Lightning vs. Umbrellas

I'm traveling light this week, but not the in the manner of my amazing, determined friend who got back to her high school size 6 for the fifty-fifth class reunion. Big clouds of mental fretting have lifted because the educator workshop I'm sponsoring has filled. I don't have to present anything, but I do get to show off our outdoor "classroom" in the midst of the Monarch butterfly migration through the Metroplex to fifty early childhood and nature educators.

Any trip when I am only responsible for myself is still a gentle breeze lifting and swaying me through Terminals A and C. I've either packed wisely or not, and it just doesn't matter much as long as I remembered my meds and comfortable shoes. I'm not carrying travel guides, field guides, atlas or dictionary. There's an adorable child at the destination, but I don't have to do the logistics of diapers, car seats, asthma inhalers, or entertain kiddies en route. Life is light.

Got some library ebooks onto my Kindle, but don't ask me how! I forgot to roll Ariadne's thread through the labyrinth. As for my overdue library books and videos, I don't think I'll swing by the bookdrop at 4:45 a.m.



On the rare occasion when actual statistics are required, the little metric devils are elusive. For my upcoming family program about weather I wanted to say kids are way more likely to poke their eye out with a toy umbrella than to be struck by lightning. Not quite as likely as presenting at the emergency room with a fish hook through their eyebrow or earlobe, but it's still a big risk...not to mention the unnecessary burden on school staff when a kiddie brings a bumbershoot to preschool. Actually, statistics fail to show that kids are way more likely to poke out their little brother's eye with a rainbow sparkle Frozen trademark tie-in umbrella, but I'm pretty sure that's true. May Zeus strike me with his thunderbolts if it ain't! [No graphs were found comparing sibling umbrella eye injuries to plastic toy guitar injuries imitating Hanna-Barbera cartoons.]

There's all this talk in the media about banning people from carrying knives and guns and yet it appears perfectly legal to carry one of the most dangerous weapons imaginable. I refer of course to the umbrella.

Over the course of a 5 minute walk from the station to _____ today (in Leeds) I narrowly escaped having my eyes poked out on no fewer than 8 occasions; each time it was some clueless woman (and it always seems to be women) with a complete lack of awareness of anyone walking near her. You also run the risk of whiplash from ducking out of the way to avoid them, and you daren't say anything to anyone cause they could potentially take their umbrella down and stab you with it.

What on earth is so bad about getting wet anyway? It wakes you up, makes you feel more alive and, if you work or shop down the markets it's the nearest thing you'll get to a wash all year!

So let's ban umbrellas and create a safer and fresher society for all!

© 2013-2015 Nancy L. Ruder

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