©2003 Roger E. Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Feedback (good, bad, indifferent, just want to bother me, whatever) is appreciated. Please write to: email@example.com
Synopsis: Daria mulls a possible career path as a nude exotic dancer.
Author’s Notes: This tale was inspired by a PPMB “Iron Chef” contest started by Brother Grimace, who asked for stories in which one or two “Daria” characters followed one of their other major interests in life, not the one most prominently displayed on the show. A happy ending was also required.
Acknowledgements: Grateful thanks go out to Brother Grimace for the contest. Outpost Daria (http://www.outpost-daria.com/) had the text used below from “I Don’t.”
From “Daria” Episode #204, “I Don’t” . . .
2nd Bridesmaid: What do you do?
Daria: I’m an exotic dancer. You know, at a club. I take my clothes off and dance for strange men.
3rd Bridesmaid: Really? Wow.
Luhrman: She’s really very good.
1st Bridesmaid: You’ve seen her?
* * *
It started as a joke, of course, with Daria telling the gullible bridesmaids at her cousin Erin’s wedding that she was an exotic nude dancer. Luhrman, Erin’s cousin on her father’s side, played right along with it, complimenting her on her performances. Daria got a nice kick out of the bridesmaids’ reaction, but soon forgot about it.
On the long drive home from Erin’s wedding, however, a restless Daria gave it a little more thought.
On the negative side, being an exotic dancer would reduce her future career choices to the lowest common denominator in human relations. It would destroy any chance she had for a normal life, and it would make her a high-profile target of public ridicule and condemnation. She would be sanctioned by every moral authority in existence, damned from pulpits and government offices, forever stamped with the lurid mark of infamy. And, every night that she worked, she would be surrounded by loud drunken leering men in dark smoky rooms that stank of alcohol and sweat, her ears filled with the screams of a wild mob begging her to show off her naked body for the wads of cash they threw on the stage at her feet.
On the positive side, in addition to all of the above, there were book, TV, and movie deals to think of, guest appearances on Howard Stern and “Sick, Sad World”—maybe both at once—and truckloads of money that could be measured in metric tons. She could buy a college degree, all the degrees she wanted, maybe even buy a college and name it for herself. Jane would certainly appreciate the free pizza and art supplies, and there would be no end of good stories for her writing career.
Best of all, it would drive her family insane. No question about it.
And then she thought of Trent.
Her smile faded. She shook her head and sighed, her revere gone. She closed her eyes, and a few moments later, she was asleep.