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"Herself, an Elf"

by John Berry [berry@sugar-river.net]

"Daria" & characters ©1998 MTV... why do disclaimers have to be long?

[No theme song: Fade in on a slow zoom-in of the town of Lawndale. It's an
autumn night, and some thunder claps as spooky music plays. The title, in an
eerie green font zooms into the camera as more thunder cracks. It reads:
"The Daria Christmas Special." The screen is consumed in the title.]

ACT I

[Dissolve to Ext. Lawndale streets. Evening. The music starts to fade away.]

[Pan across to find many small children in miscellaneous costumes, most
commonly is the mask from "Scream" for some reason. We eventually find Daria
and Jane wandering the streets, them too in costume. Daria has a black body
suit with a skeleton painted on it, her face also painted like a skull along
with a bald cap to cover her hair. She still wears her glasses, though. Jane
is in a trashed dress shirt and jeans. Her face has been painted white along
with her hair which is standing on end. Black circles are painted around her
eyes. They both carry Trick-or-Treat sacks.]

DARIA: I still don't believe you talked me into this.

JANE: Hey, it's almost done.

[Pan forward to show one long Chinese dragon with several children's feet
underneath.]

JANE: [O.S.] I promised Summer to baby-sit her kids for tonight. Besides...

[Cut back to Daria and Jane.]

JANE: ...as long as we're chaperones, we get free candy as well!

DARIA: They certainly have a pretty elaborate costume.

JANE: Heh, yeah. Your skeleton one is pretty neat, too.

DARIA: I'm an anorexic, actually. Where did you get your costume?

JANE: Oh, I just dug through Trent's closet. It's amazing what one may find
in there.

DARIA: Like the make-up job.

JANE: It's not make-up. Like I said, I was going through Trent's closet...

DARIA: Okay, okay.


[Dissolve to Int. Morgendorffer living room. Sometime later.]

[Jake sits at the couch reading the paper (natch). Few Halloween decorations
are dotted around, with a bowl of candy set by the door. Quinn enters from
the kitchen with a glass of water.]

JAKE: Gee, October, Friday the 13th... it sure must be spooky out there.

QUINN: Daddy, that's thirty-first. That would be thirteen backwards.

JAKE: Wouldn't thirteen backwards be more like "neetrit" or something?

QUINN: [Ponders this] Hmm... [doorbell rings] I'll get it! Those kids are
just so adorable.

[Quinn runs to the door taking the candy bowl and putting her glass in its
place. She opens the door to reveal Daria still in costume.]

DARIA: [Deadpan] Twick or tweat.

QUINN: Har har, Daria.

[Daria enters and closes the door behind her.]

QUINN: God, Daria, I truly can't understand you! That whole trick-or-
treating thing is soooo childish! Why did you even bother going
through it? It's like-

[Quinn suddenly stops as Daria quickly pulls a pack of gum from her bag and
holds it over her head. Pause as Quinn just stares at the gum with
glittering eyes.]

DARIA: [Waving the gum with a hypnotic tone] Yes, Quinn... gum! Every
popular person chews gum... Name a popular person at school that
doesn't chew gum... You can't, can you?... Delicious, addictive gum.

[Daria moves the gum forward a bit, Quinn's eyes following. Daria then
swings the gum quickly to the wall behind her. Quinn is right behind it,
slamming her face into the wall. This knocks her out of her trance as she
backs up and holds her nose.]

QUINN: Oww!

HELEN: [O.S., presumably from the kitchen] Daria, are you messing around
with your sister's head again?

DARIA: [Sighs and rolls her eyes] Yes, Mom.

HELEN: [O.S.] I've asked you not to do that several times! Now apologize!

DARIA: [Monotone, tossing her bald cap to Quinn] Hey no hard feelings have a
bald cap. [Walks upstairs]

[Quinn looks at the cap a bit, then hooks her thumb under it and pulls it
back with her other hand like how one would shoot a rubber band, aiming it
upstairs.]


[Int. upstairs Morgendorffer hall.]
[Daria heads towards her room, not flinching as the cap slaps against the
wall behind her.]


[Ext. Morgendorffer house. Dissolve from night to day.]


[Int. Morgendorffer kitchen. That morning.]

[The usual setting; Helen and Quinn having breakfast while Jake reads the
paper. Daria staggers in holding her stomach, her head bowed so it remains
unseen.]

DARIA: Ugh. That's the last time I let my immaturity out.

QUINN: [Not even looking] You ate all the candy in one sitting last night,
didn't you?

DARIA: Uh-huh. I think I'm just gonna go to the pharmacy for some pink
stuff.

[View behind Daria as she raises her head. Jake lowers his paper for a
second.]

JAKE: Oh, good morning, Da- <snort> [holds in snickering as he goes back to
his paper]

DARIA: Um... what?

HELEN: Boy... <snick> you really do look sick this morning.

DARIA: Yyyess?

[Quinn takes a mirror from her bag and hands it to Helen. She gets up and
holds the mirror in front of Daria showing that she hasn't yet taken off the
skull make-up.]

DARIA: Oh... okay then... Of all the times for Dad to notice something...
[exits] Oh, God...

[The rest of the family continues to snicker amongst themselves.]

HELEN: Oh, she's really gonna hate us for that.

JAKE: Yeah... but she already hates us.

QUINN: Right; might as well enjoy it.

JAKE: Hehehehe.


[Ext. Cranberry Commons parking lot. Sometime later.]

[Daria and Jane walk towards a store. Daria's face is back to normal. Due to
the season Jane has her jacket sleeves unrolled; she's otherwise unchanged.]

JANE: Ah, they wouldn't shut up about that, would they?

DARIA: You don't seem to be making an effort on dropping the subject either.
Of all things that I thought were torture through my childhood, this
is probably going to be the one that gets stuck in my head forever.

JANE: And your parents' as well.

DARIA: Shut up.

JANE: Sure, Mr. Skullhead.

DARIA: SHUT UP!

[They enter a department store.]


[Int. Cranberry Commons dept. store.]

[A light amount Christmas decorations everywhere. Daria and Jane enter.]

DARIA: Just when my stomach was getting better.

JANE: What?

DARIA: Look at this. November only started and they're already merchandising
the crap out of Christmas.

JANE: Oh, those decorations were up since mid-October! When was the last
time *you* came to the mall?

DARIA: To pick up my costume during their Halloween sale... in August.

JANE: If you're so uncomfortable about this just grab your Pepto and leave
A.S.A.P.

DARIA: Never mind. I'm not even heading any more inches into this place.
T'ain't worth it. [Leaves]

JANE: [Turns to follow] Daria, c'mon. It isn't that bad. At least it isn't
one of those Christmas in July sales. [Exits] Don't worry; it couldn't
get any worse.


[Dissolve to the same scene in the future with more decorations than before.
An evergreen is set in the middle of the store, fake snow painted on the
windows, etc. Alvin and the Chipmunks' version of "Jingle Bells" plays on
the speakers. Displayed on the bottom of the screen is "December 1st". Enter
the Fashion Club sans Quinn. Despite the season, they aren't wearing coats.
Needless to say, they are freezing.]

SANDI: <shiver> Sh-sheesh. Finally ins-s-s-side.

STACY: [Blowing into her hands] Wh-why didn't we w-wear any jackets-s-s?

SANDI: L-like, duh. How could we sh-sh-show our... fashion-ability-ness if
we were, like, wearing coats or something?

STACY: C-coats can look fashionable.

TIFFANY: Th-they d-don't go with anything, S-s-stacy. P-plus if you wear one
you hafta wear other s-stuff like a hat `r s-something.

SANDI: Yeah. All that static on your hair? I couldn't stand that.

TIFFANY: Yeah.

STACY: Goosebumps don't look that good either.

[Pause]

SANDI & TIFFANY: [Calmly] Shut up.

STACY: I'm sorry.

TIFFANY: Like, where's Quinn? She was supposed to meet us here.

STACY: She said that her parents were coming here so she was gonna get a
ride from them.

SANDI: Oh, that figures. It's the parents' fault.

TIFFANY: It's always the parents' fault.

STACY: They're always so slow whenever you want to leave.


[Int. Morgendorffer living room.]

[Jake and Daria are on the couch splitting a newspaper. Helen is shouting
up the stairs. They're all wearing the same clothes that they wore to the
ball game in the opening theme.]

HELEN: Quinn, we've been ready to go for forty minutes! Aren't you ready
yet??!

QUINN: [O.S.] Not yet!

[Helen groans.]

JAKE: Try the boots with the little bunnies on the shoelace, Quinn!

QUINN: [O.S.] I already did that! And I wouldn't take fashion advice from
you anyway!

JAKE: I'm gonna go in the car and weep if you need me. [Exits]

DARIA: Mom, just say that we'll leave without her.

