Amanda Seyfried would tell you if you had something in your teeth. “I would always tell somebody if they had shit on their face,” she told an interviewer from Esquire over a lunch of tabbouleh. “Especially if it’s really feces.” (Bu dum chhh.) But would you tell her?
Going to brush your teeth at night and finding out that you’ve had broccoli stuck in there since lunch is one of the most infuriating things ever. Why didn’t anyone say anything? You know every single person you talked to that day was just staring at that green blob and not saying anything about it. (Related: every single person who did not tell you about the broccoli is a jerk.) It’s not like you’d get insanely embarrassed about something that happens to everyone at one point or another. You just say “Oh, thank you,” and pick that sucker out (or, you know, something classier).
So, following the golden rule, do you tell other people when they have food stuck in their teeth? If there’s a girl on the subway whose tag is sticking out of her shirt, do you tell her? If the person walking up the steps in front of you is wearing a backpack and one of the pockets is open, do you tap him on the shoulder? Or is it awkward to say that to a total stranger?