March 22, 2021

Eating Kit Kat Bars, Wearing Perfumes, Forcing Cake Forks, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle eating Kit Kat bars, wearing perfumes and colognes, forcing guests to use cake forks, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we had your address.)

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Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle eating Kit Kat bars, wearing perfumes and colognes, forcing guests to use cake forks, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we had your address.)


  • AMUSE-BOUCHE: Asparagus
  • A QUESTION OF ETIQUETTE: Wearing perfumes and colognes
  • QUESTIONS FROM THE WILDERNESS: I'm left handed...what should I do about a host who is forcing me to use a cake fork? How would you address a teacher who is mispronouncing my child's name? Is there a right way to eat a Kit Kat bar?
  • VENT OR REPENT: Late Christmas cards, Being run over by bikes
  • CORDIALS OF KINDNESS: Thanks to the cable company, A nice voicemail







Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian


Nick: Do you wear too much cologne? Do you make left-handed people struggle? Do you eat candy the wrong way? Were you raised by wolves? Let's find out.

[Theme Song]

Here are things that can make it better

When we have to live together

We can all use a little help

So people don't ask themselves

Were you raised by wolves?

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

Leah: And I'm Leah Bonnema.

Nick: And let's just get right down to it with our amuse-bouche.

Leah: [singing] Oh, what is it?

Nick: So for today's amuse-bouche, I want to talk about asparagus.

Leah: Oh!

Nick: Do you like asparagus?

Leah: I do like asparagus.

Nick: I am sort of neutral about asparagus, I think.

Leah: Mm.

Nick: Like, I don't mind it. I eat it, but it's sort of like not my top 10 vegetable, I think.

Leah: I like it until it's mushy. Some people tend to overcook an asparagus and then thank you, no thank you.

Nick: So let's say you're at a dinner party at my house, and I have created a delightful platter of lemon-roasted asparagus. Leah, would you like some asparagus?

Leah: Yes, I would. Thank you so much!

Nick: Well, here's some tongs, so take some of these spears and serve yourself, okay? And now Leah's pretending to take some asparagus off a platter and put it on her plate.

Leah: I'm going all in.

Nick: And now you have some asparagus on your plate. So Leah, how will you eat this asparagus?

Leah: I'm gonna cut it with a knife and fork.

Nick: Okay, that is perfectly fine. That is one option for asparagus, yes. You can use a knife and fork as you would any other vegetable. Option two is perhaps on your place setting, there's also individual asparagus pincers, a nice Victorian single-purpose item, and it is expressly used for the enjoyment of asparagus. So perhaps there's some asparagus pincers there. You could use that.

Leah: That would be very exciting, I've never seen asparagus pinchers ever.

Nick: I mean, they're very Victorian, and you could definitely find them online because who needs that? Who needs a single-purpose item like that? But if you were into single-purpose utensils from the Victorian age, have at it.

Leah: I immediately imagined a tweezer.

Leah: I mean, they're kind of like asparagus tweezers. Yeah, that's fair. But option three is that you can use your fingers.

Leah: [gasps] Yes!

Nick: As long as the asparagus is pretty firm and not covered in a messy sauce like a hollandaise sauce. And Miss Manners says, quote, "What makes this enjoyable is the horror on the faces of those who are unaware that this method is traditional."

Leah: I'm so excited because, you know, all foods I just want to use my fingers, I'm just holding myself back.

Nick: Well, this one you can. But she adds, "A note of caution: watch out for dripping sauces. The serene smile you exhibit when knowing that you are correct, despite all disbelief, does not sit well above a stained shirtfront."

Leah: [laughs] I'll put a bib on and have at it.

Nick: [laughs] But Emily Post says that just because you can eat with your fingers, should you? And so she says, quote, "By reputation, this is a finger food. But the ungraceful sight of seeing a bent stalk of asparagus dripping like a fountain into someone's mouth, and the fact that water is also likely to drip from it, has been the reason why most fastidious people invariably eat it—at least partially—with a fork. And I think we can say Emily is among the most fastidious people. So she is not into the fingers is how I interpret that.

Leah: Yeah, fastidious.

Nick: And Miss Manners also wants you to know, quote, "This is not a privilege extended to other vegetables, so don't try it." And she even says, "Don't try it." So only asparagus, only asparagus.

Leah: I felt like she said, "Don't try it, Leah."

Nick: If she knew who you were, I think she would be concerned.

Leah: I'm very excited about this.

Nick: So next time you have asparagus, fingers as long as it's firm and not super saucy.

Leah: I've never really been around a super saucy asparagus, so ...

Nick: Oh, covered in a hollandaise?