HELEN: Right. [Yelling up the stairs] We're gonna leave without you if you
don't hurry up!

QUINN: [O.S.] I know that's an empty threat, Mom! Just wait a moment!

DARIA: Aw, damn it.

[Helen sighs and sits next to Daria on the couch.]

HELEN: I was hoping to get all our shopping done before Christmas Eve this
year.

DARIA: Ah, cynicism. I've taught you well.

HELEN: Oh, Daria... Have you got your list done yet?

DARIA: Why bother? I recycle the same present for all of you every year and
nobody notices.

HELEN: What?

DARIA: Remember that stapler I got for you last year?

HELEN: Yes.

DARIA: What did I get you before that?

HELEN: A... um... ah...

DARIA: Stapler.

HELEN: Oh, yes... [frowns] oh... yes...

DARIA: Everyone has to act surprised and happy once they open their gifts
anyway. You think I liked that baseball glove?

HELEN: Daria, why do you hafta be so mopey? It's the holiday season!

DARIA: You just answered your own question.

QUINN: [Dressed like in the ball game of the opening theme, heading to the
door] I'm finished, but don't stop arguing on my account. [walks out]

[Daria and Helen stare at each other for a second before heading out.]


[Int. Cranberry Commons dept. store.]

[Enter the Morgendorffers. Quinn immediately splits away.]

QUINN: I'm late as it is. Why couldn't you have driven faster, Dad? [Gone]

DARIA: Yeah, Dad, why didn't you? When the car'd blow up we'd be able to
have Christmas by the fire.

HELEN: Don't put ideas in his head. Anyway, we've got shopping to do, so
you'd might as well go your own way as well. [She and Jake head O.S.
to the right]

DARIA: Surrrre, I'll just go... do... stuff. [Pause] Like buy a candy bar.


[Int. store's hardware dept.]

[Daria wanders around, occasionally taking a bite out of the said candy
bar.]

DARIA: Hm, I could get a hammer for Quinn... not quite give it to her, but
use it on some of the stuff she'd get... ah, they're probably mostly
clothes anyway... What am I saying? They're *all* gonna be clothes.
[She spots an employee, back turned, stocking shelves] Excuse me,
ma'am, but do you know if there's an underwear detector around here
for spotting bad presents?

[The employee turns around to be revealed as:]

DARIA: Jane?

[Jane suddenly covers herself up with her arms as if she's naked.]

JANE: DON'T LOOK AT ME!

DARIA: I don't believe this.

JANE: Neither could I, but I needed the money, so-

DARIA: No, I mean that I actually called you "ma'am."

JANE: Oh... yes, that is rather disturbing.

DARIA: What are you doing here?

JANE: Well like I said, I needed the money being that it's the time of
marketing... I mean giving, so here I am; working my patootska off for
the sake of affording gifts for my family. Stinks, don't it?

DARIA: I wouldn't know. I've never so much as flipped a burger.

JANE: So my turn. What are *you* doing here?

DARIA: Christmas shopping.

JANE: I'm sure friends and family would enjoy sharing that half eaten
chocolate.

DARIA: I'll give Quinn the other half tomorrow.

JANE: Seriously, though, what are you gonna get `em?

DARIA: Same thing I do every year, Pinky. I'll root around in their closets
for the same stuff I gave them last year and never used.

JANE: Oh, so that would be...

DARIA: Dad: tie. Mom: stapler. Quinn: hat.

JANE: Oy. Y'know, Daria, even *I* manage to respect my family at least once
a year.

DARIA: Does your family consist of two parents that manage to ignore you
every day of your life for the sake of a job, with rare interjections
that turn to hell, while your sibling is a fashion nut that wishes
you dead?

JANE: I'll hafta think about that... no.

DARIA: Alright then. Later. [Turns to leave]

JANE: I've seen your minuscule conscience in action, Daria! I wouldn't be
surprised if you suddenly turned back on your word here!

DARIA: Right. [Gone]

JANE: You'll come crawling back! CRAWLING!


[Int. other part of the store.]

[Daria is walking along finishing her candy bar. She looks around.]

DARIA: Isn't there a waste basket around here?

[She continues searching until she comes to a shelf where some familiar
voices are coming from behind. She stops. Pan to behind the shelf to Jake
and Helen.]

JAKE: Quinn is so easy to shop for.

HELEN: Wish I could say the same about Daria, though. I mean, it's nice that
she isn't like everyone else but such individualism is just so hard
to pinpoint.

JAKE: What?

HELEN: Should I use smaller words?

JAKE: You can tell me later. You think she'll give us the same stuff this
year?

HELEN: She's actually confessed to it earlier.

JAKE: I'm sure she means well; y'know, stick to what you're sure works. I've
worn that tie to every important thing I've had to go to. It's too bad
she never notices.

HELEN: Yes, well, that's Daria. I'm sure I could find a better use for that
stapler than a doorstop for the closet if the firm didn't provide
one.

JAKE: Heh... what were we originally talking about?

HELEN: Uh... hm...

JAKE: Let's walk back and see if it comes back to us.

HELEN: I guess.

[Pan back to Daria.]

DARIA: Ohh... hell.


[Int. near the doors. Sometime later.]

[Daria is just exiting the shopping aisle with a bag in hand. She sits at a
bench to wait for the rest of her family. Jane enters through the door
pushing a row of shopping carts.]

JANE: You crawl yet?

DARIA: I crawled.

JANE: What'd you get `em?

[Daria hands the bag to Jane. She opens it to find a thin box inside.]

JANE: A pen and pencil set.

DARIA: See, Mom goes through a lot of pens, Dad can never find a pencil when
he needs one, so they can split those up; and those markers? Those
markers, Quinn can color her toenails with those. It works out.

JANE: Daria... this is really lame.

DARIA: I know.

JANE: And you didn't even get anything for me.

DARIA: I'm broke, okay? Jeez.

JANE: Didn't you have a whole pillowcase of money?

DARIA: Mom discovered it and put it all into my college fund along with my
lottery winnings.

JANE: And you *still* wanna get these people a Christmas present?

DARIA: Hey, it's not *my* choice. It's that stupid Jimminy Cricket in my
head.

JANE: I knew that deep down inside you were just a big softy.

DARIA: Shut up or I'll tear out your rib cage with a spork.

JANE: See?

[Enter Helen and Jake with plenty of bags in hand.]

HELEN: Well that about does it for *immediate* family and *close* friends.

DARIA: Next week we'll work on business partners and names that mysteriously
appear in our Rolodex.

JAKE: You get anything done, Kiddo?

[Daria suddenly shoves the box into the bag and swipes it from Jane.]

DARIA: Uh, yeah.

JAKE: How about that!

HELEN: Where's Quinn?

JANE: Mixing her own perfumes behind the cashier's back?

JAKE: Oh, hi, Daria's friend that starts with a "J".

JANE: You're getting close, Mr. Morgendorffer.

JAKE: Phew.

HELEN: Oh, Jane, you got a job here?

JANE: Yes, Ma'am.

HELEN: Isn't that nice? Daria, why don't you ever get a job?

JANE: Yeah, Daria, why don't you?

DARIA: What-no! No, no, no.

JANE: I might point out that it's usually at this point that a TV show would
zip-pan to the future going "doodly-doodly-doodly."

DARIA: You might, but this isn't a TV show.

JAKE: Did I miss something?

HELEN: They practically speak their own language, Jake. We'd might as well
not bother.


[Int. Jane's room. Later.]

[Jane is in a raincoat, hat, and goggles as she ties paintbrushes to the
blades of a fan which has had its frame taken off. She has a large sheet of
paper on the floor. Daria sits on Jane's bed.]

DARIA: For the last time: I am not taking a job.

JANE: C'mon, Daria, think about it. Only three hours a day, six bucks an
hour, and it's at the one place no one would ever expect to find you!

DARIA: I have the feeling that you aren't telling me everything.

JANE: [Dunking each brush in a different can of paint] I know how much you
hate physical labor, Daria, and I've taken that into consideration.
There are several positions at the mall that require little to no
movement.

DARIA: I suppose... but if my family ever found out about it I'd be
motivated to perform hara-kiri.

JANE: [Plugging the fan in] It isn't *that* bad. And since we'd be working
at the same place, Trent could drive us both there. Your parents would
be none the wiser.

DARIA: Not that they ever are... [pause] ...What the hell are you doing?

[Jane switches on the fan, splattering paint all over the room. Daria ducks
behind the bed. After a couple of seconds, Jane stops the fan and holds up
the paper.]

JANE: Another masterpiece.

DARIA: [Poking her head out] You are unquestionably weird, Marcie.

JANE: Please, it's art.

DARIA: Do you know what positions are open?

JANE: You can ask the boss-man himself tomorrow.


[Int. Cranberry Commons dept. store main office. Next day.]

[Close-up of Daria.]

DARIA: No way.

