The other day, the Significant Other went into Manhattan for a business meeting.
Before he left, he consulted the weather forecast, which said rain was likely. He looked out the window and saw dark gray skies.
“Better take an umbrella,” I said.
He agreed and stuffed a small fold-up umbrella in his briefcase.
There was no rain. Later that afternoon, when I picked him up at the train station, the sky was cloudless and blue, and the temperature had risen to 80 degrees.
We have observed this result again and again over many years and in many locations: Carrying an umbrella is the single most effective way to ward off rain.
Friends will recall that I was raised in Portland, Oregon, a city famed for regular rainfall in the months from September through May, and, not infrequently, in the summer as well.
The typical Oregon rainfall is not heavy but is steady, continuing all day long, and typically is accompanied by a thin, bone-chilling wind.
Interestingly, Portlanders never have taken to umbrellas, preferring to wear waterproof hooded jackets from REI or Patagonia. This preference is examined in the local media on a regular basis, most recently here.
Three hours north of Portland, Seattleites have a similar climate, and they subscribe to the same anti-umbrella religion. It seems to be a point of pride in the region.
To be fair, if the citizens of Portland and Seattle were to adopt umbrellas, the resulting climate change consequences — less moss, less algae, less oozy green stuff overall — would be seen as catastrophic. So Northwesterners sprobably should continue wearing their hooded jackets.
I understand that my view of umbrellas as rain suppressants is unorthodox and smacks of magical thinking, which is unusual for me.
When I looked online for scientific backing for my point of view, all I could find was a mathematicians’ examination that did not resolve the matter.
Still, I know what I know:
1. If you carry an umbrella, you will not need to use it.
2. If you don’t carry an umbrella, you’ll most likely get wet.