Dec. 16, 2019

Using Chopsticks in a Thai Restaurant, Being Prompt, Giving People Personal Space, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle using chopsticks in a Thai restaurant, being prompt, asking people to "watch your stuff" at a café or airport, queuing properly at a supermarket, asking for more bread at a restaurant, honking at cars as soon as the light turns green, giving people personal space when dining, asking people to remember your name, and much more. Please subscribe! (We'd write you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)

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  • AMUSE-BOUCHE: Using chopsticks in a Thai restaurant
  • A QUESTION OF ETIQUETTE: The importance of being on time
  • QUESTIONS FROM THE WILDERNESS: What do you say when people ask you to watch their stuff at a café or airport? What is the etiquette when a new queue opens up at supermarket? Is it OK to ask for more bread at a restaurant? When a light turns green and the person in front of you doesn't go, how long should you wait before you honk?
  • VENT OR REPENT: Personal space when dining out, asking people if they remember your name
  • CORDIALS OF KINDNESS: Nice fan mail, civilized behavior on an airplane




Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian


[Musical Introduction]

Nick: Do you always ask for chopsticks in a Thai restaurant? Do you think that the party starts when you get there? Do you ask strangers to watch your stuff? 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: We're in New York today. Let's just get right down to it with our amuse-bouche.

Leah: [Singing] Amuse-bouche!

Nick: Ooh! Like that!

Leah: Oh, thank you!

Nick: So, today I want to go to Thailand.

Leah: All right!

Nick: So, you're in a Thai restaurant …

Leah: I am.

Nick: Do you ask for chopsticks?

Leah: If I'm getting noodles.

Nick: Ooh! Somebody knows something!

Leah: I’m having a pad Thai, or a pad see ew.

Nick: Okay! All right! Color me impressed! Yes, in Thailand, these are not really chopstick people. They use utensils. They're really mostly spoon people, so you would not automatically ask for chopsticks if you were going to go have Thai food.
The history on this is a little murky. Most stories said that there was a Thai King Rama V, if you will. He did some traveling in the late 19th century. He went to Singapore; he went to Europe. He was very impressed by, I guess, everybody's eating habits, and he sort of brought this back to Thailand. When you’re a Thai king, and you’re like, “We’re using forks and spoons,” people are like, “We’re going to use that. You're the king. No problem.” So, people in Thailand are really fork-and-spoon people.

They use it in a slightly different way than what we do. In a Thai restaurant, you would hold the spoon in your right hand, and you would hold the fork in your left hand, and you would use the fork to sort of scoop food into the spoon and then, you’d eat with the spoon. You move the food that way. If you are having a noodle dish, as you've mentioned, those come from China; chopsticks … No problem because it is difficult to eat pad Thai with a spoon, so-

Leah: I do love the chopsticks.

Nick: You can use chopsticks then, but if you're just having a Massaman curry, use a spoon, use a fork; don’t use chopsticks for that.

Leah: I love the idea of a move with the fork into the spoon. That sounds fun!

Nick: Mm-hmm. That is proper. That is proper Thai table manners. So, that's how it goes.

Leah: Fantastic.

[Musical Interlude]

Nick: And we're back, and now it's time for a question of etiquette.

Leah: Oh!

Nick: Let's go deep.

Leah: Let’s do it.

Nick: I want to talk about being on time.

Leah: Big one.

Nick: I am known, famously, for always being on time, which I'm sure sounds so shocking to our audience. But the reason why I'm always on time is, like most New Yorkers, I have a fear of dying in my apartment alone and not being found.

Leah: Oh!

Nick: So, if I'm always on time to everything, if I'm ever late, you'll know something is wrong, and you will come and check on me.

Leah: I will come and check on you.

Nick: So, if I'm like a minute late, I might be dead. Follow up!

Leah: Right.

Nick: That's why I'm always on time. But I think being on time is just super-important, when it comes to etiquette, when it comes to everything. Few things bother me more than people that are late.

Leah: Yeah, I don't mind when people are late once in a while; I mind people who are late chronically-

Nick: Sure.

Leah: -and give me lame-o excuses.

Nick: Yeah because I think … It's an etiquette crime because it affects other people.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: Etiquette crimes that don't affect other people? Not really crimes, or mild crimes. If you eat soup the wrong way, and you spill it on yourself - has not really impacted my life.

