Cafe Disaffecto/transcript

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(opening theme song)

(it's dark outside the alt.lawndale.com cybercafé; suddenly, a brick is thrown through a window, the alarm goes off, and thieves make off with computer equipment moments before the police arrive)

(at Lawndale High)

(Mack and Kevin are at Mack's locker)

Kevin - Come on, Mack Daddy! I'll get the coach to write us a note. I'll say we need extra time on the free weights.

Mack - Don't call me that, okay? And they're not gonna excuse you from English for weight training.

Kevin - I can't take anymore of this Shakespeare dude, bro. He's, like, a total chick writer!

Brittany - (walking by) Hi, Mack! Hi... (suggestively) ...Romeo.

Kevin - See?

Mack - Maybe we'll start Hamlet today. That has a skull in it.

Kevin - Really?

(Daria arrives, only to find that Kevin is leaning against her locker)

Daria - Excuse me.

Kevin - (moves to let Daria through) Daria, you're a chick, right?

Daria - Why? You have a biology test today?

Kevin - Like, why should I be interested in anything this Shakespeare guy says?

Daria - You? Well... Hamlet has a skull in it.

(in English class)

Mr. O'Neill - Class, I thought today we'd take a break from the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet to discuss the real life tragedy that happened last night here in Lawndale. Let's share our feelings of violation following the loss of our beloved cybercafé, alt.lawndale.com. Who would like to start? (looks at Kevin) Charles? Charles, did you hear me?

Kevin - You mean, Kevin?

Mr. O'Neill - (looks at seating charts) Kevin, heh. I'm sorry. You uh, look like somebody else. What do you have to say about last night's horrible event?

Kevin - I was home all night. You can ask my parents. Besides, I already have a computer.

Mr. O'Neill - No, Kevin. I mean, how did the theft make you feel?

Kevin - Um... sad?

Mr. O'Neill - Are you asking me or telling me?

Kevin - Angry?

Mr.O'Neill - Hmmm... Jodie, how about you?

Jodie - I think the cybercafé served one very particular segment of the community, but it still pisses me off when people take what isn't theirs.

Kevin - That's how I feel!

Mr. O'Neill - Thank you, Kevin. Jodie, about that word, "community." Isn't that the whole idea of a cybercafé? To jack us into the global community? I think what's most disturbing about this crime is the symbolism involved. Don't you agree, Jane?

Jane - No.

Mr. O'Neill - Suddenly, we're cut off. We can't hail our friends across the globe and say, "It's a beautiful day in the cyberhood." They didn't just take a few computers. They took the symbol of our virtual community. To visit alt.lawndale.com was to come together with the planet!

Daria - Oh, come on.

Mr. O'Neill - Yes?

Daria - Come together with the planet? By staring at a screen for hours? Sitting in a room full of people you never say a word to?

Mr. O'Neill - Hmm. Interesting point, Dorian.

Daria - Daria.

Mr. O'Neill - (looks at seating chart and slaps spider crawling on it) Uh! Damn spiders. Daria, you believe that while connecting Lawndale citizens to our global neighbors, the cafe was alienating us from each other.

Daria - I'm saying if you really miss the place, put a Mr. Coffee in the computer lab.

Mr. O'Neill - So, in your opinion, what we really need is a return to the traditional coffee house of yore, where you'd watch some performers and share a cup with your friends, face to face.

Jane - You're a visionary.

Mr. O'Neill - Right here and now, let's pledge to make Daria's dream a reality.

Daria - You mean the one where people walking down the street burst into flames?

Mr. O'Neill - The coffee house! We'll plan it, locate it, raise the money, and open it!

Daria - Would that qualify as an extracurricular activity?

Mr. O'Neill - Of course.

Daria - Then I'd like to register as a conscientious objector.

(at the Morgendorffer house)

(Daria and Jake sit at the kitchen table, reading newspapers)

Helen - (walking by) Hi! Gotta change, dinner meeting.

Jake - Did something happen?

Daria - Hmm... depends on your perspective.

Quinn - (walking by) Hi! No dinner for me! Emergency meeting of the Fashion Club!

Daria - I'll make up a nice plate for you and cover it up with cling wrap.

Jake - That was Quinn.

Daria - Yes, but you still haven't identified our first mystery guest.

Helen - (comes back into kitchen) Dammit. I just called Eric for directions and he said the meeting's canceled. Well, that just gives us the chance for a family dinner.

Daria - I'll throw another steak on the grill.

Quinn - (walks in) Later. (aaaaand walks out again)

Helen - Where's she going?

