Creativity

ASTRONOMERS AT the Open University have found a new planet, beyond Pluto, the 10th in our Solar System. We wondered what we may find there, when the first spaceships from Earth arrive.

Paul Holland reports that Goofy had to settle for a planet named after him. He wanted to be the dog star but was told, "you cannot be Sirius". And that the OU branch on Goofy is into distance learning. Humans carry miniature brandies to rescue animals in the mountains, says Mike Gifford, and sniffer men locate drugs. Everything is in reverse, writes R.J. Pickles: people emerge from death, get younger, shrink in size to become children and finally pass away in birth.

It's an anti-matter planet, according to Toby Beresford. A decahedron, says Sue Johnson. It is where Lord Lucan has holed up for eternity, says T.M. O'Grady. It's where ballpoint pens and small screwdrivers disappear to, John Pickin reckons. And pencils, says Octavia Leigh. It is the destination for missing socks, taken there by lost golf balls, Carole Hawkins would have us believe. And Martin Brown thinks Tenmen raid Earth to stock up for their planet's car Bootes sales.

It is a Stone Age planet and happy that way, says Massimo Bini. Time runs slowly there, says Paul Turner, such that war is impossible: arrows can be avoided, sword slashes foreseen and cannon balls run away from. There is a giant crater, called the Marie Lloyd, which is full of allotments growing cabbages and peas, says Clair Hubble. Grown for the restaurant at the end of the universe, says D. Adams. Which serves Shergar Burgers, says James A. Kelly, who is convinced Planet Ten is where the second-class post sorting office is located.

Bruce Birchall thinks it is a Siberia to which failed game show hosts are sent, Dover Council's licensed caravan site for Romanian Gypsies, or simply where the M25 extension will end up. Jane Masterson thinks it might make a ski resort, with slopes made of Bose-Einstein Condensate, with your friendly ski instructor being Absolute-Zero Mostel. Jim Phillips reckons it is where the Spy Who Came In from the Cold doesn't want to go back to and Mandy Alsop says it was the film set for Ice Cold in Alex.

Carole Hawkins, Paul Holland and Paul Turner each win a copy of Chambers Dictionary of Quotations.

With weddings going out of fashion, there are mounting EU stockpiles of confetti that is never, ever, going to get thrown at anyone. Whatever could we use it for instead? Suggestions: Loki.Valhalla@btinter net.com or Creativity, Features, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL, by Wednesday, 24 November. Results and three more Chambers prizes on 30 November. Incidentally, many readers think these are funded by the paper, but not so. They are donated and distributed by Chambers, for whose generosity and sponsorship across the years we are very grateful.

Next week: misheard or misreported quotations, and what the speaker really said.

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