Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Strange, Reclusive Figure

Tuesday, February 9, 2110, somewhere on the streets of Los Angeles.

Mag’s Sentence has been conducting an ongoing investigation into Mike Magnuson – keeping him under 24-hour surveillance, trying to verify if he’s actually riding his bike every afternoon (he leaves his house on a cyclocross bike, usually at three p.m. PST, and returns a couple of hours later, but we’re not sure he’s riding the whole time he’s gone); trying to verify if he’s working at his desk the twelve hours a day he claims to be working (from our vantage point on the street outside his home, we haven’t been able to ascertain the location of his study or whether he’s occupying his study: when he’s not gone with his bike, he’s in the building somewhere, is all we know); and trying to verify if he’s staying away from gluten (for the last week, we haven’t found any Jack in the Box bags in his garbage, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t sneaking hamburgers on buns somewhere else? Perhaps on his bike rides?). This investigation of Mike Magnuson, it’s worth pointing out, has been extremely difficult, especially when cameras are present – he flies into violent rages when someone tries taking a picture of him. The photograph above was taken by one our of employees – from a distance of two hundred yards. Fortunately, Mike Magnuson was taking out his garbage at the time and exchanging pleasantries with his neighbors, who had gathered in the street to admire a lovely rainbow that had formed as the Tuesday’s rains were passing from the city on into the mountains, so Mr. Magnuson didn’t see our photographer.

Shortly after that photograph was taken, we sent an operative walking up his street, with orders to stop and engage in a brief conversation with him, so we could assess his general demeanor. Our operative reports that Mike was wearing a pink winter hat, a black T-shirt, gray plaid pajama bottoms, and cheap sports-type sandals with black DeFeet socks.

This is an exactly transcript of the exchange.

Operative: Beautiful rainbow up there.

Mike Magnuson: Fuckin-A it is.

Operative: Where do you think it ends?

Mike Magnuson: Not here.

Operative: My name is [name redacted]. What’s yours?

Mike Magnuson: Steve. But back home in Chicago, people call me Schteve.

Operative: Can I ask you something?

Mike Magnuson: Depends.

Operative: Are you happy?

Mike Magnuson: You like lemons?

Operative: I beg your pardon?

Mike Magnuson: Seriously. You like lemons?

Operative: I guess so.

Mike Magnuson: I’ll get you some.

Here Mike Magnuson disappears into his back yard for a couple of minutes and returns with a brown Trader Joe’s bag full of lemons.

Mike Magnuson: They’re from my tree. I got a lot of them.

Operative: Gee. Uh. Thanks.

Mike Magnuson: Cool. See you later.

And he goes back inside, walking with a perceptible limp.

We’re currently trying to assess the meaning of this incident. Why would he say his name is Schteve? Why would he stand in the street in his pajamas?


  1. I want a Trader Joe's in Colorado. You suck! - lol


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