#3. Diddy's a Bit of a Hoarder
Diddy clearly has at least some help cleaning the place -- to judge by the person cleaning the place who waved at me as I prowled about -- but it still felt surprisingly cluttered.
Old computer equipment, boxes of old Wranglers, unfashionable lawn ornaments, more bodybuilding magazines; all signs that Diddy was someone who had a hard time throwing things away.
In one room, I even found four of his old gimps just hanging out, playing cards. "He doesn't need us anymore," they explained. "Yet we're still here." Indeed.
#2. Underneath His House, Diddy Has Painstakingly Recreated the Set of The Goonies
Through a trap door in the basement, I found myself in a massive, impossible cavern. Grabbing a convenient lantern, I delved farther into the caves, sidestepping waterfalls and crumbling ledges and booby traps as I went. But even to my untrained eye, it was clear that these caves weren't natural. Chisel and blasting marks scarred the walls, and the entire length of the "natural" water slide was clearly poured concrete. Diddy had made this place, hollowed it out of the earth himself, apparently so he could re-enact that beloved '80s tale of friendship and adventure, The Goonies.
I guess he re-enacts it with the gimps?
Knowing what I was dealing with, I was able to pick my way through the rest of the labyrinth and booby traps with ease, eager to see the prize at the end; recall the conclusion of the film, where the kids find a hidden pirate ship filled with treasure that they use to save their parents' crappy homes. Wanting to see how Diddy had recreated this, I clambered onto the deck of the replica ship and eagerly made my way inside. Where I found more bodybuilding magazines.
#1. P. Diddy Is a Total Class Act
The man himself showed up a couple of hours after I arrived. I don't think anyone warned him or anything, or that he was rushing back to confront me; he had some groceries with him. But he was not in the slightest bit alarmed to see me there in his house, and even sat me down while he made some of his famous milkshakes.
Diddy is just a totally cool guy who has a lot of fun stories and is totally approachable. Apparently that's why he leaves the door unlocked. He just likes meeting people who show a little initiative. He met his various gimps the same way. Not a sex thing at all, it seems; they just wanted to hang out and contribute as best they could, and they were into gimping. He asked if I'd met the gimp, and mentioned how cool he was. I agreed that he seemed super cool, and then made some kind of subtle comments to convey how I wasn't really interested in gimping myself. Diddy picked up on that right away and didn't bring it up again. Like I said: Total. Class. Act.
Apparently Diddy doesn't even have that many gimps for the Hamptons. He said Ina Garten has like 30.
I eventually got around to the heart of the matter, which was that Diddy seemed to be a lot more accepting of people wandering through his house than a normal person might, which was to say, not at all. Diddy hummed and hawed for a while, kind of avoiding the question, but after a while I kind of figured out what the deal was: He's pretty lonely. The people you meet running multinational rap and clothing enterprises can at times be a bit off-putting. Here he was, wealthier and more popular than ever, yet somehow isolated. So yeah, why not keep the front door unlocked? See what happens.
I explained to him that I often felt that my enormous intelligence and habit of unnecessarily bringing up the same also isolated me from people, and mentioned the special Japanese hugging pillows that I'd purchased to help me with that. Diddy got very excited about this news, and over the next few hours we sketched out a whole new business plan for a company that would produce ultra-high-end companionship pillows to be marketed to the prestigious and lonely. The whole production is going to be called Esteem (Diddy's name), and he even agreed to cut me in for 3 percent of the net.
I kind of had some things to do at that point, but it was still a little awkward extracting myself -- Diddy kept inviting me to hang out and watch some Top Chef episodes he had on the PVR. I explained I had a column to write, and he kind of got what I was saying, and then we had a hug that went on only about one second too long, and then I left.
The next day, Diddy sent me one of his gimps in the mail, along with a "Thank You" card, or I guess maybe the gimp came on the train and just carried the card with him. Which was a nice gesture, I guess, although I think gifts that fancy so soon comes off as a bit stalkerish.
But the gimp is pretty good at hugging.