BED is a neutral space. Consent can be a sensitive and intensely personal topic, where many people have differing opinions. BED strives to create content that is accessible to everyone. We try to use accurate and inclusive language, without taking any particular stance on controversial issues.
Impaired People Can’t Consent
As you can see, the ten principles rely profoundly upon the freedom to consent. They can’t function without a willing yes from everybody involved.
Anyone may be a part of Burning Man—and anyone can decline as well.
Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving-and gifts may be accepted. Again, anyone can decline.
Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources—this fosters an environment of empowered individuals and empowered people meet each other as equals who are much less susceptible to exploitation and consent violations.
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.
Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration—not coercion.
We value civil society—and civil societies are based upon consent.
Leaving No Trace
Our community respects the environment—the natural world cannot consent to us defacing it.
Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic—free participation cannot be compelled. It only comes through consent.
Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. Again, we can’t compel people to join in. We can only ask and hope for their consent.
Consent can’t be coerced or forced. In order to have happily dancing naked or scantily clad people, you’ve got to have freedom from retaliation. In the default world, many of the things we do at the burn would be punished. Sometimes severely. Sometimes formally by way of tickets or fines, but usually that punishment comes from social disapproval. You could get fired, you could get shunned at the next family gathering. You could get attacked in a bar for acting too gay. If you’re a woman and you show your nipples in most cities, you can be fined or even imprisoned. The list goes on and on and on and on.
The invitation to be yourself, to express yourself and to opt in to the experience that lies at the heart of the burn. That outrageously beautiful cacophony of human expression needs another consent related ingredient to work and it’s this—the freedom to express ourselves without retaliation and freely offer that gift to fellow burners.
Burningman is exciting in part because it’s an experiment in temporary community building. That means we have the power and even the obligation, to set up the rules of our communities with thoughtful intention. We have the opportunity to develop camp norms that define what your space is, and what behaviors are acceptable within your community. This will allow people (both campers and anyone coming to events we host) a clear idea of how to participate, if they choose, in your space.
We recommend that you post your behavioral expectations outside the event, especially if you’re creating spaces likely to have lots of touch, many close bodies or lots of alcohol. Telling everyone the expectations prior to partying normalizes communication of expectations, and gives a framework to address any behavioral problems that might arise in the space.
Culture begins with leadership.
In developing your camp culture consider power dynamics. Power and consent are inextricable, and leadership inevitably comes with some form of power. With great power comes great responsibility. We can use power to make changes that make the world a better place – like bringing the 10 principles into default world. Alternatively, power can be used in ways that make people feel unimportant, dis-included, disconnected and even unsafe. Another important consideration of power dynamics is diversity. Some demographics in our society are inherently granted less baseline social capital or power. The best way to minimize the negative impacts of power dynamics is to examine power and power differences on an ongoing basis and be explicit about potential impacts.
Establish camp agreements after considering the perspectives of your leadership team as well as camp members. Consider those less considered. Differing perspectives can create more beautiful, interesting, and radically inclusive space.
What’s the most important thing? Safety.
Who are you equipped to serve?
Consider what your camp can and cannot provide, who you can and cannot prioritize, then communicate that clearly to everyone within your camp. Maybe your goal this year is to only hold spaces for folks who already know what they are doing, or maybe your goal is to create only an educational space. Defining the identity and priorities, as well as the expectations for your camp is a great start to creating an engaging space.
What values does your camp represent?
Create guidelines you want to follow within your group. What makes you diverse? What is the theme of your camp? How do you identify? What sort of crowd are you trying to attract both as guests and members? What do y’all value? What unites you? What individual characteristics are valuable, or bring you together?
Is your camp a safe space?
When we design camps or events, we should reflect on the diversity of identities who are likely to interact within these spaces. We aren’t suggesting that you make boring spaces. Instead, consider the ways people are likely to interact with your space and then choose a few easy harm reduction strategies tailored to your community and space, to minimize risk of assault. Design a camp that minimizes areas where a person could be harmed. Opportunity for sexual assault as well as physical disabilities should both be considered.
A designated safety officer aka, party sitter, may significantly reduce risk in your camp. The fundamental safety considerations are supervision, lighting, alcohol and other inebriants as well as touch and noise. We find having a dedicated party sitter works better, since it is so easy to get busy with other things if you have multiple jobs.
The party sitter should have a good line of sight to all areas of your camp. It’s actually quite fun to party sober.
If you see something concerning, do something! When we get feedback immediately, the behavior can be changed before anyone else is impacted or the behavior escalates. We’re all the asshole sometimes.
Uncomfortable conversations offer everyone the opportunity to improve their behavior, grow and heal together. If you approach a situation and something looks suspicious, whip out your impressive communication skills and say……”Hey, How’s it going?
Create a contingency plan for fellow burners who may have stepped a bit too far down the rabbit hole. Recognize how overwhelming Burning Man can be even for experienced veterans. Add in the fact that a whopping 40% of burners every year are noobs and you’ve got a lot of people who are hyper-stimulated, possibly under the influence of some random substance/alcohol–and a good number are completely unused to the crazy costumes and gyrating bodies they’re seeing. That’s a lot of people with raging hormones in a dizzying environment who might make some serious mistakes in judgment at your event. Your plan might be as simple as pass them off to a ranger, or pop them in a chair out front but having a predetermined camp plan for this and other likely occurrences will free up your time and energy for much more worthwhile activities.
Most camps have a plan in place for almost every situation imaginable. But very few have a plan for when the unthinkable happens–when someone in camp reports a sexual assault and needs your camp’s support. Listen actively and if they feel comfortable, enlist a Ranger to help them find the resources they need.
Support, support! If somebody reports, you must support!
Burning man communities are rooted in the 10 Principles. Radical inclusion, where we welcome and respect strangers who may have different identities and needs than ourselves. We accept civic responsibility for public welfare. Radical self-reliance requires information about the spaces they are entering and the things they are participating in. This results in a communal effort that facilitates participant’s immediacy and radical self expression. Posting expectations for those who attend will encourage participation while preventing conflicts. Creating agreements within our camps will lead to more thoughtful and intentional communities.
“I believe you. / It took a lot of courage to tell me about this.” It can be extremely difficult for survivors to come forward and share their story. They may feel ashamed, concerned that they won’t be believed, or worried they’ll be blamed. Leave any “why” questions or investigations to the experts—your job is to support this person. Be careful not to interpret calmness as a sign that the event did not occur—everyone responds to traumatic events differently. The best thing you can do is to believe them.
“It’s not your fault. / You didn’t do anything to deserve this.” Survivors may blame themselves, especially if they know the perpetrator personally. Remind the survivor, maybe even more than once, that they are not to blame.
“You are not alone. / I care about you and am here to listen or help in any way I can.” Let the survivor know that you are there for them and willing to listen to their story if they are comfortable sharing it. Assess if there are people in their life they feel comfortable going to, and remind them that there are service providers who will be able to support them as they heal from the experience.
“I’m sorry this happened. / This shouldn’t have happened to you.” Acknowledge that the experience has affected their life. Phrases like “This must be really tough for you,” and, “I’m so glad you are sharing this with me,” help to communicate empathy.
Do not assume that they want to be touched. You might assume that they need a hug or a pat on the back, but these can be triggering. Always ask for consent before hugging or touching someone, especially in this situation.
Continued Support – There’s no timetable when it comes to recovering from sexual violence. If someone trusted you enough to disclose the event to you, consider the following ways to show your continued support.
Avoid judgment. It can be difficult to watch a survivor struggle with the effects of sexual assault for an extended period of time. Avoid phrases that suggest they’re taking too long to recover such as, “You’ve been acting like this for a while now,” or “How much longer will you feel this way?”
Check in periodically. The event may have happened a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean the pain is gone. Check in with the survivor to remind them you still care about their well-being and believe their story.
Know your resources. You’re a strong supporter, but that doesn’t mean you’re equipped to manage someone else’s health. Become familiar with resources you can recommend to a survivor, such as the National Sexual Assault Hotline 800.656.HOPE (4673) and online.rainn.org, y en español a rainn.org/es.
Burningman can be overwhelming even for experienced veterans. Add in the fact that a whopping forty percent of burners every year are noobs and you’ve got a lot of people who are hyper-stimulated and possibly under the influence of some random substance/alcohol–and a good number are completely unused to the crazy costumes and gyrating bodies they’re seeing. That’s a lot of people with raging hormones in a dizzying environment who might make some serious mistakes in judgment. It’s important to practice clearly communicating your desires, or lack thereof.
