Sept. 20, 2021

Wearing Hats, Behaving on Boats, Remembering Song Lyrics, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle wearing hats, behaving on boats, remembering song lyrics, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we had your address.)

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle wearing hats, behaving on boats, remembering song lyrics, 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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  • QUESTIONS FROM THE WILDERNESS: Is it OK to wear flip-flops in public? I forgot to close out my open tab at a bar...what should I do? Is it OK to loudly broadcast someone's private garage keypad code?
  • VENT OR REPENT: Toto's "Africa", Penciling things in
  • CORDIALS OF KINDNESS: Thank you for the pecans, A nice review







Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian



Episode 106

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Nick: Do you wear baseball hats to funerals? Do you throw trash off boats? Do you not know how pencils work? 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: I can't guess!

Nick: So for today's amuse-bouche, I want to talk about hats, wearing hats. When do you take them off? When do you leave them on? Men versus women? Does anyone even still wear a hat? I'll drink to that. So Leah, that's a little “Company” reference for those keeping track at home.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So Leah, do you wear hats?

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: You do. Okay. So this might be of use to you. I don't know.

Leah: I found that these are always of use.

Nick: So the etiquette around hats has really evolved. And there are actually very few places where you have to wear a hat. Like, even the rules about hat wearing in a Catholic church, those went out the window in the '80s. But if you're going to wear a hat, there are still rules that you should be aware of. And Miss Manners actually makes a great point, which is that hats aren't just about comfort or fashion. She says that head coverings, quote, "Have always been fraught with symbolism, which is why many religions specify showing respect in terms of hats and veils, and why royalty is crowned. Cowboyhood and a devotion to baseball are not, for this purpose, deemed to be religious." So basically, cowboy hats, baseball hats, there's some rules around it.

Leah: [laughs] I think that some people consider them to be very religious, though.

Nick: [laughs] Right. Well, Miss Manners says no. But before you get into hat etiquette, just a quick note that health and safety always trumps etiquette. So do not take off your hard hat at a construction site for etiquette rules. No, keep the hat on. So without further ado: men. So for the purposes of etiquette, hats are generally seen as outerwear. Like, the hat's there to protect you from the elements. So if you're ever in a situation where you could leave your raincoat on, that's probably a signal that you could also leave your hat on. And if you're in a place where you would probably take a raincoat off, that's also a good signal that you should probably take your hat off. So you can wear your hat outside. You can wear it inside a store, inside a public building like a post office or a train station. You can wear it on public transportation, and you could do it in the lobbies of a lot of places or corridors. So, like, an office building corridor, apartment building or hotel. And this also includes elevators. Like, you're not gonna take your raincoat off in an elevator. You can also leave your hat on. Okay, great. But there is actually this old fussy etiquette rule that if you're in an elevator and a woman walks in, you should take your hat off. I believe we have moved on. I don't think we have to do this anymore. But this is on the books still.

Leah: That seems egregious.

Nick: Well, when you should take your hat off, yes. If you're doing an introduction to somebody, you're meeting somebody for the first time, it's nice to take your hat off. If you run into somebody, like, even on the street and they're of higher rank or status, you know, you're meeting the clergy or your boss, like, it's nice to take your hat off. You should definitely take your hat off in any private home or office. And whenever you're eating, you should take your hat off. And this also includes dining on a patio.

Leah: Oh, I was gonna ask.

Nick: You know, the etiquette greats have not weighed in on this specifically, as far as I can tell. Like, no one wants to go on the record, which is like, if you're dining outdoors, but it's still dining, should men keep their hat on? I think you would take your hat off. Yes.

Leah: Well also, women could be wearing a sunbonnet, you know?

Nick: Well, we're gonna get to women in a second.

Leah: Oh, this is just ...

Nick: Yeah, don't you worry. We're gonna get to women in a second. This is just men for now. But yes, whether or not men should take their hat off when they're eating, even if it's outdoors, you know, you probably should. Again, health and safety, you know? Some protection, very important. I'm wearing SPF 9000 right now. Like, I get it.

Leah: I was gonna say, "What if they're trying to protect their lovely skin from the sun's damage?"

Nick: Right. I'm just saying etiquette would prefer if you're ever eating—wherever that is—that you do not have a hat on. I don't make the rules. I'm just letting you know. And you should definitely not have a hat on at the office or anything related to a funeral. You should definitely remove your hat anything related to the flag. So the Pledge of Allegiance, if the flag is being raised or lowered. There's the national anthem. A flag is going by in a parade. In the theater, obviously, because it's also just super rude to the people behind you.

Nick: And when you remove your hat, it's nice to not, like, show the lining. So keep the hat sort of oriented towards your body in such a way that you're not, like, showing the lining. And if you're at a table, do not put your hat on the table. Put it on, like, an empty chair or, like, check your hat with the coat check. So that would be the advice there.

Nick: Now for women, etiquette makes the distinction between men and women. And then for women, there is a category called fashion hat.

