Living in NYC is great; it’s full of life and excitement, and 8 million people. However, when it rains it’s annoying that all of these people tend to have umbrellas and when there are a lot open on the street it becomes something I call “the Umbrella Competition.”
There are different levels of the Umbrella Competition. It’s the Kinsey scale of the Umbrella Competition, if you will. Modern Kinsey.
Level one is when you’re walking down a non-crowded street with no issues, you are strolling happily with ease, perhaps singing in the rain you’re so overjoyed with your freedom of umbrella space. You are twirling it, skipping, and a small chorus of baby blue birds pop up and you’re suddenly in a Disney move. A dwarf skips by. You ignore it. Turn to page 54 to meet the king, turn to page 12 to be kidnapped by a cult in New Mexico called Strong City.
Level two is when there more people on the street and you are walking by them, but there isn’t really an issue with the umbrellas intersecting. You are still able to comfortably exchange a glance with your neighboring stranger, and continue on. For example, today around 3pm I dealt with a level two, when I was walking with my umbrella, and a random guy came up to me and said,
“Can I have a ride?” And I was like, “ummmm, what?”
“Under your umbrella, I don’t have one.” And then I didn’t know what to say but I like to mess with people so I was like, “Ok fine.” And we were walking for a minute, and I realized who is this weird foreign Italian waiter boy who is telling me about how he just got his hair done, but then I realized that is why he didn’t want it to get wet, which I totally understood and accepted. Then, he revealed a few minutes later that he didn’t really get his hair done and he just wanted to talk to me. I kicked him out immediately. This guy wasn’t going to get under my umbrella anymore; his hair no longer looked good. It wasn’t as fresh and clean as he had promised.
Level three is during rush hour, or on crowded streets (Times Square, Grand Central, Penn station, Union Square, etc) . You’re dodging people, but it isn’t a problem to take a step forward or backward and you have enough time to do so without gracing parasols.
Level four is when you are making serious umbrella decisions. This is now breaking into a subcategory, which is kind of equivalent to the “Lightening Round” of a video game. Im talking about Phase Underground Subway Stair Entrance Competition Game. It’s like, how do you know who is going to hold their umbrella higher or lower; do you leave it open or closed? Who will make the decision? I feel like I’m always the one that makes the move and it kind of annoys me because I am more of a submissive person. But hey, I don’t just sit around waiting for someone to make a move like that. I’m not trying to get stabbed by anyones umbrella in the face, which I totally feel like has probably happened… I just can’t remember if it did though. You just have this one second to decide what to do.
Level 5 is when you are on Madison avenue or Fifth avenue, and people have these massive umbrellas that are dominating the entire block. They are carrying doorman umbrellas, which are also frequently seen around the Upper East and Upper West sides. Notice how people downtown are much cooler, and wouldn’t have such a large umbrella. Or one at all if they are too cool, or because they are young homeless heroin addicts in Tompkins Square Park and have a dog.
Level 6 is when people are just avoiding walking down the street in the Umbrella Competition and seek shelter anywhere possible. It’s fucking raining umbrellas.