I have never owned an umbrella. If I have to go out when it’s raining, I just get wet. Usually, it doesn’t matter. I’m not going anywhere so important that I have to be dry. However yesterday I went for an appointment at Radical Games and I wished I wasn’t soaked when I got there. So when I dropped by The Comicshop afterwards (to drop off tickets to the Con Fu gaming convention) and Ryan asked me how I was doing and I replied “wet,” he offered me an umbrella that someone left at the store. I took it. And I used it on my journey home.
I think that two things in the world should have no monetary value: bikes and umbrellas. I recall a story that in some city in Washington they had a program where there was a communal bike program. Bikes just lay all over town and if you came by one and you needed it, you hopped on. When you arrived at your destination, you left the bike nearby so somebody could use it. Umbrellas should be the same way – there should be no ownership. If you go out and halfway through the day it stops raining, leave your umbrella in that bucket at the closest store. Or they could have umbrella depots on every block, maybe right beside phone booths. I’d be willing to give up my free umbrella to the program – how about you?