Joan of Arcadia
Bringeth It On

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Joan's walking down the stairs toward her locker when Frumpy God starts hollering her name down the hall. Joan gets right zippy when she sees the scene God's willing to make. She whispers fiercely, "Could you keep it on the down low? It's kind of crowded in here!" Frumpy God admonishes her, "I asked you to try out for cheerleaders, not turn on your friends." Joan: "A, what friends, and B, isn't there some baby in a dumpster you could be saving instead of making me practice herkies?" She replies, "I work in mysterious ways. So do you." Suddenly Price is behind Frumpy God asking to see her visitor's pass. Frumpy God: "Happily, if I had one." Price says he's going to need to escort her off the premises. Frumpy God says she didn't get his name. He proudly tells her, and adds, "I didn't get your name." She doesn't say her name, but explains she's subbing for Ms. Fowler's music class, and Mr. White's general science class, and for one of the librarians. Dude. That's a lot of staff out sick for one day. She adds that this exceeds union maximums: "A violation I was willing to overlook until you took that tone with me." Joan makes a little "uh-oh" face to herself. Price chuckles nervously and says, "Then I hope you'll excuse me." He has no idea who he's dealing with. She says, "As union representative of the Local 340, I don't think I can do that...Gavin." Joan stands there smirking. The bell rings, and Price asks her, "Don't you have a class to go to?" Joan gathers her wits and heads for class. Price hightails it outta there too, leaving Frumpy God smiling to herself.

Will's sitting on the bed, reading, when Helen comes in to put away some clean laundry. She pointedly avoids looking at him. Boy, it's frosty in here. Will might need something more than that T-shirt. He asks if they can skip to the part where they start talking again. She says he clearly doesn't need her input, and asks, "Do you have any idea what it felt like having you shut me down like that in front of all those people today?" Will wants to know what he was supposed to do when his wife comes to a meeting uninvited and offers her unsolicited opinion on police business. Helen: "And what if I hadn't? There'd be a list of 'bad girls' circulating around the school!" Will says they never would have let that out. Man, he's awfully naïve for a cop. Helen agrees: "The CIA couldn't keep a list like that from getting out in a high school!" Will wonders, "If there are no secrets, then why hasn't anyone identified the mother of that baby?" Helen replies, "Because kids this age are completely self-involved. They hardly notice anything that doesn't directly concern them. They're not psychopaths; they're adolescents!" Well. Most of them, maybe. Some of them are definitely psychopaths. Will asks, "What about the adults? What's their excuse?" Helen says, "Same thing, basically. We're all so invested in the idea that this only happens to other people's kids that we hardly see what's right in front of our eyes." Will: "You're talking like we're the blind ones. Is there something I'm not seeing?" I think they've both started to worry that it could have been Joan, what with all her weird behaviour lately, the cause of which remains a mystery to them. Helen doesn't know; she confesses that when Lt. Williams played the 911 tape for her today, during the long pause before the caller started speaking, she kept thinking, "What if it's Joan?" Will moves closer to Helen on the bed and insists, "That...could never have been Joan. We're not that blind. We know what's going on with our daughter." Helen looks less convinced. At that moment, we hear the thump of some music start up, and Helen goes down the hall and opens Joan's door. Without knocking. That has to be in the top five of parental crimes against adolescents. When she opens it, Joan's back is to the door and she's practicing cheers with some pompoms. What's weird is that she's wearing headphones, but the music is obviously playing in the room. She turns a bit and catches sight of her mother standing there, dumsquizzled. She takes her headphones off and asks with a bit of a sneer, "What?" Helen doesn't say anything but just closes the door.

The next morning, Helen and Will are discussing the investigation when Luke comes down to the kitchen and overhears them. He asks if they're talking about "the dumpster baby." Helen pleads for a "little sensitivity." Will says a few students are coming down to the station for questioning, and asks Luke if there's anything he wants to tell him. Kevin wheels in and says cheerfully, "Ratting kids out over breakfast. That'll make you popular." Joan arrives, asking once again about who took her phone. Luke: "See? She's the one with communication devices. Ask her." Joan: "Ask me what?" Kevin: "Which girl at school got knocked up and left her baby in a dumpster." Helen admonishes Kevin. Joan asks what makes them think she knows who it is. Will says they're not saying that. Helen: "But if you heard anything at school..." Luke, ever the logician, asks, "Shouldn't there have been some sort of visual clue?" Kevin: "Not if she's a fat chick." Well, give that gimp a sensitivity award. Helen wonders, "Who are you people?" Anyway, it's not necessarily the case that she would have been showing. Many girls have been able to hide their pregnancies. I knew a girl in high school who actually lost weight overall during her pregnancy. Also, even when a girl is obviously pregnant, some people are still pretty clueless. I remember a conversation with my first boyfriend in high school. He said, "[Girl] is getting kinda fat." I just looked at him like he had confessed to loving REO Speedwagon and said, "Are you serious? She's pregnant." He had no idea. Neither, apparently, did any of his male buddies (at least four of whom were named Dave. Not that has anything to do with anything, but it was always weird trying to hang around so many people with the same name). Every girl I knew, though, definitely knew about this girl's pregnancy.

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Joan of Arcadia




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