Then and Now and Always: Brian Harper

That loin-tingling the people of Des Moines have felt during recent sunsets? It’s been nothing less than the ever-accumulating and surging aura of Cubs Triple-A affiliate hitting coach and business masochist Banknotes Harper, forever at the helm of his Sloop of Enterprise, his Vehicle of Industry.

And while other greats become once-greats, only a few can prowl the latest Sears catalogue like a Silver Fox of Mammon, can browse the information freeway like a Venture Ninja, can sift through the latest e-zines for The Next Big Thing’s prettier sister.

There’s arbitrage to be had in virgin forest lumber. There’s a deal to make with the plumbers unions of Portland. There’s a profit gleaming on the horizon and it’s named Shorting the Wheat Market.

But Banknotes Harper didn’t know these things already; he did them already. While you were trying to delete a U2 song from your iPhone 5, he was selling the entire country of Cambodia to a chain of retirement centers in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area from his Double iPhone Infinity. While you were checking your Facebook for updates on Brenda’s trip to Gatlinburg, Harper was selling Mark Zuckerberg prime real estate along the wind-ravaged coasts of Canada’s secret tropical islands.

And so when the good people of Des Moines, Iowa, lay in bed at night, stirring in an unclear fervor, they should know with a quiet and desperate satisfaction that their little flickers of existence are but the infrastructure powering the next Ultra Deal for long-stalk Egyptian cotton, that their paving of Iowan roads and maintaining of Iowan telephone towers is the smallest token component of the world’s next Super Merger of textile manufacturing conglomerates, that every day when they wake up and flip the burgers that feed the day-time employees of the water treatment facilities for the Des Moines Water Works Company, they are in fact fueling the fuel that burns hotter than a five-star solar system — the fuel that generates profits at a 20% annual clip and doesn’t bother adding the color red to the office ink cartridge.

Banknotes Harper.

Hat tip to Josh, for posting a comment, sending an email, tweeting a tweet, writing a cloud message, sending a smoke signal, and giving us a carrier pigeon about this recent update.

Hotfoot: A Video Retrospective

Behold, in the absence of cutting-edge Japanese video, good old-fashioned American video:

Of note:

– the presence of the children’s book Fire House

– the correlation between hotfoot and surgery

– Kevin Mitchell with a hand towel on his head

– a happy-go-lucky Darryl Strawberry

– a special appearance by honorary Coneheads

– the invention of the word “perpetratree”

– the lack of acknowledgment that it should have been “perpetratee.”

– Roger McDowell’s brief but painful struggle to think of the word “bench”

– the identification of St. Louis as an exceptional hotfoot locale

– a rare, slightly oblique reference to the Vietnam War

– the unabashed praise for McDowell’s gum-spooling technique

– the somewhat trite but still effective use of the word “mirrors”

– a possible demonstration of voodoo or some other dark art

– the presence of orange, possibly Warholian fright wigs

– a lot of unorthodox, even humorous wearing of caps

– the acknowledgment that one’s own gum is not as gross as someone else’s gum

– a now-nostalgic appearance of the letters VHS

– Sid Fernandez, in profile

– a youthful Ron Darling

– the absence of an OSHA-approved fire extinguisher