Leah: Mm!

Nick: And then not fashion hat. And so what a fashion hat is, you know, who can say for sure? But it is definitely not a baseball cap. Everybody agrees that a baseball cap, not a fashion hat for the purposes of etiquette.

Leah: I mean ...

Nick: Sorry. You know, again, I'm not making the rules. And Miss Manners says that if the hat that you're wearing quote, "Goes with the sort of formal daytime clothes that are the female equivalent of the male suit and tie," so then that is a fashion hat, in which case you can wear a fashion hat during the day, pretty much anywhere indoors or out and while you're eating.

Leah: [laughs] I've seen My Fair Lady as well. They keep the hats on.

Nick: Well, yes. And that's a daytime thing at the races, in which case that's fine. And the idea behind that was that those fashion hats are pinned in or it's gonna mess up the whole hair.

Leah: Oh, yeah.

Nick: Like, that's why this is allowed. Right. And one thing though, if it's a daytime event and it's in your own home, you do not have a hat on because Miss Manners says this sends the signal that you had somewhere better to be—unlike your guests.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So if you're hosting in your own home, no. And you don't wear fashion hats at work, because you don't do that. And when things get very formal, though, for women, typically that's when we go towards fascinators and turbans and fancy combs. Like, that's not when we do hats.

Leah: Mm, mm, mm.

Nick: So there you are. So men or women, if it's not a fashion hat, pretty much indoors you probably should take it off. And if it's a fashion hat, women have more leniency. But still, there are places where you should not have it.

Leah: Okay!

Nick: Phew!

Leah: I feel like that's a good delineating line. I'm still stuck on the should people tip their hats in elevators.

Nick: Well, the old etiquette rule is that the hat is not even tipped, it's taken completely off.

Leah: Taken off. That's right. And then I was thinking maybe a tip would work. And then I thought maybe if one person has to tip, everybody should have to tip.

Nick: Well actually, there is an etiquette loophole with the elevator thing, which is if you are in an elevator and a woman comes on but your hands are full and it would not be practical to take off your hat or it's too crowded, then you're actually allowed to keep the hat on. So etiquette has gone very deep on the elevator hat situation. Yes, there's much more to say.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: This is just the tip of the hat.

Leah: Woo! I also—there are some very fancy ballcaps. I just want to say that.

Nick: Fancy ballcaps? Like bedazzled, and ...?

Leah: Yeah, like a flat brim that you match with your whole ensemble and, like, maybe it has—not that I specifically have this, but a bright floral pattern under the brim.

Nick: Mm-mmm.

Leah: Mm!

Nick: I mean, that is a perfectly valid point. And let's modernize this. Like, I don't necessarily agree with all these old rules. I'm just letting you know what they are. But it is true. I mean, if a hat is part of the look, it's part of the fashion, it's a head to toe thing, it was thought out, and if you took the hat away, it would destroy the rest of the sartorial story you're trying to tell.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: Like, if that is what is happening, then there is a world in which, okay, we keep the hat on, even if it's a baseball cap, regardless of the style of hat it is. I mean, I think it's similar to jeans. You know, denim. Like, denim can be dressy. You could wear denim out to a nicer, more formal event. I mean, I think you have to be careful with that, and I'm not giving people permission to wear jeans to a wedding. But there are times when jeans can be more than a casual fabric. So I think hats could also potentially fall in this category. I think the general principle that we want to keep in mind is that just hats in general have a lot of symbolism. And when we keep hats on or we take them off, it's showing respect or not respect. And so I think we want to be mindful that when we keep our hat on in certain situations, that can convey a lack of respect for what is happening.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: So, like, a fancy baseball cap at a funeral ...

Leah: I would never. I would never.

Nick: Right.

Leah: Let me just say that. This was more of, like, a party situation. I would never wear it at a celebration of, like, a wedding. I would never obviously wear it to a funeral. I wouldn't wear it in church. I wouldn't wear it ...

Nick: Right. So I think we want to just keep in mind that there's just a lot of symbolism, and that we are sending a signal. Because fashion is communication at the end of the day. It is unspoken communication about who we are and what we believe, and our values and all sorts of other things. There's a lot of messaging that happens with the things that we put on our bodies. And hats? Definitely no exception. So we just want to be mindful that we are sending the signal, and you just want to know, is that the signal I want to be sending?

Leah: Yes!

Nick: And if it is, then you know what? Have at it. Who am I to tell you no?

Leah: Have hat it.

Nick: [laughs] Boo! Hat pun.

Leah: [laughs] Wait 'til we get to the next segment. I just wrote down a whole list of puns.

Nick: [laughs] Can't wait.

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

Leah: Very deep. We're gonna float this right by ya.

Nick: [laughs] Oh, no. So for today's question of etiquette, I want to talk about boats.

Leah: Do you catch our adrift? [laughs]

Nick: [laughs] Oh!

Leah: I'll stop. I'll stop.

