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 When did you last think about rain?

Yes, that’s right. Rain. The Wet stuff that falls from the sky and later clears from the west. The liquid that comes in under doors or on cats and dogs. The magic stuff that makes taxis impossible to find. The only thing that can make cricketers run.


Odds are you haven’t thought about it for years, if ever. And even if you did, you thought to yourself: ’Oh God, it’s raining again.’

We don’t blame you. We’d like you to take rain for granted. Because that means we at the British Rain Bureau are doing our job properly.

What worries us (and we would be less than human if it didn’t) is people who seem to think that one kind of rain is much like another. You couldn’t be more wrong. Drop for drop, British rain is the best in the world.

All right, so it isn’t the most sensational in the world. There’s nothing in Britain to rival the monsoons of India or the dramatic hurricanes of America. We can’t rival those places in the world where the heavens majestically open and a sheet of water falls, until high streets are 6ft deep in it and people go upstairs just to avoid drowning. There are no rain forests here and no raging torrents. Not even much in the way of rapids.

But would we really want things to be that way?

We at the British Rain Bureau think people would rather have rain that was dependable, regular and reliable. Rain that was soft and friendly. Rain you didn’t feel threatened by.

British rain.

And don’t go thinking that British rain is all the same. We are proud of our great regional varieties. The soft hanging rain that drifts across the Cotswolds. The tough, hard-wearing rain that swings in across Dartmoor. The lovely April showers that can arrive in any month, freshen up the landscape and be replaced by sun in ten minutes, as if Britain was going through some gigantic car wash. There are even people who think plain old drizzle has its charms!

Up in Scotland they have invented a special rain of their own called Scotch mist, which is so thin that it doesn’t seem to be falling at all, but hovering.

Do you remember that old Punch Cartoon in which the English lady is saying to the Scotsman : ‘The rain seems to be clearing off at last, Sandy’ ? He says: ‘Aye, I doot it’s threatening to be dry.’

So next time you hear people singing the praises of foreign rain, give them the facts. Tell them that British rain is till the best in the world. That 100 per cent of the rain that falls in Britain is British-made, and that we import none of it. And that the British Rain Bureau is looking after your rain, night and day, so that the grass may grow and the rivers may run.

Don’t accept any substitute for British rain.

This completely pointless advertisement was placed by the British Rain Bureau and was paid for entirely out of your money. If you want to know more about the stuff that falls on the just and unjust alike, send off to the British Rain Bureau , the quango they forgot to kill off. We are here to serve you, also to spend our budget like mad before the end of the year so we can get even more money next year.

Write to us at Precipitation House, Whitehall, London. We’d love to hear from you. We’d love to hear from anybody.

Moreover, Too 1985




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