Independent Pursuits: Creativity Loki

NEW USES for discarded elastic bands. Catapults, bungee jumps and musical combos were all popular, but Chief Constable Susan Tomes and telepathic Nigel Plevin both insist that all such uses are illegal, as elastic is a band substance, whilst Special Agent Paul Turner, formerly of Blackpool (ex-Fylde) insists this is the abandoned detritus of aliens living among us, unsuspected, invisible and unseen.

Wedding ring for elephants, circus ring for fleas, muzzle for pelicans, says Bruce Birchall who plays quoits, makes Mobius Strips and does men's gymnastics with his. Hula hoop for LS Lowry's stick people, corsetry for Beryl Cook's fat people, Puck's 40-minute girdle around the earth, says Annie Bisssett. Saturn's rings, says Ivor Nadir. Pastry-cutters, says Iva Knuther.

Sling to weigh hedgehogs or moor up your ketch, or overnight handcuffs for booming clocks, argues Magy Higgs, who hoards hers to sell as antiques in an e-mail New Dawn. What today is thrown away/ Next year is tres recherche she concludes. Clock hands for flexitime, panto bungee jump for Widow Twangie, equip a mouse gymnasium, opines Len Clarke.

Bicep-strengthening for hamsters (Luela Palmer). To play at rubber fetishists' dinner dances (RJ Pickles). Restraints for S&M enthusiasts, recycle clips, self-closing device for doors (James A Kelly). A substitute for squid rings (Mary Flavin), for Mata Hari to make Calamari in the Kalahari.

Useful for gossip columnists to bandy people's names (Andrew Duncan). To tree surgeons for rubber tree sap-transfusions (John Morton). To Bob Geldof for Elastic Band Aid (Bob Goodall). To Versace for see-through underwear collections (Jane Reeves). To Beryl the Peril as knicker elastic, to Polly as a Garter, as Christmas decorations in doll's houses (Mike Gifford).

To teach worms how to make ends meet (Nigel Plevin). To tie together bulky plain brown envelopes for the IOC (Brendan J O'Byrne) or Mick and Jerry's post-non-nuptial agreement (John O'Byrne); to hold together Rupert Murdoch's papers. Or: export to Iraq, ostensibly for parcel mail, in fact for giant catapult to shoot down US planes (JR Gore). Twist and attach to propeller for eco-friendly car engine (Colin Archer) or wind-powered Millennium Dome generator (John Bronsdon). "Smart" missiles to return unwanted junk mail (Alan Meikle). Catapults to launch politicians into space (Tom Gaunt); Dome visitors over the Thames (Cate O'Kane); to revive the old Lakeland sport of slug-hurling (Martin Brown).

Len Clarke and Annie Bissett win copies of Chambers Dictionary of Quotations, as does Nic Coidan's challenge: suggest uses for inside-out umbrellas gusted away by gales. Ideas to Creativity, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5 DL, by 11 February. Three prizes of Chambers Dictionary of Quotations. Results 16 February. On 9 February, cause for more Cabinet resignations.

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Stewart Lee (Gavin Evans)


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