No waiting, no hesitating, no procrastinating. Not for me. Not any more.
When I saw Christmas advertising for the first time around July 4, I vowed I would have my shopping done early.
When Santa's jovial face hit the stores around Labor Day, I realized it was time to get to it.
When Christmas trees went up just before Thanksgiving, I was ready to go.
I haven't started yet.
I guess I had better get to it. I have a list around here somewhere. Naturally, I will save the family for last.
Let's take care of the needy first . . .
Al Saunders--A strike.
Larry Bowa--A taste of Joan Kroc's philanthropy. She donates fortunes to many worthwhile causes, but she might also toss a few nickels in the direction of a free agent who might keep Bowa's blood from boiling through his pores.
Todd Santos--A chance with a National Football League club, but not the Chargers. Let someone else carry the burden of following in Dan Fouts' footsteps.
Denny Stolz--Another quarterback such as Todd Santos.
San Marcos High School football--Anything but another tie.
San Pasqual High School football--The same as San Marcos.
Sockers--Charisma, color and character. Gone are the days when the circus-like atmosphere made this the most interesting team in town. The franchise is now being run like a business, of all the ridiculous things.
Ted Leitner--Another broadcasting job. His schedule is open from midnight to 7 a.m. If he can find something for those hours, his mouth would be like a convenience store . . . open 24 hours.
Tony Gwynn--A guest spot on "Late Night With David Letterman" or "Good Morning America," or even "Dynasty," anything to heighten his national profile. The guy hit .370 and finished eighth in the balloting for National League Most Valuable Player. Maybe he should dye his hair purple and start wearing an earring.
San Diego--College basketball. The teams here remind me of the Democratic presidential candidates . . . not likely to enjoy much success in '88.
Dan Fouts--One more year when his arms and legs and ribs and back let him run an offense as only Dan Fouts can run an offense. In short, one more year of the real Dan Fouts.
Jim Brandenburg--A recruiting year with players such as Fennis Dembo and Eric Leckner. If he can get players such as that to commit to four years in Laramie with the University of Wyoming, he should be able to get players such as that to come to San Diego.
Benito Santiago--Fifteen years like his first.
Alex Spanos--Patience. It ain't easy just to win, baby. Just ask your buddy, Al Davis.
America's Cup--A respectable home at the San Diego Yacht Club. Such a prestigious trophy should not become a hood ornament for New Zealand tycoon Michael Fay, who is challenging for the Cup under the auspices of a veritable yacht club on wheels. An automobile reportedly is the "clubhouse" for his Mercury Bay Boating Club.
Vencie Glenn--A hero's cloak. It's no fun being a one-man highlight film during a five-game losing plunge.
Ron Newman--A championship with the new wave of Socker players. The "old" players always thought they won in spite of the coach.
Hank Egan--A major college home arena for his USD basketball program.
Scott Simpson--Another major golf championship to prove the 1987 U.S. Open wasn't just his lucky week.
Chuck Clegg--Eleven scholarships for his San Diego State soccer team, just like Clemson, the team it played for the NCAA championship. SDSU had three scholarships sliced up in sliver-sized wedges and still lost only 2-0.
Dennis Conner--A broom to sweep the Kiwis. The rest of the yachting world would like to get on with the real America's Cup competition and not the court-mandated Loophole Regatta of 1988.
Joan Kroc--Someone such as Jack Morris, except she would have to pay for her own present.
OK, so I guess this really isn't a shopping list. I won't be using the family plastic to pay for SDSU scholarships or a USD arena or Vencie Glenn's cloak or Ted Leitner's salary or Dennis Conner's broom. It's more like a wish list.
. . . As in I really wish I had my shopping done. Or started.