Hell Is For Children


Season 2, Episode 5

One needn’t be a professional screenwriter to realize that you don’t open an episode with a scene whose only merit is as an effective insomnia remedy.  Regardless, it seems that John Binkley and Ian Weir were able to break into the business withoot grasping this fairly obvious fact.

Today’s installment of Hillside histrionics opens with a thud as Matt and Dave get changed in the locker room and wax catatonic aboot basketball practice.  Dave tells Matt that he looked “really good oot there” as Slender Loris protests that “throwing airballs and coughing my head off” isn’t his idea of looking good.  I know it’s sometimes difficult to gauge how much time passes from episode to episode or even season to season on this show, but even a very liberal estimate would have had Matt sidelined from the team for a few weeks at the maximum.  If that’s all it took for Matt to revert to throwing airballs and coughing his head off, then his drinking problem must be far worse than we’ve been led to believe.  He changes the subject and asks Dave what he thinks of Courtney, a question which seems to inordinately confuse his bland little friend.  Matt elaborates, “Lots of guys think she’s, you know…kinda good looking”, which might shed some light on why he’s throwing airballs.  It’s time for a trip to the optometrist, Walker.

Courtney and Arseman take a seat at their booth in The Avalon and immediately proceed to spew pure excrement at each other.  Here’s a fun little activity to perform while fighting your way through my 18th episode synopsis: with no editorializing from me whatsoever, try to pick oot as many ridiculous and/or utterly false statements Shit Drapes makes in the following run of dialogue:

Arseman:  Are you okay?

Courtney:  Oh yeah, sure.  Just sort of…thinking.

Arseman:  Jake?

Courtney:  Yeah, that’s part of it, I guess.  It’s just really strange.  I mean, you’ve been friends with a guy for years – good friends, but just friends.  Then, boom, as soon as he goes to China for a month—

Arseman:  — he starts writing you every day.

Courtney:  Well, not every day…but he tells me what he’s doing, where he’s going, what he’s thinking…how much he misses me.  And just when I’m starting to get used to it, you start in on me aboot Matt.

Arseman:  I just asked if you liked him.  So do you?

Courtney:  Like I said, I’ve never really thought aboot him that way…but now that I’ve started thinking aboot it – I mean, he used to go oot with Ashley.  He was my best friend’s boyfriend!

Arseman:  Not anymore.

Courtney:  Yeah, but…why are we even talking aboot this?  He’s not interested in me in the first place.

Arseman:  How do you know?

Courtney:  Well, because he hasn’t said anything…has he?

Arseman:  Well, not to me, if that’s what you mean.

Courtney:  Right.  That’s what I’m saying, so it wouldn’t make a difference even if I did feel…you know, that way aboot him.  So there’s nothing to worry aboot.

Arseman:  If you say so.

Okay, I have to admit, I was just playing with you in presenting that activity as some sort of a challenge.  Every single word that oozed oot of her gob was pure unadulterated bullshit, of course.  I apologize.  Here’s a little treat to atone for my mischievous trickery: click here

Brooke and Who Farted descend the stairs to the lounge where Janice is sitting on a bench fiddling with her backpack.  Fully intending for Janice to overhear, Brooke begins to express consternation at the fact that “some people” just can’t take the hint that they’re not liked or even welcome to fraternize with their fellow students.  To her credit, Who Farted admonishes Brooke that Janice can hear what she’s saying, but that’s clearly the point of her otherwise random vocal ruminations on high school social graces.  She concludes her diatribe by wondering aloud why she even makes an effort to be nice to such people, but “I guess you have to try, even when you’re dealing with someone who’s so totally irritating.”  The second application of the I-word by a fellow student in less than two days proves to be the straw that breaks the dromedary, as Janice rises from her seat to confront her tormentor:

“You wanna know something, Brooke?  I wish I’d never transferred to this school.  At my old school, at least people gave you a chance, even if you were new…and there were a lot of nice people there, too.  Not like here.”

janice lurk

On that note, Janice walks away from the table, leaving Brooke to explain to Who Farted that “people need to know where they stand”.

Dylan approaches Courtney at her locker and tries to engage her in small talk, but obviously Shit Drapes isn’t one to forgive a betrayal so easily.  To forget an entire semester of Jake’s flirtation culminating in a kamikaze kiss is one thing, but a mild betrayal from a guy with whom she’d been infatuated?  Oh, hell no.  Taking the hint, Dylan dispenses with the pleasantries and asks her if she’s heard from Ashley.  She tells him that she hasn’t and asks him if he has, but Dylan keeps tight-lipped aboot his encounter with the melodramatic idiot who still thinks The Avalon is her own private hideaway.