If you are doing the rejecting, keep in mind — A quick, diplomatic but direct rejection is kinder than false hope. You aren’t in charge of the rejectee’s emotions. It’s ok. They’ll live. A smile and respectful tone goes a long way towards removing the sting. Rejection is like a band aid. Pull it off quickly and it only stings for a moment.
Use “I” statements when rejecting someone. Examples include:
“I already have a partner”
“I’m not interested.”
“I will pass, thanks.”
If you have tried to spare the person’s feelings and it’s not working for you or they have approached you in a way that bothers you, we recommend the broken record. This is a technique where you stop what you are doing, stare unblinkingly at the person and no matter what they say, repeat the same phrase over and over again. You can use the kind phrases above or switch to something a little more forward. Like “No”, “Go away” , “ Why are you being a creep?” Nobody likes being called a creep.
The following people deserve a hard rejection no matter how interesting, or attractive, they may seem or what they offer:
Anyone who deliberately insults you without permission.
Anyone who uses any kind of deception.
Anyone who tries to make you feel shame for your desires without permission.
Anyone who uses force without permission.
Anyone who violates one of your stated Boundaries.
Sometimes even the broken record isn’t enough. Or maybe you are just infuriated at what was just said to you or a friend. When this goes down it’s time to puff up.
You start by taking a deep breath and expanding the chest outwards. This huge volume of air will give you a lot of power and sound to your voice. Then, let it all go while exclaiming, “NO! BACK OFF CREEP!”
The goal of this is to startle and shock. Aggressive, rude and sexually callous people are typically cowardly and don’t want someone standing up to them.
If you see or hear a situation where you aren’t totally sure if everything is okay ask “is everyone having fun here?” or even ask “Do you know each others safe words” if you are feeling bold. If people are ready to get busy you aren’t going to derail them by reminding them that they are ready to get busy. In fact you might make new friends.
The deeper you go into sexual territory, the bigger the consequences of misreading a cue. Some people get angry when they are the ones who misread signals. “They were leading me on! How was I supposed to know??”. By asserting our boundaries we can help keep everyone safe on the playa.
Radical Inclusion means we welcome the stranger. It does not mean we tolerate abusive bullshit. Let’s dispense with the idea that it’s your camp’s job to rehabilitate sexual and/or violent offenders. That’s simply not true. It’s not kind or loving to ignore real issues within the community—it’s radically enabling. And when camp leads do it, they are abandoning their responsibility as leaders. A failure to plan is a plan to fail. As camp leads, you need to think through how you’re going to handle it when an assault happens in camp or is reported in camp.
What are the steps to respond to an accusation of a consent violation?
- Check in and make sure all parties are physically safe.
- Checking our own biases
- Check in with the person who is bringing forward the issue to ascertain their needs. Remind the person involved that they did not deserve what happened to them. If you can, or feel like you are a good person to hear it, let them know they can talk to you about what happened. Simply listening is powerful. But if you aren’t able to listen to the specifics, that’s ok. Throughout the process, let those affected take the lead. Support in any ways you can. Work on an actionable plan. Who is going to support the affected party, what needs to be done to resolve the conflict, what feels like a fair and equitable solution? Does the person want an apology, does the person want the other person out of camp, do they need medical or ongoing emotional or psychological support?
- Don’t gossip. It’s not your story to tell. Before any identifiable information or situation specific information is discussed with the broader community or anyone at all, please get consent. Determine what the person is comfortable having disclosed, and stick to that.
- Many people have been impacted by sexual violence and other traumatic experiences. A consent violation in our communities can create ripples – affecting those who have had previous experiences, even if they were not specifically part of this occurrence. Plan to create space for all involved and all potentially impacted people to heal.
Supporting Survivors – Plan for when someone in camp reports a sexual assault and needs your camp’s support.
- Support victim, isolate accused if possible
- Report or not? Remind the accuser that their only responsibility after an assault is to themself. If they aren’t able to report it to authorities, that’s OK. Their only responsibility is to their own health and well being. If they are able to report it, we highly encourage them to do so. They are not to blame. Respect the victim’s wishes.
