Creativity: You'll never stalk a clone

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Before proceeding to genuine uses for cloned humans, let us get some of the puns out of the way. A M Nottage offer us Clone Rangers as vigilantes in no-go areas, Clone Arrangers as replacement for bank staff, and cloned Greta Garbos saying, "I vant to be a clone".

"In this age of infidelity," writes Tim Hollins, "clones could provide an invaluable role. Married to one, you could have an affair with the other while remaining faithful. On a more spiritual level, a choir of clones would produce perfect plainsong." Linda Browning says: "Wouldn't it be handy to have lots of clones of yourself?"

"If Lord Lucan had been cloned," writes Colin Standfield, "we'd have found him by now." Linda Browning says: "Wouldn't it be handy to have lots of clones of yourself?"

"To test mirrors," suggests Brian French, or fill empty pea pods. R J Pickles points out the need for cloned shepherds to look after all the cloned sheep. Alexandra Harley's clone acts as "a modern-day equivalent of Dorian Gray's portrait" to soak up all her social gaffes and embarrassments. David Lewis proposes a Clonely Hearts Club or traffic clones on the Newbury by-pass. Clone Thomas Chippendale to make repro furniture, says Sandy Marshall.

"In the same fat vein as TV dinners," writes Ciaran Ryan, "cloned humans could be used as convenience people, companions for those who are too busy to form friendships and don't want the mess of changing fish tank water."

"Cloned princesses could deputise for real ones, taking the pressure off Di," says Harold Stone, who envisages a headline: " `I'll never stalk a clone', says usual suspect".

"Wouldn't it be handy to have lots of clones of yourself?" says Linda Browning. A J Brewer points out that cloning would make it easier to cast Snow White's co-stars. All the Eric Bridgstocks suggest that human clones would help the police create standard identity line-ups, making it easier to spot the criminal. Martin Brown has found a perfume for clones: it's called "odour clone". After eliminating anyone who said: "send in the clones", prizes go to: Colin Standfield, Tim Hollins, and Brian French.

Next week, traffic lights. Meanwhile, ideas on things to do with buttons to: Creativity, the Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. The best ideas win copies of Chambers' Guide to Grammar and Usage.

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