Overall look: Lindsay is trying very hard to look like a freak. She pulls it off very effectively, but there’s always something a little studied about her look. She dresses down, but her clothes are always pretty clean. She tries to be sloppy but can’t help primping and neatening herself. A lot of her clothes come from her father’s sporting goods store, so they’re rather new looking. You’d have to look close to see that she’s not truly a freak, but it shows.
Shirts: T-shirts (flower-embroidered, band logo iron-ons), thermal underwear shirts, solid color sweaters (occasionally cowl neck), button-up plaid shirts (tucked in).
Pants: Bell-bottom jeans, old painter’s pants, overalls.
Shoes: Black suede rubber-soled shoes, clogs, old running shoes.
Coat: Old plaid hunting jacket, army field jacket, old worn parka, long wool coat.
Accessories: Worn knapsack for books.
Overall look: Daniel has the original grunge look, before it had a corporate name.
Shirts: Plaid flannel shirts with T-shirts underneath (usually black T-shirts).
Pants: Bell-bottom jeans.
Shoes: Work boots, old sneakers, snowmobile boots in the winter.
Coat: An old army field jacket, an old sweatshirt under his coat if it’s very cold out.
Accessories: Scarf, snowmobile gloves, never wears a hat (it would mess up his afro), a large afro pick is always in his back pocket (although we never see him use it).
Things in the Background
In all the hallway scenes, there will be things happening in the background that typify high school. (However, we won’t have too much stuff going on in the hallway—we don’t want it to look like all those period movies that take place in medieval England where every street in town is filled with people doing activities typical of the era—you know, how every street in Moll Flanders and Shakespeare in Love looked like a Renaissance Faire was taking place—do we really think that every street in merry olde England had jugglers performing and bear-baiting contests? But I digress). Here’s some of the stuff we’ll see in the background:
—Two guys having a punching contest (punching each other on the arm seeing who’ll get hurt first)
—Band kids selling candy bars
—Drama kids selling suckers
—Drama kids walking around in costume to promote the play they’re currently putting up
—Freak couples making out
—Kids harassing the janitors
—Janitors sweeping the halls with red sawdust
—Kids trying to step on other kids’ new shoes to get them dirty
—Students carrying wooden planters and cutting boards they made in woodshop
—Students trying to navigate the hallway carrying large sheets of poster board
—Student government kids hanging long painted paper signs advertising dances and school activities
—Freaks tearing the signs down
—Other freaks writing on the signs
—Students making fun of the pictures of former graduating classes hanging on the hallway walls
—Band kids carrying tubas and large cumbersome cases down the hall
—Hearing the school band rehearsing with the door open
—Freaks with large radios (but not boomboxes—just big cassette players or large transistor radios—all low quality)
—Hall monitors (usually women in their 50s who are constantly knitting)
—Science students carrying large science fair exhibitions to and from class
—Kids getting clean-outs from other kids (when you run up behind somebody and knock their books and papers out from under their arm and all over the floor)
—Jocks taking up too much of the hallway and kids trying to get by, not daring to ask them to move
—Guys checking out girls
—Girls checking out guys
—Kids getting wedgies (when you grab the waistband of someone’s underwear and pull it up as hard as you can, aka “snuggies”)
—Tough freak girls harassing younger kids
—Girls laughing at anybody and everybody
—Teachers yelling at students in front of their lockers
—Freaks flipping teachers off behind their backs
—Kids tapping their friends on the opposite shoulder behind their backs to get them to turn around the wrong way
—Students in band uniforms
—Farmer kids tripping smaller kids
—Guys high-fiving each other
—A/V guys pushing projector carts down the hall
—Yearbook kids taking pictures of other students (the students pose by doing kick-lines, putting their arms around each other, standing and smiling stiffly, putting up finger horns behind their friends’ heads, punching each other, or simply looking like they really don’t want their pictures taken)
—Groups of freaks breaking up when a teacher approaches
—Guys delivering love notes to girls for their friends
—Girls coming up to a group of guys and telling one of the guys that some girl likes them
—Students imitating teachers after they’ve passed by
—Students giving other students “flat tires” (when you walk up behind someone and catch the back of their shoe with your foot, making their heel pop out of their shoe)
— Geeks carrying huge piles of books
—Students rushing to the nurse’s office with a cut or a bloody nose
—Students from Commercial Foods class walking around wearing industrial aprons and paper food service hats
—Auto shop students wearing dirty coveralls
—Greasy-haired, dirty “stinky” guys (usually some form of geek—although often a farmer or a freak or just some kid who’s a real outsider)
—Scary crazy kids that no one talks to
—Quiet mousy girls with no friends walking quickly down the hallway, clutching their books
—Drafting students carrying blueprint rolls down the hall
—Fights, fights, fights!
—Students on payphones
—Students who are dressed very nice (disco-style clothes)
—Students who are dressed terrible (ratty T-shirts, knit watch caps, old worn parkas, dirty jeans)
—Jocks wearing their school jerseys (usually on game day)
—Girls wearing rabbit-skin jackets (short jackets with a patchwork of different colored squares of rabbit pelts)
—Students eating junk food (Hostess fruit pies, Nutty Buddy pre packaged ice cream cones, Twinkies, cans of soda pop)
—Other students knocking the food out of the other kids’ hands
—Kids burning other kids with the “If your hand is bigger than your face, you’ll die when you’re 30” gag (the other kid puts his hand up to his face to check and you hit the back of his hand, causing him to get a bloody nose—funny!!!)
[Note: Original version contains nearly 21,000 additional words.]
Excerpted from Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations With Today’s Top Comedy Writers by Mike Sacks, out June 24 from Penguin Books.