Sit right back & hear a tale of finales

Who doesn't like planning their "Friends" lives for them?

When offered the chance to script the series finale, readers suggested everything from all six ending up happily married to Phoebe gaining custody of the triplets.

Bob Thompson of Shady Side, Md., opted for the pop-cult fusion approach. He suggests sending the six on a one-way cruise, à la "Gilligan's Island." On their deserted isle, our castaways would take up various occupations: "Ross could find himself another monkey ... Monica could become the world's foremost chef for cooking lizards and seaweed," and "Chandler could drive everyone nuts." Terrifyingly, this scenario leaves open the prospect of a spinoff - and guest appearances by Bob Denver.

By far, the most involved plan for Season 10 came courtesy of Walter Clarke of Lutz, Fla.:

1. Ross accepts an offer to head a dig in Somalia and converts to Islam after being captured by a warlord. He will stay on in the Horn of Africa with his three wives.

2. Rachel becomes vice president of Bloomingdale's. She does not remarry.

3. Phoebe will organize her own commune and take up truck farming in New Mexico.

4. Joey will join the Marine Corps and distinguish himself as a helicopter gunner.

5. Monica will separate from her lackluster husband and become head housekeeper for Hilton Hotels.

6. Distraught by the failure of his marriage, Chandler flounders about, but partially redeems himself by joining the FBI as a personnel coordinator.

And then there were Jim Gammon and Ivan Frohne, who both had a succinct answer to how "Friends" should end: "Quickly."

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