The staff of an umbrella shop in Tokyo recently must have their work cut out for them these days as they explain to confused customers why boxes of lettuce are sitting in their displays.  The answer, of course, is Vegetabrella; a fusion of two completely ordinary yet completely unrelated objects, an umbrella and a head of lettuce.

Vegetabrella looks like a normal umbrella when unfolded. However, when ready for storage it’s the spitting image of a bundle of romaine lettuce, right down to the wrinkly leaves and black band with the “growers” name.

They’re even sold in imitation cardboard boxes like a nice imported looseleaf to perpetuate the façade. What isn’t ambiguous about this perfect parasol parody of produce is the price.  At 4,725 yen a head (US$60), it doesn’t look like Vegetabrella is in season right now.

Not only that, because their production rate is low, you can expect shortages every now and then – just like real vegetables!

You may be wondering why someone would create such a cute abomination of nature.  Well, umbrellas are hugely useful for both keeping dry in the rain or avoiding melanoma in the sun, but they are unwieldy beasts than are often left behind on buses and trains.

Vegetabrella harnesses the awesome portability of a head of lettuce into umbrella form so that you easily take with you wherever you go.  Also, think about how many umbrellas you’ve lost in your life. Now think how many heads of lettuce you’ve lost.

I rest my case.

[ Read in Japanese ]