The Fascist Club
By Thomas

Thanks to Steve Brown for helping me with my grammar.

(Author's note: This story takes place after "Partner's Complaint")

(Pizza Prince. Daria, Jane, Jodie and Brittany are sitting at a table sharing a pizza with olives and anchovies)

Jodie: So following the incident with the substitute history teacher who taught that dinosaur bones had been placed on earth by the devil to lead the true believers astray, the student council decided to send a letter of protest to Ms. Li.

Brittany: Why? I thought he made perfect sense.

Daria: Exactly.

Jodie: (sigh) Ten minutes to decide on what to do, followed by three hours trying to decide how to formulate the protest letter.

Jane: And five seconds for Ms. Li to file it into the bin beneath her desk.

Jodie: But the real problem is that the school is never going to attract good substitutes with the pay Ms. Li is willing to offer.

Jane: Or good teachers for that matter.

Daria: Maybe if she introduced "jus primae noctis".

(Jane and Jodie laugh)

Brittany: What?

Jane: The teachers would get the right to sleep with any student in their class.

Brittany: Oh-no! I know what you're thinking. But I'm not willing to raise my grades using those means.

Jane: Not even if you were about to fail Mr. Stephenson's class? You know, your handsome geography teacher.

Brittany: (unsure) Um...

Daria: Jodie!!

(Cut to Jodie who is staring at them with wide-open eyes, open mouth and her hands at her throat)

Daria: She's choking! Brittany, do something.

Brittany: (scared) What?

Daria: The Heimlich maneuver. Hurry.

(Cedars at Lawndale. Jodie is lying in a hospital bed. Daria, Jane and Brittany are talking with Dr. Phillips)

Dr. Phillips: That was some quick thinking back there, Miss Taylor. If you hadn't gotten that olive out of your friend's throat she could have choked to death.

(Brittany smiles)

Dr. Phillips: Unfortunately you also managed to bruise a couple of Miss Landon's ribs. We'll have to keep her here for a few days I'm afraid.

Brittany: Oh.

Jane: Well, at least you'll get some peace and quiet.

Jodie: (beat) In the short time before my parents get here you mean.

Dr. Phillips: We should leave now and give your friend some rest.

Jodie: Daria, can I have a word with you?

Daria: Sure.

(Dr. Phillips, Jane and Brittany leave)

Jodie: I want to thank you for getting Brittany to save me. Even if it was because of your joke I choked on that olive in the first place.

Daria: I know. Jokes in combination with olives have killed legions of people.

Jodie: (smiles) Can you replace me at one of my extracurricular activities while I'm here? It would mean a lot.

Daria: And what activity would that be?

Jodie: Editor of the Lawndale Lowdown. After the incident with the picture of a potato that looked like Ms. Li's head, most of the old staff quit. Right now it's just me and four freshmen. I shudder to think what they might write in the paper, if I'm not there to keep an eye on them.

Daria: Aren't you more concerned with what horrors I might unleash in your name?

Jodie: Not really.

Daria: We've known each other for too long.

(Morgendorffer kitchen. The Morgendorffer's are having dinner)

Quinn: So Jodie was about to choke, but Brittany threw her to the ground and started jumping on her back to get the olive out. Which she did, but she also broke five of her ribs and sent Jodie into a coma she may never wake up from.

Helen: (concerned) Is that so?

(Helen looks at Daria. Daria shakes her head no. Helen looks relieved)

Quinn: But the situation does have some advantages. Because Jodie is the editor of the Lowdown, and with her out of the picture, we can finally get the paper to run a story telling everyone at school how fantastic the Fashion Club is. Something Jodie refused to do.

Daria: (smirk) I wouldn't be so sure about that.

Quinn: Oh... And how would you know?

Daria: (smiles) I'm the new editor.

Helen: You are? But that's great.

Jake: Yeah kiddo! We're proud of you. Hey, can you give me some advertising space in your paper? Business has been a little slow lately.

Daria: Depends, do you sell fake ID's?

Quinn: Mu-oom. Do something. Daria is ruining our plans for fashion domination.

(Helen sighs)

Daria: Hey, I don't mind printing stuff about you in the paper. Like that picture I took of you on a bad hair day.

Jake: Is that the one where Quinn's hair falls over her face so she looks like a troll?