Some time later, I guess, the cow is grazing from her feedbag in the student lounge as Matt saunters by and asks, “having lunch?” which is actually a fair question since she just appears to be picking oats oot of a brown paper bag while simultaneously chewing her cud.  Matt invites her to join him for lunch at The Avalon, but she tells him that she has plans with Arseman, then asks if he’s heard from Ashley.  He replies that he’s “probably aboot the last guy she’d want to get in touch with”, and Courtney tells him that Dylan just said the exact same thing.  Matt nearly pops a blood vessel at the mention of Dylan’s name, but quickly recovers and asks Courtney if she’d like to get together for a movie or something on Friday night.  Still trying to convince herself that she’s morally conflicted, she gives him a non-committal reply before running off.

Deadpool approaches Amanda in the lounge and tells his obviously disinterested crush that what Chris told her was a joke and in fact, he and Dylan are considering kicking Chris oot of the band.  This doesn’t seem to interest her, but the appearance of Dylan coming down the stairs clearly does.  She rises from her seat and tries to engage him in conversation, but in reply, Dylan just asks her if she’s seen Janice around.

At The Avalon, Dylan spots Janice sitting at the counter and asks her if she’d like to get together some time.  As Brooke lurks in the background, he tells the delighted ootcast to stop by his garage at around 3:30, so they’ll “have time to talk” before his band shows up to rehearse.  (Directions to Dylan’s garage: three blocks down, first house on the corner.  Pay him a visit!)  He leaves and Brooke takes the stool next to Janice to marvel aloud at the fact Dylan just asked her oot, punctuating her incredulity with a disgusted “Good Lord!” that wipes the smile right off Janice’s face.


Back to The Avalon for the continuation of Arseman and Courtney’s impromptu Mensa meeting.  Courtney is trying to figure oot what Matt meant earlier when he prefaced his invite with the statement that he’s found himself “dateless” for Friday night, and whether it’s an indication that he was asking her oot on a date. For some reason, the normally intuitive Arseman also seems incapable of wrapping her mind around such a simple concept.  Listen, you fucking retards, if a guy approaches you and tells you he’s dateless for Friday night before asking you to a movie on that very same night, IT MEANS HE’S ASKING YOU OOT ON A DATE.  Problem solved.  But no – nothing’s ever that simple with these two simpletons.  Arseman tells Courtney to ask Matt what he meant, but she resists the idea: “What if I sweat?  What if I just stand there dripping and babbling?”  He’ll throw up in his mouth like I just did, that’s what, you disgusting horny cretin.

At her locker, Brooke is filling Who Farted in on Dylan’s perplexing invite to Janice at The Avalon when Amanda walks by.  Brooke teases her aboot her “secret romance” with Dylan, then gloatingly advises her that she just heard him ask Janice oot.

Amanda walks into the girls’ locker room where Janice is getting changed.  She pretends to have misplaced her science book until Janice points oot that it’s in her hands before returning to the apparently challenging task of tying her sneakers.  After a brief pause, Amanda asks, “So, what’s this I hear aboot you and Dylan?  Brooke tells me he asked you oot.”  Janice confirms that he asked her to come to his garage, which is “sort of his special place, huh?”  Amanda downplays the specialness of Dylan’s derelict digs, lying that she’s been there “lots of times”, adding, “he invites everyone over.  It’s no big thing, so don’t get your hopes up.”  I’m sure you don’t yet realize this, Janice, but you have just made a formidable enemy.

Coming down the stairs, Brooke tells Who Farted, “I’ll handle this,” as they approach Dylan at the soda machine.  She tells Dylan that Janice is “a really good friend” of hers, so she’s interested in knowing how things are going for her, to which Leather Jacket replies, “So what’s your point?”  She tells him that as Janice’s friend, she wants to know what his invite was all aboot, and Dylan counters, “So as a snoop, you figured you’d come right oot and ask?” which seems to greatly amuse Who Farted.

