Genetically engineered tortoises may, according to Fiona and John Earle, operate civil engineering sites and save money on hard hats. They also mention an ancient Roman idea to harness the destructive potential of the angry tortoise as a precursor to the battering ram. Steph and Paul see their best use keeping barber shops tidy - "a tortoise can always be relied upon to catch the hair".
Attach a tortoise upside down to each foot, recommends GP Bowman, for a full-size game of Subbuteo football. Or stand on a tortoise when painting the ceiling, keeping the brush on the ceiling as it strolls up and down.
Midge Varney uses them for cheese-making: "One simply puts a full glass of milk on top of their shell, runs to the attic and shouts 'Here boy!'."
Ideal headgear to wear with a shell suit (Eric Bridgstock). Temporary moving road surface to speed up traffic on the M4 or replacement computer mouse (Maurice Hulks). Harness several together to pull slowcoaches (RJ Pickles). Alternative to a conventional wig (Tom Gaunt). Ice-hockey pucks (Martin Smith).
AJ Brewer notes that the numerological value of "tortoise" is four, which uncannily is identical to that of "Fidel Castro". Finally, Len Clarke's alarm clock:
On retiring, place tortoise at far end of garden; balance plate of tortoise food atop rockery below bedroom window; tortoise wakes you up knocking over plate in the morning. Prizes to GP Bowman, J & F Earle and Eric Bridgstock.
Next week, hammocks will run amok. Meanwhile, we seek things to do with a thesaurus. 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.Reuse content