Creativity: Chests in, children out

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The Independent Culture
NEVER heave your bosom in a strapless bra, advises Nancy Lee Patton in a heartfelt response to our request for life-enhancing advice. Several contributions had a regional tinge, such as Richard Gibson's provocative 'Never show fools or women half-finished jobs', for which he claims Glasgow origins. Pat Gould claims that the best ones come from Scotland, citing: 'Facts are chiels that winna ding' and 'Wha maun tae cupar maun tae cupar'. Who can disagree?

After warming up with one from Yorkshire: 'Ark at posnit calling keatle grimy arse', R Naylor moves from Pennines to Andes for 'Never brand wives with the same iron as your llamas'. Gwyneth Tweats quotes a piece of wisdom from her family annals: 'Them as 'as most, 'as most' which she thinks is self-explanatory.

Norman Stone's 'Never marry your own widow' and 'Do not live closer to your neighbours than they are to you' seemed sound advice, while V Brumby summed up all life's problems with 'Why have things simple when they go worse, complicated'. Len Clarke's 'Only pick mushrooms in a month with a 'z' in it' seemed restrictive compared with 'Never take a girl napalm bombing on a first date' (Simon Sinclair).

Michael McGinn's ideas included 'Never let your mum pack your parachute', 'Never trust a man with hair on the palms of his hands' and some wisdom borrowed from the makers of polythene bags, 'Keep away from children'. Most useful of all, however, was Sue Rowlands's idea: 'Always pre-record in-car quarrels between driver and navigator, ready to play back when needed on journey'.

Similar pieces of life-enhancing, or indeed life-threatening advice will always be welcome at Creativity, but for next week we should like some uses, real or imaginary, for those plastic flowerpots that accumulate in the nation's garden sheds. All ideas to Creativity, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

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