Mayor bans umbrellas for London Olympics

A headline to bring joy to the hearts of millions.

A headline that might even, maybe, persuade me to vote for Boris (should he try for a third mayoral term instead of going for prime minister).

A headline that is long overdue.

And completely true. But, sadly, only in my imagination.

But it makes sense, doesn’t it?

Are umbrellas evil? Clearly yes. Not sure? Picture a giant corporate golf umbrella on a crowded street. Exactly. But in case specifics are required.


  • They’re selfish – hogging far more space than they need.
  • They’re pokey – pokey in an eye-gouging way.
  • They’re occasionally deadly – as Georgi Markov discovered.
  • They’re pathetic – they turn inside out in the wind.
  • They’re antisocial – at least one sharer is going to get dripped on.

    Poison Umbrella

The case is clear. They should be banned. With some exceptions for special cases. C’mon, I’m lovely really.

  • People with umbrella hats. Look silly. But not greedy.

    An example of a considerate umbrella hat wearer. Lots of room for people to pass by without risk. Looks a bit like a traffic cone. He obviously bought it somewhere expensive and avant garde.

  • Lovers – on condition that they’re actually touching, at least one arm round the other.
  • Tour guides – as long as the umbrella is small and bright red or yellow.
  • Those see-through ones curve right down like an upside down tulip.
  • Women of a certain age with carefully constructed hairstyles. They’ve earned it. even Pauline Prescott. Especially Pauline Prescott.
  • Orangemen – on condition that the brolly remains furled within urban areas.
  • Funerals.
  • People in Japanese screen prints of wooden bridge in the rain.
  • The Penguin.
  • Old Soldiers. No. That’s silly. They’d wear hats. Or get wet. Real men. And woman.
  • Anglers. On condition that they are actually eating crisps and reading a comic at the time.
  • AA salespeople. (They look honest and don’t get in the way.)
  • Francoise Hardy, if she’s twirling that parapluie.

But how to enforce the ban? Simply arm an army of young urchins with high-powered water pistols – a cross between Sherlock’s Baker Street Irregulars and Mao’s young Cultural Revolutionaries – and unleash them on anyone in breach of the ban.

For more serious offenders – the corporate golf umbrella-types for instance – the most appropriate course might be to insert and open the offending item. What do you reckon? Too lenient?

Having addressed the vital question of whether or not umbrellas are evil. Answer – Yes.

I can now address the issue I should have been talking about – this being a Friday. The question set by the Loose Bloggers Consortium: If you can cure one leper, why not cure them all? The answer: Can’t think of any reason why not myself.  (Unless you’re busy washing your hair that day… or waiting for the price of the cure to rise to reach more profitable levels… or needing to shift your stock of crutches first…) Am I missing something?

This picture, taken in Bangladesh, comes from Steve McCurry’s awesome photo blog. I love it. For more pictures of people with and without umbrellas in the rain – click on the photo above.



Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium, life, Music

28 responses to “Mayor bans umbrellas for London Olympics

  1. Goodness, Gracious, Sakes alive — I have NEVER in my 54 years of breathing seen an umbrella that BIG. EVER!

    I would love to see one in person just to stand and gawk at it – and the person holding it! If the wind were just right, you could, quite possibly, pull a Mary Poppins!

  2. Pingback: Mayor bans umbrellas for London Olympics | Blackwatertown - Lengoo Rants – views on Life and London

  3. Umbrellas are a curse, way above the dreaded ankle nipping shopping trolley! I’ll vote for anyone who will ban them. Alas, I am at the height that if my eyes are not a target from the spokes, then my shoulders are from the drips of the umbrellas of passers-by! Fight on I say!

  4. The list of items banned from the O——s is amazingly long. Banning umbrellas (because they’re blunt instruments) is absurd, but what’s even more absurd is that you can buy an official O——s 2012 umbrella but you can’t actually use it at the O——s.

    (And don’t forget, you can’t use the word O——s without permission, it’s copyright)

    • blackwatertown

      The latest news is that we can no longer use this symbol – £ – it’s replacing the Olympic rings as the new logo.

  5. Nigel

    Given that the monarchy – and bad weather- are bound to rain over us and have their central office in London, this ban appears cruel to me.

    Mind you, given Blackwatertown’s connections with Bush House, I expect he knows a thing or two about poison-tipped brollies.

  6. Beware, kindly kindling Master Paul, you might be unwittingly party to recruiting for a highly undesirable group of misguided elitists, breeding in the depths of Soho. They are, no less, ‘The Umbrella Organisation, An extremely secretive underground activist group that attacks ignorant people with brollies. An all-encompassing master community for brilliant brolly wielders! May the power of the brolly live on’! I am minded to be charitable because they did pay tribute to Dickens on his birthday (recognising gamps etc, but don’t get me started on all that). However, you have an important point about holding back Boris from becoming PM- so I don’t know which way to turn, particularly when umbrellarists are all trying to gouge my eyes out while trying to get to Tower Hill underground.

  7. Get a crowd of unemployed graffiti artist,s with waterproof paint spray cans, to paint inappropriate slogans/designs on passing brollies.

  8. rummuser

    Yes, umbrellas should be banned. Otherwise how will we get to see such Indian scenes. ( Surely, you should have seen this in the recent shoot?)

  9. And let’s not forget how umbrellas can pinch one’s fingers when we try to open them. Or is it when we close one? I can’t remember because I don’t use them. Because I am not about to have my fingers torn off messing with the darn things.

  10. Hi Paul…popping ’round to say hello and let you know I had to close my blog, more threats. Don’t quite know what to do yet, but will be in touch. Bless!

    • blackwatertown

      Hi Kinzi. Thanks for running your dignified blog against so-called honour killings for so long. It was a credit to you and your adopted country. Looking forward to its reopening – or whatever future incarnation you appear in. In the meantime, can we help?

  11. Oh no…oh no, no, no!! Absolutely not! You are NOT seriously suggesting we ban umbrellas!! Tell me you love them really! They are a life saver 😉 Thousands of us would have drowned and got very wet and caught colds and maybe contracted Bird Flu….well it was very wet at the Diamond Jubilee! And there was a little bit of a queue at the rail stations going back…so “long live the British brolly!! Long may it billow over us, eye gougy and space hogging….!!”

  12. 29

    I support Boris here. My father-in-law knew of a man who had one eye damaged by a lady’s umbrella, he finished up losing the sight of both eyes. When a dangerous umbrella is approaching I put my hand up to protect my face and have got some got some disgusted looks for my pains.
    I was in Dunedin in NZ on ANZAC Day, ceremony started at 6am and it was deluging, umbrellas everywhere and so very difficult to see the platform party.
    An aside: the hotel receptionist informed me that in WW1 NZ lost a higher proportion of its population than any other Commonwealth country and in fact that one small town/village nearby had lost every man of military age.
    Cannot vouch for that but think of Gallipoli, quite possible.

    • blackwatertown

      Apparently it was an errant umbrella that did for Nelson’s eye at Trafalgar – though no doubt it was a pesky parapluie rather than a brave British brolly. (It may be that not all that statement is correct.)

  13. 29

    2nd comment. Boris should also ban half the ‘sports’ that have now made the Olympics an obese monster almost capable of bankrupting a city – Montreal took 25 years to pay off its Olympic debt. A festival of amateur sport? Think Barcelona and the ‘dream team’, a collection of American multi-millionaire basketballers, then millionaire tennis players,think dressage, need I go on. As an antidote, think Daley Thompson, now there’s a real athlete.

  14. This place looks amazing! Thank you for sharing.

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