2009-06-16: "Thanks For The Tips"

Original Airdate: Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Starring: "Miranda", "Jaq"

Miranda.png Jaq.png

Notes: Resident high school bad girl, Jaq, and mom to some of the school's students, Miranda, exchange tips. Who exactly is the student here?


High school. The less time Miranda spends on the grounds of the education system she forces her children to go to, the better. At least the parking lot is less of a circus than inside. As school lets out for the day, the mother of two high schoolers stands a few feet away from her pro-environment car in that very parking lot in the bright L.A. sun with a cell phone in one hand and a Starbucks coffee in the other. She definitely stands out as a mom, since she's no teacher, what with the lightweight purple peasant-sleeved dress that happens to be on the short side. "Half an hour? What do you mean you're in detention? " the woman is nearly yelling into her phone, every so often gesturing with her coffee at no one visbile. "Well tell Mr. Whatshisface you'll do it tomorrow, you have somewhere to be! Yeah well, your mother's law overrides this rich-ass school no matter what they say, so your teacher can go f— … oh… hi… Jay's teacher…"

Jaq does not have detention! AMAZING! How exactly that happened is best left to the imagination, because there's no way she's actually been behaving herself lately. What she does have, however, is a very large canvas (a completed and graded assignment from the one class she actually does homework for) that she must figure out a way to transport home in a very tiny car. This challenge is not making her happy. "Stupid, motherfucking-" her sentence is cut off by the slam of the door as she gives up for the moment. Why couldn't her dumbass brother lend her his SUV? It's not like she got pulled over while joyriding in it when she was fifteen with her 20 year old boyfriend-at-the-time. Oh, wait. Nevermind. After a few more muttered curses, she approaches the woman with the cell phone, holding a black-papered cigarette between her fingers. "You got a light?" she asks her, oh-so-politely.

"Listen," Miranda says into her cell, plying on a sweet, polite voice of desperation, turning away from the school a few degrees. "I really just need my son to go to an appointment. If he could make up the time later for whatever stupid thing he…" The woman drifts away from her apparently aggravating conversation to eye the colourful student who approaches her. Miranda looks Jaq up and down, vaguely wide-eyed, in fact, before moving the phone away from her chin long enough to tell the girl blandly: "Smoking kills." Now back to her regularly scheduled programming. "… Wait, he did what? … Shit. Okay, fine. He can find his own way home." Phone: flipped shut by an eye-rolling Miranda.

"Only slightly more deadly than the air in LA," says the girl, setting her large, fun-fur purse on the ground to dig through it to look for a lighter, or some matches, or a couple rocks to smash together. Just how many muppets had to die for that purse, anyway? There's a rattle of pill bottles and an "aha!" as she finds a Bic that appears to be on it's last drop of fluid. It takes her a few tries, but she manages to get enough of a flame from it to light up, causing the clove cigarette now held in her lips to crackle to life. Mmm, clovey- smells like cookies! And death. Death cookies.

Miranda can't help but lift an eyebrow at the teenager's purse — whether it's the fact that it looks like taxidermied muppets or the rattle of pills that draws her attention is anyone's guess, but it's fleeting anyway. "Yeah, you're probably right." Black jewelled flip-flops scuff a few feet across the searing parking lot pavement to her car, where she opens the passenger side door and swipes something minuscule from the seat. She marches back to Jaq and offers it up. It's a lighter. A rainbow-hued lighter that says STILL SEARCHING FOR THE POT AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW along with a bunch of marijuana leaf decals. So not Miranda's. "I was going to throw it away, but knock yourself out. Maybe you'll get in trouble for it and I'll actually be doing my part to stop underage smoking."

