"Hitler was a vegetarian," Susan Tomes points out. "The plot to kill him was ill-conceived. It should have been a vegetable plot. It would help if the assassin was a cereal killer using wheatgerm warfare. He could beet Hitler over the head with a vegetable crop until he artichoked and his pulses ceased. Then he could be grilled and his chard remains berried. That might have brought peas in our time."
Tony McCoy O'Grady has an ingenious scheme: "Post Hitler a beach towel and when he gets up the next morning to put it on a sunbed beside the pool, a sniper in the hills can pick him off." There would be little chance of mistaken identity, because "the only Germans who get up early are those who put towels on sunbeds."
Several readers wrote with suggestions of driving him mad or boring him to death. These include: "Send him the entire output of Barbara Cartland and Jeffrey Archer" (Andrew Duncan); "Wire up Hitler's country retreat so that it could receive Test Match Special (Adrian Banfield); send him to hear Peter Mandelson's ideas for the Millennium Dome (Daniel Holloway); .
The man loves cakes and
So plant a tiny bomb
Inside his favourite tasties
And with one bite he's gone
(says Maguy Higgs).
Or magnetise his cufflinks
So when he tries his "Heil!"
A helicopter draws him up
And drops him half a mile.
Several readers suggested ideas involving exploding testicles, and many suggested introducing him to Sian Cole. A few envisaged mud-wrestling contests between Ms Cole and Eva Braun, but more as a distraction than an assassination plot. Ms Cole herself, however, envisages such a delightful plan of erotic asphyxiation that we have to veto the idea on the grounds that the Fuhrer deserves worse.
Mike Gifford says he could have been strangled with a Ribbentrop or given a heart attack by a musical version of Mein Kampf on Ice. Ciarn Ryan suggests scoring him with scissors and folding him to death, or letting him go rowing on a lake then don't recall his boat.
Chambers Dictionary prizes to Susan Tomes, Ciarn Ryan and Mike Gifford. Next week, uses for an extraterrestrial. When we started this column long ago, it began with uses for an odd sock. The missing sock has now turned up at last. Ideas for things to do with it will be welcome at Creativity, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL.Reuse content