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The Out-of-Focus Group.
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As he returned from the bathroom to his seat in section 14F, Cliff eyed the darkening skies with suspicion. He kicked himself for not bringing his parka, especially after his last experience at an outdoor concert in a ballpark, when his neighbor's unusually short stature guaranteed Cliff a lapfull of
the collective runoff of every umbrella around him as it dripped from one brolly to the next and eventually landing in his lap, despite being prepared with his own brolly.
The grandstands issued a collective sigh as the rain started to drown out their plans of a concert outing at the new Lewes ballpark. They opened up their new stadium-issued umbrellas to find another piece of plastic, stowed around the handle. Cliff noticed that a recess in the rear of the seat arms also seemed to be designed to accept the brolly handle, leaving his hands free to handle his cheesy-nachos.
Noticing the snaps on the underside of the clear brollies, and the odd-shaped section of plastic, the resourceful Lewes crowd immediately understood even as the ushers and stadium personnel demonstrated how to connect the plastic sheeting to overlap correctly to catch the falling water in a series of impromptu gutters. Where there were empty seats, the ushers opened up and affixed the umbrellas to the chairs, preventing the potential holes from becoming mini-pools. About every 6 rows, the impromptu plastic gutters would feed into channel gulley drains in the stands to keep from overburdening the front rows with the collective deluge of 40 rows of seating.
Cliff followed the gulley paths with his eyes, at the front of the stands. The water was being funneled towards a set of water wheels which turned the hot dog rotisseries and taffy pullers the park was quickly becoming famous for, before being diverted into a filtration system connected to the neighboring park pool.
Out came the sun again, for which Cliff couldn't help feeling just a tinge of disappointment. There was something soothing about the rain after all.
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||But there is strength in numbers. With a gutter on each side of every umbrella, and a downfeed every 6 rows or so, we're not talking about that much volume per umbrella.
||'Hey Joe, check out those dweebs from the other side, sitting in OUR section. Know what I'm thinking?'