Aug. 10, 2020

Slamming Car Doors, Eating Cocktail Garnishes, Borrowing from Friends, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle borrowing things from friends, eating olives in martinis, slamming car doors, and much more. Please subscribe! (We'd write you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)

Amazon Music podcast player badge
Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
Spotify podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
Overcast podcast player badge
PocketCasts podcast player badge
Podchaser podcast player badge
Stitcher podcast player badge
RSS Feed podcast player badge


  • AMUSE-BOUCHE: How to insert a card into an envelope
  • A QUESTION OF ETIQUETTE: Borrowing things from friends
  • QUESTIONS FROM THE WILDERNESS: Are you allowed to bring your own bell to a restaurant? At what point can you eat the olive in your martini? How to handle sharing internet with a neighbor?
  • VENT OR REPENT: Scratching CDs, Slamming car doors
  • CORDIALS OF KINDNESS: Pollination gardens, Candy care packages




Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian


[Musical Interlude]

Nick: Do you insert cards the wrong way? Do you borrow things and forget to return them? Do you bring your own bell to a restaurant? 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: Let's just get right down to it with our amuse-bouche.

Leah: [Singing] Let's get in it!

Nick: So, for today's amuse-bouche, I recently sent you a thank you note. Did you receive it?

Leah: No, I haven't received it!

Nick: Oh! Check your P.O. box. So-

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: -when you get it, the question will be: which way is the card inserted? What is the correct way to put a card in an envelope?

Leah: WHOO! Oh!

Nick: You have four choices.

Leah: I have four choices!

Nick: Yeah. The crease can go at the top of the envelope, or the bottom of the envelope. The front of the card, with the design, can face the front where the stamp is, or it can face the back where the flap is. How does a card go?

Leah: I'm going to guess: crease up-

Nick: Okay.

Leah: -front towards the back where the ...

Nick: Okay! So, half correct. Half correct.

Leah: I mean, that's all I could ask for.

Nick: Yeah. No, I mean that was better odds than I thought. Here's how it should go. The fold will go at the bottom of the envelope-

Leah: Really?!

Nick: -and then, front of the card will face the back flap. Said another way: if you were holding the card in your right hand and you were holding the envelope in the left hand and you put the card into the envelope, that's the same way it should come out of the envelope.

Leah: Oh! That makes sense!

Nick: Right? So, there are some reasons for this. One is that, if you use a letter opener, you won't slice the top of the card. I don't know who use letter openers, you know, but if you were a letter-opener person, this would prevent you from slashing. Heloise ... Remember her? We don't talk about her that much, but Heloise says this is also correct, because if there's anything in the card, like a check, or a business card, when you have the crease at the bottom, you will pull those things out with the card. They won't accidentally get left in the envelope. Now, I know you're left handed, though, and so a question would be: would it be more polite for me to reverse this so that when you open the card, and you're using your left hand to do it, should the card be oriented the other way? Would that be like a 2.0 etiquette thing?

Leah: I mean ...

Nick: Where I know you're left-handed, and so ... Hmm.

Leah: You're just next-leveling it!

Nick: But I did read that somebody says that you should have the back of the card towards the flap in case you accidentally glue the flap onto the design of the card, which seems totally insane. Like, how is that happening?

Leah: The glue's just not there.

Nick: I mean, I guess if there's so much glue on the flap that it just oozed into the envelope, onto the card-

Leah: Right.

Nick: -I guess that's a very gluey card!

Leah: Or maybe you're one of those people that writes lots of little letters, and you stick it in, so then it gets a little bit wider, so it can't go all the way over.

Nick: O-kay, yeah. I mean, I guess that's a hazard, if you're that person.

Leah: Option. That's an option.

Nick: Yeah. It's an option, yeah. The same person also said that you would want to do it that way so that the recipient "will get the added surprise of turning the card over to reveal the beautiful design!" No!

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: The added surprise is you opening a card. There's an envelope around it. Of course, Emily weighs in on this ... Emily Post says, "To fold a letter in such a way that the recipient shall be able to read the contents without having to turn the paper is giving too much importance to nothing. It is sufficient if the paper is folded neatly. Sooo, Emily Post says: doesn't matter.

Leah: I mean ...

Nick: So, do what ya gotta do! But, for me, I put the crease down, and then the design facing the back of the flap. That's how I do it! You wanna be like Nick? You should do it that way.

