Creativity

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Videotapes help you escape to the reel world, says Susan Tomes, but she warns against listening too closely to them, or you may develop tape-ear and start eating ants. She also points out that unravelled and swallowed, a video may encourage tapeworm, thus serving as a dietary aid. Maguy Higgs has another dietary idea, covering her tape with tomato pesto as non-fattening ersatz spaghetti. Martin Brown, however, sticks videotapes into his toaster to help it keep its shape when not being used.

Alexandra Harley recycles her videos as alternative weed for fishtanks. Except for wedding videos, which she recommends keeping until your divorce, then shredding and using as confetti at your ex-spouse's next wedding. Nicholas Gough uses his videos to nourish couch potatoes, keeping the boxes himself to glue together as a mini-filing-cabinet.

"My mother," Geoffrey Langley tells us, "used to say that if you invented a better videotape, the world would Beta path to your door, which showed just how wrong mothers could be."

Marilyn Dale sticks white dots on her videotapes for use as giant dominoes. Jan and David Earles advise recording EastEnders, then playing it while you are out so that you can miss it twice.

Several readers - and they should be ashamed of themselves - have been inspired by earlier contributions from our regular callipygean temptress Sian Cole, to speculate on what she might do with videotapes. John Donnelly wants to enlist the services of Ms Cole to make a video of the seamier side of office life in order to lure the unemployed back to work; Maguy Higgs wants to project videos on to Sian Cole's ceiling in order to "break the blue mood". Mike Peart suggests that you can get a lot of bondage out of a four-hour tape. "Beta comes as an extra," he says, adding that it's a VHS (Very Highly Suggestive) thing to say. Just for that, we're not going to tell you what the delectable Ms Cole really does with her videos.

Perhaps it is close to Mr Peart's other suggestion of unravelling the nation's video-tapes and hanging them from sky-hooks to form a giant fly- curtain around the country. "This will ensure an insect-free summer and we can all get on with the sex and lying without interruption. He calls the whole idea "sex, flies and videotape". Or you could shred the tapes and use them as bedding for cloned sheep.

Prizes to Geoffrey Langley, Susan Tomes and Jan and David Earles (for their highly original idea of using them to record a television programme).

Next week, before Hale-Bopp bops totally out of reach, report on your ideas for things to do with comets. Meanwhile, as we shake off our winter ills and look forward to spring flu, we seek things to do with sneezes. Ideas will be welcome at: Creativity, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Chambers 21st Dictionary prizes will be awarded to senders of those we like best.

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