeah, if you think about it.
(Shelly joins them.)
Shelly: Hey, Trent.
Trent: Hey Shelly, how you holdin up?
Shelly: Almost a month without a forest fire. A new record. Man, I just
cant wait to graduate from this shallow hellhole and move out.
Trent: Me too. I swear, if theres one thing Ill never be, its a townie.
Once I enter university, I aint never coming back.
Jesse: You said it.
(Bobby joins them.)
Shelly: Bobby! What are you doing here?
Bobby: Tommy let me come with him. He can be a real nice guy sometimes.
Also he needed a designated driver.
Jesse: I heard about what Mrs. Barch did to you. That really sucks!
Bobby: Oh, not to worry. (secretively) I hacked into the school computer
files and changed my grade.
Trent: Really??? You hacked into--
Shelly: You know, if you can hack into college admissions files, I wonder
if you can enroll yourself in Harvard or something.
Bobby: Hey! Maybe I can get some of the seniors to pay me to hack into
college computers and get them enrolled! You just gave me a wonderful idea!
Trent: Yeah, just dont get caught.
Bobby: Dont worry.
Trent: (sighs) Only a week until we graduate. I just hope to God the
principal doesnt say my full first name when she calls me up.
Jesse: Will you quit worrying about that? Its not that bad!
Bobby: Whats your full first name?
Trent: Shut up!!
Jesse: Lighten up, dude!
Student: (from the stage) And now, Lawndale High is proud to present for
our graduating seniors, Lawndales very own, Bats With Guns!
(the band gets up on stage and starts playing The Ramones I Wanna Be
Shelly: Why is that band playing a cover of a Ramones song?
Jesse: Maybe the principal told them to play something that wouldnt offend
Trent: Wow! I know this song!
Jesse: Why dont you go up there and sing it with them?
Trent: Oh, no, I cant do that.
Jesse: Come on, man, itll be fun! You know you wanna jam with them!
Shelly: Yeah, come on, Trent!
(Jesse, Shelly and Bobby push Trent up onto the stage.)
Trent: Come on, you guys, this isnt funny!
(Trent looks around awkwardly, then comes up to Nigel and joins him in
singing the song. The crowd goes wild.)
Principal Li: Good God! Somebody get that man down from there!
DiMartino: Leave him alone, Angela. Leave him alone.
Scene 15: The Lawndale High School graduation. As Principal Li is giving
her speech, something about going on into the new millennium with special,
almost orgasmic-sounding emphasis on the words Lawndale High, we get a
look at the families sitting in the bleachers. Theres the Van Horns, Earl,
Darlene and Sheila (who stares into space chewing gum). Theres Bobby
Sherman sitting with his parents. And all the way in the back are the
Lanes. From left to right they are: The parents, Amanda and Kent, whose
faces are not clearly seen. Then Summer (who looks like Jane with blond
hair), who is having a hard time keeping her kids, Adrian, Courtney, Winter
and Lois, under control. Then Wind (who looks like a buffer version of
Trent), then Penny, then Jane.
Principal Li: And I am pleased to report that this year, an unprecedented
number of seniors have been admitted to Ivy League universities! (crowd
cheers) My crack team of investigators are looking into it as we speak.
Principal Li: (to herself) I wasnt kidding. (Bobby squirms.) Ahem. And
now, presenting the graduating class of 1995!
(Principal Li goes down the list, by homeroom so its not alphabetical.)
...Shelly Van Horn! (as Shelly goes to get her diploma, her folks hoot and
holler hillbilly style, except for Sheila who looks on in embarrassment.)
...Tommy Sherman! (Tommy gets the loudest cheers, especially from the
Trent: (to himself) Here it comes, please get it right, please get it right...
Principal Li: Trentholomew Lane!
(a disgruntled Trent goes up to get his diploma.)
Student: (as Trent is passing by) Dude, your name is Trentholomew?
Trent: Shut up.
(Trent takes his diploma and shakes the principals hand.)