Leah: Right.

Nick: Not really a problem. Keeping me waiting - that's a problem.

Leah: I recently noticed, and I have a theory about it …

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I hate to … I think men do it more-

Nick: Okay.

Leah: -but I have had a woman do it to me. I should know that you're going to be late when you know that you're going to be late.

Nick: Oh, sure. This transcends the sexes.

Leah: Yeah, but I mean I have men do it more to me than women-

Nick: Okay.

Leah: -where we're going to a gig together, and I knew they knew they were going to be late. There's no way they just found out they were going to be this late.

Nick: Right.

Leah: I feel, and maybe this is just me making it up, that they think that I, as a woman, am going to scold them or get angry, so they're trying to push it off.

Nick: Oh …

Leah: Whereas I'm not. I'm an adult. You could have something come up. I just need to know when you knew, so then I can reschedule, myself.

Nick: You think they're delaying letting you know because they don't it to be conflict.

Leah: They don't want to be, quote, unquote … I've had a guy say to me, “I don’t wanna get yelled at,” and I was like, “I'm gonna yell at you? Am I your mom?”

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: What is this weird relationship [crosstalk]

Nick: That's some weird thing that he's got going on.

Leah: I've had it happen with more than one man, which is why I'm bringing it up.

Nick: Interesting.

Leah: I am also not a yeller. I'm not here to decide your life's rules. You just need to let me know when you know, so I can continue on my path.

Nick: For me, I feel like when you're late, it is like stealing. You have stolen something from me. Time is money. You have stolen time from me that I cannot have back, and that feeling of theft is how I feel about it. That visceral … Like if I stole your phone.

Leah: Right.

Nick: That feeling of violation, that's how I feel when someone is late. So, I definitely have a very strong visceral reaction-

Leah: No, I … I’m actually feeling it in the air. I don't mind … Also, I'm chronically early, because I'm so afraid of being late because the trains go down so much. New York isn't a place where you can be like, “This is always going to take this amount of time …”

Nick: Right.

Leah: Because it's not- that's not how it happens.

Nick: No.

Leah: Like today, I felt I perhaps might run a little over. I told you as soon as I realized it.

Nick: Plenty of heads up.

Leah: I don't mind if people are meeting up with a friend, and they're on a train, and their train is stuck, and they're like, “Hey, I'm probably gonna be 10 to 15.” No problem. I totally understand. But if every time we meet up, you're 10 to 15, then you're not leaving on time.

Nick: Right. So, I think some people who are always late don't understand what it does to other people or how it affects them. I think what it says to other people is that you don't have your life together; that you're selfish; that your time is more valuable than other people's time; that, “I'm not a functional adult;” that you're not worth the effort. It says all of these horrible things, none of which are good. How this affects you, if you want to just be selfish about it, is this holds you back at work; this holds you back in relationships. So, being late will lead to you dying single, and penniless, and jobless.

Leah: Nick is really invested in this topic.

Nick: Yes. The entire point of this entire podcast was to get to this segment.

Leah: I really feel like-

Nick: Yes.

Leah: -this is really the in, in, deep inside of you.

Nick: Yeah, no, this cuts real deep because also, those people who are like, “Oh, I'm always late,” like somehow announcing it excuses it … No. No. You're just always late. It's not charming.

Leah: Yeah. You're like, “Oh, you mean you're always rude?”

Nick: Yeah, and fashionably late is not actually a thing. That's not a thing. Yeah, there's no such thing.

Leah: I don't want to be the first person at the party.

Nick: There are certain occasions where timing matters. But if you arrive at a 7:00 cocktail party at 7:15, you are not considered late.
Leah: Right. That's a different thing.

Nick: As a society, we have agreed that that is still considered on time. If we had a 7:00 meeting and you show up at 7:15, you are late.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: Right. So, context is definitely key. How do you be on time? Here are some tips, maybe … Maybe people don't know how to be on time.

Leah: Leave early.

Nick: Yeah. Give yourself enough time. But even before that, when you agree to the thing, look to see if this is feasible for your life.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: Look at your calendar. Can I get to the thing I’m at before that to the thing?

Leah: Right.

