–the following is a partial transcript from the documentary “The Many Crimes of Wyatt Duvall”
[INT: It’s more or less a nondescript office, with a cluttered desk and book shelves. It’s not as cramped as one might think. In fact, there are hints that it is more spacious than the tight shoot indicates, as if there are more bookshelves, a couple of chairs, perhaps even a couch out of view. It is the office of an individual with many interests and many plans.
There are various knickknacks on the desk and on the book shelf, including a row of toy sheep across the front of the desk, a rebel flag shot glass, a picture of Bob Dobbs and the Schwa alien, an Andre the Giant sticker.
A middle-aged man sits behind the desk. He’s cheery and confident. He’d make a great drinking buddy.]
[Text reads: Clay Templeton, Minister of Disinformation]
CLAY: The first time I had a conversation with Wyatt Duvall, he was behind the counter at Wyatt Sheets, this ole laundromat on Reynolds Avenue. There’s not much there now, just boarded up windows, crackheads, and drunks. He was reading this pamphlet. It was some cheap day-glo thing that looked like it had been printed on a dot matrix printer. I didn’t really know what it was. Nor did I really care. But Wyatt, he cared [laughs]. He cared a lot.
Now, I hadn’t exactly talked to Wyatt before. Yeah, we’d said hello before when I dropped of the paper every Wednesday. Sometimes at least. Most of the time, Wyatt just nodded and I did the same, which is not what I normally do. I’m a talker. And I’ve been that way since I was, oh I don’t know, since, well, [laughing] since I learned how to talk.
He said to me, “Clay” — now, I hadn’t told him my name before, or at least I didn’t remember telling him my name, but I guess I could have. I mean, I knew his name was Wyatt, so I suppose that we had.
Well, he’s said to me, “Clay, I’ve got a job for you.” And he was tapping the pamphlet on the table, kind of like a gavel. “I want you to …”
Wait, wait, that’s not what he said. Let me think.
[CLAY stops dead and looks right at the camera. The sound on the video momentarily goes bad, emitting a static-y sounds like sounds a bit like a hush. It goes on for three seconds, three seconds in which Clay stares. Then he smiles and begins to speak.]
He said, “Clay, do you believe in Santa Claus?” Of course, I said, “No.”
“But you did,” he said. “At one time you did. As a kid. Right?
“Yeah,” I told him.
“Did you love Santa Claus,” he said.
“Of course, of course.”
And that’s when he tossed the pamphlet at me and said, “Read this.”
[INT: It’s another non-descript office. This time a woman is relaxed on a couch. There’s a coffee mug on the table in front of her. It features a sheep. On the table are various issues of “Adbusters,” “Juxtapose,” a copy of “Dianetics,” and a copy of the “Charleston City Paper,” featuring a woman with a pillowcase on her head and the words: “They want you to sleep.”]
[Text reads: Sally Duvall Hamilton, Minister of Marketing]
SALLY: Wyatt Duvall was a sonovabitch if there ever was one. But, dammit, if he couldn’t make me laugh.
Now, don’t get me wrong. He wasn’t mean. There was always an undercurrent of humor behind everything he did. Some of the times people didn’t get the joke. And I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t always get the joke, but more often than not, I did.
Some jokes were better than others, of course. Like the Gay Sons of the Confederacy.
[SALLY laughs again. She begins to get a little carried away, but then she regains her composure.]
I thought we were going to die that day. We didn’t. But there were some tense moments there.
[SALLY reaches down for her coffee and takes a sip.] I’m just amazed nobody got shot. Especially Sasha.
CLAY: Oh, Sasha. Ha. Man, that was one of our first really good ones. In fact, that might’ve been the first time we got a news crew out there.
But, yeah, yeah, I’m Sasha Sparkle.
[CLAY turns turns at the waist, his hands on his hips, tosses back his head, and smiles an empty beauty pageant smile.]
[INT: Sally is sitting on the couch still. She’s completely at ease. Nodding slightly as if someone is talking to her, as she holds her coffee to her lips, but never touching.]
SALLY: Dryer lint. That’s generally the first thing that most people think of. I never really caught the fascination with it. It was just so obvious. The joke, I mean. The point. The big ole message that Wyatt was trying to send.
But I understand the appeal. Drugs. Teens. Death. That always plays well on TV.
