Less Than Zero
Although they were unable to hail a cab, they manage to get back to the loft with an unconscious Travis between them. While they're trying to get Travis's shoes off (you can practically see stink lines coming from the guy), Oil Derrick gives Jones a sex look, because there's no greater turn-on than undressing a drunken, stinking art poseur. Jones tells him not to even think about it. They discuss it a little bit, and Oil Derrick suggests that it "could make [their] friendship stronger." Jones has the presence of mind to burst out laughing at that horrible lie, but that doesn't dissuade him. He gives her a look, and finally she grabs his jacket, leans forward, and kisses him. They make out for a few seconds; then she pulls back, tells him she felt absolutely nothing, and leaves. Oil Derrick shouts after her that he felt something. Yeah, take a cold shower and you won't feel it anymore.
The next day, Travis seems to have gone all manic and is trying to calculate some sort of chart or graph or something to track the gossip. He's made up some picture that looks like a representation of the mathematical concept of sets and subsets, but done by a mental patient with finger paints. Oil Derrick lies that Travis has found a way to turn their project into art and that his chart is very good, much in the tone of voice you would use to praise a picture done by a mental patient with finger paints. Jones, though, now that she's sober, has doubts about the whole gossip plan and worries about possibly hurting innocent people. They bicker, but Oil Derrick finally convinces her to go along with it.
Jones sets the ball rolling by telling Sheila the rumor at school. Then she tells a friend. And she tells two friends, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends. We get a montage of gossip, with people skittering around at high speed and close-ups of talking lips. The story is being passed along and changing from person to person. I'm just shocked -- shocked, I tell you! -- that such things could happen in our culture. Why has it taken so long for this horrible social malady to be exposed? Why, just the other day one of my friends told me that there are people out there that deliberately consume mind-altering substances that are -- hang on to your hats -- against the law. I told her that couldn't possibly be true. But now that my eyes have been opened to this horrible concept of "gossip," I suppose I can't discount any sort of human behavior any more. People are people, after all. They do what they do. Anyway, eventually the whole rumor transforms into some nonsense about it being a giant orgy with S&M and rubber underwear and then they got on a giant flying eggplant and went to a Dave Matthews Band concert. Or whatever. You get the point. Because it's so ridiculously obvious and entirely predictable.