Hold a seance (Mike Gifford), and organise a Former Patients, Now on the Other Side and Seeking Compensation, Campaign Group (Petra Hollis). Collecting small, brightly coloured canula tops can bring a friendly magpie pecking and tapping at your window (Muriel Battersby). Write "Don't panic" on all the towels (D. Adams). Get yourself an airbed and start a trampoline club (Liz Wyatt). Elect yourself chairman (or woman) of the escape committee and start digging a tunnel (Bruce Birchall).
Collect medical cliches overheard on ward rounds and compile a medical dictionary of what they might really mean (Sue Johnson). Ask to have the tropical fish tank replaced by a Pitlochry salmon leap (LW). When entering the operating theatre, issue a gladiatorial "We, who are about to die, salute you!" (BB). See how high you can build a tower of pill pots without it falling over (Jim Parsons). Collect 48 pills and 14 pill pots and play the ancient Nigerian game of oware (Mary Kitson). Learn to love your urine bottle (Tom Bairstow). By using sight alone, learn to identify the grape varieties present in other people's urine bottles (Colin Archer).
Disguise yourself as a doctor and join the consultant's retinue as mother duck and ducklings waddle around the ward (R.J. Pickles). Spot the patient most likely to snuff it next (JP). Avoid talking to passing vicars - people will say you are the next (Dave Cutler). If confined to bed, make bicycling motions with your legs; this is good for maintaining muscle tone, and it amuses the other patients (LW). Organise time trials for sprints to the loo (MG). Invent nursing rhymes (Peter Thomas). Organise a ward mutiny (Andrew Duncan).
Write your own notes in the folder kept at the foot of your bed, saying what you think of the treatments (BB). Put Wimbledon on the radio and mime the rallies with invisible balls and rackets (Joyce Nolan). Ask for strawberries (PH). Spread subversive rumours: e.g. the orthopaedic surgeon believes in amputations, his wife runs a business supplying artificial limbs (MG). Take your nameband off (DC). Wear it round an ankle (JN). Wear several, each with an alias (TB). Change your name by deed poll, daily (BB).
Muriel Battersby, Mike Gifford and Liz Wyatt each win a Chambers Dictionary of Quotations. We now seek bizarre reasons for breaking off boring phone calls from tedious people: e.g. "Better go - the Grim Reaper's beckoning me with his forefinger".
Send your ideas by 7 July to: Seraphim, Creativity, Features, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL.
Results and three more Chambers prizes will be given on 13 July. Next week: pithy headstone obituaries.Reuse content