The Mad Men Guide To Etiquette

May 16, 2012
Originally published on September 4, 2014 1:27 pm
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Mr Jonathan Coulton. And look at this. We have two new lovely contestants. We have Natalie Be'er.



EISENBERG: And Beth Slepian.


EISENBERG: Beth. Trivia family? Are, is your family into trivia?



SLEPIAN: Yeah, they really are. My parents are.

EISENBERG: Have they gone to tournaments, or...?

SLEPIAN: Back in 1984 I think my parents were in a Trivial Pursuit tournament.


SLEPIAN: And they won because my dad sat up all night and he memorized all the cards. And my mum just knows stuff. So it worked out well.

EISENBERG: And does he still remember that stuff?

SLEPIAN: I, I'm sure not, I'm sure not at all.

EISENBERG: But enough to win.

SLEPIAN: They won and they won this trip. We - I grew up in Connecticut and they won a trip to California. And I think it was a trip for four, but they decided not to take my sister and I, and... They decided they would take two trips for two I believe is how the story went


SLEPIAN: And then they actually never took the second trip and they only took one trip and - It's OK.

EISENBERG: Well yeah.

SLEPIAN: That's fine, it's cool.

EISENBERG: Sounds like you're over it.

SLEPIAN: I'm, I'm over it now.

EISENBERG: Yeah, it's all right.

SLEPIAN: It's a long time since I was five.

EISENBERG: All worked out.

SLEPIAN: It's cool.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Welcome Beth. And Natalie you are right now in the graduate program at NYU?

BE'ER: I am. I'm in the interactive telecommunication program.

EISENBERG: Wow that doesn't sound like it makes any sense. What does is that? The what?

BE'ER: It - it's basically everything interactive and technical. My thesis right now is on helping animals get adopted.

EISENBERG: OK. Now I love your degree.


EISENBERG: It's the most amazing degree ever.

SLEPIAN: It's wonderful, it's wonderful.

EISENBERG: So you're figuring out how to put animals together with the right owners?

BE'ER: Correct.


BE'ER: Something like that.

Natalie! Breaking our hearts.


EISENBERG: Alright. You guys are playing a game that is based on our favorite Sunday night television show. This game is called The Madmen's Guide to Etiquette.


EISENBERG: Ah, Will Hines is dancing like Dawn Draper falling in the beginning of "Madmen," something on the intranet now known as draping.


EISENBERG: Ah, the 1960's were different, weren't they? Back in the day you could get drunk at the office, everyone smoked, and men treated woman like meat. The good old days. So for this next game, we're going to ask you questions based on the advice of etiquette manuals published in the early 1960s. For example, Will.

WILL HINES: Yes Ophira.

EISENBERG: Although a woman may order one at a restaurant, it is considered uncouth for a man to consume a fancy what?

HINES: Mink coat.


EISENBERG: I would consider that very uncouth. Yes.

HINES: It would be uncouth. It'd be rude.

EISENBERG: I can see where you're going with that. However the answer is a mixed drink.

HINES: Ah yes.

EISENBERG: Yes. A woman can have them. But a man, no, very uncouth.

HINES: Can't have a Sea Breeze in the 60s.

EISENBERG: No. OK, so contestants you're going to ring in when you know the answer. And my advice is that if you have no idea, throw out a guess, because the 60s were a crazy time and your guess just might be correct. So whoever gets the right - most right will move on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show. Ready? Fantastic. If a man is travelling with his secretary, for business, not only should they be placed in separate hotel rooms, but also on separate what? Natalie.

BE'ER: Floors?

EISENBERG: Floors is correct.


EISENBERG: Temptation is too great. They need at least an elev - elevator between them.

HINES: That's right. No one has a sex drive after walking up a flight of stairs.


EISENBERG: At elbow level with firmness and quick. That's a description of a proper what? Beth.

SLEPIAN: Handshake.

EISENBERG: Handshake is correct.


EISENBERG: In case a lady would like one, a thoughtful and polite man carries what, on his person at all times? Even if he doesn't use them. Natalie.

BE'ER: Cigarettes.

EISENBERG: Cigarettes! Cigarettes is correct.


EISENBERG: What a different time. If a man accidentally jostles a woman in a crowded space, it is polite of him to merely touch his what?


EISENBERG: Natalie dings.

HINES: They both look horrified.

BE'ER: Touch his face.

EISENBERG: His face?

HINES: It's - it's just a very slow stroke of his own cheeks.

BE'ER: I'm picturing Dawn Draper doing it, and it's great, so, it works.

SLEPIAN: I'm going to say wife


EISENBERG: I love this idea.

HINES: That would make sense, yeah. This is who I meant, it's like this is...

EISENBERG: I'm with her. Both really good ideas.

HINES: Yeah. And it turns like, it turns like inappropriate public touching into like freeze tag or something like that.


EISENBERG: The answer is his hat.

BE'ER: Oh of course.

EISENBERG: Of course.

HINES: That makes perfect sense.


HINES: And leaves everything OK

EISENBERG: Yeah, just touch the hat. Ha ha ha, jokey joke. All right.


EISENBERG: When a woman is being toasted, proprietary demands that she lower her what? Beth.

SLEPIAN: Her gaze?

EISENBERG: Her gaze. That is correct.

SLEPIAN: Oh wow.

EISENBERG: Her eyes, yes.


BE'ER: Good job.

EISENBERG: Because looking into the eyes of people toasting you, well that is just unheard of for a woman. Who does she think she's going to be next? Working and something else, and having fun on her own. Look at her in her pants.


HINES: We're sorry Ophira.


HINES: It wasn't us personally...

EISENBERG: No don't worry.

HINES: .. that kept you down all those years.

JOHN CHANESKI: On behalf...

EISENBERG: The one...

CHANESKI: On behalf of the patriarchy, I apologize.

EISENBERG: The angry ones coming up. A man should never enter a room before a woman unless the room is what? Beth.




EISENBERG: A woman after my own heart. No. Unfortunately men didn't care about that. Yes?


EISENBERG: Dark is correct, Natalie.


EISENBERG: All right, so what does that come down to? OK Natalie, by one point, you won this round, congratulations!


EISENBERG: You'll be moving on to our Ask Me One More final round. Beth, great competitor. Thank you so much for being on ASK ME ANOTHER. All right. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.