Joan of Arcadia
Requiem For A Third Grade Ashtray

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Are You There, God? It's Me, Joan

Props to Strega and Gwen for their assistance.

Joan, Grace, Adam, and Iris are wandering through a convenience store. It'd be more convenient to refer to them as the Fab Four or something, but then Iris would have to be replaced by someone who was, in fact, fabulous. Moving right along, Joan's perusing some magazine called Style and wondering, "Now, who decided I need to care about Paris Hilton?" No one whose opinion matters, that's who. Grace, toting a shopping basket on her arm, says, "Could we focus on the matter at hand? Mini pizzas or mini burritos?" Adam: "A burrito's always mini, 'cause burrito means 'little donkey.'" Iris: "That's so cool [that] you know the Español." Oy. Cállate la pinche boca, Iris. Grace pretends she didn't hear that comment and says, "Okay, both." Joan asks for some high-powered energy drinks: "I'm going to be up all night." Adam: "Wait, the chem exam's tomorrow?" Joan says it's not, it's Wednesday: "But not only do I have to master thermodynamics, I also have to finish some book about a guy who turns into a bug for World Lit." Grace, pawing through boxes of convenience food, tells Joan not to sweat the exam; she's got Luke's lab notebook. Joan's pretty surprised to hear that Luke lent it to her. Grace: "I still have pull." Heh. What I want to know is: what is Grace doing patronizing one of these overpriced convenience stores, buying processed food (manufactured by multideath corporations) from underpaid workers? It just seems like the sort of thing she'd eschew. And not quietly, either. At the very least she'd only be going along with this shopping expedition gripingly.

Grace's phone rings and she answers it: "What?" She tells her caller she didn't forget as she wanders to another aisle for more privacy. Iris has a brainstorm, or whatever sort of weather event a barnacle of very little brain generates: "I know what we need: soy jerky." No, nobody needs that. Absolutely nobody. Starving urchins wouldn't eat that. Non-meat foods pretending be meat foods is just silly. "Golden Poultryless Nuggets." "Glistening Shrimpless Cocktail." "Crispy Meatless Patties." Whatever. You know -- eat tofu, but why pretend it's chicken? Iris goes off for soy jerky as Joan asks, "Is she going to be, like, the Yoko Ono of our study group?" Ha! At least Yoko Ono made some interesting art. And if Iris is Yoko, then Adam is John, and Joan must be Paul, and I can't tell if Grace is George or Ringo. George, I guess. Adam sighs and tells her not to worry about it. Joan and Adam approach the cashier, and Adam asks if he can put up a flyer. The cashier, your basic slacker type, says he can. Joan asks to see one, and it turns out to be a flyer for an art show/poetry reading at Café Ennui. Joan thinks that's cool. Adam kind of downplays it, but Joan says, "Adam, this is your first art show out in the world." He insists it's not a big deal. Jerky Girl, who has returned, says, "Isn't it cool? Your mom started, like, a whole movement." Joan smiles a fake smile at Iris, who takes off again. Joan shudders as soon as she's gone. The cashier tells her she forgot the milk. Joan says she doesn't need any. He persists: "You're almost out at home." Joan: "Okay…either that's you, or you're a really pushy cashier." Hey, he could be both. He tells her it's up to her. Joan: "Yeah, it's definitely you. Okay, ring up a half gallon." He gives her a "come on" look. Yeah, I'll bet Kevin drinks a half gallon just for breakfast. Joan relents and asks for a gallon. Frink thinks the cashier is the equivalent of those internet fridges that tell you what you're out of.

Grace starts shouting at her caller from the back of the store: "We already went over this! I'm not going to pretend to care about something that I don't! That's called hypocrisy!" She turns the phone off in frustration and makes threatening, quasi-martial arts gestures at it. Iris asks, "Who is she yelling at?" Grace opens a refrigerator door, grabs a can of pop, and then throws her phone into the fridge as it starts ringing again. She slams the door and leans against it, looking exceedingly pissed. Joan asks her to grab a gallon of 2% while she's in there. Grace complies. Her phone's still ringing, and she slams the door shut. Turning to Joan, she demands, "Anything else?" Joan says that's it. She turns to Convenience Store God for confirmation: "Right?" He just shrugs. Grace comes up to the counter and puts the milk there, with a very weak, polite smile. Credits.

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Joan of Arcadia

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