Nick: Is this even possible? If I'm in Los Angeles, can I get to Los Feliz from Santa Monica during rush hour in 15 minutes? No. So, don't take that appointment. Don't agree to be there at a certain time. There's a certain just reality that you need to accept when you’re scheduling.

Leah: Right. Also, I have friends that’ll say, “Hey, I'm just leaving.” I know they're not just leaving.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: Because multiple times they’ve said, “Just leaving …”

Nick: That’s Pulitzer-Prize fiction.

Leah: They're still home.

Nick: Yeah. Yeah.

Leah: And they're going to be … I'm already there. I'm on the way. If you are just leaving, you should’ve given me a heads up that I shouldn't leave either.

Nick: Because, also, “Just leaving,” isn’t, “I’m leaving …”

Leah: I’ve left.

Nick: Right.

Leah: I’m not on the way.

Nick: That's not, “I'm on the street.”

Leah: That's you’re still on the couch.

Nick: Yeah. So, if you're running late, we've already established - communicate this early. Texting after you're already late is not okay. I think, once you arrive, you want to offer an apology. If there was a late fee or there was something happening, you just cover it, no questions asked.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: I think you want to give an explanation, but not an excuse; like, “I am late because of this. I'm not excusing my behavior …”

Leah: I'm just letting you know.

Nick: “I'm just letting you know the reason,” briefly. Then, I think we want to then move on. Everyone just accepts this, and we move on. I don’t think we want to belabor the apology, or the explanation, or go on about it; I think we just move on with our lives.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: I think we want to make an effort to not do this again.

Leah: I wouldn't bring this up because I would assume that everybody knows this, but I recently had a person do it to me, and I was so shocked - I assumed no other human being would ever do it, but-

Nick: What are we talking about?

Leah: -I was doing this person a favor.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I said, “Well, if you want me to do this favor, I have to meet you at this time.”

Nick: Okay.

Leah: They were late.

Nick: You're doing them a favor-

Leah: Yep.

Nick: -and they were late.

Leah: Yep, and then, when they got there, they asked me if they could do something else really quick.

Nick: [Gasp] That's not okay.

Leah: So, I assume this isn't behavior that … But, no, if someone's doing something for you, you don't throw new things in there and then, also … I can’t even … I'm still in shock.

Nick: Relatedly-

Leah: I can't even speak, I'm so blown away.

Nick: Relatedly, I have had friends running late and then, they roll up with a fresh iced coffee in their hands.

Leah: Oh! This person had coffee!

Nick: Right. It was like, “I think that coffee is related to you being late. I think these are related things.”

Leah: I have said to someone … I’ll be just on time and I'll say, “Hey, I'm two minutes away. I have to get a coffee. I'm dragging. Can I get you a coffee?”

Nick: Okay, that’s a nice way to handle that.

Leah: But I'll know now … Sometimes, I know I need- if I have to … Sometimes, you just need that thing to do well at whatever the thing is.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: So, I'm now recognizing I’m going to be five minutes late but I, as an adult person, know that I need this. I am telling the person. I'm acknowledging that this is my error, and I'm also offering to pick them something up.

Nick: Right. I think that's a nice way to recover from that. Not to stroll up with a fresh iced coffee-

Leah: Just swing it around …

Nick: Like, “Oh, this is so good! Mm, iced coffee. Sorry I’m late.”

Leah: Yep. Oops!

Nick: Right, yeah, not okay. Finally, it is very important, when we're talking about promptness, is also to end things on time. So, if you were starting a meeting and the meeting should only be an hour, end at that hour. Conference calls, meetings, appointments, whatever it is – if you had an agreement that this thing is only going to take a certain amount of time, don't keep people over.

Leah: I agree, and in that same vein, if you ask a person to do something that is at a certain time and they say yes, then don't, the next day, be like, “Oh, since we're doing this, there's also these other things that are involved with this thing, and it's these other times.”

Nick: This does not feel hypothetical.

Leah: No, this feels pretty exact.

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: If you have a time thing you're asking somebody-

Nick: Right.

Leah: -give them all the facts of what the time is.

Nick: Yes. This feels unrelated to showing up on time, and because-

Leah: Well, you had mentioned closing on time.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: So, if you're going to mention closing on time, I'm going to also mention other time.

Nick: I see. Just time as a topic. Time, in general.