Leah: I'm usually around a roasted asparagus.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: But I have never been where there was asparagus served ,and somebody didn't bring up asparagus pee. I'm sure Miss Manners would be very against that. Every time asparagus is served, somebody always says, "You know, some people can smell asparagus pee and some people can't." And then somebody else says, "I wonder if it's the same gene as people who can something or other?" And then you're like, everybody's talking about pee. It's happened to me a lot, and I have never brought it up, even though that's right in my lane.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: But any time there's asparagus, I've always been involved—pulled into an asparagus pee conversation.

Nick: Yes, I think it does happen. I think Marcel Proust is actually famous, he has a quote, which is that, "Asparagus transforms my chamber pot into a flask of perfume."

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So the idea that asparagus causes a pee smell is kind of an old thing. It's not new.

Leah: But only some people can smell it. It's a genetic thing, I think.

Nick: I guess so, sure. But regardless, I don't think we want to talk about this at the dinner table.

Leah: I mean, but if somebody else brings it up, I feel I would be rude not to join in.

Nick: I mean, I guess if you toss in a Proust quote, then fine.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: And we're back, and now it's time to go deep.

Leah: Mm!

Nick: So for today's question of etiquette, I want to talk about wearing cologne and perfume.

Leah: I really like a nice scent.

Nick: So way back when, you may remember we got a question that asked whether or not you had to reveal the identity of a perfume if someone asked. But I don't think we really tackled, like, whether or not you should be wearing it at all.

Leah: Right. Or when is maybe an inappropriate time to completely shower in your scent.

Nick: [laughs] Right. And so for our purposes today, we're talking about, like, perfume, cologne, eau de toilette, like, the whole spectrum. And the idea of wanting to smell nice is not a new thing. I mean, I think this goes back, like, thousands of years. And I think back in the earlier times when we weren't showering as often, like, perfume I think maybe was more necessary ...

Leah: Mm-hmm.

Nick: … than it is today. But I think a lot of people do feel like their scent is part of their wardrobe on some level, and it's sort of an expression of their personality. So that makes sense.

Leah: It does. I also have certain friends I associate so much with a scent that if I smell it on somebody else, I immediately feel those feel—you know what I mean? Like, if it's a friend I haven't seen for a long time and I smell it, I immediately think of them, and it's so personalized.

Nick: Yeah, and obviously scent and memory, this is very ...

Leah: Linked.

Nick: Yes. I mean, I smell Eternity for Men, I'm instantly brought back to high school.

Leah: Oh, yes. There was at church camp when I was—I really liked this boy and he wore Drakkar Noir.

Nick: Oh, sure!

Leah: And I mean, this was middle school. And I smell it and I'm like, “Dan from church camp!” [laughs]

Nick: So in general, etiquette is about being mindful of other people and their space, and so I think part of being mindful of people's space is, like, their scent space. So I think we don't want to wear cologne or perfume in a way that, like, I guess is invasive or distracting, like, what's the word?

Leah: I think invasive is the right word there, wouldn't you say? Like, I have a—there's this woman and she's like an older woman, and she's so sweet and lovely. So much perfume to the gym class.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: And so the door's shut. None of us have anywhere to go. You know, we're all breathing in this air. And she's—I mean, it must be half a bottle, you know what I mean? And you want to be like, we can't breathe. But she's like the loveliest woman.

Nick: Well, okay. Let's talk about places where you probably shouldn't wear anything. So I think the gym is one of those places where you actually may not want to wear any scents, because as your body heats up, that actually makes the scent stronger. You know, the heat from your body does actually release more of the scent. And so I think a little goes even longer in a gym setting.

Leah: And also, a lot of the things you're wearing have scents on top of it, your hair stuff, your lotion.

Nick: Right. Yeah, true. And I think we don't want to wear anytime somebody's on you professionally, so like a doctor's office, eyes, if you're getting your eyebrows tinted, having Botox. Like, I think any time anybody's sort of like very close to you to provide a professional service, I think we don't want to wear any scent whatsoever.

Leah: I always do a little roll on. I have a little roll on, that way you can control the amount. I just put a tidge my neck.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: If people are coming in close, I want them to have a little fresh air, a little fresh—little fresh, nice. It's not overwhelming. It's just a touch.

Nick: Even your doctor?

Leah: Yeah, absolutely.

Nick: Really? Okay. I would rather you didn't.

Leah: I'm hoping that it covers up the smell of anxiety.

Nick: Oh, I mean, you're going to have a lot more than a roll on then.

Leah: [laughs] It's not a lot. It's just you would almost have to be inside my neck to smell it.

