First off, let me say that I love the TV show just the way it is, and
have tried to be as true as possible to it here, keeping the general
style and plotline in the direction the show's writers seem to have
their minds set on. You won't find the start of any outrageous story
arcs, new major characters or departures in style from the "Daria" we
all know and love. Please let me know how close I got. (And if you're
from MTV, I should mention I'd love to do this for a living.)

If you have suggestions for music that'd go good with what I've written
here, send it over. (I'm not very up on the popular-music industry.)

Thanks to everyone who wrote to say they enjoyed "Lotto Nonsense."
This script's existence is a direct result of your feedback. Please
keep the comments coming.

( la LA la la...)

Daria in "To Helen Back"

Written by
C.E. Forman (



(Sound of bell ringing.)



(Mr O'Neill is seated behind his desk, holding a book and using his
thumb as a bookmark, watching as the last of his students file into

O'NEILL: I hope everyone remembered that today is our bi-weekly "book
hour". I think it's wonderful that we can take time out from the
rigors of studying once in a while to have a little fun! (Over-
the-top enthusiasm.) So let's get those books out and start
*reading*! (Opens his own book.)

JANE: (To Daria.) Awriiight, your favorite time of the week!

DARIA: I've been looking forward to this all day. Anything that lets me
escape the bleak, soul-shrivelling reality of my life, however
momentarily, is a plus in my book.

(Daria pulls out Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath". Jane has her Goya
book, natch.)

BRITTANY: (Digging in that stupid pink rabbit purse-thing of hers.)
Oh, no! I don't *have* a book!

KEVIN: Don't worry, cupcake! I brought enough for both of us! (He hands
her a copy of "Go, Dog, Go".)

DARIA: (Notices, hands Brittany a bookmark.) Here. In case you don't
finish it in an hour. (Turns back to her book.)

(Jane smirks.)

BRITTANY: (Daria's sarcasm goes *whooshhh*, over her head.) Thanks, Daria!

KEVIN: This is cool! I've been meaning to read some of the classics!

O'NEILL: I'm delighted to hear you say that, Kevin!

JANE: (To Kevin.) I hate to ruin this for you Kevin, but at the end he
finally eats the green eggs and ham.


KEVIN: (Genuinely disappointed, throws the book down.) Awwww, *man*!!
(He digs through the small stack at his feet and comes up with
"Curious George.")

(Everyone reads quietly for about three seconds until a knock sounds at the
door. All the students look up, Mr O'Neill turns toward the door as it
opens and Ms Li enters, followed by Ms Barch.)

O'NEILL: Ms Li! And Ms Barch! What a pleasant surprise! (He's looking
primarily at Ms Barch as he says this. She winks back at him.)

LI: Mr O'Neill. May we borrow a minute of your time.

O'NEILL: Certainly!

JANE: Uh-ohhhh. Looks like the bleak, soul-shrivelling reality of your
life is about to come crashing down again.

DARIA: You can just tell this is gonna be stupid.

JANE: (Pretend-placatingly.) Now, now. Hear the nice lady out, first.

O'NEILL: (To Li, explaining.) We were just in the middle of our--

LI: (Cutting O'Neill off.) May I have everyone's attention please?

(Cut to Li's POV of the class. Most have gone back to reading, doodling,
listening to music, sleeping, doing other things. Brittany is reapplying
her nail polish. Kevin is holding his open book upside-down. Among those
actually paying attention are: Daria, Jane, Jodie, Mack and Andrea...
although Andrea hasn't even taken a book out and is just sitting there
vacantly. Cut back to Li at the front of the room.)

LI: (Continuing.) Ms Barch has just brought to my attention a very
exciiiting idea, one that concerns aaallll of the young women here at
Laaawwwnnndale Hiiiighhhhh.

DARIA: (To Jane.) Is it too late for me to apply for a foreign-exchange

JANE: Bosnia's starting to look good, huh?

LI: (Continuing.) Since next Monday has been recognized as national "Take
Your Daughter to Work Day"--

BRITTANY: (Looks up from her nails, interrupts.) Oh, no! I don't *have*
a daughter!

JANE: (Aside, to Daria.) Just give her another year.

DARIA: (Smirks admiringly at Jane's viciousness.) *Ouch*.

LI: (Continuing.) a special event, all the young ladies will be
excused for one day to attend work with a parent -- or other legal
guardian -- to observe their careers in action!

BRITTANY: (Reaches over, puts arm around Kevin. Whining.) But why can't
Kevvie come too?

BARCH: Because the sad truth is, in today's sexist, male-dominated
workplace, even a pea-brained *imbecile* like Kevin stands a better
chance of landing a good job than a bright, competent young woman.

(Ms Li looks a bit displeased at her choice of words, but doesn't want to
say anything.)

BARCH: (Continuing.) The Lawndale Women's Movement is hoping to change
this abomination, by sponsoring programs like this.

(Mack raises his hand as if to say something.)

BARCH: Shut up, Mack! (Glares, mutters to herself.) Twenty-two *years*
and then one day he downsizes me right out of his life...

LI: (Speaking to the girls.) I urge every one of you to take advantage of
this opportunity, though as always, participation is strictly voluntary.

DARIA: (To Jane.) That must mean it's non-profit for the school.

O'NEILL: (Thrilled beyond his ability to express himself.) Doesn't this
sound *exciting*, class?

(Cut to O'Neill's POV of the class. No reactions whatsoever. Oh wait,
Daria blinks. But that's all.)

O'NEILL: (Prompting.) Daria?

DARIA: (Sardonic deadpan.) Anything that challenges the patriarchy is a
plus in my book.

BARCH: (Pleased, thinks she's serious.) *Very* good, Daria! I don't
believe you've gotten any extra credit in my class recently, let me
just mark you down for a few points... (She takes out a notepad and
scratches something on it.)

LI: Permission slips and sign-up sheets are available in the office, and
you may stop by anytime. (Prepares to leave, then turns back to the
class.) And while you're there, if you happen to be the person who
stole the intercom from my desk, please return it so I don't have to
keep coming around to individual classes to make these announcements.

(Li and Barch exit, closing the door behind them.)

JANE: (To Daria.) There, that wasn't so bad, now was it?

DARIA: Great. I get to choose between a normal day of teenage exile at
school, and spending the whole day with my parents. Now I just
need to figure out which is less traumatic.

JANE: (Digging in her pocket.) Got a quarter here somewhere...

KEVIN: (He's been pondering for awhile.) Hey, Daria, what's an "imbecile"?



(Li's door is open and girls are lined up out into the hallway by the
trophy case, Daria and Jane at the end. Quinn arrives and spots them.)

QUINN: (Surprised.) *You*? (Joins the queue behind Jane.) I can't
believe this, *you're* actually signing up to participate in

DARIA: It wasn't my idea.

JANE: (Explanatory, holds out her quarter to Quinn.) It came up tails.

(The line advances as this dialogue continues.)

QUINN: But I don't wanna spend the whole day with *you*!

DARIA: Relax, Mom hasn't killed Dad yet, we still have two parents. You
go with one, I go with the other. (Beat.) Now we just need to
decide which one's easier to tolerate for eight straight hours.

JANE: (Holds up her quarter again.) Call it.

QUINN: Umm... Heads Mom, tails Dad.

(Jane flips the coin.)

JANE: Tails. (To Daria.) Looks like quality time for you and Helen.

DARIA: I'm incapable of adequately expressing my delight.

(The rest of the Fashion Club arrives and joins the line.)

SANDI: (Greetings.) Hey, Quinn. Quinn's cousin or whatever. Quinn's
cousin or whatever's little friend, or whatever.

QUINN: Hi, Sandi. Stacy. Tiffany. You guys are signing up too?

