Mike Magnante

July 16, 2020

Mike MagnanteWhat’s It Good For?


I was in the room downstairs where we keep the drum set my sons bash on occasionally. It’s also the guest room, at least in theory. (What guests?) It’s also where my wife works. It’s also where I work. She works in there on weekends. I work in there during the week. I also write in there. It’s where I am right now. Anyway, this story of the summer when the world is dying or being born begins when I was in there. I was working. I used to go to an office for my job, but now I don’t go anywhere.

“Daddy, Daddy!” one of my sons yelled from the other room. I came out. They were both yelling.

“It’s a daddy longlegs! It’s a daddy longlegs! Get it out of here!”

Everyone in the house except me is afraid of most bugs, but especially centipedes and spiders. I couldn’t see him at first. My eyes are for shit. Finally I saw the spindly being, barely more substantial than an idea.

“Can’t we let him be?” I said.

“It’s OK to kill bugs when they’re inside the house,” my older son said, authoritatively.

“Kill him! Kill him!” my younger son yelled.

There were a couple of baseball cards in the corner. There are always baseball cards lying around. My younger son asks once every several weeks to play with a sack of them that I keep in the closet. He flings them everywhere for a while. Eventually we clean them up, or I mostly clean them up, but I always do a shitty job of it, and there are always baseball cards in the corners. They are, it turns out, perfect for swiftly killing centipedes and spiders. A book, by comparison, is too unwieldy, a magazine too floppy. A baseball card is just right.

The thing I killed can be seen spread across the 1992 Mike Magnante card at the top of this page. Part of his body covers Royals Stadium, which is now known as Kaufman Stadium. I’ve heard it’s a nice place to see baseball game. I’ve never been. I always planned to, vaguely. Now? The spindly, weightless idea of such a thing. It’s too much. To be sitting in the sun in a ballpark with thousands of others, the home team in white and ringing blue. Get it out. Get it out. Get it out of here.



  1. I used to get him mistaken for Joe Magrane all the time.

  2. My eyes suck too… and I don’t mind spiders (unless they’re crazy big). If that’s the case, I’d grab a Magnante and squish it too.

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