With one eye in the mirror, they watch themselves go by. You know the type, right? They love themselves almost as much as they think their friends love them. We speak, of course, of the vainimmortalized in song by Carly Simon (one of Stranger Publisher Tim "You're So Vain" Keck's girlfriends back when The Stranger was known as The Seattle Sun). Shopping for the vain can be every bit as tedious as listening to them drone on and on about themselves (Keck: "Let me tell you about the time me and Carly Simon flew to Nova Scotia..."), but of all your friends, it's the vain ones who're most likely to be hurt if you don't get them -- THEM, IT'S ALL ABOUT THEM!! -- a gift. And not just any gift! Sweet, thoughtful gifts may be good enough for the rest of your friends -- scented candles, lab rabbits, divorces -- but your vain friends require more, better, bigger gifts. Allow us to offer a few suggestions.


Most people, when they see writing in the sky above their heads, instinctively look up out of simple curiosity and then sound out the words. And isn't that what your vain friends really want? Their names on everyone's lips? Give your vain pals what they most desire: Have their names written in the sky in 1/2 mile-tall letters, announcing their existence to everyone on earth -- at least until the letters dissipate into the atmosphere. For just $75 per letter, Ads Aloft will send up a pilot to make your friend's dreams come true. Watch him squeal with delight as a special biodegradable paraffin product, Corvisoil, spurts from the plane, spelling out his name. As this gift is best displayed on a clear day, you may want to give it as a belated holiday present (say, in July).

Call 878-9510, or see www.concentric.net/~Adsaloft/.


If there's a better way to let your friend's neighbors know someone special lives next door than by renting a high-powered, four-beam xenon bulb searchlight unit and setting it up in front of her apartment or house, we don't know about it! Heck, even passing aircraft will know your friend is special! Star Promotion's special Skytrack searchlights blazing across the night sky says, "Hey! The person who lives here is a FUCKING SUPERSTAR!!!" All of Seattle will be swooning. And at only $85 per hour, this is an ego boost you can afford to give! Searchlight operator included.

Call Star Promotions at 1-800-474-7827.


Some of the vainest people on earth are children, and all the vain children on your list are sure to enjoy a doll from My Twinn, a very special (and kinda creepy) company based in Colorado. My Twinn craftsmen, working from photos you send, will make a doll that looks EXACTLY like the child in the photo, matching skin type, hair type, eyes, and face. Not only is this the perfect gift for vain children, it also makes a thoughtful gift for parents having trouble getting over the death of a child. The company even makes clothing to match the clothes in the picture! For just a tad over $100 you can start a youngster on the road to vanity, or soothe the pain of grief-stricken parents.

Call 1-800-4MYTWINN or check out mytwinn.com/mytwinn.