Nick: Oh. Oh. Don't make promises you can't keep, Leah. So for me, boats are like weekend houses. You don't want one, you just want friends with one.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So I have lots of friends with boats, which is great. You know, it's wonderful. And the only thing better than being on a boat is being invited back. And so I think it's very important to have very good boat manners as a boat guest.

Leah: I also have a much larger array of knowledge about kayaks and canoes, so probably not the boats we're about to discuss, but that's more in my wheelhouse, my boat house.

Nick: So, yes, there are lots of different types of boats. And so I think some things may not apply to your canoe, and some things may not apply, you know, to yachts. I don't know. But in general, what I'm picturing for this conversation is like, you have a friend that has a boat, and we're gonna go out on the lake. And so this is a boat that probably fits at least four people.

Leah: Okay.

Nick: You know, that size. And we're gonna spend a couple of hours in the water. And you've been invited on the boat. And we're gonna have a nice afternoon. I think that's what I'm picturing in my head for this.

Leah: Lovely, lovely.

Nick: And so I think the first thing before we even go on board is we need to bring something. We cannot arrive empty handed, because it's like showing up at someone's house. You don't arrive empty handed. So I think we've got to bring something. Good things to bring? Bag of ice, beverages for everybody, snacks, things that don't melt. So I don't think we want, like, Hershey kisses, but like, you know, brownies are good. But I think we have to bring something.

Leah: I think that's great. I also love the bag of ice. That's definitely gonna come in handy.

Nick: I mean, actually ice for almost anything. Like, if you have a friend having a party, you will be such a savior if you just bring a couple of pounds of ice. Like they don't need more wine, just ice. Yeah, always bring ice. And this is also not the time when you bring the classics of flowers, candles or chocolates. So we don't actually want that list for today.

Leah: None of those things are gonna make it through the day.

Nick: And then I think before we even get on board, do not invite people onto the boat without telling the captain. Like, don't just bring extra people.

Leah: No, that seems wild.

Nick: That apparently happens. If you ask boat owners about, like, boat etiquette, unexpected passengers is, like, a thing. Which blows my mind.

Leah: Yeah, because it's definitely a limited space situation.

Nick: Yeah. Well, also, it's rude just to, like, show up even if there was space.

Leah: It's definitely—it's definitely rude, but I mean, in this situation, they might not genuinely even fit. So it's like ...

Nick: Yeah, there might not be enough life jackets.

Leah: So what, are you gonna hang over the side? What are you thinking?

Nick: Although if you show up on my boat uninvited, I don't want to give you a life jacket.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So now we have arrived at the boat. And it is very important to ask for permission to get on the boat before you get on the boat. It's tradition, of course, but there are some boats that you could actually, like, capsize if you just, like, jump on and the captain wasn't ready for you. So, like, just wait. Be like, "Hey, can I come on board?" Or you could use a very traditional, like, "Permission to come on board?" And they'll be like, "Permission granted."

Leah: I love that. Also, it's great if you're a vampire, because you can't be a vampire until you're formally invited on. So ...

Nick: Oh, is that the vampire rule? Vampires have to be invited in places?

Leah: Well in houses, they have to be invited in. I don't know if you've seen The Lost Boys, but I've been going through every Los Angeles movie ever, and that's about vampires. And it's just a quintessential '80s movie. They have to be invited in. So I assume it would be the same for a boat.

Nick: Oh, so if you don't invite a vampire into your house, you're good? What a loophole!

Leah: It's a huge loophole.

Nick: Enormous! Yeah! I mean, why are we fighting vampires? We just go home and we don't answer the door.

Leah: [laughs] Yes! Yes!

Nick: I mean, how hard is that?

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: Anyway, back to asking for permission. It's actually maritime law that you're not allowed to board a vessel without permission, because otherwise we call that being a stowaway or a pirate. So you're probably not gonna go to The Hague if you, like, jump on your friend's dinghy without permission but, like, you should ask for permission first. And I actually don't know. I've never actually been on a cruise. I don't think people are asking for permission before they, like, get on board the Carnival Panorama, right? Like, if you go on a cruise, there is nobody at the top of the gangplank being like, "You have permission granted." Like, I don't think that's happening, is it? I don't think so.

Leah: I don't know, but I do hope that people are just for fun shouting out, "Permission to come aboard!" Because it is a lovely saying.

Nick: So now you have permission. Okay, great. The next big thing is you got to listen to your captain, right? The captain is the captain of the ship—literally. And they have rules. Some of them might just be very health and safety, like, got to be seated at this time, like, we're about to dock, like, please be seated. Some of them, you know, may be more capricious. Like, I have a friend who has a boat. It's on a lovely lake, great sound system. And he has a rule that you are not allowed to wave at other boats.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: You're not allowed to wave. And I was like, "Just explain why this is?" And he says, quote, "It empowers strangers to think that they now have a relationship with you. Then the next day, they're coming closer to the dock and now speaking to you. 'How are you?' And other such drivel. Then the next thing you know, they are reciting physical symptoms and the results of an MRI and attempting to show pictures of grandchildren. And then you are on a very slippery slope. All of this can be avoided by not waving."

