Rihanna didn’t know what the hell she was talking about when she offered you the chance to stand under her umbrella. Know why? Because her umbrella, like most every crude fashioning of nylon and metal sold for $10-14 at a passing Duane Reade, is doomed to disappoint you.
It’s raining today. It’s going to rain for many more days before you die. But if you care about the cleanliness of the city, or have any humanity for your fellow New Yorkers on the sidewalk, then you’ll opt out of buying an umbrella.
Umbrellas are a constantly circulating commodity in New York City, by dint of our shared opinion that they’re a disposable good. If you lost one at a bar, then you’ll find one in a cab. Why waste your money on it?
Umbrella racketeers thrive off of your pained faces as you pass them by. They stand smugly under their awnings just waiting for you to purchase THE ILLUSION of protection! Don’t fall for it. Because no matter what you do, gale force winds are going to turn anything you buy inside out within seconds of stepping out that door.
I can recall at least three or four bodega umbrellas that I threw down and left to die in the street. I didn’t look back. I just kept walking.
This Craigslister knows. He’s advertising a “piece of sh*t umbrella” in the free stuff section today because he’s so angry at the injustice of it all that he can’t bring himself to throw away his $10 fluffy cane. “If the series finale of The Soprano’s [sic] and Shakira’s post-2006-career could have an inanimate love child,” he writes, “this piece of shit would still be more disappointing.”
What’s more, umbrellas in NYC are fodder for trash fires. We treat them as if they were throwaway to-go items, like a plastic bag or coffee cup. Umbrella roadkill piles up, contributes to landfill, and that landfill gets rained on mercilessly to remind you we’re all dust-to-dust.
Thankfully, New York Twitter never hesitates to call bullshit on the umbrella racket. They emphasize the shoddy craftsmanship:
I brought an umbrella today and it’s ripped 😑
— jenn✌️ (@nosleeplouis) September 19, 2016
When I say “haha,” what I really mean is my ears haven’t popped from a flight two days ago and I just bought my 23rd Duane Read umbrella
— Max (@maxdkaplan) September 19, 2016
This WOULD happen to my umbrella when I need it the most pic.twitter.com/ll5Uphhe1d
— yung carbohydrate (@aliyahsymes) September 19, 2016
Lost my umbrella so I’ll be taking several home today
— Masuka (@99Cooking) September 19, 2016
They call out shitty umbr-etiquette:
Aaaand then some girl dumped her umbrella down the back of my shirt — Ashley Baxstrom (@AshBaxNYC) September 19, 2016
You’re not being “quirky” with your comically oversized umbrella. You’re being a sidewalk thief.
— Johannes Labusch (@johanneslabusch) September 19, 2016
Still others call for common sense:
No umbrella fuck it it’s only water
— Wize Crack (@wizecrvck) September 19, 2016
You can still stay dry out there. But do it with one of the other more reliable, rain-friendly alternatives: Raincoats! Ponchos! Your hardcover quarterly report after the presentation! Or just get a little wet, you’ll dry.
Break the umbrella cycle. I’m just gonna leave this here: