I worked as an usher at the National Theater in the early 1970s. After each performance, we had to raise all the seats and look for items that had been left behind. I was checking a row of seats when, under one of them, I saw a plain brown paper bag oozing what appeared to be blood onto the floor. Horrified, I immediately called out to the other ushers. Nobody wanted to touch the bag, so we tossed a coin to determine who should open it. I was the lucky winner.
I nudged the bag with the toe of my shoe and noticed it was rather heavy. Stalling, we nervously began to discuss how much different body parts might weigh. Then we decided to check for other suspicious-looking bags. None was found, bringing us some measure of relief.
It was now time for the unveiling: I took a deep breath, bent down and gave the bag a quick rip with my fingers. Surrounded by six ushers was a perfect, untouched hunk of rare prime rib.
Ginger Fitzpatrick, Jessup
New query: Tell us about a time when an artistic endeavor led to an unpredictable result. If you have a 100 percent true story taken from your own experience concerning the above query, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or The Washington Post Magazine, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Include your daytime phone number. Recount your story in 250 words or less.