Rain, Rain, Here to Stay

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It starts out with a barely noticeable humidity within the air. Then a small drop. Soon everyone is scampering to find shelter under awnings. Living in Vancouver, it’s impossible to escape our cruel, soggy fate: from October until May, we become a waterlogged city. Once the rainy season starts, soaked socks and frizzy hair are commonplace and disaster can strike at any given moment. On any damp grey day it’s possible to spot a multitude of different archetypes throughout Vancouver, each combating the weather in a way that is strictly unique to their drenched clique. In order to persevere and get through the next few months relatively unscathed, it’s important to be able to identify these people and know which to avoid and which to admire.

That Asshole With the Huge Umbrella

We’ve all encountered this person at least once, and consequently have all become incredibly annoyed. Perhaps they have a false sense of superiority? Maybe they’re just trying to protect their newly purchased Armani suit? Whatever the reason for their obnoxiously large rain deflector, being stuck walking in the rain near one of these people is an exceedingly unpleasant experience on a multitude of levels. If you value your eyesight, steer clear of this group because they obviously have an extreme lack of spatial awareness as demonstrated through their choice to sport an enormous umbrella in a crowded urban setting. It is also essential to keep away from these privileged few in order to avoid the large drops that their enormous waterproof shield will drip onto you. If, perhaps, you follow one of these folks indoors, be careful of the aggressive and tumultuous umbrella shake that is undoubtedly going to occur upon approaching a building. The only time walking near someone like this has any merit is if you somehow manage to mooch off their extra dry space by sneaking under their parasol without them noticing. When you inevitably run into that asshole with the huge umbrella, shoot them a discerning look that says “really?” then promptly scoot away in an attempt to avoid their girth.

The One Person Who Is Perfectly Prepared

As they bounce gracefully down the street in what seems to be slow motion, heads turn and mouths gape in awe. They are the people that everyone wishes they could be, complete with groovy waterproof attire and the long sought after perfectly functional (and perfectly sized) umbrella, they are both admired and feared by people and elements alike. How do they do it? How can you be more like them? Where did they find such useful, yet quirky, raingear? The perfectly prepared people are the miracles of the temperate rainforest. These beings have got their lives together and with every waterproof step they take, the control they have over their lives is only asserted. Learn from these mythical beings and marvel at how they seem to defy Murphy’s Law. Upon passing one on the street, nod in humble respect and take mental notes on their every move. While most of us are not the perfectly prepared rain adventurer, we can all learn something from their weather savvy ways.

The Unlucky

This lot make their way down the street at a slow to average pace, fumbling and unable to catch a break. Onlookers shake their heads in pitiful sympathy and family members turn away with feigned nonchalance. Their umbrellas turn inside out with every slight gust of wind, ties are blown into open coffees, papers are scattered, and iPhones are dropped in puddles. No amount of preparation can save these poor souls. They were doomed from the start. These are the Jerrys from Parks and Rec, the Gilligans from Gilligan’s Island. They are loveable and sympathetic characters, but they just can’t seem to do anything right and as a result are hazardous to be around. If you spot one of these people at a bus stop, make sure not to stand near them. The spot they are currently standing in is undoubtedly the one which will be soon be soaked by a bus-induced tsunami of curb water. Observe what the unlucky weather combatants do, and then proceed to do the exact opposite.

The People Who Refuse to Admit That It’s Raining

Often found saying “We’re humans, our skin is waterproof, I don’t need to spend money on rain attire! I won’t buy into your weather induced capitalist agenda,” to no one in particular, these few are out to brave the elements on their own. Perhaps they’re making a political statement or maybe they just forgot to pack a raincoat. The exact reason for their steely-eyed ignorance remains unknown. Although most of us don’t have the grit and determination to be one of these select few, that doesn’t stop us from admiring their gumption. When you encounter one of these brave souls on the street, nod your head in solitude, then covertly check them for signs of hypothermia.

The Umbrella Wielding Awning Crasher

Perhaps the worst of all rainy day archetypes, these people are three parts ignorant, one part self absorbed and entirely obnoxious. They hoard two means of water deflection, and in doing so they automatically rob you of yours. These people made a commitment at the beginning of the day to stick with a regular-to-annoyingly-large-sized umbrella, however, they also feel the need to walk under awnings. This very act is selfish in itself, yet it enters a different stratosphere of inconvenience since umbrellas often take up a majority of the awning, leaving those depending upon its shelter to fend for themselves in the great damp outdoors. The only possible way to deal with these umbrella wielding awning crashers is to make a low growling sound when passing them in order to assert yourself and claim your territory.

***

Whether it’s a torrential downpour during a morning commute or a surprise storm while running errands, the Vancouver rain seems ever present in the winter months. Also in the spring months. And the fall months too. It’s important to know who your allies and enemies are when waging war against the elements. Next time you go into battle, take comfort in your newly gained knowledge, button up your coats, put on your boots and rest assured that you can get through this rainy season.

 

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