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11.22.2005

supersize my umbrella

in this country's boundless quest to turn everything (and everyone) into the equivalent dimensions of a 94oz mega slurpee, yet another once-upon-a-time-perfectly-proportioned functional daily tool has been supersized into absurdity: our crap weather friend, the umbrella.

what was once a pint-sized collapsable tanlge of cheap metal and semi-waterproof (and highly flammable) fabric has become nothing short of the overgrown brainchild of some MIT nerd's failed collaboration with the us military to produce better parachutes for the space shuttle. umbrellas are out of control- they're beyond huge. so huge that it makes the amply proportioned average american standing under them look normal-sized. i suppose all these gigantified things in our lives are supposed to make us feel better about being fat overconsuming slobs- if you're life isn't the size of an escalade and you don't get biggie fries with your lunch then something's wrong.

we're talking 15lb endangered redwood handles and canopies with a wingspan of 10 feet. some of them even have a second umbrella popping out of the top- an upper umbrella to keep the lower umbrella dry? and those little metal spikey bits poking out all around the edge? 6 inch long eye-popping-daggers-of-blindness.

these things are lethal- and those who operate them are apparently oblivious to their massive dimensions and potential to blind multiple pedestrians. these people look like they literally walked up to a poolside patio table at a resort and grabbed the sunshade umbrella (complete with crank handle) on their way to work...
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to the ever-dwindling number of you still getting by (mostly dry, i might add) with the atari umbrellatron circa 1980, i salute you.
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some things just aren't getting better with time-

11 comments:

froggie said...

i own a rather large umbrella,(a failed relationship leftover... you know, the stuff you get left with the door has hit you in the ass? the stuff you keep finding long after the final and disapointing wham bam thank you ma'am?) yeah ... so it's really really big, and i thought it would be totall fabulous to house myself, my son and our dog while waitng for the bus... but i have a rather hard time holding onto it because it is so freakin heavy-so we end up soggy anyways plus injured from the umbrella bashing us in the heads as i drop it. i prefer to wear a hat or a hood-as long as my glasses don't get wet and i can still see, i'm all goooood.

mag said...

speaking as an expert from the land of rain, i can honestly say it is not an english phenomenon. at least not yet. like everything in the US, it will catch on. or perhaps it won't catch on since we have to carry them EVERY single day. it is always with you, like your wallet and keys. maybe i should invest in one of them big ones and i will get really strong. forget the gym...i'll just carry my umbie.

chixie said...

thanks to the lawn umbrella i use as a regular umbrella, i have a right forearm the size of montana while my left forearm remains pale and withered. it's great for opening costco jars of mayo and getting through those really annoying, extra heavy wheelchair doors at the mall. it takes up most of the sidewalk when i walk but i'm usually too busy yelling at someone on my cell or struggling to get up the stairs of my SUV to notice if i'm in anyone's way. maybe certain people should stop complaining and think more about others? specifically, me? thanks for bringing to light this important issue, g.

g said...

why is it that the handicapped doors are always extra heavy and hard to maneuver??? does not compute...

chixie (again) said...

i know! the bigger question is why do i feel guilty if i push the button to open them? probably catholic school...

just to clarify, i was being sarcastic. i'm really of the the-smaller-the-better-school of umbrella purchasing. my umbrella is barely the circumference of my head. i usually wear a raincoat, boots, gloves, a hat (under the hood of my raincoat) and snowpants just in case rain penetrates through the force field that is my $6 pink umbrella that i found in an office i worked in in the early 90's. the upside is that it folds up to fit in my change purse.

kind of off the big umbrella topic but i believe a perfect society would have community umbrellas strategically placed everywhere for everyone to use when they needed them. then there would always be one when you needed it and you could just leave it where ever for the next person. it might be possible to apply the same theory to bicycles. i know, way too scandinavian and sorta unrealistic (like if it starts raining right before the movies let out...how would you get 50 umbrellas there?) a girl can dream though...right?

g said...

communal umbrella's? these are the people that can't even merge when getting on the highway...

shellie said...

similar to the snotty ladies at westfarms who carry those huge coach umbrellas that match their coach rain boots with their pants tucked into them. nobody cares that your boots match you umbrella and they're coach, you still look like a retahd.

g said...

pants tucked into boots- always a sexy look. you're not standing in the connecticut river fly fishing for christ sake...

froggie said...

i ALWAYS feel so underdressed when i go to the westfarms. i'm not pish posh enough.... do you think i would look good with my pants tucked into my converse? wait...they're not hightops..so i would have to tuck them into my socks. do you think they have green argyle umbrellas to match?

g said...

only if you do cameltoe.... ;)

froggie said...

we have a repeat cameltoe offender here at our office..which i find to be wholly unattractive and apparantly it is intentional because she likes the way the guys in the lunchroom gawk at her ginormous denim crotch. everyone at some time ends up with a little accidental cameltoe from time to time...but why is it such a fashion statement lately? it's all paris hilton's fault. who is completely heinous by the way.anyways.....