Mar 15, 2021
Degrassi Junior High “Smokescreen” (part 2 of 4)
Over in the boy’s restroom, Rick is having a smoke break. I mean, he’s just full-on smoking out in the open, right next to the no smoking sign, which seems kinda dumb, as well an easy way to get caught. Another boy walks in, and we’ll learn in the next episode that (among many other things) his name is Shane. Shane tells Rick that cigarettes will kill him, so Rick replies, “What are you, my social worker?” Umm… Yeah, what are you, my rehab sponsor? What are you, my parole officer? There’s such a thing as TMI, Rick.
Shane then gives him the standard, pre-approved party line about all the bad things cigarettes will do to a person, e.g., make you smell bad, turn your fingers brown, blah blah blah. Rick says the “advice” he’s really looking for is how to get with Caitlin Ryan.
Shane can’t believe Rick would be interested in Caitlin, because she’s a “browner”. At first I thought this might be another bit of invented Degrassi slang, but contributor “Holly” on Urban Dictionary seems to think it’s a “term from about the early ’80s (prob a derivative of ‘brainer’) describing someone in school who is extremely smart and gets high grades.” That certainly sounds like Caitlin, but I’m pretty sure it’s a derivative of “brownnoser” and not “brainer”. Get with it, Holly.
Shane suggests sitting next to Caitlin in class, but Caitlin sits in the front row, so that sure ain’t happening. Shane then suggests joining the “committee” that Caitlin is on. And here’s our first mention of Degrassi’s “Environmental Action Committee”, which Shane dismissively refers to as the “inaction committee”. Wow, did he stay up all night thinking of that one? But actually, it is an accurate description of the club, as we’ll see in a second. Rick thinks this is an awesome idea, because it’ll give him an excuse to spend lots of time with Caitlin.