One other thing a brolly is good for - even if it's a bit peremptory - is for subtly guiding pedestrian traffic when there's that momentary "you first, no you, oh I insist" type of shuffle. It makes it obvious which direction you're moving in.
know what you mean. And they're good for pointing things out to people
I miss my English umbrella with the wooden handle though (wasn't build for the kind of winds I encountered with it) so some day (if it ever stops raining for long enough) I'll go to a specialist store on the outskirts of town and get a German one... they make them out of carbon fibre composite these days