Leah: I wanna be like Nick.

Nick: Good answer.

Leah: [Giggling]

[Musical Interlude]

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

Leah: [Singing] Deep dive!

Nick: For today's question of etiquette, I want to talk about borrowing things from friends - not money, but everything else: a sweater from your best friend, a lawnmower from the neighbor - borrowing things.

Leah: I think this is a great one.

Nick: So, I was trying to think back about all the things I've lent to people over the years, and it will probably not come as some surprise, but I'm very particular, and I really dislike lending things because I'm very concerned about how I'm going to receive them back; in what condition? What have you done to this thing?! I was thinking back, and all the things I've ever lent, there's only one thing that I can recall giving to somebody to borrow and I've not gotten it back, which is an accordion.

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: Very long story, but ...

Leah: What's so funny is that if you'd given me a million guesses-

Nick: [Giggling]

Leah: -I wouldn't have been like, "I bet it was an accordion that you didn't get back!"

Nick: No, no, no.

Leah: [Giggling]

Nick: So, there is an accordion out there that is mine. I'm sort of thankful that I don't currently have it because where am I going to put an accordion? I mean, where is that going to go in my apartment? But it's still outstanding.

Leah: But that's also a thing that's very specific that somebody should know they have!

Nick: Oh, oh ... No, this person knows that they have my accordion. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, I can't imagine they still have it. This was probably 15 years ago, but never got it back! Is there anything that you've never received back?

Leah: Yeah, a Savage Garden CD.

Nick: [Giggling] Oh, okay!

Leah: I don't know if you remember Savage Garden?

Nick: Oh, I do. Yeah, I do.

Leah: I had this CD. I don't know if you remember CDs?

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: A case.

Nick: Oh!

Leah: Had a little booklet in it!

Nick: Oh, sure!

Leah: Um, I lent it to a friend!

Nick: Hm, ex-friend! Air quotes around that.

Leah: [Giggling] And I never got it back!

Nick: Do you want it back?

Leah: Oh, now there's YouTube, so when I need to hear Savage Garden, which does happen-

Nick: And sometimes, you do.

Leah: Sometimes, I do.

Nick: Yeah. Comes up.

Leah: I put it into YouTube.

Nick: So, let's talk about borrowing things the correct way. The first thing to note is that you have to ask because when you take something without asking, that's called stealing!

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: So, I think you have to ask first.

Leah: Oh, wow!

Nick: Ask to borrow something.

Leah: I didn't even know we had to start with that one!

Nick: Well, I think we've got to start there.

Leah: No, you're right. You're right.

Nick: Yeah, I think we have to start there.

Leah: If you didn't ask, it's not borrowing.

Nick: It's definitely not borrowing. Yeah. Then, I think you should be prepared for a no. You know, not everything is available to be borrowed, and I think you have to be okay with that.

Leah: I was actually thinking of ... I don't actually feel like, in recent years, people have asked to borrow things from me.

Nick: I think part of it might just be the age that we are, where we have stuff. I feel like when you're younger, you just have fewer things, and so you need to borrow stuff. Like, you don't have an iron, necessarily, when you're 20.

Leah: Right.

Nick: So, you would have to borrow an iron, right? But, when you get to be our age, you have an iron.

Leah: People come over and borrow my dad's movies all the time because my dad has all these movies.

Nick: I mean, could that be a more Maine thing to do?

Leah: All the time! We were just watching all the Harry Potters, and he was like, "Well, I don't have the first two because somebody just borrowed them. I was like ... It makes complete sense.

Nick: [Giggling] Okay. They're already checked out. So, okay ... Other things on my list were don't ask to borrow things that are sentimental or heirlooms, which also feels like that goes without saying, but I think this happens.

Leah: I've learned that, from this podcast, that we have to say things that we thought went without saying.

Nick: Yeah, ain't that the truth?

Leah: Not because of our listeners, but because of the letters we get.

Nick: [Giggling] True! Then, if something is brand new, the person that owns it should always be the first person to use it. Don't ask to borrow someone's new shoes if they haven't worn them yet.

Leah: Agreed!

Nick: Right? Right?

Leah: I actually had somebody offer to lend me something that I hadn't asked to borrow that I thought was too big of a lend!

Nick: Was that some weird passive-aggressive hint, like, "Do you need to borrow some deodorant?"

