Joan of Arcadia
St. Joan

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Deborah: B- | Grade It Now!
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Paranoid Schizophrenic With A Miscellaneous Complex

Joan and Grace are walking to school. Grace pontificates: "Joan of Arc was, like, the girl warrior: strapped on chain mail and led men into battle. Naturally, they burned her at the stake." The way Grace says this, you almost think she expects to end up much the same way. Joan asks, "She wasn't crazy, right? I mean, she wasn't a paranoid schizophrenic with a miscellaneous complex?" Hee. Grace asks, "Are you trying to say 'messianic complex'?" Joan guesses so. Grace smirks, "Why're you asking me, like I'm the poster child of sanity?" Joan doesn't answer, so Grace continues, "Anytime you deviate from the norm, the fascists call you crazy. I consider it a badge of honour." Joan: "So...so she wasn't crazy, then?" Grace sighs: "The meter's just run out on my interest, Joan." Grace wanders off toward school, and a voice from nowhere says, "You're not crazy, Joan." Joan looks all around, and finally notices a gardener/arborist/yard maintenance guy up a ladder, smiling at her. He comes down and Joan marches over, saying, "No offense, but the person who makes me feel crazy is in no position to say I'm not!" Tree-Trimming God asks if she even knows what a paranoid schizophrenic is. She does; she says it's a person who hears voices -- for example, from God: "Which is what makes me -- I don't know -- twitchy." Tree-Trimming God tries to give her the assignment, but she wants to talk about Joan of Arc, and wants to know if God was really talking to St. Joan: "And am I -- am I like her?" God tells her to ace the upcoming history test. Joan: "That's unsettling, when God uses slang." You're seeing God in any number of avatars and you're getting assignments from God, and it's the slang that's unsettling? She asks if she's supposed to get an A. Indeed she is. Joan complains, "But I hate history. And this is the Hundred Years' War, which was really...long!" Tree-Trimming God says history's important. I expected him to pull out that Santayana "those who do not remember the past" line. Joan whines, "But Dreisbach is so boring! And history is, like, so over!" Heh. Tree-Trimming God goes off on a tangent, pointing to the tree and explaining that last spring, they didn't cut back the branches so there was too much shade this summer, and too many leaves in the fall, and now the grass is dying: "They have to replant the lawn. That's what happens when you ignore history." So my lawn looks like crap because the previous owners flunked history? Hmm. Joan sighs and bitches that "the whole metaphor thing is a real pain." She wonders if there's some kind of divine law against being direct. I dunno, but I'd go with the metaphors if I were you, missy. God can be direct, but it ain't always pretty -- ask Moses, Abraham, Jesus, any of those guys. It wasn't called the "furnace of affliction" for the PR value. Tree Trimming God says firmly, "Get an A on the exam." Then he climbs back up the ladder. Joan fumes briefly and then calls up the ladder semi-sweetly, "You know, a lot of people don't like you." Tree-Trimming God: "Tell it to someone who cares!" I might be making up that last comment.

Will is driving through a poor, rundown neighbourhood. At a stop sign, he finds himself in front of a house that clearly seems to be inhabited by a drug dealer, given the coming and going of apparent strangers, not to mention the rap music -- the only thing drug dealers listen to since the early '80s. He writes down the address.

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Joan of Arcadia

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