- Decide in advance your camp’s criteria for ‘mandatory’ reporting – underage victim? injury to victim?
Mandatory reporting—Rangers to LEO
How severe was the violation? Discover the needs of the accuser. Without pushing, ask if they want OR do not want LEO (Law Enforcement Officer).
If LEO is not wanted. Then…
- Offer to have the problem mediated by a camp lead
- Offer to escort them to Zendo
- Offer to escort them to Medical
- Offer to escort them to Rangers
What to do if LEO is needed
Contact Rangers and offer to stay with the accuser throughout the process of LEO interaction.
If you don’t know how to handle the situation, send for a Ranger, inform them of a “Green Dot” situation.
Always respect the confidentiality of the accuser.
Everything you needed to know about consent, you learned in kindergarten.
Keep your hands to yourself. Don’t touch another person without their permission. Stop touching the instant they tell you to stop. Keep your hands off other people’s stuff.
Consent not modeled in movies or our culture.
You know what’s dead sexy? Somebody confident enough to talk about sex.
You know what’s incredibly hard? Teaching people how to talk about sex!
A lot of consent violations happen because we’re conditioned to not use our words when it comes to sexual interactions.
When it comes to any all things thing sex, especially talking about it, we are constantly bombarded by the idea that we should be ashamed.
As long as your play is legal and consensual there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. If you take nothing else from today: Learn to appreciate who you are and what you like, and don’t try to share yourself with someone that wants you to feel ashamed of what makes you orgasm.
At the same time, if you don’t want to do something, that’s ok too. Feel free to say NO!
We all rely heavily on non-verbal cues to figure out if things are going well and to make sure we have permission to touch the other person.
The problem, of course, is misreading those cues. Nobody is perfect at reading all the cues. How can you be when non-verbal cues…..don’t use their words?
What a person chooses to wear, or not to wear has NOTHING TO DO WITH CONSENT.
Silence could mean the person you’re with doesn’t want to be there but they can’t for various reasons, tell you so. So if they can’t say Hell, Yes, take that to mean Hell, No.
Talking with each other establishes guard rails that help you and your partner(s) play in this happy space. As you explore together, you might come up to but not cross those guard rails–but the person that put the guard rail in place can decide to move them at any time.
It would be better if we were all used to throwing more words into the mix. But our society doesn’t help us out here.
Keep things flowing by checking in verbally.
Checking in verbally takes the sex up to a higher level! Communication is the best lubrication!
Remember! Consent can be revoked at any time, for any reason!
The Blessing of Rejection
Rejection is the opposite of consent, is a necessary part of consent and needs to be modeled in a healthy fashion.
If we don’t normalize rejection, we can’t normalize consent!
In BED, we advise you to risk rejection—don’t risk assault. Experiencing rejection is much more enjoyable than the consequences of assaulting someone, for both people involved, I promise. When someone rejects you they are helping you get to the sex you want faster. When someone rejects you, thank them and move on. Many people have been taught not to reject someone directly. If this happens to you, don’t take it personally. Move on. If you aren’t sure if you are being rejected the following are fairly obvious signs.
If a person turns away from you constantly with both feet and face it’s probably done.
If a person speaks in distracted 3 or 4 word sentences that’s not a good sign.
If a person doesn’t really answer you when you ask them something, they’re not interested.
Some people, despite YOUR intentions, are afraid rejecting you will lead to violence. Don’t take it personally. Move on.
Consent also applies to ingestibles.
If your camp offers a happy hour and folks who do not want to drink, accept their first “No thank you,” as their last “no thank you.” This applies equally to food. If you just baked a dank chocolate cake and your friend declines your offer to share a slice, don’t try to coerce them into eating your cake. No means no.
Practice Consent in Everything including hugs and rubbing your tits on folks!
Here’s how to get consent to hug somebody–
It takes a split fucking second to do so.
Hold your arms out for a hug, ask “Hug?”—PAUSE A BEAT OR TWO—and let them come to you.
Other word combinations you can use
“Are you a hugger?”
“Hugs, hand shake, slap on the ass?”
These rules apply to all, owners of tits and penises equally. Just cuz you have the bewbs, it doesn’t mean everyone wants to be up close and personal with them. Just most of us.
