According to no statistic whatsoever, April is the rainiest month in Chicago. As our thirsty trees and gardens drink, we learn that what is good for nature is not good for the commuter. Like a bed of blossoming tulips, when storm clouds gather, the Chicago streets explode with color from the swaying and bobbing heads of springtime umbrellas.
The umbrella, like any tool, takes on the character of its bearer. The same device that can shelter a toddler can be used with vicious carelessness on a busy street. Misused umbrellas dominate unnecessarily large amounts of space and threaten to pluck out the eyes of innocent bystanders.
In a downpour, Chicago’s sidewalks, bus stations and train stops become a brutal landscape for poor umbrella behavior. Commutes already made miserable become a journey through an unnavigable abattoir populated by spining, sharp-pointed wheels of death, throwing off rain and malice in equal turns.
In an effort to limit, and perhaps someday eliminate, umbrella-related misuse, F Newsmagazine has compiled a test of one’s umbrella-related savvy. Rate yourself and then make the decision whether you are umbrella-ready or a threat to public safety.
TAKE THE TEST:
1. An umbrella is?
A. A tool that can be used to protect oneself
and valuables in a rainstorm.
B. A fashion accessory for 19th century
C. A weapon optimized for sociopaths to use
in tense crowd-control situations.
2. When walking with an umbrella in a crowd,
the best rules for movement are?
A. Slowdown carefully and look both ways
before turning so you don’t strike anyone
with your umbrella.
B. Wander restlessly, bathe your feet in
nature’s tears and erase your sins.
C. Stop violently and randomly — umbrellas
are a shield protecting you from traditional
3. When is it appropriate to speak on the
phone while also operating an umbrella?
A. Never. Staying dry and walking requires
enough effort. Move to a safe, dry place and
then use your phone.
B. Sometimes, but only when negotiating
with a terrorist or rushing to rescue a
loved one pinned under a car.
C. Always. Umbrellas are portable “bubbles
4. Sometimes your umbrella will be lost
or left at home. Scientists (okay, “Myth
busters”) have proven that running in the
rain does what?
A. Makes you wetter because you are literally
running at the rain like an insane person.
B. Makes no difference because the co-
efficient of wind resistance to the
hydroproxable levels of saturated rainwater
are not affected by principle velocity.
C. Makes you dry because fewer raindrops
will strike your lithe, athletic
frame in flight.
5. What levels of rainfall are appropriate for
A. Lusty downpour.
B. Desperate drizzle.
C. It rained an hour ago, puddles are scary.
6. When is it appropriate to open an umbrella?
A. In a clear and open space before stepping
out into a rainstorm.
B. Never, umbrellas are for the weak.
C. On a crowded staircase packed with other
commuters because you don’t care about
anyone besides yourself.
7. If you are below average height, how should
you operate your umbrella?
A. As cautiously and carefully as everyone
else, but particularly aware of your
umbrella moving as it moves at the eye-
level of others.
B. No umbrella required, just move quickly
between the tall fools carrying their own.
C. With impunity. Life is hard for the elfin and
it is your right to carry an umbrella at eye-
height, it’s their punishment for being tall.
8. Lucky you, you’ve made it inside after a
downpour. What do you do with your
A. Carefully shake it out away from other
people and set it on the floor to air dry.
B. Leave it in a pile with other damp
umbrellas where it will sit untouched and
slowly mold until the next downpour.
C. Leave it on the subway or bus seat next to
you, what do you care, your butt is dry.
For every A answer, give yourself 2 points; B answer, 1 point; C answer, you are awarded no points and may God have mercy on your soul
12-10 Points = Congratulations, you are a mannered Lord among
uncouth paupers. You have earned the right to bear the
ultimate umbrella… one with a sword in the handle. Please handle your new found power with all due responsibility.
9-5 Points = You have a basic understanding of human etiquette. As such, you are allowed to continue roaming free but be wary, we are watching.
5-0 Points = You are a danger to yourself and everyone around you. The proper authorities have been notified of your sociopathic tendencies. Please wait patiently until you can be taken into custody and remanded to the proper mental health organization.