Daria - Crisis at the Fashion Club. Someone woke up with frosted hair.

Helen - (sits) You know, Daria, it wouldn't hurt if you got involved in some after school projects once in a while.

Daria - Can't talk now. I'm chairing a meeting of the Resting Quietly Club.

Helen - I'm serious. When you apply to college, they're gonna be looking for that kind of thing. Right, Jake?

Jake - Hmm.

Daria - They're going to be looking to see whether I can pay for school. This might be a good time to talk about setting up a trust?

Helen - Jake, tell her. (grabs newspaper) Tell her!

Jake - Yes, what?

Helen - About the importance of extracurricular activities for getting into college.

Jake - Oh. Well, these days it's more about whether you can pay.

Helen - You're not helping me.

Daria - Have you thought about a living will, Dad?

Jake - Do you think I need one?

Helen - Just think about it, Daria. That's all I ask.

Daria - Fair enough.

Helen - Because otherwise, we might have to make up for it over the summer. Send you to music camp.

Daria - You wouldn't.

Jake - What a great idea. How come you don't ever play the flute anymore, Daria?

Daria - Because you ran over it when I was in fifth grade, which was two years after I quit playing anyway. Which is why I would have to interpret music camp as punishment for doing something very, very wrong.

Helen - Nonsense. It would just be an easy way of getting some extracurricular activity on your college applications... if you weren't able to come up with any on your own.

Daria - You're good. When you put your mind to it, you're very, very good.

Jake - Sure she is!

Helen - You'll find something to get involved with. It'll be fun.

Jake - (looks around) Where's Quinn?

(at Lawndale High)

(Daria enters Mr. O'Neill's classroom; O'Neill, seated at teacher's desk, is the only one present; seeing Daria enter, he quickly scans the seating charts)

Mr. O'Neill - Oh...

Daria - It's Daria.

Mr. O'Neill - Hi, Daria. What's up?

Daria - I want to volunteer to work on the coffeehouse.

Mr. O'Neill - Fantastic! What made you change your mind?

Daria - Did anyone ever make you practice "Pop Goes the Weasel" on the flute every day for a year?

Mr. O'Neill - Um, no... but I once had to recite the Gettysburg Address wearing a rainbow wig and panties that said "Tuesday." Whatever made me want to join a fraternity. (laughs) Anyway, that's great! I guess you want to read one of your essays.

Daria - No, I wasn't actually thinking about performing.

Mr. O'Neill - Maybe that one about feeling like a big misfit whom everybody hates. The other kids will really relate to that. I know I do.

Daria - I don't know if that's such a great idea. That's the one that compares the sophomore class to barnyard animals. It names names.

Mr. O'Neill - Oh, yeah.

Daria - I'm really not much of a performer. I'm thinking more along the lines of fundraising?

Mr. O'Neill - Oh. Well, we're selling magazines, CDs, and wrapping paper. Jump in!

Daria - Can I go with my friend Jane?

Mr. O'Neill - Sure! She wants to help out?

Daria - Mmm-hmm. She's a big joiner.

(at the Lane house)

(Jane is painting and Daria is seated on Jane's bed)

Jane - No way, baby.

Daria - Come on. Do it for friendship.

Jane - I have no friends. I walk alone.

Daria - Well, then, do it for sisterhood or something.

Jane - Are you nuts?

Daria - Then do it for the opportunity to look inside people's houses and find out what screwed-up tastes they have.

Jane - I'm bringing a Polaroid.

(on the streets of Lawndale)

(Kevin and Brittany walk down sidewalk)

Brittany - This is fun!

Kevin - Yeah, people get a kick out of seeing someone from the Lawndale Lions.

Brittany - You were so smart to wear your jersey, Kevin.

Kevin - Awww...

(Kevin and Brittany go up to a house and ring the doorbell)

Brittany - Have you been practicing your lines for the coffeehouse?

Kevin - Awww, they give me a headache, babe.

Brittany - Kevin, please learn them. Or I might get a headache.

Kevin - What do you mean?

(Mr. DeMartino opens the door; he is wearing an apron and chef's hat while holding a chicken)

Mr. DeMartino - Well, well. Kevin and Brittany. What a delightful surprise.

Kevin - Ah, hi!

Mr. DeMartino - You've come, no doubt, to apologize for your academic performance.

Kevin - Um, no!

Brittany - But we are sorry about, like, our grades and stuff.

Mr. DeMartino - Well, then, to what do I owe the pleasure?

Kevin - We're raising money for the new Lawndale young adult's coffee house! Would you like to buy some holiday wrapping paper?

