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I have owned many umbrellas, and some have survived the strongest of storms, but my latest died within twenty minutes of its purchase. And all I did was open it outside a rock and gem shop in the town of Penzance of Cornwall.

As you know, Penzance of Cornwall is famous for parrots and dust, but you can now add destructive light breezes to that list.

In disgust and contravention of a local by-law that prohibits the leaving of "canopied items in the highway," I dumped my bad umbrella in the shade of a small banana tree. Two hours later, as I returned the way I had come, I noted that someone had tossed an empty can of Coke at the umbrella.

National Umbrella Day is celebrated on February 10th in many countries.

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