creativity some ideas worth sleeping on

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The Independent Online
David and Goliath have been frequent visitors in this week's hammockful of letters. "It is absurd," asserts Mollie Caird,"to suppose David managed to kill Goliath with an ordinary sling and a little stone. He used a hammock, of course, with a tortoise in it." Pat Watkins and Neil Hotchin, however, both see a hammock as a sling for Goliath to put that upstart David in his place. "I have not yet thought of a use for a hammock," admits Gerard Benson, "but I plan to sleep on it."

"You can save on the cost of a fancy-dress outfit," says Tim McGrath, "by lying naked in a hammock for a few hours, then going as a harlequin, a lattice window, or a roast pig." "Sunbathe under a hammock," advises Sian Cole, "for a gorgeous checked tan, so men can play games on your squares".

PN Grigg and Geoffrey Langley, independently, see five hammocks hung on parallel bars as the ultimate executive toy: put one executive in each hammock, then displace and release as many as you like to set them bouncing. More ideas in brief:

Inter-tree links for handicapped squirrels (Maurice Hulks); giantesses' bras or elephants' corsets (many readers); hole storage, or umbrella for when it isn't raining (AJ Brewer); Icelandic parasol (GF Bowman); for Major to rehearse swings to the right (Duncan Bull); rolled up as a Yorkshire Water mains pipe or multi-dimensional yo-yo string (Ben Hopkins); sieves for grading small meteorites (Jo Howarth); outer wrapping for outsize haggis (Bill Fowler); string vest for Rab C Nesbitt or coarse filter for Los Angeles smog (Frank Card).

"It is used," says Steven Eggleton, "as a net by the Yanomami in the ancient game of vertical tennis," whereby one player at ground level aims to prevent a projectile dropped by his opponent located in the forest canopy from reaching the floor. More ideas in brief:

Catapult for getting one's offspring to school on time (Joan Hoult); catapult for propelling pigs from one field to another (Caroline Evans); put hammock across bath, fill with children, spray with shower, leave to dry, or offer to storks for bulk delivery of babies (Rosamund Aubrey); slings for broken-armed Brobdingnagians (RJ Pickles); perfect for letting sleeping dogs lie in (G Langley); surgical masks for consultant elephants (Tom Gaunt).

Prizes to Steven Eggleton, Gerard Benson and Ben Hopkins. Next week, thesauruses. Meanwhile, we seek things to do with semi-colons. Ideas welcome at: Creativity, the Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. The three most creative will win the new Chambers Combined Dictionary Thesaurus.

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