Leah: No, no, it was ... [Laughing] Oh, no, it's funny. No, it was- a friend of mine was like, "Hey, do you wanna borrow my car?"

Nick: Oh, okay ...

Leah: Well, I didn't know ... It was so nice!

Nick: Oh, that is nice.

Leah: You know when somebody just offers something for you to borrow?

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: You're like, "Wow!" I got very nervous.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, a car is obviously ... That's a big-ticket item. Yeah.

Leah: It is a big-ticket item!

Nick: So, now, we've borrowed a thing and we have permission to borrow the thing. I think the first thing to note is if it breaks or gets damaged while you have it, you gotta come clean.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: And you've got to try and make it right.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: I think both of these things are true, and you really actually should try and leave it in a better condition than you found it. So, it should be cleaned even better, or it should be polished, or it needs to be new and improved in some way, if possible. So, if you borrow someone's car, nice to have the car washed, or detailed, when you return it.

Leah: I agree 100 percent.

Nick: At least it should have more gas in it than when you got it!

Leah: Absolutely. Maybe a quick vacuum.

Nick: Right?

Leah: Absolutely.

Nick: Then, returning ... You've got to return it. You've got to return the thing.

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: Again, goes without saying, but otherwise, that's also called theft.

Leah: I think, in a timely fashion, or on the agreed-upon time.

Nick: Yes. I mean, I think the timely fashion ... This is where people get into trouble because people have different ideas about what "timely" is for this item. My idea of timely - different than other people's.

Leah: I think there should be an agreed-upon time when you borrow it.

Nick: Yeah. Ideally, when you borrow the thing, you set some sort of a deadline. Certainly, if you need that thing back by a certain time, you should make that very clear; like, "Oh, you can totally use my car this weekend, but I do need it back Sunday at 3:00 for this thing."

Leah: Then, the borrower is the person who's responsible to bring it back.

Nick: Oh, good point! Yeah, don't make it inconvenient for the person to get their stuff back!

Leah: Yeah, that's a, "Hey, if you need your Harry Potters back, why don't you come out and get them?" No.

Nick: Oh. No. I mean, that happens, I guess.

Leah: No, it does happen.

Nick: That's rude. That's rude. Yeah, don't inconvenience me on top of everything else.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Then, I think we want to also thank the person, at the end of the day, when we return the thing.

Leah: Oh, yeah.

Nick: Like, "Thank you so much!" and maybe something above and beyond, depending on what you borrowed.

Leah: Depending on what you borrowed.

Nick: Right?

Leah: I also think what you said earlier ... And I may or may not have a repent that is along this line-

Nick: Oh!

Leah: -for later in the episode-

Nick: Okay [Giggling]

Leah: -because I haven't actually been in contact with humans in so long that I'm going to have to go back a few years for Vent or Repent ... But what you said about returning ... If something happens to the item while in your care, own up immediately, and figure out a way to fix it!

Nick: Yes.

Leah: Because it does happen!

Nick: Oh, stuff happens. Yeah. I mean, the thing with etiquette is: it's never the crime; it's the cover-up.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: So, something breaks, something snagged, something got destroyed, stuff happens ... But how do we recover from this? That is where the rubber meets the road. So, if you broke it, you gotta fix it, or pay to fix it, or try and make it right, or something. You can't just like, "Ope, it broke ... Okay, your problem now." No! We don't live in a world in which that's okay.

Leah: Yeah, just own up to it right away.

Nick: Own up to it! But then, also, you have to make it right.

Leah: Oh, yeah. Definitely make it right!

Nick: It's the "make it right" part.

Leah: Absolutely.

Nick: We can't forget that! It's not enough to be like, "Yeah, it broke ..." [crosstalk]

Leah: No, I didn't mean that! I meant, you know, don't try to hide it. Take responsibility! Take responsibility.

Nick: Definitely take responsibility because you can't hide the fact that something got damaged. I mean, that's not going to work.

Leah: [Giggling] No, I guess it's not. "Was this already this way?" [Laughing]

Nick: Oh, right ... "Yeah, wasn't there a hole in the sweater? Yeah, I thought there was." Right.

Leah: But it does happen. Life happens. People get that.

Nick: Yeah, life happens. But yeah, it's how you handle life that matters. So, yeah, that's, uh ... That's borrowing. That's borrowing etiquette.

Leah: There it is.

Nick: Very short and sweet. We shouldn't even have to have this topic!

