Anyway, back on spaghetti, Paul Mitchell presciently tells us that our spaghetti puns are pasta joke. John Burrows, fulfilling the bad pub prediction, relates the following tale: "Eric Morecambe had a dream in which he was toying with spaghetti. His partner, who was dressed as a cowboy, came by and asked: `What are you doing?' and back came the reply: `I'm making a spaghetti vest, Ern.'" (RJ Pickles tells us that they use it to make the lassos and lariats in spaghetti westerns.) Alan McMurray mentions the health hydro for exclusive millionaires: Spa Getty.
Duncan Bull observes: "tennis would change somewhat, perhaps for the better, if the rackets were strung with spaghetti." Mrs Mae Wriggly writes from the second flower bed on the left to tell us that spaghetti is used for flossing by people with large dental gaps, or for punting in depths of no more than 6in by vertically challenged gondoliers. Mike Peart uses spaghetti to wrap food parcels. He also supplies the pattern for a Versace- like creation made of pieces of lasagne held together with spaghetti. More ideas:
For trainee sword-swallowers to practise on, or to replace the spines on balding porcupines (John Dolan & Renee Gallagher); al dente as emergency shoelaces or non-threatening bondage equipment (Steve Warner); tile grouting (Norman Foster); to fill the holes in macaroni (Isobel Hawking); for filling spaghetti jars (Phillippa Cragg); for knitting edible string vests for gingerbread men (Andrew Berry); to teach people to eat in public with effortless inelegance (Michael Rubinstein); edible wigs, barbed wire in neutral countries, or book marks when reading the works of Boris Pastanak (Doug Wetherly). Finally, Maguy Higgs, who no longer lives in Birmingham, writes to remind all of us that spaghetti are plural.
Prizes to Doug Wetherly, Shaun Patrick and Isobel Hawking. Next week, things to do with snails. Meanwhile, my children brought back from holiday a fine collection of sea shells. What can we do with them? Ideas to: Creativity, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Chambers Dictionary prizes for those we like best.