"Denise "The Grease" Lovell
(Ep 73 - "Frank and Denise")
Poets say love comes and goes in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, in high school, it goes more than it comes. Still, in my high school, there was one couple whose love soared above all others, like a winged chariot. The guy guys feared. The girl girls talked about. Denise Lovell and Francis Stanavukovich.
(Frank opens the car door for Denise, who is smoking a cigarette.)
Those things'll kill ya.
So will you.
Better known as "Frank the Stank", and "Denise the Grease". Frank and Denise weren't the cutest couple in school, or the most popular, and they definitely weren't the most likely to succeed. But they lived in a special world, where vows were made, and hearts were never broken. They had a bond between them that you could almost see. A bond that seemed to strenghthen them in everything they did. They were a constant in a changing universe. Something rock-solid. A living monument to love.
(Cut to Mr. Lemkur's class. Kevin is sitting behind Denise.)
Love? Hah! Love, my little untutored charges, is a joke - a sham. And never what it appears to be.
Weird Mr. Lemkur. Couture by Salvation Army - posture...by Quasimodo. Words were his only passion. Boring us with them - his only joy.
And now let's see what Keats had to say on the subject, shall we?
With all respect to the great poets, third-period English left one or two things to be desired. Denise "The Grease" was both of them.
"Light feet, dark violet eyes and parted hair, soft dimpled hands, ripe neck, and creamy breast...are things on which the dazzled senses rest". And what was Keats saying, here, hmm? Kevin.
Well, he's s-saying that, uh...creamy b-
(Denise looks at Kevin.)
That, you know...it's, it's all kinda...dazzling.
Right! Now, about the poems I assigned for your report - uh, Miss Lovell...would, uh, you recite what Swift has to say about amour?
(Denise walks to the front of the class.)
I trust you intend to finish our class, this term?
Third time's a charm.
Last year it was mono...what was it the year before...?
Hey, ya had to admit - she had a certain way about her.
"Modern love is no such thing, and what those ancient poets sing. A fire celestial chaste refined."
And even if none of us knew what she was saying - who cared?
"Which having found an equal flame, unites and both become the same. In different breasts together burn, together both, to ashes turn. But women now feel no such fire, and only know the gross desire."
I couldn't believe my eyes. Denise "The Grease" was crying.
There...you see - you see - you see? Swift knew what he was talkin' about.
And the strange thing was, even though I didn't know much more about her than the color of her bra-strap, I suddenly wanted to reach out and comfort her. But who was I to talk to her?
(Cut to Kevin's locker.)
Unless...she talked to you first.
I have to do a report on that poem...you really understood it, didn't ya?
Now, of course, I didn't even understand the title. But...
Uh...well, most of it!
Can you help me out with something?
You know where he says "laid on the fall to other sex..." Do you think that's the crux of what he's saying? That men and women blame each other for everything?
Lemme see here...what did "crux" mean again?
Heck, I'd have said "yes" to anything. Denise "The Grease" was talking to me! Calvin Arnold.
So if you had to sum up what Swift is saying, how would you do it?
Uh...well - he's just talkin' about the whole...man-woman...woman-man thing.
Right, right. Even in Swift's time, love has always been -
(Frank barges between them.)
Love has always been what?
Well, ya got that right!
(Frank looks at Kevin.)
Look, we gotta talk.
Not you, dirt clod!
I know we gotta talk - I've been tellin' you we gotta talk all day!
So let's talk!
Which, as I saw it, was my cue to exit...stage left.
(Denise pulls Kevin back.)
Right now, I'm talking with my friend.
About things you obviously don't understand.
Really. Try me.
OK. We were just discussing Cadenus and Vanessa.
It's a poem.
By Jonathon Swift.
Yeah, I know him. (Shrugs.)
Yeah! Swift - he's the guy who was the guy before he became "The Flash".
An honest mistake.
He's the guy who said "The judge discovered in her face, resentment for her late disgrace".
Alright - what is this crap?!
I'm not gonna listen to that kind of language. Thanks for your help, Calvin. (Exits.)
(Frank looks at Kevin.)
And that was that - a fruitful exchange.
Denise - wait up! (Exits.)
All things considered.
(At lunch with the guys.)
What was I supposed to do? Ignore her?
Yes! Frank put a guy in the hospital just for lookin' at her at Ocean City last year.
So this isn't America? I can't talk to who I want?
It's hard to talk without your teeth.
(Kevin walks toward the garbage, and passes Denise sitting alone, reading.)
