1993- What’s The Magic Word

On a dark October night during the Festival of 1993 or perhaps 1994, I was on duty as a volunteer in the cloakroom of the Theatre Royal. A gentleman left his coat with us and the usual pleasantries were exchanged. After a few minutes said gentleman returned, threw his hat on the counter and in a loud voice said” Put that hat with my coat”. Being a mother of a young family at the time who was fussy about good manners and without thinking, I immediately said to him “and what’s the magic word?”. Oh, dear- I had landed myself in one of those situations where you just want to take the words back as you utter them!!! I was mortified. A long (probably about 2 seconds!!) deathly silence ensued before our eyes met. We both burst out laughing and he very meekly replied, “Please”. We parted as the best of friends.

Niamh Tierney