Creativity / Grate ideas for things to do without cheese.

Cheese graters, according to Mrs Victor Bartlett, may be gainfully employed in the treatment of corns, with considerable savings on Dr Scholl's expensive preparations. This also adds a certain piquancy to the parmesan. Other readers have different ideas.

"Lay it on its side in the garden while it's raining," advises Jan Moor. "Mice can then use it as a shower cubicle." Len Clarke recommends it as a substitute for the conventional pocketful of earth when English bowlers want to roughen up the ball a little during a Test match. Michael Riggs has a tip for shepherds: "The messy rear ends of ewes may be neatly shorn by strapping the cheese grater to the underside of the servicing ram." He also suggests that cheese-graters make useful mouth-organs for masochists on the comb-and-paper principle. "Glissandi tend to work in only one direction, though."

Jon Wright did us a poem with lots of good rhymes like mater, pater and equator, but it's too long to fit and it looked silly when grated.

Ideas in brief: Portable document shredders (Gideon Simon), sleeveguard for runny-nosed children (BE Penson), on short piece of bungee elastic as automatic back-scratcher (Michael Rubinstein), give to the Jumblies for bailing water from their sieve or nail-files for giants (R J Pickles); ice-shoes (lots of you); deterrent to bannister-sliding (Edward Duncombe); cheese wire linking two graters makes a rudimentary telephone (Ciarn Ryan).

Gilbert Wood points out that with a pig and a grater you can make pork scratchings. "A hollw grater, with a candle inside," say John and Fiona Earle, "makes a fine indoor lighthouse, ideal for helping tadpoles navigate in the bath." Marie Louise Flavin sees it as a traveller's essential companion: "Hold under a running tap for an instant shower, or substitute for forgotten razor, or strumming along with a steel band in the Caribbean."

Stuart Cockerill uses his 31/2 inch broad cheese grater for scraping coffee stains from inside his floppy disk drive. He also has a 51/4 inch grater which he keeps in a kitchen drawer for sentimental reasons. "As a child's plaything," writes John Hampson, "graters are much in demand for distressing repro furniture and the child's parents simultaneously." he also points out their uses as tadpole filter, colon printer and tonsil shredder, as well as an acclimatisation device for anyone having to kiss a celebrity with designer stubble.

Prizes to: Michael Riggs, marie Louise Flavin, John Hampson. Next week, things to do with paunches. Meanwhile, we seek things to do with avocado pips. Ideas to: Creativity, the Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Chambers Dictionary-Thesaurus rewards for the best.

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