Ah, what did these guys know? So I'd spoken to Denise - so what? After all, we had a history now. We were practically...soul mates. And if I wanted to talk to her I would. And if I didn't, then I -
How's it goin'?
Not bad...The more I read it, the more I understand, I think - that love is on trial.
(Denise stands up.)
And-and Swift says "and mortals here to stay into love". It's like he's saying the whole thing's a sham - like there is no true love. Right?
Hey - when in doubt, say -
Sure! Of course!
I like talkin' to you. (Exits.)
You heard it - she liked...talking...to me.
(P&L) What'd she say?!
Of course, a gentleman didn't discuss these things.
She said she liked talking to me...(Smiles.)
(Cut to hallway.)
Still, the fact remained, I, Calvin, had talked to Denise "The Grease" and the sky hadn't fallen. No hand had reached out from the heavens and -
(Frank jerks Kevin by the shirt.)
(Cut to auto shop. Frank has Kevin in a head-lock.)
You talked to Denise.
Shh-shh!. This is the my favorite part.
("If I were A Carpenter" plays on his radio. Franks sings along.)
"Save my love for loneliness, save my love for sorrow, I'm giving you my onliness, give me your tomorrow".
(Frank turns off the radio.)
Love that song. Where was I? Oh, yeah - Denise. Look. Denise is out of her gourd. She won't talk to me. For some dumb-cluck reason she talks to you.
I'll never talk to her again - I swear!
Yes, you will.
(Frank lets Kevin loose.)
I want you to talk to her for me.
Oh my God - I was gonna live.
(Cut to Fatso's drive-in restaurant. Kevin and Frank pull up to the speaker. Denise works the window.)
Hi, welcome to Fatso's - can I take your order? Hello...hello?
(Frank sticks Kevin out the car window.)
Get out there!
Hello - Denise? Hi, this is Kevin. You know, Calvin-Kevin, from...poetry class?
Hey, Calvin! Whatcha doin'?
Oh, just...hangin' out.
So...what can I do for you?
Well, I'd like some fries...and a rootbeer...
(Frank shakes him.)
Say! I was just wondering...why won't you talk to Frank anymore?
(Denise checks the car with her mirror.)
Not that it's any of my business, but, it might be, you know, helpful, if you could just, maybe say, you know, why...
Gee, Cal...that's kinda tough. I guess because Frank is a big dumb fat-head, who obviously can't talk for himself.
(Frank pulls Kevin inside.)
I don't believe this.
(Denise walks outside, as Frank pulls through and screeches to a stop.)
And once again, I was about to find myself...in the middle.
(Denise gets in the car.)
Just what are you trying to pull?
I want to know what's goin' on, Denise. Why won't you talk to me?
There's nothing more to talk about.
Uh, maybe I should -
Look, what the hell is...what is the matter with you? You gonna throw away everything we got?
Frank - like the poet said - "she knew in our degenerate days, bare virtue could not live on praise, that meat must be with money bought". OK?
Calvin understands, don't you?
Look - get out of here and let us talk!
(Denise gets out, and lets Kevin out. Frank and Denise resume squabbling.)
Fine with me. After all, I'd done my part - gotten them together. So whatever the problem was, it was time for them to work it out.
I never want to talk to you again!
(Denise slams the door.)
(Frank screeches off. Denise walks after Kevin.)
It's like talking to a brick wall.
And, I guess tThat's when I realized a horrible truth.
You'll patch things up.
There's a lot you don't know about me and Frank. Phhh - you're gonna need a ride home.
Like it or not - I was along for this ride.
(Cut to Kevin's house as they pull up. Denise parks, and turns on the radio - "Only You". She puts a stick of gum in her mouth. The camera pans down to her...necklace.)
Pretty, isn't it?
(Denise fingers her necklace.)
Frank gave it to me on our first date, when I was fourteen. I never take it off - not even in the shower.
And especially if there's a game. He says I bring him luck. Hasn't brung me much lately.
Course, I knew I had to do something to ease her pain.
Look. Frank...you know, he's a...good guy.
(Denise looks down in thought.)
Really! He's a...good...guy.
(Denise still looks down.)
And then from somewhere, I don't know - it just came to me.
Love is a river, flowing where we know not.
Course, I felt completely idiotic.
On the other hand...
The wound is deep, yet the river is wide.
Yes, it is...Thanks. You're sweet.
And in that moment, I knew beyond a doubt, that things were gonna be OK. For all of us.