And for fucks sake, don’t give out creepy hugs. If you are rubbing your junk on somebody while hugging them, do you think people don’t notice?? Do you think they don’t talk about you? Jeeezus!
Effective communication often involves listening rather than speaking. It is also important to acknowledge the emotion and intention of the speakers.
Some practical ways to enhance your listening skills:
Make sure everyone is hydrated and comfortable before beginning a conversation. Position yourself at the same physical level and at a 45 degree angle. Do not block space and maintain a distance close enough to hear, but respectful of personal space.
Body language communicates at least as much as words. Maintain eye contact and a relaxed posture. Be aware of individual and cultural differences. Interpret body signals as a group rather than single cues.
Reflective listening involves feedback and may prevent misunderstanding. Begin with phrases such as, “What I’m hearing is.” Asking questions shows that you are interested in the conversation.
People talk when they feel they are being heard. They also become less angry, hostile or agitated when they feel understood. Try not to interrupt until someone is done talking. Do not give solutions or unwanted advice. Offer a safe space and become comfortable with silence if that is what best supports the conversation in the moment.
Finally, try ending each conversation or section of the conversation with a summary and ask for clarification of any misunderstanding.
Remember that this conversation is confidential! You are a shitbag if you share another person’s story without their consent. Don’t be a shitbag.
Most reported sexual assaults involve alcohol and drugs. That’s a fact. We’re advising you – yes YOU – not to try to get laid while intoxicated. Why?
Quick, if a bear drinks ten jager bombs and shits in the woods, will there still be giant bear poop under the trees in the morning? Yes, because it doesn’t matter how drunk the bear was. It still shit in the woods.
If you say something stupid and offend someone, while intoxicated, you still offended somebody. If you touch someone without consent – maybe even repeatedly while intoxicated, you still touched somebody without consent. If you accidentally injure someone, while intoxicated, you still injured somebody. If you break someone’s property, while intoxicated, you still broke somebody’s shit. And if you assault someone while intoxicated, you still assaulted somebody. It is the impacts, not the intention – or lack there of – that leaves a mark. And that’s the kind of Bad Decision making that nobody needs at the burn.
PSA-You are Responsible for Your BehaviorOther consent violations happen because our judgment is impaired. Maybe a lack of sleep, maybe you’re outraged by world events and just aren’t thinking clearly. Many things can impair our judgment, right?
This is important to know because legally, an incapacitated person CANNOT CONSENT TO SEX. In other words, if you have sex with an incapacitated person, you are committing rape. The law is clear on this.
There’s a Range That Goes from Sober to Buzzed to Intoxicated to Incapacitated.
Someone who is unconscious OR incoherent OR unable to sit, stand or walk is UNABLE TO CONSENT TO SEX. PERIOD.
The best we can do is tell you about the Red Zone Signs. Anybody showing these signs is almost certainly too inebriated to legally consent to sex. Err on the side of caution and don’t try to get it on with someone who is:
-Uncoordinated; has difficulty standing or walking
-Tells you they’ve consumed a lot of intoxicants
-Dizzy or feeling like the room is spinning
-Unable to concentrate or follow a conversation
Blacked out drunk is a whole ‘nother story. Blacked out drunk people do all kinds of out-of-character shit that they can’t remember the next day. Sometimes it’s funny. Other times, not so much.
Somebody who is blacked out drunk might seem only slightly buzzed to everyone else. Or they can seem clearly wasted to the point of being in the Red Zone. Someone can show clear signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech or stumbling and uncoordination, yet still feel like they were in control of their decisions the whole time. Because you can’t reliably tell when a conscious person is intoxicated to the point of not being able to consent to sex– we offer you the Prime Directive in BED—Do not engage in sexual contact with a person you suspect is intoxicated.
That’s why we make a plan before we get intoxicated! You want to get it on, great, Don’t get full-on wasted. We have 3 options for you, but you can mix and match for your own best results! Assuming you are dead set on trying intoxicants at the burn and have decided not to take our advice on trying a sober burn, we’d like to offer you some common sense advice from veteran burners who want to you to become veteran burners too.
Nobody wants to party with that person who doesn’t know their limits. If you are new to the burn, to a particular intoxicant or type of alcohol, then you can’t possibly know your limits because you haven’t had enough experience to find out. Proceed with caution. Warm up, go slow and plan to be with responsible and caring friends who can look out for you. Take your time exploring this phase of your life and collect magical experiences.
