For an essential shopping trip to The Big Town, how fortunate we'd chosen a day of gentle showers.
I ducked soddenly into my favourite BigTown bookshop for a distracting delve and eventually, loins girded, took my merry New Yorker birthday cards and my Clare Boylan to the till.
'And would you like an Emergency Poncho with that?' muttered the assistant without much conviction.
I declined, pointing out that I was so wet already, a plastic poncho on top would turn me into a steaming great greenhouse. 'OK,' she sighed, and explained, 'We bought in a truckload for the Festival. It was cancelled at the last minute due to a forecast of inclement weather...'
I mentioned this cruel circumstance to George when we collided outside the Goat and Spinnaker.
'And you didn't buy one?' he gasped, rain ricocheting off his ears.
'Dolores,' he said, 'In this deluge of a summer, £2.99 is a surely a small price to pay for such reassurance. You can just stick it in your handbag and forget it.'
There are already many things stuck in my handbag and forgotten. I suppose as tat goes, this could turn out to be handier than most of it...
The assistant at the till seemed surprised at my change of heart. She now had to ferret about under the counter, where she'd stuffed her artistic display of ponchos in an evident loss of all hope. I must say, the dinky little packet was encouragingly bright, and had the word GLAMOUR emblazoned over a cartoon image of a fifties Glamourous Person suggesting the overall filmstar effect it would endow.
It also had a jolly joke about raining Cats and Dogs and stepping in a Poodle!!! Plus an ominous warning: 'This is a single use emergency poncho! (although with careful handling it may be re-used)'.
What a disappointment! I'd imagined my poncho sticking thickandthinly by me for years to come!
If your handling hadn't been very careful, I suppose you could find something else for it to do: why not stretch the remains out on the mud, for example, and lay out a picnic. Then wrap the leftovers in it.
Or you could use it to haunt people...
The other week, George and I saw loads of them in use at a Morris Dancing extravaganza - what better way to keep enormous bells and whistles dry? (I bet these dancers wish they had them)!
I haven't unleashed my Emergency Poncho yet, the summer becoming quite sunny as it blends into autumn. And I couldn't quite banish the image of those concertina head-scarf rainhats from the sixties.
How does one glamourise a poncho, I pondered...
Right - I'm off to add a fistful of tassles