creativity anyone for scratchings?

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The Independent Online
Artificial dandruff was the most frequent suggestion in response to our request for uses for the stuff you scratch off scratch cards. Martin Brown believes that a campaign is needed to promote the joy of dandruff in order to create a market for scratch-card detritus. Or, he suggests, it could be used to fill the spaces in the heads of those who buy scratch- cards. The next most popular idea was to sprinkle it over the scratched area of scratch cards in order to re-use them.

Collect it in a teaspoon, advises Luela Palmer, and offer it to your garden gnome. If the gnome imbibes it, you will be lucky. Keith Burnett sprinkles it over floury baps "for a lustrous finish" or as a replacement for the misplaced contents of a funeral urn.

C Douglas proposes packing the hole in the ozone layer with it, or selling it to Railtrack for use on the lines when the wrong sort of snow is not available. Sell in small packets at exorbitant prices to yachtsmen, says Len Clarke, for chucking in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. Or use as confetti for just-married mice or artificial snow for homesick Siberian voles. Cat litter for Humphrey at Downing Street, says Mollie Caird. Ann Phillips adds that scratchings used as cat litter prevent cats from scratching.

Barb Drummond thinks that lottery money should be used to subsidise the construction of a building made entirely out of scratchings to house sculptures (commissioned with more lottery money) made from the same stuff. Tastefully boxed and wrapped, says Frank Card, it would make a suitable present for a 17th wedding anniversary.

While Mr Card persistently referred to the Stuff You Scratch Off Scratch Cards as "Sysosc", only Des Waller used the correct terminology: the right word is "swarf" and he wants to use it to build a snow-capped Mount Camelot.

Cath Skinner wants scratchings melted down and re-cast as 50p pieces, to be returned to punters next time they buy a card. She advocated recycling bins for scratchings. DM Guest passes his scratchings on to a local dentist who uses them for filling teeth.

RJ Pickles sees a use for them as artificial dust for compulsive cleaners to sprinkle round when ordinary dust is in short supply.

Geoffrey Langley, after consulting a "knowledgeable female relative", informs us that compressed scratchings could reduce wheel flange wear on the Docklands Light Railway by a factor of 3.5: "If the gunge is based on a strong polymer medium, incorporates friction modifiers and is biologically inert, it could be applied by tube applicators to give a 25 per cent level of lubrication to the wheels of the leading axle. Wheel-squeal will be a thing of the past." Mark Baptist says it could oil the wheels of the Information Superhighway.

Excellent potting compost, says Mark Walmsley, to fertilise the grapes of wrath. Roll into six small balls and drop onto a lottery card as a random number generator, says Leo Nation.

Prizes to Luela Palmer, Des Waller (for "swarf") and Leo Nation. Next week, we'll tell you what to do with goggles, snorkel and a fridge magnet. Meanwhile, we seek things to do with corkscrews. Chambers Dictionary prizes for the best ideas received by 27 October at: Creativity, the Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL.

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