b Papa Dog's Blog: Brolly

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Friday, March 24, 2006


The last couple of days being mostly dry, I assumed the rain had finally observed my repeated directions to go away and come again in San Jose. I went out this morning without looking at the weather icon in the newspaper, and consequently I didn’t think to wear my raincoat. When I emerged from the office in the afternoon to grab a slice of pizza, I was chagrined to find that there was a light but insistent downpour. I fortunately only had a block to go for lunch, but still I got quite damp on the way, and my recently shorn hair did little to keep the water off my face.

When it was time to leave for the day, I managed to come up with an old and long-neglected workhorse; the Emergency Work Umbrella. It’s been sitting under my desk for so long I’ve forgotten where it came from. I think it might have been left behind by my predecessor in 1997. I don’t recall the last time I used it; the raincoat is so effective that I rarely need an umbrella. Any storm big enough to get me wet in that raincoat would also come with gale winds strong enough to swoop me off like Mary Poppins if I opened an umbrella.

Once outside, it was clear that I’d need the protection. Again, the rain was light but pervasive, like a shower head set to a really fine spray. The umbrella was small and old, but I thought it would be up to the task. I popped it open and heard a peculiar clatter as bits of plastic from the handle dropped immediately to the sidewalk. The handle stayed on, and the parasol went up. There spokes were crooked and there were tiny little holes at their edges. Some water made it through, but for the most part I stayed dry. It would last to the BART station. Once safely underground, I folded up the umbrella and another bit of plastic fell off the handle.

Mama Dog had assured me that it wasn’t raining in the East Bay, but as I emerged from the BART parking lot, it started to spray again. I opened old Dobbin once more, and again another piece popped off. I tried to make myself narrower so as to fit in the space that seemed driest. Thankfully, there was no wind, as the umbrella was looking flimsier every time I glanced at it. I could just see the top popping off in a stiff breeze.

When I made it home, mostly dry, I knew the time had come to put the work umbrella out to pasture. For one thing, the button that opens it was one of the little plastic things that had fallen off on the way home. For another, the remains of the handle were now composed of sharp little edges just waiting to serrate an unwary hand. Give it to the umbrella, though…it held itself together through one last rainfall. The little umbrella that could.


Post a Comment

<< Home