I start the day stalking Johnny in a lovely seaside town called Sainte Maxime, which is about 10 minutes from Johnny’s town, Plan de la Tour but much more accessible. It’s also the place where the character Babar the elephant was conceived (not that it has anything to do with Johnny, but come to think of it, if they ever made a movie about Babar, Johnny would be great in the lead role).
After perusing the cobbled streets, the daily market, every store, every café, le plage des elephants, even the church and still no Johnny. I’m getting a little disheartened at my lack of progress. I buy myself a condolence ice cream cone, sit on a bench overlooking the Mediterranean and there it is, San Tropez shimmering like a mirage across the bay. Well, of course. Johnny is in San Tropez. Duh. I finish my cone and take a stroll along the harbor and find the place where they ferry people from Sainte Maxime to San Tropez and beyond. I hop the next boat, pay my five euro and 45 minutes later, I’m stalking Johnny in San Tropez. It just feels right.
Since I’m hungry, I decide to stalk him in a restaurant overlooking the harbor. I have a pretty darn good seafood salad, a small $8.00 bottle of tap water and the waiter has a slightly arrogant air that one is told to expect in France, but until now, I haven’t experienced.
Johnny isn’t here, so after a café crème, I do a thorough scan of San Tropez. I look along the ancient stone wall that opens unto a rocky beach. No Johnny. I window shop, hoping to find him in one of the hoity-toity stores. No Johnny. I stalk him in the macaron store, where I’m sad to report they have neither Johnny or caramel beure de sale. (salted caramel).
Defeated, I head back towards the harbor. Something catches my attention out of the corner of my eye. Across the street, I see a man who looks just like Johnny (without the usual hat and glasses), in jeans and a tee shirt with a cigarette in one hand, carrying a large bag in the other. Stunned and fascinated, I stare, trying not to look like I’m staring. He puts the bag into a somewhat ratty looking Peugeot.
He doesn’t get in the car. He’s waiting for someone — his wife and/or children, I assume. It turns out to be a heavy set woman who appears to be in her 60s. Now I’m really confused. I think it’s him. But who is the woman? Why the ratty Peugeot? What’s in the bag?
At this point, he has noticed me staring, but I can’t stop (but I do have the discretion to not take my iphone camera out to take pictures).
The woman thanks him, he says goodbye to her and she drives off. As he heads back up the street in the direction he came, he looks at me looking at him, and before I can avert my gaze sheepishly, he smiles warmly at me and mouths the word “bonjour” from across the street. THIS is the Johnny Depp I envision. It must be him.
Granted, I didn’t see him up close. Google alerts tells me he’s in London shooting something awesome. But wtf does Google alerts know? All they’ve ever really told me is that he thinks Angela Jolie is an “amazing mother”, Penelope Cruz is an “amazing mother” his girlfriend hates Angelina Jolie and that his kids have Bieber fever. Oh yeah, and Penelope Cruz told David Letterman he likes fart jokes.
So here’s my explanation. He was in San Tropez playing boules with the locals. When the game was over, he helped one of the women playing carry her set of boules to the car. He’s a gentleman that way.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.