30 January 2005 - Sunday

Just in time

I bought a new umbrella today. I needed a replacement for the one I lost a few days ago. The old umbrella was navy; this one is black, the color I wanted in the first place. It is the same model otherwise: opens with the push of a button; is large enough for two people, as long as they are on . . . friendly . . . terms; has a blunt tip (why people enjoy putting metal spikes on gear meant to be used in thunderstorms, I do not understand).

It took me some time to find this umbrella. I searched various sections of Wal-Mart for the umbrella department, with little success. I found some golf umbrellas in sporting goods, but these were much too grand for my needs. Finally I gave in to the thought that had been tickling the back of my brain. I headed to the jewelry and handbags section. Surely the umbrellas wouldn't be . . . but there they were.

I had hoped that Wal-Mart's marketers understood the Tao of the umbrella. The umbrella--at least, the manly black umbrella--should be given a lofty station. The umbrella should be displayed prominently in menswear or even office supplies. The umbrella is the epitome, the reification of masculine civilization. Hang up your ultra-compact pink umbrellas near the baubles and trinkets if you must, but give the plain, virile Umbrella the respect it deserves.

The timing of my purchase was fortunate. After sunset, the heavens released a gentle but steady stream of rain. Martinez and I treated ourselves to a long stroll around campus. Each of us carried an umbrella. It was a lovely way to mark the beginning of a new week.

| Posted by Wilson at 23:39 Central | TrackBack
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