Shaggy slips his shiny new card into the ATM and coos, "Sweet, sweet credit card, Daddy's gonna take good care of you." Steve, standing next to him, is in a state of despair. "I can't believe I got a D+ on this paper," he moans. Shaggy is sympathetic. "Maybe you should focus on the plus," he suggests. Spoken like a spin doctor. Steve is inconsolable, though, because he worked hard on that paper and thought it represented the most succulent juices of his wrung-out brain. "Maybe I can't do any better," he frets. "Maybe this is as smart as I get." Shaggy nods his assent, which does zero for Steve's frayed nerves. Leaning into his friend, Shaggy conspiratorially whispers, "Wanna see power over The System? Meet...The Wad." He whips out a pile of cash thicker than Steve's forearm. Which isn't saying much, but hey, money's thin. "It's all the power of money, but the key is, you never spend it," Shaggy says triumphantly, utterly proud of himself. Suddenly, a faux-suave student interjects, "Steven Karp, I know a guy that can hook you up." Steve is intrigued, the self-proclaimed Designated Lover within thinking that maybe, just maybe, this will end in a condom. "I know someone that will happily compose a paper for you, for a price," the guy says. Shaggy shakes his head. "I've heard of this guy. He's a townie, right?" he asks, skeptically. Sighing irritatedly, the guy replies, "Yes, he is a gentleman that resides in town." Shaggy doesn't like the sound of this, and suggests that Steven stick to his D and keep trying. "It's wrong having some weird guy do your homework for you," he argues. Steve, though, still seems interested, and accepts the number for the man, who conveniently takes credit cards.
At a nondescript house off-campus, a middle-aged schlub called Dave (Will Ferrell) rifles through crates and announces that the fee is $75 for an original work, or fifty bucks for a paper from the pile. Steve's paper is about Madame Bovary. "Is that, uh, Horowitz?" Dave asks, trying to sound with-it. "Still got that wandering eye?" Steve nods and laughs politely. "Yeah, yeah," Dave grins. "Yeah, he'll use that. He'll use that." Steve looks confused. They tell Dave the paper is due by the next day at noon; the man has no idea what time it is, possibly because draperies and decorations hang in front of every available window. Shaggy's expression is one of dubious amusement, like he's always refreshed to meet people whose idiosyncrasies are stranger than his own. Steve whips out the credit card and hands it to Dave with Yep-I'm-A-Man bravado. "Yeah, virgin plastic, that's nice, that's a good feeling," Dave's head bobs. Steve jokes, "Don't rob me!" Dave laughs and says, "Yeah! I could, actually." Steve's grin falters. Shaggy smirks. Dave asks what Steve's major is, and Shaggy answers for his friend: "He's undeclared," he says, snorting to convey that he thinks Steve's cuckoo and not a little screwed. Dave reassuringly notes that he, too, came in undeclared and yet turned out all right. Steve reacts with the face of a man who will run right out and sign up for Basket Weaving, with a minor in Proctology, if it can save him from such a fate.