Strangers with Candy: Who Wants Cake?
Jerri (reading her poem in class): When you work from your home, and John's callin' the phone, you're a call girl / When you walk 'til you limp, and give a cut to a pimp, you're a street whore / When their beggin' you please, to get down on your knees, near their groinage / 'scuse a me, don't you see, don't you touch where they pee, without coinage --
Mr. Noblet: Thank you Jerri, that'll be --
Jerri: When I straddle and squat, to show you my--
Mr. Noblet: All right Jerri...
This episode ranks up there as one of my favorites. As the school prepares for a field trip to Good Time Island, a place where all your wildest fantasies come true, Jerri's plans to go are thwarted when she's forced to expose a student, Kimberly, suspected of being retarded. Mr. Noblet refuses to let Jerri on the bus unless she snitches on her fellow student, who doesn't appear to be retarded, but as Principal Blackman points out, they can be very clever. Dismayed, Jerri confides in her art teacher, Mr. Jellineck:
Jellineck: Yes, most of them are.
Jerri: Most who are what?
Jellineck: Most gay people are retarded.
Jerri: Does that mean Kimberly Timbers is gay?
Jellineck: I don't know. Hey, maybe you should make a pass at her and find out. She'd have to be retarded to turn you down.
Under pressure from Noblet, who insists retarded people, if provoked, will become so enraged that not even a bullet could bring them down, Jerri heads to the library to listen to an audio tape by Wilford Brimley that tells of the dangers of trying to approach a retarded person. "All they hear is: 'Who wants cake?'" insists Wilford. Jerri manages to defend her friend until the very end when she decides that if Kimberly wasn't really retarded she wouldn't be a suspect in the first place. Like Noblet tells her, it's not so much "snitching" as it is "betraying the retarded," and that's just fine with Jerri.
Other moments in this episode I liked were Jerri's mom cooking a "south of the border" meal that consisted of corn, beef jerky, and caramel apples; and her dentist (played by Richard Kind) telling her the story of how he didn't want to be different when he was a kid, so he convinced his mom not to tell anyone he had polio, including the doctor. Of course, now he has to wear leg braces the rest of his life, but that's much better than being an outcast when you're younger.