The Umbrella of Splendour

August 24, 2009 - By

Last week I had the chance to take part in an RGD studio tour. I was pretty stoked to see how the big city agencies worked with regards to office setup, work flow and hours. During the walking tour the insane and in many cases tornadoesque storm hit – completely soaking us all. I was fortunate enough to be lent an umbrella by one of the studios, but when Tim and I split up from the rest of the tour group to bravely finish the tour, I inadvertently became a thief.

To better explain myself to the victim, I wrote a story.

The Umbrella of Splendour

T’was a foreboding and lugubrious eve when last you saw it.

A sopping and shifty band of tourees burst into the normally peaceful office of Context Creative; berating you with their incessant questions for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, by way of ushering them along you found an out. In a fateful gesture of kindness precipitated by the precipitation you offered provisions for protection from the battering elements. The last of these was the highly coveted and prized Umbrella of Splendour. “Anyone?” you asked with trepidation.

The tallest of the motley gang – Arley as he was known – stepped forward, his steely eyes fixed upon the magnificent piece. His spindly fingers; crudely gnarled from endless hours of design and web development, wrenched the Umbrella from your grasp and pulled it close to his chest.

Warily, you reminded the dripping brood of borrowers “please return the umbrellas to Hilary at the end of the night!” Arley, ever clutching the most splendid of umbrellas turned back and fixed his beady eyes upon you. They showed no sign that he heard your plea for this, the most basic form of human decency. He thrust out his pale hand to shake yours. As you took it you couldn’t help but wonder when last sunlight met this clammy skin.

“Thanks” he said in his throaty voice, “this has been my favourite.” With that he fled into the night. No one could have predicted the madness that would follow.

Soon on the mean streets below, the wearied gaggle of RGDs found themselves at the mercy of the worsening storm. Hilary; their valiant and stalwart leader began to despair as she gazed upon the mass of sniveling designers huddled together, trying in vain to stand against the driving rains. “I think we’ll have to cancel the last tour” she said resignedly, “Quickly, to the Charlotte Room for shelter!”

The nerds all rabidly clamored for the warmth of this nearby estabilishment – all that is, save the three most dubious of the whole lot. 

Arley, naturally being the most devious of the trio quickly got a scheme in order. “Quickly my comrads! Let us hasten to the final studio and claim the tour that is rightfully ours. Perhaps there will be other delightful pretties for the taking!” he said while stroking the ebony-like plastic handle of his latest plunder. With that, the three made their way down the street and out of sight of the Context Creative headquarters; all the while cackling maniacally.

Hours turned into days, blocks turned into hundreds of kilometers as Arley made his way back to his luxuriously umbrella-filled hovel beneath the quiet town of Kincardine, Ontario.

The Umbrella of Splendour now sits upon his earthen wall. Nothing delights Arley more than to sit on his rocker gazing at it by firelight, laughing for hours at the thought of some poor wet designer, trodding to work in the rain without it, forever cursing his name.

The End?

About the Author

When Arley McBlain isn’t nefariously obsconding with your Umbrella he enjoys graphic design, website development and making crafty plans with his lovely (and much less infamous) wife Kristi.

Arley McBlain

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This post was written by ArleyM