how I almost made it with nicole kidman in seattle

FELLOW ROCK & ROLL FAN and beer-drinker Steve Adams posted a jaypeg poster on my Facebook page this morning (below). It immediately brought back memories that I thought I had suppressed. This story involves three of Steve’s Australian neighbors Down Under: the ancient desert spooky thing Mamu, the legendarily ferocious Drop Bear, and the extraordinarily lovely actress Nicole Kidman.

When she was still single, I might add right up front. I wouldn’t be with Nicole Kidman if she were not! (Of course.)

I am going to assume that Ms Kidman needs no introduction, but that the Drop Bear does. The following is taken directly from the Australian Museum‘s website entry on Drop Bears:

Aboriginal Australians believe the Drop Bear to be a favorite form of a native shape-shifter.

“The drop bear (Thylarctos plummetus) is around the size of a very large dog with coarse orange fur with some darker mottled patterning (as seen in most Koalas). It is a heavily built animal with powerful forearms for climbing and holding on to prey. It lacks canines, using broad powerful premolars as biting tools instead. 

Examination of kill sites and scats suggest mainly medium to large species of mammal make a substantial proportion of the animal’s diet. Often, prey such as macropods are larger than the Drop Bear itself.

Drop Bears hunt by ambushing ground dwelling animals from above, waiting up to as much as four hours to make a surprise kill. Once prey is within view, the Drop Bear will drop as much as eight metres to pounce on top of the unsuspecting victim. The initial impact often stuns the prey, allowing it to be bitten on the neck and quickly subdued.”

What the Museum ignores is the fact that Aboriginal Australians believe the Drop Bear to be a favorite form of a native shape-shifter. They also believe that this shape-shifter has adapted comfortably to the white man’s century and enjoys taking the forms of movie and pop stars.

I found this out the hard way in 1989 when I was working in downtown Seattle at a forgettable sales job. I worked the late afternoon-early evening shift, so I was usually at the bus stop a few minutes after 8 o’clock.


This is the jaypeg ‘poster’ that Steve Adams shared with me on Facebook of a dreaded Drop Bear having gotten the drop on this poor blighter! The poster contains a warning from the Australian Department of Dangerous Fauna Management: “Dropbears are a very real danger to all Australians. Almost one in ten Australians has been attacked by a Dropbear, and the rate is even higher for foreign visitors. Don’t become another statistic. Always beware low branches and doorframes. Look up! Stay Alive.” This could have been me . . .

Excuse me, I need some help

One night, as I was walking down 4th Avenue to get the 545 to Bellevue, I heard someone say “Excuse me . . . I need some help.” It came from a table in front of one of the countless independently owned coffee shops that made Seattle so marvelous for espresso-lovers (before Starbucks wiped them all out).

I stopped and turned and there was Nicole Kidman looking up at me from beneath a paisley babushka.

Seattle used to be home to countless independent coffee shops that made the area marvelous for espresso-lovers!

Now, Ms Kidman was hardly a household name at that time, but I was fan of Australian films and had seen Dead Calm with Kidman a few months before, so I immediately recognized the beautiful woman calling for my attention. 1

I asked what she needed and she explained that she was in Seattle for some Catholic charity event, and needed some help with “things” in her hotel room.

Would I help?

Hoowah, would I help?!!?

So she talked me into going with her to her hotel room (no hard sell there). Once in her room, she was quick about telling me her “needs.”

Almost bossy about it.


Rock formation in the desert of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara of Australia.

This is a sedimentarily striated rock formation in the desert of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara of Australia. It would not look out of place in the southwestern desert areas of the United States. 

Bossy women with accents

I was a little nervous—bossy women with Australian accents were almost as sexy as bossy women with South African accents—so I had to use the bathroom to brush my teeth. (I always carried ‘personals’ along with a sketchbook and pencils and pens in my man-bag; you know, just in case.) And I had to pee.

As I said, I was nervous so I was a wee bit sloppy in the bathroom.

When I walked into the bedroom, something dropped from the top of the wardrobe onto my head and attacked me!

It was screeching and growling!

It was strong as a leopard!

But I didn’t have to fight it off much: for some reason, it screeched loudly and ran out the window and up the fire escape!


Painting of Australian Spooky Spirits by Nura Rupert.

Spooky Spirits by Nura Rupert from 2006 is a synthetic polymer painting on linen (approximately 3 x 4 feet, or 92 x 122 cm). It is very difficult to find a depiction of a Mamu, but Ms. Rupert’s paintings capture a childlike sense of the dread of spookiness that is universal in the human spirit.

I made it with Nicole Kidman!!!

I thought it was a Koala bear, but had never thought of them as vicious. A little research led me to identify it as an Australian Drop Bear. Further research with a few knowledgeable sources—I had a friends that dealt in the types of investigations that would have titillated Mulder and shaken Scully—I concluded the following:

1. What attacked me was a supernatural creature related to the Mamu of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara. 2

2. It had taken the shape of a Drop Bear, as Mamus never allow themselves to be seen in their natural form outside of Australia.

3. It had initially taken the form of Nicole Kidman because it too had seen Dead Calm and thought Nicole Kidman would attract almost any man.

Here is what I also learned: I was lucky that I had been sloppy in the bathroom, as the smell of toothpaste and urine offends drop bears.

I was very, very lucky to have escaped with my life!

Still, I was bummed: that’s probably as close to sleeping with Nicole Kidman as I am gonna get in this life . . .


HEADER IMAGE: You know what the critter at the top of this page is by now, so who needs to see more, right? Instead, I’m just going to post a photo of the actress-as-redhead. And yes, this is the real Kidman, not a shape-shifting imitation like the one that seduced me twenty-six years ago when I thought I had made it with Nicole Kidman . . . 3

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1  Dead Calm is a suspense-thriller film from 1989 directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Sam Neill, Nicole Kidman, and Billy Zane. It was based on the 1963 novel by Charles Williams and filmed around the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Not bad if I recall correctly.

2   The Mamu is an Australian destruction spirit, a dingo spirit, that eats and absorbs the spirits of children who stray at night. (Godchecker)

3   Some of the facts above were made up by me for this fantasy. You figure out which is which . . .

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2 Replies to “how I almost made it with nicole kidman in seattle”

  1. Grommet (?) willing and the levy don’t break, most of the above won’t happen!
    Having been a few feet from fame and the famous a couple of times mine-self, I feel your feelings of sadness and restraint, but at least the Drop Bear didn’t getcha!
    That, ma’bouy, was a close one.

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