David "Wart" Wirtshafter
(Ep 70 - "The Lake")
All the family togetherness was more than my adolescent soul could take. What I needed was...
(Sound of a car backfire.)
(Music "I Fought the Law" starts. Wayne and Wart careen around in his car through the campground. They squeal to a stop, with the radio blasting. Parents look on with amazement. Wayne and Wart hop out. Wayne perfunctorily straightens clothes and hair, as his car gives a final shuddering backfire. Wayne approaches and grabs a hamburger.)
Sorry we're late.
You guys were supposed to be here three hours ago!
Yeah, well, uh, we took the scenic route. Tell him, Wart!
Hehehe, we took the scenic route.
(Wart sits next to Jack and pours a drink into his glass, and drinks.)
That was Wayne's buddy Dave Wirtshafter. Everybody called him "Wart". Hard guy to look at.
Say, I have a fun idea for tonight. How about a campfire!
(Debbie looks at Kevin and smiles.)
Sounds good to me, Mom!
Sorry we're...going to be at the drive-in tonight.
But...hang on! Did he say...?
At the drive-in, hhehe.
(Wart nudges Jack, who is trying to open a pickle jar.)
"Planet of the Apes".
(Jack frowns, Wart looks away.)
Great. We'll come with you.
You must be joking.
(Sound of car backfire.)
(The four boys are in Wayne's beat-up Corvair, going over the humps of the lot.)
OK, so it cost us fifteen bucks, plus gas. At least we found a place to hang out for the night.
(Wayne and Wart turn to Kevin and Paul.)
(Kevin and Paul are puzzled.)
Tell 'em, Wart!
(Kevin and Paul hop out of the car. Wayne and Wart laugh as they drive off.)
And there you had it. We'd hit bottom.
(Loudest car backfire.)
Here we go!
(Jack places a cooked fish on an aluminum tray in the center of the table. He smiles.)
Fish turned out great, honey. Aren't you all proud of your father?
Yeah, we've got fish for days, hehehh.
Yeah, hehhh, we've got fish for days.
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(Ep 71 - "Day One")
(Kevin descends the stairs, and walks up the hallway.)
OK, I'd learned my first lesson. In high school, one had to be careful when dealing with authority figures.
(Wayne and Wart grab Kevin and push him back.)
Hey, Wart. Looks like somebody forgot to read the scrote handbook.
Get outta my way, Wayne!
Sorry, Kev. Can't! You're on the seal.
(Kevin looks down. He is standing on the school seal in the hallway.)
The sacred emblem of our fine school.
So? So, only seniors are allowed to walk on the seal.
Yeah, only seniors are allowed to walk on the seal.
Now, coming from anyone else...maybe I would have believed it. But from these jokers?
That's crazy! What kind of rule is that?
Kev, Kev - this seal is an emblem for the school, and protecting it is a long-standing tradition passed from one senior class to the next.
Get outta my way, butt-breath.
(Kevin starts to push through them. Wayne shoves him against the lockers.)
Let me explain something to you. You might have thought you were some kind of "hot-shot" in junior high, but you're nothing here. You're the lowest of the low, the putridest of the putrid. You're that stuff that mom sweeps out from underneath the refridgerator. And we're in charge here. And if we catch you walking on the seal, you get...the "boosh"! The royal flush.
Not that I knew what that was. Still, the terminology seemed pretty self-explanatory.
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(Ep 83 - "Private Butthead")
(Kevin leaves the guidance office and sees Wayne and Wart on a bench. Wart shoots a passing girl with a rubber band.)
Hey, look! It's butthead!
Yeah. It's butthead!
That was Wayne's friend, Wart. They were two pea-heads in a pod.
What are you doing here?
We're getting an award for being the top students in our class.
Yeah. We're valedorians.
(A man looks out of his office.)
Arnold! Wirtshafter! Get over here.
Wayne, what's going on?
None of your business.
Yeah, none of your business.
What'd you do? Murder someone?
(Wart frowns and rips a folio.)
We just skipped school. (Shrugs.) That's all.