SANDI: (Snide.) Do you have a problem with that, Quinn? Did you want to
be like, different from us, or something? If you did, maybe you
should just *resign* from the Fashion Club?

QUINN: (Innocently.) Of *course* not, Sandi, don't be silly! This just
didn't seem like the type of thing you'd want to get involved in.
(Doesn't want a fight, looks pleadingly at Stacy and Tiffany.
Stacy looks away, like she'd rather be somewhere else right now.)

TIFFANY: (Interjects, saving Quinn.) So why *are* we doing this anyway?

SANDI: As members of the Fashion Club, it is our duty to help ensure the
survival of fashion statements in the very workplaces we ourselves
will one day be a part of.

DARIA: (To Jane.) Assuming anyone will hire college flunk-outs with a
degree in bouncy hair.

JANE: Hey, just you watch. They're coming up with new job descriptions
every day.

SANDI: (To Quinn.) My Mom says your Mom has like a big legal thing or
something next week. I hope she doesn't screw it up like she did
with the mother-daughter fashion show.

(Daria overhears, frowns.)

QUINN: (Indignant.) She *won't*. Besides, I'm going with my Dad. My...
cousin's going with my Mom.

(Daria frowns at this, too.)

SANDI: Speaking of Moms... (To Tiffany.) Better call the modelling agency
and make sure your "Mom" will be available.


(By this time, the line has advanced enough to move them into Ms Li's
office. Cut to interior office shot. Li is at her desk, doing paperwork
as the girls in line sign a sheet on her desk and take permission slips
from a short stack of papers.)

DARIA: (Turns, notices Jane.) What are you still doing in line? I thought
your Dad was still on retreat in the Great Cavern.

JANE: He is. They sent a rescue expedition last week. (Beat.) Actually,
I've been hoping for a chance to do some pottery with my mother.
Besides, anything that gets me out of this slave-factory hellhole for
a day is a plus in my book.

(Li looks up and glares, but can't tell for sure who said it. Daria signs
the sheet and takes a permission slip, waits for Jane.)

DARIA: You could always join me for an all-day legal jubilee with my Mother.

JANE: Okay, *almost* anything. Anyway, my Mom'll probably be thrilled I'm
following in her shoeless footsteps.

(Jane finishes signing up and takes a slip for herself.)

DARIA: Mine's so wrapped up in her work right now she'll barely notice me.

JANE: Oh, knowing Helen she'll be rendered speechless with joy, just you



HELEN'S VOICE: What do you *mean* you haven't spoken with them yet?!



(The Morgendorffers at dinner. Jake is engrossed in the paper. Helen,
on the phone and completely stressed out, is pacing around the table,
gesticulating as she talks.)

HELEN: (On phone.) In case you've forgotten, we wrap up witnesses and
closing arguments next *week*! (Pause.) Yes, I *know* we've still
got the weekend, and we're going to need every minute as it is! This
is the biggest case I've had and I'm not about to botch it! You
think the pressure's on now, just *wait* until Sunday night! (Beat.)
*No*, no more excuses, you call RIGHT NOW and find out what witnesses
they're planning to use and GET THEIR STATEMENTS SO WE CAN WORK UP

QUINN: (To Jake.) What's wrong with Mom?

DARIA: I don't see anything unusual.

JAKE: (Looks up from the paper, sees Helen.) Oh, *hi* honey, you're home!

(Helen scowls at Jake, who looks guilty and buries his face back in the

HELEN: (On phone.) Well of *course* I am, in case you've forgotten, *I'm*
the one Eric's going to have up there presenting all this to
Reinhardt on Monday-- (Pause.) Look, just... just put Eric on the
line. (Pause.) Well *find* him for christsake, it's not a very big
office building, he's got to be *somewhere*, have one of the male
janitors check the restrooms!

(The phone emits a beep.)

HELEN: That's the call-waiting, hold on. (Hits a button, puts the phone
back to her ear.) Hello? I'm sorry, I'm in a very important call,
Quinn'll have to get back to you. (Back to the first call.) Did
you try paging him? (Beat.) Well why *NOT*?!

(Cut to the rest of the family at the table.)

JAKE: (Can't concentrate on the paper with Helen shouting.) So... how's
school, girls?

DARIA: Compared to this? I would say... still agonizing beyond words.

QUINN: Stacy spilled her moisturizer in science today.

(Cut to Helen.)

HELEN: (On phone.) *No*, I don't know it, I *never* use it myself, it's
in my speed-dial! (Pause.) Bottom row, third button from the right.

(The phone emits another beep.)

HELEN: (Irritated sigh.) Hold *on*... (Switches calls.) Hello? (Beat.)
Look, for someone who wants to be my daughter's boyfriend, you are
*not* making a good first impression with me, now I *told* you
Quinn will call you back, *later*! Good-*BYE*! (Switches back.)
Have you found him *yet*?! (Instant cheerfulness.) Oh, *hi*, Eric!
No, everything's fine, I was just asking Sue--

(The doorbell rings.)

HELEN: (Exasperated sigh.) That's the doorbell, can you hold a minute,
Eric? (Lowers the phone, mutters.) Seems I have to do *everything*
around here...

JAKE: (To the girls, whining.) But I made dinner! And I did the dishes
and mowed the lawn the other day!

(Jake hides back in the paper as Helen passes by the table on her way out
of the dining room.)

DARIA: Don't feel bad, she never acknowleges anything I do either. Unless
it pisses her off.

HELEN: (Heard that.) Language, Daria!

DARIA: See what I mean?

QUINN: (Out loud, to herself.) I hope that wasn't Donny Mom was yelling at.
He has Splash World season-tickets.



HELEN: (Entering, walking to the door, pacifying tone.) Of course I'm not
stressed out over this, Eric, it's just that Jake and the girls never
seem to help out when I really need it, hang on, this'll just be a

(Helen throws open the door and, before even seeing who it is, shouts:)


(Cut to the open door. It's Mr O'Neill, with a handful of papers, and he
yelps and cowers in fear at Helen's tone.)

HELEN: (Into phone.) Huh? (Pleasant.) No, not you, Eric! It's these
constant interruptions, just a sec...

(O'Neill has just used this time to regain his composure. Helen covers
the mouthpiece with her hand and again demands:)


O'NEILL: (Cowering again, perspiration starting to flow.) Umm, g-good
evening, Mrs Morningloafer... I-I'm Mr--

HELEN: (Snappish, interrupting.) Timothy O'Neill, the girls' English
teacher, yes, what are you doing coming here this hour on a Friday

O'NEILL: (Intimidated.) Ummm, well, you see, n-next Monday Lawndale High
is sponsoring "Take Your Daughter to Work" Day. See, all of the
female students were given the opportunity to--

HELEN: (Impatient.) Can we pick up the pace a bit, I've got a *vitally*
important conversation on hold here, plus I missed lunch today and
I haven't even gotten to *touch* my supper yet!

O'NEILL: (Sweating profusely, talking very rapidly.) Umm, all the girls
who signed up had their parents sign permission slips and write
down their work number so-- (Holds out two sheets of paper, one
for Daria, one for Quinn) --I put together a list of all the
numbers in case the girls wanted to call each other and share
their experiences only I didn't get it done until today because--

HELEN: (Interrupting, snatching the now sweat-drenched papers from O'Neill's
hands.) *THANK* you Mr O'Neill, in the future please call in advance
before dropping by, and since you seem to have so much free time on
your hands you might consider learning to GET OUR FAMILY'S NAME
RIGHT, it's "Morgendorffer", that's M-o-r-g-e-n-d-o-r-f-f-e-r, it's
*not* that difficult, try writing it down about fifty times and see
if that makes it stick in that little emotionally oversaturated
mush-pile you call your head! Good *NIGHT*!

