Band practice. They're doing "Tusk" again, and Joan's sitting at her drum kit, pretending to play but not actually hitting the drums. The teacher eventually notices that he can't hear her and points at her, so she starts whaling on them, out of sync as always. He watches her flailing, the noise becoming more evident as everyone else stops playing. He comes back to speak to her: "Let's be honest, now. Have you ever played drums before?" She admits she hasn't. He wants to know why she's there. Joan: "I really want to be in the band." She smiles and blinks at him.
After practice, Joan hobbles along with Alice, Pathetic Hat Girl, and asks what she's doing after school. Alice says she has to practice with her other band, some vague alterna-rock group. Joan: "So you play music for fun?" Alice: "Is there another way to do it?" Joan: "Yeah, but two bands? I mean, I can't even do one load of laundry." Alice: "Well, you know, it's pretty easy when you're the school piñata. Getting dumped on is like fossil fuel. I can't hit back so I play music." Joan: "Why can't you hit back?" Alice explains, "I'm not allowed. I'm Quaker." Joan: "Oh. Wait, like oatmeal?" Alice: "Like...weird outfits...like Richard Nixon." Okay, I can't imagine how this would explain squat to Joan, whose first association with the word "Quaker" is "oatmeal." And the weird outfits thing doesn't seem all that prevalent among Quakers; from what I understand, most of them don't adhere to the "plain dress" tradition -- certainly not to the degree that many Mennonites, Amish, et cetera continue to do. Also, surely a person who seems proud to consider herself a Quaker could and would come up with more illustrious examples of famous Quakers than Richard Nixon, for criminy's sake. How about William Penn? Brad Whitford? Or Miss Alli? Bonnie Raitt? Judi Dench? Ben Kingsley? Dave Matthews? (Okay, we know Joan's not a Dave Matthews fan, but at least he's not Nixon.) I'm just saying. How about briefly mentioning some of the values of Quakerism? I think I'm going to start a religion based on eye-rolling and derisive snorting. Who's with me? Joan asks, "Is God in that?" I think our Joanie needs a comparative religion course, stat. Alice: "Su-u-u-re..." She's probably wondering if Joan stuck her head in the washing machine, too. Joan: "So God kinda tells you you can't hit back?" Alice: "Yeah. I don't...I don't always understand why he wants me to do the things that he wants, but...yeah." They stop walking, and Joan works up the nerve to ask, "Have you ever seen him?" Alice: "No." She laughs: "Have you? What are you, Catholic?" Joan says she's not: "My parents are. I was baptized but -- but I'm nothing." Alice: "But you've seen God?" Joan: "I didn't say that." Alice: "Um, any -- any time you want to talk about --" Joan: "Oh, I don't." Alice says okay, and tells Joan she'll see her later. Joan doesn't prolong the parting. Got her fingers a little too close to the fire there, obviously.