Tuesday 03 February 1998
Norman Foster thought until recently that the Teletubbies were a political broadcast. Now he realises they are prototypes for a new generation of mobile phones. "There is a slight fault in the speech reproduction, but I think wecan work ightnfdkcvbgthst outwith somfghrb clever enfhydbskuning."
John O'Shea says: "Essence of Teletubby could be distilled to concentrate its asexual ingredient and be fed to Sian Cole to curb her rampant sexuality." Sian Cole asks: "Do they have knobs? If they do I'd exercise my bare bod by jiggling and bouncing around on them." Rosie Trevelyan seconds the motion: "Send one of them to Sian Cole to give her something to cuddle up with at night." Alternatively she suggests sending them to Iraq where the UN weapons inspection team "are clearly failing using plain English". Georgina (George) Redhead fantasises: "Strip me and Sian completely naked and squeeze us both into one Teletubby costume."
Bruce Birchall says: "Make them queue for hours outside maternity hospitals waiting for children to be delivered, who can be given to them as Christmas presents." Or, she says, they could be used to teach pigeons to talk pidgin English.
With a cry of "Eh-oh, Tally-ho!" Duncan Bull suggests using them as substitutes in fox-hunting when the dogs have been banned from tearing foxes to pieces. Nigel Plevin sees them as "a dire warning of genetic manipulation". Mike Gifford thinks they could promote Shakespeare for children: "Teletubbe or not Teletubbe? That is the question."
Maguy Higgs rhymes:
"These gruesome apparitions which defile our television/ Doing absolutely nothing with no reason and no rhyme/ Make us wonder what they're there for and to utilise them therefore/ Is a challenge to resourcefulness that takes a deal of time." (plus another 28 lines).
"When I was small," Peter Fooks remembers, "the La-la (or Po) was where I sat when I needed a Tinky-Winky." Nicholas E Gough sees them as "back four of Doncaster Rovers substitutes", or Spice Girl substitutes. "Would David Beckham notice the difference between Tinky-Winky and Posh Spice?" he asks.
"Punchbags," says RJ Pickles. "Send to Bill Clinton as interns," Peter Thomas advises. "Even he couldn't ..." Prizes to David Ridge, Peter Fooks, and Mike Gifford. Next week, Bill Clinton, after which we shall be seeking uses for electric plug sockets. Ideas to: Creativity, usual address. Chamber Dictionary prizes to those we like best.
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