The Teachings of Don Jake/transcript

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(opening theme song)

(at the Morgendorffer house)

(Jake is seated at the kitchen table, unhappily going through bills; Quinn walks through)

Quinn - Daddy, remember that tutoring you wanted me to take for math? It's gonna be fifty dollars an hour.

Jake - Fifty dollars an hour?

(Helen enters and sits next to Jake)

Helen - Well, I got the bad news from the periodontist. Six months worth of gum work, eight hundred dollars a month.

Jake - Eight hundred dollars a month?!

(Daria enters and deposits mail on table)

Daria - Mail's here. Did you know Congress still spends two hundred and fifty billion a year on the military?

Jake - Two hundred and fifty billion a year?!! (pounds fist on table) Dammit, that's it, Daria! What am I? Made of money?

Helen - Jake, were you listening? Daria said...

Jake - Tutoring, dental work, Congress! I'm not a machine, dammit! I'm a man! For once in my stinkin' life, show a little... gah! Ah! Ah! (holds eye)

Helen - Oh, Jakey, not again.

Jake - It's my eye! Oh, God, it's my eye! (moves hand away to show one eye red from a burst blood vessel)

Daria - Oh, no! (sotto voce to Quinn) Get the camera.

Quinn - Ugh!

Helen - No camera, Daria. (sighs) Remember what the doctor said last time you burst a blood vessel?

Jake - Yeah, he said it would be two hundred dollars.

(Helen holds Jake's hand to reassure him)

Helen - Before that. He said we need to cut down on your stress, and we're going to do that this weekend. We're going camping like we used to before...

(looks at Daria and Quinn; "yes, Mom, we're still in the room")

Helen - I'll take Friday off and we'll make a long weekend of it.

Daria - You're going to take a day off?

Helen - Daria, a healthy happy family comes before work. Always. Besides, I have vacation time coming and Eric told me that if I don't use it, I lose it. (pounds fist on table) Dammit! Those bastards aren't gonna take away my days. Come on, Jake, let's find the painkillers.

(Helen leads Jake away while Daria and Quinn take seats at table)

Quinn - Don't worry about us, Mom. We'll be fine. Right, Daria?

Daria - Absolutely. No guests, no late nights...

Helen (VO) - Don't even bother, girls. You're coming with us.

Quinn - (pounds fist on table) Dammit, Daria! You could've sounded like you meant it! (leaves)

(after a moment, Daria softly pounds fist on table)

Daria - Dammit! It's my turn to say dammit!

(at the Lane house)

(close-up of TV screen showing two people climbing a disgusting-looking mountain)

SSW Announcer - Guano see some gutsy climbing? Scaling the world's tallest pile of seagull droppings, next on Sick, Sad World.

(pan out to Daria and Jane seated on Jane's bed)

Jane - Lemme get this straight. You, Jake, Helen, and Princess Grace are going camping? Like in the woods camping?

Daria - I hope the raging envy you're feeling won't affect our friendship.

Jane - I do envy you.

Daria - Then I'm afraid the fever has reached your brain, and you'll have to be destroyed.

(Jane begins packing suitcase)

Jane - Do you know where I'll be this weekend? The Lane family reunion. Dozens of Lanes from all over the country converging in one Midwestern split-level to remind themselves why they scattered in the first place.

Daria - Wow. I didn't think your parents would be caught dead at something like that.

Jane - They wouldn't. We're the black sheep of the clan. We're only invited because hating us brings them all closer together. My parents are much too smart to fall for that trick.

Daria - I thought so.

Jane - So, they're sending me and Trent as their representatives.

Daria - You know, a weekend in the woods is starting to look pretty good.

Jane - A weekend on the world's tallest pile of seagull droppings is starting to look pretty good.

(in the forest)

(the Morgendorffers arrive at a clearing with camping gear)

Jake - (singing) "Give my regards to Broadway / Remember me to Harold's Square / Tell all the gang at 42nd Street / That I will soon be there..." (spoken) Is this great, or what? For the next 72 hours, we're going to live off what nature send our way! (points) See that stream? That's our drinking water! (points) See those berries! That's our breakfast!

Daria - See that skeleton? That's our future.

(everyone looks; there's nothing there)

Daria - Made you look.

(on an airplane)

(Jane and Trent, wearing sunglasses, are seated next to a woman wearing a large straw hat; Trent is wearing headphones)

Jane - Trent. Trent. (she pulls headphones away from his ear) Trent!

Trent - (wakes up) Officer it's not even my car. (sees where he is) Ah, Janey. What?

Jane - Let's talk strategy. I don't wanna arrive without a plan.

Trent - Hey, I already thought of that. As soon as we get there, we find a bar, and we don't leave it until we're unconscious.

Jane - Good plan. But, first of all, they probably wouldn't serve me. Second, I don't want to pass out. And third, right before you pass out, you'll decide it's time to be honest with everyone.

Trent - Oh, yeah. Bad idea. Don't want to be honest with Aunt Ellie about her vacation pictures.

Jane - Or Cousin Jimmy about his modeling career.

Trent - Or Aunt Bernice about her hats.

Jane - Who's Aunt Bernice?

Trent - You know, from Middlebury? She wears those straw hats. Thinks they're country or something. They look like the kind they put on horses to keep the sun off their heads.

(Jane looks over to her right, at the scowling woman wearing the large straw hat)

Jane - You say she's from Middlebury?

Trent - Yeah.

Jane - So, we'd be flying out of the same airport.

Trent - Yeah, yeah, Janey. What's your point? (lifts sunglasses and looks to his right)

Aunt Bernice - Hello, Trent.

Trent - Um... hello, Aunt Bernice. (lowers sunglasses) I like your hat.

(Jane puts her hand to her head in an "ah, jeez" gesture)

(in the forest)

(the Morgendorffers stand in a circle in the clearing)

Jake - Total isolation!

Helen - No phone, no fax, no e-mail, no voicemail! No way to contact the outside world! What a luxury.

Jake - Tonight, we'll tell spooky stories around the campfire. Tomorrow, we hike till we drop!

Helen - Just like we used to.

Jake - Remember?

Helen - We were so relaxed in those days.

(flashback begins)

(hippy Jake and Helen in a forest; Jake is banging a shoe against the ground)

Jake - You can't hike in these damn earth shoes! They make you tilt!

Helen - Come on, Jake, just dig the scene!

Jake - Oh, all right. It is a stone groove. We're lucky we got here before the oil companies pave it all over.

Helen - And put up a parking lot.

(both laugh)

Jake - Capitalist vultures! Off the fat cats!

Helen - It's so out of sight that we're going to camp with nothing but our tent and sleeping bags.

Jake - Sleeping bag.

(Helen laughs, then closes her eyes as she hugs Jake)

Jake - We don't need big business electricity! We don't need manufactured foods! We don't need chemically-softened toilet paper!

Helen - (eyes fly open) We don't?

(flashback ends)

(Helen rummages around in her backpack, and with a smirk, takes out a role of toilet paper)

Jake - Girls, doesn't all this beauty take you right out of yourselves?

(pause)

Helen - Daria?

Daria - I think I'm getting a chill. If you don't mind, I'm gonna crawl back into myself for a while.

Helen - What about you Quinn?

Quinn - No phone???

(at the Sloatstown International Airport)

(the airport is a rundown dump with a small building as a terminal; Jane and Trent stand outside next to a sign that reads "BUSES / TAXIS / MASS TRANSIT", none of which are anywhere in sight)

Trent - Do you see any buses or taxis?

Jane - I see no mass transit of any kind.

Trent - Well, we got no way to get to the party. Might as well catch a flight home.

Jane - We gave it our best shot.

(they turn to go back into the terminal, just in time to see a man flip a sign in the door window to "CLOSED")

Jane - Damn! (turns) Hey, it's Aunt Bernice! She rented a car!

Trent - Hey, Aunt Bernice!

(a smirking Aunt Bernice drives by, honks, and drives off, leaving Jane and Trent in the dust)

(in the forest)

(Jake is attempting to put up a tent; Helen is digging a campfire pit nearby)

Jake - Ngh... gn... gahhhh! (tent collapses)

Helen - We should have started this earlier.

Jake - (mutters) You sound like my father.

Helen - What?

(Jake gets tent back up during following rant)

Jake - Oh, he knew everything about camping. Course, he had a different approach! No tent for Mad Dog Morgendorffer! Oh, no! No sleeping bag, either! You lash some damn sticks together for a lean-to, slept on a bunch of pine needles, and if it rained, well, tough crap! No tent for Mad Dog Morgendorffer, and no tent for little Jakey, either!

Helen - That's good, honey. You're letting out some of that tension.

Jake - Why couldn't he just love me for who I was?

(Daria and Quinn enter carrying firewood)

Helen - All right, Jake... um, now you're letting out too much tension.

Jake - Why did he think I was still wetting the bed at fifteen? (he looks up) Oh, hi, girls!

(tent collapses behind Jake)

(at the Lane reunion house)

(Jane and Trent at front door)

Trent - So let's just walk in and meet them straight on. They're not going to intimidate us.

Jane - No way. (rings doorbell) Hey, I think I left my in-flight magazine back there.

Trent - We better go get it.

(then turn around just as a woman answers the door)

Woman - Jane. Trent. I might have known you'd come looking like this.

(in the forest)

(it's night; the Morgendorffers are gathered around a fire)

Jake - Then, lying there in the darkness, the boy heard a tiny splashing sound. Psh! Psh! Like waves on a faraway shore. Except... the nearest ocean was a hundred miles away. The boy reached out for his sleeping father... but he was gone. Shaking with fear, the boy stumbled out of the rickety lean-to, and that's when he saw it: his father, sitting alone at the campfire. Alone... with a whole case of beer! Psh! Psh! (he pantomimes drinking) The selfish old bastard was wasted again.

(Quinn and Daria stare at Jake, bored)

(at the Lane reunion house)

(numerous unidentified Lanes are around Jane and an older woman seated on a sofa)

Woman - And how's your sister Penny?

Jane - I think she's a little disappointed in the Mexican job market. She may try Nicaragua next.

Woman - And how's your brother Wind?

Jane - He's thinking about getting remarried if he can just figure out whether his divorces were legal.

Woman - (brief chuckle) How about your sister Summer?

Jane - You know, the private detectives found three out of her four kids.

Woman - Really!

(in the forest)

(the Morgendorffers are still gathered around a fire)

Helen - "You're a vampire?" she whispered to the pale stranger with the brooding eyes. She felt her bosom blush and heave with excitement. "You've come to take my blood!" "Your blood?" he laughed. "Oh, there's time enough to take your blood. Tonight I'm going to take your..."

(she then notices Jake waving his hands wildly, then looks at Daria and Quinn, and quickly changes course)

Helen - "...take your pulse! To make sure that, you know, the blood will be there when I come back."

(Quinn and Daria stare at Helen, bored)

(at the Lane reunion house)

(Trent and a middle-aged, balding man are talking at a table covered with a wide assortment of booze)

Uncle Max - (slurred) I always liked you, Trent. You were my favorite.

Trent - And why is that, Uncle Max?

Uncle Max - Cuz you're a bum! You're a lousy bum! You're a rotten bum! You remind me of myself! You know why?

Trent - Cuz I'm a bum.

Uncle Max - That's right, ya bum!

(in the forest)

(the Morgendorffers are still gathered around a fire)

Quinn - So Cinderella said, "I can't go to the ball in these rags." And her fairy godmother waved her wand and behold, she was wearing a gown of silver and gold. Big clunky silver and gold sequins, like you wouldn't wear to one of those seventies nostalgia proms, much less a formal party at a palace. And when she went to check out herself in the mirror, the one that usually made her look thin, instead she looked bloated!

Helen - Quinn, honey, is this really a scary story?

Quinn - Wait! I haven't gotten to the shoes yet!

(at the Lane reunion house)

(Jane is talking to an elderly woman in a wheelchair)

Grandma - Janey?

Jane - Yes, Grandma?

Grandma - Come closer.

Jane - Yes, Grandma?

Grandma - Closer.

Jane - Yes, Grandma?

Grandma - Closer.

Jane - Yes, Grandma?

Grandma - (shouts) What the hell is wrong with you!

(in the forest)

(the Morgendorffers are still gathered around a fire)

Daria - So the witch tore Hansel's arm off, popped it in her mouth, said, "Hey, pretty good," and within minutes had devoured the rest of his body, leaving only the lower intestine for fear of bacteria. (view switches to a close-up of Daria's face, the campfire illuminated in her glasses) Gretel she decided she wanted to hold onto for a while, so she crammed her into the freezer the best she could.

(Jake, Helen, and Quinn look extremely sick)

(later, Daria and Quinn are in their tent; only their eyes can be seen)

Quinn - Daria?

Daria - Yes, Quinn?

Quinn - Do you feel weird sharing a tent?

Daria - As long as it's with you and not a bear, I guess I'm okay with it.

Quinn - Remember when we were little and we shared a room?

Daria - Yes, Quinn.

Quinn - I hated that.

Daria - So did I.

(pause)

Quinn - It's fun to reminisce, isn't it?

Daria - You bet.

(at the Lane reunion house)

(Jane and Trent are in a darkened room; only their eyes can be seen)

Trent - Janey?

Jane - Yeah, Trent?

Trent - Do you feel weird sharing a room?

Jane - We've done it before.

Trent - Yeah, but not really like this.

(other pairs of eyes start to appear)

Female Voice #1 - Hey, hold it down guys, okay? I'm trying to sleep!

Female Voice #2 - Ow! Watch it!

Female Voice #1 - Oops, sorry. Thought you were a pillow!

Female Voice #2 - I wasn't talking to you!

Male Voice #1 - Wait, were you talking to me?

Female Voice #2 - Well, who else? Ow! Watch it!

Male Voice #2 - Sorry. Thought you were a pillow.

(in the forest)

(Helen pokes her head into Daria and Quinn's tent at the crack of dawn)

Helen - Daria, Quinn, get up. I need you. Your father's in a sickening mood.

Jake (VO) - Are they decent, Helen?

Helen - Yes, Jake.

(Helen backs away and Jake's head pops into the tent; he's holding a branch full of berries)

Jake - Up and at 'em, ladies! Time to join the forest morning, already in progress. Breakfast is on Mother Nature. Yum! Meet you around the fire in five minutes!

(Jake backs out and Helen sticks her head back in)

Helen - Please, girls. I'm afraid I may hurt him.

(at the Lane reunion house)

(a very sleepy Jane and Trent are seated at the kitchen table; they're both wearing their sunglasses again)

Trent - Janey... what time is it?

Jane - How should I know? Even if I could manage get my watch on at this hour, my eyes are too blurry to read it.

Woman - (loudly, in Trent's ear) It's seven o'clock, dear! We're getting an early start because today's the family croquet tournament!

Trent - Janey, it's seven o'clock on a Saturday, and we're awake.

Jane - Soon the wooden balls will begin clacking. Clack... clack.

Trent - We gotta get out of here.

(in the forest)

(Daria and Jake are walking along a trail)

Jake - Was that breakfast great, kiddo?

Daria - Actually, uh, I'm not a real berry person, Dad. I sort of didn't eat mine. I'm waiting for lunch.

Jake - Oh, well, you're gonna love my roasted acorns a la Jake! (pause) Can you believe the whole continent used to look like this?

Daria - It makes me yearn for the past.

(they stop in front of a fork in the trail; one side is blocked with a sign reading "DANGER! TRAIL WASHED OUT")

Jake - Look at that, Daria: a fork in the trail. If you go one way, you can't go the other.

Daria - This is going to depress me, isn't it?

Jake - This way over here leads to an entry-level job. A little bit of money in your pocket. Soon, you're wearing a suit and tie every day like all the other faceless saps, living in a boring little house in a bland little town, and doing so well you're in debt up to your disappearing hair! That's where that trail leads, Daria.

Daria - I guess that other trail is the one that leads to personal and spiritual satisfaction. That's why they don't want you to take it.

Jake - Dammit, Daria! You're brilliant!

(Jake climbs over sign and walks down closed trail)

Daria - Wait! It was a joke? (sighs)

(in the forest)

(Helen and Quinn are walking on the same trail, only they're a bit behind Jake and Daria)

Helen - I wish your father would stay where we can see him.

Quinn - What's Dad so worked up about, anyway?

Helen - Oh, Quinn. It's not easy being an adult.

Quinn - He can drive, he never has to take a pop quiz, and he can order a mimosa anytime he wants. What's the problem?

Helen - He's... it's hard for you to understand. You're like a fresh new bud, just on the threshold of opening.

Quinn - Ewww! Mom! You're not going to talk about puberty, are you?

Helen - Quinn, everywhere you look you see doors opening. Everywhere your father looks, he sees doors closing. A long corridor of doors slamming shut, and at the very end, there is one open door he must someday enter... and never may he return. I can't go on. Leave me here.

(Helen sits on tree stump next to another tree)

Quinn - Muh-om?

(Helen's pupils are now visibly dilated; there's definitely something wrong with her)

Helen - Go on, Quinn. You're so young, so beautiful. You should lead the tribe into the new century.

Quinn - What tribe? Mom, what's wrong with you?

Helen - Now go tell Gray Fox I have given my blessing. (faints and falls back against tree)

Quinn - (yells) Dariaaaaa!

(up ahead, Daria and Jake are walking down the washed-out trail)

Daria - Dad, I don't think this is a good idea.

Jake - It's not cautious, is it, Daria? It's not the sort of thing a responsible family man would do.

Daria - Are you feeling okay? You look kind of pale.

Jake - Maybe you think we should go be to camp, huh? You go back to camp, Daria! I'm going to see what... who is down this trail. You hear that, old man? I don't care what happens to me Daria! I'm past feeling pain. (walks into a tree) Ow! Dammit!

Quinn (VO) - Dariaaaaa!

Daria - Come on, Dad. Quinn needs us.

Jake - I'm not done with you yet, old man!

(Daria and Jake find Quinn, who's watching the unconscious Helen)

Daria - Quinn? What's wrong with Mom?

Quinn - She was talking about buds and doors and stuff and then she told me to lead the tribe and she fell asleep.

Jake - Helen?

(Helen wakes up)

Helen - Wha...? Oh! Jake, honey, you had us a little worried.

Quinn - You had us worried, Mom.

Daria - That's funny, I don't remember being worried about anyone.

Jake - Quinn said you were talking about some kind of tribe?

Helen - No, honey, the tide! I was saying we ought to set sail while the tide's still high.

Quinn - Dad?

Jake - (laughs) Don't worry, sweetie. Your Mom sounds a little nutty but she's making perfect sense.

Quinn - She is?

(now Jake's pupils are dilated)

Jake - Sure! If we try to sail at low tide and ran aground, we'd be sitting ducks for Captain Cutless' men. (laughs) I don't know about you, but I don't want to be skinned alive and thrown to the sharks, right girls? Come on, let's go gather some provisions!

(Jake and Helen run off laughing)

Quinn - This is really scary, Daria.

Daria - All right, let's not get panicked. We're going to look at the situation calmly and objectively. Agreed?

Quinn - Okay.

Daria - We're out in the middle of nowhere, nobody knows we're here, we have no way to contact anyone, and our parents have gone insane.

Quinn - Yes.

Daria - This is really scary, Quinn.

Quinn - But why did they go insane?

Daria - Knowing Dad and his excellent woodland skills, I'd say it was the berries. Except...

Quinn - It couldn't have been the berries.

Daria - That's what I think, because you ate the berries, too, and you seem okay.

Quinn - No, I meant because those weren't the glitter berries.

Daria - Glitter berries?

(now Quinn's pupils are dilated; it seems to be conclusive proof that the berries are indeed to blame)

Quinn - You know, the glitter berries! The ones that fill your mouth with beautiful sparkling glitter when you bite into them. Those are the ones that make you act weird. I mean, until you spread your shimmering wings and fly away.

Daria - Uh-oh.

Quinn - Daria, you don't have a mirror, do you? I want to check my makeup.

Daria - You're not wearing any makeup.

Quinn - I'm not? Oh, no!

(Quinn kneels at a puddle and splashes mud on her face)

Daria - Quinn, maybe you better take it easy for awhile.

(Jake runs by wearing only his boxers and his boots)

Jake - Spirit animal! Come back, spirit animal!

(Helen runs up and stops)

Helen - Girls, have you seen your father's spirit animal? He was just telling it about his childhood when it jumped up and scampered off.

Daria - Scampered?

Quinn - What did it look like, Mom?

Helen - Oh, you know, yellow, stripes on the back, powerful hind legs, three horns, a beard...

Quinn - Come on, I saw where it went!

(Quinn runs off with Helen)

Daria - Okay. Remain calm. Family's gone mad. Must get them back to civilization, but no way to contact civilization because Mother made big deal about cutting off all communications. What to do?

(cellphone in Helen's backpack rings)

Daria - Rely on Mother's hypocrisy to see us through this crisis.

(Daria answers phone)

Eric (VO) - Helen, do you have a few minutes to go over these depositions?

(Jake enters and points)

Jake - There it is! Behind that pack of zebras!

(Jake runs off, with Quinn and Helen in hot pursuit)

Daria - She'll have to call you back. (disconnects with Eric and dials) Hello, 911?

(shortly thereafter, a helicopter airlifts the family out of the forest; Daria watches them, the pilot tries to ignore them, and Jake is still in his boxers, laughing hysterically)

Jake - I love camping! I love it! (pause) Has anyone seen my pants?

(at the Morgendorffer house)

(Daria is reclining on her bed with the cordless phone)

Jane (VO) - Yo!

Daria - What are you doing home?

(Jane sitting on floor next to her bed)

Jane - What are you?

Daria - My family went crazy from eating psychotropic berries, so we were evacuated from the woods and they had their stomachs pumped.

Jane - Wow, that's cool. My family was already crazy without any berries, so Trent and I evacuated ourselves to the airport in my aunt's rental car and flew the hell out of there.

Daria - Oh. Well, anything else new?

Jane - Nah. You?

Daria - Nah.

(a few days pass; Jake is seated on the living room sofa, watching TV, when Daria enters with the mail)

Daria - Mail's here. (hands mail to Jake)

Jake - Thanks kiddo.

SSW Announcer - Now, you claim that not only did you see a yeti, but he was wearing a business suit and carrying an attaché case?

Man - A leather attaché case.

Jake - Fifteen thousand dollars for a helicopter ride! What the hell do think I... gah! (puts hands to face) Ow! Ahhhh! Oh, my God! (removes hands to show burst blood vessels in both eyes)

Daria - Mom, get the painkillers. Quinn, get the camera!

(closing credits)