Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella (if you're not too pissed)

It's pouring today. I needed a few things from the neighborhood grocery and besides I look for opportunities to wear my rubber rain boots, which I love. Flip decided to go with me (since I have such cool boots) and we headed out with umbrellas.

The store had its umbrella pail next to the door. "I'm not falling for that again," I commented. "The last time I did, someone stole my umbrella."

The manager happened to be walking by and said, "I remember that. It was returned the next day."

He went to his special hiding place and produced three umbrellas, a green one and two black ones, one of which was mine!

I couldn't believe it.

"I decided to leave the bucket out for a few more days in case it rained again," he said. "It was down in the bottom."

"It wasn't there when I left the store that night," I said.

"I know. I looked, too, after I heard what happened. They sneaked it in there after the rain stopped." He shook his head in disbelief.

I guess the person who stole it believes that she isn't really a thief because she brought it back. The fact that she deprived its owner of something when it was needed seems to carry no weight. I really don't understand such reasoning, but I'm happy to have my umbrella back. It's much nicer than the one I bought to replace it.

"We're coming up in the world," I told Flip. "We're a three-umbrella family now."


thailandchani said...

I can't believe he hung on to it that long! That really surprises me!

The idiot who "borrowed" it probably reveled in the fact that "at least I returned it when I was done."

As Harlan Ellison said, the two most common elements of the universe are hydrogen and stupidity! :)


Mariposa said...

LOL @ Chani...I can't beat her comment!

So let me just greet you a Happy Thanksgiving!

jameil1922 said...

umbrella thieves are awful! i steal my parents' umbrellas all the time but good gracious! they're my parents! they expect me to take it but at the store? the shame! glad you got it back and great boots? the best!!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Reminds me of a Roald Dahl story. Now I'll have to find it and read it again.

The CEO said...

I no longer use an umbrella because no one has ever returned any of mine. It must be your karma.

Happy Thanksgiving.

meno said...

wow, That gall involved in stealing an umbrella "for a while" is unbelievable.

nick said...

Indeed, why did someone think it was okay to take something 'temporarily'? A sort of related story: I once found a wallet stuffed with cash and credit cards and returned it to the owner's bank with my name and address. The owner never acknowledged its return, which I thought was pretty mean considering what was in it.

Anonymous said...

Bitchin' gumboots!

the walking man said...

Being a man, I could never wear galoshes or rubber rain boots, but if I wanted another tat, I'd have those boots inscribed upon my one sitting (I am a man after all.)

I have noticed the trend towards a free know the one where everybody is free to do what they think fills their need regardless of the impact it has on others.

May the umbrella burglar lose all water pressure when they are fully soaped up.

Hearts, you and Flip enjoy the day, may your kith and kin crowd in upon you.

furiousBall said...

happy thanksgiving!

Ian Lidster said...

I truly do love your boots. Despite such adversities as you mention, the boots just have to make up for it a bit.

MsLittlePea said...

Cute boots.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Ellison was right.

It was a nice reunion with my lost umbrella.


Thank you for your happy wishes. I hope your day is a good one, too, even though it's not a holiday in the Philippines.


Whoever took it was not my daughter. It was pretty crass.


Let me know which story. I like Dahl.


I only use one in very heavy rain because they're hard to control on crowded sidewalks - it becomes the Umbrella Wars.

Happy T-Day to you!


I agree. I was soaking wet and hopping mad that night.


I also found a stuffed wallet at a mall and left it at the security office, then tracked down the party and called to tell him where it was.

He didn't even thank me.


Thanks!! They're fun to wear.


I like your water pressure curse.

I don't have any tats but I do admire good tattoo art. Ed Hardy is one of the best, and my Chinese astrological sign is the tiger.

Have a glorious day with your family!


Same to you and the kids!


Oh, they do. They are much cooler than I am.

Sweet Pea,


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a cool story!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I can actually remember that you posted about your stolen umbrella all that long time ago! My memory must be improving!

Congrats on the 3 umbrella status. :)

And by the way, your previous post was hilarious.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I had to post the happy ending. How often do lost items return? (About as often as the dead come back to life.)


I put in a link to the previous post because not everyone has your memory and they wouldn't have known what I was talking about.

Yep, three umbrellas. We have succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.

Eastcoastdweller said...

I'm glad that You got Your umbrella back. I'd be more likely to just have forgotten it somewhere than to have had it stolen.

I do remember from my flirty college years loaning my umbrella to a Pretty Young Thing one rainy day as I was out and about. She left it for me later, in the place on campus where I had asked Her to, along with a little handwritten thank you note.

seventh sister said...

Maybe the person who took it did so by mistake thinking that it was theirs and returned it when he/she realized the mistake. Anyway, I 'm glad you got yours back. I am envious of the rain you are getting. We are in a pretty bad draught right now.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Now that I have it back, the rain has stopped. It will probably never rain again.


Somehow I don't think it was a mistake as mine was black and the other two in the pail were brightly colored with patterns.