(She slams the door in O'Neill's face.)



(Mr O'Neill shudders, wipes his brow with the rest of the sweaty papers
he's holding.)



(Jake has been watching Helen over the paper. When she returns, he ducks
back inside it again. Daria removes Helen's dinner, which she's
thoughtfully reheated, from the microwave, sets it back at Helen's place at
the table.)

HELEN: (Enters, on phone.) Yes, sorry about that, Eric, where were we...?
I was just checking in to make sure we had everything we needed from
the prosecution team... You did? (Pleased.) *Great!* (Beat.)
Mm-hmm, you too.

(She hits a button to disconnect the call, sighs pleasantly now that that's
taken care of, immediately assumes a cheerful expression.)

HELEN: (Hands Quinn the phone.) Quinn, honey, you're supposed to call...
either a Tyler or a Skyler, I don't remember which.

QUINN: That's okay, I'll call both! (She takes the phone and leaves.)

(Helen picks up her untouched dinner and carries it to the microwave to
warm it back up, completely overlooking the fact Daria's already done it
for her. Daria shoots Jake a "See?" look, but Jake is peering intently at
something in the paper.)

JAKE: Hey, look! In the Court News section! You're famous, honey!
(Reads.) "Defense attorneys Eric Schrecter and Helen Morgendorffer
are gearing up for the final leg of the Atchison assault trial--"

HELEN: (Interrupts.) Jake, *please*. The *last* thing I need right now
is more pressure to win this case! (Removes her re-reheated lasagna
from the microwave, sits down at the table, changes the subject.)
I'm glad you'll be joining me, Daria. I never got to do anything
like this when I was your age.

JAKE: (Reliving his childhood.) Ohhhh, can I ever relate to *that*!
I *begged* my Dad to let me come to work with him, but *nooooo*, he
wouldn't *hear* of it, didn't want little Jakey getting in the way
and embarrassing him at his little after-work beer-guzzling with all
his buddies--!

HELEN: (Cuts off Jake's rant.) I just wish all of your school's events
were as worthwhile as "Take Your Daughter to Work" Day.

DARIA: (Deadpan.) Anything that lets me spend quality time with my
wonderful family is a plus in my book.

JAKE: (Beaming.) Wow, it's great to hear you say that, kiddo!

HELEN: (Dryly.) Jake, she's being sarcastic.




(Mr O'Neill quietly climbs into his car.)



(Mr O'Neill sits silently for a few moments, taking deep breaths,
attempting to calm himself.)

O'NEILL: (Self-reassurance.) I'm okay, everything's okay, that went very
well... I'm okay, everything's okay, that went very well...
(Abruptly breaks down.) Awww, who'm I kidding?!

(He whimpers, pulls his knees up to his chest in a fetal position, and
begins sucking on his thumb, sobbing.)





(Quinn is at her three mirrors, composing an outfit. She has on a sheer
top with a super-short black skirt, heels and a furry boa-scarf thing
wrapped around her neck. She turns this way and that, inspecting herself
from several angles. Daria enters.)

DARIA: (Just a hint of urgency in the monotone.) Hold on. Don't move.
Something's crawled up around your neck.

QUINN: (Turns around.) *What*?

(Daria grabs Quinn's scarf, yanks it to the floor and stomps on it with
one of her boots.)

QUINN: Hey!!

DARIA: There, it's dead. (Puts a hand mock-reassuringly on Quinn's
shoulder.) You're safe now, little sister.

QUINN: (Furious, shrugs her sister's hand away.) Damn you, Daria! (Picks
up the scarf.) I just bought this, now it's ruined! (Smoothes it
out again as best she can, picks off grit from Daria's boots.)

DARIA: Shouldn't you be dressing professionally for your first meeting with
the corporate world?

QUINN: I *am*. (Picks up an open magazine on her bed, holds it up for
Daria to see.) I got the idea from Waif's "workplace" issue. This
*is* professional, Daria.

DARIA: If your workplace is a street corner.

QUINN: (Angry.) Why don't you go pick out what *you're* going to wear,
instead of standing here criticizing *my* taste?

DARIA: You have taste? You could've fooled me.

(Quinn glares as Daria walks out and disappears around the corner. Quinn
has just turned back to the mirror when Daria reappears, two seconds later,
still wearing the green jacket and skirt.)

DARIA: All done.

QUINN: You can't honestly be planning to wear *that*! It's hideous!

DARIA: At least it'll cut down on the sexual harassment. What do you care
anyway? We won't even be in the same building.

QUINN: (Grudgingly.) I guess. (Goes to her makeup table, offers Daria a
compact.) Rouge?

DARIA: I'll pass, thanks.

QUINN: Daria, would it really *kill* you to wear a little makeup just

DARIA: Probably not, but I'm still scared to try. (Turns to leave.)
Have fun being Dad's escort.

(Quinn, infuriated, hurls the compact at Daria's head, but it misses,
hitting the wall and landing in the hallway.)



HELEN: I'm really glad we're doing this, sweetie. I've been doing all
kinds of shopping with Quinn lately, but we've never really gotten
to do anything *you* enjoy.

DARIA: (Mock suspicion.) And just how did you learn about my secret love
of jurisprudence?

HELEN: That's not what I meant, honey, I'm just glad we're getting this
time together.

DARIA: Amazing how mother-daughter bonding coincides with work. Maybe you
and Dad could plan a romantic evening there sometime.

HELEN: (Doesn't like her daughter's attitude, but doesn't want this to
escalate.) Daria, why can't you just *once* show a little
enthusiasm for something?

DARIA: If I ever find anything worth being enthusiastic about, believe me,
you'll be the first to know about it.

HELEN: Did I mention we're meeting your father and Quinn for a nice dinner
after work?

DARIA: (Not enthusiastic about this either.) Nope, keep trying.

(They arrive at a stoplight, and Helen makes a right.)

DARIA: Mom? Isn't your office the other way?

HELEN: Yes, honey. But today we're wrapping up a court case.

(Helen nears the Lawndale courthouse and pulls the car into a parallel
parking space across from it. Daria realizes what she's going to be
subjected to all day and gets an appropriate why-didn't-I-just-go-to-school

( la LA la la...)

(COMMERCIAL LEAD-IN: Split-screen of Helen shouting, and Mr O'Neill in the
car, sucking his thumb.)


(COMMERCIAL: As one, let us all weep tears of joy for four and a half
minutes, as images of jeans, $129.99 shoes, two kinds of tampons, and
potato chips that come in a can forever alter our lives for the better.)




(Sounds of birds and the large fountain that dominates the courtyard.
Close-up of the steps as Helen proceeds up, followed by Daria. Newspaper
and television reporters -- three different logos on the cameras for the
three local TV stations -- flank both sides of the steps. Some of them
recognize Helen and the whole swarm descends, snapping pictures and waving

HELEN: (Aside, to Daria.) Just ignore them. (To the reporters, who are
asking typical reporter questions, trying to drown each other out
and be heard.) No comment. I have no comment on my client's case
at this time.

(Daria gets her share of curious looks and questions.)

DARIA: (To the reporters, explaining.) Relief attorney. I'll be filling
in if she gets exhausted or suffers any debilitating injuries.

(The reporters go nuts over this statement. Helen shoots Daria an
if-looks-could-kill look.)

DARIA: (To one of the TV cameraman, points.) Lens cap's on.

(Actually it's not, but the cameraman turns it around at himself to check
anyway, and ends up looking ridiculous. Daria smirks. Helen grabs her
daughter by the wrist and drags her through the door.)



