In our Fall Culture Guide, we feature funny duo Mike Danforth and Ian Chillag, producers for NPR’s Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me! and founders (and voices) behind the weekly podcast How To Do Everything. Every week, the guys consult experts such as Martha Stewart, Sir Patrick Stewart, and the director James Cameron on life lessons such as sending polite emails, zombie-proofing your car, and talking to strangers. Here, they give me a few more tips for recovering from a marathon, fixing a drowned iPhone, and making flights more pleasant.
How to avoid wanting to die after running the Chicago marathon this weekend
Ian: If you don’t run the marathon, it can be really fun to stake out a good spot where there a lot of stairs—maybe a Red Line stop— and watch people walk down the stairs. That’s when they hurt the most and are most awkward. And if you did run, just turn around and walk backwards down the stairs, and the experience will be pain free. We did this on our show and it was miraculous. It’s so stupid, it’s such a small thing, but it eliminates the pain.
Mike: If you do walk down stairs backwards, the key is to know where you’re going. Know what’s at the bottom, otherwise that last step will surprise you.
Ian: You could potentially add injury to injury.
How to fix your new iPhone 5 you just dropped in the toilet
Mike: If you ever are in a situation where you’re holding your phone, iPhone…
Ian: I don’t know what any other phone is called.
Mike: And you drop it in some water, it’s going to get wet, but it’s not dead.
Ian: You might drop it in a lake…
Mike: Or a fountain…
Ian: Or, most likely, a toilet.
Mike: Turn the phone off, put it in dry rice, and submerge it completely. The rice absorbs the water.
Ian: Leave it for a day, or maybe more. We want to advise people to not eat the rice afterwards. It’s the frugal thing to do, but it probably has poisons.
Mike: Or urine, depending on where you dropped it.
How to improve your commercial airline experience
Mike: There’s a lot going on during your flight that you’re not aware of. There’s a whole world of flight attendants and pilot interactions beyond bringing the drink cart and giving seatbelt instructions. What we learned is a little disturbing.
Ian: In an airplane, the pressure outside your body changes, but your internal pressure stays the same. This means that people are a lot gassier than normal, and flight attendants take advantage of this fact. They will crop-dust the aisle—they fart down the aisle assaulting their passengers. Particularly unruly passengers are common targets.
Mike: We, the passengers, become the crop; their farts are the dust.
Ian: It’s a “plain-within-a-plane” metaphor.
Mike: So, to avoid being a victim, bring them candy, or a simple gift. It might feel weird, but they won’t find it totally unexpected. You might even get a free drink, or pillow, or blanket.