Brian tells Joan to return her equipment to Iris, who's been listening to all this quietly with guilty glances. Joan pleads, saying she'll try harder. Brian says he already told some other kid "in Layout" that he can take over. They have a Layout Department. Sheesh. The argument has caught Helen's attention, and she's come out of her little advisor office to listen. Joan: "You can't do this! I'm supposed to be here! You can't take this away from me!" She turns around, somehow knowing her mother's standing there, and says, "Mom, you want to jump in here, advise Brian not to fire me?" Oof. Bad move. Asking Mommy to help you out? Besides, she has to try to be impartial -- she's there as a teacher, not a mother. Helen: "I think you can risk a little more time, Brian." Brian refuses, saying he's not going to cave into nepotism. Joan, weakly: "We won't tell anyone." Brian: "Substandard performance as yearbook editor will affect the extracurricular portion of my college application." Joan doesn't know what to say to that; she glances at Iris, who quickly looks down. Joan turns to her mother and pleads quietly, on the verge of tears, "Mom?" Helen: "The school policy is clear, honey -- I'm not supposed to affect decisions." Then why did you just try? Joan: "This isn't Star Trek! You're not going to disrupt the space-time continuum or something!" She adds, "Or you know what? Maybe -- maybe you will, because maybe I guess I was only supposed to feel good about myself for, like, a minute." She rushes out.
Adam's leaning against the lockers in the hall outside when Joan storms past in tears. When she sees him, she sobs, "Please, don't follow me. I'll see you later!" Adam, confused, as ever: "But " Joan: "Please!"
She walks along a city street, past an old man with a walker, who's just dropped his grocery bag. She's oblivious in her self-absorption, but he calls to her and asks for help. She picks up his stuff and hands it to him. He replies, "Thanks, Joan." She lights into him: "How could you do that to me? I just wanted something that was mine, something that made me feel special!" Old Man God, he is tired: "Yes, yes, I know, everybody wants to feel special." Joan: "Adam thought I was so cool." Old Man God says that Adam is a very sweet boy. Joan wants to know why God would take that away from her. He says he didn't tell her to be a photographer. Joan: "You sent me there! They gave me a camera!" He wanted her to work on the yearbook: "And I'd still like you to do it. Just go back to the yearbook, and work with the obnoxious kid." Joan's incredulous: "You are so mean! And what's with this stupid walker? You don't even need it, anyway!" She grabs it away and starts walking down the street with it, right into a couple of horrified citizens. She turns around and puts it back in front of Old Man God, with a look that could fry butter. Then she stomps away, leaving him there to look bewildered for the benefit of the passersby. I wonder if God goes home and laughs about these shenanigans later. Maybe God regales the angels with long-winded yarns of awesome gags played on witless humans. And the angels just have to suck it up, because there's never a time God's not around and they can let off a little steam by complaining. ["This is the most reasonable explanation for the genesis of Milton's Lucifer that I've heard yet." -- Sars]