Boston Public
Chapter Four

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In which Fyvush Finkel says, "Beedle-deedle-deedle-dee"

Steve's office. Mr. and Mrs. LaBlonde are making their case to Steven. Actually, just Mr. LaBlonde is making the case: "He doesn't even socialize with those boys. Other than practice, and the games, he doesn't have anything to do with that team." I-Understand-That says, "I understand that, Mr. LaBlonde. But he knew the cheating was going on. We take the honor code very seriously here. And pursuant to that code, a student must not cheat, and must report others who do if he has knowledge." And so on. But Mr. LaBlonde is not convinced: "This award could put him over the top. He could get into Harvard, where he could also play. He has a legitimate chance at a Rhodes Scholarship. He's worked his whole life for this." Okay, slow down, crazy man. It may be true that being an athlete makes the Rhodes people happy, but none of the rest of that makes any sense. Admissions is a crapshoot at the top schools, and it sounds like John is as likely a candidate as any for Harvard, with or without this stupid award. And, given that there's, what, thirty Rhodes scholarships every year? No random high-school award is going to make any difference. ["Plus John wouldn't have to deal with the Rhodes stuff for several years anyway." -- Sars] Looks to me like Daddy's turned the pressure up rather high. Mommy's total silence and caught-in-the-headlights gaze supports this theory. Actually, she hasn't said a word, and is, by virtue of circumstance, already one of the clearest characterizations on this show so far. I know the whole story of their marriage from the first ten seconds of this scene. Steven won't change his decision. Mr. LaBlonde storms out. His wife closes her eyes.

The auditorium. Harvey and Marla come in together. "What do you mean they want you to sing?" says Harvey. "In the first act or second?" Heh. Coach Kevin gets everyone's attention for the all-important student body election speeches. "As the faculty adviser to the student government, " he says, to explain what the hell he's doing here, "I am very gratified to have you attention at this special election." He hits the word "special" to explain why the hell they're having an election at all. He introduces Peter Nelson, who gets nice applause. When Peter gets up, Marilyn makes some snide comment about his fly being up. Ha ha. Not. Anyway, Peter's speech uselessly pads out the exposition about why there's a special election (useless because it pretends the real reason for this plot-line is not to take advantage of the national election), and says, apparently not for laughs, that he thought "long and hard before deciding to run." He blathers on about his platform of honesty, and then announces that, in the spirit of that honesty, he thinks Susan Potter is the best candidate. He withdraws from the race, mirroring an analogous withdrawal the previous evening, and pledges his votes to Susan. The third candidate, presumably Jerry Schlum, looks annoyed. Susan does not even have the sense to act surprised, and smiles vacantly.

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Boston Public

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