Without a doubt, cruelty. The silhouette of a woman placing an (her?) umbrella in a shredder- it’s even shed a bead of sweat.
Although that may have been the subject of a recent dream, the truth is much less malicious. This device, called a “Raincut,” was located by one of the entrances of the Kaikyou Yume Tower (海峡ゆめタワー), the tallest building in Shimonoseki, Japan. I removed the lid (it came with a lightweight lid) to show that it looks more like an apparatus to create an ehem, conical pizza bagel than one adept at ridding umbrellas of raindrops. I didn’t mention the word dry, though the Japanese instructions read as follows:
- Open the umbrella (傘 kasa) and lightly insert/push it (into the hole). -Already I have my misgivings-
- When the green light turns off, remove the umbrella.
- This machine is a dryer (it removes water), but it’s not a dryer (as in, where you’d place wet clothes/money/marbles).
I never seem to have carry an umbrella with me in Japan (instead, I find cardboard boxes or real estate magazines) so I couldn’t try it out, lawfully, but I noticed that it just spins- what did you expect?- might it be as useless as the plastic bags commonly found in Japanese lobbies? If it’s still raining when you leave, either your umbrella will return to being a victim of rainy weather, or you’ll have a wet plastic bag with you for a long time (no kidding), because rubbish bins in Japan have the same rate of natural increase as the population they serve. They are both nice thoughts though, to try and avoid turning buildings into water parks. Moreover, would you be embarrassed to test out a Raincut? Part of me reckons it’s claptrap, merely another addition to the long list of impractically useful inventions called chindogu. What do you all in the audience think?