Bellybutton Fluff

Ever wondered what to do with all that spare bellybutton fluff?

Bellybutton fluff, as we all know, appears spontaneously overnight and, if left untreated, can build up to the point where you're carrying three times your normal weight. In such extreme cases it has to be surgically removed. Happily, it rarely gets to this stage, as most bellybutton fluff becomes dislodged through everyday weathering or random gastric turbulence. The residue which remains can easily be removed by hooking it out with your little finger, a cotton bud or a Phillips screwdriver.

But where to put it? That's the issue. Most local authorities will not take it with the household waste, nor do they provide a bin for fluff recycling. The problem has led some people to resort to fly-tipping, and sadly there is now many a rural beauty spot that has been despoiled by great quivering mounds of belly button fluff. Not only is it an eyesore, but it can pollute watercourses and confuse sheep.

A more environmentally-friendly option is to donate it to charity. For the last few years a Red Cross shop in Norwich has been fortunate enough to receive three bin bags full of bellybutton fluff every week. Despite extensive enquiries, they have not been able to find out who is sending it, nor why their shop should have been singled out for this particular honour, but they are keen to get in touch with their anonymous benefactor so that they can ask him to stop it. It's disgusting, they say, and now that their storerooms, kitchen and staff toilet are filled floor to ceiling with the stuff, they have nowhere left to put it.

Fortunately we can now point the phantom Red Cross belly-fluffer to a more grateful recipient of his downy offerings. Fluff for Famine is a new charity which aims to bring relief to famine-struck areas by raising cash from discarded bellybutton fluff. The organisation is barely three months old, and yet it already has four warehouses full of fluff and is anxiously looking to acquire more storage space.

The charity's board of trustees are delighted with progress and have praised the generosity of the public, without whom none of their work would be possible. All that remains is for them to find some way of monetising this bounty and they'll be in business. They've been in touch with the people who collect bottle tops and old stamps, but have drawn a blank. In the meantime they ask the public to be patient and keep sending in their unwanted fluff.

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