Weather Forecast


Last chance, Santa

Superior Telegram photographer, Jed Carlson, back row, third from left, in his unwanted, flat goggles after he and his Willmar teammates won a fifth grade tournament in Souix Falls, SD in 1989. Carlson never did get the bubble goggles like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar used to wear, like he asked for many Christmases ago. (Photo by Brenda Carlson)

OK my hefty friend; this is your last chance. Look over your letters one last time. It's Jed; J-E-D.

I'm going to level with you, this is the last list you'll be getting from me. It's my 34th Christmas, and you've visited me many times throughout the years, but this is my last letter.

Now, you'll be getting a list from my house, but next Christmas it won't be from me. Next Christmas the letter will come from my son; he'll join us sometime in late March. But for this Christmas you get one final shot, a redo of sorts, a chance to bring some key things I think you forgot over the past 34 Christmases.

Not that I'm complaining, don't get me wrong, but there are a few things I think you've forgotten. So here is my final list, Mr. Claus. Many of these items are from Christmases long, long ago. I hope the elves know how to use eBay.

Last Chance List

(in no particular order)

• A Wonderwheel. It's the giant inflatable hamster-wheel-like device that you can climb into and roll with. Richard Pryor rode one until it popped in the movie "The Toy." I'm not sure if this was ever a true product or was just for the movie. Either way, I want one.

• A Hover Board. Just like Marty McFly rode in "Back to the Future 2." I promise to not take it over water, and I'll stay away from Biff. I suppose if I wait four years those boards should be plentiful, since Marty and Doc Brown traveled to 2015, so maybe I should just wait and buy a new one.

• A Walter Payton uniform. I always have wanted one those uniforms they peddle in the JC Penney catalog. You get the plastic helmet, jersey and pants. Sadly I was too big for those even when I was a "little" kid.

• A Hulk Hogan Wrestling Buddy. These were pillows shaped like my favorite wrestlers. Since my folks didn't want me practicing pile drivers and body slams on my little sister, I thought this would have been a no-brainer for Santa. I guess not.

• A Mean Gene, Sgt. Slaughter or Kamala wrestling figure. I had a nice sized collection of the 10-inch rubber wrestling figures, but I never got these three specific figures that I asked for. Well, maybe this year?

• Howard the Duck. Not a Howard the Duck stuffed animal, but the real Howard the Duck. I was young. On a side note, I actually dragged my poor grandma to this movie and made her sit in the very front row of the theater.

• A bike with mag wheels. Come on, mag wheels were and still are the coolest.

• A Lakers No. 99 jersey. Just like Fletch. Remember, "He's actually 6' 5", with the afro 6' 9"." That's classic Fletch.

• A Clark Griswold Blackhawk jersey. Sticking with my love of Chevy Chase, I want the hockey jersey he wore in the best Christmas movie of all-time, "Christmas Vacation."

• An ALF stuffed animal. Who didn't like that cat-eating, alien life form from Melmac?

• Giant keyboard. Just like the one Tom Hanks played with his feet in the movie "Big."

• A Magic Johnson or Dr. J Starting Lineup figure. I was a big fan of these sports figures from back in the '80s and early '90s.

• A Michael Jordan caricature T-shirt. When I was young, everybody had these T-shirts with our favorite players drawn on them. The players had big heads and little bodies. I had a friend that had a great Spud Webb shirt, and I always wanted the Jordan shirt.

• A top hat. Not much to explain here. I was kind of a weird kid.

• A Darth Vader bust. They used to sell these to keep your Star Wars action figures in when you weren't playing with them.

• A print from either Walter Iooss, Jr., Neil Leifer or Elliott Erwitt. These are my three all-time favorite photographers, and I would still love to have a photograph from any one of these great artists.

• Bubble goggles. When I was a young hoopster my mom got fed up with me coming out of the gym after practices or games with broken glasses, so she took me to get sports goggles. In my mind I had visions of the awesome goggles Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or James Worthy wore for the Lakers. Instead, our vision center in Willmar only had the flat-front goggles with the dark colored rubber that made me jealous of even Kurt Rambis' dorky spectacles. How I begged for new goggles, but it wasn't until I traded in the goggles for contacts my junior year of high school that I could forgive Santa for forgetting my bubble goggles.

So there you have it, Santa. Take a nice long look over this list. You should remember seeing all of these things before.

This is the last time you'll get a list from me. Next year Baby Boy will send off his list.

Just don't be too surprised to see a top hat on that list. Like father, like son, right?

Merry Christmas everybody!