Nov. 7, 2022

Asking for Doggie Bags, Sharing Train Outlets, Bringing Your Own Water, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about asking for doggie bags in restaurants, sharing the outlets on trains, bringing your own water when you're a houseguest, and much more.

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about asking for doggie bags in restaurants, sharing the power outlets on trains, bringing your own water when you're a houseguest, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)

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  • Is it OK to ask for a to-go box at a restaurant?
  • Is it rude for a friend to invite me over for dinner and then charge me for the groceries?
  • What are the rules about sharing outlets on the Acela train?
  • What do you do if you're a guest in someone's home and don't like the taste of their tap water?
  • Aftermath: Birthday activities that are "cold, wet, and in the middle of the night"







Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian



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Episode 161


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Nick: Hey, everybody. It's Nick Leighton.

Leah: And it's Leah Bonnema.

Nick: And we had so many great questions from you all in the wilderness ...

Leah: [howls]

Nick: ... that we have a bonus episode. So here we go. Our first question is quote, "I'm dying to know your take on how to handle to-go boxes at restaurant tables. It always feels déclassé no matter how daintily I try to do it."

Leah: [laughs] I wrote "A) I'm loving the déclassé use."

Nick: Yeah, it's definitely in the zeitgeist.

Leah: And I wrote, "Just don't scoop it with both hands." [laughs]

Nick: Oh, okay. I mean, I'll agree with that. Yeah, I think that's a good baseline.

Leah: I think that we just throw that out there. That's a good solid don't scoop with your hand and then plop it into the to-go box. That seems that would be déclassé.

Nick: That would be—that would be interesting. Yeah. So okay, that's it. Next question.

Leah: [laughs] I mean, what are you not gonna get it to go? You gotta get it to go.

Nick: So I guess before we talk about whether or not it's cool, I guess one thing to talk about is, like, why do we have doggie bags? And apparently—I was looking into this—it started in the '40s, and it was sort of like a World War II thing in the United States where it was sort of like, oh, food was a little scarce and, like, let's not waste it. And so a lot of people say that the doggy bag label is really a euphemism. Like, we weren't actually taking this food home for our dogs. It was more like a way to not feel embarrassed about, like, taking the extra food home. And so apparently that's kind of where this started. And then it apparently skyrocketed and became very popular in the 1970s for some reason. So historians have looked into this. This is what they say.

Nick: I guess for me, it's about the context. Like, where are we and who are we dining with? And, like, what else is happening? If we're at a Michelin-starred restaurant and I'm, like, entertaining a client, I don't think I want to get a doggy bag in that meal. Like, it just feels like that doggy bag element is, like, a little provocative.

Leah: Okay.

Nick: No? You disagree?

Leah: I understand what you're saying.

Nick: Okay. However?

Leah: However, at the end of the day, I am déclassé. And ...

Nick: [laughs] Okay.

Leah: ... if somebody else was paying for it, if it was like a—I'm the ...

Nick: I'm taking you out to dinner for your birthday.

Leah: For my birthday. And we're friends.

Nick: And we're—and we're friends. Okay. Yeah.

Leah: Do you know what I mean? We're friends.

Nick: Yeah. No, you're right. Yeah, you're right. Yeah.

Leah: Do you know what I mean? Like, you know me.

Nick: Yeah, that would be fine. In that context, that would be totally fine.

Leah: I think work is like—work is a different—and that depends on what type of work you have, I feel like.

Nick: Yeah, I think I would be mindful on a date, at work. I think anything that felt a little formal, I think you'd want to maybe think twice about it.

Leah: But let me say this: if you're on a date with somebody, and you're the kind of person who takes home doggy bags, be that person. They should know who you are.

Nick: That's a good point. Yeah, that's a very good point. Yeah. Put your cards on the table. Like, if that's your style. And if somebody has a problem with that, they should know that now.

Leah: If somebody doesn't want to date you because there was great food leftover and you were offered a doggy bag and you were like, "Yeah, I'd love one," then are they the person for you?