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So that's his rule: there is no waving on his boat. If you want to be a passenger on his boat, that's the rule. So that's what you do. No waving.

Leah: I feel so stressed immediately because, like, what if you're in the middle of the lake, a family goes by, they wave, and then you just—you would just have to make a, like, a stoic face.

Nick: Mm-mm. No. No. Sit on your hands.

Leah: Aah! The tension!

Nick: No. Yep, yep, no waving. No waving out of the boat. But, you know, that's the rule.

Leah: That's the rule.

Nick: Now, shoes. Shoes? Very important topic, because what can happen on some boats is, like, you walked in from the parking lot and got on the boat and there's a pebble in your shoe and now you are walking on a teak deck, putting a scratch all over the boat. No one wants that. And also, a lot of shoes actually leave marks. Like, even "non-marking shoes," quote-unquote, like, can also leave marks. So a lot of the times you actually are probably barefoot on the boat depending on what it is. But whatever the footwear is, there will probably be instructions from your captain about what you're supposed to do or not do. So just know: shoes—it's a thing.

Leah: Just know: shoes—it's a thing.

Nick: Shoes. And don't throw trash overboard. Like, don't do that.

Leah: Oh, no!

Nick: This happens. I see this and this is, like, so disappointing.

Leah: No!

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: You see this?

Nick: I have seen people just, like, toss a can overboard. And you're like, "Oh." Yeah. No, it's—yeah. So you really shouldn't toss anything overboard, ideally. Like, just take it back to the dock. Like, we don't need your banana peels or peanut shells in the lake either. So just take it back to the dock.

Leah: Yeah, I feel so disheartened. I mean, I know people do this, but it's like, there are lovely animals and plant life living in the water.

Nick: Yes. Ecosystem.

Leah: It's an ecosystem.

Nick: Also, it's just rude to everybody else on the lake that now has to see your trash.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: That's just rude. Yeah. And also, like, you wouldn't just, like, leave trash in a park, would you? I mean, this person probably would, but you shouldn't.

Leah: You shouldn't.

Nick: No. So and for you? Kayaking and canoeing? Anything you want to add?

Leah: Well, usually you're—well, kayaking, you're by yourself, so it's—you know, you're giving yourself permission to come aboard.

Nick: And etiquette doesn't care what you do when you're alone.

Leah: Yeah. And then with canoeing, you obviously have to talk to the other people about getting aboard because you can tip each other.

Nick: Yes. Communication is key, for sure.

Leah: And if you're in the middle, if you're in the middle of the canoe, you have to be like, "I'm gonna move" if you need to move. So, you know, again, you could tip.

Nick: I've never canoeed.

Leah: Oh, no? It's lovely. It's very lovely. We'll go canoeing.

Nick: Oh, that sounds fun. Or a horrible idea. One way or another.

Leah: One way or another, it'll be an experience.

Nick: It will definitely be something we'll never forget. Okay, put a pin in that.

Leah: [laughs] A hatpin.

Nick: Oh.

Leah: Is there anywhere else you want to steer this conversation?

Nick: Leah, what did we say about puns?

Leah: I don't know.

Nick: Oh, one thing I do want to mention is don't get drunk. Like, no one wants to have you be the drunk person on their boat. So just, you know, it's hot sun, we're having a good time, a lot of beers happening. Like, that's all great. But just, you know, let's not.

Leah: Let's not.

Nick: Let's not get too drunk, yeah. Because also, just a safety reason, too. Like, it's probably not great to be drunk and then fall overboard. Like, that's probably not good if that's happening. So it's not a good idea for a lot of reasons. But let's just not.

Leah: Let's just not. And this is completely unrelated ...

Nick: Oh! Leah, tossing in something unrelated? Whoa! Hello, Ripley?

Leah: [laughs] You mentioned cruises earlier?

Nick: Right.

Leah: I haven't been on, like, a Carnival. I haven't been on a cruise like that. I love, like, deep from within myself, I love dolphin cruises.

Nick: Is that a company called Dolphin Cruises, or that's a cruise where we go see dolphins?

Leah: B.

Nick: Oh, okay.

Leah: I cannot—every time we go to Florida, I literally jump out of myself to be like, "Can we do the dolphin cruise?" I just—you know, it's usually a glass-bottomed boat.

Nick: Ah.

Leah: Sometimes you go around sunset, you go out there. I used to have this dream of when I retired from my illustrious comedy career—and then I'm obviously also a writer—but I would then perhaps own a dolphin cruise ship and I would take people out into the sunset and we would watch mommy dolphins jump out of the water with their baby dolphin right next to them. And you would think life is magic. I just can't get enough of it.

Nick: So you just want to have, like, a Lisa Frank binder come to life?

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: That's what you want. Okay.

Leah: Have you been on a dolphin cruise?

