Is it a sign of ageing when 21st Century man ditches cool in favour of staying dry under an umbrella?
In an unparalleled cultural turning point of modern society, I have dispensed with looking cool in favour of practicality. Yes – I have purchased an umbrella.
You may have noticed that it’s been raining a lot lately. ‘A lot’ is an understatement – the sun has only popped out long enough to remind us of what we are missing; to remind us that yes, it is July and yes, we were promised some sort of summer and no, the meteorological powers that be do not care a jot.
The moment hope returns to our weary hearts the sun disappears again and it’s back to grey, grey wetness for a couple more days. Rinse and repeat. The relentlessness of the weather has forced me to relent – I have purchased my first umbrella.
This is more of a monumental occasion than you might think. I am a city boy – I must therefore look effortlessly cool. It is in my job description to ignore both weather and season, wearing cheap jeans, cheap T-shirts and cheap, non-waterproof shoes all the year round. It’s what I do.
But, having wasted one too many days sitting indoors, reasoning that I can’t go anywhere in this rain because I will get soaked, I decided to look into the possibility of a way around the predicament.
I got my laptop out (of course), fired up Google (of course) and it turned out that a solution already existed – a small piece of engineering known as an ‘umbrella’.
Now, I had heard of umbrellas before. They were those things my parents always nagged at me to take whenever I left the house as a child.
I therefore scorned the very idea of them, forever labelling them ‘uncool’ and opting instead to ignore the rain and get drenched (much cooler).
The amount of rainwater that’s evaporated from my clothing at the expense of my own body heat over the years would be enough to… well, it would be enough to account for the rainfall we are currently experiencing. Apologies, everyone.
Function over fashion? Taking parental advice? Bah. No wonder I never tried umbrellas before.
Still, the time was now ripe, so I ordered one online (of course). Yes, I could have gone out and bought one, but that would have entailed leaving the flat and interacting with a person in a shop – that is not the modern way.
It was a beauty. Sturdy, windproof, and navy-blue (black and grey were out of stock – obviously other men had been umbrella-shopping too).
It was still raining when it arrived (of course), so I immediately took it out for a try and it was miraculous. It kept me dry. I went about my day’s errands without becoming a sodden, shivering wreck. Incredible.
I am sure it is no surprise to most of you that umbrellas keep you dry, but you have to understand that this was a profound revelation to me.
The uncoolness of umbrellas is a gross injustice. I intend to spread the news of my discovery to everyone I know (via the internet, of course).
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