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Well, you indeed followed your natural instincts in response to the pairing of a cute guy and an even cuter giant hamster (at right) for Reactor jeans, and, if you people are running the communications infrastructure of this country, we'll never make the next millennium, 'cause you're all filthy-minded perverts! It's a Nordic Trak exercise wheel to the winner and a free rental of Primal Fear to all entrants, and, as usual, limited space is the final frontier here, but keep those e-mails comin'!

Target audience: Richard Gere.

Marcus [email protected]

They're selling pants to androgynous teens with an affinity toward rodents. Much in the same way gerbils and a certain movie star were linked years ago.

Philip Carrera

[email protected]

Yeah, we suspected this might happen. We got a lot of this Gere goosing. Sure, guys, we all remember the famous gerbil who gave his home address as #2 Richard Gere Blvd., but there's got to be more to this ad than that. Gere doesn't even wear pants anymore, he's a Buddhist, he wears a bathrobe.

Finally, you can take your "at home activities" out and about with you! Reactor jeans offers a new pocket, located on the inside rear of the pants, creating a comfortable habitrail for your favorite furry animal. So, to march forth into this new millennium, just "Follow your natural instincts," boys! And your little pet will take up the rear.

Jason Steinberg

[email protected]

Jason, are you one of those dudes who likes to drop a ferret down your sweat pants during Miller Time? The logic escapes us here; if you've got a hamster up your ass, you don't need a pocket for the little guy, he's already got a cozy nook.

I think Reactor got a little mixed up with their headline. The original copy actually read: "Follow your highly unnatural, socially unacceptable, sexually deviant, dysfunctional, drug-induced, delusional instincts!" Oh, to be a flea on that gerbil!

[email protected]

Interesting, Carmen. You have nothing nice to say about kinky sex with a giant gerbil, yet you want to ride the rodent during the heinous act! We're calling the Orkin man to rub you out, you're too weird.

Is that an eight-foot-tall mouse in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Clay [email protected]

Thanks for the eternal Mae Westism, Clay, but let's not forget it's Richard Gere who said, "I never met a gerbil I didn't like."

. . . Scientists provide a whole new audience for Reactor's line of denimwear by crossing the DNA of disenchanted youths with the genetic material from gerbils, guinea pigs and prairie dogs. Market 'em under the brand name Garden Weasel Slacker Slacks.

John [email protected]

Those fiendish Scottish scientists have really done it this time. They cloned a perfectly innocent hamster with Barney. You'll notice the menacing position of the hamster's claws as it is ready to turn the unsuspecting model into a tasty snack. Yum!

George Stamos

[email protected]

Yeah, we got a lot of this anti-clone sentiment too, but stop and think for a second how a few thousand Richard Gere clones could provide countless numbers of homeless gerbils with warm and snug winter protection. And if you think there's such a thing as a perfectly innocent hamster, George, try putting one near your ass.

Hamsters exist for one reason; to help parents teach kids about death. They're "disposable pets" that ease kids into the whole mortality concept. Add the fact that the human is dressed in all black, and it becomes apparent that this ad has a serious death bent. Couple that with the decision to shrink the asexual hipster model down to appear smaller than the hamster-or more precisely the memory of the late rodent-and the message becomes clear: Life is futile and death is bigger than all of us. No matter what brand of jeans you wear, you're gonna end up takin' the dirt nap just like old Fluffy. But before you die, you might as well choose the jeans that take the ultrahip high road . . .

Michael [email protected]

Ultrahip high road? What Gere do you take that in?

This is precisely why I stopped doing that stuff. An hour goes by, you think it isn't working, so you take a second. Two hours later you have an ad deadline.

[email protected]

We're doing the judging here, Randy, so send us the stuff and we'll see if you're right. And we've got a big staff here, so send a lot. See page 3 for the address.

. . . Where do hamsters live, anyway? Her place looks filled with the remnants of supper plate garnishes: some parsley, a little radicchio, maybe some wheatgrass for a little post-connubial juicing. In the background, it looks like she has spruced the place up a bit with some Texas bluebonnets . . .

Dan [email protected]

Dan, either you're one sprig short of a bundle or you're the guy who decorated Richard Gere's habitrail.

Obscenity laws prevented the portrayal of the real animal of the young man's obsession-the beaver. So they used the closest relative in the rodent family. The message? Wear Reactors and even the most pathetic adolescent male can get some beaver, or at a least some hamster. Hell, better rabies than herpes.

Michael Schreiber

[email protected]

Thanks for the beaver bit, Mike, you brought back fond memories of tuna town from previous contests, and you're so right about rabies vs. herpes. With rabies you can wipe the foam off your mouth, but with herpes there's no damn way to conceal that nasty lip chancre.

I am certain that both the mammals shown in the ad are graduates of the David Bowie School of Gender/Specie Confusion. They are demonstrating a unique ritualistic mating dance (The Shy Guy and/or Girl Shuffle) and will swap personae when the nuptials have been consummated . . .

Mark [email protected]

You sound a tad bitter, Mark. We bet you wrote this after you shelled out for Bowie's pay-per-view special last month, and then realized the guy looked old enough to be your great-uncle Marvin.

As Kafka wrote in his celebrated short story, "Honey, I Shrunk the Androgynous Euro-Freak Into a Puckishly Tantalizing Hot Dog-Shaped Piece of Varmint Bait," one day we will all awaken to the realization that we're really just elfish little Sandy Duncan lookalikes, forever haunted by the rodentlike specter of our universal tendency toward homosexuality.

Geoff Rogers

[email protected]

Could it be that the ad is just a prelude to the new Disney classic, Honey, I Shrunk the Concept?

Ralph [email protected]

We also got a lot of this Disney movie madness, but thanks to Ralph, Geoff and all the others for skipping the Honey, I Shrunk the Hemorrhoids jokes. And that Sandy Duncan crack is wheat thin, man.

Follow your natural instincts: pull out your concealed weapon and blow the pesky rodent into the next millennium. The real message is couched in such drivel; so '90s, meat for the table, survival of the fittest or those with the biggest hamster in the freezer! There he/she goes . . . shoot, shoot now!!! Blam!!! Blam!!! Or possibly it is just Al Gore in drag again, garnering some "out-of-the-White House" contributions.

Bruce [email protected]

We have no idea what you're talking about, Bruce, but your name is Maus, so you win. We gave your exercise wheel to a homeless man on the corner of Seventh and 47th. Actually, we set it up for him right outside the entrance to Murray's Wines & Liquors, we put him on it, and he ran himself to death in 14 hacking, phlegm-drenched minutes. So you can still have it, but it needs a good cleaning.

Win a pair of monogrammed Wilkinson scalpels!

Hmmmm, seems to be some open heart surgery going on here. Headline: "Now is not the time for his cough medicine to wear off." What!? The head surgeon has a scratchy throat? And he took maximum strength Vicks 44? Well, now, whooping-cough-dee-doo! Doesn't that stuff make you drowsy? What's he doing in the operating room anyway if he's sick? Maybe this is a New York City municipal hospital and they're talking about the patient, they gave him the Vicks as an anesthetic. Hell, we're stumped. Send your diagnosis to [email protected] Contest

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