“Singing in the Rain”
Mary Beth Hurt in David Cromer’s production of “When the Rain Stops Falling” at Lincoln Center Theater.
Ladies and Gents,
I’m lucky to still have use of both my eyes right now, as I came face-to-face with the sharp tip of a giant umbrella this morning that narrowly missed my cornea. Now, I know that New Yorkers need their umbrellas – after all, we walk almost everywhere, rain or shine. But after being nearly blinded it occurred to me that we could all use a refresher course on rainy-day etiquette.
1) Size matters! Unless you are an elephant, there is simply no need to walk around with an umbrella the size of a living room. Our sidewalks are overcrowded as it is, so leave the golf umbrellas on the golf course where they belong. A compact model will work just fine from getting from point A to point B!
2) Close and shake off your wet umbrella before entering a building or the subway. Otherwise you’ll be causing your own private, indoor rainstorm soaking all the poor, unprotected souls caught in your path. And think of the guy who has to mop the floor!
3) Close your umbrella when you’re walking under scaffolding. Quarters are cramped as it is, and nobody wants to get caught in giant game of “umbrella bumper cars.”
4) When you are passing someone who is also holding an open umbrella, move yours according to height: if you are taller than the other person, go high. If you are shorter, go low. If everyone did this, there would be no more umbrella collisions (well, except for the people who are exactly the same height).
5) Whether it’s open or closed, be mindful of the thing at all times. If you lose awareness your umbrella and its relation to your surroundings, you are likely cause some kind of “Three Stooges”-style accident. Before you know it, Scoop only has one eye!
Well, New York, thank you for indulging me and I hope you take to heart my pointers. While we can’t always have sunshine, we can at least try to make the rainy days as safe and pleasant as possible. And, if all else fails, duck into to some dimly lit boite for a cocktail and, as that famed Emcee says, “leave your troubles outside.”
A toast of something sparkling to you and yours!