Nick: Okay. I think we don't want to wear scents on airplanes. I think being trapped next to a stranger who's wearing a scent for six hours, I don't think this is considerate.

Leah: I will accept a roll on.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Because you really have to lean into somebody. And if you're that close—when people spray, that's a lot.

Nick: Oh, I see. Yes.

Leah: But if you dab a little something to, like, keep yourself calm.

Nick: I mean, I guess if it's just enough that only you can smell it, then okay. But then it's a Zen koan. Like, if you're wearing perfume but no one knows you're wearing perfume, are you really wearing perfume?

Leah: Hmm.

Nick: Hmm.

Leah: That one's gonna keep me up all night.

Nick: Now what about, like, at a job interview?

Leah: I think some scents make people feel confident. They put on their little bit of thing and they feel good about themself, you know? I wouldn't make it overwhelming.

Nick: Yes. No, I think you definitely don't want to get it to the point where it is noticeable and something that they will note.

Leah: You don't want to make somebody sneeze.

Nick: Right. Or you don't want to wear so much where that's the thing they remember about you. Like, "Oh yeah, Leah. She really smelt like patchouli." Like, you don't want that to be the take away. One thing I do find people are bothered by is not necessarily the amount of scent, although that is always a huge problem, but when the scent is inappropriate for the occasion. Like, if you're wearing a very aggressive English library, plaid wallpaper, bloodhounds, Christmas tree scent at, like, a summer barbecue, that catches people's eye in a way that is like, what is wrong here? So I feel like ...

Leah: [laughs] I don't know if I would notice. Is somebody Sherlock Holmes? I don't know. Where's that coming from?

Nick: Is that a brandy snifter? Yes, I don't know. I think there is something about, like, the appropriateness of the scent for the occasion as well. So, like, a scent that's really an evening scent at the office, I think, even if it's not too much scent, but it's just the wrong scent, I think that's a problem.

Leah: But sometimes it's somebody's signature scent, and it's just what they wear all the time. And if it's not overwhelming, I think be you.

Nick: I'm really actually surprised that you're taking this position. I thought you would be much more of a, like, you should not wear scents and annoy other people, but you're kind of a perfume apologist.

Leah: It's just a part of some people's personalities. They love a scent, they wear all the time. If I'm not overwhelmed—or not me, but I mean, if you're not spraying it around in a, you know, tornado, you just get a little dab and that's your scent, and it makes you feel, you know, good about yourself. You know, do it up!

Nick: Okay, that's fair.

Leah: Obviously there's a problem if, like, your scent makes somebody who has to work very close to you have allergies.

Nick: Yes. And that is a real thing. There are definitely people who are sensitive to scents. It actually creates migraines or nausea or trouble focus. Like, this is a very real thing. And I think a lot of offices even have scent policies to try and address this.

Leah: And I think then you can have the conversation. But if you just have a little dab of, you know, Calvin Klein Obsession. Do you. [laughs]

Nick: Now let's also talk about home scents, because have you ever walked into somebody's house and you're like, whoa!

Leah: Some of those plug-ins are overwhelming.

Nick: Oh, yeah, where they’re in every outlet? Or it's like Angela, she's been burning too many winter candy apple and ice gingerbread candles from Bath and Body Works. Do you know who Angela is?

Leah: I do not.

Nick: Angela was looking for a winter candy apple and iced gingerbread candle from Bath and Body Works in Appleton, Wisconsin. And she had a little trouble.

Leah: Oh.

Nick: [laughs] They said they had them in stock and they did not, and she was not happy about it. And so it's on YouTube. I'll link to it.

Leah: I did hear about this. I didn't know the name, but I've heard the rumors.

Nick: Yup. Angela and the winter candy apple candle. Yeah, so these people who really love candles and, like, go a little far with it, like, that's intense. And I think if you're inviting people to your home, I think something to think about is like, what is the air quality like here? And can I do anything about it?

Leah: Mm. I know if you're coming to my home, there's a 50/50 chance any month of the year that I'm burning Bed, Bath and Beyond Christmas tree scents.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: But also nobody visits me, so ...

Nick: So it's fine. Yeah. I think, though, we want to be mindful of the scents in our homes as well as on our bodies, that's all. That's my point.

Leah: I also—I mean, now that you've pointed it out, I'm really coming down hard on this side, but I have friends who I go over and they're always burning things and I love it. It makes me feel very soothed, except for those plug-ins which feel—I feel like I can smell the chemicals. Like, lavender makes me itch. And so if it's somewhere aggressively, I just have to bring it up, because I'll start—I'll be like, "Is that lavender? Because it makes me ..."

Nick: And then what are they supposed to do about it?