Quinn: Mu-ooooooooom!

(Editorial room of the Lawndale Lowdown. Daria along with the rest of her staff, the freshmen Mike, Tina, Larry and Billy, are sitting at a table)

Daria: Okay, so we've got a report detailing the events of the school play rehearsal where Romeo ate a bad tuna sandwich and puked on Juliet. What else?

Larry: Brittany sent us the "Ask Brittany" column.

Tina: I wrote an article about the pencil shortage.

Mike: I took a picture of the new Tommy Sheridan memorial tree.

Billy: And I covered the upgrade of all the school's computer operating systems.

Daria: (beat) Well, I guess even Woodward and Bernstein had humble beginnings.

Larry: Woodward?

Billy: Bernstein?

Daria: You know, the journalists who exposed Watergate.

Tina: Watergate?

(Daria makes a fist with her right hand and bites into it)

Mike: Um... What are you trying to tell us?

Daria: Look, I refuse to believe that this is the best stuff you people can come up with. There has got to be more interesting things going on at this school. It's your job to find it and write about it.

Billy: You don't want us to write anything bad about Ms. Li, do you?

Daria: Why not?

Billy: Because she told us that if we ever insulted her again, she would feed us to the almighty Sarlacc, and there in his belly, we would find a new definition of pain and suffering, as we were slowly digested over a thousand years.

Tina: You bozo, that's not what she said. She said that she would summon the Dementors to take us to the prison of Azkaban.

Daria: While there is some disagreement as to Ms. Li's exact words, she seems to have got her message across. But what I mean is, that you must have had a reason to join the Lawndale Lowdown in the first place. I don't expect you to win a Pulitzer, but you could at least try to bring me some better material than this.

Larry: What's a Pulitzer?

(Daria bites into her fist again. There is murder in her eyes)

Tina: Um... Sure, we'll get you some good material.

Larry: I'll go interview people right now.

Billy: (scared) Don't kill us.

(Larry, Tina, Mike and Billy flee the editorial room)

(The Office of Mrs. Manson. Mrs. Manson is in a session with Stacy. Mrs. Manson is holding a pencil in her right hand and is looking at something on her desk)

Stacy: So then I went on a date with Corey. And I thought he wanted to take me out for dinner. But instead he took me to a drag racing show, and all I got to eat was a hotdog and soda.

Mrs. Manson: Go on. (voiceover) European country, seven letters, starts with an "H"... hmmm, tricky. Hotdog. I'm hungry. Hungry? "Hungary"!

Stacy: But Corey told me that on odd numbered dates he does what his date wants, but on even numbered dates they do as he wants. Which I guess is only fair. I just don't understand that no matter how many people I date, I always get the even numbered ones, when girls like Quinn have no trouble getting odd numbered dates.

Mrs. Manson: (voiceover) Another word for "doormat". "Stacy" ... hmmm, nope, not enough letters.

(There is a knock on the door)

Mrs. Manson: Come in.

(The door opens. Tina and Larry enter)

Tina: Hi, we're reporters from the Lowdown, and we'd like you to give us an interview.

Mrs. Manson: Have you got an appointment?

Larry: Do we need one?

Mrs. Manson: Indeed.

Tina: Can we have an appointment?

Mrs. Manson: No.

Larry: Um...

Mrs. Manson: Get out!

(Outside Mrs. Manson's office)

Larry: I don't get it. None of the teachers want to get interviewed by us. Do I smell bad or something? (smells his left armpit)

Tina: Stop that. And it doesn't matter if the teachers don't want to get interviewed. I just found a much better candidate.

Larry: Who? Stacy?

Tina: When I started here, I asked to join the Fashion Club, but Sandi told me my legs were too big. So I asked if it would help if I wore pants. But she said that even the pants worn by the people living at the North Pole couldn't hide my legs. I hate that bitch.

Larry: But there are no people living on the North Pole.

Tina: Never mind that. Now it's payback time.

(The door to Mrs. Manson's office opens. Stacy exits)

Stacy: See you next week, and I'm sorry I don't know what the capital of Montana is called. (closes the door)

Tina: (false smile) Hi Stacy, I was wondering if you would help me write an article about the fashion club for the Lowdown.

Stacy: (happy) Really? Because Quinn said that the new editor is the anti-fashion incarnate, and that she would never let anything about our club get into the paper.

Tina: Sure she will. Follow me and I'll get you interviewed.

(Stacy leaves with Tina)

(Jane's room. Daria is watching TV. Jane is painting on a canvas)

TV: Getting kids to eat horsemeat - the advertising campaign from hell: my little pony in my little lunch box, next on Sick, Sad World!

Daria: I've been thinking. Can you make me a comic strip for the paper? I've always felt it could use one.

Jane: Actually I did make a comic strip for the paper once. But the editor back then turned it down.

Daria: Really? When was that?

Jane: When I was a freshman. I called it "Casper the Unfriendly Robot". It was about a robot that masquerade as a human teen, and gets enrolled in High school where it destroys property and eats students and teachers. Anyhow, I didn't get time to draw more than the first three strips because that was about the time I got sent to self-esteem class... (pause) Hmmmmm.

Daria: I'm no Sherlock Holmes, but I guess there is a distinct possibility of those two events being related.

Jane: (sigh) So how are things going with the paper?

Daria: Somehow they got the idea I would kill them unless they brought me some decent material. (takes a piece of paper from her backpack) And one of them, Tina, handed me a copy of an interview she made with Stacy from the Fashion Club. I haven't had the time to read it until now. (looks at the paper) "The Evil at Lawndale High Exposed"??

Jane: Promising start.

Daria: Listen to this. "Question: But if you don't think any of the other girls at school qualify for membership of your club, why do you keep asking people to apply? Answer: It was Quinn's idea. She said it would make us exclusive and attractive at the same time, and it would give the other girls at school something to strive for even if they couldn't reach it".

Jane: That sounds like Quinn all right.

Daria: "Question: Why did you tell Dawn her clothes made her look fat? Answer: It was Sandi's idea. She said that even if Dawn was beyond hope, given that she looks like two pigs spliced together to form an enormously big pig, we have a duty to get her to spend more money on clothes."

Jane: Hey, this is really good.

Daria: It gets better. "Question: Don't you feel the least bit responsible for the pain and suffering the Fashion Club has caused? Answer: I was just following orders." (smirk) Quinn and her minions are so dead when I print this.

Jane: I'll bring rocks to school to stone them with.

Daria: Let's make it tomatoes; we wouldn't want to appear inhumane.

(Editorial room of the Lawndale Lowdown)

Larry: I made a spoof, where I went to the football team and asked them fake questions. Like, "Have you heard that the school wants to rename the "Lawndale Lions" to the "Lawndale Orangutans?", "Do you oppose the plan to fire the team and replace it with illegal immigrants?", and "What do you think of the plan to have the cheerleaders dress as cute animals?" Man, you're not going to believe the answers I got.

Daria: Somehow, I guess, I should oppose an article whose only purpose is to make a group of students look like idiots. But I always believed that satire enjoys special protection. I'll put it on page two.

Larry: (exited) Yeah!

Daria: One piece of advice though.

Larry: Yes?

Daria: Don't wear underpants to school the next couple of weeks. Mike?

Mike: I got a picture from the premiere of the school play where Juliet tries to strangle Romeo.

Daria: Alternative interpretation, I like it. Front page. Billy?

Billy: I made an investigative report on the Lawndale High Linux User Group, and I made the most incredible discovery.

Daria: Yes?

Billy: (exited) They're using BSD to run their server.

Larry: And?

Billy: Don't you get it? The Linux...

Daria: I have no idea what you're talking about. But I'll take your word that it's newsworthy. Page six.

Tina: And I got an interview with Stacy from the Fashion Club. One that will finally end their rein of terror.

Daria: Yes, I enjoyed reading it a great deal. However I think you should give Sandi and Quinn a chance to read the interview and to comment on it.

Tina: So they can live in fear until the paper comes out. (smiles) I like it.

(Daria smirks)

(Lawndale High. The girl's bathroom. Sandi and Quinn are standing at the mirror)

Sandi: Did you see that dress Heidi is wearing? She says its retro, but I suspect she bought it at a flee-market.

Quinn: And?

Sandi: So there is a difference between retro and old clothes. Retro is new old clothes unlike the old old clothes I suspect in this case.

Quinn: I know, but how are we going to find out? We can't just ask her to take it off and show it to us.

Sandi: (sigh) That's true. We have too little power these days.

