know your bartender (or don't): Josh Qualls

Josh 3.jpg

Look, I get it. Not everybody likes to talk about themselves. Some of the people who work for Imminent have been happy to sit with me for a blog post. Others, including my beloved wife, forced me to get a little more creative.  Sometimes it’s born of that Scandinavian thing that permeates Minnesota society; the credo that looks down on anyone who brags, or shows swagger, or, you know, says their own name in public. Other people are just kind of shy and introverted, and don’t want to let the world see too much. Others could possibly be in the witness protection program and have not completely learned their new backstory. It’s okay, whatever the reason. Some people just aren’t comfortable in the spotlight.

But until I sat down with Josh Qualls, no one I had ever interviewed made me feel like I was doing battle. He would deflect questions I was throwing at him like a Stark bannerman with a shield. About all I could get out of him was that he moved around a lot as a kid, and that he has it BAD for his fiance’ (whose name may or may not be Taylor.)

And Josh and I are friends. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have to interrogate this guy. Indeed, one of the things he’s told me, is that he and a couple of his buddies actually water boarded each other because they wanted to know what the experience would be like. For fun.

You’re just not going to get anything out of him that he doesn’t want you to know.

But never fear. I am resourceful.

Somewhere along the line of this journey with Josh, he mentioned that he would like to be a film maker, which made me wonder how he would do under the spotlight of Inside the Actor’s Studio, facing the Grand Inquisitor himself, James Lipton. That made me think of that list of questions Lipton would always pose to his guests at the end of each interview. I did some digging, and came up with his famous Pivot Questionnaire. Josh agreed to fill it out by email, if nobody else was in the room, if the room was at least thirty feet below ground, and there was only enough light for him to see his keyboard.

The result of our agreement is the fascinating document that appeared in my inbox last night. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the great Imminent bartender, Mr. Josh Qualls…


What is your favorite word? Inflammable because it means the same thing as flammable but hardly anyone knows that. It's super misleading and funny. 

What is your least favorite word? Can't. It’s a cliché, I know, but I believe everything is possible. If not today, then tomorrow. 

 What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? I love meat. Going to the grocery store to get a hunk of meat, making the meat, and then eating the meat is a pretty spiritual experience for me. 

What turns you off? Vegetables.

What is your favorite drug? Love. (Awwwww. I'm poetic). I love being around Taylor, my fiancé, she gives me so much energy and life. It honestly annoys her sometimes because I have a lot of energy, but she loves me all the same. 

What is your favorite curse word? Fuck. Keeping the famous words of Dom Torretto, "it's not what's under the hood, but who's behind the wheel" in mind, fuck can be used in any situation and for destruction if the right driver is behind it. 

What sound or noise do you love? The cries of mercy from my enemies. 

What sound or noise do you hate? (editor’s note: Josh did not write an answer to this question, so we will take that to mean that Josh hates the sound of silence.)

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Directing movies. Orrrrr, being an international assassin 

What profession would you not like to do? Anything in government

In Heaven, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? You were a liver in a world of dead people. (It's funny see, because it sounds like I lived but I actually was an organ). 

We’re pretty sure he was kidding about that international assassin thing. Or maybe not, and he’s just trying to throw us off by answering the question directly.

Either way, our sly, smart and elusive friend will be at Imminent probably until he graduates from St. Olaf in May. He and his fiancé are getting married in late June and then plan to move to Austin, Texas. Until then, you can enjoy the rarified air of his company at the bar as he pours you another pint. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with him. There are few people out there as interesting as Josh.

If that’s his real name.