creativity a platform for original ideas

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The Independent Online
We have been so deluged with ideas for things to do with the Brent Spar oil platform that we can only wonder why Shell did not come to our readers in the first place.

"The only environmentally safe way to get rid of it," advises Des Waller, "is to eat it. All Shell employees should be given a piece to consume, with no dispensation for those who say they don't like seafood."

Dorothy Cairns Smith recommends Brent Spar be given to Greenpeace as a trophy. "They could then occupy it and stop interfering with sound conservation ideas such as dumping it at sea." Philip Wren proposes selling it for pounds 1 to Greenpeace, who could then turn it into "genuine Brent Spar memento Biros to fund their next world-saving but scientifically flawed event".

Max Hughes recommends dumping it near Amesbury to create "Brent Spar Henge", where future generations can come to worship and wonder who built it and why.

Maurice Hulks, writing on green recycled paper, proposes putting it in Brent reservoir, renaming it Brent Spa and using it as a centre for bungee jumping, long-distance fishing and, with the addition of a water pump and 49 giant ping-pong balls, picking lottery winners and announcing water industry chiefs' new salaries.

Damien McIver suggests moving the House of Commons there: "an appropriate platform for an unstable Government." Geoffrey Langley says: "Since the Brent Spar is rusty, dangerous, crammed with toxic waste and on the point of foundering, it would be ideal as a Government think-tank."

Harold Stone wants it in Trafalgar Square as a recycling centre for spent bras. Nicholas E Gough wants to leave it in the ocean as a deterrent to Spanish ships flouting fishing laws.

"Sell it to Cunard, who are geniuses at speedy refits," says Mollie Caird. "Book now for the first cruise, Christmas 1995."

"Cover it with Tippex and conceal it among arctic icebergs," says RJ Pickles, "or tow it to the Pacific and hope it will be destroyed by French nuclear tests."

Many Turner prize-winning ideas have been proposed, including Fergus Collins's idea of hiring Damien Hirst to fill it with formaldehyde and drop in dead fish and sheep. Alan Wilson, equally artistically, suggests commissioning "the French loony artist and his wife to wrap it in cellophane".

Stacey Collins thinks two of them could make heels for Gary Glitter. Brian French thinks 32 of them would make a fine marine chess set.

Michael Irons thinks it should be left in place as a bridge support for the M67 extension to Stavanger. David Daly sees it as a venue for Scrabble championships: "with built-in seat commodes leading to oil slurry pipes."

Hollow it out and sell it to Iraq as the mother of all superguns, says Duncan Bull. Prizes, after eliminating all who referred to supermarkets in Brent Cross, go to Brian French, Michael Irons and Maurice Hulks.

Next week, we'll report on Government guidelines in tabloidese. Meanwhile, I have a problem. For the past week I have been plagued by incessant hiccups. What should I do with them? There are three Chambers Dictionaries for the best ideas received by 27 July, at: Creativity, the Independent, 1 Canada Sq, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL.

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