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The prize: His 'n' hers anatomically correct crash test dummies. The ad: This commodious curiosity for the Mercury Grand Marquis. Traffic conditions on Route 110: Tightly packed clowns, Marquis de sadistic rubbernecking and a perverse attraction to hit and run fender benders. Rotate your tires and imagine yourself in our next contest, which is to say keep those e-mails comin'! As usual, you're missing the point. if all your friends were the size of Guatemalan wishing dolls you'd be able to stuff a couple hundred, hell, thousands in easy. But then how quiet would it really be?

Shawn Peacock

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Wrongo, Shawn! Guatemalan wishing doll-size people are too short to sit in the front seat-the damn airbag. You have to cram 'em all in the back, so there's only room for 857.

Those are the people that were in that coolio video. The Grand Marquis must have been the car that Coolio drove.

Jayson Szott

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Wouldn't this car be more suitable for the Notorious B.I.G., Jayson?

This is a very strategic ad. it's aimed only at people with over 100 friends, like Army drill sergeants . . .

Ron Devito

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Yes, Ron, the military/sex tie-in. You failed to mention the No Tailhooking bumper sticker.

Right around the time the Catholic Church purchased controlling interest in Lincoln/ Mercury in 1996, these "big family" ads started to proliferate. The enemy here is not Japan, hell no. It's those pro-choice, Ford Festiva-driving heathens we've got to keep our eyes on.

Pat D'Amico

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You're probably right about this, Pat. We've never heard of a Festiva owner who had his eye poked out by the St. Peter statuette on top of the dashboard.

These must be the 110 people who actually own a Mercury Grand Marquis.

Christina Papale

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Have you ever sat in a Grand Marquis? test-driving one last month, I had to ask the dealer a question, and couldn't find him for 25 minutes. I was wandering all around the car looking for him, and finally found him in the glove box rummaging through the trash of the family who lived there.

Chuck Matzker

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No, we've never sat in a Grand Marquis. We've never even seen one. There are only 110 on the road, after all.

The logic is flawed from the start: anyone who drives a Mercury doesn't have 110 friends.

Chris Ribeiro

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So you're a social car snob, Chris? We drive a Nissan, and the only authentic friend we can name is Mr. K.

This is an obvious attempt to make corvette, Lexus and Mustang owners feel inadequate because they don't have as many friends.

Mike Collado

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Corvette, Lexus and Mustang owners already feel inadequate, Mike. That's why they bought a Corvette, Lexus or Mustang.

One of these 110 people is the grand marquis. The 109 followers are about to break out their Baggies and join him for a visit to Mercury. It's a first in full-color cult print.

Jeff Sawyer

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You're onto something, Jeff. Didn't Mercury used to make the Comet?

Mercury is touting the car as the vehicle of choice for any cults contemplating mass suicide, as long as the body count doesn't exceed 110.

Terry King

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That's why it wasn't the official car of Jonestown.

It takes a village to buy a car. now they just have to work out the driving schedule. I think those sideways villagers get it on the weekend.

Tom Drehmel

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And the ones on the right are only allowed to drive in reverse.

I suspected this was an overstatement. then I counted the people and, sure enough, there are only 107.

Jim Clemons

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You think you're smart 'cause you're on, huh? True, there are only 107 people standing, but two are holding babies and one's got a dog. You gotta wake up pretty early in the morning to fool those tank thinkers at Mercury, Jimbo!

The ad is a prophetic vision of a future tragedy when 110 clowns asphyxiate due to a malfunctioning Marquis airbag during their Ph.D. exam at clown college.

Todd Miller

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You're confused, Todd. The official Doctor of Phunny clown-emergence vehicle at Bigtop University remains the tried-and-true Volkswagen Beetle. In fact, the school's slogan is "Clowns wanted." The Marquis is used only for the master's thesis.

Mercury Grand Marquis. the official car of the United Circus Midgets Guild.

Tom Wirt

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Never call 'em midgets, Tom. Dwarves are out too, those Snow White days are gone. They're little people, sometimes known as the altitudinally challenged. Call 'em anything but these and you risk a dislocated knee.

The people pictured never actually make it into the car. Mercury is celebrating the millennium with a special rerelease of Death Race 2000. This will coincide with the introduction of the new wider Grand Marquis-a car that can actually mow down 110 people at once . . .

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When you line up all the people you can collect playing Death Race 2000 in y our Marquis, you get over a mile of bodies . . .

Geoff Rogers

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Isn't it funny you two both mentioned Death Race 2000? Didn't anyone see Cronenberg's Crash? Think of all the legroom Rosanna Arquette would have in a Marquis.

Only the Mercury Marquis de sade could butcher type so well.

Brian Gunning

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Yeah, it's too bad the old bugger isn't around to work on this campaign. "The 110-lash Grand Marquis. For the person who not only has plenty of friends but who also knows how to mistreat them."

Mercury is obviously trying to win back the American car buying public by becoming eco-friendly. Extensive focus group research showed that the only category of people remotely interested in a Grand Marquis are adults 42-65 whose only current form of transportation is the bus.

D [email protected]

As Marv Albert likes to say when his mouth isn't full: Yes! D., you're riding a winner! We read that demographic study, where the bus-bound are dubbed Kramdens. Kramden, crammed in. You've got some kind of cerebral torque for picking up on this brainstorm. We gave your crash test dummies to a homeless man on the corner of 79th and Columbus. It took him a week to find a big enough refrigerator box to move into, but now he's really enjoying the company.

Next Month's Contest

Win 1,000 pounds of Coffeemate non-dairy creamer and a Carnation ski hat!

Well, here's a really bold line extension. It seems General Foods International Coffees now makes jeans. Headline: "Fat free? Very hip." Tag: "It's the new sugar free, fat free way to unplug." Unplug? Is this like Kiss on MTV without makeup? But Gene Simmons has put on weight. We split an inseam trying to figure this out. Send your off the cuff analyses to [email protected] Contest not open

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