Leah: Well, if it's like a ...

Nick: Unplug it?

Leah: Unplug it, or if it's a place where, like, I have to perform or talk, you know, it's just going to affect in the long run. And so I have to be like, "Can we move this?" But I just say it in a really super nice way. "Hey I mean, you know, I have, like, a lavender thing. It makes me itch. May I move this for now?"

Nick: Yeah. And I think if you are the type of person that does have a sensitivity to it, it is totally fair to request that someone change it, if possible. In a nice, non-judgmental way. Like, I've gotten emails from people where, like, we have a meeting and in the meeting sort of details, like, the where and when confirmation, they'll mention like, "Oh, by the way, I'm sensitive to strong fragrances, so please avoid wearing perfume or cologne that day." And it's sort of like, no problem. Happy to accommodate.

Leah: I've been onto castings like that where they're like, "Please don't wear ..."

Nick: Yeah. And so I think that is totally fair if you're that person, you can request that. And I think that's totally reasonable. And I think in an office, if there's some colleague that sort of goes a little overboard, I think you can also have a nice, non-judgmental conversation, which is like, "I'm sure you don't realize but, like, that's a little heavy-handed with the cologne. So can you dial it back?"

Leah: I also think that people who aren't affected by scents in the same way don't realize that it gives some people, like, migraines or, you know, so they just don't realize that it's actually physically triggering something.

Nick: Yeah, totally. And I think a new iteration of this is at weddings. Scent-free weddings is, like, a thing now.

Leah: Is it?

Nick: Yes, yes. And so if you want a scent-free wedding, then what you do is just with the invitation as a separate insert or on your wedding website, you'll just indicate, like, "By the way, we're having a scent-free wedding, so please avoid wearing perfumes and cologne." And you just request that of your guests.

Leah: Huh. Whole new world.

Nick: Smells good, right?

Leah: I think it's funny that you thought I would come in on the other side.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, sometimes you throw me for a loop in terms of, like, how you'll come down on something, because you'll either be sort of like, let everyone live their lives, and then sometimes you'll be like, that's offensive and they shouldn't do it. [laughs] So I thought you were gonna be more like, "You shouldn't wear scents. It's distracting and it's horrible and it affects society." But instead you're like, "No, everybody should douse themselves."

Leah: Yeah. I would just really think that that's how some people express themselves.

Nick: Yes. I personally, I do wear a light eau de toilette, which I like. And it's mostly turpentine, and I like a little solvent. You know, it's very intoxicating, literally and figuratively.

Leah: Literally intoxicating. [laughs]

Nick: But it's sort of my signature. And you know when I'm coming, and whether or not that's a good thing or not, it's for others to decide. But at least, you know.

Leah: I like it. I like a signature scent.

Nick: Yeah. No, I think having a signature everything is key. You should always have a signature scent, a signature dessert, signature catchphrase. Yeah, signature it up.

Nick: And we're back, and now it's time to take some questions from you all in the wilderness.

Leah: [howls]

Nick: So our first question is, quote, "I'm left handed, and a friend of mine always provides cake forks when we have an appropriate dessert. The cake fork is for a right-handed person, and I struggle all the time to use it because quite honestly, you could remove my right hand and I wouldn't notice. What can I say to her? She can see that I'm at a loss for what to do with the cake fork, but insists we use them."

Leah: I don't know what's happening here.

Nick: [laughs] Well, first of all, let's just talk about what is a cake fork for anybody who doesn't know?

Leah: This is a great place to start.

Nick: So sometimes it's called a pastry fork or a pie fork. And it is a fork, and on one side—which would be the left side in this case, because it's a right-handed instrument, it's a little wider and thicker. And the idea is that it's easier to cut a slice of cake or a pie crust or a shoe like a profiterole or an eclair, because it's, like, a little wider. And Leah, you're left handed.

Leah: I am left-handed.

Nick: So have you encountered problems with cake forks?

Leah: Nothing gets between me and cake.

Nick: So that was my first thought. Like, I manage to eat pie and cake with a regular fork all the time. And do I just have a special gift? Am I just above average in being able to shove pie and cake into my face with normal forks? Maybe! I don't need a specialized tool.

Leah: You're above average.

Nick: Thank you. So my thought was just, like, use the wrong side of the cake fork. Like, it's gonna work. Like, what are these cakes that this person is serving you where you cannot possibly use, like, the other side of the cake fork?

Leah: I got from the—my take away from this question is that her friend is being—forcing her to use a cake fork in a way that she is uncomfortable. Like, she just wants to eat her cake, and her friend's like, "Use the cake fork the way it's supposed to be used or no cake for you." And then I was like, what? What's happening with this relationship?

Nick: Oh, so you think that this host is making our person use the cake fork with their right hand as opposed to their left hand?

Leah: "She can see I'm at a loss with what to do with the cake fork, but insists we use them."

Nick: Because it makes it sound like this is an infomercial where they show some totally ridiculous thing in black and white about, like, how difficult it is. Which is like, "Do you ever run over your garden hose with your lawn mower? There's got to be a better way!" And you're like, "Yeah, put away the hose first." So like, "Do you have trouble eating cake with forks?" It's like, how hard is this? Like, what is actually happening here?

Leah: I mean also, if somebody made me eat cake in a way that I couldn't somehow maneuver my fork in a different direction, I would just pick it up with my hands. You're not stopping me from cake.

Nick: But back to that, what are we doing with this fork where we're not able to use the fork?

Leah: I think she's just upset with her friend and wanted us involved.

Nick: [laughs] Fine, we're involved. We're here now. What would you like us to do?

Leah: Because I don't—there's no way that you can make this fork work.

Nick: You can use the fork, yes. You could just use it as a fork if you're familiar with forks, and we're assuming that our letter writer knows what to do with a regular fork. Maybe not. Maybe we should not make this assumption.

Leah: No, they do. I think use your left hand.

Nick: Use the left hand. Eat the cake.

Leah: Eat the cake.

Nick: So what's the problem?

Leah: I think they're just angry at their friend.

Nick: Okay. Well then be angry, which is fair because it is true. This host is not being mindful of their guests and their feelings by forcing them to do something that's uncomfortable. So that is bad hosting.

Leah: And you are left handed, and it is made for right-handed people, so if you need to hold the fork in a more of a spiking, pitchfork manner to prove your point, then have at it.

Nick: Yeah, okay. I mean, I'm just picturing using a regular fork with your left hand like you would, and just eat it. I just don't know what the struggle is.

Leah: Yeah, but she's saying that they're not letting her use a regular fork, which I—that's the part where I'm ...

Nick: No, but it is not a regular fork, but it is still a fork. And so you can still use it. You could just use it like it's a regular fork.

Leah: Yes. Use it like a regular fork.

Nick: The other side of the fork, which does not have this wider part, is still a fork and can still cut through pastry and cake. Like, it still works.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: I think that's why she's angry at her friend.

Nick: Okay. I will note, though, there is such a thing as a left-handed cake fork. It does exist. You can buy them.

Leah: You could just bring it to your friend's house in your pocket.

Nick: Oh, BYOCF. [laughs]

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: That's an idea. Our next question is, quote, "My elementary school-age child has a unique name. It's actually just an English noun." And then they tell us what the name is and we're gonna redact it, because this might be the only child in the United States, if not the world, who actually has this name.

Leah: Quite possibly. Until I have a child, because I also really like this name and then I'm gonna steal it.

Nick: Yeah, I actually—it's not a bad name.

Leah: I love it.

Nick: But ...

Leah: I love it.

Nick: Be that as it may, our letter writer continues. "I am aware it's one heck of a name, but 2010 hipsters had children, too. He has mentioned his teachers are pronouncing his name incorrectly. Obviously, I have to email his homeroom teacher to address this issue as they are the primary problem. But I don't want to sound accusatory. How would you address this?"

Leah: And I think for our listeners at home, because they don't see the name, it's a very straightforward name.

Nick: Oh, I mean ...

Leah: It's not a name that you normally hear as a name, but it's not a name where you're—sometimes you're like, "How would I pronounce this?" It's not that.

Nick: True, yes. No, it is a word in the English language that is able to be pronounced by anybody.

Leah: I would actually change my name to this name, I like this name so much.

Nick: [laughs] So it is bold, though. It's a bold choice.

Leah: Which is a great choice. I wrote—I think it's just a very simple—I wrote out my letter.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: "Dear Blank. I think my son's name is being mispronounced. To clarify, it's blank. Thanks so much!"

Nick: Okay, that's nice. That's sort of non-accusatory. I think, though, the idea that we obviously have to email the teacher, I don't think that's obvious at all. I mean, this kid is gonna have a lifetime of having to deal with this. Like, this is not the last time this is gonna happen. So I think this is a very good opportunity to teach a kid who is definitely old enough—elementary school age—to give him the tools he needs to correct other people in a polite way, because I think he should have this skill. So I don't think you need to tell the teacher. I think you need to teach your kid how to do it himself.

Leah: I mean, I don't know what to say to that.

Nick: You don't agree?

Leah: I don't agree or disagree.

Nick: I'd say you're neutral on it.

