Memo to SJ

From AC

re: earphones

Great to see you looking so well after your liver transplant, and well done on all the new products. Can’t say I understand them all, but judging by the fact you made the top trends on Twitter, even as you were speaking, it is clear the SJ magic is still going strong.

However, I was wondering when you would apply your considerable genius to the most pressing technological question I currently face – namely how to get my ipod earphones to stay in my ears when I’m out running. It’s all very well having all the whizzbangery in the machine itself, but if you can’t keep the earphones in, it is meaningless.

I have tried every type going, to no avail. I’ve taken to covering them with sellotape, but once the sweat is flowing, it all gets a bit sticky and messy.

Music matters to athletes, you know that. Look at all those footballers getting off the team bus with their earphones plugged in. And it matters more to slow long-distance runners than it does to the fast ones. It’s alright for Paula Ratcliffe, or Haile Gebreselassie. They can get a marathon done in not much more than two hours, but for mortals, you can be out there all day, and esepcially when training you need the psychological lift that only music can deliver.

I’m fine when I’m running steady and straight. But it is when I suddenly have to turn my head or body, or up my pace, that they keep popping out. Then I lose my temper and when my temper goes, so does my rhythm, and then I’ve had it.

Don’t turn your head or body then, I hear you say … but Steve, just as I’m sure you have passers-by shouting out to you when you’re out and about, urging you to get well, thanking you for all the amazing advances you have made in technology, I get the same thing, you know, taxi drivers winding down the window and yelling out ‘hey Alastair, when are we going to see that David Cameron shown up as the lightweight toff that he is?’ or strangers shouting across the road to thank me for helping TB to get rid of the Tories in the first place, not to mention all the people who want to express their gratitude for all the improvements in public services under Labour …  then there are all the thumbs up and shouts of ‘good luck to Burnley, mate.’ That’s my soccer team. You may have seen the big piece the New York Times did about them recently. I suppose for the sake of balance I ought to say I also get the odd funny look, and a bit of criticism, but you probably know about that too.

Anyway, I know you’re busy, but if you could put your mind to the earphone problem, I and lots of other runners would be really grateful.

Also, I know it is not really a technological issue, but any thoughts you have on bleeding nipples would be handy too. I mean, what is the point of the male nipple? You never hear of men wanting a nipple transplant, do you? I did just under two hours today, in training for the Great North Run next week, and as if my earphone-popouts weren’t bad enough, towards the end I was getting even more funny looks than I was getting shouts of support for New Labour would you believe, because I had two large red blobs on my white running top. Horrible. Messy. Worse than sweat and sellotape.

That’s all for now. Let me know how you go on. And good luck.