So, I thought I’d expand on one of the stories I mentioned. Gather around the fireside children, I have a cautionary tale to tell about the time I ended up with Johnny Depp’s island caretaker, in a deserted parking lot, drunk, trying to convince him to pull his pants up, and wondering if he might follow through on his threat to kill me…
As Dane Cook would say, “Let’s Tarantino it. Let’s go back, go back…” and find out how I got myself into this ghastly situation.
Johnny Depp has an island in The Exumas, near Staniel Cay, where I lived. I don’t think he’ll sue me for telling you this, as he talks about it all the time in magazines and newspapers, and he probably won’t even know I wrote this. Also, the aforementioned caretaker doesn’t work for him any more.
Johnny Depp is not the only celebrity with a private island in The Exumas. There’s that super-rich French guy who owns all the luxury brands I like; there’s the black filmmaker who only makes movies about too-pretty, black-ish, lawyers and heiresses and cross dresses; there’s the magician who was accused of kidnapping pretty audience members; there is the country singing couple who always protest too much about how much PASSION they still have in their marriage; and so on.
These people come to their islands a couple of times a year,, arriving with their lap dogs and expectations like Mary de Guise on the shores of Scotland…
They all have caretakers. Think Jack Nicolson in The Shining in flip-flops, or Grizzly Adams in a bathing suit: misfit “mountain men” who lookafter deserted islands in the middle of nowhere, with non-compete agreements and infrequent shore-leave.
Soooooooooo, I ended up one fine night, drinking and playing pool at Club Thunderball on Staniel Cay. At one end of the bar was Mr. Depp’s island staff (they weren’t supposed to tell anyone who they worked for, but they did). One was wearing a tee-shirt that said, NYC Motherfuckers!!!, another smelled of lye soap and vomit. Their badass, white woman boss-lady was there. She was rumored to trade off her sexual partners, willy-nilly (to use the BEST possible phrase) among the staff. They were all very, very drunk.
The one who smelled of soap and puke took a shine to me. He bought me drinks from a sad wad of crumpled one-dollar-bills. He wanted to cuddle. He told me his girlfriend had just broken up with him and asked for my advice. At some point we noticed his friends had gone, and he asked me for a ride to the government dock so he could find them.
So, I blithely left the bar with a stranger, at two a.m. Drunk. And let him drive the golf cart.
Is it surprising he pulled off the road into a deserted parking lot behind a huge, impenetrable hedge? Surprising that he pinned me to my seat by the throat and yanked off his convenient, elastic waist shorts? Surprising that when he was unable to muster the energy to follow through (if you get my drift), he slurred, “I HATE women. I should kill the whole bunch of you…”?
Looking for Mr. Goodbar, right?
Then, he told me he’d been to jail. For spousal abuse. I remember thinking foggily, “Doesn’t Johnny Depp VET these people?” And I said reasonably, “Why don’t you pull up your pants, and I’ll drive you to the government dock and we’ll find your friends.”
It’s amazing how quickly you sober up when you think you’re going to be raped and murdered…
So I drove him to the dock, and his friends had left him and he said, “I guess I’ll just spend the night with you…” I pretended to see his friends at the far end of the dock – and when he got out to investigate, I scratched off like fucking Mario Andretti and was GONE.
I saw him once after that, at a Staniel Cay general store. He said, “Why did you leave me that night? I had to sleep on boat rigging. We were having such a nice time.”
Hemmingway said it best. “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”