Today for What’s Poppin’, I sat and talked with John, a heroically talented business developer and one of my favorite people to talk Game of Thrones with. When it comes to making popcorn, this man is a loose cannon; he would describe his technique as “freestylin’,” and when I asked him to elaborate on this, he said, “I feel it out. I go off-book.” That said, let’s get to know John.
What’s your most useless talent?
Guitar Hero. Let’s just say that, in my prime, I beat more than a handful of songs on expert at 100%. Also Rock Band. That’s when the singing starts.
Can you sing?
I don’t injure people with my voice, but I also don’t inspire them.
(This prompted a very long derailment from the interview about John’s hypothetical set list for his hypothetical concert tour. It included a surprising amount of late 80s/early 90s rap.)
What’s your least favorite book?
Can I do a least favorite book-to-movie adaptation? (I allowed this.) Okay, then The Firm. Loved the book. Hated the movie.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you in the past week?
I don’t actually get embarrassed very easily. Okay, here’s one—I was at a bachelor party. I don’t remember the exact circumstances, but fate conspired to have me enter a push-up contest in front of everybody. I struggled on my last one, and I got one more in there, and then I lost. And I lost hard. It was rough.
Which Hogwarts House would you be in?
I know it’s cliche, but I like to think I’d be in Gryffindor. I’m honest. I’m a hard worker. I thrive in stressful situations.
Do you have any secret obsessions?
(Note: This question was a stumper. John almost immediately had an answer for the Harry Potter one, but when it came to secret obsessions, he said out loud to himself, “What do I even do?” I’m pretty sure I was watching him have an existential crisis right before my very eyes, until…)
Potatoes. I love any kind of potatoes. Mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, French fries, potatoes au gratin, hash browns… I love ’em.
How long would you last in the zombie apocalypse?
Forever. I’d die of old age. I’m a jack of all trades and I have a survivor’s mentality.
Tell us a story or anecdote that doesn’t usually come up in conversation.
I grew up playing soccer, and I was very serious about it. I played goalie on our club team in Colorado, which is like one of those big-deal traveling teams that people get recruited from. In fact, this guy I played with, Conrad, later went on to play for the U.S. National Team. He was a goalie, too, and he was a year younger than me, so when he came around I became the back-up goalie. And during the biggest game of the year—it was a conference game against our cross-town rivals, everything was on the line, it was like every cliched sports’ movie you’ve ever seen—Conrad got hurt. So I had to sub in. I hadn’t played all year, and it was still early in the game, 0-0, in front of thousands of people. We wound up winning 2-1 and we ended the season undefeated, 20-0. It was just cool to have contributed when everything was on the line like that.