Nick: Valid. No, that's a very fair point. And I think the attitudes on this is actually changing even in more fancy formal restaurants. Like, before, etiquette gurus were like, "No. Never." Like, can you imagine Emily Post taking home a doggy bag?

Leah: No!

Nick: Like, what is that? Like, her—like, has this little tin foil swan of mashed potatoes as she's leaving a steakhouse in Manhattan, you know, getting back into her car, taking her wherever. Like, that's not a world we lived in.

Leah: I can't imagine her driving.

Nick: I'm sure she was driven.

Leah: Yes, she must have been driven.

Nick: But I think the attitudes are changing because I think we're also more conscious about food waste in general. And so I think we don't want to waste food. And I think there's more consciousness about that. Even in Europe. I mean, traditionally doggie bags in Europe was, like, not a thing. Portions are smaller, so there's just less food to take home in general, but even if there was extras, it was sort of like not a thing that was ever done. But this is changing. Like, even in France, getting a to-go box is, like, not totally unheard of.

Nick: And I was just in Italy and I was at this casual place. And I was with Italian, so it wasn't because I was American, but at the end of the meal they offered, the restaurant offered if we wanted to take home some of the extra grilled meat thing. And it was, like, unprompted. They were like, "Oh, do you want to take some of this?" And it was like, "Oh, interesting!" And that caught my eye because. like, I've always thought, like, oh, in Europe we don't ever do that. That's not a thing. But I guess that's changing. So I guess to answer the question, I guess, how would you ask? How could we be dainty about it? Like, what's a good way to ask a restaurant to take home the extras?

Leah: Well, a lot of times now, as you were just saying, I often have restaurants ask me, "Would you like to take this to go?"

Nick: Right.

Leah: And then at that point, you're just being polite. "Yes, of course."

Nick: "Delighted to."

Leah: "Delighted. I don't want you to have to throw away food." At that point, you're just doing a service.

Nick: Yeah. If the restaurant asks, have at it. But I think if you want to ask, I think you just ask. And I think you could just say, "Oh, do you have any boxes where I can take this?" Or, like, "Would you mind if we pack this up?"

Leah: I always say "To-go box."

Nick: Yeah. "To-go box" seems good. and we can agree calling it a "Doggy bag," like, let's not do that.

Leah: I could have completely forgotten about the term "Doggy bag," and that people were pretending they were bringing it home to their dog. How cute. I think you could say to the person you're with—like, if I was out with friends, I'd be like, "I'm getting a go box. You guys want some?" But even if I was with, like, a more formal, I'd be—and I wanted to take home the food and there was a lot extra, I think that I would say, "Hey, I was gonna get a go box. Would you like to wrap yours up as well?"

Nick: Okay. Yeah. So see what the table wants to do.

Leah: See what the table wants to do. And then when the waiter or waitress came back, I would say, "Hey, may I please get a to-go box whenever you have time?" And then I would use my utensils, as opposed to just picking the plate and flipping it over on top of the box, or as I said, let's not scoop.

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: And then just put it in, close it up, make it not a big deal. Boom, boom, boom, boom!

Nick: Okay. So those are our thoughts on the doggy bag.

Leah: I mean, am I—I feel like you would be more interested in saying no in some circumstances. But I hate wasting food. I think if I was at a business event ...

Nick: Right.

Leah: And I didn't know people well. And I also—I don't really want to be carrying a to-go box in, like, a business situation because you gotta put it down, it's gonna get on something. That's a place where I'd be like, unless it was the best food I'd ever had in my entire life, and I was like, "I have to have this." And then I would just say, "This is incredible. This is the best food I've ever had with love," you know? But otherwise I think I—just because it's a work situation, and I don't want to have like a—then I'd probably not. But otherwise, I'm taking it.

Nick: Yeah. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with getting food to go in this context, I guess. No problem asking, and just know where you are, and whether or not that's probably okay. But chances are it's probably fine. And I think it's increasingly fine. And so have at it.

Leah: Have at it!

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: A little snack at the end of the night. That's what it is. You can have a little snack when you get home.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, it won't even make it to the next day.

Leah: It won't make it to the next day.

Nick: I mean, would it even make it through the cab ride home?

