Two Jackets and a Knife

I was sitting on the couch in my normal spot, laptop in my lap, feet on the coffee table, television on with the volume down, when my roommate came stumbling in with a large, stuffed duffle bag, beaming with excitement.

“Look at all this STUFF,” she said as she was pulling out endless amounts of embroidered clothes. Practice t-shirts, three styles of red and three styles of white polo shirts, red shorts, white shorts, socks, sweat pants, sweatshirt, long sleeve t-shirts, even a couple of sports bras, and last but not least, the consummate work related “gift” any girl from Texas could ever want: a giant, poofy, logo-on-the-back, red parka.

I looked up a couple of times and tried to participate in her excitement. All I really cared about were the shorts, jealous I didn’t have a way to get a pair to add to my collection. The coat was cool, especially since I lived in Florida for 10 years and didn’t own a coat that was warm enough for a New York winter, but all I could think was, “Who would wear a red parka in public unless they were with a team?”

I was still waiting for my Lands End, rain-proof, hooded, two-layer coat to arrive and was nervous about the pink layer on the inside because it potentially could draw attention to me. A RED coat? I concluded she was crazy. Especially when she would put that coat on and go out for the evening (which was rare, but did happen a couple of times).

Most teams do provide their support staff lots of STUFF. I worked at a school that gave me the ultimate ‘hook-up’ with the softball team giving me everything the student-athletes were given. Starting with shoes and going all the way up, wrist-bands, visors, hats, under armour, shorts, t-shirts, jackets, a bat-bag and even – I have no idea why but I loved it – a bat and two gloves.

Where I am currently, I do not get much from my teams. I could list a million reasons why, but it doesn’t matter. Even scrounging for gear, begging, asking nicely and bribing managers, I have five fleeces, two rain jackets, two lightweight jackets, two sweatshirt jackets, three parkas and one letterman-style coat. I keep a jacket at work, wear a jacket, and keep a hooded jacket in my car in case it rains.

I know I still have it, but honestly don’t know where that Lands End coat is in my house right now.


I backed my car out of the driveway and noticed some weird stuff in the back but didn’t think anything of it. It’s a Jeep Wrangler, stuff moves around. When my back “window” flopped around, unzipped and hanging in the wind, I stopped the car and called the police. My precious Jeep was broken into and ransacked.

The po-po came, we examined my buggy and when all was said and done, I was one lucky chick. Dude took some change and my car rain jacket.

About two hours later the po-po called me and said, “We got the guy! Fool was wearin’ your jacket!!” When he calmed down he told me I could pick my jacket up at the station. Eh, I’ll pass, I told him. Why don’t you wash it and keep it for yourself.

He didn’t keep it, he brought it to my house a couple of days later. A text indicated that he had washed and cleaned it up for me. Still, I have two of them, so I’m not sure how often I will wear that one.

I got my subpoena to be a witness for my car break-in. I wondered how I could be an effective witness since I didn’t see anything, but I went to court anyway. It was an experience I am glad I had, one that provided me material for a completely separate blog.

The defendant came in to court, handcuffed and wearing a striped outfit that looked dirty but probably was just two shades of gray. He had on flip-flops and had unbelievably long toenails. I was called up and stood by the prosecutor.

We whispered a few things about my “case” – I didn’t know the dude, I had never seen him before, and when it was revealed that the concealed weapon he was carrying was a pocket knife, I told her that was probably my pocket knife. Or, my grandfathers.

“Your honor, the defendant broke into Ms. Thornton’s car and stole her University of Cincinnati adidas jacket.”

Instantly, all eyes turned to me and the University of Cincinnati jacket I was wearing. Including the prosecutor. Awesome.

Of COURSE I was wearing a different jacket, but I’m certain everyone there thought I was wearing the jacket long toenails stole from my buggy. The jacket he said he found at UDF.  The jacket he had my grandfather’s pocket knife in and nearly got shot by the po-po because he revealed it in a threatening manner. The jacket he used to hold his crack pipe. But it wasn’t that jacket. “Objection, your honor! I’m not wearing that jacket! It’s a different jacket!”

I wasn’t offered the chance to announce my innocence of wearing the crack pipe jacket. Nope, no such luck. I had to leave the court room embarrassed of the jacket I was so proud to wear. How ironic.

Time to look for my good-old Lands End coat.


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