Tuesday 09 June 1998
John and Fiona Earle have the most poetically ethical use for landmines: "If you scan the words `ethical landmine', you have a dactyl and a spondee, which are the last two feet of an iambic hexameter." They also point out that an ethical landmine is one that goes "Bang, you're dead" when you step on it.
Magy Higgs points out that "landmines" is a non-anagram of "dismantle", which is the best thing to do with them. She suggests using a small one to get the lid off a tin of sardines or reduce last week's Polos to pools. More practically she recommends dropping them in the ocean, where they would detonate at the bottom, creating holes that would swallow up a lot of seawater, thus reducing global sea-levels and giving us back more land.
John and Renee Dolan think they could be used for blowing holes in Polo mints, or building basements and underground car parks. Nigel Plevin sees them as decongestants for whales' blow-holes. He also suggests sending them to Holland to encourage people to tiptoe through the tulips.
Sian Cole says: "I am a hot babe and I go like a bomb," which ties in nicely with Duncan Bull's suggestion to explode landmines near, but not too near, Ms Cole, to ensure that the earth moves for her. Mike Gifford thinks they might provide an appropriate background for Sian Cole to test her Big Bang theory.
Bruce Birchall has a long list of worthy uses: "Recycle the metal as collecting tins for charities for the victims of landmines"; or "surround nuclear buttons with them to dissuade anyone from pressing one"; or, perhaps most appropriate of all, "put them round the islands in the lake in Viscount Althorpe's estate where his sister is buried so her grave is not disturbed". Nicholas E Gough wants to use them simply to blow up other landmines.
Landmines are the best laxatives known," Norman Foster assures us. He recommends them particularly to arms dealers and dictators. Noel Mitchell wants to mine more land from landmines to be used for growing food for the hungry. "The holes left from the mines could then be filled with personal injury devices, solving two problems in one go," he says.
"Put in a spy's duvet," Peter Thomas suggests, "so when he wakes he will find his cover is blown". Alternatively, he suggests sending them to your Bang Manager or giving them a home of their own on a blasted heath.
Chambers Dictionary awards to Alex Harley, Nigel Plevin and John and Fiona Earle (mainly because we have just noticed that "John and Fiona" also makes a dactyl and a spondee, as, now that we come to think about it, does "dactyl and spondee".
Next week, we shall be telling you 101 things to to do with a used Spice Girl. Meanwhile, we're looking for things to do with a dactyl and a spondee. Ideas will be welcome at: Creativity, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL.
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