The modern umbrella is really an ingenious contraption, and holds a certain appeal for me because of its mechanical transformation. Some of the new spring-loaded ones will go from a small cylinder, easily concealed in a satchel, to a wide rain shield with the simple push of a button. Even the non-telescoping varieties are appealing: from a walking cane to rain shield and back again! Two devices in one, a marvel of the modern era.
What is also a marvel of the modern era is the lack of awareness our fellow human beings display regarding their immediate surroundings. Since we are all within the same general height range, I find my eyes constantly bombarded with metal ends of umbrella-ribs from clueless, inconsiderate passersby. This morning I had to squeeze between two large and rather unweildy blue and white umbrellas. The carrier of one did realize that his umbrella was in my way and moved it to the side at least two inches, so that I was barely able to squeeze through, turned sideways, unscathed.
I noticed at least 3 broken umbrellas sticking out of garbage cans this morning.
Other marvels of the modern age:
Plastic rain slickers! It's amazing how thin material that can be folded to fit into a satchel or a pocket can keep you dry. Rain slickers have no moving parts to break, and don't extend a foot-and-a-half beyond your body in every direction.
Drying off in a temperature-controlled work environment!
Of course, none of these options will preserve that perfectly-coiffed hair. Heaven forbid anyone should go a day with their hair looking less-than-perfect. Not that I'd notice, after my eyes are bleeding from their wicked umbrellas.