Paulette Burroughs issues Bryan Hanks-themed cologne

Paulette Burroughs hands out bottles of her new cologne during family day at Maury Correctional Institute/Photo by Anthony Yerkovich

Lenoir County’s most famous export Paulette Burroughs is back on the scene with a new product, a new attitude, and a new tattoo.

“I was in the newspaper game for a long time,” Burroughs says while showing some kids in her neighborhood her new Tupac tattoo. “After a couple of decades at the Free Press I landed an office job at the Bucklesberry Gazette, but unbeknownst to me, they have a strict policy when it comes to sobriety and the workplace.”

Bucklesberry Gazette Human Resources Director Jonathan Massey says the company’s policy is a straightforward one.

“When our manual was written there were a few obvious jokes thrown in,” Massey said. “For instance, our policy regarding drugs and alcohol states that all employees ‘must be sober by noon’. Now obviously that’s a joke, but Mrs. Burroughs took it to heart. It routinely took a team of interns pumping her full of coffee and Windex to get her coherent enough to lick postage stamps. Mind you, the stamps were self-adhesive, but whenever they issue the Elvis commemorative stamps, you’d best back up and let her get it out of her system.”

After being fired from the Bucklesberry Gazette, Burroughs began a journey that resulted in self-discovery.

“I didn’t set out to find myself, I just kept forgetting where I lived,” Burroughs said. “I went for a walk and ended up at a mirror factory on the outskirts of town. As I stood there admiring the view, I heard a familiar voice on the other side of the fence. It was a joyously boisterous blast from my past. It was my former boss at the Free Press, Bryan Hanks.”

As it turns out, Hanks has an account at the Reflections Mirror Company in La Grange.

“Bryan Hanks is our best customer,” said Reflections Mirror owner Max Cherry. “From a young age, he was taught to sneak up on glasses of water and mirrors alike. But, having many irons in the fire sometimes causes him to be forgetful. Occasionally he’ll walk in front of a mirror at normal speed, which results in droves of shattered glass and esteem.”

Bruce Bannister of Bannister’s Fine talks about big savings and rare Sunday business hours.

In the wake of their reunion, Paulette was pleasantly surprised to learn that Hanks (now the host of the Bryan Hanks Radio Show) still smells the same as he did 20 years ago.

“I used to walk up to Hanks and smell him as if he were a gardenia,” Burroughs said. “For some reason, he always smelled like a combination of French toast and WD-40. It’s irresistible.”

Having lost her most recent job as a spokesperson for Crayola’s short-lived 16-piece ‘Shades of Flavor’ crayon/cigarette combo packs for kids, Burroughs was in desperate need of direction and drinking money.

“Last month I met Hanks for lunch, and knowing he’d be out cold after drinking two Shirley Temples, I took the opportunity to swab his arm with a Q-Tip,” Burroughs said. “My fourth husband works at Quantico, so I sent him the sample for analysis.”

In a matter of days, Burroughs received a chemical recipe from Quantico that would allow her to faithfully recreate what she lovingly refers to as ‘The Hanks Stank’.

“I was able to pick up most of the ingredients at the grocery store,” Burroughs said. “The manager couldn’t believe one person was buying 40 pounds of out-of-date shrimp.”

Chris Blizzard of Blizzard Building Supply in Kinston explains the difference between their treated lumber and the inferior product sold by their competitors.

While dialing in the HankStank recipe, initial testing caused a few problems.

“We brought in a few guys to test it on,” said Michael Talbot of Burroughs, Inc. “Of the first dozen test subjects, seven guys lost their water, four lost the ability to blink, and one has been brushing his teeth with a brick ever since.”

With the lawsuits settled and the formula perfected, Burroughs plans to go to live with her HankStank perfume by Dec. 1.

“My goal is to have every man within a thousand-mile radius smelling like Bryan Hanks by New Year’s Eve,” Burroughs said. “The Autobahn Society has warned us that the collective aroma may redirect millions of migrating birds back up to Canada, but they have weird bacon up there, so they deserve it.”

HankStank is available at and wherever fine animal husbandry products are sold.

Jon Dawson’s books are available at

The entire archive of shows can be found at

The Bryan Hanks Show airs on 960-AM in Kinston and daily at 7 a.m. & 3 p.m. It also airs on the suite of stations in New Bern and Greenville (107.5-FM) at 6 p.m.

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