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Have payola ready for Brian's birthday

So it took almost six years of writing columns, but I finally received my first payola in the mail last week: a T-shirt from the good folks at Gordy's Hi-Hat in Cloquet. Seems they remembered an article I wrote a couple years back about Gordy's mouthwatering, waist-expanding delicacies and they wanted to remind me how much they enjoyed it. The same way my digestive system reminds me a few hours later how much I enjoyed a couple dozen Gordy's coney baskets.

The famous Northland burger restaurant just opened up for its 56th season of providing people with a reason to drive to Cloquet. Not an easy task, believe me. Have you ever gotten a whiff of that town? It's an aromatic blend of wet dog, sawdust poop and burnt tree shavings that wriggles up your nostrils and wraps itself around the part of your brain that used to identify odors but will, from that moment onward, only be used to tentatively sniff ranch dressing to see if it's gone bad. (It has.)

I'm happy for the free shirt, of course, but here's the deal: It's the wrong size. I'm not sure what to do next. If I don a gas mask and travel to Cloquet to return it, I'll look like the biggest ingrate since Donald Trump's campaign manager. ("I didn't think he'd actually win! I've got places to be this November!") But I also can't wear it because, after multiple Gordy's runs the last couple of summers, my, um, shoulders are too, uh, broad. Yeah, that's it! It won't fit over my MASSIVE shoulders!

The only fair thing to do is clarify a few Brian Specifics in order to help out all the businesses that I've mentioned in my columns. That way, I can actually use the boxes of free stuff you are all undoubtedly getting ready to send me for my birthday this summer. (July 7, if you need a reminder. Still July 7 if you don't.) So here goes:

Gordy's: My T-shirt size is XL. My burger size is Big G. Hence, the new T-shirt size.

JCPenney: I could use a new Star Wars bathrobe, desk organizer and iPhone case. Oh, and I wouldn't kick a Death Star waffle maker out of the kitchen. It'd go great with my Millennium Falcon juicer!

Bullyan: We've had our current RV for five years now. Just sayin' ...

Pat Benatar: You're coming to Black Bear Casino in April. And I'm pretty sure the restraining order expired a few years back.

Former Mayor Don Ness: I have enough complimentary copies of your book. QUIT SENDING THEM TO ME! MY GARAGE IS FULL!

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at He would like everyone to know that he isn’t really accepting free gifts in exchange for mentions in this column. It’s just a coincidence that KOLAR CHEVROLET BUICK GMC CADILLAC is mentioned prominently at the end this week.

Brian Matuszak

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at