My Date With Daria

By Austin Covello

The following is a work of fan fiction!!  If you honestly believe any of this happened, or believe that I believe any of this happened, then you are nuttier than I am and need to check into a little room with padded walls.  Other than Daria's.

This fanfic was inspired by The Daria Dating Game, a fun internet game which matches you to the Daria character most suitable to you.  Guess who I got.


I pulled up to the Morgendorffer house in anxious anticipation.  My palms were clammy and sweating.  There were two rats in my stomach, gnawing at my guts.  I was wearing a three-piece suit with dress shoes.  Armed with the roses I had gotten from the florist, I got out.

When I found out my blind date was going to be Daria Morgendorffer, I did my homework.  Trent Lane had just laughed, wished me luck, and slammed the door in my face.  Jane told me about her aleged homocidal tendencies, and told me to take her out killing little kids.  I laughed at that one.  Jodie and Mack were the most help.  Their advice was to just act naturally, take an interest in political issues, video games, and classic novels.  That wasn't too hard, since I was about two-thirds of the way there, and I figured I could use sci-fi/fantasy novels in a pinch.

I had a really great night planned for her.  I'd made reservations at Chez Pierre, the finest restaurant in Lawndale, and had tickets reserved to a Russian Art Film.  I was hoping for a great evening.  Little did I realize how it would turn out.

I walked up to the door and rang the doorbell.  Mrs. Morgendorffer answered the door.  "Oh Hello!  You must be Austin. I'm Helen, Daria's mother.  Come right in and make yourself at home.  This is my husband, Jake."

Mr. Morgendorffer put out his hand.  "Hey, hey! Wha's happenin' dude! Put 'er there!"  Needless to say, it was all I could do to keep from laughing in his face as he shook my hand.  "Daria's still upstairs getting ready."

The rats in my stomach gnawed even harder.  She was getting ready?  What did that mean?  Had she finally caved in and decided to let Quinn give her a makeover?  Where was Quinn anyway? Was she upstairs with Daria?  I didn't want her to get a makeover, I wanted her to stay the same way she always was.

Mr. Morgendorffer was talking to me.  "So, man, what do you plan to do for a living?  Life isn't just some free ride you know!"

I was prepared for that one.  I told him that I was going into computers, and how they make thirty-five grand a year to start.  That quelled his fears that I'd go broke and we'd both starve to death on this date.

I heard the heavy footsteps of someone who wears boots come down the stairs.  Daria was there on the landing.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  Daria had made herself over, but not the way I'd thought.  She was wearing combat fatigues and her hair was tied back in a ponytail, but her glasses were still on and she wasn't wearing any makeup.  I introduced myself and presented her with the roses.  She sighed.  "Oh great, I've got another mouth to feed."  We were getting off to a great start.

After Daria had found a vase for the roses and Mrs. Morgendorffer had reminded me of the curfew, we were off.  "Let's set a few ground rules," said Daria.  "One:  I don't dance.  At all. So, if you were going to take me dancing, forget it.  Two:  I'm not sexually active, and I prefer it that way.  If you don't believe me, I've got mace.  Three:  If you say 'feisty' even once on this date, I'll strangle you.  Did you want to take me home now?"

I laughed.  "Nice one.  Seriously though, the slightest part of that hadn't even crossed my mind.  I've got a great night planned.  I figured we could go to Chez Pierre..."

"That sounds nice, but why don't we go out for pizza instead?" suggested Daria.  When she saw the surprised look on my face she said, "I don't like having waiters snigger at me just because I used the wrong fork.  Besides," she added, "it'll save us some cash for tokens at the arcade.  You were planning to take me to the arcade, weren't you?"

Pizza?  Arcade?  All right!  Now this was a date!  "Sure thing, Daria," I said.  "It's your night."


When we got to the pizza parlor, Daria and I were talking like good friends.  "And so it actually does end?" asked Daria.

"Yeah, but I think only if you go to a community college.  Nobody knows anybody there anyway.  All of your friendships are based on your majors and extracurriculars and that's all you talk about.  You never need to worry about being popular because there are no popular people."