(Outside a pair of large courtroom double-doors. Waiting for Helen are
Eric, his niece Jasmine, and a heavyset, balding man whom we can safely
assume is Atchison, the defendant.)

HELEN: (Angry.) Daria, that was *not* funny, those people-- (Spots Eric,
mood switch.) Hi, Eric. Carl. (Introducing.) Daria, this is
Eric my boss, and Mr Atchison. Eric, Carl, my daughter Daria.

(Daria presents Eric and Atchison with limp handshakes.)

ERIC: (To Helen.) You remember Jasmine, my niece. She wanted to come with
me for "Take Your Daughter to Work" Day.

HELEN: Yes, hello, Jasmine.

(Helen turns to consult with Eric and Atchison, ignoring the girls.)

JASMINE: (To Daria.) I'm Jasmine. So your name's Dara?

DARIA: Daria, actually.

JASMINE: I like your jacket.

DARIA: Umm, okay.

JASMINE: I mean, it'd look good on *me*.

(Daria frowns a bit at this.)

JASMINE: So is your Mom all stressed out over this stupid case?

DARIA: Among other things. None of them involving her family, of course.

JASMINE: Yeah, Uncle Eric too.

DARIA: I should've just gone with my Dad instead, and spent a nice, relaxing
day in a nice, quiet office.




(Close-up of Jake and Quinn in the car. Quinn is wearing the outfit she
chose before, only minus the boa.)

JAKE: Can you *believe* this?! That bastard took *my* parking space, the
inconsiderate jerk!!

QUINN: (Points.) There's one, Daddy!

(Jake floors it like a maniac, tires screeching as he peels toward where
Quinn's directed him. Just before he can swing in, someone cuts him off
and steals the empty spot.)

JAKE: (Rolls down window, honks horn.) HEY! *I* had that spot, that was

(Sound of the just-parked car's door opening and closing.)

BACK HERE!! (Sticks his head out the window.) I SAID-- (Punctuates
each word with a honk of the horn.) *GET*! *BACK*! *HERE*!

(Quinn shrinks down in her seat so no one will see her. There's a loud
bang and the car shudders, startling Jake and Quinn. Sound of another
horn honking. Pan right to reveal another driver has just rear-ended Jake.
He's boxed in and can't go forward or back up.)




(People are slowly filling the available seats on both sides. Eric, Helen
and Atchison enter, followed by Daria and Jasmine. The prosecution team, a
sharp-featured, menacing male-female pair, are already present with the
plaintiff, a fairly ordinary middle-aged man with glasses and his head
completely bandaged.)

DARIA: Abandon all hope ye who enter here.

JASMINE: (Laughs.) You're funny.

(The group reaches the front, near the bench. Eric and Atchison sit down
at the defense table. Eric opens a briefcase and lays out paperwork.)

HELEN: (Directing Jasmine and Daria.) Here, girls, you can sit behind us.

(Jasmine slides in first. Helen grabs Daria's sleeve.)

HELEN: (To Daria, low conspiratorial voice.) And no matter what happens,
Daria, for God's sake keep your mouth under control. This judge is
a real hard-ass and we can't afford to blow this case.

DARIA: I'll be good.

(Helen lets go, and Daria sits down.)

DARIA: (To herself.) Next week. (Smirks.)



JAKE'S VOICE: Just down here, honey.



(Jake leads Quinn through a hallway lined with office doors. From inside,
several young guys in suits and ties peek out at Quinn as she passes. She
notices and smiles, enjoying the attention. Jake, oblivious, unlocks a
door that has "JAKE MORGENDORFFER CONSULTING, INC." in block letters on the
glass, and opens it.)



(Jake switches on the light and enters with Quinn. It's a typical office,
with paper-strewn desk, a few bookshelves and filing cabinets and a long
conference table with several padded office chairs.)

JAKE: (Proud.) See, Quinn? This is where your ol' Dad wins his bread!

QUINN: (Yawns, bored already.) That's... great, Daddy. Umm, can I get a

JAKE: Sure, sweetie! Breakroom's down the hall, on the left.

(Quinn heads out, down the hall.)

JAKE: (Calls after her.) I'm supposed to have some potential interns coming
in today, see if they're waiting there, will you honey?

(Cut to the breakroom. Quinn enters, sees three interns, basically college-
age clones of Joey, Jeffy and Jaime -- same hair colors, even -- in suits
and ties. Two are seated, the third is leaning on the water cooler sipping
from a paper cup. All three take notice as Quinn walks in.)

QUINN: (Smiles at them.) Hi.

INTERN #1: Hi! Can I get you a soda?

INTERN #2: I'll get you some ice!

INTERN #3: (The standing one, zips to the vending machine, change already in
hand.) What kind d'you want?

INTERN #1: (Stands, pushing Intern #3 away.) Hey, *I* asked her first!

INTERN #3: So? Maybe whe wants *me* to get it!

(The three interns begin shouting at each other. Intern #1 shoves Intern #3
into the water cooler, knocking it over. All three raise their fists

QUINN: (Her eyes showing horror, her smile delight, wails.) Oh, *no*!
Not *again*!



(Court is filling up. Zoom in to where Helen and company are seated, cut
to close-up of Helen turned around talking to Daria.)

ERIC: (To the girls, outlining the case.) Mr Atchison's one of our most
important clients. He owns a lot of property in Lawndale and the
outlying areas. The plaintiff Brinkley, he followed Atchison in an
act of road-rage, got out of the car and harrassed him, but ended up
tripping and cracking his head on a curb.

DARIA: Couldn't have done much damage.

HELEN: Anyway, now he's suing Mr Atchison for assault, and for pain and
suffering from the concussion he got.

JASMINE: That sounds pretty stupid.

DARIA: That's the stupidest thing I've heard so far this month, and I go
to school at Lawndale.

HELEN: Maybe so, but the papers have hyped it into a high-profile case.
(To Jasmine.) Your Uncle Eric's giving me a chance to prove I can
handle it.

ERIC: You'll do fine, Helen, I'm certain of that. Pull this off and you
may be on the road to a partnership.

HELEN: (Daydreamy.) Just think, Daria: "Vitale, Davis, Horowitz, Riordan,
Schrecter, Schrecter, Schrecter and Morgendorffer"!

DARIA: You'll probably have to start giving out bigger business cards.

(Eric and Jasmine chuckle amicably. Helen manages a smile.)

DARIA: Seriously, Mom, do you really want your big moment to come from a
frivolous lawsuit? How could that guy even get a trial out of this

HELEN: Freedom to sue indiscriminately is the price of democracy, sweetie.

DARIA: God bless America.

HELEN: (Warning.) Just behave yourself, Daria.

ERIC: You too, Jasmine.

(Everyone faces front as the bailiff speaks.)

BAILIFF: All rise. Court is now in session. Case of Brinkley versus
Atchison. The Honorable Judge Cornelius Reinhardt presiding.

(Reinhardt emerges from his chambers. He's in his mid-sixties, medium
height, with sagging jowls and a fringe of hair all around his head but
just a few strands on top.)

DARIA: Honorable? With a name like Cornelius?[*]

[*] Apologies to anyone reading this who's actually named Cornelius.

(Jasmine snickers at Daria's comment. Scattered chuckles from the jury
as well, but we don't see them yet. Helen turns and glares sternly at
Daria, Eric at Jasmine. Reinhardt looks in their direction, but can't
tell for sure who said it, sits down.)

REINHARDT: (To the court, deep kind of gurgly old-guy voice.) Please be

(Everyone obeys, but Daria stands just a mite longer.)

DARIA: (Sits, mutters.) Make up your mind.

(Raised eyebrow from Reinhardt. Helen turns and glares intently again,
makes a "zip-the-lip" motion.)



