Creativity: Queen inspires cast of thousands

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CORGIS and Windsor Castle repair financing schemes featured prominently among reader's suggestions for the plaster cast from the royal wrist. A pooper-scooper for HM's corgis was the most popular idea, though only Paul and Steph of Southampton were thoughtful enough to hinge it on one side to allow ease of carrying on the wrist. They also suggest cutting it into coin-sized pieces for distribution, in Maundy fashion, to poor royal souvenir hunters.

Graham Knowles believes it could be used as a moulding to tranform the corgis into dachshunds, thereby strengthening links with out European colleagues. Others have suggested leaving them as corgis and using the plaster cast as a drinking vessel.

Sue Cureton suggests using it in a similar fashion to a chicken brick 'for cooking small game birds such as quail', while an almost identically worded idea comes from James Nicholas for cooking corgis or Yorkshire terriers.

Whatever is done with it, Stuart Cockerill believes it should first be tested - stereoscopically, to establish whether HRH has recently handled nitro-glycerine or played gin rummy, and graphologically to assess the personalities of friends and relatives of the Queen who have undoubtedly signed it by now.

Many others have suggested auctioning the autographed cast to help rebuild Windsor castle, though Andrew Gregg has come up with potentially a far more lucrative scheme: 'Lawyers do not rule out the possibility of the wrist cast being used as evidence in a claim for repetitive strain injury: Regina vs Great Britain. The prosecution would seek to prove that repeated wrist movements, to wit, waving and shaking hands, had over time weakened the regal wrist rendering it more fragile and easily broken.'

Mr Gregg does, however, point out that 'as the Queen is head of the Church, her plaster cast must be a religious relic' and could therefore be used to attract paying crowds to Buckingham Palace. Less remuneratively, Iain Cowan believes it should be in the Tate, with the Queen paying pounds 8 to anyone going to see it.

Otto Black also stresses the amount of waving and shaking hands the Queen has done since infancy. However, he cites this as evidence not of injury but of expertise: 'The Royal Wrist should by now have become, in terms of smooth operation, durability, strength, precision and reliability, the near-archetypal ideal limb-joint.'

He suggests that moulds taken from the cast would be of unique value in the robotics industry, and could even lead to a return of automated hand-signals in Japanese designed cars or improved appendages for American space-craft. It might even help in attaching the one litre fizzy drink bottle to the Hubble Telescope next time it needs a new emergency lenbs repair. Others had similar ideas of using the thing as a mould, but mainly to make plaster wrists for selling to tourists. At the end of its useful life, the cast could itself be pulverised and re-cast as fine, hand-crafted statuettes of royal princesses (a dozen anorexic or six tubby, according to MWT of Cheltenham). Anne Greer of Worcester proposes 'crushing, crumbling and reconstituting it as a commemorative teacup', the first in a new 'Royal Wrister' imprint.

Stuart Cockerill, however, tells us that fine-ground into white powder, its street value would be in the region of pounds 20,000.

Nicholas Gough worthily suggests it should be mounted on a plinth in a conspicuous position to warn others of the potential hazards of horse-riding. Or it could even be made into a hard hat to protect the royal cranium rather better than a headscarf.

Back nearer to the corgis, Anthony Savory suggests 'a nautically inclined Yorkshire terrier could be offered it (the cast being first modified as a catamaran) and attempt to make the first singlepawed transatlantic crossing'. Equally nautically, Victoria Bond sees it as an emergency baling device for the Royal Yacht. Alternatively, she recommends coating it in powder blue paint and adding a feather and a piece of elastic to provide a jaunty hat for the Queen Mother.

Other ideas from Mr Savory include a grommet for either of Saddam Hussein's ears, and offering the cast as a compassionate gesture to John Major 'as a hand-me- down in order that he may be protected from more wrist-slapping'. He goes on to suggest that, with the approval of a Commons select committee, it could even form the centre piece of a newly commissioned Major family crest, cast-rampant.

The heraldic device theme is developed further by Professor Tom Preston, who envisages the cast as a 'suspendatory adjunct to a prime ministerial Whitereadesque handbag'. His detailed instructions involve making a separate cast of the interior of a handbag, which is then supported by the plaster from the royal wrist. The final result symbolises the invisible hand supporting visible baggage.

Other ideas include a boomerang for Paul Keating (Mollie Caird), a storage container for leeks or spaghetti, a guinea-pig's playpen or a wellington-boot tree (all from Trudy Ward and Janet Lee).

Next week, we shall we giving a selection of contemporary nursery rhymes produced by readers. In the meantime, we should like to hear of potential uses for used tea-bags. Suggestions should be sent to Creativity, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.