Leah: You're gonna get home, you're gonna throw on British Bake Off, and then you're gonna open your leftovers because you get so hungry watching.

Nick: [laughs] There you are. So our next question is quote, "So I went to a friend's house for dinner, and she sent me a Venmo request later for the ingredients. Is this rude? It costs me more getting to and from her place."

Leah: If somebody texted me that this happened to them, I would respond with the gif of the person passing out on the floor.

Nick: Yeah, it is rude.

Leah: So rude! I mean, I just—what?

Nick: What? Yeah. Why? Why? So why is it rude, though? Like, let's—let's actually dig into that, because I think we agree that yeah, this is—what are we doing? I think it's rude because as a society, we have agreed that if I invite you to my house for dinner, I am covering the cost of the ingredients. I think as a society, we have come to some conclusion on this, right?

Leah: Yes.

Nick: So when you've gone off script like this, that is rude. When we deviate from the script.

Leah: And that is exactly as our letter-writer said, "Oh, are we also splitting gas?" Like, I drove there and drove back. I had to park, I had to pay for my gas. Like, this is a mutual—as you're saying, it's a script. I come over, I cover my costs of getting there, and then you're feeding me the food that you invited me over to feed me.

Nick: And it's okay if you want to charge for groceries. Like, if you wanted to do that, and that was, like, how you wanted to do your dinner party? No problem. But you can't not disclose that in advance, because then that's a different thing. And so you just have to say that "Oh, dinner at my house does have a cost of admission. And so if you would like to accept this invitation, this is the cost associated with that. And just FYI." And then your guests can decide whether or not they want to pay the admission price for this event when they are deciding whether or not to RSVP or not. You have deprived your guest of that opportunity. And that is why this is rude.

Leah: Yeah, you gotta say it up top.

Nick: Up top!

Leah: "Hey, I'm doing a big dinner. I'll cook for everybody if we want to split costs."

Nick: Yeah, and that's fine. There's no etiquette problem with that. And your guests are then free to decide "Yeah, I would like to do this. No, I will pass." But just to spring somebody with a bill after the fact? Yeah, that's super rude.

Leah: Yeah, it's the after the fact springing that's like, "What?"

Nick: But then how do you handle this? Should you pay this invoice? So now I've gotten a payment request from my friend. "Oh, I need money for groceries." Would you pay this or would you be like, "What are you doing?"

Leah: It's tricky because I think the more the friendship means to me, the more I would want to talk about it. Like, if this is a person that I'm never gonna see again, now I know what's going on, I'll just pay it and write it off.

Nick: I totally agree. Yeah. If you have no plans to pursue this because you're like, "Oh, this is ..."

Leah: Yeah. Done.

Nick: Then yeah, I would just like, "Here's the money. And this will be the last time we do this." But yeah, if this was actually a relationship I cared about, I would want to have a conversation to be like, "Oh, I misunderstood the nature of this invitation."

Leah: Yeah. "I thought you were inviting me over."

Nick: And also, when we do have these relationships, the idea is that you have me over, I have you over, and in the end, it should kind of work out. And we don't keep score. Like, that's how a relationship should happen. That's what a friendship is. Like, we're not actually, like, having a ledger spreadsheet itemizing all of these costs. It's just like we both do the entertaining. Hopefully that's sort of equal, and the cost of all of this work out in the end.

Leah: Yeah. Once you're in a relationship where you're keeping score, there either needs to have a big conversation or it's not a good relationship anymore and you need to ...

Nick: This happens though. I mean, this definitely happens where you just sort of invoice your friends for common hospitality expenses. But then yeah, where does this end? I mean, toilet paper in the bathroom. Soap in the soap dispenser. Maybe charge for parking. You know, you did use my driveway. You know, it's like, where does it end? Although, that's a good idea just to start charging for the use of your driveway when you have friends over. [laughs]

Leah: I think with what Nick said, if in advance you're like, "Hey, I'd love to cook dinner for everybody. I'll host at my house. But if everybody wants to throw in for ingredients," that's one thing. But if you're Venmo ambushing your friends, that is FSR.

