Creativity: Hopes pinned on the vicar

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SEVEN pins, a plastic collar, a piece of cardboard, a metal clip and a plastic bag can be put together, according to a correspondent who signed himself only as 'Tintoretto', into a decent simulacrum of the martyrdom of St Sebastian: the cardboard becomes his torso, the collar serves as a halo, the metal clip can be bent into a crucifix, and the pins are arrows. And you can send it to the Tate in the plastic bag.

Similar themes were reflected in other readers' suggestions. Mary Williams suggests that the pins and cardboard might provide effective aversion therapy for darts players.

Paul and Steph claim that the whole caboodle, far from being shirt-wrapping, is a vicar's waterproof advertising kit. The message (they suggest: 'Worship Him who created Creativity') can be written on the cardboard, clipped with the metal and pins to the vicar's back, and plastic collar and bag keep shirt (provided with kit) and dog-collar dry.

Vivienne and Simon, however, believe that Paul and Steph have been neglecting their dog. They rectify the situation by using the aforementioned dog-collar protector as a dog collar, making a grooming brush from the pins and wire, and using cardboard and plastic bag as a scoop and disposal aid for said dog's doings.

Anne Greer takes up the ecclesiastical theme with her 'bespoke motion-comfort kit for a jet-setting vicar'. With cardboard on lap to protect trousers, plastic collar secured with pins over dog-collar, you can, in perfect cleanliness, be sick in the plastic bag, in which all the soiled items may finally be disposed, sealed with the clip, and handed to the flight steward.

Heather Gregg believes that the cardboard and pins make 'an excellent bed of nails for New Age Barbie dolls'.

Helen Percival referred us to an article on archaeology in the same issue of the Independent as the shirt-packaging Creativity challenge. It inspired her to suggest cutting up the plastic collar into waterproof markers and magnetising one of the pins for use as a compass. The archaeologist's accessory kit is then completed by filling the plastic bag with helium to carry a find from the site - attached with the clip, of course.

Stuart Cockerill, as so often before, has produced the most sublimely useless idea: 'The cardboard should be rolled into a tube and used as a spare centre-piece for toilet rolls'. He has a wide range of bathroom uses for the other objects too, some too vile to mention, while others involve removing cat-hair from one's teeth.

Finally, Bernadette Collins puts her experience of working in a dry-cleaners to good use by suggesting that all the bits could be put in the plastic bag and then thrown away.

Next week, we will print your ideas for plastic bottles. Meanwhile, you might like to think about what to do with a plaster cast fresh from the royal wrist. Ideas to Creativity, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.