Check it!

Professional bartender serving a cocktail in the glass with one big ice cube on the bar counter in the blurred background

I heard someone say, “check it” the other day, and it all came flooding back.

One night in the late 1980s, I went to a club in NYC with two of my cousins. I had purchased a brand new jacket, a thick, expensive winter coat.

In the club, I layed my jacket over some sort of room divider or half wall or something and this girl comes by and puts her drink on it. The drink looked like this image, same glass, but with lots of ice and lots of dripping on my jacket.

I started yelling at her, “Look what you did! That’s my jacket!” She yelled back, “Why don’t you check it!” Now being from Miami most of my life, I am not familiar with coat checks, so I thought, “Why don’t you check it!” was some sort of insult. So I yelled back, “You check it!”

And life went on. I remember that same night on our way home we stopped in front of the NY Public Library on 5th Avenue and got out of the car and danced to Pump Up the Jam, which was new at the time. Anyway, that’s my remembrance of the night.

20 years later, in 2009, I’m watching a movie on tv, literally 20 years later – and one guy says to the other, “Why are you carrying your coat around, why don’t you check it?” And that sentence came flooding back to me all those years later and it dawned on me, right then and there, that the girl was telling me to check my coat with the coat check.

The funny thing is I never wore that jacket again. Not sure why. I think it seems too puffy. I still have it in the closet somewhere.

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