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For Those Who Can't Handle the Loss, There's Always Virtual 'Seinfeld'

April 23, 1998|ERIKA MILVY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

For about nine years now, Jerry Seinfeld and his quirky comrades have been making much ado about nothing to the delight of couch potatoes throughout the land. As I type these words, there are only 36 days, 33 minutes and 56 seconds left until the airing of the final episode--episode 180--of "Seinfeld." I know this because I have consulted the countdown clock at NBC's official "Seinfeld" Web site (http://www.nbc.com/tvcentral/shows/seinfeld/index.html). This is just one spot where people are marking the final days of TV's most cherished situation-less comedy.

Folks are gathering in chat rooms across the globe to commiserate in like-minded cyber-company. On multitudinous bulletin boards and Web sites, those who have, season after season, virtually shared a cuppa joe at Monk's with George and Elaine now reconvene in virtual reality to share fond memories and muse over the possibilities that may unfurl in, oh, 36 days, 30 minutes and eight seconds.

For starters, the folks who bring us the "Seinfeld" Web ring (an intertwined conglomeration of Sein-sites numbering in the hundreds) are holding a plot competition in which the most Seinfeldian final episode plot conception will win a $10,000 first prize. Thecontest, at http://Seinfeldcompetition.com/index.html, also will award a $5,000 second prize and a $ 1,000 third prize.

If you don't want to pop for the $10 entry fee, share potential plots with Sein-pals at http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Cove/ 8057/seinfeld.html. Here you'll see some obvious ideas (a wedding; a double wedding) and some less obvious ones (Elaine gets a sponge infection, Kramer becomes a monk).

Though some "Seinfeld" episodes seem like ingenious inanity, the folks at http://www.whitetrashcafe.com/seinfeld/ think that dreaming up shenanigans for Jerry's kids is as easy as filling out a Mad-Lib. Here at the Seinfeld Last Episode Creator, you fill in the blanks (a medical condition, a verb, an emotion, something in Jerry's apartment) and this Sein-engine does the rest. You can just sit back and collect the (virtual) writer's fee.

Apparently arbitrary plot construction is popular with "Seinfeld" fans. The Seinfeld-O-Matic at http://www.student.com/features/ seinfeldo-matic/ generates millions of possible plots from its extensive database. You can see the fruit of your imagination crafted into a veritable facsimile of a "Seinfeld" episode. A few pulls of the lever result in plots like "George learns that Jerry's new girlfriend's favorite food is macaroons," or "Kramer goes to a movie with John F. Kennedy Jr."

At http://www.pulse.net/cstimes/seinten.html, check out the top 10 ideas for "Seinfeld" spin-offs. Suggested spin-offs include a show pairing "Seinfeld's" Newman and TV's other annoying postal worker, Cliff from "Cheers."

There are several "Seinfeld" Web rings, the largest containing 117 sites (http://www.webring.org/cgi-bin/webring?ring=theseinfeldring;list). Some sites are named after micro-details that only a true "Seinfeld" maven would know: 129 West 81st Street: The Home of Seinfeld; The Peterman Catalogue; Vandelay Industries; and Monk's Diner.

One of the most informative sites on the Web is the Seinfeldiest site at http://www.seinfeldiest.com/. Here are a countdown clock and minutia about every factoid related to the final episode. Tidbits include the total page count of the final episode's script (152 pages).

"Seinfeld" will no doubt become television history, and smart shoppers will surely wish to invest in some scarce "Seinfeld" bric-a-brac at the Seinfeld Internet Auction. The benefit auction, which runs online from May 7 to 14, can be accessed via http://www.ten97.com/seinfeld/seinfeld.htm.

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Erika Milvy is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. She can be reached at erika@well.com.

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