That famous Vancouver Rain… Umbrella etiquette 101

…It’s what we’re famous for here. I mean besides the Bertuzzi incident and the 2010 winter games and the fantabulous herbiage. Vancouver is situated in the middle of a rain forest. The operative word here being “rain”. It rains in Vancouver alot. We don’t get snow (well, maybe one day a year it sticks…and the whole city shuts down) and it rarely gets cold; below zero is an oddity and more than 10 below is absolutely panic inducing. In the summer it rarely goes above 30 degress celsius. We have a very temperate climate. Our winters are mild and are summers are comfortable. But it rains 180 days a year. And everybody reminds us of it when we travel.

The thing people who haven’t lived here don’t know is that it never actually really “rains” (other than about 2 weeks in November and a couple weeks in January/February). The majority of those 180 days of rain are not what I would actually call rain. It’s this crazy mist that renders umbrellas and rain hats positively useless; it’s a cloud bank that hovers over the city and doesn’t actually pour rain, it steeps it. There is a gray that encompasses everything and if we get it in summer it’s actually quite nice; a nice cooling mist soaks your body.

Today we have the Vancouver mist. I walked into work this morning and got absolutely drenched, and I’m not complaining. It is nice and cool and it’s not like I had to wade through puddles or anything. The thing I hate most about the Vancouver mist and rain is poor umbrella etiquette.

First off, you’re an idiot. You’re umbrella is useless, it does not keep you dry. You are in a cloud bank; the water is not falling much, it’s pretty much just there. Carrying an umbrella in Vancouver mist is akin to taking a knife to a gunfight (to quote Indiana Jones) or joining the hockey team of a country that’s never seen ice. You’re just not going to win the battle people. Leave the umbrella at home; if you’re that offended by a little wet, buy a rain coat with a hood. But your face is still going to get soaked.

Secondly, learn how to use your freaking umbrella. I’ve got news for you…it’s wider than your head, dumbass. Don’t swing the shit around and don’t force people to dodge the stines. And to all you little 4 foot 10 ladies… most everyone on the street is taller than you! Your stupid umbrella is eye level people, and when you swing and bob it around you run the risk of poking some poor sap in the eyeball. Not me, cuz I wear glasses, but someone else. Have a thought for the people around you, please.

Third, and my biggest pet peeve, although it really only counts on days when it’s real rain. IF YOU HAVE AN UMBRELLA AND YOU’RE UNDER AN AWNING AND WON’T FOLD IT OR GET OUT OF THE WAY YOU DESERVE TO HAVE YOUR NUTS CRUSHED AND YOUR ARMS RIPPED OFF!! Seriously, and again this comes down to common respect: the people without umbrellas are under the awnings to stay dry. Show some freaking respect and close your brolly, or better yet, just fuck off. This one gets me really cranked; it’s one of those things. Even if I am carrying an umbrella I’ve been known to let out an “It’s not raining under the awning” in defense of some poor sap with a newspaper over his head and a depressed look in his eyes. I’m not sure why people don’t get this one. It’s just plain not that hard.

Fourth (and this should be logical, but apparently it’s too hard to figure out for some people) if it stops raining, YOU NO LONGER NEED YOUR STUPID UMBRELLA, moron. Put it away. Thanks.

So this originally started as a post about the weather…somehow it turned into a rant about umbrellas…hrmm. 🙂

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15 comments so far

  1. Duane on

    I hear you. I can honestly say that in the 27 years I’ve lived around here I have never once owned an umbrella.

    Another thing that bothers me is people who wear sunglasses when it’s not sunny out. I mean, come on: you’re not Maverick in Top Gun. Put the glasses away.

  2. Rosie on

    I *must* use an umbrella! The rain water here makes my head itch!! But I always close my umbrella when I’m under an awning. I don’t get why people don’t close them!!!

    • Toldos on

      depending of the awning..some are made of microperforated fabrics!!! in that case do open your umbrella 😉

  3. […] 9, 2006 – The Rant Trap: That famous Vancouver Rain… Umbrella etiquette 101 Photo credit: Duane Storey on […]

  4. H on

    I wish we had some of your rain. AUS is having its longest recorded drought ever.

  5. […] Just another WordPress.com weblog « Jansenbrella Lesspolitebrella May 19, 2008 This person has written a few guidelines about correct umbrella use. He or she is clearly very angry with the […]

  6. […] That Famous Vancouver Rain …..Umbrella Etiquette 101 […]

  7. Seattlite on

    We have simular weather here in Seattle too – the same thing happens here LOL!
    Only when I wear glasses they water drops collect on the surface and I can’t see – but if I take them off I’m prone to the 4′ 10″ ladies who wave their umbrellas around at eye level, gah! What am I to do!!??

  8. Anna Knowlson on

    Well yes but even those who fold up their umbrella in a crowd are not always aware of people around them. I heard a writer on CBC radio once, complaining about umbrellas — and the fellows who hold a folded umbrella horizontally in a crowd, “goosing those fore and aft”. I can’t recall who said this and other things, he was a writer with an Indian accent. He was a scream.

  9. Anna Knowlson on

    Furthermore, I grew up here and even in North Vancouver we never used umbrellas. The rain trickled down through my hair. The wet weather is great for the complexion. Now that I am grown up I have to arrive with a decent hairdo. That is why I started using an umbrella. If someone chops at me with the spokes of theirs, I catch hold of it and pull and hang on. And then I say, “Don’t poke my eye out — I’ll sue”.

  10. ratu on

    I must use an umbrella! haha.. 🙂

  11. imad on

    I know right

  12. slateblue on

    Passive/aggressive much? not too surprising considering this town has 320 days of gloomy crap weather. It makes people mad and rude and what have you.

    I got news for you: It DOES rain here. A lot. Rain is technically water falling from the sky in a liquid form, and the water falls from the sky here at a pretty consistent fashion. Mist, shower etc is irrelevant. It’s not dry here, means it’s raining.

    And yes, I need an umbrella, because I don’t like cool refreshing mist. In fact, I loath it. It’s not refreshing, it’s freezing cold.

    Enjoy your spring! I hope that 7C and a cool refreshing mist is your perfect spring weather.

  13. non insane person on

    Is this post a joke? Do people actually think about this kind of stuff?? I live in Vancouver and put my umbrella up and it ALWAYS keeps me dry unless there is an event of torrential windswept downpour which has happened a few times this year and YES I even have it up in the “mist” and “under awnings” (a comment posted).

    Why on earth would I bring down my umbrella just to fling it up again in 2 seconds when I am out from under the awning? and better yet…why do you care???

    I know this was posted ages ago but seriously…I would hate for someone to read this and be influenced by this passive aggressive post. I think I may write some rules on human race etiquette and use this post as an example of what not to do.

  14. […] That Famous Vancouver Rain …..Umbrella Etiquette 101 […]


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