New empirical studies have shown that men in Ireland suffer from a debilitating disease that not only affects men, but also attacks their wardrobe. The disease only breaks out on rainy days, but then spreads faster than the feared winter vomiting bug until it reaches every corner of Dublin. The disease is called Umbrellaphobia and is a chronic aversion against the use of umbrellas and it can even escalate to an outright fear of umbrellas. Luckily the Umbrellaphobia disappears once the rain stop, but subsequent wet days show that it never gets cured, it only gets temporarily pushed back a bit.

This Umbrellaphobia seems to affect the brain of the majority of men in Ireland and makes logical thinking and the slightest bit of risk assessment an impossible thing. The prevalence of the disease is significantly higher in Irish males in comparison to non-irish males, but it does affect both population groups.

What happened? Last Wednesday, a wet early morning, I saw with my own eyes how Irish men in particular and many men in general have such a fear of umbrellas – or the image that the use of an umbrella might create (or destroy), – that destroying their clothes, walking around looking like a wet cat and getting drowned in the Dublin rain is preferred over using a stretched out piece of fabric, spanned over a collapsible metal frame.

I saw not one, not two, not three, no FOUR men who had full suits on, but walked along the canal with no jacket and no umbrella, looking like someone had dragged them through the canal. What is wrong with (Irish) men!? Why does a simple umbrella scare the bejaysus out of them so that they would be rather seen dead (or drowned) than with an umbrella in their hand.

Odd!! Luckily the women are significantly more logical and analytical when it comes to the rain and its effects.