Chances are that, in a lifetime, most people will never have a coat stolen. This is because people, for the most part, are sensible. They take care of their belongings. They are vigilant and careful.
And, let's say that they do have a coat stolen once, from a bar or restaurant coat check. Do you think they'll let it happen a second time? Unlikely.
Unless, of course, they are me.
Then they will have had coats stolen on three occasions. That's right. Three.
Small Town Bar, December 2000 - Goderich, Ontario
Imagine, if you will. A formerly small town girl, now living in the big city, returns home for Christmas.
She's out with her friends at the local bar, which used to have a sensible name and is now called Paddy O'Irish or something silly like that, and she hangs her coat, a long dark grey number, on the clothes rack just outside the bar entrance, by the toilets. There are other coats on this coat rack, so it's not like she's being all that careless. She proceeds to get very drunk, as you do when you go home for Christmas. At the end of the night, before making the twenty minute walk home in the blistering cold, she goes to get her coat.
Only, it's not there. She looks everywhere. She asks at the bar. She checks the now virtually empty coat rack again, just to make sure that it's really not there. It's really not there.
She walks home with her friends, in the blistering cold, wearing borrowed gloves and a hat to prevent freezing to death. She keeps saying "I can't believe someone stole my coat!" all the way home, to the annoyance of her friends.
She buys a replacement coat when she gets back to Toronto, but has to wear an old blue ski jacket of her mom's the whole rest of the Christmas holidays.
Work Christmas Party, December 2004 - London, England
Right, so this same girl? She lives in England now. And she has a winter coat of such beauty. She bought it in Toronto with her friend Teresa, and it's real pretty. It's got a faux-fur collar. She loves her coat.
At her work Christmas party, there is much drinking and merriment at the meal, and she and her co-workers decide to wander into Soho for a few more drinks and a bit of dancing. They end up in a basement bar on Old Compton Street, and snag a group of tables. The boys stand and chat, all manly like, while the girls take to the dance floor. The girls return to the tables, where everyone is milling around, chatting, drinking and flirting. Good times are had by all.
When the bar closes, and the group is finally kicked out, the girl looks for her coat in the pile on one of the chairs at their group of tables. It's not there.
She checks the other chairs, checks the floor, asks at the bar, looks everywhere she can think of. It's gone.
Her second coat has been stolen.
She bursts into tears. Keep in mind that she is very drunk, and she loved that coat. The loss of it makes her very emotional.
She gets in a cab with two co-workers to make the trek home, and makes them promise not to tell her how stupid she was to leave it sitting unattended. One of her co-workers, who shall remain nameless, immediately says "Yes, but you really should have ...". He isn't able to finish his sentence, because the girl bites his head off and they argue for the entire cab ride. The other co-worker sits quietly in the back seat and giggles to herself the entire way.
For the rest of the winter, the girl wears a leather coat the isn't nearly as pretty as her faux-fur one. But she makes due.
A Friend's Birthday Party, last Saturday night, March 2007 - London, England
You'd think that by now this girl would have learned her lesson, and kept her eye on her belongings when out, wouldn't you?
Oh, you know that she's not that bright.
Anyway, she's out at London's only Bavarian Beerhouse on a Saturday afternoon for a friend's birthday, and has hung her coat up on the hooks provided. There is much chatting, much laughter, and much drinking of German beer.
At about seven o'clock, after a good five hours of drinking, the group is asked to move to a different section of the restaurant. The group, girl included, pick up their belongings, settle their tabs, and move over to the back bit of the restaurant.
There is much more drinking.
At around one A.M., the girl realizes she is drunker than she's ever been, possibly drunker than anyone has ever been. She decides to go home. She grabs her bag, and goes to get her coat.
It's not there.
It's not where she'd originally hung it up either. And it's not on the table with the random left-behind coats. It's gone.
That's right. She's had her coat stolen. Again.
She's lent a jacket from a very nice young man, and heads home.
She has yet to replace the coat.
Seriously. Three times. What do you think the odds of that are?