Nick: I have not, so I don't know what I'm missing. I feel like my enthusiasm is probably lower for this venue. I don't know.

Leah: Water mammals just knock my socks off. I'm gonna be honest.

Nick: Okay. I mean, we all have our things.

Leah: I love dolphin cruises. But, you know, that's not like a Carnival cruise. It's two hours.

Nick: Right. Yes, it's a very bite-sized nautical experience. So anything else you want to add?

Leah: I think we're ready to bow out of this conversation.

Nick: Wow. You've really outdone yourself.

Leah: [laughs]

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, "Is it OK to wear flip flops in public?"

Leah: I actually wrote next to this, "What's 'the public' that we're talking about?"

Nick: Oh, interesting distinction! And before we even get there, flip flops, I think, are also called thongs in some parts of the country or world.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: So I just want to make sure we're all on the same page about what we're talking about. It's a piece of foam with, like, a thing that comes up between, like, your first two toes. That's what this is.

Leah: And there is this weird place where flip flops, there's like a branch into almost a sandal where they put, like, fun things on them.

Nick: Mm-hmm. Like charms, yeah.

Leah: Mm-hmm.

Nick: Some decorative things, yeah. Yeah. I think for me, context is key, which, you know, it so often is. But I think for flip flops, yeah, I think in general, in a city—especially New York City—I think it's kind of a no. [laughs]

Leah: But that's also just for your own safety, I mean ...

Nick: Oh, yeah, that is—yeah, I mean, definitely have your tetanus up to date if you're gonna walk around New York City with flip flops.

Leah: I see people on the subway with flip flops, and I was like, "Are you gonna burn your feet when you get home?"

Nick: Oh, I mean, can you imagine how filthy? I mean, it is inconceivable. Sure. So yeah, don't do that in a city. Now, GQ Magazine? They say that it's beach, pool, shower. End of list.

Leah: Oh, wow. I would really broaden that.

Nick: Right? They're a little strict. And they even add, quote, "All restaurants, even the kind where you have to order at a counter and take your food to the table you select yourself? No flip flops." So that's really strict. They also added jury duty to their list, which actually that makes sense.

Leah: I don't think that—yeah, that one makes sense. Unless you want to get out of jury duty, then by all means.

Nick: Right? Yeah, wear those flip flops.

Leah: If I was, like, picking jurors and I saw flip flops, I'd be like, "We can't take this person."

Nick: Or, "That's our guy."

Leah: "That's our person." Yeah, it's true. They make a statement.

Nick: Yeah. No, that voir dire process is gonna be very interesting when there's flip flops involved.

Leah: I think Jimmy Buffett would be very upset that ...

Nick: Oh!

Leah: You go to a Jimmy Buffett restaurant? Wear those flip flops!

Nick: If you are at the Landshark Bar and Grill at the Margaritaville Beach Hotel in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, have at it.

Leah: Have at it!

Nick: Absolutely. If you actually aren't wearing flip flops, that actually feels wrong.

Leah: [laughs] It does.

Leah: But yeah, I mean, I think, yeah, if it's a beach town, it's during the day, you're on the boardwalk, if you're wearing a tank top, you know, I think this is all contextual. And I think anywhere where it would be appropriate to wear a tank top, we're probably in flip flop zone, right?

Leah: Definitely.

Nick: Right? So I think you're gonna wear flip flops, though, I think you want to be mindful of the condition of your feet. You want to take care of your feet, show a little pride in your feet. And I think we want to be mindful of not letting the flip flops fall off. Like, especially when you're eating, it's very easy to let them dangle, and now they've fallen off your feet, and now they're just on the floor. And now you actually are barefoot in this restaurant.

Leah: Which is so comfy.

Nick: So we don't really want that to happen. We want the fiction of footwear with you having the flip flop on your foot.

Leah: Or you can just make sure nobody sees you.

Nick: Well, etiquette doesn't care if you can't be seen. It was like a Zen koan. Yes. Can you wear flip flops if no one can see?

Leah: Just tuck those feet under. Nobody knows.

Nick: So I think that's the answer there. I think it's context. And just don't do it in New York City.

Leah: Yeah. And that's just for you.

Nick: [laughs] Right. Well, it's for all of us. So our next question is, quote, "I feel the need to repent for my actions immediately. And this is the first place that came to mind. Tonight was one of my first nights out with some coworkers, and I have just realized that I forgot to close out my open tab at the bar and restaurant we were just at. I was distracted by my friends leaving in a hurry and scurried to leave with them so as to not be awkward. But it gets worse. We are all in the service industry together, and I brought lots of cash to leave for tips exactly for this reason. I am now one of those customers that don't know how to treat service people with gratitude, and now I feel the need to crawl into a hole promptly. I tried calling the bar to ask if I could leave a tip on my card over the phone, but there was no answer. I am now across town, but I feel the need to drive back another day and leave money. Is that bananas? I realize that may not end up in the hands of the people who actually served me, but it is all I can think of to right these wrongs. I repent deeply."