Nick: Yeah. That's a little FSR. So I think you are well within your rights to be annoyed by this. And yeah, I think decide if this person's gonna stay in the orchestra of your personal theater, then have a conversation about it. If this is sort of like, "Oh, I now know something about your character and I'm not interested in any more of this," then just pay that invoice and just that's the cost of doing business.

Leah: I mean, yes.

Nick: Yeah. What else is there to say?

Leah: And I think if you do want to talk about it, you could say, "This makes me feel uncomfortable. I thought you were inviting me over." And then I think you could even bring up "I spent this on gas."

Nick: Yeah. And then just describe how hospitality works for the last couple thousand years.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: And we can kind of explain how the Greeks did it, and how we used to do it in ancient Rome and then move to the Renaissance, and then here we are to the current day.

Leah: We're just super not passive-aggressive, polite address.

Nick: [laughs] Yeah, you know, lots of different approaches we can take. So our next question is quote, "My commute to work now involves taking the Acela train. When booking, I make sure to reserve a window seat so I'm next to the outlets in case I need to charge any of my devices. Twice, I've had some rather trying moments regarding this outlet. One night, a woman was in my seat and charging her phone. When I told her that she was in my seat with the usual, "Oh, I think you're in my seat," she trudged over and dragged her phone and the still plugged-in cord to her aisle seat. Apparently, now I'm supposed to sit with her cord strapped across my body. After I explained that this wasn't a viable option, she huffed and she unplugged it. I then felt bad and considered how I didn't have sole ownership over the outlet, so I offered my long charging cord so she could charge without being as annoying to me. She was still cranky, but I can only do so much.

Nick: "The second time this happened, I felt better prepared. I explained to my fellow passenger that this was my seat, but I would be happy to charge his phone with it neatly on the side against the window so it wasn't dragging across me. This seemed to work better, but I'm still confused. In the future, what's the best way to handle the one outlet that favors the window-seated passenger?"

Leah: I think the unspoken rule is ...

Nick: Mmm?

Leah: ... if you need to use the outlet, and you're not the person by the outlet, it gets like the second version: your phone gets plugged in and it gets left over there. You don't get to then use your phone across the person.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, we don't live in a world in which you need to have, like, cords draping over your body. That's not a world we live in. So clearly, something else has to happen here.

Leah: And if you need to be on your phone and you need to charge, then you needed to have made a reservation earlier so you got a window seat.

Nick: Yes. I mean, I think people who take the Acela—which PS-is if you don't know what that is, that's our "high speed," quote-unquote, train in the Northeast. So that would take you from Boston to DC. It is not the Nozomi Shinkansen, but it is the best we have. And so yeah, there are outlets on the windows side which yeah, they're a little far from the aisle but, like, that's the deal.

Leah: How rude is this first person who huffed and puffed because she didn't—couldn't have her phone draped across another human being?

Nick: Well, she was mad that she couldn't have the window seat, A. And then she was mad that she was called out for it. And then she's mad that, like, the outlet was very far. So she just wasn't having a good day. None of which is our letter-writer's problem. And I think the letter-writer took it a little personally. It's like, "Oh, did I do something wrong here?" Which classic, classic. Somebody who's being rude makes us feel like we're doing the rude thing. We are not. So I think our letter-writer handled this very nicely.

Leah: Very nicely. "How can I also make you happy while still sitting in the seat that I paid for?" Also, people? Get a carry-on battery. If you're constantly in places where you weren't able to reserve in advance, you always need a plug? Get a portable battery. I've been in the seats that had the plug and people have asked to charge and I'm like, "Oh, yeah. Sure." And they just left the phone on that side. Nobody's ever pulled the phone across me.

Nick: But I think for our letter-writer, if this is now your new commute and you're on the train all the time, then you actually should invest in some extra-long cords that you could offer to your seatmates. Like, you should just have the six-foot cable that is for Android and for iPhone and for any particular device, so that you could offer that, like, "Oh, I have an extra-long cord for you that can drape along the table instead of anybody's body." And so that you could just be armed with this tool in your toolbox. Because this is gonna come up. This is gonna come up. You're gonna have people who don't have the battery packs who are gonna be mad they didn't book the window seat and are gonna have two percent battery. And you'll be a hero.

