My Rocky Relationship with Umbrellas


Nearly Exactly a year ago, I wrote my first blog about life in Portland.

That was before I moved here, and I thought it was peculiar how Eastsiders rubbernecked my vividly red umbrella on New Year’s Eve.

Later in 2012, after my exodus from Redmond to Portland, I observed how much more common umbrellas are on the west side of the river than the east side.

As the year progressed, I grew to understand the impracticality of umbrellas. My bright red umbrella hasn’t been utilized for its intended purpose in a very long time.

A few weeks ago, as I walked down Hawthorne blvd to go to work, I got caught in a pedestrian traffic jam.

A tourist with an oversized umbrella was gazing in a shop window at a display of furniture and knick-knacks. I moved to go around her when she suddenly stepped backward from the shop window, stabbing me in the face with the spines of her deadly umbrella.

“Ouch!” I commented, somewhat loudly. While I paused to assess facial damage, umbrella tourist moseyed off down the sidewalk, blissfully unaware of the pain she had inflicted upon me. Other neighborhood residents were rudely ushered out of her way by her large spiky instrument of rain repelling and death.

The worst part is that this is not an isolated incident in my life, or that neighborhood.

Therefore, I have drawn up some great diagrams as to why umbrellas are stupid and you should invest in a nice rain jacket instead.

umbrella space

As you can see, an umbrella user takes up significantly more space on the planet than the wearer of simple, streamlined, effective rain gear. This isn’t a problem unless the sidewalks are crowded, in which case any non-umbrella users are at the mercy of the spikes of the umbrella users.

Also, umbrellas are only effective in zero MPH winds. As soon as even a little breeze springs up, umbrella carriers are at the mercy of the precipitation.

umbrella efficacy

umbrella, sans efficacy

How unfortunate.

Luckily there is an extremely practical alternative to umbrellas– to reach maximum dryness quotient, try a rain jacket!

rain jacket ftw

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  1. Hilarious! (I’m sorry about your face.)

    • It’s okay, I’ve endured worse physical damage for the sake of a laugh. :)

      • I found the stringer on the wood shed with my face a few days ago. The initial response to the event was not a laugh, but that’s the way it goes, huh? The funny stuff often starts with pain.

  1. May 19th, 2013

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