I have a fairly relaxed attitude to umbrellas. For a start, I never buy them. I reckon they're the kind of transient, non-purchasable item that just gets passed on from stranger to stranger because they're nearly always left somewhere.
I used to feel sad for all the umbrellas I'd see abandoned in various doorways, coat racks and under seats on public transport. Until I realised that it's actually their destiny, and that being the most popular object in the world when the heavens decide to open must be pretty nice.
Thus, I have given in to the slightly amoral habit of stealing abandoned umbrellas. Only because I know that I'll abandon it somewhere and it will be picked up by another ethical thief. It's like a physical karma.
However, despite this habit of accumulating rain-protectors, I rarely use them. Normally it's because I don't like to carry a giant handbag containing objects for every eventuality, or because I cycle everywhere. Or so I thought until yesterday, when I realised EXACTLY why I don't carry umbrellas.
It's because they become near-lethal objects when any slight amount of wind power is involved. Holding umbrellas sideways, like a shield, completely defeats the point of them as your bonce gets increasingly soggy. Even such a compromising position, however, cannot prevent you from the Ultimate Umbrella Catastrophe: the turning inside out.
Wandering down Southwark Street at rush hour, U.U.C happened to my recently-claimed pink number. It was the saddest thing that happened all day. What had been so proud and shiny had turned into a mangled wire lump. I felt like I was working at the inanimate object version of the RSPB.
Pinkie stayed at home today. It's recovering, and I probably will continue to use it, albeit in a wonky state, once this violent memory has been repressed. It's just a little too much to deal with right now.
On the plus side, I have been cheered up by Andersen Ben-Hilliens Aarhus and his blog. I bet Jordan wouldn't tell him that she'd 'cut him up aswell'.