Creativity: Frog warning

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The Independent Culture
'THANK YOU,' writes Mary James of Llandaff. 'Two minutes after I read the Creativity object of 20 April, my current household problem had been solved. Household scissors cut the end off the toothpaste tube, the straight part was folded in three, and my rattling window had been neatly wedged.'

The window (or table leg) wedge was the most frequently suggested use, but our assiduous readers have squeezed out a variety of suggestions to ensure that no used toothpaste tube need ever be thrown away again. They naturally divide into three categories: practical, bestial and other.

On the practical side, you can use it as an icing or oil dispenser (several readers) or a container for condiments in a picnic set (Jack Muirhead). Linda Browning suggests using it as a washable, replaceable, light-cord pull.

Animal lovers might like to try the following: wellington boots for kittens (Jack Muirhead), a nosebag for an aardvark (Rhodri Edwards), a toboggan for a lemming (Mollie Caird) or a corset for an overweight snake (Lindsay Warden). Miss Bourne and Miss Edwards, who plan to use it as a sleeping bag for a pet worm should be aware that Mr Muirhead also sees it as a worm dispenser for fishermen.

In the 'other' category, the most promising ideas are these: to be kept with the bristleless toothbrush to clean teeth that are no longer there (Andrew Middleton) or rolled up to its nozzle and stuck on a wall as a pencil holder for busy accountants (Paul Seabrook). They can be left at the roadside as a warning to frogs and hedgehogs (Alison Claybourne).

We particularly liked Wally Reynolds' idea: 'luggage labels for people named Macleans, Colgate or S R Gibbs', and G Simpson's 'emergency housing for homeless snails', as well as Sue Bourne's inventive 'receptacle for any loose toothpaste there may be about the house', but nobody could outdo Gabor Csillag's idea for a sort of dentists' Russian roulette, risking decay on the spin of five empty toothpaste tubes and one full one.

Ireland's Horticulture Board have recently claimed that Irish potatoes can take away the bags under your eyes, help cure rheumatism and remove wine stains from the bottom of a decanter. Our object this week is therefore an Irish potato. Ideas to be sent to Creativity, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

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