Creativity: Proper uses for perforations

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The Independent Culture
JONATHAN HULME thinks those perforated strips from computer paper should be glued carefully to sides of ordinary A4 to make more computer paper, writes William Hartston. He also stresses their value as spaghetti insulation, knicker-elastic for loose women, and for origamists to make cats' cradles.

'Throughout the world,' suggests Claire Paul, 'we should all go around tying computer-paper edges into bows around anything that moves. This will be a new symbol of peace and love, recognisable across the globe.'

Variations on a confetti theme occurred in several suggestions. Brian French proposes a use as 'unconfetti for divorce parties', while Paul McHugh has a similar idea in 'confetti for that reverse parallel universe that scientists occasionally go on about.' He also suggests they might provide an inexpensive supply of nostrils for cosmetic surgery on the NHS, or a hay substitute for calorie- conscious cows.

Pianola rolls were another popular theme. 'To play a piece of music of exceptional tedium,' says Tim McGrath. Reg Kilby is more specific: 'Neatly coiled for the music of 'Johnny One- Note',' he says. Mr Kilby also proposes stencils for a new Circle Line logo, portholes for model ships (an idea also proposed by David Guest), glued along a fat pencil for silent tin-whistle practice, or fed into a telegraph-tape reader any time you want to send a message such as 'she hisses his five shies'.

Steph and Paul (Southampton) say that 'with a little patience and the output of a hole-puncher, recyclers could construct usable paper.' Paul and Steph (Eastleigh) suggest 'bedding material for the mouse which we understand comes free when you buy a new computer.'

Stuart Cockerill thinks they make good ladders for spiders to climb out of baths. 'Arachnid autobathectomy' is his precise term, although since this appears to mean removing a bath from a spider, what he probably means is bathetic autoarachnectomy.

He also suggests snout-binding for Yorkshire terriers, biodegradable shoelaces, braille censorship, template for Polo mints and cigarette paper for non- smokers. 'Place a short strip between lips when cycling,' advises Crispin Birch, 'to stop unwanted flies entering mouth.' Fiona and John Earle, however, punish flies and mice in the stocks, made from two such perforated strips.

David Nicholls, clearly a very busy man, says 'you could look through each of the holes in turn to see if there is any difference.' Alternatively, he proposes cutting out all the holes, putting them together to make one big hole, and substituting it for the Channel tunnel, which could then be freed for last week's suggestions.

Next week, we shall be telling Steph and Paul (Southampton) what they can do with all the toast-racks they receive when they get married in August. Meanwhile, with Wimbledon fortnight approaching, we should like your ideas for employing any of the various pieces of tennis equipment from balls to umpires' chairs (except for rackets, which we've had before). Ideas should be sent to Creativity, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.