Leah: Should we now discuss ‘spring forward, fall back?’

Nick: Nope. We're out of time. Thank you, Leah.

Leah: Thank you, Nick.

[Musical Interlude]

Nick: And we're back. Now it's time to take some questions from the wilderness.

Leah: [Howling]

Nick: Oh, you're getting good at that!

Leah: Last time, I said, “Let's howl,” and Nick said, “Okay …”

Nick: Okay! You've been practicing.

Leah: And by “let's,” I meant I’m going to do it.

Nick: Yeah. By “let’s,” it’s you.

Leah: I can't believe I did that. I feel very brazen.

Nick: It’s going to be my new ringtone. Our first question is: “What do you do if a stranger asks you to, ‘Watch my stuff,’ at a cafe or an airport?”

Leah: I read this, and I had a panic attack.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: This happens so much!

Nick: I have had had this happen, yeah, yeah …

Leah: Also, those are two very different-

Nick: Very different circumstances-

Leah: -locations.

Nick: Yeah, I can't believe this is the same question.

Leah: Yeah because an airport is a security breach.

Nick: Okay. You feel like you might be watching a bomb?

Leah: Yeah, I mean, there is going to be an announcement of, “Are you watching any strangers’ things?” That's the announcement!

Nick: Yeah, true. Well, no, the announcement is, “Have you left your bags unattended?” It’s not, “Are you watching a stranger’s bag?”

Leah: I think … No, it says, “Are there unattended bags?”

Nick: Well, you're attending it.

Leah: Yeah-

Nick: So, it's not yours.

Leah: But it's … You don't know what's in it.

Nick: That's true, but I mean, if it's post-security … It’s already gone through security.

Leah: Maybe it did.

Nick: All right, well, let's focus on coffee first.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: I've been in coffee shops and, “You look trustworthy …”

Leah: Mm-hmm.

Nick: I guess I look trustworthy. I have had people say like, “Oh, would you just watch my laptop?”

Leah: Yeah, I'm always the person people ask.

Nick: You're the go-to? Yeah.

Leah: I say I have Maine face, which is people’s-

Nick: M-A-I-N-E.

Leah: M-A-I-N-E; where it’s people are like, “I’ll leave everything with her.”

Nick: Okay. First-born …

Leah: Yep.

Nick: They have to take a phone call. So, I guess this is fine. I can see why this makes people uncomfortable. I think this question-writer wants to know what can they say to get out of it?

Leah: Right.

Nick: So, I think you could say … If you want to be honest, be like, “Oh, I wouldn't feel comfortable.” I think you could say that; or you could make it up and be like, “Oh, I might need to dash before you get back. I'm waiting for a phone call,” and he could be like, “So I cannot be held responsible because I have to leave.” Then, they can find someone else to do this. That could be an option.

Leah: What happens is I'll go to a coffee shop to get work done and then maybe have to use the restroom. You don’t want to lose your seat.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: You also don't want to carry your laptop into the bathroom.

Nick: Right.

Leah: So, then, the only other option is to ask a stranger.

Nick: Have you ever asked a stranger to do this?

Leah: No. I feel like I'm putting somebody out.

Nick: I never want to do something where, if it goes bad, and someone's like, “Well, I could see that happening,” I never want that to be the thing.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: So, “Oh, my laptop got stolen at the coffee shop.” Well, yeah ...

Leah: You left it.

Nick: You left it. Of course that happened.

Leah: I mean, the thing is, if somebody leaves it with me, I'm going to guard it with my life, but I don't want that responsibility!

Nick: Right, and it is a lot of responsibility. At the airport, this definitely feels a little more provocative because it-

Leah: Yeah, I think you could just say, “I don’t feel comfortable.”

Nick: -is more of a security sort of situation. Yeah. But also, you made it this far; you already got this far with your bags. Is it hard for you to-

Leah: Just bring them with you.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: I don't feel like we've answered the question if it's okay to ask people.

Nick: I think it's always okay to ask if it's not with the expectation that they will say yes.

Leah: Right.

Nick: I think if you give them an out; so you make it okay; create a safe space for them to decline, then it's fine-

Leah: Right.

Nick: -because chances are, are they the only person there?

Leah: I can't imagine declining. This is the problem of my life.