(Jake is seated behind his desk, interviewing Intern #1, who's on the
opposite side, in one of the chairs from the conference table. His suit
is torn at the shoulder, shirt untucked, tie loose, black eye, from the
fight. Quinn sits on the edge of Jake's desk, giving him little flirty
looks and swinging her legs [with the super-short skirt, remember].)

JAKE: (Speech.) --and so at Morgendorffer Consulting, we offer a more
personal, one-on-one relationship with our clients. Have you had any
prior consulting experience, son?

INTERN #1: (Staring at Quinn, not paying much attention.) Huh? Oh, yeah,
several, but none of them lasted more than six months before we
broke up.

JAKE: (Notices he's not paying attention, frowns.) Look at me when I'm
talking to you, son.

INTERN #1: (Looking.) Oh, right.

JAKE: As I was saying, we take pride in our--

(Intern #1 goes back to ogling Quinn.)

JAKE: *Son*!

INTERN #1: (Snaps to attention.) Oh! Sorry. Can I have a job now?



MALE PROSECUTOR: (Confident.) Your honor, the prosecution would like to
call Carl Atchison back to the stand.

HELEN: (Whispers to herself, Daria overhears.) Smug bastards, think they've
got it in the bag...

(Atchison takes the stand. The bailiff holds up the obligatory Bible to
swear him in.)

DARIA: Why don't they just use a polygraph? It's more reliable.

(Helen gives Daria another stern look. Reinhardt notices her this time,
and his eyes narrow. Cut to the stand.)

FEMALE PROSECUTOR: Mr Atchison, do you not agree that my client, Mr
Brinkley, never would have fallen and injured himself had
he not had the prior encountered with you on the road?

HELEN: Objection, Your Honor! Council is leading the witness.

REINHARDT: (Looks at Daria behind Helen, realizes they're related, gets an
evil jowly grin, retaliates against Daria's previous remark.)

(Helen looks burned.)



(Jake's got Intern #2 in front of the desk now. Intern #2's in pretty
much the same shape as Intern #1.)

QUINN: (Bored, digs out O'Neill's list.) Dad, can I call Sandi?

JAKE: Sure, go ahead sweetie.

(Quinn picks up the phone.)

JAKE: (To Intern #2, "I'm cool" tone, feet up on his desk.) So, my man,
where you goin' to school?

INTERN #2: Well right now I'm majoring in business management at Middleton--

JAKE: (Delighted.) Middleton College? That's my old alma mater!

INTERN #2: No kidding? Did they have Toilet Paper Day back when you went?

JAKE: Sure! It was a tradition!

INTERN #2: Last month me and my friends TP'd the entire founder statue,
head to toe, like a mummy!

JAKE: The one in front of the Student Union? Me too! Wow!



DARIA: This is even more ridiculous than "Family Court".

(This gets her a sharp look from the bailiff.)

HELEN: (Before the stand, grilling the plaintiff.) Mr Brinkley, is it true
that in the past you've been on prescription stress-relief medicines
and anti-psychotics?

MALE PROSECUTOR: Objection! Your Honor, this is irrelevant!

REINHARDT: (Still with a disdain for Helen.) Sustained.

HELEN: Your Honor, it is *not* irrelevant. The plaintiff had not been
taking these medications for several weeks prior to the assault on
my client. I have an expert witness ready to testify to that!

FEMALE PROSECUTOR: (Angry.) My client may have a mental instability, but
by using it against him here today, you are trampling his
civil rights!

HELEN: Your Honor, this is a bunch of politically-correct bull--

REINHARDT: (Warning, to Helen's.) Councillor...

(Eric's normally calm demeanor shows a glimmer of alarm. He stands to
address Reinhardt, but Helen waves him back, assures him it's under

HELEN: (Angry, to the female prosecutor.) Are you claiming he's not fit to
stand trial? Why in God's name wasn't this brought up at the hearing
two weeks ago?!

REINHARDT: (Warning, stronger this time.) Councillor!

FEMALE PROSECUTOR: The hearing was *not* to determine my client's mental
health, it was to determine the feasibility of an out-
of-court settlement for Mr Atchison's brutal assault on
Mr Brinkley!

HELEN: (Losing it.) To blackmail the defendant, you mean! You're as loony
as your client!

(A shouting match ensues between Helen and the prosecution team.)

REINHARDT: Order! ORDER!! (Slams the gavel down loudly.)

DARIA: (In the moment of otherwise-silence that ensues.) All that's
missing is a juggling act.

(Jasmine giggles. More snickers from the jury -- they clearly find Daria's
antics amusing, but we still don't see them.)

HELEN: (Hisses.) Daria!!

REINHARDT: (Strictly, looking directly at Daria.) Miss?

(She looks up at him, points questioningly to herself.)

REINHARDT: Yes, you with the green jacket and spectacles. Are you familiar
with the term "contempt of court"?

DARIA: (Stares him down, fearless.) I'm aware of my own contempt *for*

REINHARDT: (Infuriated.) Young lady, you will shut that lip of yours RIGHT
NOW or you will experience contempt of court firsthand! I will
*NOT* warn you again!

(Daria smirks again.)



(Intern #3's in the hot seat and in the same shape as the other two.)

INTERN #3: ...I guess I was hopin' to just recuperate from last semester
for awhile. This internship thing was my Dad's idea, he wanted
me to earn some money.

JAKE: (Nods.) Yeah, I hear that. (Childhood trauma bubbling up.) *My*
Dad sent me off to military school when I was eight! "Get you whipped
into shape, Jakey, maybe you'll learn to take care of yourself instead
of sponging off *us* your whole life!" Ohhhh, how he *mocked* me,
said I'd never amount to anything, never raise a family, never land a
job anywhere--

INTERN #3: (Looking around uncomfortably.) Umm, maybe I should go...

JAKE: (Bangs his fist on the desk.) WELL I SHOWED HIM!! I RUN MY *OWN*
BUSINESS NOW! I'M MY *OWN* BOSS, DAMMIT! (Stands, stomps on the
floor with one foot, talks down to it.) HEAR THAT, DAD?! YOU WERE

INTERN #3: (To Quinn.) Umm, I really think I should go now.

QUINN: No, it's okay, he gets like this sometimes.

INTERN #3: (Hastily.) I... just remembered... I have another interview I
need to get to.

QUINN: Don't forget to call me tonight.

(Intern #3 backs slowly away from Jake and high-tails it out.)

JAKE: (Still venting resentment, yelling at the floor.) HOPE YOU LIKE IT



HELEN: (A lull in proceedings, aside to Eric.) This is *not* going well.

ERIC: (Reassuringly.) You're doing an excellent job, Helen.

DARIA: (Louder than necessary.) Isn't that for the jury and Wapner up
there to decide?

REINHARDT: (Overhears.) Young lady, you have been *warned* not to make a
mockery of this court!

DARIA: Too late for that, Your Honor. You made a mockery of it yourself
by even allowing this preposterous case.

(Reinhardt has the gavel raised, but lets it hang there, speechless at the
audacity of someone this young.)

DARIA: (Stands.) Don't you see it's just an underhanded attempt to
manipulate the system, waste the court's time, keep real cases from
going to trial, and milk as much money as possible? This should've
been thrown out at the preliminary hearing long ago.

OF COMMUNITY SERVICE!! (Sharp crack of the gavel.)

DARIA: Aren't you supposed to be laughably lenient on first-time offenses
by minors?

*AT* *ONCE*!!! (Bangs the gavel again.)

(Helen is mortified.)

DARIA: (Deadpan, to Jasmine.) I'm so glad we had this time together.
(To Atchison, who doesn't look well at all.) Don't worry, I hear
lethal injection's not that bad. Beats firing-squad, anyway,
sometimes they miss and you die slowly.

