Dear Uncommon Courtesy,
I’m in Chipotle today and I accidentally pick up two drink covers. Which of the two should I take and which should I leave? Is it more polite to leave the top or the bottom? Essentially, I guess, is how much of your hand ends up disturbing whichever side?
Guide me, and the internet, through this difficult dilemma. Also, please god tell me Emily Post has something in this vicinity because that would own.
Germy in Chipotle
Unfortunately, Emily Post hasn’t covered this particular issue yet- all the more reason for us to do so! The closest she comes is telling you to leave a dropped fork on the floor for the waiter to clean up later.
Victoria: I think if you have only touched the top lid and can manage to shake off the bottom one without touching it, that’s good. I bet the restaurant (and some germophobes I know) would prefer if you just took them both if you really have touched them and throw the extra out.
Jaya: I generally assume everything I touch in any fast food establishment is covered with other people’s hands. I think that’s just how it works? But also yeah, put back the bottom one. Or recycle it! Go green!
Victoria: There’s a difference between assuming it and potentially seeing it. Restaurants are also generally trigger happy in just throwing away anything that might be a problem. I, personally, would still leave the bottom one.
Jaya: Though also, is this a soda lid? Because your mouth would never touch that, so I don’t think it’s a huge deal if someone’s finger was on the side of it? If it’s a coffee lid where you’d put your mouth too it that’s different. Also depending on where he touched it, maybe put back the top one, since the only way germs would get in your soda with that kind of top is if he touched the underneath, which the bottom lid would be blocking. So the top one would still be “safe.” Omg this is so intense.
Victoria: That’s true, but the straw goes through the top of the lid dragging the germs down into the soda! I’m kidding because that is crazy talk. Maybe this is more one of those “this is how you peel an orange with a fork” type questions. Avoid the situation by gently grasping the side of the lid and lightly shaking to make sure you only pick up the top lid.
Jaya: Remove the soda lids with a fork. Wear gloves everywhere. Never touch anything. Die alone.