I sang "The cat came back, we thought he was a goner" all the way home with my reclaimed umbrella.

meggie said...

Those boots should keep the damp away!
My family take all my umbrellas. They never return them, & sometimes they even break them!

Franki said...

Man I lub me those boots! I never bring an umbrella cuz I always forget it. I just bring hats.

Maria said...

Tonight, Bing, Liv, and I all went to a Hindu prayer ceremony for the people in India who lost their lives. We were told to remove our shoes before going into the temple, so we did. When we came out, Bing and Liv found their shoes...but mine were gone. I managed to keep my temper...but holy moly, they were my comfy ballet slippers that I LOVE.

I made some unkind comments about what sort of lowlife would steal someone's shoes in a freakin' Hindu temple, for fuck sakes and then I went off to the bathroom, wondering if I was going to have to walk in my socks through the sleet soaked parking lot out to the car.

When I came out, Bing was holding my shoes. Apparently, an older woman had mistaken mine for hers, forgetting that she had worn a completely different style and color of shoe, but brought them back when she noticed that they felt a "little too pinched and small."

I felt really bad for muttering those comments, but how in the world could you forget what shoes you wore?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Still, family is one thing, perfect strangers another.

I often go out in the rain without an umbrella but when I do take one, I expect it to be there for the duration.


These boots are for those who adore tattoo art but aren't brave enough to have their skin engraved. Or more accurately, decisive enough to live with it forever.


What an amazing story! I would have been livid too. When my umbrella was stolen, I slogged home in the downpour and unloaded every 4-letter word I know on Flip, some of them more than once. Add a Hindu temple to the mix and I probably would have killed someone, which admittedly is not very pacifistic of me.

The old lady was either completely dotsy or she really liked your shoes until she realized she couldn't wear them w/o pain.

Los Angelista said...

No kidding! I totally remember that post. How wonderful that your umbrella has come back to you. I suppose there's something to be said for remorse and shame making people eventually do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the person who took it had a guilt attack and wanted to do the righht thing but was too embarrassed to bring it back publically? That version makes me feel better, so I'm stcking with it :) Glad you got it back at last!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Remorse and shame are great motivators, but not stealing in the first place should really be second nature. (So I'm a hardass.)


Embarrassment is an appropriate response to doing something skeevy. I'm glad to have the old one back, though. It has a better mechanism than its replacement.

Say It said...

What a good grocer. At the very least, the little thief returned your property. I'd like to believe they found themselves in an unusual situation and in dire need. Otherwise, i can't believe they'd return it. Seriously, when something is stole, who returns it??

PeterAtLarge said...

I do remember that earlier post. When I was at university, back in the fifties (!), it was bicycles. They were considered fair game. If yours wasn't there when you left the party, you took someone else's. Curious custom.

Jocelyn said...

Now you have an umbrella to hold over each boot. Wouldn't want those charmers to get wet, even if they're designed for it.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Say it,

In dire need indeed. It was pouring out. That's why I took my umbrella and that's why I got soaked to the skin walking home without it.

I am not giving her a hall pass on this one.


If anyone stole my bicycle I would be really upset. Maybe I have attachment issues but my bike is personal; an umbrella is merely a tool.


No umbrellas required. I can even splash in puddles and my feet stay dry; Das Boots don't blow inside out in a strong wind either.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...


Good karma back to you, lady.

I am so tickled that you got it back. Life is full of surprises.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Sienna said...

Love the tiger and roses Hearts....beautiful. Heh! and I love that someone gets rain!! :)

That is a good ending, worlds so different, the funny thing is here, if it ever rains we run out in it, gotta do a reality check when people actually have rainfall that hinders and stops everyday stuff, we take for granted.

Our rain would be mid summer, keeping out of solar rays..come to think of it our rain is the solar rays.



heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'm not sure which surprised me more, finding my umbrella missing in a typhoon or having it returned to me.

Life is mysterious.


You have a new avatar!

I have lived in places where it rained so seldom that when it did, I ran outside naked to dance in it. San Francisco is a little too populous to pull that off, though.

Pam said...

Damn fine boots you got there girl! Liked the above comment. It rains rarely here in South Australia so maybe I'll try running naked outside when it does,me and all my other 55-60 year old friends.That's a time when people curse their good eyesight.This is a true story, recently pensioners in capital cities around Australia publicly stripped down to their underwear (beige is the new black)to protest at the need for an increase in the aged pension.No increase.Wonder why?People are still recovering from that traumatic visual experience and it seems the new reason why politicians here can't sleep at night.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


The originality of Australians never fails to amaze and delight me! I love the image of near-naked middle-aged petitioners, and hope they get what they need. (More clothes?)

It hardly ever rains here, but the boots look really cute in my closet.

On a limb with Claudia said...

Gosh, I'm not really sure what to say about that. It's amazing that it was returned. Wow.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yeah, really. What can you say but "wow?"