This time of year, I don’t have to check the weather report to find out if I might need an umbrella, because the answer is always at least 40% yes. The day I go to the Meguro Ward Office is no exception – predictably, the percentage shoots up to 100% just as I step off the train. But for once, I’m ready! And a good thing too, because by the time I complete my pilgrimage to the hallowed halls of health insurance and foreigner registration cards, I’m soaked from the knees down.
But what’s this? Next to the umbrella lock-up, a curious silver machine. I stick my wet umbrella in, and with a powerful vrooming sound, the ribs and fabric suddenly snap to attention, plastered to the sides of the Cone Of Dryness as all the water is instantly hoovered away! After a few seconds it releases its death grip, leaving my umbrella completely dry. Wow! I badly want to run outside and get my umbrella wet again so I can play with this thing a few more times, but damn, there’s a lady watching.
Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, published by Penguin/Intermix.