Rubber Chicken Scratchings: Some of Brian Matuszak’s favorite thingsLet area funnyman Brian Matuszak entertain you with his new column in the Budge, "Rubber Chicken Sractching," named after his theater company.
By: Brian Matuszak, Budgeteer News
What I like: I like a thunderstorm without the storm. That is, a sky full of dark clouds with distant thunder rumbling around inside of them. It sounds ominous, yet comforting to me, somehow. I leave the house for my power walk, confident I can get my two miles in before it rains. Five minutes later, those clouds let loose with a thick, wet sheet of rain, and I have no umbrella, no hat and not a dry square inch of body on me. That’s when I don’t like thunderstorms anymore.
I like 7:30 a.m. That’s the time when I am alone in a house full of family. (Something I also like very much.) My wife, daughter and three cats are still asleep, and I have the house to myself. This time of day is crammed full of potential. I could get s-o-o-o-o much done today, including starting my groundbreaking novel, losing the last six pounds of my weight-loss goal and decluttering the computer area.
But then 9:30 a.m. rolls around, and all I have accomplished is plugging in the Wii Fit Board, checking my e-mail, updating my Facebook status and posting an anonymous blog about Todd Fedora on the Duluth Citizens Blog. Before I know it, the house is awake, the phone is ringing and the cats are using the Wii Fit Board as a scratching post/hairball depository. That’s when I don’t like mornings anymore.
I like knowing where the laughs are. I have entertained many groups over the years at conventions and holiday parties, and there are certain comedy sketches that are sure-fire. There is no greater feeling of power than the one that courses through you right before you deliver the punchline that you know will bring down the house. You’ve been building up to it all evening, and now the moment is right there, waiting to be unleashed. Two more lines … you lick your lips in anticipation … one more line … you take a deep breath and get ready to pause for the laugh explosion you know is coming … and you deliver that guaranteed laugh-line with just the right mixture of precision and goofiness — at the exact same moment that someone at the front table has a coughing jag that obliterates all sound in a two-mile radius. You have to pause and deliver the joke again, but it’s too late; you can’t go back. That’s when I don’t like knowing where the laughs are anymore.
I like calling Duluth landmarks by their original names, their real names. Channel 3 is Channel 3 and Channel 6 is Channel 6. They are not the Northland’s NewsCenter (NewsCenters?). And TV weather men are TV weather men, not “certified meteorologists.” The Arena is the Arena, not the DECC. (And now we have to remember two different arena names? I’m just calling them The Arena and The Other One.) The Budgeter is the Budgeter, not the Budgeter Press, or News, or whatever the heck it is now. And it sure as shoot is not the Budgete-e-e-e-eer. It should sound like one who budgets. A Budgeter. Not a long “ear” sound at the end of it. When did that happen? I demand answers! I demand accountability! I demand — What’s that? They want to pay me for writing a column about what I like?
I like the Budgeteer.
Brian Matuszak has been difficult and demanding since February 2008. He is the co-founder of Renegade Comedy Theatre and Rubber Chicken Theater, which is performing “American Buffalo” by David Mamet now through June 19. Check out www.rubberchickentheater.com for more info. ... He also enjoys shameless plugs.