Leah: I just love how we opened with: if you don't ask, it's stealing. I feel like that's a solid opener. [Laughing]

Nick: It is. It's solid. Also, I would like my accordion and a Savage Garden CD back.

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: Thank you very much!

[Musical Interlude]

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

Leah: [Howling]

Nick: So ... This first question. I mean ... I mean.

Leah: I'm sweating.

Nick: So, we got a question from somebody, which says: "I just saw this on social media. It's a photo of a woman who brought her own bell with her to a restaurant in order to get a server's attention. Thoughts?" Oh, I have thoughts.

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: We'll post this photo on our website, so you can see in the show notes, but you can picture it: it's a woman seated at a table at a restaurant, and there's a little metal bell that you might see at a concierge desk in an old-school hotel in a Wes Anderson movie - That ... That type of bell. So, she brought one to a restaurant.

Leah: I had hot lightning waves going down my back-

Nick: Oh!

Leah: -when I saw the- when you texted me the picture, I just ... My hair on my neck-

Nick: A little tingle.

Leah: -started vibrating!

Nick: Mm-hmm. Yeah. So, we all agree this is rude. This is rude. You should not bring a bell to a restaurant, right? We agree on this.

Leah: It's whatever is the next thing.

Nick: [Giggling]

Leah: You can't treat people like that! You're gonna ding your waitress or waiter?!

Nick: Yeah. Yeah. So, I guess that's the question - why is it so rude? What is it about this that is so rude? What boxes is it checking? I guess it's patronizing, right?

Leah: It's patronizing.

Nick: It's also super-disturbing to other diners! This is not just about getting the waiter's attention. If I'm at the next table, and you're dinging the bell? I don't want that, as a fellow diner.

Leah: Yeah, this is not your house in the 1940s, where you're dinging your butler to come fill your tea.

Nick: Right.

Leah: You're in public, and these are people working at a restaurant.

Nick: Yeah, I guess it's rude. Yeah. Okay, we have this woman; she's now in this restaurant. What do we say to her if we are the restaurant?

Leah: I think if we are the restaurant, we send over the manager.

Nick: Yes. Oh, this is definitely a job for a manager. I guess we say, "Ma'am, unfortunately, we don't allow outside bells here."

Leah: [Giggling] "We don't allow outside bells."

Nick: [Giggling]

Leah: We say, "You're disturbing other people."

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: If she asks why.

Nick: I mean, I feel like she's the type of person who would need to ask why because, to all of us, it's very clear that you don't do this in the first place. So, I think the person that brings their own bell needs to have it explained to them why they can't do that.

Leah: I mean, are her friends not mortified?

Nick: There was another person at this table that she was dining with, yeah.

Leah: There was!

Nick: She wasn't dining alone.

Leah: If I went out with a friend, and they put a bell on the table, I'd be like, "You cannot do that!"

Nick: I would be ...

Leah: I would be mortified.

Nick: I would be mortified. Yeah. I would ... Yeah, I would have to say something to my dining companion, or if the waiter came over, I would have to give them a look, which was like, "I am so sorry! I had nothing to do with this bell!" [Giggling]

Leah: I couldn't ... This would be something where I'd have to be like, "You can't ring the bell."

Nick: Yeah, you can't ring the bell. But, interestingly, in many parts of Asia, there actually is a bell system at each table. I remember being in a restaurant in Seoul, and you would push a little garage-door-opener button, and it would signal to somewhere in the restaurant that you wanted service, and then a waiter would come over to your table-

Leah: Right, but-

Nick: -and it didn't ding audibly.

Leah: -you're not bringing in your own bell!

Nick: It was not BYOB. That's true.

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: I think I like the bell idea when you want service ... I think that, as a generalized concept if it's sanctioned by the restaurant, I like that.

Leah: Oh, it's completely different if the restaurant has set it up.

Nick: Yeah, that's true. It's the bringing your own, which is, uh, the problem.

Leah: It's like bringing in a whistle. Are you gonna whistle at people when they walk by to get their attention? I mean ...

Nick: It happens. You've been on the street in New York City.

Leah: Oh, I've also been a waitress, and I've had people whistle at me.

Nick: Ugh ... Oh, that's so rude.

Leah: It's so rude!

Nick: It's SO rude!

Leah: Everybody should have to be a waiter for a year.

Nick: What's more rude - snapping at you or whistling?

