I lived in Seattle back in my early 20s. It’s a magical place, which I don’t say mawkishly, but practically: people are advancing tech and business cooperation in ways I simply don’t see back in New York.
HIGH QUALITY IDEAS
High Quality Ideas is a holding company for the various enterprises launched by its founders’, Sean, Luke, and some dude named Steven whom they call Biebs for reasons unknown. Since I was already out here to give a presentation to Amazon for sign language interpreting services, I figured I’d set up an outing with these three young studs who are DISRUPTING A $200 BILLION INDUSTRY (subscribe to my newsletter so that these inside jokes will spark in your mind with the power of cosmic birth).
High Quality Ideas’ latest venture is called Pitcher-Putt, which is held on the gorgeous and sprawling 18-hole mini-golf course at Seattle Golf Center. Essentially, the rules of Pitcher-Putt are as follows: each player must hold their pitcher of beer in one hand while putting with the other; additionally, you must finish your pitcher before the 18 holes are up.
Representing their new company, Sean and Luke showed up decked out in garish golf gear — from lurid knickers to flat caps, their custom-made putters retrofitted with flashlights for night-vision. But don’t get it twisted: it’s not flower-sniffing frivolity. Theirs is a commitment to an anomalous business strategy that can only be described as cultivating in their subsidiary ventures an exacting form of debauchery.
Pitcher-Putt started when Sean and Luke helped their friend Bobby move into his new place in Interbay, which happened to be right by the course. They played a few rounds, hashed out the rules, and Pither-Putt was born. Soon therefore, they started donating pitchers to the clubhouse, followed up by a pragmatic email that Luke sent to the manager regarding low-cost vendors for higher-quality pitchers — high-quality pitchers being a High Quality Idea.
They then broke ground on the Pitcher-Putt Tournament, which has consistently brought out between forty and fifty of the Seattle-area’s finest Pitcher-Putters. Last night, as I toured the links with these brave new worlders, the HQI execs took measurements around the course, for anything from hole-number signposts to fence heights for advertisement and general signage. Off the strength of the numbers they’ll draw for the tournament, Pitcher-Putt made a deal with the clubhouse to lower the cost of admission for their entrants, since each player equals at least one pitcher of beer.
Best of all, the founders of Pitcher-Putt created a unique domain — a static website — for score-keeping. So all you have to do after each hole is pull out your phone and tap how many strokes you hit. It all felt very official.
As mentioned earlier, Pitcher-Putt is but a subsidiary of Sean, Luke & Co’s parent company, High Quality Ideas, Inc. Other HQI ventures include a booze cruise (now shuttered) and Snowshambooze, the company’s annual cabin trip. Snowshambooze’s bacchanal isn’t of the desultory variety you’ll find at your more vulgar leisure trips taken by America’s noveau riche. Nay, in line with HQI’s previous ventures, Snowshambooze is highly organized, dare I say businesslike, in its approach to ratchet tomfuckery.
One such service offered by the Snowshambooze traveling company is called Dr. Franzia, which is generally provided for convivial soirees at late hours. During Dr. Franzia, doctors in lab coats, stethoscopes, and the like quiz their patients, who sit near IV caddies hooked up with bags of Franiza, on their symptoms. After taking note of a patient’s symptoms, the doctor prescribes that the patient slap the bag and chug for a medically-recommended number of seconds. It’s all very professional, above-board stuff.
Like Dead Rabbits, our young literary press, HQI displays a clear commitment to collaboration and joy — dare I say the joys of collaboration. Dead Rabbits publishes books that induce moments of deep fulfillment, whether through the sheer joys of reading a story or the more transcendental moments of epiphany. For their part, HQI instills organization and direction within a market — the market of getting fucked up — whose importance is, unfortunately, tantamount to that of its fecklessness.
And don’t get it twisted. Getting fucked up is extremely important. It’s neither a nonpartisan issue nor a moral one. For example, a lack of organization leads to drunk-driving, or addiction, or overdose. In combining chemical debauchery with anti-drug activities such as mini-golf, HQI is doing what great books do best; revealing existential paradox, manifesting it with every sip of the pitcher, and each one-armed stroke of the putter.