Brittany - We've got religious, festive, and/or monteldomitational!

Kevin - That's nondominational babe.

Brittany - Yeah! Nondominational!

Mr. DeMartino - What an attractive offer. Too bad the holidays aren't for months!

Kevin - How about a magazine subscription?

Brittany - Would you like to join a CD or cassette club? Twenty albums for a penny, and no obligation to buy, ever!

Kevin - How would you like to receive regular blooming flower seeds every month?

Mr. DeMartino - It's good to see you both enterprising! I could make a trite observation about wishing you were as enterprising toward your school work as you are to this effort to find financing for a new place to loaf, but am I the sort of man who engages in trite observations, Brittany?

Brittany - Uhh... no?

Mr. DeMartino - Excellent, Brittany. Now, while you're on a roll, am I the sort of man who you suppose believes in underwriting the indolence of students who already display the work habits of garden slugs?

Brittany - Uh... I'll go with "no" again?

Mr. DeMartino - Very good, Brittany! Now, Kevin, given what we have learned from Brittany's razor sharp observations, is there anything more you'd like to say before departing from my doorstep in an uncomfortable hurry?

Kevin - Uhhh, do you wanna buy a chocolate bar?

(at another house [which we learn belongs to a guy named Danny], the door is opened to reveal Quinn)

Quinn - Hi! I'm selling long distance phone cards.

Danny - I just use a credit card.

Quinn - Oh. Well, are you really happy with the service?

Danny - Um, uh, it's fine.

Quinn - I mean, are you really happy?

Danny - I don't get you. W-why shouldn't I be?

Quinn - I mean, like, are you ever, like, really looking forward to talking to someone, and then you can't hear them because of crackling and static?

Danny - Not...

Quinn - I mean, I know that if I were your friend and you were calling me, I'd want to listen to you, not some static. I mean, you have a really nice voice. Your friend should be able to hear it.

Danny - They usually, uh...

Quinn - Just pretend you're calling me.

Danny - What?

Quinn - Really, just try it. My name's Quinn. What's your name?

Danny - Danny.

Quinn - So, call me, Danny.

Danny - Hello? Uh, Quinn?

Quinn - Danny? Is that you?

Danny - Hi! Quinn?

Quinn - Speak up, Danny, I can't hear you.

Danny - Hi! Quinn? It's me, Danny.

Quinn - I've been thinking about you all day. The way your hair falls over your eyes when you laugh. I can't get it out of my head.

Danny - Really?

Quinn - You gotta speak up, Danny. Listen, do you want to come over tonight? My folks went away for the whole weekend.

Danny - Yeah! I mean, um, s-sure, Quinn.

Quinn - Oh, that's okay, Danny, I understand. I'll see if Pete wants to come over.

Danny - But I said...

Quinn - Bye!

Danny - Wait!

Quinn - Click. See what can happen with bad long distance service, Danny?

Danny - Who's Pete?

(at another house, Daria and Jane ring the doorbell; the door is answered by the very overweight Mrs. Johannsen, who is wheezing heavily)

Daria - Um, hi. I'm selling chocolate bars for the new student coffeehouse.

Mrs. Johannsen - New coffeehouse?

Jane - Our cybercafé got trashed.

Mrs. Johannsen - Well, I enjoy chocolate. Doctor says I'm not supposed to have too much of it, but he wouldn't mind if it's for a good cause.

(Mrs. Johannsen steps to the side, and Jane raises camera and takes a photograph; after a second, Mrs. Johannsen returns, looking inside her purse)

Mrs. Johannsen - Just... just a second, girls.

Daria - Are you all right?

Mrs. Johannsen - Yeah, yeah. Just, just, I was in the basement when the doorbell rang. Need to catch my breath a little. How many chocolate bars you got there?

Daria - We've got about two boxes. That's twenty-four.

Mrs. Johannsen - Tell you what: I'll take all of them.

Jane - All of them? Really?

Daria - You sure that's okay with your doctor?

Mrs. Johannsen - It's okay as long as he don't know about it! Dammit! Where's that purse?

(Mrs. Johannsen then coughs, faints, and falls to ground)

(at Mrs. Johannsen's house)

(Daria and Jane look in through the door at Mrs. Johannsen, who has passed out on the floor)

Daria - Uh-oh.

Jane - Did she hit her head?

Daria - I don't think so.

Jane - Do you know CPR or anything?

Daria - I once gave the Heimlich maneuver to Quinn.

Jane - Did it work?

Daria - She wasn't choking.

