Friday, November 4


It was raining and I couldn't find my favorite umbrella. It's a collapsible umbrella that is remarkably sturdy and is a masculine black that gleams impressively when it is wet. Since I was in a hurry and already late for work, and since it was a day on which I knew the transit system would be climatically challenged, I reluctantly grabbed my wife's spare umbrella and bolted out the door.

As I walked out into a downpour I opened the umbrella to reveal an off-lavender dome with yellowish lacy curlicues around the edges. It did not gleam impressively.

There was also the insignia of a new brand of perfume prominently displayed on the top. The perfume was called "Intensity", but I couldn't help thinking that I might as well have had "girly-man" scrawled across the top of my umbrella.

I had only trudged a few steps toward the bus stop when Nelson, my nemesis, fell in step beside me. He was holding a tent-like umbrella made of dun colored canvas atop a solid wooden pole and having a substantial, leather covered handle.

"What you got there, Jim? Perfume umbrella?"

"Intensity is not a perfume," I said defensively. "It's a fragrance. There's quite a difference. And," I added creatively, "it's unisexual."

"Complementary gift with $35 purchase?"

"I don't know. My wife bought it..." - here I realized I may have made an unfortunate admission, so I quickly covered up. "She bought it for me, though. As an aftershave." I knew it didn't sound convincing but I continued weakly, "Yeah, they threw in the umbrella."

By now I was standing at the bus stop looking pleadingly down the street for the appearance of a bus.

Nelson sniffed the air. "Smells to me like you're wearing Polo." He sniffed again. "Polo Green."

"Yeah, well I don't wear the Intensity every day, Nelson," I snapped. "I like a little variety."

"Let me know next time you're wearing it. I'd be interested."

When I got home that night I found my good old "manly-man" umbrella in the washing machine where I had left it to dry out last time I used it. I also found my wife's bottle of Intensity on the dresser.

I'm debating whether to start wearing it as an aftershave, or just stop shaving altogether.

After all, a bearded man carrying a black umbrella -- what could be less girly than that?


KathyR said...

Aw, go on. Splash on a little "Intensity!" Keep Nelson guessing!

hiking partner said...

Hi Jim D.. I'm trying to put together a list of sites which help people to find a hiking partner; just like this one 'hiking partner'. I thought you might be able to help. Do you know of any other hiking partner related sites? If so, perhaps you could respond to this post and let me know. Many thanks

blogblogblog said...

You can't make this stuff up. Or where you do depart from the truth and start making it up, I stop caring what's true. So many of the situations you write about are ones I have experienced or can imagine having much the same response as you when placed in the circumstance. It couldn't possibly be a rare quiet day on the street or better yet, Nelson's day off.

I agree with Kathyr. You can pull it off. After all, you're Jim D.