In the Unlikely Event of an Emergency by Helen Waldmeir

In the unlikely event of an emergency, the exits are located to the front and rear of the theatre.

Should this unlikely emergency enter from the front or rear, there are also exits to the left and right. In the almost impossible event we are surrounded from the ground, the escape hatches in the roof will open. Please climb the dropped ropes as swiftly as possible. Do not pause to assist the weak. You will be directed by the designated officials to a safer locale once you reach the top.

Although we assure you of the low likelihood of such an occurrence, nevertheless, if the safer locale is infiltrated, the designated officials will hand you off to the capable hands of our highly-trained Danger Escort squad, who will lead you to the theatre’s Emergency Escape Tunnel system.

In the preposterous event that the tunnels have been discovered and are swarming with the hypothetical threat, or have had a bomb planted inside them, or have been filled with gas, or have simply collapsed, we ask that you do not panic. If, for any unforeseeable reason, the Escort squad has fallen during your escape, do not pause to help or assist them in any way. Their vows amounted to a contractual obligation.

In the completely hypothetical event your Escort team has been eliminated on the way out, do not continue down the tunnels. Assume they are unsafe. Instead, search for the Emergency Latch. All patrons over six feet tall have the Access Combination on their tickets. Whichever among you is able to locate the Latch first will be able to punch in the code, and once you hear a small “pop,” pull on the Latch once, firmly. Make sure to announce your actions, so the others have a chance to brace themselves for the thirty-foot drop into the sewers.

Although the chances are very low that there will ever be an event in which the hatch must be pulled, do keep in mind the proper procedure for falling—arms tucked in close to your sides, legs together, knees bent. The landing surface is soft enough to prevent any major breaks, as sewage usually is, but remember: Keep Pin Straight, Later Death Date. Men have died from failing to remember this.

While this entire list of events is profoundly improbable and unlikely to occur, under such circumstances, we urge you to move toward the light. Once in the sewage system, do not trust the Rat Folk. Their promises are as sweet and false as childhood fancies. Trust each other and follow the light. If you detect the smell of baking bread above the cloyingly putrid stench of human decay, you are nearing the bakery on State Street. They are allies, as well as valuable sponsors.

In the unlikely event that we must resort to these methods, keep in mind that, should the State Street bakery be occupied by the hostiles, you must not panic; the weapons arsenal is accessible from the trapdoor located directly under the oven marked “out of order.” Many of the hostiles have a weak spot in their armor at the base of the neck. It is most easily identified below the small dachshund typically etched on the back of their helmets. Aim for that spot before you fire. Do not leave the bakery once it is cleared. There are enough rations there to support you until the authorities arrive to get you out. We repeat: do not leave the bakery.

Thank you, and enjoy the show.


Helen Waldmeir is a third year student at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, IA. She is pursuing a major in Creative Writing and a minor in Classical Studies. Last summer, she attended the Chesapeake Bay Writer’s Conference.