Jane - We should be doing something now. I'm sure of it.

Daria - Yeah, I think you're right.

(after a moment, Jane takes another picture, which coincides with Mrs. Johannsen recovering from her fainting spell)

Mrs. Johannsen - (standing up) Damn hypoglycemia. I'm sorry, girls, I'm holding up the works. Okay, now. How much apiece on those chocolate bars?

Daria - Ma'am, I'm not sure I can sell you any chocolate bars.

Mrs. Johannsen - What's the matter? My money's not good enough for you?

Daria - It's not that, it's just... maybe it's not such a good idea.

Mrs. Johannsen - Give me those chocolate bars!

Jane - Thank you for the offer though, ma'am, and for caring about the students of Lawndale High.

Daria - We could call your doctor or the hospital if you like. Otherwise, we'll be going.

(Daria and Jane walk away)

Mrs. Johannsen - I don't need a damn doctor, I need a damn chocolate bar! Gimme! I'll pay ya five bucks apiece!

Daria - Have a nice day, ma'am.

Mrs. Johannsen - I want those chocolate bars! I want chocolate, dammit!

Jane - Five dollars apiece. We would've made over a hundred bucks.

Daria - Yeah, and all we had to do was take a human life.

Jane - You always see the downside, don't you?

(at Lawndale High)

(Ms. Li is seated at her desk, while Mr. O'Neill stands to one side and attempts to memorize Daria and Jane's names from his seating charts)

Mr. O'Neill - Daria... Jane. Daria... Jane. Daria... Jane.

(Daria and Jane walk in)

Ms. Li - Come in, Ms. Morgendorffer, Ms. Lane. Sit down.

(Daria and Jane sit in chairs facing the desk)

Ms. Li - The school received a phone call this morning from a Mrs. Johannsen. She said two girls came to her door to sell her chocolate bars, and then suddenly refused to do so. Hmm. Even after she offered five dollars a bar, or more than twice the asking twice.

Daria - She was hypoglycemic. The chocolate would've killed her.

Jane - She passed out while we were standing there.

Ms. Li - Did she ask you to feed her the chocolate?

Daria - No...

Ms. Li - How do you know it wasn't for her family?

Jane - She has no family. She ate them.

Mr. O'Neill - Daria, Jean, we're two hundred dollars short of what we need to open the coffeehouse.

Ms. Li - So, your refusal to sell chocolate to this woman was based purely on concern for her welfare.

Daria - And not wanting to do time for manslaughter.

Ms. Li - You have no overall problem with raising money for the coffeehouse?

Daria - I believe in coffee. Coffee for everyone. But I don't want to sell any more chocolate bars. It makes me feel dirty.

Jane - The bad kind of dirty.

Ms. Li - Well, I can't force you to do fundraising, but I can't give you credit for participating in the coffee house project, either.

Mr. O'Neill - Wait. Daria, what about what we discussed? Reading something on opening night.

Daria - I don't think so.

Ms. Li - You do want this extracurricular activity, don't you?

Jane (quietly to Daria) - Pop goes the weasel...

Daria - Fine.

Mr. O'Neill - Fabulous!

Ms. Li - Although I still don't know where we're going to find that two hundred dollars. Well, maybe the freshman volunteers will make up some of it.

(Quinn opens door; both hands and her pockets are filled with cash)

Quinn - Hi. You got anymore of those phone cards?

(at the Morgendorffer house)

(Daria lies on the floor in her bedroom, reading through papers, while Jane sits on the bed)

Daria - How about, "The Bleakness That Lies Ahead"?

Jane - Too sentimental.

Daria - "No Life, No Hope, No Future"?

Jane - Too pie in the sky.

Daria - "Mommy's Little Hypocrite"?

Jane - Too much like a children's book.

Daria - I wish I were dead.

Jane - That sounds promising. Listen, you gotta give them something they'll really appreciate. Picture Kevin and Brittany drinking in your words like an elixir of knowledge. Heady... potent... seductive.

Daria - Are you marketing your own fragrance now? (sighs) I'm going to have to write something new for the occasion.

(at Café Lawndale, formerly alt.lawndale.com)

(a scruffy-looking guy is playing the guitar on stage)

Guy - (singing) "Can't stand your lips / Can't stand your eyes / Can't stand your teeth / Can't stand your thighs / That's why I loathe... you..." (smashes guitar on stage) Dammit! Dammit, dammit, dammit!

(Brittany on stage; she is standing high up on a folding ladder and is wearing a pink medieval cap and veil)

Brittany - Oh Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?

