The tale of the Umbrella - by "Jonny the Thespian"

The tale of the Umbrella - by "Jonny the Thespian"
Merthyr and the Umbrella.....a short (absolutely true) tale that sums up life itself.
This week I was caught short. It was hammering down in Nottingham as I was leaving the studios. Proper storm.

The dear lady on the reception said to me...Jonny, have a lend of the umbrella here duck but make sure you bring it back as we haven't many okay?
I actually thought as she handed it to me..I won't let you down cheery looking Nottingham lady! I will return your umbrella!

On Friday as I'm leaving to go to Merthyr the umbrella is in the passage way and I know the weather is going to be bad and as I pass I take a long look at it...now I know it's an inanimate object BUT I swear we had a moment...do I really want to take it to Merthyr with me?...hardier more robust instruments have withered and died in my home town and if it had of spoken it would have said (in a quivering voice) please don't take me to the Valleys...purlllease...so of course I told myself to stop being fuckin daft and grabbed it.

So..I get home and everyone is out and we're meeting in the local pub...and it's a horrible night. Wet and howling and I think..I'll have to take the umbrella as even the short walk to the pub will see me soaked and miserable before the night has even begun...

So I take it out...this lovely umbrella given to me trustingly by the friendly reception lady in Nottingham....
I take it out...on a Friday night in Merthyr.
I decide to leave it in the local pub. They were fine with that but then events began to conspire against me....after three swift drinks we decide to walk from the local pub to the local social club..a journey down hill of around a quarter of a mile...
Yep, the umbrella comes with me.
Three more pints and I have my first near miss.
We leave at around 9pm to head to town and as I get into a hot, steamed up taxi full of half cut Welshmen I realise I've left it under the table...
Fuck!!!
What?
My Umbrella!
Fucks sake! Leave it!
No I can't!!
I jump from the already leaving taxi and manage to get it just as it's being handed across the bar! Phew! A close shave...I run back to the taxi which know looks like it has frosted glass..
Happy now Hollywood?
Aye! Can we fuckin carry on with the night now?
I head to town.

I carry the umbrella bar to bar..in the Vulcan (the youngsters bar...a dayglo, house pumping, WKD bar high on v neck t shirts and Maori tats I feel about 140 as I lean on it like an old man with a gammy leg)...
I make it to the last bar of the night...the rugby club. It's now midnight and for the first time in my life I've carried a bloody umbrella out with me all night but I'm dry. In fact I'm like a bone in the Sahara..as I once heard said.

Around Midnight my younger brawd (brother) Matthew says he's off home (he has a flat in town).
Can I have a lend of your umbrella son?
I can now get a taxi home so I'm literally home and dry..as the saying goes.
Aye...I say! Of course...I'll get it tomorrow!
Now just a slight bit of backround. My younger brother is what we'd call in the Valleys a bit 'lively.'..what I mean with that is that he always seems to end up in a bit of a scrape...it's just the way he's always been....he runs at about 50/50 on a night out...those people reading this who know him are laughing and nodding now....he says he never goes looking for it but there you go.

The next morning I'm having breakfast and my Old Man has gone to drop something off at his flat and I'm having a proper cooked breakfast. Lovely too.
My Father comes in...
A..Matthew ended up in a tustle last night...
(My Mother rolls her eyes in a...here we go way).
Me...Really? When was that? I was with him till he left.
My Old man...Well when he got to his block of flats there was a fella blocking the entrance. He asked him to move and the fella got funny. In the end he tried to follow Matthew in and they got into a tustle....of course all the people in the block came running out and pulled Matthew off him and it turned out he was the son of someone who lived there!!
Hahahaha (we all laughed...as you do)
'Aye!! And they ended up apologising to Matthew and saying thanks for protecting the block (there'd been rumours of a nutter hanging about..mind you..when has there not been in any town/City? Urban myths)..

So I'm laughing and eating and my Father goes to leave the kitchen and as he does he just casually throws over his shoulder...
Oh aye..and your umbrellas fuckin had it too...
UH!!!! WOWAH!!!! (I practically spit my bacon out!)
WHAT YOU MEAN?
Everyone looks at me now...
My Father (very matter of factly)...
He used the umbrella on the fella and broke it!
Eh? I thought you said it was just a tustle?
Well it was!...Just...you know...if your in a scrap and you have a fuckin umbrella you use it!
(It gets very Welsh now as my Mother nods! She does!...As if to say..of course you would silly billy!!)...
Me (exasperated) ..Well, how wrecked is it?
It's in three bits.
(I must have had a proper pout on my gob at this point because my old man...with a serious face goes...)
It's only an umbrella mun! You need to stop being so bloody....precious...!!
I SWEAR he would have said poncy if he could....
My mother is nodding as if I've gone soft and I'm being pedantic! So it's on me now...and what can I do? I just have to take it and everyone just carries on as normal and when I see my brawd later he doesn't even mention it...as if it's the most normal thing in the world what happened and there's no point.

And there folks is the nub of life in one story...ALWAYS ALWAYS...go with your gut feeling as tomorrow I have to buy a bloody umbrella to give to the nice lady on reception....oh and never try and push past a half cut Ginger Welshman with an umbrella. That's another law of the universe worth honouring too.

The Taffy Fox

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