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On this "painfully special" episode of
Strangers With Candy

    It's a typical morning at the Blank household. Jerri is holding Suki, her pet Japanese Silky chicken, the topic of discussion is weight, and the family gets a delivery from their meat van driver, Stew. Later at school, Jerri tells Mr. Noblet about her desire to join the debate team. Chuck would probably rather concentrate on the elaborate spread of food items that he intends to cook in his deep fryer, but he does take a moment to give her a little advice. He tells Jerri that she has to lose weight, explaining that "95% of debating is physical appearance. It's not what you say, it's how you look saying it." After Jerri is insulted by the ultra-thin Lizzy Abrams in the lavatory she gives some thought to Noblet's words. These thoughts are immediately banished, however, when Jerri's friend Toby informs her that the cafeteria is serving empanadas. They race, to see who can get to the cafeteria first, and the loser will be declared a big fat slob. Jerri loses the race and comes to the realization that she is the "big fat slob," but she fills her tray with Central American delicacies anyway, admitting that she's always been a "sucker for the spic food." Toby stocks up on the goodies, too, but Tammi Littlenut tells them that her mother wants her to lose weight to disrupt her ovulation. Noblet and Lizzy stop by their table and Chuck tries to encourage Tammi to try out for the Debate Team. When Jerri announces that she intends to try out for the team, Lizzy tosses another zinger at her, but Jerri lets her slink away without hitting her with a decent comeback. Jerri makes the decision to go on a strict diet, but this puts her at odds with Stew, who happens to be the Blank's dinner guest that evening. Stew insists that Jerri should partake of the brisket, but she stubbornly refuses. The next day at school, Mr. Jellineck notices that Jerri is becoming dangerously thin and he tries to intervene. He takes her into the Girls Room to warn her against purging her food. He admits that he does it, but admonishes that she should never try it. The thought hadn't crossed her mind before, but Geoffrey's intended warning actually inspires Jerri to adopt the practice. The next time she runs into Noblet and Lizzy in the hall it's apparent that Jerri's dramatic weight loss seems to have sharpened her debating skills. Lizzy spews more venom at her, but Jerri gives it right back to her. After school, Geoffrey stops by the Blank's house to discuss his concerns with Jerri's family and their meat man. Sara and Stew don't seem to appreciate the intrusion by this well-intentioned, but interfering art teacher. Geoffrey piques Sara's interest, however, when he reveals that Jerri has been taking appetite suppressants, diuretics, and suppositories. Sara is outraged, not by concern for Jerri's well-being, but because Jerri stole those things from her. Sara then crafts a punishment to fit the crime by sending Jerri to bed without any supper. The next day at school, Jerri and Lizzy have to go head to head during the debate finals. A weak and incoherent Jerri passes out from exhaustion caused by malnutrition. Mr. Jellineck revives Jerri by snapping a hot dog in half under her nose, then he convenes an emergency intervention with Jerri's family and Stew. Jerri realizes that her crisis has made her the center of attention, which she clearly enjoys. Then Geoffrey brings out a baked chicken for everyone to eat. He reveals that Jerri's loyal Suki baked herself to save Jerri's life. Jerri and Jellineck share the wishbone of Jerri's succulent (or as Sara says, "Suk-ulent") self-sacrificing friend. Jerri wins the wishbone pull and thoughtfully wishes for a Camaro.

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Episode Title: "Feather in the Storm"

Tony's Rating:

Original Airdate: 6/28/99

Production Number: 1-08

Directed by: Danny Leiner

Writers: Paul Dinello, Amy Sedaris
Additional Writers: Randolph Heard, Matt Lappin

Regular Cast: AS, DR, GH, LS, MT, PD, RG, SC

Featuring:  David Pasquesi (Stew), Ellen Pompeo (Lizzy Abrams), Devin Palmer (Toby)
With:  Suzan Mikiel (Carne), Mijanou Montealegre (Lizzy's friend)

Flatpoint Lexicon:

empanada or enpanada (ĕm'·pä·nä'·dä) n. Spanish word for pie or turnover; stuffed pastry (popular in Argentina, among other cultures) filled with meat, chicken, cheese, rice, and/or vegetables

poontang (poon'·tāng) n. 1 coarse vernacular for female genitalia  2 sexual intercourse

Winner of the Special Golden Jerri Award
for "Outstanding Pet" [Suki]

Additional Episode Information

The "Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat" song is sung (by Stephen Colbert) to the tune of Joni Mitchell's "Songs to Aging Children Come". Thanks to David Archer for pointing this out.
· When Geoffrey presents the baked Suki to the Blank family and everyone reaches down to tear off juicy morsels of Jerri's succulent and loyal friend, a prosthetic limb and a doll's arm can be seen grabbing for a piece.
· David Pasquesi (Stew) did voice-over narration for Paul and Dan Dinello's short film "Shock Asylum" and also co-wrote the film "Nobody Knows Anything" (aka "McClintock's Peach") with SWC co-creator Mitch Rouse.
· Sara starts her morning by reading Weightless magazine.
· Blackman's girlfriend Carne, from the opening scene, is later seen cleaning the Girls Room. She enters the room right after Lizzy and her friend insult Jerri. Thanks to Suzan Mikiel Kennedy for clarifying that her character's name was Carne; not Connie, as I'd previously thought. In Spanish, "carne" means "meat".
· Deborah Rush improvised the line to Stew about "biscuit blocking".
· Stew was never officially given a last name, but Matt Lappin told me that they considered the name Link. Perhaps he's related to Dr. Harry Link from "Who Wants Cake?"
· Thin Lizzy was the name of a 70's band from Great Britain.
· The number on the license plate of Stew's meat truck is X51 G42.

On The 'Flatpoint High School' Sign:  "DEBATE IS GOOD"

In The Background: On the blackboard in Noblet's class: "Kennedy vs. Nixon" and "Innie vs. Outtie"

The Best Things In This Episode:
· Jellineck reveals to Sara that Jerri has been taking appetite suppressants, diuretics, and suppositories. Jerri says, "They're not mine." And Sara says, "I know... they're mine."
· The "fat, fat, fat, fat", "gordo, gordo, gordo" songs:

Your problem couldn't be any clearer
no one pays attention to you
You stand alone, holding your chicken
Stew ate your waffles and you're feeling blue
You're off to school now, riding the bus...

You are large and quite obese
Fat fat fat fat, fat fat fat
Oink oink oink...

Tu e grande y muy gordo
gordo gordo, gordo gordo....

Even though she's so very hungry
she eats just like a bird
By a bird, I mean one of the small ones,
not like a pelican who eats a lot

Her problems melt like ice cream castles
leaving puddles of tasty sweet
Her family loves her, Suki tastes delicious
She feels all better now, she can eat

Closing Credits Dance Sequence:  Everyone dances to the tune of the Pet Shop Boys remix of "It's Alright" in front of the Camaro that Jerri wished for.

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