(Helen's using every nuance of self-control to keep from yelling at Daria
in front of everyone. Daria grabs her cellular phone from the table as
the bailiff arrives and leads her out. She wears that smirk the whole



(The bailiff lets Daria go and disappears back inside, doors closing behind.
Daria pokes at Helen's cell phone.)



(Sound of phone ringing.)



(Loud music drowning out the phone-ring. Close-up of Amanda's [Mrs Lane's]
hands, painting a ceramic bowl, and her feet resting on the workbench. Hold
for a few seconds, then cut to shot of Jane at a pottery wheel, molding a
lump of clay as she spins it with the foot-treadle. Same loud music and
muffled phone, Jane doesn't hear it either.)



DARIA: Damn. (Digs out O'Neill's list, studies it, dials another number.)





(Initial close-up of the phone ringing on the desk, Michelle's hand
lifting the receiver. Cut to Michelle at her desk, Jodie in an office
chair by the window. Michelle wears the same outfit she did in "Gifted."
Jodie is dressed in her typical school outfit.)

MICHELLE: Hello, Michelle Landon. (Pause.) Yes, just a moment. (Covers
phone, hands it to Jodie.) Jodie, it's your friend Daria
Morgendorffer from school.

(Jodie looks surprised Daria called her, takes phone from her Mom. Split-
screen diagonal with Jodie and Daria on opposite sides.)

JODIE: Hello? Daria?

DARIA: Hi Jodie. Hope I'm not interrupting.

JODIE: No, of course not.

DARIA: I've been in a room full of idiots all morning and I really need to
talk to someone intelligent.

JODIE: (Flattered by an actual Daria compliment.) Thanks. I read about
your Mom's case in the paper. How's it going?

DARIA: Right now I haven't a clue. The judge slapped me with contempt and
threw me out.

JODIE: (Eyes wide.) Oh my God. Why?

DARIA: I told him what I thought about the legal system and the frivolous
lawsuit he's wasting his time on.

JODIE: Wow, that's great!

DARIA: (Surprised.) You're... not going to criticize my attitude?

JODIE: (Of-*course*-not tone.) *No*, I think it's cool you had the guts to
speak your mind that way. I wish I could do that.

DARIA: My Mom didn't think it was all that cool.

JODIE: (Laughs.) I'll bet. Hey, listen, my Mom and I were gonna get dinner
someplace after work, you wanna join us?

(People start to file out of the courtroom. Helen, Eric, Jasmine and
Atchison arrive and find Daria.)

DARIA: Hang on, I'll ask my Mom, she just got out. (Covering the phone,
to Helen.) Has justice prevailed yet?

HELEN: (Haggard.) Not yet, it's lunchtime. Court's in recess until one.

DARIA: (Sardonic.) Will you push me on the merry-go-round?

( la LA la la...)

(COMMERCIAL LEAD-IN: The bailiff escorting Daria out of the courtroom.)


(COMMERCIAL: Awright, lessee... Mentos candies [Aren't those commercials
the most retarded things y'ever did see?], GameBoy Camera [I stand
corrected, *those* are the most retarded.], and at least one but preferably
two ads for other shows on MTV, most likely the 1998 MTV Movie Awards
[Hosted by Ben Stiller!] and the 10-Spot lineup for some weeknight. Oh,
and it's ten-to-the-hour, so we can't leave out an MTV News brief.)




(City noise, traffic, etc.)



(Just Jake and Quinn now. Jake's since calmed down.)

JAKE: (Thinking out loud, making notes.) Well, all three of them were
dressed like complete slobs, I don't know where these kids today
*get* these ideas...? (Wraps up paperwork, turns to Quinn.) So
what'd you think of the potential candidates, sweetie?

QUINN: Well... (Thinking, counting off on her fingers.) Okay, the first
guy was *really* cute, but you could just *tell* he still lives with
his parents and probably will for at least another five years. The
second one said he had his own car, but he didn't say whether it was
a convertible or not, so he's probably embarrassed, like maybe it's
a station wagon or a Yugo or something. And I've seen the third guy
waiting tables at Chez Pierre, so I know he knows a good place to
take someone on a date, but let's face it he's gonna *have* to do
something with that hair if he wants to be seen in public with *me*.
But, I'll probably still talk to him tonight if he calls, he had
kind of a sexy voice.

JAKE: (Taken aback, not the sort of response he'd exptected.) Ummm, what I
meant was, did you think any of them were qualified for a consulting
job here?

QUINN: Oh. Well, I wouldn't rush into anything if I were you, Daddy.
Trust me, it's best to just hold out and let *them* get back to
*you*. And if they end up having to fight it out between them,
that's always a good sign. You know, "best man wins" kind of thing.
Plus, who knows, maybe while you're waiting you'll find somebody

(Another confused look on Jake.)



HELEN: (Puts on her cheerful voice.) Michelle? Hi, this is Helen
Morgendorffer, we met at Grove Hills?

(Split-screen diagonal between Michelle/Jodie and Helen/Daria.)

MICHELLE: (Remembers how Helen ticked her off before. A bit shortly.)
Yes, I remember.

HELEN: Daria mentioned meeting you and Jodie for dinner, and I was just
wondering what's in your part of town.

MICHELLE: (Offended, interpreting it as a racial comment.) What do you
*mean*, "my part of town"?!

HELEN: I just meant--... Let me think... Chez Pierre is wonderful,
although I've personally always found it a tad expensive...

MICHELLE: (Bristling.) Are you suggesting my family couldn't *afford* to
eat at Chez Pierre?!

JODIE: (Whispered, to Michelle.) Mom, please, don't...

HELEN: (Flustered.) Well I suppose we could always meet someplace near
my office. Let's see... there's Pizza For-- (Catches herself.)
No, better not... the cafe at Seven Corners is good, on Monday
nights they have an all-you-can-eat fried chicken special--

MICHELLE: (Practically shrieking.) And just *WHAT* makes you assume we like
fried chicken?!

JODIE: (Despair.) Mom...

MICHELLE: (Sharply, into the phone.) Fine. What time?

HELEN: Well, I'm supposed to get off at five but with this trial I've had
to sort of let things slip back at the office, so I really could
stand to stay until about seven and catch up, but if that's too
late I suppose I could cut out at six-thirty and make an early day

MICHELLE: Okay, sure, six-thirty, see you then.

(Helen hangs up. Expand the screen showing Jodie and Michelle.)

MICHELLE: (Shaking her head.) *God*, what a head-case.

(Cut back to Helen and Daria. Helen pockets the cellular phone, grabs
Daria's collar, she's been trying to sneak away.)

HELEN: Not so fast, Daria Marie! (Points to the courtroom doors.) Just
what the *hell* did you think you were *doing* in there?!

DARIA: (Deadpan.) Telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
truth, so help me God?

HELEN: (Incredulous.) I don't know what's gotten into you today!

DARIA: A little enthusiasm about something, maybe? Weren't you trying to
encourage me a few hours ago?

HELEN: (Realizes it.) I could just shoot myself for that.



(Jake's in a business meeting with a partnership of three young executives,
all of whom are watching Quinn as she spins herself around in an office

JAKE: Well, men, that's Morgendorffer Consulting's proposal in a nutshell.
Anything still unclear?

(No response. They're all watching Quinn.)

JAKE: Great! (Produces a fancy pen, slides the contract toward the execs.)
Shall we do the honors?

(The execs scribble down their signatures without taking their eyes off

JAKE: Terrific! I assume you'll be in touch, then.

(The execs file out, wordlessly.)