Quinn: There should be a law granting us more power at this school. We could call it the "Fashion Act".

(Tina enters and walks over to them)

Tina: Hi guys, I'm writing for the Lawndale Lowdown and I was wondering...

Sandi: Quinn, dear, there is a disturbance in here. Could you get rid of it please?

Quinn: Wait a sec, are you the one who interviewed Stacy?

(Tina nods)

Sandi: Oh yeah, Stacy said it went really well.

Tina: And did it occur to you that Stacy's idea of an interview that went "really well" might be different from... say, any other person on the planet?

Quinn: (nervous) What are you saying?

(Tina hands Sandi and Quinn a piece of paper each, they start to read it and as they do their faces take on an expression of dread)

Quinn: "Question: What gives you the right to tell people what to wear? Answer: Quinn says its our destiny to rule".

Sandi: "Question: How it is that you think you're popular even if you never say anything nice to other people? Answer: Sandi says that as long as the shoe was bought at Cashman's, people will kiss it even if its stomping on their face".

Quinn: (horrified) Oh... my... god.

Sandi: Look, you can't print this in the paper. I sound like Mussolini's sister.

Tina: (writes on her notepad) "I sound like Mussolini's sister". Any other comments?

Sandi: You little weasel! (tries to scratch Tina's face)

Tina: Eeeep!

(Tina flees the bathroom with Sandi in pursuit)

Quinn: (clenched teeth) Daria.

(The hallway. Daria is standing at her locker. Quinn walks over to her holding the paper Tina gave her)

Quinn: You bastard.

Daria: Wow, you spoke to me at school. Did you read in Waif to love green jackets or something?

Quinn: This Stacy interview is your doing.

Daria: Actually, no. Believe it or not Tina did it all on her own. I'm just going to print it.

Quinn: You just wait. When I tell mom...

Daria: Brilliant idea. I definitely think you should show that interview to mom.

Quinn: (takes a deep breath) Look, you can't print this.

Daria: Why not? Did Tina force Stacy to get interviewed?

Quinn: No, but...

Daria: Did she quote her incorrectly?

Quinn: (sigh) Probably not.

Daria: So there really is nothing to stop me, is there?

(Daria packs up her bag and leaves leaving Quinn behind with a lost expression on her face)

(Sandi's room. The Fashion Club is holding an emergency meeting. Stacy's eyes are read from crying)

Sandi: Fellow fashioners. We stand at our darkest hour. Once that interview gets printed our entire popularity will be at risk.

Tiffany: We will become like that girl on "After They Were Supermodels". First everybody liked her. But then they didn't.

Sandi: The important thing is that we stick together. "One for all, and fashion for all".

Quinn: Here, here.

Sandi: That being said, I believe the best way to solve our problem will be to sacrifice Stacy.

Stacy: (nervous) Wha... who... what do you mean... what?!!

Sandi: We will destroy Stacy's credibility, so that once the paper gets out no one will believe that interview. To accomplish this, Stacy must go to school tomorrow wearing a black skirt and a green T-shirt.

Stacy: Eep!

Sandi: And she must tell everyone she listens to Phil Collins.

Stacy: Eeeep!!

Quinn: (sigh) I think I have a better plan.

Sandi: Oh, better than mine?

Quinn: Yes, and unless you harbor a wish to be known as "Mussolini's sister" I suggest you follow it.

Sandi: Oh.

(The hallway of Lawndale High. Tina walks over to Daria)

Tina: Hi Daria, You know that interview I gave you?

Daria: How could I forget?

Tina: I want it deleted. I got a better interview instead. (hands a piece of paper to Daria)

Daria: "Why They Are so Great. An interview with Quinn of the Fashion Club". What is this?

(Robert walks by)

Robert: Hi Tina, are you coming to my party this weekend?

Tina: (smiles) Sure.

(Robert leaves)

Daria: "Question: What made you decide to dedicate so much time and effort to beautify the school? Answer: Selflessness, pure selflessness".

Tina: Quinn is really a great person, isn't she? Now remember, that it's my story. You can't print the other interview if I don't want you to.

(Brittany and Angie walk by)

Angie: Hi Tina, have you considered trying out to become a cheerleader?

Tina: You really mean that? Of course I will.

Brittany: Great, with those legs you got, you should make a huge contribution to our human pyramid.

