When I was in grade school, my parents decided to take a family trip to Chicago. This was a "very big deal" then, because my family never went anywhere more than a two hour's drive time from home (ours being in dead central Wisconsin, so Madison was about as "big city" as it ever got for us). Anyway, while heading into Chicago my dad accidentally got on the dreaded "loop," at which point my mom started freaking the f' out and stressed my dad out so f'ing bad that we never went on any "big city" trips again throughout the duration of my time under their roof. Weird how that memory has stuck with me over 40 years later, but I've got Chicago on my mind because that's where you're about to go in a much smoother and far less stressful manner with Timothy Johnson.
For most of my working life I've had this unfortunate habit of taking on more than I can logistically handle; or, I don't know, maybe it's just a thing where I have a really hard time saying "no" to people? Hmm. Reading that now it's clear I'm a prime candidate for a manager, but then again I'm also nowhere near those big, dick-swinging, there-goes-10-percent-of-your-income leagues, so it's not exactly a viable option in my small fry shoes. All of that is neither here nor there, though, aside from the fact I dug one hell of a deep hole for myself last summer when I agreed to participate in the Subliminal Project's 30th anniversary art show for The New Deal—a skateboard company started by Andy Howell, Steve Douglas, and Paul Schmitt way back in 1990.
Soon after the United States started shutting down—well, some of it at least, because god knows how spring breaking must go on come hell, high water, or deadly pandemic—we decided to throw an impromptu art contest for anyone who wished to creatively span the unexpected time indoors.
So you've met Wisconsin's Max Murphy. Now meet Minnesota's Ben Narloch. His name actually sounds a bit to the Scottish side, but I never really asked about his heritage in this interview. In fact, I mostly asked a lot of nonsense, but in my book that's how you get to know someone best.
So which is it, Max or Hank? Because I’ll be honest, I was confused as fuck at first and didn't know what the hell to call you.
My name is Max, but my nickname is Hank. I was probably 19 or 20 when my friends started calling me Hank. It was during the flip phone era, and I was at my friend joshs having a barbecue when I got a text message saying “hank?” My friend Tim had tried to text me “ganja?” but his flip phone autocorrected it to “hank.” So after that all my close friends always called me Hank.