Nick: Yeah, this is the problem of your life.

Leah: I just visualized a picture of everybody in the bathroom, and I'm watching 30 laptops.

Nick: That would be an amazing SNL sketch, but yeah … Our next question is about a supermarket. They write, “The other day I was waiting in line at the supermarket checkout when the cashier asked us to switch to a different queue because she was closing. It wasn't immediately apparent where I had to go, and the guy behind me in line end up getting there first. He turned around and said, “Sorry,” but with a smirk and started unloading his groceries. Obviously, this guy was a huge jerk, but more broadly, what is the etiquette when a new queue opens up? Do I have to actively alert the people in line in front of me? Is it okay to just go ahead and move if they don't react. What say you?”

Leah: What say you, Nick?

Nick: So, this guy's a jerk.

Leah: Not the writer.

Nick: Not the writer. No, no, no, no - our line-cutter.

Leah: I know you meant that. I just wanted to clarify.

Nick: Okay, we’ll clarify, yes. No, all of our listeners are wonderful people, and we're excited for them to take the time to write in-

Leah: And we love you!

Nick: We love you! So, I think the rule is you maintain everyone's line position, and you relocate the entire line, as it is, into the new checkout.

Leah: That would be the appropriate thing to do.

Nick: Yes. Well, the real appropriate thing to do is for the supermarket - if she knew she was closing soon - is to say to people, like, “Oh, no, no, I'm closing,” when a new person wanted to join the line.

Leah: Right.

Nick: Then she would take care of all the people that were already there and then, tranquility rules the kingdom.

Leah: Right. I think that we can assume, though, that this never happens, especially with the line relocating correctly. So, I think maybe we should discuss what happens-

Nick: In reality?

Leah: In real time.

Nick: I think what's problematic here-

Leah: Because we’re out there with wildlings!

Nick: I think-

Leah: People go crazy when this happens. It's like you'll never get out of the supermarket. You know what I mean? We're all still going to go through the line.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: People are- I see sweat break out!

Nick: Yeah. This is how parking lot fights happen.

Leah: Yes!

Nick: I think the crime here is the guy knew he was breaking the etiquette rules.

Leah: He knew! Of course he knew!

Nick: And he was not repentant about it, so that’s the crime.

Leah: Yeah! He's a mean, mean man!

Nick: Yeah. So, I guess this woman could have said, like, “Oh, I'm so sorry. I think I was in line in front of you.” She could've said that and try and cut in front of him; although maybe that's not feasible at this point. I guess I would just glare at him very hard; maybe mutter something under my breath like, “Oh, I guess you're in a hurry.”

Leah: I think what happens is people get pent up from seeing all these acts of disrespect happen and people knowing they're doing something rude to you and don't even acknowledge it. So, then you have it all sitting inside of you-

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: -and it needs to go somewhere.

Nick: It's a death of a thousand cuts.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Our next question: “Is it okay to ask for more bread at a restaurant?”

Leah: I’m going to assume yes?

Nick: Yeah, I think this is okay. Yeah, complimentary bread-

Leah: That’s why they give it to you.

Nick: Yeah. I think if you want more bread, you can ask for more bread.

Leah: For sure.

Nick: Now, I do have a friend that, he’ll-

Leah: Don’t take it home.

Nick: Don't take it home … Wouldn’t occur to me, but yeah.

Leah: Well, actually, I know people that take it home, and I don't have a problem with it, but I wouldn’t be like, “Can I get an extra basket so I can take it home?” But if you want to slide a piece out, and put it into your napkin, and dump it in your purse, have at it.

Nick: Um, we’re gonna table that, but we’ll get back to that-

Leah: Well, we're gonna under-the-table that and slip it into our bag.

Nick: Okay. Put a pin in that. I do have a friend that actually finds the whole bread thing a little awkward because there can be a dynamic with the waiter, where you're like- the bread might be something they charge for. So, you want to ask in such a way … Or like a sauce on the side, or some accouterment you're asking for that you're not sure whether or not there's a charge for it. Then, the waiters like, “Oh, happy to bring you this thing, but so you know, there's a $5 thing for this thing.”

