RAIN, when it falls, doesn’t discriminate against anybody (unlike some alleged English footballers – notice the very careful wording of this sentence). So with the wet weather on our London doorstep once again and for the benefit of some newly arrived Aussies who might not have held a brolly for a while, it’s time for a social lesson: Umbrella Etiquette 101.
Rule 1: If you’re carrying an umbrella, it is your responsibility to manoeuvre it so that anybody not carrying an umbrella is able to continue walking without you poking their eye out.
Rule 2: The bigger your brolly the greater the responsibility to move it out of the way.
Rule 3: If you’re carrying an umbrella, you forfeit the right to walk under cover. Respite provided by an awning, building doorway or bus shelter is strictly reserved for those without an umbrella… Stay the hell out!
Rule 4: If you are carrying a golf umbrella that could shelter a small country, you are morally obliged to offer shelter to anybody walking in the same direction without an umbrella until you or they change direction.
Rule 5: Twirling your umbrella so that it splashes rain on other pedestrians is frowned upon unless it splashes on one of your mates or a New Zealander.
Rule 6: If you are carrying a clear umbrella that sits over your head like a helmet, you are an idiot.
Rule 7: If your umbrella gets blown inside out, you are legally required to make a fool of yourself by attempting to bend it back the right way knowing full well that the structural integrity of your umbrella is now ruined and will never work properly again.
Rule 8: When you finally make it to your destination, close your umbrella before you enter and shake off the excess water. People who walk into a building with their umbrella still open and then proceed to get water everywhere are the lowlifes of society, only above Collingwood supporters.
The footpaths of London are a manic place at the best of times and water falling from the sky only makes them more difficult. If we all follow these simple rules, the difficult London winter will become slightly more bearable.