Leah: I'm gonna say snapping.

Nick: Oh, you think a 'snap-snap' is more rude than a whistle?

Leah: [Giggling] Yeah because if you whistle, there's also a part of it that's just hilarious. I'll be like, *"Are you whistling?"*

Nick: [Giggling] Okay ...

Leah: That will get me over the rude. I'll be like, "Oh, they're whistling ..." but if you just snap? I can't.

Nick: Yeah. That's true. Okay.

Leah: There's nothing to even carry me over it.

Nick: But we all agree bell is above snapping.

Leah: Because you had to bring it in as a prop.

Nick: Yeah, that's true. You had to take the effort to put it in your purse.

Leah: You put in your bag!

Nick: [Giggling] Yeah, it's unbelievable. So, our next question is: "My go-to pre-dinner cocktail, when out, is a Tito's martini up, dirty, with blue-cheese olives? What's the scoop on when to eat the olives? Do you eat them throughout the consumption of the cocktail, or are you supposed to wait until the end? At the beginning? Eat them whenever you want? My friends and I are interested in your feedback!" Okay. Do you have ideas about when the appropriate time is for a blue-cheese olive in a martini?

Leah: I'm sure there are rules, but I feel like this is not eating a regular garnish. This is eating the olives that came with a martini, with blue cheese in it, in which case I would say that I used to love this drink. I would eat it throughout just because I would enjoy it that way. I think, with a drink like this, you can enjoy however you enjoy it!

Nick: Yeah, I think the thrust of that is totally correct. I think it comes down to how are the olives attached to the drink? So, if the olives are in the bottom of the martini glass, I think you have to wait until the drink is done, because I don't want you dippin' your hands [Giggling] through the cocktail to get to an olive. I don't want you swimming in your drink. If they're on a pick, and you can easily get to the olives, then I think you can enjoy them whenever you want in whatever order you want.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: So, I think that's the rule.

Leah: I visualize them on a pick.

Nick: Yes. Although, there are plenty of martinis that are just, you know, olives in the bottom of the glass.

Leah: That's true. That's true.

Nick: I think if it's that, then you've got to wait til the end. Similarly, a cherry in a Manhattan, you've got to wait til the end, if it's not on a pick, to get it.

Leah: Or you could bring your own pick, like that lady who brings her own bell [Laughing]

Nick: Right, or bring your own cherries ... Bring your own cocktail. Yeah.

Leah: [Giggling]

Nick: I think you can do it at any point, as long as you're not sticking your fingers in the drink. As long as we're talking about garnishes, I have seen this happen - I don't know why people think this is okay - do not reach over the bar and get your own garnish. Don't go into the bartender's tray and get more of anything.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: That's not for you. Pretend there's a wall there.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Don't touch that! Why are you touching that?

Leah: That's like borrowing - if you didn't ask, it's stealing. That's not your side of the bar [Laughing]

Nick: Right? That's not for you. No, don't do that! The other thing to note is if the garnish is just an aromatic, it's just there, like a citrus peel, or mint, and it's not really meant for you to be eating it, you can remove it from the drink, if you'd like. You do not have to keep it in the drink the entire time. It's your option. If there's a garnish that makes it difficult to drink the drink, which is very common these days, where there's just some enormous thing hanging off the glass, you are allowed to remove it. You don't have to have it bang your eyeball as you're trying to take a sip.

Leah: Right.

Nick: So, that's fine for garnishes. Our next question is: "I live in Alaska and rent a tiny cabin that's basically a mother-in-law suite. About a year or two ago, I asked if I could start sharing internet with the main house. So, now, I pay a portion of the bill, and it does save me a ton of money. Recently, they decided to change the VPN to another country so that they could watch a show not available in the United States. I wasn't aware this happened until I contacted them, stating that most of my paid streaming services weren't working because they thought I was outside of the United States. The owner of the main house said he would change it back, which he did the next day, but then, on Friday, I went to chill with some wine, and Disney+, only to come across the same problem. My questions are: can I ask him to change it back again, and/or let me know when he changes it? Is there a polite way to word this request? I feel like since I'm sharing the bill, I should be able to use my U.S. streaming services. Am I being an entitled millennial, or am I justified in my frustration?" Mmm.

Leah: Mmm.

