For the First Time in my Life I Own an Umbrella

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?

5 Replies to “For the First Time in my Life I Own an Umbrella”

  1. Don’t you know umbrellas are already free? They keep them in the round thing by the door of most restaurants 😉
    Seriously, though, I am with you. I am another wet person who just doesn’t care enough about staying dry. I don’t know that I would even have the motivation to use a free umbrella – I just duck my head and walk fast.

  2. Hey Toren,

    Boulder, Colorado also has the “community bicycle” program. I spent a few years there in grad school and saw random green bicycles around town for several months. One day I asked someone what the deal was. They said the community bicycles are painted bright green so that everyone knows they are communal bikes. They didn’t have to worry too much about theft because, to quote the organizer, “there is little secondary market for old road bikes painted flourescent green”

    And it works just like mentioned. If you see a green bike and you need to get somewhere, you just hop on and go.

    Pretty cool idea. Here’s the link:


  3. They have a communal bike program at UBC, but that just gives drunken jocks something to vandalize after the bars are closed. You find them in trees and stuff all the time.

  4. Then I shall build an ark and send the jocks off two-by-two to Drunken Jock Island. Which is more of a peninsula.

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