Independent Pursuits: Creativity

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LET'S KICK off this week with Lindsay Warden's idea for what to do with a football: "How about getting some men in a field and letting them kick it around," she suggests. "There would be no point to this, but they could pretend they were trying to get it into little nets at each end of the field. If they managed to kick the ball in the direction they wanted to all the men could kiss each other, and if it didn't go the way they wanted they could all cry."

Norman Foster suggests that the French could use a large football to block the Channel Tunnel and keep the hooligans out. The British Government, meanwhile, has plans, he says, to issue everyone with half a football to give us each our very own Millennium Dome. He also says that a very large football makes a good seat for watching village cricket.

Magy Higgs suggests filling them with lead and using them to anchor ships, or "fill them with helium and send them into the atmosphere inscribed with slogans such as: Don't shout if you love your country". Geoffrey Langley says: "Fill it with concrete and substitute it for the real thing in the World Cup Final. Laughs for all the family."

Lindsay Warden continues: "They could neglect their friends and family, and how about it if a lot of other men neglected their friends and families to watch them? And then hundreds of these men could travel overseas to watch the first lot of men kicking the ball at a lot of foreign men. They could paint their faces and get drunk and beat the hell out of each other if the balls didn't go into the nets ..."

Jack and Renee Dolan say that "footballs smell better than mothballs and probably look a lot more terrifying to moths, too."

At half-time, Maria O Treadwell says: "I always take a football with me when I'm out on the razzle, so I never fail to score."

Nigel Plevin seeks funding for a project to establish the source of the attraction between footballs and greenhouse windows. He thinks this could help counter the greenhouse effect.

"... and they could do exactly the same if the balls did go the way they wanted," Lindsay Warden goes on, before finally dismissing the whole idea, including television coverage, as too ridiculous.

"Replace the golfball in your own typewriter with the football," David Parsons suggests, "and use it for the headers and footers." Mike Gifford wants to print maps of the world on footballs as an educational aid at playtime. Or, he suggests, "they could be sliced in half as receptacles for the involuntary discharges of sick parrots".

"Gobstopper for John Motson," Bruce Birchall suggests, or "take 100, unzip, stitch together, fill with beef on the bone and make cows."

Several readers mentioned Sian Cole in connection with two footballs and a flagpole. Ms Cole herself has sent us a photograph of a young lady who appears to have had two small footballs implanted into her chest.

And a final tip from Nicholas E Gough: "In winter, when the weather is freezing, place a football in the pond to create a breathing-hole which will sustain life."

Chambers Dictionary prizes to Norman Foster, David Parsons and Mike Gifford. Next week, uses for worrying. Meanwhile, we seek uses for shirt pockets. Ideas will be welcome at Creativity, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL.