"Dust," says James Nicholas, "is a poor man's cocaine, or an even poorer man's snuff." He also mentions the old drug-snorter's adage: "dust to dust, hashish to hashish". Robert Hanson expands this theme into a chain of high-street snuff and substances emporia called "Dustbins".
More scientifically, Peter Bernard mentions how useful interstellar dust can be in solving the "missing mass" problem of the universe. John Donnelly provides a recipe using dust to make primeval soup. Martin Brown explains how to use dust as a sort of simplified carbon-dating system - the age of any object being determined by the level of dust lying on it. RJ Pickles mentions that dust may be treated with anti-gravitational chemicals so that it settles only underneath objects. Margaret Shaw sprinkles it across her front porch and the inside of the window sills so that unwelcome visitors will think she's on holiday.
Richard Denning keeps his dust in carefully graded and labelled jars "so that when you come with one of those see-through vacuum cleaners, you can get some real visual pleasure after scattering the stuff liberally over your lounge carpet." AJ Brewer's Hoover has been caused great excitement by this topic: "She hopes that you will create some awareness of the nutritional value of dust." Hazel Laitner does precisely that by pointing out: "Dust is purely dehydrated people: just add water and, hey presto, instant person." She also mentions that you can create student accommodation instantly by adding an industrial quantity of dust to an ordinary house. Back with AJ Brewer, we are warned against biting the dust, an activity he says is invariably fatal. "Who put the Dust in Hoffman?" he asks.
TJ Stone wants to transform it into dust pans, dust baths, dust sheets and dust jackets "with the annual award of a dust bowl, and a junior section to encourage dust mites". John and Fiona Earle see dust baths as the natural way to conserve water. They even have a marketing plan with dust sold in packets, a few of which have some gold dust added. Nicholas Gough sprinkles it in his hair, for that distinguished look.
Len Clarke vaguely remembers being asked, at a wedding service: "Dust thou take this woman ...?" Prizes to Hazel Laitner and Jack Dolan. Distinguished Service award to Sian Cole - if she'll tell us her full address, which we promise never to pass on to another living soul. Next week, things to do with electrical plugs. Meanwhile, we seek uses for toadstools. Non- poisonous ideas will be welcome at: Creativity, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Chambers Dictionary prizes for those we like best.Reuse content