Creativity: Finding antenna for ants

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The Independent Culture
ONE ant's stepping-stone (Eileen Bissett) is another ant's satellite dish (Stuart Cockerill), to judge from this week's suggestions of uses for drawing pins, although apparently spiders also have them picking up television signals (S Daly) when the pygmy shrews aren't using them as cymbals.

Sticking, for the moment, with small animals, they make excellent woodworm substitutes, especially - according to Geoffrey Langley - if your partner wants to sell the house and you don't. Sprinkle a little flour below the holes, he says, for that authentic effect.

Faking an antique piano is just as easy, although in the case of a clapped-out upright, it is far classier to stick the pins into the hammers to make an ersatz harpsichord, according to Mary Bernard. Jeremy Shapiro similarly transforms ordinary shoes into tap-dance footwear. Even more creative is his use of drawing pins to fill the holes in punctured tyres.

Mild attacks of masochism affected some contributors. Sprinkle liberally into the last powdery bits in the cereal packet, says Mollie Caird, to restore that authentic crunchiness; an S&M ear-stud, says MT of Suburbia; confetti for fakir's wedding, suggests D Godfrey, with S Cockerill adding the embellishment of an orthopaedic mattress for the post-marital delights of the same fakir with a bad back. Decorations on the leather jackets of motorcycling fakirs was Tim McGrath's variation.

'Drawing pins are a must,' says Imogen Mottram, 'when using Blu- Tack.' This is a view supported by Mrs Bissett, who finds it particularly useful in keeping up old Blu- Tack that has lost its stickiness.

Other ideas include a device to warn children against eating the nasty bit in the end of a banana (Davida Charney), a spinning-top for hamsters (Imogen Mottram) and (in the US only) for tacking thumbs (G Langley). Finally, Alan Broad writes: 'My old form-master used drawing pins to keep his socks up.' He adds: 'One of them anyway - he had lost a leg in the war.'

Next week, we shall be telling you what to do with broken umbrellas. Meanwhile, you might care to think about uses for a corkscrew. Suggestions, please, to Creativity, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.