I have a friend that doesn't like that interaction and can find that sometimes awkward, so their strategy is they always say, “Oh, may we order more bread?” May we “order” this thing on the side? The idea of saying, “I want to order more of this thing,” gives the waiter a signal, like, “If there's a charge, I'm cool with it, so we don't even have to talk about it. Just bring me the thing.”

Leah: Oh, okay. I, though, would think that if there was going to be a charge on the bread, I don't want it.

Nick: Okay, yeah, if you're concerned about a charge-

Leah: So, that's why I wouldn't say that.

Nick: There are restaurants … I was some place recently that charged $6 for bread.

Leah: Are you serious?

Nick: $6 … That's aggressive; even for New York City, that’s aggressive.

Leah: I've never been in a place where they charged for bread.

Nick: We ordered because we're like, “This must be-

Leah: THE bread!

Nick: -amazing bread!” It was two little pieces-

Leah: No.

Nick: of like brown bread …

Leah: No.

Nick: We’re like, “$6? Wow …”

Leah: I just didn't even know it was possible that people would charge you for bread.

Nick: In places where bread is a thing, yeah.

Leah: But if you offer me bread when I sit down … I guess it's they put it on the table. If you put it down-

Nick: If you put it down, that's totally … That's bread. Have at it. Eat it. Yeah. It's often like … There’s a Middle Eastern restaurant I know, where it has a delicious flatbread that comes with the meza-hummus thing-

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: If you want more of that, they do charge you for it. There is always this very weird interaction when you want to order more bread. They'll be like, “Oh, so you know it's another $10 …” So, you're like, “Okay, fine. Just bring more.” But if you just had automatically said, “Oh, may we order more bread?” We're all on the same page. Bring it. If there was no charge for this thing, normally, and you said “order” it, well, no problem. It won't be on your bill.

Leah: Right.

Nick: So, people-

Leah: But if something I think is free and there's a charge, I want to know.

Nick: Yes. A restaurant should disclose something that is something they're charging you for, which feels unusual.

Leah: Yeah, it does feel very unusual.

Nick: Diners do get unhappy when something shows up on their bill, which they were not expecting.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Right. Our last question is: “When a light turns green, and the person in front of you doesn't go, how long should you wait before you honk?

Leah: Give them a second-

Nick: Okay.

Leah: -to see the light. Then, some people just need to like … Then gas and go.

Nick: Okay. This was Leah attempting to drive a manual-transmission vehicle.

Leah: You know what I mean? You didn’t see … I’m like whatever you're doing with your hands and then gas and go.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: Some people in New York, the light changes, and as it's changing, the person behind you, which is honking - give them a second!

Nick: Right. I actually watched a bunch of YouTube videos of traffic lights because it's cold out; I didn't want to actually go outside and look at traffic lights … I watched the traffic light videos, and I wanted to see, at what point did I feel the impulse, at a green light, to honk? Then, I had a stopwatch. This is what I do for you people!

Leah: This is incredible.

Nick: This is what I do for you people out there. I'm watching YouTube videos. What it has done to my algorithm, oh, my God! So, at three seconds, I wanted to honk; at five, it felt very long.

Leah: Oh, five is long.

Nick: At 10 seconds, it was like, “What are we doing?”

Leah: At 10 seconds, you have assume the person in front of you is having an emergency situation.

Nick: So, five seconds felt like a long time, where I think you're totally within the bounds of etiquette.

Leah: I also think there's differences in honking. Sometimes, you're honking just to let people know- heads up.

Nick: Right.

Leah: So, it's like a gentle honk … You know what I mean? “Hey, did you see this?”

Nick: Right.

Leah: You give that one first. You don't lay on your horn!

Nick: Right. Another way to think about this is if you have honked at this person and then you both end up at the same barbecue, and now we have to see each other all afternoon, how much time would you want to wait before you honked at this person?

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Whatever that amount of time is, that's the amount of time.

Leah: Because sometimes when people are driving, people will honk just to make sure somebody saw something, and it's not an aggressive honk.

Nick: Right. All right, so it's all about tone.

Leah: Yeah. Watch your tone- your honk tone.

Nick: Mm-hmm. Good advice. We've got good advice for you, maybe … I don't know? Send it to us. We'll give it our shot.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Send it to us at our website – – or you can send us a text message or leave us a voicemail -- (267) CALL-RBW.

Leah: Whoop-whoop!