(Angie looks at Brittany)

Brittany: What?

(Brittany and Angie leave)

Daria: Allow me to make a qualified guess. They offered to call everyone and tell them what a great person you are, and in return you would give them a different glorifying interview.

Tina: (mutters) Something like that.

Daria: Congratulations, many journalists end up losing their integrity and self respect. But few manage to do so at such an early stage of their careers.

Tina: (angry) Sorry not all people can be like you. But then, who would want to live in a world where they did. See you later.

(Tina leaves)

Daria: (to herself) Don't count on it.

(Jodie's hospital room. Jodie is sitting at the edge of her bed reading the latest edition of the Lawndale Lowdown. Daria is sitting in a chair)

Jodie: You did a great job.

Daria: You don't mean that.

Jodie: Sure I do. I like the picture from the premiere of the school play. Did you know the guy who played Romeo is in the room next door?

Daria: Don't care.

Jodie: And I love the interview with the football team. "Question: Kevin now that your opponents from Oakwood have hidden their mascot in the sewers, do you still intend to steal it? Answer: Hey man, it's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it". Hmm... I wonder what's going to happen to Larry after this.

Daria: Not my problem anymore.

Jodie: And then there is the interview Tina did with Quinn. Not exactly what I expected. "Question: What do you say to people who dress unfashionably intentionally? Answer: That it's foolish to take pride in your shame". Wow, she's good.

Daria: (sigh) I know.

Jodie: The entire page three is nothing but Fashion Club propaganda. Why did you decide to bring it? You could have just thrown it out.

Daria: Mmm...

Jodie: Maybe you thought that agreeing to run the interview making Quinn look bad, but refusing to run the one making her look good, would make you seem unfair?

Daria: Something like that.

(Quinn enters. She's carrying a flower arrangement of yellow tulips in her arms)

Quinn: Hi Jodie... (sees Daria) What are you doing here?

Daria: Taking pride in my shame.

Quinn: Uuuh... (turns to Jodie) I heard you awoke from you coma, so I decided to bring you these. (puts the flowers down on Jodie's table)

Jodie: Thanks Quinn, but what do you mean about my coma?

Daria: The Lawndale High rumor mill in action. At one point Brittany had amputated your legs with a pizza wheel.

Quinn: So now that you'll be back as editor of the Lowdown. I was wondering if you would send more interviews our way? Except that it would be nice if you would let us see the questions Stacy gets in advance so we can tell her what to say.

Daria: In Tiffany's case I recommend hiding a tape recorder on her person.

Quinn: Oh ha, ha.

Jodie: That's nice of you. But I'm afraid to disappoint you. Try again after the summer vacation when I'm not the editor anymore.

Quinn: Drat... Anyhow, Daria, you'll be glad to know that I'm not mad at you. Actually I'm grateful to you for this experience.

Daria: Gee, and to what do I owe the horror?

Quinn: This whole business with the interview Stacy gave has made me come to realize how important it is to control the flow of information. So guess what? When I go to college, and I'm not at a party, I'm going to study marketing. I think I have talent. Don't you agree?

Daria: (sigh) That's a distinct possibility.

Jodie: So what lessons did your friends draw from this?

(Sandi's room. Sandi is sitting on her bed reading a book with a picture of Mussolini on the cover)

Sandi: "Can a dictator be loved? Yes, provided that the masses fear him at the same time. The crowd loves strong men". (smiles) Not bad, this guy was really on to something.

(Blum-Deckler kitchen. Tiffany is sitting at the table plucking her eyebrows using a big spoon as a mirror)

Tiffany: This spoon is making my cheeks look fat. (turns the spoon around) Hey, now my face is upside down.

(Jeffy's car. Jeffy is driving. Stacy is riding shotgun)

Jeffy: Guess what. This morning Corey told me where an illegal cockfight is taking place. I hope you don't mind.

Stacy: (scared) You're taking me to watch a cockfight? But Jeffy, yesterday you said you were taking me to the restaurant at the lake.

Jeffy: I know, but I took Quinn there last week. So it's only fair to do something I want this time.

Stacy: But Jeffy. You can't do this.

Jeffy: (beat) Look, if you want me to drive you home just say so. But don't expect me to ask you out again, ever.

Stacy: No. It's okay. (sad) Really it is.