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Passive Umbrella Usage

The weather has just started turning from Summer through towards Winter in Swansea. There have been a couple of days where it has been wet and cold. Except in my office, where, with the heating coming on, the temperature is far closer to 28 than to comfortable. And with the rain comes umbrella usage.

Unfortunately, I tend to suffer ill effects due to passive umbrella usage. I'm taller than average, and, judging by the number of people I overtake on the way to work, I seem to walk at a faily brisk pace, too. This means, of course, that umbrellas in the hands of others pose a danger to me.

Now, don't get me wrong, I can understand why if it is absolutely belting down, why you might want to carry one. But when it is just lightly dribbling, a rain jacket works better and is less hazardous to others.

Now for the problems:

They are lethal in the hands of the short. I've lost count of the number of times a short person with an umbrella has almost taken my out or forced me to take evasive action to avoid getting a pointy bit in my neck.

People walk slower with umbrellas and are harder to get around. As I said, I walk at a brisk pace. Moreso if it is a cold, wet day. Unfortunately, if someone has an umbrella, they tend to walk slowly. This means that on an average walk, I will have more people to overtake, but because umbrellas take up more space than people, they are harder to get around. This means that my walk takes longer than it need to. This is particularly unpleasant if you are walking along a narrow path and otherwise have to walk through the mud to get around them.

Like a filter on a cigarette an umbrella may stop the active user from suffering some effects, but others end up worse off. So someone walking past an umbrella user runs a risk of getting soaked with the umbrella water, as well as their own rain.

I appreciate that the umbrella lobby is very powerful, and that people who use umbrellas don't want to give them up - indeed, they see it as necesary. Perhaps a good start would be to ban it in public places. Sports venues such as the MCG lead the way, by banning them during play, although the cynical might suggest that this is just a ploy to sell ponchos waterproof patches.

Next, they should be banned from pubs, clubs and restaurants. Let's face it - if you go into a pub, and are paying the premium for pub drinking rather a beer you've poured yourself, you want to taste your own drink, not someone else's stale, 2nd hand umbrella water.

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