Leah: I agree. I just don't want this first woman to get what she wanted because she's so rude.

Nick: So we want her to have zero percent battery and then to sit there with nothing to do? Oh, that doesn't seem like a good idea.

Leah: No, you're absolutely right. I just wish somebody whispered into her ear, "You're so rude!"

Nick: Oh, society will get to her, don't you worry.

Leah: No, they won't.

Nick: No, that's true. Yeah, there is no justice.

Leah: We know these people. They're gonna do their whole life like this.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: I think it would be fun to have, like, a line we came up with that we could say to people who are being cranky to us when it's not our fault that's like on the polite side, but also, like, letting them know, "Hey, you need to take a look at yourself."

Nick: Like, what is that sentence? Like, what is the sentence we can say that's sort of a little snarky, but still polite and yet satisfying? I don't think this exists.

Leah: There must be something that's around the, like, "I'm so sorry I wasn't able to move the entire world for your benefit."

Nick: "Oh, I'm sorry. I don't control how electrons work."

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: Something like that? Okay. Yeah.

Leah: "I'm sorry you're having such a bad day that you feel the need to be rude to me when I didn't do anything." Like that kind of a thing.

Nick: Yes. It would be nice if this person, like, realized that they were doing something rude, but I don't know if there's something we can say to give them that epiphany in this train ride. I think we just have to hope society teaches them this lesson. I don't know if it's up to us to change them.

Leah: And then we could also secretly hope that we're there when it happens.

Nick: That's true. I think we could definitely hope that we're there to witness that moment when they become better. But ...

Leah: And then maybe say, "Would you like me to charge your phone?"

Nick: "Oh. Unfortunately, my phone doesn't have any battery. I can't take a picture of this moment."

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: "Can't post it on social media, unfortunately. Nobody will know about it because low battery."

Leah: But I do love that idea. Just have that long cord ready for this, that way you don't have to worry about it moving forward. I bet—and I also think it'll make people's day. They'll be like, "This lovely person next to me had a long cord, let me use it. How nice!"

Nick: Yeah. So give that a whirl, let us know how it goes.

Leah: And I'm just gonna add this: I think that 98 percent of the people will be delighted, and it's only these two percent who are just curmudgeons.

Nick: Yes. Unfortunately, the two percent are very loud.

Leah: And I think it is because they stick with us because we're so trying to be polite and that we never get to say anything to them, but ...

Nick: Oh, well.

Leah: Oh, you could just stare at the side of their face for the whole ride. But that seems ...

Nick: I mean, if you had the stamina.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So our next question is quote, "What do you do when you're a guest in someone's home and don't like the taste of their tap water? I don't want to be rude by refusing to drink their water, but I also need to stay hydrated and it feels rude to purchase a large jug of water for their fridge. On my most recent trip, I did my best to drink lots of water while at restaurants or bars, but it was still about a third of my usual intake. Am I overthinking this?"

Nick: So I don't think you're overthinking this. I don't know. I don't think we want to live in a world in which we're just dehydrated to be good guests. So I don't think that's the solution, right?

Leah: My immediate thought was I would just tell people I only drink bottled water, but then you're also gonna have to drink bottled water. I guess it's just their tap water. You don't mind the restaurant ...

Nick: It's just their tap water.

Leah: So that's a different thing.

Nick: I mean, it's not nice to criticize someone's home when you're a guest in their home.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: And I can see how not liking the taste of their tap water would come across as maybe being critical. And I can see the instinct of not wanting to say this to your hosts. Because it's not a safety issue. It doesn't sound like it's like, "Oh, I tested their water and there's too much lead in it." It's just "I don't like the taste. It's not my thing." And so yeah, I guess we do need to drink water, though. And so the question is: can you tough it out and just drink water you don't like the taste of? Or what is the other option here?