JAKE: (Closes door.) *Whew*! That went great! (To Quinn.) Did you see
your ol' Dad in action there, sweetheart?

QUINN: (Stops the spinning office chair.) Huh?

JAKE: ("Studly" voice.) They must've seen how... cool I was on the outside.
(Now normal Jake.) 'Course I was nervous as hell about that one, even
kinda dizzy there.

QUINN: (Touches her hands to the side of her head, looks nauseous from
all that spinning.) Uuck. Me too.



DARIA: Mom, the whole lawsuit's a joke. I know it, you know it, the jury
knows it. Even Reinhardt, probably.

HELEN: Daria, it's not your place to--

DARIA: (Just a mite upset.) Don't talk down to me like I'm Quinn, Mom.
I'm smarter than that. If you want to win this case, plead sanity.
Appeal to the jury's intelligence to see through this charade.
Trust me, they'll respect you for it.

HELEN: (Skeptical, but trying to be encouraging.) And how do you know that?

DARIA: Gut feeling.



(Close-up of the jury. We can now see that a few of the front-row jurors
have thick Daria-style glasses and Daria-esque blankly detached looks.)

REINHARDT: Has the jury reached a verdict?

(Cut to the defense team. Daria's back with Helen, but Helen has one hand
under Daria's chin and the other tightly over her mouth.)

DARIA: (Thought voice-over.) "No, trial first, verdict afterwards!"[*]

[*] From "Alice in Wonderland", of course.

FOREPERSON: Yes we have, Your Honor. (Hands the slip of paper to the
bailiff, who passes it to Reinhardt.) Of the charges of
assault, we the jury find the defendant, Carl Atchison...

(Beat. Rapid-cut close-ups of the prosecution team, Atchison, Eric, Helen
and Daria. All but Daria wear tense expressions.)

FOREPERSON: ...not guilty.

REINHARDT: (Satisfied.) Mr Brinkley, the jury has ruled against Mr
Atchison being at fault for your injuries. As that is the
basis of your claim for damages, this case is dismissed.
(Final strike of the gavel.)

(Reactions from the court, murmurs. Eric, Helen and Atchison swap
handshakes. Daria stands vacantly through the whole thing, wincing when
Helen hugs her.)

JASMINE: (Claps.) Awright, Uncle Eric!

DARIA: (To Jasmine.) Guess it came up tails.

JASMINE: (Frowns, not getting it.) Huh?



(Zoom in on the door, with all the attorneys' names.)

HELEN'S VOICE: (Pleased.) Jake, honey, we *won*!

(Split-screen with Helen and Jake on phones in their respective offices.
Daria's in Helen's chair, Helen is standing.)

JAKE: Really? Well I got the Matthews Brothers contract!

HELEN: That's wonderful! Are we still on for dinner? We decided on the
Seven Corners Cafe, Daria's friend Jodie is coming too, you remember
the Landons?

JAKE: The black girl? Sounds great, Quinn's bringing a friend too!

HELEN: *Jesus*, Jake, don't say anything like that when we get there!
You know how easy it is to get her mother going! (Looks alarmed.)
Did you say one of Quinn's friends is coming too?

JAKE: Yeah, she called her earlier. I think she said her name's Sandi,
or something like that.

HELEN: (Despairing.) Oh *God* just what I don't need, another perfectly
good day ruined by that bitch Linda...

JAKE: Great, see you then, honey!

(Both hang up. Full-screen on Helen's office.)

HELEN: (Right back into stressed-out mode again, looks at her assistant's
empty desk.) *Look* at this, for God's sake didn't she *DO* anything
while I was gone?!

DARIA: Mom, can I try Jane one last time?

HELEN: (Distracted.) Sure honey, I'll just be down the hall, dial 9 then
the pound sign for an outside extension, oh and if you hear a tone,
that's the call waiting, just push "hold" to switch lines and take a
messasge for me will you? Or if it's Eric or my assistant have them
page me, they've got my number. (She's out now.)

(Daria dials.)



(Loud music, as before.)



(Drowned-out phone. Close-up of Amanda's hands and feet working on a clay
pot, as always. This time, though, Jane's feet are propped up on the bench
next to Amanda's, and Jane's hands are painting ceramics as well. Unlike
Amanda, she still has her shoes on. Hold for a few seconds, then:)



DARIA: Damn.

HELEN: (Reappears in doorway, rushed.) C'mon, Daria, let's get out of here
before they ask me to work the night.



(Helen's car pulls up outside.)



(Everyone else is already present and waiting as Daria and Helen enter.
Clockwise around the rectangular table are: Sandi, Linda, two empty seats,
Jake, Quinn, Jodie, Michelle. Food has already been ordered, there's a
big plate of fried chicken pieces in the center, with biscuits, salad and
drinks all around. Helen takes the seat next to Jake, putting Daria beside
Linda. Greetings all around, except from Jake, who's got a paper.)

HELEN: (False friendliness.) Linda! It's nice to see you again.

LINDA: (Not even attempting to feign courtesy.) If only the feeling could
be mutual.

(Daria looks to Helen for an explanation, none comes.)

HELEN: (To Linda.) So how have you been?

LINDA: (Smug.) Well today I was nominated for Employee of the Quarter for
the fifth consecutive time, earning me the admiration of my daughter
and co-workers alike, so I sure as *hell* can't complain. (A bit
snide.) And you?

(Sandi shoots Quinn a superior look.)

HELEN: Well, I had quite a successful day in court myself--

JAKE: (Looks up from his paper.) Oh, hi honey, you made it! We ordered
dinner already, hope that's okay.

(Helen glares at Jake for interrupting her. Having officially announced
dinner, Jake puts down the paper and digs in. The others follow suit,
except for Linda and Helen. Daria raises an eyebrow, sensing there's
something up with these two that's been going on for some time now.)

HELEN: (Reaches for a piece of chicken.) Linda? Aren't you hungry?

LINDA: I think I'll just have some salad, thanks. I wouldn't want to have
to start wearing clothes in *your* size.

HELEN: (Puts the chicken back. Indignant, but covering it with a false good
demeanor.) Well, for your information, I happen to be *down* a full
size since the last time we saw each other!

LINDA: I see. (Points at Helen's face, understated hostility.) And is that
a brand-new wrinkle up there?

HELEN: (Topic-change.) What I was *trying* to say before being interrupted--
(Another glare at Jake, who doesn't notice.) --is that I single-
handedly won the Atchison case today, the one all over TV and the

(Now it's Quinn's turn to look superior to Sandi. Daria frowns at the fact
Helen didn't even acknowledge her strategy.)

HELEN: (Proud.) Eric's talked about making me a full partner with the firm.

LINDA: (Snide, mocking her career.) Oh, that's *great*, Helen. It must be
nice, being the best at being deceitful and manipulative.

JAKE: (Just doesn't get it.) Yeah, that's great, honey!

(Both Helen and Linda glare at Jake. Michelle and Jodie exchange glances
and continue eating, trying to ignore them.)

LINDA: (Not missing a beat.) But why don't we see if you actually *get*
the partnership before we deciding whether you're a success or not?

(Helen looks like she wants to bite back, but doesn't have the backbone.
Quinn looks pleadingly at Helen, hoping she'll do it. Jake finishes eating,
picks up the paper again and peeks over it, afraid to say anything. Daria,
expressionless, looks back and forth, tiny smirk, decides it's her job to
bring this to an end.)

DARIA: (To Linda.) So have you ever actually *won* Employee of the Quarter?

HELEN: (That was the cue she needed.) Yes, Linda, have you?

LINDA: (To Daria.) Excuse me, I don't believe we've been introduced.

HELEN: Linda, this is Daria--

(Quinn and Helen both speak at the same time.)

