Bestial uses: surgical corset for a cobra with a slipped disc (Mollie Caird); shin-pad for dog (J Skinner); attached, with far end blocked, to dog's bottom to keep pavements clean (several readers); straitjacket for Yorkshire terrier (John Grapner); lined with odd sock as horn cosy for unicorn (Claire Dalby); channel tunnel for centipedes (Katie Stallard) or Euro-ants (Lindsay Warden).
Culinary uses: to hold bunches of asparagus together (Alison Claybourne), decorated and embossed as designer napkin rings (Sheila Tuli); to protect milk bottles from birds (Isobel Campbell); covered in baking parchment as ring mould for cakes in microwave (Claire Dalby); spaghetti portion measurer (Wally Reynolds).
Military use: Many glued together as biodegradable supergun barrel for Iraq (Rex Last).
Televisual use: stick enough together with sticky-back plastic and you can make a Blue Peter presenter (Wynne Owen).
Sex aid: for those suffering from temporary impotence (Lindsay Warden); as modesty cover for short, suggestive gear levers (Andrew Middleton).
Musical uses: inserted into the bell of a bassoon to get the low A - as required when playing Wagner - when fingering B flat (A H Slade); put to mouth and saying doog-a-doog-a-doog- a-doo (Joanne Hamilton, who claims it sounds like a bugle).
Entrepreneurial idea: to print with message such as: 'Now wash your hands with Imperial Leather' (Andrew Middleton).
Compared with an exhausted lavatory roll, Norman Lamont proved to be a considerably greater challenge. Indeed, after eliminating the garden gnome modelling opportunities, which almost everyone suggested, considerable ingenuity was apparently required to find any use for the poor fellow. Daniel Atrill even maintains that no use exists, or ever existed, for him. Here are other ideas:
As an answer in a cryptic crossword to the clue 'Non-mortal man' (Mark Jones) or 'Man not normal' (Robert Howe); as a spare skittle for a bowling alley (M Underwood); as a tethering post for Yorkshire terriers (Wally Reynolds); covered in cement with a light in his head as a beacon at the entrance of Lerwick Harbour (Sheila Allen); as an auditor for Lindi St Clair, or an anatomically correct doll for a sex therapist, or British ambassador to the cast and crew of Eldorado (Lindsay Warden).
Perhaps most relevantly of all, Isobel Montgomery Campbell quotes the Mind Alive Encyclopaedia on kinetic and potential energy: 'A stationary object also has a capacity for work (called potential energy). Were it to be pushed over the edge, it would fall, and in striking the floor it would give up the kinetic energy it had acquired during the fall.' She therefore proposes that Mr Lamont be used as a prop for science teaching. 'Otherwise, he can come and be my au pair,' she ends, which may be the best offer he has yet had.
This week's object is a set of dentures. Creative uses should be sent to: Creativity, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.Reuse content