Things I Refuse to Buy: Umbrellas

Bill Clinton, William Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Edward Kennedy

Fuck buying umbrellas. It’s a waste of money because first off, you are guaranteed to lose them immediately, and second, if you manage to keep an umbrella for any extended period of time, it falls apart.

The umbrella industry does this on purpose because they know people are just going to lose them, so they have no incentive to make their product durable.

I have purchased, and lost, enough umbrellas at this point that I have decided I am not buying another one until at least 2016. Then if the world doesn’t end it will seem like a privilege to buy an umbrella. It’s how I will celebrate. ‘Turns out it’s not the apocalypse!!’

Until then, my strategy will be thus:

1) Downplay the need for umbrellas during light rain/mist situations with hoodies, coats with hoods, or if that is not possible, hats.

Hats are in anyway.

2) Cute rain boots

I will pay $20 for rain boots because rain boots will not INVERT themselves while I am walking to work, and force me to struggle, retardedly, and probably in violent winds, to revert them back to normal.

3) When in need of an umbrella, lie unconscionably

I am not usually a proponent of lying, but this involves recycling and is therefore environmental, and, I feel, justified. In a situation where an umbrella is necessary, and you do not happen to have one:

— Go into a restaurant or store and ask if they have a lost-and-found. Bodegas sometimes work, but they aren’t as good for this because they sell umbrellas, and can probably see through the scam.

— Say you think you left your umbrella there the other day. At this point, they will ask for a description of the umbrella, and you will describe basically every umbrella EVER MANUFACTURED. Black, with a metal handle, and, to make it sound slightly more believable that you would return for such a worthless piece of shit, add something specific, like, “it was advertised as indestructible!!”

— At this point, they will pull out a box of probably around four or five lost umbrellas. Point to the most generic one and be like, “YES. That is my indestructible umbrella.”

— Complete the circle of umbrellas by leaving it at another restaurant or store for the next person.

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About the author

Katy B. - Economic Inexpert

Katy B. grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the home of Gerald R. Ford, Andy Richter, and, at one point, the guy who wrote Mr. Holland’s Opus. She moved to NYC for her degree in library science, and is now in the Media Studies program at The New School. She hopes to one day be a film studies librarian. Ask her anything about Dewey Decimal – anything! – and she will roll her eyes because academic libraries use Library of Congress. Durrr.
  • http://sfbarexperiment.com Heather

    I haven’t bought an umbrella since I landed my first bartending job. No one ever comes back to claim a lost umbrella.

  • http://kwolverine.blogspot.com/ Kiley E – Ragamuffin Researcher

    Make friends or roommates with people who work in coat checks. My roommate works at a museum, and our doorway is always loaded with at least seven umbrellas.