Kevin (holding skull) - I'm right here, babe!

(table of football players cheer Kevin on)

Brittany - Deny thy father and refuse thy name! Or thou will't not be but sworn, my love, and I'll no longer be a caplet!

Kevin - Hey! Yo! I'm down here! Check it out!

Brittany - Check it out? You promised to learn your lines, you, you clown! And what's that skull supposed to be? (marches away) Ohhh!

Kevin - The skull's cool.

(Andrea standing on stage)

Andrea - I'm here. But where are you? Sure, I see your body. Anybody home in that rotting bag of flesh? (walks off stage)

(Daria and Jane seated at table, clapping politely)

Jane - See? You don't want to do poetry for this crowd.

Daria - You think it's too late for me to learn juggling?

Jane - Yep.

(Mr. O'Neill steps on stage)

Mr. O'Neill - Thank you very much, Andrea. It takes a lot of courage to expose your raw emotions that way.

(a spotlight on her table surprises Andrea, who is drinking from a bottle; she quickly moves it behind her)

Mr. O'Neill - Now, speaking of raw emotions, it's my pleasure to introduce one of Lawndale High's most gifted writers: Daria Morgendorffer.

(Daria walks up on stage and reads from sheaf of papers)

Daria - Thank you. Tonight I'd like to read a new story I've written entitled, "Where The Future Takes Us".

Brittany (VO) - You insensitive jerk!

(sound of breaking glass)

Kevin (VO) - Ow!

Daria - As students standing at the dawn of a brand new century, we face certain choices. How do we prepare for the future? Melody Powers knew how she was going to prepare, as she checked the fit one more time on her tooled leather shoulder holster. She thought about all the communists she would be taking out tonight.

(view of bored crowd becoming interested)

Daria - Melody harbored no illusions about unilaterally stemming the resurging red tide. "But," she reflected with a grim smile, "what special agent could resist the opportunity to fill a few Bolshevik cemeteries?"

(view of Mr. O'Neill at the stage wing, looking shocked, worried or frightened)

(time passes; fade back to Daria on stage)

Daria - As Melody sun-bathed on the Rio beach, she looked back upon the past few days with a certain quiet satisfaction: twelve dead Russians, five dead Chinese, three or four dead Cubans. The world was once again safe for democracy, she reflected while watching Tonio's exquisite chest rise and fall with his light snoring.

(brief view of Brittany and Kevin at a table; Brittany is very attentive to story, Kevin has a black eye)

Daria - Safe for democracy, or almost safe. Melody brushed some errant grains of sand off her fingers, tied her top back on, and reached into her beach bag. Tonio heard nothing, and that was a pity, because he would never hear anything again. "So long, Tonio," she thought as she calmly stood up. "I could have loved you, if you weren't as red as the blood stain now spreading across the sand."

(Mr. O'Neill hides face in hands)

Daria - Melody walked calmly away toward the hotel. There'd be a message there from HQ, no doubt. She hoped she had time to shower.

(the audience is silent for a moment; then, Kevin jumps up and cheers, followed by the rest of the audience)

(at the Morgendorffer house)

(Daria, Jake, and Quinn are seated at the kitchen table for breakfast; Jake is reading from a newspaper)

Jake - "Café Lawndale closed until further notice." Isn't that the coffeehouse you were working for?

Daria - Yeah, but I already got my extra credit. They can't take it away now.

Jake - "School authorities have decided to close Lawndale's new young adult coffeehouse after its opening night somehow turned into an anti-communist rally. 'Some unscheduled propagandizing went on and the students reacted a little too favorably,' explained coffeehouse director Timothy O'Neill, a teacher at Lawndale High."

Helen - (enters) Breakfast meeting at the Royalton. (leaves)

Daria - But you haven't even tasted my soufflé.

Jake - "Following a reading of some right-wing literature, several members of the football marched down North Avenue, intending to stone the Russian Embassy. Of course, there are no embassies in Lawndale." Wow! Did you girls know anything about this?

Quinn - I wasn't there. I had a real date.

Jake - "'Teens are impressionable,' O'Neill said, 'and the last thing we want is to build a base of operations for political extremists.'" Daria, did you have any idea we had these kinds of radicals here in town?

Daria - No, but we've got to maintain constant vigilance against those who'd manipulate us into taking actions we'd never take on our own.

Jake - I'll say!

(Daria hums "Pop Goes the Weasel")

(it's dark outside Café Lawndale; suddenly, a brick is thrown through a window, the alarm goes off, and thieves make off with the espresso machine moments before the police arrive)

(closing credits)