Your portable rain shield/weapon and you
By Caroline Ho, Assistant Editor
As you may or may not have noticed, the rainy season is upon us once more, dousing Metro Vancouver in its familiar damp, mopey shroud of wetness. Yes, umbrella weather has returned—and with it the constant struggle against the whims of unpredictability, along with the ignominy of stepping out into the torrential downpour with gloriously clompy galoshes and giant umbrellas only to be stuck outside an hour later in the balmy 22-degree sunlight surrounded by people in flip-flops.
Alas, the shameful burden of carrying one’s umbrella on an absurdly sunny day! Fortunately, the seemingly unnecessary umbrella need not only be a mark of naivety in trusting the weather report (though really, you should know better). Below you shall find a list of the best alternate uses for your personal waterproofing device. These tips will keep your ’brella from feeling all sad and existentialist when not actively employed in its rain-shielding function.
Let’s face it, you’ll be “accidentally” whacking people with your handheld canopy all the time anyway. Also, who hasn’t whipped out an automatic spring-loaded umbrella and admired its similarity to a lightsaber before?
The traditional art of Um-Brella-Fu is best practiced against a random stranger on a busy street and accompanied with one’s best passive aggressive and inauthentic “Sorry!” Requiring finesse, klutziness, and a meticulously calculated lack of spatial awareness, this art exercises all of the muscles not honed by the sports of jaywalking and cyclist-dodging.
Personal space bubble enlarger
An extension of the above, just like the umbrella’s intricate patterns and propensity for twirling are an extension of your soul. Use the rain-repelling apparatus to gesture vaguely at anyone who enters your umbrella-length radius. You don’t want anyone getting too close—you might get infected with like… cooties, or political conservatism, or something.
If you want to up your ’brella game, wait for a day when it’s been previously raining, and your portable precipitation shield is sufficiently saturated, then board a bus (the more crowded the better) and plop the soaking wet umbrella on the seat beside you. This will inconvenience not only your current fellow transit-riders but also any poor saps in the future who unwittingly position their bottoms onto the drenched seat. Maximal assholery for minimal effort—that’s how to really have an impact on the world, fools.
SkyTrain door holder-opener
Dashing up the escalator when the familiar three-note chime begins to signal your doom? Simply lunge forward and pop the tip of your umbrella between the doors as they slide shut. The doors will spring back open obediently and you can saunter onto the train in triumph, trying to let your suaveness disguise how embarrassingly out of breath you are after sprinting up half the escalator.
Hold open directly in front of your face with the pole perpendicular to your body, arms bent at the elbow to provide optimal face concealment. Grip tightly, as tightly as you hold onto your futile dreams of home ownership. (Bonus, this also means your weapon will be at the ideal height to whack people with.)
’Brellas are conveniently engineered to be the perfect size and shape to obscure your sleep-deprived face, despondent expression, and entire field of vision. Great for hiding all of those tears you shed whenever you contemplate the lack of housing affordability… wait, those tears are actually rain? Okay, you should probably put your umbrella back up now.