User avatarUmbrellagate

I was very angry about it, I can tell you. I swore liberally and at considerable length.

Wait. Let me go back a bit.

So, last night I went to some birthday drinks for Robin, a friend of mine and a fine upstanding citizen. We met in a pub on the south bank in London. Rain was forecast all day, so I took my new umbrella. I love my new umbrella: it’s black and very stylish, and it’s got bright green trim so it looks very cool, and it’s got a push button on the handle that makes it open right out all on its own with a satisfying fwump noise. I kept it leaning against my seat all night.

Just before I left, I went to the toilet, leaving the rest of the party around the table. When I got back, and picked up my jacket, my umbrella was not there.

I asked other people if they’d seen it. I searched behind furniture and under chairs. I looked around at other tables. I asked behind the bar. Nobody could explain it. Nobody had seen it. It had gone. Clearly, some light-fingered Cockney wideboy had seen it leaning there, unobserved, and nabbed it, and was now strolling casually along the south bank with my umbrella in his filthy, criminal hands, probably whistling “Knees Up Mother Brown” as he did so.

At this point I was angry, as described earlier.

Anyway, on the train home, about 40 minutes later, Robin sent me a photo of some people at the party with my umbrella. They’d all been leaving as the pub was closing, and they’d found it leaning by the table – not the table I’d been sitting at, but another just next to it. I’d checked all the tables before I left – in fact I’d checked the whole bloody pub – and it hadn’t been there. Nobody had noticed its mysterious return. So presumably the Cockney wideboy’s misfiring conscience had got the better of him and he’d returned his ill-gotten rain apparatus.

My umbrella is now safely stored in Robin’s flat in Penge, and my anger has subsided.

I will now take questions from the floor. Thank you.

25 comments to Umbrellagate

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    Your umbrella means a lot to me. Have you considered starting a Twitter account or doing a webpage in the hope of finding the culprit?

  • No. Don’t be silly. This is serious. Umbrellas are serious.

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    So it’s serious hats on, I see. Should I wear two hats just to be sure?

  • Depends. Are they both serious? If one of the hats is frivolous, then no.

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    If I’m starting a Serious Club, and I’m wearing two hats, they’re both serious hats I can assure you.

  • Kevil

    Does you umbrella have plans to release a book detailing its adventures?

  • OK. The seriousness is now pitched just right. Thanks.

    Unfortunately I haven’t managed to open a channel of communication to my umbrella, given the distance involved, but I have held preliminary talks with Ian’s publishers, since they’ll put more or less anything into print.

  • They once printed my collection of shopping lists between the years 2012 and 2015. They were GOOD years. Number one best seller.

  • Was it your “Collected Shopping Lists: Volume One” that was actually printed onto packs of firelighters instead of book pages, for the convenience of your “fans”?

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    There was a limited run yes. I have some but I never took them out of the original packaging.

  • They must be worth a fortune now. I managed to track down and incinerate all but four of the print run.

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    Do you own the last four? Shall I sign them for you?

  • No, I assume you own the last four, since you said you have some. I incinerated all the ones I found. There’s only four left in all the world.

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    My copies were pre print so I have a first impression, a second impression, a second first impression (thanks, Daniel Bedingfield) and a stone tablet where the words were etched in by the village’s wise woman.

  • Is there a danger she might carve it out again? Is she flammable?

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    She’s the most flammable out of the 187 people that live there, although she does have asbestos toenails.

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    Due to high demand, she is planning a re-carve again next year in Spring 2019.

  • Thanks for the heads up. We’ll have her cremation finished by then.

  • Everything I love burns to smithereens.

    Wait, can you burn something to smithereens or is it solely when you smash something to pieces that you reach the point of smithereeny?

  • I think burnt things can only be in smithereens if they’re smithereens made of ashes.

  • You could definitely burn the smithereens. I think you can also blow something to smithereens, like with a big bomb.

  • In that case, can you please ensure that the old woman and her stone tablet are smashed to smithereens first and then burned?

  • With pleasure. It’ll be humane smashing, and then brutal, disgusting burning.

  • … sometimes I worry about you.

    (only sometimes though).

  • I’d worry about the village wise woman, if I were you. She’s going to be massively smithereened very soon, and it won’t be pretty. To be honest, I can’t remember why any more, but I don’t think that matters.

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