Anyway...I'll seeya in school tomorrow, right?
(Denise kisses him, for 5 seconds, with electrical buzzing sounds.)
(Kevin gets out. Denise drives off.)
Maybe it was a dream. Or maybe I was crazy. Maybe Denise "The Grease" only knew one way to kiss.
(Kevin taked Denise's gum out of his mouth.)
Or maybe...the most voluptuous girl at McKinley high...had just fallen for Calvin Arnold.
(Fade to a school football game. Frank is playing, Denise is smoking, and Kevin is watching both.)
The most significant relationship at our high school was coming unglued. It was hard to tell who it was tougher on - Denise...
(Denise leaves the stands.)
(Frank gets flattened by two opponents.)
Or yours truly.
(V/O): Calvin is the one...
(Cut to poetry class. Denise is standing in front of the class.)
Who helped me see what Swift is saying.
Uh-huh, uh-huh. And what is Mr. Swift saying, in Catullus and Vanessa?
Well, he's saying that love is a heavenly thing, and that humans are human. And they mess everything up, because they're stuck-up, and shallow...and even the gods can't fix it.
Which is why, personally, I never married.
But I think Swift missed the boat. I-I like what Emerson has to say. "When half-gods go, the gods arrive".
Uh-huh, eh, which means?
When you lose something that means a lot, something better comes along.
It was horrible. One little, unsolicited kiss - and suddenly my life was on the line. So I determined then and there, never to tell another human being what had happened between Denise and me.
(Cut to outside school with Lewis and Purdle.)
You kissed Denise "The Grease"?
You don't expect us to swallow this, do you?
OK - I told two people.
Her gum was in my mouth!
Get off it! No way a chick like Denise is gonna go for a dingleberry like him.
Calvin! I have a huge favor to ask. I have to go to work. I can't face him, anyway. Not after that fight we had yesterday.
(Denise hands Kevin her necklace.)
Just give him this. He'll know what it means. I gotta go...Thanks. (Exits.)
You broke up "The Stank" and "The Grease".
Jeez, Kevin - bad karma!
(Cut to auto shop.)
But it wasn't my karma I was worried about. It was my skin. There was only one thing to do - have this out, man-to-man. Then, run like crazy.
What about Denise?
But there was really no way to say it. The pain I felt. For them...not to mention me.
(Kevin dangles the necklace in front of Frank. Frank takes it.)
I think you should talk to her. You know...put things right.
Talk to her? Talk to her?!
(Frank leans against his car.)
I told her she was kickin' my heart's butt!
Well, you couldn't put it more eloquently than that. Except, then Frank did.
"There are dark bitter places, on a dark cold floor".
I beg your pardon?
It's from one of her stupid books. (Sighs.) She really likes that stuff, doesn't she?
And of course, that's when it hit me.
(Cut to Fatso's drive in restaurant.)
Welcome to Fatso's - can I take your order?
(Kevin and Frank are at the speaker. Frank looks at a book.)
Uh, just read it, right?
(Frank turns to the speaker.)
Uh..."Give all to love".
Heh-heh. If this didn't grab her, then I didn't know Denise "The Grease".
Who is this? I'm not amused, jerk! State your order or move on.
(Frank frowns at Kevin, and shoves the book at him.)
This ain't me...
I got nothin' to say to you.
Well, I got somethin' to say to you!
Poetry had failed. Frank was on his own now.
(He turns up the radio, and sings.)
"If I were a carpenter and you were a lady...would you marry me anyway...would you have my baby..."
(Denise is silent. Frank stops singing. Denise starts to cry.)
We have a special today. Burger, fries...and a drink, for ninety-nine cents.
Denise, would ya?
You know I would. (Smiles.)
(Frank kisses Kevin on the neck, then hops out to get Denise.)
OK - so it wasn't Shelley or Keats. But it got the point across. As for me, I was gonna miss "The Grease". And I was pretty sure she was gonna miss me a little, too. But we both knew she was back where she belonged. And I finally understood. You had to really know two people and their problems, before you could solve them.
By the way, Frank - false alarm...I'm not pregnant.
(Kevin and narrator): Pregnant?!
Frank and Denise got back together that day. And our world fell back into orbit. He loved her...she loved him...and I lived to tell the tale. "The Stank" and Denise got married that summer after graduation, and had a kid. Denise went to college, and Frank went to cosmetology school. And even though I heard they divorced a couple of years later, I hoped - like Frank running over his shop teacher - that it was just a rumor.
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