The Ethics of the Golf Umbrella

You’ve all seen them around. Big enough to house an entire family, the two-toned Brown Golf Umbrella (BGU) can be a student’s godsend in a rainstorm. It can also put a BGU’s owner in a serious moral dilemma.

Let me put this disclaimer out right now: I am a proud BGU owner. It has served me well and most definitely outlived the entirely arbitrary 2-storm shelf life of your standard umbrella. It keeps both me and my none-too-waterproof backpack (do they make those?) completely dry. But, of course, one must remember: with great umbrella comes great responsibility. As a BGU owner, you have the opportunity to do a lot of good for some very wet strangers. Or you could just wreak a lot of havoc. Here are a few guidelines.

1. Umbrella envy is going to happen. You’re just going to have to accept the dirty looks. We all know that monster can fit at least 3, if not 6 Brunonians (maybe fewer post-Candyland). But hey, not everyone gets to be totally dry after a walk from Pembroke to the Ratty. That would be umbrella socialism! This gives “trickle-down” a whole new meaning.

2. If you decide to be a Good Samaritan, remember: you have no obligation to act as a taxi cab. Walking through Faunce Rain Shelter Arch with a BGU is a good way to end up in this situation. Of course you wish you could help those poor souls using a copy of the BDH for cover as they scamper across Waterman from J. Walter Wilson, but you have class in Smitty B and they’re going to the Rock, so there’s only so much you can do. On the other hand, there isn’t much better a captive audience than a person stuck under an umbrella. Think about sheltering that one person in your psych class with whom you’ve wanted to get coffee but haven’t had the courage to ask out.

3. You cannot fit through the open gates on the Quiet Green. You just can’t. Every step of the way across the Quiet Green you’re going to think your BGU can just barely make it through the gap. Every time you are going to look like a fool when it gets stuck and hits you in the face.


4. There is no better way to turn your hallway into an obstacle course than to have 2 open BGUs out to dry the evening after a rain storm. I promise, you and your neighbor will be the most popular students in your dorm after each hallmate has to awkwardly sidestep between the two umbrellas on his or her way to the bathroom. I am most definitely not speaking from personal experience. Obstacle course?

The sad thing is, my BGU has been stuck in my room for a while now. It’s late November, I’m walking around in a short-sleeve t-shirt, and I caught 4 different kids in flip flops today. I kind of wish it would rain (careful what you wish for) so I can take my BGU out for a ride.

Please use your BGU responsibly. Stay dry, everyone.

Images via & via.


  1. This is a really interesting post about the golf umbrella.

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