MERRY XCESS When it rains, it roars; One umbrella idea that's all wet. Another in our series of 'unique' gifts from holiday catalogs.


Even in an increasingly noisy world, you'd figure you could count on your umbrella to just shut up and do the job. A "click," the slide of steel ribs, then "whoomp" -- you'd think that would be all the fanfare necessary to herald the opening of a bumbershoot. Hammacher Schlemmer has another idea. It figures what the world needs is one more inanimate object that can't keep still. Its position is that talking vending machines, chatty ATMs and cars that natter "Your lights are on" are hardly enough. What we need, says Hammacher Schlemmer, is a musical umbrella. "The only singing umbrella," to be precise, a fine gift for someone you desperately want to annoy. Press a button and: click, slide, whoomp -- "I'm singin' in the rain, just singin' in the rain ..." A full 20 seconds' worth. Want to hear it again? Just press the button. The rest of the soundtrack from "A Clockwork Orange" has been omitted.

The Only Singing Umbrella, $39.95. Item no. 61737H, Hammacher Schlemmer, Operations Center, 9180 Le Saint Drive, Fairfield, Ohio 45014-5475. Or call (800) 543-3366.

Pub Date: 12/12/96

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