On the Rampage: Rain Etiquette
As Ireland is a country that spends most of the year in the rain, you would be forgiven for presuming that we would be masters at dealing with it. People in hot, dry countries have an excuse for losing the plot when the clouds open up, but the Irish should be able to handle it like pros, right?
Wrong. Very wrong.
There is no end to the stress encountered by people who have to leave the house in a downpour. Bad enough that you have to deal with your shoes squelching or battle the wind for your umbrella, but you also have to deal with an unforgivable amount of incompetence from other people – people to whom rain rules should be as natural as breathing.
So here’s a little guide to dealing with the rain.
Hello 30-something-year-old male with short hair and a suit. That’s a nice umbrella you’ve got there - nice for housing a small family. Did you really need one that big? Oh dear, are you overcompensating for something? Napoleon complex perhaps? Your brolly expands over the entire path and oh look, you have no intention of repositioning it to accommodate people with ACCEPTABLY SIZED UMBRELLAS. Instead you bang them out of the way and shower your fellow pedestrians in the rainwater that has collected atop your circus tent. You’re a jerk. Get a regular one-person umbrella. You don’t even have HAIR to protect. There is zero reason for you have such a monstrous umbrella to shield you. Even if you had hair it’s still not ok.
You mightn’t need a licence for an umbrella, but you should. You can’t just barrel through the streets and expect everyone to move out of your way. You need to be aware of the people around you, especially on Dublin City Centre’s narrow paths. If you’re passing by someone with an umbrella, the taller person should raise their umbrella slightly and the smaller person should dip slightly. That way no one gets soaked. If you pass by someone without an umbrella, be aware of the fact that you may need to tilt and don’t just ram your umbrella into that person’s eye. People need their eyes!
Guess where you shouldn’t stand! In the doorway of a shop. The process of moving from the street into a store is a delicate one – you need to take down your umbrella and get inside as soon as possible to minimise your exposure to the elements. This is made very difficult by the person standing in the entrance, idly looking in their bag for a hat or counting their change. Also, if you’re coming in from the street, do not just start shaking your umbrella wildly behind you. Other people may be trying to come in behind you and hey, you’ve just saturated them.
Efficient walking is essential when it is raining. Strolling in the rain is not romantic, except maybe in Paris or if you’re wearing a trench coat and clutching a cat, à la Holly Golightly. Do not go out in large groups, take up the entire path and then meander. In fact, that one applies even when it’s not raining.
WATCH FOR THE GODDAMN PUDDLES, JERKFACE! That person you just tsunamied spent 25 minutes standing in the downpour waiting on a bus, then had to stand so the old person who inevitably decided they needed to take public transport during the morning rush could sit down and now they’re battling the elements to get into a job they probably hate. While you sit in your warm, dry car. Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt to take an extra five seconds to let the drenched pedestrian cross the road.
We get it. The environment is precious, global warming is bad, blah, blah, blah, but damn it, we miss plastic bags. Who the hell thought phasing plastic out in THIS rain-soaked, ever-damp island was a good thing? Anything more than a pair of socks in it and that bag will disintegrate within a minute of you being out in the rain. However, the chances of the bag ruling being reversed (or Dunnes charging less than a million euro for their plastic bags) is slim, so Shop People, stop giving attitude if you’re asked to double up the paper bags to give the person spending many euros in your store a fighting chance of not having their purchases spill out on the pavement. In fact, maybe it would be nice of you to offer in the first place.
Just leave the bikes at home, m’kay?