I get sweaty at Toad’s on Wednesday nights. Reluctant to stuff my winter coat on a table or bench, I tend to open up the zipper or tie the whole thing around my waist. I don’t care about style; I’m just trying to dance. But one fateful night, I decided to throw on a presentable outfit worthy of a grind and a glance. I wasn’t brave enough to face the cold without proper layers, having seen many a Long Island girl shiver across York Street in four-inch stilettos before blinding me with her bleached teeth and orange hue beneath the Toad’s Place blacklights. Cowardly, I feared what might happen to my coat if I were to leave it alongside the countless North Faces and wool car coats carelessly tied to grimy stools, I went searching for a coat check or locker.
“I think there’s a coat check in the basement,” my friend Robert had said earlier in the evening.
“Nah brah! Coat checks are for trolls. Let’s get going, man! I’m trying to find a soul mate worthy of sucking some face with.” Robert said upon hearing “Only Girl (In the World)” coming through the PA.
With Robert on the prowl, I headed to the basement with the hope of finding a place to safely store my coat. But there was no coat check to be found. I kept my coat on, forced to cover up the flashy J.Crew button-down that I received as a gift from my mom. No girl cared if I could make her feel like she was the only girl in the world, as my sex appeal was covered up by my wool blend exterior.
As graceful undergraduate dancers stormed out at 1:00 a.m., I spotted a frantic girl pulling coats off of the stairwell leading to Lily’s Pad.
“I can’t find my coat!” she screamed.
Head on a swivel, I reckoned I was the only one who cared about her well-being.
“Quit making a mess,” yelled a bystander trying to find his brand-new Barbour jacket.
“Relax, buddy. You’ll get your coat,” I said in defense of the girl.
“I can fight my own battles,” she yelled from behind a J. Crew tweed outfit.
“OK!” I shouted, defeated.
Eventually overwhelmed by hoards of other clubgoers looking to grab their coats and leave, the girl was forced to cut her losses and head home in an SAE brother’s blazer. She seemed at ease, despite losing her “going out” jacket and the keys to her room. Luckily, this fraternity brother was quite the gentlemen and promised to give her shelter.
Back in my bedroom, still a bit disturbed, I sat at my computer, anxiously trying to figure out how I could help other Toad’s patrons with coat-checking problems. I pulled up the email I’d received about the Wednesday Night Dance party from firstname.lastname@example.org and decided to respond with a question.
“Do you realize how much money you could make off of a locker system or coat check?” I wrote.
The reply: “We have a coat check. It’s usually in the basement or on slow nights in the rock shop. — The Toad”
I responded to The Toad, curious as to why the coat check had not been open on that (fateful) Wednesday. He quickly replied that he’d open it on Wednesdays if anyone would use it. Concerned about the frantic student who’d lost her coat, I inquired about Toad’s Lost and Found. The Toad’s answer:
“The Lost & Found is handled by Becky. She arrives at the office every day at 11:00 a.m. There is a bunch of stuff lost on Saturday nights including credit cards, cell phones and leftover coats.”
I attempted to e-mail Becky at email@example.com, however, she didn’t respond to my questions, perhaps frightened that students might hunt her down looking for their lost belongings now with easy access to her inbox. Maybe Becky and the Toad are operating a second-hand coat and cell phone marketplace beside the paraphernalia and futon world known as Rubber Match. My mind was racing and all I wanted to do was fight for more Toad transparency.
So I drafted a petition under the title Yale Students for a Better Toad’s Coat Check. I don’t know how affective it will be, but given that it’s on the Internet, I’d imagine that the Toad will have to confront his critics with all of his warts in full view. If you too would like to check your coat and have a closer relationship with Becky, the Lost and Found handler, I’d recommend that you sign the petition at petitiononline (dot) com (slash) ysfabtcc (slash) petition (dot) html.