Canopy Carnage

I stepped out of work today, and much like people who have witnessed the aftermath of a hurricane, I witnessed the unmistakable signs of the urban jungle after a rainstorm. In lieu of trees, umbrella parts were strewn and splattered all over the sidewalks. And of those that didn’t fly out of the hands of their owners, many were seen mutilated and tossed into trash cans.

You know how people like to make unhelpful statements such as, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!”? Well, in today’s case, it was both the rain and the wind – an unforgiving combination that can bring even the toughest umbrella to its knees.

Speaking of umbrellas, to the monopolists out there who won’t venture out in the rain (not ACID rain, mind you, just water rain) without an umbrella that’s roughly half the diameter of the EARTH, a newsflash: Other people need to use the sidewalk too. It won’t kill you if your shoulder gets wet. As my mom always says, “You’re not a sugar cube, you won’t melt.”

I don’t have a problem with the rain, per se. It’s certainly not my favorite, but I can see how it’s necessary, and after I learned the hard way that the trick is to cuff your pants to avoid wicking water to your knees, it really aint so bad. Until you factor in the wind. Then, it’s downright unbearable. I avoid using an umbrella for this reason: I hate it when my umbrella turns inside out. It not only defeats the purpose of utilizing an umbrella in the first place, but it causes a roller coaster of emotions, ranging from panic to embarrassment to anger to resentment to disappointment to frustration.

Yet, as with most things in life, there is a silver lining to this scenario. In that Schadenfreude kind of way, I find a smile in having battled and conquered both water and wind with my tiny pink umbrella, while those massive canopies catch the first wind and succumb to their fate as crosswalk carnage.

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