"If we encourage everyone to face west when they sneeze," says Lyndon Thomas, "this will speed up the earth's rotation, shorten the working day and, as a fringe benefit, get the election over sooner". Annemarie Cooper says: "My friend's dog can sneeze and fart at the same time."
RJ Connelly was one of many who saw sneezes as a natural, renewable energy source. He proposes to get round the problem of relatively sneeze-free summers by locking up a number of the unemployed in laboratories permeated with the common cold virus. Adrian Barfield proposes paying people to sneeze in unison into a wind tunnel, which would turn a fan, which would drive a turbine. Tess Butler wants a sneeze-power plant in every city. Norman Foster carries a small container of sneeze in his car in case he gets a puncture. He also points out that by adding colouring to your sneezes, you can create an elegant mottling effect on your walls. Mike Peart prefers the pebble-dash effect created by sneezing with a mouth full of Rice Crispies. He adds: "Sneezes are ideal for removing excess froth from a cappuccino." D Storey proposes setting up a sneeze bank, storing sneezes of the rich and famous in jars for future nasal germs museums. RJ Pickles prefers freezing sneezes for use in germ warfare, which Eric Brown thinks would be most appropriate should the Cold War ever break out again.
Judith Holmes seez sneezes as breezes for balloonists, but thinks they would be best placed in the percussion section (though they are technically wind instruments) in any performance of Schubert's Winterreise.
John Dolan sees sneezes as CFC-free aerosol propellants. "Emergency standby extinguisher for birthday cake candles," says Frank Baird. Nicholas E Gough reminds us of DH Lawrence's words: "I like to write when I feel spiteful; it's like having a good sneeze." More ideas:
"A way of recycling cocaine at parties" (Alan Curson). "Pepper detector" (several readers). "To clear seat in front on a train, for putting one's feet up" (Michael Rubinstein). "For turning pages while playing the flute without interrupting the music" (Maguy Higgs). All of which leaves insufficient room to tell you what the delectable Sian Cole can do with a sneeze and a large volume of loose feather pillows. Prizes to Lyndon Thomas, Mike Peart and Frank Baird.
Next week, things to do with golfers. Meanwhile, we have acquired a considerable collection of letters "a" and "A" from correspondents who cannot spell "Independent". Ideas for things to do with them (the letters, not the bad spellers) will be welcome at: Creativity, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Chambers 21st Dictionary for those we like best.Reuse content