[Medium shot of the room. Daria and Jane are sitting side-by-side, Jane in
her work outfit, facing said "boss-man" who is at his desk. He's a white man
in his 40's, only slightly overweight and balding.]

BOSS: It's only for a couple of weeks, of course, since by then Christmas
is over and marketability just sort of collapses.

DARIA: Unless you decide to have an "Only 365 days till Christmas" sale.

BOSS: Hmm... [scribbles in a notepad then addresses the girls] Where was I?
...Okay, how good are you with kids, Ms. Mor-jen-doo-... Mur-gan-...
Da-rye-ah?

DARIA: Dar-ee-ah. And I don't do kids.

JANE: Uh, that is to say, Mr. Bernstein, that she hasn't had too much
experience with them aside from a single baby-sitting job.

BERNSTEIN: With whom?

DARIA: Guptys.

BERNSTEIN: [Noticeably shocked] G-guptys?! I've had those devils here once!
God, they used to be so sweet until that one spring.

DARIA: [Slightly pleased] Reckless?

BERNSTEIN: Not so much as they were verbally harassing everyone. They
wouldn't shut up about anyone's faults and...

DARIA: So much progress.

JANE: Uh, she means how she was able to control them for that one night.

BERNSTEIN: Right. If you can handle those children, [phonetically] Dahh-ree-
ahh, then you're pretty much equipped to handle anyone. Would
you care to take the position?

JANE: Imagine it, Daria. [Imitating Jake] "Wow! Now I have two ties! Honey,
I love you!"

DARIA: Um...

JANE: You can finally show your family some caring...

DARIA: Ugh...

JANE: You can gain better respect through giving better gifts.


[Int. Cranberry Commons dept. store. Later.]

[Daria is in a green shirt and hat with white trimming. She also has green
tights, curled shoes, and obviously fake rubber elf ears. Hold for a
second.]

DARIA: This is a way to gain respect?


[Commercial bumper: B&W slow-mo of Jane covering herself up when Daria
discovers her occupation.]

END ACT I

***

ACT II

[Int. Cranberry Commons dept. store, "Come Visit Santa Claus" display.]

[You know the scenario: a velvet rope surrounding a chair in which sits a
man dressed as Santa. Kids are all lined up. Next to the chair is a pail
(painted to look "Christmas-ish") filled with candy canes. Daria stands
within the velvet boundary while Bernstein talks to her from outside.]

BERNSTEIN: Okay, so all you do is you lift the rope over there to let a kid
in, help him into Ron's lap, there, [indicating "Santa"] and
after the visit you let the kid down and give him-

RON: Or her.

BERNSTEIN: Or her a candy cane. Can you do that?

DARIA: What was the thing after the thing again?

BERNSTEIN: The thing?

DARIA: After the thing.

BERNSTEIN: You bein' a wise-ass?

DARIA: Yes, sir.

BERNSTEIN: Alright, then. I'll leave you to your work. [Leaves]

DARIA: Great.

[Pause. Ron clears his throat.]

DARIA: Oh, yes. That. [Lifts the rope to let a boy and his mother in] Which
one of you is here to see Santa?

[The boy giggles.]

MOM: He is.

DARIA: You sure? Claus hasn't been going over too well with his wife lately.
I'm pretty sure he's available.

RON: [Under his breath] Just do your job.

[Daria helps the boy onto Ron's lap.]

DARIA: And don't wonder why Mrs. Claus broke up with you, Mr. Grump.

RON: Now what's your name?

DARIA: Daria.

RON: The boy!

BOY: Max.

RON: Well, Max, what do you want for Christmas?

MAX: I dunno.

RON: There's gotta be something.

DARIA: If you start suggesting toys we're over-stocked on I'm enlisting you
to 34th Street.

[It's now the mother's turn to laugh.]

MAX: I don't get it.

RON: Oh, my little elf friend here is just being a jerk.

DARIA: Yeah. Here, have a candy cane.

MAX: Thanks.

[Max and his mom leave.]

RON: You're not helping me.

DARIA: I'm not making your job any harder.

RON: Yeah you are!

DARIA: Explain.

RON: You're an elf! You hafta be cheerful! Dancing! All you do is stand
there and annoy everyone.

DARIA: I only noticed you being annoyed.

RON: That should be a good enough reason.

DARIA: If you say so, Kris. [Lets the next guests in; a girl and her mom.
Daria helps the girl up.]


[Ext. Cranberry Commons parking lot.]

[Jane is collecting shopping carts, putting all in a row to be pushed to the
store. She pushes them a couple of steps, looks around, then puts a foot on
the cart in front of her, launching herself with her other foot. Laughing
quietly, she continues to push herself forward until she notices Kevin and
Brittany walking up in front of her. She skids to a stop, but the carts she
didn't have a grip on continue their travel, knocking Kevin and Brittany
down with a grunt from each. Jane lets go of the cart she's on and trots
over to help the two up and collect the carts.]

JANE: Sorry about that, guys.

KEVIN: It's all right. I only hit my head. Hey, could you teach me how to
motor like that? It looks cool!

JANE: Would you prefer to ride in the baby seat or on the rack underneath?

BRITTANY: Uh, Jane? That other shopping cart you left behind is, like,
rolling or slipping or something.

JANE: What? [turns around] Damn it! [runs after it]

BRITTANY: Go get it, Jane! [To Kevin] When she's running, nothing can stop
her.

KEVIN: Yeah!

[Cut to Jane chasing the cart, which is indeed more slipping than rolling.
When she realizes that it's going into the street at the end of the
driveway, she tries to stop, only to start sliding down herself. She tries
to stay upright, reluctantly heading towards the traffic ahead, until...]


[Int. Cranberry Commons dept. store, "Come Visit Santa Claus" display.]

[The same girl is on Ron's lap while Daria sucks on a candy cane. She takes
it out of her mouth to reveal that it has been worked to a sharp point.]

DARIA: There. Now whenever your brother bugs you again just ask for a candy
cane from your parents and do what I just did. You just suck on it
and work your tongue around it just right, then you can-

RON: Ho ho, [suddenly bitter] that's enough, my friend! [suddenly
"cheerful"] I know how important self-defense is, but you're just
taking it an EENSY bit past naughty.

GIRL: But it'd work.

[Ron grunts. Daria helps the girl off and hands her the candy.]

DARIA: Here, give it a try. I know how siblings can be.

GIRL: Thank you. [Walks off to meet her mother]

RON: Listen, kid, I don't have to take this.

DARIA: Yeah, there are plenty of other minimum wage jobs out there waiting
for you.

RON: And you shouldn't be eating those candy canes!

DARIA: They're free.

RON: It still takes money to give them out!

DARIA: I'll let them take the ten cents out of my paycheck for that single
cane if that'll make you happy.

RON: Just one more comment out of you and I'm reporting this to Bernstein.

[Pause]

DARIA: Y'know, "Santa" rearranged spells "Satan."


[Int. Trent's car. Evening.]

[Trent is driving (natch), while Daria is in the back seat, back to her
winter wardrobe (usual outfit bit with a yellow sweater underneath) with a
duffel bag on her lap, presumably keeping her costume inside. Jane sits next
to her in her winter outfit (again, usual stuff, but with the jacket closed
and the sleeves rolled down, with a dark blue sweatshirt underneath), acting
like nothing ever happened to her outside.]

JANE: So how was your first day of work?

DARIA: Well, the guy I was working with couldn't take a joke, nearly blowing
his top in front of all the children. I spent the entire time picking
up a kid, putting down a kid, and giving treats to a kid. Eventually,
my co-worker exploded in rage in front of all the kids, making them
cry and causing him to lose his job, not being allowed to explain his
outburst to the boss.

JANE: In other words it wasn't as bad as you thought it would be.

DARIA: I suppose not.

TRENT: So what do you even do there?

JANE: She's an [elbowed by Daria] OOF. Uh, just a greeter, really.

DARIA: In a sense.

TRENT: Oh... in an elf costume?

[Daria instantly smacks her head on the window beside her.]

JANE: He already saw you when he came to pick us up.

DARIA: [Muffled] At least my family hasn't found out.

TRENT: [Realizing how humiliated Daria is, trying to help] Um, I haven't
lost any respect for you?

DARIA: [Muffled] Too late.

JANE: [To Trent, muttering, half-joking] Knucklehead.


[Int. Cranberry Commons dept. store, near "Come Visit Santa Claus" display.
Next day.]

[Daria enters, ducking under the velvet rope.]

DARIA: La-de-da. Another day, another green piece of paper with bearded men
on them in which to trade for substance or labor to be used
unselfishly. Unfortunately.

MALE VOICE: [O.S.] HI!

DARIA: GAH!

[Pan over to the new Santa as Daria turns to him. Aside from being black,
any obvious features are covered in his costume.]

DARIA: What was that for?

"SANTA": You just looked like you needed to wake up is all.

DARIA: I didn't know a heart attack could make one so lively. [lets a child
enter and helps him into "Santa's" lap] Who are you, little girl?

KID: Boy. George.

DARIA: Boy George?

GEORGE: [Smiling] No.

DARIA: I liked your interview on The Daily Show.

GEORGE: Noooo.

"SANTA": Just tell me what you want.

GEORGE: Okay. I want, um...

[George starts listing toys, his voice muffled by Daria and "Santa" talking
with each other.]

DARIA: So, Santa, what alias are you under `round these here parts?

"SANTA": People call me Stan. Stan Lucas. Stan A. Lucas. You?

DARIA: Well, Stan-Stan-Lucas-Stan-A-Lucas, my parents just so happened to
pick Daria. Daria Morgendorffer. Daria Marie Morgendorffer. Daria
Marie Lynn Morgendorffer. Dar-

STAN: Heh. Alright, I get it. Sorry. Nice to meet you.

DARIA: We'll see.

GEORGE: [Interrupting] You haven't even been listening, have you?

STAN: [Counting off on his fingers] A portable CD player, two Furbies, Game
Boy Color, chocolate chip cookies in a collectable Looney Tunes tin,
"Electro Bone Smash" on CD-ROM, and a pinch of salt.

[Pause]

GEORGE: I don't like salt.

DARIA: Then don't put any on this candy cane. Good-bye. [Hands candy and
helps George away. Lets the next child in] [To Stan] Where did you
come from, anyway?

JANE & BERNSTEIN: [O.S.] I can answer that.

[Zoom out so everyone can be seen. The kid on Stan's lap lists toys as if
never interrupted.]

BERNSTEIN: No, really, I can explain.

JANE: But I was there.

BERNSTEIN: I hired him.

JANE: Because I pointed him out to you.

BERNSTEIN: I would've found a replacement anyway.

[Pause]

KID: ...and some Play Dough sets, any is fine... [continues]

JANE: [To Bernstein] Please?!

BERNSTEIN: This is coming out of your check.

JANE: ...Um... oookay. [To Daria] Heh, you see Stan here is my hero in a
sense.

DARIA: White armor and all that?

JANE: More like he caught me before I slid into traffic because of the icy
lot.

DARIA: Whoa.

JANE: Actually he saved the shopping cart first and I just fell into it, but
the point is I'm not all that dead and I have Stan to thank for it. I-

BERNSTEIN: She suggested to me that since Ron had been... excused, that this
man would make a nice replacement. Y'know, he's good with kids,
and he doesn't need any padding. Plus I get one of those minority
laws or whatever off my case.

DARIA: [To Jane] You should slide into heavy traffic more often. It seems
good for business.

BERNSTEIN: [Pulling out a notepad and pen, jotting something down] Hmm...
[Wanders off]

JANE: [To Daria] Oh now look what you got me into!

DARIA: Oh come on. You don't think he'd-

JANE: I'm serious! [Exits] [O.S.] You have no idea.

DARIA: Okay.

KID: [Continuing] ...and a partridge in a pear tree.


[Est. shot. Ext. Morgendorffer house. Next day.]


[Int. Morgendorffer living room.]

[Jake is decorating a tree (indicated as a fake plastic kind by the "No Mess
Xmas Treez" box lying aside) all alone. Daria enters in her normal winter
dress with duffel bag in hand.]

JAKE: Hi, Daria!

DARIA: Yeah, hi.

JAKE: Where've you been these last couple of days?

DARIA: Gee...

JAKE: [Squints as he ponders] It's almost like some sort of secret you're
keeping. Not coming home from school only to arrive at the same time
exactly every day... just in time for dinner, I might add. Plus there
is that bag you keep carrying back with you, plus a case of hat hair
and little red rings around your ears...

DARIA: I'm studying at Jane's.

JAKE: [Suddenly snaps back to normal] Oh, that's all. [Goes back to the
tree]

DARIA: [Rolling her eyes] Yeah. I'll get ready for supper. [Heads upstairs]

JAKE: Alright. [Starts quietly singing to himself] Jingle bells, Batman
smells, fa la la la la. Click click click, gabba-gabba-hey, went down
in history. Hey...


[Ext. Lane house. Night. Facing the streets rather than the actual house.]
[A group of carolers are huddled together singing "Carol of the Bells."]

CAROLERS: Hark! How the bells, sweet silver bells
All seem to say, "Throw cares away."
Christmas is here, bringing good cheer
To young and old, meek and the bold
Ding, dong, ding, dong, that is their song-

[Just then, one of them gets pelted by a snowball. Naturally, they all
stop singing, with a little confused sputtering.]


[Ext. Lane roof.]

[Upon the snowy roof lie Daria and Jane dressed for outdoors (Daria with
earmuff and Jane with a hat and her jacket closed). A ladder is just at the
edge of the roof indicating their route to the top.]

JANE: [Calling] Yeah, "Ding-dong" *that* one, why doncha?

CAROLER: [O.S.] Go to hell, you miserable-

DARIA: [Calling] That's hardly the Christmas spir- Hey, HEY! You'd better
put up your index finger as well if you're gonna do that!

JANE: Heh heh.

DARIA: Well, there they go.

JANE: Oh, I haven't done that in years.

DARIA: Thanks for inviting me for this pleasant little outing.

JANE: No problem. It gets sort of lonely around here.

DARIA: [Sighs] Wish I could say the same. I wouldn't have to work this
dignity-reducing job. I don't know why I keep them in my house.

JANE: I dunno, Daria. At least you don't have to pay extra FedEx charges
when you'll hand out your Christmas presents.

DARIA: Eh?

JANE: My entire family's never been together in the same house during the
holidays. I almost don't know what they look like... Penny, Wind,
Summer... Dad... y'know, I used to do this with him when I was
little; beat singers senseless from the rooftops.

DARIA: Hey, fun.

JANE: I'll miss that.

DARIA: At least you still have your mom and Trent around.

[Jane blinks.]

DARIA: Well, Trent anyway.

[Jane waits again.]

DARIA: Okay, so he's in La-la Land more than half the time. He's still
around.

JANE: Yeah. But I just wish I could spend Christmas with my entire... [looks
up] ...Dad?

DARIA: Your entire dad? He usually send you miscellaneous appendages for the
holidays?

[Jane slides down the roof to the ladder which she lets topple over to carry
her to the ground. Pan to follow her as she lands. She runs O.S.]

[Cut back to the roof where Daria was left.]

JANE: [O.S.] Dad! You're back!

[Whump! Snow crunching.]

[Jane's father attempts to speak only to be muffled.]

JANE: [O.S.] Sorry, didn't mean to knock you into the snow there, but YOU'RE
BACK! Jeez, where were you this entire time? C'mon, you can tell me
and Trent about it inside.

[Door slams.]


[Ext. Lane house (wide shot).]

[Daria's still on the roof with the ladder on the ground.]

DARIA: Jane? Jaaaaaane!... Oh, Jane!... Oh, crap.


[Int. Cranberry Commons dept. store, "Come Visit Santa Claus" display. Day.]

[Daria is in her costume, her hat hanging in front of her face. She's
obviously more depressed than usual. Stan, still dressed as Santa, hands the
child on his lap a candy cane and excuses him/her/it (it doesn't matter). He
turns to Daria.]

STAN: Eh... you okay, Daria?

DARIA: [A tad muffled due to the hat] As much as always.

STAN: [Pats his lap] Care to sit down and talk about it?

[Daria readjusts her hat and makes an uncomfortable face.]

STAN: That is if you won't haunt me with some sort of sexual harassment suit
anytime.

DARIA: [Sighs] I guess not. [Sits on Stan's lap]

STAN: Now what's bothering you?

DARIA: Eh... I lost my only friend to a family reunion.

STAN: Jane?

DARIA: Yeah. I mean, it's great that her father didn't slip into another
dimension after all, but now I'm losing time with the only other
person I can talk to... [looks at Stan] This talking to you here
doesn't count in any way.

STAN: Oh, of course not.

DARIA: But... I guess I'm also kinda... jealous. I could never relate to
anyone *I'm* related to.

STAN: What about the reason you took this job?

DARIA: That doesn't mean I--... d'rrrgh. Look, I ain't no Christmas-type
person, y'know, so I'm not about to act all nice and jolly around
this subject.

STAN: [Sighs] I guess I can accept that.

DARIA: I mean so much commercialism and such. I feel like I'm Charlie Brown
trying to fight the whole damn thing. Except he never said "damn",
but...

STAN: You're changing the subject.

DARIA: Yeah, well... yeah.

STAN: If you don't like talking about love and family, fine. But look at the
people that you *can* work with.

DARIA: How do ya mean?

STAN: [Gestures to the line of people at the display] Look at them...


