Opinion: I'll use my umbrella however I please

Dec 11 2016, 3:36 am

I’m writing this in response to Daniel Bettridge’s opinion piece yesterday entitled “Hey Vancouver, umbrellas aren’t for snow.”

Yeah Dan, the snow is incredibly exciting for Vancouverites. It’s a time for throwing snowballs at your friends, sipping on hot cocoa, and enjoying the mental anguish of the TransLink employee in charge of their Twitter account.

But most of all, it’s a time to sit back and have a chuckle while your Calgarian friend pretends to enjoy the cold for two weeks and feels really superior about it.

I digress.

Snow / Shutterstock

Snow / Shutterstock

The fact is that umbrellas are made to shield the holder from water. Snow is water. Ergo, umbrellas are not only a totally reasonable way to protect yourself from the snow, but in fact the best way to do so (that is, if you live in a world-class city, and not a frozen prairie where 90 km/h snowstorms threaten to topple the meagre homestead you eke out day by day).

Let’s go through your reasoning:

“…in its frozen form water is far less inconvenient. It’s lighter for starters, so snowflakes don’t tend to penetrate layers of clothing.”

Hey, you know what happens to frozen water when it lands on a warm human? It melts. One way that people combat this when it rains is to wear an awkward, hooded shell or a silly looking toque.

Another way is to wear whatever you damn well please, and carry an umbrella. Up to you.

You were right on one point though; water does have a knack for penetrating fabric. If only there were some kind of portable, waterproof device perfectly engineered to keep us dry, no matter what we’re wearing.

Oh yeah, it’s called an umbrella.

Have fun feeling superior in your dorky dad shell. I’ll be over here, acting like a sane person who lives in a society.

Image: Snowstorm / Shutterstock

Image: Snowstorm / Shutterstock

Listen, we all know the rest of Canada is laughing at us. Nothing unusual there. And I get that pretending to love winter is the only thing Eastern Canadians have to feel superior about, but it’s gotta be a little embarrassing at this point, right?

Here’s a fun game: go on Facebook right now and count how many of your friends from Flin Flon or Moose Jaw or any other children’s-book-sounding one-horse town are posting about how they can’t wait to get back home to a real winter. Go on, I’ll wait.

How many did you count? Ten? Fifty? I’ll let you in on a fun secret – they’re lying. Sit them down next time you hang out one on one and see if you can’t dig a little deeper into that nostalgia.

How did they feel three months into the winter season (that started in late August and ended in late May) when everything was covered in brown sleet? What about shovelling the driveway in a -30oC blizzard? Snow days that closed the school but also closed their home because the snow was taller than their door? The spring “thaw” of months of frozen dog poop? The legitimate threat of polar bears?

We’ve gotten a little off-topic, but it brings to light an important point: this argument isn’t really about umbrellas – it’s about the fact that Vancouverites don’t know that umbrellas aren’t for snow, because we were never taught that, because we never had to learn to deal with the awful, terrible weather from which Canada’s Hawaii is perfectly sheltered.

Keep hating, rest of Canada. We’ll keep enjoying this.

Image: Wikicommons

Image: Wikicommons

Jack HauenJack Hauen

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