Leah: I'm very neutral, because I almost feel like maybe this kid has tried, and that's why the parent is being like, "I have to do something."

Nick: Okay, yes. No, if the kid has tried and failed, then okay, fine. But I think it's a good idea to try and teach this child how to deal with this, because it's gonna happen his whole life. And the solution whenever you're just correcting somebody is yeah, you want to just be neutral. You want to assume that it's not deliberate or malicious. And you want to just sort of correct it in a nice way. So like, "Oh, Nathan, would you pass the salt?" And be like, "Oh, actually, my name is Nick and here's the salt." You know, just a nice neutral light. You want to keep it light. And I think because we do live in a world in which you are constantly giving your name to people, you know, you're at Starbucks, you're introducing yourself at a cocktail party, you're talking to customer service, I think it is very handy if you have a name that is either often misunderstood or misinterpreted or hard to pronounce, to come up with a mnemonic so that it's sort of like easy for people to get. So like, let's just say this kid's name was cement. You'd be like, "Oh, my name is cement, like the sidewalk," you know?

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Or, like, "My name is Mildew, like in your bathroom." You know? Just something that's easy to get.

Leah: And also, if we're talking about things to say to our kids, everybody gets everybody's names wrong. I have a four letter name, 50 percent of the time people get it wrong.

Leah: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Leah: And it's not personal at all. That's why correcting people, "Oh, no. It's Leah."

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: "It's Leah." I don't even say, "Oh, no." I just say, "It's Leah."

Nick: Yeah, I've gotten "Mick" with an M, and it's like, "Oh, no. It's 'Nick' like the saint." And that's my mnemonic.

Leah: Like the saint. [laughs] No undertones.

Nick: [laughs] None. Straight forward.

Leah: I think that pairs well with your teaching people how to correct people, because it's gonna happen even if your name is Ben. You know what I mean?

Nick: Yeah, yeah. And it's not even just about correcting your own name but, like, correcting people throughout your life about things that they get wrong. This is something that just comes up just throughout your life for all sorts of reasons. Like, "Oh, which car is yours?" "Oh, mine is the white Civic, not the green one." We're always just sort of like clarifying and correcting other people, and being able to do that in a nice way that doesn't, like, make people upset or feel judged I think is a good skill to have.

Leah: Very true.

Nick: So good luck to our friend here, whatever his name may be.

Leah: Also, I love the name. Look out, I may have it in a few weeks!

Nick: I wish we could say what the name was, because to be so coy with our audience I think is very cruel, but this is a safe space.

Leah: I also understand it's a kid.

Leah: It's a kid, and also this is truly the only child in the United States that has this name, so if we said it, you would know who this is.

Leah: Until I have it.

Nick: [laughs] So our next question is, quote, "Is there a right way to eat a Kit Kat? My brother says you just bite it, but I think you should break it."

Leah: I immediately was like, "You need to lock your brother up, because this is like a warning sign."

Nick: Uh-huh?

Leah: Of, I don't know. You don't just bite a Kit Kat. I feel like this is a very—if you walked down the street and you saw somebody just biting into a Kit Kat instead of breaking it, I would be like, "Uh-oh!"

Nick: Yeah. No, I would definitely want to, like, hide your wife, hide your kids. Yeah. [laughs] Yeah, I mean, I assumed that there was really only one way to do this. It's sort of like, do you eat a banana sideways? Like, no. Like, there's just one way that we have decided that we do things. And I thought Kit Kats was one of them. But no, there's actually quite a bit of conversation about ways to eat Kit Kats. And I was looking, and I hate to even say this, I hate to even admit that I watched this, but Kourtney Kardashian has a six-step process for eating Kit Kats, which apparently has taken the Internet by storm. And now this is how a lot of people eat Kit Kats. What she does is she takes the Kit Kat and she eats the chocolate off of the sides, and then she separates the wafers and then eats the wafers separately, leaving the middle wafer last. It is elaborate and unnecessary, but this is what the kids are doing.

Leah: Even that, though, makes more sense than biting it, because the Kit Kat is layered and then it has lines down the middle.

Nick: Yes.

Leah: So as long as there's a process to your Kit Kat, it's just the willy-nilly biting that I—get a different chocolate bar!

Nick: Yeah, yeah. No, to just sort of chomp into it like it's Jaws and a boat is not how we do Kit Kats. And looking into Kit Kats, you know, a lot of people have a lot to say about Kit Kats. And the Kit Kats that are in the United States are different than the Kit Kats elsewhere, because Nestlé makes the Kit Kats around the world except the United States. And in the United States, Hershey makes them.

Leah: Oh, wow.

Nick: Which is why a lot of people think that the international Kit Kats are better.

Leah: Hmm.

Nick: Hmm. And I actually do have some green tea Kit Kats that I picked up from Takeshimaya in Tokyo. And I will say it is a good Kit Kat, this flavor. So the flavors are much more fun in Japan.

Leah: Wow!

Nick: Right? Green tea. Oishii desu ne. So I think the correct answer, though, is we just go to the jingle, and the jingle is, "Give me a break, give me a break. Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar. So I think we just follow these instructions.

Leah: Yes!

Nick: And then that is the answer.

Leah: We go to the jingle, we follow the instructions. [laughs]

Nick: Follow the instructions. These are the manufacturer-recommended suggestions. Yes, break it off. So that is our answer.

Leah: Hear, hear.

Nick: Hear, hear. So delicious question. And do you have any delicious questions for us? Let us know. You can let us know through our website,, or you can leave us a voicemail, or send us a text message, (267) CALL-RBW.

Nick: And we're back, and now it's time to play a game we like to call Vent or Repent.

Leah: Vent or Repent!

Nick: Which is our opportunity to vent about some bad etiquette experience we've had recently. Or we can repent for some etiquette faux pas we've committed. So Leah, would you like to vent or repent?

Leah: [sighs] I'm gonna repent again.

Nick: Wow!

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: What did you do?

Leah: So I'm moving.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: For our listeners at home, I'm moving and I'm going through, I don't know, 15 years of paperwork that I've somehow kept. And I almost called you immediately when I found this, but I thought we'll save it for this week's episode. I found—also particularly egregious because of my repent about Christmas cards last time.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: I found a year of Christmas cards inside a—usually I go up to visit my parents, I bring my Christmas cards, I mail them out from there.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: I found a year of Christmas cards, stamped, addressed, never sent out.

Nick: [gasps] Leah!

Leah: In a binder. So ...

Nick: How does this happen?

Leah: I must have sent half of them because it was—so it's Nick and Theo, Bernie and Al, Kendra and Lynn. Huge apologies. Oh, and Yamanika. I have your Christmas cards from ...

Nick: From what year?

Leah: Looking like 2012. And my bad on that one. They were stamped, and I almost put them in the mail. But it seemed obscene. It seemed obscene.

Nick: Well, the postage has probably gone up since then.

Leah: The postage has gone up. I think everybody's moved. And I thought, oh, horrid.

Nick: Well, okay. Yes, I mean, this is not ideal, although no one is owed a Christmas card the way they are a thank-you note. So what is the etiquette crime here? I mean, you know, I think it would have been nice to send, but it's not like these were the wedding thank-you notes that never got sent.

Leah: I don't know. It felt more like an etiquette crime to Christmas, which we know I love Christmas.

Nick: This is the ultimate of etiquette crimes. I think you actually could send them. I think you would, like, enclose them in a larger envelope with a fun note and be like, "Merry Christmas from a decade ago." And send them in July. And I think that's actually—I would actually kind of enjoy receiving one of these things from you. And don't even open the card. Like, the whole thing stamp at all.

Leah: [laughs] It was more than that. It was, like, my friend Katie in Canada, MJ. I mean, all these people would be like, "What's going on?"

Nick: [laughs] Oh, they know you. They know what's going on, yeah.

Leah: Hey guys, I just sent out a Christmas card from 2008 that I found in a random folder.

Nick: It's like a time capsule. I wonder if, like, the notes inside are, like, very specific to that year.

Leah: I know, that's what I was thinking. I don't know what's in here.

Nick: It'd be like, "Oh, have you caught this new Housewives show?" I don't know. Who knows what was happening in 2012? Well, I am sorry that this happened.

Leah: I'm sorry to Christmas, you know?

Nick: I don't think we're gonna let this happen again.

Leah: No.

Nick: So I think we've learned our lesson.

Leah: Ugh, mortifying!

Nick: Speaking of mortifying. For me, I would like to vent. And so, as we know, New York City, it's a death trap, and it's sort of amazing that we survive at all every day. You know, there's gonna be grates you can fall through, air conditioners that come out of the sky, stray voltage, you know, when the salt eats away at the insulation and cables under the sidewalk. You know, people get electrocuted in parks or, like, that's how manhole covers explode. So on some level, when we end the day in New York City, we have a sense of satisfaction because we didn't die, you know? [laughs]

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: There is some sort of sense of accomplishment through that. So despite all that, I do love New York City, and I can't imagine living anywhere else. So what that says about New Yorkers, I don't know. But we do get addicted to being on the edge of mortality at all times. But I would like to vent about the number of times in the past week that I have been nearly killed by somebody on a bike. And it is so dangerous. Now most streets in New York City are one way. So hypothetically, you only have to look one way when you're crossing a street. Now I've been in New York City long enough to know can't take that for granted. Got to look both ways at all times. Do not step off the sidewalk unless you're, like, very aware of your surroundings.

