Umbrella Etiquette

We’re roughly two thirds of the way through August and here in Edinburgh we’ve already had three times the average rainfall for the entire month. Consequently, I’ve recently spent a fair amount of time negotiating the streets with my umbrella (which is one of those huge marquee-on-a-stick type golf jobs) and noticed that there is an abundance of poor umbrellamanship around.

  • If you’re smaller than the person walking towards you then don’t try and raise your brolly over theirs. People a good foot shorter than me have tried to get the upper hand as it were and only succeeded in poking me in the head.
  • If you are the taller of the two parties then an early exaggerated movement upwards of your umbrella should stop any attempt by the other person to blind you.
  • If you are both of a similar height, then tilt your canopy to the opposite side than the side that the oncoming person will pass you on.
  • Do not shake the water from your umbrella into the path of other people.
  • Do not have your umbrella up when passing under bus stops or other shelters.
  • If you appear to be the only person with your umbrella up and you can no longer see the rain or splashes of raindrops in puddles then it has stopped raining. Put your umbrella down for crying out loud!

I am very tempted to purchase one of these unbreakable fighting umbrellas as used by Philippine presidential bodyguards for when people don’t adhere to the rules.

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