Creativity

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Indy Lifestyle Online
We should never have asked you to socket to us, but many readers did, and here are the results.

Karen McMullan thinks an electric socket could be turned into a TV studio for current affair programmes, always earthed in fact, or chat shows on which authors could plug their latest works. "Cheap perms for people willing to stick their fingers in," says RJ Pickles.

Mary Flavin reports: "After some disastrous early experiments (see Three Blind Mice, The History of), mice hit on a way of converting the apertures of electric sockets into tiny electric toasters." Watch for scorch marks on any sockets near the bread board. Duncan Bull recommends electric sockets as storage holes for small quantities of spaghetti. "Survivors of this practice," he says, "recommend that only dry spaghetti be so stored."

"Who needs an electricity supply when I'm around?" asks the ever-shocking Sian Cole. Nigel Plevin agrees that Ms Cole and electricity are best kept apart. He fears a possible short skirt sit. He also recommends using them as a cheap way for astronauts to practice docking manoeuvres "for a Mir 25p", and advises anyone whose socket is stolen to follow a hot lead. Docking manoeuvres also feature in Georgina Redhead's suggestive suggestion, but since it also features Sian Cole and the orgasmatron from Woody Allen's film Sleeper we feel our readers are best insulated from it.

MJ Gifford says: "It could be used to turn a jaded `clippie' into a lightning conductor." He also sees them as nests for electric eels, refuelling stations for fireflies and refreshment booths for glow-worms. Martin Brown wants to use them as stone cladding to enhance the appearance of power stations.

Bruce Birchall has many ideas: use them as a Christian icon to symbolise the Three in One; re-fuse to have anything to do with them; gloves for Teletubbies; steadying device for pixie camera tripods; horn park for miniature triceratops; to Eartha Kitt.

Nicholas E Gough refers us back to a Creativity column of 10 June 1997, when the topic was electrical plugs: "simply interpenetrate the aforesaid column with the current ideas", he says.

"Store chewing-gum, break a Biro by inserting the tip and pressing, insert a lighted splint, or use as letterbox for love notes," says Judith Holmes, from unhappy memories of teaching science to 14-year-old children. Personally, she prefers using them to store spare plugs.

Prizes to Nigel Plevin (for bad puns), Bruce Birchall (especially for Eartha Kitt), and MJ Gifford for generosity to eels. Next week, we shall have things to do with an Oval Office. In the meantime, however, we are looking for things to do with unread copies of Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time. Ideas (please specify hardback or paperback) will probably be very welcome throughout the country, but particularly at: Creativity, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Chambers Dictionary prizes will be awarded to those we consider to be most timeless.

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