Nick: So, first, let's just say what a VPN is, for anybody who doesn't know. Basically, a VPN is a virtual private network. What that is, is basically your internet is basically being channeled through the servers of this company, which is located, let's say, in another country. The internet traffic then goes from them to whatever website you're trying to reach. If you're trying to watch "Guten Morgen Deutschland," and you have to trick the service into thinking you're in Germany, you would use a VPN service based in Germany, so it's those servers. It's a little technical, but basically, you can trick where a website thinks you are in the world because a lot of streaming services are limited to certain countries; like Hulu, you can't use in Canada. That's what a VPN is. Obviously, in the main house, there's something that they're watching that, you know, you have to pretend you're somewhere else in the world in order to watch it. So, what do we do?

Leah: I feel like I always ... I don't want to go first, if you want to go first, you know?

Nick: [Giggling] Okay ... Oh, how polite! I think that if this is a temporary thing, like they're only switching the VPN because there's something temporary on, like World Cup soccer or Eurovision, and there's a finite end to it, then let's know that. In which case, I think it's totally fine to just gently remind them after they're done, after this program is on, like, "Oh, can you just switch it back?" If it's an ongoing thing, they watch "Guten Morgen Deutschland" every morning, then I think you want to somehow have your own ability to change the VPN yourself, which I think you might have that ability, if you have access to the Wi-Fi network. Learn how to do that so that you can just do it, rather than bothering them with it, and then they can always change it back when they need it. I think that might be a technical solution.

Leah: But, also, our letter-writer is the person who asked to share the internet.

Nick: Oh, you think that the burden is on her a little bit since the main house has sort of graciously accepted her sharing request?

Leah: "I asked if I could start sharing the internet with the main house, so now I pay a portion of the bill ... It does save me a ton of money."

Nick: Right.

Leah: So, if Friday night, they were ... It's possible that on Friday night, they were watching their "Guten Morgen ..."

Nick: Oh! So you think that there might be overlap in our viewing. Mm.

Leah: There may be overlap in viewing, in which case, I do feel, since our letter-writer asked to share the streaming service-

Nick: Yeah. The main house does trump the in-law unit when it comes to priority.

Leah: So, I feel like you could just have a straightforward conversation because it is possible that they don't know ... If you want to be able to watch whenever you want to, then maybe you have to have your own internet.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: Because maybe they're watching the thing that they wanted to watch at that exact same time.

Nick: Yeah. I think the solution here is we have to have a conversation with them.

Leah: There has to just be a conversation.

Nick: Yeah, and I think being prepared to basically just pay for your own internet, maybe that's what you gotta do.

Leah: Just say, "Can I ask to change ..." or "Let me know when he changes it?" I think that would be the question. Like you were saying, is it for certain shows, or ...?

Nick: Yeah, is it certain times of day? Is it certain shows? Because if it's like, "Oh, we watch this thing every Thursday," then I would be happy to shoot you a quick email in the morning, and be like, "Hey, hope that program was fun. Be sure to change the VPN back," on Friday.

Leah: Yeah, or, like you said-

Nick: I would be happy to send you that reminder.

Leah: -"Tell me how to do it, and I'll do it."

Nick: Yeah. I feel like, teach a man to fish, so you can fish for a lifetime. If you can somehow learn how to do the VPN switch on your end, and you're not going to be messing up their viewing, so they're not watching "Guten Morgen Deutschland ..." I don't know why this is our example.

Leah: No, I think it's a great example, and we're sticking with it.

Nick: I mean, if you're gonna watch morning television in Germany, that's my go-to show.

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: I think learning how to do the VPN? Yeah, I think that might be your best bet.

Leah: I think that you have no- it's totally fine to just ask.

Nick: Yeah, I think asking is totally fine because there's no judgment here. No one's doing anything wrong.

Leah: You're just curious.

Nick: It's just about coming to some compromise. Yeah.

Leah: Then, if it doesn't work, I think it's your responsibility to get your own internet.

Nick: See?! We're doing tech support! Oh, my goodness. We do it all here.

Leah: We are doing tech support. Also, when I read this, I visualized this beautiful home in Alaska with a tiny cabin, and I just wanted to be there.

Nick: Totally!

Leah: I just wanted to be there so badly!

Nick: Yeah, no, this sounds idyllic and wonderful. I can think of a few other places I would want to watch "Guten Morgen Deutschland" than at this cabin. So, if you have questions for us, [Tech support - Remember, try unplugging it first] send them to us. You can send them to us through our website,, or you can leave us a voicemail, or send us a text message, (267) CALL-RBW (267-225-5729).

[Musical Interlude]

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

Leah: [Singing] 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: You know, I'm going to repent, and I feel like I may repent that I repented.

Nick: Oh, well, there's always next week for that.

Leah: [Laughing] This is from a long time ago.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: When I was thinking about the borrowing question, this has come into my- you know, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, and I think, "I could have handled that better," and sometimes, it's from 20 years ago, sometimes, it's from five years ago. This question reminded me of a thing that I've woken up and thought, "I think I handled that wrong," and I'm going to admit to it, and I already feel ashamed. So, I want you to know that.

Nick: Oh! I'm excited now.

Leah: College.

Nick: Oh, I mean, who among us has not done something in college that we regret?

Leah: College ... I went to college when I was 17. I was a mess. I was a wild child ... I'm a whole new lady ... But there was this young man in my dorm. I don't remember his name, but I could draw a picture of his face.

Nick: Let's, uh, say ... Well, you went to school in Montreal.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: So, his name was Pierre.

Leah: Okay, so Pierre and I had the same taste in music. We both liked these sort of loudbands, and we liked live recordings. He had a live recording of this band that we both really enjoyed. He came and found me, and he's like, "Hey, I got this very expensive live recording. Do you wanna borrow it and make a copy?"

Nick: Mm.

Leah: I was like, "Yes! Thank you so much!" So, this is CDs and tapes. I made a tape of the CD.

Nick: Wow.

Leah: And then I returned it.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Then, I was out somewhere, and he came up to me, and he started yelling. He was like, "You scratched my CD! You scratched my CD!" I was so just bent on proving that I didn't do it. I was like, "We'll go back. We'll listen to the tape that I made of it because I just taped it, and then I put it right back, and then I gave it to you." I felt like he was trying to set me up or something, but then I ... I think, looking back, maybe something happened that I wasn't aware of. I could have been kinder. I didn't have to just prove that I was right. He lent me something, and then he felt sad about it. We could have come to a better conclusion. That is my repent.

Nick: You wish you had apologized as opposed to having gotten defensive?

Leah: Yeah, and just being like, "I couldn't have done it." I guess I could have done it.

Nick: Okay, right. Yeah, that would have been a more adult response, yes.

Leah: Yeah, I wish that I had handled that better.

Nick: Okay. Is there anything we can do today to try and make amends, or has this moment passed?

Leah: [Giggling] I don't know what his name is ... It's really past, and I would just like to say I'm sorry.

Nick: Okay. Well, I feel like, hopefully, you feel a lightness- a weight has been lifted.

Leah: You know, you look back, and you're like, "I could have been so much better!"

Nick: But you've been keeping a scratched-CD burden for the past X number of years? I mean, I did a lot worse in college than that, let me tell you.

Leah: I'm sure I did a lot worse, but I'm ...

Nick: [Laughing]

Leah: -this is the one I'm gonna hang my hat on.

Nick: That's the only one you can say on this show.

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: Okay, I gotcha. So, for me, I would like to vent, although, maybe to repent? I'm not sure. So, I was in a Lyft, recently. I got in the Lyft, and we were driving away, and the driver asks, "Can I ask you a question?" And it's like-

Leah: [Large sigh]

Nick: [Ugh] ... I was like, "Sure." `He says, "Why do passengers slam doors?" I'm thinking, "Okay ... This is not a general question." Clearly, I just slammed the door, I guess. Clearly, I have just done something that has annoyed him, and this is the way he wants to handle it. Now, I'm replaying me getting in the car. I definitely don't think I slammed the door. I think I did it the normal way; the normal - I sit down, and I kind of pull it towards you, but it was not an aggressive slam by any stretch ... But, okay, that's his truth - that I slammed it. Okay, fine. So, now, I'm on the spot to somehow explain why all passengers, globally, why we do this thing. Now, it's my responsibility to defend passengers. First, I just said, "Oh, I'm so sorry, did I slam the door? I didn't mean to." I started right out of the gate with that. He was like, "Yeah, you did."

Leah: [Screams] Oh!

Nick: [Laughing] It was like, "Okay, I'm glad we cleared the air on that." So, now, he wants to know, though, why we do it; why we passengers slam doors. What do you say to that? How do you explain door-slamming? I mean, obviously, if you're mad.

Leah: Also, I don't think you were really door-slamming.

Nick: I really don't think I was. Yeah. I mean, the only thing I can think of is that this was a very sort of tinny car and that, you know, it wasn't necessarily the same weight of a New York City taxi/Crown-Vic door that maybe I'm used to - even though I think the Crown Vic has long since been retired - but, let me tell you, if I wanted to slam the door, you are gonna know I slammed the door.

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: The chassis of your car will rock back and forth. So, this was definitely not that. I basically explained, "Oh, sometimes we just don't realize we're doing it. It's absent-minded, or we're just trying to get in the car very quickly so that we can get on our way." I'm trying to make light of it. Then, he goes on to talk about how annoying and terrible this is. I'm like, "Okay, I'm sorry I did something. I have apologized for this." I feel like this is not how we would want to handle this. So, I think he handled it poorly. I think what he should have done was said nothing because it's not like we have an ongoing relationship, where I'm going to be slamming the door all the time. There's only one more opportunity for me to slam the door, and it's when I leave. I think, as the ride was ending, he could have said, "Thank you so much, get out carefully and try not slamming the door," or something like that.

Leah: Right.

Nick: You could have given me a warning on the way out. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I probably didn't get five stars for that ride. So, I think it's a vent.

Leah: Yeah, I think it's a vent because-

Nick: I really don't feel like I have anything to apologize for.

Leah: I know you! You didn't randomly slam a door!

Nick: Yeah, it's not my style.

Leah: Also, people have to shut the door! It has to be pulled hard enough that it closes!

Nick: Well, and also, the number of times I've been in a car, where it hasn't closed all the way, and they're like, "Oh, you've gotta pull harder." Usually, that's the problem, like it's not closed all the way.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: I don't know ... You can't win, but-

Leah: You can't win.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: As soon as he started with, "Can I ask you a question?" Ugh!

Nick: That's the worst.

Leah: The worst!

Nick: Ugh! [Giggling]

[Musical Interlude]

Nick: So, Leah, what have we learned?

Leah: I learned that your favorite morning show is "Guttentag in Deutschland." [Giggling]

Nick: "Guten Morgen Deutschland!" Yes. Ya!

Leah: "Guten Morgen Deutschland."

Nick: Yeah. It's a classic! Check it out. I learned that sometimes, you just gotta listen to Savage Garden.

Leah: [Laughing] You do!

Nick: Sometimes, you just gotta. Yeah.

Leah: You really do!

Nick: Well, thank you, Leah.

Leah: Thank you, Nick.

Nick: Thanks to you out there for listening. If I had your address, I'd send you a handwritten note on my custom stationery, and it would be inserted into the envelope the correct way.

Leah: [Singing] I'm so excited for my note!

Nick: [Singing] Check your P.O. box! For you out there, your homework is to consider becoming a member on Patreon. You can support our show, and that would be very nice. We would like that very much!

Leah: We have little videos!

Nick: Yeah, we do lots of little cute things for our Patreon members! So, go to our website. You can learn more about that, and we'll see you next time!

Leah: Bye!

Nick: Bye!

[Instrumental Theme Song]

Nick: All right, Leah, it's time for Cordials of Kindness, the part of the show which you make us do, and I only give you 30 seconds to say nice things. Ready, set, go!

Leah: There's this group around here, called the Mahoosuc Land Trust-

Nick: The what-what?!

Leah: Muh-HOO-six ... (Mahoosuc), which is mountains in this area.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: The land trust ... People leave their land for the community to make trails. There's a lot of volunteers. In this area, people have made a pollination garden, and it's to get butterflies and bees. There's been a lot of volunteers, and I've been going every day walking through it, and it's just so gorgeous! I'm grateful for people who keep the land beautiful and share it with people.

[Buzzer Sound]

Nick: Aww. That's very nice. For me, I would like to say thank you to you for a care package I recently received.

Leah: Oh!

Nick: Our Patreon members know all about this. There is this candy that's only in Maine, called the Needham, and it is potato-based, inexplicably, and it's also coconut, and it's covered in chocolate. Leah has sent me a whole bucket of Needhams. So, I've been eating them, and they're delicious. That is what the thank you note I have sent her is all about. I want to say thank you for the Needhams because I love a good regional candy, and they are delicious. So, thank you!

Leah: Oh, my pleasure!

[Buzzer Sound]