Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Two Left

Once upon a time we had 8 umbrellas.

Two sailed over the briny sea to take up residence here: Tiny and Buzz.

One was bought in Narita to shade us from the scorching sun: Grey.

Two were on sale when the local department store went under: Tic & Tac.

One was acquired on impulse: Blue.

Two of the cheap, clear, plastic variety were as precious as gold when a downpour rushed us in the streets of Akihabara unexpectedly: Prism & Walter.

Eight for two people… it seemed like overkill, but we soon learned that umbrellas multiply almost unnoticed in both the homes and businesses of the Japanese people.

Now we know why.

One by one, these brave little soldiers, our main line of defense against getting drenched, have fallen. Buzz, Grey, Tic, and Tac have been broken & turned inside out by the rain’s heavy hitting “Enforcer” known as kaze around here. It’s gusting at high speeds outside right now.

Prism was performing her duties admirably before she was accidentally forgotten on a train… and while Tiny still stands defiant, she’s weak. One good whallop from the wind and she’s done for (and we’ve had some close calls)… so she’s been relegated to “drizzle” and “sunny” weather.

The two left have been assigned different duties. Blue sits quietly in the car for those times Ash goes to work when it’s sunny and comes home when buckets are pouring from the heavens, while Walter hangs by the front door for the business of actually getting to the car and back again.

Yes, the number of umbrella fatalities in Japan is high, especially for someone who has owned maybe 2 umbrellas in the whole first 20-some years of her existence. But now… now it feels like we’re woefully undermanned by having the same number of umbrellas as we do people in this house.

I’d reflect on how strange that is, but I’m much too busy drafting a plan to replenish the ranks.


Kyle said...

You know in movies where a character is reading a letter and the person who wrote the letter does a voice over so the audience doesn't have to worry about reading it? Posts like this give me a Star-voice-over. Normally, I hear my voice as I read a letter, since, well, *I'm* the one reading it, but from the first sentence it was all Star. The question, of course, is whether or not this is simply due to me missing you guys and the post being particularly Starish, or if your post was so silly that my internal monologue refused to have anything to do with it. Hmmm, I'll just say it's because I miss you...
After reading this post, I think perhaps someday I'll start up an umbrella making company in Japan. I don't think I've gone through three umbrellas in my whole life, let alone six in a little over a year! I'll be rich! Or at least I would be if no one else had thought of it already....

Anonymous said...

This post made me laugh Star. I want to let you know I read all your posts, and if I find I have missed one, I go back and find it. I love the way you write, and I find it is a refreshing change from how the world around me with its dreary limited vocabuary opperates. I have had three umbrellas- the first was cheep, the second, my favorte, was bought for college, and the third has a curved handle and is probably older than me, as I inherited it from a grandmother in Arizona.

Anonymous said...

I have 2 brightly colored umbrellas, one red and one yellow, with my camera equipment. On those slate grey days, nothing perks up a picture like a splash of color.

Star said...

Usually there are a few umbrellas out for sale in convenience stores... they command a whole large display case when it's raining. I've never seen employees move so fast to restock the quickly diminishing supply in an attempt to keep commuters from turning on each other in a wet and wild brawl.

My advice is to keep your most beloved umbrellas as far away from Japan as possible... bringing them here is like throwing a friend into the lion's den!