Guest Post: 7 Reasons That The Umbrella Is A Bad Invention
We were hoping to bring you a guest post by Tom Cruise this week, but sadly talks broke down when we couldn’t give him a more precise date on which he would receive his badge. Thankfully, we have found someone someone else who once considered a career in film. Unfortunately, the Reading Odeon wasn’t recruiting at the time.* And that is definitely to 7 Reasons gain. Back on the 7 Reasons sofa for an unprecedented two Saturdays in a row is serial guest writer, Dr Simon Best. This week he has swapped the luxury of sleepers for umbrellas. Well who wouldn’t? Over to you Dr Simon.
1. Health Hazard. When you are under an umbrella you become blind to things around you. This makes umbrellas a health hazard. Umbrellas are a health hazard for tall people. Imagine you are well over 6 foot tall, and walking down a street in the rain packed with people with umbrellas. You will be very fortunate if you emerge with your eyesight intact. Umbrellas are also a health hazard for short people like me when we stand at bus stops and taller people with their umbrellas drip water onto our heads or if we happen not to be wearing hoods, down our necks.
2. The Weather. Umbrellas may be designed to withstand rain, which is excellent. However they are not designed to withstand more than the gentlest breath of wind. I have seen umbrellas turned inside out by breezes that aren’t strong enough to ruffle a feather. Take an umbrella outside in Britain and it’ll end up looking like this:
Provided they haven’t been turned inside out by the wind, umbrellas only protect you from rain from above. However rain often falls horizontally. This is especially the case by the sea. Umbrellas offer no protection whatsoever against horizontal rain. In order to stay dry on your summer holiday by the sea in Britain you need a wraparound umbrella. Or a waterproof coat.
3. Size. Umbrellas come in two sizes: Too big and too small. Either way they are the wrong size. They are either too small for two people to shelter under, thus being anti-social and encouraging selfishness, or, if they large enough to fit more than one person underneath, they are so big that they take up an entire pavement and make it impossible for a normal person wearing a sensible coat (with a hood) to get past.
4. They Get Wet. “Of course they get wet,” I can hear you all saying, “that’s the whole point of them”. Well what happens when you come in from the rain to your house where everything is dry? The umbrella deposits water all over your dry house. Thus bringing in the rain that you tried so hard to keep off you and getting everything wet and posing the problem of where to dry an umbrella. You can just hang a coat up and it’ll dry but umbrellas need to be open to dry (which brings seven years bad luck). You then leave it propped open somewhere and end up falling over it. Ridiculous things.
5. Rihanna. This song is about umbrellas. For some inexplicable reason it got to number 1. And stayed there. For 10 weeks. It is very annoying and not just because Rhianna is inviting her gentleman friend to stand under her umbrella – I hope they weren’t on a pavement and had a good amount of space around them. If the umbrella hadn’t been invented then Rhianna would have been forced to sing about something else, or not at all which would have been infinitely preferable.
6. Georgi Markhov. The umbrella was a very bad invention for Mr Markhov. He was a Bulgarian dissident who was murdered in London in 1978. The poison was in the tip of an umbrella which he was poked with while waiting at a bus stop. If the umbrella hadn’t been invented then there wouldn’t be any risk to Bulgarian dissidents (or innocent passers-by) and the KGB would be forced to resort to the CIA’s methods such as poisoned slippers or exploding cigars which were much less effective and mush more amusing.
7. Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins arrived to look after the Banks children by umbrella. This is ridiculous as no umbrella would be strong enough to take the weight of a middle aged nanny. Leaving that aside most people think Mary Poppins is lovely. I don’t. She is responsible for making up nonsense words, encouraging vermin by feeding pigeons, and frankly questionable childcare methods (lacing medicine with sweeteners and, using witchcraft rather than tidying up and taking them on a dangerous cross-country carousel ride). Without umbrellas Mary Poppins would never have been able to arrive.