Dan Flamingo had been banished from Hollywood. He had made his living there by conducting tours of movie-star homes for wide-eyed tourists.
When he drove his tour bus onto the front lawn of Sylvester Stallone's Hollywood home Stallone himself threatened to de-tour Flamingo if he ever set foot in Hollywood again.
That's when Flamingo drove his tour bus cross country to Sanibel. Word had gotten out that many celebrities were seeking the peace and quiet normally associated with Sanibel and taking up residence there.
Flamingo rubbed his hands in glee. He planned on starting up his celebrity-home tour-guide business again and making it big. There was only one problem. Dan didn't know where any of the Sanibel celebrities lived. And furthermore, he had no information at all on which celebrities lived in Sanibel.
But if our hero Dan Flamingo had any talents which he could call upon when needed, he was resourceful, dogged and dishonest.
He went to the Sanibel post office, presented a phony FBI badge to the clerk and said "I'm Barton Fink, special FBI agent here in Sanibel. I've been assigned the job of protecting the privacy of well-known celebrities from rowdy autograph seekers and star worshipers. I'll need a list of names and addresses of your celebrities."
The clerk scratched his head and said, "Okay, I'm sworn to do my duty and I'll help in any way I can. Let me get out the classified list of Sanibel celebrities."
The clerk disappeared for a moment and returned with a massive directory. He began thumbing through it. "Let's see, celebrities, celebrities. Ah, here's one. Raymond Barnstock," his eyes lit up while Flamingo's narrowed.
"Raymond Barnstock? Who the hell is Raymond Barnstock?"
"You don't remember Raymond Barnstock?" the clerk asked incredulously. "Raymond Barnstock is the only resident of Sanibel who ever played in the major leagues. He was once called up by the Detroit Tigers. His first time up he was hit in the head by Bob Feller and spent six months in the hospital.
"He recovered but never played baseball again. He's a kind of folk hero around Sanibel."
Flamingo said, "I mean real celebrities. Movie stars, recording artists, U.S. Senators, that kind of thing."
The clerk continued thumbing through the directory. "Ah, here's one; Thornton Paradox."
"Thornton Paradox. He's our greatest living actor. He was once in a movie with Cary Grant. He played a passenger in an elevator riding up with Grant. He was on screen for two seconds and had no speaking lines. But when he came home to Sanibel after the movie opened, he was given a ticker-tape parade on Periwinkle."
Flamingo's shoulders sagged. He was at a loss for words. The clerk said, "I can find you some more of our celebrities if you like."
"No, no, you've been most kind and cooperative as it is. I won't intrude on your busy schedule any further," Flamingo said as he beat a hasty retreat from the Sanibel post office.
Early the next morning, he departed Sanibel in his tour bus and headed for a city he was certain had many more celebrities than Sanibel Boise, Idaho.