Nick: So I was in Chelsea. I'm crossing the street, I'm very aware, I'm looking around. But out of nowhere comes a delivery person on a motorized bike, which are like e-bikes, but they have motors that are so powerful, it's basically a motorcycle. And he's probably going 35 or 40 miles an hour. And he was gonna hit me. I mean, it was very close. Like, I could feel the wind as he goes past. And I yell, like, the loud "Yo!" Which was like a very Midnight Cowboyenergy, like, "I'm walking here! I'm walking here!" Like, it had all of that. And it was very loud, as you can imagine. I can get pretty loud if required. And he stopped because, like, it was a very aggressive "Yo." And he kind of shrugged and, like, sheepishly grinned and then, like, biked off. And it was sort of like, you could have killed me. And I get that delivery people, like, you got to get there quickly, people don't tip as well if their food is cold. Like, I get all that. But I also feel like we need to balance that against murder.

Leah: Hmm.

Nick: So I think etiquette is always a tension between deliveries quickly and killing people. So I just want to remind everybody that killing people when you're on a bike is considered rude. So you shouldn't do that.

Leah: Oh! A) I wish I was there to hear that "Yo," because I haven't seen that Nick. And ...

Nick: I mean, it happens. I'm not gonna lie, it happens.

Leah: And also the bikes in the city, it's so true. You have to look every direction. You never know when they're coming.

Nick: Yeah. And even on the sidewalk now, and it is illegal to ride a bike on a sidewalk in New York City, just FYI. Like, you're not allowed to do it.

Leah: It is illegal. And sometimes I'll be walking and I'll step to the side, and a bicycle will come up on the sidewalk next to me and I'll be like, imagine I had stepped at that moment and you would hit me from the back. Like, you could kill somebody.

Nick: Yeah, you could. But greatest city in the world.

Leah: Yo!

Nick: [laughs] I'm walking here!

Leah: [laughs] Very Midnight Cowboy.

Nick: So Leah, what have we learned?

Leah: I didn't even know that asparagus tweezers existed.

Nick: Well, they're not exactly called asparagus tweezers, but yes, individual asparagus tongs. Yes, this is a thing.

Leah: Baby tongs for asparagi.

Nick: And I learned that you want to smell good for your doctor.

Leah: I mean, you know, they're here. Welcome to Leah-land.

Nick: Well, thank you, Leah.

Leah: Thank you, Nick.

Nick: And thanks to you out there for listening. If I had your address, I'd send you a handwritten note on my custom stationery.

Leah: He will.

Nick: I will. So for your homework this week, I want you to tell some friends about us. I want you to share us on your social media. I want you to mention us in that group chat. I want you to bring us up at that next backyard barbecue, because the more people who listen, the closer we're gonna be to achieving global harmony and world peace. And don't you want world peace? Yes, you do. So spread the word.

Leah: No pressure, but if you're into world peace.

Nick: I mean, just saying. And we'll see you next time.

Leah: Bye!

Nick: Bye!

Nick: All right, it's time for Cordials of Kindness, the part of the show that you make us do, but I only give you 30 seconds to do it. Ready, set, go.

Leah: I want to thank—and this is—I'm gonna thank my cable company I called in for some moving.

Nick: That's a first.

Leah: I know! That's why I wanted to say that, that I'm even shocked. But I called in. You know, I'm moving, so it's, like, a whole to do. I got to switch my boxes. And I got this woman named Ashley.

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: Who A) was a delight, B) she was very helpful, and then she was the first person I told my new address to. I hadn't said it out loud yet.

Nick: Hmm.

Leah: And I said it to her. And then so she celebrated with me. And it really just made a really big difference when you're anxious about something, somebody being like, "This is so fun!" And so I was like, I can't believe I'm getting positive affirmations from my cable company, but really big, huge thank you to Ashley.

Nick: Take it from where you can get it.

Leah: Yeah, it was great.

Nick: That's very nice. And we got a lovely voice mail, which was this:

VOICE MAIL: Just wanted to say I'm so happy I found this podcast. And it's so refreshing to hear people actually care about manners in this day and age. Keep up the good work, and can't wait to hear what's next. Thanks.

Leah: That's really nice.

Nick: Isn't that nice?

Leah: Mm-hmm.

Nick: That's two. So thank you.