Here's some suggestions on what to get me for a Christmas gift

Christmas Day 1999 is only 17 shopping days away.

And if by chance, you're thinking of giving me a Christmas present and have no clue as to what to give me, have no fear.

I've put together a list of the Top-10 things that Don Q would like to receive.

That way, you can pick and choose one or more of the items on that list.

If you do, you'll be happy you did and I'll really be happy you did!

And yes, before you ask, I've been good all year. Well, to be truthful, I've been good MOST of the year. But what the heck, that should count.

It would sure be neat if someone were to surprise me with one of these gifts on Christmas morning.

So, here's my wish list of the Top-10 things that I would like to receive:

10. Some way to off-set my bad allergy to garlic. Yes, that right. I'm allergic to garlic. Honest! You can't even begin to imagine the reactions I get when people find out I'm Italian and allergic to garlic. Then they really laugh when they find out that red wine give me bad headaches and I can't drink it. An Italian who is allergic to garlic and can't drink red wine. Geez, life is really unfair!

9. A snug, well-built cabin somewhere in the mountains. It would be reached only by skis, snowshoes or snowmobile in the winter. It would have to be two-stories with an upstairs balcony, have both electricity and solar-powered lights, a propane cooking stove and refrigerator, propane heating plus a small wood burning stove and a full basement. In that basement, I would want a complete stock of food and drink items (Manhattans!) for many fun-filled winter weekends.

8. A bright, orange-colored, sport-model pickup. The closest I can come to that combination is the bright red pickup that I currently own. I would love to have that bright orange color but pickup manufacturers just don't produce it. Apparently there isn't that much demand. Heck, I want one, that should be enough!

7. A fishing partner who can be seriously competitive in the various fishing derbies offered in this general area. Through the years, I've had the sad misfortune to be partners with such perennial, inept losers as Bob "Slick" McCulloch and Norm Budden, both of Carson City. When you've got one of them as a derby partner, you're competing with one heck of a severe handicap.

6. A long winter season with lots of deep snow. All that snow would give me a golden opportunity to play in the backcountry of the Sierra Nevada on the snowmobile that I bought last year. It's used but in great shape. That snowmobile has more than enough horses under its hood to take me wherever I want to go in the mountains.

5. Another request for a long winter season with lots of deep snow. Then, I will be able to play for many months on my cross country skis. Some of my favorite locations for telemark skiing off steep mountains are at Winnemucca Lake near Kit Carson Pass on California S.R. 88 and at Willow Flat near Bridgeport, Calif. Skiing at those high-altitude locations in late spring is a blast.

4. An all-expense-paid, salt-water fishing trip to some far away place like Sitka, Alaska for a chance to catch a 100+ pound halibut. I have never caught a fish that big. If I do hook into one of those huge halibuts, I don't even want to keep it. I just want to experience the thrill of being hooked into a giant fish. It would be one heck of a rush!

3. A Rocky Mountain bull elk tag for the 2000 Nevada rifle hunting season. I want that tag for the Table Mountain area between Austin and Tonopah. That is a vehicle-restricted area. I have at least four different friends who have promised me the use of their horses if I ever draw one of those hard-to-get tags. It would sure be fun to be able to hunt big game from horseback.

2. Some type of medication that will offset my allergic reaction to cigarette smoke, cigar smoke, and campfire smoke. Whenever I get around any of those (particularly cigarette smoke) my lungs plug up in the blink of an eye. I also start wheezing and get a husky voice. Those reactions are the unfortunate results of my having contracted viral pneumonia a number of years ago.

1. A return fishing trip to No Tell Um Lake in remote, central British Columbia. On that return visit, I would want one major change. This time I would want to spend several nights in that snug little log cabin on its shores. The combination of that lake's fantastic rainbow trout fishing, the rugged-looking scenery, the wildlife of that area and the very comfortable accommodations at the cabin would be almost impossible to beat.

Finally, if you're not interested in any of the above Top-10 Don Q requests, then to hell with it.

Play it safe and buy me my usual assortment of T-shirts (large), socks (size 11) or jockey shorts (size 36).

Come to think of it, does anyone out there need any T-shirts or socks? I've got a ton of both of them.

But you can't have my shorts!

- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you what was unusual about one of the Christmas gifts that I gave my son Jim a couple of years ago.

If he responds by loudly laughing and says, " Don Q gave Jim a Mitchell 300 spinning reel and dazzled him," he would be absolutely correct.

For you see, I had completely forgotten what I had given Jim the previous year for one of his Christmas presents.

And guess what it was?

Yep! A Mitchell 300 spinning reel.

Geez, you snooze, you lose!


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