The chime began to announce the end of the intermission. “I beg your pardon,” said a man to the patron who was rereading the program, “but did I step on your toes when I left?”
The patron remembered that someone from deeper in the row had stepped on his toes without an apology while leaving for a break. He had only seen him from behind. The patron, replying affirmatively, thought, “Now I know who it was. He’s making sure I’m the one he should make a belated apology to. I’ll say something like ‘No problem.’ “
But the reason for the man’s inquiry turned out to be exasperatingly different. The man turned to his companion and said, “Honey, come on, we’re in the right row!” He was not sure of their row but remembered that he had stepped on someone’s toes and was only making sure that the patron was the right person.
Without another word, the couple proceeded to their seats as if nothing had happened, and the patron, dumbfounded, just watched as the two passed in front of him.