Option 1. Controlled Debauchery
Option 2. Stay Sober
Option 3! Use the Buddy System
Finally, don’t hang out with fools who will egg you on to worse and worse behavior. This is good advice at all times, btw.
Dehydration, constant stimuli, heat, dust and the stress of navigating a world almost none of us grew up in—it all takes a toll and before you are aware of it, you—YES, YOU, can become irrational, hypersensitive and very, very angry over small issues. Hell, even Mr. Spock would have a screaming hissy fit over his tutu not being pink enough given sufficient provocation—and that is the truth! Don’t beat yourself up over it, it will literally happen to everyone, given enough time on playa. It’s a sign of respect when folks recognize your distress and help you take measures to get yourself calmed down and take care of yourself.
What happens when things go completely sideways and somebody or somebodies are acting irrational? We’d like to offer a code in such situations, ”Would you like some water? Let’s go sit down in the shade and have some ice cold water or Gatorade.”
Bystander Intervention Strategies
This includes 2 complementary parts: 1) keep an eye out and 2) get good at intervening.
Keep an eye out for is aggressive or predatory behavior such as
– Unsolicited touching or
If you see something concerning, do something! It can be incredibly hard to know how to respond to a situation you weren’t expecting without making it worse. But if you ignore it or pretend nothing could be going wrong, you lose the chance to intervene and protect someone before it is too late. Offering feedback immediately, creates an opportunity to change behavior before anyone else is impacted and the situation will not escalate. In uncertain situations it’s time to engage what we call curious burner mode.
You approach two people, something looks suspicious, you whip out your technical phrase and you say……“Hey, How’s it going?”
Striking up a conversation allows you to look for clues about what’s happening so you can decide what to do next. If you’re met with hostility or evasion, if you get bad signals, that’s plenty of reason to get some help and find a ranger or investigate further.
How to investigate further? The idea, in all these interventions, is to be as socially graceful as possible. But don’t worry about doing things perfectly. Just act!
If you hear troubling sounds passing by a tent shout out, “Does everyone know their safe words?” If yes reply, “Carry on!”
Here’s another way to respond in a questionable situation – Try the old Razzle Dazzle.
Grab the nearest passerby. Ask the Suspicious Person their name and give the classic line to the second burner….“Have you met (Suspicious Person’s Name)?”
Find out where Suspicious Person camps. Pepper them both with questions. Pull more people in the same way and when you get a chance, send somebody to find rangers.
By stopping this Suspicious Person for a few moments, you short circuit a lot of bad intentions. You put them on notice that people are watching and they care. You dramatically reduce the chance of a sexual assault just by saying……….. “Hey! How’s it Going?”
How would you respond in the following scenario?
You’re out walking near the perimeter at 2am. You see one person on top of another person who appears not to be moving, a few hundred feet away.
What is happening, how do you handle this situation?
You walk up and you say…..“Hey! How’s it Going?”
If the person is unconscious, there’s no gray area here. There’s no conceivable good reason to be lying on top of a passed out person. This is a medical situation and probably a law enforcement situation as well. Get help.
If the person runs off, try to memorize all you can about them. Assess the victim. Provide first aid if needed and get help.
It is not uncommon to meet people who are heavily drugged in many situations. Did they take the drugs themselves? Did some slip them a roofie? You have no idea. Don’t make the mistake of assuming someone passed out and will be fine later. One thing is certain, their lives may be in danger if bystanders lack the courage to intervene.
If you encounter a completely unconscious person, this is a medical situation. Get rangers involved and get the person to a med tent. Don’t allow anyone to convince you to leave because they’ll take care of the person. Unless the person is staffing the med tent, they aren’t qualified to assess and monitor that unconscious individual. Sure, the person may be passed out drunk and will sleep it off, but they may also be roofied or so drunk/drugged their life is in danger. Let the medical team decide. Do not leave until you see the person transported to the med tent. Period.
As you can see, burning well is about using your judgment. We are all responsible for the well being of each other. Hopefully, you will never encounter a suspicious scenario but if you do—what’s the magic phrase?……….. “Hey! How’s it going?”