It’s time for a grumble.
My friends and I recently had what ended up being a rather heated debate over what one invention would we choose to have never been created, if given the chance. While I would love to say that I chose something noble, like the gun, I cannot. For me, there was only ever one obvious choice: the umbrella.
Upon this announcement, I was met with faces of shock, disgust, and downright bemusement as to why I harboured such a vendetta against such a useful and harmless staple of British life.
Well, allow me to explain.
Firstly, there’s the actual function of them, or more importantly, their lack thereof. From my understanding an umbrella is meant to keep you dry when it is raining. Ok, fine, nothing wrong with wanting to stay dry. But umbrellas will only achieve this if the rain is polite enough to fall directly downwards, which rarely seems to happen as most countries when experiencing rain, are also treated to a hefty dose of wind as well. If you really want to stay dry, may I suggest a jacket?
The benefits of a jacket don’t end there either. Umbrellas have to be carried, leaving your hand exposed to the elements you so desperately want shelter from, preventing your hand from resting inside a toasty jacket pocket.
These are, however, minor quibbles, as neither affect a non-umbrella user such as myself. No, my real problem with umbrellas is with the amount of times that I am poked in the face by their horrible metal arms.
I am roughly 6ft2; not an abnormal height in this day and age. Yet for some reason, it would appear to be the perfect height for umbrellas to gravitate towards my face like a sodden moth to a flame. Its happened so frequently that I’m beginning to worry that I might have done something terrible in my past life, and this is some form of cruel and unusual punishment.
No longer do I feel safe walking the streets when rain begins to fall. I shiver whenever I hear the ‘flumph’ of a parasol opening. Mary Poppins strikes fear into every inch of my body.
And so this is a plea to all umbrella users: please, please, stop persisting with these ridiculous contraptions. Or, y’know, at least look where you’re sticking it.
Image credit: Kieran Clarke