Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Creativity: Crowning glory of the panto

'FERMENT it,' say J & F Earle. 'Or use it in connection with navigation, or as a further education teaching aid, or send it to a jumble sale, or use it in the manufacture of a solar heating panel.' Writing from Cyprus, they were unable to lay their hands on a copy of the relevant Independent, so did not know that the Creativity object was the crown jewels, but the jumble sale, solar heating and teaching aids still seem appropriate.

Sara MacAllen suggests they be offered as prizes in cereal boxes, set in plastic rings for additional appeal. David Godfrey suggests using them as anti-monarchist missiles to throw at members of the Royal family. Alternatively, he thinks they might make interesting percussion instruments for a rap band, or subtle day wear for Barbara Cartland.

Send them to Brussels to improve our European credentials, say Steph and Paul: 'Delors could wear them, and perhaps in due course Leon Brittan, which would be far funnier than seeing them on the Queen.' Failing that, they believe money could be saved on their security by distributing them as props for school pantomimes. 'They'd be safe, because adults would presume them to be paste (provided paste was substituted in the Tower of London) but children would know they were real.

Chris Noel, in a touching appeal for open government, with more marquees and street parties, also sees the need for a more active display of the jewels. 'These are times of depression and terrible uncertainty. The people need ceremony and fun.' He proposes a regal procession for every Cabinet reshuffle: 'The Queen resplendent in the crown jewels, a tumbril for the minister who has resigned, and the Minister of Transport in a bus conductor's hat.'

Stuart Cockerill proposes fitting the crowns with peaks, then selling them as up-market baseball caps. The tiaras, he says, make good dog collars for corgis, and the other bits and pieces make exceptionally functional gardening tools, including mole stunners. He points out, however, that all this presupposes that the Royal family have not already pawned them to pay the VAT on their fuel bills.

Since last week's piece on concepts for which no word exists, we have been deluged with neologisms to fit the gaps already identified. Here is a selection:

The nasty bit in the end of the banana: pletch (Tom Gaunt), scrunt (Bob Maguire), brunt (Marion Kumar), yuckybit (Josephine Brown), bananasty (Brian Hamer), pibble (S Hull), bipple (J Williams).

The awful feeling, when telling someone a tale, that you have told them it before: anecdoubt (Mollie Caird), deja-dit (Davida Charney), George (George's ex-wife, Sara).

The feeling one experiences soon after starting a DIY job that the work is going to take far longer than envisaged: Chunnel vision (Stuart Cockerill), Chipping Sodbury (Lindsay Atkinson).

The real real world, including dreams, fantasies, illusions, lies, half-truths, beliefs etc: politics (Geoffrey Langley).

The thrill of corresponding on orange paper: Paisleyism (G Langley), zestography (B Hamer).

The emotional intensity of meeting a beautiful woman in the knowledge that you will never see her again: jungfrauschmetterlingstotenfreude (J & F Earle).

Finally, Brian Hamer informs us that 'the smell of a wet cat evaporating in front of a gas fire is, of course, known as feline evaporoma. Any source of radiant heat causes evaporoma in wet objects. The least pleasant mammalian evaporoma is said to be Caprine evaporoma, the smell of a drying goat. None of this should be confused with moggipong, which is specific to tom-cats.'

Next week, we shall report on more of these, together with uses for drawing pins. Meanwhile, you might like to turn your minds to uses for broken umbrellas. All suggestions will be gratefully received at: Creativity, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.