Tuesday 18 March 1997
Sian Cole (who mentions, in passing, that her name is an anagram of "ace loins") spells out the conditions under which she would be prepared to spend 24 hours a day on her back looking at the sky. Or indeed, 24 hours a day looking at the ground. Sadly, we (whose name is an anagram of "it thrills a woman") cannot send her a prize for 24-hour-a-day dedication, because she never tells us her full address.
Martin Brown declares himself most impressed by the way the sky manages to stay up without any apparent means of support. "Why then," he asks, "has it never been used as raw material for trousers, wallpaper, stockings and long socks?" He suspects a conspiracy among brace, belt and garter makers and wallpaper paste manufacturers. Peter Snare has a good way to ensure a stress-free and relaxing holiday: "Select a nearby piece of cloudless sky, then carefully, at the bottom edge only, paint in an inviting golden beach and some empty sun-loungers. When you surface at a civilised hour, you will find that all the German tourists have gone into outer space."
Norman Foster wants to cut the sky, if blue, into endlessly long strips to make blue movies, If cloudy, he suggests cutting out billions of discs to make cheap sunglasses. RJ Pickles helpfully suggests that differently coloured skies should be labelled, red, blue, grey or whatever, so the colour-blind will know what weather to expect. He also recommends that aerosol manufacturers should make tins of sky to spray into the holes in the ozone layer. Ciarn Ryan says that compressed sky would reduce electricity costs by reflecting light pollution back into cities. At night, a small amount of sky has enough stars to illuminate the rooms of an average house. RJ Connelly is another who sees the colour of the sky as useful for tinting the jokes in sitcoms, or "for livening up food, which has a notable absence of blue".
"With the amount of rubbish we pour into the atmosphere, the sky must by now be suffering from severe irritation," Mike Peart laments. So he recommends building "lots more skyscrapers to scratch the itchy parts". Susan Tomes wants to detach the sky from its overhead position and stand it on edge to provide "the only sufficiently large acoustic shell for the next Three Tenors concert". Alexandra Hartley says: "the sky is just a giant colander to let the rain in." But these ideas may have to wait. Duncan Bull tells us that the sky has been booked by the Tories as a massive billboard for their election campaign posters.
Prizes to Martin Brown, Mike Peart and RJ Pickles. Next week, opinion polls. Meanwhile, we seek things to do with videotapes. Send your ideas to: Creativity, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Chambers Dictionary prizes will be awarded to those we like best.
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