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National Editorials & Columns

Raining on my own parade

I don’t like umbrellas and I don’t use umbrellas. I’ll take it another step further. I don’t like or trust people that use or carry umbrellas.

Please don’t mistake this as the ramblings of a madman on the verge of a psychotic break, but I have never used an umbrella before — ever.

I am actually not a big fan of preparing for the weather. I get my weather report and forecast every morning when I wake up, draw back the curtains and make a cursory glance out the window. I do not rely on the sooth-saying, verbal acrobatics of some silver-tongued weatherman moron to dictate the course of the items on my daily agenda. The day I do is the day I draw my last breath.

By and large, I am unaffected by the weather. I never take the weather into account because it hardly matters to me. For 12 months out of the year I wear jeans and sneakers, regardless of the weather awaiting me outside. Every day of the year I also wear either a short- or long-sleeved shirt (sometimes with tears in the seams from my bulging biceps). From the months of November through February I usually take a coat with me when I go out.

Beyond that, I never take the weather into account, which is why I never need an umbrella. Sometimes I am too cold or too hot, but that’s life. And sometimes I might get a little wet, but so what? I’m not made out of sugar, you know.

My hatred for umbrellas is not the result of some repressed childhood memory. It’s not like I hate umbrellas because my parents locked me out of the house once on accident or something, though that has happened before. Deep down I just think umbrellas are more trouble than they are worth.

I have a rule about coats. If I think I will be holding my coat or worrying around about my coat longer than I would actually be wearing a coat to stay warm, I won’t wear a coat.

With that same stubborn mindset, the same goes for umbrellas. Most people with umbrellas spend more time holding or losing an umbrella than actually using an umbrella.

My attitude toward umbrellas is essentially the way I handle life. I take it as it comes to me. I am not going to carry around some spring-loaded contraption that to me resembles a medieval piece of torture weaponry that, with the accidental pressing of a button, is going to burst open and poke some poor child’s eye out.

Or much, much worse than that, my own eyeball.

Even in a best case scenario an umbrella is a great way to unintentionally give a person bad luck.

In a lot of ways an umbrella is a lethal weapon in the wrong hands. It’s like carrying around a loaded gun, if you could still carry around a loaded gun in America legally these days. I have never been bothered by a few drops of rain, and that is a far better alternative than accidentally impaling myself on an umbrella and dying.

Are you aware of how many umbrella-related deaths there were last year? Well, neither am I. But I think it’s safe to assume there were at least a few thousand worldwide.

It’s not like umbrellas keep you dry anyway. They don’t. Using an umbrella is the masochist’s way of trying to stay dry in a rainstorm. Rain doesn’t fall straight down from the sky. It only does that in a perfect world. Most umbrella users wind up getting wet regardless.

Unless it is someone wearing a raincoat, but — trust me — you don’t even want to get me started on those.

If I am out and about and it rains, I act like an insect. I scurry about wildly until I find cover.

Or maybe I’ll stand under someone else’s umbrella in a moment of weakness, but don’t you dare call me a hypocrite.

I just don’t personally use or have ever owned an umbrella.

And I never will, rain or shine.

To contact Will E. Sanders email him at To learn more about Will E. Sanders, to read past columns or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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