[Musical Interlude]

Nick: We're back, and now is the part of the show where we play a game we like to call Vent or Repent.

Leah: Whoo!

Nick: This is our opportunity to vent about some bad etiquette thing that's happened to us, or we can repent about some etiquette faux pas we've committed. So, Leah, would you like to vent or repent?

Leah: I’m gonna vent, but I feel like I always go first, so I just wanted to give you the opportunity to go first if you would like to.

Nick: That’s not true, but I'd be delighted to go first.

Leah: Okay.

Nick: So, I'm going to vent. Surprise … This is about my favorite place I go on the weekends for avocado toast and other delightful things. There's always a long line. It's very popular place. I usually go right after the gym, so I'm solo, table for one, and I sit at the counter in the window. Great. So, I'm always in the window, and it's always a long line outside. People waiting for tables are acting like orphans from Oliver, and they are at the glass staring at my food.

Leah: No!

Nick: Four inches away.

Leah: No …

Nick: So close that they are steaming up the window.

Leah: No!

Nick: They are staring at me trying to eat my avocado toast in peace, and it's very uncomfortable. Talk about boundaries! I guess they think the glass somehow makes a difference?

Leah: You’re like, “I can see you!”

Nick: “You're four inches away!” They are steaming up the glass. You have to be very close to glass, and the counter is right at the glass, so the edge of my toast is probably three inches from the glass, and now they are two inches from the glass, so there’s only five inches between your face and my avocado toast!

Leah: That's w-wild!

Nick: And you can’t really shoo them away.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: You can't be like, “Move!” Sometimes, I try and create a little barricade with an extra menu-

Leah: You put up a book.

Nick: Right! But they're looking at your entree, like, “Oh, that looks good!”

Leah: Right.

Nick: It's like, “I'm a person-

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: - who's trying to eat this thing …”

Leah: It's so weird.

Nick: Yeah, it's very weird. I don't like it. Don't do that! Just personal space … It just ticks off a lot of boxes.

Leah: Yeah!

Nick: So, that’s my vent-

Leah: Just don’t look at people- don’t lean in on people's food through a window!

Nick: No! Don't do that! Yeah, it’s very weird.

Leah: Oh, my goodness!

Nick: All right, let's hear it, Leah.

Leah: Okay, we've touched on this in another episode. I just …Unbelievable!

Nick: Okay, we have not solved this problem.

Leah: No, we have, but I just want to kick it back home. This happened during- at a comedy show, but I can imagine it happens … Right when you get off stage, you're still in your head.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: I assume that people have this … When you're in your head-

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: Setting the example, I was in my head. I’d just come off stage; it was a big crowd. This man walked up to me who I knew I knew, but I even wasn't there yet. I'm still in my brain. I'm walking. I'm at work.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: But even if I wasn't, this still wouldn’t have been appropriate.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: He says, “Hey, Leah, great to see you … Something-something-something that's irrelevant here.” Then, I say, “Oh, thanks so much!” Then I keep going because I'm not where I should be stopping. Then he gets my attention, and he goes, “What's my name?”

Nick: [Gasps]

Leah: “Say my name.”

Nick: Um …

Leah: Can you believe it?

Nick: What? I … I have some follow ups …

Leah: Obviously, he felt insecure that I didn't know his name, and he thought maybe this would-

Nick: Read the room, buddy!

Leah: I … Because I’d just gotten off stage, and it was a high-pressure show, and I was under an amount of duress; I also felt like that was very-

Nick: It’s accusatory.

Leah: It’s accusatory. You're trying to shame me …

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: It also felt slightly misogynist. I can't imagine that he would say to a man, “Say my name.”

Nick: Yeah because he wouldn't.

Leah: I lost my temper and … Not in a bad way, but just for me, I usually just go along with whatever, because whatever, and it doesn't matter. But I did something physically that was enough of a signal for another female comic who was on the show-

Nick: Is this a vent or a repent coming?

Leah: No, this is a vent.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I'm not at all sorry for what I did. She came over and stood next to me because she noticed that I threw my hand up, and I was like, “Whatever you're doing right now-

Nick: Shut it down.

Leah: -is inappropriate, and you will not speak to me this way.”

Nick: Wow!

Leah: Then he goes, “Can we take a picture?”

Nick: [Gasps]

Leah: And I go, “No, we can't!”

Nick: You have lost the privilege of taking a picture with Leah Bonnema!

Leah: I go, “I don't need you to try to make me …” This was later because then he felt … I was like … I'm not gonna explain to you, now that I know who you are, “You just caught me in a bad place,” because you don't deserve that …. But I just … “Say my name?”

Nick: Say my name!

Leah: Is this a repent? No! I did feel guilty for a second, but then I was like, no, he's banking on me feeling guilty.

Nick: Yeah, and what is this about?

Leah: Unbelievable!

Nick: Did you know his name, though?

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I know who it is.

Nick: Okay. Wow!

Leah: I was totally polite; I was like, “Thank you so much!” Then I was like, “I'm in the middle of something …”

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: But I've never … I just- my hand just came up just because I was like, “Boundary!”

Nick: Yeah, physical boundary!

Leah: “You will not speak to me …” and I felt good that I said that. I wasn't just like- didn't say … But I was like, “No!”

Nick: So-

Leah: “Whatever this is, no!”

Nick: Yeah. Whatever game you want to play, not playing it.

Leah: Say my name? Can you imagine?

Nick: Yeah. People like putting people on the spot. I think some people find their sport in that, and they find it fun to make people squirm. Some people get off on that.

Leah: Yeah, and I don't want to engage in that at all.

Nick: Yes, that's considered rude.

Leah: That's why I was like, I'm not engaging.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: Now, even if I know your name, I'm not telling you because I'm not going to make it okay that you did that.

Nick: Yeah. I think setting that boundary - totally fine.

Leah: I never do that, so it felt wild!

Nick: Congratulations.

Leah: Thank you.

[Musical Interlude]

Nick: So, Leah, what have we learned?

Leah: I think that I was verified in something I knew because I know you- that inside, being late would be a crime against a person.

Nick: It's a high crime and misdemeanor. I'm calling The Hague, absolutely.

Leah: Yes. So, I knew that in my heart, but it has now been verified that I was correct - that that is at the top of the crime list.

Nick: One of my favorite things about you is that you are an on-time person.

Leah: Oh, thank you!

Nick: Of all your qualities, that is my number-one favorite.

Leah: Well, that is my Dad.

Nick: Okay. Well, thanks, Dad Bonnema!

Leah: Yeah, he's a very on-time man.

Nick: Okay, well, he's done good. And I learned that I will never ask you to remember my name. If you don't know it, no problem.

Leah: I also never will forget your name.

Nick: Yeah, I’m a little unforgettable, but if you did, no problem. 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 engraved stationery. Please subscribe to the show, and leave us a review, and follow us on Instagram. I make all those Instagrams myself.

Leah: They're so fun. Nick's so great at it!

Nick: Check out my handiwork! You can like us on Facebook, and you can visit our website Now, hopefully, nobody’ll ask, “Were you raised by wolves?” See you next time!

Leah: Bye!

Nick: Bye!

[Musical Interlude]

Nick: Okay, Leah, I'm getting out my stopwatch. We have 30 seconds to say nice things. Ready, set, go!

Leah: I've had a bunch of people really reach out to me about my Colbert set and share it or send me a nice email, or a text, or a voicemail, and it has meant, honestly, the world to me how kind people have been about it. It's really filled my heart, and I really appreciate it more than I think people know. So, it's been very wonderful, and I appreciate that kindness.

[Buzzer sound]

Nick: Okay, well, that's very nice, and you came in under the gun.

Leah: Nick’s only giving us 30 seconds, so I’m going to start his clock-

Nick: That is plenty, because if I gave you more time, and we solved all of society's problems, and there was no more bad etiquette, this show would cease to exist and then, what would we do?

Leah: I know, but we're just- we're just doing Thank-You’s.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: And so, go!

Nick: All right. So, I recently visited a friend in St. Louis this past weekend, and I was leaving the plane … We got back to Newark. Everybody waited for the person in front of them to get up out of their seat, put their coat on, get their bag out of the overhead bin, and proceed down the aisle. It was shocking, and civilized, and I was like, “What is happening here?”

Leah: Beautiful!

Nick: So, people of United Flight 4368 from St. Louis to Newark, I salute you!

[Buzzer sound]

Leah: Well done!