brooke stacy

Dylan enters his garage to find Ashley just hanging around like she’s owns the fucking place.  She explains that the door was open and she didn’t think he’d mind before making sure that he didn’t tell anyone she was back.  He confirms that he kept his word (though he never really gave his word, because she ran the hell oot of The Avalon before he even had a chance), then asks her again what this is all aboot.  Ashley whispers that she just needs someone to talk to, prompting Dylan to ask “So why me?”  Slowly and painfully, Pink Pixie Dust does her best to sound slightly less inscrutable and explains that she thought he might understand a few things aboot parents.  He replies, “Like how not to get along with them?  Yeah, I’m an expert on that,” before advising her that someone’s coming over in a couple of minutes.  She agrees to come back at 5:30 when he has time to talk, then walks oot the door, although I feel it would have been far more effective if they’d somehow had her exit by disappearing into thin air.  I guess much like functioning lockers and pinball machines, it just wasn’t in the budget.

ashley garage

Courtney walks over to the booth where Dave is sitting in The Avalon.  Once more, the verbal shit show to follow is beyond my capacity to describe, so I’ll just transcribe the painful conversation verbatim:

Courtney:  Listen…I don’t suppose you know where Matt is?

Dave:  Not now, but I’m supposed to meet him at the mall around 4:30.

Courtney:  Oh, could you do me a favor, then?  When you see him, could you ask him to meet me here at around 5:30?  There’s something I kinda need to ask him.

Dave:  Sure thing.

Courtney:  Thanks.  Oh, David, I was just wondering – I mean, this may sound kind of strange and it’s really none of my business, but do you and Matt ever, like, talk?

Dave:  Well, sure, I mean we don’t use sign language.

Courtney:  I didn’t mean it that way.  I meant talk.

Dave:  You mean, like, personal?

Courtney:  Well, yeah, sort of…basically.

Dave:  Nah.  Guys don’t talk aboot personal stuff.

Courtney:  Right.  But what I was wondering – I mean, this may sound really strange – but do you happen to know if there’s anyone he’s, like, interested in?

Dave:  Well, funny you should ask, actually.

Courtney:  How do you mean?

Dave:  Well, I don’t know this for sure so I probably shouldn’t say anything at all…but this morning I kinda got the feeling, like, well, like, maybe there is somebody he’s interested in.

Courtney:  Really?

Dave:  Yeah.

Courtney:  And do you know who it is?

Dave:  I think…you.

If you’re expecting an apology for subjecting you to that verbal brain aneurism, don’t hold your breath.  I had to watch it and transcribe it, so you’ll get no sympathy from me.  No one’s holding a gun to your head and making you read Notes From The Avalon – or are they?  That would certainly shed some light on why this ridiculous blog seems to get so many anonymous views each day.

Janice arrives at Dylan’s garage and compliments his trash strewn hovel like it was The Beverly Hilton.  She follows him around in her usual throes of psychotic verbal diarrhea before catching herself and wondering aloud if he thinks she’s “hyper or something”.  With considerable effort, she calms down and asks him what’s up, so Dylan informs her that he asked her over because he wants to know if he can use her science lab notes for the rest of the term since she’s so much better at science than he is.  On the verge of tears, Janice upbraids Leather Jacket for leading her on and with one foot oot the door, whimpers, “I honestly thought you liked me.”

Brooke and Who Farted are drinking sodas at The Avalon, dying to know what’s going on with Janice and Dylan at his garage.  Brooke adds that Amanda would probably like to know, too, and Who Farted takes this opportunity to ask her mentor why she seems to have such disdain for her little sister.   Once again, we’re treated to the ridiculous story of how Amanda told their father that Brooke cheated on her geography project, this time with the addition of the same exact vow of vengeance she swore to unleash on Theresa and Kelly in last season’s final episode: “One of these days, I’m going to pay her back!”  She then drifts into a reverie that materializes on the screen as a fantasy sequence featuring Brooke as a dungeon master ignoring the desperate pleas of her chained and tattered sibling.

brooke avalon

Back at Dylan’s garage, Ashley explains that she told her parents she has the flu, so they think she’s in bed right now before adamantly declaring, “i am not going back to Waverly”.  When Dylan advises her that she needs to tell that to her parents, she whispers that it will lead to “the world’s biggest fight” and she just doesn’t know if she can deal with it.

Matt walks up to a booth in The Avalon pinball room where Courtney’s doing homework and asks why she wanted to see him.  Still unsure whether his invitation for Friday night was romantic or platonic, she asks him to clarify and he tells her that she can interpret it however she wants, and basically he’s cool with it either way.  Somehow, this still fails to penetrate her dense fucking Neanderthal skull, so she asks, “So are you asking me for a date?” and he confirms that he is.  Shit Drapes is too tongue-tied to respond in a manner that makes any sense, and the smile that spreads across Matt’s face seems to indicate that he finds this endearing.

Fucking beer goggles, eh?


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