Jaq takes the lighter and looks at it, raising a pink eyebrow at the text, and the matching stickers. "Nice," she comments, fighting the urge to laugh. "Never would'a guessed you for the type," she remarks with a bit of a smirk. She's assuming it belongs to the kid in detention, because no adult could possibly carry something so ridiculous, right? When the girl who looks like a living cartoon character thinks something is silly. She takes a long, crackling drag of clove smoke. "In seven months, it won't be underage smoking anymore, if that makes you feel better." She pockets the lighter. "Which teacher's got your kid locked away?" she asks. "Flash a bit of cleavage at McCullough, and you can probably spring him out early. You're shit out of luck if it's Marrick, though. Gayer than a box of birds," she comments, exhaling another cloud of spicy-scented smoke.

"It's not— mine…" Miranda trails off blandly, maybe with a hint of bitterness present over the silly lighter. Despite her protests against smoking (such as they were), she doesn't appear particularly moved by Jaq's birthday in seven months. She frowns lopsidedly, looking into the distance at the school building. "Marrick…" She squints. "Definitely Marrick." She takes a sip of coffee and gestures with a fluttering hand. "He was very… shrill… when he was yelling at me on the phone. Thanks for the advice, though. I'll keep that in mind for McCullough. I think he teaches… something my son takes."

"I'm in McCullough's second period history class. Amazing how he never busts any of us for breaking dress code," she snorts. "Bit of a perv, actually," she adds thoughtfully, though not terribly bothered by this. "If it's Marrick, get a book or something, you'll be waiting a while. 'Specially if your kid's on a sports team. Think he's working out some lingering issues from his own high school trauma by taking it out on the jocks. Not that it isn't fun to see him flip out on the occasional cheerleader."

This is educational. "Good to knooow…" Miranda gets a distinctly distracted look about her as she lets her words trail there, squinting once more at the school in which her misbehaving son is doing time. She waves her hand, still holding the cell phone. "Nnnno…" she says, "I mean, yeah, he plays some sports, I'm pretty sure he set something on fire. Set on fire… hit on the choir, threatened the dryer, I couldn't really make it out. I'm going home."

"Shit, he was the reason I got out of math class today? Awesome," Jaq says approvingly, starting to pry the staples out of the canvas frame to get the damn thing home. Hopefully the paint won't crack. It's actually quite a nice painting, even if the slightly dark tone did earn her a trip to the guidance counsellor's office. Again. "Chances are I'll still be out here when he's done. Fucking staples…" she remarks. "You want me to tell him where you went? I can probably give him a lift." Who doesn't want their son hitching a ride with the crazy-haired, underage-smoking, pill-carrying chick?

"Uuuuuhhhh…." Miranda stares at the little rebel thing with her mouth half open, caught in an unsure and slightly manic half-smile. "…that's…okay…" The woman manages to smile graciously. Well, something like graciously. "You look like the one who could use a lift. That's a big piece of…" She eyes the darkly-themed painting; what she can see of it, anyway. "…art you have there. Very— tortured artist of you. I hope you have a big backseat."

"I had a lot of black and purple paint to use up," she says with a shrug. That really doesn't explain the very subtly hidden body hanging from the tree in the background. That, she just put in there to see if the art teacher was paying attention. He was. Thus, an hour spent explaining to the guidance counsellor that it was a Wizard of Oz reference. "Once it's off the frame, I'll just roll it up. Should fit in the back," she says, eyeballing it, and the car in a nearby space that is apparently hers. Or so the inappropriate bumper stickers would imply.

Miranda follows the girl's gaze to the sticker-clad car. Well, at least it matches the lighter. "Oh, well … good luck with that." She checks the time on her phone fleetingly. Yeah, her son still has awhile to stew. Jaq is flashed another smile, a touch awkward, and she's saluted by the mighty Starbucks as Miranda lifts her cup. "Thanks for the… tips."

"No problem!" says Jaq, just a touch /too/ chipperly, considering just how much eyeliner she's wearing. That much perky just doesn't seem… right. She goes back to her staple-prying, and cursing at said staples while holding her cigarette between her lips. Such a wholesome example of today's youth!

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