My So-Called Life
The Substitute

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The Substitute

We hear the sound of a photocopier chugging away, and see the light of the machine gliding back and forth, as such lights do. Angela picks up a copy of the Lit cover off the tray.

A moment later she's busily distributing the contraband in the hallway. Brian stops dead ahead of her and she defensively says, "What." Brian says, "Nothing," and offers to hand some out upstairs. She asks, "Why?" and he replies, "Because I think you're right. I mean, I also think Vic is a complete degenerate, but this is freedom of speech." Angela reminds him that he could be suspended, and Brian cockily answers, "So?" Baldo Civics strolls down the hall and, after she offers him a copy of the Lit, tells her Mr. Foster wants to see her. Angela receives this news calmly and without surprise. Brian snaps, "She's just passing out something that our English class wrote. Since when is that a crime?" Baldo asks Brian if he wants to join her, and Angela smoothly says that she can go by herself. Brian admiringly watches her go. Or maybe he admiringly watches her ass. Or maybe both. It's hard to tell.

Patty and Graham walk into the main office, where Angela is sitting on the omnipresent bench. Seeing them, Angela groans, "Oh, no. They called you?" Patty, not particularly angrily, says, "Of course they called us!" They sit down beside her, and Patty snarks, "I can see that you really took what we talked about the other day to heart." Angela says, "I did." Patty reminds Angela that this will go on her record, and Angela spits, "I want it to go on my record." Patty repeats, "You want it to?" In a nervous sing-song, Graham reminds them that they're in a principal's office. Oh, cram it, narc. Angela asks Patty, "What is the point of school if you can't say what you're thinking?" Patty rhetorically asks, "Do you have to be the personal spokesperson for the entire school?" Angela declares, "You told me to pick my battles. Well, this is it! It may not be a war protest or a civil-rights demonstration, but it's all I've got. Well, that's not completely true. There are a couple of truths. You said I needed to decide what to fight for, and I decided. I just think it's wrong to censor people and I'm willing to get suspended for it." Before this can sink in for Patty and Graham (though they're both trying to hide proud smiles), Mr. Foster opens his office door and calls them all inside. Angela visibly screws up her courage. Graham pauses at the door to whisper to Angela, "What he did, walking out on his family -- you know that can never happen in our family. You know that, don't you?" He takes her face in his hands. ["Is he trying to convince Angela, or himself?" -- Sars] Patty leans out, between them, and sardonically drawls, "Graham, of course she knows it." Graham mutters, "God, I hate being called to the principal." The Chases (all the ones that matter) file inside.

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My So-Called Life

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