[Cut to the line of people at the "Santa" display.]

MOTHER: When is this damn line gonna MOVE?!


[Int. Cranberry Commons dept. store, "Come Visit Santa Claus" display.]

DARIA: Oh, yeah. I can certainly relate to them.

STAN: You work well with those kids.

DARIA: [Rolls her eyes] Oookay, yeah.

STAN: You're witty around them, you hand them candy...

DARIA: [Deadpan] That's my job.

STAN: Fine. Forget it. [Daria slides off his lap] You *are* good with the
kids, you know.

DARIA: [Lifting the rope to let the next child in] Yeah, yeah.

[Daria lifts the little girl that enters and put her on Stan's lap.]

GIRL: Santa?

STAN: Yes.

GIRL: ...Why are you black?

STAN: ...Uh...

DARIA: Just a tan. It's a lot hotter here than the north pole, y'know.

GIRL: [Giggling] Oh, okay.

STAN: [To Daria] See?

DARIA: What?

GIRL: What?


[Int. Jane's room. Day.]

[Daria's sitting on a beanbag chair on the floor. Jane's sitting on her bed
with the TV remote at hand.]

TV ANNOUNCER: The night Santa went crazy! A Christmas at ground zero, next
on "Sick, Sad World"!

JANE: [Clicking off the TV] Listen, Daria, I'm sorry I haven't been with you
the past couple of days.

DARIA: [Mumbling] `Salright.

JANE: It was selfish of me to stay with family members I haven't seen in
years.

DARIA: Heh. [very slight smirk] I see your point. And I humbly forgive you.

JANE: Gee, thanks.

DARIA: Wait. "Member*s*"?

JANE: Yeah! Summer just brought her kids over.

DARIA: And stuck you with another baby-sitting job?

JANE: No! That's the great part! She's actually gonna stick around for a
couple of weeks!

DARIA: Wow.

JANE: Yeah. Though she and her kids managed to kick Trent out of his room to
make room.

DARIA: Wow. Where is he able to sleep now?

JANE: You're sitting on him.

DARIA: [Jumps to her feet] WAUGH!

[It turns out the beanbag chair was a sleeping bag. Trent's head barely
pokes out. He's still sound asleep.]

DARIA: I thought that was a bit lumpy.

JANE: I bet you enjo-

DARIA: No!


[Int. Morgendorffer living room. Day.]

[Jake comes around from the staircase holding a tie. Walking to the kitchen
he accidentally knocks down a fragile ornament from the tree.]

JAKE: Oh, Jesus Christ!... Oh no! I used his name in vain near his birthday!
Oh God! OH NO! I USED HIS FATHER'S NAME IN VAIN! OH... *POOP*!

[Helen rushes in from the kitchen.]

HELEN: What the hell is-?

JAKE: [Suddenly recovering] Oh, Helen, I was looking for you. Have you
noticed something strange happening?

[Helen stares at Jake.]

JAKE: What?

HELEN: Never mind.

JAKE: Anyway, yeah, something odd here. Look at this. My tie hasn't
mysteriously disappeared yet.

HELEN: Well that's... Wait. That's the tie that Daria...

JAKE: Yeah!

HELEN: Come to think of it, my stapler is still where I left it.

JAKE: Hmmmmmmmmm...

[Daria enters with her duffel bag. Her parents look at her.]

DARIA: Um... yes?

JAKE: Nothing!

HELEN: Nothing.

JAKE: Nope.

HELEN: Nothing.

[Daria simply gives her parents a funny look as she heads upstairs.]

HELEN: We should see what's in that bag.

JAKE: Yeah. [Suddenly worried] You don't suppose it's something she got
addicted to, do you?!

HELEN: Oh, Jesus-

JAKE: DON'T!!

HELEN: WHAT?!


[Int. Cranberry Commons dept. store, "Come Visit Santa Claus" display.]

[Daria, in costume, is alone leaning against Santa's chair. A long line has
formed. Daria looks a bit nervous. Jane comes to the side of the display in
her work clothes.]

JANE: Daria?

DARIA: Jane, have you seen Stan?

JANE: No. I checked out the employee's dressing room, too. Nothing.

DARIA: Aw, man.

JANE: Stan's gonna get fired for this.

DARIA: Yeah.

JANE: And after I got him a job, too.

DARIA: ...Yeah... We gotta cover for him.

JANE: Wha-huh-what? How? Why?

DARIA: I don't know and I don't know, in that order.

JANE: How do you plan to imitate Santa Claus?

DARIA: Anyone can do that.

JANE: But there are certain... physical differences.

DARIA: That didn't stop Stan either.

JANE: What I mean is-

DARIA: I know what you mean.

JANE: Wait-wait! You just gave me an idea.

DARIA: Oh no. [Struggles to utter one word:] ...What?


[Cut to later; close-up of the sign at the beginning at the line. It reads
"Santa is out feeding his reindeer." Jane shoves in a crudely made sign from
cardboard and marker reading "The elf is (in)", 'in' being a separate little
sign in its own that flips over.]

[Zoom out to reveal Daria sitting in Santa's place with a child on her lap.]

DARIA: Why am I doing this? Why? Why?

KID: You thaid that Thanta wath thick.

DARIA: Yes, Santa *is* pretty thick, but he prefers "big boned."

[The kid laughs.]

DARIA: What do you want for Christmas?

KID: My two front teeth.

DARIA: Your tees?

KID: My teeth. [Opens his mouth to show that those teeth are indeed missing]

DARIA: Oh, ith that why you thpeak like thith?

KID: Yeth.

DARIA: Thorry. I'll thtop doing thith.

KID: No you aren't.

DARIA: Yeth, but I will... now.

KID: You're thilly!

DARIA: Yeth.... oopth.


[A couple of hours later...]

[Daria has a different child on her lap.]

KID #2: ...and all that stuff that Disney said they had...

DARIA: Which stuff?

KID #2: All of it. And-

DARIA: Wait. All of Disney's merchandise?

KID #2: Um... yeah.

DARIA: You want Santa to break his back, kid? We could give all that stuff
to Jeremy Creek, y'know.

KID #2: Santa break his back?... I don't wanna do that.

DARIA: There, y'see?

KID #2: Then he couldn't give me what I wanted.

DARIA: ...Yeah.

KID #2: Thanks, Mrs. Elf. [Hops away]

DARIA: Mrs.? Do I really look that old?

JANE: [From behind the rope] Well you managed to gain some big bags under
your eyes.

DARIA: Yeah. Making kids happy sucks.

JANE: No kidding... Uh-oh, here comes el bosso.

[Mr. Bernstein cuts his way through the line and attempts to lift a leg over
the rope. He stumbles back and tries again.]

JANE: Uh, sir, you can lift the rope there.

BERNSTEIN: Yes, yes, I knew that. [Does so] Aren't you supposed to be
working, Ms. Lane?

JANE: Oh, but I am. I'm helping Daria here with-

BERNSTEIN: Who?

JANE: Ms. Morgendorffer.

[Blank look from Bernstein.]

JANE: The one you hired to be a happy little elf that's sitting behind you.

BERNSTEIN: Ohhh. [Turns around to see Daria] And who might you be?

JANE: Um... sir?

BERNSTEIN: Hm? Oh-oh-oh, yeah. Da-rye-ah, what is it you are doing here?
You're hardly in the right gender, costume, or weight for Santa.

DARIA: As complimented as I am by your assessment... putting aside the fact
that my name is Dar-ee-ah... I must confess that... I was covering
for Mr. Lucas here. [Pause] ...The Santa that usually sits here, sir.

BERNSTEIN: Oh, right. [Turns around to find Stan behind him without his
usual Santa costume (description forthcoming)] And who might you
be?

STAN: I'm Stan Lucas, sir. I play Santa Claus here.

BERNSTEIN: Ah, I see. [To Jane] And what are you doing here?

JANE: I'm Jane Lane.

BERNSTEIN: Get back to work, you person with the rhyming name-thing.

JANE: I *AM*! [Quickly] I'm-helping-Daria-that's-the-girl-sitting-behind-you
-fill-in-for-Stan-who-is-standing-next-to-you-who-usually-plays-Santa-
Claus-but-got-really-late-for-some-reason-but-is-now-here-forthwith-I-
have-been-aiding-my-colleague-that-would-be-Daria-again-acting-as-an-
elf-taking-over-for-Santa-using-an-illness-as-an-alibi-of-his-
disappearance!

DARIA: But what about Scarecrow's brain?

BERNSTEIN: Yeah!... Oh, and who's late?

STAN: I am, sir. My car skidded off the road, so I needed to get towed.

BERNSTEIN: Quit rhyming there. I've had enough of it with Henny Penny there.

JANE: I'm Jane Lane!

BERNSTEIN: I know that! [To a child that's wandered in] And who are you?!

[The child starts crying.]

