Sporting Box

Some leaves have fallen off some trees, temperatures have sunk below 50 degrees, and Fashion Valley Mall is open an extra hour in the evenings. This means it's Christmastime, people.

I'm getting a fast start on my Christmas shopping, beginning the agony two weeks before Santa's due date, a personal best. And, in order to get the hunt off the mark lickety-split, I've slogged into chain-store world and purchased $40 worth of magazines, confident I'll find sport-gift ideas and Christmas bargains within.

First up is Bitch magazine, promoting "a feminist perspective on our world." Articles: "Multiply and Conquer -- How to Have 17 Children and Still Believe in Jesus" and "The Asexual Revolution Gets Organized." Sport-gift idea: The "Buy Bitch Gear" display ad showing female personhood wearing a gray pullover with "Bitch" embroidered on its front. Indeed, this could be a special sports gift, something for Mom to wear on her lawn-bowling days.

Us Weekly. There has to be something in here. Articles: "Controlled by a Creep: The Scary Past of the Man Taking Over Britney's Life." And, "If You Don't Have $100, Do This!" I eagerly read on, "You don't have to break the bank for a chic celebration. Treat ten pals to an intimate, wine-fueled soiree. . . Choose two reds and two whites and serve a platter of cheeses, grapes, figs, cherries, and candied pecans."


Sport-gift idea: This was harder than I thought it would be. The magazine is lousy with editorial content, which means a scarcity of ads. The closest sports ad, and I do think this qualifies under the subcategory "Sports Medicine," is Best Hammertoe Healer. Readers, I'm referring to the breakthrough product Yoga Toes. The large, blue plastic device looks like a pair of dentures, except these dentures fit over human toes. "Surprisingly refreshing."

Now comes Men's Health. Articles: "Smart and Stylish Rules for Guys," "Be The King of Your Kitchen," and my favorite, "The New American Man: 137 Ways to Find Happiness at Home."

There's a full-page photograph of a seductive blond dressed in what looks to be leather mini-lingerie, standing in a doorway, hips cocked. The caption reads, "Will she stay or go? It may depend on your towel selection." I am advised to acquire "fluffy, clean towels." Probably should make that a Christmas gift to self. Sport-gift idea: This is another magazine with wall-to-wall editorial. How do they survive? Even so, there is a boffo sport-gift idea found in the "Build the Ultimate Home Gym" sidebar. I give you -- ta-da! -- the "Tanitas Ironman BC558 Body Fat Scale. . . it audits the muscle, water, and fat composition of your core and each arm and leg." What more could you want for $300?

All right, let's take a look at Spread Magazine, "Illuminating the Sex Industry." Articles: "Yoga for Strippers," "Co-Op Brothels in Canada?" and "Hos in History, From Marilyn Monroe to Rudolph Valentino."

Sport-gift idea: Not much to buy, although you could make an argument that sex is a form of sports, so $18 for a year's subscription "delivered right to your door in discreet packaging" might meet the criteria.

Next up is Plenty, with the teaser "79 Earth-Friendly Gifts" on its cover. Finally, some real shopping advice. Articles and blogs: "Extinction Blog" and "Ecolibations for the Festive Season." Now we're talking Christmas.

Sport-gift idea: a Jorg&Olif bicycle, which is a Dutch citybike made in Vancouver and imported to anywhere you'd like to be. "It's a Dutch bike, with its mod design and sustainable production process. . ." A paltry $495 gets you the one-speed Oma model. While we're here, I might as well consider the Eden Gift Basket stuffed with delicious, wholesome food, "most are certified organic and kosher, and ALL are stress and shopping mall free." A must-buy gift for self.

Lets take a look at NYLON. Teasers on the cover: "A Fashion Renegade Speaks" and "445 of the Season's Best Puffers, Purses, Baubles, and Bubbly." I'm liking this.

Sport-gift idea: This one's tough. A magazine devoted to hip women's artifacts, 178 glossy pages of pouty adolescent models. Even so, there are sports-related services in the department "Treat Yourself." I considered and rejected "The Eyelash Perm," "The Seven-Hour Massage," and thank goodness I did or I might have missed "Ionithermie...[The author] was invited to experience ionithermie, essentially a form of electric shock treatment that targets cellulite...." Said author underwent 30 minutes as roast turkey and wanted more. Big success: lost an inch in her ugly areas. Hmm...this treatment should be good for guy bruises and welts. Possible gift certificate.

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