The Information: Creativity

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The Independent Culture
THE MILLENNIUM Bug is on the rampage, in Nasa's imagination at least, and in Fleet Street's, so we asked readers to let it go footloose and fancy-free in theirs, too.

Peter Holmes says it will make cash machines throw out free money, fire all remaining nuclear missiles into the sun and produce free electricity and gas bills for a century.

Eric Bridgstock predicts the Queen Mother [who is "as old as the century"] will become new-born and start wearing nappies again.

Lorraine Contreras' Millennium Horribilis for the Royals has the Queen's bank accounts all wiped out so she becomes penniless, thus creating the premise of Sue Townsend's novel The Queen and I.

Carrie Sheard foresees burglar alarms all going off and repair firms charging a fortune to break into houses and turn them off again.

Tim Mason has all computers hereafter speak only in Babylonic Cuneiform and needs a hammer, chisel and infinite supply of granite blocks in order to get any print-out.

Martin Brown has the bug scramble communications and a Department of Transport memo to get all old bangers off the roads leading to the MAFF conducting MOT tests for sausages.

Claire Roche is confident that when the clock strikes 12, bugs will be released from a big silver spaceship and all those bitten will turn into tin-foil-wearing aliens.

Rhiannon Harper anticipates the new fashion accessories next season will be wings, antennae, and the six-legged look.

Katie Watsham thinks World War Three will be bugs versus humans.

Sophie Howarth's vision has everyone catch flu, sneeze simultaneously, rip open the ozone layer and ascend through the hole to heaven.

Bruce Birchall's Apocalypse has the catacombs open, Freddie Mercury rise phoenix-like from the grave to sing one last chorus of "I Want To Break Free", all living people turn into ectoplasm and a transmigration of souls wing its way to the aurora borealis, via Cleethorpes.

Clair Hubble's Armageddon has mass choirs of parking meters sing the Hallelujah Chorus, phalanxes of traffic cones march in formation up the M1 squirting icing sugar onto car windscreens [and all watches and clocks melt and dissolve into Salvador-Dali-designed timepieces].

Andrew Duncan thinks giros will be sent out in triplicate, and Kirsty Tillett has all fruit machines pour out money non-stop.

John O'Byrne thinks MI5 will become MMI5 and Mike Gifford hears Bugsy Malone is offering protection.

Elise Rumary thinks computer memories will remain intact but it is all human memories that will be wiped clean.

Peter Holmes, Claire Roche, Elise Rumary and Carrie Sheard win a Chambers Dictionary of Quotations.

[Ex-Tory Minister] Jonathan Aitken now joins the ranks of those let out of prison early on condition he [wears an electronic tag and] abides by a curfew. We wondered what kind of naughtiness can only occur after 10pm [that could not occur before it]?

Suggestions to or Creativity, Features, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL by 5 January. Results and three more Chambers prizes on 11 January. Next week: Uses for Velcro [that manufacturers never imagined possible]