Leah: I feel this person. It happens.

Nick: It definitely happens, and I appreciate that you feel bad about it. I think that's a nice thing that is happening. And I appreciate that you want to try and make things right. So I think we're at a great start. But yeah, you have to tip. We don't live in a world in which we're just like, "Well, they didn't pick up their phone. So that's the end of that."

Leah: Or I get the idea they didn't even pay their whole bill. They just left the credit card there.

Nick: Yeah. No, they just left the tab open. That was it.

Leah: Yeah. Obviously I think the people working there realize that you got disheveled.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I don't know what happens in a restaurant when this happens, do they just close out the tab with no tip? Like, how does the restaurant handle this at the end of the night?

Leah: I've had situations where I left the card, and then we just had to wait until the person called in for it.

Nick: Oh, they didn't close out your tab, they just left it open?

Leah: I feel like that maybe it's different now, but I feel like I wasn't running it without a signature or permission for signature.

Nick: I see. And also, I mean, they have your card, so I guess you could cancel the card and just have them send you a new one but, like, you should go back to this place to get your card, at least.

Leah: But I do love that this person is trying to fix it. And also at a certain point it does happen.

Nick: Yes.

Leah: And you could just think, "Oh, I did this. I'm gonna fix it."

Nick: And mistakes happen in etiquette. Like, that's okay. It's not the crime, it's the cover up. So something has happened. Okay, fine. What do we do about it? So I think if you want to make sure the money goes to the people that served you, I think we can figure that out. There's probably a name on your tab. And if you really wanted, you could talk to the manager and be like, "Here's the tip. Who was working that night?" You know, if it's a bunch of people. Like, you could work that out with the manager. They have the schedule.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Yeah. So, yes. Do you need to go back that night? I mean, that would be ideal but, like, as long as you fix this the next day, yeah.

Leah: I think you have a few day period if nobody's picking up the phone. You just got to call. They have your card, you're gonna figure it out.

Nick: Yes. Yeah, I think it just has to be figured out sooner than later. I don't think we just, like, walk away from this.

Leah: I experience this kind of feeling where I haven't been carrying cash since we stopped ...

Nick: Carrying cash?

Leah: Since everything—yes. And so I've been in a few situations where it had to be cash.

Nick: Hmm.

Leah: And I felt mortified.

Nick: Oh, that you're just like, "Oh, I don't know how to pay for this."

Leah: I don't even know what cash is anymore. So I just immediately am like, "Do you have Venmo? Can I tip you on Venmo?"

Nick: Right. Right. Yeah, some other electronic payment method. Sure.

Leah: But I've laid awake at night and thought about it. So that's moving forward what I'm gonna do if people don't have cash and you're like, "Oh, I want to tip," and they're, "Oh, we don't take cards." From now on I just say, "Oh, do you have a personal Venmo? I'm happy to tip you on your Venmo."

Nick: Yes. And I do think because cash is becoming increasingly rare, that people who expect cash tips do need to sort of accommodate those who are no longer carrying cash but still want to participate in the tipping culture.

Leah: I'm like, "Do you have some sort of a barter system that I could do with you? Can I go run an errand for you?" [laughs]

Nick: Right. Yes. I can bake. I'll do a private show for you. I'll do your outgoing voicemail message. Sure. Our next question is, quote, "Am I being unreasonable asking my family to keep our garage keypad code private? Today, a family member asked if they should use the keypad to get into the house. Okay so far. Then they say the code out loud in front of others to be sure they've got the numbers right. So I changed the code. Who was raised by wolves in this situation?"

Leah: I look at my notes. I wrote down this long ...

Nick: Really, I have not much to say on this one. What do you got?

Leah: No, that's why I was like, maybe you should go first, because mine's very emotional. Mine's an emotional response.

Nick: What? About a garage code? Leah Bonnema!

Leah: It's not about the garage code. It's the difference between what's important to us and what's important to other people is not always the same, but that everybody can mean well and we can all have our needs met.

Nick: So the colder, more objective answer is that, yeah, a garage code is like a PIN to your bank account. And so it's also like keys to your house. Like, these are private things that we just don't give out to anybody. So yeah, it is rude to broadcast the code to strangers. Yeah, I think in general that is what is the answer.

Leah: Yes, I definitely wouldn't broadcast somebody else's code out loud.

Nick: Yes.

Leah: And I definitely would change it after it was broadcast out loud.

Nick: Agreed.

Leah: Because that's also the way my brain works. I think it's possible that this person in the situation didn't think about it.

Nick: No.

Leah: You can change the code and then just say to them, "Hey, I obviously don't want other people to say this code, so keep it to your—please don't say it out loud."

Nick: Yes. I don't think this was a malicious act. I think this was just careless.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Yes. I mean, the consequences are the same, but yes, I don't think this was deliberate.

Leah: And it's also possible that this person comes from a place, like a more rural area where people are just leaving—so they hadn't thought about it before. And so you can be like, "Oh, this is a—"it might be a moment to step in and explain, “It is like a PIN number. Keep it on the down low."

Nick: Yeah, I think there are definitely two types of people in the world: there are the people that just, like, leave the front door of their house unlocked, and then everybody else.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So I certainly lock my apartment door, although there are people in my building who don't lock their doors here. Which I think is an insane thing. I think that is—it totally blows my mind. What?

Leah: Sometimes I lock a room in the house when I just—my apartment door's locked, but then sometimes I'll go into another room, I'll lock that door. I'm gonna double lock. [laughs]

Nick: Oh, that's—oh, taking it to another level. I mean, I don't even have doors that lock inside my house.

Leah: Oh, really? I can lock all the doors except the kitchen door.

Nick: We can unpack that later. But I never want something to happen where it's like, oh, well, of course that happened. So, like, I don't want to come home and be robbed, and they're like, "Well, of course it happened. You leave your door unlocked." Like, I don't want that to ever be the story. So I lock my door. But there are lots of people in the world where they just leave their doors unlocked. I think most places outside of big cities, like, that's probably the vibe.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: And so if that was their vibe, they're like, "Yeah, what's the big deal? It's the garage door." Okay. I think yeah, that could be what happened here.

Leah: That was just in response to the who was raised by wolves? I think it's possible that nobody was raised by wolves, they just were raised in a different way, and that you can explain why this is important to you and then it won't happen again.

Nick: Yes, I think the solution here is just to explain how this made you feel and what you would like to have happened differently in the future.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: Then if they do it again, well then okay.

Leah: Then they don't get to stay at your house.

Nick: Yeah. No, that's the end of that. Hopefully they don't live there. But I don't know which family member this is.

Leah: I got the idea it was somebody visiting because otherwise they would have the key.

Nick: Yeah. Okay, this is a non-resident family member,

Leah: Yeah, this seems like a non-resident.

Nick: Okay, fine. Point being yeah, have a conversation, polite yet direct. And it won't happen again.

Nick: Perf.

Nick: Perf. So do you have questions for us? Oh, yes, you do. 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.

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: We should call it Vent, Vent, Vent or Repent, because that's more like the statistics of what we're doing.

Nick: True. Yeah, that's true.

Leah: You know, I guess I'm gonna vent.

Nick: Oh, shocker! Can't wait. What is it?

Leah: I'm at a comedy show.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: I'm performing.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: So I'm doing this joke in which I bring up the song Toto's "Africa."

Nick: Okay.

Leah: The lyrics of the song are not important. But I mean, they're important to the—it wouldn't matter if I got them right or not. But I say a part of it, and obviously they're right. I wouldn't have a joke where I didn't double check. But even if they were wrong ...

Nick: Right, you proofread. Sure.

Leah: I proofread. This gentlemen in the audience ...

Nick: That sounds like a charitable term for whoever this was.

Leah: I'm really trying to be charitable. I'm glad you picked up on that.

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: Interrupts me ...

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: And I would like to say for the record, even though it may or may not be important, there had been multiple comics who were male before me who did not get interrupted at all.

Nick: Okay. It just was noted.

Leah: Just noted. It may not be relevant. Interrupts me to correct me, like, very loudly. The rule, my personal rule, and I think a lot of comics is if somebody is—would you call it a heckle, somehow disruptive, if other audience members don't notice, you ignore it because you then become disruptive by focusing on what they said if other people didn't hear it, if everybody else can hear it, you have to deal with it.

Nick: I see. Okay.

Leah: So this was very loud. He says, "You have it wrong." And he's like, "That's not correct." And then he tells me what he thinks the lyrics are—which are wrong, but I also don't want to engage. He then somehow empowers this other man who wants to tell me—also, yes, he cosigns this man, I am wrong.

Nick: Oh!

Leah: Not even relevant to the joke. B) the idea that you would just be like, "I'm gonna interrupt this person performing to be like—and I was like, "Oh, I've missed this. I've missed being corrected publicly."

Nick: Yeah. And also, who is so definitive about those lyrics? I wouldn't know if you were right or wrong. Who is so familiar with that song where they're like, "Oh, no. I do that at karaoke five times a week." Like, who knows that song that well? But for the record, you were right and they were wrong.

Leah: Oh, for the record, I was absolutely right. And even if I had been wrong, it wouldn't have been appropriate because that's not what comedy is. You don't—I'm not asking a question, you know what I mean?

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: You're not, like, buzzing me or admonishing me or patronizing me. I just—you know, people come out and you're like, "Really? I assume you're like this in your everyday life. But let me tell you, you're not gonna be like that here. No."

