The Week It Rained and the Future of Umbrellas

gene kelly knows
Ester: Omg invisible umbrellas! Did you see this?

Mike: Apparently it’s dumb? I think it lasts for 10 minutes after it’s charged.

Ester: I kind of love it though! Magic sticks.

Mike: Hah, well you can love it for 10 minutes.

Ester: There’s also this origami one.

Mike: My favorite umbrella is no umbrella.

Ester: That’s great, Mike. Hey apparently Joan Rivers was super rich.

Mike: Well, she did never retire. She was always working and always on TV. Did you watch the documentary? Her house was so nice.

Ester: Her house was insanely opulent and garish. It was like Versailles blew up in there.

Mike: Hah, that’s what I meant, “nice” meaning she had money to do whatever she wanted.

Ester: I heard a story once about Will Smith’s house—that someone wanted orange juice and he pressed a button and a wall went away so that they could pick oranges directly from the grove? And that he has a whole room floored in leather.

Mike: Why? That’s the one thing I appreciate about Mark Zuckerberg—that his house is just a normal house. It’s a very nice house! But hey, you made that money, do what you want with it.

Ester: But it’s just a house?

Mike: Yeah. Hmm. Apparently the invisible umbrella lasts 30 minutes, but still seems like a little bit of an energy suck?

Ester: 30 min isn’t bad. Most walks in the rain aren’t that long. Also it looks cool! The part that isn’t invisible anyway.

Mike: How much does it cost?

Ester: Doesn’t say. But it soaks the people around you! Priceless. That’s very American. The origami umbrella costs $89.

Mike: Like I said, my favorite umbrella is no umbrella. Meaning I like a good waterproof jacket with a hood. And rain boots.

Ester: That’s nonsense, Mike, and you know it.

Mike: Why?

Ester: The rain is RAIN, it is out to get you, it is cold and wet and makes you sniffle and you need all the protection you can get. Also maybe I have too much hair but hoods never stay up for me.

Mike: Umbrellas are annoying in New York though—it’s impossible to walk on the street when everyone has one? And then the subway gets jammed with people trying to close them while walking down.

Ester: The rain is more annoying. It is not drizzly, Pacific Northwest rain which is a low-key near-constant thing. Even the rain in the Pacific NW seems high. The rain in New York is determined and angry and forceful.

Mike: Hah, well it was raining this week, and my jacket did its job.

Ester: Well it was raining this week and when I’m pushing Babygirl in her chariot I can’t use an umbrella and my Lithuanian rain coat did not do its job. My glasses got all beady with moisture and I cursed a lot. Which Babygirl enjoys.

Mike: I have one from Penfield. And these rain boots.

Ester: Those look cute. Are you reliving your glory days as a carefree-toddler?

Mike: Yes! The toddler look is back in for me.

Ester: My rain coat is bright pink like a toddler’s. So you really wouldn’t use a space age umbrella, no matter the price?

Mike: I’ve used them in torrential downpours and they sort of are worthless at that point? They get flipped over. Or the rain comes at you sideways like a wall and there really is no point. Which is why I think the jacket is so important. And the boots—nobody likes walking around in wet socks.

Ester: It helps you feel in control though. Like you are doing something active to fight back against the weather.

Mike: But then it flips inside out?

Ester: Mine doesn’t, if I clutch it tightly. You can’t buy super cheap, terrible umbrellas and expect them to protect you.

Mike: I’ve spent money on good ones, and they’ve still broken. Which is also why I think I’ve given up on them.

Ester: Maybe they can tell you don’t like them and commit suicide. How much did your raincoat cost?

Mike: A little over $100?

Ester: Oh wow.

Mike: You can’t buy a cheap coat and expect it to protect you.

Ester: Heh. I GUESS NOT. Even if it is hot pink.




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