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Season 1:  #113   The Misery Chick


(at Daria's house, sitting around the dinner table)

Helen - Why Quinn, you look darling!

Jake - You look so happy sweetie!

Quinn - I felt happy. I always feel happy on picture day. Do you think that "Nature's Precious Wonders" was a good background? Because I almost went with "Starlight over Yosemite."

Helen - I think it was a fine choice. What did you pick Daria?

Daria - Black clouds swallowing Churnoble?

Helen - Come on Daria, where's your school picture.

(Daria hands over her picture)

Jake - Wow! That's sharp focus...

Helen - Daria, just once why can't you smile when somebody takes your picture?

Darai - I don't like to smile unless I have a reason.

Helen - Daria. People judge you by your expressions.

Daria - Yes. And I believe there is something intrinsically wrong with that system, and have dedicated myself to changing it.

Quinn - Hey, did you guys see these? (holds up wallet size photos)

(at school, in the hallway)

Kevin - This is it Mack Daddy! The week of weeks!

Mack - Too much hero worship isn't healthy you know. And don't call me that.

Kevin - But the man is coming! The man! Tommy Sherman brought it home bro! The state championship. And now, he's coming back to Lawndale.

Mack - I know all about it. Jodie's giving the speech about the new goal post, remember?

Kevin - Oh yeah! Does she need any help with ideas for that? Like, from a quarterback's point of view.

Mack - Gee. I'll ask her. When there aren't any sharp objects around.

Kevin - Cool!


Daria - What's the big deal about this football guy anyway.

Jane - He was quarterback three years ago when the school won the state championship. My brother knew him.

Daria - Well, why name the goal posts after him? Why not the whole stadium.

Jane - Goal post. See his trademark was, he always wanted to run the touchdown in himself.

Daria - A real team player.

Jane - But he couldn't keep from waving to the crowd when he did it. They cheered, he waved, and wham! He ran right into the goal post.

Daria - What an intelligent young man.

Jane - He broke his own nose twice. Then in the playoffs a week before the state championship, he scored the winning touchdown, and hit the goal post so hard he cracked his helmet. He was unconscious for six days. Miraculously, he woke up the night before the big game feeling great. The next day, he led the team to victory.

Daria - Stirring.

Jane - Isn't it? So now the school's bought one of those new goal posts designed to break apart rather than split your skull.

Daria - Why only one?

Jane - Budget cuts. And they're naming it after good old Tommy Sherman. And here comes the lucky student council member who will do the honors.

Jodie - (walking up) Gimme a break. Hey Daria, I can't get past the introduction to this speech. Can I read it to you?

Daria - Does that mean I don't have to listen to it later?

Jodie - Good afternoon students, faculty, and distinguished alumni of Lawndale High. As a representative of your student council... Any ideas?

Daria - It is my privilege today to once again send the message that learning is no substitute for winning.

Jane - And that it's not how hard you study. It's how hard you play football.

Jodie - Gosh, thanks so much. You think they'd like this?

Daria - If you don't believe any of it, why give the speech?

Jodie - Because I'm on the student council. It's a job with many responsibilities and today it's my responsibility to kiss the butt of some jerk getting a goal post named after him. But at least now I feel really good about it.

Mack - (walks up) Hey.

Jodie - Leave me alone!

Daria - Chicks.

Jane - Yeah, chicks.

(in the hallway)

Brittany - (tying her shoe, looks up)

Tommy - Keep going. It gets better. Hello beautiful. I see one thing about Lawndale football has improved a lot since I was unanimously voted most valuable player. The cheerleaders.

Brittany - You're Tommy Sherman!

Tommy - You know your sports.

Brittany - My boyfriend's Kevin Thompson. He's quarterback of the team, he worships you!

Tommy - That's great. Listen, they're putting me up at the Lawndale Manor, why don't we head back there, order you some champagne, get horizontal, and you can find out just how big a hero I am.

Brittany - Didn't you hear what I said? My boyfriend is your biggest fan?

Tommy - What are you telling me? He wants to watch? I don't know...

Brittany - (slaps him and walks off)

Tommy - All right, all right, he can watch. Hey, where are you going? Did someone flash the bimbo signal? (walks down the hall)

Kevin - Tommy Sherman!

Tommy - That's my name. Don't wear it out.

Kevin - I've use that!

Tommy - I doubt that, unless the rest of them are pygmies!

Kevin - I'm Kevin Thompson. This is Michael Jordan Mackenzie.

Tommy - Michael Jordan Mackenzie? You're kidding right?

Mack - It was Michael James Mackenzie, but Dad went to a Bulls playoff game when I was 12 and then he changed it.

Tommy - That's sick man. So what are you guys on the intamurals squad or something?

Kevin - Varsity dude! I'm the QB!

(Tommy and Kevin laugh)

Tommy - Why are you laughing?

Kevin - Um, why are you?

Tommy - I'm just picturing a scrawny little guy like you trying to play for some third-rate junior college somewhere and getting your butt kicked every week.

Kevin - Oh, yeah. That's funny.

Mack - No it isn't.

Kevin - (see Brittany walking by) Hey Britt! Did you meet Tommy Sherman?

Brittany - Yes! (runs off)

Kevin - Hey babe, what's the matter?

Mack - Please to make your acquaintance.

Tommy - Yeah. Make sure father doesn't go to any Whoopi Goldberg movies!

Daria - (walks up to locker)

Tommy - (leaning against Daria's locker)

Daria - Excuse me.

Tommy - You're kidding, right? You think I'm going to talk to you? (looks at Jane) You, maybe. Like, four hours into a kegger.

Jane - Perhaps after I vomit on your shoes...

Daria - I don't want to talk to you.

Tommy - Yeah right, you said, "excuse me."

Daria - You're on my locker.

Tommy - Do you know who I am? Tommy Sherman?

Daria - I know the whole school's turning itself inside out because of some egotistical football player. And I've seen you insult or proposition just about everyone you come across. So my guess is that you're the football player guy. Congratulations you must have worked very hard to become a colossal jerk so quickly.

Tommy - You know what Tommy Sherman's going to do now? He's going to go out onto the field and check out his new goal post. He's going to read the plaque and think of all the people who admire him. But you wouldn't know anything about that. You're one of those misery chicks. Always moping about what a cruel world it is, making a big deal about it so people won't notice that you're a loser. (walks off)

Jane - I don't think he likes you.

Daria - That doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that jerk is going to be treated like a hero for the rest of this life.

Jane - Well, maybe he won't live that long.

Daria - Come on, you know wishes don't come true.

(sound of crash)

Kevin - Oh my God! The goal post fell! Tommy Sherman's dead! He's dead!

(commercial break)

(at school, in the auditorium)

Ms. Li - How does one make sense of a tragedy, so tragic. (sound of Kevin crying) A young man. Our hero struck down in a freakish accident by the very goal post that was being put up in his honor. What lesson can we take from all of this. Other than not to leave heavy goal posts in sharp edged wooden crates leaning precariously against the bleachers. (gives a look to the janitors) The lesson it to spread joy, spread light! Make it your goal to make others feel good. And when you reach that goal, you keep running until you reach the goal post. You hit that goal post hard, and that's what this young man did, and that is the legacy he left to you, to me, to Lawndale High.

Kevin - (weeps)

Ms. Li - Can someone get him out of here so we can sing "One Sweet Day."

(in the hallway)

Daria - It's weird. One minute he's standing there calling me a loser, the next minute he's dead.

Jane - Yeah.

Daria - I mean, the guy Ms. Li was talking about didn't bear any resemblance to the guy we met. But still...

Jane - Listen I'm going home to change and then I think I'm going to go for a run.

Daria - I'll walk you.

Jane - Actually I think I'm going to walk by myself for a little while. See you later.

Kevin - (walking up) Hey Daria, can I talk to you?

Daria - Why?

Kevin - Well, you know, Tommy. I'm really bummed out.

Daria - Yeah, I'm sorry about that Kevin. But I don't know what to tell you. I only met him right before the accident.

Kevin - Me too! But I mean, it really makes you think. Got any like words of wisdom or whatever?

Daria - Like what?

Kevin - I don't know. I figure you think about depressing stuff a lot. You're that type. You know?

Daria - No, I don't know.

Kevin - I mean, the guy was a hero. A really good quarterback, everybody liked him, kinda hunky, you know, not that I would notice something like that. And now he's just like, the dead guy.

Daria - Tell me Kevin, did he remind you of anyone?

Kevin - What do you mean?

Daria - Maybe his death hit a little too close to home?

Kevin - I get what you're saying. But I don't believe in ghosts Daria.

Daria - What?

Kevin - You're saying he got hid on his head out there in the football field, the team's home. And now it's going to be cursed or something and we're going to lose all our games. I'm a little surprised Daria.

Daria - That makes two of us.

Kevin - I didn't think you believed in all that mumbojumbo.

Daria - Gee, I hope this doesn't lower your opinion of me.

Kevin - He, he. Come on, how much lower can it get? (walks off)

Brittany - (walking up) Daria?

Daria - Brittany?

Brittany - Daria I've got to talk to you.

Daria - About...

Brittany- Tommy Sherman!

Daria - Maybe you should talk to Kevin.

Brittany - I can't talk to Kevin! Tommy Sherman was a jerk!

Daria - You know, no one else seems to realize...

Brittany - Oh! I can't believe I said that! I called a dead guy a jerk!

Daria - So you are upset about what happened?

Brittany - That's just it. I feel terrible. Why did that jerk make me hate him. Now he's dead and I feel bad but I don't feel that bad so I feel terrible! It really makes you think. I mean, you're used to being all gloomy and depressed and thinking about bad stuff...

Daria - Why does everyone keep saying that?

Brittany - So I thought that maybe you can give me some tips.

Daria - Well, I guess what I'd say Brittany is that here's this guy who really wasn't very nice. And you didn't like him at all. You're sorry that he died.

Brittany - I am!

Daria - But you don't think you're sorry enough. And you're worried that you're not as nice a person as you thought.

Brittany - Yeah! It's like I feel bad but I think I should feel worse and not feeling worse makes me feel bad all over again.

Daria - The truth is Brittany, is that you are nice, or you wouldn't be feeling bad at all right now.

Brittany - So, you're saying that feeling bad about not feeling worse is good.

Darai - Yeah. Yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying.

Brittany - Thanks Daria!

Daria - (writing on notepad) Feeling bad, not feeling worse, good.

Mr. O'Neill - (walking up) Daria?

Daria - Hi Mr. O'Neill.

Mr. O'Neill - May I ask what you're jotting down? A reflection about poor Tommy Sherman no doubt.

Daria - Not really.

Mr. O'Neill - It must have been a terrible shock for someone as sensitive. It really makes you think.

Daria - Um... Yeah, but I'm dealing with it.

Mr. O'Neill - He, he, I figured you're be dealing with it. You probably think about the dark side all the time.

Daria - The dark side? Are we talking about the force?

Mr. O'Neill - The dark side of life. The thought other people try not to have. That's your thing, right? Facing the void? Yes, I'm sure you're dealing with it. I'm not dealing with it! (starts to cry)

Daria - There, there. You want to talk about it?

(at Daria's house)

Daria - (on the phone) So then after I get Brittany squared away, Mr. O'Neill comes over wanting to talk. And they all say the same thing, "It really makes you think." I feel like getting a couch.

Jane - You're the girl of the hour. Maybe I should talk to you.

Daria - Yeah right. I can't believe the way people are reacting. I mean, yeah, it's terrible what happened but it's not as if he was nice to anyone. They're acting like they lost a friend.

Jane - Boy Daria, nothing gets through to you does it.

Daria - What's that supposed to mean?

Jane - A guy died. And you're talking about what a jerk he was.

Daria - I just said... Look, wanna get some pizza?

Jane - I'm going running.

Daria - After?

Jane - I don't know, it's going to be a long run. See you later.

Daria - (turns on TV)

SSW - Malibu's Mopious Millionaire, next on Sick, Sad World.

(Quinn knocks on door)

Daria - (turns off TV) Come in.

Quinn - Daria? Wow, your room still looks like this?

Daria - Need help filling out your picture order form? It's Q-U-I...

Quinn - Daria? Can I talk to you? About the dead guy?

(commercial break)

(at Daria's house, sitting around the dinner table)

Quinn - So I called up Sandi, and Stacey, and Tiffany, and the fashion club is going to take up a collection to get safe new goal posts. Like to honor the dead guy's memory.

Helen - Quinn, what a wonderful impulse. To make something positive come out of this devastating event.

Quinn - Daria gave me that idea. She's really good at this tragic stuff.

Daria - Thanks, but it was one of the safe new goal posts that fell on him.

Quinn - Oh! Well, it's the thought that counts. (gets up and leaves)

Helen - And how do you feel Daria?

Daria - I feel great. How else could I feel? I'm the misery chick. I'm going to Jane's.

(at Jane's house)

Trent - (opens door) Hey, Daria. Janey went running.

Daria - Oh, well, I'll see her another time.

Trent - Scary about Tommy Sherman.

Daria - Yeah, you knew him, right?

Trent - We had a couple classes together. I mean, we didn't see him much. You know, he didn't show up too often.

Daria - Not like you, huh.

Trent - He, he, he. I guess I might have missed a few classes, now that you mention it. Weird thing, freak accident.

Daria - Would you say it really makes you think?

Trent - No.

Daria - Thank you for that.

Trent - Huh?

Daria - See ya.

Trent - Hey Daria.

Daria - Yeah?

Trent - You know it was a while ago that Janey went running. Maybe she came back and I didn't hear her or something. Anyway, why don't you check her room, she might be there.

Daria - I'll yell up the stairs.

Trent - Now, umm, sometimes she's got some music on and she can't hear really well. Why don't you just head on up?

(Jane's room)

Daria - (knocks on door)

Jane - Yo! Come on in!

Daria - (walks in)

Jane - Oh, hi.

Daria - Are you avoiding me?

Jane - Um, not anymore?

Daria - What's going on?

Jane - Nothing, I just haven't felt like talking to anybody.

Daria - I'm not anybody. And I'd like to talk to someone.

Jane - But you've been talking to everyone.

Daria - No, everyone's been talking to me. There's a difference.

Jane - Well, what do you want to talk about anyway, you don't care about what happened.

Daria - How can you say that?

Jane - You've been treating it like, "Oh well, another stupid day." The guy died.

Daria - I know he died. I'm sorry he died. But I'm not going to pretend that he was some great person when he wasn't. People aren't upset because Tommy Sherman died, they're upset because they're going to die.

Jane - That's understandable.

Daria - Okay, but you know what I've been hearing? You know how I feel Daria, you're gloomy. I knew I can talk to you Daria, you're always miserable. Tragedy hits the school and everyone thinks of me. A popular guy died and now I'm popular because I'm the misery chick. I'm not miserable. I'm just not like them.

Jane - It really makes you think.

Daria - Funny. Thanks a lot.

Jane - No! That's why they want to talk to you. When they say, "You're always unhappy Daria," what they mean is, "You think Daria. I can tell because you don't smile. Now this guy died and it makes me think and that hurts my little head and makes me stop smiling. So, tell me how you cope with thinking all the time Daria until I can get back to my normal vegetable state."

Daria - Okay. So why have you been avoiding me?

Jane - Because I've been trying not to think. About the way we were making jokes about him dying and then boom, it happened.

Daria - We didn't have anything to do with the guy dying. It was a freak accident.

Jane - Yeah, well I don't like it when I say people should die and then they do. I don't want that kind of responsibility. At least not until I've got a job in middle management.

Daria - You didn't make him die.

Jane - You're not the misery chick.

Daria - All right then.

Jane - All right then.

Daria - He shouldn’t have died.

Jane - No.

Daria - But he wasn't a nice guy.

Jane - No.

Daria - Did Trent know you were up here?

Jane - Told him to tell anyone who dropped by that I was out running. What a surprise, he forgot.

Daria - No, he didn't.

(at school, in Mr. O'Neill's English Class)

Mr. O'Neill - "It is better to have loved and lost, then never to have loved at all." Just what is Lord Tennyson talking about? Brittany?

Brittany - Um, love?

Mr. O'Neill - Anyone else? Daria?

Daria - Well, he's acknowledging that if something makes you feel good, like being in love, there must be a corresponding painful side, like losing a love. And that it's just a fact of life.

Mr. O'Neill - Sad, but true.

Daria - And what's intriguing about it is that no one calls Tennyson a big unhappiness freak just because he understands that.

Mr. O'Neill - Is he a big unhappiness freak?

Daria - No, he's a realist. He says "emotional involvement brings pleasure and extraordinary pain." Then he declares that it's better than feeling nothing at all.

Mr. O'Neill - That is excellent Daria.

Daria - Of course this was before the advent of community property laws.

(in the hallway)

Sandi - Hello? Quinn's cousin or whatever?

Daria - Yeah?

Sandi - Quinn said you were really good with like, bummed out stuff?

Daria - Yeah?

Sandi - My cat, he got into my makeup or something and like ODed on foundation. And he spent the whole day puking.

Jane - An experience left him questioning the meaning of life?

Sandi - And I've been feeling really bad about it and I was wondering if you had like some advice or something.

Daria - I'm afraid that inflation has forced me to institute a small fee for my services.

Sandi - Huh?

Daria - Ten dollars. In advance.

Sandi - Oh, uh, sure. (hands over ten dollars)

Daria - What is the animal's name?

Sandi - Fluffy.

Daria - I see. Fluffy.

Sandi - So like what's your advice.

Daria - Find some other way to feel. Then you won't feel sad.

Sandi - That's what I get for ten dollars? Are you kidding?

Daria - See, it's working already.

Sandi - Thanks.

Jane - You just made ten bucks off of that poor girl’s suffering.

Daria - Yeah, that was wrong.

Jane - Really. Next time...

Daria - Twenty.

(closing credits)