(Jack and Kevin are putting shingles on the roof.)
You know, Dad, Wayne really studied like crazy for his SAT's.
Well, what I'm saying is, sometimes, he just has trouble gettin' it.
What are you talkin' about? Wayne's a smart kid! If he stopped actin' so dumb.
Well, yeah, but, what I'm saying is that...
Look. A lot of kids don't do that well in high school. I didn't do that well, myself. It's a chance for Wayne to turn things around.
But it seemed to me that Dad was missing the point, here.
But what if he can't?
You know, Wayne had a lot of trouble taking his first step. Took him a long time to do it. But when he finally did it...he didn't just take a step...he ran across the room. Then he fell on his butt. But he got back up again.
And for the first time in a long time...I could see how much Dad was rooting for Wayne. How proud he was of him. And at that moment...
(Wayne and Wart pull up in Wart's car. The horn plays "I Wish I Was In Dixie".)
I actually had the feeling everything was gonna be alright.
How was the test? Was it tough?
Well, um...about the test...
We didn't take it.
What do you mean you didn't take it?
Well, we did somethin' a little better!
A lot better. (Smiles.)
What'd you do?
Well, we've been thinkin'...
Yeah, we were thinkin' (Smiles.).
And, why spend four years in a college, when there's a much better way to get a career?
(Jack frowns and stands up.)
What did you do?!
Well, we talked it over, and -
We joined the Army!
(Fade to the Arnold kitchen.)
This can't be happening!
Even so, it had. My mother's worst nightmare was coming true.
Honey - you are just in high school!
Mom, I'm eighteen years old...and besides, the sergeant really liked us.
Yeah! He said we were special.
(Wart eats some bread.)
It was unbelievable. My brother had joined the Army.
You guys are kidding, right?
Which left only one sane reasonable response.
How did you come up with such a dumb, stupid, idiotic idea!
Well, actually, it was my idea. (Smiles.)
(Jack frowns at Wayne.)
And you listened to him? That's real bright.
Dad...listen, you know...it's not as dumb...as it sounds. I mean, if you just think about it - it makes sense! The pay is good...and besides, they'll teach us to be anything we want - mechanics, uh, engineers, uh...
(Wayne turns to Wart.)
Wart? Go home...
Well, I asked him to stay for dinner...
And with those social pleasantries out of the way...
Nice seeing you folks.
(Wart smiles and give a left-handed salute, then exits.)
(Cafeteria. Wayne and Wart are goofing off with straws.)
For the next few days...things pretty much went back to normal. For Wayne, anyway. At school, he and Wart...
(A girls walks by, and Wart smiles and rolls his head as she walks behind him. Cut to guidance office. Wayne and Wart are on a bench. Wart shoots a spit-wad at passing girl with a rubber band.)
Continued to pursue their stellar academic careers.
(Wayne failed the Army physical. Now Wayne and Wart are outside the AFEES station. A sergeant holds a clipboard. Wart and his parents stand in front of him.)
(The sergeant gestures over his shoulder. Wart and his parents pass him, and walk toward a bus. Wart stops in front of Wayne and Kevin. His parents wait near the bus.)
Hey, you buttheads. (Smiles.) Hey, you take care of yourself.
(Wayne and Wart shakes hands.)
You take care of yourself, man.
Don't take any crud from anyone. (Smiles.)
I won't. (Nods.)
Wish you were coming with me!
(Wart pats Wayne's shoulder, and walks toward his parents.)
A few days later, Wart left for basic training.
(Wart and his mother hug. Kevin and Wayne watch.)
He spent two months at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
(Wart and his father shake hands and say goodbye. His father hands him a suitcase. Wart walks toward the bus door.)
And then, David Wirtshafter...
(Kevin and Wayne watch.)
Was shipped to Vietnam.
(Wart turns and leans out the door. He gives a left-handed salute, and smiles.)
A big goofy kid.
(He turns inside the bus.)
Who didn't know what his future would be.
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(Ep 94 - Homecoming")
(At the Point with Winnie.)
