• A Seinfeld moment

I’m beginning to have more and more of what I call Seinfeld Moments. They’re the sort of unexpected vignettes in my life that end up reminding me of one of the little subplots on the old TV show.

The other day the missus and I stopped at a local supermarket for a few items. Because it was raining hard, I dropped her off at the door. Unwilling to park in the fire lane even though it was near capacity with scofflaws afraid of getting wet, I drove around for a while in search of a legal space. Once I found one, I reached into the back seat and picked up her umbrella, then trudged to the store.

We picked up what we needed, then began reversing the process. I told her to wait under the portico while I went back to get the car. I unfurled her umbrella and waited for a break in the traffic so I could dart out. The umbrella, it must be explained, is one of those clear plastic dome-shaped affairs, the kind you can pull down over your head and still see through. (See fuzzy cellphone-camera image above.)

As I prepared to go back to my car, I noticed a group of young men standing near the doorway. I saw one of them point toward me and say “Look at that umbrella.”

Ah, they noticed what a cool device it was, I thought. And, by extension, what a cool guy I am for using it.

When I drove back, the missus had a bemused look on her face as she climbed in the car.

“Well,” she said, “those kids had a field day talking about you and the umbrella.”

“What do you mean?”

“They were talking about how dorky you looked,” she replied. “One of them even said, ‘I’ve never seen anything that gay.’ ”

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as Seinfeld would say.

Luckily, I’m secure in my own masculinity, so the umbrella will be put into play the next time it rains. I hope those kids get soaked.


About Bill Dowd

Webmaster/social media coordinator for the Southern Rensselaer County NY Rotary Club.

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