creativity: worms turning to new pursuits

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The Independent Online
Worm Awareness Week has just begun, with no one more aware of them than our creative readers. "Can them," advises Mollie Caird, "and give them, with a tin-opener, to Sir Richard Scott." Celia Coleman uses them at night, instead of water in her water-bed, to give an all-night massage. During the day, they serve as hair-extensions for the Medusa look.

Worms as shoelaces were a popular idea - eco-friendly and biodegradable. Chris Robinson suggests they can be trained to be self-tying.

Several worms tied end-to-end make a good bungee cord or car fanbelt, according to Chris Bell of Maidenhead, or a measuring device - a sort of tapeworm - according to Giles Bowman. Mr Bowman also uses them as substitute frankfurters when food runs out at a barbecue. The leftover worms may then be used to fill wormholes in the garden. Chris Bell of Bristol finds a use for them as extras in spaghetti westerns. Ms Bell also mentions the noble art of vermiomancy or divination by wormcast.

Patsy Abraham is concerned that worms feel inferior to snails because they have no roofs over their heads. She recommends snail against worm races to restore wormorale.

"Put them in the army," says Sandy Marshall, "in preparation for Worm War Three." He also points out that musical worms could play Vermi-Celli, and a woodworm fed on wormwood would taste of absinthe, and so, if eaten, would make the heart grow fonder.

"Put seven in a packet," advises Linda Browning, "and you've got Wriggly's chewing gum." Eric Bridgstock, in a letter typed using WormPerfect, has a worm as a lead for his Yorkshire terrier. He plans, however, to use it as a spaghetti substitute on 1 April, if the pasta harvest fails.

"Entertainment at hen nights," says Ciarn Ryan. He also has a theory about cosmic worms making holes in space and ordinary worms acting as caravans for small life-forms.

Navin Patel has contacted his local combined hospital and garden centre, which tells him that hollowed-out worms make an ideal vas deferens for anyone wanting to have a vasectomy reversed. "Worms," says Harold Stone, "make an excellent diet for my pet hedgehog, Luther." Geoffrey Langley, however, wants a special prize for not mentioning the Diet of Worms.

Other ideas: fringes for lampshades (RJ Pickles), macrame work (Ann Phillips), knicker elastic (Len Clarke). Prizes to: Celia Coleman, Harold Stone and Ciarn Ryan.

Next week, plans for recycling used brain cells. Last week, the scientists who cloned a sheep said they could think of no possible reason why anyone would want to clone human beings. We accordingly seek uses for cloned people. Send in the clones to: Creativity, the Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Chambers' Guide to Grammar and Usage prizes will be awarded to the ones we like best.

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