Nick: Well, let me tell you, I would also like to vent.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So I would like to vent about penciling things in. What does it mean to pencil something in? It means that we have made tentative plans and we put it on the calendar, and we're gonna check in closer to confirm or cancel. Pencils can be erased, so we use pencil. It's not in Sharpie, it's pencil. And there are many reasons why we use pencil. Maybe there was gonna be other things happening that day, so we weren't sure. Or maybe I'm waiting on, like, a vendor to give me a thing before we can have a meeting, so we have to, like, wait to see if that comes in on time. Maybe I just don't know how I'm gonna feel on Saturday and so, like, let's check in that day to see I have enough energy to get together. Like, whatever. Lots of reasons for the penciling. So I had an old friend penciled in for a catch-up coffee, and the day before I texted and I was like, "Hey, still on for tomorrow?" No response. Then three days later, "Hey, sorry. It was a crazy week. What's your schedule like this week?" Oh, I'm sorry. That's not how pencil works.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: When you pencil something in, you do actually still need to add it to your calendar. It is a tentative event, but you cannot forget about the thing you penciled. That's not a thing. Because with penciling, at what point am I allowed to erase it if you just don't respond? Like, at what point am I allowed to just move on with my life? You have kept me in limbo, and that is very rude. That is very disrespectful of my time. And we know how I feel about that.

Leah: Oh, we know!

Nick: So there are actually two etiquette crimes here. One is the not knowing how pencil works, and then the second is, like, ignoring my text for three days. Like, if you were busy? No problem. Just write back and be like, "Oh, tomorrow's not gonna work out. I'll be in touch," or whatever. But to not respond? Come on.

Leah: Come on!

Nick: Come on. So for the record, let's learn how to use pencils, everybody. Come on.

Leah: [laughs] Let's talk about penciling in. No, you're so right. So you got held hostage.

Nick: Yeah. This was a hostage situation, yes. And you aren't quite sure whether or not the door to your cell is unlocked or not.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: Like, am I allowed to leave? Am I still—is this still a hostage situation? I don't know. Like, at what point can I go? So I decided that, like, at the point when, like, the morning when I was, like, sort of planning my day, like, if you haven't written back by then, like, the pencil? We're erasing the pencil. And I'm not gonna definitely go out of my way to pencil you in again.

Leah: Yeah, when you've penciled and your pencil has been disrespected ...

Nick: Right?

Leah: ... and then someone moves on without acknowledging that that has happened, and then they're just like, "Let's do it again." And you're like, "What happened about all these things back here? I was there for that."

Nick: Yeah. I use pencil. It was on my calendar. Yeah, you have lost the pencil privilege.

Leah: You have been erased.

Nick: Oh!

Leah: Oh! Is that too harsh?

Nick: No, no, that was a good one. Yeah.

Nick: So Leah, what have we learned?

Leah: I learned a very lovely delineation between dress-up hats ...

Nick: [laughs] Fashion hats.

Leah: ... Fashion hats and a utilitarian hat.

Nick: Oh, sure. And I learned that you do indeed know the lyrics to Toto's "Africa."

Leah: I do. So if you want to interrupt me and chastise me in front of a group, make sure you're right.

Nick: Well, thank you, Leah.

Nick: Thank you, Nick.

Nick: And thanks to you out there for listening. I'd send you a handwritten thank-you note on my custom stationery if I could. So for your homework this week, I want you to support our show and become a monthly member on Patreon.

Leah: That would be so lovely. We would really appreciate it.

Nick: We really would. So please visit our website,, and click on "Monthly membership." Learn more about it, and we would really love it if you'd support our show.

Leah: Thank you!

Nick: And we'll see you next time.

Leah: Bye!

Nick: Bye!

Nick: All right, Leah. 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: Well, I know that you did a shout-out two weeks ago to Rachel, but I hadn't gotten my package yet in the mail, so I also wanted to do a thank you because I received—Rachel sent Nick and I amazing pecans.

Nick: And the largest jar you've ever seen.

Leah: And also, the jar was very lovely. You know what I mean? I like that look. I thought it was super cute.

Nick: Yeah, it's a classic ball canning jar with the seal. Yeah, very classic.

Leah: I love it. I thought I was so cute. Also, Rachel's handwriting? Gorgeous. So gorgeous.

Nick: Yes, very good penmanship. Mm-hmm.

Leah: It was just—the whole package was an absolute delight. It was so sweet. They were absolutely delicious. Justin and I fought over them. And thank you so much, Rachel. That was so kind and lovely and delicious, and it totally made my day. It made me feel so nice.

Nick: And for me, we got a lovely review, which is, quote, "This show has made me a better person. I've learned so much about proper etiquette through listening. And now whenever I find myself in an etiquette conundrum, I ask myself, 'What would Nick and Leah do?'"

Leah: I love that. That's so sweet.

Nick: That is awesome, because one of the things that we're trying to do is just give you all the tools you need to solve your own etiquette conundrums, and eventually we'll be obsolete.

Leah: Also eventually, I'll be able to solve my own etiquette problems. [laughs]

Nick: [laughs] Right. In the meantime, though, I think we still have our work cut out for us. But I love the idea of WWNLD. It's great.

Leah: [laughs]