Hi Lifehacker, I take the train to work and every day near the end of my trip a well-dressed, professional-looking guy gets on as well. The problem is he stinks of old whisky. What should I do? I have two concerns: helping him, and not suffering from the overwhelming smell. Any advice? Thanks, Smelled Out
Whiskey picture from Shutterstock
Let's be realistic -- if this man is a genuine alcoholic who is happy to get on the train stinking of whisky every day and his family and colleagues can't persuade him otherwise, it seems unlikely you'll be able to get him back on the wagon. More likely, you'll just embarrass him and cause offense, which could potentially lead to verbal abuse or even a physical altercation.
Put simply, the man's life choices are none of your business and it's a pretty safe bet that he doesn't want strangers getting involved. If you're feeling morally conflicted, absolve your guilt by making a donation to an alcoholism prevention charity such as the Odyssey House McGrath Foundation -- it might not help this man, but it could help others like him.
As for the stink issue, how difficult is it for you to swap carriages? Evidently you're both creatures of habit, but changing your seating preferences is obviously a lot easier than giving up alcohol. If readers have any suggestions of their own, we'd love to hear them.
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