I was living in a world where "go" meant "stop". Where "yes" meant "no". While out there, in the real world...
(Cut to NORCOM Lot. Wayne is pushing a large mail-cart across the asphalt. Sound of a steam-whistle.)
Things were happening. Things that mattered.
Things that made men out of boys.
(Wart dressed in a soldier uniform, stands near a fence, smiling. He salutes. Wayne smiles and claps his hands together.)
(They shake hands and hug. Cut to Arnold livingroom.)
David! Look at you!
(Jack walks forward smiling, and holds his hand out. Jack and Wart shake hands.)
It's good to see you!
Thanks. It's good to be back. (Smiles.)
Look at all those medals. Were you wounded?
(Norma touches a medal. Wart shrugs and smiles.)
Ah, it's nothin' really.
Yeah, Mom - he's fine. (Nods.)
It was awesome. Wayne's pal, Dave Wirtshafter, had left for Vietnam a goofy kid...and he came back...a hero.
So...was it bad?
Well, you know...(Smiles.)
(Wart looks toward Kevin.)
Hey, man! You haven't changed a bit! (Smiles.)
Yeah! Well, uh....I got my driver's license! (Smiles.) On the first try. (Smiles.)
That's great! (Smiles.)
(Kevin's smiles fades slightly as he glances at Wart's medals.)
Well...we're all very proud of you, son. Very proud.
Yeah! And hey! (Gestures.) I got a new room in the basement. It's really cool - you wanna see it? (Smiles.)
(Wart follows Wayne as Jack pats him on the back.)
But this much was clear...while the rest of us were playing with Tinkertoys and riding bikes...this guy had been there, Earning his stripes. Taking risks.
(At the diner.)
Hey! I hear you blew it last night, huh, big guy? (Frowns.)
Oh, it's all over town. (Gestures.) Some bozos tried to...raid Central High. (Smiles.)
What makes you think it was me?
Oh...Intuition. Plus the guard said he...saw a car with...some stupid dragon painted on the side! Heh-heh. Nice going, "Double-Oh-Seven".
(Wayne musses Kevin's hair, picks up Kevin's drink, and walks away. Kevin turns toward Jeff and frowns.)
I was on my way to becoming the town laughing-stock. As opposed to, say...
(Wayne sits next to Wart at a window booth. Two other guys sit opposite them, and two others face them in the next booth.)
The local hero.
So, what was it like?
Was it scary?
Well, you know...(shrugs)...it wasn't really much.
(Wayne frowns and looks at the guys.)
Are you kiddin'? This guy was everywhere! Tell em, Wart.
Well, I spent a little time in *Ple Ku*, and *Kwan Tri*...and down in the delta. Hey, but I did my R and R in Hong Kong (Smiles.)
(Wart looks at Wayne nods.)
Hah, that was somethin'! (Smiles.)
Yeah, that was somethin'. There was this place...(Gestures.)
(Kevin watches them, frowning.)
Look at that. The way my brother was grand-standing...you'd think he'd been driving a tank...instead of pushing a mail-cart.
So'd you kill anybody?
What? Uh, no.
(Wart frowns and looks down. He frowns again and shakes his head.)
Nothin' like that.
Yeah? What are you talkin' about? (Smiles.) It was nothin' like that.
(Wayne and Wart look at each other, and laugh a little.)
OK, everybody - show's over. Heh. Bye, bye now. Have fun. Don't forget your homework. Don't stay up too late. Tell your sister I say hi.
Hey, you know, I was thinkin'...(Frowns.) Maybe I ought to change out of my clothes. Get into my civvies. Right?
Yeah, alright. (Nods.) And I'll pick you up tonight - we'll go to the game.
There's a game?
Yeah! (Shrugs.) It'll be fun - we'll goof it. (Smiles.)
Alright - sure! (Smiles.)
(Wayne picks up Wart's hat.)
Lemme try this on...
(Wayne and puts it on.)
And of course, I guess it was only fair.
Some guys get the glory...
(Paul approaches Kevin and Jeff.)
You guys blew it big-time last night.
And some guys end up with nothing but...a kick in the pants.
(At the game. Kevin is going for sodas, sees Wart behind the bleachers, standing next to a pole, looking down.)
(Wart looks up and smiles.)
Hey! How you doin'?
Good. (Smiles.) Good.
Boy. Sure is crowded, isn't it? (Smiles.)
(Wart looks around.)
(Some people walk by.)
The funny thing is, out of uniform...he looked like the old..goofy...Wart.
(Wayne barges past Kevin.)
Watch it, butthead! (Frowns.)
Hey! (Points.) It's "Mr. Butthead" to you, OK?
(Wayne and Wart look at each other and chuckle.)
(On the P.A.): Murderer!
(Wart looks off.)
What was that?
(Wayne looks toward Kevin.)
(Wayne looks at Wart, glances at Kevin, then looks at Wart.)
Hey, forget it - it didn't mean anything, OK?
Yeah...They probably just...
Yeah, sure. Hey, listen - I'm gonna take a walk, OK?
OK, well I'll go with you. (Gestures.)
Nah, that's OK. Um, I'm gonna check out the old school. I'll be back. (Gestures.) Really - save my seat! (Smiles and exits.)
Yeah, OK, well...(gestures)...I'll seeya there!
What the heck. You had to figure where he'd been, the guy could take care of himself.
(Later, Kevin is running toward his car at the baseball field, carrying the owl in his jacket.)
Yes, yes, yes!
(Kevin leans against his car, cradling the owl in his jacket. He looks toward the stadium.)
I made it out to the baseball field in about two minutes flat.
I did it.
The thing is, I had no plan. No idea of what to do next. It didn't matter.
(Kevin looks forward and sighs.)
All I knew was...
I did it.
I'd seen my chance - I'd taken the risk. I'd earned my stripes.
(Kevin looks past the camera, and straightens up slightly. Wart in the distance, sitting on a bench wearing only boxers. He has his elbows on his knees, and is looking down.)
Wart? (Frowns.) Wart? Is that you? Wart!
(Kevin takes a few steps toward Wart.)
Hey...this is perfect! (Smiles.) I got it. I got their mascot. I got the owl. (Smiles.)
And I guess that's when I saw it clearly. He was sitting on that bench...on the third-base line. And his clothes were in a little pile on the ground.
Oh, God. (Frowns.)
(Wayne is behind a chain-link fence, looking at Wart.)
(Wayne hesitates, then looks at Kevin. Wayne pushes the gate open and enters. Wayne approaches Wart.)
Wart, whatchya doin', man?
(Wayne walks closer, and points.)
Hey, man...it looks like you lost your clothes...
(Wart is looking down, as tears drip off his nose. He hesitates, then nods slightly.)
(He hesitates, then snorts, then turns and looks toward Wayne.)
Nothin' seems to fit anymore.
(Wayne frowns and looks down. He looks toward Wart, then down again. Wart looking down. Wayne looks at Wart, then unbuttons his shirt, then pulls it off. Wart is looking down.)
Here ya go...
(Wayne holds his shirt out. Wart looks at it.)
(Wart looks at the shirt. He glances between Wayne and the shirt, and starts to cry. Wart stands up and hugs Wayne. Wayne puts his arms around him.)
It's OK. It's OK...
They say men are children. But, sometimes...children are men. Maybe that's where the confusion lies. All I knew was...that night...the world seemed suddenly very big. And I felt very small. So I did what I could.
(Kevin kneels down and lets the owl fly off. Cut to the football game. The owl lands on the goalpost.)
1972 was a crazy time. Kids played football...drove cars....went to school...celebrated life.
(The guys walk to Kevin's car.)
While soldiers - heroes...their brothers, struggled to find their way home from war.
(The camera rises slowly as Wayne holds the back door open as Wart gets in, then Wayne and Kevin gets in. Fade to Kevin's bedroom. The camera pans down from the dark wall, to Kevin, asleep in bed.)
While young boys watched, and grew wiser...in their dreams.
See also "Full Transcript"
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