Boston Public
Chapter Ten

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Fyvush Finkel says, "African-American Black colored Negroes." No, really, he does.

House of Lick. Daddy-No-Lita is here, with her Mom, and the Daddy in question. Her parents read the story she wrote while Mr. Lick and Ms. Souter look on. "This is a very powerful, um, story," says Daddy. Mr. Lick says, "Is it true?" Daddy's all, "You said what now?" More or less. Mr. Lick says, "I'm sure your daughter's a gifted writer, but I don't think that gifted." Daddy says, "Jody. Jody, look at me honey. What are you telling these people?" Note that he hasn't denied anything yet, and he went straight to the girl he knows he can manipulate, and he also didn't say, "What lies are you telling these people?" Man, is he guilty. So the surprise ending is not that the girl is making it up. What could it be? Maybe we can figure it out later. At this point, Oblivious Mom wakes up from her, I guess, sixteen-year nap, and says, "Wait a minute, what is the meaning…are you suggesting that this happened to Jody?" Mr. Lick, master of semantics, says, "I'm suggesting that she's trying to suggest it." Daddy says, "I don't know whether to hire a lawyer to sue you, or leap across that desk and break your neck." That's Heavy D your messing with, pal. Get out of his face. You don't want to go there, as Harry Senate might try to say. Lick says, "You'd have more success with a lawyer." Daddy, choosing his words way too carefully for an innocent man, says, "I don't know what my daughter has either said, or caused you to believe, but if she's intimated that I have…then she is pathological, and in desperate need of help." Mr. Lick says, "Are you pathological, Jody? Jody?" Daddy-No-Lita says, "I didn't say anything about anything. I wrote a short story, period. And I won't be doing that again, trust me." She storms out. Way to kill the spirit of a young writer, everybody. As if the molestation weren't enough, you have to go and try to stop it. Oblivio-Mom-a-tron engages her "Defend The Monster I Married" program and says, "What's the matter with you people?" Mr. Lick asks her how well she knows her husband, at which point Daddy gets up and says, "That's it. I think I will be hiring that lawyer." He says it like it's a threat, but really he's probably about to lose his mind with fear, because he knows he's frigging caught, the sicko.

The hallway. Milton is asking Kevin if he told Harry about Milton's affair with Lisa Greer. For a while I thought Milton, Kevin, and Harry were supposed to be, like, the three guy buddies on the show. After all, Harry told the two of them about kissing Dana Poole. Now, all of a sudden, Harry gets with Ms. Davis and he's the enemy. Oh, wait, I get it. Mr. Senate is whipped now, so he might as well be working for the other side. Anyway, Kevin says, "No, I haven't told anybody. But if you keep seeing her…" Milton swears that it's over, lying much more convincingly than he did to Steven. Just then, The Blob comes down the stairs: "Mr. Riley? I'll do it." Kevin smiles, "Practice is at three. We have a match tomorrow." She hesitates: "A match?" Kevin gets all reassuring: "We'll just see how practice goes, and take it from there." The Blob skips away, happy that her beating the crap out of annoying guys will now be sanctioned by the school. Just then, My-Fair-Lita approaches and tells Milton they've got four more sign-ups. "Will we have enough books?" Milton tries to sound all official, saying, "I ordered twenty. We'll be fine." Kevin, not fooled, says, "I'll see you later." Yeah, that was pretty stupid of Lisa, seeing as Kevin already knew about the affair, meaning the Shakespeare Club ruse isn't really designed to conceal anything from him, except maybe that the affair is still going on, but it wouldn't work that way anyhow. Lisa says, "I'm just doing what you said. Being out in the open like we've got nothing to hide." Milton says, "Good. Right," I guess realizing how idiotic his little plan actually is. My-Fair-Lita walks by Daddy-No-Lita at her locker, putting two Litas in the frame for a moment. Marilyn approaches Jody and says, "You never answered Big Boy's question." There it is! "Are you pathological? Let me tell you something, Jody. You might think you're protecting your brothers: you're not. Any man who would rape his daughter, call her pathological…he's sick. Now, he's got no business raising kids. Not you, not your brothers. They'll pay for it. Maybe he won't touch them, but they'll suffer. If this is about looking out for them, you've gotta get that man out of the house. And you know that, that's why you wrote that story. Are you worried that they won't believe you, that it'll be your word against his?" Jody says, "It doesn't have to be my word against his, Ms. Souter." At this point, I thought I knew what the big twist was going to be: Jody's mother knows about it, and simply looks the other way. That would be an okay surprise, I thought. But no -- instead Jody pulls out a videotape: "One night I left my videocam on." Ms. Souter says, "It's on tape?" Jody shakes her head. "I don't know, I haven't looked at it. I couldn't bring myself to. Maybe it's on tape. Maybe it had run out. I don't know." She hands Marilyn the tape, and walks away. Marilyn taps the tape against her palm thoughtfully, and I can't help hoping that whatever's on it doesn't end up on Cheryl's website.

Harvey and Marla's classroom. Lipschultz is behind the desk, and Marla comes in. "Marla, you're black, right?" Marla, whose hair looks kind of awesome in this scene, says, "If memory serves me." Heh. "Do I offend you?" Marla looks at the old buffoon for a long beat. "Harvey," she says, "what do you think about black people?" Harvey says, "Oh, I'm for them. I support affirmative action, I always have. And I'm against the death penalty." Marla, kind of disingenuously, asks, "What does that got to do with blacks?" Now, Harvey happens to give the wrong answer, phrased poorly, but there's a reason, as Marla surely knows, that civil rights activists tend to be against the death penalty: because black suspects are less likely to have adequate counsel at trial, more likely to be found guilty, and once found guilty more likely to be given the death penalty. The death penalty isn't employed evenhandedly. There is, in fact, a fairly clear bias in its use, and for this reason it has everything to do with black people, for some people, when they say they're against the death penalty. Unfortunately, Harvey just says, "Well, you know. They commit most of the murders." Marla is not quite so sympathetic all of a sudden. "I know I'm old-fashioned," he says, "but am I a racist?" Marla says, "Yes, Harvey. You are an old-fashioned racist." Harvey thinks about this for a few moments. Meanwhile, Lauren has appeared in the doorway, and is listening to this conversation. "The truth is," says Harvey, "if you were to give me a pop quiz, about which student is what color, I'd probably fail. The truth is, I don't even notice." Which rings true. Harvey is kind of ignorant, and certainly insensitive, and a little bit misinformed, but he doesn't seem to actually discriminate in his action or behavior. It's a tough situation. Lauren seems to be thinking that as she walks away without coming in to talk to Harvey.

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