BERNSTEIN: Oh, you don't work here, do you?

[Everyone stares at him.]

BERNSTEIN: He *could* have! [To Stan] And why are you so damn late?


[Ext. Cranberry Commons. Later.]

[Daria walks along back in her outdoors outfit. She carries her costume in
her duffel bag. Stan walks beside her. Without his Santa costume on, he
still looks stout, but not obese. He has a short gray beard to match his
short gray hair. He wears a jacket and jeans.]

DARIA: You really didn't deserve to get fired.

STAN: Ah, it doesn't matter. I got what I wanted out of it anyway. Hey, my
car's all right and I'm not really in a hurry. You want a lift?

DARIA: Oh, no, I already have a-

[Zip-pan to Jane sticking her head out of Trent's car.]

JANE: Hey, Daria! Come on! [Smirking] You can sit up front! With the driver.

[Zip-pan back to Daria and Stan.]

DARIA: [Quickly, in desperation] I'd love a ride.


[Int. Stan's car.]

[Stan's driving while Daria takes the seat next to him.]

STAN: How'd you manage with the children while I was away?

DARIA: Okay, I guess. Not that I'd make a habit out of it.

STAN: Mm-hm.

DARIA: Say, this car sure is riding smoothly... And there weren't any dents
at all before! You didn't really crash, did you?

STAN: Well... you know.

DARIA: Do I?

STAN: You'll realize how much the children love you.

DARIA: Is *that* what this is all about? Kids? Why are you so obsessed with
kids?

STAN: Weren't *you* ever a kid? Don't you remember the fun you used to have?

DARIA: No and no. Though I haven't been shipped to military school... yet...
but that's a different story.


[Commercial bumper: B&W slow-mo of Jane jumping off the roof to meet her
father.]

END ACT II

***

ACT III

[Int. Cranberry Commons dept. store, formerly the "Come Visit Santa Claus"
display; currently the "Elf is in". Day.]

[Daria walks in, in costume, to find no replacement Santa. A line is formed
anyway. As Daria looks around the display, kids in the crowd suddenly
cheer.]

PARENT #1: Sheesh, it's about time she got here.

PARENT #2: Yeah, my kid's been wanting to talk to her all yesterday.

[Max, the kid Daria first talked with, runs in from the crowd and knocks
Daria into the chair.]

MAX: Hi, Ms. Elf! You remember me?!

DARIA: Wh-wh... What's going on here?

BERNSTEIN & JANE: [Suddenly come on screen] I can explain that! [They turn
to each other] This is the second time you've done that!
Hey, *I* didn't do it, *you* did! Stop that! D'oh!

DARIA: I think I'd have better luck asking Boomhauer.

JANE: [To Bernstein] Fine, you're the boss. You go.

BERNSTEIN: Yes, I am, aren't I? [To Daria] You see, Da-rye-ah...

DARIA: Dar... never mind. You're the closest anyone else has gotten.

BERNSTEIN: Thank you. Anyway, this elf thingie was pretty successful
yesterday. I thought, hell, why not? It'd be cheaper not to hire
another Santa for this shift anyway.

DARIA: Gee, that's-

BERNSTEIN: And I was wondering if you'd like to double your shift.

[Daria's eyes turn wide. Jane hands her a water bottle.]

JANE: Spit take fuel?

DARIA: Don't mind if I do. [Takes a swig and spits it out] WHAT?!

BERNSTEIN: Double your pay, of course.

DARIA: I don't *need* twice my...!

MAX: I thought you were nicer than Santa!

DARIA: What?

MAX: I mean that guy that yelled at you.

DARIA: Oh.

MAX: Why are you yelling now?

DARIA: I'm... negotiating.

MAX: Oh... What's that mean?

DARIA: It's the word grown-ups use for "fighting."

MAX: Oh yeah. I remember now.

BERNSTEIN: [To Daria] Is it a deal?

[Daria looks cross, but then glances at Max's expectant face, then to all
the children in the crowd. They too love Daria. She makes a face like she's
about to make the greatest mistake in her entire life:]

DARIA: ...Sure.

MAX: Yippie!

DARIA: Unk.

JANE: How are you gonna keep your job a secret from your parents now?

DARIA: I'll have to tell them the truth, I guess.

JANE: Wow.

DARIA: Just give me a moment to think up a good one, though.


[Int. Cranberry Commons dept. store, pay phone. Later.]

[Daria talks while having one of her fake ears taken off to listen better.]

DARIA: Sorry, Mom. I won't be home on time today. Jane's brother's car got
a flat and they don't have a spare. This could take a little while.


[Int. Morgendorffer living room.]

[Helen alone on her cell phone.]

HELEN: Um, okay, Dear. I'll talk to you later.


[Int. Morgendorffer garage.]

[Jake is digging out a tank of gas from behind some boxes. Helen enters
through the door connecting the garage to the house.]

JAKE: Who was that?

HELEN: I'll... have to tell you later.

[Trent comes up and takes the gas from Jake.]

TRENT: Thanks for the gas, Mr. Morgendorffer. I should really get that gage
fixed at some point. [Starts pouring the gas into his car behind him,
which was in the garage the whole time]

JAKE: Please, call me Jake, my man.

[Jake pats Trent a little too hard on the back causing the spout to the
container to get jammed into the car. Trent tries to pull it out
unsuccessfully.]

JAKE: Oops. Let me help. [Pulls as well]

HELEN: Be careful! I don't want that flammable stuff sprayed all over the
garage.


[Est. shot. Ext. Lawndale High. Day.]


[Int. classroom.]

LI: [Over the intercom] ...so when you go finish your Christmas shopping, I
expect everyone to buy a Furby. I have major stock in Tiger Electronics.

JANE: At least she couldn't suspend us if we don't.

LI: [V.O.] All those who don't will face suspension.

DARIA: [To Jane] You called that one.

LI: [V.O.] And just a reminder that our holiday vacation starts tomorrow...

DARIA: [Deadpan] Good thing she told us. I totally forgot.

KEVIN: Whoa! Me too!

LI: [V.O.] Now here's Ms. Landon with the miscellaneous school reports. Have
a nice day.

[Various clicks, clacks, and clunks are heard through the speaker.]

JANE: Did she just drop the receiver?

DARIA: I don't-

JODIE: [Over the intercom] Good afternoon, everyone. I'm glad to report that
our fund-raiser to afford more fund-raisers worked very well. I'm
very proud of all of you... Except you, Kevin.

KEVIN: I didn't eat *all* the chocolate!

MACK: Yes you did!

KEVIN: Well, I left the almonds.

JODIE: [V.O.] And I'd also like to give a tip of the hat to Daria
Morgendorffer for her recent community service.

DARIA: What?!

JODIE: [V.O.] Daria has been bringing a lot of smiles to all the small
children of Lawndale recently, and has even earned her own stand at
Cranberry Commons. Her elf character has delighted many with her
personality, and I think she deserves a big hand. See you all after
vacation! [Click]

[Daria has meanwhile slumped over in her chair.]

KEVIN: Whoa!

BRITTANY: *You're* that elf I saw? Wow! I always wanted to meet her and now
it turns out to be someone I know! That's so cool!

KEVIN: Yeah!

DARIA: [Raspy voice] Please just let me diiiiiieeeee...

BRITTANY: Let's give our favorite elf three cheers!

DARIA: [Whines, shuts her eyes] Please no.

BRITTANY: Hip hip!

MOST OF CLASS: Hooray!

DARIA: [Lowering in her seat] If you really appreciate me you won't
continue.

BRITTANY: Hip hip!

MOST OF CLASS: Hooray!

DARIA: [Lowering] No one really appreciates me.

BRITTANY: Hip hip!

MOST OF CLASS: Hooray!

BRITTANY: Hip hip!... Oh, that *is* three.


[School bell segues to the next scene.]


[Int. Lawndale High hallway, on the way to the exit. Later.]

[Most students have already exited. Jane sings and prances around Daria
who's holding her duffel bag and walking to the exit.]

JANE: o/` Hark, hear the tale of Daria, the grumpy little elf... o/`

[Daria swings her bag at Jane and misses.]

JANE: o/` ...She got fame by dressing dumb yet acting like herself! o/`


[Ext. Lawndale High.]

[Jane stops prancing and just follows Daria out.]

DARIA: Quit it. I already know how stupid this is. Just because I have a
stupid costume when I act like a jerk it's considered "cute." And I
really hate "cute."

JANE: But yer just such a sugar-dumplin', honey!

[Daria grunts.]

JANE: Just remember that tomorrow's the last day of work.

DARIA: Yeah, well...

JANE: What?

DARIA: [Mumbling] I kinda... said I'd be willing to go on till... Christmas
Eve.

JANE: You're really into those kids, aren't you?

DARIA: No!

JANE: Yes.

DARIA: No.