Leah: I mean, the other option is bringing in bottled water, and you could say—you could say, "Hey, I'm—" you're obviously a very hydrated person who watches their water intake. And you could just say, "I try to drink a gallon a day, so I just brought this gallon of water in so I can measure it."

Nick: "So I can measure it?" Uh ...

Leah: Well I mean, I walk around with my water jug.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: So I know how much water I drink.

Nick: But you could fill it up from a tap. You don't need to get water from somewhere else.

Leah: Yeah, I'm throwing out ideas.

Nick: [laughs] Okay. I was thinking that we would talk about a preference for sparkling water. "Oh, I'm really into seltzer right now. So would you mind if we swung by the store so I could buy a few liters of seltzer? Oh, would you like some seltzer, hosts? Let me get you some seltzer, too." And then I have seltzer in the fridge, which feels different. It feels like a different category than just bottled water. So I was wondering, like, oh, could that be a solution?

Leah: My guess is that our letter-writer doesn't count seltzer the same as hydrating water.

Nick: Seltzer? It's just water with bubbles.

Leah: I'm making a guess, and that's my guess.

Nick: Oh. Well, if that's the case, then I think our letter-writer is being unreasonable. I think our seltzer idea is great. I think that's a hydration, I think it covers you with your host because it's like, oh, it's not about your tap water, it's about the bubbles. And so that's why I need the bubbles. No? We don't like this?

Leah: No, I'm in. But I think that some people think carbonated water is not the same as water.

Nick: Okay. Well, then I'm out of ideas. Then you have to have a polite conversation with your hosts about the fact that you don't like their water, and it's just a personal preference. It's not personal. You're just used to a different water.

Leah: You could also ...

Nick: Hmm?

Leah: What if you got one of those vitamin packets, and you just throw that in the water so it tastes different. And you're like, "Oh, hey, I'm just having my vitamins."

Nick: Okay. Yeah, so one of those additives.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: That kind of flavors it in some way with vitamins or just flavoring. Yeah, I guess that would be a solution. Just mask the taste and be like, "Oh, I'm just really into this thing now." But we agree it would just be better to handle it on your own rather than looping in your hosts, right?

Leah: Yeah. I feel like saying to people that you hate the taste of their water somehow feels hurtful.

Nick: Yeah. I wouldn't love if somebody criticized my water. Yeah, I wouldn't love that.

Leah: I mean, I didn't make my water, but it still feels like it's my water.

Nick: Well, but I also didn't make my town either. But, like, I don't want you criticizing my hometown, right?

Leah: Yeah. No, that's what I mean, I mean, it just still feels personal.

Nick: Yeah. Yeah, so I think I like seltzer. I guess if seltzer is different than water for you?

Leah: I'm just saying that because I've been in conversations with people who they're like, "Oh, I don't count my seltzer as my water."

Nick: Who are these people?

Leah: A lot of people!

Nick: Like, "Oh, I need to get eight glasses of water a day, and I don't count bubbly Pellegrino as water."

Leah: Straight up I've had this conversation with more than one person.

Nick: These are not people.

Leah: These are people.

Nick: These are not. What are you talking about? That makes no sense.

Leah: I'm not—I'm not telling you whether it makes sense or not. Doesn't make sense. I'm telling you this has been a conversation I've been in.

Nick: Well, I don't like these circles you're traveling in, Leah.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: I think you need to really rethink who you're hanging out with.

Leah: You're talking to a seltzer drinker. I'm a huge seltzer drinker.

Nick: I mean, it's the best.

Leah: I love it!

Nick: So I guess try the seltzer approach next time you're in their house. See if that works for you. Other than that, I think we're out of ideas.

Leah: You could also just, when you get there you walk in with water. Like, when I travel, I carry a water jug.

Nick: Let's say I just flew in to visit.

Leah: And then you grab a big water at the airport. And then you have it with you. Keep it in your room.

Nick: Yeah. I think you also could just buy water and hide it. You don't have to put it in the fridge. You can handle room temperature water for a few days.

Leah: Yeah, I would say room temperature water, or mask the water with the vitamin or seltzer.

Nick: Or what about bringing your own water filter and hiding it in your room? Like, just like a little pitcher under the pillow.

Leah: Under the pillow.

Nick: Yeah. You're like, "What is that?" "That's a Brita. Don't worry about it." [laughs] I mean, that's an idea: bring your own water filter.

Leah: Bring your own water—I mean, clearly, Nick and I are emotionally on the same page that it feels like it would hurt somebody's feelings if you told them that their water was not yummy.

Nick: Yeah. So I'm sorry this is happening to you, but I feel like we can solve this somehow.

Leah: You could have water in your pockets.

Nick: Water in your pockets. Okay.

Leah: [laughs] It's like old school movies where people have water in, like, those bags and then they drink out of it. You just have, like ...

Nick: What movies is this?

Leah: You know what I'm talking about. Where they, like ...

Nick: I absolutely do not know about old movies in which people are carrying around bags of water.

Leah: No, they're not old movies. They're like Lord of the Rings. They, like, get the last little drop out of their water satchel.

Nick: Oh, I see.

Leah: You're just carrying water. Now I'm really out there, but I'm just throwing out all the ways to carry water. You're basically sneaking water into the house. [laughs]

Nick: Yeah. So get a trenchcoat and line it with bags of water, and just do that.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So our next thing is some aftermath.

Leah: Aftermath!

Nick: So you may recall that on a recent episode, we were talking about somebody who likes to celebrate their birthmonth instead of their birthday. And there was this mention in passing from our letter-writer about some birthday activity that was gonna be quote, "Cold, wet and in the middle of the night." And Leah and I were like, "What are we talking about?" And Leah assumed it was just about being murdered.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: That's where you went with that, right?

Leah: No, I went to the movie The Descent. Cave spelunking.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, basically cave diving, spelunking, exploration. Like, that is the only explanation we had. Interestingly, a lot of you wrote in with your ideas. Some of you nailed it exactly—quite a few of you! And it's like, is this in the zeitgeist? So here is the aftermath from our letter-writer: quote, "I was absolutely thrilled to hear my question answered on the show, and wanted to clear up the mystery. Caves were a very good guess, but it was, in fact, a bioluminescent kayak tour. This could have been lovely, but I was just feeling tapped out on birthday celebrations. The party I threw, however, was a success, and next year I look forward to just being a guest at one of their birthday events."

Leah: I mean, it feels like a huge win. We got to learn what it was. Some of our listeners guessed it on the nose. Her party was a huge success, and next year she's just gonna go to the the birthday celebrators' events that they planned.

Nick: Yeah. But bioluminescent kayak? I mean, who knew that was a thing? A lot of our listeners did.

Leah: And also I want in on that. That seems ...

Nick: So I guess I get in a kayak at night, and I'm looking at things that are bioluminescent in the water. Like, that's what this is?

Leah: Yeah. I mean, that's what—if we read it for exactly what it sounds like, that's ...

Nick: [laughs] Okay. All right. So that's a thing. That's a thing in the zeitgeist.

Leah: No, and I understand why our letter-writer was wiped out and didn't want to go in the middle of the night looking at things that glow in the dark. I'm saying at a time where you feel refreshed ...

Nick: Yes, I think you do have to be in the right mood for a bioluminescent kayak tour.

Leah: Honestly. Because you're also paddling. You're not just, like, sitting there.

Nick: Oh, that's true. I'm not being towed along.

Leah: You're not being towed. You're doing some arm work. And then also, you're in a kayak where you're sitting with your legs straight forward, straight up. It's full ab work.

Nick: Oh, that's true. Yeah. A lot of core, a lot of core stability.

Leah: A lot of core. I mean, that's a—you gotta sleep during the day if this is your night activity.

Nick: So thank you for that aftermath. And have you heard something on the show and you want to know how'd it work out? What was the aftermath? Let us know! We'll reach out to the letter-writer and we'll find out. And do you have questions for us or a vent or repent? Oh, yes, you do. So let us know about that too, and can let us know through our website, Or you can leave us a voicemail or send us a text message: (267) CALL-RBW. And we'll see you next time!

Leah: Bye!

Nick: Bye!