Now, throw in a few fatalities, and, well, then print jumps on it. Toss in a rampaging lint head biting a few drunken co-eds on the legs — a dryer lint zombie if you will — and you’ve got yourself a viral video.
[SALLY puts down the coffee mug and looks straight at the camera]
SALLY: Between you and me, I can’t believe anybody tried it.
INT: CLAY is coughing. He’s turned sideways, his right hand held up with one finger pointed up singling “one second.” The camera lingers for 10 seconds as CLAY continues to cough.
CLAY: Just give me a [coughs]
[INT: CLAY is still coughing. The camera lingers for 10 seconds.]
[INT: SALLY on the couch. She looks pretty incredulous. Baffled.]
SALLY: I mean, who in their right fucking mind would smoke dryer lint? Like, you have to a be a complete moron to think that’s a good idea. [Sally smirks]
But Wyatt knew.
He knew some fool out there would try it and that idiot would tell his friends it was like [adopts BRO-VOICE] “the bomb, bro. Like this stuff is the shit. It will like blow your fucking mind.” And once that happened, well, it would just take off.
[INT: CLAY has finally regain his composure]
CLAY: And then kids started dying. [Pause]
And I was like, oh, fuck, we’re fucked. Like up against the wall with a double-pronged dildo with barbed wire on it fucked. But Wyatt didn’t. He was ready to step into the spotlight.
[INT: CLAY stares at the camera.]
CLAY: God, I think I pissed my pants a little bit when I cough.
[INT: TIMOTHY LONG sits on a pilates ball in a nondescript office. He’s calmly rocks back and forth, back and forth. Then he bounces. Then he rocks. He is the perfect picture of health and wellness. Perfect skin. Perfect hair. No body fat. The walls are decorated with newspaper clippings and string. Some placards read: “Wake Up,” “The Slumber Party Wants You to Sleep,” and “Revenge is a dish best served gluten-free.”]
TEXT: TIMOTHY LONG, reporter, Knight-Rider
TIMOTHY: I can remember the first time I heard about Wyatt Duvall. I mean, I didn’t hear about him per se. I received an email that was either from him or Clay or Sally or someone else at Diversified Solutions. I’m not sure how big the [TIMOTHY does air quotes] “company” was at that time. Hell, for all I know, it could’ve just been Wyatt at that point, operating out of that shitty laundromat, getting high all day long.
But the point is, Wyatt Duvall wasn’t on my radar until that email. I can’t remember the exact wording, but it was something like, “Children’s rights organization to march on area malls, protesting the Santa Claus myth.” I thought it was joke, but my editor wanted me to check it out. So I did.
And holy shit, it was crazy. First riot I’ve ever been in.
[TIMOTHY stops moving on the ball] There were others later, of course. Wyatt was good at that.
[TIMOTHY smiles and drifts away, thinking] Now that I think about it, even those might have been staged.
[TIMOTHY shakes his head in disbelief. The camera lingers. He starts speaking under his breath. He appears to be repeating the above two lines. ]
[INT: SALLY’s office.]
SALLY: We must have printed up a couple hundred pamphlets and Clay ordered a bunch of T-shirts and we went to Northwoods Mall and we marched. We were hammered, of course. We were always hammered. Hell, I’m half-drunk right now.
[SALLY sips at her cup]
Just kidding. This is just coffee. Eight years sober.
[SALLY sips again. Suddenly she looks worried.] This is just coffee right?
[SALLY puts the mug down.]
I think Wyatt was the first one to get punched. Yeah, yeah, he was the first one.
[SALLY picks up the mug]
There was this one child, a little girl, probably six. Cute little kid. Cute little dress. Cute little bows in her hair. Carrying her Little Mermaid doll. Wyatt spotted her standing by herself. She was clearly lost. And Wyatt ran over to her.
I’m sure the girl was a little frightened. I don’t know what he said exactly, but he earned her trust and he stood with her until her dad showed up. He was worried sick, of course, and he thanked Wyatt, shook his hand, and all that.
But just as Wyatt was about to leave, he kneeled down, you know looking the little girl in the eye, and he asked her if she could read. She said yes. And he handed her a pamphlet and walked off.
Ten second later, the little girl’s dad grabbed Wyatt by the collar, spun him around, and punched him in the face.
Of course, he deserved it. He always deserved it.