This column was published Sunday, December 30, 2018 in The Manhattan Mercury.
OK, I admit it. I have a Google Alert set for my name. It’s not that I’m so full of myself that I think there will be dozens of occasional Internet postings about li’l ol’ me. It stems from earlier career responsibilities when I was charged with speaking publicly on behalf of individuals and systems.
There was a time when it was not uncommon for me to speak daily to a dozen assorted news reporters, editors and/or assignment desk jockeys. Google Alerts seemed a quick and efficient way to keep track and manage accuracy.
Today, the only time I get a Google Alert pertaining specifically to me is when one pops up indicating this column has been posted online by the Merc. Even that is hit and miss. The Merc posts all the columns, to be sure, but I’m only Google Alerted about said posting maybe one in every six or eight columns.
So much for Google Alert accuracy.
An unintended, positive, or at least entertaining, side consequence is I get to learn what other Mike Matsons with online presences are up to. I receive regular updates on many of my namesake counterparts.
One Mike Matson, for instance, is a hotshot investment banker type who regularly weighs in on various and sundry medical technology/diagnostics stock opportunities. I was recently alerted and linked to a rather lengthy online q and a involving Wall Street Mike Matson.
“…just wondering if some of the growth acceleration that we’re seeing here… transseptal needles and things like that, which made me think of some of the structural heart procedures, TAVR and Watchman and then complex PCI as well, radial, these kinds of secular growth trends within the cardiology space – how much of your business is exposed to these trends and is that helping your growth?”
That’s a particularly penetrating question, Matson.
Judging from his website, his office is just south of the Empire State Building in midtown Manhattan.
On the other side of the country, we find Mike Matson of Mike’s Phat Frogs, an Orange County-based dealer in amphibious creatures. Apparently, there’s an entire reptile collecting cottage industry alive and thriving in North America with people trafficking in frogs, snakes, salamanders, newts and other miscellaneous slimy beasts. Like any such marketplace, I suspect, there are some charlatans and it turns out my man, Mike Matson of Mike’s Phat Frogs, may be one.
All manner of consternation and woe has been posted after dealings with Mike Matson:
“… this guy FLAT OUT LIED to me.”
“I did speak with Mike Matson at the Phoenix Repticon back in May. I distinctly recall him saying that his Madagascar Hognoses were farmed.”
“I emailed this Mike Matson guy about hedgehogs. He doesn’t even have the damn animals but will ORDER them for me once I pay for them. He really is the scam artist they are all saying!”
Then there’s Mike Matson, an elected alderman in Davenport, Iowa, who toyed briefly with the notion of parlaying his municipal government fiefdom into a run for governor, before encountering the cold, hard reality of a statewide crusade.
“What has become apparent in my travels is that my grassroots campaign will not raise the millions necessary to run a highly competitive race.”
The dreams of Des Moines die hard, Alderman Mike Matson.
Then there was Mike Matson, militant Texas secessionist fugitive from justice who rode like the wind to make it to the border of Mexico, only to be gunned down by John Law in the rugged terrain of west Texas.
Lest we forget Mike Matson, the outdoor enthusiast, who wrote some travel books about hiking in Utah. I’ll encounter him occasionally during online transactions involving my own book. I should send him a note, “Yo Matson, I’ll buy your book if you buy mine.” Perhaps I could pass along some suggestions for his future book titles, like “One Foot in Front of the Other,” or “Meandering to Moab.”
Then there’s me, mild-mannered columnist for a great daily newspaper in the middle of the country. Opining every other Sunday from my modest domicile on the upper west side of the other Manhattan. Keeping an eye on my namesakes spanning the continent. Fighting a never-ending battle for truth, justice and reputation management.