QUINN: --my cousin!
HELEN: --my other daughter.

SANDI: (Aside, to Linda.) She's like adopted or something.

LINDA: (Snorts, aside to Sandi.) God. She's even less cute than Quinn.
It must run in the family.

(Helen and Quinn overhear, get genuinely pissed-off looks.)

DARIA: (Shakes it off.) Fortunately I'm not so superficial that I'd use
cuteness as the sole criterion of personal worth.

LINDA: And just what is *that* supposed to mean?

DARIA: Sorry, too many big words? I do that sometimes. I'll try to keep
it down to two syllables max.

(Both Daria and Linda get evil smirks, like "I've just found a worthy

DARIA: But let's not change the subject. (Looks to Helen.)

HELEN: (Picking up.) Yes, Linda, tell us: Have you, or have you not, ever
been awarded Employee of the Quarter?

LINDA: (Awkwardly.) Uh... I... (Loath to admit it.) No. (Quickly adds.)
But I *have* been runner-up the past three times!

HELEN: (Brightens, puts on the false cheerfulness.) Well, there's nothing
wrong with that, right Daria? (Smiles at her daughter.)

DARIA: (Deadpan.) Absolutely. There's no shame in being second place.

QUINN: (Right on cue.) Yeah, like if you're in a club, the vice-president
is just as important as the president, only she has to be VP because
you can only have one president. But that doesn't mean she's not as
*good* as the president!

SANDI: (Can't very well let *that* go unchallenged.) No *way*, Quinn.
If you're in second place it's because you just weren't *good* enough
to be first!

LINDA: (Turns to Sandi, angry.) Whose side are you on?!

SANDI: (Trying to change the subject.) Uh... The food here is pretty good.

HELEN: (Giving Daria an opening.) Yes, I just love the flakey crust on
their chicken!

DARIA: (Looking Linda square in the eye.) The crust isn't the only thing
here that's flakey.

JAKE: (Lowers the paper, glares.) Daria!

(Helen kicks Jake under the table, winks sideways to Daria that it's okay.)

DARIA: (To Helen, giving *her* an opening.) Are we getting dessert?

HELEN: (Finally has the guts to say something.) No, it's not like we need
all those extra calories. (Evil smirk.) Especially *you*, Linda!

LINDA: (Outraged, now that Helen's actually joined in.) That is quite
enough! I for one am *not* going to stand here and listen to this!
(Starts to stand up.)

(Daria nudges her plate forward into Linda's beverage, which tips over the
edge of the table, into Linda's lap. Michelle and Jodie gasp, look up.)

LINDA: (Stands all the way, arms out, looks down at the front of her
stained clothes.) Oh *noooo*! This outfit is *ruined*! (Grabs
Sandi's wrist, prepares to leave.) You realize the cleaning bill
for this is coming out of your Fashion Club's treasury!

SANDI: (Horrified.) Mo-OOMMMM!! You can't *do* that! They'll hate me!
They won't want me for president anymore!

LINDA: Well then maybe they should get a *new* president. Quinn, perhaps?

(By this time they're at the door. Linda shoots Helen a hateful "this isn't
over yet" glare. Quinn and Helen exchange the same smirk that Linda and
Sandi wore at the end of "Fair Enough". Once again, Helen completely
overlooks Daria.)

MICHELLE: (To Jodie.) Are there any white students at Lawndale whose
families *aren't* basket-cases?

JAKE: (Looks up from paper, sees Linda and Sandi leaving.) Oh, are they
done already?




(The two high-five each other just as Daria walks in.)

QUINN: We finally showed those two!

HELEN: (Hugs Quinn.) You were *great*, sweetheart!

(Daria watches them ignore her, digs in the fridge for a pop, starts to
head out to the living room.)

QUINN: We should go out and celebrate! Cashman's is open 'til 12 during
Midnight-Madness Month!

HELEN: Cashman's it is! Daria, you're welcome to come along.

DARIA: (Blandly.) No, thanks.

HELEN: (Notices her sullenness, goes over to her.) Honey, I know I got
upset with you today at the trial, but I just wanted to say...

(Daria looks hopeful at the prospect of encouragement from Helen.)

HELEN: (Continuing.) ...I hope you had a good time today anyway.

DARIA: Sure. Great.

HELEN: Now are you *positive* you won't join us?

DARIA: Hell yeah. I'll just go sit on my ass in front of the damn TV.

HELEN: (Frowns.) Language!



(Daria and Jane are walking to school together. Jane has her left hand
wrapped tightly with gauze.)

DARIA: I tried to call you twice, but no one answered.

JANE: Yeah, I was in my Mom's ceramics bunker, you can never hear the phone
down there. (Holds up her bandaged hand.) Got a wicked kiln burn
you've just *got* to see.

DARIA: If you'd like to sue the manufacturer, I just happen to know an
excellent personal-injury attorney.

JANE: Yeah, how'd it go with Helen?

DARIA: It was a blast. You missed out on some great courtroom sketches.
The expression on Judge Reinhardt's face when he threw me out was
just priceless.

JANE: Wow. You've gotta tell me all about it at our after-school pizza

DARIA: Can't, sorry. I've got community service for the next two weeks,
four hours a day.

JANE: So was it worth it?

DARIA: Well, I made my Mom about go ballistic. I got to not make friends
with a whole bunch of new people. And I fearlessly exposed our
decaying and ineffectual judicial system for the sickening cesspool
that it is.

JANE: So no downside, you're saying.

(Cut to show Jane and Daria walking away down the sidewalk, toward the

DARIA: Well, my Mom still doesn't give me credit for anything good I do.
But then, anything I can use as an excuse to lash out at the bleak,
soul-shrivelling reality of my life is a plus in my book.

JANE: (Claps Daria on the shoulder with her good hand.) Amen to that,

( la LA la la...)



AUTHOR'S NOTES: *Whew*. A Daria fanfic that doesn't even mention Trent
or "Sick, Sad World". Knew I could do it.

Essentially, I know squat about the nuances of our legal system and I suck
at coming up with good court cases. But like Daria, I'm a firm believer in
"What I don't know, I can fake." If you were wondering why the trial
details are sort of glossed over in this script, that's why. If I screwed
something up, please don't mail to tell me about it cuz I really don't care.
This is the last courtroom setting I'll ever use, so it's not like
corrections are going to help me or anything.

I'd originally had a different personal-injury type case planned for the
story, but the road-rage/harrassment bit came from a personal experience as
I was writing this. I really was followed and shouted at by a psychopath
who didn't like my driving, and he really was an ordinary-looking middle-
aged guy. Creeped the hell outta me, but good for inspiration. (Alas, the
real-life guy didn't fall and crack his head open like the plaintiff in
this script. But then, if he had he probably would've sued me as well.)

You'll notice I did take the liberty of guessing at Daria's middle name.
It was a toss-up between Lynn and Marie, the two most common female middle
names. (It came up tails.) If the show someday reveals I was wrong, feel
free to snicker at me mercilessly.

[Disclaimer: "Daria" and all related characters are trademarks of MTV
Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc., and are used here
without permission for the purpose of fan fiction. I suppose if you
represent MTV's legal department you could sue, but think about it,
what's it really going to get you? I mean, *I* sure don't have any
money, and there's like fifty other people writing these fan stories,
so you might as well just live with it and maybe learn to appreciate
the fact that your show has such a loyal, dedicated legion of fans who
care enough to write things like this. Of course, you *could* just
hire us and that'd solve your problem nicely too.]

[This "Daria" fanfic story is copyright 1998 by C.E. Forman but may be
distributed freely in unaltered form to fans of "Daria" everywhere,
provided the author's name and e-mail address remain intact. Thank
you, and good night.]