I walk my three-year-old daughter to school every week day. Since I’ve done the school run it has (very surprisingly) only rained twice during the 400 meter journey. It struck me this morning as I was plodding back through puddles getting quite wet that 90% of the school kids and adults that I passed were exactly the same as me – getting wet, and resigned to the fact.
Teenage school girls with elaborate hairdos, teenage boys with one direction cuts, mothers in leggings, dads in office suits all scurried under the blanket of rain, getting wet. Not an umbrella in sight. A few of the resourceful school kids held their jackets over their heads. A few had hoods to hold back the wet.
Then I realised – this would never happen in Japan. The nation would be prepared. The night before mothers in their millions would watch the weather forecast after the tediously brainwashing news and mental switches would be immediately flicked on by the threat of early morning rain. This valuable information would be passed on to their children and husband. Umbrellas and courage would be there by the door to be grabbed before leaving the house.
What does this all mean? Yes, the Brits don’t pay that much heed to the weather forecast despite talking about the craptitudes of the national weather cycle. They watch the fat bird do the weather before Match of the Day tell us that the nation will suffer downpours, hail and possibly snow in between sightings of the sun and still they miserably leave the house in the morning without rain protection.
Being a Brit myself, I thought perhaps I had the answer somewhere deep inside me as to our lack of rain preparation; so I introverted, channelling my focus inwards using the power of skunk. The results? I forgot, but the skunk was marvellous; much better than Match of the Day.
We just don’t give a fuck. A bit of rain never hurt anybody. Besides an umbrella is just something you lose when you stumble out the pub or when you beat a hasty retreat from the office. In places with good old fashioned weather like Cardiff an umbrella is just a thing for the wind to invert and batter out of shape, possibly dragging the owner under a bus at the same time. We seem happy as a nation to sit around in slightly damp clothes for hours. Again skunk helps with this – one smoke, lots of time drift and you emerge into sobriety with dry jeans. As if by magic.
The Japanese by contrast don’t have any herbal assistance. In a way they don’t need it since they gave up thinking 50 years ago. They do what everyone else does – if it’s going to rain, they bring an umbrella. School kids perform the dangerous feat of holding an umbrella while riding their chunky shit bikes to lessons.
The seasons fall in line with social conditioning – much of the rain buckets down in June. The rainy season is officially announced and umbrellas are readied. Nature is something to be repelled, to be conquered, and ideally to be concreted over. Seasons are defined by calendar dates. It’s too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. Orgasms are reached by spring cherry blossoms and autumnal colours.
The denizens of the UK expect summer to happen for a few weekends in July. Autumn is the sad precursor to winter. Spring is the cruellest month that promises warmth but normally delivers rain. We leave it to foreign countries to supply our annual shower of sunshine which we combine with drink and eat as much as you want deals. My skunk researches have revealed the hypothesis that there is a benign force at work in the universe limiting the opportunities the Brits haver to reveal flesh in public.
It’s still raining and now time to pick up my daughter from the nursery. Going to get a bit wet. Nevermind.