Creativity

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READERS WERE asked to consider how hypothetical Sun-dwellers might react to the total eclipse of the Earth, due to occur tomorrow.

Mike Gifford's spies tell him that Sun-dwellers have been paying exorbitant prices to rent a coveted seat on the Corona walls.

Flares are still in among the bright young things, our fashion correspondent James A. Kelly informs me, and popular opinion is that the Martians must have taken over and imposed a news black-out.

As the solar press saw it: "Great Scorch! Peekaboo Earthy!" (Michael Rubinstein). "All Earth-creatures have now left and the last one to go turned out the light" (F.E. Card) "Sun phone-lines were jammed today by irate viewers as all transmissions of EastEnders were blacked out." (Martin Brown). "Solar invasion fleet catches Earthlings on hop as Moon makes fleet's imminent arrival invisible" (Jane Reeves). "Just another manic Moonday!" (Peter Thomas).

R.J. Pickles envisages small Druid gatherings to celebrate the Earthstice and widespread alarm that the eclipse means that the Sun is going to come to an end. Mark Winters thinks that the footballer Sol Campbell is a solar sect's God and that his sudden disappearance would precipitate mass suicides by his forsaken followers. Clair Hubble reckons that solar cows and sheep would struggle to their feet, after years of lying down, and the event be declared a miracle.

Bruce Birchall thinks Solileo Solilei would cite the existence of a Moon circling the planet Earth as evidence that the ancient astronomers had got it wrong - everything did not go round the Sun as they claimed. Olga Martin supposes the Sun to be twinned with Sun City, South Africa, and municipal receptions being held to celebrate cultural exchanges between the two. And Vari Mackay reckons that it's a triple-headed, fire-breathing dragon, waking up from hibernation and chasing the Earth across the sky.

F.E. Card, R.J. Pickles and Jane Reeves win a copy of Chambers Dictionary of Quotations apiece.

Would-be entrants to the World Creative Thinking Championship at the Mind Sports Olympiad at Olympia on Sunday 22 August can obtain entry forms (also for backgammon, bridge, chess, crosswords, draughts, go, Othello, Scrabble, etc) by calling 01707-659080 or e-mailing dlevy@intelligent group.com or writing to MSO, PO Box 13388, London NW3 5FB.

Howls of "another Poll Tax" have greeted the announcement of digital TV licences. Suggestions for other ill-conceived and unpopular taxes that a foolish government, determined to shoot itself in the foot, might yet levy, that would make Pitt's window tax seem positively enlightened, to: Creativity, Features, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL, or e-mail to Loki.Valhalla@btinternet.com by 19 August. Results and three more Chambers' prizes to be announced on 24 August. Next week: Happiness is...?

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