[Int. Trent's car.]

[It's parked as Daria and Jane enter the back seat.]

JANE: Oh, yes.

DARIA: Ohhhhhh, no.

JANE: Yup, yup, yup.

DARIA: Nope, nope, nope.

TRENT: [Starting the car] What're you two arguing about?

JANE: Whether or not Daria likes children.

TRENT: I dunno. She seems to get along with me.

JANE: I meant those that are physically children. But you have a point.

DARIA: Is that just your little cliché, Ms. Matchmaker?

JANE: I guess.

TRENT: What are you talking about?

JANE: Just some stuff that you obviously wouldn't understand.

TRENT: I don't get you two sometimes.

DARIA: Sometimes?


[Int. DeMartino's classroom.]

[DeMartino looks around a little bit from his desk.]

LI: [Over the intercom] Everyone gone from *your* class?

DeMARTINO: Yes.

LI: [V.O.] That should be everyone. You know where to go.


[Int. teacher's lounge.]

[Loud party music as almost the entire faculty dances and mingles. DeMartino
enters.]

DeMARTINO: Ahhh, GONE! Gone for TWO WEEKS! Freedom!

LI: You said it.

[Barch and O'Neill do a dance in the middle of the room.]

DEFOE: Look at `em go!

O'NEILL: [To Barch] You lead very well.

BARCH: I *should*!

DEFOE: [To DeMartino] Champagne?

DeMARTINO: If you are hoping that I should REVEAL to you the LOCATION of
your WIND CHIMES...

DEFOE: I'm quite over that, thank you.

DeMARTINO: Oh, then, DON'T MIND IF I DO.

[Barch dips O'Neill. Suddenly, the door opens. It's Ted (see "The New
Kid").]

TED: [Shouting over the music] Um, excuse me! [Defoe turns off the music]
But does anyone have the key to the library? I think I left my... uh...

[O'Neill, still in a dip, is dropped by Barch. DeMartino steps forward.]

TED: ...My... gum... um... if-if you don't, uh, mind, that is...

[Pause.]

DeMARTINO: [Oddly calm] Get `im.


[Ext. teacher's lounge.]

[Ted runs out as angry shouts, plastic cups, and pencils are thrown at him
while he's screaming in terror.]


[Ext. Lane house. Day.]

[Daria, holding a shopping bag, and Jane come to the door.]

DARIA: Thanks for letting me hide my family's presents at your house.

JANE: It's no problem, though I have slight doubts that the presents will be
well hidden from my own family.

DARIA: More?

JANE: Penny decided to spend Christmas at home for once. Though she had to
sneak in past the shores due her publicly denouncing her American
citizenship. She's a little shaken up after some men in black followed
her for a while, but she's otherwise fine now.

[Daria rings the doorbell. A woman opens the door. She's casually dressed
aside from the fact that she's barefoot... and wearing an evil-looking
gorilla mask.]

"GORILLA": Grrrroooowwwrrrrr!

JANE: Oh, get over it, Mom.

[The "gorilla" slumps over with a depressed groan and goes back into the
house.]

JANE: [Entering the house] [To Daria] You'll have to excuse my mom. She
usually doesn't get over Halloween till sometime after New Year's.

DARIA: [Following] It's alright. I used to be the same way.

[The door closes behind them.]


[Ext. Cranberry Commons. Day.]

[Trent's car is pulling up.]

TRENT: [V.O.] Isn't it kind of a bummer to be working on Christmas Eve?

DARIA: [V.O.] Ordinarily, yes. But then again, this ain't exactly any
ordinary job.

TRENT: [V.O.] Oh, yes. That "greeter" thing.

DARIA: [V.O.] Call it what you like.

TRENT: [V.O.] I'm just calling it what *you* liked.

DARIA: [V.O.] ...Yyyyyyeah.


[Int. Cranberry Commons dept. store. Later.]

[Daria is exiting the employee dressing room in her costume. She weaves her
way through the toy department, which is very obviously filled with kids and
parents alike.]

KID: Look! It's Daria the elf!

DARIA: Hey, someone pronounced it right!

[Several children surround Daria.]

KID #2: Would you sign my autograph book?

KID #3: I don't have a book. Could you sign my hat?

KID #4: Sign anything you like, just as long as it isn't somewhere that Mom
wouldn't like.

DARIA: Whoa! At the very least, wait till I get to my chair.

KID #5: Would you sign my doll?

DARIA: Wait.

KID #5: Please?! [Shoves the doll into Daria's face]

DARIA: Wh-what the...? [Takes the doll. It's a cheap facsimile Daria in elf
form; deadpan expression, glasses, and all] Where'd you get this?

[The kid points to a shelf. Daria tries to run there only to have to work
her way around more people. When she gets there, though, the shelves are
indeed filled with Daria elf dolls.]

DARIA: *This* is surreal. Kids, Daria has to do something before she talks
with you.

KID #6: Wait!

KID #3: Let us come too.

DARIA: Quit worshipping me!!

KID #4: Please!


[Int. Bernstein's office.]

[Bernstein is on the phone. Daria swings open the door and tries to walk in,
which is a really burden being the a few children are holding on to her
legs. She drags her feet in an attempt to get to the desk, grunting with
each slow step. It takes a few seconds.]

BERNSTEIN: [To the phone] I'll have to talk with you later.

DARIA: [Catching her breath] Go on, kids. I need some privacy here.

[The kids finally let go and sadly walk out the door, the last one closing
it.]

BERNSTEIN: [Hanging up the phone] May I help you, Da-rye-ah?

DARIA: Dar-ee-ah.

BERNSTEIN: Dara.

DARIA: Daria!

BERNSTEIN: Margret?

DARIA: Forget it! What the hell is this about? [Holds up a doll] And how
hard did you work those Korean sweatshops to get this out before
Christmas.

BERNSTEIN: Actually, the bodies were made to be regular collectable elf
dolls. I ordered the heads be made separately. Those are good old
American headed dolls!

[The doll Daria's holding starts dripping from the crotch.]

BERNSTEIN: Well, most of the bodies were originally elf figurines.

DARIA: [Throwing the doll to the floor] Isn't it a bit illegal to go through
with this without consulting the second party? My mother's a lawyer,
you know!

BERNSTEIN: Oh, she couldn't be!

DARIA: Just why not?!


[Ext. Morgendorffer house. Late afternoon.]

DARIA: [O.S.] *You* let them get away with this?!


[Int. Morgendorffer living room.]

[Daria is back in her winter outfit. She stands in front of her parents who
are sitting on the couch.]

HELEN: Now, honey...

DARIA: I don't believe this.

JAKE: I thought you'd *like* being famous! I thought it was pretty cool when
they addressed us with the idea.

DARIA: Is that when you found out about my job?

HELEN: Well, we found your costume a little earlier, so we weren't quite as
fazed when they asked us.

JAKE: And the paycheck was great!

HELEN: Jake!

DARIA: You let them put my face on crap for money.

HELEN: Well...

DARIA: This isn't exactly what I expected from the people I TOOK THIS JOB
FOR!

HELEN: What-

JAKE: Oh... pootie. We didn't-

DARIA: Yeah.

[Pause.]

JAKE: Awwwwww!

HELEN: Daria, I just thought...

DARIA: Oh, you thought about that? "Daria wouldn't mind if we take advantage
of her for the sake of cash in the season of giving."

JAKE: Actually, that's pretty accurate to what Helen-

HELEN: Shut UP, Jake.

DARIA: No. *You* shut up.

HELEN: Daria!

DARIA: [Heading to the door] I hope you don't mind not receiving any
gratitude. I only give what I get. And I'd might as well keep your
presents. [Shuts the door behind her]

JAKE: Oh... that's the reason my tie stayed around for so long.

[Pause.]

HELEN: [Very depressed] I don't believe it.

JAKE: [Same] I suddenly feel uncomfortably warm.

HELEN: It's the guilt, I bet. She was actually thinking of us first, and we
abuse it.

JAKE: Yeah. The guilt.

[Quinn runs through the room.]

QUINN: The garage is on fire!! [Runs out the door]

HELEN: [Quickly gets up] Jake! I told you and Trent to be careful!!

JAKE: [Following Helen to the garage] I only spilled a little!


[Int. Jane's room.]

[Jane takes Daria inside.]

DARIA: [More deadpan then usual] Thanks for letting me stay over.

JANE: No problem. Though we are getting a little crowded around here.

DARIA: Your other brother now?

JANE: Wind? Yeah. Just got married yesterday, too.

DARIA: Hoping the holiday spirit will keep the marriage alive?

JANE: I guess so. [Sits on her bed] You alright?

DARIA: Me? Sure. I mean... why do I need my back stabbing family around?
Right?...

JANE: ...Yeah. But family's family, Daria. I mean, mine makes the Addamses
look like the Cleavers. But at least the sappiness holds us together.