"Thank God.  I can't wait to get away from those idiots."

"I don't know. You sort of miss making fun of them after a while."

"Shoot me if I ever get that desperate for company.  Speaking of which..."

We entered the pizza parlor to find Quinn, Daria's sister, sitting with some little high school geek.  "Uh...so explain to me why we're going to this dive and not Chez Pierre again," said the geek.

"It's simple Matthew.  My...uh cousin, or whatever, is going on a date with some college nerd or something to Chez Pierre.  We're avoiding her.  Besides pizza saves money, and shouldn't you be saving money to buy something special for me?"

"College nerd?" I said, outraged.

"Cousin?" grumbled Dariaou know what the punchline is?  He rescues the girl, and she turns out to be a raving shrew."  Then I turned to Quinn.  "I'm doing the screen-shots now.  Would you like to play her?"

Quinn's face went from from green to white before settling on a bright shade of crimson.  "Ugh!  I've had enough of you and your date tonight!" she yelled at Daria.   "Come on, Matthew, we're going to Chez Pierre."

We let them go graciously at that point.  "Not bad," said Daria.  "Although I would have been more subtle.  Eight for style, and ten for effectiveness.  I wish I could get that kind of a reaction."

"Yeah, that's my weakness.  I'm usually too in-your-face."

"Are you really going to do a video game like that?"

"No.  I'd get slagged for the rest of my life by the feminists and Captain Kangaroo if I designed something like that."

"Damn."

"My thing is more like making interactive novels out of fantasy books."

"Oh, now that's interesting.  You're actually literate.  Did you know that most of that stuff is a second rate rip off of Greco-Roman Mythology?"

My eyes widened.  "No, I didn't."

"Sure.  Let me tell you about it."

We spent the remainder of the meal discussing Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.


It was about eight o'clock when we pulled up to the arcade.  We still had two hours left.  We got change and headed in.  "Want to match me on Mortal Kombat 4?" asked Daria.

"Oh no.  I know that trap.  If you win, you'll think I'm a wuss, and if I win, you'll get mad because I should have let you win.  Let's find a game where we work together."

"Okay, but no virtual reality.  It makes me nauseos and the last guy who went in with me never came out."

My jaw dropped. "Really?"

"...until they pulled the plug."

"Ouch."

"One of my worst dates ever."

We found a coin-op version of Diablo.  I sighed.  "It was bound to happen eventually," I said.

"You said it.  How did they expect to pass that off as an RPG anyway?"

I chose wizard and she chose rogue, and we played until it was time to go.  As we walked out, I noticed we were holding hands.

"So the new one is going to have more role playing elements?" Daria asked. "Yeah.  New character classes, too.  They're giving the game a complete overhaul."

"I'll miss my rogue."

"Don't worry.  I'm sure there'll be an archer class for you."

Daria smiled.  "Thanks Austin.  That helps."


We drove back to Daria's house.  "I had a great time tonight," I told her.

"Me too.  I had a grrrr...grrrr..." she stuttered.

"That's okay," I laughed.  "You don't have to say it if you don't want to."

Daria smiled a relieved smile.  "Thanks.  It's just that I'm not used to dating."

We drew closer together.  Our lips parted and... you know, for an antisocial misanthrope who's inexperienced with guys, she's a good kisser.

She pulled away abruptly.  "Look, you're a really great guy and all, but I think there's something I should tell you.  I'm kind of stuck on this one guy.  I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to lead you on."  She chuckled with despair.  "God, I'm beginning to sound just like my sister."

"Hey it's okay," I said.  "Would it make you feel better if I told you that I was a self-insert fanfic character, you're really a cartoon, and you're only saying these things because I'm writing them?"

"That's true, I suppose," said Daria.  "I think I'd better go.  Quinn's probably back from her date, and she might trash those roses you got me if I'm not there to stop her."  She looked at me.  "Maybe we can do this again sometime?" she asked shyly.

"Sure."  We exchanged phone numbers and she got out.  It hadn't gone the way I'd planned, but it had been a fabulous date.


BACK 1