Like most people with an admittedly selfish bent, I could go on for many hours about what I wanted for Christmas, even though it is still about seven weeks away. The nice thing is that we are down to about the last sixty days of the year 2000 and it is again time to think about presents.

I am not exactly a demanding person when it comes to gift purchases, of course, so small trinkets can often be the most meaningful gifts of all. Few things excite me more, however, than when one of my family members or friends buys me something I may use for running. It is great when you get a gift like that because it is inherently meaningful and immediately useful.

The running related gifts which I enjoy most of all, particularly in the winter, are the socks. Most people see a gift of socks as a sign that they are somewhere between second-removed cousins and sun-aged mayonnaise on the ladder of consideration, but I need them and find them quite useful. Because my shoes tend to cause little burns and blisters when I run without socks, and because running without them in the winters of Michigan would be suicidal, I find a use for socks aside from hanging them on my bureau. Of course, they aren’t tube socks, as I have thin legs and tube socks would be almost nylons on legs like mine. The short ankle socks will do.

Naturally, spandex leggings, though quite non-biodegradable and very long lasting, are mortal and must be replaced now and again. I can always use another pair of these as well, though I would highly recommend that somebody find me a color other than black. I am trying to brighten up my wardrobe, and matching black is becoming increasingly more difficult. Red or dark blue are colors that I have wished for these last three years now, and though I have seen them, my parents and friends haven’t quite made the connection between my loud whining and wanting these particular colors of spandex. Now, it just so happens that they make excellent housewear as well, and I can work around the house in them. They are warm, and they serve the purpose of keeping me warm in the winter, but somebody will simply have to get me a gift which makes me look a lot less unhygienic, for wearing the same black spandex leggings every day for two weeks allows them to stand by themselves, and then laundering them is an even more interesting phenomenon. If anyone reading this wants to chip in to the “Buy Lorne Decent Spandex” fund, please feel welcome to do so.

Another gift, which I particularly appreciate, is an interesting and marginally tasteful shirt. This is because I like to be entertaining when I run. People walking by or other runners can read the shirt and wonder if I have become unhinged, am of questionable moral status, or just a funny guy with nice legs. Hopefully, it is the first and third of these, because those two are what sell the books I also write.

There is a store here in Ann Arbor which is where half of my shirts come from, but I don’t always have the twenty dollars to get the shirts with stirring slogans such as “My Therapist Says It’s Not My Fault”.

“Beer — It’s Your Friend” or even “Never Underestimate The Power Of Stupid People In Large Groups.”

I like to make a statement when I run, and gifts that allow me to be current and vocal when I am just silently breathing and huffing are great gifts, particularly if I get one or two odd looks from people in passing cars.