DARIA: Uh... yeah... Where did you hide the presents?

JANE: Um, in my closet. Why?

DARIA: I just feel like destroying something.

JANE: Oh, fine. It's not like I paid for any of it.

[Daria opens Jane's closet and takes out the bag.]

DARIA: Wait. What's this?

JANE: What?

[Daria takes out a familiar doll from the closet. Daria's eyes narrow.]

DARIA: [Tossing the doll at Jane] You too?

JANE: This? I thought it was kinda cute. [Daria stares at her] I mean, aside
from the idea that it could be used for voodoo or something. But it's
just such a-

DARIA: Everyone. Everyone is against me.

JANE: Daria?

[Daria drops the bag and leaves the room.]

JANE: Daria! Wait!


[Ext. Lane house. Evening.]

[It's lightly snowing as Daria leaves the house.]

JANE: [O.S.] Daria! It's only a doll! I can return it! Daria, where are you
going?!


[Dissolve to Ext. Dega Street. Night.]

[Daria slowly walks through the streets. She stops under a lamppost and
hangs her head. Eventually a familiar voice comes to her.]

STAN: Hey, Daria.

DARIA: What? Oh, hi, Stan. What are you doing out so late?

STAN: I was gonna ask you the same thing.

DARIA: You wouldn't be interested.

STAN: I'm easily interested in things.

DARIA: Oh... fine. You know that cheap merchandise of myself that's suddenly
circulated through town?

STAN: They're you? I thought those dolls looked pretty familiar.

DARIA: My parents let them be made behind my back. We got in a fight. Jane
got a doll. We got in a fight. I'm talking to you.

STAN: You feel like a fight?

DARIA: I've had my fill this Christmas Eve.

STAN: Oh, that's right. It's Christmas tomorrow, isn't it?

DARIA: You're fast.

STAN: Is this really the attitude to be having tonight?

DARIA: You're not gonna talk about magic snow and jollines, are you?

[Pause.]

STAN: Well... not now. But what about your family?

DARIA: What about it?

STAN: This isn't really about the dolls. Is it?

DARIA: ...No. I guess not. But the dolls are still second-hand to the fact.

STAN: You're just focusing your negativity on inanimate objects, you know.

DARIA: Yeah. But it's better that way. I won't hurt anyone that way.

STAN: Like the ones you love?

[Pause.]

DARIA: Damn, I hate you.

STAN: I know. But think about what I said.

[Close-up of Daria.]

DARIA: Right. I don't kill people I hate because I love them... Whether it
be friends or family... But-

[Medium shot. Stan's gone. Daria looks around.]

DARIA: Oh, right, Stan. Like I'm gonna fall for this old cliché. You're gone
and I'm suddenly supposed to think that you're some sort of mystical
guy. I've seen enough Christmas specials to know about... [Daria
looks in the snow to notice that Stan left no foot prints behind] ...
Okay, you're getting better. But I still refuse to believe that you
are... oh, you aren't here anymore, are you?... Fine... I'll just,
um, go now... Back home... Not that your speech had any influence on
me or anything... Okay, then... [Walks off]


[Int. Morgendorffer living room.]

[It's dark inside. Daria enters slowly with the sack that she left back with
Jane in her hand. She puts all the gifts under the tree one by one. A moan
is heard and Daria turns to find that Helen had slept on the couch.]

DARIA: Mom?

HELEN: [Getting up] Daria? You're back?

DARIA: No, this is really just an elf that has a remarkable resemblance to
your daughter.

HELEN: It *is* you!

[Daria sits down next to Helen]

HELEN & DARIA: I'm sorry.

HELEN: What are you sorry about?

DARIA: Um... I can't say on account that my personality won't allow me to.

HELEN: Fine, I'll say it. I missed you, too.

DARIA: Well...

HELEN: And I'm sorry I... *we* neglected you so.

DARIA: Yeah, well... thanks. Um, did Dad go up to bed?

JAKE: [O.S.] No. I couldn't get to sleep. [He was just coming downstairs]
Not that I didn't try. And... I'm sorry, too.

HELEN: [To Daria] We love you, and we shouldn't have done what we did.

JAKE: Right. It was something so rotten my own father wouldn't have even
done it.

DARIA: Well... being that it's Christmas and all... I guess that I can
say... that, uh... And I'll deny I ever said this, mind you... but...
I... love you too.

JAKE: Awww...

DARIA: Don't get mushy on me, though, or I'll take it back.

HELEN: Fair enough.

[Quietly, a familiar "Ho ho ho" and sleigh bells can be heard from above.]

DARIA: What the...?

JAKE: Oh, excuse me. I left the stereo on upstairs. [Trots upstairs]

DARIA: Oh... phew.


[Est. shot. Morgendorffer house. Next day.]

[Int. Morgendorffer living room.]

[Quinn is bouncing in place next to the tree waiting for everyone. She's
still in her nightgown.]

QUINN: C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon...

[Daria comes down the stairs followed by her parents, all still in their
night clothes.]

DARIA: Weren't you accusing me of being this childish just a couple of
months ago?

QUINN: I'm very sure I have no idea what you're talking about.

[Close-up of Helen.]

HELEN: Now just wait a moment, everyone, I just want to get a camera for
this special...

[Medium shot of the room. Jake and Quinn have already dug into their
presents. Daria stands next to Helen.]

HELEN: Damn it.

DARIA: Now, Mom, it's Christmas.

HELEN: Dang it.

DARIA: That's better.

JAKE: [Pulling his present from the box] Wow! A tin full of Christmas
cookies! [Remaining cheerful] My parents never made me these before
let alone buy them. God, did I hate them! Thanks, Daria!

QUINN: Just a card?

DARIA: Read it.

QUINN: "Dear Quinn, I know that you'd hate any clothes that I'd give you.
Here's forty bucks. Love Daria." Awww, that's the nicest thing you've
ever said to me.

[Helen picks up a box and hands it to Daria.]

HELEN: Merry Christmas, Daria.

[Daria does the same.]

DARIA: Bah humbug, Mom.

[They both open their boxes. Helen's is a mousepad that has a target on it
saying "BANG HEAD HERE."]

DARIA: It's a stress relief kit.

HELEN: Thanks.

DARIA: And what's this? [Daria pulls one of her dolls from the box]

HELEN: It's a two part gift. Take out the other thing that's in there.

[Daria does so. The other part is a lighter.]

DARIA: How do you always know what I want?

HELEN: It's a gift.

[Daria lights the foot of the doll and throws it in a waste basket.]

DARIA: [Smirking] We *did* end up having Christmas by a fire after all.

JAKE: God bless us, everyone!

[The doorbell rings.]

DARIA: I'll get it.

[Daria opens the door. It's Jane.]

JANE: [Holding up a familiar box] Trent and I would like to thank you for
the tremendous thought you gave us in getting us this pen and pencil
set.

DARIA: Somebody had to take it. [Closes the door and walks away]

JANE: [O.S.] Yeah, well... yeah.


[Splendora sings a little bit in the tune of the theme song:
Fa la LA la la
Fa la LA la la.]


[Fade to black.]

END ACT III

***

EPILOGUE: Credits are playing while some action is still taking place.

[Int. Lane living room.]

[Focusing on the door to the kitchen the entire time, where a bit of
mistletoe hangs. A doorbell rings.]

JANE: [O.S.] Thanks for coming over, Daria.

DARIA: [O.S.] So what's the big emergency?

JANE: [O.S.] Well, after meeting for Christmas, my family instantly
scattered.

DARIA: [O.S.] So?

JANE: [O.S.] All except you-know-who.

TRENT: [O.S.] Hey, guys. What're you up to?

JANE: [O.S.] This.

DARIA: [O.S.] Ow!

TRENT: [O.S.] Hey! What?!

[Jane pushes the two on-screen, ever closer to the mistletoe.]

DARIA: What?! Oh, no. You stop.

TRENT: What the hell are you doing?

[Daria braces herself at the door. Jane still tries to push her and Trent
through.]

JANE: No cheating!

[A phone rings from the kitchen.]

DARIA: I'll get it!

[Daria leaps through the door into the kitchen. Trent and Jane fall in a
heap in the doorway.]

DARIA: [O.S.] Hello?... Oh, hi, Mom... Okay, be right over. [She hangs up]
My family's going over to the pizza place for lunch. You mind if I
take the back door? Thanks. [A door is heard opening and shutting]

[Pause.]

JANE: Hey, wait... Now *we're* under the mistletoe.

[Pause. Jane and Trent suddenly try to recollect themselves only to
repeatedly trip over each other.]

[Shift back to the regular style of credits. The end of Andy Williams'
"Most Wonderful Time of the Year" is playing.]

It's the most wonderful time!
It's the most wonderful time!
It's the most wonderful time
Of the yeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaarrrrr!