Disclaimer: Daria and associated characters are owned by MTV. This is fan fiction written for entertainment only. No money or other negotiable currency or goods have been exchanged.
This story occurs during Season 2 and was inspired by Ms. DeFoe's field trip handout shown in The Daria Diaries.
Tripping the Art Sarcastic
(Exterior of Lawndale High School, cut to Ms. DeFoe's art classroom. The students are seated at the work tables while Ms. DeFoe walks around, handing each a sheet of paper)
Ms. DeFoe: Here are your instructions for Friday's field trip to the County Museum of Modern Art, or COMMA. Please read and follow the instructions so that we can all have a pleasant, and hopefully educational, trip.
(Daria and Jane are seated next to each other. Daria scans the handout while Jane spins hers on the table)
Daria: You don't look impressed.
Jane: We went last year. Trust me, you'll prefer a coma.
Daria: That bad, huh?
Jane: Everyone on the board is from either Lawndale or Oakwood.
Jane: They're to the art world what the cooks in the cafeteria are to the food world.
Daria: And there's no Geneva Convention on art.
Jane: There should be. But, it could be worse.
Jane: It could be the Lawndale Art Museum.
(Morgendorffer kitchen. Daria, Quinn and Jake are seated at the table as Helen brings over a large paper bag marked "3 Little Piggies Bar-B-Q" featuring three grinning cartoon pigs)
Helen: Jake, don't you think you could've found something a little healthier than barbeque pork?"
Quinn: Eww, dad! Do you know how much fat is in that?"
Daria: Why do barbeque places have smiling pigs? Do they lie to the pigs? Or do they enjoy being roasted over a bonfire while some alchemical concoction is poured over their sizzling flesh.
Quinn: EWW, Daria!
Helen (sighs and holds forehead): Daria…
Daria: Just an observation on the mixed signals some marketing sends. Are we supposed to believe that the pigs really are happy to become our dinner?
(Helen sits down and moves containers of pork, rolls, beans and cole slaw from the bag to the table as Jake and Daria start to serve themselves and Quinn contemplates what is the least fatty for her to eat)
Helen: Daria, we're about to eat dinner. Do not go into any details about how…you know.
Daria: How pigs are slaughtered? Don't worry; I've already extracted the shock value from that description.
Helen: Anything interesting happen at school today?
(Daria nonchalantly shows Helen the museum trip handout)
Daria: Field trip to an art museum on Friday.
Helen: An art museum sounds wonderful.
Daria: I'll need a packed lunch or money for overpriced food at the museum.
Helen: Oh sweetie, it's been ages since I've packed a lunch for you.
Daria: I was hoping for cash.
Helen: You said yourself the food there will be overpriced. I'm packing your lunch. It'll be my pleasure.
Daria (shrugs): Who am I to deny you pleasure?
(Jane's room. She and Daria are seated on the bed while watching television. On the screen is a stage full of male ballet dancers, each crouched and holding their hands low in a desperate measure of modesty as they shuffle offstage)
SSW Announcer: Good thing the show wasn't The Nutcracker! The lesson of low-bid leotards! Next, on Sick, Sad World.
Jane: I bet that was an eye-opener.
Daria: Simultaneous blow-outs? I smell a conspiracy.
Jane: Or the chili they had for lunch.
Daria: That was part of the conspiracy.
Jane: Ah, I see.
(Daria removes a piece of paper from her jacket pocket and unfolds it)
Daria: Ms. DeFoe included a few unusual "do's and don'ts" for the museum trip. There has to be a story behind them.
Daria: Yeah, I saw that she named him in the warning about "free" souvenirs from the gift shop.
Jane: Who do you think would look for dinosaurs at an art museum?
Jane: Giggle at the nudes?
Jane: No, he drooled.
Jane (nods): Step on art?
Jane: Poke at some pottery and causes a chain reaction that wipes out a whole display?
Daria: Must be the "Urn Incident".
Daria: Let me guess: Kevin. Okay, I'm seeing the trend. Why doesn't Ms. DeFoe just leave him behind?
(Jane quizzically raises one eyebrow)
Daria: Because nobody will let him stay in their class.
(Morgendorffer kitchen. Helen is at the counter packing a brown paper bag while Daria heats some leftover lasagna in the microwave for breakfast and watches her mother)
Daria: You really don't have to go to all the trouble, Mom.
Helen: It's no trouble.
Daria: If it's no trouble, then why don't you make lunch for us every day?
Helen: Because, I…um…
Daria (faintly smiles): So, what tempting repast have you prepared for me?
Helen: A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a granola bar and a juice pack.
Daria: Mom, that's what you made for me in third grade.
(Helen turns and looks at Daria)
Helen: Sorry, sweetie, sometimes I forget how fast you've grown.
Daria (surprised): Fast?
(Lawndale High School parking lot and students are climbing aboard a school bus. Ms. DeFoe is standing near the door, taking roll as each student steps on. Daria and Jane are at the end of the line. Daria holds the bag Helen had packed, while Jane appears empty handed)
Jane: You're not going to toss your cookies after the bus trip again, are you?
Daria: I hope not.
Jane: If it helps, I think Brittany used a better grade of industrial perfume today.
Daria: The gods must be smiling.
Jane: But if she and Kevin decide to work up a sweat, who knows?
Daria: Ugh. Well, if I get sick, maybe I can sell it as art.
Ms. DeFoe: Daria. Jane. Okay, that's everybody. Jane, didn't you bring a lunch?
(Jane takes a paper-towel wrapped pizza slice from each jacket pocket)
Jane: No problem; I raided Mystik Spiral's leftover pizza.
Daria: Wanna trade?
(Aboard the school bus, Daria and Jane share a seat, as do Jodie and Mack. Kevin and Brittany are in separate seats and Ms. DeFoe is carefully watching them. Upchuck is seated alone a couple seats behind everyone else)
Brittany: Ms. DeFoe?
Ms. DeFoe: Yes, Brittany?
Brittany: Can I sit next to Kevin now?
Ms. DeFoe: No, you heard what the bus driver said about leaving if you act the way you did on the Mall of the Millennium trip, and I don't blame the union for backing him up.
Kevin: But Ms. DeFoe, it was a long trip.
Ms. DeFoe: Stay put. I barely know how to drive my Beetle; there's no way I could drive this bus if the driver leaves.
Kevin: I can.
Daria: But if you're driving, you can't sit with Brittany, anyway.
Brittany: Sure we can. We do it all the time in his Jeep.
Jane: Brittany, that was too much information.
(The bus continues on its way. On board, the students are mostly board, though some talk among themselves. Kevin notices Daria looking sleepy, so he reaches over to nudge her awake)
Kevin: Hey, Daria! You gonna like, hurl again? That was really cool.
(Several students snicker)
Daria (irritated): I'm not planning on it.
Brittany: Kevin! Eww! She's sitting in front of us. We'd have to walk past it.
Daria: Your concern is touching, Brittany.
(Exterior of the County Museum of Modern Art, an old warehouse unconvincingly converted to look like a neo-classical style building. A middle-aged man wearing a tweed vest and a bow tie waits outside as the school bus arrives and stops in front of him. Moments later, Ms. DeFoe exits, followed by the class)
Guide: Welcome to the County Museum of Modern Art.
Ms. DeFoe: Thank you.
(The guide starts to hand out small metal buttons to each student as they file off of the bus)
Guide: Please wear these to help us identify which tour group you belong to, so you don't get lost.
Daria (to Jane): Why do I find it hard to believe that they'd have more than one tour group here at the same time?
Jane (to Daria): Just let the nice man keep his illusions. Mainly, the buttons mean that the school paid our admission and the staff shouldn't hit us up for extra donations.
Daria: That, I can believe.
Jane: Hey, you didn't get sick.
Daria: A moment I'll cherish forever. Thank you for sharing that will all of our classmates.
Jane: No problem.
(All the students, Ms. DeFoe and the tour guide are gathered around a series of really poorly done cubist paintings on a gallery wall)
Guide: Here we see featured works of the esteemed Applegrove cubist painter, Thaddeus Winston Murhallop.
Jane: Those should be hanging from a gallows instead of a gallery.
Ms. DeFoe: Shh.
Guide: Can't you just feel the pull of the sweeping vista in Plain of Wild Ponies?
Daria: Sorry, I just can't see it.
(Cut to the tour group entering "The Palace of Pottery", featuring works as stomach turning as the cubist gallery)
Daria: Jane, I'm sure you mother has a few choice words about this place.
Jane: Yeah, something about the place bad clay is sent for its sins.
Ms. DeFoe: Kevin? Where's Kevin?
(In the early stages of making out, Kevin and Brittany are standing close to a large, multi-level display. On the display are pottery lumps that approximate plates and bowls glazed in very drab earth tones)
Kevin: Over here, Ms. DeFoe.
Ms. DeFoe: Kevin, step away from the pottery and nobody gets hurt.
Kevin: Aw, man.
(Sculpture gallery. The tour group has stopped in front of a series of yellow, metal spikes resembling French fries coming out of the floor)
Guide: Notice how the sculpture bursts from the floor with a sense of dynamic motion and speed?
Kevin: French fries, cool. Hey, is it time for lunch, yet?
Daria: Jane, I'm scared. Kevin made sense.
Jane: I warned you that you'd prefer a coma.
(The group moves on to the next sculpture, which looks exactly like the sculpture in the Lane's front yard)
Guide: Next is Intersections of Space/Time and Mass Transit by Raoul Epstein.
Daria: That looks amazingly familiar.
Jane (embarrassed): Old commune mate of Mom's. He stayed with us for a month one time, and that was how he paid rent.
Daria: I'm surprised you haven't tried to dig it up and sell it for quick cash.
Jane: Who says I haven't? Damn thing's set in enough concrete to hide Jimmy Hoffa's body.
Jane: Thought of that, too. Sick, Sad World didn't bite.
(Museum restaurant. It is a faux outdoor café with needless umbrellas over each indoor table. One wall is glass, offering a view of the railroad tracks that once serviced the warehouse and the untended brambles beyond. Most of the students are seated and eating bag lunches containing a bizarre mixture of items. Some lunches clearly packed by a parent, featuring healthful food, if not as child-oriented as Daria's. Other students just as clearly packed their own, with things from more leftover pizza to sugar tarts. Under Ms. DeFoe's eye, Kevin and Brittany are at the service counter, buying lunch)
Ms. DeFoe: Kevin, you have to pay for your lunch.
Kevin: But, you said this was just like the lunchroom at school.
Ms. DeFoe: That's right.
Kevin: So, why do I have to pay? The team always eats for free. You know, training table.
Ms. DeFoe (sighs): Kevin, the museum doesn't support the football team, you have to pay.
(Kevin pushes the tray away)
Kevin: Doesn't support the team! Aw, man, I'm not eating here!
(Kevin storms away from the line. The cashier calmly picks up the tray and sets it aside. She's used to seeing strange things every day)
Cashier: Next, please.
(Brittany moves up)
Brittany: You really don't support the team?
Cashier: We're a museum. We can barely support ourselves.
Brittany (saddened): I'm sorry, is there anything I can do to help?
Cashier: Pay for your lunch.
(Daria and Jane are seated at a table. Daria unenthusiastically opens her lunch while Jane intently devours her cold pizza)
Jane: You look thrilled.
Daria: I don't see anyone else with a lunch that looks like it was packed for an eight-year old.
Jane: No, but I see some that make me look like a health nut.
(Jodie and Mack walk up carrying their lunches and stop)
Jodie: Thank God I'm not the only one.
Daria: Only one, what?
Jodie: Only one whose mother packed a child's lunch for me.
Daria: Misery: share and enjoy.
Jodie: I don't know what got into my mother, outside of one of her supermom binges.
Daria: You have a baby brother and a younger sister in middle school. Probably forgot to change gears. My mother doesn't have that excuse.
Jodie: You've got me there, though I'm glad she didn't pack one of Evan's lunches. I'm not real big on fresh milk.
(The tour group enters a gallery of paintings done in a Pollack-like style of splashes and streaks. Jodie and Mack step to the back of the group to stand next to Daria and Jane)
Jodie: Okay, Ms. DeFoe said that if we don't get it, it must be an emotion.
Mack: Or maybe, art for art's sake.
(Jane looks nauseous)
Jodie: Jane, are you okay?
Jane: Jackson Pollack rolled over and hurled in his grave when these were spewed upon the world.
Daria: That sounds like a definite two thumbs down.
Jane: And I feel like joining him.
Daria: Um, Jane?
Jane: I think that pizza was last week's leftovers, not last night's.
Daria: You know better than to eat food of uncertain vintage from your refrigerator.
(Jane covers her mouth)
Jane: Um…excuse me.
Jodie (concerned): Jane?
Daria: If you sell it, I want a cut for giving you the idea.
(Jane rushes off-screen, one hand over her mouth and the other over her stomach, followed moments later by the sound of her retching)
Ms. DeFoe: Oh, dear.
Daria: Better make sure nobody steps on it.
(Side corridor of Museum. Daria is waiting by the women's restroom door. After several seconds, Jane exits, looking wilted and grumpy)
Jane: I give the place a shot of color and they get all upset, sheesh.
Daria: And no respect for distance, either.
Jane: It's the stomach muscles. Firm up yours and you could do better than that wimpy display at the Mall of the Millennium.
Daria: I'll wait for college, where projectile vomiting is a much sought-after trait.
Jane: Oooh, that usually involves lots of alcohol. I want to tag along.
Daria: Good, I'll need a target, and you already wear a red shirt.
(Jane looks at her sleeve)
Jane: Hmm, maybe a change of wardrobe then will be in order.
(Museum gift shop. Jane and Daria idly look at the tacky merchandise while the other students do the same)
Daria: And what, exactly is the shopping experience supposed to teach us?
Jane: To show us how much third parties can make off of someone's art. You don't seriously think that the actual artists are getting anything from this stuff.
(Upchuck enters, carrying two statue replicas, both nude women)
Upchuck: Ah, my luck overflows. The insightful and observant ladies, Ms. Lane and Ms. Morgendorffer.
Daria: Here's some insight into our thoughts; we'd like to observe you leaving.
Upchuck: Ah, once again with the enticing, sharp tongue.
Jane: I feel a repeat performance coming on.
Upchuck: Ladies, I merely ask your advice on choosing an objet d'art for my personal residence.
Daria: I don't remember seeing those statues inside.
Jane: Those are from the real Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Daria: Ah, that explains it. I didn't think they'd be able to sell copies of anything on display here.
Upchuck: Well, ladies?
Jane: As much as I hate to admit it, they're both good.
Daria: I bet you have your dad's gold card again. Why not get both and save the mental effort of making a decision?
(Upchuck gazes from one statue to the other and smiles)
Upchuck: Rowrrr. Two ladies, what a wonderful idea. Thank you.
(Upchuck purrs again and walks to the cashier)
Jane: Way to go, Daria. No art should be subjected to that.
Daria: It was them or us.
Ms. DeFoe: Where's Kevin?
Andrea: I saw him and Brittany go back to the Murhallop room.
Ms. DeFoe: Oh, no!
(Ms. DeFoe runs out of the gift shop and back across the lobby to the indicated gallery. When she arrives, a large crowd has gathered, looking in. She pushes her way through the crowd and stops in shock when she breaks through with the camera focused on her face)
Ms. DeFoe: Kevin! Brittany!
Kevin (VO): Oh, hi Ms. DeFoe.
Brittany (VO): Hi!
Ms. DeFoe: How could you?
(View of the gathered crowd as they break into loud applause, cut back to view of Ms. DeFoe as the tour guide moves through the crowd to stand next to her)
Guide: What an incredible piece of performance art. The faux erotica and clumsy acting make it almost believable as the passion of young love. Are you their agent? Can we schedule regular appearances?
(Inside the school bus on the way back to LHS, Brittany is seated at the front of the bus and Kevin at the back. Angry and embarrassed, Ms. DeFoe sits in the middle, alternately glaring at each of them. Daria and Jane are seated several rows in front of Ms. Defoe, while Upchuck is a couple behind her)
Daria: As a plus, we won't have any more field trips to COMMA.
Jane: I suppose we should thank Kevin and Brittany, but I just can't bring myself to do it.
Daria: It's not their fault they're underage.
Jane: I never pictured Ms. DeFoe slapping someone. I hope she doesn't get into trouble with Ms. Li.
Daria: Once Li finds out that the tour guide was encouraging them on to second base…I don't think it'll be a problem. Can't have scandal attached to the star QB.
Jane: And thus, life goes on as always at wonderful Lawndale High. I wonder if anything even more disgusting could happen.
(Ms. DeFoe turns to check on Kevin and notices Upchuck is missing. She stands and looks over into his seat)
Ms. DeFoe: Upchuck! Eww!
Daria: Ask, and ye shall receive.
Thanks to Kristen Bealer, Ipswichfan and Mr. Orange for beta reading.