Lightning and opportunity both strike quickly in New York, a land of opportunity. And there is no opportunity like a sudden unexpected downpour. Umbrella salespeople appear instantly from nowhere and setup quickly, because a rainstorm is an unknown opportunity.
They appear with umbrellas that most consider disposable and justifiable for the day's journey. A captive audience has few options. For those who did not prepare, you pay a few dollars or get soaked. The more unexpected the rain, the better the business. In the streets of New York, sympathy is not part of the vendor's trade.
Now I understand that in business you need to keep your costs down, but isn't it bad marketing for an umbrella salesman to peddle umbrellas while using such a badly damaged one? After all, this is the primary complaint and impression of umbrellas sold on the street - that they are virtually useless and break immediately. After a rainstorm, many mangled ones can be seen discarded on the streets.
A fellow onlooker and I thought the scene was hysterical. But the unfortunate and unprepared bought umbrellas anyway, because in a land of opportunity, at opportune moments, the opportunists win ...