Plodding to the sanglewich shop in the rain, I found myself again musing on the fact that I have never understood mini-umbrellas.  Apart from the single fact that they can be slipped into purse, backpack or briefcase, to me they seem to be utterly without redeeming qualities.   And yet, they seem the rule rayther than the exception round here.

In terms of their primary function, at best these baby brollies provide only partial coverage from the rain, having about enough surface area to protect the carrier’s head and choice of right or left shoulder and arm.   Any kind of wind at all renders them useless even for this moderate level of shelter.

Furthermore, mini-umbrellas lack the secondary utility of the full-sized or, dare I say, traditional model.  When not employing it to shield myself from the elements, I can always instead use my own as a walking stick.  Also, it makes an efficient prop on which to rest my hand while I am reading my book as I stand in the metro.   In addition, it serves as a dramatic pointer when giving directions to lost tourons.  Further, more than once I have used it to catch an elevator door or, in my more swashbuckling moments, even to press the buttons.  Finally, although I have never yet had to put it to the test, in the event of an encounter with a would-be assailant (human or animal) in the streets, it could also be deployed as a weapon.

Try doing any of those things with the mini-model and see how far you get.

I suppose that this question should not bother me.  I suppose I should tell myself just to mind my own biznay and be on my way.  But when I see my fellow sidewalk denizens so often sodden and bedraggled under their “convenient” little scraps,  I feel that something ought to be said.