The Monday Morning Power Digest: August 1, 2022
Back to school, back to school, to prove to dad I'm not a fool...
August is here and where in the hell has summer gone? Hope you’re taking advantage wherever you are. Got about a month left to make this one count.
If you haven’t already, toss a sub my way and share this with a friend or colleague you think might enjoy this content.
Last week was the biggest MMPD in the history of the MMPD. All gas, no brakes from here on out.
That being that, let’s get to it.
Brian McGannon Throwback Column of the Week
Late ‘90s Deep Cut of the Week
Adult Suggestion You May Not Want To Hear of the Week
People, creative people specifically, seem to hit their stride when they get sober.
I love alcohol. Like, I love a good buzz. More-so, I used to love getting rip roaring drunk at bars. I used to love shutting it down at 2 a.m. and revving it back up at brunch the next morning at 11 a.m., ordering DoorDash when I got home and crashing into bed before sundown only to be absolutely miserable Monday. I used to love extending happy hour past 10 p.m. and make the questionable drive to work the next morning.
Now that I’m older, I find myself wondering what I missed out on by extending my adolescence through booze. I’m not condemning people who drink. I still drink. I’ll even let it rip some nights (talking binge drinking. Five or more drinks, you guys). It is central to so many friendships and relationships I have. I still love a couple of stiff ones at a party or a frosty beer on the porch after some yard work. This is by no means a plea for anyone to quit drinking.
Just doing a bit of introspection on this Monday morning.
Is it alcoholism? I don’t think so, but I do think a lot of guys (and gals) like me have this weird relationship with alcohol where we enjoy it, but also are certain we could walk away from it if we wanted to. I just don’t want to.
TFM/PGP Throwback Story of the Week
Last week, I detailed some behind-the-scenes stuff from my first year at Grandex and took a look into what led to the end of my time there. Turns out, y’all eat that kind of content for breakfast, lunch and dinner because the MMPD did some serious numbies last week. So I wanted to take a page out of Joe Nullet’s book and talk to you guys about my life in Austin and the early days of PGP.
I made no money when I moved to Austin. I mean no money. My starting salary was $35,000 a year, a measly $1,000 relocation bonus, with a monthly traffic bonus that was anywhere from $250-500. I slept on my buddy Mike’s couch for three weeks when I moved there. My landlord screwed me over on my move-in date. I showed up on our move-in date and our kitchen didn’t have a goddamn floor. There was just a hole and some bare floor joists.
I got my revenge a year later when a buddy let me know that Texas has a ROBUST tenants bill of rights and it allowed me to sue the everloving shit out of that scumbag slumlord. Score one for the Show-Me State.
Tired of taking advantage of Mike and his roommates’ generosity, I moved into a Super 8 in North Austin for a week (not great!) while my landlord finished up some final touches (a floor) at my apartment. I was literally homeless my first month in Austin and if you’ve ever been to Austin, many people never get past the homeless stage. I was already coming out ahead.
Grandex was expanding rapidly at that time. Joe and I started within a month of one another. Within two months of my start date, we’d hired an in-house accountant, full-time marketing person for Rowdy Gentleman, full-time graphic designer and had built a remote roster of over two dozen writers across the country for PGP, TSM and TFM combined.
In the six months after I was hired, Grandex made a grand total of 10 full-time hires, including a TFM legend who was hired in a very important strategic position within the company’s executive leadership. When his first day came around, he was nowhere to be found. He was on a golf trip in Mexico. Didn’t tell anybody. Took PTO week one. Up and vanished Don Draper style before he got his keycard. Absolute legend.
He wasn’t around very long.
Most everyone who moved to Austin to work for Grandex at that time was highly motivated. Highly. The office was buzzing from the moment we put Chartbeat (our live traffic ticker) on the big screen, til the time we headed to Key Bar or Little Woodrow’s on West Sixth for happy hour.
^I literally thought this was the coolest video I’ve ever seen when it came out.
We got mobbed at Austin City Limits. We were getting recognized while out at dinner and lunch. We had a stalker. We had several restraining orders in multiple states on people who sent us death threats in the comments and forums. I’d say that’s a handful of ingredients for a weak-to-moderate cocktail of legitimate, or at least arguable, fame.
UT kids hated us, though. I mean, they absolutely hated us. We generally tried to steer clear of the UT campus with the exception of a select few tailgates where we knew we wouldn’t get a half eaten boudin thrown at us. We steered clear of anything around campus. It just wasn’t going to be worth the hassle of dealing with the obnoxiously affluent and hair-trigger tempers of 3,000 clearance rack Winklevoss twins who were pissed off that some kids from Texas State, Mizzou and Florida were actually becoming successful in their backyard with an idea that had been born in so many frat houses across the country in the last 20 years.
We almost got in a full-scale brawl at Cain and Abel’s one night after some absolutely hammered UT boys recognized us and decided to show us how things were done on the mean streets of Highland Park and Westlake Hills.
“Hey, TFM. Fuck you, you fat fuck!”
It’s just some holiday weight. Chill out.
“Hey, Total (redacted) Move, suck my dick!”
I bet you’d like that.
“Y’all make frat guys look like fucking losers.”
You’re doing a pretty good job of that yourself.
It seemed wise to stick to West Sixth with the SMU grads from that night on.
Some were more recognized than others, but I don’t think it ever caused friction. There was meat on the table and we were all eating plenty, which makes the demise of the company even more unfortunate. We had legitimate stars within the company. Some made it out and make very good livings for themselves to this day off their content.
Like I said, I don’t have many regrets about my time in Austin. Shit was fun. Live an interesting story.
MMPD Shoutout of the Week
Thanks to subscriber Kyle who found me last Friday at Harp BBQ. We chatted a few minutes about Central Texas style ‘que and the MMPD. Good to meet you, Kyle.
That’s it for this week. Go get ‘em.