My wife tells me I need a new raincoat. There is, as usual, something in what she says, although I personally don't think my wardrobe looks as much as though a hurricane has blown through a charity shop as she claims. She hasn't yet realized that anoraks and antique trainers are the new Paul Smith polo-necks and Gucci (or whoever).
Anoraks have so many uses too. There was a story on the radio a few days about a hiker in the Rocky Mountains who came face to face with a large bear as he came round a corner on a forest trail. He knew that bears can run faster than humans, and they tend to knock you down, place an enormous paw on your chest and then eat you slowly, savouring every large mouthful. They don't care how loud you scream. Sometimes they leave you still alive and come back the next day, following the trail of blood, to finish their meal.
This situation, where you have surprised a bear many miles away from anywhere and you have no gun, is where you are glad you wore your anorak. What you should do, as the bear sniffs the air, licks his lips, and moves purposefully towards you, is to quickly remove your rucksack and anorak, jam the tips of your walking-sticks or ski-poles into the two wrist-bands of the anorak, then raise the two poles as high as possible above your head so that you are transformed into a flapping 10 feet-tall monster. You then walk steadily towards the bear, shaking your anorak and emitting your loudest possible blood-curdling yells. The bear will look at you in a puzzled way and as you continue towards him, he will quickly turn around and run away, tucking his hindquarters well in under his tail, as bears do when they are trying to avoid a painful bite on the bum.
I wish I'd known the anorak trick some years ago when I attended a conference in Brighton. A group of us had met for a meal in the evening, and it was pouring with rain when we finally emerged from the restaurant at about 11pm. to go our separate ways. The dark streets were totally deserted, and my hotel was some way away and as I splashed lonely and morosely through the puddles, I saw a man on the other side of the road who spotted me and came weaving unsteadily across the road towards me. I expected him to say 'Have you got a light, mate', or 'Can you lend me the train-fare to Bournemouth' but what he actually said was 'Are you looking for anal sex?' You can guess what I did next ..... looked puzzled for a moment, then quickly turned and ran, tucking my hindquarters well in under my tail.