About two weeks ago, when she first heard something rooting through her garbage cans after dark, Evergreen resident Brie Kammhem-Behr was annoyed. Sunday night, after she staked out her driveway and caught the culprit in a flashlight’s accusing beam, she became truly frightened.
“At first all I could see was a dark shape hunched over a pile of trash and tearing at a half-eaten Hot-Pocket with its teeth,” she said on Monday morning, still clutching an aluminum baseball bat and clearly shaken. “Then he looked up and snarled at me and his eyes reflected the light like a pair of golden globes. It was Johnny Depp.”
As unlikely as that sounds, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigators believe that Kammhem-Behr’s terrifying discovery may go far toward explaining the sudden rash of over-turned trash cans, frightened household pets and soaring Cutty Sark sales that have plagued central Evergreen during the last three weeks.
“It’s starting to add up,” explains deputy Gilbert Grape, carefully dusting a deeply-chewed, silver-tipped ebony cigarette holder for fingerprints. “A jogger found this in a porta-potty at Evergreen Lake that we think Depp may be using for shelter.”
For one Main Street business owner who wishes to remain anonymous until she’s heard back from her agent, the J.D. sighting provides the missing piece of a messy puzzle.
“Every morning when I come in, the delivery porch is littered with stale croissant ends and Galois butts,” she says. “Now that I know Johnny might be crashing in there, I should be able to get a fortune for them on e-Bay.”
Reached by telephone at his Los Angeles office, film-agent Morey Amsterdam declined to give Depp’s present location, or even say when he and his most illustrious client last spoke. He did confirm, however, that Depp walked off the set of his latest picture, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Planks a Million,” nearly a month ago, putting the project on indefinite hiatus
Still, one must ask what personal demons could drive a celebrity of Depp’s stature to such wretched depths. According to the megastar’s therapist, celebrity headshrinker Dr. Royce Carruthers, the answer is tragically simple.
“Basically, he began to feel snubbed by your community and it sent him around the bend,” Carruthers explains. “He fell in love with your town last year, and did his best to embrace it with his whole heart. He went house-hunting among your beautiful hills, shopped in your quaint groceries, noshed at your local bagelries, even took to walking around your lovely lake early each morning. Yet everybody acted like he wasn’t even there. For a film artist who’s adored by millions, that was intolerable. Medically speaking, he went Froot Loops.”
While the thought of an unhinged Hollywood icon skulking around Evergreen’s quiet neighborhoods is certainly disturbing, it’s not without ample precedent. In late 2002, cinema tough-guy Al Pacino terrorized the quiet township of Cactus Creek, Nev., for nearly a month after the local Bijou closed his latest picture, “The Sense of a Wombat,” after only two weeks. And just last year, Hollywood heavyweight Susan Sarandon, esteemed in industries circles as an actress of great seriousness, spent several days wandering the tiny hamlet of Quaker Oaks, N.H., sleeping in the park and eating from birdfeeders. According to Amsterdam, the episode began when Sarandon learned that the popular half-pound “Susan Saran-Ton” garden burger at Mimi’s Silver Screen Diner in downtown Quaker Oaks had been renamed the “Adam Sandler-wich” after the prominent ham stopped to disburden himself on a dwarf chestnut tree on nearby Rural Route 86.
Even now, county personnel are bending their efforts to catching the troubled superstar. Authorities hope that deftly camouflaged snares laid in Dedisse Park and baited with plastic Oscar trophy replicas will snare the two-time nominee so that he can be safely darted and relocated to a less natural environment.
“We don’t want to hurt him,” Grape says. “We just want to end the fear and loathing in Evergreen.”